Automated Trading in MetaTrader
The main advantage of the MetaTrader trading terminal is the ability to create automated trading systems that can perform trading operations without the intervention of the trader, thus eliminating the influence of psychology on the results of the trade. To do this, we need to formulate a trading strategy and implement it in the form of a program in the MQL language. In addition, aside from the standard technical indicators of the market, you can create your own indicators and visualize them in the trading terminal.
Writing Trading Programs
However, not all traders are programmers, so on forums we often see posts such as "Programmer Needed." Many programmers provide such services as writing Expert Advisors and indicators in the MQL language. Writing trading Expert Advisors for others requires a certain specificity; the algorithm must be clearly formalized (see An Expert Advisor Made to Order. Manual for a Trader), otherwise the customer might not receive what he or she expected and there may be misunderstandings.
Those on each side of the contract (the customer and the programmer who implements a solution) would wish to reduce these unpleasant factors. The programmer would like to be sure that the task will be clearly formulated, accepted and paid for on time. The customer needs the job to be done within the required time period and in the specified volume. As we know, the best advertisements are the recommendations— a lists of qualified programmers (in Russian) is periodically discussed at the forum. We tried to implement all of this in one place.
Jobs Section at MQL5.com
The main difference between the Jobs service at MQL5.community and the majority of similar resources and services on other websites is the security. The customer and the programmer are secured from each other's negligent actions throughout the whole period of joint work. In the event of a dispute, the MetaQuotes Software Corp. is ready to assume the role of the arbitrator.
Even if, as a customer, you have already found a programmer who is willing to take on this task, we recommend you use the new service because it provides many details that are often overlooked in the preliminary discussions. And, vice versa, if you are a programmer and you receive a proposal for writing an automated trading system, indicator or script for a specified amount of money. In order to maximally formalize your relationship with the customer and to conduct the project in a single, common standard, you can suggest to your counterpart that he or she submit the agreement as a new order into the Jobs section.
In this article, we will discuss how to use the Jobs service for placing and performing a task.
1. Creating a New Job
To place an order for the creation of an Expert Adviser, go to the Jobs section and select the New item.
Figure 1 Creating a new job.
After this, you will be able to specify the details of the task.
Figure 2 Editing the task.
- Name (brief information about the task which needs to be completed).
- Price, or estimated cost (specified in U.S. dollars).
- Period, or tentative time-frame (specified in days).
- Categories (specify one or two categories of the task): Indicators, Experts, Libraries, Scripts, Integration or Other.
- Description, basic information about the task; at this stage it is not necessary to provide a detailed requirement specification.
As in any business, you must be a realist. If you specify too small of a compensation, you risk not getting any proposals for the task implementation, or getting a proposal of a low quality. If you still cannot decide on the complexity, and hence on the cost of the task, yet can postpone specifying it.
In the Categories section, you are required to specify one or two (no more) categories of the task. Once specified, click Apply.
Figure 3 Job categories.
In our case, you need to write an Expert Advisor, so choose the category Expert Advisor.
After this, in the New section, you will see an order for the performance of the task, and this order will be displayed in the Jobs section for all MQL5 users.
Figure 4 Placing a task order.
The first step has been taken, now we simply have to wait for someone to take the order, and prepare for the questions related to it.
2. Processing the Orders for Executing This Job
To inform the customer about the willingness to perform the job, applicants need to apply for its implementation.
Figure 5 Taking part in the job.
The current orders for the task implementation are seen by all users of the MQL5.community. When the orders are submitted by the applicants, they fall into the category of Unprocessed.
If you are ready to take on the order, then you can specify additional information in your application, which demonstrates that you are a qualified developer. This could be your articles, published scripts in the Code Base, links to job portfolios and so on. This will help the customer obtain a better understanding about you, and therefore, make a decision in your favor.
If there are some new messages in a job, a bag icon will appear which notifies updates in jobs.
Figure 6 Updates in jobs.
Click on the bag icon to see new messages.
Further actions of the customer is the processing of applications for job implementation. This is done by moving the applications into the categories Selected, Candidates, or Rejected.
Figure 7 The list of applications from job candidates.
The suitable applicants for the job can be placed into the Candidates group, and further discussions about the job's details can be held with them.
When applicants are placed into the candidates group, they are informed about this, and the following message is placed into the respective orders.
Once the customer decides on the most appropriate applicant for the execution of the job, the application needs to be moved to the Selected category.
Figure 8 Selecting the contractor for the job.
In this example, the customer Alexander_Demidov placed the orders of the users Mikhail_Antonov and Greg_Maltsev into the Candidates group. The order of the user Mikhail_Antonov will be moved to the Selected category. The transfer of the order to the Selected category indicates that the customer has chosen the contractor for the task.
It is important to note once again, that the Selected category can contain an order from only one applicant. Try to clarify all questions about the proposed job by this point; it is desirable to re-read all of the messages sent to each other, before proceeding to the next step.
3. Executing the Job
The process of executing the job consists of six steps. Passing the first five steps are confirmed by the customer and the contractor.
The last step, paying for the completed jobs, is done automatically.
A brief description of the actions of the customer and the contractor on each of the steps is provided in Table 1.
|Step||Name||Customer's actions||Contractor's actions|
|1||Work agreement||Confirms the selection of the contractor for implementing the job.||Confirms the agreement for the implementation of the job.|
|2||Requirements negotiation||Provides the contractor with the technical specifications.
Confirms the final price and the job implementation time.
|Confirms the final technical specifications, price and the job implementation time.|
|3||Prototype/model||Gets acquainted with the submitted materials. If it is necessary to make changes or alterations, the customer makes comments on the presented model, indicating the reasons for changes and offering his own version of the changed model.
After obtaining the required prototype/model, the customer accepts the proposed prototype/model.
|Provides the prototype/model of the job, and confirms the provision of the materials.
At the request of the customer, the contractor makes changes to the prototype/model.
|4||Demonstration||Upon receiving the working materials, the customer must either confirm that the submitted materials correspond to the nature of the order, or refuse it, with a provided list of unimplemented technical specifications.||When all the parameters of the technical specification have been implemented, the contractor provides a demonstration of the job and confirms that the customer is presented with a completed solution.|
|5||Work acceptance||Verifies the submitted materials, and accepts the job.||Provides the job to the customer, and confirms that the job has been submitted.|
||Payment||After the acceptance of the job by the customer, the system will automatically transfer the payment from the customer's account to the contractor's account.|
Table 1 The actions of the customer and the contractor for each of the steps.
The discussion of details and material exchange is produced in the messages of a particular task.
3.1 Step 1: Work Agreement
To confirm the start of working with a specific contractor, the customer needs to move the selected order for the job implementation into the Selected category and to verify agreement to the author of the order.
Figure 9 Confirming contractor selection.
After this, in the discussion, you will see a confirmation of the step, "Work Agreement."
Figure 10 Confirmation of the "Work Agreement" step by the customer.
After the customer's confirmation of the work agreement, the developer will receive the following push notification.
Jobs: Customer Alexander_Demidov confirmed step "Work Agreement".
To be able to receive push notifications, you need to specify a Metaquotes ID in your MQL5.community profile. Read more about push notifications in MetaQuotes ID in MetaTrader mobile terminal.
Both customer and contractor will be informed with such push notifications after passing each step.
The contractor must also confirm agreement for the implementation of the job.
Figure 11 Confirmation of the "Work Agreement" step by the contractor.
After the contractor agrees to implement the job, the working agreement is complete.
Figure 12 The "Work Agreement" step confirmed by both parties.
As seen in Figure 11, step "Work Agreement" is now displayed by a light green color. This indicates that the step has been completed.
The customer and the contractor may continue to negotiate and discuss the details of the technical specification, the final cost and the tentative time of implementation.
3.2 Step 2: Negotiation of Requirements
The negotiation of requirements is an important step for further cooperation. Discuss all the nuances of the future solution; ask questions, even if the answers to them seem obvious. After all, the main potential problem is the lack of understanding; when one party assumes some things to be obvious and present by default, the other party may not see it that way. Therefore, certain factors may not be considered equally important by both parties, and thus not handled appropriately.
Figure 13 The requirements to the Expert Advisor.
When you discuss the requirements, you can also attach it in your comments as files with allowed extensions.
Figure 14 Attaching the requirements while discussing the job.
You need to establish a clear understanding of each item in the technical specifications. Do not forget to indicate in what form the provided prototypes, demonstrations and transfers of implemented jobs will be produced.
Before confirming step 2, the customer should provide a final list of requirements as an attachment. All the requirements must be specified. If necessary, the requirements can be presented using the images.
The customer must provide the final version of the technical specifications, establish the amount of the payment and the terms and deadlines of job implementation.
Figure 15 Confirmation of technical specifications by the customer and approving the final cost of the job.
The contractor must agree to the terms of the technical specifications and the final cost of the job.
Figure 16 Confirmation of agreement with the technical specifications by the contractor and approving the final cost of the job.
Confirmation by both parties of the technical specifications must contain all requirements of the order.
The confirmation at the given step indicated that all jobs will be produced in full compliance with the final version of the technical specifications. No other preliminary agreements, written or oral, not described in the technical specifications, can be taken into account when evaluating an issue or complaint.
After confirmation by both parties of the "Negotiation of Requirements" step, you will see the following message in the discussions.
Figure 17 Confirming the "Negotiation of Requirements" step.
3.3 Step 3: Prototype/Model
The first step in implementing the order is to agree on the prototype or model of the order. At this stage, the following things can be specified: the elements of the interface, the order and the names of input parameters, the external appearance of the indicator, the type of outbound messages and so on. Usually, this type of model allows you to gain an understanding about the requirements and external view of the future program.
If the main purpose of the order is to create an information system which helps the trader analyze the current market situation, then the model can be represented as a design of the future system, including the order of every management element in it. For an Expert Advisor, the model can be a flowchart, which demonstrates the process of decision making in the future trading robot. Basically, at this stage we need to decide upon the selected direction, and subsequently follow it.
The harmonization of the prototype/model is an important step in mutual understanding between the customer and the contractor in the work process. Try to find admissible solutions that will not hinder the execution process of the order.
The contractor provides the customer with the prototype/model of the future programming product. If the customer has no comments on the materials provided by the contractor, then the customer must grant his confirmation in order to move to the next step.
If some vital part in the prototype/model does not meet the requirements described in the technical specifications, then the prototype can be sent for a revision, with an indicated reason of the revision and a proposal for eliminating the comment. It is important to understand that some seemingly minor requests, changes or refinements of the order can, in practice, lead to major changes in the code, to a significant increase of the time of development and to the cost of the future solution. Therefore, always try to find a compromise which suits both the customer and the contractor.
After the customer's confirmation of the prototype/model, the main discussions will be limited to the logic of the program, and in comments, you will see the following message.
Figure 18 Confirming the "Prototype/Model" step.
3.4 Step 4: Demonstration
After agreeing on a prototype of the program, the contractor proceeds to the final implementation of the order. During the process of the job's implementation, it is desirable that the contractor continues to clarify the arising issues in the commentaries.
Once all of the requirements specified in the technical specifications have been implemented, it is time to demonstrate the finished job to the customer. The job must meet the formal requirements of the technical specifications and the prototype/model must be approved by the customer. Additional comments, which arise over the course of the job, may be rejected by the contractor if they were not discussed over the preliminary stages.
The format in which the demonstration will be produced depends on the nature of the order. For Expert Advisors, this can be the provision of test reports for a previously specified period. This may also require the provision of additional logs about the work of the Expert Advisor, on a specific demo account of a specific broker and so on. This can be an attached video, or even a video conference, or the provision of a remote access to the contractor's terminal on which the finished program can be executed.
All of the demonstration stages should also be reflected in the commentaries to the order, where the customer can ask questions with attached screenshots, and the contractor can respond to them. The purpose of the demonstration and its discussion is to ensure the customer that the ordered job has been done properly, and in the agreed upon volume.
After the demonstration has been produced, the customer must either confirm that the submitted materials satisfy the nature of the order, or refuse it, providing a list of unimplemented requirements of the technical specifications. If necessary, the contractor takes a little time to correct the identified deficiencies, and produces a new demonstration.
The process of validation of the "Demonstration" step is also automatically recorded by the jobs service.
Figure 19 Confirming the "Demonstration" step.
3.5 Step 5: Work Acceptance
The contractor finally passes to the customer all the materials on the implemented job, in the specified volume. Typically, the solution is transferred in its source code, since the version of the compiler may change in the future, which will require recompiling the solution. If for some reason the source code is not transferred, and only the compiled execution code is available, then the issue of future updates should be addressed at the stage of technical specifications preparation. Issues related to solution updates are not handled by the administration of the jobs resources, and can not be presented for appeal to the arbitrator.
The questions of further usage of the code in other developments, by the customer or the contractor, as well as the rights to distribution to third parties on paid or free bases, should also be addressed in the technical specifications, and also can not be raised before the arbitrator after the transfer is complete. The administration of the jobs section does not have the ability to track down the execution of such requests, and the best guarantee for both parties in such cases is their personal reputation.
The fact of the transfer of implemented jobs must be reflected in the commentaries, where you should describe in detail the way that the transfer has been implemented. If the job is transferred via email, the contractor should indicate this in the commentaries and specify when, and to what mailbox, the job should be sent. The customer, in turn, confirms the receipt of such letter and indicates the time it was received. Even if the transfer is implemented right in the commentaries to the order, it should still be mentioned in that commentary that the contractor is transferring the final solution, in full accordance to the technical specifications.
After the materials have been transferred, the contractor waits for the confirmation of receipt by the customer. If the customer does not write any commentaries to the order about any issues arising with the job or does not engage in any type of communication in the three days following when the contractor confirms the transfer, then the job is considered accepted automatically.
Figure 20 Confirming the "Work Agreement" step.
3.6 Step 6: Payment
After the "Work Acceptance" step has been done, the job is considered completed, and the payment for it will automatically be transfered from the customer's account to the contractor's account. No actions from the customer are required to implement the payment.
Figure 21 Job payment.
After its completion, the job is transferred to the "Completed" section.
Figure 22 Job is complete.
4. Feedback About the Job
After the completion of the job, the customer and the contractor have the opportunity to write feedback about the working cooperation and assign it a quality rank.
The list of jobs, completed by the customer or the contractor, can be found in the Jobs section of the user's profile.
An example of feedback, posted by a customer, is presented in Figure 23 following.
Figure 23 The list of jobs completed by Mikhail Antonov.
The contractor also can post his feedback about the finished job.
Figure 24 Feedback from the contractors hired by Alexander Demidov.
If you are a trader with a ready-made trading strategy, but do not know how to program in MQL5/MQL4, then the Jobs service is perfect for you. With this service, you will obtain a simple, controllable and safe opportunity to find the right developer who will write an Expert Advisor or an indicator for you. Any registered user can accept your offer and develop the desired program for you.
With the launch of the "Jobs" service, the MQL5.community became an ideal place for placing orders and providing programming services. Thousands of traders and developers visit this resource on a daily basis and can easily help each other. For traders, the Jobs service is the opportunity to easily obtain their own Expert Advisors. For MQL5-developers, it is an opportunity to easily find clients.
Translated from Russian by MetaQuotes Software Corp.
Original article: https://www.mql5.com/ru/articles/117