10.17.2005

RANT: To the trader who said "because that is the way we have always done it"

A young woman was preparing a ham dinner. After she cut off the end of the ham, she placed it in a pan for baking. Her friend asked her,"Why did you cut off the end of the ham"? And she replied ,"I really don't know but my mother always did, so I thought you were supposed to."

Later when talking to her mother she asked her why she cut off the end of the ham before baking it, and her mother replied,"I really don't know , but that's the way my mom always did it.

A few weeks later while visiting her grandmother , the young woman asked, "Grandma, why is it that you cut off the end of a ham before you bake it?" Her grandmother replied ,"Well dear, it would never fit into my baking pan."

Traders sometimes behave like the young woman who blindly follows an existing practice. When automating an existing manual trading process, they often want no changes "because that's how we've always done it" or "because that's how everyone else does it", failing to realize that if you automate an ineffective practice, all you'll get is a fast ineffective one.

Automating a crappy process as is only means we can produce more crap faster.

Category: C++ Quant > Fix the Job You Got

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