hacker news with inline top comments    .. more ..    18 Aug 2014 Ask
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1
Ask HN: Where can one learn about how computers work?
2 points by shliachtx  18 minutes ago   1 comment top
1
angersock 8 minutes ago 0 replies      
I always recommend Code by Microsoft Press--good introduction to the fundamentals of computer engineering.
2
Ask HN: How to go about starting an ambitious software startup?
10 points by aerovistae  3 hours ago   8 comments top 7
1
shawnreilly 1 hour ago 0 replies      
The entrance to the vicious circle is the product. If you are interested in talking with investors you will need to produce a successful product. This implies two things; you've successfully built the product, and you've successfully gained traction. There are some great products/businesses out there that were started and/or built by a solo founder. But the majority of them were started by teams of people. So if you are in a situation where you feel you don't have the skill-set to execute, then you either need to increase your skill-set (wear multiple hats), or build a team of co-founders. Regardless of how you go about it, one fact remains; you must build! My advice would be to start building the product now (to whatever capacity possible). Not only will you learn more about the product as you build it, you'll have something to present if you decide to find co-founders. Another reason to build as soon as possible; Often times you'll find that what you've envisioned as the product will change over time as you learn from your customer. The sooner you start that learning process, the better. Good luck!
2
benologist 3 hours ago 0 replies      
You're a developer but you can't even attempt anything without VC? Sorry but the answer's either get a job doing something else, or some self-esteem and cracking open your IDE and starting.
3
dhagz 2 hours ago 1 reply      
Learn what you need to lay down an architectural foundation. Hell, before that, start doing what you can. Break your idea down into the smallest essential parts, and figure out what you can make with your current knowledge. Make those things, THEN learn how to make the things you can't.

Maybe realize applying to YC this winter is a slightly unrealistic goal and set a realistic one, like next winter. Or don't worry about any sort of VC until you have something to show them. Seriously. They NEED to see a product, and they need to see that it can make an impact. If you approached them this winter with just an idea, your pitch would be instantly forgotten. Ideas are a dime a dozen, products are worth so much more.

4
andrewchambers 54 minutes ago 0 replies      
If you can't build it, then you can't build it. I don't think you can expect people smarter than you to do the work for you and still let you take all the benefits.

(unless you can pay a decent wage of course)

5
glenda 2 hours ago 0 replies      
I think you should worry about the product, then the customers before you even consider investors. With that attitude it seems more like you're trying to make some easy money on your idea rather than just building it and seeing what happens.

Try building it, maybe it will be easier than you think?

6
htapiardz 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Just remember, "Make something people want."
7
mqsiuser 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Having a (great) idea is nothing unique.

A lot of people have (a lot of) (great) ideas.

Putting them into practice requires some things, which you seem to heavily lack (as you describe).

The entrance is a lot of hard work (you don't seem to be a guy for that)

3
Ask HN: Show us your abandoned (and probably incomplete) side projects
51 points by fotcorn  7 hours ago   48 comments top 41
1
DDR0 6 hours ago 1 reply      
Open Pixel Platformer: https://github.com/DDR0/open_pixel_platformerA sample game using a custom engine. However, the organizer, Hapiel iirc, got busy. I got busy and couldn't take over, but it had some nice support from the artists at Pixel Joint, and I'd be willing to continue implementation work on it. I don't feel I have the time at the moment to organize it, though. Currently, you can walk around, and ctrl-e gets you an editor.

Editabled, the editable pixel editor: https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/138485812/editabled/full...(live demo) Broken on chrome, because they effed around with web workers. So I need to look at that. It's basically a JS-based rendering engine. If you look closely, you'll note the lines you draw aren't antiailiased, which lines drawn with the canvas2d API are. Fast compositing engine using typed arrays. Async rendering using Web Workers. Infinite canvas, you can scroll with the arrow keys and no matter how large it gets it never seems to slow down. ^_^ Potential, might have the time to pick it up again, but that was before I was properly employed. Very technical atm, but I might get back around to it in a bit. :/That's about it here. There's also http://ddr0.github.io/cube%20trains/index.html, my attempt at an indie game, which is downloadable from Github. I am no marketer, so I only sold a handful of units. (ie, I can count sales on one hand) Also available on http://ddr.itch.io/cube-trains. There's more potential here, and I think it's pretty easy to extend. The game comes with an editor, so you can make and share your own maps. Sort of cute, really pushing my graphics abilities, and ended up with it's own pathing algorithm which I never did add the people for. It was scheduled for v2, but I was pretty tired of the project by then.

Eh, hardly an impressive folder compared to some of this stuff (nanopond), but oh well.

2
saryant 4 hours ago 0 replies      
FlightSight: https://github.com/ryantanner/flightsight

Used Google Maps, FlightAware and the USGS database of named places to provide Google Street View for flights.

Essentially, you could look up any flight in real time and get a map showing points-of-interest viewable (ideally) from the plane. I had everything working but then racked up about $200 in FlightAware API calls so I shut it down.

3
zackbloom 5 hours ago 1 reply      
When Flickr announced 1TB of free storage, I thought it'd be funny to build a way of mounting it as a filesystem which encoded your files as pictures. It reliably stores files and trees, I just never finished up the FUSE binding:

https://github.com/zackbloom/flickrfs

4
justinjc 1 hour ago 0 replies      
http://justinjc.github.io/pentris/ - basically Tetris but with 5-cell pieces. Made this mainly as JavaScript and git practice.
5
keerthiko 3 hours ago 0 replies      
SwarmCombat http://swarmcombat.herokuapp.com/ - coding strategy game inspired by swarm robotics AI. The concept hasn't been abandoned, but the existing version has been. Ideally it should allow you to face any existing bots, but right now it's designed for 1v1 matchups because one AI is really not suited to any situation.

Slice Station https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.slicestati... - abandoned Android music exploration app when our provider fell through. Not going to lie, this is pretty outdated given the foundation was built in 2010 on Android 1.6. But the exploration concept is still very good and worth trying to revive.

PyKRP Engine https://github.com/keerthik/KRPEngine - A python game engine dependent on pygame targeted at rapid prototyping 2D game mechanics. Provides easy menus, game loop, screen setup, etc. Abandoned when I broke up with Python 3 years ago.

I have a couple of Unity game projects lying around on hard drives, someday I'll push them to github and share next time this Ask HN comes around...

6
joslin01 6 hours ago 0 replies      
For my first go project, I decided to emulate Perl's popular Params::Validate library: https://github.com/joslinm/validate

Honestly though, I got sick of go and sick of writing the library. I'm not much of a fanboy of anything, but ya generics. They woulda been nice. I operated on the blank interface type a lot, and it's honestly just annoying doing all those case statements checking what type it is when I coulda just wrote a polymorphic method for the types I support. I always read on here though that you gotta adapt to the go style.. so maybe there's some more elegant way to go about it than I was, but meh, not worth diving into for me personally.

Now I'm writing my first Scala library and I looove Scala! I'm taking this library very seriously and expect to have a Show HN within a month or two.

7
dhagz 1 hour ago 0 replies      
https://github.com/dhagerty9009/simple-games - A set of standard board games (tic-tac-toe, Othello, etc) written in Python. Worst GUI ever, since there isn't one. They play straight up in your terminal. The last work I did on them was to port them to Python 3, so...they've been abandoned for awhile.
8
Navarr 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Google Voice OMS https://github.com/navarr/Google-Voice-OMS - Allows you to send Google Voice SMS through the old Outlook SMS interface.

Sockets https://github.com/navarr/Sockets - Wrapper around PHP socket classes to turn them OOP, and I don't mean like some crappy HelperClasses, I mean treating sockets as objects you read and write from.

TwCLI https://github.com/navarr/TwCLI - A browser-based twitter "command line interface." Abandoned long ago, written in PHP and fairly terrible. Not at all newish work.

Hanafuda https://github.com/navarr/Hanafuda - Hanafuda libraries in PHP for maintaining a game state for a variation of Hanafuda and Koi-Koi. Don't think I got very far

PHP-Shogi https://github.com/navarr/PHP-Shogi - Library for handling a game of Shogi in PHP (maintaining rules, enforcing game state)

9
krapp 5 hours ago 0 replies      
https://github.com/kennethrapp/phasher - a perceptual hashing class for PHP, abandoned because I suck at algorithms. It's also old and badly written. But it works and for some reason people fork it so have fun.

https://github.com/kennethrapp/journalist - general purpose livejournal client (PHP), created so I could write my own blog client for my website and crosspost, but I no longer really care about livejournal so meh.

https://github.com/kennethrapp/embedbug - page crawler and attempt at an open souce embed.ly-ish plugin (PHP) - it does work but every project i've started which uses it has been abandoned because I don't have the time.

I've currently got a PHP/Laravel clone of Hacker News which kind of sort of works but not well enough that I'd want to push it to github unless people really want to dig into that. I barely work on it anymore and there's no documentation all.

Also i'm working on some c++ and C# projects, including a todo list based on my final project this semester. I'll probably either post it in a week or two or just forget it ever happened.

And this (https://gist.github.com/kennethrapp/0ef17d2145f2a6e38cca) was going to be a general purpose Hacker News userscript. I got as far as getting the callbacks to work before just giving up and using other people's already working scripts. Someone might find it useful.

10
jasonkester 5 hours ago 0 replies      
Here's a few days work attempting to clone Master of Orion in javascript:

http://www.expatsoftware.com/orion/orion.html

It's quite playable (though save/load don't work), and surprisingly hard to beat the AI. Sadly, it seems completely useless on a mobile device since it relies on the mousewheel for zooming. [Edit: mousewheels are things people used to scroll and zoom with back in 2009 before they realized they could just pinch the screen.]

Give it a big galaxy with lots of planets then let the various AIs fight each other at full speed.

11
mrsteveman1 5 hours ago 0 replies      
https://github.com/infincia/TokenTools

A small bit of python built to use the (hopefully true/reliable/trustworthy) hardware RNG in most cryptographic tokens/smartcards, to feed the Linux kernel entropy pool (which /dev/random pulls from, etc). I built it to replace an older, (now completely unusable) C program for the same purpose called CardRand, which is mentioned and linked to in the project. TokenTools uses standard PKCS#11 libraries (even binary, proprietary ones) to handle talking to smartcards, so it should be broadly compatible and non-fragile, whereas CardRand wasn't.

TokenTools isn't strictly "abandoned", and it does work pretty well I've been using it for a long time but I haven't touched the code in a while and it could probably use some testing with different cards and PKCS#11 libraries.

https://github.com/infincia/NetRNG

A client/server python system that uses the (again, hopefully trustworthy) hardware RNG found on inexpensive ARM boards like the Raspberry PI and Beaglebone to provide entropy samples to other machines on a LAN, and again feed them into the Linux kernel entropy pool there. I've been using this one for a long time too. However there are 2 branches, one based on ZeroMQ which I use, and the other which directly uses sockets. The socket branch has some issues directly related to the socket communication, which is why I'm not using it myself but I'd like to go that route and drop ZeroMQ for a variety of reasons.

I have a bit of an obsession with RNGs :)

12
Buetol 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Wow, I have a lot of stuff like that!

http://github.com/MDamien/publicdb : Create datasets and have an (ugly) API. The goal was for everyone to create a database on almost anything (recipes, photos, party, budgeting). Later I discovered that it's what firebase/parse are doing. But I'm happy with my solution because you don't even have to use JSON to store you things and the interface is really simple.

http://kioto.io/ : Would be cool if any group could have an anonymous "suggestion box" ? Maybe! So I made this. But at the end I'm gonna do better a online discussion system based on ideas from reddit/discourse/disqus.

https://github.com/MDamien/GifMyLife : Just an app to take of photo of you at regular intervals and then it makes a timelapse GIF of that (good to see how your face and your mood evolves with time).

Really nice idea from OP, people are posting really interesting stuff

13
eccp 5 hours ago 0 replies      
I created a free mini-book (in Spanish) about development and packaging of desktop applications for Ubuntu, including examples in C, Python, C# (using Mono) and Java. It's outdated now, probably easy to update to cover some of the latest changes.

https://github.com/dfuenzalida/desarrollo-ubuntu/

Also, long ago I used to download files which were too large to be transfered to another PC over the network, some even didn't fit the USB thumb drives I had at hand; so I created this desktop app which splits large files into smaller volumes, which you can copy around easier and then use the same program to join the pieces and get the original file.

I was very happy to receive requests from other people who contributed with traslations to the UI messages.

It's written in Python (not very elegantly) and I haven't touched it in ages:

https://github.com/dfuenzalida/gtkfilesplitter

Finally, another small project: a plugin for the gEdit text editor which shows the git branch of the file being edited (if any). It should still work in the most recent GNOME desktops, but I do most of my editing in other text editors now.

https://github.com/dfuenzalida/gedit-git-branch-statusbar

14
autocorrector 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Mechane-little bluetooth servos for home automation and robotics https://github.com/jmptable/mechane
15
to3m 4 hours ago 0 replies      
https://github.com/tom-seddon/yhs - embeddable no-dependency single-threaded HTTP server (debug use only! not for production!) with WebSockets support and a simple API. Written in C. I wrote this for use in an iOS project I was working on, intending to provide a browser-driven system for twiddling parameters at runtime. In the end, though, everybody preferred doing their tweaking on the device itself using some Cocoa Touch nonsense I cobbled together in an afternoon. So I saved myself some JavaScript coding and abandoned the web idea.

There's a few obvious things that it doesn't support (e.g., chunked encoding...), that make it hard to recommend as a general purpose solution. But for serving files and debug data it's OK, and it does promise never to call your callback on another thread.

16
peter_l_downs 6 hours ago 1 reply      
Summarizing / skimming tool: http://bookshrink.com. I wanted to write a browser extension that took advantage of the tech, never got around to it. Even a nice "enter any website URL and get the text of that page summarized" would be better than the current "paste things into this text box" approach. Considered building a speed-grading tool for teachers, too. All open source at https://github.com/peterldowns/bookshrink if you're interested in the code.
17
atrus 4 hours ago 0 replies      
https://github.com/worldsproject/tellme-cat

Mark news stories, and when people say another news story is a follow-up to the one you marked, notify you.

https://github.com/atrus6/python-music

Composing MIDIs using n-grams and python. The music created is VERY monotonous and boring.

https://github.com/worldsproject/android-jigsaw-puzzle-libra...

I swear I'm going to add on to this soon, but this library cuts given images into jigsaw puzzles, which you can then put together. Was eventually going to be a multiplayer game called "Puzzles with Friends"

18
andrewchambers 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Originally abandoned https://github.com/andrewchambers/pycc which is a C compiler in python.

Swapped work to this:

https://github.com/andrewchambers/cc A C preprocessor anda C parser, both partially complete.

All in Go. Want to finish this, but sometimes go a week or two with no work.

Various mips emulators:

https://github.com/andrewchambers/cmips boots linux, I intended to compile it with emscripten)

https://github.com/andrewchambers/luamips (Not as complete as cmips, i intended for it to boot inside gmod)

19
cynik_ 4 hours ago 0 replies      
https://github.com/kunalb/PressTest - Unit testing framework for wordpress wrapping phpunit. It mocks out functions (by parsing the existing php files + plugin files you might have and generating stubs) unless you explicitly require them and makes it actually possible to write tests. Alpha a couple of years ago, not sure if it still works.

https://github.com/kunalb/PressTest/blob/master/screenshot-3...https://github.com/kunalb/PressTest/blob/master/screenshot-2...etc.

20
senotrusov 5 hours ago 0 replies      
https://github.com/senotrusov/march

A social content creation tool with cartography features.

A document consist of sections, sections contain paragraphs. One single paragraph may have many instances across different documents.

Users can repost paragraphs, createdby someone else. When the original author updates the paragraph then that update propagates to all the instances.

Similar, one section may simultaneously exists in different documents. Any changes in that section are visible in all that documents.

Forced anonymity but you can track individual contributor in the scope of a single discussion (visible user ids started from 1 for each thread).

21
cks 6 hours ago 1 reply      
An ECMAScript to C compiler. Sort of the inverse of Emscripten. The goal was to compile ECMAScript to LLVM IR but it's not quite there yet. It currently implements version 5.1 and nearly has full test262 coverage:https://github.com/kindahl/descripten
22
senotrusov 5 hours ago 0 replies      
https://github.com/senotrusov/workety - A library to run Ruby classes as daemons. Process start, signal handling, logfile/pidfile, restart by watchdog, exception handling, reporting to Airbrake and Exceptional, Rails environment load, multithreaded workers.

https://github.com/senotrusov/redis-call - A Ruby library to access Redis using Hiredis takes care of thread-aware connections, handy API for keys' names construction, transactions and queues.

23
sideproject 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Awesome! I maintain a site called "sideprojectors" http://sideprojectors.com

The idea spawned from people wanting to take over other people's side projects (completed, abandoned, whatever in-between).

We've been running it for awhile, (check out in PH - http://www.producthunt.com/posts/sideprojectors)

24
maresca 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Poemr: http://poemr.comA suite of tools for writing and publishing anonymous poetry. People still use it from time to time, but not a lot.

LottoLane: http://lottolane.comA lottery pool management tool. Built this to use at work. We used it a few times and it works well. I just never marketed it that much.

25
matiasb 7 hours ago 1 reply      
I had this Facebook tunnel idea but I switched to Mac, and the original code was intended for Linux/tuntap:https://github.com/matiasinsaurralde/facebook-tunnel
26
toqueteos 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Minecraft Server in Gohttps://github.com/minero/minero

I got tired of Mojang fucking the protocol over and over.

27
antoineleclair 4 hours ago 0 replies      
http://grawl.itA crawler to find broken links on you websites. 404s for example. If it get some traction, I might put more time into it, but right now it's on stand by. Feedback appreciated.
28
mtimjones 6 hours ago 0 replies      
Here's a simple scripting language inspired by Apache Pig. It implements some of the most useful operators including FOREACH, FILTER, GROUP, SORT, in addition to the LOAD and STORE operators.

While it doesn't use Hadoop, you can run it standalone to process datasets using the Pig model.

https://code.google.com/p/piglet-mtj/

29
hardmath123 6 hours ago 0 replies      
http://github.com/Hardmath123/nearley -- A (rather powerful) JS parser generator. I lost interest in optimizing it; all the papers on optimizing Earley parsers are intimidating I'd be really grateful if someone could either explain them to me, or even go ahead and implement them.
30
gluczywo 6 hours ago 0 replies      
Developed this "Remote firewall as a web service. REST API for iptables" https://pypi.python.org/pypi/rfwbut later changed the concept to pull the firewall rules instead of pushing them. Still some TODOs in the code for extra functionality but it worked well live.
31
mikelbring 6 hours ago 0 replies      
A issue tracker I built awhile back. Has quit a bit of stars but I haven't updated it in over a year. It's hard to work on something you don't use.

https://github.com/mikelbring/tinyissue

32
imjustabill 5 hours ago 0 replies      
A static single serving site generator that tells you if a TV is a rerun or not.

https://github.com/imjustabill/ishousearerun

33
mattdeboard 5 hours ago 0 replies      
A Clojure & Neo4j implementation of Ticket to Ride. Incomplete :( https://github.com/mattdeboard/ticket-to-ride
34
benologist 5 hours ago 0 replies      
http://playtomic.org, a bunch of multi-platform services for games open-sourced posthumously.
35
moubarak 6 hours ago 0 replies      
R-Tree in Java with storage capabilities and an api https://github.com/moubarak/spatial-index
36
daenarys 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Made http://wikiquest.herokuapp.com/ or a game that seeks to connect two articles on Wikipedia with the least number of clicks as possible.
37
nobullet 5 hours ago 0 replies      
12 social networks on one page: http://meople.net
38
pathikrit 5 hours ago 0 replies      
Mine - learning English words: http://vocowl.com
39
api 7 hours ago 0 replies      
Command-line n-dimensional plot tool-- it works, but haven't touched it in ages:

http://adam.ierymenko.name/flatland.shtml

https://github.com/adamierymenko/flatland

An evolvable code artificial life engine that I wrote while in college-- its quite sophisticated and still runs:

https://github.com/adamierymenko/archis

Nanopond is another, an attempt to condense the above into its smallest possible essence and in C. A number of folks have ported it to other languages, and I got one e-mail a while back that they were using it for burn-in testing on some supercomputing hardware at Lawrence Livermore:

http://adam.ierymenko.name/nanopond.shtml

Java n-dimensional array library-- also works but haven't touched in a long time:

https://github.com/adamierymenko/hyperdrive

40
thezelus 4 hours ago 0 replies      
gondalf - https://github.com/thezelus/gondalf

Microservice written in Go that provides user management, authentication, and authorization.

Not abandoned but just slow development due to other priorities.

41
mqsiuser 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Yahooo... I am searching for my first customer or anyone who wants to contribute:

http://www.use-the-tree.com - (finding and) defining the single one right way there is for FAST MESSAGE TRANSFORMATION

It's what's left of SOA, if you remove all the fuzz

4
Are JS Mobile Apps Worth It?
6 points by bspates  5 hours ago   2 comments top 2
1
untog 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Performance is less of an issue than it was, but it still exists (though the great IOS8 news is that in-app webviews finally get Nitro[1]). The larger problem, IMO, is UI. You simply cannot recreate native UI in a web view.

But there are some interesting frameworks out there that blend native UI components with web views - it can work well, and is used more than people often think (in Instagram, for example). As with anything, it's a tradeoff. If you want to make cross-platform a priority, having your main views be web-powered can save you a lot of time, even if they won't be quite as good as native ones. But I maintain the non-HN crowd will be unlikely to notice a slight lack of polish - the standards in our echo chamber are artificially high, IMO.

[1] http://9to5mac.com/2014/06/03/ios-8-webkit-changes-finally-a...

2
compedit 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Definitely not. Most of the time when I encounter an obvious webpage disguised as a native application, I feel deceived and underwhelmed.

Maybe a little over the top, but honestly it's true. Build a fast, responsive mobile site and be honest about what you're producing. If you want the web and its technologies to win, build and present with the web.

5
Ask HN: How did Steve Ballmer get 8% when he joined Microsoft?
4 points by a3voices  3 hours ago   1 comment top
1
hindsightbias 2 hours ago 0 replies      
FOB, smarter than Bill, and probably the only guy who'd taken an MBA class.
6
Ask HN: How much money does early startup spend on UI?
3 points by genbit  5 hours ago   2 comments top 2
1
thegrif 49 minutes ago 0 replies      
It depends.

If your startup is focused on providing a service that is truly innovative and not being done today:

-you may be able to sacrifice on craftsmanship in order to get the MVP out the door

-the fact that you are providing a new and novel service will buy you some time to get the design straightened out.

-it will also give you a mechanism for collecting feedback on the product, including customer criticism/praise and usage data.

HOWEVER, if your service only provides incremental innovation/benefit over competitors - or you are targeting a demographic that heavily prioritizes design in buying decisions:

-you really should invest in the design of your product upfront.

-it doesn't have to be perfect and you should have no expectation of not iterating based on feedback

When making decisions about where to spend design money, always prioritize the resources that are figuring out how the app will work. The screens, controls, and logic of the app make your product. You can skimp on the visual design aspect of things if you need to - but make sure you nail the experience from a flow perspective.

:)

2
vitovito 3 hours ago 0 replies      
It's not about the cost, it's about the tradeoffs. That number is necessarily going to be different for every startup because every founder is going to value design differently, and make different compromises with regards to executing on a particular design versus shipping at a particular time versus developing it in a particular way.

Most recently, SFCD posted examples of their pricing. "Strategy & concept" + "User experience" + "Design" is a quarter to a half of the time spent working on the app. Good design always makes a lot more work for development. http://sfcd.com/blog/cost/

Other examples include Twitterific's response in this StackOverflow question, "Anyone who's done serious iPhone development can tell you there's a lot of design work involved with any project. We had two designers working on that aspect of the product. They worked their asses off dealing with completely new interaction mechanics. Don't forget they didn't have any hardware to touch, either (LOTS of printouts!) Combined they spent at least 25 hours per week on the project. So 225 hours at $150/hr is about $34,000." Other answers are similar. http://stackoverflow.com/questions/209170/how-much-does-it-c...

You can reduce the cost and amount of time spent on design if you've done market research and customer development up front. I'm working on an article about that; if you'd like to read a draft, my contact information is discoverable through my profile.

7
Ask HN: How do you deal with negative self talk?
6 points by blergh123  8 hours ago   7 comments top 7
1
theoh 5 hours ago 0 replies      
If it is a long-term problem, there are therapies you can try. The standard-issue therapy I have encountered is CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy) which you can do by yourself. It is not, however, an in-depth, psychodynamic therapy in the psychoanalytic tradition, so you won't be unearthing profound insights into your personality. The focus is on specific symptoms and quick results. In spite of those limitations it might be worth trying. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cognitive_behavioral_therapy
2
wturner 5 hours ago 0 replies      
I have this problem to a very bad degree and I deal with it through brute force. I recently broke my elbow and was put briefly on hydrocodone and it had a side effect of serving as a "miracle" anti depressant. I finished my first node.js app while on it which I had put off for months because I hit a "you're never going to figure this out" road block. The fluency by which I was working while on the hydrocodone was like night and day and couldn't believe that life could be that "in the moment" and fluent. It was like a weight was lifted off my shoulders and everything just 'connected'.But of course it was a drug and I couldn't stay on it. I haven't found a way to deal with these issues so I'm curious about the responses to this thread.
3
hkon 6 hours ago 0 replies      
You are not your code, even though a lot of people will try and convince you otherwise, EVEN YOU!

Just write shit that makes you happy, side projects are about exploring and having fun.

Often times the negative Nancy voice is right when he is talking to me. I often don't know what I am doing, I write horrible stuff all the time that does not work!

Realize this though, you are in control. Whenever those thoughts appear you actually have a choice, listen to them or say no.

By listening to them you will never get anywhere, you will constantly second guess yourself and tweak minor details that can be changed easily at a later time. Your free time is limited, you have to cut corners to see significant progress. Once you realize that everything is a compromise, it gets easier.

4
walterbell 7 hours ago 0 replies      
Pre-empt negativity by using positive words/sounds/images from stories of other people who have achieved comparable goals, facing comparable challenges. Thoughts follow action, so take a positive action, any action, instead of trying to fight negative thoughts.

An example interview, http://mixergy.com/interviews/slicehost-how-a-goal-setting-b...

5
quantisan 7 hours ago 0 replies      
Quite related, this article about Imposter Syndrome has been passing around the past couple days: http://valbonneconsulting.wordpress.com/2014/08/16/the-impos...
6
DanBC 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Cognitive Behaviour Therapy is excellent for this kind of thinking.

It is supposed to be a short focussed course - 8 hours for mild to moderate depression, for example.

7
jorgecurio 7 hours ago 0 replies      
Imagine if those negative words were coming from someone else.

Imagine how hard you would fight to prove them all wrong.

8
Ask HN: Choosing between Microsoft and everything else
35 points by okatsu  9 hours ago   43 comments top 24
1
luuio 7 hours ago 1 reply      
I was in your boat a while back.

I had always done development on the Microsoft stack (.NET, SQL Server, etc.). I had always played around with nix stuff but never anything serious. During college, I got a Macbook to do iPhone apps, and decided I wanted to do development exclusively on nix.

What I ended up spending 2 years of my side project time is switching between languages and stacks: from Python to Ruby to Java to Scala to Mono to Erlang back to Ruby to Node back to Java -- I was trying to find that perfect productive replacement for C#/.NET ecosystem.

Finally I switched back to .NET on Windows, and things felt so right. I've been happily productive on the .NET platform for the past year and a half.

About VM/licensing fee, it really isn't that much of a difference if you think about it. I'm averaging about $90/month for the VMs and DBs I'm using on Azure.Compare the price between "SQL Azure" and "MongoLab," the diff ain't that big.

Don't take this the wrong way, but it is most likely that side projects aren't big enough to really make the pricing difference more than $50ish a month -- this really is not much especially after when you have a job.

Edit: most of my (probably yours) projects fitted nicely in the free zone of Azure (with or without MSDNAA) and AppHarbor. Also keep in mind that even the FREE VS Express is better than most Open Source editors/IDE out there.

2
shawnb576 6 hours ago 1 reply      
I don't believe this is the question you should be asking.

Your worth as an engineer, over time, will be measured by breadth, not depth. I know engineers that have be come industry-class experts on font rendering or compiler optimization. You know what happens? It's tough for them to switch jobs.

For the most part this industry, at the most successful end, values rock solid fundamentals and versatility.

Your co-worker's path is dangerous. Replace "Microsoft" with "COBOL" or "Fortran" or "Mainframe" and you'll see that this is a problem.

At this stage of your career, you should be focused on learning how _software works_, not a particular stack. Stacks come and go, rapidly. Technology changes. But software and how it works doesn't change all that much.

So pick the right tool for the job and build your skills portfolio. Write some iOS apps. Write some browser-apps backed by Node, or Go. Write some client apps, build some APIs.

I will say, however, that if you are interested in startup stuff I'd recommend against the MS stack. My company is partly on MS, partly not, and the licensing issues with Windows become painful very quickly just for flexibility. Windows licensing and things like Vagrant don't get along very well if you want to have N flavors of a VM and use them at will. There are other reasons here but I'll tell you that Linux machines are just a lot easier to manage in general, and I'm historically a Windows guy (I worked at Microsoft for a _long_ time).

You're still in that stage where you don't know what you don't know. You're not choosing a wife or a house here, just go play the stack field.

3
px1999 6 hours ago 0 replies      
Mostly Microsoft guy here, though I do both MS and other stuff professionally.

Don't judge based on cost - there are perfectly capable free options in the Microsoft camp too - SQL express, VS express, etc. If you can't do without a higher tier version of VS, you probably have access to it at home through your employer's MSDN account so long as you work somewhere that does use Microsoft. MSFT gets expensive at the enterprise end of the scale, but so does everything. The costs largely IMO are unquantifiable, what's the problem in spending $10k for licensing if it saves you 1k hours of dev time over a free solution? How about a system that can run on 1 server rather than requiring 5, etc etc.

Yes, there's vendor lock in, but you can always move elsewhere later if you want. You're not going to be developing a single project for the rest of your life.

Do what you enjoy, where you enjoy it. Learn how to work in multiple languages and make sure that you're not professionally locked in, but that's different from being technologically locked in on a single project.

4
yulaow 8 hours ago 1 reply      
You are in your twenties and have still to start working, why would you chose a platform over another ( even right now )? I would learn both and move on jobs to make almost equal experience over them.

Else you will end using the only tools you know over the best tools for each specific problem, and it can be a disaster for you career and your satisfaction as developer.

I am not saying to be a jack-of-all-trades-master-of-none, you can still have (and focus on) a preferred platform/os/tools/etc for any reason (like you like it more, you have an ethical problem with another, in your zone one is overused compared to the other, ...) but, imho, is better to be something as a T-shaped person [ as described on the Valve handbook, page 46 http://www.valvesoftware.com/company/Valve_Handbook_LowRes.p... ].

5
icantthinkofone 7 hours ago 1 reply      
"...he only has one ecosystem to work with and it works well."

Unix is one ecosystem that works well, too.

In my case, we started a web dev company using Microsoft tools I got from my brother-in-law who managed a large Microsoft shop. After a year, Microsoft made changes which totally crashed the most important parts of our project (long story) to where my brother-in-law told us we should switch to Linux. We actually wound up with FreeBSD but now use it exclusively for 10 years.

6
n72 7 hours ago 0 replies      
I was a mostly MS guy, but once I moved to the startup/entrepreneurial world moved to multiple non-MS stacks and I'm very happy I did. Yes, the MS tools are really very nice and C# is a wonderful language, but the costs just can't be justified. Moreover, I just don't really miss C#/VS, since I'm having so much fun with Clojure and Haskell. There is certainly something nice about becoming an expert in one ecosystem, but there's also something very fun about constantly trying new ones out and learning from each one. I have become a much, much better developer for having the exposure to multiple ecosystems.
7
honr 7 hours ago 0 replies      
You should probably do some research and find out what language(s) you like (note: there are many languages and stacks outside the MS ecosystem, some of them might be far more fulfilling than what you have experienced so far). In particular, take a look at functional languages and see if you like them. Look at some dynamic languages and see if you get happy with one. Also play with some properly typed languages (ML family and Haskell, for instance) to see how those fair. Then also consider C++ (the widely used, but frankenstein-style language) as it is not as horrible as it used to be. Some new languages might be fun too (I'd suggest looking at Rust, Go, and Clojure). Once you've done that, you can probably have a better picture; without looking at all these, you might be or feel missing out.

That all said, and as you might have already heard, the MS ecosystem is not as wide as many of these, but it is far more unified than most other frameworks.

My own opinion is that you will miss out on new price and competition that is happening outside the MS world, so I recommend having some hands-on experience there if you are serious about starting your own business.

8
pstatho 7 hours ago 0 replies      
IMO you should lean towards whatever makes you feel productive. There is nothing more self-motivating than being able to build something even if it's just for yourself. No matter what technology you use, you will come up against hurdles, so how does the documentation and community help out? These are much more important than licensing.

As for licensing MS technology, I highly recommend the Bizspark program. You can register a company for $50 at Registres des Entreprises and that's all you need. You will get free licenses for 3 years that you get to keep plus a whole bunch of Azure discounts. BTW, the licensing of Windows and VS are pretty much negligible in any business. SQL server on the other hand is cost prohibitive, but that is where you can use PostgreSQL.

MS is slowly changing, adopting more and more open source, github, mono. I think they are transforming their business from selling licenses to subscriptions (like Office).

9
collyw 7 hours ago 0 replies      
My impression (as someone that went the GNU / Linux / Perl / Python route) is that .NET languages are likely to land you a more corporate type job.

If you want a bit more autonomy, go the other way. If you prefer having more structured career options go MS.

10
ams6110 7 hours ago 0 replies      
Your 50 year old friend will be like the COBOL programmers of the last generation. Highly productive, satisfied at work, until the job market moves elsewhere.

Incidentally I had the opposite experience, and found Microsoft tech and tools to be rigid and stifling. Perhaps related, I felt the same way about COBOL, which is what I used in my first job out of school.

Other than sticking with emacs as an editor, I have not ever "specialized" in any one technology. I've never found one to be so clearly superior as to make it worth the risk of lock-in. No stack dominates forever.

11
mdda 7 hours ago 0 replies      
Just like when a startup bases their existence on (say) the Facebook API, becoming part of Microsoft's ecosystem has a lot of benefits : But there are significant downside risks.

I think it's already telling that you're interested in Django, Rails and Vim. AFAIK, they're all built by *NIX people (even if they're using MacBooks), and treat supporting the Windows platform as a necessary evil.

From my point of view, it's better to be on the side of contributing to a global software ecosystem, rather than one owned by a specific company.

12
eddie_31003 7 hours ago 0 replies      
This question comes in many flavors, should I learn MS or Open Source? Should I buy a PC or a Mac? Should I drive a Ford or Nissan? Should I buy a Dell?

I really comes down to personal preference. Who says you can't do both? I have a corporate IT Background. Microsoft Technologies have kept me happily employed for over 10 years. I'm currently a Full Stack Developer on the MS Stack working for a local gov't agency. However, I have never been exclusive to MS Tech. I love the Mac Book I use. I spin up VMs whenever I want to try something new.

Never stop learning. That's what you should focus on. You'll never be an expert an everything. Try to learn as much as possible about as much as possible. Breadth and depth. I believe we're passed the point of praising the Tech Specialists. Organizations are in more need of the Tech Generalists. We need to know a lot about the Full Stack and everything in between.

Lastly, it's all about finding the right tool for the job. It's best to have a nice set of tools that you can pull from. You'll be better prepared to make architectural decisions when you understand the differences in the tools needed to build great products.

13
seanmcdirmid 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Microsoft employee here (but talking for myself): your worth will be measured by your ability to learn new platforms as well as your technical depth not in a specific stack, but in a specific domain. You should always be in the "use the best tool for the job" mindset, and if you can combine the best pieces from multiple stacks, then you'll never have a problem.

If you want to reach the top of the ladder, you really to do everything possible to be professionally immune from this Microsoft vs. Other option.

14
luuio 5 hours ago 0 replies      
Career wise, I'd say don't even worry about what stack you choose. Ignore all those posts about ".NET will land you corporate jobs."Companies should not worry about what languages you have experience with. They should care for how much programming (not languages) experience you have and how fast you can learn new concepts and new languages. Know your algorithms, and data structures etc. you wouldn't wan to work for companies (especially startups) tht require "3 years of Ruby." That's just shallow.That's why Google Apple amazon MSFT hire the best folks. They don care what langs you know. They care if you can code and solve problems
15
korzun 8 hours ago 0 replies      
Do whatever makes you happy.

The only thing I don't understand why you keep bringing up the licensing costs.

If that is an issue then the choice should be already obvious.

16
mattgreenrocks 7 hours ago 1 reply      
Been there. Started as an MS dev and learned a lot programming straight Win32 in C++. College bridged me into Unix, and OS X pulled me in full time. (I prefer Unix now generally). Playing in other ecosystems is fun. You learn slightly different ways of thinking about things (process-centric v. thread-centric), and the toolchain experiences are vastly different. But it's just a stack. It's a really crappy thing to get passionate about, because it's just a set of transient APIs. It's here today, gone tomorrow.

Instead, you should consider trying different programming paradigms entirely. Investing in skills themselves yields disproportionate returns that you can apply to whatever hip thing every insists you must use. The tech industry only moves fast if you're trying to learn every stack everyone's salivating about...which usually isn't that different from what's already being done.

17
jwatte 5 hours ago 0 replies      
Consider the bizspark program for msdn licenses.I agree that MSVC is an awesome IDE and debugger, except for creation 2002 which was terrible.The more tools you know well, the wider are your options for each problem you want to solve.Vim, make, and C++ is a fine choice for many things.PHP and MySQL for others.C# and winforms and sql server where that model fits.If you stay only with MS, you will build more experience in that area, at the expense of becoming narrower. Only you can make this choice for you.
18
dennybritz 8 hours ago 1 reply      
Before getting into an argument of MS vs. the world let's take a step back.

What are you goals? Do you want to get a corporate job? Do you want to start or work in a startup? Also, where do you live?

There was a related thread a while ago: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=8159427

To make a long story short, my personal opinion is that you can have a very fulfilling corporate life focusing completely on MS technologies. In some countries/regions more so than in others. For example, you won't find a lot of MS-based companies in Silicon Valley, but I've been to a couple of European and Asian countries where the majority of businesses seem to heavily favor the MS stack. An MS stack is almost always the wrong choice for a startup though (and you've mentioned some of the reasons).

19
leggo2m 3 hours ago 0 replies      
You should learn other stacks. Many startups value using Open Source stacks, and it will be worth your while to have experience with them.

That being said, as someone who went from Eclipse to Visual Studio, the difference is night and day :)

20
diminish 8 hours ago 0 replies      
Try a dual life, at corporate work use ms, java, as/400 or whatever ecosystem is well paid in your town. For hobby or side projects go node.j, rails, django or cooler newer things.
21
dmcclurg 7 hours ago 0 replies      
Like others have said. Do more research. Microsoft is the total package... for a price. Check out HTML5/XAML/TypeScript/Entity Framework/MVC if you're interested in Microsoft's mobile stack. Yes, you need to run an MS backend, but this is a good thing. I have personally found the open language ecosystem a little convoluted to navigate where MS has always seemed straightforward to me. These decisions are all very personal...
22
timrichard 6 hours ago 0 replies      
I think the problem is that you have to go all-in with the MS stack, which flies in the face of the time honoured "just tools in the toolbox" mentality. The MS stack components don't seem to be considered "best of breed" individually, and your hands are tied when you have to take them collectively.
23
antocv 8 hours ago 2 replies      
Ive already noticed Microsoft people get fewer job offers compared to Java (enterprise not Android) people. And they have lower salary.

The only thing keeping Microsoft afloat right now is the contracts with the state or municipalities.

24
palavrov 8 hours ago 2 replies      
Don't even think to continue with Microsoft. Focus on *nix + node.js (MEAN).Probably you will need a prove for these words, sorry - I don't want to spend hours writing arguments and examples.Just one thing: I spend 10 years with .net and even participate in bizspark - it was endless pain and big waste of time, resources and energy. Microsoft only goal is to sell more Windows licenses - everything is around that, it is like big wall and you will realise that when you hit it with your head. World has changed, Microsoft don't know how to survive when hardware and software are so cheap (less than $100 for hardware, less than $10 for software).
9
Ask HN: What is your experience with nootropics?
4 points by milkcircle  9 hours ago   discuss
10
Ask HN: What current startups do you think are changing the world?
3 points by madvoid  2 hours ago   discuss
11
Clustering CoreOS with Vagrant, core-1 boot failure
3 points by mineown  3 hours ago   2 comments top 2
1
namecast 2 hours ago 0 replies      
2
mineown 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Yes,it is related to virtual box.Seems a regression for vbox 4.3.14, I downgraded to 4.3.12 and rerun the whole process.
12
Ask HN: How to get workers for my crowdsourcing site?
2 points by jorgecurio  7 hours ago   2 comments top
1
quantisan 7 hours ago 1 reply      
Sounds like a job for Amazon Mechanical Turk. If it's more complex work, try odesk.com for freelancers.
13
Ask HN: Why does plus.google.com take an eternity to load?
4 points by plicense  11 hours ago   4 comments top 2
1
dmschulman 10 hours ago 1 reply      
Nothing out of the ordinary. The load time is atrocious and it's due to how Google+ was re-engineered to be a frontend to the Google ecosystem (if you will). Pretty window behaviors were favored over quick load times and ease of use. GChat was shoehorned in because of course no one has any other means to communicate over XMPP (sarcasm).

These annoyances and more are the reason why G+ has become so (increasingly) derided by the internet. I dislike what it has become but I still use it frequently. I hope Google will make it a lot less bloated someday

2
MichaelStubbs 8 hours ago 1 reply      
I've just tried it after clearing my cache and it takes 5 seconds at most.
14
Ask HN: What tools/add-ons/sites do you use to get most out of Hacker News?
8 points by shekhar101  20 hours ago   15 comments top 9
1
davybrion 19 hours ago 0 replies      
I love the weekly-newsletter format, so i very much appreciate Kale Davis' hacker newsletter: http://www.hackernewsletter.com

Other than that i use MiniHack on iOS (https://itunes.apple.com/be/app/minihack-for-hacker-news/id6...)... I rarely use the website

2
percept 10 hours ago 1 reply      
I'm constantly doing one of the following:

https://duckduckgo.com/?q=site%3Anews.ycombinator.com+someth...

https://www.google.com/?q=site:news.ycombinator.com+somethin...

[Aside: I really like the DDG mission, but am finding myself more frequently (and unfortunately) returning to Google for technical searches, and switched back to it as my default. I'm finding more relevant results at the top of Google's SERPs. Both DDG and Google diminished IMO when they tried to become "smarter."]

3
dolzenko 5 hours ago 1 reply      
Old thread with suggestions https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=4474078. Personally I feel the strong desire to have collapsible comment threads, but still haven't invested any time into finding proper solution.
4
jyu 13 hours ago 1 reply      
I use RSS for nearly everything. RSS allows you to avoid the fear of missing great stories or content due to timing, groupthink flagging, etc. You can also follow individual user comments with RSS with some quick mods.

An added bonus is that RSS preserves [dead] stories. Once a story is [dead], it won't show up in hn.algolia.com search results, even though it still shows up on HN.

5
Concours 14 hours ago 0 replies      
I use HN RSS feed with https://www.feedsapi.org/ to get all the stories in full length forwarded to my email inbox and read them in full length in theoldreader reader. I now and then use http://www.ihackernews.com on the go (on my smartphone).
6
snikeris 16 hours ago 0 replies      
I almost exclusively read from:

http://www.daemonology.net/hn-daily/

7
xngzng 20 hours ago 0 replies      
I use http://www.tophackernews.net by a friend, which captures only news that hit front page top 3. Mainly follow @TopHackerNewsHQ to read on Twitter.
8
dennybritz 19 hours ago 0 replies      
I usually only check "Ask HN" and read the top stories posted by Hacker News on Twitter.
9
motyar 14 hours ago 0 replies      
FireFox
15
Ask HN: What is the single most competitive advantage in any field?
6 points by hotshot  9 hours ago   4 comments top 4
1
walterbell 8 hours ago 0 replies      
Execution, because it amplifies/dampens other legit advantages.
2
pitiburi 7 hours ago 0 replies      
Web of connections you have, any day.
3
hkon 6 hours ago 0 replies      
STRATEGY!
4
Mankhool 6 hours ago 0 replies      
Location.
16
Ask HN: Should higher education be expensive?
4 points by saticmotion  12 hours ago   3 comments top 3
1
alain94040 1 hour ago 0 replies      
One of the biggest issues in the US is cost of education. If you have a country that doesn't have that issue, keep it that way. Too many parents have to tell their kids they can't go to college for financial reasons. That's wrong.
2
csmdev 5 hours ago 0 replies      
There are no strong arguments for hypocrisy.

The only people who support the higher fee are the ones who already benefited from the lower fee.

You won't hear a student or young person saying: "Yes, I want to pay more to get an education". It's always the old conservative people who eat the cake and want to have it too.

3
jagawhowho 10 hours ago 0 replies      
I don't think the arguments from either side are too simple. People who recieve free college are in favor. People who must pay the bill are not in favor.
17
Ask HN: Switched back to programming at age 35 after 7 years of management
10 points by jozi9  1 day ago   4 comments top 3
1
itbeho 1 day ago 0 replies      
48 now and I still love to code. I would recommend to any of my older friends to keep doing what you love. Contrary to conventional wisdom, there is a ton of opportunity out there, regardless of age!
2
ishbits 1 day ago 0 replies      
39 here. Held titles such as CTO, Director, Architect and have always managed to spend at least 75% of my time coding.

Now I'm just a programmer and enjoying it. Thankfully I'm at a company that values good developers so you don't have to jump to management for that pay increase.

3
turnip1979 1 day ago 1 reply      
I'm considering something similar. I code for fun regularly but I worry if I'll cut it as a modern coder. Check in code to prod on day 1 seems to be a considered a badge of honor these days. I worry that I'll bring down the site :-p Also, 7 years ago, methodologies such as SCRUM and TDD weren't pervasive. How are you adjusting? Also, how did you prep for the technical interview?
18
Ask HN: How to learn design as a hacker?
106 points by dkyc  2 days ago   47 comments top 31
1
jeffchuber 2 days ago 3 replies      
A little late, but I will add a couple thoughts:

- Good programming uses sensible patterns to make code maintainable and flexible. Good design does this too.

- Insanely great programming is a little insane - it breaks the rules. Insanely great design does too. But you can't shortcut to this step - you have to put in the time.

- For me, I learn the most programming by looking at what other people have written, and modifying it in some way, or applying something to a project of mine. Learning design works the exact same way.

- I would argue against learning anything like color theory, typography or information hierarchy. This is like take 5 CS 101 classes before beginning programming. You might have a better "foundation", but you will probably get burned out before you even start. That stuff can wait. And it will make a lot more sense when you have some corpus of work to set the context for what you are learning (same with programming).

- Don't worry about making anything look like "cool" websites. Honestly most trendy designs are simply terrible to use. Design should make the products more enjoyable to use and easier to use. Anything else is intellectual arrogance.

As with programming, I find doing things like katas is really useful. So grab a pen and paper and start drawing. Sketch like this - http://strongdesignstudios.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/is..., boxes for stuff and lines for stuff. don't try to add the detail. keep things light and easy to change. use a pencil. then start sketching stuff.

- make a landing page for a construction company

- make a page to market an event

- make an app "page" to find good barbers nearby

You will naturally start asking yourself the right questions. "What information is most important?" "How should information or pages be broken up?" "Who will be looking at this page?"

if you have more questions feel free to email me jeffchuber @ theBIGsearchgiant.com

2
studiofellow 2 days ago 1 reply      
There are quite a few good resources for developers to learn design.

Disclaimer: I wrote a book on this topic, but because of that, I know resources made by other people too.

---

Sacha Griefs ebook is good for an in-depth example:

http://sachagreif.com/ebook/

---

Design for Hackers by David Kadavy is also well written. He explores the more traditional way to learn design, with the history of fonts, color theory, etc.

http://designforhackers.com/

---

A different approach might be reading about creativity. My friend Paul Jarvis has some great books about creativity, especially his new one, The Good Creative, if youre looking to get inspired:

http://pjrvs.com/books/

---

Nathan Barrys design books are great. He also has a course on Photoshop if youre looking to learn.

http://nathanbarry.com/books/

http://nathanbarry.com/app-design-handbook/

http://nathanbarry.com/webapps/

---

One of the best books about UI/UX/usability is Dont Make Me Think:

http://www.amazon.com/Dont-Make-Think-Revisited-Usability/dp...

---

Great place for topic-specific books. Some of these are more advanced and intended for designers. I'd suggest these for after you read up on the basics.

http://www.abookapart.com/

---

My book focuses on design fundamentals instead of advanced theory. It's intended as a starting point for things you can do right now. Actionable, focused on building skill instead of knowledge.

http://bootstrappingdesign.com

---

Email me anytime if you need help. My email address is on the site above.

Edit: formatting

3
mzarate06 2 days ago 1 reply      
Here's what I did to start solving this problem: I hired a good designer friend to have weekly design sessions with me.

They've been incredibly helpful, and a lot of fun. Books and blog posts help, but nothing beats having a passionate teacher sit next to you and coach you along.

Here are some recommendations and details on how these go down, if you're interested:

1) Read 1-2 books on design beforehand (I recommend these [1]), perhaps introductory in nature. There are several principles and beginner concepts that you can become familiar with on your own that'll provide a better foundation once you've hired a design tutor or coach.

2) Have a tangible goal to facilitate your learning. Like any art, everything design related takes time, and having something interesting to retain your focus over days, if not weeks, if not months, will keep it fun and meaningful. My tangible goal has been redesigning one of my company's products.

3) Before each session I send my designer a page or two I want to focus on (e.g. client list and client edit pages), goals and sample content, and examples of designs I like for inspiration. We both work on designing those pages independently. We don't share or view each other's work until we're in session.

4) Once we're in session we review our designs and discuss each of our decisions on spacing, content choice, emphasizing this or that via different font styling, coloring, etc. As expected, my designer's work is always superior, but the real eye openers are when he walks me through why that is, especially when he points out how much easier, faster, but more relaxed my eye gets to what it wants on a given page w/his designs vs. mine.

We've had 6 sessions so far and I'm convinced this is the best method of learning design (just as having a private tutor is superior for many other things). If you have someone you can hire for a similar arrangement, at least consider doing so, I highly recommend it.

[1][a] Designing Web Applications (Nathan Barry)

[1][b] The Non-Designer's Design Book (Robin Williams)

[1][c] Don't Make Me Thing (Steve Krug)

4
mikepoint3 2 days ago 0 replies      
As a grahic / fine artist that has moved into webDev (JS, java, grails) there is no short cut or easy answer to be an all in one coder / designer. You need the basics of graphic design first: COLOR, DOMINANCE, LAYOUT

COLOR: a good color palette will take any project up a notchhttp://www.colourlovers.com/http://www.colormatters.com/color-and-design/basic-color-the...

DESIGN STRUCTURE: much the same way you create Classes that can be extended, you can do some in design. There are Dominate objects in your code that you use to create other object. ----dominant, subdominant, subordinate Designhttp://www.vanseodesign.com/web-design/dominance/

Also, if you create a dominate visual design feature, repeat that element(color / pattern / shape) else where on the site, to build consistency

Also for Page Layout, rules in Photography can be a great help. Looks that the Rules of 3rds http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rule_of_thirds

The most important part of creating anything is inspiration. Pinterest is great for looking at designs, picking what works for you and what doesn't.

You have to understand that all of your early stuff will look like crap. Much the same way we've all said "Wow, that code I wrote 6 months ago is a pile of junk. I'm surprised it's still working."

Alos, buy a sketch book and put it next to your bed. Draw before you go to sleep. Even if you just doodle.

Advanced Typography is not something I recommend right off the bat, as it can lean towards fine art at timeshttp://www.fromupnorth.com/typography-inspiration-753/

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err4nt 2 days ago 0 replies      
Design lies somewhere between art and science, and that makes it harder to teach and harder to learn. There are universal design rule about what looks good and works well, and even if you can manage to distill what they are and vigilantly apply the rules - it doesn't guarantee the result is good, only that the result isn't bad.

Likewise a person with no knowledge of best practices and the science behind colour and layout can intuitively design something great, and it's greatest where it naturally aligns with design truths and weaker where it strays from them - but it's hard to teach that 'eye' for design that feels what is right when it can't be measured as easily.

My advice is to learn design from a clean-room approach. You can use HTML and CSS to learn design as easily as Photoshop or Illustrator. Use a tool that's comfortable for you to manipulate, and start with empty files. Only bring in the elements you want to use, and experiment with them. Change their size, colour, font, placement, rotation, and style. Try different shades of grey on different backgrounds and get a sense of what is legible and illegible. Try finding a pair of colours thst match and feel good together and recreate that harmony using two different shades you have picked.

There's a lot about design thst you can learn by experiencing it, but the true knowledge happens when you research and play around with things.

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eriktrautman 2 days ago 0 replies      
I've compiled a mini-course[1] that's exactly this -- design for developers. It more or less follows the 80/20 rule of getting you through what you should know without bogging down too much in the narrowly focused stuff that you don't need. It's geared towards beginners too.

[1]: http://www.vikingcodeschool.com/web-design-basics

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peterhil 2 days ago 0 replies      
As a former graphic designer and current programmer, i eould say forget about design for hackers and learn design as such.

The most important aspects of design are communication, composition, visual structure and the skill of mixing colours.

Learn to simplify the message to a few elements, make the most important things to really synd out. Also learn about desining with grids to make the result clear, pleasant and harmonious.

Learn about golden section, and how it relates to catching and guiding the viewers eye - look at the works of master photographers and renaissance painters.

To learn about colour theory, go to library, find a classic book(!) about the subject and grab some colour pencils and mix some colours! In short time you will develop an intuitive understanding of using the colour sliders in graphic programs to design harmonious or disharmonious colour scales. Also learn about complementary colours.

If you want to learn to draw, also learn about perspective and valeur (shadows amd lights) and try to imitate different textures.

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xhrpost 2 days ago 0 replies      
I've often had a similar desire. I see the suggestions here for books and courses, which I don't dispute as good sources. However, I've come across good designers who have not gone through such extensive training. They haven't taken a 3 week course on typography and font selection. Yet their designs look and feel amazing. Do some people just have a natural knack for design while us hackers are forced to go through extensive courses to just get the basics?

I'm personally interested in just a simple list or article on the basics of modern and aesthetically pleasing design. Something like, "rounded corners are easy on the eyes, use them here, but not here.""Button shadows work in a case like this, but not this." "Your background and foreground colors need to complement each other, here's some pairs to try."I have however never ran across such a list/article.

9
MrAlmostWrong 2 days ago 0 replies      
Master iOS Design is a free resource that covers the theories and principles of design and then how they are actually applied in design. First couple of sections should be valuable to anybody interested in design:

https://www.drawar.com/ios/course/design

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dark12222000 2 days ago 1 reply      
Learning to design well is like learning to code well: You do it a lot until you improve. Examine "good" designs, thoroughly. Keep notes of sites or apps you find attractive, and try to find out why. Emulate those things.

Also, read some actual design theory books. Theory is to design what algorithms are to code.

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jradd 2 days ago 0 replies      
IMHO css grids are a simple and fundamental method for accomplishing good design. I am very fond of Zurb's Foundation [1] as it seems to be the most logical means to my end design. Trying to stay objective in this matter, I would focus on fundamental concepts of design that have already proven the test of time. I think a good example of this would the book; The Elements of Typographic Style [2]

[1] http://foundation.zurb.com/[2] http://www.amazon.com/Elements-Typographic-Style-Robert-Brin...

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dceddia 2 days ago 0 replies      
I feel the same way -- I also tried hackdesign.org and it felt lacking. I think the key to learning design is building a volume of practice, and reading a couple articles on whitespace and color themes won't cut it -- much the same way as taking a CodeSchool Ruby course won't make you a pro Rails developer overnight.

I'm trying to learn more about design and write about my learning process at http://designwithdave.com -- there's only one post so far, but my goal is to post practice exercises and step-by-step redesigns of existing stuff in order to get better.

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sehr 2 days ago 2 replies      
hackdesign.org is pretty good provided you actually take their advice and look into the materials provided.

For example: there are 5 typography related 'modules' in the top level list.

In module 1. 'Dive into Typography', there are 6 different resources within.

From the one of those 6 resources, here are a list of materials mentioned:

* book - Inside Paragraphs: Typographic Fundamentals [0]

* book - The Elements of Typographic Style [1]

* book - Stop Stealing Sheep & Find Out How Type Works [2]

* post - Unicode Beginners Introduction for Dummies Made Simple [3]

I've found this to be the norm for most posts, they may not cover absolutely everything about a single topic, but they will most definitely point you to somewhere that will.

[0] - http://insideparagraphs.com/

[1] - http://www.amazon.com/Elements-Typographic-Style-Robert-Brin...

[2] - http://www.amazon.com/Stop-Stealing-Sheep-Works-Edition/dp/0...

[3] - http://pythonconquerstheuniverse.wordpress.com/2010/05/30/un...

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nutter 2 days ago 0 replies      
I've found Thou Shall Not Use Comic Sans: Design Sins and Virtues: A Designer's Almanac of Dos and Don'ts to be very useful - each page is dedicated to one design rule, and the justification, tips on use, etc.

http://www.amazon.com/Thou-Shall-Not-Comic-Sans/dp/032181281...

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jaan 2 days ago 0 replies      
I'm surprised no one has mentioned Cadence & Slang by Nick Disabato: http://cadence.cc/

I found it a gentle but thorough introduction with great references for further reading. I wish I had read this before trying to design apps for the first time - it would have saved a lot of headache.

16
cjbarber 2 days ago 0 replies      
Also, a little late, but a bit over a year ago I created:

https://github.com/cjbarber/learn-design

And it ended up getting a few stars on Github so I think some people may have found it useful.

> What is this?

> Resources and tools for hacking design together and (alternatively) learning design.

17
creature 2 days ago 2 replies      
There's a book, Design for Hackers: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Design-Hackers-Reverse-Engineering-B...

The author also produced a free 12 week email course: http://designforhackers.com/

18
tjosten 2 days ago 0 replies      
The best book about User Interface Design / User Experience I've read so far is Designed for Use by Lukas Mathis: http://www.amazon.com/Designed-Use-Create-Interfaces-Applica...
19
michaelbuckbee 2 days ago 1 reply      
I am still far far from being anything someone would consider a designer, but I got a lot out of http://bootstrappingdesign.com/ - it focused enough on actionable things that it was pretty much read + implement to get going.
20
maroonblazer 2 days ago 0 replies      
Check out Before and After Magazine. I think designers literally see differently than non-designers. He covers general design principles that helped me see things in new ways.

http://www.bamagazine.com/

21
lukesan 2 days ago 0 replies      
I feel the same, almost all resources I know are stating the basics but don't iterate on how to use them.Maybe you should also post this question on Designer News https://news.layervault.com/ ?
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osmnshkh 2 days ago 0 replies      
23
shangxiao 2 days ago 0 replies      
I feel I should mention 'The Bible' of usability: The Design of Everyday Things [1], which is highly recommended.

[1] http://amzn.com/0465050654

24
mkbrody 2 days ago 1 reply      
I took a course on DesignLab, a platform for learning how to design as a hacker, and it was really good. Learned all the basics of how to MVP my own sites with some polish. www.trydesignlab.com
25
alvinhsia 2 days ago 0 replies      
Ask a designer friend to send you a big PSD file and use it as a textbook. You can learn a ton just from examining the set up of spacing guides, layer groups, folders, font sizes, shadow effects, etc.
26
motyar 2 days ago 0 replies      
Good design is what I miss most as a skill. As as developer I can ship much faster if I can train myself to design well.
27
BorisMelnik 2 days ago 0 replies      
just wanted to drop this resource my friend made: http://www.30images30days.com to try to learn design, he also came from a very technical background so just went that route.
28
jebediah 2 days ago 0 replies      
funny you ask it like that, there is a book which is literally named "design for hackers" and it is pretty good
29
dsyph3r 2 days ago 0 replies      
https://hackdesign.org/ is a really nice collections of design articles, videos and tutorials.
30
Jayd2014 1 day ago 0 replies      
Nice links.
31
lordbusiness 2 days ago 1 reply      
designcode.io

FWIW, I think this is the way forward. If you're a front-end programmer and you want to be relevant in five years time you better be a good designer too.

19
Ask HN: Did anyone regret the move from engineer to manager?
6 points by cigarpowder  1 day ago   5 comments top 5
1
emmett 1 day ago 0 replies      
Speaking as an engineer who made the transition to management in a big way (from primary web engineer and DBA to CEO with no time to code at all), I have mixed feelings.

I love programming. It's a zen activity for me, turn me loose on a problem and I'll literally lose track of time because I'm so absorbed in the problems. It's one of the purest, most joyous singular activities I've ever had the pleasure of practicing.

After 5 years of doing it 8-10 hours per day, I was getting stale. I was putting in the hours and I think I was productive, but I wasn't encountering new problems very often anymore.

I moved into management shortly thereafter, and being a CEO has been fascinating in its own right. So far (3 years in) I have feel like I'm nowhere near the top of the learning curve. It's a constant challenge, in a way that programming wasn't for me 3 years in. I don't think I've ever been more fully intellectually engaged.

That said, I miss programming. A lot. I find excuses to pick up bug fixes. I wrote an internal tool that manages the distribution of status updates, and at least half the reason was just to be able to code something. I don't regret the career change, but I hope some day I can make programming my main gig again.

As an alternative, I think I could have switched from web programming & DBA work to a new problem domain like graphics or even mobile apps and probably gotten a new lease on learning-curve.

Taking that step back, when I look at where other engineers have gone in their careers within the Twitch organization, the success of a switch into management seems highly idiosyncratic. Some engineers really take to it and enjoy the new challenges; some of them hate it and want to switch back. We've had a number of people try it, decide it wasn't for them, and move back onto the IC (individual contributor) track. We pay top ICs about the same as top managers, so I suppose that might make it easier.

My bottom line advice would be: you don't really know if you'll like management unless you try it. If you're in a workplace where you have the option of switching into a management position, give it a shot. Just know that it's not for everyone.

2
steverb 23 hours ago 0 replies      
I made the switch a year and a half ago and I don't regret it at all. I'd been programming professionally for > 12 years and had gotten to the point where I didn't really feel like I was encountering enough challenging problems to keep my juices flowing.

Now I deal with a lot of new (to me) problems every day and get to spend my time trying to help my developers be the best they can be and kick ass.

The hardest bit for me was making the mental shift from trying to do things myself, to coaching and encourage others to solve problems and learning to be okay with people not doing it the way I would have.

No regrets so far, but I also do some consulting on the side, and occasionally jump into understaffed projects to assist as needed.

3
epc 1 day ago 0 replies      
Once you become a manager your perceived technical value will be zero, regardless of your past contributions or current skill set. If you're cool with that, and have no plans to return to being "just an engineer" then go into management.

Don't do it if you ever plan to join someone else's startup.

Don't do it if you aren't a people person, or savvy with organizational politics.

Don't do it if you do not enjoy confronting people (regardless of what the confrontation is over, the entire point of being a manager is to manage confrontations in many organizations, between labor and management, between organizations, etc).

You're better off if you're in Corporate America and there's a clear management career path. If you're in startup land you're better off staying an engineer, unless you plan to retire by age 40.

4
srblanch 1 day ago 0 replies      
I made the switch to management and did that for several years. I don't regret it at all. I learned lots and had a bunch of experiences that I would never have had otherwise, but I eventually made the switch back to being a "lowly" engineer. In the end, I personally had a greater sense of purpose and fulfillment in that role than in management.
5
jozi9 1 day ago 0 replies      
20
Ask HN: How many domains do you own?
3 points by Zakuzaa  1 day ago   7 comments top 7
1
stevekemp 17 hours ago 0 replies      
38.

Of which about six are in use daily for email, blog, etc.

10+ are names that I registered with a project in-mind which didn't take off, or didn't get started. I'd be happy to lose them when they expire, but feel no need to actively sell/offer them anywhere.

2
ishbits 21 hours ago 0 replies      
Around 50.. Not all unique, some are the same in different TLDs, and just different variations, especially when there is a number in the name.

I'm letting them mostly expire now.

3
mqsiuser 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Each dot-com domain costs me 1,49 each month

I just reduced from 3 to 2

4
motyar 1 day ago 0 replies      
5

Edit: I got lobi.mobi, no idea what to do with it.

5
jloughry 1 day ago 0 replies      
Three (two of them about fifteen years old). I would be more interested to know about the distribution of interest in all the new TLDs my registrar keeps trying to sell me.
6
rk0567 11 hours ago 0 replies      
~30.
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subrat_rout 1 day ago 0 replies      
Around a dozen.
21
Ask HN: Ways to increase mental sharpness or intelligence?
74 points by hotshot  1 day ago   54 comments top 30
1
emotionalcode 1 day ago 0 replies      
Writing, absolutely.

Challenge yourself over a variety of cognitive functionality. Challenge yourself in ways you wouldn't even define as intellectually or mentally sharp. Thinking non-critically, social intelligence, group intelligence, for example.

Challenge yourself with concepts you find impossible or impenetrable to understand. I find when I do this, my desire to understand it increases by what seems like an infinite magnitude. When I have that much passion and motivation behind learning something, I am going to throw everything I've got at it. When I run out of every way I'm used to thinking, I have to force myself to find another way. This can be incredibly painful, but it can also be incredibly rewarding.

It is the kind of learning process that can completely flip the way I perceive everything, because I have realized over and over again, that for every way I had constructed as what I called 'learning', that element which ties them together biases them together. Even now, I realize that I make the assumption that bias is capable of being evaluated in a binary fashion. I don't know what that means, but it's a new thought.

Examine yourself carefully and slowly. It is a fine line to walk, between mental independence, and feeling mentally ill. The further out I go, the longer it seems to take me to come back. But I never know what going that far out is worth. Sometimes I feel lost entirely. Sometimes I feel sharp as knives. Sometimes I have to remind myself to stop thinking about how to control my thinking, so I can get back to studying the things I wanted to become proficient in, in the first place.

2
Clanan 1 day ago 2 replies      
For the parents out there, more and more research is revealing how influential the first few years of life are to a child's later intelligence. A few tidbits:

* Talk to them. Talk, talk. Narrate everything you do. (No, TV doesn't count). I'm simplifying, but the motto is: the more they hear/converse, the smarter they'll be.)

* Read to them. A lot. They don't need to understand the story.

* Play lots of different things in different places. (A child's brain lights up when they're outdoors.)

* Cut out TV and similar things (no TV before age 2, according to American Academy of Pediatrics).

I don't have citations offhand - these are from my person notes from reading relevant books.

3
brooksbp 1 day ago 1 reply      
Exercise. A short jog around the block is enough to give you a boost.

Sleep. Your body requires rest.

Fruits & vegetables. You don't have to be 'vegan' or 'vegetarian': my motto is the more fruits & vegetables I consume the better. Juicing is a great way to consume large quantities of these foods. People give me the o.0 stare every time I mention that I get 'high' from kale--along with other dark greens and fruit.

Learn about other fields / domains that interest you. Find less technical intro books and find ways that you can apply simple algorithms to compute things or program systems that aid in automating and managing things in that domain. Create a domain specific language (DSL) for assisting in thinking about and computing things in a domain. These things should be interesting to you and potentially beneficial to your life! Start small, stupidly small, and just explore and have fun.

Build a discipline of studying and practicing. Shit takes time, and if you don't put in the time you won't get there. Build the habit of regularly spending deliberate study and practice time. Plan your trajectory and track your progress & velocity and adjust regularly.

Nootropics and other supplements: (ar)modafinil, racetams, artichoke extract & forskolin, choline, amino acids, creatine, etc. I am a believer in no biological 'free lunch', but it can be fun to explore these on your own and form your own beliefs about them.

4
jasim 1 day ago 2 replies      
write. writing clarifies. it forces you to make fuzzy things concrete.

be mindful of when you are stuck. when a hard problem makes you walk away from it (it isn't easy to realize when you do, it requires practice), write the problem down. write the first small thing that you need to figure out to start figuring out the larger problem.

unfuzzy the fuzziness.

5
blueking 1 day ago 2 replies      
One method to enhance fluid intelligence is to regularly play dual N back. Say 30 minutes a day.

http://brainworkshop.sourceforge.net

I have been experimenting for about 5 years now with nootropics. Unfortunately there is a lot of misinformation on the internet as is the case with most supplements. Suppliers hype their products in forums and reddit.

Nootropics are really drugs not supplements, and although unregulated for the most part should be used with caution (experiment with small doses at first and never mix or 'stack'). The original nootropic was a compound called Piracetam which showed to improve cognitive function in mice. A number of similar 'racetam' products are on the market now with miraculous claims and fake reviews. There are two newer compounds significantly more potent than the rest - Pramiracetam and Noopept. Aside from those two almost every other racetam including piracetam doesn't work, and requires you ingest something like 5 grams to get any effect at all. The more potent racetams give you about 4 hours of slightly enhanced clarity, but honestly its nothing special. Use any racetam for more than a week and you get the most severe burnout its awful. I'm telling you these things because if there is one piece of advise I would give to a newbie in nootropics its to avoid the racetam family. Its a racket.

However, there are some nootropics that do work. PRL-8-53 is a memory enhancement drug, taken daily at 5mg. Its effects are accumulative, and it definitely works.

NSI-189 was originally marked for application as a anti depressant but has shown to increase density in the hippocampus by 20% in mice and to a lesser but significant degree in humans. It does provide a true benefit, but should be avoided by anyone with existing 'issues'.

Semax is definitely worth a mention, check that out too.

Other riskier nootropics I have been experimenting with are dihexa and estraidol. You will need to do a lot of research before experimenting. Those can easily hurt you.

Remember the mechanisms of nootropics are often not fully understood. Micro doses are the way. The idea is to get a long term permanent cognitive benefit rather than a fix.

Then there are the stimulants for the short term. Avoid caffeine, avoid adderall / dexedrine or any amphetamine solution. Those are yesterdays drugs. What you want is modafinil. Simple as that. Creatine is also a good pick me up.

All of the above can be ordered easily online. The best place to go (I don't work for them) is a Chinese supplier called XI'AN YIYANG BIO-TECH Co. They ship every type of nootropic and stimulant at a fraction of US middlemen who just import from China and triple the cost.

Finally avoid alcohol. That will drop your IQ like a brick.

6
keerthiko 1 day ago 0 replies      
In addition to what people have suggested, play games. Don't play the same game over and over, but try to focus on different games, and try to be brutal on yourself by playing mindfully (thinking hard about what's the best way to do what you're trying to achieve). Once you have reached a level of competency, tear yourself away from the game and pick a new one to master (this is surprisingly difficult). Board games, word games, video games, outdoor games, anything and everything. Try to mix those categories, and mix genres as well as you play (puzzle video games are an exception, have at as many of those in a row as long as they aren't clones, because they have enough variety among themselves).

My understanding is that intelligence is basically the speed and accuracy at which we are able to assess and model a situation and arrive at approaches to solve the problems that are presented. Like all other things, it's a question of being comfortable and getting used to being in situations you haven't been in before to get faster at assessing new ones. In real life, one situation is rarely radically different from the last or next, and so our intelligence isn't exercised as much.

On the other hand, games present a vast variety of circumstances, that if picked from the right pool, are completely different from each other and from what you may have experienced in real life, getting you more comfortable with dealing with fresh situations in a very low-pressure, low-stakes environment. The experience carries over to real life even when the stakes and pressure are higher.

Playing games is also a great stress reliever, and if you aren't getting addicted to a single game, it's unlikely to disrupt your lifestyle in any notable way, it may just eat into a bar night (which does nothing good for your intelligence) a week :)

7
click170 1 day ago 0 replies      
The BBC has done a documentary about this, though I can't recall the name of it now. The only one that comes up in searches is How Smart Are You but that's not the right one.

If I recall it came down to simply breaking routine. I'm not kidding.

One specific example I recall was they asked people to make a chocolate sandwich (which they claimed was popular somewhere in the UK) in a way they wouldn't normally. If you butter the bread and then pour the chocolate sprinkles on, then try buttering the bread, pouring the sprinkles onto a plate, and mopping up the sprinkles with your buttered bread.

My advice would be:If you always make the same breakfast, try making something else or preparing it in a different way.If you always walk the same route to work, take a different route.If you take the bus, try taking a different combination of buses.

Take a second to ask yourself what your daily routine is, and then find a few things - as many as you're comfortable with - and find a different way to do those tasks.

Edit: I think it was How To Make Better Decisions, which up on Youtube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rirW96NM6HM

8
spindritf 1 day ago 0 replies      
Caffeine. Mild hunger. Perhaps exposure to cold.

Maybe modafinil[1], maybe creatine[2]. Of course, there are risks.

[1] http://www.gwern.net/Modafinil

[2] http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1691485/pdf/1456... [PDF]

9
gls2ro 1 day ago 1 reply      
If you are referring to increasing cognitive capabilities when you say "increase intelligence" then the first question to ask if such a capability is trainable?

And the second question is if you can find a way to train intelligence (for example by playing a game) the second question is if the gain is transferable to non-related training tasks (i.e if you can take the gain with you and apply it in new situations).

The answer to both questions is not so simple:1. There are some studies on training of intelligence which suggest it is possible to increase intelligence (they are talking about fluid intelligence) with some kind of a training. One that comes now into my mind is this:"Improving fluid intelligence with training on working memory" -http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2008/04/25/0801268105 Another one is this: "Putting brain training to the test" http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v465/n7299/full/nature0...

2. On the other hand a Meta-analysis of studies related to Working Memory (which is one metric of the concept of intelligence) found limited evidence of improvement: https://www.apa.org/pubs/journals/releases/dev-49-2-270.pdf

So if you believe studies related to the first point then you can use what it is called brain games. And if you take this path I would recommend using N-Back game as it is the most studied.

If you go with point 2, then then the focus is not so much on increasing intelligence, but on let's call it "educating" intelligence - thinking skills.In this category I would recommend (without any scientific evidence behind):

- Learning yourself about Problem Solving Strategies

- Reading (fiction and non-fiction)

- Writing and summarizing

- Reading about Skepticism, Critical Thinking, The Scientific Method or in general Epistemology and trying to use them in your tasks

You could also take a look at this: http://www.dana.org/Cerebrum/2009/How_Arts_Training_Improves...

10
wallflower 1 day ago 1 reply      
Easy. Do something that is not obvious for you.

Yes, that means get of the house and stop coding (if you are).

Ballroom dancing, lyrical poetry, busking, popping-and-locking, figure sculpting, going up to strangers and trying to learn something about them, anything.

For bonus points, once you learn skills in the above, immediately start trying to teach them.

Success is one area is not directly transitive. However, the more success you have in multiple areas - the better off you will be. It's all about confidence.

Be open to new things. A closed mind is a terrible thing to see.

11
bryang 1 day ago 3 replies      
Memory is one of the most important aspects in intelligence. Personally, I have a lot of knowledge but low recall speed. With a little context, I have no problem though.

Anyways, improving your memory is a big first step in bettering your intelligence. I highly recommend the book "Walking with Einstein: The Art and Science of Remembering Everything."

http://www.amazon.com/Moonwalking-Einstein-Science-Rememberi...

12
DenisM 1 day ago 0 replies      
I recommend reading. Set aside an hour every day and read long texts. Reading trains you to retain focus on a single thing for a period of time, which is required to understand a complicated subject or to make a sophisticated argument.

Speicifically what you read should take longer than an hour to complete, else you end up in a literary analogue of compulsively consuming sugary snacks in lieu of proper meals.

13
luketych 1 day ago 0 replies      
I am surprised more people aren't mentioning meditation. That's a shame.
14
cyrusshepard 1 day ago 0 replies      
1. Excercise. The more variety, the better. Excercise supports nuerogenisis.2. Proper diet. Can't believe how much smarter I became in my 40's when I actually started eating vegetables, seeds, nuts, leafy greens, fish, etc.3. Sleep4. Hydration5. Socialize

Lots of research for all of the above, but experiance is the best teacher.

15
jwr 1 day ago 0 replies      
I think the key is to constantly challenge yourself and never rest on your laurels. It's like strength training if it's easy, it doesn't do much for your muscles.

Learn new things, read about new concepts. And always remember, it should be hard. If it's easy, it doesn't do much for your mind.

16
timrichard 1 day ago 0 replies      
I used to improvise a technique to shake off the sleepies and also alleviate the morning boredom on the tube/subway. Just spot a word on a nearby poster or sign, then look away...and spell the word to yourself backwards. The longer the better. I found it helped to rouse into an alert state, as you have to think about breaking the word into chunks. I also found it helped focusing the "minds eye" to visualise segments that could be picked off in reverse. After fiddling with it for a while, it's the same drill for "drill" and "antidisestablishmentarianism" :-
17
azatris 1 day ago 0 replies      
In my experience, nothing has helped this more directly than dhyanas (technically these are practices for the mind and is somewhat like meditation, but not exactly). However these are ridiculously difficult and hard to maintain as a daily practice. Currently, as I am aware of, the information on these are not available online and by tradition taught directly. Also I also can not guarantee the teacher you will find would necessarily be a good one.

I learned to use these practices via Babji Kriya Yoga first initiation. (it seems somewhat religious, but actually is not related to any)

18
Corvus 1 day ago 0 replies      
Consult the previous thread on Increasing Cognition: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=3277457
19
the4dpatrick 1 day ago 0 replies      
Someone mentioned nootropics so I'll chime in. I've been taking the nootropic Piracetam for about 3 months now, and I can say there is a definite 'sharpness' or rather what I call 'clarity' in the way I think and function now. I recently took a break from piracetam, but when I started again, I could tell the difference under an hour. Nootropics are worth a try if you are interested in an increased mental sharpness or intelligence.
20
xaa 1 day ago 0 replies      
In addition to the other comments about taking care of yourself, and "soft" nootropics like piracetam, I have personally had excellent results with judicious use of amphetamines and nicotine.

You have to know the risks (cardiovascular, addiction), and treat them with the respect that they deserve (don't overuse, take breaks, etc.), but they can be incredibly useful if used properly (or incredibly dangerous if not).

21
bane 1 day ago 0 replies      
Exercise your brain in the way you want it to grow.
24
chipsy 1 day ago 0 replies      
A balanced lifestyle appropriate to your body and its natural tendencies. This can be "subtractive" (cut out something) as well as "additive". Not all time should be productive time; idleness helps bring out confidence in your bigger ideas.
25
FeatureRush 1 day ago 0 replies      
And while at it: how to measure changes on the way? When using IQ tests or simple logic games you are getting better at the task with each measurement...
26
percept 1 day ago 0 replies      
Meditation.
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thehoneybadger 1 day ago 0 replies      
Never skip over the definition of a word with which you are unfamiliar. For example, acuity.
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nodata 1 day ago 0 replies      
Sleep well.
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Flavius 1 day ago 0 replies      
Maybe this will sound like trolling, but it isn't: don't be stupid.
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slambam 1 day ago 2 replies      
sleep/exercise/nutrition/hydration/nootropics
22
Ask HN: Experienced dev having career lull
83 points by throwawaydotcpp  1 day ago   71 comments top 39
1
postit 1 day ago 3 replies      
You should take a sabbatical right now.

I had a similar bored moment who rapidly turned into a destructive burn out situation that almost destroyed both my relationships and my reputation as a good developer.

When started showing depression symptoms I took care of the situation and made some changes in my life.

- I resigned my job;

- I convinced my wife to join me in a 3 week retreat in the woods w/o phone, tv and internet. Just books, wine and conversations.

- I took a really long vacation period away from keyboard/internet (sure, you won't lose the next big thing if you turn off a few weeks - the internet, HN & Reddit are always recycling their contents)

- I went to some US universities just to hangout with people, I managed to know a bunch of nice people just hanging near the MIT campus and even visited a couple of labs.

- I started taking small weekend-trips to places that I've always wanted to visit but never had time.

- Managed to get a new job with amazing people.

- Adopted a crazy Dog.

Now I know I'm still not 100% but every day I fell better than yesterday.

2
tslug 1 day ago 3 replies      
Your money is a microscopic magnetic domain of bits on a hard drive on a computer in a bank somewhere. If you acquire twice as much, you didn't even get a new bit, because you prolly already had at least 32 allocated, if not more, just one of them flipped its spin orientation to represent a "1". It's pretty stupid.

Money is an addiction, like a high score for the world's oldest, most fucked up MMO called "capitalism". This MMO has been patched so heavily that it's totally unmaintainable, incomprehensible spaghetti code. The gameplay is wretchedly paced, totally unbalanced, and unfair due to the ridiculously silly positive feedback loops strewn everywhere. It rewards people lavishly for bullshit work that doesn't really benefit our species much less the species we're busy exterminating through neglect. It really needs a total rewrite from the ground up, but that's called "revolution", and it's generally bloody and awful and no fun.

So the fix is to stop playing the game. Ween yourself off money. You don't need much of it to get by. The lower you get your burn rate, you'll find the happier you get. Bills put a lot of subconscious burden on you.

And do something deeply satisfying. Cloud computing infrastructure isn't that for you anymore. Move onto something that resonates deeply. Get into the import/export business and take what you've learned to an entirely new field. Which field to pick? Try something you dreamed of doing as a kid. You were more honest with yourself as a kid.

3
haihaibye 1 day ago 0 replies      
I switched from programming, where I didn't care about the domain (business), to bioinformatics, which has an inherently interesting domain to me (biology research). I have a deeper sense of purpose now.

Find a domain that interests you, is a greater goal of mankind (maybe your malaise is not being part of a 'greater good') and needs people good at solving problems with computers.

Try and build the better world you want to see when you're an old man. Want to see less people die on the roads? Maybe work on self driving cars. Or clean energy, or robots to do dangerous jobs. Or analyze data to improve aid efficiency, or health services, etc etc.

Find a big problem that is interesting and going to grow.

Learn in your own time. Grow your skills.

Step sideways into a slightly different role as the field expands and your skills are needed.

4
bellerocky 1 day ago 1 reply      
If you haven't already start a family and you'll stop being bored. You will wish you had the time for malaise and boredom. And you will create happiness for yourself outside of your career.
5
nugget 1 day ago 0 replies      
Find a well-funded post Series A or B company that you really believe in. Make it clear you want work as a technical contributor who writes lots of code (they will like this). You'll still make $150k and have equity in place of the extra bonus cash. But, if you like the team and believe in what the company wants to do, and you write code every day to help push the company there, you'll probably be a lot happier.
6
jvert 1 day ago 1 reply      
I spent 21+ years at Microsoft. From college hire to partner level. Finally got fed up and left for a smaller company 2 years ago. Sure, I'm making less money but I'm working with great people, building cool stuff, and not wasting my time on bureaucracy & management. Don't get hung up on the $$ if that's not what makes you happy.
7
hliyan 1 day ago 0 replies      
Few questions:

1. Are you making more money than you actually need?

2. Are you happy with the amount of decision making power you have? Or do you frequently have to subject your own judgement to corporate policies, management, marketing and bottom line considerations?

3. Are you really really sure that there's nothing you want to work on?

I broke out of a somewhat similar situation last year (10 years in very nice, well paid, senior but eventually boring position) and I've done spectacularly well since, if I say so myself. The only difference between you and me is #3 -- there were so many things I wanted to do but didn't have time for. So I specifically negotiated for a new job that gave me oodles of free time, even if it meant a temporary drop in compensation. As a result, I've done more things in the past 12 months that I had in the past 10 years. The boredom's all but evaporated!

So whether anything further I have to add will help or not, depends entirely on the nature of your problem #3.

8
1602 1 day ago 0 replies      
When I was in similar situation my solution was: 1) travel, 2) opensource, 3) meditation.

So I would suggest you to leave your zone of comfort, learn how your mind and body works and use them properly and give more attention to details of your life, turn off autopilot mode.

9
hliyan 1 day ago 1 reply      
I just noticed something after I posted my previous comment. Your username -- throwaway.cpp -- I'm assuming you're a C++ programmer or have been at some point? Then you and I have a lot in common. C++ is a great language, but after about 10 years, you can reach a level of mastery where there's not much more interesting things left out there for you to learn and play with. If you're someone who started developing because you enjoy it, this is around the point where you should probably consider rebooting yourself into a completely different technology stack (or stacks). I did this and it worked out very well. Not only that, after working with something like C++, almost every other language is a cakewalk (and also more pleasant to code in).
10
ishbits 1 day ago 1 reply      
I hear you. I'm just at 15 years professional experience as well. Did a startup early on in my career, was acquired (more of a firesale) and I'm still there. Things are OK, but not great. I've learned new languages (Scala, Javascript, Go), but still feeling unfullfilled - I think I'm more after the bigger picture, and regardless of what language, frameworks, etc, if you just aren't into the big picture (anymore) it gets old.

You are lucky though with such a high salary. I'd think you could quit and take some time, travel a little and perhaps rediscover yourself.

And a bit unrelated, what localities does one have to live in to pull in $200k a year? I'm a bit sheltered living off in the sticks I guess.

11
martingoodson 1 day ago 0 replies      
I recommend you read Richard Feynman on how he went from burnout to Nobel prize https://www.physics.ohio-state.edu/~kilcup/262/feynman.html.
12
rdl 1 day ago 0 replies      
If you like working hands-on, pick a company which highly values that, even at the senior level.

In my experience, you'll have a hard time doing ONLY tech stuff at a company with <10 people even if you're not a founder, but you might find an acceptable level of deep-problems.

I'm really enjoying being in a 50-250 person company (CloudFlare; it's around 110 right now). It's big enough to let people specialize, but not so big that there's a lot of bureaucracy. You wouldn't get near $200k in cash comp in a company of this stage (outside maybe sales), but equity upside can exceed $200k/yr total comp easily.

You probably have to live in a top-tier city (SF, maybe NYC, maybe London) to have a large choice of different 50-250 person companies which highly value senior devs (without forcing them into management), but there are individual companies in all kinds of random places which do; it's just that you're locked into a less competitive job market and switching costs can be higher. I'd recommend SF for this reason, even though I personally hate SF.

13
axlprose 1 day ago 0 replies      
Step outside of your domain and learn something new entirely. If your job takes up too much of your time with 'busy-work', find another one that emphasizes a better work-life balance (it's worth taking a pay cut for this). Or alternatively, gather some savings and go on a sabbatical. Just do whatever you can to go off and study music/painting/writing/photography/design/cooking/whatever, and then take on a totally different branch of programming (like games or front-end work) to explore some new challenges, or abandon programming as a career altogether and save programming only for stuff that you're actually passionate about.

Starting a business is also an option (like others have pointed out), but while it isn't exactly 'boring', it can become grueling if you're not passionate enough about the specific idea you're working on. But whatever you do, make sure it is a major shift -- don't expect that just changing where you do the same 'dull-work' will suddenly make it feel like 'awesome-work'.

14
nbm 1 day ago 1 reply      
Focusing mostly on #3:

Might be worth interviewing or just chatting around at a bunch of different places (big companies, startups) and see whether something grabs your interest. Passion is often a bit contagious.

I've been pretty happy changing teams every year or so at Facebook, so also consider whether your employer has any internal transfer options available.

Focusing on #4:

If you don't think you have people to learn from in your team or sufficiently close to you in your company, you should move - either within the company or without.

If your company doesn't offer an IC-only track, you probably should make a move elsewhere.

#1 - you'll only really find out about comp once you've got an offer (and then negotiated on it), so you'll need to get out there.

#2 - Tell your manager what is eating up your work time on things you don't enjoy. If they can't make a difference on that, look around. And also just opt out of things. Also might be useful to be more clear here on what is eating up your time.

15
tallerholler 1 day ago 0 replies      
Get outside yourself and go help someone else out. Donate to a charity, go teach code to high schoolers, go help your neighbor paint their fence, go volunteer at an animal shelter, go visit the elderly, spend time with your family, run a marathon, run for office, plant some trees, help build homes for the poor in Mexico - get out there and do stuff that doesn't involve YOU!
16
CyberFonic 1 day ago 0 replies      
Chill man !

A lot of us on HN would love to be pulling down >$200k. My guess is it's like golden handcuffs, you have gotten used to the lifestyle it allows and won't contemplate earning half of that. I think that's what's blinkering your evaluation of the many brilliant suggestions here by other readers of HN.

17
lasryaric 1 day ago 1 reply      
I'm not as experienced as you are but I completely understand your situation. I'm 26 years old and I was making $190k+ / year - bur I was bored! I was doing more and more management and I was slowly loosing my passion for computer science. After interviewing with a bunch of companies, I found one that I really liked and I joined it.I can't tell you how happy I'm. I'm working on interestong problems, doscovering new technologies (there is still a lot of computer science related problems not solved yet), slowly learning about machine learning, working with talented people, etc.

My salary is lower but still very good compare to a lot of people outside of the silicon valley and my passion is coming back extremely quickly.

Find something different, forget your $200k, money is here to help you, and it is clearly not helping you here.Go outside, on interviews, talk to startups, big companies, who ever you want. A lot of interesting things are going on!

18
robbles 1 day ago 1 reply      
My (totally subjective, anecdotal only) experience has been that a lot of developers who have moved away from day-to-day coding tend to have less of a sense of what's new and interesting in technology. This would make sense, given that the pressure of keeping up with the latest and greatest is removed somewhat when you don't have to work directly with new technology and compete with other developers and their experience.

The main downside of this could be that you'd slowly develop a jaded feeling, and start to think that nothing is really new and interesting, or worth working on. I think the only cure for this is likely to get back down into the trenches and start working on a coding project at the same level as more junior developers, who may be less skilled, but might also be able to provide you with a connection to new areas that will interest you.

Or you could do what most experienced programmers seem to end up doing, and write a book or two.

19
marcomonteiro 1 day ago 0 replies      
I feel there's an important amount of context left out for anyone to give you sound advice. Do you have a wife/husband? Children? Ages? Any other commitments? A mortgage, car payments, other debt? What fields have you been in? Then, there's the personal side. What's on your bucket list? Could you earn half of what you're used to and live comfortably along with any dependents you may have?

Also, what's wrong with management? For that matter, what's wrong with being bored or confused? It seems like you have a certain sense of urgency for change, but is work where change is most required in your life?

What do you want? If nothing, then at least learn to be content. This is not advice, just me repeating what I often find myself contemplating.

20
bobsil1 1 day ago 1 reply      
Another approach by Hunter S. Thompson: pick your way of life first so you're guaranteed to enjoy what you do. Then pick the gig.

http://www.yourfriendshouse.com/2014/hunter-s-thompson-on-fi...

21
morgante 1 day ago 0 replies      
Go find a well-funded and growing startup building a product which interests you.

Most startups really need people who can write lots of code effectively, so if you go that route it can be entirely possible to get great compensation without going into management.

Yes, there will be a minor hit in cash comp initially (you'll probably pull around $150k at a startup), but the equity upside allows for more interesting growth than in a BigCo. Importantly, the growth factor in startups also means you can grow in comp (equity & cash) without having to move up the management chain.

If you can't find any interesting startups, take some time off to build your own ideas.

(Pure self-promotion, but if you do want to go the startup route I'm currently hiring: http://cafe.com/developers)

22
sriku 1 day ago 0 replies      
For some reason, our cultures generally put a negative spot light on boredom. In hindsight, I've found boredom to have the reverse effect - it has always been the germination of some new phase, something deeper and more satisfying always crops up.

So ... be more excited about the unknown stuff that's now going to flow your way!

As I read your post, I was reminded of Richard Feynman's tale of how he idly began playing with the physics of an object on a spinning plate that was thrown by someone in a cafeteria (am wondering whether my recall is right) ... and ending up with some very interesting physics that got him the Nobel.

Play!

23
throwawaydotcpp 1 day ago 1 reply      
Thank you everyone for all the amazing feedback. It's so helpful after you get stuck in your own head with your thoughts. Very good stuff to ruminate on here.

I probably should have mentioned for context - for people recommending radical alterations to my life, or wondering why I'm not on the verge of retiring - I'm a divorced dad. I have my kiddo 50% of the time and still write his mom large checks every month. So, no spirit quests for me nor moving somewhere cheaper, etc.

24
binaryanomaly 1 day ago 0 replies      
Also +1 for Sabbatical

I'm in a similar situation right now and think I'll again make a sabbatical.

It helped me a lot when I found myself for the first time in such a situation. When I came back I was deeply relaxed and highly motivated to start working again.I was so lucky to sign the new contract before I started the Sabbatical - therefore everything was really chilled and relaxed.

I can really recommend it - take some pressure from yourself and find joy in life.

25
MAGZine 1 day ago 0 replies      
Maybe find a co that you like, and if they can't offer you the 200k+, bargain on extra vacation.

And then use your vacation to get out. I find I sometimes fall into a lull if I don't balance constant tech out with other things.

26
tunesmith 1 day ago 1 reply      
I'm curious what other people would say about #4. The only two answers I've ever heard are to become a chief architect (that seems to be the only seniority path that isn't management), or just go into consulting.
27
michaelochurch 1 day ago 0 replies      
I'm 31 and have been in technology for almost a decade, so I can relate to this.

There are two kinds of boredom. There's the acute, dangerous kind which is a form of anxiety. That's when you physically can't do the work, because it's so menial, and fall into a dangerous feedback loop of underperformance, anxiety, burnout, social stress, etc. That sort of "emergency" boredom is a different beast, and I won't address that because it doesn't sound like you're facing that. Instead, you seem to be fighting the nagging, "I could be doing more with my life, but I don't know what" kind of boredom that all of us get, from time to time.

The good news is that the latter kind of boredom, alone, rarely transmutes into the acute, emergency kind. There's always that nagging fear that it might, that you might wake up one day and say, "I can't do this", but it rarely happens that way. Emergency boredom (the early stages of sudden-onset anxiety and depression) either involves a biological mental illness, or low social status, and it doesn't seem like either is a problem for you.

Some people are advising sabbaticals. I'm sure that it works for some people, but the problem with that approach is that many people try to "find themselves" and come back with nothing, but are six months of savings poorer. You typically find out what you want to do when you're trying to do something else. Getting out of this kind of lull is like falling asleep. You can't consciously "find yourself". You have to let go and let it happen on its own time.

I'll address the four problems by line item.

Problem 1: High compensation may reduce your options somewhat, but that's a good problem to have. Why? Because the myth is that companies slot people to appropriate roles and status levels and then pay accordingly. The reality is that most of the important, high-status people have no idea how good you are, so they work in reverse: they look at your compensation (and compensation history, and titles, and how your carry yourself) and assume that to be "your level" and find appropriate work based on that. With no prior experience of the sort, you could be a VP/Engineering or VP/Research at a startup tomorrow, just on the credibility conferred by your $200k salary alone. You might be taking a 10-20 percent pay cut to do it, but if the startup is genuinely interesting, it might be worth it.

You might think you have fewer options than at 23, because of your compensation history (and justified desire to stay at that level) and the pyramid shape of this industry. In reality, you have far more good options. You've already won. At 23, you have a lot of shitty options. At 38, with a decent professional history, you have a small number of better options. This can still be problematic if you lose your job suddenly (it can happen to any of us, even if not especially the best) because the smaller job pool does make searches longer, even if what is found is usually of higher quality, but it sounds like you're employed.

Problem 2: you probably wouldn't be happy as a junior developer, churning tickets and dealing with problems you've already seen before, while using technologies that are new and different but generally not better. Nostalgia and the fact that you were new to the craft makes those junior years seem better than what they actually were. In reality, the percentage of people, at any rank, who get to spend more than 2 hours per day on real coding is quite small.

Your best odds might be with taking a 9-to-5 that doesn't tax you too much, and getting your hours of real programming in early mornings, weekends, or evenings. If you can block out 2 hours each morning, and 8 hours each weekend, to work on projects you care about, then you're doing more real coding than 95% of professional programmers.

Problem 3: That's a "going to sleep" problem. You won't find it if you consciously look for it. There are plenty of things worth working on: alternative energy, cancer research, even making social games more engaging and less manipulative. The problem is that it's damn near impossible to get paid to do them (especially if you're not already a "brand name" domain expert). Corporate capitalism is dying (slowly, and it'll probably be 50 years before it's definitively dead) and generating all sorts of incentives to do pointless work while systematically neglecting the long-range R&D work the country (and world) so desperately needs.

A month on vacation will get you to the point where you have the opposite problem: there are tons of things you want to do with your life. Getting paid to do them is the nasty, ugly, stupid problem that no one should face but, while corporate capitalism persists, we all do. Committing to one, and actually seeing it through, is a secondary, internal challenge. (Committing to exactly two projects-- the day job and one side project-- is even harder.) Most people end up committing to the one prospect that gets them paid, even though that tends to stop being rewarding after a couple of years.

My advice would be to find smart people, work with them, and learn things. The upshot of this career is that there's always new stuff to learn: machine learning, GPU programming, new programming languages (Rust, Haskell, Clojure), and plenty of cool, slowly-changing stuff (compilers, operating systems, algorithms) worth a refresh as well. I doubt that MOOCs and online resources will "take over the world" (they're tailored toward highly motivated, intelligent 25+ year olds who want to accelerate their knowledge and who don't need the social context of immersive education) but there are a lot of great free resources out there for us. Get a Safari Books subscription if you don't already have one. Make contacts, learn cool shit, and level-grind. That has you doing more than 95% of your peers. Read papers and books, go to conferences, and do this on company time as much as you can (by your late 30s, you should be politically adept enough that you can work nearly exclusively on your career goals without getting in trouble, and that approach is more rewarding and less boring than regular-ol' slacking). You can't force yourself to find something worth working on, so just make the contacts and learn the skills that'll have you prepared when the muse comes.

Problem 4: The bad news: as a traditionally managed developer, you're well past maxed out. Most of Corporate America is manage-or-be-managed and, now that you're the eminent senior and "tech lead", there are very few places (effectively zero, because you can't get into them without contacts or a Stanford PhD) where you'll learn anything technical from the people telling you what to do. If you stay on your current path, you'll probably be stuck as an interface between non-technical management and the programmers you'll envy because they get to do "the fun work" and seem to be progressing while you stand still. Unless you can work directly for someone Peter Norvig or Jeff Dean... you're going to stagnate as a managed programmer. In truth, you're at risk of backsliding as new-ways-of-doing-old-shit keep emerging and eroding your relative status. You can still be a programmer post-45, but as a traditionally-managed programmer, you're just fucked by that age.

My advice would be to go into management, not because it's great but because it's better. It will give you credibility and status and a bird's eye view into the social and technical aspects of the organization. Try to leapfrog over the lower-middle management stage (MacLeod Clueless) where you have responsibility without power or status. Those jobs are traps and don't lead anywhere better. You may have to change companies, taking a lower-upper-management job (Sr. Director or VP) at a smaller company. But get a job where you have autonomy and some executive control, smart people under you (who you can learn from, because the people under you will know more about their domains but you can get them to teach you) and enough status and leverage that you can cut away a couple hours per day to keep current on the parts of technology that interest you. It's not like executives can't code. No one says they aren't allowed. If your eventual goal is to have your own startup, then orient your 1:1's toward learning as much as you can from your subordinates (and, if you're willing to play that way, ask them to investigate technologies you're curious about, but don't personally have time to look into).

The perception that management is "hard" comes from two sources. The first is complain-bragging, because executives don't want people to realize that they have better work lives in all dimensions (respect, autonomy, flexibility, compensation). They dog-whistle it, so their jobs sound easy to their peers (projecting status and competence) but painful and sacrificial to those below them. The second is that middle management is often a trap that leaves you cleaning up messes made below and above you, and doesn't confer much status or respect. You're best to jump over that "uncanny valley" and into a role where you get to make actual decisions. With 15 years of experience, you're more than qualified for those jobs. (You were probably more than qualified several years ago, to tell the truth.)

That's enough for one post. Good luck!

28
paulannesley 1 day ago 0 replies      
You probably have some savings. Quit work. Take a few weeks or months off. Pick up some old or new hobbies. Then decide.
29
NDizzle 1 day ago 1 reply      
Start your own company.
30
parfamz 1 day ago 0 replies      
After 10 years of cpp this was happening to me also. I switched gears to new projects in Scala and I'm now happier and productive.
31
csoare 1 day ago 0 replies      
Why not think about startups?
32
jw_ 1 day ago 0 replies      
Maybe seek fulfillment outside of work? Family, charity/service work, etc.
33
mtrimpe 1 day ago 0 replies      
I'll chip in another view; and that is to read the book "Flow: The Psychology of Happiness."

It's based on a lot of research about when people find them selves to be happy and builds it into a logical framework that's so simple and obvious you'll wonder why we don't teach this in every high-school.

After reading the book I'm quite confident you'll know where you're going wrong and what is the best, most effortless, way to fix it and get back on track.

34
jvehent 1 day ago 0 replies      
Don't work for the man. Work for mankind.
35
notastartup 1 day ago 1 reply      
You make 200k+ a year, you should invest in me.
36
wellboy 1 day ago 1 reply      
It's the same post as yesterday https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=8177259.

Developers that probably have close to half a million on the bank account complaining that they don't know what to do. It sounds a bit like you want to self-actualize yourself, but you don't want to put in the work. So if you want self-actualization, you need to work hard for it. That's the whole reason why self-actualization is so satisfying, because you have worked so hard for it.

37
dhaval10 1 day ago 1 reply      
Become a professor at a university and research. You wont feel constraints and also share your knowledge with students who are about to start their career. Guide them and together make something meaningful.
38
ckdarby 1 day ago 2 replies      
Your question has already been answered by your own post.

Quit. Pack your bags, move to low cost of living area and just code.

Seriously, if you're > $200k comp last year and this year should be at least equal to $200k comp and you're not at the point of being able to retire with already 15 years of work behind you then you're doing something wrong.

39
ilaksh 1 day ago 0 replies      
Would you like to become an Angel Investor? I have been working on my startup for about six months. There is a chance I may need a little more runway next month. It is a PaaS built around Docker containers. You can email me at ithkuil@gmail.com.
23
Ask HN: How do I find a remote job for my wife?
6 points by shinyPeanut  19 hours ago   10 comments top 5
1
philiphodgen 13 hours ago 1 reply      
Jobs in Europe are possible. She is an expert in U.S. law of some type. She is a legal consultant, not a practicing lawyer--she will studiously stay away from advising on local law.

I personally know several U.S. lawyers and accountants making money happily in Europe, advising people on the fabulosity that is the U.S. legal system.

Disclaimer: I am a lawyer.

Offer: if your wife's expertise is in tax, contact me.

2
thegrif 18 hours ago 0 replies      
She may not be able to practice law in the United States, but I'm sure she'd be able to find remote opportunities where her experience would be useful. I'm sure there are many early stage startups that would accept the risk of her not being licensed to practice in the US in exchange for her prices (but she would have to limit her work to just advice).

I know I would be happy to know someone like this :-) I can probably connect her with a few people that may also be interested.

3
jsonne 10 hours ago 1 reply      
What kind of attorney? I know for personal injury firms a lot of them outsource demand writing. It's paralegal level work, but it's certainly something.
4
nodata 18 hours ago 1 reply      
Why can't she be an attorney in Europe for an American firm? It's pretty standard...
5
user3487 16 hours ago 0 replies      
She could consult for business' looking to expand to the US and need some guidance
24
Ask HN: Established company planning same thing as 1-man startup please advise
26 points by matt_panaro  1 day ago   24 comments top 15
1
dennybritz 1 day ago 0 replies      
I have seen a lot of startups with the same concept, probably at least a dozen. So you are not alone. That being said, worrying about competition is silly. In fact, if one of your competitors gets traction you should see that as validation for your product, think about what you can "copy" and what you can improve upon. Just make sure you can tell the difference between what the press writes and what is actually going on behind the scenes.

The real question you should ask yourself is: How passionate are you about this product? Can you imagine spending the next 3 years working on this, giving it your full time and attention?

If yes, go ahead, keep on eye on competition, but don't obsess about it. Keep hustling. There are many ways you can beat the "bigger" players. The best marketing is usually free. The saying that Microsoft was replaced by two guys in a garage doesn't come from nothing. Also, it's a big market with enough space for multiple players.

If you are not incredibly passionate about this industry and product you should probably stop right now. In this space, with lots of competition, you are probably not going to get huge traction (or money) from one day to another. It's a marathon, and without the right motivation behind the product it's difficult to keep it up. And most of your competition will die for this reason, not due to the lack of marketing dollars.

Edit: Also, a large part of marketing such a product goes towards changing the habits of job seekers. Initially, there will be a lot of resistance (or inertia). People are not used to your way of looking for jobs. You need to teach them. Competition will be immensely helpful with this. They educate your target audience for you. Once someone is actually willing to change their habits and try out a new way of looking for jobs (e.g. your competitor's) it's much easier for them to "just switch to the better product", which is where you come in.

PS: I won a hackathon with the exact same idea once ;) But I didn't keep working on it.

2
ntaso 1 day ago 0 replies      
Before you pour in personal money, you should really think twice if you want to enter this market.

The employer-employee matching market is pretty fucked up in my opinion and personally, I wouldn't touch it with a ten-foot pole. It feels horribly broken and I understand why so many people try to get into the market. There surely must be an easier way to match employees with employers than everything out there yet.

My main objections are:

- This is not a technical problem. Matching employees to employers feels like an easy problem but is incredible hard. Hence, there are assessment centers and headhunters. Do they work? Some articles pop up on HN every few weeks that suggest that they don't.

- In my opinion, it is not even a problem. Top talent isn't hired by match-making platforms. So you try to match average Joe with average jobs. For this job, a simple job description should be sufficient (and it is, mostly).

- Match-making platforms are easily game-able, because they're only an intermediate step. The goal is to get a job interview, thus it's better to game the system as an employee than to play by the rules

- "My PHP skills are a 7 out of 10, you're looking for at least an 8. Am I really a 7?" -> there's no objective way to judge skills. It depends on the job and on the employer. Thus, the best solution is to put as many skills as possible with the highest points as possible.

- Try to think of this "problem" by comparing it to housing-platforms. You're looking for a 2 bedroom appartment. It should be bright, not much noise, under 1000$. Surely, you can now filter search results, but a match is done in real life. There's no way to tell if the appartment is really for you unless you've seen it with your own eyes and got a feeling. The same is true for jobs. There's no way to tell if someone is a good fit without having human contact. For appartments, a simple appartment description is enough. Why would you try to apply sophisticated matching-algorithms to human beings?

The only way this might work is if you try to target a specific niche that you really know a lot about.

3
chatmasta 1 day ago 2 replies      
This is a two sided market, and many people see that as a challenge. However, one side of the market is unemployed people, who are generally desperate and willing to submit their resume just about anywhere. (Apologies if that sounds insensitive to anyone, but it's true in the general case.)

Here's your strategy, at a high level:

> 1. Acquire as many employee leads as possible.

> 2. Sell the leads to companies.

So your first step is acquiring employee leads. The easiest way to do this is to set up a google docs form, with the set of questions you want to ask employees. Include name, location, contact info, and resume.

Post on the employment section of craigslist in every city, every day. There are ("blackhat") services that will do this for you, or you can setup your own system with proxies and automation. I guarantee you will get an absurd conversion percentage. Unemployed people will submit their resume almost anywhere.

In your CL post, be upfront about what you're doing. Tell the employees that you are matching them to companies based on questions they answer. Feel free to lie about how many companies you have signed up. Say it's something like 1000, which sounds like a lot and will convince them to give you their info, but also gives you plausible deniability when they don't hear from any companies for a while.

Once you have a sufficient number of leads, it's time to get the other side of the market. Pick some companies you want to sell customers to. Go through your spreadsheet, and answer questions how you think that company might answer them. Then, go to the company. Seriously... physically go there. If you can't do that, send a first class fedex envelope with some really nice marketing materials. Explain to them what your service is, and tell them you have X employee leads who answered this set of questions. If they're interested, they can pay you per lead or a percentage of salary for any hire.

Boom. Leads sold, money made.

Notice how you do not need to build out your product. You have everything you need right now. Maybe make a nice landing page for your Google docs form, but otherwise, you don't need to do any coding. Get the leads, get the companies, then build out the product.

Move fast. You are not eHarmony. You don't need to put out some polished product, and you don't need to play by the rules. Hustle!

4
ricardobeat 1 day ago 0 replies      
Recommended reading:

http://techcrunch.com/2012/04/24/with-1-5m-from-adecco-path-...

http://venturebeat.com/2013/07/16/path-to-shuts-down-after-l...

http://seriousstartups.com/2013/07/18/jacksonville-startup-p...

It seems something beyond smart matching algorithms is needed to really make it in the job search/recruiting space. Unless eHarmony has found such a breakthrough, they don't have any advantage but sheer weight. As someone else mentioned, smaller == faster. I wouldn't spend anything above what was already planned on marketing or whatever, you'll certainly not win that race when they have a fuckton of money available.

5
apinstein 1 day ago 0 replies      
Competition isn't bad. Markets are huge, don't let that part scare you.

However, two-sided market startups are very, very hard. Unless your business model works before having a liquid market form, you're probably doomed. Especially as a 1-man startup, it just sounds crazy. The thing with 2-sided market business is that the more you succeed, the more you have to grow the business, and it's usually not profitable at first.

Unless you're willing to get external funding and be in it for the long-haul and be OK with a largely binary outcome in terms of success (complete failure or big success), this is the type of business scenario I'd advise against being the best place to apply your efforts.

6
rl3 1 day ago 0 replies      
Generally speaking, large companies tend to suck at executing on anything but their core products. Other startups are a far greater threat, simply because they tend to move faster and with greater focus, usually with a much higher-quality product.

In this case though, I'd say the threat is about equal since eHarmony has a massive amount of users. Keep in mind that many startups looking to foster a two-sided market fail because they can't reach the minimum threshold of initial growth required for their product to work as intended.

7
goodwink 1 day ago 0 replies      
This is a good thing, not a bad thing. A market of one is a lonely place to be. It's much better to have a large company creating the market and bearing the expense and then leaving niches open for you to fill.
8
walterbell 1 day ago 1 reply      
Competition reduces marketing expenses and adds parameters for differentiation.
9
mangrish 1 day ago 0 replies      
I am building a similar product for the same market and what everyone has told you on this thread is great advice. People thinking that there is a one size fits all solution to hiring methods usually go out of business (path.to work4pie etc). Big hitters entering the market validates what you are doing. We have a very specific proposition for a very specific group of people which we want to solve best. If you are really interested in this problem maybe we could talk more outside of HN.
10
matt_panaro 13 hours ago 0 replies      
Thanks a lot, everybody, for taking the time to read & respond. I'm grateful for the advice & encouragement.
11
funkyy 1 day ago 0 replies      
Only because Ask Jeeves was popular didnt meant for few folks to create Google. Facebook? Twitter?

Use others experience to avoid mistakes and use being one man army as advantage - you dont follow stiff corporate code. Why Google and Facebook have issues with creating new service that will rock the world? WHy they need to buy startups? Use this as advantage!

12
benologist 1 day ago 0 replies      
There's lots of good things about this. They're going to spend money educating the market about this kind of service but they're never going to be a monopoly, they'll have lots of competitors if the market is big enough, and someone else had a similar idea and thought it wasn't horrible too.

You should launch and carry on with your existing plans, faster.

13
vineet 1 day ago 0 replies      
Established companies are notoriously bad at the pace at which they respond to users - so don't worry about the fast that you have an established company entering the space.

The bigger challenge in my opinion is that this is a two sided market (and building such business is very hard).

14
matt_panaro 1 day ago 0 replies      
Well, so far, the general consensus seems to be to carry on as initially planned.
15
7Figures2Commas 1 day ago 1 reply      
How did you plan to market and sell your service before you found out about potential competition? You should execute that plan without regard to what others are doing.

The biggest threat to your ability to get off the ground is not eHarmony. In your general market (services that connect job seekers and employers), there is already significant competition, so what one company does or doesn't do will matter a whole lot less to you at this point than your willingness and ability to hit the pavement and sell what you have.

eHarmony is working with three Fortune 100 companies. There are 1000 Fortune 1000 companies. If you called each and every one of them, do you think you could get a few interested in working with you on a trial basis? The answer to this question will reveal more about your chances of success than a Washington Post article.

25
Ethereum, Maidsafe, Meshnets,??
5 points by davidenglish  1 day ago   1 comment top
1
walden42 1 day ago 0 replies      
Maidsafe seems to be the all-in-one that builds a decentralized internet infrastructure. I have high hopes for it.
26
Ask HN: Back end engineer trying to build a mobile app, would love some guidance
5 points by victor9000  1 day ago   7 comments top 3
1
shawnreilly 18 hours ago 1 reply      
The first thing I would do is think about what capabilities you need in order to successfully execute the product, and equally important how you would want to distribute the product. Depending on the answers, I would then find a framework (or multiple frameworks) that facilitate the approach you want to take. This will allow you to prototype faster (and reiterate faster as you learn from your customers). This would also play in to how you approach building the back end.

From reading your replies to other comments, it sounds like you want access to a phone's local resources, and you are possibly interested in using web technologies. I would look into Apache Cordova (aka PhoneGap) or something similar (there are many). This allows you to build once with HTML/CSS/JS, and then distribute via Android/iOS and more (differentiation being each platform would need specific front end JS code to access the phone's local resources). This approach is commonly used in conjunction with a back end that accepts API Requests (aka front end makes Ajax request, back end responds with Data). I'm using this approach for one of my current projects.

2
mw67 23 hours ago 1 reply      
To get to a mvp and prove that you're concept work, you don't have to (and maybe shouldn't) build a native app for every platform. The goal of the mvp is to get the product in front of people as fast as possible, to see if they would spend a few minutes using your products, or if it's not useful for them. Once you validate this, you can think of expanding to other platforms.

I would suggest to only go for the platform where you're most comfortable developing with. Web app can be good indeed, but if you already know objective c or java then you'll be probably better off going for native iOS or Android first. Good luck!

3
ajstiles 1 day ago 1 reply      
I've recommended a "web app first" approach to some of my clients.

You might find parse.com services cover your user and notifications requirements, and perhaps even your REST backend.

27
18 and hopeless
44 points by _toutouastro  1 day ago   42 comments top 25
1
b6 1 day ago 0 replies      
Hi, I'm glad I saw your post.

I nearly got expelled from high school and ended up dropping out. When I went to college, I had no idea how to study, and I spent so much time writing code for my own private projects that I had almost no time left over to study or do homework, so my grades were awful.

But I kept getting stronger at solving computer problems. Employers asked me lots of questions about Linux, and C, and how I'd solve various problems, and so on. But nobody has ever asked me about my grades, or my GPA, or the courses, or my degree. I know grades and degrees may seem important to you now, but in my experience, it just hasn't made any difference. What has made a difference is the huge amount of time and effort I've put into programming and solving problems.

I'm 35. I work at a startup. I work very hard, but I do whatever I want. I'm still learning and getting better. I don't have a boss. I work with my friends. One friend, like me, had disastrous grades. Another friend, probably the most brilliant and talented person I know, did not finish college.

You simply don't need permission from a university to be what you want. And the university doesn't even have the power to grant anything except a certificate. If you want to become a software engineer, you do it by putting in time every day. Always curiously searching and probing and testing and challenging yourself and making yourself stronger.

Like I said, I know grades seem important to you now, but your dream is not destroyed -- it's hardly even started. Go find an interesting repo on Github and study the code and make a meaningful contribution. Solve a tricky problem and write an article about it (explaining to others is an excellent way to solidify your own understanding).

Don't get discouraged and don't ask people for permission to do what you want! :) Good luck.

2
phillmv 1 day ago 1 reply      
People here are predominantly American or European, which means they already have good visas and even if they don't live in a big city with lots of computer industry jobs they can at least move there.

This is probably not how it works where you're currently living. Without an engineering degree or a lot of money, it will be really hard for you to emigrate to North America or Europe.

Your life is not ruined, in so far that you can probably still get a job in your current country.

I don't know about your education system, but can't you retake the university entrance examinations?

To my knowledge, that's usually possible in most countries. Quit design school, study for the exams, and apply again. You'll lose a year, but that's better than being shut out of the rich country emigration stream.

Ideally, if your parents can afford it, study abroad. Here in Canada, for instance, it's easier to attain permanent residency if you went to school here.

Good luck,

3
homakov 1 day ago 1 reply      
I was born in Russia, and i drop out of engineering univ. myself being 18. Life is awesome now, you can make much more money doing consulting, and you can get tourist visa for Europe/USA to make sure those countries suck (I was in pretty much all interesting cities). I do infosec btw.

Forget about degree, do your own business

4
d0ntf0ll0w-0_0 1 day ago 0 replies      
Yeah I dropped out because I wanted to be a musician, I spent 10 years f@#$ing around touring and playing - I was never very good, but I had a blast - not the kind of thing the speaks to building a future.

I have always been a self starter, reasonable at math and have loved computers since I was a kid. Three years ago I began studying business and founded a startup which has grown to 12 employees, is very profitable, and looks to have a bright future.

Its not there yet, but I have created many real opportunities for myself. If you have a skill and a dream, refine it, keep working at it, and keep hustling. If your skills are not there yet, make a plan to get some, if your product is not there yet pivot or drop it and move on.

We're on a continent with massive potential, a need for innovation and a hunger for leaders and free thinkers. Your dream can only be created by you, and in the same destroyed by you.

You've chosen your product over grades, so don't whine, get busy making sure it was worth it.

5
gaelow 13 hours ago 0 replies      
If you are an employee, a degree is useful. Employers care about portfolios and past working experiences much more than they do about grades, but a CS diploma is what gets your foot in the door for an interview at a decent firm or being considered for a promotion, at least in your first years.

If you are the boss it's a little bit different: It's all about the product, knowing how to surround yourself with the right people, being motivated, making connections, your conviction and ability to sell and speak in public and your past experiences running or participating in other companies' big decisions.

6
lhl 1 day ago 0 replies      
Terminal degrees are pretty overrated if your goal is to build products or even to learn to develop/become a technical badass.

While getting credentials is a tried and true path for getting a visa, it's still dependent on getting a job offer - certainly in the US, most startups would rather look for exceptional ability/experience over a degree.

If you're really motivated, it's fairly easy to draw up a list of skills that you want to gain/learn focused on development. Then like b6 suggests, participate in some community projects that you are interested and start building up a strong public Github presence/history. If you were willing to dedicate 10yrs to get a PhD and spent that time on this type of personal development path, I think you would be much better off if you're goal is in skills acquisition/actually making stuff. Of course, this depends strongly on your internal drive/discipline and perhaps a bit on your penchant for autodidactism (personally, I think those are acquired skills, but they're rather foundational/catch-22 ones).

In the meantime you should be able to use elance/odesk to gain contracting experience/pay the bills once you're functional.

As you level up, you'll get a better idea of what exactly you want to do and get a better perspective on things.

7
dqdo 1 day ago 0 replies      
If you want to study computer science, then I think that you are in luck. CS is one of the few fields where most (if not all) the information that you need is freely available online. Some other fields such as civil engineering or medicine have less material available online and therefore you have to attend college for those majors.

Unless you plan on working for a large corporation or the government, your credentials are not really that important. Credentials were important in the last century because graduating from college was so rare and knowledge was only taught at the university. I view credentials as a screen mechanism used by HR departments who don't have the time or energy to understand the strengths of a candidate.

If you are determined enough you can learn anything. You can look at the curriculum at the top schools (i.e., MIT) and find books and online courses that match their major requirements. One of the things that you will find is that what is taught in school is a very small subset of skills that you need. Once you finish with the academic courses, you real lesson begins in a far more unpredictable environment-- the real world.

8
wildpeaks 1 day ago 0 replies      
I don't know if you're near Marocco, but you could try to get into Supinfo North Africa: that branch didn't exist yet when I went to that engineering school, but one good thing about it is that it has branches in many countries, and you can move between countries while continuing the same classes which is useful to get to know other places and start making contacts. I think they also make remote courses if you're too far, but I don't know the details: http://www.supinfo.com/fr/Menu8fb44d65-6662-4ceb-bbb6-c2d203...

The email of the school is: maroc@supinfo.com

---------------------------------

But most importantly is that you don't give up even if things look grim right now: as long you don't give up, the dream is not dead, it's merely postponed :)

Worst case scenario, you could continue the design school, get a job in that branch to save money, then try for the engineering school again later and by then you would have improved your skills by learning online.

9
simplyinfinity 1 day ago 0 replies      
Hi,

Here's my story... when i was your age i started programing for a local company while i was in high school, i had no idea how to do a basic for loop. My grades suffered too, but i never gave up and i didn't go to college or university.But i tought myself PHP, and then C#, right now I'm working full time and paid well.

for the past 6 years I've worked for 5 companies and i have freelanced for a while. I've went to about 15 job interviews, only 3 decided not to hire me because of the lack of my formal education, the others were mostly looking for someone with more experience.

The important thing here is that without a degree I still get hired over people with college degrees. If you are smart kid it doesn't really matter where you are located because you can still practice what you love. Don't give up.

P.S. Try to create few personal projects that are really interesting to you and have passion for. showing people what you've built in your free time is what's most likely to get them to hire you. And if you get to earn some $$ from those projects that's going to be even better for you!

10
Jayd2014 1 day ago 0 replies      
Hi,I'm from North Africa myself, precisely from morocco. I understand you already have your bacalaureat and are having a hard time getting to an engineering school. What about the next best thing, which is University or private university? so you can get your degree at least. I know how hard it is there, especially if you are in morocco. Working on private projects on the side or on your own startup shouldn't be a problem or blocking you from getting a bachelor/master or phd degree.Your other option is to apply for universities in europe, especially france, germany or UK.
11
hannahwilson 1 day ago 1 reply      
I am 17, live in the US, and am not going to go to college even though I was planning on applying to Stanford (I am very ambitious).

I made that decision because I have a lot of momentum in business and entrepreneurship, and I feel like college will not be able to teach me more than I can learn where I'm at now.

I recently started an online teenage entrepreneurship community, and I would love for you to join. There are some teens in the community with professional experience in computer programming (they get paid good money), although they don't have a degree and haven't even graduated high school. They are self-taught, and I'm sure they would be more than happy to give you some advice on learning to code.

12
4rdnw 1 day ago 0 replies      
I agree with everything b6 said.

I too had delt with this problem when I was a freshmen in college for cs. Most of the papers were utter bull shit. I had to make a choice and I, somewhat cowardly chose grades, although I did try to do things that really matter (reading books that are good not the ones they want to you mug, writing open source code etc etc), grades were always my priority.

Well, guess what, it is the most stupid decision I ever made. I am out of college, I work in a start up and been to some other companies and none of them ever asked me my grades.

So my advice would be: - Build more things - Contribute some couple of Open source projects - Have a grasp of CS fundamentals (readup on algos, DS, basic computer design)

13
CyberFonic 23 hours ago 0 replies      
I don't get it. You worked on your product and startup. How did that work out?

If you wanted to get degrees, a PhD even, then you would have known that you had to be a very good student.

So you made the decision to go down the startup path. Why not make that successful? Lots of successful founders either never went to university or dropped out. Take inspiration from them.

14
edcastro 1 day ago 0 replies      
You can get a work visa for some countries without a degree, just need a proper job offer.

Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Norway, Netherlands and a few others allow you to do so even if they say they don't.

However since you do not have an extensive practical experience, you might run into problems actually getting someone to offer you a job overseas.

Being a person with similar background (no degree) and that worked legally in a few countries already, I can just advice you to keep your head up and acquire more experience, the right time will come and the job offers will start flowing. :)

15
prostoalex 1 day ago 0 replies      
I received a BA in my native country and then MS in CS in United States.

Cost-wise it's an optimal option, since US undergraduate tuition is generally a rip-off, while in grad school there are assistantships and research grants.

If design school is easy for you, spend your free time studying computer science and concepts. If you plan to apply to a US graduate school for an engineering/CS degree, you should also prepare for GRE and GRE CS - even if schools don't require them, impressive scores convince them that someone without documented background put in enough effort.

16
threepipeproblm 1 day ago 0 replies      
No one can prevent you from learning computer science.

Everything you need is open to you on the Internet. You just need to find he harder and more theoretical stuff (in addition to practical) and make yourself work through it.

Almost all CS papers are open, except for the dratted ACM and many of those can be obtained via a professor's site, etc.

I'm not saying you shouldn't have any guidance in terms of putting a curriculum for yourself together but that too is available to you! Go get 'em.

17
rafaqueque 1 day ago 0 replies      
I didn't finish high school even.

I'm 23, programming since 13 and working professionally since 18. Working at a startup at the moment -- my second job ever. Never worked outside the computer engineering area.

Go for it, apply to startups in EU/USA.

If a startup don't hire you because you don't have a degree or whatever, they're doing it wrong. Work for them for 1 week and see how things go.

Do whatever works for you and be happy.

18
mst 1 day ago 0 replies      
A bachelors degree in something is a useful tool for getting your CV past some companies' HR firewalls and into the hands of somebody technical.

Said actually technical person is probably going to be a lot more interested in whether you can code than whether you have a piece of paper claiming you spent three years studying how to code.

19
Ediven 1 day ago 0 replies      
hi, i was born in China, immigrated to Europe when i was 11 years old.though where we live has huge influence on our persona, it can't make us who we were not.Growing up is not a one person challenge, try to surround urself with peers & mentors, participate & contribute to international no profit projects ( i was involved in the UNIDO program, the branch of UN who promote investment & tech transfer, it was a eye opener for me, and my first dive into the business world)I agree with b6 on college stuff, cause most of them are built to be social pressure reducers, they just "gaged" people ouside of the world as long as possible.

Don't fear for have failed some exams, cause those are just bugs from an antiquated sysjust hack your way out! lol

20
fdsary 1 day ago 0 replies      
Hmm why don't you consider studying in Europe? I know the southern countries treat people immigrating from Africa like shit, so fuck them. But in the Netherlands, Germany and Sweden you can study computer science in English.

Also, the governments give are going to give you a really good price for your your education, unlike our friends in the US who pay crazy amounts for their degrees. That could be something to look into.

In Sweden I'd say Chalmers University (in Gothenburg) or KTH (in Stockholm) are the top schools. They both provide education in English, classes are mixed with foreigners and Swedes. In Berlin, Germany you should check out TU (Technisher Universitt (or however it's spelled)), I recall they do English-speaking courses in Computer Science (they call it "Informatik" there). Keep in mind though that all of these places are f%$#ing cold, haha!

Best of luck buddy! In a few years looking back at this you're gonna be fine, and have a great degree and interesting life!

21
Torn 1 day ago 0 replies      
Can you re-take the final year?
22
raldi 1 day ago 1 reply      
> I can't work without a degree

Why not?

23
5414h 1 day ago 1 reply      
Wa sat ana 3arfek magrabi u la men lzazaier, ana saken fi sbania wahc bagi tgi loropa? gaubni fi had l'email: a5414h @ gmail . com
24
bussiere 1 day ago 0 replies      
You can always pass online job interview and if it get well the company will get you greencard and all.

Don't regret and work and learn

25
chj 1 day ago 0 replies      
You are young, keep up the spirit.
28
Example of Local Privilege Escalation in Linux Nebula
2 points by jonyfunes  23 hours ago   discuss
29
Ask HN: Want to make $500 for scraping some data? (challenge)
4 points by gbachik  1 day ago   13 comments top 6
1
motyar 1 day ago 0 replies      
Not related search but "keyword suggession" can help you.

Here is Google XML API http://suggestqueries.google.com/complete/search?output=tool...

2
dkyc 1 day ago 2 replies      
nodejs, requires node package fetch

Under four seconds, please note that this violates Google's ToS and you will likely be blocked if you do this on any significant scale.

  var bandname = "All Time Low";  var fetchUrl = require("fetch").fetchUrl;  var url = "https://www.google.de/search?q=";  bandname = bandname.replace(" ", "+");  fetchUrl(url+bandname, {    headers: {        'User-Agent' : 'Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 6.3; Win64; x64) AppleWebKit/537.36 (KHTML, like Gecko) Chrome/37.0.2049.0 Safari/537.36'    }  }, function(error, meta, body){    var ret = [];    var alts = body.toString().split('alt\\x3d\\x22');    alts.forEach(function (alt) { var cur = alt.split("\\x22")[0]; if (cur.indexOf("(")==-1)    ret.push(cur) });    console.log(ret);  });

3
Jake232 1 day ago 1 reply      
Probably possible to do, however what's up with just using Last.fm's API?

http://www.last.fm/api/show/artist.getSimilar

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opless 1 day ago 1 reply      
I'm sure they get their data from wikipedia, here's a start http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DBpedia
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exbone 1 day ago 1 reply      
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stangeek 1 day ago 1 reply      
I have a working prototype. How do you want to proceed concretely?
30
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       cached 18 August 2014 04:05:01 GMT