At the time, it didn't seem like a great job. But now, looking back after 5+ years of staring at a screen for 8 hours a day, I miss the physicality of being a baker. I hope the next computer revolution will untether computers from a sedentary work environment.
I'm surprised every week by what it's like to be a parent. I never expected it to round my life out in such a healthy way, both mentally and physically. Not just because I have offspring but because I'm doing a ton of things I haven't done in years, decades.
One of the great things in being a parent is that I can once more forget myself for hours when building snow castles or burrowing tunnels into a snow mountain at the end of the street, and no one bats an eye 'because kids'. Having kids also changes you in a way that you once more remember how awesome that was in the first place.
There are effects of this morning routine, which I cannot directly explain, that make my upcoming work day so easy and productive.
Being a parent also gives you a great excuse to finally buy that drone!
Frack, you're winning at parenting. I'm a dad and have never ever even once thought of it in those terms. I've never once thought, "thank goodness I'm a parent, it gives me something physical to do."
One should absolutely have a diverse set of skills and interest and knowledge, but it's also important to pick one or two things to truly master.
Parenting is absolutely a vocation, and your perspective toward it is quite refreshing.
This reminds me of that write-up that tried to put a price on a stay-at-home parent by listing all the activities they do, looking at the price of a specialist, and adding it up. I'm bookmarking yours for future conversations like that since it's shorter, has more activities, and is more fun to read. :)
She retired (at the old age of 29) to be a full-time mom. I found a job where I work 100% from home.
We have not attempted to quantify our decision. All we had to do was discuss it qualitatively and it was a no-brainer.
My oldest just turned 2, my youngest is almost 3 months. These are the greatest times of our lives. Why would I want to miss this for anything? No amount of money can replace these extra long mornings, lunchtime park/toboggan hill outings, and 4pm Mom-induced visits from my toddler who runs into my office, grabs my hand, and guides me to his building blocks.
I'll leave Bret Victor's website  here for anyone interested in continuing this train of thought. Most of his work posted there revolves around this in some way, but just to link to a specific presentation here's Humane Representation of Thought .
Bret Victor changed what I think of computation technology's progress and what I expect of it. I'd go as far as to say that his presentations are eye openers.
I've recently become obsessed with woodworking videos on YouTube. I think watching Paul Sellers spend two hours making a drawer with hand tools has become for me a cathartic release of my frustrations at spending the day in front of a screen interacting with nothing physical except a keyboard.
As an aside, I'm floored by the wholesomeness of this whole thread. It's inspiring.
Ah, the smell of baking bread!
The grass is always greener.
It's like when you are living your boring monotonous day to day life, you can't wait to go on an adventurous vacation. Once you are on vacation, you can't wait to get back to the comforts of your home.
First world problems.
Too bad it paid, you know, a tenth of what I make programming.
It was great. No screens, just a normal-ass cash register to work from time to time. No sitting unless I wanted to, no meetings, golf cart to drive around once or twice a day. Firewood to carry. People to talk to. Plenty of time to read or write and no-one remotely interesting in claiming the copyright anything I did then, let alone during time I was off the clock. Pretty much nothing about the job was evil, while so many tech jobs are at least a little. None of that general soul-grime of corporate life.
I'd do that for a whole career if it paid anywhere near what software dev does. I'm only in software because 100% of the things I actually want to do pay half as well, at best, and some of them require a lot more up-front spending and time for education. Programming's great when I need to do it for a personal project. As a career, it blows, compensation aside. It's not even high status, for the most part, despite the comp.
Why would a person suggest to another that if they can't be happy where they are, they wouldn't be happy anywhere? Is "a sedentary office job" the summit of all work for all people? Do we not accept that people can have preferences?
I'm going to start a dating website called "The grass is always greener". Customers get matched with one person, ever.
The only way your idea would work if somehow work and income were divorced from each other. That seems rather utopian than practical. Maybe if you were wealthy enough, you could try out multiple careers. Or maybe wait til retirement though that also seems impractical.
Mortgage and family would make that more difficult, but from my perspective ($80k/year, single, and quite comfortably not spending even half of that), $200k/year certainly sounds "wealthy enough" to me.
From what I know of Salaita he was convicted of free-thought. Labeled an anti-semite. And the rest is history.
I say this in no way to discredit your argument against the conflation of anti-Zionism with antisemitism. It's possible to be critical of Zionism without being antisemitic.
It's not exactly as if Israel and its actions are seldom criticised on campuses, or indeed on academics' Twitter accounts.
But that's the thing. Any criticism of Israel requires a 2-page disclaimer in order to make it perfectly clear your criticisms do not in anyway support antisemitism. I have not found a clear criticism of Israel on Twitter that did not require, at least, 10 additional tweets.
It's a poor medium for any academic to use. I fail to understand why he would in the first place. Intellectual debates are quite dry and nuanced. 2 things that microblogs do really poorly.
For all Twitter's shortcoming as a means for making nuanced arguments and the sensitivities of commenting on things Israelis and Palestinians have done without being accused of rationalising the excesses of the other side, it's not exactly difficult to convey dismay over a particular attack, disgust with an Israeli policy, support for Palestinian statehood or opposition to a statement made by an Israeli in 140 characters without blood libels, gloating about Israeli kids going missing or rants about a concept of 'Zionism' that owe more to the 'Protocols' than reality. Indeed enforced brevity would tend to lead one towards not including that sort of extraneous anti-Semitic sentiment.
Sure, Twitter is an utterly terrible medium for making carefully reasoned arguments about how to reconcile conflicts and redress grievances, but on the other hand it's a fantastic medium to rant and have the "I was misinterpreted" defence if anyone ever suggests your abusiveness towards the other side of the debate goes too far. Academics are certainly not immune to enjoying a rant about their enemies.
A teacher's job is to inform. They should inspire us to rise above our base instincts and investigate issues further.
Compressing ideas into vulgar soundbites (the point of Twitter) is something teachers should be helping us avoid, not participating in. I don't think he should have been fired, but anyone who made the bumper sticker tweet below definitely doesn't deserve to be rewarded with tenure so they can become immune from criticism.
>> Zionists: transforming "antisemitism" from something horrible into something honorable since 1948.#Gaza #FreePalestine
But again, such an outburst shouldn't be cause for exclusion, nor strong evidence for anti-semitism.
From time to time, I feel like that. Just leave software dev behind, and become a truck driver.
My parents ran a construction company. One day a guy showed up for his first day of work. By virtue of the project’s schedule at that point, a trench needed to be dug 3ft wide by 5ft deep by 20 ft long. There were buried utilies nearby, thus machinery would have been risky. Therefore on Chuck’s first day of work he dug a tench by hand in the 100+ degree sun(By virtue of necessity).
That’s a pretty anecdotal, albiet harsh, case. If you’re smart about riding the ups and downs you can make decent money, but as an industry it’s pretty hard on its workers. I have friends who work construction to make money during college. While I am worried someone moved the AC from 68->72, they are breaking their backs pouring cement and consuming illicit drugs to block the back pain.
When you are young, you have all the possibilities of what to do with your life. Methaphorically all the open doors of possibility. But as you progress with your life you have to make decisions about what do you want to do, and as you walk through some doors you close most other doors.
For example by choosing to become a software dev, you most certainly wont become a doctor, lawyer, cook, house builder or truck driver, although all these options were open to you a couple of years back, now those doors are mostly closed.
And it is this feeling of lost possibilities that you might be feeling.
Along the lines of what others have said in this thread, I hate. Hate. Hate. Sitting at a desk for my job and staring into a little box. It just seems hysterical that we will likely spend most of our working lives staring at little boxes with lots of text and images on them. This isn’t the real world. It’s all just conjured up on a screen for profit and entertainment. Computers have taken over our lives and seem to be replacing even social interaction for some people. I’m sick of it. And as soon as you turn <device> off, it doesn’t F*ing matter anymore.
I bet nearly every intellectual profession now is dominated by computer-based work. And it sucks because the old jobs - bakers, builders, mechanics, etc. - don’t pay nearly as much as the jobs that any 22 year old making shitty web apps with React can get paid. Am I flippant? Yes. Do I know where to go from here? Nope.
One of the reasons I love embedded SW development is this right here. I know that it's basically just in my head, but it's so much more satisfying for me to work on a medical device SW or a harvester control system than, I dunno, some random ToDo app.
One could call embedded dev the sweet spot between the real world (as you put it) and the abstract world of pure software.
I've had this theory for some time that a number of dev's frustrations are rooted in the fact that what they're doing isn't anything close to real engineering. That for a great many of their jobs, quality is not really a priority because what they're creating could just as easily be gone or reworked tomorrow.
So I've wondered if I'm on to something, do things get better the farther down the dev stack you go? Because, much like building a physical structure once that hardware ships the software is doing it's intended, required job. Sure, there can be firmware patches in the same way a building needs maintenance but it's not like management is going to recall the coffee makers because they think they should now tweet when your coffee was made.
On the other hand, things like heavy machinery control systems are usually in somewhere in the middle: the machines themselves are burdened by all kinds of regulations, and the machines can kill a dozen people easily by accident if something goes catastrophically wrong, so it would definitely suck to "move fast and break things". Also, like you mentioned, software updates are few and far between.
Then there's medical and aviation and friends, where you have MISRA-C and the like. Very process-y, if you like that.
Basically, work on SW for tangible things, and pick your poison regarding how much requirements and process you want. I'd say that on a very broad average, things do get more strict going farther down the stack, if for no other reason than that if the lowest level code does not work reliably, then nothing else usually won't either.
On one hand, the higher end of the embedded world can be replaced by a powerful CPU that can run Linux, and there is not much differences between embedded vs non embedded there. This is the "easy" but not cheap solution.
On the other hand, as always more sensors are needed, and as objects are more connected than ever, the density of micro controller running on a given device is exploding (from automotive to various medical devices).
So all in all, I am not sure that embedded is decreasing.
Heck, there's even still a market for 4-bit chips used by the likes of Gillette:
My current company is working with heavy machinery manufacturers, and the industry is years behind consumer automotive. There's a similar kind of explosion in the amount of small intelligent modules waiting to happen.
I suspect that is at least partially due to the fact that I have consistently accepted lower pay to work at small businesses and nonprofits. I currently work for the local PBS affiliate and absolutely love the environment, people, and challenges there.
But, I do also worry about how that will affect me and my family long term. Will my wife and I be able to support our children well? Will we be able to retire comfortably? Etc. I’m certainly still making a very comfortable wage compared to many other professions, but I have turned down salaraies 25+% higher than my current one from much larger corporate organizations. Will I regret that in 20 years?
Wise words written.
I "regret" - at the ripe old age of 45+ - having not gone on to get an advanced degree. I was lazy; I know that now. It was not because of inability.
But I make a comfortable living as an SE, have no children, have a good amount of savings, and I am debt free (other than a mortgage, which doesn't count - especially since my house is now worth double of what I paid for it 15+ years ago - plus having equity, etc).
So - since actually pursuing a degree (something I have considered) would likely not improve my salary prospects much, and would only put me further in debt - I instead occasionally spend time involving myself in MOOCs (so far all of them in the AI/ML space).
I try not to dwell on that "regret"; as you have said, life could have turned out so much differently and I would likely have other "regrets" instead.
Instead, I do what I can to continue my educational self-improvement in other ways (MOOCs being one small part), and focus instead upon my life's successes and everyday enjoyments, which are honestly more than enough for me.
If it felt good and paid more, it would be too easy.
I could go back to uni, take on a ton of debt, and after retraining find few want a late fifties junior. Chances are I'd never pay off the student debts before retirement either, unless I get really lucky. A direct into the job route will probably meet just as much resistance to a mid fifties starter. Foreign Legion, Police and Air Force all think I'm too old now.
That smell is from all those burnt bridges.
Yet 40s and 50s are when many decide they've had enough and want something more fulfilling, find limited choice, and end up with a self employed micro business. I suspect this is not what they wished for in many cases, but just what's left.
In the age of Internet though, it's never too hard to learn something new for free.
Also, you can still try another occupation during the week-ends. You get to learn and experience something new while volunteering or making additional money, and after all you either see that your existing job is better, or that you want to make a change, being trained and knowledgeable of why you want to switch.
When I look at friends who got out of tech, which is now more of them than didn't, I see age taking away choices. Switch before 40s, a fully new career on the back of a degree or training to become whatever seems possible. Leave it later in 40s and 50s and it seems there's fewer choices and far more frustration around it, and the odd mid life crisis.
Such is the job market.
With 32, I'm too old to become a police officer in most states in my country, for instance.
Clearly it’s not because of job requirements, since we have 50 year old officers...
At 45+ years of age, all of those doors are permanently closed to me.
I do think that my thinking on them all is more that of the "romantic notions" of those careers; the reality of them is probably nowhere near as exciting, adventurous, or maybe even as worthwhile, as I might imagine them to have potentially been.
As a note I think that rate of acceptance is too high. Way too many are getting past the psyche tests and running around bullying society
It definitely varies.
Obesity epidemic, bad posture and other current issues are a reminder that our current lifestyle is way out of control. Technology evolved much faster than our bodies during the last 200-300 years. It's all fun and games when we're young but when we'll hit 40-50 we'll feel it.
If you don't actively try to exercise you can go literal months during which your physical activity will be: get out of bed, open a few doors, sit in a car, open a few doors, sit all day, open a few doors, sit in car, open a few doors, lay in bed.
That's killing us mentally and physically.
Apart from walking to plants and water sources and running after animals, and play/fighting, what exercise-like work would have been done or needed on a daily or weekly basis?
That's amplified by our new calorie dense diets that were not available before.
We can argue all day long, facts are there, obesity rates are going up every year, lifestyle related cancer too, and that's just the tip of the iceberg.
Damn, most of my colleagues can't run 5km (without time restriction).
I'm currently mostly at home with kids, but the general feeling is that I just would not want to work indoors any more. For my preferred hand labour the wages are tiny around here (IMHO not so when you're OK working with brush cutters, although some might disagree with that). But the mental and physical balance I get from being in the forest every day, rain or shine, tends to outweigh that. So as a parent it's surely a complicated decision as to what to do after we send our youngest off to kindergarten.
In particular, planting trees or cleaning treelings from weeds using a scythe could be a damn perfect job for every physically fit loner-introvert.
Here's a movie about tree planting in Canada (where this is a huge industry, isn't it?):
And here's an inspiring guy, forest keeper, scythe mowing enthusiast and witty documentary film maker Simon from the UK. Yep, I want to be just like him when I grow up. If you're interested in traditional tools and manual labour in the wilderness, be sure to check out his entire Youtube channel. Great movies about scythe mower vs tractor competition etc. :)
Ah, wonderful things, considering the current shitty-dirty-snowy March-like weather in Estonia.
I've only planted in Estonia thus far and survived well, though. I seem to have suitable bodily proportions for the job, but it also comes down to planting ergonomically as wisely as you can right from the start. In particular, learning to use both of your hands and legs equally (plant "ambidextrously" as they call it). See this thread from replant.ca, an awesome resource for tree planters in Canada:
But, sure, it is tough work to the point of not being sensible to many.
So what's stopping you from doing this on the weekend?
Set up a home workshop, or find somebody or someplace (a maker's shop or a hacker space?) who has such tools available.
If you don't own a home, let me tell ya that if you want a lot of physical labor, maintenance on a home is where it is at, every weekend if you want it.
I have the exact thoughts sometimes. And I ask myself why truck driver.
Maybe it represents the opposite of software career.
More work in real world vs virtual.
Be outside vs stuck in cubicle.
Perceived freedom and independence vs managing self / team / customer.
Work is restricted to a day vs work piling up.
Not carrying the work home vs being switched on always.
Less expectation vs imposter syndrome
casual interactions vs formal communication
Truck driving as a career has its own challenges. But my mind perceives it to be a better choice. Grass always looks greener on the other side.
Try watching some videos of reversing semis. Then try reversing with a trailer.
My dad’s cousin was a truck driver. I once saw him reverse a car with a trailer at full speed for 200 meters. Dead straight. Trailer never even twitch.
It was the most impressive feat of hand-eye coordination I’ve seen my whole life.
It's amazing what humans can learn to do
If you are very visual-spatial, passively taking in scenery while driving feeds the same need as website design, basically.
I'm not a programmer. I also no longer drive. I gave up my car more than a decade ago and my driver's license more than five years ago.
I'm just someone who has thought a lot about how brain wiring impacts personal preferences and life choices. I enjoy discussing that when opportunity arises.
I'm 5 years deep professionally, 15 years as a hobby, and no longer enjoying software, at least in it's form consumed by a customer.
Similar to a sibling poster, I'm envious of the landscaper, school teacher, or electrician.
Has anyone left software and felt better off for it, or regretted it?
Interested to hear any anecdotes or insight.
I lost it. I was done. That was it. I couldn't get past the lies (the documentation was outright lying about this behaviour). My entire career had been in the Windows stack, almost 20 years from VB3 to C#, but I was done. I loved coding, but this... this was bullshit... this had to change.
The next day I installed Linux and started again, learning web development properly and eventually finding Go, which I still code in to this day. I have never touched C#, or developed anything on Windows, since that day (roughly 8 years ago now).
I was freelancing, and doing OK at it, and that was hard, but I picked up some JS work and some prototype work for local startups (and tried a few of my own). I joined all the meetups and made friends who I could ask questions of.
Now I'm pretty much back to where I left off, and much happier for it.
I know that most people wouldn't consider this to be a "career change" story - after all I stayed a software developer. But I did have to throw most of what I knew out of the window(s) and start again from scratch, and which was hard but incredibly enjoyable. I fell in love with coding again, and it took me years to rebuild my career on my terms again.
I don't know what your circumstances are, but if you're burned out from 5 years of professional development, maybe try changing what you hate about it?
So I think it's not about what you hate but about what you can't control.
Maybe you did not hate Windows, C# and EF, but when it turns out to be a big stress factor it can be good to swap and take control again.
When the conversation came to me, I didn't know what to say. Here were men who spent 14-16 hrs a day in some of the worst conditions, and that's when they weren't on strike-- there I was, the guy who gets to work from home and sits at a desk all day. Its hard to think of a place where you could feel more alone than at a table with family who share nothing in common with you but DNA.
I love what I do. Well what hasn't been whittled away in the name of efficiency or productivity, but I would consider giving it all up.
Basically as an engineer you put some creative effort - or at least try to - in what you do thinking it’s some sort of one-of-a-kind artifact, and therefore touch your aesthetic sense.
Management doesn’t give 2 f*cks, they’re just into producing output (not necessarily profit) and CYA, and they’re hell bent into turning you into a predictable blue-collar. It’s not because they’re evil, in a corporate org eventually everyone’s purpose gets optimized away.
We’re lucky the software factory model crashed and burned in the ‘00 but we’re still craftsmen (and women), so we need to think like one.
Become a contractor, do what you’re asked for with the best of your skill but that’s it. Don’t let that “mission”, “purpose”, “we’re a family” rhetoric fool you. Build a wall between yourself and them . Be a carpenter, make it flat and level, invoice and bye.
I do find that spending a weekend putting up plasterboard or tearing out a fireplace gives one a new appreciation for the mental challenges of coding.
Perhaps you already know all this and in that case please forgive my unsolicited advice.
Not a landscaper, school teacher, or electrician, but that's my anecdote for you.
1) Programming as a lone skill is essentially meaningless, in the same way being a master at using hammers is meaningless. The skill has to be applied to some domain in order to became useful for people. A hammer skill + steelworking skill = forging stuff. A hammer skill + carpentry skills = making furniture. Similarly, programming + medical knowledge = improving people's health by software. Programming + orbital mechanics knowledge = making space ships go where they need to. Etc.
(And by knowledge/skills I really mean knowledge + experience + being recognized in the community of practitioners.)
I remember when I first started to learn to program, I felt I can do anything with that skill. Only lately I come to realize that I can't do shit with that skill alone, and maybe I should've picked a different major.
2) Building things for sale != building things that're useful. There is a correlation between marketability and usefulness, but it's generally weak. At high level, there's plenty of ways to boost sales other than delivering actual value in exchange for money. Products that win tend not to be the best at their stated purpose; they're the ones best marketed. On low level, I see constant pressure towards reducing functionality, reducing interoperability, dumbing down the UI, which all makes software less useful, but better at making first impression and/or hooking people up.
I'm not likely to leave software, but right now, I'm focusing on acquiring knowledge, experience and contacts in other areas, so that I could do something with software that I also find worthwhile, instead of just settling on fighting to avoid jobs that are about maintaining the adtech machinery.
For me, technology is attractive because I see its potential too improve lives, to remove tedium, to entertain, to teach, and to empower. But that isn't what the tech industry is about. I hesitate to say that it was different when I was growing up only because I'm aware of the rose-colored glasses through which we are prone to viewing our childhood.
The tech industry isn't about empowering people, it's about addicting people, selling them crap they don't need, un-informing them, constraining them, and turning them into cattle for advertisers. And it isn't just the industry. Even many open source developers have a culture of viewing people as mere animals to be herded.
You can't connect what you're building with real tangible benefit on the world. It is meaningless.
In the past I have also taken sabbaticals. Probably about the same time as you, I quit my job (it was a terrible job) and decided not to get another one until I understood what I wanted. I knew I was unhappy for a long time, so I saved up for this event. After I quit my job, I ended up writing free software every day. I loved it. "I am a programmer after all", I thought. And then I went back into the industry with a renewed vigour.
I wrote this years later: http://mikekchar.github.io/portfolio//UsefulAndBeneficial
It might be useful to you. To give you a more concrete impression, I used to get caught up doing things that I thought were important (like trying not to let the company I was working for die a horrible death). After I quit my job I realised that there were things about my job that I hated. They were things like chasing people about following process, trying to get my idiot boss to do his job, etc, etc. Some of these things were in my job description (I was in charge of the software process for a group of about 60 people). But the most interesting thing was that if I looked at all the things I hated doing, they matched up exactly with all the things that other people hated me doing.
Then I looked at the things I liked doing. Programming. Well, pretty much it. I hated endless "discussions" about what technology to use or how we should do things, etc, etc. I just liked writing code and solving problems. And then I realised that if I picked some code that nobody else wanted to touch (because it stank to high heaven), I could do anything I wanted and everybody would be ecstatic.
So I tried it in my next job. I put my head down and just wrote code. I declined to offer any opinions on anything I wasn't actually working on. I just wrote (as it turned out) a shit-ton of code. And they loved me, of course. In fact, my boss loved me so much he started to privately ask for my opinions about stuff. So I cautiously told him and he went away and tried it for me. It turned out to be successful. "Oh... That's why you want a manager", I thought. "Someone who is good at not getting into arguments and persuading people and doesn't mind spending their whole day in meetings".
Anyway, from there it was pretty good. But I have to say that I loved quitting my job in the end. I even emailed RMS and said, "I now understand what you meant when you wrote, 'Not everybody needs to be a professional programmer'". Because you really, really don't. When I was teaching, I wrote so much more code for myself than I ever did when I was a programmer. If you really want to be a programmer -- a free programmer, then write free software. You can be a landscaper, school teacher, electrician or even a waiter and write free software. That's what freedom means.
Being a programmer is a job. It's a good job (kinda boring and you have to get good at those interpersonal skills, but at least you aren't hauling nuclear waste around). You don't have to do it, though. You can do any job. All jobs suck in different ways and are good in different ways. But you have a choice. You have freedom and that's a massive blessing.
These days I wonder about staying in this field. I like my boss quite a lot (amazing guy). I like my colleagues quite a lot. I like my work... kinda... I'd rather be doing my own thing, but it's still kind of fun. I like my situation. I don't get paid anywhere near what I would in the SV or the like, but it's still multiples of working as an assistant language teacher. I'm still not sure, though. Who knows what the future will bring.
This is in Australia where tradespeople often do quite well so it's not uncommon.
It really isn't as great as it sounds or looks. The pay is about what you'd expect (ie - tiny).
Lugging around jugs of water, trying to find a nearby working (and accessible) hose bib to fill them, or having to carry your own water in your vehicle (and hoping nothing leaks)...it was grueling work for her.
The upside was you didn't have to talk to many people, not even your employer. She did the work, logged the time, and got paid. But the physical stress was insane, and has left her with more than a few issues (back and joint pain).
I look at software engineering differently; when I'm down in the weeds, yeah it sucks - but I know that things could be much worse for me, for much less pay, and what I am experiencing really isn't that big of a deal.
I get paid a lot of money for doing something that I find very easy to do; something that is almost second nature for me (I've been programming in some form or another for about 35 years, since I was a kid). I enjoy going into my work, I don't dread it. Many, many people would love to have that. I enjoy the fact that I do.
I wish more could say the same about their own work.
On the other hand you are spending your life putting out fires. Software breaks. It always does. You day by day job is finding the flaw in the system. Not to mention that you will program other peoples requirements not the fun stuff one does at home.
I started doing this with people. Debugging people. It is not fun and has started to make my life not as pleasant as it used to be.
No you can't. Every billion dollar product, or even million dollar product, is the result of a team of people doing many more things than writing code.
I myself would take on metalworking and/or blacksmithing. I like the idea of working with milling, threading and cutting metals as well as welding.
I also think that it is very easy to be romantic about these things. It is probably better to understand how you could turn some of these things into hobbies and then get a bit of both worlds.
I do this as a part of one of my hobbies (robotics).
It's really not that fun: It's dirty, smelly, hot, and sometimes can be dangerous. You will get cut. You will get gouged. You will bleed. You will be burned. Not always, but it will happen occasionally. Ideally, that's all the worst that will happen.
I've never worked with a metal lathe; I haven't had the need to yet. But I do have access to one. That is the one of a metal shop's tools which you need to be very respectful and mindful about being around and working with. Depending on the size of the machine (the one I have access to isn't very large), it can do everything from maim you severely, to killing you - and it won't care. It'll barely even slow down.
Not trying to scare you about metal working, but realize it isn't roses, either. It can be very satisfying to make something out of metal and know you did that. But you need to understand what the price can be - even if you are careful and wearing all the necessary safety equipment.
Oh - and never wear gloves or rings (or necklaces, ties, long hair, etc) around things like mills or lathes - really bad to do should things go wrong.
But do wear heavy boots, denim jeans (and all natural fiber clothing period), and gloves (plus other PPE like goggles, face shield, etc) when grinding, cutting, or welding - sparks and molten slag/metal are not fun when they hit bare skin (or burn thru your sneakers - ask me how I know).
It used to be, but these days there's too many other options for cheap and strong materials, and places and methods to get parts made. There's definitely ways to position yourself to make good money, especially if you have connections and experience, but it's certainly not as simple as "set up a shop and make a good living".
For physical stuff, I also play around with hobby-level robotics - which can be anything from small desktop junk and soldering, to building much larger contraptions at my friend's home metalworking shop (he has the tools and space I don't).
There doesn't have to be a reason or "need" to turn it off at the end of the day, unless you really don't enjoy it - but I would question why you are doing a job you don't enjoy (yes, I know this is something many people struggle with; most jobs aren't enjoyable - but creative jobs should be enjoyable, at least that's a hope - then again, I've heard of people being software engineers, good at their work, who absolutely hated it, but did it only for the money).
It isn't a legal issue now so much as a social issue. Even if there were strong employment protection laws enforcibility would make it difficult to prove.
Such stupidity is unfortunately sustainable even though it is far from wise. Unfortunately good management and sense is often fragile despite being ideal.
We have the same freedom of speech that we've always had.
> Are we that sensitive, scared, and close-minded?
The online community seems to be. Good thing it's just a very vocal minority.
> Is this sustainable?
Online: yes. IRL: it wouldn't be, but that's why it doesn't spill out into real life that often, and when it does, it's discouraged.
Are you being sarcastic? The "very vocal minority" has seemingly limitless power to ruin people's lives over words they don't like. Businesses are forced to close, professors are forced to resign. We're passed the point of being able to say "it's just the internet," and it's time we all acknowledged that.
But the same culture of freedom of speech that "we've always had?" Decidedly not. And without that culture, the First Amendment will wither and become eviscerated over time.
These days I'm dialing down on it, back to around three times a week. Started doing Cuban Salsa a year ago because of my current girlfriend, who also goes to BJJ with me. Changed job from an e-commerce which I worked for the first four years to an IT-consultant firm where I'm currently at my third assignment, changing things up. Negotiated to have two months service leave during the summer the last two years where I try to travel.
So I guess what I'm trying to say is that you don't need to change occupation, you do hobbies and try to renegotiate your conditions.
It also contains reminiscence and opinions of Salaita on the controversy that cost him his promised job.
This second topic is a complicated one, I suggest before being quick to to decide that he was booted off wrongly for a "thought crime" or rightly because he's an ardent anti-semite one should get familiar with the controversy. At a high-level you can read:
* The Wikipedia article on the controversy: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steven_Salaita_controversy
* The NYT article from 2014: https://www.nytimes.com/2014/09/13/world/middleeast/professors-angry-tweets-on-gaza-cost-him-a-job.html
* Chicago Tribune article from 2017: https://www.chicagotribune.com/news/opinion/commentary/ct-steve-salaita-academia-exit-perspec-0728-jm-20170727-story.html
* Role of Hamas and other organizations in Middle East
* What is free speech - start with pg's essay : http://www.paulgraham.com/say.html
* Role of twitter (and other social media in polarization of contemporary societies): E.g. is this a new thing or does it have analogues in history, e.g. French revolutionary pamphlets (if you're in Chicago, you can see the collection in Newberry https://www.newberry.org/french-pamphlets)
* Jews and the Civil Right Movement in the US, how these two got disconnected, you can start with https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/African_American%E2%80%93Jewish_relations, then check out https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_York_City_teachers%27_strike_of_1968 and the book *Ungovernable City* which covers the strike in detail
* The relationship between the Left and Jewish Community: Whoa, this is a huge topic, New Yorker just recently covered it https://www.newyorker.com/news/the-new-yorker-interview/looking-at-anti-semitism-on-the-left-and-the-right-an-interview-with-deborah-e-lipstadt
* Is it all about the Benjamins? Just this month US Congresswoman Ilhan Omar had to publicly apologize for *her* tweets https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2019/feb/11/ilhan-omar-antisemitic-tweets-house-democrats-apology
"there’s something profoundly liberating about leaving academe, whereupon you are no longer obliged to give a shit about fashionable thinkers, network at the planet’s most boring parties, or quantify self-worth for scurrilous committees (and whereupon you are free to ignore the latest same-old controversy), for even when you know at the time that the place is toxic, only after you exit (spiritually, not physically) and write an essay or read a novel or complete some other task without considering its relevance to the fascist gods of assessment, or its irrelevance to a gang of cynical senior colleagues, do you realize exactly how insidious and pervasive is the industry’s culture of social control."
I already saw it from the outside. Being an independent researcher's main drawback is you might not make any money. We usually do it as a hobby on top of a full-time job. Having less attention, both for help and promotion, is next one. The wins are that you can do whatever you want, however you want, write it the way you like, and enjoy it as it was meant to be enjoyed. I'm probably about to transition into paid research and/or product development soon. I did thoroughly enjoy throwing my mind at hard problems for years without feeling the pressure to think and do things I didn't want to. And the parties I threw or attended weren't boring. :)
What's your field of research btw? And how do you manage to muster energy for it _on_top_ of a full time job?
The INFOSEC field was invented by people doing such things, they solved many root issues back in 1970's-1990's, were ignored, mainstream reinvents stuff at a trickle, and niche in CompSci and government doing high-assurance are gettimg more results than ever. I stay promoting it since our critical systems and infrastructure being bulletproof is unserved need. I also design ways to approximate it at lower cost and talent required.
And it's really draining. I just do it since it's both an interesting subject that's also a social need. Seemed like right thing to do.
Bitch about our own gilded cages for not giving us enough exercise, of course.
That's how we roll baby!
Ugh, I'm so sick of these flowery long form articles. I had to scan through ten long paragraphs just to find what the article is about.
Actually, maybe the guidelines do eschew this complaint:
Please don't post shallow dismissals, especially of other people's work. A good critical comment teaches us something.
That being said after explaining that he was groomed early for academia but then fired, he sort of wanders off again before really explaining how/why and that was where I gave up.
School buses are the black sheep of heavy duty trucks. they need a pretty good duty cycle on the engine, and cant cost much because cash strapped states rarely chip in for stuff like tinted windows or turbos. Durability takes precedence over performance, so you have a 26,000lb vehicle up to 45ft long built on a lowest-bidder chassis. Brakes are commonly "whatever" and its somewhat rare to see jake style engine braking provided. there are no luxuries like low air alarms, TPMS, or over-angle alarms for hills so you need to be a damn good driver considering youve got up to 90 screaming kids as your cargo.
they are miserable in corners, and because the rear axle is fixed the offset considerably affects your turning radius. Id rather park a 53' commercial diesel than try to back a schoolbus into a spot.
TL;DR: Steve picked easily the hardest truck to drive in my opinion, other than a tanker.
Blue collar work is brutal beyond belief and I don’t plan to go back if I can do anything to keep from doing so.
Its slightly demeaning for people with well respected jobs that are intellectually demanding to step down from their position and enjoy the simplicity and directness of a job like bus driver. They will not have the weight of inadequacy that most people in low skill occupations carry.
> Public discourse doesn’t exist in a free market.
I read the article as an indictment of capitalist forces, which pressure people into conformity as a path towards, ironically, (economic) freedom.
The author is fighting and is in conflict. I wonder, though, if there is another way, so that freedom doesn't have to come through either blind conformity or "me against the world" conflict. There are a lot of things in our world and our culture which I don't like, yet isn't recognizing my powerless to change the world to my liking an equally valid path to freedom?
Upfront investment and low starting pay are the main hurtles. The job itself is very rewarding in my opinion but you will need to spend 3-5 years at the bottom rungs before you start seeing financial upside. Having been in this career for some time now I know I would never even think to look back at life in a cubicle.
I have a CPMEL/IA and graduated Riddle (and even did a stint as ATC) but have switched to software engineering.
The grass is not always greener.
I would imagine trucking is similar in that regard. Don’t make the jump if you don’t truly want to live on the road.
The other 1% were truly unlucky from mergers, bankruptcies, or furloughs. I imagine that happens in nearly any industry given enough time.
The company I worked for previously hired a 64 year old. He had always dreamed of being an airline pilot and went ahead and made it happen for a year.
The subtitle mentions that he was a tenured professor, so he's not feigning simplicity either.
some administrators had hidden some emails about the case - so the university had to settle.
Isn't that exactly what 'superconformist said?
Shame that he continues to be anti-Semitic in his tweets.
I ask this because pretty much anyone who criticizes Israel is now labeled anti-Semitic
1) you can criticize Israel all day on campus, no one will stop you.
2) you shouldn’t promote mass murder on campus, which is what SS did. Saying the population deserves mass murder because they’re evil is what he did. Fortunately that was deemed beyond the pale.
Can't say I've looked into it extensively though.
"Zionists: transforming anti-semitism from something horrible into something honorable since 1948."