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Search - "career advice"
I'm drunk and I'll probably regret this, but here's a drunken rank of things I've learned as an engineer for the past 10 years.
The best way I've advanced my career is by changing companies.
Technology stacks don't really matter because there are like 15 basic patterns of software engineering in my field that apply. I work in data so it's not going to be the same as webdev or embedded. But all fields have about 10-20 core principles and the tech stack is just trying to make those things easier, so don't fret overit.
There's a reason why people recommend job hunting. If I'm unsatisfied at a job, it's probably time to move on.
I've made some good, lifelong friends at companies I've worked with. I don't need to make that a requirement of every place I work. I've been perfectly happy working at places where I didn't form friendships with my coworkers and I've been unhappy at places where I made some great friends.
I've learned to be honest with my manager. Not too honest, but honest enough where I can be authentic at work. What's the worse that can happen? He fire me? I'll just pick up a new job in 2 weeks.
If I'm awaken at 2am from being on-call for more than once per quarter, then something is seriously wrong and I will either fix it or quit.
pour another glass
Qualities of a good manager share a lot of qualities of a good engineer.
When I first started, I was enamored with technology and programming and computer science. I'm over it.
Good code is code that can be understood by a junior engineer. Great code can be understood by a first year CS freshman. The best code is no code at all.
The most underrated skill to learn as an engineer is how to document. Fuck, someone please teach me how to write good documentation. Seriously, if there's any recommendations, I'd seriously pay for a course (like probably a lot of money, maybe 1k for a course if it guaranteed that I could write good docs.)
Related to above, writing good proposals for changes is a great skill.
Almost every holy war out there (vim vs emacs, mac vs linux, whatever) doesn't matter... except one. See below.
The older I get, the more I appreciate dynamic languages. Fuck, I said it. Fight me.
If I ever find myself thinking I'm the smartest person in the room, it's time to leave.
I don't know why full stack webdevs are paid so poorly. No really, they should be paid like half a mil a year just base salary. Fuck they have to understand both front end AND back end AND how different browsers work AND networking AND databases AND caching AND differences between web and mobile AND omg what the fuck there's another framework out there that companies want to use? Seriously, why are webdevs paid so little.
We should hire more interns, they're awesome. Those energetic little fucks with their ideas. Even better when they can question or criticize something. I love interns.
Don't meet your heroes. I paid 5k to take a course by one of my heroes. He's a brilliant man, but at the end of it I realized that he's making it up as he goes along like the rest of us.
Tech stack matters. OK I just said tech stack doesn't matter, but hear me out. If you hear Python dev vs C++ dev, you think very different things, right? That's because certain tools are really good at certain jobs. If you're not sure what you want to do, just do Java. It's a shitty programming language that's good at almost everything.
The greatest programming language ever is lisp. I should learn lisp.
For beginners, the most lucrative programming language to learn is SQL. Fuck all other languages. If you know SQL and nothing else, you can make bank. Payroll specialtist? Maybe 50k. Payroll specialist who knows SQL? 90k. Average joe with organizational skills at big corp? $40k. Average joe with organization skills AND sql? Call yourself a PM and earn $150k.
Tests are important but TDD is a damn cult.
Cushy government jobs are not what they are cracked up to be, at least for early to mid-career engineers. Sure, $120k + bennies + pension sound great, but you'll be selling your soul to work on esoteric proprietary technology. Much respect to government workers but seriously there's a reason why the median age for engineers at those places is 50+. Advice does not apply to government contractors.
Third party recruiters are leeches. However, if you find a good one, seriously develop a good relationship with them. They can help bootstrap your career. How do you know if you have a good one? If they've been a third party recruiter for more than 3 years, they're probably bad. The good ones typically become recruiters are large companies.
Options are worthless or can make you a millionaire. They're probably worthless unless the headcount of engineering is more than 100. Then maybe they are worth something within this decade.
Work from home is the tits. But lack of whiteboarding sucks.39
One thing I've learned repeatedly over the last 20 years is that companies are generally not deserving of your loyalty.
By all means, show up, apply yourself, and do your best work, that's just being a professional. But never get emotionally invested in a company you don't own.
There are really only two reasons for staying: earning or learning, ideally both. Once you have exhausted your current employer's limits in this regard, move on, you don't owe them anything.3
Just wanted to leave a little encouragement that can be hard to find on a 'rant' board: As a 40 year old dev doing this for 16 or more years... I'm not jaded, I still have a burning enthusiasm for software dev, I'm lucky to be able to pursue this career. Have I been in some shitty situations and health damaging levels of stress? Yes at times, and I've ranted about them here. This career isn't an easy ride, ultimately there's a reason it's well paid - for all of its physical ease it's mentally and often emotionally hard. But, I still find the highs match the lows, there's still thrill in the chase to make the project and product work right. Only advice I would give is be prepared to shift down a career gear for a while when you have kids. That shit is hard. Keep having fun people, we work with machines that extend and force-multiply our minds, what a time to be alive!9
i know we're all sick and tired of the covid talk, but...
I'm so, so sedentary right now, more so than two years ago, and that's a feat.
this past week i had to walk a little and do some stuff, and today i woke up a little earlier and spent my afternoon in the sun. and it feels so good, to just... do nothing, sunbathe, pet my cat, kiss my boyfriend.
i never realize how much this shit wears me down until i catch a break. it's not just the pandemic though, it's this career, this lifestyle. sitting in front of a computer for 8 hours straight, no window in sight... that's death, no matter how much of an introverted nerd i may be.
if someone wants advice, I'll tell you to go out, get some fresh air, do nothing at all. we don't need to do something at every minute of the day, that's not resting. find a park, a beach, some piece of nature and just breathe it in, it's worth it.5
One thing that @scout taught me is to wear the oxygen mask myself before helping others. Oh she is a sweetheart.
This advice has stuck with me since and slowly & steadily, I am regaining my lost confidence and self love.
Remember, how I was struggling for clarity a couple of months ago? But now, I feel more clear in head.
During the start of the pandemic, I joined a community of corporate normies. I used to live happier until that decision.
That place made me ultra competitive and I subconsciously became a rat trying to win the race. I damaged myself more than I benefited.
I joined at the time of inception. Every core member is a good friend.
Now the fun thing is, they moved to Slack. Many of the core members run the community as admins.
While I don't engage much, but talk to some of them occasionally.
One key area is, running a job board to help people get jobs. And another is mentorship to help the members overcome challenges and grow in their career.
In DMs, literally every core member who is doing this for others is struggling themselves for the same. How fucking ironic!
They seek help and advice from me and vent out their failure frustrations.
Imagine, someone who isn't able to solve their problem, let alone solving it first before helping others, is guiding the community of few thousands to excel in their careers.
One of the biggest life lessons @scout taught me, wear your oxygen mask first before helping others.48
Recently I've been considering switching to another job. I've been at my current employer my entire working carreer, and a switch might be a healthy choice soon. My current working environment is changing (and not for the best in my opnion), and I have never really looked over the fence. I've also felt that my current job lacks some real meaning.
I currently work on software for logistical purposes, but I don’t feel that my work aligns with my values, or that it tries to solve issues that are important to me.
I have received many job offers with higher pay and benefits, but again, none that really work on issues that I find important.
My question to you is wether (and if so: how much) you let your values and ethics weigh in your choice of an employer/project. And are you willing to offer up (financial) benefits for a job that aligns better with your values?4
Any of us had annoyances with people with “a million dollar app idea” but what about these which gives unsolicited career advice?
I’m dealing with a boomer which keeps trying me to change my career and work into cyber security (because TV told him it’s a well paid field) despite me kindly telling him for multiple times which it’s not going to happen because I won’t throw away a career I love to work in a field which seems deadly boring to me (I love anything about coding from design to typing for hours on Vim meanwhile the only thought of reading for hours obscure documentation to find potential vulnerabilities on a system kills my spirit).9
Need some advice. I’m a uni student and I really want to go into machine learning, data science, or computer vision. I have most of the skills and I feel I am fairly competent. However, the only professional experiences I have are web dev based. How can I make myself more appealing for data based roles? I really don’t want to do web dev anymore hahahahah5
I'm fucking Paralyzed and I need some advice.
I want to be an entrepreneur.
Not just an entrepreneur but a DAMN good one.
I self-studied business, economics, physics, self-taught multivariable calculus, teaching myself chemistry too.
But I haven't even started my career and I just graduated from University.
Right now I'm starting simple and just doing a few web development things.
But, I want to go deeper into a subject that hasn't really had its problem solved yet.
A.I. can sell you neat things, but it can't kill misinformation (yet).
Graphics are an integral part to gaming, but GPUs are the second greatest threat to our environment behind commercial jets.
Do I HAVE to choose between A.I. and graphics?!14
Hi folks! I'm in a bit of a career dilemma for which I sincerely need your help.
How do I go from being a React Native Developer to an Android developer, considering I have 2x more experience with React Native than Android, with React Native being the more recent one ?
More details -
I started as an Android developer in 2015, using Java as my primary language. Up until the end of 2017 I kept working as an Android developer, adding different native mobile tech skills to my skillset.
At the end of 2017, my employer asked me if I could also learn React Native as he had many big projects that required a more hybrid stack. I had always been eager to learn new things (perks of being a programmer I guess), so I said yes and started working on React Native in 15-20 days.
From that point onwards, I kept doing more and more projects using React Native (in my day job) and over the years, I became more of a React Native Developer than an Android one. At this point in my career, I have about 4.5 years of React Native experience and 2.5 years of Android.
However, now I am at a point where I want to make a switch (for better pay and more exciting projects) but when I looked at the job postings for React Native this morning, they were all for startups with great pay but kinda average products, whereas the Android job listings were for companies like Uber, Reddit, etc. (basically great companies with good projects and great pay).
I really want to go back from being a React Native Developer to an Android developer full time but I don't know how. I've personally seen so many people switch jobs from one field (say React Native) to another (Backend development) - and when I asked them about how they did it, they said it didn't really matter to their companies what specific tech stack they'd worked with, which is kinda hard to believe because every job listing I've seen companies list every single technology very very specifically.
Any help/suggestions would be appreciated.
Thanks for reading!2
Need advice about switching to contracting.
So I had 2 years of exp as an android dev, then I had a 1.5 year gap from doing android and now for the past 6 months Ive been doing android again fulltime. Im thinking of switching to contracting due to my debts and boring project and life crushing slow corporate processes in my current fulltime job, so I need tips and advices as to where should I start looking for new contracting gigs and in general what should I pay attention to. If it helps, I am based in EU, but am open to any EU/US gigs.
Now the full story:
Initially when I joined my current fulltime job after a break I had zero confidence, lowered my and employers expectations, joined as a junior but quickly picked up the latest standards and crushed it. Im doing better than half devs in my scrum team right now and would consider myself to be a mid level right now.
Asked for a 50% bump, manager kinda okayed it but the HQ overseas is taking a very long time to give me the actual bump. I have been waiting for 10 weeks already (lots of people in the decision chain were on and off vacations due to summer, also I guess manager sent this request to HQ too late, go figure). Anyways its becoming unnaceptable and I feel like its time for a change.
Now since I have mortgage and bills to pay, even with the bump that I requested that would leave me with like maximum 700-800 bucks a month after all expenses. I have debts of around 20k and paying them back at this rate would take 3 years at least and sounds like a not viable plan at all.
Also it does not help that the project Im working on is full of legacy and Im not learning anything new here. Corporate life seems to be very slow, lots of red tape kills creativity and so on. I remember in startups I was cooking features left and right each sprint, in here deploying a simple popup feature sometimes takes weeks due to incompetence in the chain. I miss the times where I worked in startups, did my job learned nre skills and after 6 months could jump on another exciting gig. Im not growing here anymore.
So because my ADD brain seems to be suited much better for working in startups, and also I need to make more money quick and I dont see a future in current company, I am thinking of going back to contracting. All I need right now is to build a few side apps, get them reviewed by seniors and fill my knowledge gaps. Then I plan of starting interviewing as a mid level or even a senior for that matter, since I worked with actual seniors and to be honest I dont think getting up to their level would be rocket science.
Only difference between mid and senior devs that I see atleast in my current company is that seniors are taking on responsibility more often, and they also take care of our tools, such as CD/CI, pipeline scripts, linters and etc. Usually seniors are the ones who do the research/investigations and then come up with actual tasks/stories for mids/juniors. Also seniors introduce new dependencies and update our stack, solve some performance issues and address bottlenecks and technical debt. I dont think its rocket science, also Ive been the sole dev responsible for apps in the past and always did decent work. Turns out all I needed was to test myself in an environment full of other devs, thats it. My only bottleneck was the imposter syndrome because I was a self taught dev who worked most of my career alone.
Anyways I posted here asking for some tips and advices on how to begin my search for new contract opportunities. I am living in EU, can you give me some decent sites where I could just start applying? Also I would appreciate any other tips opinions and feedback. Thanks!3