And if you really want to work in finance or in gaming, then go to meetups or reach out to people in the field with cold emails, asking to just learn more about what they do (rather than immediately flinging your resume at them). You should always be networking long before you start actively looking for your next job.
I'm afraid I'll have to pursue a masters or doctoral degree in order to pursue jobs in any area outside of the web.
I'm curious - why would you go to the extent of studying for a masters solely to avoid programming for the web? What is it about the web you dislike so much?
I haven't looked for a job in a while, so I can't give you great advice on where to look for jobs. But as someone who works on enterprise software, I can tell you that if you're only seeing listings for web programming jobs, you're not seeing the majority of job postings for software developers.
There's a very wide range of software between web application programming and embedded software. Most of the software used by businesses is on the back-end - the web stuff is just the top layer that users use to interact with the systems. For example, think of all the software that runs behind the scenes at Amazon.com: shipping optimization, inventory management, recommending products to users based on purchase history, etc. - none of that is interactive, it's all crunching through data.
A few sources of job leads that you haven't mentioned: (1) lots of companies have job postings on their own web sites; (2) local head hunters may have a broader range of jobs in your area than the major job sites; (3) networking: talk to your friends to see if they have any job openings where they work.
I realize now that I really should have been more specific about a couple of points. First, by "web job" I mostly mean jobs that would be characterized as "full stack". This is what I currently do for a living (enterprise, for a company with 1000+ employees), and from what I can tell this is mostly what's being advertised in job postings. There are many things one could do deep in the depths of some company's back-end that I wouldn't consider a "web job".
As far as what domain I'd rather be working in, that's really the 10 million dollar question. I feel like it's time for me to make a decision and specialize, but I really can't narrow it down to one, single domain. I've taken a machine learning course and really enjoyed that. I did some work with parallel computing in CUDA with a professor while in school and ended up with my name on a paper that made its way into a peer-reviewed journal. I've done a decent amount of hobby game and network programming, hacked a bit on an Arduino and a Raspberry Pi, and I've recently been getting into audio DSP stuff. I really like a lot of different things and I'm more than a little afraid to limit myself to one area for the rest of my career.
If you've internalized most of your systems classes (OS, computer architecture, compilers, networks, etc) and are comfortable mucking around in C/C++, you're no worse off applying for these jobs than most new EE/CE grads.
- Senior Automation Engineer: https://cylance.workable.com/jobs/102010
- Senior Software Engineer: https://cylance.workable.com/jobs/74863
- Senior Software Engineer, Windows: https://cylance.workable.com/jobs/182251
All of these positions are for non-web related jobs. I recommend you look at what are the areas you are interested in, and then target companies that have that. Looking for anything non-web is not a good plan. There are a lot of Data Science related jobs that are not Web as well:
- Data Scientist, Analytics (Instagram): https://www.facebook.com/careers/jobs/a0IA000000G3OLOMA3/
Lots of people still do work with regular applications such as desktop software though. Find an industry (engineering/cad, graphics, music, finance, medical, games, ...) and see where their software is made. You don't have to do OS:es or embedded to do non web things. Millions of people pay billions of dollars for special niche software in all industries.
I have successfully managed to stay away from web most of my career and think it's a lot more interesting to do desktop (note: desktop apps that couldn't be web apps are the interesting ones, not desktop apps with crud which would be no more interesting than doing it as a web app) simply because the amount of "algorithm work" is much greater than the proportion of work that is repetitive data input/output/validation. Not to mention the tools on desktop aren't html/css/js.
There are HFT jobs to be had for pure CS folks, too --- especially in Chicago.
Otherwise, I think you should pick a specialty within CS to focus on. Distributed systems, perhaps -- they're hot right now and that shows no signs of changing; operating systems, maybe; compilers, maybe. I don't know for a fact that BS-level jobs in these areas exist, but they might. Anyway, decide what you're most interested in, and if you can't get a job in that with a BS, go back to school.
Have a look at the big hardware vendors: Qualcomm, Broadcom, Freescale (NXP), Nvidia, Cirrus Logic, Xilinx, Apple, Intel, AMD, etc. Note that you'd probably need to be willing to move to a more hardware-oriented area, including California, Silicon Valley, Austin, Boston, or Portland.
Stats for the USA from the Bureau of Labor Statistics:
1990 Number of Jobs 565,000
2010 Number of Jobs 363,100
2012 Number of Jobs 343,700
All kidding aside, the correct answer is still "China". Computer programming jobs follow employment in manufacturing. If employment in manufacturing is rising in one country, but falling in another, the computer programming jobs will be rising in the first country but falling in the second country.
This year, even the Chinese economy is slowing down. But it is important to keep the long-term in mind. Over the last 30 years there has been a dramatic decline in the number of all types of computer programming jobs in the USA.
There is a tiny subset of the industry that is growing, and we associate these with the startups in San Francisco and New York. But so far these startups have not created enough jobs to offset the jobs lost due to other factors.
This suggests that there must be a vast reservoir or programmers who would like programming jobs, but they can't work as programmers because the jobs have disappeared.
If the numbers were smaller, you could argue that the loss of jobs was due to inaccuracies in the way Bureau of Labor gathers statistics. But the drop from 565,000 jobs to 343,700 is too large to be a spurious blip.
If you follow some of these companies on sites like linkedin, keep an eye on other companies you haven't heard of in their 'people also followed' section. (companies that everyone has followed you likely already know about)
As a side note if you want to move to Portland Maine, contact me I might have a cool place for you to work. :)
Then of course there's native mobile application development.
You might have some more trouble finding traditional non-networked desktop GUI apps to work on.
I've gotten a little attention by contacting locally companies directly, but no success in actually landing an interview or a job. I still think it's worthwhile to get your name out there, even if the only benefit is getting practice in marketing yourself.
If you don't have any EE experience, it might be worth doing a second degree - graduate or undergrad. EE is pretty different from writing code.
Reach out to contacts if you have them (friends/mentors from College and your personal life).
If you know specifically what you want to do and you want to stay in your current are, seek out the companies in your area that do this and monitor their job boards and/or reach out to them directly.
You can also try volunteer work, professional comp sci and meetup groups that meet your interests, etc. to expand your network.
Basically try anything you can think of besides just searching online job listing sites, that's the least-effort approach and you'd be lucky to land a desirable job that way.
david dot nay at gee mail dot com
That's numerically not great, and we mostly advertise for people who can do web programming, but the positions may exist.
Of course, it depends on what you want to do that's not web programming. Do you just hate the web, or do you have something specific you want to do?
also don't forget about good ol' fashioned systems administration, which is heavily developer-driven now. your job could be to try to code yourself out of a job.
Also reddit.com/r/medicine but that is kind of more clinicians and less health tech. There's also reddit.com/r/telemedicine.
Personally I wish there was a way to sort HN via topic, so you could get all the medical news easily separated.
(am a telemedicine nurse at a health tech startup)
There's also RockHealth which you can follow on facebook but they kind of feel scammy imo and generally seem to only promote their own companies. Also you can sort by healthtech on techcrunch: http://techcrunch.com/tag/healthtech/
That way it's easier to migrate off later, if needed, and easier to scale as well.
Questions of the kind "how to I do X in programming language Y" are better answered on stackoverflow.
Communication is humanity's bottleneck.
Since the Objective-C code of the AFNetworking library was very well written, I expect the Swift version to be of similar quality: https://github.com/Alamofire/Alamofire
Apple also published a Swift book: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book-series/swift-programming-se...
If you are exceptionally concerned have the individual invest via a LLC or separate company, but I doubt any future investors will care either way as they will only be focused on your ability to deliver and as long as that isn't compromised you are good.
There are some restrictions on a felony conviction in the SEC rules but I do not believe you would trigger them by taking funds from the person. IANAL but I believe they only become a factor if the person has a material interest or has a voting/board position in the company.
In this case though from what you say, a drug charge, no convictions since, with that much time since conviction, I personally wouldn't even worry about it. If you know the individual well, are willing to go to bat for that individual, and it is a problem for someone else, that is their problem and probably not worth your time fighting over to convince them otherwise. At the friends/family stage though, this level of concern is even further reduced in my opinion.
Investors do care about the group they are investing with. I think you can make a clear case that this party is a low risk.
I've done useless projects at school and at work but the point of those projects was to get credentials or money.
If you're doing this for fun, you should start with something you want to make. A game idea, an app idea, a robot that does something. Break the problem into the smallest parts and start with that.
I also hate complicated compiling processes, bloated tools, or anything to do with configuration. But that's just part of software development. You'll have the motivation to plow through that if you really want to build something.
Since I love tech and programming I wanted to get back, not to find a tech job or run a tech startup, no I just wanted something to distract myself after work. So I began dipping into random languages, libs & frameworks. Bought books, read tutorial and did crash courses. I chose popular and new tech, stuff that matters and things which frequently pop up on HN. From mobile development over functional languages to the hottest JS front-end libs. I played around but usually after a few days I lost quickly any interest, I didn't know why.
Eventually I found the best way get back again and it's easy: Look for a real problem you have yourself and you want to solve. Just for yourself, just to use it yourself. Once you identified the problem you search for the right tool and everything else comes by itself and before you realize you mastered a heavy language/framework in a few days/weeks.
Without a concrete mission which really must matter to you all efforts to get into any appealing tech such as Swift, ES6, react-redux, Android dev, Go will feel shallow and you'll end up wasting time going through tutorials/books/guides questioning your journey.
 https://handmadehero.org http://philipbuuck.com/announcing-handmade-quake
As far as language, Python is my current favorite. It just has the lowest friction by far.
It's a hobby, there's no reason to start with the overhead of an industrial grade IDE.
Heck you could just download Emacs and spend a long time writing code in Elisp.
Seems perfect for you (in short notice you should be programming little agents to collect resources and other rudimentary AI). It's great for learning.
Please feel free to reach out if you think any of my experience could be relevant and you'd like to chat further.
C# using Visual Studio is a great next step as the IDE is first class. Microsoft give it away now free.
Offline, face-to-face is best. But even online works better than nothing.
welcome back into programming. A lot of things happened since the 1990s :)
by now it can run server side or in a browser, but since it is a really flexible spec it could reach also other contexts like electron apps or AWS lambdas.
I even used mine for all of my writing and work for about 5 days. Playing with the Pi brought back some of the freshness of my old hacking/tinkering days.
You solve coding puzzles but in a very limited retro environment.
So tell us what mindset you mean, without using the word "hacker".
Then, for some reason, I setup their build environment on a VM, setup my git client to push to their gerrit and started making some easy changes. I've focussed on the VCL, which is a core component of LibreOffice, and the more I have read the code on OpenGrok the more things pop out at me. So I tend to submit patches.
Right now I'm reading up on how LibreOffice deals with fonts. It's a bit messy, but the code actually can be refactored, so that's what I'm doing! Actually, it's kind of fun. I rather like running doxygen to see what the collaboration diagrams look like after I've changed the class structure :-)
I mean, I don't think you're deliberately being misleading, but it feels a lot like you're saying one thing, yet doing another. Just out of curiosity really, why haven't you already Googled and started - what are you holding off and waiting for? It would take, what, 10 minutes to Google a Java tutorial and open https://repl.it/languages/java and get some text printed, right?
I learn better by experimenting with other peoples code than by a textbook [..] Im looking for recommendations of textbooks
I don't know the answer to your question, but I did some research and will also speculate. I could be totally wrong.
I don't believe there's a tariff on oil imports in the US. So why don't US oil companies buy foreign oil? Probably because the infrastructure required to move and store oil is incredibly expensive, and because the oil buyers could just go straight to the source.
The amount of oil that would have to be purchased in order to increase prices again is totally astronomical. I imagine most oil companies prefer to have low storage costs and therefore try to avoid overproducing, which means they probably don't have massive amounts of unused storage space.
According to your article Dow bought "hundreds of thousands of pounds" of bromine and based on a quick Google search a pound of bromine is about the size of a pill bottle. So one warehouse full.
If they stop pumping oil tey are down to zero. What funds do they use to buy up the world's oil? Saudi Arabia, Iran, Russia will just keep dumping oil while still taking in profits
DOW was able to buy up all the bromine - today the oil will just keep flowing
Oil refineries have to be configured for a given class of crude. Prudhoe Bay differs from shale-derived, etc.
Arabian "light sweet crude" is the easiest to refine, but it still means differing processes.
Companies across the globe are storing oil including on parked tankers. Here is some data for US storage: https://www.eia.gov/petroleum/supply/weekly/
However, crude and distillate storage capacity is much smaller than consumption and production.
Note some maybe datasets, so you may have to import them into a db and then just use something like
to quickly publish your own api.
You need to consider that the bulk of developers are actually using the Microsoft platform. For the most part they aren't interested in the free software community. Linux VMs are not an option for a lot of corporate tasks.
That is of course changing and probably the main driver for Microsoft being more open.
Disclaimer: I work for Microsoft.
Is there a place that offers some simple apples-to-apples comparison for typical use cases? All three require complex calculators that account for bandwidth use, ip addresses, etc.
Edit: I do see some tools after searching some, but they are all flawed a bit because the three providers don't all offer the same thing. Azure's 2 core machines start with significantly more RAM than Google or AWS, so it's not a great comparison. The tools don't make that sort of mismatch easy to see.
~3-4Gb RAM: Azure (2cores, >100$/month), Google (1core, ~25$), AWS (37$, or compute optimized 75$)
high memory 13-14Gb: Azure (>246$), Google (~63$), AWS (16Gb, >172$)
UPD: Thanks to tyingq, Azure 3-4Gb RAM (2cores, starting from 70$)
For our workloads, Azure is a worse deal. Broadly, we found that compared to EC2 instance types, you paid a slight premium of 20% or so to get 2x the RAM and 100s of gigs of ephemeral SSD storage (vs little or no SSD storage), while taking a perhaps 30% hit in CPU performance.
It's not terrible, and depending on your workload, might be better than EC2. I'm personally very partial to Amazon's spot instances and t2 family types, neither of which Azure offers.
Even so, compute only represents ~25% of our AWS bill. For enterprises who have significant Windows/AD investment, Azure might be a no brainer from an ops cost point of view.
If you're looking at Azure, and on HN, my guess is you're probably a startup, in which case you want to look into Microsoft Bizspark (https://www.microsoft.com/bizspark). This drastically changes Azure prices. If you're a larger company, Azure is all about enterprise sales, and bundling. If you buy multiple Azure services along with Windows, and O365, the Azure part is dirt cheap.
If you are running Linux , azure works really well. Give it a try if you can set aside your bias.
The OP needs to quantify the statement about azure being expensive or else it will just sound like anti-Microsoft fud.
In Azure, MS frees you from that CAL charge.
I would be grateful if someone could confirm or reject this licensing issue - I heard it once from a MS employee but perhaps he misunderstood the thing about VPS somehow?
There are some issues I've seen while trying to run systems there. Some of the network configuration there is very strange, and I've seen some crazy performance issues. Their API is very painful to use as well. Lastly, they run an agent on your node that can gain someone root access (worse than Linode's ability for someone to do that). Finally, their control panel has a basically unlimited session lifetime. I don't think I've had to log in once within the past 60 days.
I've found that systems running in Azure reliably perform worse than AWS. Systems in Azure with about the same CPU and RAM have worse performance by anywhere from 2x to 10x. I'm using this based on seeing things like GC run times in both Go and the JVM. The systems report 0.00% CPU steal, no idea where the bottleneck is.
Their network also leaves some to be desired. One of the biggest pain points is that they drop ICMP Echo / Echo Reply on the edge of the network. So doing network troubleshooting across the WAN is challenging. Another issue is that they seem to often either drop or de-prioritize UDP packets within their Fresno location. This causes some issues with software that uses UDP for communication. With that are the weird, and confusing, mix-match between NetworkSecurityGroups and Endpoints, with only one of them being configurable in the UI.
The last thing is their API and the SDK (at least Ruby). Their API is an XML behemoth with incorrect documentation (e.g., the example URL using a wrong path in the docs), and severe performance problems. There are times where the API takes over a minute to respond to a request, sometimes taking longer to respond with an HTTP 500. Their Ruby SDK, at least, isn't so much as an SDK as a library that's meant to be consumed via IRB.
Lastly, the nodes all run an agent called WALinuxAgent. This allows Azure to take action on your node without your approval. It can also do things like add new users to your node, and give then full sudo access. This is also done without a reboot, so you have no indicator that someone just took this action on your system. Scary!
I've also seen this agent get weird responses from the endpoints it talks to causing it to think it should reprovision your node. It proceeds to then rewrite your SSH host keys, vomit an exception, and then exit. It's brilliant.
Trying to get help from support is impossible. I've had issues with the quality of the responses given, but also issues with them just never responding to open issues. AWS's support team should be commended in comparison.
It helped me understand the relationship between fear, oppression, hatred and crime.
It also gave me renewed disdain for the evangelical (as in, spreading of gospel) european and american tradition, a disdain which is probably shared by the author.
Before reading the book, I had never really "understood" Martin Luther King Jr. How could it be morally right to want to integrate, forgive and even love one's oppressors? I feel like I have a better understanding of the civil rights movement in the US, and perhaps a slightly more optimistic view of the future.
: http://www.amazon.com/Jesus-Disinherited-Howard-Thurman/dp/0...: https://chrisblattman.com/2015/09/29/fear-and-what-a-centuri...
These individuals have riches just as we say that we have a fever when really the fever has us. Seneca
The Power of Now;Practicing the Power of Now;Stillness Speaks;A New Earth
The last few months of 2014 and the first couple of months in 2015 - when Canadian winter SAD and the stress of starting a new business kicked in - really did me in mentally and I was going through a severe bout with depression.
This book was recommended to me by a friend and founder. It gave me the tools I needed to deal with the ongoing BS life tends to throw at you. Amazing how powerful and still highly applicable a mindset developed centuries ago can be today.
It really reminded me of the Admiral McRaven speech about making your bed, which is occasionally quoted here:
> If you make your bed every morning you will have accomplished the first task of the day. It will give you a small sense of pride and it will encourage you to do another task and another and another, he said.
Here is a link to the Livestream Event: http://livestream.com/spacex/events/4695903
No guarantees though
HN discussion from almost a year ago: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=8699178
Word Up! by Marcia Riefer Johnston (http://www.amazon.ca/Write-Powerful-Sentences-Paragraphs-Eve...) is also solid for improving the quality of your writing. The book itself is a bit precious, though.
How to make sense of any mess by Abby Covert is great for organizing (which is a big part of tech writing for me). Available on Amazon and now also at http://www.howtomakesenseofanymess.com/
* Chicago Manual of Style
* NASA Technical Report Writing (Technical Memorandum 105419 (1))
(1) A personal favorite: http://ntrs.nasa.gov/archive/nasa/casi.ntrs.nasa.gov/1993001...
I'm on a device with a glass interface so it's too difficult to get the link, but you can just google it.
21st Century C - Ben Klemenshttp://www.amazon.com/dp/1449327141/?tag=stackoverfl08-20
You asked about "Modern C" and that caught my eye. Most instructional resources on C focus on facts about C without putting them into perspective as to which C era they belong to. "21st Century C" takes an explicitly modern perspective, is opinionated as to which aspects of C you can postpone or ignore, and provides updates for people (like me) who have mostly been familiar with K&R or C89. I found it a really fun read and would definitely recommend it as #1 for your question about "Modern C".
As to if you should learn C, I am super opinionated but I think C still has a lot of value, even for someone who doesn't describe themselves as "full-stack". The reasons are obvious: the kernel is written in C, libc is written in C, the webserver serving your web application is almost definitely written in C, but if it isn't, the compiler that compiles the language it is written in is almost definitely written in C (hats off to Golang for getting off their C compiler). Despite its flaws, I love C.
Next, I'd try "C the Hard Way" which is just as beginner, but is an attempt to make C programs safer (and expose you to some of the glossed over details)
1) Placing an an Annoy-a-Tron (small devices randomly emits a sound) right above someone's computer under their desk. Employee goes nuts trying to figure out how a virus got on their system and tech support tears the system down trying to figure it out.
2) Hooking up a small air horn to an office chair, so that when someone sits down (and depresses slightly the pneumatic seat height leg) the airhorn goes off scaring the crap out of the seatee. This one happened to me, holy crap...
3) A classic, there's always a hunt-and-packer typist in the office. Switch a few keys on their keyboard.
4) Or a modern take of the key-switch, cover their keyboard with hello kitty stickers.
5) Place not one but three annoy-a-trons around a desk.
6) If someone has a combo wireless keyboard and mouse, but doesn't use one of the two, get out the piece they're not using and randomly press buttons or move the mouse about for some 'phantom wireless problems'.
7) If someone leaves their station unlocked, send a quick group mail offering to buy coffee for the team (or beer, or pizza, etc).
Watch as everyone in the office gets up and goes over to each other's desks.
First message: "Initiating mandatory inappropriate content scan"Second message: "Inappropriate content found...adding to log."Third message: "More inappropriate content found...adding to log."Fifth message: "User ID and Name added to log. Transferring to central administration offices."
The look on some people's face was priceless haha.
Soon they got wise to my ways and the gig was up.
I then found some Novell app that was installed on every computer that allowed the exact same thing but made it even easier! I think there was a list of names that I could select and then send a message. That didn't last long though. It was soon too blocked.
Any teachers out there? Don't let your students get bored.
Edit: I also just remembered each student had a personal network drive that they could access on any computer. Each student got something like 250mb or something like that. When you logged in as normal, you could obviously only access your drive and no one else's drive. I can't remember how but I figured out how to access other people's drive. The great thing was, I had read/write access :/ I could put anything in anyone's shared drive.
Come to think about that...I was a turd in high school.
1) Homegrown, pre-internet, pre-SMTP homegrown email system in the early days. Engineer colleagues spoof an email from CEO, put nice guy on notice that CEO was hopping mad about his product and would be by late that evening to check on some issue, forcing the guy to stay there most of the night in terror.
2) Hunt and peck typer for a team lead/manager at the dawn of the PC era. Reports pry the keycaps off his IBM keyboard, swap the M & N. He types memos. "This computer is screwed up--these memos have all the m's and n's swapped! I think the PC is going bad" Colleague, a touch typer, sits down and says "Let me try." He types the memo flawlessly. "Works for me!" Eventually the touch typist gets bored of having to "fix" the PC with his magic touch and mercy is finally shown.
3) PR1MOS system. CS001 student walks out of computer lab, fails to log out. Edit login script to call itself on next login. Log out. That was really mean and probably pissed a lot of people off.
4) Sending bells to people's terminal sessions. Randomly. But only when they weren't paying attention. Cube farm fun.
How many of these things from the past would likely be grounds for termination/expulsion these days?
Also sent a fake "Exteme Marketing" Pizza Hut promo email to a colleague a few years back. It looked mostly normal but had lines like "BEST FUCKING PIZZA EVER"
sure enough, a kid comes in, sits down on the machine, goes through the login sequence, then hits the "press any key to continue" prompt. he scans the keyboard, finds the "any" key, and presses it. computer promptly reboots. kid waits, login screen comes back up, he goes through the sequence, hits any ...
he finally went to find the lab attendant TA, at which point my friend quickly swapped the keyboard back. so when the TA got there, everything just worked, and when it came to hitting "any key" there was of course no "any" key to be hit, and the TA explained what to do.
(epilogue: my friend's reputation had preceded him, the TA figured out he had something to do with it, and came by later to ask "how did you make that guy think there was an 'any' key?", and offer to buy the keyboard when let in on the joke)
Another prank, was a very bad one I admit.With the help of a friend, we made a fake Quake 1 loader. While it was outputting a lot of cool techno jibberjabber to the screen, it was running on the background a deltree /y c:\. > nul
This was a bad one, but hey. It was the time of Anarchy cookbook, and floppy disk bombs, and all those crazy things :)Cheers
This will make the terminal scroll more and more as bash sessions are started.
However, people get used to this since it happens gradually, and eventually will go nuts trying to figure out why there terminal takes forever to start (it's scrolling pages upon pages).
Change the keyboard mapping.
Back in the 90's was installing black orfice on a friends computer, though they didn't appreciate that. ;)
Another one we did was take a screenshot of a 404 page, and then randomly show that instead of the site that they were working on, but only for their IP.
A quick and easy one was to just crank someone's speakers all the way up, for the next time they play music.
So, you just edit your target's ,profile (or .cshrc or .kshrc) to echo the appropriate escape sequence to greet that party with the message of your choice upon login.
dir netstat -b systeminfo
They usually freak out thinking that I'm hacking them. I act like I am too.
Turns the screen upside down and quite a number of people don't know how to do it.
Another one is enabling scroll especially for someone who is working in Excel.
International transfer of funds done wrong could get you into incredible 'I need a lawyer' territory very quickly.
BTW, Visa does not issue credit cards, Visa partners do. And they certainly do and work in most of the countries you listed.
Second, IANAL, but if you are a US-based company you may run into restrictions with accepting payments from customers in embargoed countries (i.e. Iran, Syria, etc...).
However you may have people who live in those countries, with dual citizenships/also live abroad, that make purchases from within those countries.
There must be some bad blood here, or some underlying issue that is causing your ex-employer to freak out. Worry about that. If your ex-boss is some crazy paranoid, that's the problem right there. No amount of legal argument will make a difference.
Unless you have something bizarre in your contract it's unlikely they could sue. Unless specifically stated the fact that you quit wouldn't be counted as company confidential information. Further more given the person you told is a board member of the company it's not clear that anything you told them could breach confidentiality.
Normally most companies have a clause specifically saying you can't claim to work for them after you leave the company.
You didn't elaborate on HOW you were threatened. If you don't get it in writing it didn't really happen. If it was a phone call follow up with an email to make things clear. You might find you get a fast retraction.
Your employment status is a fact that isn't proprietary, so it would be hard to argue that it should remain confidential, but that depends on the terms of your agreement.
In the end, you need a lawyer, not HN.