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Spotlight: Didier Lopes

Creator of Gamestonk Terminal

Didier Lopes
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Hey Didier, can you tell us about your background? Where did you grow up? How did you venture into programming?

I’m lucky to come from a pretty diverse background. I was born in Geneva (Switzerland) but moved back to Portugal (where my family is) at 8 years old. After growing up in Portugal, when reaching university, I took a BSc.in Electrical and Computer Engineering, which led me to graduate top 1 out of 96 students through lots of hard work. During this course, I met one of the smartest people I know who showed me a coding side-project he had done, which inspired me to start my own side-projects too. After that, it was an addiction. So I proceeded to do an Erasmus at TU Delft in Control Systems and moved on to achieve an MSc. with distinction at Imperial College London too, which is where I’m now based.

What inspired you to build Gamestonk Terminal?

After 1 year of working full time, I started having my own savings, so it made sense to start learning about investments. One thing I found is that the finance world is really messy; there’s so much data that’s really sparse, it gets hard to keep track of everything. I would open 10 different tabs to look at a particular stock of interest, then open a new browser with the same 10 tabs to re-use it for another stock.

There are several extremely good websites out there, but they’re always particularly good at only one thing. So, you end up having a slick website for researching about a company and its competitors, another for the financials, another with SEC filings and insider activity, another with next earning dates and analyst estimates, another that tries to predict market’s sentiment through Reddit, Twitter, Stocktwits, … the list goes on and on. Then, it’s either a full-time job to do proper due diligence, or you have 24k for a Bloomberg terminal.

So, over the Christmas break, I started to work on a terminal to keep track of all my investment research. I worked late at night pretty much every day for about 2 months, which is when I made the terminal public, and the rest is history. I genuinely didn’t think there would be such a big reaction from the terminal, and I knew there was a gap in the market for such a FOSS tool but didn’t expect the project to be in a state that was ready to be used by so many different people. I barely slept the next few days after making the terminal live.

How many other core contributors work on Gamestonk Terminal today, apart from yourself?

We have 2 more core contributors: James (who does everything like me) and Artem (focus on DevOps).

James was just a contributor who started doing PRs really early on with new features. I knew the magnitude of work I now had and that doing this as well as working a full-time job would be way too much. So, I sent him an e-mail asking if he wanted to be more than a contributor, and he took on the challenge.

Artem was a DevOps engineer who forked the project and re-wrote the code massively to follow better coding practices. He then pretty much told me – “Look, I like what you’ve done, but I like high coding standards; hence I improved the code massively and will be adding features that are useful for my own personal investments. If this is of any interest to you, let me know”. This was a no-brainer to me to have him on board.

In addition, the community in Discord grew considerably, and 2 other contributors (Theodore and Chavithra) are working hard towards a refactored architecture and a packaged GUI version of the terminal.

Gamestonk Terminal Logo
8.1K+
projects using
192
total contributors
~1 year
since first release

What problem does Gamestonk Terminal solve for its users?

GST provides a modern Python-based integrated environment for investment research that allows the average joe retail trader to leverage state-of-the-art Data Science and Machine Learning technologies. This means that users like me – who have a full-time job and limited time for due diligence – will have all the information at their fingertips before considering investing in a stock/crypto/forex/ETFs.

In addition, the community that we’re creating allows pure traders to request features (with mockups of what they would look like along with the data source) to programmers like me who are more than happy to implement them, which is a win-win situation, and something unique to GST.

What are some major features coming up in Gamestonk Terminal in the next releases?

Firstly, we’re having long discussions over refactoring the code’s architecture so that the terminal has a clear architecture, which will make it easier for developers to contribute on a first instance. This will also allow us to make the terminal a standard Python library so that a user can install it through pip and take advantage of our collection of data as they wish.

Once that’s done, we’ll work on a packaged GUI. This will solve the installation process since there will be an installer for all OS, and it will make the software much more attractive to users that aren’t familiar with the Linux command line.

What has been the most frequent feature request from users in the project that you haven’t gotten to yet?

A double-click installation. The majority of our users are traders without any coding background. This means that if there are any issues in the installation process (sometimes even just not being on the correct directory), they get lost and need directions. Luckily, I’m extremely proud of our Discord community, as current GST users actively help new users to get started with the terminal.

Who is the ideal user of Gamestonk Terminal? What are some use cases of using Gamestonk Terminal?

Any retail trader with limited time to perform due diligence on multiple stocks/crypto coins/ETFs and/or can’t afford a Bloomberg Terminal subscription. I’ve received multiple messages from people within the finance industry that are now using our tool daily, which shows that even experts in the area trust and rely on our terminal.

Currently, if you want to invest and are not sure about a certain company, you can pretty much have all of their data at your fingerprints from the terminal. So you can make a better financial decision. This includes all the raw data and advanced Machine Learning models to predict sentiment or even future prices. I find it fascinating that some of our users have been posting some of our dark pool charts on Reddit to explain what’s going on to enlighten others – I’m personally learning a lot from this.

Are there any success stories about other people or organizations using this project that you would like to share?

I don’t know of any users who joined the mil club due to our terminal yet, but please speak up if you are out there; this would make us extremely happy. One message I received that made my day was from a student saying that he will use our LSTM Neural Networks code for their MSc. thesis, which I was pleased to hear.

If someone wants to support the development of Gamestonk Terminal, where can they donate?

Donate me on Patreon

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