Just for the extremely great location, we're in Wework at Fulton Market; I would rent the coworking space there before I would pay for the coworking membership at 1871.
Both spaces are, in my opinion, pretty extremely douchey. Wework probably a little more so.
There are now dozens of co-working spaces in Chicago, with all sorts of amenities, specialties, sizes, etc.
1871 is the flagship, created by and supported by the city/government and rich tech leaders. But it is far from the only community in town available to you.
Think about what you need first and go from there.
If you're just looking for a place to work on nights and weekends, there's plenty of excellent coffee shops around our beautiful city that you can use instead.
I didn't get any satisfactory answers, but this is exactly the kind of scenario I was afraid of.
A business that relies on AWS can be wiped out by an automated script in a different department. There is no mitigation since Amazon will also close "linked accounts", so having separate business and personal Amazon accounts isn't enough. It's super scary.
I tried tweeting @jeffbarr and posting in the AWS forums about these risks, but got no response from Amazon.
I know PayPal has an automated system which is rather pedantic about IP addresses. I think that it's safer to setup a proxy and use it every time you log into a service like PayPal because from I realized by reading user experiences it's either their way or the highway, even when their autmated alarm systems are 100% wrong.
Your budget is quite a lot more than I make per article. You could try out a few services, pay for some cheap "test" articles and see if it turns up someone whose writing you like who also knows something about NYC, then feed them work at a better rate of pay (than what you paid for the test articles).
You could post an advert for the job on Metafilter. There is a high-ish number of New Yorkers there. Some do freelance writing.
I have an Elance account. I have never done work through elance. I was not really aware they merged with odesk and became Upwork. I did not like the model they had. I am not surprised they have a bad reputation.
I have perused Craigslist a few times. I have never gotten work that way. I am not real keen on trying to get work that way.
I like the service I work for. I think it is a good model. It provides a layer between me and my clients. There are procedures in place to look out for the interests of both the writers and the clients. I never have to chase people for my pay, a problem for something like 40% of freelancers IIRC. But I am also held to a standard. I have to be professional, etc. I really think it is an excellent model overall.
Some clients seem to be clear that part of the point of posting work to the general pool is to identify writers you like and send them direct orders. Another option through the service I work for is to establish a team and take applications to the team. Teams tend to pay better than the general pool and have more rigorous standards.
Regardless of what service you go with or other process for identifying a candidate, you will most likely have to go through some kind of process of finding the right candidate, not unlike dating or taking resumes and doing interviews for a regular job opening. Just because someone writes for pay and writes well does not mean they are a good fit for THIS project.
Much of what I write is about tech subjects, business, health, insurance, and California because those are domains I know a lot about. You should try to find someone who already knows a lot about New York, preferably someone who currently lives there or at least has lived there, and then you also need to make sure they are good at the style of writing you are interested in seeing.
Best of luck.
First of all $150 for a 750-word article would be a good payment. Assuming you aren't asking for more words than that ("blog post" suggests no), you can have your pick of people.
Second, evaluating writers is the simplest damned task in the world. Read their frigging code.
Third, average reading speed is 200 words a minute, so you could read an entire submission in less than five minutes. Practically speaking, you would probably need less.
Elance and Odesk merged and are now called Upwork. If you posted the job (number of articles, average length) and asked them to send you sample pieces and an online portfolio, you would be overwhelmed.
Even if you insisted that they have a verified business address within 50 miles of Manhattan, you'd still have a fire hose to drink from.
I wouldn't entirely recommend Craigslist, but you can find a lot of people there-- some of whom are very good and still struggling to make ends meet-- if you don't mind swatting away the 8-balls who will apply (CL gives you a custom email for replies, so you won't deal with them forever.)
Writers tend not to hang out there, but Behance or Dribble do have some.
Let me close by restating my opening. Some questions that get posted here are difficult to answer; others have expectations are ridiculous. But the thing every freelance writer wants most is a steady stream of assignments that lets them make a pretty good income per sale.
Four posts a week at $150 would be $600, which is $15 an hour-- enough to pay bills.
Your request is comparable to posting "I'm a supermodel who really enjoys having sex with men with small penises and no social skills. Can anyone on HN help me?" Your big problem would be people thinking you must be a scam, because your request sounds too good to be true.
UPDATE: There are, by and large, two broad types of writers: extroverts who promote themselves capably, but might or might not have equally good skills, and introverts who lock themselves away and aren't great at self-promotion.
The first group is pretty easy to find, but often not worth the price. The second group takes some hunting but can give you better results for less.
Contact me at email@example.com and I'll forward his info.
I remember it was considered one of the highest quality services out there (never used it personally, though).
"Introduction to the Math of Neural Networks" is a really great book to start with if your math skills are on college algebra level.
For something lighter but insightful, Pedro Domingo's The Master Algorithm is quite fun.
A great number of classes are now available online. I prefer the Stanford classes. http://cs229.stanford.edu/ and http://cs224d.stanford.edu/ are good places to start. There are more.
Specifically, I would reccommend AIMA as the best introduction to AI in general, and a fantastic video course from Berkeley:
and also Andrew Ng's course on coursera:
For neural networks there's an awesome course by Hinton:
and UFLDL tutorial:
Some people might take issue with this, but as far as resources/classes/research groups in academia/textbooks go, AI != machine learning. And neural networks are a subset of machine learning.
The AIMA book is the best introduction to AI, but only to traditional AI, which consists mostly of planning/search/inference algorithms (brute force algorithms, albeit clever brute force algorithms). It is not a book on machine learning, even if it talks a bit about machine learning.
The Deep Learning book that people mention is not an introductory book on the subject of neural networks or machine learning.
Your best bet is Andrew Ng's Coursera course as an introduction to ML and neural nets.
Neural networks are moving fast. A notable attempt featuring one of the heavyweights, under preparation: http://goodfeli.github.io/dlbook/
Meanwhile there is this recent review by the three main suspects: http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v521/n7553/full/nature1...
I think we need more info than "mobile" to effectively engage this question. "Mobile" is hardly a monolith and some mobile users have no such problem. Your framing is going to tend to encourage those with no such problem to make statements as generic as yours and thereby sound like snark ("works just fine for me....")
The only problem Opera has is that the comment input box is to wide.
We've been in the prototype phase for the last 7 months with one company using the prototype as it's sole leads source and sales platform and its helped them open over 200 new accounts and raise sales by over 200%.
We need alpha/beta testers and would love to see some other startups use it to gain traction so if anyone is interested in it let me know and we'll set you up.
It does both b2b and b2c but we're still working on the b2c aspect (a lot more data points and moving parts on the b2c side, plus a hell of a lot more leads to deal with) so we're really looking for companies that sell b2b right now but will be looking for b2c companies soon.
This was the first accelerator we applied to, and I of course obviously hold no ill will. I may try again in the future. I do appreciate that they said I would have an answer today, and I received an answer.
We are in the process of having our MVP built (finalizes in November), and will continue on as we have been.
In one way I am kind of happy. This is the first rejection to overcome.. who knows how many more we have ahead of us, but our passion to bring opportunity to every person who wants it will not be stopped.
I wish every company selected this year nothing but the best of luck moving forward.
We are from LookMobility(http://www.lookmobility.com), developing a product on creating Virtual Reality experience for the people who can't code and design, it is going to be powerpoint for Virtual Reality.
We have no idea why our application is rejected and also there is no regrets on it. Just move ahead and think forward!
I got rejected, but I was expecting it - we didn't do ourselves any favors with our video, and we were way too early in the cycle (we didn't even have an english version of our webpage).
The YC Fellowship would have been a better fit for us, I really hope the experiment works and they do it again! :)
In case you didn't know about it: https://fellowship.ycombinator.com/
There are some very interesting ones by Y Combinator partners, for example:
There's also Peter Thiel's course on startups, didn't find a link but here's a "spiritual succesor":
This one I'll probably take:
and Steve Blank's courses, this one is based on his approach:
How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big : Kind of the Story of My Lifeby Scott Adams -- I love anyone who asserts "passion is bullshit", this a surprisingly enjoyable read on many levels.> http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17859574-how-to-fail-at-a...
- The Martian (http://www.amazon.com/The-Martian-Novel-Andy-Weir-ebook/dp/B...)
- Zero to One (http://www.amazon.com/Zero-One-Notes-Startups-Future/dp/0804...)
- The Hard Thing About Hard Things (http://www.amazon.com/The-Hard-Thing-About-Things/dp/0062273...)
Elixir in Action by Sasa Juri
Programming Elixir by Dave Thomas
Learn You Some Erlang for Great Good! by Fred Hebert
The YC Fellowship would have been a better fit for us, I really hope the experiment works and they do it again :)
(In case you didn't know about it: https://fellowship.ycombinator.com/ )
Kano are always impressive: http://www.kano.me/
If children's toys are your thing, MakieLab have very smart people: https://mymakie.com/
Sugru have an awesome team: https://sugru.com/about
Kokoon are doing interesting wearables stuff: https://kokoon.io/
There's also a hardware startup meet-up on next week. Usually attended by a bunch of interesting hardware companies: http://www.meetup.com/Hardware-Pioneers-by-Hardware-Startup-...
Other than that, I know of converge who're growing last I knew: http://converge.io/
If Bristol's not too far, then http://ultrahaptics.com/careers/ or get in touch with my consultancy - we're doing connected product development: https://zoetrope.io
I'm confused because I applied for two startups, but my other cofounder didn't get a rejection email so I'm not sure if both were rejected?
http://pepper-site.com/ : Pepper site lets you creat a website within 2 minutes, really easy to use.
There are plenty of off the shelf website services. I have done WordPress. I have done self hosted HTML files with includes files. I currently use BlogSpot exclusively and like that. But it actually took a bit to understand the degree to which I can customize it and what all I can do with it. Initially, I thought the templates worked like the templates in WordPress work. Nope. Not remotely.
Nothing is without a learning curve of some sort.
If it's just a simple informational website, weebly is handy.
If you need to do simple e-commerce, check out Shopify.
Rejection from the potential customer is infinitely more valuable, because even if they don't give you any feedback (though they usually do) it means that your mental picture of your market is slightly wrong. Every piece of feedback moves the needle. Rejection from YC doesn't move anything anywhere. Or does it? (may be I'm just over rationalizing, I have such bad habit).
For example a strangely large portion of my early kicking-tires-users are either from government or some security/military/intelligence related fields. Like some company that says "if you're not from the law enforcement - move on, nothing for you here" on the front page of their website (they're doing some telecom stuff).Why? I'm doing some stupid boring datacenter inventory management! No idea whatsoever. But for me it's a question of the universe and everything.
So, folks, move on and get some customers. (yeah, go ahead, I'm just finishing one more feature, will follow shortly.... :-)https://www.rackmaze.com
I was rejected but I wasn't entirely expecting to get in. I don't have a co-founder, my prototype isn't finished yet and I am working on my project on the side since I would like to keep paying the bills. Oh well I'll keep working on it, if it can turn into a business when I get some people to actually play with it then that would be awesome otherwise I can pivot easily enough with doing it part time (www.simulated.io if anyone is interested in looking at it).
Here's %7 of our company. Take it. Networking? Anyone can send an email to VC's with a link to a product and some stats highlighting its potential.
But back to work now. Focus is getting the goddamn MVP done and get some real users.
Does this mean, people who haven't received rejection letters, they in all likelihood get invited for the interview? Anyone invited yet?
This is what I'm currently working on: https://www.stay22.com/
I honestly didn't think I was ready for YC cause I'm a solo founder and unnaturally focused on upcoming pilot deployments to the detriment of almost everything else. If curious, we're building http://www.smartersocket.com rebranding as https://www.BeaconGrid.com in like 2 days.)
Execute your idea like you did your application, and I'm sure you'll do just fine, because an idea is only 10% of the battle; the rest is execution.
Kip is a deep learning search for fashion in IRL stores around you: https://kipsearch.com
I don't think there was a particular reason why they rejected us, most likely that in a bell curve we just weren't as good compared to other applicants.
It was great fun doing the application, and we learned a lot! More importantly, we closed a lead investor/partnership the day before, so even though we were rejected it wasn't a big disappointment.
Rejected and motivated
Speaking of which, anyone want to throw some cash at a 10 year game development project by one obsessed starving artist?
Haven't gotten a rejection email yet, so you making me needlessly excited here! :-)
(I'm not affiliated with YC.)
I would like to try an experiment if I may.
For $40 I will give feedback to any startup that got a YC response email tonight. This applies for startups that got rejected and startups that got invited.
This could be feedback on the main idea, the YC application, beta testing your demo or website, help with writing, or anything else that would help. I expect to spend 30 minutes for every application received.
If at any time you feel my feedback isn't helping, I will refund the full amount. If I don't find time to review your startup, I will also refund the full amount.
I'm doing this partly as an experiment: this could be a startup idea. I want to see if it's possible to earn money giving feedback. I'm also doing it as personal training. I'm not an expert on startups. The more sites and ideas I'm exposed to, the better I can get at finding holes in my work. Charging will likely make you and me more committed to the review.
I want to stay anonymous. I want to see how feasible it is to interpret feedback without knowing who the person giving the feedback is. I believe the way to tell if the feedback you are getting is useful is to pay attention to the explanation you get with it.
Although I can't promise to respond to everyone I will do the best I can to respond to as many people as possible before the November 9th invitation day for YC.
I promise not to share information about your startup.
The email to reach me is in my profile. I'd welcome feedback too on improving the process of giving feedback. Thanks.
- Visualization: https://i.imgur.com/B5awmAL.png
- GitHub Archive: http://www.githubarchive.org/
- Hacker News on BigQuery dataset: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=10440502
- Other BigQuery projects: https://reddit.com/r/bigquery
Resources for learning and for my job in general, for my own products or for my day job. I think it currently might be one of best places to stay informed and on top of latest technologies.
I don't think HN and Facebook belong in the same category here, at least not for most of people. Somebody can still use Facebook to get informed about the technology, but most people don't.
Seems like there's a follow-up: do you find reading actual news to be a waste of time?
What I mean by that is learning to code takes a lot of patience and diligence. For you to truly add value to a team building a product you will need to learn best practices, theories, tools, Git, code structure, code style, etc.
If you want a quicker path, practice launching and customizing Wordpress/Wix/SquareSpace sites and focus your efforts on people looking for a web presence instead of people trying to build apps and products. That should be an easier path for you.
I recommend starting with (this is the same advice I usually give everyone just getting their feet wet):
Head First HTML and CSS
Work along with it using Sublime Text (editor) and MAMP or WAMP (OSX or Windows, I recommend using a mac if possible).
After working through part of that book. Buy a domain and a hostgator account learn about DNS, point your A record to your hostgator account and start FTP'ing (Filezilla client) up a website to your hosting, view on your domain.
teamtreehouse.com is a great place to learn.
Next back to Head First PHP and MySQL. Work through that book, working locally and on your hosting account.
I would stay away from odesk now upwork and try find local clients first or connect with friends/clients online (craigslist and twitter are better than upwork), better pay, less headaches.
Once you have some PHP and MySQL knowledge next I'd recommend Wordpress. There is a head first book for that too.
Install wordpress on MAMP/WAMP locally and on your hosting account. Install some free themes and free plugins. Modify a theme, make some posts.
Wordpress is a popular ecosystem and there is lots of work there.
Leveling up beyond the items above is creating web applications.
You can create a simple one from scratch using PHP and MySQL this is a good way to learn the inner workings of an app from scratch. Once you explore that for an app or two you can move on to a framework.
For frameworks I would go with Laravel (PHP) and/or Rails (Ruby) those are the most popular in each language.
LaraCasts.com is a great resource.
I would recommend you look around for distance-learning courses on other skill sets that interest you more and doing those instead of trying to force your way into programming. Of course you can learn programming even if you don't enjoy it at all, but I think the only way to be really good at anything is to love doing it enough to put in your 10,000 hours...
I don't think you'll do well at freelancing unless you have some useful skills. Getting paid to learn is unlikely to work out well.
Python is one of the easiest languages to learn and you can be very productive with it relatively quickly.
If you are really money focused (your handle is "BizNerd" so take looks like a hint) why are you looking at programming? Sales is very much in demand and a good sales person earns heaps more than an average programmer (which takes at least a year or two of dedicated work to reach).
I'd be apprehensive on undertaking previously undertaken work on places like odesk/freelancer as the problems solved there are often carbon copies of what a freelance developer has done before. It's not a learning platform, it is a platform for frustration and complaint from you're customer you've promised something to.
Why not try Udacity? They have some great introductory stuff, suitably technical, and if you need a tutor running into a problem, post on odesk etc for a Skype tutor for an hour. You will get a reply.
I don't know where you're moving to, but as being 'money orientated' you'll may find far greater financial reward not pursuing programming but pursuing business and cultural differences and using fluency in what's possible in IT (i.e. both a cultural and technical project manager) for financial gain.
It is the only logical language that exists. Anyone who doesn't know it just hurting themselves.
After you master functional programming, you will be able to use it in EVERY other language.
You can even program ruby on rails functionally.
If anyway says anything negative about functional programming - they're just not dedicated or intelligent enough to understand its' abstract concepts.
In a world filled with hurt feelings and thin skin - finally seeing the logical essence of code is a transcendent experience.
Docs over at http://intridea.github.io/grape/
If you like Python, then Flask framework is the way to go. Another great framework that I have worked with and love.
Let me know you thoughts!
"I'm reluctant to jump in and accuse them of abusing the free trial"
No, don't be reluctant. Reach out to them with a kind email saying that their trial period has expired and they need to switch to a paid account. Alternatively, offer them an extended trial period using same account if you think they may give you business BUT do not let them abuse the trial system. Here is how I will do it:
"Hi xyz. We noticed that you created a trial account using username abc for your company. We wanted to reach out and ask if someone from your company has created another trial account after the expiry of the first one (This way, you are not directly accusing but smartly letting them know). We are happy to give you an extension of trial period if you need but as per our terms and conditions, you are not allowed to create multiple trial accounts for same company. If you have any questions on this, I will be happy to assist"
Another way to think about this. Perhaps this client needs more time to evaluate the product and hence give them the benefit of the doubt at first. They continue to use the product actively which means they definitely like something about it. This could be good news for you. Take this opportunity to reach out to them and have a conversation. You never know what will happen.
This is the key part. What do you really want to achieve?
1. Win this client - make them love both your product and your company and turn them into paying customers?
2. Admonish this client - let them know that they did wrong and that they should correct their "bad behavior"?
You have already made a good impression - your product is useful for at least 2 people in this company. So you can reinforce this positive experience by demonstrating that your customer care is as good as the product itself. My suggestion: grab the phone and call those 2 guys who are already familiar with the app. Ask them about their experiences and willingness to continue using it. Diagnose possible barriers, doubts, needs etc. Just show them that you are awesome.
If they are really abusing you, you can always send them cold, corrective email later. It actually won't change much, but it will make you feel better. Good luck!
Step 1: I would start by adding a message at the top of the agency side of the login.
Sign up for an annual agency plan so all your employees can have their own account. Click Here To Sign Up. Your Free Trial ends in 20 days. (You can change the message, track clicks on the sign up button/link, send them to a custom landing page with their company name)
Step 2: On the portions of the App where their clients login/view pages. Add a small notice. XYZ company your free trial ends in 20 days. (display this on the agency pages as well in the same way, on those pages include a link to upgrade their account, you could even personalize it, make it easy to upgrade, just the cc info.)
Step 3: Try to reach out to the two email addresses and give them an offer of a deal on an agency annual plan (Subscribe to our annual agency plan before the end of your trial and get two months free and all your employees can have their own login and use our service for unlimited clients.)
Step 4: Depending on how your app works could you show them some metrics on their dashboard of how often their client is logging in or you've shared XX documents or they were viewed XX times by your clients, etc to show them the value of your app)
As others have mentioned it is a good idea to re-visit your terms and conditions make sure it includes restrictions on multiple free trials for the same company and/or domain.
Interesting situation. Good luck getting them to sign up. Let us know how it works out.
Two consecutive trials seems fairly light in terms of abuse. If the service is useful and they start using it with more clients, it'll quickly become impossible to continue the trial abuse - they'll either sign up or go away.
If your company is small enough that you notice (and get annoyed by) one user running two consecutive trials, it's small enough that you can reach out to the individual(s) involved and try to turn them into evangelists for your service inside their large agency. Or if they are knowingly abusing the service, the personal e-mail may put them off.
This is how the agency I'm at discovered and ended up paying for Bitbucket, BrowserStack, Trello, Slack, DeployHQ, etc. - someone on the dev team finds a new service, passes it up to his/her tech lead, who convinces management it's worth investing in the Enterprise plan when it becomes essential to the functioning of the company.
I'd write an email something like this:
Thanks so much for signing up again! It's normally against our policy to have two identical trial accounts so I've extended the free trial on your initial account so that you can continue using our service.
At [your company] we work very hard to provide value to our customers and I'd love to know what we could do to turn you into a paying customer when your trial expires.
This gives them the opportunity to 1. make it seem like you're doing them a favor and 2. to let you know what the limitation on their side is.
There's no need to "accuse them of abusing the free trial" system, just state the facts.
Worst case is they don't pay, which is exactly where you are at right now.
One way companies do free trials is collect full payment information upfront but won't charge anything until free trial expires. If user won't cancel proactively - charge starts.
Another way is to charge right away, but offer full 30 days, no questions asked refund upon request.
Third way is to manually chase free trial "abusers" to gently seduce them into paying. This may work better for larger accounts that needs special sales dance.
Step 2: wait a month
Step 3: if they do the same thing after this one runs out, send them friendly email.
Use dropbeats to test new features by forcing them to test them first. If they work, you will have more assurance when deploying to other paying customers. If they don't work, the exchange of emails will help you know each other better, that is employ your dropbeats as free testers.
If it's causing a headache, time to man up and handle business.
I have seen research and repeatedly seen anecdotal evidence that larger companies do not hesitate to prey upon smaller ones. Smaller companies often either do not want to stand firm because they view the large company as a potential jackpot client and they don't want to offend them and drive them off or they don't have the expertise, legal team or other necessary power to successfully stand up to the bigger company and they get outmaneuvered and crapped on.
Please do not be a doormat. A big company that does not pay is not a customer. They are a parasite and there is no relationship to preserve. So while you don't want to be ugly about it and make enemies unnecessarily, you need to be proactive about finding an effective, diplomatic, enforceable solution. If you don't, big companies will not hesitate to bleed you and can readily become a threat to your very survival. So take this seriously as a problem that must be solved as quickly as possible.
But as Mz says you must let them do things. We did set a rule that our girls could not own a pocket knife until they were at least 10 years of age and had developed the fine motor skills needed to keep it under control. Once they owned a knife of their own we talked about the "blood ball" which was their name for the concept of not whittling or cutting where someone was within reach of your outstretched arm. That would keep you from stabbing somone next to you if your blade slipped. And we talked about direction (never cut toward your body) Since we camped a lot there were plenty of opportunities to whittle sticks into funny shapes, and knives are generally useful in a camp site.
We also had a tradition of always eating together (which can be hard in a startup where you have to explain that you're leaving at 5PM so that you can have dinner with your family and that you'll be online later) The dinner table rules were any question was allowed, we owned a used set of the World Book Encyclopedia to answer questions.
When driving on the road we encouraged questions about "What do you think that is?" and ways we might be able to guess the purpose of what ever it was we were looking at. Ways to validate our understanding or test our hypothesis.
It means answering "Why?" questions all the way down, without angst and frustration but with discovery and learning.
We took apart things, we fixed things, we built things, and we imagined things. It gives you the freedom to ask a question like "what if we pitched a baseball at the speed of light?" If you think that is a silly question for your kid to ask, then you don't have the right attitude about fostering curiosity.
My advice would be to encourage his reading (if he has already learnt that). Reading is one of the best ways to expand your horizon and learn new things - much better IMO than games or toys (though they of course have their place too). I'm guessing you have a public library nearby, or his school will definitely have one. Go there with him, buy him books for Christmas; in short, introduce him to the world of the written word. And then: let him explore!
Get him smart toys as he's growing, like the thing you mentioned, like Lego, like Makeblock (http://www.makeblock.cc/), toys that encourage creativity.
I'm sure you can find great resources for kids to learn how to code, that's where you come in. He expresses the wish to learn how to code, you find out what's best out there to do it in his age.
1) Let them find a introductionary reader (the most basic of study books) or kids-encyclopedia on the subjects they find interesting.
2) At first, limit access to resources, but not knowledge. Spoiled equals no curiosity and creativity. Time to experiment.
My experience as a kid;
Best toy ever: LEGO Technic.
How would I teach him coding? First i realized computers just do what humans tell them to. Then i did "Echo Hello World", and promptly found a introduction reader about QuickBasic on MSDOS with my mothers name on it. I absorbed it entirely and backwards, picked up on Visual Basic, and thanks to dialup internet soon PHP.
Introduce to electronics? I started disassembling electronics shortly after i got my hands on a "How Stuff Works" CD-ROM.
Robotics? For me it was LEGO Technic and hacking, but nowadays i'd just give them a LEGO NXT kit. (See the LEGO FIRST events, they're awesome even for the youngest of kids)
So, this might seem weird, but I think you better not encourage him too much about the things he already like, and should encourage him to do stuff he might be neglecting..
I think it's good not to obsess about limits around computing time, even if the kid just plays games. As you most definitely know from your own experience, programming and electronics - or any other creative disciplines - are not things you do 3 times a week for 1 hour after you've done your homework. They require long and uninterrupted blocks of time. Setting a hard and short time limit for computer use pretty much ensures a kid will only play games, chat and browse cat pictures, because those are only fun things you can fit in tight schedule.
Games ain't bad - there are fun ones, there are ones with stories comparable to the most important works of literature and cinema, and if the kid starts to think about making his own (as I did when I was around 9) or (more popular today) making mods to the ones he like, it can lead straight to amateur gamedev and getting really good at programming very quickly.
Also, if he likes space, show him Kerbal Space Program at some point. It has an uncanny ability of getting people into aerospace and making 12yo better at physics than high school teachers.
You live in Germany, there's a strong hacker culture there. When he's little older, take him to a local hackerspace! People there are usually very friendly and can show some pretty cool DIY tech that could spark kid's interest in electronics and programming.
the Bakken Museum
or the Works Museum
Or if there aren't such available in Frankfurt, get some other parents together and start something!
Grant him genuine agency and let him take the lead.
When my oldest was about 16 months old, he decided to put his own dishes away, just like mom. He was too short to reach the sink and began chunking his dishes into the sink like a basketball player, because that was his relationship to the sink, height wise. A lot of parents would have told him to stop and tried to then teach him to pick up after himself later. I felt that was the wrong approach. Instead, I locked up all glassware and all members of the house ate off plastic bowls and plates and drank from plastic cups until he was tall enough to put his dishes in the sink without chunking them.
I told this story once online to someone hoping to foster independence in their child. They thought it was a great idea and announced that they would start making their child put their dishes away post haste. Uh, no. You have completely missed my entire point.
Support his interests as best you can while helping him not hurt himself. It will go stressful but good places and you will have a really neat person on your hands every step of the way.
I do have a private parenting blog that is currently on hiatus. You could send me a gmail address with the subject line "Memoirs of a Mom" and I could add you, if you care to see what is there already.
1- Start by creating a web presence for yourself, a simple bio website that explains who you are and what you do a long with links to some of your work.
2- Create a GitHub (or Codepen) account and open source any reusable code, plugin, etc. Just make sure you actually own the work and are allowed to do this.
3- Create a profile on UpWork and find freelance work there.
4- Pick a side and a language and start specializing a bit. It's great to be well rounded and have lots of skills but it is a much easier sell to say I am a front end engineer and love building UIs, I am experienced in CSS, JS, Angular, etc. versus I do C, C++, front-end stuff etc. You can mention that you are comfortable on any side (front or back) but it is better to say which is your stronger skill.
If you have some portfolio, you can try monthly "Who's hiring/Who wants to be hired/Seeking freelancer" threads here on HN, the next would be in just a few days:
You've got pretty impressive range of skills, and at least PHP/frontend are very remote-friendly, with enough demand on the resources I added above.
Since you're familiar with C++ and competitive programming, you might also try things like TopCoder/CodeEval; it's more about competition, but the corporate sponsors are watching competitors and might hire the best.
My email is in my profile, feel free to get in touch if you have more questions. Best of luck!
Anyway, the topic of actually finding work is broad, but this might help you get in the right direction; pick some things you'd like to work with, and look for specific job boards for them. For example, I'm pretty proficient with the Drupal framework/CMS, so I'll usually watch the official Drupal jobs board when I'm on the lookout for a new gig. There's also LinkedIn; you should at the least have a profile there, even if you aren't actively searching for jobs there. It also helps to have a personal site and do a little SEO on it so that it comes up if someone searches for "Lua developers in [your city]."
That's a basic answer, but it might be enough to get your foot in the door at a few places.
In general, the way to overcome lack of experience on your first gig is to win on price. But as soon as you have one official project under your belt, your marketing should be that you make you customers successful. Don't drop prices anymore (on the contrary, raise them).
I know Galvanize has some funded scholarships. I am sure other bootcamp-style programs will also have this.
(Full disclosure: I work at Galvanize.)
Try codementor.io, your credentials will most probably help you to find some gigs and you'll be paid on the hourly basis. Also you can try toptal.com and gun.io.
Other than that, you need to be more specific. There's not one solution to monitor everything. Nagios runs on FreeBSD, snmpd is another widely used alternative, etc.