Neueda Knowledge: Taking ideas to the next stage with PoCs

By | BluCorner - Neueda's open source community, Neueda Knowledge | No Comments

 At Neueda, we see the value of a Proof of Concept (PoC) when it comes to the decision making process. Emma Neill, a Team Lead/Software Engineer at Neueda, explains how PoC is often the crucial step leading to the development and implementation of a new idea.

When a great idea is born, it needs to be validated. Will it work? How will it work? Is it worth progressing? These are all important questions to be asked and often a Proof of Concept (PoC) is the best way to get the answers.

Unlike a prototype, which is built to attract buy-in and investors, a PoC is built to verify key technical assumptions or to determine if the idea will actually work.

At Neueda, we see the value of PoCs when it comes to making good decisions about the direction in which to take an idea, for example, what choice of technology to use.

PoCs have allowed us to make informed decisions earlier about whether to commit to further development or to fail fast and go back to the drawing board.

During the development of Neueda Front Office SDK, we completed a PoC to understand whether it would be feasible and of value to provide language bindings through the use of SWIG.

Front Office SDK is a suite of modules and connectors that can be used to connect applications to the European equity markets and facilitate the development of electronic trading applications.

Keen to understand how difficult it would be to create and maintain these language bindings, and also whether the performance would be compelling enough to make it valuable, we defined the following PoC goals:

  1. Provide a minimal set of cross language/cross platform bindings for C#, Java and Python
  2. Understand the performance impact degradation when moving from C/C++ to Java/C#/Python

We encountered setbacks but ultimately achieved our PoC goal with the use of SWIG allowing us to generate C#, Java and Python bindings to a core implementation in C++ with minimal impact upon performance.

Front Office SDK has been made freely available for use via https://github.com/blu-corner/fosdk  It is a cross-platform, cross-language framework, compatible with Linux, Windows and MacOS that allows developers to write their application in any of the main languages

A dedicated slack community has also been created to allow those within the industry to communicate and exchange ideas with Neueda’s Front Office SDK creators – register to join at www.blu-corner.io

For every great idea that has made it to the next stage, there have been many more that haven’t. There is, however, always value in trying, whether you achieve a desired outcome or not.

At Neueda, PoCs have taught us to not be afraid of getting it wrong, that testing new technology is never a wasted task and that sometimes the best ideas flow from those that didn’t work.

 

 

BluCorner: Phil Herron talks about Neueda’s work in open source

By | BluCorner - Neueda's open source community | No Comments

Over the last two years, Neueda has embraced open source software to help solve client challenges and share our solutions with the community. As part of our Neueda Knowledge blog series, we caught up with senior software engineer Phil Herron to find out more about our work in this area and gain an insight into life at Neueda.

Phil, can you tell us more about your role?

I’ve been at Neueda for three years this June and it’s been a lot of fun so far! I started by working on a research project for Queen’s University Belfast (NanoStreams) writing an LLVM based compiler, before moving into Capital Markets to cover work ranging from performance benchmarking, front end HTML5 development to leveraging SWIG to provide APIs from C++ from backend systems in other languages. Most recently, I’ve been working on different trading engines and associated risk tools.

BluCorner is Neueda’s open source community – why the move towards open source?

Our electronic trading clients have a common set of core challenges – managing electronic trading applications in an environment of continuous exchange change. We wanted to put together software that helped overcome these challenges and to provide a reference implementation which developers could leverage.

We have recently open sourced:

  • Front Office SDK (FOSDK) – All exchanges provide a messaging protocol for submitting and receiving data. FOSDK provides programmers with an extensible framework that manages all session level connectivity to help them connect to exchanges and implement their business logic
  • Codecs – Each financial exchange has its own message format to send orders which are subject to frequent change. Our Codecs provide encoders and decoders for all major European equity exchanges in one place.
  • SWIG (polyglot ready) – Developers can use the language in which they are most comfortable, we have provided bindings from our C++ code to the major managed languages (Java, C# and Python). Even something as simple as using the codecs in python to read binary data files gives you a nice environment to do any necessary analysis or testing on the raw data.

What open source projects have you been involved in?

We completed our first SWIG Proof of Concept 18 months ago for a customer with a trading platform written in C++ where we required APIs to develop a C# application. Using SWIG, we were able to reuse the core C++ components, avoiding complex duplication of work.

Our code was released onto Github recently at https://github.com/blu-corner and we have put together as much information as possible to make this fully accessible. We can’t wait to take feedback on board and begin to introduce new features and functionality requested by the development community.

A dedicated slack community has also been created to allow those within the industry to communicate and exchange ideas with Neueda’s Front Office SDK creators – register to join at http://blu-corner.io

What do you like most about working at Neueda?

Everyone is involved in architectural decisions, and anyone can take the lead on projects if they have the right skills and drive. It’s also great to give back to the open source community, which has always been a passion of mine.

Register to join BluCorner today and be sure to stay tuned to our Neueda Knowledge blog series for more insights into our latest projects and innovation.