I want to help Noobs!

I would like to offer help in any way I can.

Hello everybody, I’m Josh Cogburn & I’ve been working with Alpaca’s API & other projects since 2018. I’m no expert by any means, but I have been around for a while.

About Me:
I’m a software developer with over 7+ year’s of experience with many different languages & projects. At my current employer I work on a web based claim management system for an independent insurance adjustment company. Over the year’s I’ve had the opportunity of working with various technologies, programming languages, REST API’s, web services, & fun/challenging projects.

When I was an amateur, I often felt extremely unsure of myself & my capabilities. Well I’m on the other side of that valley now & I can tell you that it is only a phase. You can accomplish anything that you are willing to do anything necessary to accomplish.

The majority of my skills & knowledge were obtained from learning from trial & error, basically just diving into a topic, language, or technology & keep hacking at it one problem at a time until things aren’t as obscure & intimidating anymore.

The point of this post is to announce to the forum, that I’ve got skills, knowledge, & experience and I would like to pass it on to others. I just started a youtube channel for this purpose and would like create content specifically tailored for using Alpaca, Machine Learning, & Algo Trading (Primarily in Python). Here’s my channel: CodeLabs

I’m open to suggestions on the topics and I look forward to helping other’s along their journey.

Happy Hacking

  • Josh Cogburn

Exciting to see a Video Channel. Id love to see any ML strategies implemented and ideas / best practices around integrating into AlgoTrading, will be following you!

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@qorrect Thanks for the feedback! Those topics are definitely in my pipeline I’ll let you know as soon as I post some additional content. Thanks again & have a Great Day!

Hey, exciting to hear that you’re looking to help people, I’ve already poked around on your youtube some but and I had a thought about something that I think many people would find helpful, I know I certainly would. Would you be at all willing to make a template of sorts for people like me trying to get to the working phase? Something which would theoretically then be able to be taken and adapted to a wide range of types of algos?

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@Hogan_Pope Hey hows it going! I know my channel is limited on content right now, I’ve been working on an web application to build and test Algo’s with Alpaca which I want to also use in conjunction with my channel. This will allow for rapid prototyping of various Algorithm’s, because in my experience it can be pretty tedious at times. You mentioned trying to get to a working phase, are you referring to live trading? As far as being able to make use of a wide range of algo’s that’s what I’m trying to accomplish with the web application I mentioned. Since I don’t have much content on the channel right now Is there anything specific problems that your running into or need clarification on?

Happy Hacking,

  • Josh
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I am new with Python and Alpaca. I am trying to create my first program and want to just do something simple. I would like to set it up to buy 1 share of a stock at say 10:30 in the morning everyday. Any direction on setting this up? Thanks!


@Kevin_Muhlestein great question, do you have any code yet? You would first need to set up your environment variables, import necessary modules, and create a REST object instance. Have you gotten that far yet? If not no problem, I’d be glad to help.

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Josh, thanks for the reply. I am at the very very beginning and have no idea how to get started. I’ve read through the info on alpacas site, but it seems like it is written for someone that already know what’s going on. Thanks for your help.


@Kevin_Muhlestein Ok, no worries. I’m going to attach a short snippet that just sets up a REST object. You’ll need your API keys from Alpaca, make sure you never share any API keys! You do have your keys right?

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import alpaca_trade_api as tradeapi
import os
from pprint import pprint


api = tradeapi.REST(
key_id = os.environ[“APCA_API_KEY_ID”]’,
secret_key = os.environ[“APCA_API_SECRET_KEY”]’,
base_url = os.environ[“APCA_API_BASE_URL”]


Drop this in a script and try running it. Ex. save as test.py and in your terminal run “python test.py”.

If your python version is fairly recent and you’ve pip installed the alpaca_trade_api module as a dependency, then it should run and output your REST object instance.

If you need help getting to that point (setting up a virtual environment and installing dependencies) let me know.

While your in development & testing, just use ‘https://paper-api.alpaca.markets’ for the APCA_API_BASE_URL environment variable.

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Thanks, Josh! I will work on getting this going and get back to you with the result!

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Josh, do you mind providing direction on installing the alpaca_trade_api module as a dependency? I am assuming this is what allows me to use language unique to alpaca?

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Absolutely, I’m currently away from my computer right now, but I’ll send you some info later this evening.

@Kevin_Muhlestein, I’m writing a Medium post to help you and other’s set up their development environments to get started using Alpaca. Here’s the link: https://medium.com/@josh.cogburn.dev/alpaca-development-environment-e169f2abdf1e


Are you using Windows, Mac, or Linux?

I’m using windows. Python is installed.