I have worked with a handful of very green devs in the last 10 years. A common theme has emerged.

They don't heed any of my advice.

An exercise to the reader:

If you have a Windows machine, but need to work in a Linux environment, what would be your first instinct how to proceed?

In this exercise, you are as green as it gets. You have very little professional development experience, let alone server admin experience. And your lead dev has suggested setting up a VM.

1. Set up a Linux VM
2. Use a live CD or set up a dual boot system
3. Pay for a cloud server and set it up from scratch

I have no idea how this person intends to get any work done on a remote, terminal only, Linux server. That is if I can even get their environment into a sane configuration.

  • 3
    They went with 3?
  • 14
    @Demolishun bingo!

    When confronted with why he spent two weeks not getting anything done, he blamed me.

    Thankfully, during the call, he quit. So on one hand I am free of that nonsense. But on the other, I now have his workload back on my plate.

  • 4
    at worst, i would have directly asked for the next step if confused with a set of options
  • 3
    I could use 3. But that's because I have spent 80% of my career in a terminal and have my ways of moving data.

    I have told green devs before, "use whatever you want that works. You have one week to deliver. If you can't deliver there's no reason for you to stay."

    Rarely do they try after that, and they just deliver with whatever has been given to them. Sometimes though, they get the message and build their tooling after work.

    I look at us as craftsmen. You need tools to be competent and competitive. Many of our tools are ones we built ourselves. You can't expect a company to pay you to improve yourself with zero ROI.

    IMO, if you want to use Linux as your dev tool, become proficient in it and know how to apply it to achieve your goals.
  • 6
    @sariel I never thought of it as a craftsmen kind of thing, but you are dead on.

    If I hired a guy to build a shed, am I expected to purchase a hammer for him and give him a "How to Build a Shed" book?

    No, I wouldn't.

    [Squidward] We build things here, sir.

    If you don't know how to do the job, then please find some other place to spend your time.
  • 1
    Is it possible they’re expecting a cloud hosted PC with GUI, running Ubuntu or something similar?
  • 7
    Just slapping some Mainstream Distribution (Like Ubuntu) into a VM is fine for temporary use. But long-term, the hardware has to be cleansed from Windows entirely.
  • 5
    4. Quit the job, no way am I going to work on a windows system.

    Not even out of principle, I just can't after having fled to Linux and being happier than ever before ..
  • 2
    @ElectroArchiver I'm genuinely curious how you are able to function in an office environment when everything to do with productivity must be blessed in some way by MS.

    Even if you don't use Active Directory or Office, your coworkers and users almost certainly will and it is absolutely critical you be able communicate effectively with them and test against a Windows environment.
  • 1
    @fckIE No. It was some relatively straightforward frontend work for a Rails 7 application. Install RVM, rvm install 7, bundle install, rails s, and get to work.

    The flaw in our process, that will never be repeated, is not demanding they know how to do all this before we hire them.

    It's just been so hard to find help that we've been relegated to teaching people how to get started with the most basic things. We've been relying on their motivation and problem solving skills and desire for income to bridge the gaps in our "curriculum", which are really just notes I've scribbled down over the years.

    But it boils down to I'm not a teacher and I don't have the time to teach people how to do their job. Especially considering I could complete everything they would be tasked with doing in the time it takes to get them up and running.

    I am only getting older. I can still get the work done, but it takes more of a toll on me as time goes on.
  • 1
    @cuddlyogre We build Linux systems for our customers. We also have a separate program to configure those systems. That program is in Windows. So even though our target system is Linux, that ability to configure parts of our system in a separate program has to be Windows. Yes, you can configure the system entirely from Linux, but people wanted an offline option.
  • 0
    Meanwhile I'd love to work somewhere where they use Linux and don't kiss Microsoft's ass
  • 1

    - remote work

    - web dev

    - I use VSCode and GitHub which MS owns but work fine with Linux

    - If I ever need 'office' tools, libreoffice/calc/.. & google docs/..
  • 0
    I am a green dev and would gladly take your advice to save me time and just get to work. I’ve set up a VM before, so using past experience I would have done number 1, would that be the correct way?
  • 1
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