I definitely do not fall in the 3-4 years category yet, but my input might help anyhow.
In developing my strategy, I went through several steps:
- By reading, watching, listening to people, formulated a general if-then idea.
- Analyzed data through Matlab (though I work in Python now).
- Optimized parameters through Matlab.
- Implemented the set of trading rules in MQL4, which I run on MT4 on an independent VPS, where I run several other small projects.
- Make sure you use the MT backtester as well, to have a better chance not to introduce any critical errors in your code.
I did not use anything Darwinex specific and the main reason I trade here is because of the tracking and following features and DarwinIA ofcourse.
I think this path is one of the better ways to go (getting an idea first, play around with it using as much data as you think is relevant using simple scripts.) IMO you don’t need sophisticated tools to create a profitable strategy. Simpler is usually better.
Another way people often use is a so-called ‘kitchen sink’-approach, where they just use loads of different factors hoping they find some predictive value. This is also easily done in a language like Python.
Hope this offers some insight,