Interview with Jiri Pik

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Jiri Pik is the author of Hands-On Financial Trading with Python, we got the chance to sit down with him and find out more about his experience of writing with Packt.

Q: What is/are your specialist tech area(s)?

Jiri: Cloud Architecture, Ultra-fast Distributed Complex Adaptive Systems, Data Science, Artificial Intelligence, Financial Trading and Analytics

Q: How did you become an author for Packt? Tell us about your journey. What was your motivation for writing this book?

Jiri: I have worked with Packt since 2012 on reviews of their books. I have been always impressed by their flexibility and structured approach. Then, in late 2020 I was contacted if I would be interested to take over a book whose author was no longer available. We slightly adjusted the book contents to be relevant and finished well.

Q: What kind of research did you do, and how long did you spend researching before beginning the book?

Jiri: I aim at staying up-to-date with a wide range of topics and be always ready to dive deep whenever it’s needed. Since the book topic was one of my specialties, and since the book addressed a gap in the market – there was no similar book targeting our audience, there was not much research to be done.

Q: Did you face any challenges during the writing process? How did you overcome them?

Jiri: The one challenge which always pops up is that all-time estimates are wrong. Everything takes more time for any number of reasons – key libraries do not work together in certain versions and so on.

Q: What’s your take on the technologies discussed in the book? Where do you see these technologies heading in the future?

Jiri: Python has become the language of choice for data science and rapid prototyping. No other language has a wide ecosystem of essential libraries as Python does.

While zipline may be replaced by some more advanced backtesting libraries, the lessons learned from the concepts taught in the book will remain as valid as ever.

Q: Why should readers choose this book over others already on the market? How would you differentiate your book from its competition?

Jiri: While there are other books on financial trading in Python, this book targets different audiences: the readers who have always been interested in algorithmic trading but never started, the financial professionals moving to Python and looking for an overview of all relevant libraries with worked-out examples and the students looking to explore algorithmic trading.

The book aims at covering all major components of profitable trading strategies and it’s up to the reader to recombine them in some unique ways.

If you go over the entire book by experimenting with the trading strategies’ parameters, you build intuition on how to build very profitable trading strategies.

In addition, the book is provided with a complete conda environment of compatible versions of all relevant carefully chosen Python libraries described in the book.

Finally, a key advantage of zipline over other backtesting frameworks is that it has complimentary access to historical US market data. That access alone is sufficient for one to build intuition into building profitable trading strategies.

Q. What are the key takeaways you want readers to come away from the book with?

Jiri: 1. Profitable algorithmic trading is not difficult if you proceed in a structured way. It’s largely the thought process, rather than coding
2. There are already enough Python libraries for achieving the majority of relevant data processing tasks

Q. What advice would you give to readers learning tech? Do you have any top tips?

Jiri: Tech can dramatically magnify your abilities and impact. You should prefer having a broad overview of all relevant technologies to an in-depth knowledge of a single technology.

Since with the technology, you can achieve the identical outcome in a number of ways with widely differing costs, the distinguishing factor is your critical judgment.

Q. Do you have a blog that readers can follow?

Jiri: jiripik.com/blog/

Q. Can you share any blogs, websites and forums to help readers gain a holistic view of the tech they are learning?

Jiri: I monitor thousands of websites and forums. I recommend feedly.com for their aggregation.

Q. How would you describe your author journey with Packt? Would you recommend Packt to aspiring authors?

Jiri: Yes, I would recommend Packt to aspiring authors for their experience, flexibility, and human touch which is very rare.

Q. What are your favorite tech journals? How do you keep yourself up to date on tech?

Jiri: I use feedly.com for aggregating news from thousands of journals and websites.

Q. How did you organize, plan, and prioritize your work and write the book?

Jiri: Total improvisation, from the start to the end.

Q. What is the one writing tip that you found most crucial and would like to share with aspiring authors?

Jiri: Write all your ideas whenever and wherever they come, since the ideas will not come back.

You can find Jiri’s book on Amazon by following this link click

Hands-On Financial Trading with Python is available on Amazon.com