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Something that has been bugging me for a while: Why is cross compiling so hard? After all, compilers are just C programs (or C++/Go/Rust/… programs). It's not like a target implementation is using some magic instructions from the host to generate the assembly, or that it is harder to calculate some 32bit offsets for the compiled program, when the compiler is running on a 64bit host environment.

Or is it about the helper programs / scripts around the core compilation process that are too often hard coded to read out the configuration from the host system? So basically there is no technical hurdle, just the social norm that target arch == host arch, and thus make procedures aren't sufficiently tested for cross compilation from the get go?

Things that are more useful to know:

- What's your mechanism for bias self-check?

- If someone gives you specs and you notice that something is off, what do you do?

- If you have to solve a problem you haven't solved before, how do you approach it?

- What's your take on accessibility on the web?

- What's your process like for deciding that you're at the point in your career where you can mentor others?

- What do you prefer to do when you see someone else getting nit-picked?

- You're just about to finish a feature and have a great idea for improving it. What do you do?

For all of these things, people will likely give different answers but those answers will tell me a lot about whether or not they would end up being really useful for the kinds of teams I build.

In my experience, it is incredibly mind-expanding to live for some time in another country (or countries). Really live there, have a job, rent a house, make friends, etc. It is a process of detribalization, that can help you understand better who you are, what part of you is just an artifact of the culture you were brought up in, which parts you like to keep and which parts you would like to revise.

Not less importantly, it gives you empathy for "the other". It makes you understand how similar we all are at the core and, paradoxically, how diverse our behaviors and viewpoints can be. And it makes it harder and harder to believe that you, specifically, were born in the place with the correct behaviors and the correct viewpoint.

Tourism is a farce. I guess it gives you the social status points of going through a challenge, without actually facing any difficulties or learning anything. You can have your photo in front of the Eiffel Tower, or that cute Buddhist Temple, or whatever. Maybe use that super expensive camera you bought as a toy (god forbid you use it to do something different, something that hasn't been done before by one million people just that week).

Tourism itself is a paradox: its gaze destroys the very thing it wants to look at. The Ramones could no longer rent an apartment in Brooklyn. Struggling painters could most certainly not afford to live in Paris these days, Montmartre or otherwise. Punk Rock in London? Only if you have a banking job on the side... The old ladies who sang fado from windows in old Lisbon neighborhoods had to move to the suburbs, because Madonna arrived with her entourage and every rich kid wants a piece of that "genuine" action on their Instragram.

Be a traveler, not a tourist!

A decade ago, my wife had a very severe colon event. Three very difficult to recover from surgeries.

On each one, she rested a day, maybe two. Gotta do that, or risk tearing and such. No worries. She could feel that. Tested it constantly.

But, once the very dangerous time had passed, she always did the same thing. Get proper clothes on. Top and some shorts or simple skirt. The minimum.

Then she, in her words, "got the fuck up and moving before she gets stuck, trapped in there."

I watched her get half the wing up, some of those people resigned to dying in their beds. The nursing staff were amazed. They told me some of those people had given up too.

I would help, and just stayed out of the way otherwise. Within a few days, she knew everyone, who had kids, whatever. And it was all simple. "Tomorrow, we walk to the ice machine, deal?"

I am convinced there is real value in simple human contact and communication. I have seen what can happen when people connect, share their stories, their pain, and most importantly, their dreams, who they matter to, who needs them.

All of that brings us strength, motivation, the simple realization that it really is not over, that others are there, that we are relevant, matter, is powerful.

We heal, we cope with pain, and we laugh, love, feel, are alive and it matters.

Yeah, get them out. Get them up. Get them people who they can talk to, with.

Treats, that pet they love (I did that a couple times and had to sneak, do it outside or in a common area), whatever helps them see themselves out of there, living life, basically, not done yet, matters a whole lot more than I thought it did.

I know now what I will do, and it is that. Get the fuck up. Just get started.

The chance of you actually working on something that impacts society in a large way is pretty nil. Even billionaires are lucky if they can have that kind of impact.

For me, thinking smaller and looking at how I can have an impact on my family, friends, and local community is what I have found to be most fulfilling.

I have been coding since the 90s. This year I finally felt really burnt out. It got so bad I was upset, miserable, and lost all passion for working. I have 6 kids and a wife with a chronic untreatable disorder so I couldn’t just quit. And I’m glad I didn’t, it turns out that wouldn’t have helped. Here’s what I did and what I would suggest:

1) after talking to my wife and my doctor I got a counselor. Well really a team of mental health professionals. My counselor and a psychiatrist to help with meds really helped. I started out by taking some medication and doing weekly one on one therapy. Over time I actually got off of medication and the therapy reduced to every other week and then monthly. I still see my counselor every month. He’s amazing. I am so glad I sucked up my pride and met and talked to him.

2) through therapy I realized that I didn’t have an identity outside of being a software developer. That’s what was burning me out. I wasn’t Tim the person who has a family and interests and develops software. I was Tim: software developer. The end. This turns out to be really bad. I had to remember who I am other than software developer. All I ever did was work or think about work or work on other things that were just like work.

3) in discovering who I am I remembered my other passions in life. I spent more time with my family and enjoy the time more. I spend a little time with just myself and that is ok too. I enjoy hobbies (mine are recreational math, reading legal briefings (I’m aware this is weird), crocheting, and writing short stories). I do these by myself or with my kids and wife. It’s nice.

4) now when I sit down to code it’s deliberate and I don’t feel passion towards it as much. I'm okay with that. Coding is work and pays bills and makes me happy in that way. And when I’m done with it for today I’m ok with that too.

Ironically enough I’m more successful in coding and business than I have been in many many years. It’s great. It hasn’t harmed me at all.

So I would suggest not giving up on coding. It pays the bills well and it’s a good career. I’d suggest going to talking to a professional. Figure out what the underlying issues are and fix those.

I’d be glad to answer any questions you have.

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