I bought “Python for Finance” by O’Reilly Press from Amazon the other day. Today I am getting started with the book, trying follow along with as many of code snippets as possible.
In the beginning chapters of the book, I am struck by how difficult it is to get the basic environment ready for coding. Before you learn how to do 1+4, you have to set up a containerized cloud instance protected by an SSH key. In the past, I’ve just run python on my computer, but this book requires setting up your Python environment in a containerized app on the cloud. A few thing struck me about the process.
First, there is the whole notion of containerization. Has anybody written about containerships and containerized apps? The cloud infrastructure seems to be an attempt to create modularity within software development. The idea behind containerized apps is that the you can create a self-contained application that is not dependent on the file structure of any particular machine, and thus can be deployed on any machine. In finance, I assume that the rationale behind containerization is two fold, first as a way to leverage the low costs of cloud infrastructure, and second as a way to take advantage location. By making financial programs independent from local file structures, it is possible to test and develop containerized apps on cheaper server locations while deploying them as close as possible to the exchange on expensive digital real-estate.
Second, security is stressed in setting up the coding environment. Unlike other books in programing with Python, this book requires encrypting the coding environment with SSH key pairs. Because placing programs on servers means that the data may be exposed to hackers, following security measures to hide the data from others is an essential practice.
It is interesting that these sophisticated command line methods are presented before the most basic principles of programming in Python. Only after setting up a secure containerized instance does the author introduce the reader to simple Python operations like addition, subtraction, and multiplication.