Creating your first Web App: tales of a beginner
I have started getting into programming, little by little, first learning a tiny bit of Pascal when I was 16, then, last year, doing the CS106A course from Stanford (I’m a huge fan of professor Sahami, even if I’ve never met him), and now the CS106B follow-up course, which I’m not yet done with. Both are available as iTunes U downloads, which is great if you own an iPad, of course.
However, even though I’ve now invested some considerable time in programming, I have not yet found a particular real-life project to invest my time in and learn actual, practical programming. I’ve finally found a project to work on that will help me with two areas of my life: programming and earning an income.
new project: a subscription-based global stock screener for the new web
As a beginning investor employing the Piotroski screening method, and others, I need to use online stock screeners, but unfortunately none of them are pretty great, and the few that are usable generally only have US stock data, but no European stocks or other regions. That’s a pity, but instead of complaining about it, I’ll try to create my own solution as a web app.
getting the data: Reuters CSV
The first things I needed to find out was how I would get the stock data, because that will be the basic content of the stock screener. I noticed that many current screeners rely on Thomson Reuters in this area, and it seems Reuters offers global and not just US-based data. Perfect! But in what form do they deliver the data? And what would it cost? I have yet to find out, and already contacted support to get an answer. Their online documents indicate that data can be delivered as CSV files, if needed via FTP upload, so that’s a good starting point.
data storage: MongoDB
the classical web app model
RESOURCES I’ve used to get an initial feel for some concepts:
- 90 min Ruby on Rails tutorial for beginners (Smashing Magazine)
- 30 min AngularJS tutorial for beginners