From running two small ecommerce companies I think I've learned enough about MVP, shipping, inventory management, etc.
From 25 years as a software engineer I've learned about building tools to automate steps.
I'd pick some "hard to find / expensive niche (e.g. Greene and Greene, Art Nouveau, etc.), but offer repeatable designs, not do custom work. That would allow for lots of jigs, fixtures, using cheap machines in duplicate to eliminate setup times, etc.
...and then after growing sales and shaking the bugs out of the production, I'd hire assistants to keep cranking stuff out.
Eventually I'd allow customers to start turbing a few "knobs" on products, via a website tool (this isn't too much falling back into software, is it?), which results in customized cut lists being kicked out for my assistants. Mass customization.
Theirs a real satisfaction in looking at a your work at the end of the day and being able to SEE it.
Common errors are things like trying to cut a piece that is too large / awkward, resulting in the wood pinching the blade, and also getting your fingers too close to the blade. Get used to using push sticks to push the wood piece through. Typically you'd make up a couple of them with notches in the ends, or with a rubber tip. If you are doing certain types of cross cuts, the table saw has a couple tracks and a jig that runs along them, to move the piece through. Also, most important, is to set the blade height correctly, so not much of the blade is sticking out through your work piece.
Of course, I've always wanted a computerized setup, where you specify where the cut should be, and the work piece gets robotically placed on the table saw and precision cut. (they have this in some of the larger cabinet shops).
Powertools are made to cut/grind/drill/etc... wood, metal, and even stone into useful shapes. All of these things are significantly harder than the human body. Of course the tools capable of doing it are dangerous.
For example, you wouldn't want to wear loose or baggy clothing around a lathe.
Also, when I was a kid, my Dad had almost lost the tip of his finger in a snow blower -- he was cleaning out the chute when his glove caught on the blade. Again, something that you aren't supposed to do. For myself, I've had a number of close calls -- sometimes a piece of wood gets ejected in the direction of the blade spin. I've learned to stand to the side, and now directly in front of the saw. Also learned the hard way that you don't support a board on both ends, and cut in the middle with a circular saw -- blade pinch, and a nasty bruise results. Again, if I had someone standing there that could warn me, I would have corrected my technique before getting hurt.
i had a roommate for years, was a very skilled machinist... we called him "nine and a half" although he was really only missing about 2mm from his right index finger... state compensated him $10k for those 2mm's though.
Also, you can do a lot of woodworking with other tools, like a circular saw, track saw, miter saw, or even a simple hand saw. I've built a couple of bookcases and a built-in storage bench using only circular and hand saws, though a table saw would have made the work easier and probably straighter.
If the safety mechanism failed though, the resulting injury would be far worse as a result of the gloves, so it might not be worth it in that regard.
I'd highly suggest taking a look at some of the videos from Paul Sellers: https://www.youtube.com/user/PaulSellersWoodwork. My first real project was building his simple (but very functional) workbench. He is pretty opinionated so keep that in mind, but he speaks from experience.
Also keep in mind that there are really two "classes" of popular tools: western and Japanese/eastern. If you do get into woodworking I'd suggest trying out a few tools from each class. I ended up going with Japanese saws because they felt more natural to me but then using western style planes.
Unlike Schwarz who I feel like is always trying to get me to buy something else :/
You may want to check out the Bosch ReaXX, which has a similar tech in a portable job-site saw. SawStop is currently suing Bosch for patent infringement (which I don't fault them for; it was them trying to make it illegal to sell saws without their tech that didn't sit right with me).
and a followup that's more balanced:
Don't work alone in the house, keep your cell phone in your pocket. I suppose this would be a great use for Amazon's Alexa, just yell for 911 (does that work for Alexa?).
Putting your hands in the soil, seeing the growth & blooms, eating your produce - very satisfying!
Funny thing is before I did hardware, I was running a wood/machine shop which was satisfying, but didn't pay very well.
What I found is so many people glamoririze wood working, but at the end of the day keep your desk job. Working with your hands is a dirty job. It's a physical job. You come home tired. There's a reason, even custom wood shops, are filled with immigrants.
I know very few independents that make a go of it. I know a few guys who highly specialize, and claim to make a living. For a few years, guys were making good money refinishing wood slabs, for tech bosses. That market is getting crowded. A $8000 table can be had $800 if you travel, and shop around.
I won't get in to all the downsides, but if you have some extra room buy some wood working equipemnent. You don't need to go hog wild. You don't need a cabinet saw. You should have a contractor's saw with a cast iron table. A router. Drills--don't spent a lot on fancy features. Union finishers use the cheapest plug in drills. Have an assortment of clamps. Keep your chisels sharp. You don't need every router bit made either. It's not about the tools in the end.
I really think the secret is to specializing. Do custom chairs? Get your name out there. I know one guy who makes custom dressers, but they are works of art. This guy will spend months working on a piece, and some rich guy will buy it for $180,000.
I once wanted to make custom knifes, but every guy I talked to said you won't make a living off it.
I am going to try to make custom sterling belt buckles. I've done some jewelry work, and found that a hard niche to get into. The Chinese make some realistic looking hand made stuff. Yes--they steal our original ideas--sometimes overnight.
My strategy is to get in quick, and get out if I get a bunch of copycats. I already have most of the tools.
I think a lot of us want to do something else? My dad, who was an Electrician, once said, "I wish I had a job where I could sit in a warm office for two hours in the morning, and then get in my service truck and do physical labor." He never found a job he totally liked. He died an angry man. It wasn't his job he hated so much; he was just angry about everything. My biggest fear was turning into my father.
I don't think I ever will. I had a busted a gasket in my noggin in my twenties, and don't look at the world like I used too.(bust gasket--had minor nervous breakdown in my twenties. I got better, but my perspective on life did change.)
His channel is great for more than just its content; it's also inspirational. My father has been a hobbyist woodworker and he has a small basement shop. Growing up I would frequently be down there with him 'helping' here and there, but never really built much of anything on my own besides a few small projects.
Watching Matthias' videos rekindled my interest in the hobby and I even picked up some new tricks along the way. It has also been great to get back into the shop with my dad and spend real quality time with him.
Matthias, if you ever read this: thanks!!!
Sometimes I think it appeals to me (and engineers in general) because spending so much time developing software... when not working on front-end/UI, it's all intangible. Just abstract bytes cast into the void. I need to make things in the physical realm more often.
This is actually very similar to how semi-custom cabinets are made and sold, aside from the web interface. There is a catalog of available cabinets, and each cabinet can be customized in a variety of ways. For example, you can order a drawer + cupboard base cabinet with 2 roll trays and finished left side. The cabinets are built to order, but from a standard set of parts. They're built in a factory and shipped to the job site fully assembled. (One big maker is Masterbrand, which like GM offers many similar products under a variety of sub-brands.)
Instead of the web, though, cabinet selections are typically made by a kitchen designer, because the customer is not sufficiently skilled to take responsibility that the items ordered will actually fit. This might be a problem in woodworking, though perhaps less so for furniture.
These types of sophisticated projects though were fairly risky for property developers making them somewhat rare. So I struck out on my own to try to develop a small business around the most 'automatable' work I could afford to get into - which is basically a prototyping shop that offers laser cutting and engraving of wood products.
We've been fairly successful with it, and so now we're starting to develop product customizers that allow customers to order custom work which we can fabricate on demand without having to interact with the customer in person (a major source of overhead in most custom fabrication shops). Here's an early beta example of one we're working on for the wedding industry if you're interested: https://www.instantcaketopper.com
This is the most challenging thing about most IT jobs. I was working "maintenance" (read: janitor that occasionally builds things) at an outlet mall before I fell in to an internship that led to the VoIP/MSP job I've been working for the last decade.
I'm making a lot more money and I never have to clean up bodily fluids, but rarely does this job provide any real end-of-day satisfaction. Maybe once a month I get to work on a project that when complete I can stand back and have something tangible to be proud of.
On the other hand from just a summer of working at the outlet mall there are a half dozen things I worked on that I can see from the highway as I drive by now 12 years later. Even the cleanup work had a clearly defined "task complete" state that anyone could see.
As for the grass being greener, it's important to keep perspective about what the former was. I think your example re: bodily fluids is a pretty good example :)
But, if that's not something you have the space/money for yet, I think that cooking is a nice substitute hobby. There's a lot to learn with tools and technique, and you get the immediate satisfaction of seeing (and tasting!) your finished product.
Just be careful though -- I've injured myself many more times in the kitchen than in the garage.
Certainly it is possible to succeed there, but I think many manufacturers are already far ahead of the average software shop in terms of automation.
Absolutely true. And this is why I was very specific about picking a high end niche, and using tons of jigs, etc.
If you try to make rocking chairs, or cabinets, or whatever, you're going to be undercut by people in Malaysia, or huge factories in North Carolina.
You need something where there is a LOT of complexity AND a relatively small market, both to serve as walls to market entrants.
You normally can't build a big business on any of those niches, but it may be enough to sustain a single-person shop.
I started StumpCrafters.com just a few months ago and its great. I love being out in the shop more and still getting to do a few things with code here and there.
Im not quite there with the customization yet but its in the works.
Check it out at:
There is some sort of game...and you sell these pieces of wood for the game?
TLDR; The Stump Game is played with a Stump, nails, and a hammer. Win by being the last nail above the face of the stump.
I'm not kidding, in the middle of bars they have a big ol' tree stump full of nails
they totally should
I would study the first proof in mathematics all the way up through modern probability theory.
I would throw away my cell phone and do all of this work from a nice modern loft in the Trastevere neighborhood of Rome - starting every morning with an espresso, and ending it with good food and two bottles of Red French or Italian wine.
Back to work ..
I have a full-time job and read as many philosophy/sociology and math books as I ever have. You can actually try out your plan of full-time study on your next vacation - I bet you will bore of it in three or four days.
> I refuse to join any club that would have me as a member –Groucho Marx
Living abroad on dollars, and staying out of native-English speaking countries and Nordic ones, it's quite easy to live an average lifestyle on around $600/mo. However, to live like this you end up going through a few dry periods where you really are struggling. Three-fourths of the time, I'm living the same lifestyle as I did in the US, except it's more interesting and I'm not working a full-time job I don't like just to make ends meet.
My free time is spent exploring cities, learning languages which I teach myself and then practice in-country, reading and watching documentaries about everything that interests me (I was born curious), volunteering and working on some online side projects (non-monetary) related to growing my knowledge.
If this were a few hundred years ago, I would be the first person to sign up for overseas voyages, but since there are no more unexplored/untouched lands these days (barring the final frontier), I try to do the next best thing - explore subjects and places that are, in the least, not previously explored by me. Another way to look at it is to say I was born (SF in the early 80s) a few decades late, otherwise I would have grown up hippie and probably fit right in (rather than have friends who make amounts I can't even comprehend).
What's a VA?
You are living an interesting life. It is fun to read about how different everyone's experiences are.
I wonder if you COULD document that in a physical way though, maybe build a website using a free host like Wix.com loaded with photos from around the world, organized chronologically by country.
That would be amazing. Maybe even organize a speech about "What I have learned by traveling the world" (with cool photos)
Even if you didn't take photos, you could find photos of the places you lived at on Google.
I think many people would be interested by a talk like that.
I appreciate your experience, and I think employers would also.
You have proven you can relate and survive in many different cultures and you are adaptable. I would imagine that would be valuable in an international position in a big company like Pagonia, or a safari travel company, or even a local company with a diverse workforce.
If the question were, "What other job would you like to do, if it paid at least as much as software development?" I could probably come up with some creative answers.
But even though I'm not particularly driven by money, given that I have a family to support, mortgage to pay, etc., I probably could not take a job right now that would significantly reduce my income.
With that constraint in mind, I suppose I would say I would return to my first career (journalism) and become an editor again. This would involve a significant drop in salary. So I would have to ramp up the time I devote to my second job. I'm an author of nonfiction books, which has been mostly a side project, but a relatively lucrative one. If I could bang out a book a year, on top of working full time as an editor, I could probably keep our household finances afloat.
Obviously kids make this harder and my perspective is certainly biased as my wife and I don't plan on children so our nut is much lower every month than our friends with kids in HS or college.
Depends on your circumstances. 100k with one salary?
Sure, 100k can go very fast with kids, and it won't make you independently wealthy, but many people manage a "basic life" and even saving some money living on far less.
Suppose you live in Cambridge, MA and eat all organic food; rent with roommates and utilities costs perhaps 800/mo, subway costs perhaps 100/mo, food costs 300/mo, clothing is perhaps 100/mo, health insurance perhaps 1k/mo. This adds up to 1300/mo, 28k/year. Throw in a very luxurious 5k/year in travel, 4k/year in restaurants and hobbies, and your 100k salary / 67k takehome pay supports you saving 30k/year (more if you use tax advantaged accounts).
Consider a family of four in such a case. Taxes run about 21k/year instead of 33k/year, so takehome is 79k. A 1br in Cambridge runs about 2k/mo, maybe 2.5k/mo for luxury. Subway is 150/mo, food costs 700/mo, clothing of say 200/mo, healthcare is perhaps 1.5k/mo; these run 5k/mo in total, 60k/year. Throw in 5k for travel, rental cars, and hobbies, and you're still saving 15k/year for emergencies.
This seems like a very luxurious life, as someone who's lived it; expensive, and I found it slightly more luxurious than makes me happy. So yes, families affect saving rate, but also provide perpetual free entertainment.
Ugh, for a lot of us roommates == hell. There's no way I'd subject myself to living with strangers again.
I think it depends more on circumstances before you get to $100k. If I had parents who paid for school I'd probably be living it up too.
I often wonder if it's just people who have a different concept of what is a necessity vs a luxury due to never having to go without for a significant part of their lives, or people who have just never lived outside of the cities or other expensive areas.
In my case, I lived on the lower end of the income spectrum for much of my childhood, and lived even poorer while building my startup in a low-cost area. So it is with deep experience and sincerity that I say I have no desire ever to repeat those years, nor to inflict such a life on any future young humans.
Ways in which it's not life changing: probably have to live in a more expensive area, which eats into the benefit. Still have to play the office game with people you may or may not like. Still have to save up and budget if you want to travel. You won't live in a mansion with a full-time staff. You still won't have enough money to trade money for popularity if popularity is something you lack and want.
Ways it is life changing: can afford more nutritious and more enjoyable food, which helps make life more sustainable. Can provide better food/clothes/schooling for any children (I have none of my own), which gives them an advantage when they reach adulthood. Can live two or three emergencies away from devastation instead of just one.
If you didn't have kids you would feel incredibly rich. You could pay off your house in five years and feel even richer.
The average student loan debt is $27,000. Having four times that amount makes you a massive outlier.
You'd need a lot more data than I have on-hand or care to track down bit-by-bit, but from the number of doctors and lawyers we mint yearly I wouldn't be surprised if 1/10 college grads were well over $50K in debt; MBAs make up something like 10% of graduate degrees and cost around $40K on average by themselves. To me, one in ten is not all that uncommon - student loan delinquency rate more than that ;).
On top of that, it's not "uncommon" for two people who are both surgeons or doctors or lawyers or MBAs to find each other and get married; these people, very much like most of the software engineers I've met, live around their jobs. The people they meet are quite often in their same fields, and have similar financial backgrounds as a result. Two young MBAs? Easily $80K in the hole together.
We in the Bay Area just get this warped sense of perspective because everyone here has to make absurd gobs of money just to make rent, reenforced by the demand for good software engineers being so high. Most of the other people we deal with or interact with are either software engineers themselves or are directly in support of software. We get insulated and siloed from differing perspectives by our monocultured Silicon Valley society.
(And yeah, doctors and lawyers don't usually become doctors and lawyers from the goodness of their hearts alone; they understand that eventually they will come back and get way ahead of their massive debts, especially as the government keeps piling on incentives like debt forgiveness and restructured repayment plans to keep people choosing these avenues of work.)
Do these averages include living expenses outside of dorms? I know plenty of people who foolishly had to borrow to live near campus.
I realize this isn't particularly related to the thread at hand, but do you have any advice for "breaking into the biz"? It looks like the baby experiments book was published by a "conventional" publisher, too, which seems increasingly rare these days. I'm fascinated by people who can make money writing nonfiction without having an academic pedigree or something similar.
1) I found an agent by searching on aaronline.org and sending book-proposal queries to agents who seemed like they were a good fit.
2) Although the costs of self-publishing have gone down, the problem with self publishing, for my type of nonfiction anyway, is when it comes to distribution. Getting the book into brick-and-mortar stores, getting the book reviewed by reputable outlets, securing foreign rights deals ... that all becomes much easier if you have a book deal with a traditional publisher. Not to mention the advance.
3) Because I don't have an academic pedigree, I'm limited in terms of the type of material I can write. But my experience as a journalist helps, because although I'm not an authority myself, I'm able to take authoritative material and boil it down for a broader audience. That said, having a background as a journalist might help you get a book deal, but it's insufficient if you don't have enough of a platform: https://janefriedman.com/author-platform-definition/
Maybe a break from the eye strain of staring at screens? Nostalgia?
Also, the book form leads to a different way of engaging with information, even if its digital. When I look at technical books on Amazon, I always read the table of contents first. Gives an idea of topics covered and overall organization, and thus how the information is connected in the author's mind. That adds value over just Googling and following various links in a haphazard fashion to learn about a topic.
On a computer screen this doesn't seem to work.
Fundamentals are still better off starting with a book before moving to online imo.
I agree, except I don't think it's changing, because the end artifact of "plan out, organize and go into detail on the topic" I would still call a "book", regardless of how its delivered.
Hmm, no. many of the classics of compsci are not available to read online, and there are even some which are practically impossible to find even as shitty scanned pdfs
The Psychology of Computer Programming
The Paralation Model
Handbook of Human-Computer Interaction
Object-Oriented Programming in Common Lisp
Computer-Aided Financial Analysis (Miller)
Probability, Statistics, and Queueing Theory (Allen)
The Brain Makers
Whoever discounts computer science books today because "you can find it all online" does so out of a very deep ignorance of computer science. Between Google Books and the Internet Archive's scanning project digital copies do exist, but are inaccessible.
Their website in 1998:
Takeaways that stick with me till this day:
- You can develop an incredible amount of strength from just cycling.
- Air quality is a long term concern.
- (More sun + more exercise) - LEDs = great sleep
- Excessive amounts of exercise != great health
- Learn your machine, and do your own work.
- Fixed gears are extremely useful in dense traffic.
- The type of work you do affects your outlook on life.
- There is a substantial amount of pride amongst messengers who show up, especially on the worst of days. Most people tend to avoid the harsh realities of life, and everyone can learn something from just taking life one delivery or line of code at a time.
- There is something to be said for sitting on a park bench and admiring the beauty around - people, man-made, or nature.
I miss it, but don't recommend it to anyone, as it's a job that requires a lot of grit and is low paying. I wouldn't change my experience at all, though. It aged my mind and soul in a really positive way.
I will say, returning to software development raises some eyebrows. Some will scrutinize the hole in your resume, others will congratulate you on being different.
I wish you had elaborated on this.
Sure. I've held jobs in one or two other fields prior to entering software development, and each one of them (in my opinion) contributes to a perspective that you see the world through. Our brains change with habit, and, naturally, the thoughts and feelings that frequent your mind will become mainstays of your daily life. It took two years for me to stop feeling like every time I rode my bike to and fro, that it was imperative I do it as fast as possible.
This is going to sound silly, and I'm okay with that. But, being an engineer again, the patterns and ways my brain solves problems for work permeates into daily life. For instance, I view boiling water, laundry, and texting as asynchronous tasks that can have their own thread and let me know when they're ready. Ridiculous, I know, but I feel like our brains seek these things out to strengthen the existing connections we have and to put life into contexts we understand most. Take this with a grain of salt, because this is just my experience and I have no research to link to, at the moment.
The other interesting thing about how it changed me was, prior to being a bike messenger, I was pretty naive of classism and what it looked / sounded like; however, only now is it obvious. I make conscious choices to treat all people in service industries well because I only now understand how privileged I am as an engineer. Tipping and saying "May I have xyz" are large parts of this, as vocations such as baristas, delivery personnel, and food workers are very underpaid. I can't really change the world, but I'd like to think I can make the people in front of me a little happier by treating them well.
I know the logical response to this statement is: Reduce your needs and the reduced pay won't be an issue. While true, I don't think I am that flexible sadly.
My boss described being a forest ranger in the Mt. Shasta area as the Forest Service equivalent of being a green beret. They carry automatic rifles and are totally isolated from support while dealing with drug growers and associated violent criminals. Not my idea of a comfortable job.
Play a game about a Forest Ranger. I played this game through and it's fairly enjoyable (even if my usual cup of tea is Battlefield/GTA style FPS).
Give it a try!
Around that time I had read this novel (a Western) called The Deer Hunter (not related to the famous movie of the same name, which is about Vietnam, etc.), and it was about a guy who does that work - a forest ranger in the Grand Canyon (of the US). Great story.
1. Why do we work? (Jobs, Businesses, and the individual economy)
2. What is wealth, and how do I get it? (Saving, investment, real estate)
3. Is it supposed to be like this? (Capitalism, Government, modern political economy)
4. Systems Design (If you want to change the system, how should it work? How do we measure things that aren't money? Love, time, attention?)
That said, there is no way that I can see myself doing it in the context of a high school or college.
High schools (at least the several that I have subbed at, and I have a couple of teenagers, so I've been on that side of it too) are really crappy "Lord of the Flies" kinds of places.
Colleges are better, but there are similar structural problems to being a musician: it's basically no pay for a big sector of the population, plus you still have an institution around your students.
The best model that I have seen is private students; my wife has 40 violin students (plus her general business of being a musician, plus teaching with a couple of local youth orchestras) and makes a very good living.
There is no reason that you can't apply the same principles to teaching any subject. I asked around, and there was a high demand for folks who wanted me to teach their kids how to program. I imagine that if there were a bigger population, I'd be able to find enough folks to put together seminars on the same stuff I was teaching at the university.
At that point, setting your own curriculum is part of the job and not a fantasy.
What is wealth? Things people want. Money = wealth not because it's directly useful but because people want it so you can trade it for things you want.
Why do people want Money? Taxes, and loans. If you sell stock to buy a car, you need extra money to hand to the government. Further, if you have a mortgage or credit cards you need to come up with cash on a very regular basis.
Then build on this:
What is the demand curve? Different people are willing to pay more or less and buy more or less of the same things. ex: 3rd car.
However, you would be much better making this into a book than teaching a class. As again Econ 101 is setup so people can do a lot of math in Econ 301.
Common people should know the philosophy which shaped the government thinks about their lives and productivity.
Yes econ is not a true science, because it is mostly conjecture supported by handpicked data, but at the same time, it is the only template we have created to think about the complex interactions in the competitive marketplace.
The power of the competitive market is the foundation for all capitalist action, economics is a way to understand how markets intersect and interact.
Do a search and: The demand curve is a graphical representation of the relationship between the price of a good or service and the quantity demanded for a given period of time. In a typical representation, the price will appear on the left vertical axis, the quantity demanded on the horizontal axis. -This means nothing to most people.
"What is the demand curve? Different people are willing to pay more or less and buy more or of the same things. ex: 3rd car, water for a bathtub vs water for a swimming pool." -Sounds like something you might recall in 10 years.
I am all for talking about the laffer curve as more than as math. You can also talk about it as society breaks down and a black market grows. It's still economics as it relates to society it's also meaningful to people.
For comparison CIS 101 is often this is how you use Excel and somewhat useful to most students, but also not really a foundation for a CS degree.
I feel the math should be used to prove the philosophical points. It's rare that the math actually improves understanding without a novel hypothesis behind it.
In the future, I could be an aged carer as I really like looking after people, although it doesn't pay well and there can be a lot of poo to deal with. On the other hand, one of my former managers has been working at Google for about ten years and is quite enthusiastic about my working with him there. Unfortunately, they are in California and I am in Melbourne so I'd have to move.
Strange, why do you say so? We live in the era of IoT and everything has at least one chip inside them. I also do system/embedded programming, but never felt the lack of possibilities to advance my career.
OP, what do you wish you had done differently? Web? Enterprise Java dev?
I wish I had learned C++ but my KISS alarm went off when I looked at the language, which is a bit of a worry as we say downunder. I avoided learning C# as I found Microsoft's business practices to be utterly repugnant.
I succeeded and even trained someone else how to do it. When we started, he didn't know C all that well so I split the drivers into hard and easy parts and gave him the easy ones. We wrote about six drivers together. I made his parts harder and harder until he was able to write a driver on his own.
Perhaps I haven't been reading the right software architecture books but it seems to me that very little mention is made of changing the design to suit the ability of the individual programmers, the way band leaders like Duke Ellington and Glenn Miller did with their arrangements.
This is a pretty amazing way to teach someone something as complex as device drivers. It sounds like you did an excellent job mentoring him.
Stephen's deafness did not affect his work, of course, until management made him a quality engineer for our voice over IP project. With that kind of thinking, the company wasn't making any money and owed all of us six months wages. You learn a lot about motivating your team under those circumstances. I did it by emphasising the importance of what we were doing. Of the ten software and five hardware engineers, we were the only ones joining the software to the hardware.
Apart from not being paid, it was a great place to work and I'm glad it gave me an opportunity to develop my management and people skills. Until then, I had been much better at programming computers than working with people and I was feeling a bit lopsided.
I once met an older guy who was a software developer and asked him how he got into the field. He said that he'd originally received a doctorate in psychology and was a psychiatrist for years before he realized that most people don't want to be fixed. He said he'd got into programming because, "Computers always want to be fixed."
And now I want to print out and put into a frame what you just wrote.
I still think people deserve a chance though.
RE experience, if you're totally new to sailing I'd start first with some basic sailing expertise at a sailing academy. J-World and others offer "learn to sail" courses as well as cruising courses. An American Sailing Association boat-handling certificate is probably useful as "proof of experience" for future crews. US Sailing's "Safety at Sea" typically run annually in different cities is another good one, and required for most off-shore regattas.
Once you've got the basics down, I'd suggest being a ride-along with a more experienced skipper / crew. Places like Offshore Passage Opportunities provide listings of folks looking for crew, but I'd recommend due diligence if you decide to make the passage:
You might also get yourself on a mailing list for local regattas or sailing forums and say you're looking to help with deliveries. How long / where these things happen will likely vary by region. People do transits from Florida to Carribean all the time. Same with New England to the South each year. Racing boats go from Mid-Atlantic / New England to Florida / Key West around end of the year. In Midwest, deliveries from Mackinaw are common in July after the Mackinaw races. West Coast - not sure, but Transpac (Hawaii - SF) returns and/or Coastal races are probably common.
Best of luck! :)
From there you can jump on almost any boat delivery crew with a bit of luck.
Most rich boat owners don't want to sail their yachts across large bodies of water, so they employ delivery crews. Normally they employ an experienced captain and the captain hires his/her own crew.
Boats are normally moved during the spring months from Europe to the Caribbean, specifically for the start of the season for Antigua Race Week, which I believe takes place in April/May. They normally head out from the Mediterranean via the Canary Islands to cross the Atlantic.
Common places to jump on board are where yachts have been kept or serviced over the winter. Common ports include places like Palma de Mallorca, which is full of "boaties" looking to get a place on a yacht crossing. You hang out in the "boaty bars" and see if you can hook yourself a ride by chatting to people. There are also a number of internet forums, but you'll get better luck face to face, and you'll spend a number of weeks with these people in close confinement, so you'll want to know what they are like beforehand.
As you get more experienced and depending on the boat you could try to get taken on permanently by the owner. The pay on the super yachts of the super rich can be insanely high, especially for experienced captains, chefs and engineers - monthly 5 figures if you are really good. That being said the super rich can be complete assholes, who can start throwing the carefully presented lobster dish back in your face because it wasn't the right colour, or you forgot to make sure the wine fridge was stocked with enough Dom Perignon P3 Plenitude Brut.
I've heard some wonderful stories of the super rich from boaties. It's a crazy life.
In Seattle there are plenty of sailboats under 30' that cost less than $10K. The moorage is the expensive part and costs around $400/month.
There is no such thing as a cheap boat. The maintaince is a constant time and money suck.
2. Try to bring software development education to underprivileged kids in some way that eventually scales and has real career potential. There is part of me that feels this has potential, because the opportunity for self-development is so high, and the cash costs of the tools low. There is part of me that worries it is futile, because I suspect software development jobs actually require more deep and diverse basic knowledge of math and reading than I could hope for in underprivileged environments.
It was very rewarding, but also one of the most brutal experiences of my life (earning <$30K and working as a graduate student didn't help, of course!). I'd do it again, but only if I had the cash to back me, preferably my own because grant funding is/was thin, the labor required is enormous, and volunteers are flaky.
I still keep in touch with one of our students, though. I like to think we really helped him, at least.
1. Lack of awareness. In many of these environments "software engineering" doesn't really mean anything to anyone, especially if few households own computers in the first place. Growing up in Detroit, my Dad lugged in our first (huge, ancient) PC when I was in the 4th or 5th grade - if I had simply been pointed in the right direction, I could've started my learning much earlier. I remember lots of kids in our middle school getting super interested in HTML/CSS, but only having access to PCs for an hour or two after school.
2. Learning ability. Obviously not to say there aren't any smart underprivileged people, but it is not often made clear that one's ability to learn is, in itself, a powerful asset. I believe this is the strongest factor in one's ability to program outside of personality inclinations, and that anyone can increase this capacity (within whatever local spectrum their personality and lifestyle allows).
Regarding 2, I also agree. I think right now, the school (and possibly home) environments are so sub-optimal that we really have no idea what most underprivileged kids are capable of. But that problem is vastly larger and more intractable than the "could we teach kids pragmatic SD skills" problem.
As much as I want to believe that some kind of pragmatic software development curriculum could offer a scalable career direction for some of these kids, its not clear to me that it would really solve either of these problems. So, I continue to think about it occasionally, but not pursue it.
Also, I once tried calling underprivileged schools in my city (St. Louis), asking about opportunities to tutor kids in CS/computers. In each case, I got blown off, or referred to the city-wide magnet school, which teaches a tiny fraction of the most gifted students, many of them from the county.
For example, I'm deeply saddened when reading about scam private universities, because they prey upon people who value the ideal of "education" and really want to succeed, but don't have the people around them with enough experience of higher education to distinguish the good schools from the scams.
It's hard work, not just the writing, which is way harder than it looks, but the marketing, which nobody really does for you, at all. You have to do tons of reaching out to schools, trade fairs, and magazines, pay your own travel expenses, and develop a whole extended entertaining workshop presentation to sell 20-50 people at a time, of any age, on buying your books. Unless your book is called Harry Potter, you are eking out sales in person a lot of the time, and wondering who you have to sleep with to get your book reviewed. Even a rave review from the NYTimes really doesn't do much to sales. I hear about seemingly successful books all the time that, when I look them up on Amazon, have maybe 8 reviews.
According to this, you can get a high-end gaming rig going for fifty cents an hour; can we get a nice programming environment set up for the kids, too, running off Chromebooks or cheap Dells?
e.g. the pleasure of being a maker.
the pleasure of finding things out.
I have them for my daughter and the messages are very positive for exploring ideas and experimenting.
So far, the one we like the most is "Secret Science Alliance" but it's not for younger kids.
why do you think so?
That, or help out my political party (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Party_for_the_Animals) since we have elections early this year. The party's name is unfortunate and its Wikipedia description as well. It is more well-rounded than that and also is the best party in the parliament wrt privacy, civilian rights, etc. (dutch link: https://www.privacybarometer.nl/pagina/45/Actuele_stand_van_...)
And Judo, more Judo.
You could consider to take a sabbatical for a time on the Sea Shepherd. I don't have the right personality for that (I'm too withdrawn/passive, not social enough) but I have a lot of respect for people who devote time, energy, and money against the strong tide of corporate selfishness.
Your party's name makes it sound like a one issue party. I recommend to change it, or merge with GL/SP.
And, yeah, they're unfortunately pretty resistant to changing the name.
Actually whenever I get too stressed out at work I consider doing this, I've got the necessary capital and in a city like Oslo where people don't care about beer prices it can surely be made into a profitable thing.
Very few bars turn out to be profitable, even those with excellent ideas.
Hi, I'm Jamie Zawinski. I'm the proprietor of DNA Lounge, a world famous and award-winning all ages dance club and live music venue in San Francisco, and of DNA Pizza, the 24 hour cafe and pizzeria next door. Prior to that, I worked as a programmer. I was one of the founders of Netscape and Mozilla.org, and have been involved in the free software and open source community since the mid-80s. I was the primary developer of Lucid Emacs (now XEmacs), and probably wrote most of your screen savers.
Right click and open in incognito window.
JWZ.org attacks viewers referred by ycombinator.com
1. Become a musician. I love all kinds of music and drums/percussion in particular. On the side, I'm working my way to being able to play drums+timbales for Cuban timba music. I've only been doing this for about a year and think I have a talent for it.
2. Go into criminology and/or politics. Crime is one of the biggest problems in Venezuela, with murder and kidnappings at all time highs, affecting me personally and frankly every Venezuelan. I'd heavily use technology to help me. If I can play a significant role in eradicating that problem, I'd be very proud of my life.
3. Open up a bar/restaurant. I love hosting people and providing an environment for people to have fun. Live music and a dance floor would be a must, but a nice chill lounge area should be available too. Again, I'd like to use technology, e.g. having automated beer taps that you can open with your RFID wristband or code and get automatically charged, and having something similar for standard mixed drinks (of course, I'd still keep bartenders for specialty cocktails).
I guess there are more, but these will suffice for now :)
Back in the day this was a common theme. "I love boating so..." or "I like golf so..."
Doing something part time is much different from doing it full time or as a career. Waking up every morning and having to be creative or perform or boat or golf. The intermittent part of certain activities is what makes it fun. Not always but many times. Plus you have to be good enough to earn a living and/or accolades to keep you going.
I am reminded of the time when I sold my first company and was able to boat anytime I wanted. Honestly got tired of it almost immediately when able to do it without the pressure of actual work 'to get away from'.
Statistician telling cops they're spending all their resources on the wrong thing? Got facts and figures to show that throwing more uniforms at a problem won't help?
They won't listen and then will tell you that you don't understand policing.
But yes, it would be hard regardless. That's ok.
I have a lot of reasons for wanting to do this. The most straightforward ones are that I want to create something tangible and enduring with my time.
Maybe not tangible, but a lot of the backend code in financial organizations etc. is pretty enduring ;)
I've talked to a number of people who are professional woodworkers, and they all make their living a little differently. One guy I've talked to does primarily architectural woodwork, but also does furniture commissions, a couple people do repair and restoration in addition to commissions. A guy not far from my sister-in-law's house does a lot of clock restoration (both cases and movements), as well as furniture work. Pete Galbert seems to make a living largely doing Windsor chairs on commission and teaching classes on making them (and he's an outstanding teacher). He also wrote a series of blog posts about doing woodworking professionally .
The school I'll be attending is the Furniture Institute of Massachusetts. The owner, Phillip Lowe, does restoration and commission work as well as teaching classes, and I'm hoping to learn a little bit about how he goes about drumming up business in the course of my schooling there.
In the short term, after finishing, I'm hoping to find either a cooperative shop or an established business to work in for a few years, eventually, I'd probably like to have my own shop doing largely commission work.
In the very short term, my partner is going to continue working her full time job, and I hope that my current company will take me back over the summer.
What type of schooling? Industrial design or something more materials / mechanical?
For example, I built a pole lathe (almost) entirely by hand in September. I bought 4x4 posts at Home Depot, milled them square with bench planes, chopped the mortises by hand, and cut the tenons with a hand saw. To make the dead centers, I chucked a big lag screw in my drill press and ground the head into a point with an angle grinder.
Now I'm (slowly) trying to teach myself the basics of how to turn.
Nowadays if I were to do it again, I'd probably go into board game design or publishing. I'm a bit more in tune with the board game industry than the video game industry nowadays. I'm actually actively working on several board game designs and trying to get my first game signed. Hopefully one or two of them will be a hit and I can afford to stop working a 9-5, maybe just do some freelance development part time on the side.
I would consider going back into video game publishing too, though.
A guy who worked for the (small) publisher attended the Gamefest, saw that I was local to their office, and called me up to stop by and discuss a possible deal to publish it on Xbox Live.
Halfway through the discussion I mentioned I was looking to break into the game industry, and the discussion morphed into a job interview.
I was brought in for a second interview with their parent company in Japan via teleconference, and was asked questions in Japanese and had my answers translated back, and apparently my answer to "What's my favorite game right now?" being "Tetris Attack" was a great one, since I found out later I was being interviewed by ex-Bulletproof Software guys who developed Tetris for Game Boy.
I got the job, and immediately had to become a competent producer, video editor (for ESRB ratings and game trailers), localization and certification checker, evaluating games for possible publishing, advertising asset designer, the local expert on managing the console dev machines for evaluating builds, and overseer of entire QA teams, had to come up with new game features and prioritize which bugs got fixed, despite having pretty much zero experience in any of that before I got the job. It was intense, but rewarding. I learned a ton while I worked there, and wore many hats.
If you have any questions about it, I'd be happy to answer them.
1. What would you do if you were not worried about finances and could simply do what you most loved for a living?
2. Given your financial and career needs/desires, what would be more rewarding than your developer job?
I'd answer these two questions totally differently, and I suspect many in this thread would as well.
* Dance music DJ or music maker - I love me some house music. (Notice I said "music maker" - i.e. a maker of tracks/songs, and not "musician"...i just don't have the formal training to play an actual instrument...however, if time travel existed, then yes a musician).
* Indie film maker / director / screenwriter / or even actor/performer.
* Custom motorcycle maker. Although custom choppers are fine and all, I'd lean towards custom made naked or cafe racer style motorbikes.
* Own/run my own little cafe - with a few small food offerings - showcasing small, local bands, and maybe even a teen dance night. (There was a local dance club that had a teen night where I grew up, and I always thought it was such a cool idea.)
It's actually much more feasible to teach yourself to play instruments than people realize! Obviously being taught makes things easier for most people, but what really makes a difference more than anything else is just spending substantial amounts of time practicing, which is still necessary even if you do take lessons.
Plenty of famous musicians were actually self-taught, including some who were at the absolute top of their field, like Hendrix, Clapton, and Moon: https://www.joytunes.com/blog/music-fun/15-famous-musicians-...
The one that doesn't quite fit my lifestyle (married, love it that way, spouse has a stable job with a set location, thinking about kids): travel journalist. My wife and I have both spent a significant portion of time living and working in semi rural areas of underdeveloped countries. I'd do it again in a heartbeat, and would love to get it all down on paper. But that really doesn't fit in with giving kiddos access to education, so maybe in thirty years!
My driver was the rant that easily followed on from the above. :) Basically wanting something more substantive, less ephemeral, more tactile. I ended up in restoration. I'm enjoying it hugely and the things I'm doing will have life of many decades, perhaps sometimes centuries.
The surprise was, even after 3 years, discovering there's still more satisfaction in physical tiredness and manual activity at the end of the day than just mental. I'd already experienced this in car restoration and various projects but assumed much was from hobby and novelty interest.
What type of restoration? Cars? Houses? Pinball machines?
> The surprise was, even after 3 years, discovering there's still more satisfaction in physical tiredness and manual activity at the end of the day than just mental.
My motorcycle broke down in Silicon Valley once. The guy I called to come pick it up had a normal ford truck. The bed was outfitted with a dual motorcycle winch. I got to talking to him on the way back to SF. He used to be in IT. Specifically, he used to manage and maintain one of Amazon's data warehouses in Seattle.
I asked him if he missed IT and he told me pretty much what you just said: the physical tiredness at the end of the day is more satisfying than just the mental exhaustion. He also got to make his own hours and he made more money towing motorcycles.
They try and use my project and IT abilities when they can too, though I try and discourage them. :) I'm tempted to focus on blacksmithing as it's so interesting, satisfying and just a little magic to watch the guy work. Much to learn if I follow through on that.
I looked around at many things, including car and motorcycle restoration, steam trains (lots of volunteers, few jobs!), and more current things like environment and alternative energy. Many either needed me to go back to uni, or have assorted bits of paper and experience first rather than able to learn as I go.
There's gardens, stables, barns, and a number of outbuildings and estate houses for staff in older times. They still have some tenants and lettings, managed by the estate. The lettings are maintained by local firms usually. Then there's all the amenities associated with being open to the public, putting on various events. There's a charitable trust, but I work for the estate company.
I like the informality of it compared to the large company feel of say the National Trust (national preservation charity) who are more defined with roles. Of course they have hundreds of properties, thousands of staff along with countless volunteers.
I don't know if this is normal, but I feel burnt out after working 6 years in the tech industry. So much so, that in my spare time I occupy myself with hobbies completely unrelated to software engineering. I enjoy reading books about finance and medicine, and have also grown an appreciation for cinema/film-making.
My side projects have definitely suffered as a result, because often times I find myself preferring to read The Economist instead.
Life is all about balance.
Alternatively, I'd like to be a product reviewer and write about products. This may be more attainable as I was a journalist in college and still blog occasionally.
All that said, I love designing software. Don't see myself leaving the industry anytime soon.
Farming and winemaking both appeal due to the feeling that you're working on something that will come to fruition months or years into the future. Tax arrangements make small-scale winemaking in the UK somewhat unattractive (beer and especially cider get better deals), but I do ponder given it a go sometimes.
And seriously, I bought a saw, a hammer, a screwdriver last year, it got me crazy. Same as having a unix terminal and an Internet connexion.
I loved this talk about how the tools you use determine how you look at problems (Tim Ewald - Clojure: Programming with Hand Tools)
And if you haven't seen him before, you're about to fall in love with Matthias Wandel:
Why is programming fun? What delights may its practitioner expect as his reward?
First is the sheer joy of making things. As the child delights in his mud pie, so the adult enjoys building things, especially things of his own design. I think this delight must be an image of God's delight in making things, a delight shown in the distinctness and newness of each leaf and each snowflake.
Second is the pleasure of making things that are useful to other people. Deep within, we want others to use our work and to find it helpful. In this respect the programming system is not essentially different from the child's first clay pencil holder "for Daddy's office."
Third is the fascination of fashioning complex puzzle-like objects of interlocking moving parts and watching them work in subtle cycles, playing out the consequences of principles built in from the beginning. The programmed computer has all the fascination of the pinball machine or the jukebox mechanism, carried to the ultimate.
Fourth is the joy of always learning, which springs from the nonrepeating nature of the task. In one way or another the problem is ever new, and its solver learns something: sometimes practical, sometimes theoretical, and sometimes both.
Finally, there is the delight of working in such a tractable medium. The programmer, like the poet, works only slightly removed from pure thought-stuff. He builds his castles in the air, from air, creating by exertion of the imagination. Few media of creation are so flexible, so easy to polish and rework, so readily capable of realizing grand conceptual structures. (...)
Yet the program construct, unlike the poet's words, is real in the sense that it moves and works, producing visible outputs separately from the construct itself. It prints results, draws pictures, produces sounds, moves arms. The magic of myth and legend has come true in our time. One types the correct incantation on a keyboard, and a display screen comes to life, showing things that never were nor could be.
Programming then is fun because it gratifies creative longings built deep within us and delights sensibilities we have in common with all men.
I have stood in a bunch of elections and lost them all. I'm not dissuaded yet.
(I came 4th).
Unfortunately, I have too much to do still in the applied physics world. It takes too damn long to commercialize inventions. I'd love to move on to the next new thing, but there is no one you can just hand off an invention to; if you want to see it deployed and profitable it seems you have to carry it all the way yourself.
My second choice would be as a researcher in a field of biology. As many others have said, the interest in tech lends to a natural interest in how humans and other life forms work, and I'd like to explore this more. The time for this has probably passed me by, sadly.
If anyone is also interested, I'd recommend the book Flour Water Salt Yeast (https://www.amazon.com/Flour-Water-Salt-Yeast-Fundamentals/d...) as a starting point
With you completely. My 10-year-old niece is on-board, telling me about how we're going to do this next week. I'm pretty sure I'd miss programming too much though.
If I were to quit today, I would spend time unschooling my child. Maybe along the way I could rediscover some important lessons about how to live a more physically present life.
(Over the years, I have earned money as busboy, stock clerk, landscape worker, driver, proofreader, copy editor, tech support worker, and developer. At this point, I don't know that my back is up to some of the manual labor, and I think that I'm too much of a wool-gatherer to be a good commercial driver. I wasn't a bad editor, but it doesn't pay well: people know when their computer systems don't work, but don't know or don't care when their texts are unreadable...)
Pays reasonably well too if you can find work. Also most welders are people who don't put up with much BS so it's refreshing coming from pretty much any other field.
Indeed. I picked up a bit of hobby glassblowing then metalwork which led me to learn welding and blacksmithing. I don't necessarily want to leave IT for it but I love these things as an avocation. Eventually, I will be good enough that I might offset the cost of my formal and informal education in these things. That's the plan, anyway.
You can also, in some cases, avoid using manganese based fluxes. There are quite common rods without the presense of manganese.
Digging ditches sounds really great at times.
I'm curious about where you got this idea. In the US (and I'd presume any other modern healthcare system) a patient dying in surgery leads to a full incident review.
AFAIK the incident reviews are protocols that physicians and administrators use as tools for teams to learn, not for patients to consider which physician to choose.
And then you get to start your own D&D-style real-life dragon hoard and put it on display. Very few people are unimpressed by nature's splendors.
I'm trying to figure out where the value is coming from. Are you essentially trading on the difference in metal markets between now and when it was last claimed? Or are you trading on the difference between current mining technology and past mining technology?
Are you working with someone who actually does the mining? Or are you just re-prospecting? How do you test the ground? What equipment do you need?
Mind emailing me? :)
//edit one place where people tend to sell their claims: http://www.icmj.com/properties.php What kind of due diligence do people put into this?
I just get the minerals by hand and sell them to collectors. Occasionally, they ask me to take something like a piece of jade and put it into a pendant. I make money teaching people how to find and locate what they're after.
I do all the mining myself for the most part. I don't do it until I get a lot of evidence that I'm likely to find something.
How I test the ground is via publicly-available satellite data. The equipment you need? Basic digging tools, pickaxe, folding shovel, hammer, chisels, rock picks, breaker bar/wrecker bar. Be nice to have a jackhammer and generator. Need lots of water in the desert, too, and some shelter (like an EZ-up.)
As far as the claims selling - those are legit, but do make sure the land is patented first so you own EVERYTHING.
I have never been able to get things looking as nice as something like the Henle Urtext editions though, wonder what they use to put those together.
I use lilypond. It tends to get scores mostly right saving time in proof reading and tweaking. With each new version of lilypond it feels like less needs to be tweaked to make it correct.
What's stopping me is the up-front capital requirements to lease a building, hire technicians, and buy the tools & equipment needed (you can't just use an ordinary car lift on a 50,000 pound bus).
One interesting sub-niche of this is RV solar installation, this seems to be booming as well with few who know how to do it right. AMSolar is the premier one and are booked solid months out.
How has RV life been for you?
It is illegal to transport or sell aviation grade fuel without an (impossible to get ) permit.
The bureaucratic (permits/certifications/plain corruption) obstacles to operate an aircraft makes it to expensive to operate. To certify a pilot or an aircraft takes at least a year.. including flying an inspector to the US to inspect the aircraft before it can fly into the country.
I could go on for hours on this topic...
Funny story, her school call her a couple weeks back and I happened to be in the room with her, and you could tell it was some undergraduate performing some capstone research project, and he asked her "If you could tell students now one thing, what would you tell them?" to which she cynically replied, "Don't waste your time if you hope to make a living." and "Only .05% of you will go on to have successful music careers." Brutal.
Somehow get into climate science. I almost went to school for meteorology in the early 00s but on a tour of a college atmospheric sciences department when I was 17 an old professor told me it was a hard career to get into with very limited job prospects. :(
I would never have to write a thing. After all these years in enterprise I.T., I have enough material for life.
I'll just tell them stories from real life at work. I doubt I could write anything nearly as funny as what actually happened.
Jimmy: I closed 7 tickets this week. How'd you do?
Kim: I had a bad week. I opened 2.
Boss: We have too many open tickets!
Kim: Don't blame Jimmy and me. We closed 5.
You can make a feature on your smartphone. Time is more of an issue, but you really, really don't need much cash. And you can make a short film in a weekend on a zero budget, comfortably.
See this article on "Layover" - made for $6k - and remember that you could shoot for much less.
Hell, Sundance sensation "Tangerine" was shot on an iPhone.
Turning that into a full-time profession is a different animal, though. If you really want to do that as a career, I'd advise learning a lot about the realities of the indie filmmaking life before jumping. It's not a great time for that move.
Or maybe be an auto mechanic. Or a woodworker/metal worker/welder. Or a farmer (seriously).
Part of me wants to embrace the city and "book" knowledge to further my career, and part of me wants to abandon it and go back to a rural life and just make/repair things.
In fact, I expect you will find that most farmers have "book" careers in addition to their farming business. Outside of large multigenerational operations, it's pretty difficult to pull off farming without other sources of (high paying) income. I know farmers who are also dentists, lawyers, and chartered accountants, to name a few.
Furthermore, S.E. in practice is pretty boring -- lots of repetitive calculations. Yes, there is room for software automation, but that kind of automation is never rewarded - so much of the tasks just seemed to be coordination and paper shuffling. Beyond that, working on projects often meant waiting years to see anything come of it - think about how long it takes to get a large project from concept (design) to completion. In most markets it's a very long timeline.
That said, if I were to have stayed in S.E. I would have focused on smaller projects (with shorter timelines) and I would have tried to specialize in field engineering (being on-site) since that's where most of the real problem solving happens.
I need to be happy making small physical things instead of huge physical things...
I've also looked into the timeline involved in becoming a PE. Not only do you have to take 6 years of school but you have to work under a PE for 2 years to become one. The pay doesn't seem to justify that much training (considering my anecdotal interest in the field).
Call me new-school, but I continue to enjoy working on systems that can't kill or maim people.
As for welding, certifications and or even training seems to be very expensive. E.g., a single one-semester (4 credits) welding class at the local community college is $847. I'm tempted to buy some welding equipment from Harbor Freight and just try to learn from YouTube videos (which is basically what I did to teach myself car repair).
I couldn't agree more. My parents always taught us growing up that my (and my brother) brain was our biggest asset. We both chose career paths that valued brains over brawn.
I recently helped a friend out build shit for a couple days. It was the best time I'd had in a while. Maybe it's not too late for me to switch.
I wouldn't start with a city, though (disclaimer: I'm not a multi-billionaire), but probably with the individual building. I want to dramatically change the "footprint" of the building in terms of : ecology/sustainability, cost, value for the people investing in the real estate property.
If that's successful, I'd like to then up the target to changing whole "new" cities.
I fully appreciate how crazy and over-ambitious this might sound. Curious to hear any feedback or comment/questions about it.
I definitely think it's possible.
Have you been keeping up with Sidewalk Labs, YC Research and their attempts to reshape cities?
Also, would look at Tom Currier's stuff (although he is no longer actively working on this) https://medium.com/@tomcurrier/build-something-people-want-1...
Think about how much cultural change has come from New York, Chicago, etc. Now think about it, China has over 20 cities with populations over 7 million! That's like the US having 20 New York Cities. Imagine how different the US would be if we had 20 New York Cities.
Or consulting. I think I'd pick up interesting skills there. I might still follow this path by getting my MBA.
My biggest frustration is that professionally it's very easy to top out in tech. I'm still quite young and already make more than most developers. Really the only way to significantly level up professionally is to take on more risk (by founding a company).
I have fond memories of going on field trips to state parks in elementary school.
Let's become a professional software developer!
But isn't the professional stuff totally different from that initial first glimpse?
It might very well kill the fun out of it.
Disclaimer: I've never done educational park activities.
Odd, in Spain you need advanced linear algebra to even pass the CS career.
You could do half of the classes without a hitch. Half of CS here is Math , 1/4 physics and the rest is coding even on paper.
If I could afford it I'd happily code for 6 months of the year, then be a warden for the rest.
Imagine having code where the people writing it never run it (the people writing contracts often aren't the people who would run litigation) and where you would spend months arguing with other people what you think the code would do if it was run and only very rarely actually "run" the code in court and when you do it's difficult to predict what will actually happen!
Probably not a trade I'd take on for the long term, but if I'd be leaving my programming career for good today, I'd definitively need some activity that would allow me to remain active and earn a modest cashflow while I figure out what to do with the rest of my life. Painting is something I am more or less competent at, is relatively safe to do, and therefore would be at the top of my list.
I think coding is really fun and creative occupation if you can decide what you code and when you code. I know if I would make my dream come true and would teach teenagers self defense I would end up spending my nights coding the website of my dojo by myself...
I'd describe the science behind a different technology each issue and interleave an interviews with pros in that space about why it's hot or not -- like "Mathematical Games" a la Martin Gardner, but set in a a more cultural context that made the most of the gogo enthusiasm that infused those heady days.
Computing was a blast then.
I can spend all day playing my guitar and jamming with other passionate musicians from all walks of life. I would love to take the time to explore jazz, blues and classic rock. I have guitars and I just don't seem to make enough time for them.
Unfortunately, I don't believe I'll make any real money in this space, so my assumption is that food and board is paid for by a patron so I can play music publicly in return.
I feel like getting sponsored is a must, and even then, it's likely living a minimalist lifestyle (which is fine!). Unless you can compete with the East Africans for prize money or the top dogs in US road races, the money in running is very scarce.
It seems the niche in competitive MUT is conquering the few popular 100 miler races that are put on annually.
Bonus: if I work in the tech industry long enough, I can afford to pick up a few 150s and start a school.
I went up the management chain for a while (startup CTO, etc.), and it kind of burned. Switched back to dev for a larger (200 headcount) e-commerce.
My experience is valued very, very highly. I look at designs from younger developers and help them shape it a bit, and it's normally appreciated. I am willing to bet I am a better developer now at 38 than I was at 28. I expect to be better still at 48.
The "young people are smarter" thing is a myth. This is not a competitive sport built out of hours worked: it's about being able to write good code, and that takes experience and practice. Keep crafting, good luck.
There's clearly no obvious reason why someone in his 40s shouldn't be able to develop software just as well as someone in his 30s. Apart from a more or less healthy lifestyle, staying competitive in this line of work is more about mindset than about age. You stay young by exposing yourself to new ideas and challenges.
I've met 30 year olds who act twice their age because they've settled into a cosy big corporate job that doesn't require anything but will get them safely to retirement.
I've also met 50 year olds who're still avidly learning new stuff and who've managed to remain quite competitive in the software consulting business.
Another thing to keep in mind is: Level up. When athletes in competitive disciplines can't keep up anymore they often become trainers and mentors. For various reasons this makes sense in software development, too. Coaching / mentoring / teaching is a rare skill, as is competent management.
Then there's always the opportunity to create your own software product (I know, easier said than done but much more doable still than in many other disciplines) and sell value instead of your time.
Keeps me out of the rat race of which tech to learn next, or at least doing it at my own pace. This year I'll be applying Rust.
Video editing is a far, far higher competition field than programming.
Lots more people wanting to do it, lots less jobs, on average for lots less pay and much worse hours.
Jobs that you can do at your own pace, and with the kind of SEO skills I have I'm sure I'd do well. Plus these kind of jobs cannot be out-sourced.
It's fun and it's a nice change of pace. I've retained some engineering responsibilities. So what might be a passion project for someone on an engineering team, I develop something and then start writing blog content to help educate our audience around the subject. Our product has the ability to fire a JSON doc at an endpoint which gives you the ability to integrate us with other systems... To many ops engineers can't write a web service to bridge us with that other system. So, I'll write a small service and then after it's up on GitHub I'll write a tutorial and walkthrough of the service. If you just download what I wrote and run it, awesome. I've helped solve a customer issue. If you take my blog post and learn to write your own service, that's even better!
Until that happens, I think the next step is to write and produce a play at my local theater.
But also I make peanuts compared to what I used to and I'm basically living on savings, so I'll probably end up going back to tech eventually. My best friend with less development skills than me just got a job for over $200k, so I can't help but feeling I've fallen off the track rather than made a positive life change.
I am a full time developer and part time paramedic. I generally pick up one shift a week (usually a weekend day, but also the occasional weeknight). I'm sure there are agencies in your area that would hire a part-time/per diem medic.
I am a becoming a bit of a sourdough fanatic and am starting to see some results . Thinking about building a wood-fired oven and baking a little for the farmers market this year to see if it could be a sideline I enjoy (in gradschool).
How did you manage to get those bubbles? Double kneading? Wood-fired oven gives a nice taste to the bread (to whatever you cook in it anyway) but controlling the temperature is a challenge.
With all of that said, when I said baking, I meant cake baking. (although I dab a bit with bread (and can make a nice loaf)). I specially enjoy taking recipes and iterate over them adding twists in terms of flavour to them (last year I went through my vanilla pods phase, currently on a nuts phase).
What about moving into project management?
Speculation here, the Einstein of this century will be a programmer.
Programming is a means to an end. It's like saying, the Einstein of this century will be a writer.
More than likely it will be someone who makes amazing advances in AI, or biology/health. They may also be a programmer, or merely leave that grunt work to their team.
Something that can be done out of my heart.
The trouble I run into is that there seem to be people rather eager to create process for any field where there's much money to be made.
That said, areas like agriculture do look kind-of enticing.
Most recently I have enjoyed doing physical therapy with my dog -- so that'd be another option.
Scientist - researching complexity and complex systems, my longest-standing passion. I hope to one day contribute significantly to the study of cognition and artificial intelligence.
Politician - after thoroughly studying mathematics, economics, and law. I have strong opinions on humanity's direction and my views are not well represented in US government.
I haven't ruled out any of these for a future life. I'm hoping entrepreneurship will earn me enough cash while I'm still young to fund my future escapades.
Yeah, my returns wouldn't necessarily be as high, but at least it would improve the neighborhood without unduly displacing the things that made the neighborhood desirable in the first place. Or being a generic, overpriced pile of blank like most modern pop-up construction.
I'm an aikido instructor already, but making a living from it is not very easy (and incredibly poorly paid compared to programming). Also I'm not sure I'd like it so much if it was my entire career.
I'm also a musician, but I'm not good enough to make a living performing or teaching. I might be able to if I had funds for two or three years of intensive practice, training and bloody hard work beforehand I suppose.
But yeah, in dreamworld I would make my living from a mixture of aikido, music and some code on the side, because honestly I'd never want to give it up entirely.
I'm also a musician (synthesizers / piano) with enough skills to play in cover bands in the past. But that's a very difficult market to break into, and the types of jobs that actually make good money either aren't usually the type of music I'd really want to play, and / or are a market that I'm too old to enter, and / or are well beyond my current skillset. It's a good hobby to pass the time with though.
I know (and gig with) a lot of folks who play music as their primary or only source of income, and it's doable if you are never going to retire and don't mind living out of your car. Or possibly have a spouse that makes better money.
But take the dream of a brewpub. At first glance, it takes a lot of capital, and you don't want to run an undercapitalized business - very stressful. You need runway for some beginner mistakes. And if you've never run a bar or restaurant, you'll make lots of mistakes.
But imagine five engineers teaming up to open that brewpub. Now we have 5X the capital and a bigger "brain trust" to bounce ideas off of. It's harder for the staff to steal with 10 eyes watching them. Problems which a single owner might overlook (cleanliness, service, pricing, competition) will get addresssed. The chance of failure seems much lower. Of course the return per person is also much lower - but the partners could open a second pub if successful. You have the luxury of putting a lot of brainpower on each major business problem.
I figure if I can inspire one or two pupils into truly understanding thermodynamics, maybe -they- could change (or save?) the world. Doesn't seem like I'm going to.
If I was really forced to choose, though, it would be art or writing. The idea of capturing ideas and feelings, or creating worlds, characters and stories in visual or word form has a lot of appeal to me. That's probably why I make video games as a hobby.
Assuming I magically had enough saved to pay for all my family's housing and food and assorted expenses with passive income, then I would probably work on the following:
- Several book projects that are in the pipeline, one near completion
- Podcast production projects, maybe a business like Dan Benjamin's 5x5
- Work with homeschool groups to teach classes on electronics
- Possibly run a small maker space
- Maybe go back to school (at nearly 50) and study some things I'm interested in: architecture, some upper-level mathematics?
- Teach again at a university level (with guaranteed income, I could afford to be an adjunct and teach programming)
- Electronic musician (Just hardware, no software involved)
- Cartoonist / Illustrator
I lack the skills for all of them but at least I'm allowed to fantasise :)
I don't regret being a programmer though, computers are probably my favourite thing.
I was a professional filmmaker for almost 20 years before my move into VR, and I can assure you I didn't have a lot of cinematic skill when I started :)
You can cheerfully shoot a festival-worthy film on a modern smartphone. If you want to go a bit higher-end you can rent all the kit needed to outfit a professional two-week shoot for a few grand. You'll still need to find people to cast and crew, but that's a solvable problem.
It's a terrible time to be a professional filmmaker, because of distribution woes, but if you want to make films and you have another job (and you're not terribly worried if they don't get distribution beyond some festival showings), there has never been a better time in the history of the medium to do it.
One of the main issues is simple: there are over 10,000 feature films made a year. How many feature films do you watch a year?
Generally it is considered a remarkable achievement - considerably beyond "noteworthy" - in the indie world (and I get this from various communities of indie filmmakers) if your independent films manage to make you minimum wage, never mind any more.
Of course, the best strategy here would be make it on a proteam and become a personality. This has the added pros of my daily needs and equipment being maintained for me while in the roster (and probably better health benefits than I have now if I get a gym membership to regularly exercise and, also, no team wants an "injured" player). Whether I win a big prize pool or not, I then secure some momentum for my stream. I don't see my stint lasting for more than 2-4 years for either some external or intrinsic reason, but options are pretty open from there. If I made near the amount the top, say, 30% make, then I estimate I have a healthy cushion for at least a couple more years given my relatively modest desires. I can go back to the tech world (honestly I'll probably still contribute to open-source projects even during this period), become a content creator of a different kind or use my clout/connections I've built to find my way in a similar scene.
More than I expected to type for this prompt.
The other boy dream not come true (but still dreamed): being a pilot, preferably for cargo planes or other mid-sizes special missions.
No pesky real world to mingle with your results, if a cent is missing it is because somebody took it. Also, when 0 = 0, you know when you're done!
Unfortunately I can't afford to pursue my hot glass dreams. My second job is providing palliative care for my wife. That takes up more than my paycheck and most of my time when I'm not writing code.
But more realistically, I'd probably pursue product management because it seems interesting and isn't hard to transition into as a developer.
If I didn't have to worry about money, then I'd be trying to make the world a better place, doing things like spreading awareness of and advocating for a basic income.
you sound like one of those semi-retired lawyers that thinks opening a restaurant is a carefree experience just like hosting a fun dinner party every night for 300 of your best friends.
I used to learn to paint during the whole my childhood, but I gave up to be a painter and switched to be a tech guy.
I really like paint and I do some doodles in the weekend now.
Money becomes less valuable the more you have. For example, your first $1000 dollars buys food and shelter, while your next $1000 buys nice food and a bigger house. With BI, everyone should have the basics covered so any earned income will buy luxuries.
Or...these careers would either pay a lot more (wouldn't begrudge toilet cleaners making more money), eventually be found unnecessary or uneconomical and go away (no more telemarketers?) or be automated away. That doesn't sound like an entirely bad outcome.
Besides you'd be surprised how many people genuinely want to be dentists or accountants; those careers may not be for you but I'm sure many dentists and accountants enjoy their work.
Basic income doesn't end supply and demand of labor. In other words, if all you want is money, you'll still perform these jobs.
I also did modifications to some ceiling registers because they were never installed correctly and were leaking air into the ceiling of my basement. That helped with the temperatures down there without really affecting anything else in the house.
I've also always liked the idea of being a welder or machinist. Whatever it is, it must satisfy my need to tinker and experiment.
I'm shy, suck in presentations and am not very funny. Plus I work all day from my laptop without talking much.
So naturally I really really want to do the opposite, work creatively on a show to tackle that, talk in front of big audiences of people and entertain people. Maybe YouTube.
That's what I did when my old car died. I was originally going to sell it for parts on Craigslist, but then I got the crazy idea in my head to buy some tools and attempt the repair myself over the summer. Got it back in working order and I've been wrenching on it ever since.
Like you said, no pressure in having it fixed on time if it's not your daily driver.
That's a more fun start than a book, and it might lead you in a certain direction as to which book you might want to read.
Other jobs always seem easier, more rewarding, more exciting till you try them.
There's really nothing like living in some beautiful, tropical place where you get to spend a ton of time in nature. And diving regularly makes me feel 10 years younger.
This would therefore probably be a profession where I either see a lot of people (doctor?) or use my hands (carpenter).
 I realize the irony given the "corrupt businessmen" comment.
Our civilization desperately needs independent thinkers of this type. The problem is that the people who get paid to do this for a living are all hopelessly compromised by the institutional structures they inhabit (universities, newspapers, right-wing think tanks, etc)
One idea I would promote is geopolitical vacation as a third-path way to deal with refugee and immigrant crises. My claim is that geographically large countries like Canada, Australia, the US and Russia have no serious need whatsoever for the vast lands they have claimed. So they should take some of that land and vacate it to make room for refugees and immigrants. It doesn't need to be a lot of space: city-states like Hong Kong, Singapore and Dubai prove unquestionably that prosperous and wealthy societies can be built in physically small territories.
I don't think I could contribute much to an NGO if I had to leave my technical skills at the door. But that's certainly a domain that I'm interested in.
I would also love to do something in the film industry. I would start as an assistant, and eventually do something with special effects. I also enjoy editing.
Maybe writing. I don't think I'm a very talented writer, but I might try to write a novel one day. I've tried to write a few screenplays for short films, and so far they've just been awful. It's a lot of fun, though.
I've also been working on a novel, but am finding it pretty tough. I've gotten decent at non-fiction writing when I have something to say, but I'm not great at creating things whole cloth for fiction.
Some people love music so much that they are happy making their living any way they can involving music, including teaching, playing weddings, and other functions. I've done a lot of this, and ultimately am not happy doing it.
Even though I loved touring as a musician, most of my friends that made their living touring have retired from it and gone on to do something else, as the road life makes it pretty difficult to have a "normal" family life.
I've often asked myself what I'd want to do if I weren't a technologist, and I always come back to doing something with my hands.
Indy rapper: My favorite artists are all YouTube stars (Futuristic, Devon Terrell, Kyle KiD), and I have some talent for music and I've been freestyle rapping in my car for decades. I could bring a unique perspective to rap as a black software engineer turned rapper (from python to gettin my rhyme on?).
Motivational speaker: My first career was teaching so I have experience with public speaking. Specifically I'd like to create a series of seminars that teach people how to negotiate pay raises. I'm horrified when I hear about people who don't negotiate, or accept 3% raises. I have averaged an 20% increase annually over the past 10 years and I think I can teach others to do the same.
I also spent a lot of time in my life as a volunteer firefighter and was an instructor with qualifications to teach Firefighter I & II certification classes, as well as Incident Command and LP Gas Firefighting. I love that world, especially the teaching part. So something related to teaching and emergency services could be appealing. The problem is, there's not a lot of money to be made doing that stuff, except at the higher levels.
It's a passion of mine (and probably something I'd do for fun in the future) to get an old mustang (preferably ~1964) and convert it into a modern car (electric, heated/cooled seats, power windows etc.)
oh and build competition grade racing drones.
and be a tech reviewer.
I'd love to be a farmer, a painter, a philosopher, a writer, a chef, or a combination of that. However since the world is changing so much due to technology, I'm not sure how feasible or enjoyable those jobs would be in the 21st century.
I find it a bit pointless to think too much about it, since its unrealistic, unless you're interested in changing. For good or worse I'm gonna stick to development for the upcoming years. Who knows what's next though.
Our jobs are amazing! Every minute we're solving a problem that probably hasn't solved before. It wasn't solved in our work context for sure. I can't imagine doing a job that is repetitive. Even teaching seems repetitive.
You guys are not instilling me with a lot of confidence however.
I love farming and growing stuff.
But right now even though I'm in tech, I can't afford my rent or be able to afford a house. I feel very unsuccessful hitting 30s.
It'd be far less likely to work out but I'd also love to be able to professionally produce music.
But if I were going to switch into something else, it would probably be something involving the outdoors, with a tangible physical aspect to it. Surveying?
Not a grease trap, but quality, but familiar breakfasts, great sandwiches, home-made pies. Superb diner coffee.
A place welcoming to anyone, young, old, family, friends.
Software Development is great. It's been a fun ride, and I've made some amazing friends, learned many skills, and of course, took in a salary that helps pay bills.
Eventually, it'd be nice to try this. There's a rush, and a large challenge to running a restaurant, but a diner brings a simpler focus. It might be a pipe dream, but since I'm not planning to execute on it any time soon, I will continue dreaming :)
And I know it's not a "career" but being a gentleman scholar would be even more fun...
And I've never spent any time with music but I think it would be a really enjoyable endeavor.
I use almost all of my spare time to pursue my hobbies, and this year I want to get started learning filmmaking.
I'd like to incorporate programming with filmmaking, too. I've had an idea for programmatically switching between several cuts of a scene based on user input and other variables. With enough shots and a clever enough script, one might be able to turn a film into a game.
If there's anybody locally into film, I'd love to buy you a coffee and see if we might be able to work together.
Surfing all day long could be a lot worse. You'd have to teach mostly tourists, but then you get to talk with people from all over the world too. Read the rythm of the waves a
Other issue is how much thinking about code has ruined my creative writing skills. There were no sign of humanities at my school, not that anyone would've had time for electives, and the "tech writing" class I tried was more interested in how to use styles in Word than anything else!
Basically, anything that doesn't involve staring at a screen all day long.
I gave myself a target: to have my first paying client by end of April 2017. I have been photographing for 20 years, did some paid work here and there, but never found the cojones to move 100% to photography as a job.
I'm very comfortable doing my 8-5 job as dev/architect in a large financial institution. I have lost pretty much any interest and I want to do something I like. I hope my plan works out :)
- Farmer (been there; my fallback option)
- That person who works in the IS18 infrasound station that detects nuclear explosion sound waves in Greenland (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vULUkp7Ttss) or something similarly monk-ish. I could be a monk but i cant stand religion.
It is very difficult to get published, and till you do, it is very hard to make 'rent and food' money (leave alone serious money) out of it (and sometimes not even then. Most non bestseller authors have day jobs), but if I couldn't be a developer for some reason, that is what I'd do.
- Historic building salvage crew and/or restoration of historic buildings.
- Bed and Breakfast / AirBnB / wedding venue proprietor with healthy dose of the above history/restoration work on the side.
On the more creative side I'd love to take my Arduino hobby to the next level and build interactive art installations for museums.
But if I could have any job in the world, it'd be what I spend every other hour not on shift doing, and that's programming and solving problems.
If I had to pick something else, I'd probably get bored.
Now I find most of my vacations are centered around traveling to ruins or going to live in small towns with interesting cultures.
Way cooler than software. FML.
I can sit for ages thinking about how movies and TV series are cut and edited, i think it is fascinating.
Surgeon would be interesting.
It is however not a big leap from the fundamental reason i am in tech.
I like to figure out how stuff works and fit together.
I don't feel it maters that much if it is a computer or a human body.
Prototyping this year.
Also, any hobby/sport that gives you big addrenaline rush + makes/keeps you fit but doesn't slowly kill you (example: (kick)boxing kills your braincells) ?
You got a serious and a kind of serious answer :D
The original reference architecture for the Human Body is still valid, save for a newly-classified organ here and there.
No microservices revolutions, no development methodologies, no UI toolkits...
The feeling of learning a new word and using it correctly is like crack. I still have pretty good memories of learning words like "however" and "nevertheless" when I was a kid.
The more I read about how people in the US treat each other, the more I want to work with innocents.
Screw the money. I've got enough saved to live simply but well. And yes, I'm married.
Most likely taking care of goats.
Theme park design/engineering
Museum exhibit design/construction
Love development, but I'd much rather do it on the side than 40 hrs/week.
Half of it is shared with CS, so is kinda the same but more fun.
C is still the main language for standards so I could find myself at home, as I am a OpenBSD user and zealot.
No GNURadio here, sadly, but is WIP.
Hacking comm devices is funny.
Even something simple as SDR's are interesting too.
- Fiction Author
- Location Hunter for Cinematographers (basically get paid to travel to wonderful scenic places)
- Landscape Photographer (very hard to get paid for this I guess)
Being around all the high tech machines on the farm has gotten me quite interested in mechanical engineering of late, so if I were to make the switch again, it may be in that direction. Especially, to bring things full circle, with a focus on integrating my software experience into those machines; robots and such.
He'd done various things, been a pianist, engineer, parent etc.
Now he writes, he says it's the most fulfilling career he's ever had; Though I expect he's already financially stable.
Have been doing it as a hobby but would love to spend more time immersing myself into the beautiful game.
edit: Film camera repairman
Edit: Or HV mechanic. I love big engines.
Professional chess player
Fantasy book author
From reading it sounds like yoga teachers are plentiful since a lot of people practicing naturally progress to getting certified. Starting wages can be very poor because of this. That's where I think marketing can be the differentiating factor. Travel around India learning, maybe write a book or blog about yourself. Get on reality TV and become a minor celebrity. Have a very well respected lineage. Just some ideas to bring in more clients.
Big cities are definitely the safest.
Or, teaching engineering.
assuming I could live on the crap money, of course
One of the disappointing things I have learned is that many municipalities limit the visible height of residential buildings from the average grade level to its highest point to only 30 or 40 feet. That means, in combination with the depth of the frost-heave line, that spherical shells are not possible for a family-sized home, and the only feasible tornado-resistant shapes would be severely-flattened ellipsoids and toruses. I had a hypothesis that I really wanted to test regarding the humidity problems experienced with geodesic dome homes, but that one zoning issue makes testing it pretty much impossible.
I have been pretty disappointed with all of the stick-built homes I have ever lived in, with regard to maintenance and infrastructure issues. In short, I'm sick of paying through the nose for cheap, slipshod crap. If I'm going to pay through the nose anyway, I'd rather get something that could survive a nuclear strike on the nearest strategic asset, where I would never have to use a plunger in any toilet because the architect never talked to a master plumber, and never need to tack up visible wires because the existing wiring plan stinks, and also never have to carry the laundry up and down two flights of stairs because no one bothered to minimize the distance between that particular appliance and all the bedroom closets.
I just want to rebel against the existing market conditions in housing. Realistically, I would likely be an abysmal failure in that sector, and would have to return to software development--with my tail between my legs--in less than 5 years. But I'd also get a kickass house out of it, which would slowly reveal its agonizingly severe problems over the following 10 years, which would have bankrupted my company anyway, had it succeeded. Then I'd write a book about my experience, which would sell 30 copies. I'd become a bitter old geezer, and none of my co-workers would talk to me unless they had a question about our crufty, legacy C++21 module that everyone else is afraid to touch. My best friend would be a red Swingline stapler. I would be buried with it. Then concrete shell homes would sweep the nation in a flurry of unexpected popularity. I would get frequent reports about it in "The Special Hell for People Who Don't Really Deserve It, But We Torment Them Anyway, Just for Fun", which would be effectively indistinguishable from my pre-demise existence as a software professional, except Special Hell gets 3.5 weeks of PTO, and Columbus Day off, because even pure evil has limits.~