Key takeaway: seeking encouragement from anonymous or semianonymous people on the internet could be harmful.
So, is it fair to say that you're not impressed by TFA?
“Common statement which is generally true”
“A single out of context example where the above statement isn’t true, or a statement asserting it is not true no more than 5% of the time.”
is so common.
Once you start seeing this sort of thing, you see it everywhere on HN and it’s impossible to stop seeing.
It’s almost like a mind trap for developers, that once we see a general idea we immediately snap into disproof mode instead of thinking about ways to more charitably interpret the argument.
So on a different level, perhaps it is hard to impress developers.
Have you seen the Magit kickstarter?
Magit is one of Emacs' killer apps and it's known and loved by virtually all of its users, who are almost all developers..
When its maintainer opened a kickstarter to work on it for a year, it was more than fully funded by nearly 2000 backers.
So, yes, developers are willing to pay for quality software.
But, yeah, overall this is a gift economy where people take what's freely given but also give back to the community in some way.
 - https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1681258897/its-magit-th...
If you are one of the fortunate few who can thread that needle, congratulations, for you too can now revel in the financial security that only a moderately popular kickstarter can bring. Don’t spend it all in one place.
I feel that we are in a position where we can estimate the amount of work and the dedication that a team has put into a great product. I have paid for many of the great softwares that run on my machine because of this knowledge.
I do think there is a significant segment of developers who are really gung-ho about free software politics and refuse on moral grounds to pay for software ever. So that might be what you're seeing.
I don't think this is true. There are lots of things that developers throw money at, and each developer can easily think of multiple processes that would happily through hundreds or thousands of dollars at if those processes could be automated.
However, it is hard to build software that developers will pay for.
I.e., the demand is there and it is strong, but the products that meet that demand are generally Real Engineering Problems.
A) Self-funding a startup has required me to become quite frugal
B) Giving money to competitors is almost always a mistake
Unfortunately that's the way things go. I would like to be able to afford more, but so would everyone else.
While I agree with you, I also think that technical fields promote negative assessments more than average.
An article a while back pointed out the difference with interviewing: a technical interviewer thinks about starting from some high total of points and subtracting--a management interviewer thinks about starting from some low number of points and adding.
It makes a very different experience.
Note I'm not saying to downplay ALL negative comments, I'm suggesting to downplay negative comments by the users that always write and upvote negative comments.
Oftentimes effort alone is commendable, even if it misses the mark, as long as it's not hurting users. We so easily forget that though when judging others' work.
I think this is where things fall apart for me, and I suspect others. I don't see effort, by itself, as commendable.
Projects like these usually have the goal "can I do this too?" The answer is always an obvious "yes", since it's been done before. The effort to learn something is commendable, but the act of learning is rarely "impressive".
> No matter how successful, reliable, or loved a piece of software is, inevitably other developers will not value the time, effort, and craftsmanship that went into building it.
Come on now. This can only be true if he himself has never been impressed with anyone else work.
HN is filled with professionals who will be quick to give, usually helpful, critical feedback. I would go as far as to claim "wow cool" feedback doesn't contribute to the discussion, especially if the only purpose of the project was to complete a learning exercise. If others are like me, I'll often read in amazement, maybe try out the code, rather than fill the comment section with congratulations, which would rightfully be down voted.
 ~20 projects for getting Python in the browser: http://stromberg.dnsalias.org/~strombrg/pybrowser/python-bro...
Commendable, yes; Monetarily valuable, ehhh
I think the problem is that "Hey I built this thing isn't it cool" seems to lead to "I spent every waking hour on this for the last 3 years, so this is REALLY cool, see?" which leads to "I spent every waking hour on this for 3 years and now other people use it also!" which leads to "Hey, other people are profiting financially from my work, I should be compensated!"
I think this is why HN commenters tend to jump the gun a bit when they cut out the middle steps and go from "Hey, look at this cool thing" straight to "You could never sell that as a product because X, Y, Z."
Telling people about your feat of programming that was very difficult but was a (probably) non-useful learning exercise probably won't be interesting unless they are a friend or also happening to be wanting to learn about the same thing.
I think it stems from a culture where people want strive to adopt the most "elite" way of doing things (ie, running Kubernetes for everything, because Google) because it lets them show they're capable and knowledgeable, and nobody is going to say Google is doing it wrong. The downside to this is that cheaper, faster, and more practical solutions get thrown aside as "hacks" because they don't scale to google level. When really, a lot of places don't need that kind of scale, and having too much complexity can be a risk of it's own. I'm not saying scalability isn't important, it can be critical for some things, but I rarely see devs give the same attention to usability or monitoring in their designs (there are lots of misconceptions that using orchestration solves monitoring, when really it can make it harder if you don't plan for it up front).
So I say let google and co worry about impressing people, and just spend your time on making things that solve problems. And maybe, in OPs case, (this may be unpopular) you don't have to share everything you write, especially if it's not something that solves a problem for other people. Put it on your github and resume, but if it's not solving real problems, it's just for your learning.
Here we go: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=8863
Ninja'd, should have refreshed.
Out of all the different IT personal I manage, developers are the only ones who seem to think they have to be correct all the time. That doesn’t exactly brew the best atmosphere, because how can you be?
This is uncontroversial, we can't build things well if our understanding is wrong, whether of user requirements, budget/political process, technology, existing infrastructure/whatever.
Seriously? Every nerdy subculture is full of these people.
It pointed out what I thought were special reasons why developers think they have the answers, even in disciplines wildly different than software development.
* need to ask questions
* detail orientation
* knowing (and being well compensated for) knowing about something difficult
I'm older and wiser now and hold my tongue when talking to experts in other fields, but I did my fair share of, say, reading contracts or patents in my day.
I should have said arrogance really, young developers often remind me of the conversation between yoda and kenobi on the arrogance of anakin in the clone wars.
Not rhetorical, asking for myself. I guess, I want to know how much more toxic are we as a community (to the degree you can talk about all folks who read or might read HN as a single monolithic community).
I mean, I know a few artists, they are absolutely savage when it comes to the work of others. Is this a dev problem or human one?
Even on Twitter, see #screenshotsaturday responses.
Given those margins, finding someone who actually is impressive is difficult. Most projects are not that interesting, are rehashes of something that's already been done, or are just poorly designed and executed.
Some of the most unsettling behavior I've seen online is a thread on Reddit where an indie developer shared their game with /r/gaming. The reactions: "Looks like dogshit", "This really took you two years to build? lol", "Doesn't even work on Android? lol miss me with that garbage."
Like that /r/gaming thread, we on HN do the same thing with the superficial qualities of a project.
"Python in JS? Who the fuck would want this lol. It took you how long to build this dogshit? Yet another web developer who refuses to learn anything beyond JS." Our analysis goes no deeper than whatever was summed up in the Show HN title where the author is lucky if anybody even navigates to the Github repo and looks at the work involved.
I think it comes down to modern entitlement culture where we see the world as our personal buffet. Now combine that with the ease of sharing your opinion with the world.
There are ways to impress developers, but you won't get then to see the magic regular users do. We all work behind the curtain, and nobody online knows you well enough to understand when your accomplishments are personal milestones.
Of course, a random person on the internet thinks s/he can architect systems of unprecedented global scale without knowing any of the context or goals of the systems involved.
It's actually about people posting personal code projects on HN, and I disagree, personal code projects quite frequently get quite a lot of recognition here.
"Hey guys, ES6 and Node have their problems, so we ratified a new standard that fixes all their shortcomings and bugs. Download it today and start your new project in a few mins".
"Hey guys, I know the whole point of keeping source code is for the next guy, but check out how I totally obfuscated, er wrote, this complicated algorithm I'm .5 lines of code"
That said, I don't agree with this:
>The Google search engine brings in $billions each year, and is one of the most important software projects in history, but I guarantee there are developers at Google right now complaining about how crappy the core code base is.
You can appreciate the performance of the Google search engine at scale, while still being annoyed by how crappy the core code base is. (I have zero knowledge of what the codebase is actually like, but I would guess that like most legacy code written in a legacy language without algebraic data types, it's probably a bit of a mess at this point).
Of course at any given time while I was there the team was running several different refactor/fix/delete/cleanup projects. It's a continuous and well funded effort.
Funnily enough I think everyone's impressed with Jetbrains. I rarely meet devs who don't like their tools. Or Kotlin.
But a very small minority like it enough to donate to support the development efforts, even though it is saving them significant amounts of money and time.
This isn't necessarily because they're unimpressed though. There's only so many different ways you can say "great job", compared to the potentially infinite ways in which you could find a flaw in someone's work and highlight it in a constructive or unconstructive manner.
I think the post mixes the respect / approval / praise a bit. You can at the same time respect that someone produced something that solves what they needed and think that the project is a steaming pile of poop from the technical / design side. Maybe the comments should mention the first part more often. I'll definitely try when criticising some tech in the future.
Lol sounds like my experience working at a SaaS company. It can be hard to get them to pay for your services.
This is one of the reasons for which I think that refactoring a code base, in the original sense by Martin Fowler, where a program is changed without modifying its functioning, but only extracting its structure, is a severely underused practice, and one for which there would be a lot of space in the industry.
If they agree with everything you said, they'll typically upvote in silence.
It has nothing to do with developers.