Forex Trading: A Beginner's Guide

A bit confused about the whole algo bots thing

Hi everyone!
I'm a coder and I want to have some fun playing with different algorithms at least in the virtual money side of the stock market. Preferably I'd like to access CFDs, Indices etc not only Forex which seems to be almost obligatory.
I've been looking around and it seems that everyone uses MetaTrader and its MQ4L or 5 language. So I guess that's an option. If I learn that language, is there somewhere to test the bots? I've never used MetaTrader but it looks really old and badly designed. Does MT have big downsides?
I also discovered cTrader and its cAlgo program that also allows to code bots, this time in C# (I love it!).
I haven't been able to find more platforms where I can code bots. Are there more?
Do you have any recommendations/suggestions about this?
Thanks!!
PS: I use Mac OSX but I guess I can crank up a virtual machine with windows if it's necessary.
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