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Ask HN: What is your job? Do you like it? What was your favorite job?
106 points by zipfle on Nov 26, 2015 | hide | past | web | favorite | 80 comments



I currently work at an ad agency (we call ourselves a "boutique data-driven marketing company") in Milwaukee. My official title is Developer, but I do a lot of things: I manage servers, code applications (HTML/CSS/Javascript, but also C, R, and loads of shell scripting), research new concepts, automate existing workflows, and so much more.

Before I did this, I worked as a freelancer doing one-off website jobs for small businesses. Finding clients was easy, but I started dreading the same work everyday. I'm much happier doing what I do now, but in a while I want to start a non-profit with some co-worker friends.

I'd want that non-profit to be education-related. Education is a really important space to improve, but adding "technology" to an already-bloated space is useless. I feel too many organizations try to add tech for tech's sake, when it's already impossible to get a class into a computer lab and make effective use of that time. Educational software needs to be thought of differently. Another crap webapp that tests students is a detriment to every student that has to suffer through it. Educational software needs to allow students to explore nature and the world around them.


Just wanted to say that I totally agree with your third paragraph and (as an educator) have a suggestion - the current grade management tools like Canvas feel like they're about 10-15 years old. Making a better one that's open source would not only cut down on the ballooning administrative costs that are contributing to the problems with education right now, but could also contribute to making classes more hands on (by allowing the teacher to branch out beyond tests into more creative forms of assessment).


I teach in k12 in the Madison area. If you're developing concepts and want 'end-user' feedback I would enjoy taking part.


Thank you for your willingness to participate. Could I talk to you privately about it?


Please do. Contact info is in profile.


I've been working for a b-corporation that is in the ed-tech space. There are a lot of problems to solve here.

After two years, I feel that educational software is more about production quality/entertainment value than about solving technological challenges. Poorly designed content that is not engaging can't compete with other resources on the web.

Building a platform to facilitate learning is difficult, because the user experience will only ever be as good as the effort the instructor puts into the course. At the same time, training/education requires a hugely diverse set of features. You're pretty much developing a content-management system, plus a lot of extensions for client-specific needs. Different school districts/companies can have hugely different needs and standards that they need to satisfy, so apps become bloated and dysfunctional. I don't think anyone starts out thinking that they'll build a "crap webapp", but education is a really tough problem for computers to solve.

At the end of the day, organizations choose the most "comprehensive" system, which usually means Blackboard or one of their competitors. Established vendors make integration difficult, and will try to scare their clients from working with you. Also, school districts are also notorious for procurement processes that are incredibly painful.

If you go the content route and become an eLearning development firm, you're looking at a race to the bottom for lowest price for acceptable quality. You'll also be going up against big companies (e.g. Relias) that already have thousands of stock trainings on-hand that they can adapt slightly to individual clients.

All of this said, the online learning space is ripe for disruption. Articulate Storyline (the industry-standard eLearning authoring tool) is still heavily dependent on flash and has numerous glitches. xAPI is almost completely meaningless as an LRS standard. I also get the sense that many organizations are beginning to re-think their commitments to Blackboard and the like. It's a great cause and I wish you the best!


Thanks for your insight. I think the problem with a lot of educational programs (not all, though) is that they intend to replace live instruction. In my ideal world, computers would always remain _supplementary_ to the instructor.

The idea of what a 'computer' is to most people is disappointing to me. More people should see computers as thinking machines, as machines that allow us to extend the reach and complexity of our own thoughts. They are not word processors or spreadsheets, and they certainly aren't multiple-choice answer facilitators. While they prove useful in those regards, the real power is in the mind of the bit manipulator: the student.

I think that if we start using computers as facilitators to learning, rather than replacements for instruction, we'll see a lot of students become more interested in learning. Concepts are very difficult to understand from a book, so blackboards were invented. However, blackboards are very static, so it takes a lively animator to control it. However, it's foolish to believe that every teacher wants to be outstanding. Computers offer us a chance to go one step further than the blackboard, without much additional effort from the instructor.

Visualization is a key problem. There needs to be a way to visualize things on a computer with almost zero learning curve. Blackboards are so much simpler than learning the syntax of a programming language. Bret Victor's work on Drawing Dynamic Visualizations is a step in the right direction.

Students should be using computers to explore the nature, and the best way to do that is by having them build models and simulations. Live classroom instruction should be supplemented with these tasks, to allow students to figure things out on their own. That builds a deeper understanding of problems, and allows students to see connections between things.

I agree, it's a matter of content. However, it's not that the content isn't entertaining enough, it's that it isn't participatory enough.


More people should see computers as thinking machines, as machines that allow us to extend the reach and complexity of our own thoughts.

This is already a well established instructional strategy called Blended Learning (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blended_learning). Blackboard even has a product page devoted to using technology to supplement face-to-face training (http://www.blackboard.com/k12/blended-learning.aspx).

Concepts are very difficult to understand from a book, so blackboards were invented.

This is not really the reason blackboards were invented: http://education.cu-portland.edu/blog/reference-material/the.... Many classrooms could still benefit hugely from low-tech solutions like leveled readers.

Computers offer us a chance to go one step further than the blackboard, without much additional effort from the instructor.

I disagree – creating effective blended learning is incredibly time consuming. It nearly doubles the effort of teaching a lecture-based class because teachers must also prepare digital content.

Introducing computers is also a huge logistical hassle (e.g. getting every student logged in, getting them all doing the same exercise/simulation, etc).

I have friends who are teachers at schools with well-equipped computer labs, and they claim that they regularly have to spend 20-40 minutes of their instructional time doing IT to get students up and running. This also echoes what I've found in my professional experience: most blended learnings require an additional instructor to help troubleshoot IT problems.

I agree, it's a matter of content. However, it's not that the content isn't entertaining enough, it's that it isn't participatory enough.

Agree to disagree, but the way I see it, if content is not entertaining (maybe intellectually stimulating is a better phrase), students will not participate in a productive way.


"You'll also be going up against big companies (e.g. Relias) that already have thousands of stock trainings on-hand that they can adapt slightly to individual clients."

And thousands of public sector IT people who are making very little money and are very hard to fire.....

Not usually where you find the most forward thinking progress oriented tech advocates in my experience.


Hey davisr,

I work at an ed-tech company in the Bay Area - We're a for-profit company but we've found success in building study tools targeted at students and teachers rather than top-down school district procurement. If you're interested in working in this space, or just chatting, feel free to message me. Same to others!


How will the non-profit be funded? Do you think you'll be able to sustain yourself working at a non-profit?

(serious question. A lot of us want to work at non-profits, but find it to be not a realistic choice since it doesn't pay enough to survive, wondering how others are able to do it)


I haven't really figured that part out, which is why it'll happen in "a while." Getting Grants and private investment from the demos I can build after work are the most likely scenario.

Even if I can't do it full time, I can do it when I can. Right now, I'm working on these ideas about one night per week.


Many non-profits pay perfectly fine living wages.


I've spent some time thinking about what education should look like and how technology fits into that, I'd love to chat and bounce some ideas around.


Sure, I love to chat. What's the best way to get in touch?


I've put my email in my profile, shoot me a message!


I work as a software developer on a product that provides a remote desktop environment whose activity is recorded. This isn't the main business of the company I work for; they do contracting work and use this environment for auditing purposes. I mainly do JavaScript/HTML/CSS and some C/C++/Python work.

I neither like nor dislike my job. I like the people I work with, and I get to architect things and play with new technologies, but I'm not in love with my work. I accept that, I don't think I'd find any other work environment in this field to be that different.

Honestly, I was happier when I was serving coffee. My favourite job was when I was in the geophysics field and was sent all over the world on mapping projects. The mining/oil industry crashed though, and that's over for me unless I amp up my education. It wasn't the job itself I liked; it was being sent in these wonderful locations that I'd never get to travel to otherwise, free of charge.


Ha! I used to work in field geophysics too. Same thing - got to know lots of interesting places.


What was the most interesting place you visited?


I sit in a chair, in front of a panel with many lights, and another panel with many buttons. And I press the buttons rapidly in some specific order to make certain lights go on or off.


I do that too! Sometimes it feels silly and a bit depressing to spend my days turning colored lights on and off, but at other times I think of it differently:

I'm writing in a number of languages that (apparently) many people cannot understand, let alone be fluent in. This language allows me to write things into existence, entire complex structures. In fact, within the bounds of the virtual (mostly), I can create pretty much anything I want!

As a child I created a game that my father actually got addicted to. I didn't need paper, pencils, scissors, or any other things that I'm not too good with. Just a computer and a knowledge of it's language (Object Pascal).

As a teenager, I created realistic environments that many people spent hours immersed in, sneaking, attacking, finding secrets, and whatnot. And while I did need a mouse and some special visual tools for that (UnrealEd and JkEdit), it also involved 'writing'.

And now, as an adult, I created my own tools for journalling and time tracking, etc., a number of 'online publication platforms', and even a few minor things that escape the bounds of the virtual. And all by writing in these special languages! It still feels like magic after all these years.

While sometimes I wish my work felt more 'real', like the tables a friend of mine 'hand-crafts', I still sometimes stop and marvel at what I can do with just a text editor and a laptop. And now more than ever before it's possible to create things that actually do stuff in the 'real' world. That might be my next big focus.

And I didn't even mention how all this makes me enough money to not worry about making money, or the fact that I have an amount of control over the results that I suspect many other people would envy.

I try to remind myself of that when I'm faced with some ridiculous CSS hack, a silly request from a client, or a weird bug hidden in the ridiculous amount of layers of abstraction at the basis of my day to day work.



You work on the USS Enterprise?


No, but we also call what we do "enterprise".

I forgot that I also push around a little puck on the table that also changes the pattern of the lights depending on its position, and I have to push it to a different specific place and press a button. I repeat that many thousand times per day.


I actually did used to work on the USS Enterprise, the one that floats in the water on Earth. I was a sailor, it was in the shipyards for overhaul, and there weren't a lot of operational blinking lights at the time. But there was a hell of a lot of grinding away old paint and putting on new paint.


I help run an general purpose applied computation R&D lab for a medium sized non-profit. In the last year we've worked in fields as far reaching as bioinformatics to cyber defense to finance.

In the meanwhile, we've helped develop faster disease detection assays to improving safety in transportation.

We get to play with lots of big computers, pitch new ideas, and can have immediate impact on people's lives.

I love this job, it's probably the best job I've ever had. I've even turned down some less appealing jobs at Google because of the range of cutting edge things I get to work on in a normal day and the Google positions weren't offering that. I've never been so engaged, on a daily basis. I'm long past my honeymoon with this job and can't see an end to it. Knowing that I'm helping people with my work makes it extra rewarding.

I've worked in similar applied R or D fields, did a stint at a couple software companies and worked as an analyst from time to time, working on some very hard problems. But nothing with this kind of positive impact potential.

Will I help change the world? Probably not, but I'm pretty sure I'm helping make it a better place.


How did you get this into kind of work? I've been working in dev for 20 years, web dev since 2000, and it's pretty depressing that doing good work just means extra profit for a shareholder :(


I wouldn't think of it that way at all. Your work helps support you and your family, and your coworkers and their families! Kids get to go to school, parents get to provide nice homes for them, and non-kid folks get to have nice lives, all because of your work. Sometimes, even if the work is prosaic, it enables wonderful lives for the workers.

If you are interested in it, I would highly recommend looking at working with National Laboratories, or companies that work with or manage National Labs. FFRDCs are another great place to look https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Federally_funded_research_and_...

Be prepared to take a salary hit, but the work can be really rewarding (if you end up in the right place).


Why is that depressing?


I run a small R&D lab for an unnamed subsidiary of the company that owns Google. Our mandate is to come up with new technologies that change the economics of telecoms, which, if we are successful, may help get hundreds of millions of people online. My coworkers operate a carrier neutral metro fiber network in Kampala and other coworkers are busy building crazy fast internet for America.

I like this job.


well, that sounds fun.


Yes indeed! If you'd like to know more feel free to ping me @google.com with my HN username.


I make coffee, drink it... I also eat biscuits. Sometimes they make me write some code, so we can buy more and better cakes. This is only the morning, afternoon it's wine. My official title is Developer, but I call myself "Responsable cuisine / employé du mois"

This is my first legal job, so I don't know if it's my favorite.


haha my favourite response.


My favorite work is writing open source software. The variety of people interacting helps make the project more general purpose. Creating software for strangers enforces better docs. You get to work with people around the world whose programming ability and knowledge is humbling. Everyone is intrinsically motivated by the project and puts their best effort into what will be publicly visible code.

I'm currently working on PostgREST, an open source server that turns any PostgreSQL database into a RESTful API. http://begriffs.com/about.html


How do you make money?


I'm a hardware engineer at Apple on the Accessories team. This is my first job out of college (dropped out of my PhD program to join Apple) and I absolutely love what I do.

My team is great, everyone here is insanely knowledgeable, and the work is very meaningful. I honestly feel like I've learned so much more in the last year working for Apple than I have in my entire life.


I currently work in a French administration predicting which companies are likely to hire in the next 6 months (in France).

It's a long-term freelance gig in a joint venture between the french secretary of economy and the national unemployment agency.

My job title is officially Lead Developer for the project but since we're such a small team (the idea is to borrow the organisation and process of a startup in a big french administration, bypassing their hellish processes), I also help in copywriting, system administration, monitoring, and the most interesting : machine learning using a huge amount of economic/recruitment data to predict which companies will hire. We have pretty good results!

It's a great gig and hopefully of social value to France which needs it at the moment (unemployment is at an all-time high right now).


What are the use cases for this kind of data?


The main objective of the product is to help job seekers identify which companies are worth spending time for sending an open sollicitation.

75% of the job market is "hidden" (jobs that were filled without the company ever posting a job ad). We help the job seekers to identify this hidden job market.


I'm a Software Engineer at Improbable (http://www.improbable.io).

Before this I worked at Google for four years, and before that I ran a small game development studio (http://www.mysterystudio.com) for almost 10 years. Improbable gives me the best of both worlds -- the speed and the impact your day to day work has in a startup, and the world-changing ambitions of Google.

I get to work on very challenging technical problems, building core systems from scratch, within an engineering culture and people of a caliber comparable to Google's, but perhaps even more motivated because we're more invested in the success of the company. I'm enjoying every minute of it!


Hey, are you the guy who wrote some articles about lag prediction in game networking ? If yes, thanks. Helped me a lot. I'll send you cakes someday.


Yes, I am that guy! Glad to hear you enjoyed them :)


I left college at the end of freshman year to work as a product/software developer at a vehicle data company. It's an absolute blast; my team is great and the environment couldn't be better. After 4:30, I have total freedom to work on side projects without distraction. I'm learning more than ever before and I'm meeting all kinds of interesting people.


That sounds interesting! Could you tell what problems are vehicle data companies trying to solve? Haven't heard about this field before :) thanks!


I work as a flight test instrumentation engineer. This is an electrical engineering equivalent of a "full stack" position because I do everything from troubleshoot individual strain gages to analyze test data to look for trends and causes of problems. I like this job and it's definitely my favorite job...but then, I've only had three different jobs.


Current job: leading four-person, client-focused software development/design company. I'm the "managing partner" and spend ~80% of my time writing code/technical architecture and 20% on personnel/payroll/admin/marketing/etc.

I'm trying to take the best parts of a law firm (explicit focus on mentorship, got-your-back partnership mentality, treating people like skilled, autonomous professionals, good pay) and apply it to software dev. I expect a lot out of people but give them the tools and space necessary to get things done. We're going to build a product in 2016.

I have about 8 yrs experience as a working dev. Last job was at a startup that grew explosively but had massive tech/architecture problems of its own making. I wore a lot of hats at this place over 3 yrs including dev, ops eng/head of ops, and some product management on our API (we were a developer tools company) but ultimately got sick of shoveling shit behind repeated poor decisions made over many years. I was a founder before that for a company that had a small acquisition, and before that I worked at Microsoft for a while.

Favorite kinda depends on what you value. I get the most professional satisfaction out of my current job; we do things at a reasonable, sustainable pace, and don't have "crunch time". OTOH there's a thrill at "up and to the right" you get in venture tech that's hard to replicate. You'll probably make the most money in bigco tech, but if you save and invest well in your 20s, you can start to replace a lot of wage income with investment income pretty rapidly in your 30s.


Curious, what % of time do you spend for admin/payroll/personnel? Would something like Zenefits/Gusto reduce the time?


I spend approximately 5 minutes per month on payroll - Gusto user (former Microsoft officemate/friend is eng hire #2 there). There may be better tools than Gusto, but it's good enough that I don't think about it.

Another point: running any kind of client service business, to a first approximation, is 100% about getting the right kind of clients. I spent a while a few years ago doing "contracting" for bottom-of-the-barrel Craigslist wannabes and other jokers and it was horrible. Going from being a pure dev employee to contracting because you 'hate office politics' is a route to failure; it requires a lot more planning, especially over cashflow, and client relationships.


I do design and development at a very large electrical wholesalers. Very small team, and internal politics works in our favour, giving us quite a lot of control over that web part of the business. It gives us time as well; the company is slow moving. The nature of the business means I'll hit a wall in terms of where I can go in, I guess, the next year or so, which makes me a little sad; I've learned a great deal, and the team is very close. I can speak several computer languages fairly fluently now, make real things that actually constructively help people, make their jobs easier. Eg, outside of work, I just built a graphic UI interface/API backend for a very time consuming data entry task my (very work-stressed) girlfriend has to do every few months, going from photocopied pland and spreadsheets to a webapp, cutting the total time it takes her from days to minutes; she was really happy, I was happy she was happy. It took me an afternoon, and I couldn't really have done that a couple of years ago without serious effort. That's due to my work environment, mentors etc. Small things.

As an aside, programming knowledge has made me a far, far better designer; vice versa maybe as well, maybe


I currently teach journalism at Stanford, with a focus on computational methods and programming. It's a good school and I like working with students, and I can work on research and my own learning. But I'm not used to the pace and lack of deadlines and I don't like the Bay Area compared to New York. My favorite job at this point was working as a developer at ProPublica, for the kind of projects we did and for being in New York.


Hm that's interesting -- what kind of programming are you teaching? Is it for journalists per se or the people who work with them?

I would imagine there is some overlap between journalism and "data science". Many articles about the world would benefit from statistics derived from online data sets to back them up. But I wonder if this is really journalism, or if it's the primary source which the journalist relies on?

There also seems to be a lot of interest in journalism and computer security/privacy, because journalists are targets for spying. But that doesn't sound like what you're talking about.


I would define the kind of programming I focus on to be general scripting...the coding to do a variety of information gathering (e.g. scraping) and publishing (e.g. visualization)...I was mostly a Rubyist but decided to go with Python for teaching because it's a lot more consistent.

The other focus I have is on SQL, which I make all of the students learn in the required course I teach. For many students, it's the first programming they've ever done...and it's directly applicable in data journalism work. Here's a couple of sample midterms:

- http://www.padjo.org/2014-10-23/

- http://2015.padjo.org/assignments/midterm-wsj-medicare-walkt...


sounds like you might be the compjour.org instructor? if that's the case, big fan! followed along on my own and it got me interested in journalism.

how would someone who's been doing distributed systems and genetics for 8 years make the switch to something equivalent of five thirty eight, or other data driven outfits?


I think the quickest way to make the transition is to show skill in visualization. Data journalists share the same kind of analytic skills and processes as other kinds of data practitioners, but with an emphasis on publication and design. Visualization also happens to be the easiest way to reach and impress a large audience.

The other part of it is to demonstrate a good sense of the state of civic affairs. You can actually do quite well with average talent in programming and statistical skill...the bottleneck when it comes to data journalism is knowing the quality and quantity of data that is actually kept and produced by civic entities. Basically, being a good researcher will pay immense dividends...all of my best projects have literally been just being able to find or being aware of information that has already been publicly made available (and the legal/institutional reasons for the precedent).

IQuantNY is one of my favorite examples of non-traditional journalists doing great things in civic data analysis using already publicly available datasets: http://iquantny.tumblr.com/


I'm a software developer who's built the tech for a few startups, mostly in ad-tech, and now a founder of a new ad network focused on making better ads and changing the ecosystem (especially fun since everyone hates ads).

In between past startups, I worked for boutique software firms making custom software for x-ray machines, vaults used in banks and jewelry manufacturers, and even machine vision tech used in movie production.


I've been involved in a fair variety of projects, but amongst my favorites would have to be:

- an experimental video codec based around contours, with some fairly tremendous potential. It works, but there's still a few years more work required to turn it into something commercially useful. (But, with no further funding for now, it's on hold)

- an embedded project, developing some audience response keypads and base stations. Nothing world-changing in the least, but a lot of fun. No OS involved, and everything had to fit into 256K of flash, with 64K RAM available. Designing the bootloader, a robust audio link, a scriptable accelerometer engine, and more, with plenty of hardware involvement - mm, that was good fun.

- the 3DO and Mac versions of The 11th Hour, sequel to The 7th Guest. What an amazing place to work that was.. arriving for my interview, the sense of enthusiasm was nigh palpable. Everyone knew they could be earning way more down in the Bay, but nobody left. Plus, coaxing 40-70fps video playback out of an 8MHz ARM6 core was quite gratifying. ^_^ (The result of some careful alterations to the datastream format, and a lot of assembly)


I build a company, love it. This is my favourite job. Before I had one boss, now I have 100s all asking for little things to make their lives easier. Very gratifying.


I work in the video games industry;

I prefer it to every job I've ever had- but mostly for the talented people I work with and the meritocratic mentality of the senior management at the studio I work in.

the company also pays very little but there's a real sense of being taken care of; things like paying my health insurance (EU; Private healthcare), matched pension contribution, matched sum investment on my behalf, free company cinema events every so-often, health care contribution (massages/gym allowance) along with relocation cost and giving me a place to live when I was getting settled in Sweden.

There is a twisted downside to this though. My job title does not say "developer", I'm the "ops" side of a devops team handling online backend for an upcoming video game. -- And being the bridge between the studio and institutional bureaucracy imposed on us by a very thick layer of incompetent control freak managers which sits above systems administrators who only sit on 2 extremes: great or utterly incompetent- which is imposed on us by the publisher... makes my job an absolute nightmare.

It's actually enough that I'm probably going to resign very soon. Despite the studio being awesome.


I work for a B-Corp consultancy that works exclusively with non-profits. We implement databases and the general motto is "help you take control of your data". My portfolio is currently all supportive housing organizations in San Francisco (though we are a Seattle firm). We work primarily on the Salesforce platform, thanks to their deep deep discounts and grants to non-profits.

I love my job, because it's a great blend between strategic work and technical work. Since our clients are often running shoe-string operations that have evolved instead of been designed, a lot of my job is convincing the client that they could change their process instead of paying me to build a feature.

I also get a lot of time to work on open source projects. There's a quickly growing open source community for non-profit software on the Salesforce platform.

I used to work as a professional union stagehand, programming and operating projection and media systems for musicals. I loved that job, but the work wasn't stable and the hours sucked.


I'm a software engineer. I work on a contract basis, contracts last 3 months to a year. I've recently made CI pipelines, Win 8.1 apps, IOS apps but mostly web-apps. The pay is good and the people I work with are cool.

I don't love it though. It's OK. It'd be better to code 20% of the time and observe, talk, think the other 80%. I think that this might make me more efficient and more productive.

My best job was my first. A guy had a profitable web-site and no technical knowledge, there was no notion of best-practice, and he hired me to do everything/anything. The environment was smokey, the equipment shoddy and the business practices disordered. I was straight out of uni and free to make any decisions I saw fit, any mistakes were on my head.

[edit] Thinking about it, it was the shear honesty of the place. I don't think anyone even tried to dress up what they were doing in jargon or exaggerations. Words like 'passion' were never applied out of place.


Have also experienced this. More of a "blue collar" feel of "it's just a job", rather than all this loaded mission/passion/vision BS that seems to accompany many white-collar jobs. I also find it refreshing.

Anecdotally, I've found this "honesty" more frequently in owner-operated companies, family businesses, etc. than in "white collar" "professional" settings. I like when people have the honesty to say, "we're doing it this way because I want to" rather than having to dress it up in some quasi-rational, quasi-scientific "we've evaluated the costs and benefits, and concluded that this way is superior" when the decision was 100% emotion/preference/it's my friend's company/we did it this way before/other silly reason.


I currently work as a software engineer in a hedge fund on their datawarehouse platform - most of it is written in Perl. I also code in JavaScript/JQuery/HTML/CSS. I code all day long in Vim on a Linux system. I've developed significant sub-components of the system and learned tons doing that. It is pretty great.


I'm an entrepreneur, my current project is TimelyPick. I like my job, because it it challenging, and I do it with passion. My current challenge is to promote http://www.timelypick.com/play-solitaire - a new way to play online solitaire card games, and I find it fascinating because it's not just doing seo, it is also understand the world of solitaire players, what they like and what they don't. When I tried to understand their world, I thought why not share my findings with others, and then started to write about it, and writing is also challenging for me.


I work on a product that monitors the client website's performance and fires alerts when some problems are found. My official title is software engineer.

I am also a student pursuing an MS program part time. Haven't had a favorite job yet.


I work in performance-based marketing, running lead acquisition campaigns on Facebook. I really like it because it feels like you're playing a stock market with the fluctuating prices and algorithm changes in the market. Plus there's the creative aspect of making the ads while also figuring out the different targeting options that will convert.

It's my first job out of college and have been doing it for 4.5 years. I also run a creative/music community on the side called HypedSound (soon to be hype.co) -- hit me up if you're a Django dev ;)


I do general tech support for office day to day issues.

A little of everything, from printers to network/servers for the past 14 years(2 job switch so far). I love helping people resolve their issues, I would say I love my job but a recent switch to a oil and gas company seems to have been a bad choice.

Headcount cutting and all means I have a lot less support issues to deal with and more HN time.

I have this impression that most developers in any company would be more or less quite 'technical'. Is there any need for tech support role in bigger corporations?


I currently do contracting, mostly in the Pro Audio industry. I do VST/AU plugins, control surface software, digital mixers, speaker processors, effects processors, etc.

I do enjoy it, even though it pays less than most other industries.

Favourite thing I worked on was a 48 channel touring console. Unfortunately is was cancelled shortly after launch and all released units (except 1) were purchased back.

I also worked on some pretty fancy digitally controlled line arrays and subwoofers. The aiming they could do was pretty cool.


I help run a CI system based on the openstack-infra CI components, for a major provider of openstack based services.

The great thing about it is meeting with the developers, asking them "What CI problems are holding you up? Anything we can improve?" and making their answers my priorities. We always end up improving things and making people's lives easier.

It's not so much the technology, although I do love that; it's being able to make a team's working life easier and more enjoyable.


I did CRUD for some local shop as a solo developer.

I quickly got bored because of the lack of intellectual stimulation. Fourteen monad tutorials later the whole stack was written in Haskell.

I wish I had a job.


I hope you mean you wrote fourteen monad tutorials.


Security Analyst. I audit applications and security related designs in order to find flaws in them. I enjoy it a lot. I get to exploit a lot of interesting flaws in a wide variety of applications.

I used to reverse malware. That job had a lot of other tedious responsibilities, so I'm a lot happier where I am.

I'm also building a web application in my spare time. Getting close to launching it. This is probably the most fulfilling work I do.


I work as a build engineer at a game development company. I do like it because I have a great opportunity to learn and grow, which is possibly the most important thing to me in a job. I'm encouraged to think about what I want to be doing long term and move in that direction. Right now I deal mostly with build tools and automated testing.


I am the Director of Government Relations for a hospital. I enjoy it very much. My favorite job was being a stay-at-home dad.


Develop different financial products and provide business intelligence. Software Development manager with 4 direct reports in 3 sparsely geo-located engineering team.

It is OK as long as I am earning enough to have good life.

I love to develop products that are being utilized by common people and it improves their lifestyle.


I'm a mechatronics designer at a robotics startup. It's a junior 'jack-of-all-trades' position: mechanical design, testing and automation, and hardware troubleshooting. I'm still pretty new but I like the project and I like the variety of work.


I'm a product manager at GoDaddy and love be the level of influence I have and role I play in making our customers successful.

My favorite job is a tie between what I'm doing now and my time in the Marine Corps. The Marine Corps was more fun, but it wasn't sustainable.


SWQA on medical devices. All manual testing. It's pleasant enough, but I'm really gratified by the social contribution.

My favorite job was writing test software at Boeing for 747-400, 757, 767 and 777, in the early nineties.


I make little websites which I don't know if people will care about. Enjoyment will depend on the millions I manage to rake in.


why do you ask?




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