The Yearning



  • So I'm sitting here, spending my off-hours teaching myself another flavor-of-the-week web app framework. It doesn't really matter which one; the point is that I am trapped in a Sisyphean hell where I push a (poorly-though-out, shit-covered) rock up a hill only to know that I will be doing this again in six months.

    And I'm thinking "How much longer do I have in this industry?"

    Don't get me wrong, I like technology; it's people I can't stand. But what I don't like is "technology". You know what I mean: a bunch of dimwits going to conferences where they can feel self-important; where every idea Deserves A Gold Star. Entire development ecosystems that consist only of a smart-ass, over-styled, thin-on-content website trotting out tired Internet memes and shit about "the cake" and beer* and a link to Github.

    An "industry" where the wheel is endlessly re-invented and everybody jerks everybody else off while Chinese slave labor does all the actual, tangible work necessary to keep such ludicrous decadence in Keurig machines and offices made from converted industrial buildings ("Yeah, this used to be a slaughterhouse.. pretty sweet, huh? Your desk is where the cows had their brains vaporized by the captive bolt pistol.. Hey, we're all going to a meetup on Coffeescript later, wanna come?") decorated like a classroom for profoundly autistic pre-schoolers.

    Dear God is this industry patronizing to developers. The developers, of course, lap it up and think they deserve every bit of it. And they get spoiled. Pay an engineer $50k and have him working on accounting software and he might give you a good day's work. Pay him $150k and set him free in Startup Land and he's going to condescendingly tell you he prefers to spend his office time "contributing" to awful, quarter-baked FOSS projects your company doesn't even use.

    But making a working wheel is hard, so as one is abandoned ten new ones are born. And each one is going to be "awesome" or "not suck" or some other bullshit dreamt up by people who are actually worse at marketing than me, a misanthrope who thinks the best thing for the world would be a plague that wipes nearly everyone else out.

    So we lurch from inanity to inanity, certainly none the wiser for our troubles, and yet it seems most are invigorated by this nonsense while I only wish I could do meaningful work instead of throwing my life away building something that, if I'm lucky, will end up in a Chinese history book as an example of an empire in its death throes.

    At this point, almost anything seems better. Maybe to be a rancher or a mechanic. To do something worthwhile, to be in-touch with your work, to have a real connection to the Earth and the soil and life and death instead of this dull, fleeting torpor.


    (*Why does every shitty framework have to talk about beer nowadays? You may use the tipple as a symbolic reward for learning your horrid API, but I drink to blot out this vile trade.)



  • Well then, what would you rather be doing?



  • @Ben L. said:

    Well then, what would you rather be doing?

    I thought I already mentioned that: meaningful work. Even within the software industry, I think working on drones would be more fulfilling than teaching myself yet another of the hundreds of incomplete, feature-light frameworks that seem to flake off Google like dandruff off of a sick dog. ("This one has a real debugging environment! First open up a terminal..") At least then I could go to sleep at night knowing there was some Arab kid out there missing a limb or two because of my skill and attention to detail.

    Being paid $100 /hr to jerk around with Github projects that nobody will remember in 5 years and chasing the dragon of bullshit StartupLand trends might seem pretty sweet, but it sucks if you have sense and ethics. I'm just profiting off of the easy venture money that, if capital weren't being so horrifically mis-allocated into another dot-com bubble, might go to create real jobs for the veritable army of unemployed in this country.

    When it blows up it's going to take so many people by surprise. I'll suffer financially but it will be worth it just to see the looks on people's faces when they realize the game is over. "You mean I have to get a real job now and produce real results and I won't get paid in truckloads of unicorn semen for fucking around on blogs and Github? What do you mean I have no useful, marketable skills and am not even qualified to make a McCafe coffee drink? Hey, get your hands off my locally-sourced, artisanal, titanium-framed bicycle! What you do mean by 'repoing'?"

    Also, I think you knew all of that because I believe I stated it succinctly in my original post. It's not wit to reject arguments you don't like by pretending not to hear them. I blame Jon Stewart*, he's convinced you kids that smugness is a direct substitute for critical thinking.


    (*I originally typed "John Stewart" and Chrome flagged it as an error. I'm glad Google is spending time making sure people spell his name right. Have we reached Peak Triviality yet?)



  • It sounds like much of your issue pertains specifically to the current culture of web development. Would you get more satisfaction working on Generic Accounting Software #3201? It would free you from the bizarre mentality where the newest tools and enivronments are obviously the best, in exchange for one where any change is regarded as a catalysmic event to be feared and actively avoided. You'd also trade much of the fixed-gear bicycling, ironic mustache crowd for drones whose souls were crushed years ago by having to append an extra character 0 to the end of string buffers to appease some godforsaken library which hasn't been updated since the Carter administration.

    Okay, that sounds like a terrible set of choices, but it is a false dilemma. There are many other fields available across the spectrum between Portland and whatever corporate hell snoofle is wading through now. A friend of mine works for Raytheon, a traditional worker- drone empire complete with RSA key fobs and draconian rules on fire doors, but he works on advanced GIS stuff for agencies like USGS. So he gets to work on something fairly rewarding and non-trivial.

    My point is, there are other avenues out there, but would any of them be sufficiently rewarding? Has the culture of your subfield jaded you toward the industry entirely? Are you venting, or do you actually want advice? Or are you just hammered and essentially drunk-dialing TDWTF?



  • @morbiuswilters said:

    I originally typed "John Stewart" and Chrome flagged it as an error. I'm glad Google is spending time making sure people spell his name right.

    It's not that. The developers of Chrome refuse to recognize any Green Lantern other than Hal Jordan. Is Google really so racist they cannot even acknowledge a black superhero? #CancelChrome



  • Prohaps at 30+ we have indeed become "old" compared to the web industry, and must vacate the premises for younger idiots to come and fuck up what we built, but such is the way of things!

    It is a strange world where  MVVM and MVVC are realities instead of an Onion article.



  • @morbiuswilters said:

    I thought I already mentioned that: meaningful work.
     

    Like complaining the the industry is filled with self-absorbed egotistical assholes by writing an 800-word "poor me" rant on a forum dedicated to nothing but wasting time?

    Okay, troll time over, let me start again...

     @morbiuswilters said:

    I thought I already mentioned that: meaningful work.

    Yes, you said that. But that line is, like you mentioned above, an "Entire development ecosystems that consist only of a smart-ass, over-styled, thin-on-content website"

    It's easy to say you want to do something different or meaningful.  But what the fuck is meaningful TO YOU?   What goal could you accomplish that would make you happy about the time you invested? What real, actual change can you do to the world that would have meaning to you?  Making a fuck-load of money so you can retire and read books all day?  Do you want to teach computer skills to gang youth to educate them and lift them out of poverty and an endless cycle of death and revenge? Do you want to just buy a farm in the middle of Fucktown Nowhere, never have to interact with another human again, and peacefully cultivate the food you'll eat?  I mean, forget about HOW you'll achieve it-- what do you want to do?   What has meaning? Isolation? Money? Making others happy? Hell, making others suffer?

    HOW meaningful does it have to be? A supplement to get you through your day? A side project you can bring to success then go back? A full time job? A life-long dedication?  Is this a hobby or a calling?   I write and do a whole bunch of other creative shit.  Heck, for all the (extremely undeserved) shit he gets for it, Ben L. works with an animal shelter.  (Seriously, good work, Ben).  Alex started a funny blog and then started his own company to make software that solves a real, tangible problem.

    Everything you raise as a concern is completely and 100% valid. There's a good chance not all the issues are universal across the industry and your profession, but this is what you are experiencing, and what most concerns you. So yeah, that makes it 100% valid. Do something about it. My best piece of advice is-- start looking for something to do (hobby, new job, anything), but when you do-- don't just look for shit you like. Start being hypercritical about shit you DON'T like, and eliminate things from there.  Don't say "I want a job where I get to work with medical systems".  Say "I fucking hate companies run by more than two levels of management-- and this hospital has seven. Fuck that shit, I'll keep looking."


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @morbiuswilters said:

    Being paid $100 /hr to jerk around with Github projects that nobody will remember in 5 years
    Would it be better if the projects were commercial? Or using Visual SourceSafe?



  • I think step one should be move to Seattle, the bullshit quotient here is a lot less than in Portland, Bay Area, or Austin. And we have Microsoft, one of the last pure-software companies* that actually has some small sense of practicality in development left-- not a lot, mind you, but it beats Google by a hundred miles.

    And if that doesn't meet your needs, you can get a nice cushy union job at Boeing where you can be paid $40/hour to take coffee breaks.

    *) Don't be a pedantic dickweed.




  • I've never been a part of the crazy startup culture. Really, becoming a professional software developer happened secondarily to other stuff (I've been a hobbyist since I was a little kid). My career is more like the Raytheon story above. I like solving difficult problems, which sometimes (unfortunately) means deciphering which bit of a magic xml file a new java framework requires. But I still get to solve lots of problems, which often involve untangling things like contradictory user requirements and coming up with solutions that get the job done.

    At the same time, I have interests outside of work that I enjoy. I think the people who talk about dream jobs and following your passion are over selling it. Though, frankly, I really do like my job, so maybe that's just my dream-job-privilege showing. I think it's important here that you're talking about learning in your off hours. That's of course not a bad thing in an industry where you really do need to keep learning and stay sharp. But it could mean that you're getting burnt out because you focus too much on your job and keeping up with it.

    I can't imagine a job ever being as fulfilling as raising a family. I think the best advice, given what we know, was Lorne's. Find something else to enjoy and make your life worth living.



  • @blakeyrat said:

    And we have Microsoft, one of the last pure-software companies

    What about Inedo? How about all the video game companies - Valve, Bethesda, ArenaNet...

    Sure, Valve sells hats from their online store, but the bulk of what they do is software, just like Microsoft.



  • @Ben L. said:

    @blakeyrat said:
    And we have Microsoft, one of the last pure-software companies

    What about Inedo? How about all the video game companies - Valve, Bethesda, ArenaNet...

    Sure, Valve sells hats from their online store, but the bulk of what they do is software, just like Microsoft.

    I'm not sure what he means by "pure software company," but it can't be the obvious. Can it? What are the important differences between a pure and a non-pure software company? Why should I care about that purity?



  • @boomzilla said:


    I can't imagine a job ever being as fulfilling as raising a family. I think the best advice, given what we know, was Lorne's. Find something else to enjoy and make your life worth living.

    I generally agree with this. I don't particularly like my current job, but even jobs I've enjoyed tremendously were still jobs. If you feel as if you're living for your job, it blows. There has to be something that makes your weeks more than work-eat-sleep-repeat, so you don't end up killing the hours until your next shift getting drunk in your tiny, barely furnished apartment in Boston, to pick an example at random. Live for something besides work, be it decoupage, or building that Arduino-powered fleshlight of your dreams.

    That being said, I don't think that directly address morb's point. His issue seems to be more frustration with the culture around him. This I can understand 100%. I am considering a move away from DC mainly because I'm sick of dealing with the sorts of assholes that flock to DC. It's a root cause in my dissatisfaction with my job. A lousy culture can kill even good jobs, and the feeling of futility is hard to escape, even with the Arduino-powered fleshlight to help. It's like Sheryl Crow sang: a change would do you good.

    Good God. Now I'm quoting Sheryl Crow lyrics. Look what this city has done to me! Let me try that again: it's like Le Tigre said: We like the cars / The cars that go boom / We're Tigre and bunny and we like the boom.

    Much better.



  • @boomzilla said:

    I'm not sure what he means by "pure software company," but it can't be the obvious. Can it? What are the important differences between a pure and a non-pure software company? Why should I care about that purity?
     

    I prefer holistic software companies, where the purity is measured in the comments:code ratio.  RAM has memory, y'know. A 1 kb program in a file padded to 10MB is far more effective than the 1kb program on its own.

    Hmm, not sure if that accurately reflects the idiocy I'm going for. Okay, how about this:

    Let's say you have a dataset of 10 rows, and you need that 1 row. A holisitic database instead selects all the rows you don't want, and does a cartesian join, re-inserts those rows, then selects all the rows and finds the one you need. That 1 row is now surrounded by (N-1)^2 rows of pure data, boosting its efficiency. For even more powerful datasets, redo the join a few times. Imagine the power of (N-1)^4 rows!

    hmmm-- goddamn it, holistic medicine is so stupid I can't even come up with an analogy of how stupid it is. It IS a stupid analogy you'd use to describe something else. Fuck.


  • Winner of the 2016 Presidential Election

    @Ben L. said:

    @blakeyrat said:
    And we have Microsoft, one of the last pure-software companies

    What about Inedo? How about all the video game companies - Valve, Bethesda, ArenaNet...

    Sure, Valve sells hats from their online store, but the bulk of what they do is software, just like Microsoft.

    Microsoft has Surface and Xbox (Zune RIP); but Valve has Steam machines in the works (not actually sure whether they have a first-party rig).


  • @boomzilla said:

    @Ben L. said:
    @blakeyrat said:
    And we have Microsoft, one of the last pure-software companies

    What about Inedo? How about all the video game companies - Valve, Bethesda, ArenaNet...

    Sure, Valve sells hats from their online store, but the bulk of what they do is software, just like Microsoft.

    I'm not sure what he means by "pure software company," but it can't be the obvious. Can it? What are the important differences between a pure and a non-pure software company? Why should I care about that purity?

    Pure software is saving itself for marriage. So many companies these days are churning out open source slutware that will run for anyone with an internet connection and the right revision number of glibc, pure software will only run on a computer to which it has been wedded, 'til end of support lifecycle do they part. This is the path of righteousness.Net, in the eyes of the Lord, whom I think runs on Silverlight.



  • @Lorne Kates said:

    I prefer holistic software companies

    Nah, put me down for homeopathic software. And if you disagree, you're a h8er who should be fired.



  • @bstorer said:

    so you don't end up killing the hours until your next shift getting drunk in your tiny, barely furnished apartment in Boston, to pick an example at random

    Stop spying on me.



  • I get it. This is reverse psychology. If I had said, "DO be a pedantic dickweed" nobody would have done it. I'm on to the game.



  • @boomzilla said:

    @Lorne Kates said:
    I prefer holistic software companies

    Nah, put me down for homeopathic software. And if you disagree, you're a h8er who should be fired.

    My favorite homeopathic software.



  • @blakeyrat said:

    I get it. This is reverse psychology. If I had said, "DO be a pedantic dickweed" nobody would have done it. I'm on to the game.
     

    No. A pedantic dickweed would make you adhere to the exact definition of the term to the exclusion of all logic or freedom of expression. You used a term that has no meaning or definition, and we're all trying to figure out what the fuck you were talking about. That isn't pedantic dickweedery. That's you being unclear with your words.

    Note, however, that THIS post is being pedantic dickweedy-- but it's justified.



  • @dhromed said:

    Prohaps at 30+

    I'm not even 30 yet..

    I'd say this is a young person's game, but this is precisely how I felt at 20, although less insistently.



  • @bstorer said:

    A friend of mine works for Raytheon, a traditional worker- drone empire complete with RSA key fobs and draconian rules on fire doors, but he works on advanced GIS stuff for agencies like USGS. So he gets to work on something fairly rewarding and non-trivial.

    That would be nice, but I've never found anything like that. And I should say I've worked on lots of non-trivial stuff, but unfortunately StartupLand still dictates a lot of the trends people follow. I'm less angry about the specific work I've done and more about the culture at-large.

    @bstorer said:

    Has the culture of your subfield jaded you toward the industry entirely?

    Pretty much. I should point out that I've done lots of Enterprise stuff, too, so I'm familiar with the other big section of the industry. Yes, I know there are jobs out there that are interesting, rewarding and non-bullshit, but finding one is about as rare as finding a unicorn who will have sex with you and who you haven't previously given chlamydia to.

    @bstorer said:

    Are you venting, or do you actually want advice? Or are you just hammered and essentially drunk-dialing TDWTF?

    Unfortunately I was stone-cold sober when I wrote that. I think I was primarily venting, for humorous effect. Practical advice can be nice, but I have a feeling that anything less than "Drive Paul Graham and DHH into the wilderness, naked and terrified, using torches and pitchforks" isn't gonna do it.



  • @blakeyrat said:

    I get it. This is reverse psychology

    And it's working. No one here believes that you get it.



  • @Lorne Kates said:

    Like complaining the the industry is filled with self-absorbed egotistical assholes by writing an 800-word "poor me" rant on a forum dedicated to nothing but wasting time?

    You have become so cynical. My self-indulgent whining is very different from other's self-indulgent whining.

    @Lorne Kates said:

    But what the fuck is meaningful TO YOU?

    I gave three examples: rancher, mechanic and guy who programs drones to recognize children.

    @Lorne Kates said:

    Making a fuck-load of money so you can retire and read books all day?  Do you want to teach computer skills to gang youth to educate them and lift them out of poverty and an endless cycle of death and revenge? Do you want to just buy a farm in the middle of Fucktown Nowhere, never have to interact with another human again, and peacefully cultivate the food you'll eat?

    That would be nice. No. Yes, which is something I'm doing but I need money to do it, hence the servitude to a soul-destroying industry.

    @Lorne Kates said:

    My best piece of advice is-- start looking for something to do (hobby, new job, anything), but when you do-- don't just look for shit you like.

    I have hobbies. I'm not dissatisfied with my non-job life, I just hate working. I am looking for a new job, though. I do work to weed out the awful jobs, but sometimes a job will look good and turn out bad. Or will start good and turn bad. And at some point I have to take the plunge.



  • @dkf said:

    Would it be better if the projects were commercial?

    Maybe. There's probably less chance they'd be shit.

    @dkf said:

    Or using Visual SourceSafe?

    You're comparing the median case to the worst case.



  • @bstorer said:

    If you feel as if you're living for your job, it blows.

    I have plenty besides work, that's not really my problem. But when you spend 9-10 hours a day, 5 days a week at a task, it kind of matters if you hate it.

    @bstorer said:

    Live for something besides work, be it decoupage, or building that Arduino-powered fleshlight of your dreams.

    Or walking away from it all, becoming a tramp and hitching rides on the Acela all across the land.

    Also, I should point out I telecommute which sort of limits my options, due to telephobic bigotry. I don't think I could work in an office again. Anyway, the point is the jobs are just jobs to me; a way to exchange the best years of my life for money. But even that's become a drag. I think I just need to quit and become a crazy Hill Person in Appalachia.



  • @morbiuswilters said:

    My self-indulgent whining is very different from other's self-indulgent whining.
     

    That it is.

    @morbiuswilters said:

    @Lorne Kates said:
    But what the fuck is meaningful TO YOU?

    I gave three examples: rancher, mechanic and guy who programs drones to recognize children.

     Okay... real actual advice then.  Assuming one of the above (or, perhaps, a different one) is what you think you want to do that will make your work life happier...

    1) Do you know any ranchers, mechanics or drone-murderers? If so, try to spend some time with them, especially in a professional setting. Doesn't matter how-- work shadow, farm tour, whatever. Get a sense of what they're like to work with. Now, you think you'll be any happier hanging out with these assholes for the rest of your professional life?  (Not making a value call-- they may be nicer or funnier assholes, but everyone's an asshole)

    2) Do you have the skills needed to ranch, fix cars, or murder children with UAVs? If not, are you willing to obtain them? Read a book about farming, or go back to college for 3 years to get your baby-bombing diploma?  Can you afford to go full time? Can your sanity afford to go part time?

    3) If you do have the skills, then how will you find the job you want? Can you relocate?  Out of town, out of state, out of country?  You're smart and know how to use a computer. Look on Monster and Workopolis, except change the little "Find jobs near" drop down thing from it's default to a different location. Repeat dozens of times until you find what you want where you want. Apply for it. If you get any sense during reading the job description, or the phone, or the interview, that you're going to run into the assholes you hate, tell them to fuck off and apply for something else.

    4) How much monies do you have, relative to how much you need to not die for a month.  Do you have enough monies to not die for a month at least three times? Good, you have enough monies to afford to tell your job to fuck off and focus full time on switching. If you don't have that many monies, STOP! Save your monies until you do, then unleash the "fuck off" krakken.

    @morbiuswilters said:

    I'm not dissatisfied with my non-job life, I just hate working. I am looking for a new job, though. I do work to weed out the awful jobs, but sometimes a job will look good and turn out bad. Or will start good and turn bad. And at some point I have to take the plunge.

    Good start, then. At the very least, since you are working for a soul-destroying industry, you are making good money. Which means you can afford to jump the boat off the shark with enough of a parachute to sail smoothly into a new omelet basket.  You've got about a month or two before you have to compete with a ton of new graduates. 



  • @Lorne Kates said:

    Do you have the skills needed to ranch, fix cars, or murder children with UAVs?

    I've murdered children in countless other ways--how hard can drones be? I work on cars in my spare time. I grew up on a farm and know how to raise animals, but a small farm isn't exactly a thriving industry in America.

    @Lorne Kates said:

    Can you relocate?

    Yes, I'm planning on leaving my current "paradise" for something rural, peaceful and cheap. I have about 10 months to run down on my lease before then, though.

    @Lorne Kates said:

    How much monies do you have, relative to how much you need to not die for a month.  Do you have enough monies to not die for a month at least three times? Good, you have enough monies to afford to tell your job to fuck off and focus full time on switching. If you don't have that many monies, STOP! Save your monies until you do, then unleash the "fuck off" krakken.

    I have enough for that, but I'm conservative by nature and wouldn't quit unless I had another job. Still, I'm looking and I have a plan: move back to the region I grew up in. Of course, that region is economically devastated so I really need to keep doing the computer thing for awhile, at least until I get enough to pay off a couple hundred acres of land and building materials for a house (I can do most of the work myself.)

    @Lorne Kates said:

    You've got about a month or two before you have to compete with a ton of new graduates.

    I'm not really in competition with those brats, thank God. All of the jobs I'm applying for are senior-level architect or engineer type things which require around a decade of professional experience, so I gots that going for me. But most of those positions are telephobic. If I was willing to move to any one of America's degenerate cities I could have a job tomorrow that pays more than I'm making now, but I'm not dumb enough for that.



  • @morbiuswilters said:

    @Lorne Kates said:
    Can you relocate?

    Yes, I'm planning on leaving my current "paradise" for something rural, peaceful and cheap. I have about 10 months to run down on my lease before then, though.

    I've heard good things about Connecticut. The parking is free and you can steal water.



  • @bstorer said:

    @morbiuswilters said:
    @Lorne Kates said:
    Can you relocate?

    Yes, I'm planning on leaving my current "paradise" for something rural, peaceful and cheap. I have about 10 months to run down on my lease before then, though.

    I've heard good things about Connecticut. The parking is free and you can steal water.

    Maybe I'll move to Canada so I can get adequate health care. (Holy shit that's the first time that phrase has ever been uttered.)

    I dunno, probably western KY or TN. I'm also kind of tempted by Texas, but every part I've seen is a shithole, so I dunno. At least TN has the entire base of Morbs' Hierarchy of Needs: cheap liquor, lots of guns and illiterate women with poor impulse control.



  • @morbiuswilters said:

    @bstorer said:
    @morbiuswilters said:
    @Lorne Kates said:
    Can you relocate?

    Yes, I'm planning on leaving my current "paradise" for something rural, peaceful and cheap. I have about 10 months to run down on my lease before then, though.

    I've heard good things about Connecticut. The parking is free and you can steal water.

    Maybe I'll move to Canada so I can get adequate health care. (Holy shit that's the first time that phrase has ever been uttered.)

    I dunno, probably western KY or TN. I'm also kind of tempted by Texas, but every part I've seen is a shithole, so I dunno. At least TN has the entire base of Morbs' Hierarchy of Needs: cheap liquor, lots of guns and illiterate women with poor impulse control.

    It's not rape if it's consentual


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @morbiuswilters said:


    Dear God is this industry patronizing to developers. The developers, of course, lap it up and think they deserve every bit of it. And they get spoiled. Pay an engineer $50k and have him working on accounting software and he might give you a good day's work. Pay him $150k and set him free in Startup Land and he's going to condescendingly tell you he prefers to spend his office time "contributing" to awful, quarter-baked FOSS projects your company doesn't even use.

    If you'd like to slide down to $80k salary cap land (as in 'you literally can not make more than $80k as a developer anywhere in this whole Fortune 500, no matter what. If you want more, you have to manage. If you want sillycon valley money, you need to carve out a directorship') and get away from the Fruity Web Bullshit and do real work with code, I'm hiring.

    Buzzword bingo list: SOA, C#, Winforms, WCF (over TCP), MVC, MSSQL, loads of shitty third party COM and SOAP API's.

    PrintCommunications industry. We have developer sites in Chicago, Central PA (amish country), Minneapolis, and the company wants us to open one in rural bumfuck nowhere Indiana.


  • Winner of the 2016 Presidential Election

    @Ben L. said:

    @morbiuswilters said:
    @bstorer said:
    @morbiuswilters said:
    @Lorne Kates said:
    Can you relocate?

    Yes, I'm planning on leaving my current "paradise" for something rural, peaceful and cheap. I have about 10 months to run down on my lease before then, though.

    I've heard good things about Connecticut. The parking is free and you can steal water.

    Maybe I'll move to Canada so I can get adequate health care. (Holy shit that's the first time that phrase has ever been uttered.)

    I dunno, probably western KY or TN. I'm also kind of tempted by Texas, but every part I've seen is a shithole, so I dunno. At least TN has the entire base of Morbs' Hierarchy of Needs: cheap liquor, lots of guns and illiterate women with poor impulse control.

    It's not rape if it's consentual

    But minors aren't capable of consent.



  • @joe.edwards said:

    @Ben L. said:
    @morbiuswilters said:
    @bstorer said:
    @morbiuswilters said:
    @Lorne Kates said:
    Can you relocate?

    Yes, I'm planning on leaving my current "paradise" for something rural, peaceful and cheap. I have about 10 months to run down on my lease before then, though.

    I've heard good things about Connecticut. The parking is free and you can steal water.

    Maybe I'll move to Canada so I can get adequate health care. (Holy shit that's the first time that phrase has ever been uttered.)

    I dunno, probably western KY or TN. I'm also kind of tempted by Texas, but every part I've seen is a shithole, so I dunno. At least TN has the entire base of Morbs' Hierarchy of Needs: cheap liquor, lots of guns and illiterate women with poor impulse control.

    It's not rape if it's consentual

    But minors aren't capable of consent.

    But miners are, so maybe I'll move to WV.



  • @morbiuswilters said:

    @joe.edwards said:
    @Ben L. said:
    @morbiuswilters said:
    @bstorer said:
    @morbiuswilters said:
    @Lorne Kates said:
    Can you relocate?

    Yes, I'm planning on leaving my current "paradise" for something rural, peaceful and cheap. I have about 10 months to run down on my lease before then, though.

    I've heard good things about Connecticut. The parking is free and you can steal water.

    Maybe I'll move to Canada so I can get adequate health care. (Holy shit that's the first time that phrase has ever been uttered.)

    I dunno, probably western KY or TN. I'm also kind of tempted by Texas, but every part I've seen is a shithole, so I dunno. At least TN has the entire base of Morbs' Hierarchy of Needs: cheap liquor, lots of guns and illiterate women with poor impulse control.

    It's not rape if it's consentual

    But minors aren't capable of consent.

    But miners are, so maybe I'll move to WV.



  •  What a fucking horrible, awful, unforgivable joke.

    It should have been "You will receive this package whether you want to or not."



  • @Lorne Kates said:

     What a fucking horrible, awful, unforgivable joke.

    It should have been "You will receive this package whether you want to or not."

    "It was wrapped provocatively.."

    "The Post Office charged me 80 bucks and it still took four-to-six weeks to get here!"

    "Meanwhile, at the Clinton Presidential Library.."



  • @morbiuswilters said:

    @joe.edwards said:
    @Ben L. said:
    @morbiuswilters said:
    @bstorer said:
    @morbiuswilters said:
    @Lorne Kates said:
    Can you relocate?

    Yes, I'm planning on leaving my current "paradise" for something rural, peaceful and cheap. I have about 10 months to run down on my lease before then, though.

    I've heard good things about Connecticut. The parking is free and you can steal water.

    Maybe I'll move to Canada so I can get adequate health care. (Holy shit that's the first time that phrase has ever been uttered.)

    I dunno, probably western KY or TN. I'm also kind of tempted by Texas, but every part I've seen is a shithole, so I dunno. At least TN has the entire base of Morbs' Hierarchy of Needs: cheap liquor, lots of guns and illiterate women with poor impulse control.

    It's not rape if it's consentual

    But minors aren't capable of consent.

    But miners are, so maybe I'll move to WV.




  • Update: In my searching, I found a Go job. I almost applied. In a lot of ways, working with Go would be less WTFy than my current situation.

    Back to reading Food In Real Life.



  •  Working as go-fer is not going to be paying as much as programming job. I am trying to think is this some new thingie of meditation and hyponsis that will lead to inner calm and peace?

    @morbiuswilters said:

    Update: In my searching, I found a Go job. I almost applied. In a lot of ways, working with Go would be less WTFy than my current situation.

    Back to reading Food In Real Life.

     



  • @morbiuswilters said:

    Update: In my searching, I found a Go job. I almost applied. In a lot of ways, working with Go would be less WTFy than my current situation.

    Back to readingeating Food In Real Life.

    Time for breakfast!



  • @morbiuswilters said:

    Even within the software industry, I think working on drones would be more fulfilling than teaching myself yet another of the hundreds of incomplete, feature-light frameworks that seem to flake off Google like dandruff off of a sick dog.
     

    It really isn't. Dealing with classified info grates on you over time; imagine if the only place where you could really rant in detail about your work was within the secured area (where, by the way, you can't bring your phone) with your coworkers. You're encouraged to tell others that you "don't like talking about work", and are given a detailed slate of lies to use called an "OPSEC legend" when that excuse doesn't fly. Oh, and forget about telecommuting; networks with classified information (like your source code) aren't connected to the Internet. At all.

    Further, the industry is a crooked card game where none of the major players are allowed to really lose. Ever since the big round of consolidation that followed the cold war ending, contracts are doled out and workshares are split up such that everybody gets a taste and nobody really ends up hurting compared to the others; there's frequently only two companies that can produce a given kind of system, and The Customer knows that if one of them is gone there won't even be the semblance of competition anymore.

    The management hierarchy is exactly what you expect from gigantic megacorporations and the waterfall development model and useless "defects per KSLOC per month"-style metrics are demanded from on high.

    (Oh, and I hope you like C and C++.)

    And even though you try really hard not to give a shit and put on a cynical misantrhopic face on Internet forums and then furthermore hide everything behind a ridiculous array of acronyms and euphamisms, the fact that you're working on Dismount Moving Target Tracking (or whatever) ends up bothering you, late at night in the parts of your brain that you tried to tell yourself that you don't have.

    I want to leave but I took their "free" graduate school tuition money so I'm stuck until X years after I've finished my masters degree. But I'm worried, because I keep hearing that the industry is essentially a roach motel -- the only people that will hire you are other defense contractors. It makes sense; if I'm in an interview and they ask me to describe what I've been working on for the past three years and I tell them, "well, I really can't say"; what company outside of the defense industry will understand?

    You do usually get paid for the overtime that you put in, so that's a perk, at least. 



  • @aristurtle said:

    Oh, and forget about telecommuting; networks with classified information (like your source code) aren't connected to the Internet. At all.

    But I can still sit around in the secure area in my underwear watching MLP:FiM (I guess on a portable DVD player..) right?

    @aristurtle said:

    Further, the industry is a crooked card game where none of the major players are allowed to really lose. Ever since the big round of consolidation that followed the cold war ending, contracts are doled out and workshares are split up such that everybody gets a taste and nobody really ends up hurting compared to the others; there's frequently only two companies that can produce a given kind of system, and The Customer knows that if one of them is gone there won't even be the semblance of competition anymore.

    That's okay, there's never any semblance of competition in any jobs I've worked at. They just burn a set amount of venture capital for a few years, then get sold to Verizon.

    @aristurtle said:

    (Oh, and I hope you like C and C++.)

    Well, no.. I am amused though that with the stringent defect metrics they still use C++. That's like saying "We need an actress who's only going to let one, maybe two black guys pee on her per-month" and then hiring Kim Kardashian.

    @aristurtle said:

    ...Dismount Moving Target Tracking (or whatever) ends up bothering you, late at night in the parts of your brain that you tried to tell yourself that you don't have.

    Think of it this way: if the money wasn't going to defense it would just be pissed away on government-sponsored lesbian drum circles and expensive medical treatment to gun-shot drug dealers so they can go out and shoot each other again. You're a hero, when you think about it.

    @aristurtle said:

    But I'm worried, because I keep hearing that the industry is essentially a roach motel -- the only people that will hire you are other defense contractors. It makes sense; if I'm in an interview and they ask me to describe what I've been working on for the past three years and I tell them, "well, I really can't say"; what company outside of the defense industry will understand?

    You just don't know how to sell yourself. Interviewers understand "classified" and it can be a big selling point. Don't give specifics, just talk broadly about "large, highly-secure projects I'm not allowed to divulge for national security reasons". Tell them that, even if you only worked on accounting software to try to track all the magnificent ways the Pentagon is pissing away my fucking money. Your former manager isn't going to be like "Drones? No, he didn't work on drones. He developed an untraceable nanothermite that we used to bring down the World Trade Cen---oooh, I've said too much."

    Also, brush up on some non-classified military trivia and work that into the conversation. "You know, back in the 80s Raytheon developed a way to extract all of the valuable precious metals from a human body?" It doesn't matter that you had nothing to do with Raytheon or anything related to killing people for their bodily precious metals, follow this formula: stupid interviewer + vague background of interviewee + neat-o war stories = interviewer eating out of your hand. Believe me, most interviewers aren't going to know the difference between real life and a Jack Ryan novel, so exploit this.

    Oh, and if you have a security clearance, mention it constantly. Seriously, people are really impressed with it, despite the fact there are over a million people with clearances out there and, like, half of them are janitors.



  • @aristurtle said:

    But I'm worried, because I keep hearing that the industry is essentially a roach motel -- the only people that will hire you are other defense contractors. It makes sense; if I'm in an interview and they ask me to describe what I've been working on for the past three years and I tell them, "well, I really can't say"; what company outside of the defense industry will understand?

    Even by IBM standards, you're talking about development practices that are at least a decade out-of-date.

    Oh and your pussy-ass not wanting to leave because of some free money to get a degree that won't help you at all because you'll be stuck working shitty C++ government jobs for the rest of time isn't gonna impress anybody either. (Neither is your Masters. Well maybe IBM cares about that-- nobody in Seattle does. And for God's sake, do not get a PhD, that actively counts against you.)

    Let's say you're Google for example. Would you hire someone like aristurtle?



  • @blakeyrat said:

    Let's say you're Google for example.

    Okay: we deducted Marissa Mayer's boob job from our corporate taxes using the normal 5-year depreciation. However, now she works at Yahoo!. So do we lose the deduction or..?

    @blakeyrat said:

    Would you hire someone like aristurtle?

    If I'm Google? Sure, especially if he has a PhD. Yes, he'll probably get paid to waste time on some dead-end project like Go, but at least he won't be at our competitors, being paid to waste time on one of their dead-end projects!



  • Why do you think Phd is not good?



    @morbiuswilters said:

    @blakeyrat said:
    Let's say you're Google for example.

    Okay: we deducted Marissa Mayer's boob job from our corporate taxes using the normal 5-year depreciation. However, now she works at Yahoo!. So do we lose the deduction or..?

    @blakeyrat said:

    Would you hire someone like aristurtle?

    If I'm Google? Sure, especially if he has a PhD. Yes, he'll probably get paid to waste time on some dead-end project like Go, but at least he won't be at our competitors, being paid to waste time on one of their dead-end projects!



  • @Nagesh said:

    Why do you think Phd is not good?

    Experience. PhDs are almost always hired to give an air of "intelligence" to the company. Invariably, they have the practical knowledge of a wet paper bag.

    When pitching a product for JavaScript A/B testing to a group of PhDs once, one of them asked me: "what RNG do you use? The one built-in to JavaScript?" Weird question. I answered yes, and he replied, "oh well it's not very good at random selection, you should include a different RNG." Whaaa...? Include a gigantic chunk of RNG code in a JavaScript so we could run slightly more balanced A/B tests? With sample sizes in the hundreds of thousands? I couldn't think of a dumb suggestion if I tried.

    Another PhD once pitched passing data in a URL by taking a XML object, running EncodeURLComponent() on it, then putting it in a param. Whaaa...? I can't think of a dumber way of doing that.

    Anyway, I admit maybe it's more my own personal dislike, but.



  • @blakeyrat said:

    @Nagesh said:
    Why do you think Phd is not good?

    Experience. PhDs are almost always hired to give an air of "intelligence" to the company. Invariably, they have the practical knowledge of a wet paper bag.


    Difference in context is the big thing. I've known PhDs that didn't make silly suggestions or lack an idea about what was practical, but they worked in academic environments rather than corporate ones (my guess for this being that the better ones can actually get the academic positions so the only ones you see in companies are there cause they couldn't cut it).



  • @blakeyrat said:

    @Nagesh said:
    Why do you think Phd is not good?

    Experience. PhDs are almost always hired to give an air of "intelligence" to the company. Invariably, they have the practical knowledge of a wet paper bag.

    When pitching a product for JavaScript A/B testing to a group of PhDs once, one of them asked me: "what RNG do you use? The one built-in to JavaScript?" Weird question. I answered yes, and he replied, "oh well it's not very good at random selection, you should include a different RNG." Whaaa...? Include a gigantic chunk of RNG code in a JavaScript so we could run slightly more balanced A/B tests? With sample sizes in the hundreds of thousands? I couldn't think of a dumb suggestion if I tried.

    Another PhD once pitched passing data in a URL by taking a XML object, running EncodeURLComponent() on it, then putting it in a param. Whaaa...? I can't think of a dumber way of doing that.

    Anyway, I admit maybe it's more my own personal dislike, but.

    Oddly, this only seems to apply to people with PhDs in the field (CompSci, EE, etc.) I've known some physics and chemistry PhDs who were great at software development, probably because they learned absolutely nothing about it in school.


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