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To your comment about working at a big company not being a mistake (I agree), I think the art of learning through 'apprenticeship' is getting lost in the whole 'hacker' hullabaloo.

My first job out of college was at a large company and I worked with some old timers who had been in the industry for years and on code that, at least parts of it, had been written almost 20 years ago. Learning from my colleague's experiences and through the code was incredible and I am certainly better for it. These sort of experiences can rarely be had working at a startup.

Open source needs more of this. I've seen FreeBSD's model but I think there's room to maturely optimize.

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