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Ask HN: Tell us how you met your SO?
6 points by kiloreux  16 minutes ago   1 comment top
ColinWright 10 minutes ago 0 replies      
I was attending a ballroom dancing competition, not to compete, but to support some friends. During the initial practice time I saw a young lady walk across the floor to join her friends.

I went over and said "Would you care for a quickstep?"

She said yes. We became firm friends, and married in 2000.

Ask HN: I joined a big co, like the team, hate some policies, what should I do?
47 points by throwaway173205  3 hours ago   46 comments top 25
codingdave 2 hours ago 1 reply      
No matter what the company size, you will find that the culture and the actions taken by the organization follow the leaders. This is rarely something you can fight... you need to make a personal decision of either accepting the areas in which you disagree, or leaving the job.

Personally, I find ethical problems are the kind that would make me leave. Business disagreements and technical differences are one thing... but I can't support something if it directly conflicts with my personal ethics.

So if I were in your shoes, I'd frame the question in exactly that way - is this just a disagreement in style for you, or an ethical conflict?

saalweachter 1 hour ago 0 replies      
If you are on the fence enough to ask here, don't quit immediately and instead just start interviewing elsewhere now. Once you have some solid offers lined up, you can make a more informed decision.

In general a large corporation is -- surprise surprise -- going to be made up of a lot of people. Some of them are going to be really passionate about doing the right thing, some of them will be happy to do what it takes to get ahead, and a lot of them are just going to want to do their job, get paid, and not worry too hard about the bigger picture. It can feel bad to be at the big evil and feel like you're being corrupted by being a part of it, but you always have the option to do what you think is right. You can stay there, work hard, and push back against the culture and attitudes you think improper. Maybe you'll make a difference. Maybe you'll give up. Maybe you'll try hard but no one will listen, and meanwhile your hard work will benefit the wrong people. Maybe you'll get fired after people get tired of you telling them how bad they are or after you refuse to do something that crosses the line.

chatmasta 1 hour ago 1 reply      
Suck it up or quit. You're not going to change what sounds like the central strategy of the company. And if you complain about it, your superiors may very well see you as weak and unwilling to do what it takes to win. So either keep quiet, work hard and get paid, or leave. If you're really that concerned, blow the whistle on your way out. But don't expect to get hired again after doing that.
ActsJuvenile 1 hour ago 0 replies      
NO MATTER WHAT you must not say anything and maintain a smiling facade, while letting the hatred smolder inside your dark heart. Make trivial yet self-reinforcing observations around the office that feed your echo-chamber of a mind. After work down a quart of whiskey to soothe broken dreams, while watching HBO shows depicting glamorous life that you will never have. Extra bonus if you lash out at people who love and care for you.

In 5 years all this will feel natural to you like the rest of us, and your stock options would have fully vested by then.

gedrap 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Well, looks like you are not in a position to change these policies. Therefore, if you regularly feel "a combination of frustration and shame working for them" rather than just a short period of negativeness / sadness that goes away quickly, it's not likely that it will get any better later and quite possibly worse. So quitting seems like the only option, doesn't it?

I'd just add that regardless of your decision, try to take a step back and see if you could have spotted these issues earlier, before joining so that you'd be less likely to repeat this mistake in the future. Maybe there were some red flags that you missed or downplayed?

bdcravens 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Be the change you want to see. Do your job in the most ethical manner possible and articulate your thoughts on your job, not necessarily the company, and perhaps it will spread. Counter-culture can be as effective as revolution. If the company doesn't change, you did what you were asked by your company (your job) and what was asked by your ethos.
elgabogringo 1 hour ago 1 reply      
If there is something that is actually unethical going on, then you should consider leaving, but you need to be more specific on what those things actually are. "beyond what is fair" and "really sketchy" are pretty subjective. It's fair to say a company's culture is too competitive, but it's not clear this is the case since you feel the company is well run.

If you and other coworkers are treated fairly, then you are probably being a bit too sensitive / idealistic. Relax and view it as a challenge: learning how to deal with people that you view as too aggressive/competitive. It will serve you well in life.

Again, given the lack of detail that's my best advice... Note that I've worked at a company that stole code and got sued, so I have some experience in unethical companies and leadership.

nilram 1 hour ago 0 replies      
You can't steer that boat from the galley. I don't think there's any long-term harm in jumping ship after a brief engagement as long as that doesn't become a pattern on your CV. Depending on the length of time there, especially if it's a job right out of college, you could even just not put it on.
fencepost 28 minutes ago 0 replies      
Bear in mind that at almost(?) every large company out there the mission statement (written or not) is really

"Our Mission is to make money for our investors and the executives who were able to negotiate their own contracts and who control how we do business. We make money primarily by (selling products|providing services|entertaining people). Where we can do so without impacting our fiduciary responsibilities, we may attempt to do the 'right' thing - particularly in situations where we can get positive press or customer relations out of it - but that's a preference not a responsibility and may be considered part of our marketing budget."

This may seem cynical, but it's basically the way it has to be at any publicly-held company and most privately-held companies that get VC funding. If you tell investors "We're going to put social responsibility/open source ahead of repaying your investment or providing you with profits," good luck finding investors. Entities that put social responsibility, etc. higher are generally called non-profit, not-for-profit, foundation, etc. and I'm not aware of any that could be described as "a big tech company."

dang 1 hour ago 0 replies      
This submission originally got hit by a spam filter and then was rescued by a user who vouched for it. We rolled back the clock on the post when we saw it, but I suppose it may take a while for the OP to realize that they ended up with an active thread.
ChuckMcM 1 hour ago 0 replies      
"People are what they eat, companies are the people they hire." -- Anonymous

There are a lot of good comments here, enough to get you to an answer I think. Personal integrity comes at a cost, and you describe a situation where your personal integrity is in conflict with the company's policies. It is true you should always be looking for a new job, thinking about what you want to do next what you like in a company what you dislike. One of the reasons for leaving is that the company's ethics and yours are too far out of alignment.

Here is the really tricky bit. Companies that are unethical get a reputation for that, the longer you stay at that company the more someone will believe that you're ok with that stance.

So three things;

1) Lead by example, speak out about unethical behavior to your peers and make your own choices in line with your values.

2) Look around for a company that is more aligned with your values, that is much easier to do while employed though.

3) Develop some questions you will use when you interview to understand how leadership treats those questions. Things like "Tell me about a time when your management suggested something against the best interests of the customers/users, and the response to it from your organization."

Good luck.

ktRolster 1 hour ago 0 replies      
has done some really sketchy things where they mislead users in the name of growth

A company that rips off its users will eventually rip you off.

Note though, that if the users are sophisticated enough that they should be able to read and understand a contract, and your company is following their contracts, then they are not ripping anybody off.

skybrian 1 hour ago 1 reply      
Are there legal issues for the company? If so it seems like you should be talking to the company's lawyers about what to do. Certainly don't put anything in writing because you might have to testify about it in court one day.

If there are possible legal issues for you, then you need to get your own lawyer, because the company's lawyers aren't your lawyers.

Putting that aside, if you want to make a change to a management decision then you'll have to be making a presentation to management that's heavy on facts (evidence of risks and bad consequences) rather than about how it makes you feel. Since you're looking to change the status quo, the burden of proof is going to be on you and your allies (if you have any).

If that actually succeeds then it's evidence of strong leadership. But in the more likely case, it's time to look elsewhere.

RKoutnik 2 hours ago 0 replies      
It sounds like these issues are pretty big for you and not so much for your team. If I were in your shoes, I'd be worried that staying would impact my moral compass and I'd start thinking such things were ok. If you've joined pretty recently, no one will look down on you for moving on after discovering that they're misleading customers. I was in a similar situation myself and decided to stick it out, which was a big mistake.

I'd be happy to have a chat and see if there's a space for you somewhere in my network. Life's too short to do morally-dubious work. Contact info's in my profile.

CodeWriter23 26 minutes ago 0 replies      
It's called "business". The question to you is, how are you going to get into a position to create your own company that is built on your values?
michael_storm 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Quit, if you can. Those policies will not change. There's a good reason why that company plays dirty (winning), and the executives are not interested in hearing your thoughts on the matter. Nobody else is, either -- which is why they still work there -- so good luck "banding together".

(Unless you're a relatively high-level being with some political cachet, which, given you're new and having asked this question in the first place, you're probably not.)

I worked for a similar company right out of college, when I was young(-er) and naive(r). Those 18 months barking up an amoral tree would be handy to have back.

quadrature 1 hour ago 0 replies      
That frustration and shame are going to affect your productivity sooner or later which in turn affects your future job prospects. Compartmentalization can work for some people, but it sounds like you have a real ethical boundary here. Our industry generally has a great deal of mobility, there are definitely great companies out there which require your skill set and have a great company culture, you don't have to settle for less.

Also don't trivialize the psychological impact that this can have on you, especially if you find yourself thinking about this off work hours.

getpost 1 hour ago 0 replies      
What do you mean by "fair?" Business isn't about being fair in the sense of fair play ("chivalry"). Do you mean your employer is engaging in illegal monopolistic practices? Is advertising fraudulent?
staticautomatic 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Vote with your feet. If you can get hired there, surely you have other options.
justapassenger 1 hour ago 0 replies      
How sketchy? Every single company I worked at did things that can be considered questionable just to grow. There's no fair fight in industry - good guys lose and get forgotten.

But there's of course a limit to that, and once illegal things start to happen - quit. But if that's a "regular shady" stuff everyone does, you may have problems finding company that won't do it (well, you can find companies that are much subtle internally about it, and you won't know what they do).

ktRolster 1 hour ago 0 replies      
I am not sure what I should do.

Start interviewing and looking for another job. When you find a better one, quit.

jacquesm 1 hour ago 0 replies      
You should have thought twice before joining Facebook.
HillaryBriss 2 hours ago 1 reply      
Is there any value or sense in revealing to the general public some details about the company's dodgy practices?
sliverstorm 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Every big company will cross your feelings of what is right or ethical every now and again. I would chalk this up to the simple fact that a big company is composed of many different people, with different ethics.

Day-to-day, what really matters to your experience is the direct team around you. You're a little enclave inside a larger organization, and may never really interact outside said enclave.

But, we also like to take pride in what we do. If you are ashamed to work for the company, that will probably eat at you. You might learn something that changes your perspective that leads to changing your mind, but the company probably won't change.

ljlolel 2 hours ago 4 replies      
Quit Uber
Ask HN: What is the skillset for programmers at AI startups?
64 points by jason_slack  22 hours ago   24 comments top 9
dbfclark 21 hours ago 2 replies      
Very company dependent. At Luminoso (http://luminoso.com), we live in Python, with varying doses of Javascript for frontend, very little R (but some of us know it), Java and C++ are pluses (for working with other people's software), and we have at least some Haskell in production (mostly for preprocessing). And plenty of ops tools for deployment. We have used a few neural networks frameworks and machine learning packages; definitely the Python machine learning ecosystem is big for us but we haven't found our One True neural network framework yet. Other companies (say in image recognition, Ditto Labs for instance) are definitely more CNN-oriented, yet others are certainly doing work in R.

If you have a company that is doing genuinely interesting AI work, it's likely that they are somehow on the forefront of research, pushing existing tools to do things that they can only barely do. If you find yourself in an AI role (typically only some roles actually do AI, of course -- systems need to stay up, great UIs need to be built, etc.), I would guess that you'll need to familiarize yourself with their particular toolsets and methods rather than assuming that there are universally correct things to go learn.

antognini 21 hours ago 2 replies      
My approach:

* The Python scientific stack for prototyping, data manipulation, etc. (Ipython, matplotlib, numpy, scipy, pandas, scikit-learn).

* Tensorflow for training NNs.

* Everything gets ported to C++ once it's ready to be integrated into the codebase.

* I work on the automated interpretation of EEGs, so I use our software (Persyst) to actually visualize the EEGs and see what's going on in the data at the ground level.

My boss is a big fan of Statistica for data manipulation and NN training. I've been learning it, but I have a natural affinity for Python.

I think you'll find that the tools you need will be pretty dependent on what you're doing, though. I deal with relatively small datasets (~100 EEG records, ~dozens GB total) and the NNs need to be well understood. So we use small NNs and spend a lot of time poking and prodding them to make sure that they're behaving the way we expect them to. If you're working on much larger datasets and are more willing to tolerate the NN acting as a black box you'd have to use a different set of tools (bigger NNs, more complicated NN architectures, GPUs for training, etc.).

vonnik 21 hours ago 1 reply      
I agree with dbfclark that it's case by case. At Skymind (https://skymind.io/), we support an open-source Java library (http://deeplearning4j.org/).

* So obviously Java, Scala, Clojure, and lower-level languages like C++, C and CUDA.

* Since deep learning needs very large datasets to train on, our engineers need experience with open-source libraries used in production environments, such as Hadoop, Spark, Kafka. We also work with Lagom, Nifi, etc.

* A lot of the same math underpins many machine learning and deep learning algorithms. So a high degree of comfort with linear algebra, calculus and probability is a plus.

* A general knowledge of the strengths and weaknesses of various algorithms -- neural networks, reinforcement learning, etc. -- their combinations and applications is helpful.

The Github repos are here if you're curious:


gelisam 19 hours ago 0 replies      
I'm a programmer working at an AI startup, http://keatext.ai, but I'm not touching the AI part, so I just want to point out that there are other ways to get in. In my case, I had experience with Haskell, their backend is using Scala, those are both functional languages, and that was good enough!

Also, we're in Montreal and we're hiring :)

andrewstuart 14 hours ago 0 replies      
Adventure games.
lowglow 20 hours ago 0 replies      
What would someone recommend as a good platform/framework to start with for longevity and robustness of community? We're just now looking for a ML/AI lead to help lay down this foundation for our latest product Asteria, and I'd like to know how to start searching for quality candidates/hackers. https://baqqer.com/projects/asteria
beachstartup 20 hours ago 2 replies      
joeld42 21 hours ago 0 replies      
wdiamond 19 hours ago 1 reply      
pay me 1000 bucks for that information.2000 bucks for more.
Ask HN: When you feel stuck in life
345 points by msleona  1 day ago   319 comments top 150
sevenless 1 day ago 14 replies      
You aren't wrong. Most of us are stuck in conformist, drab and conservative societies, where we're forced to participate in the market economy. This is soul-crushing, and bad for nearly everyone, but especially those in poor countries.

I recommend:

1. Don't work hard. Try to reduce your productivity.

2. Don't work long hours. Reduce your working week to the minimum necessary. Most university graduates earn enough to live comfortably on 10 or 20 hours work per week.

3. Have less stuff. Go outside more, even if it's to play Pokemon Go.

4. Do things for other people.

5. Try to lead an innovative life. Don't wear a tie.

6. Seek to abolish the existing world order.

noname123 1 day ago 6 replies      
Usually on this site and Quora, when people have a post like yours, the posters usually offer a piece of advice, that in my humble opinion, advices are useless because usually they say more about the advice-giver, what they wish they could've done when they were younger (doctors/lawyers who studied hard to make bank, advising all students to have fun when they're young but how did they get there?), or tout their own successes when the advice-receiver may or may not have the same background to be able to replicate it (people here with STEM background touting meritocracy and hard-work will eventually get everyone a job but when did you start learning coding and under what circumstances??).

As a 29-year old, I'll offer instead my own personal regret about my 20's without any panacea, I hope that it is relevant to your stated idea even though it may not seem so at first:

Last night I came home after going out with a bunch of friends from a startup at a "reunion outing" that we all used to work at several years ago,

We are all 28, 29, 30 now and we were 26, 25, 24 when we were hanging out everyday at work and after work; and past the superficial remembrances of the "all fun times we had," inside jokes of what-he-said, what-she-said, casual bantering at the pool table and the double high-fives for the ladies and low ass slaps for the bro's after the final game, on the back of the Lyft ride home, I thought about how we never ever really fought.

Not talking about general boorishness caused by alcohol and clashing sensitive male ego's, nor the passive-aggression between friends or acquaintances where perceived slights/differences built up but never confronted, beef never squashed instead squished down underneath the social surface that years pass by, your group's "happy hours" turns from a "thing" into a remembrance - that you heard only about XXX's wedding from your other friends who had been invited but you feel only slightly annoyed because XXX has already become someone who you used to know.

But really fight in a moment, air out your differences, coming into a fight, knowing that you or the other person may not come out at end as friends anymore, but you have a hope to salvage things, out of a conviction to be authentic to yourself and the other person, out of an intent to love the other person even if there is a such deep well of negative emotions, frustration, hatred, feeling of injustice and inspired self-insecurity, that you can't help but to still respect/admire the uniqueness/individuality of the person and even a wisp of self-reconsideration of your own part in the sordid affair; and hope you guys might come be able to come out the other side.

This is the my biggest regret about my 20's. That I have always ducked all my opportunities to fight.

Instead of accepting the up's and down's in any natural relationships, I took every setback, every feeling of feeling stagnant as an outlet to push people away. Underneath the thin sheath of rationalizations is a dread of knowing myself as who I truly who I am if I were to fight, I'll be exposed. So it is with this never-said but oft-acted upon notion I've come away with a decade of superficial trinkets instead of battle scars, and without the satisfaction that I've truly ever loved.

anysz 1 day ago 5 replies      

You should embark on side projects. They will teach you so much more than school ever will, and they will reward you in a way that nothing else really can. If your projects can make money too, then that's icing on the cake. You will be free.

I'm 25 years old with no degree, taught myself to code for the past 2 years and got turned down for thousands of developer jobs. I ended up working in a factory doing curtain assembly, and selling websites door-to-door after work, until last month, where the first day I decide to go back to sports, I tear my meniscus.

Thankfully, healthcare in Canada is free. However, with 250$ to my name at the time of surgery, the future was looking really, really dark. Can't work, and can't do door-to-door sales. Mother Nature has deadly accuracy with those curveballs.

In the hospital bed, I'm having an existential debate of what to do with my life (in the immediate future). I can sell my Macbook to stay afloat, but that means that I can't build iOS apps anymore. I can ask my brother for money, but he's just about the biggest asshole ever to have roamed the planet and we have a trash relationship. After a lot of tears and self-pity, and telling my life story to the nurse, I decide I'm going to throw life a curveball of my own and invest all I have in a new e-commerce venture.

So I set up a quick WooCommerce site selling Pokemon Go apparel and blew 200$ of my 250$ on FB and Instagram ads, and believe it or not, within 3 days, I nailed my first sale, and got approached by 2 Pokemon influencers to sell to their following.

I'm now making about 2 sales a day, which amounts to 30-35$. It's peanuts, but I've survived on less, and honestly, stuck in bed with a full zimmer brace, super high on painkillers, 10 full minutes to do a washroom trip and I am happier than I have ever been in my entire life. I'm trapped in bed for the next month, but I have never felt more free. Maybe with this, I don't even have to go to work again.

So that's my two cents, for your two cents. Find a project with potential and work on it. It doesn't have to bring money, it may be learning to play Californication on the guitar or implementing a hashing algorithm, but as long as it's something you enjoy and makes you grow, this is IMHO what life is all about.

aerovistae 1 day ago 7 replies      
I've been feeling this way since middle school.

I didn't really have any bad subjects in school, so I figured I could do whatever interested me professionally, but nothing really strongly appealed to me other than a paycheck large enough to eat out whenever I wanted. I discovered programming was pretty fun, now I'm a software engineer, and I'm just saving money for.....something. I don't know what.

I've been trying to figure out what I'm moving towards for years. I just don't know where it's going. Marry, have children, buy house, continue office job? I want to really care. I see so much wrong with the world and I don't have any clever ideas on how to fix it.

I don't want to make an app, something that adds a little convenience but doesn't truly make anyone's lives better. I want to fix something that's manifestly broken. I envy Elon Musk above all others, because he's seen terribly important things that were very broken, and had what it took to break all barriers to fixing them. Needless to say I'm not Elon Musk. Most people aren't.

I'd like to fix something social more than technological. I'd like to fix something societal that's broken, like the fact that Congress is literally a joke among Americans, that people feel so detached and isolated from the people creating policy that we don't bother to vote because we don't think it'll change anything.

But I don't know how to fix those things, so I keep working conventional jobs, but I can barely bring myself to do them, because my heart isn't in it, and I feel the years passing.

mouzogu 1 day ago 3 replies      
I'm 32 and I've had similar thoughts at least since I was 27. A kind of existential crisis tinged with deep boredom and non-clinical depression.

I've found 3 things that have helped me deal with my depression/boredom:

1. Have things to look forward to:

Always, always find things to anticipate and look forward to in the short and long term. Whether it is something small, like a treat at the end of the day or something big like a vacation or short trip away.

2. Side projects & working towards self-employment.

Ultimately, the aim is to be the master of my own time. I no longer have to wake up at 8am because I HAVE to but because I (may) WANT to. This for me is so important. To be the master of my time. I'm 32 now, if I'm lucky to live to 70 you can say that I have about 14-20 years of productive time in me. I want to use it for myself.

3. Spirituality.

I know that this isn't for everyone. Personally, I find religion and spirituality helps me to cope with every day issues. It gives me strength where I might otherwise just find a gaping void of pointless-ness into which to fall.

I hope this helps you. As mentioned by another comment try to avoid alcohol. You won't find the answers you need a the bottom of a bottle.

mysticlabs 1 day ago 3 replies      
29 myself, and going through something similar. Millennials like us aren't allowed to grow up, it doesn't matter how successful or educated we are. In fact, the more we accomplish the more we are disinfranchised because society merely wants us to be consumers, go to work, pay the bills, and try not to cause any trouble. We aren't supposed to be anything more than consumer wage slaves.

Our generation has been brainwashed since we were children with identity politics, identity consumerism, and identity propaganda. We've been demoralized to believe in a system that is so utterly corrupt and rigged against us that there really isn't an answer to your question. You've already screwed yourself with a useless college degree and likely debt, and literally paid them to brainwash you into believing what they taught you actually has relevance to the real world. It doesn't, which is partly why you're feeling what you're feeling.

My best advice to you is stop doing what anyone else tells you, stop following the path society wants you to, and in fact avoid the things you're supposed to do. Start a daily meditation practice, take care of yourself, eat well, focus your energy on creating value for others, and put all the distractions down and go outside.

Don't subscribe to propaganda, don't identify with anything anyone else tells you to, listen to your intuition, study things that interest you on your own always. Learn to teach yourself whatever you're interested in. Stop expecting the world or anyone else to hand you anything, and become the best problem solver you can become.

Everything else is just noise.

kilon 1 day ago 0 replies      
I dont know If I am in your shoes but I am in a similar situation. I am lawyer and my father is a lawyer and the past 5 years my brain went to a lockdown, refusing to work , to make friends, to have a relationship. I tried to push myself through this by changing career since it was obvious I was not happy. It did not help.

Everybody was implying I was suffering from severe depression so I decided to visit a psychiatrist. I was diagnosed with dysthymia , a condition very diffirent to depression. It basically means, no motivation to do anything.

So I have been taking drugs, they did not help, however psychotherapy did help me. After a year I realized that my problem was and still is pressure , pressure from my family but also and mostly pressure from myself. It killed my fun and enjoyment , everything became a must do, and brain refused to work under these conditions.

Now with the help of psychiatrist , I try to relearn how to relax and enjoy the process, stop working hard and instead work easy and fun. It works but old habits die last. So it will take years till I am out of the woods but the last year I have been doing psychotherapy at least I see a steady improvement.

We are be taught that we are our brain , but this is simply not true, brain is whole another monster and if you dont take good care of it , it will kick your ass. I wanted to learn this the hard way and so here I am.

So there is hope dont despair, definetly see a psychiatrist and expert advice is always helpful. The rest is up to you , go find what makes you happy and do that, the rest will follow.

dotsamuelswan 1 day ago 1 reply      
Grain of salt / what works for others won't work for you / etc.

Don't leap back to school without carefully vetting whatever program has caught your attention. A lot of hoop jumping, and a lot of curriculum that's a decade out of date (or more) out there these days. I've tried to go back a few times, and it's been a complete waste of time/money.

Read Pressfield's "The War of Art." It's cheap, it's short, and it's helpful. There are a few passages that don't quit hit home, but it does one thing really well. It gives you the kind of internal vocabulary you need to get out of the "I'll do it tomorrow" sort of procrastination. "Tomorrow" is really dangerous thinking when there's not an actual deadline. You'll be saying tomorrow for years at a time, without actually moving the needle.

Move the needle every day. Do -something- that counts as forward progress. Momentum goes a long way. Track what you're doing. "What gets measured gets improved" sort of thing.

Be honest with yourself. What have you done that makes you think you should be more than just another office peon? Put in the work. Stop wishing. Earn it.

virmundi 1 day ago 2 replies      
I can tell you what not to do; I really mean this. Don't drink. At least not for a while.

It could lead to suicidal ideation. Then it's possibly a literal death spiral. You're depressed that you don't get anything done (hobbies, side project, etc). This makes you more depressed. You don't get anything done. This compounds the feelings of trapped/existential worthlessness. Eventually you might come really close to suicide. No booze.

patricius 22 hours ago 2 replies      
This is a problem with living goal-oriented lives. We set out goals and by working towards those goals, we are paradoxically eroding the feeling of purpose, because what comes after the goal? Having finished a goal (finishing your major in business administration), you know how this feels.

Instead, find out what activity you can do every day, potentially for the rest of your life, that gives you meaning. For me it's eating lunch with my dad and going to the gym to meet friends and stay healthy. And reading and learning. These things don't sound profound, but they keep me happy about waking up every day.

Artlav 1 day ago 1 reply      
Feels familiar.

It's this rocket launch in super slow motion, the uphill battle of following the standard script.

Finish school, finish the university, get a job, work on the PhD, survive the lawsuit vs conscription army, finish the PhD, get a better job...

And suddenly you are in orbit. The last stage falls away, and there is freefall.

There is no next step, nothing left to do, no battles left to fight. Feels awesome, but gets old really fast. I lasted up there for about a year before hopping on a random plane and spending a couple months in South America, then slowly figuring out the things that are worth doing and things that aren't worth doing.

5 days a week job is not worth doing, it eats away your sanity. 3 days a week leaves much more time to work for projects of your own (or to come up with them). Projects are worth doing, you never guess in advance how they would play out, and the process is fun.

So, step one is to derail the current routine and get some thinking space outside it's constraints. Step two is to figure out what you like to do and how to be able to do it.

Not sure how well that would work for you - Russia is a cheap place to live and most existential stuff is free, so my situation is quite a bit privileged compared to what i heard about USA.

donretag 1 day ago 1 reply      
Undoubtedly, many will suggest traveling. I went traveling the world last year for 10 months, although I did not do so because I "had the blues". I did so because I found myself with no obligations and enough money to do so, so it would be a great time to do it.

I had a fantastic time, but now I am suffering from the blues, not before. I think of all the places I went to, and I simply cannot stand to be at work. What am I doing here? Another trip?

If you are an American (can never tell on HN), then you may define yourself by your job and profession. Treat your job as a paycheck and define yourself by what you do in your free time. Of course, doing what you love is important, but most people do not have that luxury. Many here on HN will disagree. Simply get the job that sucks less, has a good work balance, and enjoy the other 16 hours of the day. Try living overseas with the culture is not as work focused.

ddavidn 1 day ago 0 replies      
I'm 27, have had a great job for three years and very recently dropped into this weird "stuck" state that feels similar to what you're describing. I feel like a robot that gets up every day, goes to work, goes to bed, repeats.

I don't think the answer is the same for everyone, but my best times have been when I was helping someone accomplish their dream company/project/etc. Self-employment wasn't fulfilling for me in the way I had hoped, but sticking with someone who has a great vision for something and being their support really helped me to feel momentum for myself. Doesn't matter if I was making lots of money, or just following the project and offering my opinion when asked.

My advice would be to seek out an opportunity, however small, to find something that has meaning and momentum. Mentally put your office work on autopilot, use your energy on the nights and weekends to find interesting people and offer your unique perspective on what they're doing. I'm not out of the woods yet, so take my advice (and all the other posters') with a grain of salt. Hope this helps. Let us know how it goes.

Edit: The thoughts Derek posts over at sivers.org have been very inspirational to me as well. He'll even answer your email if you ask him some questions.

tominous 19 hours ago 2 replies      
Here's the secret: motivation only kicks in AFTER you start doing something. If you're waiting around for motivation to come out of the blue you'll be disappointed.

So just start doing something. Choose one that appeals to you: help another person, create something, build friendships. You've spent enough time improving yourself through education, now it's time to focus outwards and give back.

Second, structure. Set some recurring reminders for starting. In the past I have used a dark trick: I asked a friend to be my "demotivator". His job was to knock me off track. If I didn't meet my personal commitment on a given day I would pay him $50. It worked extremely well.

r_smart 1 day ago 0 replies      
I did go through this when I got my first degree. I graduated with a degree in writing and prepared to become a journalist and it was like the whole thing turned to ash in my mouth. I just didn't want it anymore. I couldn't even write anymore, and to this day, about 10 years later, I still don't write much even though it was a hobby of mine from a young age.

The best solution I can offer you is to wait. Find a hustle (job you don't mind doing that makes enough money for you) and let yourself recover a bit until a new plan / opportunity emerges. For me, I got a job working as a bar tender for a few years, then one day decided I couldn't wait on people any more and I didn't want to be poor anymore. Enrolled in my local college for Electrical Engineering and plowed my new path. But it took ~3 years for me to be ready to do that. I had suffered a fairly crushing defeat and needed time to recover and let a new plan gestate.

Be patient, and ignore the voice in your head that worries about how old you are and how so many other people seem to have their course charted well before you.

stevenkovar 1 day ago 1 reply      
Happiness, money, and love are great as a byproduct of effort, but destructive as the main goal.

Do you want to feel fulfilled or do you want to be happy? My money is on the former; for me this fulfillment comes from continually improving.

Focus on the process. The process of learning, of working, of talking, of exercising, of being... everything you do, do it just 2% better than last time. Try and be more of yourself and less of the someone you've thought (or were told) you should be.

Practical advice:

1. Don't go back to school; it's not a career advantage for most people anymore. You can learn more in practice than in study.

2. Find or create an active jobI mean physically active. Something hands-on.

3. Get enough sleep, enough exercise, and enough sun/Vitamin D (in order of importance); these plus a renewed focus on incremental improvements go hand-in-hand.

4. Don't be afraid to work less. Our culture is toxic with the obsession of "what do you do" and "how much do you make" questions upon meeting someone. The most fulfilled people I know start with "what do you enjoy most" or "what's your story?" Working less makes your answer to those questions more interesting.

5. Exercise gratitude. By this, I mean find something every day you are grateful forthis forces you to think creatively and to observe the small things. It's simple, but this has larger implications for seeing the 'big picture' and seizing opportunities you may otherwise miss.

gregn 1 day ago 0 replies      
I would say the answer is to read profound books, and then move. I was in a situation where I drank continuously for several years because I was stuck in a dead-end job in a dead-end town. The real thing to do is 2-fold:

1) figure out what the big story is, not the piddly immediate stuff; watch Michael Wood histories, read Carl Sagan, read Bill Bryson's "A Short History of Nearly Everything". Get interested in hobbies that will link you with NATURE and the universe at large. Examples might be SURFING, HIKING, ASTRONOMY, GEOLOGY, FIELD_BIOLOGY. These are important because it snaps you out of the anthropocentrism that the myth of culture forces on us. You MUST snap out of the delusional narrative society forces upon you in order to _really_ make sense of your life. This means that you must read enough and collect enough data to weave your own narrative to replace the off-the-shelf one most people use. There are no easy versions of this. You must do it yourself for it to work, and so that you can attain true mental and spiritual freedom. I am not suggesting that you should become some out of touch hippy, but instead gain a broader perspective. You can still go into business. Your widened perspective will actually aid you instead of making things more difficult for you. Steve Jobs for instance, went to India in the late 1970s seeking audience with a famed Guru. It's a good strategy. Better than being a drone.

2) Move!! Firstly, plan your move; consider your options carefully. While you are researching, save up your money. There are a few places left in the U.S. (I refuse to say which. It should be pretty obvious once you look) and in the world where people are not totally congested in against one-another, where people do not abuse consumerism and become flatulated and obese, where soulless corporatism does not rule the minds and hearts of the local residents. I won't tell you where they are, because frankly, I don't want anyone to move there and ruin the tiny enclaves of peacefulness that are left. Besides, you have to find them for yourself for it to work. Some people are mountain people; some people are ocean people. You decide which one is for you.

allendoerfer 1 day ago 2 replies      
First check if you treat yourself like a machine or an animal, that needs maintenance. You can search for similar threads here, you will always find the typical answers: Enough sleep? Good food? Exercise? Social interaction?

Once you have all that covered I would take a step back and get some vacation. You seem to already have an idea what you want to do, so that is good. Maybe try to specify it a bit more and lay out the steps to get there.

One of these steps could be going back to school. If you are not sure whether you want to take a step, I would go like this:

1. List alternatives

2. Order by likelihood of success

3. Take first you think you can do and still stay sane. You have to know yourself whether or not you are a person that can take on debt and likes to go to school.

sottitron 1 day ago 1 reply      
Here is what I've got for you. Maybe together we'll have four cents:

Sounds like you need to set some goals. In school you had them - they were to get to here. Now its time to take stock and set some new ones. Then you'll know where you're going and you won't be lost.

For what its worth, here is my mission statement:

At home, my wife, kids, friends and family will know they are loved and will see it through my actions. At work, I will dazzle and always provide something useful. For myself, I will invest the timeand energy to keep myself present, content, and healthy.

jason_slack 1 day ago 1 reply      
I am 39. I feel this way every few years. I look back on the previous few years and realize that the ideas/goals that I had, I did not accomplish. I then start to look for new ways to accomplish them. I still have a 8-5 that I need to pay my bills.

So I start with the 1 hour a day idea. Goto work, come home, eat dinner with the family. Then I get 1 hour to do whatever I want. No interruptions.

Then, well, it is Friday, perhaps I can take my 1 hour and goto bed an hour later, now I have 2 hours.

Saturday and Sunday, maybe I can do 4 hours.

Oh, back to Monday - Thursday, 1 hour.

This makes me feel that:1. maintaining my 8-5. Bills paid. Wife is happy.2. I have time each and every day for my goals/ideas. Some more than others.3. I am making forward progress.4. I don't think about my 8-5 holding me back, because it isn't anymore.

What do I do during my time:1. code2. EDM3. read about things that interest me.

When I was struggling years ago with an 8-5 that I hated but needed to keep. I bought a good pair of headphones and I used them everyday. I felt that it kept me motivated (I could pump though them any type of music I wanted, mood dependent) and it kept me a bit isolated from co-workers and I could just focus on work. Sometimes distractions cause you to be stressed because it increases the time it takes and therefor you feel behind in your day instead of on pace.

One last thought. Can you get some exercise? For me, if I can I just feel better.

Keep your chin up!

sbuttgereit 1 day ago 0 replies      
I would start by addressing why you say:

"I'd like to be something -- more than just an office person. More than just someone who works that 8-5 shift."

Why do you want to be "more" than that? For what purpose? The approval of others? Because somehow, you'd be a different person or "feel" different than you do now? Because somehow cube dwellers are lesser... and by what standard... public opinion?

I think this is part of the core of the issue you face and you need to come to terms with your motivations when saying such things.

Most people that are "something" more than average aren't actually trying to be accomplished, they're dedicated to a problem, a profession, or an avocation. Solving the problem, perfecting the skill are the goals and produce the satisfaction and are the source of self-esteem... the acclaim is merely a side effect and honestly not important.

Finding a good central purpose is key here. Something that you want to achieve without regard if anyone else cares: this is not necessarily a career pursuit either, and you can have more than one central purpose. The key though is that you have to care about... not anyone else. For some this is family, for some this is closing business deals, for others it's programming.

Seeking acclaim is not a good goal: I've had friends kill themselves for failing to achieve that when they made the approval of others the source of their self-esteem. When you make approval your goal you effectively refuse to judge what is worthwhile for yourself and outsource that to others; you stop thinking and wait for the thinking of others. You loose your independence and in the end, you become willing to compromise anything to keep the approval coming... regardless if that's good for you or not.

(Edited for clarity)

bahularora 1 day ago 1 reply      
Life is a circle you feel lost then you find your way, only to find its not your way, then you feel lost again, and it goes on till you die. Know this that you will never find any deep meaning to life, its all there it is to life. Its simple give happiness to others, be honest and just enjoy your time here doing things you want to do and then leave in peace. Be happy or not its immaterial, you can't be in one state for long anyway. We are all but a pale blue dot in the vastness of the sky. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pale_Blue_Dot
hirzel 1 day ago 1 reply      
This is trivial compared to lots of good advice here, but I've benefited in stuck times by cutting my hair. Of course, alone, this doesn't do much, but sometimes that moment in the mirror with someone looking slightly different-- it helps me lock-in a course correction just a bit.
Yetanfou 1 day ago 0 replies      
What I'd do? A few things, depending on whether you have any money left after finishing that 'business degree'. If you do, I'd find myself a small farm or even a plot of land to buy somewhere in the vicinity of, but not to close to a population centre. I'd divide my time between working on that farm - first (re)building a house, then - depending on the region you live in - growing some produce for your own consumption, for friends and neighbours, to brew beer, make bread, whatever. At the same time I'd try to find some work in my area of interest, something to keep (or bring) myself up to date within that field and to bring in some money. As living in this way is generally remarkably 'cheap' you don't need enormous amounts of money.

Do this for a few years, make sure to keep up to date within your field, keep connections within your field, don't become a hermit but also don't succumb to the urge to blindly follow the herd chasing degrees and money.

After a few years your outlook on what to do next will be a lot more developed. Maybe you'll decide to start out for yourself in your field? Maybe you'll move abroad? Maybe you'll become a full-time homesteader? A builder? You will be free to choose, not burdened with that loan (that is, not any more than you're already burdened with it). Plus, you'll have the satisfaction of knowing to be self-reliant, able to bake your own bread, brew your own beer, repair your own house. When things go bump in the night you won't crawl under the bed with a phone to call 911 and wait for the police which might - or might not - show up. You'll go outside to see what made that noise.

If you don't have any money to get that plot or small farm I'd find myself a job which pays enough to be able to buy it in a few years of hard work and frugal living.

The major takeaway is to become self-reliant, less dependent on what other people think of you. Be social when you want to, not when the situation dictates you should be. Be 'real'. Don't act. Use your head, speak your mind, cut the crap. It's your life, you get to decide how to live it.

buckbova 1 day ago 0 replies      

My favorite quote from a Dennis Leary standup and I think his best recorded routine.

Happiness comes in small doses folks. It's a cigarette butt, or a chocolate chip cookie or a five second orgasm. You come, you smoke the butt you eat the cookie you go to sleep wake up and go back to fucking work the next morning, THAT'S IT! End of fucking list!


I guess he's saying it's the little things.

ADanFromCanada 1 day ago 1 reply      
30 years old here. Not a grad, but been working for a long ass time. Been through burn-out. Now I manage a team and my sole goal as a manager is to make sure people are feeling good and happy as that leads to consistent productivity.

Also relevant is the fact that up until recently (call it 8 months ago), I would have mood swings and go through periods of depression as well.

Then I started exercising regularly. And I cannot be clear or emphatic enough in this but as someone who uses drugs for mood alteration; who is intelligent; who has a good career and is well respected; and who ultimately had no other legitimate reason to feel depressive emotions, since getting into a regular exercise routine, I've never felt more stable, positive and motivated in my life.

Our bodies are designed to move. For me, it's plainly clear that the sedentary lifestyle is what was at the root of my emotional issues.

I'm not saying you need to be a body builder or run a marathon. I do 15 minute runs and moderate weights and meditation. I swear, it is night and day.

As a secondary suggestion which has also been extremely helpful and beneficial, I'd recommend reading up on psychology, biases, and neuroplasticity. The most impacting book I've ever read is "The Brain That Changes Itself" by Norman Doidge. This book will give you a scientific/real basis of understanding how your brain works; how your habits form and are re-enforced, and how you can take control of these processes to literally shape your own reality into whatever you want. Super powerful stuff. I've bought probably 15 copies of this book for friends and relatives. Highly, highly recommended.

Good luck!

jvandyke 1 day ago 0 replies      
Yes, I have felt the way you do. I feel like this for a few weeks, then go back to feeling a bit better and worth something. You are definitely not alone.

First, you should find a counselor, any counselor, and open up to her/him. Direct, immediate feedback from a professional "personal problem helper" will help you. You can stop reading here and act.

Now, on to my non-professional ideas that you should probably skip but my ego prevents me from omitting:

It sounds like you need goals like school gave you. Let's think about it. In school, you had short-term goals (assignments, next exam), mid-term goals (grades during a semester), and long-term goals (graduation, GPA). Our tech work is terrible at these things except at very small companies where there's too many obvious things to do, and very large companies where the career ladder is so defined that you just need to show up and follow simple instructions. In the middle lies the domain of the lost and the over-motivated. Choose your path.

If you choose to go back to school, you'll have these goals again, but you'll probably have the same problem and feelings again once you're done. Plus, you'll have more debt and thus more pressure to be "successful", which is probably counter-productive to your feelings.

Don't listen to people on the internet, including me. Nothing we say is true for you. Try to take a general consensus and make your own decisions with that input. There's wisdom in every comment above and below, but it's shaded by bias, experience, and fallacies that are not your own.

Please, seek help. Don't waste any more time trying to deal with this by yourself in your own head until you've been given a proven pattern for doing so by a professional. Visit them with an open mind and few expectations and be more frank and honest than you ever have before. You'll move whether you want to or not. It's up to you to choose the direction.

Be well, do good.

Raphmedia 1 day ago 0 replies      
I'm feeling the exact way after having been told indirectly that the path I have undertaken this year was a waste of time for the company I work at. (Branching out from my job description and taking more tasks)

This made me take a look at the job market and now I feel like I have a lot of doors open to me where I would otherwise be too scared/comfortable to leave.

The dread and anger, the feeling of being stuck, they all turned into excitement.

Avshalom 1 day ago 1 reply      
I graduated with a BS in physics minor in mathematics, in 2009. Then did nothing for almost 3 years. I've been a stock boy at target for the last 4 now. Going back to school next month because I have the money and no particular idea what else to do.

So I don't really have advice except maybe: save as much money as you can for a little bit, see if that money starts looking like something: a trip, an early retirement, school, a side project.

Beyond that go get screened for depression. See about counseling. I just recently (~two weeks) got on citalopram because I'm trying to make this go around of school a bit more productive. I don't know if it's helping yet but that just goes to show how ludicrously mild we've gotten antidepressants now.

GarrisonPrime 1 day ago 1 reply      
I feel ya. I became a doctor after many years of "following the path to glory", but then became very depressed and felt my life suddenly became too defined. My life had lost all of its magic. I finished residency just for the money, as I had nothing else in mind to do. Then I lived with my mother for 2 years, drinking too much and doing nothing much other than teaching 8 hours a week at the local community college to be able to pay my bills.

Then I decided "what the fuck, screw medicine", and decided to do something radically different. So now I own an escape room business, and every day I hit the ground running and eager. It's struggling a bit, and might not survive. But at the moment I'm living my life for myself, so I'm willing to take the bad with the good.

Good luck!

hypertexthero 1 day ago 0 replies      
A book that helped me in my life when I had similar questions is [Think on These Things by Jiddu Krishnamurti][1], warmly recommended.

From the first chapter, The Function of Education:

> I WONDER IF we have ever asked ourselves what education means. Why do we go to school, why do we learn various subjects, why do we pass examinations and compete with each other for better grades? What does this so-called education mean, and what is it all about? This is really a very important question, not only for the students, but also for the parents, for the teachers, and for everyone who loves this earth. Why do we go through the struggle to be educated? Is it merely in order to pass some examinations and get a job? Or is it the function of education to prepare us while we are young to understand the whole process of life? Having a job and earning one's livelihood is necessary - but is that all? Are we being educated only for that? Surely, life is not merely a job, an occupation; life is something extraordinarily wide and profound, it is a great mystery, a vast realm in which we function as human beings. If we merely prepare ourselves to earn a livelihood, we shall miss the whole point of life; and to understand life is much more important than merely to prepare for examinations and become very proficient in mathematics, physics, or what you will.

[1]: https://books.google.com/books?id=IsldnzHkxpsC&printsec=fron...

nappy-doo 1 day ago 0 replies      
I'd say:

* Almost everyone feels like this at some time. Don't worry that you're alone.

* Focus on small things. Get a little thing done every day, mark it off, celebrate that victory in a way that makes sense for you. Keep a list of the stuff you've done. It's very helpful to look back and say, "I applied for these two jobs, and I read this book, and I went on a hike with my mate."

* It's okay to not have it figured out. It's also okay to shift goals. Lots of people say, "I want to travel the world," and find out it's lonely or disconcerting when you don't speak the language; or, "I want to sail across the Atlantic," until they see their first small squall off the coast. It's okay to have a goal, try something and decide, "you know what, that's not for me."

* Don't feel like a failure if you don't fit someone else's mold. For example, if your parents wanted you to have a certain degree, or you listen to the HN echo-chamber of "startups or GTFO, LOSER!" Don't let someone else tell you who to be. It's hard enough to figure it out, it's worse when you listen to them and figure out it wasn't right at all.

* Get plenty of sleep, get plenty of exercise, eat well.

* Keep talking to others. It will help you figure it out. Listen to what you're saying more than you listen to what they're saying to you. You, LITERALLY, will be telling them what you should do to improve your situation. Once you figure it out, you'll be able to work on the first steps.

Good luck.

elwell 20 hours ago 0 replies      
I appreciate your honesty. I believe you feel this way because you have an accurate view of reality. Many of us are constantly fighting to ignore this truth; trying to distract ourselves. The Bible says that "God has set eternity in the human heart." We all naturally long for something of meaning that doesn't pass away.

If you aren't open to believing in God at this point in your life, I could suggest that you focus on investing in those around you. That's an easy way to take the pressure off yourself for having to live in a meaningful life. "A generous person will prosper; whoever refreshes others will be refreshed." Proverbs 11:25

sumitjami 10 hours ago 0 replies      
This is the phase where it really start.

Though I am younger but this is not age dependent.

This is an indication that something is missing. Some kind of 'emptyness'.

You will take a while to reach that conclusion. On reaching that conclusion of 'emptyness', I started something. I didnt know whether I was fixing it, breaking it or something entirely tangential. But when I was well into what I had started, I knew what do to. Perhaps something in disguise from this (http://zenpencils.com/comic/157-amy-poehler-great-people-do-...).

Best of luck, friend.

gradschool 1 day ago 1 reply      
If I were in your shoes, I'd find something I'm passionate about and build a business around it, especially with your knowledge of business administration. At 29 you've reached your prime :). I wouldn't go back to school and get more student loan debt because I could learn whatever I want for free from Kahn academy, or from all the videos put on line by Stanford and MIT, and I wouldn't work for peanuts in somebody else's office, but might consider an offer with a lot of equity. (Sorry for my dumb opinions. I'm just hoping to keep this thread alive long enough for someone smarter than me to join in.)
tajen 1 day ago 0 replies      
I felt that way when I started my first job after a master of IT. I was meat sold to companies, I didn't have leadership because I was a total junior, and I didn't have weight to negotiate.

For the next 10 years, I have remained quite depressed. I have done many cool things [1]. The core of the problem is understanding that, as opposed to nice stories we study, we've understood that those startups don't "change humanity", and 99.9% of us, despite excellent curriculum, will never have the leverage to do what Elon Musk is doing.

As The Doc says: "I'll focus on the other great mystery of Humanity: Women". Don't take it literally, but he means that getting a significant other, becoming meaningful to the people around you, while keeping your health, developing your wealth and casting your ethic and your culture: That's what life is about. The job is only a part of that.

So go find the best job you can, and exercise a little every day to become the best at it. Meanwhile find friends. Develop a network, across the globe, but also in your country, and in your city, through all layers of population. One day visit your local detention center with the family of an inmate, another day set up the Internet for an elderly person. Offer big presents and organize things for your nieces. You'll be a cog like you would have been if you focused only on work, but you'll be a leader in your community.

[1] I stayed 8 months in my first country, came back for a job at home where I stayed 2.75 years, left for backpacking in Australia, 6 months, +2.5 years in an awesome job over there. Came back and created my product, became self employed. People now look up at me and ask me for advice. But it's not a secret that I'be been depressed all along the way.

xemdetia 23 hours ago 1 reply      
I find the best thing for me is to consume. Consume everything- books, movies, scientific articles, news articles, things you haven't heard of before, obscure channels. When I find myself lost it's really that I am searching, and I need something to stand on- an idea, a book, a character, or an individual that is truly invested in what they are doing.

I fully subscribe to the idea that you have to consume things that make you think to create anything, and the only way you're going to be able to do anything interesting to fuel your own fire is to create. It can be a self-improvement, an actual thing, a societal group, or write a book- but you have to consume enough to know what you even could do.

gerbilly 1 day ago 0 replies      
I've felt this way.

When you are in school you are given a reward structure to work within, and there is a definite end goal.

Now you are in an open ended situation with no set goal. The transition between the two can be jarring.

I think it might be time to just experiment and try a few things that interest you. Write an ebook, travel, code up an app, whatever appeals to you.

Sometimes we just need to wander a bit before finding our way. Every hero's quest has a period of wandering aimlessly in the wilderness before finding a worthy goal.

Don't just look for something to do, look for the right people to do it with. Choose those people carefully. Especially leave behind people that aren't right for you.

Later, after you've lived a satisfying life and look back, you'll see that all the pieces of that life were there in this very moment. You just can't see them now, but they will come together.

Trust in that, and don't worry too much.

[edit: more advice...]

shireboy 1 day ago 0 replies      
I'd lean toward _not_ going back to school unless you are very confident that 1) you are passionate about a career in X and 2) some time researching/talking to people in career X shows that you would really need to go back to school to do X.

Yes, what you are feeling is common. Some specific advice:

- Don't dwell on it. Let these feelings be annoying and motivation to do something else, but don't let them control you or steer you toward self-destructive behavior or bad decisions (ie lots of debt, drugs/alcohol/etc).

- Do try to move up and out of the funk by working toward a career that you enjoy at least some of the time (there is no perfect job).

- Look for things that you _enjoy_, are _good at_, and _could envision making money doing_. If you already have ideas, pursue them. Even if it's writing a book or doing a training video, blog etc. on the side for now, try. You'll fail at some of it, but some will stick and you'll be started earning an income at something you enjoy.

- If you don't have any ideas, try a bunch of small things and see what sticks. Volunteer at a hospital or food bank or Habitat build. Take a community or online class in web design, art, language, etc. Talk to people in detail about their careers and read about them.

- Make a list of things you try and ideas and rate them by how much you like them. Once you have a list, rate them by how likely it would be to earn an income. That should narrow to a few things you both _could become good at_ and _can earn an income_ doing. Be realistic, but optimistic about both "good at" and "earn an income".

While most of that is about a career, and that is the gist of your question, it's not all about career:

- Find a cheap hobby (hiking, fishing, sketching, etc) and dedicate some time to it.

- Help other people. Volunteer, tutor, or just randomly do charity.

- Find group(s) of people to belong to. A church, civic club, hobby club, etc.

Once you have your potential career, hobby, and volunteering ideas listed, put next steps for them on a calendar a week or a month at a time. Then stick to the calendar. You will have a full life, be helping others, and be working toward something you enjoy.

tumanian 1 day ago 0 replies      
Welcome to your Saturn Return. While its a random astrology term, alot of us feel exactly the same way at the later end of 20s. Time to break the routine and reinvent yourself. Things that worked for me:* solo travel. Helps to break the envelope and find awe-inspiring things. working out - your body is your amusement park, and working out unleashes the feel-good chemistry. Improves your mental state. seeking our and spend time with people that inspire you. Nothing motivates mere then success stories of people youre with. networking - the world is built by people and you cant build one by yourself. reading in depth - know something in depth. Pro's are appreciated in any domain.

Going to school could help to get credentials if youre switching fields. But you can also get credentials by doing something.

I apologiee for sounding self-helpy and generic. Just my 2c.

cathini 1 day ago 0 replies      
Hey! You are not alone. In cases like this, when you feel you have lost track remember... Lewis Carrol once said "If you don't know where you are going, any road will get you there." So breathe and try new things. Go to the library, watch a movie, visit a museum, join a book club... Just be curious in places you have never been but you are interested in. There is so much in life and things to do that you'll be blown away. Trust me, serendipity will come and you'll remember that you are alive, free and ready to explore and enjoy. I send you lots and lots of love, baby. Everything will be OK. I promise.
fsloth 19 hours ago 0 replies      
What ever you do, remember to eat and sleep well and exercise. You may do those already, but those are lowest building blocks of mental health and are kinda the most obvious actionable answers to your question.

Just pointing those out because they are what I neglect occasionally when feeling down and end up feeling ever more miserable.

Folllowing our intrinsic motivations is usually very pleasurable. Perhaps there is some hobby you enjoyed that you've not done in a while?

"This" is what life is - and no one owns your life except you. Dreaming of having a ferrari is a stupid dream. Rich peoples lives are potentially just as hollow as median income ones. The only thing I'm aware to bring people joy constantly is being able to follow ones intrinsic motivations. You don't need to be 'something' to be happy - just you, and being able to be you. If you feel there is nothing pleasurable in life you may have a depressive period. Usually these pass - without medication. Note: it's quite common to have a slight depressin after achieving a major life goal. After getting my MSc I felt empty and dissatified - and am quite content now.

Broken_Hippo 19 hours ago 0 replies      
I didn't real every comment - there are many. But here is my opinion: This is pretty common in the late 20's. Lots of changes, then suddenly, it is the same thing every day. I am about 10 years older, and my life has completely changed since then, part luck and part my own choices. My advice:1. You aren't your job. Concentrate on something other than work. Have a truthful answer to "what do you do?" that isn't work. I'm an artist, but the pay is terrible, so I gotta make money other ways. What do you do?2. But I understand the job has a big impact. Take an honest look. Do you actually hate the work? Is it tolerable? Stressful? Boring? Or are you simply coming to terms that your dreams that you worked towards haven't quite come? There isn't much to do about the last, but all the rest are fixable. You have a flexible degree, and you can use it in different industries. Schools, retail, and so on. If you are actually unhappy, see how far you can use that degree you have. 3. If you are in a relationship, decide if you are happy in it. If not, make changes. They don't have to be extreme changes. This might be more true if you've been in a relationship for many years, as both of you have probably changed since your early 20's.4. If you are single or do not have children, start getting out of the house regularly. It is difficult, but worth it. This isn't bad advice with children, just harder, and possibly easier if you involve a child or children in this case.5. If you have a weird thought that you might be depressed or anxious, get this checked. Or if this doesn't seem to lift after some time and action - or if action seems to be too much - get checked. It won't take care of your problems, but it will make it much more likely that you'll be able to take the action necessary to do them and get yourself un-stuck.
RUG3Y 22 hours ago 0 replies      
I'm just coming out of a long period of "stuckness." I work in software development, but definitely feel the way you feel about my work.

For me, the lack of autonomy and freedom and everything that comes along with having a normal job feels repressive. I was an artist and musician, and I gave up, because "there's no money in it." Now I make money, but I'm sad.

I came to my wit's end. This week, I started writing on Medium. I write one story a day. I get up at 6AM, pound out a thousand words, and publish. I also started going to the gym.

I can tell you that this has made a world of difference. I feel like I have a little bit of control over something. My job isn't the only important thing about me. I'm a writer now. I will never tell anyone, "I'm a software developer." I will say, "I am a writer."

I've also started having more, and better ideas. I think that writing and having ideas can open up the whole world to us. Time will tell.

Eventually, I'd like to become self-sufficient and fire my employer.

I think if you begin to do something that stimulates you every day, you will feel less stuck. It needs to be something that you do for yourself, and only for yourself. Maybe you can take your lunch-break every day for a few weeks, and write a bunch of business ideas down. Or maybe you can compile a reading list of books that you are interested in, and read one a week.

I think if you try it, opportunities will present themselves.

Of course, advice is worth what you pay for it, but this is what works for me.

cylinder 1 day ago 0 replies      
Do not go back to university. Focus on gaining a skill, one that allows you to add value and solve problems for people. I'd much rather be able to fix your AC than do your HR compliance.

Unfortunately in America, working on your own is problematic due to disastrous health insurance system, and low wages for labor, and small business being unable to compete with multinational giants. This pushes people to seek comfort of corporations unless they're able to raise funds to start a business.

Trust your ancestry. People were either farmers or artisans until very recently. I think working in a corporate setting is swimming upstream for all but a certain type of personality.

dominotw 1 day ago 1 reply      
To seek fulfilment is to invite frustration. There is no fulfilment of the self, but only the strengthening of the self through possessing what it craves for. Possession, at whatever level, makes the self feel potent, rich, active, and this sensation is called fulfilment; but as with all sensations, it soon fades, to be replaced by yet another gratification. We are all familiar with this process of replacement or substitution, and it is a game with which most of us are content. There are some, however, who desire a more enduring gratification, one that will last for the whole of one's life; and having found it, they hope never to be disturbed again. But there is a constant, unconscious fear of disturbance, and subtle forms of resistance are cultivated behind which the mind takes shelter; and so the fear of death is inevitable. Fulfilment and the fear of death are the two sides of one process: the strengthening of the self. After all, fulfilment is complete identification with something - with children, with property, with ideas. Children and property are rather risky, but ideas offer greater safety and security. Words, which are ideas and memories, with their sensations, become important; and fulfilment or completeness then becomes the word.


So.. I guess start identifying yourself strongly with something. What that something is not very relevant, cast a dice and see what sticks.

jorgeaber 19 hours ago 0 replies      
I'm 29 years old, I come from a CS background, I'm not religious and I've felt that way as well. Like most of us here.

Watching this course has helped me a great deal: "Personality and its transformations", by Jordan B. Peterson at University of Toronto.https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL22J3VaeABQAhrMCQUa6s...

Here's a TEDx talk by the same professor that can serve as a glimpse of the course: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tLteWutitFM

Not all of it is as scientifically rigorous as we are probably used to, but It's plenty of valuable insights very hard to find anywhere else. I can't begin to express my gratitude to that man.

I hope you find it as useful as it was to me, and I wish you well.

djkrudy 1 day ago 1 reply      
I'd climb rocks and find Jesus. In the opposite order, but that sounds less poetic :P Either way, I vouch for both and if you want to know more about either, get in touch. If moderate success doesn't equal moderate happiness then is our whole societal model of success equals happiness broken? I think so. Love,-Daniel
xigency 1 day ago 0 replies      
As the late Christopher Welch said,

Do not go back to college!

Don't! Do not do that. Go work at Burger King. Go into the woods and forage for nuts and berries. Do not go back to college!

drblast 21 hours ago 1 reply      
Welcome to your 30's. I don't mean that to be dismissive, but more to tell you that feeling the way you do is completely normal and has happened to just about everyone I know.

Most of my life I felt like I was doing all the right things, but really I was following a script that society had laid out. Do well in school, get a good job, be successful, etc. Follow your dream! Achieve your goals! The problem was that these things I've achieved wouldn't have been my goals outside of societal influence. Rather, they're appealing because of the money, respect, and security that's afforded by my having achieved them. Left to my own devices, I'd probably be a surfing or snowboarding bum with an interest in math and music.

Now, society gives us a recipe for money, stability and respect. But that's not a recipe for happiness, nor was it ever intended to be. And that's not necessarily a bad thing...money, stability and respect are certainly not at odds with being happy. However, many of us spend much of our young lives trying to achieve financial and business goals without spending a minute of time thinking about achieving happiness. You're brand new to this!

I didn't abandon my existing career or anything like that, but I did start to question the societal script from square one; I accepted parts of it and abandoned others. And I got involved in some meetup groups and made more friends. Plenty of people feel exactly like you do. What if you all got together and talked about that, or did something about it? It works.

Last weekend I was in a short film made by a friend I met recently. Making a movie was never a goal of mine, but was my friend's dream. Helping make that happen was incredible and fun.

But don't go looking for movie-making friends, unless that really interests you. Look for friends. You'll probably get out as much or more than you put in.

h_o 1 day ago 0 replies      
Yes.I did a masters in computer science, and realised I do not want to be an office person either. It doesn't make me feel fulfilled. I want to actually help people, not help companies make money.I since started studying again and did the medical school entrance exam equivalent in my country and got a borderline acceptable score on my first go.I find out early August I have a place or not starting September (4 more years of studying).
ttcbj 1 day ago 0 replies      
For what its worth, I felt this way when I was 28. I ended up leaving a very good job to start a very small business. Although its a tiny niche business, it ended up providing an amazing life for me and my family. I am 42 now (yikes!).

When I was 28, I had a specific dream (starting a business) but was afraid of the risk. In your case, its not clear to me if you have a dream but don't know how to get there, or if you wish you had a big dream, but aren't sure what it would be. My advice applies more to the former than the latter.

My advice would be:

1. If you are really dissatisfied with your job, look for a way to shake things up. I left my good job to go to business school, then quit after a few months when I realized I'd learn more by trying to start a business. Business school wasn't the answer, but I wouldn't have quit the job directly, so it facilitated things. Its hard to know in advance what will work, but if you are stuck, try something new.

2. Keep your eyes open for opportunities. The business I started was related to experience and contacts from my previous employer.

3. As soon as possible is the best time to take risks and make changes. It won't be any easier to take risks as you add in more responsibilities (house, kids, etc).

4. Do your best at whatever you are doing, but don't worry too much if your plans don't work out exactly as you thought. I thought I wanted to be an industry titan. That was not in the cards. However, once I had kids, it turned out what I wanted was a really flexible schedule. In retrospect, if I was an industry titan, I suspect I would be looking for the exit (actually, given my skill set, I probably would have been shown the exit).

I obviously don't know you, or much about you. But in my case, shaking things up to pursue my dream really worked out well, FWIW.

niftylettuce 22 hours ago 0 replies      
You should watch my live stream every night at 8 PM EST. I code rapid prototypes and startups. And I work on cool open source stuff.


I will inspire you to build stuff.

samlevine 22 hours ago 0 replies      
> I'm 29 years old. I finished with my Business Administration degree(major) and now I just feel completely LOST! Has anyone ever felt that way?

Life is short, dark and unfair. The fact that you can recognize this means you're conscious.

> I'd like to be something -- more than just an office person. More than just someone who works that 8-5 shift.

Do you want to be in the history books? Do you want a family? God willing, you have a long life ahead of you. But opportunity cost is real when your life is limited. You have to make decisions, and many of the most rewarding choices in your life won't be fun.

School may or may not help you, but until you've defined your goals you can't break them down into the pieces needed to achieve them.

Animats 1 day ago 0 replies      
If you have a real MBA, the most profitable thing to do is to find a company that's in trouble, but fixable, and offer to turn it around for a fraction of the company. They taught you how to do that in MBA school. The odds of success at this are much better than doing a startup.
igorgue 1 day ago 0 replies      
Read more, seriously do.

It's quite easy for us (I'm 29 too) to get too caught up into the idea of happiness we see on the news or all the public stories we know.

Many people you admire were what could be considered a failure at 29, but that's not newsworthy, we always love the young ones, that they've figured out everything by the time they're 23 or less (12?). That's not true for most people, and doesn't mean you won't find happiness in the near of far future.

That's what helps me to get some perspective. Also know that regardless of how successful you are your life impacts way more people than what you think.

It's tough, and it's something you'd have to experience I think many times in your life.

oryx123 1 day ago 0 replies      
Currently I am pretty much in the same position. I am about your age, also about to finish my master in business. Can't provide a quick fix, sorry. I guess it has everything to do with "knowing yourself".

And I think it is all about the environment you find yourself in. Taking a not so full-filling job is nothing to worry about if you're surrounded by people who make your life worthwhile and/or help you to do something else in the long run. Being an isolated, merely self-sustaining cog in the wheel is what's terrifying.

Also, I have to say I find your language a bit odd. Even though I agree with your sentiment that working in an office is not a great prospect, your "more than just.."-bit sounds a bit unhealthy. I mean if office jobs aren't for you that's okay and if you happen to like them that's also okay. But why so judgmental?

jkereako 1 day ago 0 replies      
Become a member of your local library and read. Choosing what to read can be difficult, but a good place to start is to read books that have movie and TV show counterparts which you like. I'm reading "Orange is the New Black" now. I'm 60 pages in and it's just as good as the show.

> I feel like I should go back to school but do I really want to rack up all that loan?

Always remember that you can learn for free. There is Khan Academy, MIT OpenCourseWare, edX, Saylor University and, formerly, Coursera (they charge for some classes now). I truly believe you will learn more from MOOCs than you will from classroom instruction.

jonkiddy 1 day ago 0 replies      
A few thoughts immediately came to mind in regards to your post.

1. You are intelligent. (you finished your degree, considered several options, you are not making a brash decision, and you are seeking advice. All very positive and responsible things to do.)

2. You are looking for fulfillment in your education/work. (Find an occupation that supports you, your loved ones, and then find fulfillment outside of the 8-5.)

3. Your entire post is generally self seeking. (Find fulfillment in spending time with others, get in shape/fit, find someone that could use your help and enjoy their friendship, volunteer your time/expertise to a worthy cause, pick up a hobby that you always wanted to do. But the most important thing is to find others to enjoy your free time with.)

Edit/Comment: I agree with others, drugs/alcohol should be completely avoided.

danso 1 day ago 0 replies      
A lot of people have felt that way, including me. And looking back, I can see that I was wrong, no matter how absolute my feelings felt at the time.

But that's something you can hear and not believe, so motivational get-livin-or-get-dyin sentiments will only get you so far. Setting a few long-term goals and then a bunch of short-term goals is what you'll want to do so that this down time isn't completely wasted. But thinking about these takes concerted effort, just like any other endeavor.

You say you've just finished your degree. Have you found a job yet? Don't think of getting a job as the end-all fulfillment of your life. At the very least, it can be a stepping stone to other unforseen opportunities, i.e. Woody Allen's aphorism about 60 to 90 percent of life being about just showing up.

azraomega 21 hours ago 0 replies      
I've recently read "Man Search for Meaning" by Victor Frankl. I think it's the comfort that we live in make us wonder if there's more to it. We don't struggle with survival anymore. World is now covered by advertisement to urge population to need more useless things. Things we think are innovations are really just facilitating those needs - the need for acceptance, attention, respect, entertainment. Getting bored? get some vines. Lonely? Check Facebook. We don't really feel better doing those things after a moment. It wears off. You do it again.

So is education. You get some, then you get some more. So is work, you get a job, then you get promoted. You know exactly where you are going. You know exactly how much money you need to live comfortably. Maybe you will find a SO, get some babies like your mom keep asking you to do. Maybe that's the way to go. Well, you get to see them for a couple hours before and after work everyday. Maybe go hippie? Go all kumbaya. Maybe find Jesus? It's a peaceful, harmonic society. Another day in paradise!

Realize you are not the only one suffering existential crisis. I have no business giving you advice. All I can say is, I'm in your shoes. All I can think of is to seize control of my own life. Truly understand something thoroughly that you are good at and passionate about. Not for your employer, not for trying to gain attention or respect. Just for you. Take whatever opportunities you've got to travel, to meet other cultures. There are so many possibilities, and you will power to choose your own path if you just be extremely good at something. Know at what point money loses its value. Be good and go forward.

jthowawy 1 day ago 0 replies      
Hi. You are not alone. I am the same age and I often feel the same. I know that there are many other people that feel the same. Some even call it the Quater-life crisis (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quarter-life_crisis), although I don't like putting everyone in the same bag.

That might be a symptom of depression (but does not have to be). I would recommend the thing I did. Talk to a therapist. Psychotherapy helped me see things from different perspectives, showed me new possibilities I did not see myself. I am still in the process, but I feel so much better and liberated in a way.

buzzybee 21 hours ago 0 replies      
I think my main answer would be - seek to do really ordinary things well. There are thousands to choose from. You could be interested in dinner parties, or book bindings, or throwing darts. You don't have to seek power in the economic and political sense to feel powerful, and it may run counter to your nature to do so(in any direct way). Those are, in the end, just as ordinary as the other pursuits, even if we direct more attention at them.

What makes the pursuit worthwhile is in whether it can pull you into doing something more, externally speaking. You could aim for wisdom, leadership, sense of community, or any number of other things, and end up building up to something bigger than you imagined. But you have to make an active effort to get the ball rolling or the gears turning, to learn the technical details, to connect with others, to make commitments, arrangements, obligations happen even when you know they'll stress you out. That's the fundamental difference between "watching life slide by" (much of my teens and 20's) and feeling like you are living in the moment.

clarry 23 hours ago 0 replies      
I think I have a slightly different experience that ends up feeling much like yours. I got a vocation, got a job, hated it, am quitting it in a few weeks. I rented another apartment in another town; I'm moving and leaving stuff behind, family included. For a year now I've been telling myself that I'm going to study once again but I have the feeling that I can't stand another 5-6 years eating noodles and accumulating debt, waiting for real life to begin. I really don't know if I have the motivation to study. Even if I did, and finished my studies, I'm not optimistic about finding a job I'll like. So would I go back to square one yet another time?

I really feel like shit. And lost.

I'm thinking of starting a company and just trying to make a living doing something I like. But past experiences suggest that other people won't like the things I like enough for me to make a living off of it. Or I just won't have the time and money to do what needs to be done. Kinda hard to concentrate and plan on anything that takes longer than a month when you're not sure whether you'll be able to pay the rent next month...

Did I tell I feel like shit? And lost?

Unfortunately, I've no advice to give you at this point. Good luck.

MaximStein 21 hours ago 0 replies      
This is a hard question and I don't think any advice written here can help you more than just by pure chance. What you are describing can have a lot of different reasons and needs a lot of different reactions.

My usual approach for friends and family, who are in a situation like that, is to talk to them and trying to push them towards different possible directions. While doing this I get a feeling what they feel comfortable with and are interested in. Often people need those kind of pushes themselves. Our intuition works great, when we walk in a directions and tells us if that is something we're actually interested in. Once we have all opportunities at once, it often is just too much for it and our intuition doesn't give any feedback if we're actually interested in achieving that goal or not.

If you re interested I can take some time to talk with you on skype. I think 1 or 2 hours could be quite interesting for both of us. I would also appreciate the challenge, as I usually do this with people I know for quite a bit already. :)

KerryJones 1 day ago 0 replies      
I ran into this last when I was 26 and considered it my "quarter-life crisis".

Unhappy with work, no relationships seemed to be budding, didn't feel I was making an impact of any sort -- I considered becoming a Tibetan Monk (I was mapping plane flights).

I found my solution by doing the following:

1) Figure out what I wanted to look back at in the end of my life. What should I have accomplished?

2) Paid very close attention to anything that made me happy. Do more of that.

3) Find a support network, whether family, friends, or strangers with similar problems and ideals.

4) Set specific short-term and long-term goals, ones that you will enjoy.


1) Involved a new career. I announced to my job I was going to be leaving, though took my time in actually exiting while I found what I wanted to do.

2) I found I got tremendous amount of happiness from being out doors and interacting with people. Hiking/camping/yoga helped me a lot.

3) I started paying attention to anyone I knew I could count on.

4) For me, this was finding a business venture that would impact the world (been dreaming about this since I was 5) -- I've been working (and enjoying) 80-100 weeks because it's what I'm passionate about.

Also... general rule "Production is the basis of morale" -- but production has to be something that you feel is production. Working for your company may not be production. Working on your sci-fi book may be.

tslug 1 day ago 0 replies      
Your degree is all about making sure you transform a bunch of effort into a scalar value on a bank's hard drive somewhere which represents your company net revenue. Put another way, your degree teaches you how to better execute an extremely lossy compression algorithm which reduces the complex, multidimensional value of what your company is trying to offer the world down to a scalar and then evaluates your success based on the magnitude of that scalar.

If that sounds inherently depressing, that's because it is. Scalar money commerce is an old hack and a complete wreck that has not kept up with the times, and you just got a degree in optimizing your endeavors to it.

As grim as that might sound in one sense, in another, you're also one of our only hopes for getting past scalar money commerce to a better system.

Another way to think of your degree is as a way to isolate the people inside a company from both the real and the psychological ravages of scalar money commerce, or what I think any entrepreneur would agree is "the roller coaster."

This is an extremely noble pursuit if that is your primary goal, as opposed to focusing on the maximization of that scalar net revenue number. And in fact, I'd argue that if you make this your goal, the key to treating your depression will be to find the right group of people worth protecting.

DavidWanjiru 1 day ago 0 replies      
I don't know if this makes any sense, but let me try:

Everything a computer does boils down to a binary signal. Is the current on, or is it off? Everything else is an abstraction built on that on/off business.

Life, as I see it, similarly boils down to two things: finding love, and finding knowledge. Everything else is an abstraction built on these two things.

We seek to become what we seek to become because those that become what we seek to become are rewarded with love and knowledge. That thing we call purpose in life, and becoming someone, and making something of yourself, it's just love in various degenerate forms.

When we change the world, when we make a difference, when we make something of ourselves, we are simply chasing love. We end up loving ourselves, and being loved by others, and being loved by our gods.

The reason we become doubtful about life, I feel, is because we aren't sure whether what we are doing is going to receive this reward of love. That's why someone writing code for Adsense might feel like her job would me more fulfilling were she writing code for cardiac pacesetters instead.

But the love we experience in life doesn't have to be tied to what we do in life. We can love ourselves for the sake of loving ourselves, and without needing reasons for doing so. We can hopefully find people who are going to love us, and who we are going to love back, on similar terms. We may not be able to change society's prerequisites for loving us, but we can certainly change those prerequisites for ourselves and those close to us.

If we manage to do that, we won't need to become this or that in order to feel loved. Then we can do the things that we do because they interest us, or because they afford us a chance to work with people who interest us, or because they allow us to be with people we love the way we love ourselves. If that happens, it won't matter what you do in life, or the lengths of your shifts. Coz you could be working an 8 to 5 shift, but playing in a local band with an amazing bunch of friends, to people who love to hear your play. You could found a start up and do well, and then cash out and quit to go raise a family. You could be a social worker by day and an open source contributor by night.

Love yourself.

ashark 1 day ago 0 replies      
Consider the types of goals you have pursued, what effect these have had on you, and those you'd like to pursue:


It's becoming neglected at this point, but the archives are solid: http://thelastpsychiatrist.com

Helps one cultivate a little perspective and introspection.

Maybe read Yates' Revolutionary Road. TL;DR is that having a self image and/or dreams that don't match your actual ambition, commitment, and situation is fucking poisonous. Read the novel though, if you've got time.

Think about how you can be happy. Like, what happiness even is or would be for you. Consider consulting: Marcus Aurelius, Seneca, Epicurus and other Epicureans, Ecclesiastes. Try Eastern sources if you like, but be aware it's much harder to sort the wheat from the crystal-healing-easy-zen chaff than it is with Western works. Don't expect too much with anything short of a sustained, intense, difficult struggle over years or decadesin other words, lower your the expectations of what you'll get out part-time work on material aimed at monks who immersed themselves in this stuff all the time. It can be really good even just dipping your toes in it, but don't expect magic or quick solutionsor solutions at all, for that matter.

timothyh2ster 1 day ago 0 replies      
Hang in there, this will past. Take what makes sense to you from these comments; they are helpful. However it may seem otherwise, you do not have to be rich to follow your dreams. You can find a way to jump up out of bed each morning and say and mean(most days anyway) "I get to do this again today!" If you do not have a spouse or children, wait on that until you get the work you want. If you do have family this will work, but with family you are not making decisions just for yourself; you will need to include them in this process. The key is to find first what you like. This takes work. We bury what we like deep inside so we won't be disappointed if we do not get it----but then we do not get what we really want and nothing is more of a bummer than that. Second, apply what you like to some work. And third, put the work first, not the money or the praise, first, because now it is what you really want. This takes effort and experiment and great willingness, but I have seen it work in so many people. Finding what you like is not like . or just like preferences; it is much deeper call to your insides. Learn how to be introspective, how to look at yourself and your own mind. There is where the answer is to what you seek.
soneca 1 day ago 0 replies      
I would travel for a while (6 months minimum, but possibly for years).

You get to know much more about yourself. If you are lost about who you are in the circumstances you describe, why not change the circumstances completely.

Disclaimer + shameless plug: if you are worried about money for that kind of traveling, try www.worldpackers.com (where you can exchange work for accommodation). I work there and I personally know about tons of positive feedback about how traveling for longer times changed their lives for better.Obviously, my advice for traveling persists even if not traveling as a worldpacker. :)Also, I am a personal reference for this kind of power, having spending 6 months working and living at a NGO for homeless families in Uruguay, them the same, but for 1,5 months at a NGO for children in Senegal.

My email is in my profile if you want to be put in touch to more people whose life changed for better by traveling.

millebi 1 day ago 0 replies      
It's not surprising that you're not happy with your education, that's a "general" degree to be an "office pion" (I'm using the unpleasant description for a reason). What you did was go to school for something/anything that got you a degree... now you don't know what you want to do (and do with it). That's backwards thinking. You need to find what you're passionate about and then get an education for a job that does that. If you don't like being an office administrator... why get a BA degree? Right? You need to try a number of jobs, experiment (for not too long, remember you're looking for your Permanent job... a.k.a. Career) with different jobs. Spend an afternoon and think about the times you were really happy... is there a job doing that? Is there a job relating to that? FYI: The age you figured out that "you don't want to do this anymore" is immaterial, your first step was realizing this fact. Now do something about it!! and go enjoy your life instead of just slogging through it.
mfrye0 1 day ago 0 replies      
Yeah I've been there too. I actually had that realization while in college. I saw my friends a couple years older than me who were graduating, but could not find jobs, and were going no where.

It took me awhile, but you need to figure out what you want of life. For me at least, I decided I wanted to help make the world a better place and be in control of my own life. To create something and not rely on a 9-5 job for a paycheck. I'm still figuring shit out myself, but I think I learn more by trying and failing than I would ever learn in school.

Check out James Altucher. I read this a few years ago when I was in a similar state of mind and this article really struck a chord with me.


I'm on year 3 :)

rufus42 1 day ago 0 replies      
It's nice to hear that everyone here (and yourself) are talking about job and being productive or not.

Maybe it's hard to hear this right away after your major, but a job is just one part if your life. As someone already wrote, also concentrate on your private life, your body and social connections.

And, forget that you will be something super special or will feel super special. You don't have to be Steve Jobs, probably won't be and nobody says that Steve Jobs was a happy person.

Do what you feel is right for you at the moment, have a couple of good friends, work out, and maybe look for a job which helps you for your "birds eye view".

Have a look at Freuds "ber-Ich" [0] and maybe start to listen more at your emotions than on money and job. Nobody says that both couldn't go hand in hand, but after leaving a well paid job, starting at a very poor paid one but with good friends, it's totally worth it.

[0] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Id,_ego_and_super-ego

sailfast 1 day ago 0 replies      
You're not alone in feeling this way. In the past, the things that have most helped resolve the issue is to find a community that inspires you to do better, to feel better. Your work may not provide this, and society at large will not provide this - it comes from finding a community. This can be activity based, religious, goal-oriented - they're all over but they can be hard to find and some are more welcoming than others but that support network is amazing.

Find a cause you care about and then find a community service organization that will help you contribute. Serve food at a soup kitchen. Hack together civic apps to improve how government serves citizens. If you're inclined (don't need to be religious / dogmatic) churches can be great communities to help spur you to think outside yourself, challenge you to be better and inspire you to find your mission in the world.

Finding that community, that goal outside yourself can be extremely fulfilling and helps to focus efforts and do good in the world.

neilellis 1 day ago 0 replies      
This is known as ennui - and is perfectly normal.

I think there is one solution that works very well.

Do something that benefits others - focus on how you can help others - maybe go onto one of the Stack Overflow boards and answer some questions. Join an online community, say in the start up scene, and give advice to others based on your degree for example.

Remember - this too will pass - the sense of ennui is temporary. Don't equate what you feel with who you are. This is a temporary feeling - just keep going, even if you can't see the point. Eventually this feeling will pass and you will have a huge sense of achievement that you passed through this.

I agree with others, recreational drugs are a definite no-no (alcohol very much so) you need to keep your mind strong not weaken it.

Speak to your doctor/psychiatrist if this changes from ennui to depression - it's always good to have support.

My best wishes for you, you can pass through this, just be patient with life and yourself.

blazar 21 hours ago 1 reply      
As others have mentioned, you're probably having an existential crisis. This isn't a bad thing so don't let the uncertainty of all of it bring you down, this can happen to people multiple times throughout their lives. My suggestion is to find a place where you can be completely relaxed so that you can think through and figure out your emotions. Personally, when I need to figure something major out, I go out on a clear nights sky and smoke a cigar under the stars. You're the only person that has enough information to figure out what you need to do, so treat it like every other problem, and think it through.
DyslexicAtheist 21 hours ago 0 replies      
>>What would you guys do if ya were in my shoes?

I'd move. felt the same in my home country with 19 and left to Asia for 10 years then back to Europe, then moved around here "locally".

After reading this I'd love to go back to Asia. I miss the food and vibrant tech community and regional short trips to local crazy/weird/exciting/fun places. The people I remember the most. If you can you should go! (anywhere, just go!)


nathan_f77 1 day ago 0 replies      
I don't know if you'll find this helpful at all, but I can say that I'm actually happy, and I feel like my life is pretty good so far.

I'm 27 years old, and I've been living in Thailand for the last year with my wife. I'm doing some contract work for 20 hours per week, sometimes only 10 hours. I spend the rest of my time working on my own projects, either by myself or with a small team. I love building my own projects, like games and apps. Eventually I hope to build something that generates enough income to live and travel without contract work, so that's what I've been working towards.

I had a big improvement in my happiness recently, when I joined a local improv group. I decided that I wanted to do some more acting and making films. So I've made lots of friends, and a group of us are working on a short film, which has been really fun. I felt like I was a bit isolated before this, since my wife and I didn't know anyone here, and I was usually working by myself at home. You might also be able to find some more happiness if you find some local meetup groups to join, maybe get into a new hobby or activity.

My wife is teaching English in Chiang Mai. We came here so that she could do a TEFL course, and then they found her a job. A lot of people just do this for a year or two, as a way to explore a new part of the world. My wife doesn't want to do it for much longer, and she's starting to study something new.

I started my "career" as an intern at a non-profit organization, and it kind of ruined me for any jobs after that. I felt like I was working on projects that actually made a difference and changed people's lives. Not business software, emojis, or mobile games, but websites that would help people and businesses donate goods to charities and hospitals around the world. Then I spent some time at a startup in San Francisco, and I honestly felt like I was wasting my time, even though they ended up being kind of successful.

You don't have to be an office worker. You don't even have to work 40 hours per week. You don't have to own a nice house and a car. You don't have to get married. You don't have to have any kids.

I'm not saying you need to become a full-time volunteer, or teach English in Thailand, or start your own small business. Take some time and think about all your options. On the other hand, sometimes it's really hard to get unstuck unless you make a big change and just do something different for a while. Maybe you just need to do something crazy.

paulpauper 1 day ago 0 replies      
It's easy to dismiss or generalize millennials as lazy or entitled, and maybe some are, but we're on the same boat together - liberal and conservative, 'alt right' and 'rationalist-left'. To the girl with the Tumblr page and Instagram pictures, to the Trump supporter that reads Roosh V, it's authenticity and shared narratives - whether it's about social isolation and awkwardness, anxieties about growing up in a difficult economy, or how society neglects its smartest - that forge common ground among differing ideological tribes and people that otherwise would have nothing to do with each other.
kapv89 16 hours ago 0 replies      
Someone from IRC gave me an advice for situations like these. It's dangerous but works rather quickly if you manage to reach the other end. It goes something like this:

"Do things that'll get you beaten up, killed, or thrown in jail. And if you are lucky, you'd end up with a lot of money and sex, and a clear idea of what you want"

ChemicalWarfare 1 day ago 0 replies      
There's a rather typical "I kicked ass and got stuff done, now what" syndrome which happens to just about everyone to a certain degree.

After weeks/months/years of intense concentration and efforts aimed at achieving a certain goal you're done and that goal is no longer there. This creates a void in your mind and leaves you wondering "now what?". Happens to me after every major project go live, sometimes even after a particularly challenging development sprint.

For me personally the way to "cope" with this is to switch contexts completely for a couple of days up to a couple of weeks (logistics permitting obv)- go camping, fishing, skiing, buy a plane ticket to Europe etc etc.

This is not a universal recipe of course but is something that has worked for me and other ppl I know.

Mendenhall 1 day ago 0 replies      
Do whatever you want (that doesnt harm others). Want to do nothing for a year or two or five, then do it. Want to hang out and drink at 5am and party, then do it. Want to start a company, then do it. Taste what life has to offer and grow from it and evolve. Imo you are at the age where you are coming into yourself and finding out what you want to do. It can be confusing, scarey, challenging and everything else. I found by doing what I wanted against even social norms and sometimes at great loss, I learned what it was I really wanted out of life. Best wishes, there is no wrong answer. Be you!
kingkawn 20 hours ago 0 replies      
Forget attempting deeper analysis your life needs stimulus. Talk to random people stunningly (for yourself) openly, do things intentionally in new ways, introduce a love of coveted disorder, and you will be able to think about your work life as the person who knows what it takes to keep yourself engaged no matter he circumstance. That person can lead you to the next good thing better than any advice or new framework.
smrtinsert 21 hours ago 0 replies      
I remember reading about some CFO that was pissed he wasn't getting a CEO job after two years. I remember thinking why did I just spend two years learning nodejs.
elmojenkins 1 day ago 0 replies      
I am in your shoes OP, I feel it too.There has to be more to this thing. The thought of sitting in my office job for the next 30yrs makes me shake. Seriously. I don't know that I can do it, or that I want to do it.

Bottom line, you need money. How you earn the money is up to you...How much money you need to 'feel' comfortable is up to you.

If you can get a Masters degree (for free through employer or very cheap), do it. Bachelors degrees are like high school diplomas, everybody has 'em these days, and in 10-15yrs you'll want the Masters.

Buy a lottery ticket!

dep_b 20 hours ago 0 replies      
I changed from 8-5 to being a freelancer and it's a pity that I didn't do it before. I'm very lucky to be a programmer so I have to luxury to safely take a bet like that given the current demand for (experienced) programmers, but I think you need to take a risk. Start a business, chase a new career path. Some people like the security of a job, some people need something else to feel challenged.
gamebak 1 day ago 0 replies      
Besides what other guys mentioned, I think what you really lack is a good focus on a long-term objective. I decided to experiment what I consider a decent salary to live off monthly, then I've set my goal to retire... before retirement. To do this I considered how much I would generate from the dividend in stocks and other assets... there's a lot of reading and planning.

This is one suggestion what you could do, plus you'll put your money to work for you, not just you for it.

podcastrank 1 day ago 0 replies      
What do you mean by being more than just an office person? You can't create an interesting and compelling career out of nothing. Think carefully about who you are aspiring to be (this article can help http://www.artofmanliness.com/2011/02/08/create-a-life-plan/) and act accordingly.

Some other's mentioned the "War of Art" to read. I would like to add "So good they can't ignore you" by Cal Newport to read as a starting point for some guidance.

cristaline 9 hours ago 0 replies      
You said you are not happy. This will help you:

1) Eat chocolate2) Sports. Do something outside, even if it is walking3) Find a girlfriend or dating4) Watch a movie 5) Do something exciting every month6) Take weekend breaks, go somewhere7) Sleep 7-8 hours8) Listen music during work9) Imagine yourself in 5 years, make that plan.

iamaziz 1 day ago 1 reply      
"Life is a journey, not a destination."
subdane 1 day ago 0 replies      
At 29 you're starting to see beyond the ladder you've been taught to climb. Is a new degree/job/relationship going to fill the void?

When I was in your shoes, I started to ask myself that question. I decided that the source of my happiness wasn't going to come from the outside world and that led to an ongoing curiosity about where it would come from. More here: https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/out-the-darkness/201503...

FLUX-YOU 1 day ago 0 replies      
>You have the drive and motivation to get to your destination but once you are there -- you're left wondering -- "what else could I have done?

Time to pick a new destination. Probably something a little more long-term, like becoming a C-suite executive or starting a family. It took you 4-5 (or more) years to get to your first destination. Plan something that takes twice that amount of time.

If you literally just finished (as in 1-2 months ago), might be worth it to take a vacation if you can afford it.

You don't even have to settle on a new destination right now, just stay active physically and mentally. 29 is too young to autopilot your life.

mathattack 1 day ago 0 replies      
My 2 cents:

Happiness is in the journey, not the company/product/money/measurable.

Happiness is shared with other people, and rarely an individual achievement.

But... Unhappiness can also be chemical reactions in the brain. There's nothing wrong with seeking help if you're having any kind of emotional issues. Quite the contrary, it's very admirable to seek out help. And admirable to get on medication if that's what's needed. If the unhappiness is bad enough, don't tackle it alone.

drrectangle 1 day ago 0 replies      
If you don't have a lot of responsibilities then you should do something fun and risky. Go outside of your routine and get perspective. Go on a crazy trip, talk to interesting strangers etc. Get off the internet :)
arbre 1 day ago 0 replies      
Here are a few thoughts:

- Starting something new is hard, but it can get better after a while. Be patient and maybe you'll discover a better side of your job, meet exciting people etc.

- Maybe you're not doing what you really like. Try to find what you're really passionate about and do it.

- Maybe you need a deeper meaning to your life. For me it was meditation. I needed that deeper breath in my life and it gives me a lot of joy and hope. For others it might be traveling the world, family, volunteering... Your disappointment might be asking for such a change.

Phemist 1 day ago 0 replies      
If you want to go back to school, do it abroad!! German and Swedish Universities are basically free, and most if not all master's courses are taught in English. Cost of living is generally manageable (You can live like a king in Berlin on the amount you'd loan on average for a uni degree in States). I cannot stress this enough. Broadening horizons, social circles, learning new languages and cultures, travel opportunities in weekends. Oh, and of course learning a new trade. Absolutely worth it.
jsmith0295 21 hours ago 0 replies      
Going back to school for what? I'm doubtful that simply choosing a different major would make a huge difference. It sounds like what you're looking for is more of a feeling of control over the work you're doing, and there's plenty of ways to pursue that without going back to school
gthtjtkt 1 day ago 0 replies      
Yes. I always take solace in the knowledge that I could leave all this behind and go live in a tent in the forest if I wanted to. But even that probably isn't true because I've never been camping. I'd probably eat some poison berries and end up like Christopher McCandless.

Working out helps a lot though. So does going outside, especially in natural environments.

> I feel like I should go back to school but do I really want to rack up all that loan?

If you're not sure, the answer is probably 'no'.

cschep 1 day ago 0 replies      
if you have the freedom.. TRAVEL! couch surf. meet people super different than you. study their languages. invest in their problems.

eventually you'll find a new thing to do OR you'll be so excited to come back to your own thing with a ton of wisdom.

step toward your life with open arms and love it. it will love you back.

final piece of advice: this is scary, but the fear lets you know you're still in the game!*

*stolen quote

Taylor_OD 1 day ago 0 replies      
When I find myself feeling this way its often because I am inadvertently isolating myself. Are you getting outside? Do you hangout with friends? Significant other? Dating? I don't rely on other people for emotional support but being alone all the time without people to talk to isnt healthy and I believe the case could be made that we are supposed to live in small groups/pods/tribes.
burdalane 23 hours ago 0 replies      
I graduated from college 13 years ago and feel the same way. I've taken an extremely passive route -- I never even left the college -- and have only taken the path of least resistance. I learn things on my own, but they're so unfocused that I don't do anything with them.
tunnuz 1 day ago 0 replies      
This is not general advice, but since you asked: in your shoes I would move to Europe and start a Ph.D. (possibly Northern Europe, e.g., Denmark or Sweden, where you can live very comfortably on a Ph.D. scholarship). There are few things as inspiring and challenging as pushing the boundaries of human knowledge. It's also a great way to meet new and inspiring people outside of your circles.
rebelidealist 20 hours ago 0 replies      
Volunteer, someone wise said we are unhappy if we constantly think about ourselves.
Yhippa 22 hours ago 0 replies      
I'd be shocked if there were people on HN that haven't gone through that. I know that.

I'll be short with my advice:1) Be open to change2) Take a risk and try something different than what you're presently doing

If you can, change before others make you change.

brentjanderson 1 day ago 0 replies      
I found that choosing to build a family has been the most rewarding decision I've made, including a couple failed startups and an adequately successful venture. Learning and growing have always been objectives for me, but the big picture of learning to be a husband and parent have brought tremendous meaning, purpose, and vision to my life.
ruffrey 1 day ago 0 replies      
There have been times when I used a goal as a distraction from other stuff. When it was completed, I could no longer avoid things.

Other times I have reached a big goal and not been making new goals to complete next.

In either case, for me the solution involves getting quiet and writing out how I feel. YMMV, i am fairly introverted and work things out internally.

neom 1 day ago 0 replies      
msutherl 20 hours ago 0 replies      
This doesn't work for everyone, but my approach this is to ask: what is the intersection of my unique strengths and the most important problems to address in the world? In answering this, you quickly discover you need a philosophy, an idea of what future you'd like to see for humanity, and you need to leverage experiences you've had. A few things I can recommend for starting this journey:

- Spend some time familiarizing yourself with your historical context, the political and economic systems you operate within, and ethics generally

- Do a broad survey of every single project you can find within your interest areas. If you're into non-profits, check out the http://foundationcenter.org/ library/database. If you're into startups, spend hours on Crunchbase / Angelist researching startups. Ask around. Google a lot. Make lists!

- Consider thinking through a cause prioritization framework. I have some mostly related to the Effective Altruism community collected here: https://www.are.na/morgan-sutherland/cause-prioritization. Bret Victor put together an amazing article re: climate change: http://worrydream.com/ClimateChange/. You can probably find other meta-level analyses. When you start to narrow in, you search for various industry reports, check out bls.gov, etc. and start getting used to looking for gaps and opportunities at that kind of meta-level. Note: this information is hard to find and being familiar with it is one of the main strategic advantages that good leaders have!

- Spend a good long time, multiple engagements of an hour or so, writing down what you think your unique strengths and skills are? Ask yourself: what do I do when I'm procrastinating? What do I find myself doing a lot but that feels very easy to me? Also ask people you know: "what am I good at?"

- Don't underestimate serendipity. Reconnect with people from your past. Go to meetups and networking events (but don't waste your time scan the list before and introduce yourself to the people that matter i.e. the organizers). Explore online communities. Ask your friends if they know people that they think you should know and get the intro.

Ultimately: take a structured approach to solving this problem. Eventually you'll uncover and opportunity that you can't turn down. But don't forget the research you've done because soon enough you'll be back at square one! Welcome to the future!

JSeymourATL 1 day ago 0 replies      
> I'd like to be something...

How do you define happiness and meaning? Pick a path and realize the path may change, that's OK.

On this subject, Marshall Goldsmith is masterful > https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P7EJfWRv0VA

effectuation 1 day ago 0 replies      
Not sure if this may help, but consider reading this guy's stuff.


thomas2205 1 day ago 0 replies      
Don't feel lost, as said by Mahatma Gandhi...."Strength does not come from winning, your struggles develop your strengths, when you go through hardships and decide not to surrender, that is strength."
ktRolster 23 hours ago 0 replies      
"To ease another's heartache is to forget one's own" - Abraham Lincoln

Life isn't about work.....work is what you do so you can afford what you want.

napperjabber 22 hours ago 0 replies      
Find something from your childhood that you wanted to do, but didn't because of what ever reason. For me, it was learning Japanese.
Deckard256 1 day ago 0 replies      
Do something completely different. Go on a road trip. Join an art collective. Volunteer to help others. Perspective comes from contrast and new experiences.
keeringplastik 1 day ago 0 replies      
What did you do prior to school? Seems there may have been some time between HS and uni. What was going on that led you to pursue a business field?Why did you choose business administration?
GarrisonPrime 1 day ago 0 replies      
Check out the book "How to Find Fulfilling Work" by Roman Krznaric. Literally changed my life.


grdeken 1 day ago 1 reply      
Save cash. Travel. Expand your horizons. The answer will come to you.
rikelmens 23 hours ago 1 reply      
- What else is there to life?

Read Tao Te Ching and if you really understand what Tao is - you will know the answer to your question.

With love I wish you good luck!

swsieber 1 day ago 0 replies      
Find ways to serve (as in give service).

Acting for others welfare will buoy you up. And I wouldn't be surprised if it led to more fulfilling work opportunities.

blairanderson 21 hours ago 0 replies      
I was in similar shoes(business school and bored and boring desk/email/sales job).

decided to go to a code school.

It changed my life.

Would do again.

Deckard256 1 day ago 0 replies      
Do something completely different. Go on a road trip. Join an art collective. Volunteer to help others. Perspective comes from contrast.
SuperChihuahua 1 day ago 0 replies      
Find a side project! I felt the same and decided to write a book and make a few games and other applications. I've never felt stuck since I began those projects.
lucg 1 day ago 0 replies      
Congrats for your degree!

My 2 cents:

1. You are not your work. You are not what you do.

2. Do what you like/love and make sure to do it with other people.

3. Don't do things to be successful in the eyes of others.

qpwoeirutyzzzz 21 hours ago 0 replies      
You were sold a fantasy setting expectations beyond all probability.

Welcome to reality, now it's time to learn to enjoy your life and please try not to leave a trail of destruction and waste in the process.

Practicality 1 day ago 0 replies      
Build friendships, have life experiences. It will make you always eager for the next experience.
virken2 1 day ago 1 reply      
i am in your shoes - so I'm going to Guyana as a volunteer to fly an air ambulance - pretty sure that 90+ degree days, malaria, zika, piranha, sick and injured people - will all help me to feel less stuck :-)
jaybee123 1 day ago 0 replies      
Keep your head up and stay strong
iamneiltyson 1 day ago 0 replies      
Try watching "the cosmos" show on Netflix. Something can click .
iamneiltyson 1 day ago 1 reply      
Try watching the Cosmos show on Netflix. Something may click you.
rimutrees 23 hours ago 0 replies      
Any work is awesome when you work with cool people - maybe find some folk you want to work with.
hariis 22 hours ago 0 replies      
Figure out a way to serve others
DiffEq 1 day ago 1 reply      
9 times out of 10...if you did not major in Engineering or Science, Law, or Medicine then you should not be going to college. It is a waste of money and most importantly time.
meric 13 hours ago 0 replies      
Tao Te Ching
rhowells 20 hours ago 0 replies      
I would check out garyvaynerchuk.com and get motivated.
pnathan 1 day ago 1 reply      
You have two basic tasks: maintenance and improvement.

(1) pay debt. Pay rent. eat. exercise. this is self-care stuff. It's foundational to well-being. Fail at it, and you're going to be getting into serious problems.

(2) While you're managing self-care, focus on the vector you're going. Where do you want it to go? Not where do your parents want, your elders want, your friends what. What do you, the individual want? Write it down. Consider the regularly for, say, 4-6 months. I.e., enough time to cycle through personal emotional states. Ask yourself if what you want conflicts with your self. It's not always going to be coherent. Then start setting your hand to that in your free time.

If what you genuinely want is to conform, or to not, to be family-oriented, or not: that's generally okay.

Some things to consider doing and learning, while you quest for finding yourself occurs:

- Religion is traditionally the touchstone for meaning and making sense for humanity. While atheism is a rising tide, it doesn't cohere at all with humanity's history. You should engage with religious beliefs. I am a Christian and would advise to look here first ( ;-) ); there's also, in my opinion, a lot of wisdom in Judiaism and Zen Buddism. As a subpoint, a pastor/priest/rabbi is, theoretically, a specialist in answering "what is the point of it all".

- In the West, philosophy started as a non-theistic set of questions about what constituted good, the good life, etc. You might find Socrates to be an excellent read. IMO most of Western philosophy has been spent responding to Socrates in some form - he started the conversation.

- Spend time outside; not exercising, but existing in the natural world. National forests etc. This is the substrate where civilization has been embedded. It matters, deeply.

- Start a few food plants in pots and tend to them; eat the produce. Learn about them. The cycles of nature underpin our bodies and our minds.

- Take up an art - music, painting, sculpture, etc. Spend time learning about traditional art and its history. Art is one of the few timeless things in history. Lives are poured out here; it's well to understand it.

- Spend time with your parents and extended, if possible. Most people derive at least some meaning from family. If you have siblings on speaking terms, now is a good time to strengthen your relationship.

- If you have a SO, I'd advise holding off on a kid. Get your head straightened out a bit before giving the kid your problems. :-S

- School is best considered as a means to an end. Loans are murder on choices, since they force you to choose high-paying jobs and limit your ability to do risk.

rhowells 20 hours ago 0 replies      
Check out garyvaynerchuk.com and get motivated.
dmfdmf 1 day ago 0 replies      
Society puts a lot of pressure on people to follow the social norm; go to school, get a degree, find a job, work the day, get a spouse, buy a house, have 2.4 kids (whatever the average is today), save for retirement, grow old and die. The only mandatory step is the last one.

Based on my observations some people are happy on this path and some people are not, for a myriad of reasons. You are on step 3 and now thinking "wait a minute, is this what I really want?". (Consider yourself lucky to have this question now and not on step 5 or 6 which is a disaster). With out knowing who you really are, what you believe and what you want to do with your life you will be unmotivated, disinterested and ambivalent in your actions. It also leaves you open to falling in with a bad crowd, doing drugs, drinking or mindless sex, etc. as a substitute for a fulfilling life.

Nobody can answer the question of what will make you happy and unfortunately the schools do virtually nothing to help young adults actually achieve adulthood, which I define as being epistemologically independent, i.e you must set aside social and family pressures and think for your self and decide what YOU want to do. Thinking is a solitary act. You stand apart from society and process information, decide what is true and false or right and wrong. When you are done you can share your results with others (to share what you have learned or to get help if you get stuck) but you can't share the process, it is strictly yours. In today's world, finding solitude and being alone is become harder to achieve. Society actually is suspicious of loners but, at root, a thinker is a loner. Many people (the most unhappy as I can tell) are actually afraid being alone. Here is a good article on the subject https://theamericanscholar.org/solitude-and-leadership/#.VUc... but I would argue that being a good follower requires solitude too. We can't all be leaders but a follower must still think to wisely choose who to follow.

With that long preface here is my advice;

1) Read that article I referenced above and reevaluate how "connected' you are with social media, forums, email, smart phones, etc. Maybe its time to take a break and be alone for a bit. Take a short vacation, a cabin in the woods or at the lake and completely unplug and be alone with your thoughts without interruption for a few days. Become comfortable with your self. Alone.

2) Read Ayn Rand's books "The Virtue of Selfishness" and "Philosophy Who Needs it" and ignore the social pressure to dismiss her out of hand without actually reading what she said. Think for yourself and decide if her ideas are true or false. Ignore everything she wrote on politics, its a distraction to your current problem.

3) Start writing a daily journal. You can't understand your self if your thoughts, feelings, emotions, motivations are all floating around in your head without clear identification and analysis. If you do only one thing on my list do this.

Jugurtha 1 day ago 0 replies      
I'm in a somewhat similar situation. Almost 29, graduated as an Electronics Engineer two years ago. I've been through many problems and it took 9 years to complete. I might be stupid and stubborn not to do something else, but I wanted to do it.

I live in a country where, when I wanted to buy electronics parts online (because they weren't available here), they were stuck in customs and I was asked to provide documents from college to attest I was an Electronics Engineering student, and to get that document, I had to brawl because the college administration lost my document and I had to persist to get them to find it. I mean, even finding someone to make a quality PCB, I had to look very hard because there seems to be one shop that does it (in a city of 5 million people). Buying online required a MasterCard and getting one alone was challenging (challenging enough I started a blog and wrote an article to inform people how to get one. More than 200,000 visitors and 700 comments in two years). So it may seem like whining for a lot of people, but there are so many things people take for granted you have to fight for and waste a lot of time to find here.

My friend is a dental surgeon with quite a lot of success. Yesterday, he was telling me how prosthetics and other things that cost like +2000 Euros in Europe cost about 200 Euros here. Naturally, I asked him why aren't there foreigners who come here if the deal is that good. He said unless they teleport, go to the dentist, and teleport back again to their country, the deal isn't that good. There's no "Healthcare tourism logistics". Hotels are crappy and expensive, non-crappy hotels are expensive, visas take forever, and the logistics that would make it a bargain are just not there yet. It'd cost the same.

One of the main problems is the country has negative economic complexity. We don't make things and it makes for systemic problems.. There's no electronics industry, too much bureaucracy. I was to be hired by a big oilfield services company that'd offer training and a stamp of approval on my rsum for subsequent jobs, but they had problems and downsized and I wasn't hired. Social proof is powerful: you weren't hired before, so we won't hire you.

You'd read on job offerings, it's either companies that require 5+ years experience, or companies accepting junior/entry level/recent graduate and once you check the requirements, the stack is huge (Mastery of C, C++, JAVA, .NET, Python, Web development, Oracle, Cisco certified) for an entry level job of a recent graduate. Without training provided.

I started programming since I was 9 years old, disassembled software at 14 to unlock their potential, but have done it intermittently in a variety of languages (from BASIC to x86 assembly to Python) and touched a lot of things, but haven't stuck to just one single thing I can be an expert in. So naturally, I get interested in Python and try to do a project in it, I hit a roadblock in that project, I do a second project in Python and maybe let it go. I'm also interested in other things. By the time there's something up, my skills have diminished and I'm not "operational right now". I know a bit about a lot and would know where to start to learn something specific, but it just doesn't fly with companies today.

From an employer's perspective, I'm just a 29 year old with no experience. Time flies and it gets harder both financially and morally. Companies other than multinationals offer salaries that don't even cover transportation. I think about projects and ideas and started working on a few which didn't work out. I won't lie to you: after all those problems and the zero accomplishment I have to show for at 29, it takes me mustering every ounce of mental strength not to break down and face reality every single day. It's hard to resist letting yourself go into accepting you're a loser when you check every criteria and every single one of them just saps your self esteem.

It could always be worse, though. So hang in there. I read, think, and learn about a lot of things. I help my friends, I try to spend some time with the family. I try to improve in any way I can (whether time management or cognitive skills, and recently on problem solving for I have a problem :) ).

paulpauper 1 day ago 0 replies      
The next step, typically, is to get a job. Whether that will create meaning in life, hard to know.
jonnycache 18 hours ago 0 replies      
Hey I am 25 live in the Uk for some context however relevant right I think I know exactly what your feeling and I hope the answer I share lifts all anxiety and ushers in peace.First off congratulations on finishing I can imagine it was tough to complete but you did it! Secondly forgive me for any punctuation or grammar mistakes I'm writing this from an iPhone as it's late here laptops off and I'm reading hacker news before bed.

So you've played the game of life and at the end when we all believed education lead to success we realise we have been bamboozled. The "feeling lost" is because of this, you felt somewhere on a subconscious level that if you achieved this thing then it would secure you potentially financially or more so directionally as in it would lead you to the next step.What is evident is that it hasn't and the reason why or part of the reason is that we have not taken the time to truly get in touch with our true self the self that wanted to be a artist but through social pressures or the need to conform like a pre commenter put we have ignored that sentiwnt skill shouting within saying our true desires until it became a whisper and then a faint cry.This was reinforced by the fact that in school we know in X months time we will receive a result dictating our progression to the next level or path this gets repeated a fair number of times if you add up each exam each year up until college (your equivalent to university) so we develop a carrot and stick approach believing that the next thing will be better / progression and thus drawing is closer to this ever elusive victory. It's a lie the wizard is just a man being a curtain.In deadling with the going back to school premise you mentioned I wouldn't if the reason was based on fear I.e scared of not wanting to be a jobless person and so we go to what we have known all our life that being education.If after months of mulling you honestly thought that this would allow you to feel fulfilled and was your calling then by all means go back to school.

Being more than a 9-5----------------------Being more than a 9-5 that emotion your feeling is your inner self the one you quieted earlier in your life (for those that jumped to here please read prior to this it's mentioned above ) that knows what you want and has always known.You are more but you've played a game which teaches you to compete,quiet this type of self reflection and expressiveness ,not be creative and not to go against the system which churns out people that are meant to think a certain way.Your emotions are powerful they are actually indicators to whether your flowing with life or against it ,the true nature of humans is joy when I code or solve a problem or workout or write an observation I feel joy I don't feel resistance.The resistance your feeling is your inner senses telling you that something is not right we are not flowing.

So what are you trying to tell me?That I can dodge bullets?-----------------------------Lol excuse the title I know when I get on a prose like this it can come across stoic and impractical so I just took the matrix quote as neo was feeling the same thing when answering Morpheus.

What I would do or better yet what I have done ...the first year of uni I felt the same thing lost and I was just staring at my impending doom.So what I did is this:-Be grateful you finished a huge degree and maybe through your humility (which I respect)you didn't mention the joy or thankfulness of completing that .When your constantly grateful you rarely feel jealously or hate as your just grateful with being/existing.

-Don't give this a heavy weighting.This is just a situation no different than breaking a nail because it involves your life you may feel overwhelmed and therefore make rash decisions so treat this as anything else a momentary situation that has a solution that will come to you as the observation of something missing is the first step to finding it.

-Get honest with yourself what are you about do you like business or did you just do it as the prospectus of a reputable company sounded good? it sounds like your a very social person who wears their heart on their sleeve so maybe there's a talent you can leverage.Whatever it is find it.

-Take some time out anytime you feel lost its just a sign that we may be off track from our inner compass so maybe 2 weeks away if not possible then maybe a weekend away with just yourself.The reason I stress just you is because you need to get in tune with yourself which is achievable in quiet space so that you can hear that inner murmur of what you want to do turn into a roar.Note this isn't running away from the problem the problem exists within you,your going away to break the habitual ways of your life which have potentially got you into this chasing the elusive carrot activity.

-Remove the ego now there's people who are lawyers my because it was their God given talent but because it "paid well" this is ridiculous understand the need for pecuniary stability but for me to do something that's not aligned with what I believe to be my calling is not only fake but ridden with stress and unfulfillment and you can see that with 1 in 5 multi million dollar CEOs being depressed.So kick the ego if your inner self says you should be a dog walker then be a dog walker walk dogs with grace and poise and I guarantee you won't feel judgement or even care for what people say as you will be fulfilled you have a business degree so maybe you can make a business out ofIt why not .Taking a pause from social media may help you during this phase as social media flashes information that not only can trigger you to keep up with the Jones' but also harbours a competitive mindset which will have you doing things you don't want to do just to appear a certain way to your peers.

-meditate for 15 minutes twice a day the reason for this is that you need to still that mind I can imagine right now it's busy telling you all sorts of lies like people think I'm a failure in lost ,I wasted my life all these are lies and it's just the self which has always had a carrot at the end of the year waking up to find that there's no carrot coming this time as education is over.In stilling the mind your able to gain connection back to the inner self which is the true self.

-exercise more or start this is just the ying and yang ,night and day to meditation tiny Robbins says fear which you may feel is a physically thing so get the body fit as well as the mind.

Finally I would urge you to consider this most time we feel lost or stressed or self defeating its because we have attached our self to a thing ... Take this, you eat a banana but you would never say you are a banana as that is ridiculous,but look at this you meet people and the first thing they say is I'm insert your job here and Pause for admiration.You are not your current situation the fact that you feel lost only once finishing your degree is potentially down to the fact that during your degree you was a student you associated with being a business student and it gave you a blanket and some direction till all you was ,was a student .Now your not a student you have lost that and hence feel lost but the truth was you wasn't a student that was just what you were doing it wasn't the entire being that is you.

I am not saying be nothing and go the Himalayas and meditate for 15 years.Have goals it's fine my goal is to grow spiritually physically andMentally in all ways possible I'm no fool we live in the weatern world so some goals cater to the ways of this society but above all I have spiritual goals to ensure whatever I attain I feel fulfilled and counter intuitively can live without as just being gives me joy.Start tuning into your self and as you pay attention to your self through )taking care of the self through the methods above )then the self will communicate more clearly with you and I know for sure the path will be clear.

gohrt 1 day ago 0 replies      
Make friends at work or at a community hobby/social/religious/whatever group. connect with people who are into what you are into.

find a mate, start a family, or join a family.

when you are busy, engaged with beautiful/intersting things or good people, you don't feel stuck.

marknutter 1 day ago 0 replies      
You're experiencing what I think a lot of college graduates experience these days: institutionalization. You no are longer part of a system that tells you what to do, when to do it, and how well you're doing it, with a promise of a better future that has no basis in reality, and you're feeling "completely LOST" as a result. It's normal, and it's curable.

You're asking if there is anything else to life, but likely you haven't actually experienced a day of real life. I think you need to figure out what life has to offer, and jumping right back into another institution is not the way to do it. Discover the world, whether by travel or by engaging in your local community. Meet new people, try new things, and above all, do not conform. It will not take long for you to discover that life happening all around you, but you've been sheltered from it. Once you discover real life you will realize how worthless your Business Administration degree truly is and laugh about how silly you were for thinking it was so important in the first place.

eevilspock 1 day ago 0 replies      
No one can help you unless they know what you care about. You can't help you unless you know what you care about.

When you feel deeply happy, what are you doing? What things matter to you so much that they drive you do work more than anything else?

I dropped out of the EECS program at Berkeley because I felt like you did doing those studies, but found so much joy and meaning working with children, in my student job as an child care center teacher's assistant, as a summer camp counselor for inner city Oakland kids, as a nanny for one year for a newborn and her one year-old brother. I was determined to go into early childhood education, to make education better.

I went abroad, got sidetracked, got married, came back to the states in the middle of the first Dot Com boom, gut sucked into a coding gig, rose rapidly, made lots of money, but found myself feeling oh so empty again. I finally quit it all. I've been working on some non-profit projects, which feel meaningful to me, but still something missing. So I started volunteering to work with kids. It's been great. Now I'm looking to work with some of New York's 50,000 homeless kids. I'll do it for minimum wage if that is all I get. But I will be happy. Hopefully I make a bunch of kids happy along the way.

hackaflocka 1 day ago 0 replies      

We are prisoners of expectations imposed on us.

On Omid Kordestani's twitter, I read the following: In the first 5 minutes of your life they give you a name and a religion, and you spend the rest of your life trying to defend both.

Think about the implicit expectations imposed on you by the labels you are associated with (your "family", your "friends", your degree, etc.). And tell yourself that it's okay if you don't meet those expectations, and instead achieve something else.

Plus: don't drink, have lots of hobbies.

csydas 1 day ago 0 replies      
It's hard to advise without sounding cliche. It sounds a lot like you just aren't sure what makes you happy. You don't have to answer to anyone but yourself when it comes to your happiness[1], so first off, don't think that there is anything you're supposed to be: you don't have to be an office worker, a millionaire, a philanthropist, an athlete, or anything you don't want. You have no obligation to be happy, or sad, or excited, you should just learn to be content with yourself, and if you're not, to find out what it is that you'd like different. Not because someone else says you should, or you think you should because of something you read, but something you think you really like. It's the same concept behind people trying to lose weight or get into an exercise regime - if you're not doing it for yourself, you are going to burn out.

Take some time and just figure out what it is that makes you feel content, what's close to your ideal self. When you picture yourself in your mind's eye, what do you like about you? What don't you like, and wish were better?

Everyone has little things they wish they could change, but just make sure you're making the changes for you, not to impress others. Be happy for yourself first more than anything.

If the prospect of 8-5 doesn't appeal to you, figure out what would. A lot of us don't really know what we want to do aside from real general vague thoughts. That's the status quo, I think - driven people who have a specific goal and focus are pretty uncommon, and many are directed by their peers.

Give it time - you're only 29, it's not like you're one foot in the grave. I'm 30 and I've been winging it since I was 18 and went to college. By chance I found out I understood technology really well, and without having taken a single technology course, I've learn tons about all levels of infrastructure just by showing employers I could learn. This took me across the US, from a meager support role to a managerial role at a University, and then from there to China and to Russia with my partner. I still don't know what I want to do, but I do enjoy where I am and who I'm with. I'm happy with my health (mostly), happy with what my partner and I get to do for fun (ballet, opera, music, dancing, biking), and I'm learning every day. None of this would have happened if many years ago, I hadn't taken a good look at my life and realized I liked nothing about it. I was out of shape, in a miserable relationship that was leading to marriage, and was about to take office work because I thought I had to - I took a long time to focus just on getting myself to a nice spot, finding what I wanted, and then moving outward towards bigger pictures.

I'm not saying pack up and move to Russia; but what I am saying is figure out what it is you want for yourself. Be a little selfish. (Note: this doesn't mean stop caring about others, it just means that you take some time to really focus on yourself, getting yourself to a state where you are happy) The world is a pretty wonderful place with a lot of cool people, and it's always changing. Find something that works for you, cause I'm sure it's out there.

[1] = though, please make sure your happiness isn't straight up hurting others...

bpchaps 1 day ago 0 replies      
The advice I give people is - do things that will make yourself feel interesting about yourself. Self motivation is the key, but you have to learn to find it first. Stick your neck out into places that you normally wouldn't and you'll find that things start coming together.

Where do you live? Depending on the city, it's relatively easy to get involved in your local government by trying to fix "unsexy", but persistent problems. It'll get you out into things you normally wouldn't do, it'll get you involved with your city, you'll feel good about what you're doing, and it's something you can even put on your resume if you're into that.

"Why has that light been out for two months?" sounds boring at first, but if you pursue it to a certain depth, you'll start to notice some very interesting depth. FOIA/FOIL is a great tool for this.

Good luck!

throwaway54665 1 day ago 1 reply      
Get a girlfriend.
zeroer 1 day ago 2 replies      
> I can ask my brother for money> we have a trash relationship

Do you have a trash relationship because you've asked him for money too many times?

scribblegenius 1 day ago 0 replies      
Happiness can only be found within the Self. Not anywhere outside. Meditate an hour a day and more your inner condition as you go. Heartfulness.org
Ask HN: Interview tomorrow How to learn whether an org is healthy?
184 points by mud_dauber  2 days ago   121 comments top 44
grandalf 1 day ago 5 replies      
They are conspiring to replace an existing employee. That says enough. If the organization were "healthy" they would be upfront with the existing manager and allow him/her to gracefully exit.

That they won't do this suggests that there is a lot of mistrust going on, or possibly optics with the investors around turnover -- not sure which is worse.

By taking the role, you will be viewed as having taken sides with the people recruiting you, but if anyone else on the team thinks it was done unfairly, you'll be dealing with the morale consequences, which you may paradoxically also be blamed for.

Look at it this way, the people recruiting you are one or more of the following:

- Afraid to have a grown up conversation with the manager they want to replace.

- Afraid that if they are upfront with the problem manager he/she will leave and it will take them a long time to find a replacement, during which time things may deteriorate. If you think this is the case, be sure to increase your salary/equity requirements substantially.

- Trying to sneakily get the upper hand on the problem manager by recruiting you behind his/her back. Anyone on the team you'd inherit who respected the former manager will likely assume you are part of the problem.

Also, sometimes when a manager is viewed negatively it's because someone on the team has the ear of higher-ups and is badmouthing the manager. So while it's possible that you would be getting a role that was inhabited by someone who couldn't quite pull it off, it's also possible that you're stepping into a situation with a lot of politics and a mutinous atmosphere. Perhaps ask if they are considering anyone on the problem manager's team for the role. If they are that might be a tell.

I'd approach it with caution, especially if considering leaving a role that you enjoy. At the very least, there are enough warning signs that you should only accept if you are ready to re-enter the job market if the culture is truly broken.

gyardley 2 days ago 3 replies      
Talk to as many people as you can at the company, especially people who aren't in leadership positions. Ask if you can talk to a couple of the people who'd be reporting to you. A scheduled interview is like talking to a provided reference, while an unscheduled interview is like calling up someone not on the provided reference list - you're more likely to get something interesting from the latter.

Whether it's a scheduled or unscheduled interview, people generally want to speak honestly with you - they just might not feel like they have permission to do so, or feel that airing the company's dirty laundry would be inappropriate. In my experience, it can be hard to get people to initially admit things aren't perfect, but once they've done so, the floodgates open.

I tend to ask things like "so, how would you rate working here on a scale of one to ten?" Unless they're absolutely delighted with their workplace, most people respond with an eight or a nine, which doesn't mean anything - you'll get an eight or nine if the company's pretty great, and you'll get an eight or nine if the company's a total dumpster fire. But then you can say "A nine? Why not a ten? What would make your experience here a ten?" This doesn't always work, but at this point the interviewee figures they've already admitted the company isn't 100% ideal and I've usually gotten an unvarnished opinion.

devonkim 1 day ago 1 reply      
Having been in a similar position before, here's my questions and considerations.

1. Why are they looking externally for a candidate instead of an internal candidate that is more familiar and has a track record with the company than a brand new leader?

2. What were the specific expectations of the incumbent leader and how long have they been in the position? Someone needs to explain what happened and realize that this very same dynamic could happen to you. If nobody communicates with a person that they think their communication is bad, it's a passive-aggressive culture that won't lead to good outcomes more often than not, especially long term.

3. What's the turnover rate for the team? Don't believe whatever they tell you, but make a note. Then try to assess its veracity based upon Linkedin stalking of both currently employed and past employees.

4. What's the highest level of management that is in agreement of replacing this person? If something came from really high up, I'd ask if there was a specific incident. I've seen people let go because they made exactly one hot-headed executive very angry for flippant reasons and while everyone in management that actually knew these people were fine, their hands were tied. That kind of leadership style is micromanagement oftentimes and the toxicity and blame games will eventually make their way down the longer the leader stays.

thinkingkong 2 days ago 1 reply      
Communications issues are usually two-sided so I'd lean more heavily towards figuring out what those could be. 30 people split between 3 timezones is challenging.

1) Ask why the other person is leaving for real. They should be vulnerable and tell you the truth. Sometimes they'll hide behind something like "thats confidential" which you can't really argue with, but I'd dig into it. If they get nervous walk away.

2) Ask them what systems or processes they want to improve or change and why. What isn't working? etc.

3) How will you be evaluated in your role. Sometimes there are unclear expectations from managers or any other "leadership" style role at a company. This isn't OK because it might just take one person to change their mind about how you're doing for you to be "not good enough". Again; dig into it.

4) How is the company doing from a financial perspective. Whats the burn? Whats the revenue? What's the LTV/CAC? If they can't answer or won't, I'd consider that a red flag.

5) How is the product roadmap set. How far out are they thinking? Make sure it lines up with your vision of how to organize groups the right way.

cabacon 2 days ago 1 reply      
My favorite interviewing question as an IC was "Tell me about someone on your team you admire". It let me learn about what people valued based on why people were admired, and gave some depth-of-bench sense whether there were lots of distinct names, or if everyone was in awe of the one good person on the team.

If you're looking for cross-team health, maybe you could adapt it to "Tell me about someone on the other team that you admire?"

sreejithr 1 day ago 0 replies      
I understand you're not looking for a software engineering position. But for what it's worth, being in a company with an almost toxic work culture right now, here's some stuff I'll vent out.

Talk to a lot of people in the company. Can't overstate this enough. People you work with/work under should NOT BE ASSHOLES. Assholes are a pain to deal with everyday and will take a toll on your emotional health.

I talked with my interviewer, who happens to be my manager, and asked him what he feels about Docker (not that Docker is the most bleeding edge tech). He said he didn't like it and would never implement it in <my-company> because some other dude in his previous firm introduced it there and he doesn't like that dude. Ouch! I should've taken the hint. Look for people who debate with you based on knowledge/data and not with emotions.

If your interviewer/founder bathes you in startup buzzword crap, RUN! If they say, we're "open", "transparent", "humble", "impact", "growth hacking" etc 5+ times in the conversation, he's just faking it to make it sound hipster. I learned this the hard way.

Boy, I ranted. I should really get a job change. \_()_/

ChuckMcM 1 day ago 0 replies      
It is important to separate challenges of "second level" (sometimes called director level) management from "first level" (sometimes called line level) management. If you will be managing managers, that requires you to be able to evaluate their group as a unit much like a line manager needs to evaluate employees for their effectiveness. Group effectiveness is very biased by management style and communication.

I wouldn't read too much into the fact that you'd be replacing a manager who is already working there. One of the "perks" of being a manager is that you have a big target on your back when it comes to overall organizational goals and morale. Scott McNealy used to joke "one step up, one step closer to the door." because directors and executives don't fire individual contributors, they fire managers when things aren't working out. And there are a ton of reasons that things might not work out, not the least of which is that the manager's manager can't effectively communicate "through" them. It can be a leadership style, it can be mutual respect, it can be different baggage that each of them are carrying from previous experiences.

What is important for you to understand in the interview is the sort of communication issues that got this person into trouble, you need to know that so you can evaluate how likely it is that you're communication style would be compatible. Some senior managers will say "get it done" and some will be very prescriptive about how (aka micromanaging) and some will be open to feedback and others will consider feedback insubordination.

Understand what they expect (both things they expect someone to do, and things they are expected NOT to do in that role) and how they evaluate what they see. Then ask yourself if you feel like you can live in that system or not.

compiler-guy 2 days ago 1 reply      
I like to ask things like, "If you could change one thing about the company engineering practices, what would it be?"

The answers can be telling. If they give an answer like, like, "I wish we would adopt $random_programming_language." That, to me, indicates a fairly healthy organization, because this is just one guy's technical preference.

If they give an answer like, "We need need to stop thrashing", that gives a different picture.

If they say, "Nothing at all", you need to run, because they can't think critically about themselves.

If they use pronouns like "them" and "they" instead of "us" and "we", then the interviewer doesn't feel like part of the team.

DelaneyM 2 days ago 1 reply      
Worry less about "organizational health" and more about "organizational fit".

"Healthy" can mean different things to different people. Some employees care primarily about work/life balance, and being able to sneak out early on Fridays to hit the slopes. (I'm looking at you, entire state of Colorado.) Others want a high-pressure, high-reward environment, where their colleagues live up to the same high standards they expect of themselves. (cough Amazon cough)

So rather than trying to find a place which is healthy, find somewhere which is healthy for you; with a culture which reflects your values, benefits which support your lifestyle and leaders who help you grow.

No company is a perfect employer and no person a perfect employee, but that doesn't mean there doesn't exist perfect relationships.

Raphmedia 2 days ago 3 replies      
Observe the employees.

Is the office full after 5 - 6 PM? Is everyone looking at the floor when the boss walk in? Is everyone's nails bitten to a bloody mess? Are there any female employees? Are the desk too clean and absent of personal items?

rianjs 2 days ago 5 replies      
So they told you, an external candidate, that they're firing someone, and that you would take their position?

That's a pretty big red flag with respect to organizational behavior. It seems incredibly unprofessional.

kognate 2 days ago 3 replies      
I would ask them what, specifically, within the organization itself failed w/r/t the manager being replaced and what has the organization changed to prevent the same thing from happening in the future.

For example, did they not evaluate the manager before putting them into a position where they failed? How do they know it was a communication problem? Remember, this question is not asking the details of what happened (those don't really matter). This question is asking what the organization did and how does the organization improve itself over time.

The last thing I'll say is that it's very difficult to establish the 'health' of a team during a brief interview. 'Health' is often variable in that what I find healthy and effective you may not. Most teams aren't filled with psychopaths. Also, if you have the right tools and a willing team you (that's a plural you) can change and build a team that is healthy and productive.

jarsin 2 days ago 1 reply      
"Communication" issues is a catchall b.s. reason rarely used for legitimate reasons. Whenever i hear it my b.s. radar sounds and I instantly suspect the person claiming another has communication problems as trying to undermine them...throw them under the bus etc.

The reason being is its an abstract issue that is hard to define or fix.

Have them clearly define the "communication" issue that led to the person getting fired.

sailfast 2 days ago 2 replies      
This flips your question on its head a bit, but are you going into this offer excited to try and get the teams to work better together, or because you want a role leading teams that are already working really well?

If you expect to inherit fully functional teams I think you're probably not going to enjoy the gig. If, however, you're excited about the chance to get a group of developers firing on all cylinders again then perhaps this is the right job for you.

If you want to ask a question, I'd ask what challenge they have experienced to date linking these teams together to get them working well. What specific things do they expect you to try and fix and improve, etc. I'd also ask how, as leaders at the company, they stay aware of how things are going, touchpoints, etc.

Key symptom for a lot of issues at a company tends to be a lack of transparency (at least this has been my experience). Asking questions that get to employee engagement, involvement, and feedback processes can be good signals of transparency or potential issues.

zer00eyz 2 days ago 1 reply      
There are a lot of things you can ask for that will red flag an organization as a whole.

Are you being given stock. Ask for a cap table and learn to read it.

Tell them your wiling to sign an NDA, and that you want to look at the repository. Tell them that you may need to ask follow up "who is who" questions to pin checkins. Code never lies. Embattled areas of code, and comments are great targets for your search.

Ask about recent outages and technical issues. Are they having problems keeping things up and running. Ask about how they were identified and how long to resolve.

Do they have documents for requirements? Wireframes, PRD's. Ask to see these as well.

If they raise any objection to any of this, just ask for a reason. It might set off an alarm for you. It might be reasonable.

Since you have some history with the other team leads, make a personal phone call. Start the call off that way (that its a personal call) and that you want to know the truth/history here because you have concerns. If there is something funny going on in the background one of them might just give you an honest answer.

smacktoward 2 days ago 0 replies      
Just ask them straight out what the "communications issues" with the existing manager are.

If you're uncomfortable challenging them, frame it as you trying to be the best candidate you can be. "If I take this position, I want to make sure I have a full understanding from day one of what I need to do to contribute the most to the team. What could I be doing to help you?"

This is a question they really ought to be able to answer; not in terms of why the current person sucks, but in terms of where the team is breaking down currently. A good answer to this question means they've thought about the problems and the personnel change is part of some kind of strategy to solve them, which is a good sign.

If they won't answer that, odds are their internal culture isn't very communicative in general, which is bad. And if they can't answer that, it means they don't know where the breakdowns are and are just blaming someone reflexively, which is even worse.

TurboHaskal 1 day ago 1 reply      

Are developers being issued several ones, and of above average quality?

Do people need to stack object oriented design books to place their monitors at a comfortable level?

Are they using old, low resolution, low refresh rate, 15" TFT monitors?

Is there disparity between monitor quality among employees?

keithflower 2 days ago 0 replies      
Ask permission to talk to the outgoing manager. If they balk at transparency, you'll know where the "communications" problem lay.
mathattack 2 days ago 1 reply      
A few things:

1) Reach out to people who used to work there. You have to discount the negativity somewhat, but if the response is positive then that's a good sign.

2) Rather than ask "Are there communications problems" you should ask "What are the biggest communication challenges?" Also ask, "What are the 2-3 most important managerial areas for me to fix on day one, and the 2-3 most important areas for me to leave alone"

3) Go to Glassdoor. Again you have to discount the negativity, but that will give you good areas to probe and it's fair to ask, "I see this on Glassdoor, what do you say?"

Good luck tomorrow!

ZenoArrow 2 days ago 0 replies      
A question I like to ask at the end of an interview is 'What do you most like about working here?'. Not only does it end the interview on a positive note, it also allows you to get a better grasp about what the corporate culture is like. I'd suggest that you want to look for responses that indicate a strong team dynamic, interesting work or freedom to manage your own time as long as you get the work done. However, regardless of what is said, if the responses don't quite sit right with you I'd suggest you trust your gut.
ktRolster 2 days ago 0 replies      
I like to ask, "Do you have a bug tracker?" then follow up with "Is your bug count increasing or decreasing?" No matter how they answer, it tells you a lot about the organization.
MilnerRoute 2 days ago 1 reply      
A friend of mine once said he asked an interviewer, "so just how screwed up is this company"? Not because he expected a straight answer, but because he wanted to watch the interviewer's first reaction -- if their facial expression showed genuine surprise, or a knowing nod, maybe even an incriminating smile...
bipson 1 day ago 1 reply      
Some people mentioned it already indirectly, but I thought it is worth stating it clearly:

Don't look for "health" indications, try to establish if the leaders established a culture you can live with (and how this current situation might be a result of that culture). I can't think of specific questions, but for me it is about how people interact, especially across the hierarchy:

- How are disputes solved?

- Are people allowed to disagree (especially with higher ups)?

- Are people allowed to make mistakes? Were people fired because of mistakes? Is there a (perceived) "goofy" on the team (can't do anything right according to the team, yet did never really fuck up, thus is still there, but always blamed)

- Is the team allowed to relax and pick up debris, hang loose, enjoy some time together, or is it in constant "sprint mode"?

- Are the managers able to get the team to rally behind the same goals?

- Does everyone solve his own problems, or are people actually collaborating on e.g. features/bugs/ideas?

- Are there leads or managers on the team known to cause issues, yet not removed?

- Is there special treatment for random people?

- Is stuff openly discussed or everything on a need-to-know-basis?

- Does everyone in the company have (at leas read) access to all the code?

This is stuff you most certainly cannot change once it was established, especially if people stick around and even more so if the founders, managers, leads will still be there.If it does not fit your attitude, you will be in constant battle against what happens in the company and why.

BurningFrog 2 days ago 0 replies      
For engineering jobs, most future coworkers will tell you pretty honestly what's going on if asked directly.

You don't want to have to be exposed as a liar once the candidate starts, after all.

For leadership jobs, it might be a bit different.

lisivka 1 day ago 0 replies      
3 teams on 3 continents is not a problem. Moreover, when teams are separated strongly, i.e. no video and/or voice communication between teams, it helps to create healthy team, because non-realtime text-based communication causes well-written documentation and well-defined goals (just because it is much faster to write throughout description of goal once, in lengthy email or ticket, that to iterate with iteration cycle length equal to 1 day).Just use SCRUM, and follow it fanatically, and it will work. BTW: 2 week sprints are the best in such case.
DrNuke 1 day ago 0 replies      
OP is going to talk, have a look, hopefully agree and sign a contract with people he already knows. It's a good position because, whatever rat he can smell, there is a chance both parties are willing to deal with through a written agreement. Good luck!
rrecuero 1 day ago 0 replies      
Really good advice here. I would sum it up in 2 points:

- Observe and engage with the employees. Asks them tough questions, you specifically want to gauge how passionate are they about the work they are doing not about working for the company per se.- Go beyond the shallow layer (perks, brand, office...) and see whether is a company where people get up in the morning looking forward to get great stuff done or a company where people can't stop looking at the clock.

I have been in companies where everything seems to be great surface level: tons of perks, WFH, free food... But then nobody seems to be excited about the work itself.

titomc 2 days ago 1 reply      
check the coffee machine, general cleanliness of the office especially breakroom if they are clean and well stocked,look for notices on printers or washroom's that "xxxxx is not working & repairs has been notified". See if they have a gym,check the condition of office chairs,are they ergonomic ?. Ask about appraisal process and career path. If they dont answer well and the interviewer is not clear on that,it means an unhealthy org structure.Finally check on glassdoor and a wild card search on google with the email domain of the org,something interesting might come up.
dccoolgai 2 days ago 1 reply      
Some interesting advice I got from another thread a while back: During your interview excuse yourself to the restroom at some point. The general cleanliness there says a lot about how they value employees.
TheMog 2 days ago 0 replies      
I would definitely ask them to elaborate on the communcations issues.

I would also ask how they're currently handling three teams on three continents - if you as a manager are supposed to deal with all three teams and at least one of them is "needy", I wouldn't be surprised if the communications issue is that the current manager is speaking in tongues because he hasn't had more than an hour's worth of sleep a night for the past year...

ydt 2 days ago 1 reply      
There's plenty of good advice in this thread, but ultimately you won't know until you work there. After 20 years in the business, what I've done and would advise people to do, is to negotiate a 6 month contract-to-hire arrangement. This way it's all out in the open that you'll be evaluating each other and there's less hard feelings if you walk at the end of the contract.
wott 1 day ago 0 replies      
Hum... How many managers are there in in this company? I can be wrong because you don't say it explicitely, but I have the feeling from your writings that they are numerous, compared to the small numbers of total employees.
ninjakeyboard 1 day ago 1 reply      
I understand what you're looking for and certainly can relate! Here is a counterpoint:

As a lead, are you not confident that you can bring a circle of health with you? Influence and change the environment as you see necessary?

hiou 1 day ago 0 replies      
Communication problem is the biggest red flag there is in my personal opinion. I have never had a communication problem and no skilled manager or executive ever will. Because it only takes one side to have effective communication.
0xmohit 2 days ago 0 replies      
> They want to replace the existing manager for vague, but apparently real, "communication" problems ...

"Communication" is a two-way process.

As they say: Communicate, it can't make things worse.

byoung2 2 days ago 0 replies      
Is this outgoing manager already gone? If not, see if you can talk to him/her. Take that story, and the story you get from the people hiring you, and average them.
ali_ibrahim 2 days ago 0 replies      
Check out their employees reviews at www.glassdoor.com
jlebrech 1 day ago 0 replies      
they should really be hiring a few contractors for the overlap, otherwise they'll get a new guy that can leave because of running into the same problems the current guy is having.
kevin_thibedeau 1 day ago 0 replies      
Interview them. If they're hiding something a few innocent questions can expose their ruse.
okonomiyaki3000 1 day ago 0 replies      
Gosh! I really misread that subject line...
sabman83 1 day ago 0 replies      
See if you know someone on LinkedIn who knows someone in the org.
yanilkr 2 days ago 0 replies      
Its a leadership position, Can't you deal with the situation? are you hoping to find a perfect team to lead?

IMO, Its a negotiation. Ask for autonomy so you can shape the culture the way you want it to be.

whordeley 1 day ago 0 replies      
Listen to this. Tell the interviewer that he has a some shit on his face, gesturing toward the location on your own face. Observe his reaction very carefully, it tells you everything you need to know about a person. If he is genuinely grateful then that is someone who will be a loyal boss and potentially friend. If he acts defensively or if it puts him off in any way then he's a phony racist liberal and his company will fail.
RomanPushkin 1 day ago 0 replies      
How many tests do you have? More tests is better. For a 3-year old product the number should be around 10k.

How many of them red? If tests are red - it's bad. For how long they are red?

If there is a need to "fix approximately hundred tests", it's a bad sign.

I found that amount of tests, tests execution time, test coverage is very important and it answers almost all the questions.

How often did you need to sacrifice test coverage to deliver the software? There is always a need to release, there is always deadline. It depends how company react. For example, during Rails 5 release they don't care, just push deadline. It's a good sign, because folks understand that code quality == developer happiness.

Ask HN: Anyone else having no email deliver with SendGrid?
88 points by samwillis  1 day ago   74 comments top 19
SendGridBecca 1 day ago 6 replies      
SendGrid Support here! We wanted to step in and provide some color for what is going on. Were currently making changes to our shared IP system in order for our customers to have a better delivery experience in the long term. As a result of this, the IP group youre sending from has a new shared IP address(es).

As these IP groups warm up, you may see some deferrals if you are a Free or Essentials customer. However don't worry, this warm up period won't last long. Maybe a few days at most, or until major email receivers have enough data to determine the legitimacy of email being sent from these new IPs.

Keep in mind SendGrid will continue to attempt to deliver these throttled emails on your behalf for up to 72 hours (it rarely takes the full 72 hours to deliver an email throttled in this way).

If you wish to avoid disruptions like this in the future, considering upgrading your account to a Pro or higher plan (https://app.sendgrid.com/settings/billing), which includes a dedicated IP address as opposed to sending from a shared IP group. Dedicated IP addresses are great because instead of many different users sending from the same IP or group of IPs, you are in complete control of your sending reputation.

Customer feedback is extremely important us here at SendGrid, and we have made these changes as a result of that feedback. We know in the long run, this will immensely help your sending.

This will go away, just hang in there with us! If you have additional questions, please feel free to contact us by going to support.sendgrid.com.

jerkstate 1 day ago 1 reply      
I'm not a Sendgrid customer but their "warm up" answer here is totally insufficient. It strikes me as an attempt to spin a major outage as standard operating procedure, and as a result I'm not going to use their product in the future.
codegeek 1 day ago 1 reply      
We have gone from Mandrill to Sendgrid and back to Mandrill.

We switched over to sendgrid after being pissed of with Mandrill due to their sudden change but switching to sendgrid was a bad decision in hindsight. Mandrill was rock solid and we never had issues. Sendgrid continues to have deliverability issues every once in a while and not to mention the blacklisting of their shared IPs (which I understand is a common problem with all providers but never happened with Mandrill for our business).

We have switched back to Mandrill (yes, got a paying mailchimp account just to use mandrill).

Not only sendgrid's UI is confusing, they don't even show the actual email content in their dashboard.

crisnoble 1 day ago 2 replies      
In case others are looking for alternatives to SendGrid, SparkPost has been amazing to work with and offers 100,000 free transactional emails per month: https://www.sparkpost.com/
nuschk 1 day ago 3 replies      
Same here. Had a chat with the support team and they say they had to allocate a number of new IPs, since some of their existing IPs were blacklisted. Now they need to warm up the new ones first, which may take an undefined amount of time.

Support was very helpful and migrated our traffic to already warmed up IPs.

Kequc 1 day ago 1 reply      
Sendgrid is overly complex for what I need it to do. It's bloated with features, and over-complication. Their API to build a simple email necessitates creating at least three different objects.

They have a whitelisting feature, in case you are using your own domain you need to go through whitelisting steps. You need to configure your domain appropriately. It goes on and on. Then there are multiple ways to go about all of those things.

If you don't do it correctly then sometimes it doesn't work or a high amount of email ends up in spam. By default they enable features which some countries tightly control like tracking which all needs to be tinkered with to get right.

Then once it's all working perfectly I have seen it take up to 10 minutes for an email to be actually sent. I went with Sendgrid because they billed themselves as easy to use. You might be better off using a SMTP server of your own. You've got to configure it anyway.

restlessmedia 1 day ago 2 replies      
Status page seems so to suggest nothing is wrong... http://status.sendgrid.com/
ComputerGuru 1 day ago 0 replies      
We're heavy SendGrid users and this is basically the excuse we've been looking for to jump ship after several years with them.

SG is incompetent with regards to email delivery. This should not come as a surprise to anyone that uses their service.

It took a month for them to confirm what we told them: users will still receive previously-queued emails even after they unsubscribe (!!!), meaning it's no surprise that they will flag future messages they receive as spam. A month or so later, SG acknowledged the bug but stated they had no intention of fixing that behavior at this time!

Their _core_ selling point is email delivery with low rejection and you don't need to build it yourself. They totally failed there as users are rightly marking their messages as spam _and_ we are therefore required to write, run, and maintain our own mail queuing service to check outgoing emails against _their own unsubscribe list_ before forwarding the email to SG to deliver for us. At this point, we use them only for the metrics, which is just not worth supporting such a sleazy operation.

jazoom 6 hours ago 0 replies      
Yup. Will be leaving SendGrid. This is appalling.
rubenmch 21 hours ago 1 reply      
Same here, all of our emails have been Deferred since yesterday. We have a $9.95/month Essentials account.

Talked to chat support and they moved us to a new IP group and emails started being Delivered, however this lasted only 10 minutes.

After that all of our emails started being Deferred again. Contacted chat support again and they moved us again to a new IP group.

Let's see how much it lasts this time.

Chat support said having all of our emails Deferred for days with none being Delivered is normal and expected. We send transactional emails so having our customers wait days for the emails is not feasible for us.

We had recently switched from Mandrill, we'll have to start searching for a new provider.

DanitaBaires 1 day ago 0 replies      
Same here, we have no delivered messages since yesterday at 17.00 GMT-3. Contacted Sendgrid support about this because we're having a lot of registered users that cannot activate their accounts.
poppup 1 day ago 1 reply      
I am using SendGrid on one project. Another surprising thing is that nobody from SendGrid is responding to this thread to explain and rectify as I have seen other companies do.
phil_s 1 day ago 0 replies      
Yep for 12-13 hours now. One thing I've noticed is that the CNAMEs I set up for DKIM etc are not resolvable in DNS - could this be related to the issue?

All emails are listed under 'Activity' as being deferred.

Waiting for AWS to approve my SES access so I can switch away.

defied 1 day ago 0 replies      
We were previously using SendGrid but noticed a lot of email ended up in the Junk folders.

Now we're using Postmark; much better service and no issues with deliverability.

omfg 1 day ago 0 replies      
No emails going out over here either. Our customers are complaining. Might be time to switch back to MailChimp.
AznHisoka 1 day ago 1 reply      
I used SendGrid years ago, and never want to go back to it.

Then I switched to AWS. Nobody got fired for using AWS S3.

jrs235 1 day ago 0 replies      
Are you using their shared IPs or do you have a dedicated one?
joet3ch 1 day ago 0 replies      
We are experiencing this issue also. Contacted SendGrid support and had them switch our traffic to different IP's.

Wish they would have communicated this in advance, or even update their status page.

SGDeepThroat 1 day ago 1 reply      
-----BEGIN PGP PUBLIC KEY BLOCK-----Version: BCPG C# v1.6.1.0

SendGrid under cover agent here...

Don't believe the conspiracy theorists out there, that this wasn't a push to the PRO plan for free tier usage account holders.

The free tier customers don't actually earn any money for send-grid, so I wouldn't be surprised if this little stunt increased subscriptions for the pro plan!

Remember, this wasn't an outage for anyone other than free tier account holders and that's why it wasn't on the outage page!

SendGrid does want your business, as long as you don't spend too long on the free-tier plan and ultimately upgrade!

Keep on Trucking...

Secret Agent... out!


Ask HN: What to do when a company's second engineering hire is horrible?
13 points by journeyadv  13 hours ago   8 comments top 8
corecoder 10 hours ago 0 replies      
You say they couldn't find anyone else, and I can think of only three possible reasons for this:

* You are using some very rare technology, so rare that there are literally no engineers that know it well. If that is the case, and the technology has been chosen for good reasons, there's no easy solution: you'll have to train people and it will take years.

* You are in a place with very few engineers, like some small village on the mountains or some Pacific island. If that's the case, just go remote! You'll find thousands of highly qualified people!

* The company pays very very little, so little that only unqualified people will show up. If that's the case, have the company pay much more, and to be sure that they will, ask a huge rise first: that will prove that they really understand that qualified people costs money. If they are not willing to pay more, leave them alone and go work elsewhere.

dataminer 5 hours ago 0 replies      
The first engineer has to understand that not every colleague will operate at the same level. Some people on the team will not be design or architecture wizards. Sooner everyone realizes that the better. Because, after that realization team members can focus on making things better.

In my experience, most of the successful teams are those in which team tries to grow together. So the first engineer should focus on how to get the best out of second engineer. If there are skill gaps, second engineer should be offered some courses. If there is lack of team cohesion, try some team building exercises.

Remember, life is not perfect, we have to play with the cards we are dealt with. We should try to put our egos aside, be positive and get things done.

kennu 7 hours ago 0 replies      
IMHO, a startup should be purposefully focused on delivering fast results to prove its business value as quickly as possible. This goal often clashes with engineering-minded people, who would rather spend time on creating a stable, debt-free platform.

I think there are ways to achieve both goals to some extent. But technical people tend to be focused only on one of the goals (either quick results or a stable platform), and this is encoded pretty deep in their personality. It's then easy to dismiss the people on the other side.

Perhaps the startup's management believes that it's good to have both kinds of people onboard, and that they've found a balance?

brudgers 6 hours ago 0 replies      
The descriptions are not in terms of business value. The most horrible thing I see is that the first engineer holds the new hire in contempt.
soyrunner 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Worked in a great engineering lab. CEO out of Hell's kitchen had a top notch chief engineer. Chief engineer vetted all hires in the department. Then the CEO's health started to fail. Human resources seemed to get more clout and placed less talented in the lab.
akulbe 2 hours ago 0 replies      
I'd like to talk to you about this. Care to email? I have an address in my profile.
ilaksh 8 hours ago 0 replies      
I think make sure they know its not personal and is actually about the technical debt. Try to find a political solution. If not maybe you need a new job.
J_Darnley 7 hours ago 0 replies      
Since you are clearly the self-described "good" first engineer, you should quit.
Best 15 inch Linux Laptop?
8 points by conqrr  2 hours ago   2 comments top 2
jseliger 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Dell XPS: http://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2016/06/the-xps-13-de-dell-co.... Link goes to a review of the 13" model, but the 15" model gets generally good reviews too.

Purism Librem 15": https://puri.sm/librem-15/; higher res display is coming: https://puri.sm/posts/4k-at-last-purism-librem-15-rev2-4k/.

gaius 2 hours ago 0 replies      
MacBook, running VirtualBox, running Linux as a VM. That's my setup.
Ask HN: Addressing Canadian Telco Abuse of Power
32 points by grownseed  2 days ago   16 comments top 10
jtcchan 1 day ago 0 replies      
I fully support your cause and have witnessed this as well. I looked into it briefly and I believe your best avenues are:

* CRTC http://crtc.gc.ca/eng/* Competition Bureau http://www.competitionbureau.gc.ca/

Where complaints can be made re: competitive pricing and misleading advertisements.

See also: http://www.ipvancouverblog.com/canadiancompetitionlaw-abuseo...

Good luck!

mthoms 1 day ago 0 replies      

Openmedia is an advocacy group that is very active and has a handful of modest successes under its belt. See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/OpenMedia.ca

Another good resource for keeping informed is through the site of law professor Michael Geist. I should note that his focus is a little more on copyright law. http://www.michaelgeist.ca

mynameislegion 1 day ago 1 reply      
andy9775 1 day ago 1 reply      
The other issue with Canadian telecom is that certain companies are essentially given a government monopoly in certain areas. Where I live, cogeco provides cable Internet and Bell DSL. However, in the next city Rogers does cable and another does DSL. The logic is that one company owns one line and does maintnence on it. Also encourages companies to raise prices and decrease service since you have no other choice.

As for cell phones, it comes down to competition. I know that Saskatchewan as saskatel and the offerings from Rogers, Bell Telus used to be half of what you would pay on other provinces (haven't checked this lately).

DKnoll 1 day ago 0 replies      
Very, very little. The CRTC and the Competition Bureau are the relevant political bodies if you feel like trying.

I pay $79.99 CAD/month for 250Mb/20Mb with no data cap (I have pushed this to extremes, there is no hidden cap) from Rogers. I'm pretty happy with it.

Telecom has always been a cabal in Canada, predating the Internet. Good luck trying to change it.

PerfectElement 1 day ago 1 reply      
I've been with Wind Mobile for years (unlimited everything for $40/month), but I've got tired of not having service when I really needed it. Now that I have an online business, I can't afford to be offline every time I drive out of town. I'm moving to Rogers and going to pay more than double for 5GB of data.
Spoom 1 day ago 0 replies      
Bell is required to lease out its lines, so if you're in an area with a good DSL connection, check out TekSavvy[1] who have very good reviews[2]. You are still subject to Bell occasionally being dicks, but it's better than paying Bell directly.

1. http://teksavvy.com/

2. http://www.dslreports.com/reviews/2564

fmilne 1 day ago 0 replies      
https://oyyo.ca provides beta testers with a telephone number in exchange for feedback. Runs on WiFi or with a tablet data plan from Rogers or Bell.
grownseed 1 day ago 0 replies      
Just wanted to say thanks to everybody for the great feedback! I'm really glad I turned to HN for this.

Some people mentioned OpenMedia, who happen to be based in Vancouver where I am, so I'm planning on giving them a shout soon.

As for the CRTC, I spent a bit of time looking them up and I have to admit it didn't make me feel particularly confident in their ability to make anything happen. That said, I'm happy to be proven wrong.

Again, thank you all, I'm hopeful something can be done.

anonbanker 1 day ago 2 replies      
As a litigious american immgrant, I've been able to mitigate my costs with counter-claims.

Every time the price goes up, I send their CFO a bill for the yearly difference of my charges. After the second notice, when the CFO has defaulted and is now personally liable for a lien, I get a polite letter from someone else in the company saying that my bill has been "credited for mistaken charges."

When my bandwidth goes down, I bill them back for the adjusted bandwidth. same song and dance, and the bandwidth shoots up again after an "upgrade on your node was completed".

In short, I've had a 100Mbit connection with Shaw for 4 years now, with (almost) no outages for $70/month.

Ask HN: Is it difficult for non-Chinese to work in China?
100 points by ap22213  2 days ago   103 comments top 27
cleric 2 days ago 7 replies      

Im a Swedish Sofware engineer and I have been working in Beijing for the last ~4 years.As others have pointed out, China is huge, and I have no experience from working in Hongkong or Shanghai where the vibe is more international, or so they say.

So what to expect?Smooth sailing, as long as you can deliver. There is a lot of companies that value English speakers in general, so dont be surprised if you get pampered.

There is no xenophobia to speak of, just cute curiosity. Its easy to find work if you have the skills (coughwe are hiring: hr@p1.comcough).Visas are a hassle, and rules change regularly. But if you are working here for a serious company and have the proper age/education/pazazz its usually just a bunch of paper work.

Culturally, its all up to where you are. But for the big cities its a very modern, interesting living.

I would never recommend going for the big 3(Tencent, Alibaba, Baidu) unless you love going to a place with 15k employees. There is a lot of options.

Its a very hungry tech scene in general, for everything from classic websites to apps.Almost nothing works here made by Google and Facebook, and boy its easy to take that for granted, so alternatives needs to be build and localized versions of everything is spawned.

For me personally I choose to work in China rather than to seek higher education back in Sweden and I have been in on a startup that now have more users that Scandinavia combined. Some crazy things I feel would never have been possible outside of China.We are still considered a small startup in China.

I could elaborate on this, but I think my best tip is just: Go, its easy to fly home.

seanmcdirmid 2 days ago 0 replies      
I'm an American researcher, going into almost 9 years working for Microsoft China in Beijing. This will be my last month in the guo, I'm almost out (yeh!) and will go work in the states for a company with a "Y" in its name.

First, you should specify if you are in a tier 1 city (BJ, SH, SZ, ...) or a lesser tier city. For the former, you will be treated pretty "equally" in your daily life. Americans don't get any special treatment, good or bad, anyways.

I found my job before going to China. I don't know how you could luck into one, but it shouldn't be impossible. It depends on your skill and experience, it might be challenging if you have nothing special to offer. Once you get the job the visa is cake, though I've always relied on the company to do it for me.

China is a great place for someone just getting started (though that makes it harder to get a job), the nightlife is great, rent is relatively cheap even in tier 1's (used to be much better), can get anywhere by taxi. Great firewall is a PITA even with a VPN, pollution will wear you down overtime, the lack of permanent acceptance (China is not an immigrant country) will make even the most hardcore of us leave eventually. It can be a great way to spend 2-3 years of your life, more is probably a bit too much, 9 years is definitely so.

English is the working language of my company, I've done ok with Chinese but it hasn't improved in 9 years anyways. But most of your coworkers will be Chinese, and will speak Chinese around you. You might not get invited to meetings, or even be uninvited, because they'll want to do something in Chinese even though they shouldn't. This is an American company mind you, though my Chinese wife's experience at SAP and Nokia has been quite different from my own (more foreigners, more English than Microsoft China).

reustle 2 days ago 0 replies      
> Is there xenophobia? Are Americans looked down upon or treated differently?

Having these sorts of questions means you should definitely visit for at least a week or two before jumping into finding a job there. Head over and travel around a bit, see if you feel comfortable. Visit some coworking spaces, talk to people. If you have more questions on stuff like this, hit up some of the Digital Nomad / Expat groups.

United857 2 days ago 4 replies      
I worked in Shanghai, China for 3 years for Ubisoft (game developer).

Senior-level experienced talent is still hard to find, so it's relatively easy to get a job and work visa (which will be sponsored by your company once you accept a offer) compared to first-world countries. This is doubly true if you have a well known tech company on your resume (Google, FB, etc)

I'd recommend working for a multinational company (or at least a large well-known Chinese corporation like Baidu, Tencent, Alibaba); as others have said, they're used to foreigners and will make sure their written communications are in English and make sure their employees have a minimum standard of English proficiency. Any Mandarin Chinese you learn will give you brownie points (unless you're ethnically Chinese; then they'll criticize your slightest mistake ;) ).

Salary wise, you will make significantly more than locals. In absolute terms you will likely make less than you would in the West, but due to the MUCH cheaper cost of living, you can almost always lead a better "life". (I had a ~1200 square foot 3 bedroom apartment in one of the most prestigious districts of Shanghai for $800 US/month (covered by my company). That was ~10 years ago but I'd still expect the same relative price differential.) You will get a good health insurance/benefits package that covers treatment at international standard hospitals.

Shanghai and Beijing are the most foreigner friendly cities in (mainland) China; huge expat population, many western restaurants, signage in English, etc. Other cities not so much, but nothing a slight sense of adventure can't conquer.

Any specific questions feel free to ask.

xiaoma 2 days ago 0 replies      
Yes, there is xenophobia. One would either have to live in an English-language foreigner bubble or under a rock not to notice it. There is also xenophilia. Many call it a "middle-ority complex".

Also, people are at risk every now and then simply due to news cycles and political issues:http://shanghaiist.com/2016/07/16/nike_patriot_attack.php

If you're not too ambitious and you keep your head down and stay in your foreigner role, it's fine. If you do business or really try to dig in and advance long-term, you'll have tremendous disadvantages. On the other hand, if you're white, especially Nordic-looking, and you speak Chinese well, you'll have a tremendous advantage in networking with powerful people most Chinese would not have access to.

jason_slack 2 days ago 2 replies      
I know the OP asked about an American working in China. However, I am an American, living in the US, working remotely for a company in China, about 3 years now. I thought I might offer a perspective from the opposite way.

The only difficulty I have is language. Sometimes I feel like I am being very clear about something and I still can't convey it. So I take a step back and break it down into a list. This helps. The time difference is manageable. Everyone is really friendly.

The other interesting thing is that everyone in the China office knows about the Americans working on their team. I get so many e-mails and I even won a prize at our company party. I have a certain reputation it seems for not sugar coating anything.

I did have one odd experience. It is common to use the term "Na Ge", pronounced like "Niggaa" in China and and when I first heard it, I thought that they were using the slang word we all should never use. It was weird because the conversation they were having was about a recent crime. I asked later about this because I couldn't shake that it was being used and it turns out the meaning is something like "umm" or "that one" etc.

be5invis 2 days ago 2 replies      
First you have to remember that China itself's population is as large as the entire western world, so things are completely different here. For example, almost nobody in China use credit card for online payment: they use Alipay as an alternative.

1. Perhaps high salary? Non-local employees are rare here.

2. No in tech companies, but yes in small cities and countries. In tech companies and cities like Shanghai, forigners are treated better than locals, seriously.

3. Easier than getting a work in US.

4. Don't send a clock as a gift :)

dazhbog 2 days ago 3 replies      
It is awesome! I've been in Shenzhen with my startup for a year now and its great.., I want to stay here forever. Apart from the slow internet through the VPN, weird but interesting food and the language barrier, its a very exciting and prosperous country to be in. Foreigners here are treated equally and sometimes treated way better than they deserve!!

Regarding jobs, there are plenty, but it depends which province/city you want to be in. Maybe not as highly paid as the US but there are definitely a lot of cool, innovative, new and weird ideas and concepts that you won't see anywhere in the world! I ask my Chinese friends what's the latest cool things you can do with your phone and they always have these weird apps that maybe in 5 years facebook or youtube will have.

For US citizens its pretty easy to get a visa, apart from the invitation letter crap, you get like a 10 year multi-entry. Us europeans have a harder time to get a 1 year one but not that bad in general :)

It is a bit of a shock the first time you come here and sometimes 2-4 weeks might not be enough to love this place, but after a while you develop a sort of stockholmy syndrome and all is good!

Hope it helps!

wepple 2 days ago 1 reply      
> Is there xenophobia? Are Americans looked down upon or treated differently?

xenophobia, no. treated differently, definitely. often they won't know where you fit into the social hierarchy, because, you don't. You don't have any family or social history so they may treat you like gods or may somewhat exclude you.

Language is a huge barrier. If you're in Shenzhen, there will be near-zero english. You'll have to learn mandarin, which will take many years.

> Culturally, what are some things to avoid, things to expect, etc?

If you've never been to China, you likely have never eaten Chinese food before. You may or may not like it a lot. You can find western food so it's not a huge problem in most places.

given the language barrier and the difficulty communicating with the outside world (you'll find ways to work around it, but it's still tough) it can be quite isolating. You'll want to connect with other expats and try to build up relationships with locals where/if possible.

China is less like the US than anywhere else I've been (including places like Nigeria, Bolivia, Fiji, Qatar, etc). You can't be prepared for it, so just be prepared to feel uncomfortable for a while.

I'd highly recommend visiting prior to considering a move.

gadders 2 days ago 1 reply      
I have friends that are black that visited Guangzhou. They felt like something of a novelty. On one occasion they went for a meal and had a crowd outside the window staring at them, watching them eat. I think they may also have had people trying to sneakily touch their hair on local transport as well.

So if you're a person of colour, your experiences may be different from the other descriptions here.

civilian 2 days ago 0 replies      
Take some time browsing the /r/China subreddit. It contains a lot of westerners who live in China. https://www.reddit.com/r/China/

I travelled in China (Beijing, Chengdu and some smaller towns) for three weeks. It was different! Their customs are different but not that hard to get used to. I think that as a (white) American, you will have positive racism applied to you. It's crappy but it's true.

bing_dai 2 days ago 2 replies      
I would recommend that you look into jobs from the Big Three in China (Tencent, Alibaba, Baidu, in that particular order).

All of them hire many people who do not hold a Chinese passport, so they have mature system in place to handle some of the issues you may be concerned about (visa, healthcare, etc). The culture in those companies would also be more international than most Chinese companies of course.

You could also look into YC companies based in China. I saw a job posting on HN a few days ago from a Shanghai-based YC company (I cannot remember the name at this point).

Good luck! :-)

jploh 1 day ago 1 reply      
Lived in Shenzhen, Southern China for a year in tech. Most foreigners I met there were either English teachers or in trading.

I come from Southeast Asia so the treatment is different (white privilege is extremely beneficial). Xenophobia is next to none. I managed to join a Chinese football/soccer team and badminton group.

I didn't apply for the job in China on purpose so can't help you on that. The difficulty of obtaining a visa sits on polar opposites. If your employer is a legit and big organization, you can get a legit one.

Others I met in Shenzhen just went with a business visa good for 30 days. This worked fine in this city since you can simply take a train to Hong Kong and reset your stay. Get a passport with more pages if you plan to do this.

Culture - most Chinese are very tolerant or don't care at all. I've heard other people say that Chinese are rude/impolite. You get used to it or get too tired of it.

xt00 2 days ago 0 replies      
I worked in China for an American company and know others who have done it. I was based in Shanghai. In that case it was pretty cool. Generally people from US people are very curious about. I have seen a bit of racism toward people from India, Malaysia, Japanese and Koreans. So if you are of that descent and look like you are from one of those countries then people may treat you a little differently.. Also if you don't know any Mandarin it may be pretty difficult to get a job there unless it's for a foreign company. The visa your best bet is to have a company support you to get it.. Basically you end up needing some kind of support letters to do it. You also have to pass a physical that you do in China if I remember correctly. Culturally in China varies a ton across the country. Beijing Shanghai Shenzhen are all different. I would say the simplest method to avoid issues is to just copy what you see the locals do. Business meeting etiquette you can look up online but generally it's not nearly as serious or formal in China compared to Japan. Probably one thing would be not to joke to people about their title.. Like "oh you are CEO? Ha!" That would probably be the most offensive thing..
wangchow 2 days ago 0 replies      
Do a quick search for "smog in china" you'll probably want to bring a gas mask.
zerr 2 days ago 5 replies      
It is also interesting for Japan. E.g. if you leave on time (i.e. don't do overtimes), take 30+ days vacation, etc... what happens? :)
hacker42 2 days ago 5 replies      
I would also be interested whether one takes notice of the oppressiveness of the Chinese government, e.g. the Great Firewall of China.
rahimnathwani 1 day ago 0 replies      
"How difficult is it to find a job? How about a visa?"

If you have a degree and 2 years' post-degree work experience, your employer will have no problem sponsoring your work permit and visa. The process requires multiple steps and is often outsourced, so not every company will be willing to do it. But if they have at least one foreign employee then that's a good sign.

I'm assuming that you don't speak Chinese. For some jobs, this is a show-stopper or major disadvantage. There are other developers just as good as you, but who can read/write/speak/listen to communicate. BUT for software development jobs with many foreign companies (large ones like Amazon, or small game studios) you'll be on a level playing field with someone who speaks Chinese.

"Is there xenophobia? Are Americans looked down upon or treated differently?"

Americans are not looked down upon at all. Most Chinese I've met have respect for America's achievements and are aware of generally higher living standards there. Many white male Americans find more dating options in China than they did back home. (I'm neither white nor American, so have only heard this second hand.)

sonofbedlan 2 days ago 0 replies      
I have been working in Shanghai for about six and a half years now and don't think I would live anywhere else in China except maybe Hong Kong. Shanghai has a very vibrant international community with a fairly comfortable standard of living ( minus the occasional bad pollution ). There is not a significant amount of xenophobia in the first tier cities though outside of these you are generally looked at as an oddity if you count that. You will never be chinese though so some doors will always be closed to you.

It is difficult to find a job without being here but on the ground there are opportunities. If you are not here companies see that as a liability. Of foreigners abroad we have hired to work in China there is about a 50% washout rate in the first year. Being here is seen as being a more reliable hire.

Regarding visa a good company will provide a z visa for you. Anyone offering less isn't a good company. Pay is less then the states generally but cost of living is lower. As in the rest of the world there is high demand for good software developers. Check smartshanghai.com, Shanghaiexpat.com, creativehunt.com, and craigslist Shanghai for more expat focused jobs. If you are interested in fintech we are hiring through hr@itr.cn.

Overall the business China is more predatory then the states. More weight is often put on relationships then talent. Coming from the west it takes a few years to really understand this culture.

allan_s 2 days ago 0 replies      

I'm a French Software engineer and I've been working in China for 5 years (and now back in France)

As someone who has worker in IT both in the education part (I was teaching CS in a 3 tier small city of 4 million inhabitants) and a startup/webshop in Shanghai I can only recommend you to try the experience.

As other have said life there is extremly different. If you're in Shanghai/Beijing, you can still find places to eat/live that will make you feel like home, but I think it's missing the point.

I would say the more you're ready to try to "mix in", the bigger the opportunity will be. I finished with a near fluent Chinese fluent level (I can perfectly follow business and informal conversation, and get the rough meaning from written contract in Mandarin) and I think that's what definitely helped me to finish CTO of the company I was working in. (~60 employees, 99% Chinese, doing businesses with other Chinese companies)

Chinese is a very easy language once you've stopped trying to relate to English and you see start seing learning chinese as gathering "sentences" and speaking Chinese as "i take this sentence I heard last time and I replace this word by that one" (as there's no conjugation, plural etc.) and it will definitely helped relationship of any kind, especially if you look "foreigner"

On the technical side, speaking chinese will help you enter in the companies were people still do php4 without framework nor testing nor versionning (SVN if you're lucky) because there's no harsh competition. So arriving in this kind of company with your ability to bring them even what you would consider "plain old MVC framework" will increase their efficiency by several times. (and if the company was there, it's that it was profitable, most of the time because of the manager/commercial having a good network, so if you're now able to make technical side profitable too, they will soon ask you to supervise/teach/manage the whole set of developers). And you will be invited to meeting with the customer too as it will give face to the company "hey we're a good company, we can hire laowai foreigners".

There's a lot more to say but I think most of people here have already covered the other aspect of living and working in china

frakkingcylons 2 days ago 0 replies      
So I'm half-Chinese, grew up in America, and I don't know Mandarin. Any American-born Chinese with experience working/living in China with stories to share?
epynonymous 2 days ago 1 reply      
have been in shanghai for 9 years working for a silicon valley company.

there's obviously a cost associated with obtaining a working visa, but i don't know the details or the extent of how much a burden that is going to be on the company.

if you don't speak chinese (or write), i think you'll be limited to working for multinational companies (mnc's) like microsoft, emc, vmware, cisco, etc. google has an office here, but the work being done is not very interesting, localization and local advertising. you should probably forget about local companies like alibaba, baidu, etc.

i would suggest you not think too much about xenophobia, or treatment, or cultural differences, if it's really bothering you that much then i suggest you stick to your country and don't venture abroad. obviously every environment/country/company has its challenges so being adaptable is a must.

the questions you should ask yourself:

1. why do you want to be in china?2. what do you want in your career?3. what is it in china that i cannot get from current location?

earlz 2 days ago 0 replies      
I actually just accepted a job offer working remotely for a cryptocurrency related startup. I'm in the US and they're based out of Shanghai. So far it's been pretty nice, but since I'm going to be working remote (though I intend to visit) I don't have any advice to give heh
auganov 2 days ago 0 replies      
It's trivial to get a job and a work visa. If you just wanna go work there for a bit and go back home - go for it.

But if want to get legit stock options, start a startup or generally settle down then forget about it. You will be legally discriminated against. Not worth it.

SurrealSoul 2 days ago 0 replies      
Culturally, I was scared of the streets and the public transportation can be really busy at times. However the people are really nice and curious to talk with you. Anyone with any English skills will say hello to you and are generally extremely nice!
kqia040 1 day ago 1 reply      
I did an 8months stint doing some data modelling at a Chinese start-up in Beijing.

Visa was difficult but company culture there really respects people who are experienced and innovative. Most the workers there aren't really passionate about what they do (From my understanding, most Chinese startups don't give equity to their employees)

English is a huge advantage as we have access to an awesome global community of people.

Pay is surprisingly good, but living cost in Beijing is deceivingly high as well.

pinkskip 1 day ago 0 replies      
white is right in china.
Ask HN: What is your goto site for market statistics? For ex,number of day cares
6 points by rgovind  22 hours ago   5 comments top 2
tuyguntn 9 hours ago 1 reply      

you could find almost any kind of statistics for market research, with their paid account you can get even more.

saasinator 22 hours ago 1 reply      
I'm interested in figuring out statistics as well and I would love if someone could share any resources they use. The best tool I've found is LinkedIn search queries. It's pretty general but it gives you an idea.

Some other sites I use when deciding some technical requirements:

 http://netmarketshare.com http://caniuse.com http://www.tiobe.com/tiobe_index

Ask HN: Which Freelancer Websites Do You Like?
34 points by k__  2 days ago   17 comments top 4
MalcolmDiggs 2 days ago 4 replies      
I freelanced for about 5 years, and honestly almost nobody EVER went to my website. It's a referral driven business; you shine through the projects you build for other people. If clients are satisfied with your work, they'll spread the news about you. I can't think of anyone I know who has ever gotten business from some random person who landed on their website. That's why many freelancer sites just contain contact-info and that's it.
BjoernKW 2 days ago 1 reply      
Not wanting to blow my own trumpet but I like to think my business website (see my profile) is pretty good. At least I got some positive feedback on it and it helped me secure a few deals already.

Testimonials are a great way of building trust in you and your ability to deliver. Talk about the benefit you bring to the table. Don't (just) list TLAs. Regularly writing about your area of expertise and publishing source code is great, too.

If you're an expert in something very visual like D3.js, a showcase is an interesting approach as well. Just don't turn your complete website into a showcase.

saluki 2 days ago 1 reply      
There is lots of inspiration, inexpensive starting points here:


zengr 2 days ago 0 replies      
I generally end up on upwork.com if I am looking for hire someone.
Ask HN: Best monitoring system?
125 points by mspaulding06  1 day ago   107 comments top 46
acd 1 day ago 4 replies      
Prometheus.io which is a modern fresh monitoring system that I would checkout if replacing a legacy system.

Also take a look at Riemann which is system monitoring written in Clojure. Riemann should be good for monitoring latency of the system.

If it helps here is Slidedeck from Spotify how they do their monitoringhttps://www.netways.de/fileadmin/images/Events_Trainings/Eve...

dmytton 23 hours ago 2 replies      
If you want to hand off all the hard stuff about monitoring and get some easy to use, core functionality (graphing, alerts, dashboards) then my company https://www.serverdensity.com has been going 7+ years now.

For highly sophisticated environments then https://www.datadog.com is a very advanced product.

Both are based off my original agent: https://github.com/serverdensity/sd-agent (DataDog forked it in 2010 and we forked them back last year).

We're also behind http://www.humanops.com trying to build monitoring that also helps you run on-call and ops teams generally in a way that considers fatigue, stress and the realities of the humans running IT systems! E.g. https://blog.serverdensity.com/introducing-alert-costs/ and https://opzzz.sh

mancerayder 1 day ago 1 reply      
I've used Nagios and Icinga2, and I've become a huge proponent of check_mk. The documentation isn't great, but the product rocks: with very little time, you can start monitoring a slew of services (disk, hardware, logs, ntp) with almost no tweaking required. You can easily create custom checks, but you also have all the Nagios plug-ins it's compatible with. No daemon listens on the hosts being monitored. You get graphing for free (no setup time) for almost all your checks.

It uses Nagios under the hood, it's basically an automation system that generates those Nagios systems. The GUI is amazing, because it uses a plug-in so you don't have to edit files on disk to group your hosts or tweak the alerts. Those configs are snapshotted automatically at every change, and you can replicate that configuration automatically to remote servers. Download it from the upstream site instead of relying on distro package repositories.

Caveat, the documentation sucks, the GUI can be nonintuitive and it's hard to Google problems. It takes time to fully tune. Out of the box you'll probably still be impressed though.

__jal 1 day ago 0 replies      
Best at what? What is driving you to want to switch?

I like Icinga a lot. I won't bother reviewing it; is is very well known. Professionally, my last two gigs have used Zabbix.

Zabbix, architecturally, is a nightmare. Uses an RDBMS for storing time-series data, so it wastes a ton of space on historic data while managing to be far slower than it needs to be when querying larger ranges. Uses an agent. Has a proxy-agent that, while handy, encourages all sorts of sketchy, error-prone monitoring topologies. With 3.0, the UI has crawled out of the awful range, and is now merely annoying. Takes the all-singing, all-dancing monolithic approach for the main app, including features for drawing maps on big-screens.

For all that, it works well. Give it the hardware it wants, be sane in setting it up[1], ignore the goofy features (maps, inventory, screens - I guess someone must of requested those), and it is very solid and very powerful.

[1] The template system, pseudo-language for triggers, naming convention for variables and method of creating custom monitors take some getting used to. Expect to take the time to actually read the docs, and most likely to throw out your templates the first time you model your systems.

sagichmal 1 day ago 2 replies      
Prometheus is absolutely the way you should be going. All of the other systems I'm seeing mentioned here Nagios, Icinga, check_mk, Zabbix, Sensu are host-centric and are very awkward when you try to bend them to fit modern (containerized, etc.) workloads.
atom_enger 1 day ago 1 reply      
It depends on your needs and budget.

Can you afford time but not money? Try Sensu or Nagios.

Do you have money and not time? Try datadog.

Like someone else mentioned here, if you're looking to alert off of logs from ELK, try Elastalert.

sszuecs 8 hours ago 0 replies      
In the past we used icinga at Zalando and it scaled for us to 40k checks, after that we got huge latency problems. We use now zmon https://github.com/zalando/zmon/ which is really great, because it scales the checks, the graph database is kairosdb on top of Cassandra, which also scales and even creating alerts can be automated and also added by development teams themselves and you can easily build team dashboards and reuse checks/alerts and filter to your entities. Influxdb was a nice try, but clustering was very unstable in the beginning (tried with 0.7 and 0.8). If you don't want to be the monitoring configurator for your organization (application monitoring should also be created and maintained), I highly recommend to use zmon ( maybe Prometheus can also help). There is also a check to query Prometheus in zmon.
Zenfinch 1 day ago 2 replies      
If you can have a monitoring system in the cloud Datadog is a great choice.

Good documentation, UI, many, many plugins and fair pricing (IMO).


(Im not affiliated with in any way other than using their product on a pet project with many moving parts).

dsr_ 1 day ago 2 replies      
It depends on your architecture and scale. There is no "best", just "best we've found for this" and "best given other constraints".

This is yet another point where DevOps is not "devs doing ops" but "operations building and deploying with all the tools of modern software development". You need a subject matter expert.

What are you monitoring? Do you care about availability or performance or both? Scale? Do you have services or servers? Do you manage the underlying hardware? Do you need to track which hardware boxes have which VMs or containers?

There are a million questions to answer. One big set of them: what do you dislike about Nagios? Make sure that you don't get those problems with the next one, but also make sure you get something that does what you need as well as what you want.

falcolas 1 day ago 5 replies      
Just my opinion, but I won't use Prometheus, because of the active polling model. It won't scale without a number of workarounds.

My preferred method is Icinga2 (a Nagios clone with better configuration and clustering built-in) with reports coming in via passive NSCA. Toss in Graphite (or I'm warming up to Grafana on Influx) with some ability to write alerts against those reported metrics, and you're as close to ideal as I can come up with.

Of course, that requires a fair bit of up-front knowledge to stand up and operate, but they're so rock solid (and scale like mad) I have a hard time not recommending them.

poulsbohemian 1 day ago 0 replies      
The one you use. I have sold and implemented these types of tools for the past ten years. Biggest problem is companies not actually fully implementing and using the tools they already own, and letting teams splinter off into their own tool sets.
ninjakeyboard 1 day ago 0 replies      
I think it depends on your needs and software, how much time you want to invest, what you want to monitor, do you want to maintain it or you want saas?

You want metrics from counters you build in your app? (see statsd?)

You want to aggregate and do analysis on logs? (see ELK stack?)

You want to monitor cloud infrastructure (see stackdriver?)

You want to run end to end tests on your application to ensure it's behaving? (see runscope?)

As your application grows, you probably want a blend of tools to see inside your app.

jc4p 1 day ago 1 reply      
At Stack Overflow we use a homebuilt Go solution called bosun: http://bosun.org/ -- it runs on pretty much anything and lets us incorporate data from windows machines / linux machines in one place.
rvanniekerk 1 day ago 0 replies      
Just use Prometheus, nothing else comes close to it. It also just hit 1.0


Should have mentioned how well it pairs with Grafana ;)

enricobruschini 21 hours ago 1 reply      
Hi all,I'm surely biased as I work at Instana (https://www.instana.com), but here's my opinion about monitoring.

Applications are dramatically and rapidly changing, with continuous delivery, microservice approach, containers and orchestration tools, things are all over and you might have a component spun up and down within few minutes. Humans cannot keep up with data and it doesn't make any sense to stare at a big screen full of data, just looking the all day at charts trying to visually correlate data. The correlation of data is becoming harder and harder as systems are more and more resilient. There's, therefore, no unique root cause anymore (https://www.instana.com/blog/no-root-cause-microservice-appl...).

At Instana we're re-defining what monitoring means. We're moving the bar from visualizing data to providing plain English explanation of what's going together with suggestion for remediation.Instana 3 main values are:- Automatic Discovery: dynamically models the architecture of infrastructure, middleware and services - Automatic QoS Analysis: continuously derives KPIs of all components and services and alerts on incidents - Integrated Investigation: visualizes in real-time physical and logical architecture, compares over time, suggests fixes and optimizations.

Happy to get feedback and provide more info.Enrico

rmykhajliw 1 day ago 0 replies      
Why not to start with AWS Cloud Watch: https://aws.amazon.com/cloudwatch/details/ - simple, scalable, but of the box solution. It's much simpler than build similar functionality yourself.
tedmiston 23 hours ago 0 replies      
Hynek Schlawack gave a talk at PyCon this year about using Prometheus and Grafana to unify monitoring metrics. Honestly the talk goes beyond my own understanding, but you may find it helpful. He's quite knowledgeable.

> To get real time insight into your running applications you need to instrument them and collect metrics: count events, measure times, expose numbers. Sadly this important aspect of development was a patchwork of half-integrated solutions for years. Prometheus changed that and this talk will walk you through instrumenting your apps and servers, building dashboards, and monitoring using metrics.

Abstract - https://us.pycon.org/2016/schedule/presentation/1601/

Slides - https://speakerdeck.com/hynek/get-instrumented-how-prometheu...

Video - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b-qLOY5ChnQ

moehm 21 hours ago 1 reply      
Most people here are recommending Prometheus. What is the best monitoring system to monitor good old infrastructure software like DNS servers, IMAP/SMTP server etc? Is Prometheus a reasonable choice for those as well?
ilikejam 1 day ago 0 replies      
I'm a big fan of Zabbix for general server monitoring and alerting. Sensible defaults, built in graphing, multi-step web scenarios. Good times.
lormayna 1 day ago 2 replies      
What do you have to monitor? For network hardware you can use Observium (or the fork LibreNMS). It's simple and work fine.
shofetim 1 day ago 0 replies      
Prometheus is the clear winner
zphds 1 day ago 0 replies      
We've been using riemann and it's wonderful. There's a little bit of learning curve as the configurations are just clojure code, but since it's all code you can build whatever you want on top of it if you know some Clojure. The DSL is well thought of and we ended up writing a REST API on top of riemann to make our monitoring stack self-serviced for all the internal users.
haasn 16 hours ago 0 replies      
We use Icinga 2 at work which serves our needs well enough.

The configuration was a bit of an initial hurdle when coming from icinga 1 / nagios - the config syntax is essentially an EDSL for programming your monitoring requirements - but the flexibility is worth it. Adding new hosts and services is pretty cheap (programmer-time-wise), and I can use whatever programming constructs and conditions I want to decide what services to apply to which hosts in which measure.

That said, it's still in a bit of a young state and some parts are very rough around the edges - for example, icinga 2's dependency model is a bit naive. You can configure email notifications to ignore notifications for services that depend on a different failed host/service, but this only applies if icinga already knows about the dependency having failed. So when a parent service dies, an extra e-mail notification could be generated for each of its children before icinga realizes the parent has also died and stops sending notifications for them.

tl;dr I had fun setting it up and it works well for us, but expect some quirks

andrenth 16 hours ago 0 replies      
Has anyone tried Vector [1] by Netflix?

[1] http://vectoross.io/

random55643 1 day ago 1 reply      
mordocai 1 day ago 0 replies      
We have had very good success with sensu. We like it better than nagios, but I haven't used many others so can't really say that sensu is better than everything.
nolofsson1 20 hours ago 0 replies      
Hey new metric system called monsoon.. Its a framework and its pretty impressive. It can do collectd, any json and is both s push /pull based system... Check it out https://github.com/groupon/monsoon soon to support wavefront and pagerduty..
ycdk 21 hours ago 0 replies      
We use a combination of metric monitors, with Wavefront being the leading monitoring solution - integration is smooth, the querying language is simple and powerful, the graphs render fast and their support is very helpful - even after the contract is signed :)
cliffmoon 1 day ago 0 replies      
Give opsee a try https://opsee.com/
sickeythecat 1 day ago 0 replies      
Plenty of folks building large scale custom monitoring solutions with InfluxDB (plus Grafana, Collectd, Telegraf etc) - https://influxdata.com/testimonials/
arjan_sch 1 day ago 0 replies      
AppSignal is also a cool product, although mostly focused on Rails applications. And, a big plus, they are working on an Elixir integration :-) https://appsignal.com/elixir
walrus01 22 hours ago 0 replies      
OpenNMS. It is a java memory pig but is used by some of the twenty largest ASNs (by CAIDA ASRANK) in north america. Truly open source and free. Very extensible. Large development community behind it and many constant updates.
hendratj 21 hours ago 0 replies      
We are using Wavefront at Doordash and have been very happy with it. Setting up is super easy, UI is easy to use, they never have major outage. Definitely something you can try out.
walkingolof 23 hours ago 0 replies      
If you want monitoring plus automation and remote management check out http://www.kaseya.com/
Daviey 9 hours ago 0 replies      
Does anyone have thoughts on ITRS Geneos?
jaytaylor 23 hours ago 0 replies      
If you are okay with something which you don't have to run yourself-

The winner IMO is dataloop.io [0].

Dataloop is a SaaS monitoring solution that is super easy to get up and running and has tons of fantastic features and capabilities. The team behind it is stellar and their pricing is reasonable.

10/10, will continue to use again and again :)

[0] https://dataloop.io/

louwrentius 1 day ago 0 replies      
It depends on what you want to achieve, but Nagios works well and Graphite for trending is also quite useful.
postwait 23 hours ago 1 reply      
If you care about correctness of data, solid data retention and good analytics (prediction, forecasting, etc.) then you should take a look at Circonus.


500 metrics accounts are free for life.

Built by SREs for SREs.

bmaeser 23 hours ago 0 replies      
for small setups munin and (m)monit are still my goto place.

dead simple, easy to configure and very reliable

homero 22 hours ago 0 replies      
thdn 1 day ago 0 replies      
grafana ??
syngrog66 10 hours ago 0 replies      
this isn't the proper way to learn that.
0xdeadbeefbabe 23 hours ago 0 replies      
Not icinga and not boost
tankfeeder 23 hours ago 1 reply      
eldavido 23 hours ago 0 replies      
I know I might come off as trolling, but try to get out of the business of managing servers. I've done it, it sucks, and I don't ever want to do it again.

Get everything containerized and use a container runtime like ECS, unless you're operating in analytics, adtech, or something else with extreme storage/compute/network requirements.

Ask HN: Avoid Tax hit from vesting of shares?
5 points by PerfectNumber  16 hours ago   4 comments top 4
baccredited 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Don't accept any advice from your company (I have been personally burned). Pay a pro to answer this question.
brudgers 6 hours ago 0 replies      
A related -- and perhaps bigger -- question is what are your rights and obligations regarding selling the shares.

A smaller question is "is the company really a startup?" The granting of shares to employees rather than options is more typical for companies organized to produce cash flows to share holders rather than spending available cash in pursuit of growth.

Good luck.

alain94040 12 hours ago 0 replies      
Google 83b election if you are in the US.
abannin 13 hours ago 0 replies      
This is a wonderful question for a lawyer.
Ask HN: Describing skills and competencies in a resume?
217 points by melle  3 days ago   104 comments top 33
blowski 3 days ago 5 replies      
As somebody that has hired a few IT people, it's frustrating when you receive a CV where the main focus is a list of skills. For example, I can receive 100 CVs that all say "I can do JavaScript", but skill level ranges from those who can just about activate a jQuery plugin through to people that could probably build jQuery from scratch. I want to see examples of how you've used those skills, because then I can form my own opinion of your capabilities.

So talk about your achievements, and mention the skills you used as part of that. Be specific, and focus on the most important bits instead of listing every single item. Remember to include human skills like planning and leading.

aaronbrethorst 3 days ago 8 replies      
I've started writing my resume in a more prosaic form, and dropping the stilted language of resumes past. I talk about not just what I bring to the table, but also what I'm not looking for in an employer. Check it out if you'd like to get a better sense of what I mean.

(It's also worth noting that I have ~12.5 years of experience in the software industry, Seattlethe city where I livehas a hot tech market, and I have focused mainly on iOS software development for the past six years. Relatedly, I never apply for jobs through websites, only through people, meaning that I manage to skip buzzword-skimming front-line recruiters. So YMMV.)


Coming at this from the other side of the table, my first reaction to reading most resumes is "so what?" Tell me why I should care that you increased Flibbet production by 22%, or that you decreased bug volume by 19%. What does that translate into in terms that someone who doesn't work at that company would care about?

fecak 3 days ago 1 reply      
I've been recruiting software engineers for nearly 20 years and started a side resume business (resumeraiders.com) a couple years ago when seeing how much people were being charged for sub-par resumes. Your question is somewhat common.

A Skills section is usually for the purposes of an ATS (automated resume scanner) or a human that will be looking for certain buzzwords, like a language or a framework that is most important to the job requirement. Recruiters know they can go to a skill section and find those things quickly.

I think in your situation, listing specific examples of your accomplishments is going to be even more important. You can tell me "I'm an all-around developer who cares about getting things done..." all day long, but listing specific things you've developed to illustrate that point is much more effective. It's not unlike people who say they have excellent communication skills - don't tell us, show us by writing something or demonstrate it in conversation.

Recruiters and HR are looking for those buzzwords, but engineers reviewing the resumes are looking for an interesting project that they can ask you about. Ideally it will involve a problem the company is trying to solve.

Start with a summary to quantify your experience - this starts the reader off with a big picture of who you are. Don't trust the reader to figure out you're a full stack dev, because the person first reviewing your resume might not be technical at all. They need to be told specifically what you do, and it's your job to do that. Your summary might start "Full stack developer with n years of experience across a mix of languages and platforms in Agile/TDD development environments. Additional skills in Project Management..." or similar.

Next, experience section with responsibilities (the day to day) in a couple sentences in paragraph form, then bullets for your novel accomplishments.

Skills, Education, other projects, community involvement, etc. to follow.

peteretep 3 days ago 2 replies      

Goes in to great detail about exactly what to put in there and why, including a template that will appeal to the recruiter, to the hiring manager, and then to the interviewing developers.

dsk139 3 days ago 1 reply      
It's helpful to list skills at the bottom of your resume for HR departments doing basic pattern matching. However to paint a clearer picture I would:

1. Write relevant bullet points that show what value you provided for your previous company and BOLD languages along the way.


- Architected a product that does $X revenue with Y languages

- Stabilized systems of X which allowed throughput of Y% more connections with Z language/framework

2. Include a summary/objective in your LinkedIn/Resume. E.g. I'm an all-around developer that isn't afraid of X, Y, Z

snarfy 3 days ago 1 reply      
The list of skills is there to catch automated keyword searches. A simple bullet list is fine.

Right above the list of skills I have a 'Summary of Qualifications' which explains my overall caliber.

> I guess the main point I want to bring across is that I'm an all-round developer who cares about getting things done and uses whatever means are best for the job.

This is what you put in the summary, written for a resume of course, e.g. "Veteran developer with X years of experience using a pragmatic and goal oriented approach to development. Focused on solving problems and shipping software" etc.

sjcrank 3 days ago 0 replies      
I like to have a clear title and opening purpose statement at the top, to set the direction for the rest of the resume.

In fact you already have something to work with in this quote: "I'm an all-round developer who cares about getting things done and uses whatever means are best for the job. I'm able to learn/understand tech quickly but this is just a means to an end. I like to focus on the team and there interaction / openness." (but fix the sp of "there interaction")

If the audience sees something like "Senior Software Engineer" followed by the above paragraph it helps them understand how you see yourself fitting into the organization.

Next I would follow with a simple tabular format of skills (languages/frameworks/platforms for example) that is quickly scannable and has been pruned to remove outdated or out of favor technologies.

bphogan 3 days ago 1 reply      
I recommend a Summary of Qualifications that talks about what you are able to do. It's the "executive summary" that makes the HR screener want to read more. I can tailor this to the job if I need to do so.

Then I recommend listing work experience focused on acheivements. Recruiters want to see how your past experience will translate to future success so don't list job duties. List accomplishments at the job. How much revenue did the apps you wrote bring in? How many active users did the app you built support? Did you mentor other people and were they successful? Did you contribute to an open-source initiative?

"Built and maintained web applications using Ruby on Rails and React with over 200,000 active users per month."

I do list skills both in context and in a skills section.

My rsum has gotten me an interview every place I've sent it for the last 15 years. These things will never hurt you to do on yours. They will only help you.

I've heard that objectives hurt, and I know that work experience that reads like a job description hurts too. My wife is in HR and I've asked these questions of her network of people and that's the general consensus. So I hope that helps.

ninjakeyboard 3 days ago 1 reply      
My 2 cents as someone who has interviewed a fair number of people,

State your accomplishments. Technical skills can be learned. I feel that learning technology is part of the job, not a prerequisite for the job. on your linked-in, okay list every little thing if you want non-technical recruiters to find you w/ keywords... But as a hiring manager, I want to see someone who can learn and grow into the role. Having technology experience relevant for the role is worth highlighting but not every bit of technical experience. Otherwise highlight technologies you've used in your accomplishments only but focus on the accomplishment itself. Focus more on the activities - what big important features did you implement, not what technology you used to implement the features. The positive outcome of the work is more important than how you got there.

Eg having worked on an open source project, managing contributions from other developers, releasing etc is more important than the project itself.

ponyous 3 days ago 3 replies      
I just recently updated my resume and was facing the similar issue.

I did few groups of skills I have:

- Currently focusing on (skills I am interested in and best at)

- Relevant skills (git, agile development, tdd...)

- Also worked with (other tech I encountered during my career: DBs, languages, frameworks...)

Hope it helps.

ps. I would love to hear some thoughts on this problem from somebody that actually reads resumes

mdup 3 days ago 0 replies      
Recently I've tried an approach where I send two documents when asked for a CV:

- a "classic" CV which describes education, skills, work experience, and "miscellaneous" projects (late night hacks mostly);

- a second document entitled "friendly CV" but which is actually a short pdf with slides. It is super casual and I explain my previous work with pictures of algorithms and technical stuff. I cut down all the noise and try to speak directly to the inner geek of my potential reader.

From my perspective, I'd say I had quite some success with it.

I think it doesn't matter if you do exactly that. The point is to wake up your reader if you're the 50th CV they're reading this afternoon.

MalcolmDiggs 2 days ago 0 replies      
I don't think there's a good reason to have only one resume. Tailor your resume/cv to the position (or type of position) you're applying for. For certain jobs (for your dream job, for example), it may be worth writing a special resume just for them.

Each hiring manager should be able to quickly scan through your CV and check the mental boxes in their head, so that they can move your candidacy on to the next phase. That's really all the resume needs to do. So streamline each resume you submit to make that process as quick and painless for the hiring manager as possible.

Later on, when you're getting to know the company (and they're getting to know you), that's when you can bring in your multitude of experiences that aren't directly related to the job. But there's no reason for that initial submission to be an exhaustive list of all your great qualities.

selllikesybok 3 days ago 1 reply      
Consider that your resume is a landing page for you, the product. A list of "Skills" is, essentially, early aughts SEO... though I suppose it can also double as a feature list.

How are you going to use this resume? Sending in applications, posted online? Would affect my advice.

In general, two types of people will read your resume: hiring decision makers, and their agents/gatekeepers. Ideally the resume speaks to both groups. Gatekeepers use pretty simple filtering, though it won't all be disclosed. For example, if you've got 5 years of experience, and the rest of the applicant pool has 2, and they all went to Harvard and you went to University of Phoenix, you're getting filtered out unless there's something really amazing about you. The "top school" filter may not be disclosed in the job posting, or even known prior to seeing the applicant pool. In some cases these institutional biases are more or less public knowledge, in others not. Worry about passing the obvious, stated filters. It should be clear, in under 3 seconds, that you pass or exceed them. Don't be afraid to ELI5.

For the reviewers giving more than a passing glance, tell a short story. This is like pitching your startup idea, or selling anything, really. Quick, punchy, hook them and let them call you for more.

The resume gets you the call. The call gets you the meet. The meet gets you the job.

agentgt 3 days ago 2 replies      
I like to chime in here with my own observations since I run/own a recruiting software company (SnapHop). We make career portals that sit on top of legacy or existing candidate tracking software (aka ATS: applicant tracking software).

From an apply process a resume should contain keywords and should be easy to parse.

What I mean by parse is that we automatically extract details from the resume and if the resume is too hard to parse this may minimize your chance to be noticed (the ATS does this as well downstream).

So ideally you want your resume to be a small plain document. That is either MS Word, or plain text. You do need the keywords because there are some ranking algorithms that some ATS use and sadly it is based on simple keyword matching. I recommend putting this at the bottom of the resume to keep the parsing happy (ie list of technologies used). Or if your resume you think is large perhaps at the top but a short list in case it is is truncated.

I stress small because the bigger the document the more likely systems downstream can fail (our system can handle 100MB resumes no problem... and yes people will upload resumes that large but downstream systems cannot).

Finally I think including links in your resume of work you have done is also beneficial. I believe it is the future of resumes. We are seeing more folks doing this and we already to some extraction based on this (ie github profile, github projects, blogs, linkedin profiles, etc).

In large part the resume doesn't matter once you have made the initial HR/Recruiter pass. So make sure you get past that.

postit 3 days ago 0 replies      
I'm currently recruiting for our startup in Berlin. We receive a pile of applications every day and the ones whose pop in are those who took some care to explain how they used skills on some real projects.

If you successfully can describe your current/last positions, point out how you had used technologies and competencies, youll highlight yourself.

duggan 3 days ago 0 replies      
First, write your application for the job you're looking for, or at least interviewing for. Also write it for the culture of the team. The language of the job specification should have plenty of hints there, since a hiring manager (aka, whoever will be your manager) probably wrote it. Blog posts, too, if available. This doesn't mean parroting back their language, just try to figure out what makes them tick.

Apply selectively. Construct a narrative about your career that shows an inevitable trend towards the exact role you're looking to fill. Employers are generally looking for someone to shore up a skills gap, or augment an existing team. The job spec generally makes this an open book exam.

Really, the biggest thing is figuring out what sort of role you want, and trying to see your career through the lens of the person hiring for that role.

tacostakohashi 3 days ago 2 replies      
Unless you don't have any experience (fresh grad or something), I would minimize /eliminate the skills section, and focus more on the experience - that way, you are mentioning skills in the context of specific projects and organizations.

Skills on their own (9 out of 10 on JavaScript) don't mean much.

ali_ibrahim 2 days ago 0 replies      
For some months, I have been thinking about the same problem as well. From an employer perspective, Hiring is tough. Very tough! People list down tons of skills and qualities they may or may not have on their resume and problem is you need to have good interviewing skills to evaluate them and spend countless hours to have the right candidate. To me, a good measure of someone's skills is their feedback from their current/previous coworkers (if it can be somehow achieved in a profile and which is not biased so it can be anonymous). This way you are able to screen the employees. Not trying to blow my own trumpet here, but I am trying to address this in my startup PleasantFish where you can get feedback from your coworkers and as a user improve your skills by getting latest content based on your skillset in your personalized skills based newsfeed
jaimebuelta 3 days ago 0 replies      
Something I do on my CV. I have a prominent section talking about my "specialties". These are the core skills (not only tech ones) that I want to focus on, and the ones that I am interested in a new job.

It doesn't make sense to put in the same level "bash" and "JavaScript" if you really want to look for JavaScript jobs.

Then, in each of the previous jobs, I put the main tech that I have been exposed to. That gives an idea of the different skills and tools, but making a clear distinction in terms of which ones I am interested or consider that are my core skills.

a_imho 3 days ago 2 replies      
Why not go with the direct method and say exactly what you mean e.g.

"I guess the main point I want to bring across is that I'm an all-round developer who cares about getting things done and uses whatever means are best for the job. I'm able to learn/understand tech quickly but this is just a means to an end. I like to focus on the team and there interaction / openness."

I usually just write working with Java stack / JVM technologies and a few sentences what I (not the team) accomplished in my previous jobs, because I don't think resumes all that important.

e12e 3 days ago 0 replies      
For what it's worth, I recently applied for a few jobs, and did get an offer. On the other hand at least one of the places I applied replied with a "we're not hiring anyone this round" - so obviously I missed on that one. Probably due to them using a horrible Web based application system and that I forgot to upload attachments (grade transcript etc).

My view is that a CV/resume (non-academic) should list relevant work experience and education. Probably also certifications if relevant for the position.

Perhaps a section on other experience (leadership/management/responsibilities/achivements in volunteer/leisure activities - eg: successfully guided a hiking trip through a storm, etc).

Then the cover letter should put those experiences in context for the position you're applying for. And it probably should be no more than (half) a page for the letter and one to two for the CV.

Maybe I'm a bit extreme, but I strongly believe in not wasting the time of people doing the hiring (hopefully for an engineering position they're not full time HR and have other things they'd rather be doing).

Taylor_OD 3 days ago 0 replies      
I work in tech recruiting but I tell people to focus their resume on what they are most interested in doing and then list other skills/languages they work with. If you have been working as a .net developer that should be very clear from your resume but linking to the node and react project on your github is a great way to show you are flexible.
nrjames 3 days ago 0 replies      
I would structure your resume to focus on your projects, giving them detailed descriptions, in which you can describe the languages, libraries, etc... that you used to implement them. That way, you put the technology in the context of the solutions you were delivering. For example (making this up...):

Selected Project Experience:

Consumer Finance Protection Reporting Database (2014) - Backend Developer. Developed the platform to support a consumer finance protection website that allows users to put a lock on their credit account without navigating customer service telephone lines. Built the backend with Django (Python) and Postgres and implemented a robust API with the Django REST Framework.


hacknat 3 days ago 0 replies      
I had always assumed that it was buzzword soup to get past HR/Recruiting (it's sad to see recruiters basically admitting this on this thread). As someone who has hired people I care far more about your experience and what you did at your last job(s) than a list of enumerated skills.

I would say make the skill section brief. Don't list every flavor of SQL you've ever worked with, just put SQL, etc. Or go crazy, but put it at the end. Honestly, I never begrudged someone doing a word dump at the end of their resume, as long as the rest of the resume was good. We all know that recruiters have no clue and might scrap an application if a buzzword is missing.

adrianratnapala 3 days ago 1 reply      
I think the skills-list is not for actual employers. They are more for the first filter of HR people and recruiters who are reduced to checking off lists because they don't have software-specific knowledge.

So try to match the list as best you truthfully can to the one in the job description. If they put languages and skills in one big list, do the same. If they have some other format, use that. Just don't parrot their list so exactly that it looks like you are lying.

As for your main point: make it directly in a summary paragraph somewhere near the top of the resume.

DrNuke 3 days ago 0 replies      

Name: Cody McCoderE-mail: cody@mccoder.any

Profile: "I'm an all-round developer who cares about getting things done and uses whatever means are best for the job. I'm able to learn/understand tech quickly but this is just a means to an end. I like to focus on the team and there interaction / openness."

Skills: "a mixture of languages, products, areas but also practices/skills"

Portfolio: ...links to your case studies with code, rationale, team contribution and comments...


pc86 3 days ago 1 reply      
You should not be creating a resume that you will then send to multiple jobs. You craft individual resumes for each job posting, using that posting's own keywords and required/recommended/nice-to-have skill set.

Resume screening is about cutting a stack of 100 down to 10, so it's all about finding a reason to say "No." If the job calls for C# WebApi and Angular experience and you start listing Python or Go projects, that's an easy no.

imauld 2 days ago 0 replies      
A format I use that I have received compliments on is just a 2-3 column table with headers like this:

New | Proficient | Expert

Or something along those lines. Then list your skills in there and it's super easy for people to very quickly see your skills and how you rate yourself. The New column is a great way to show that you are learning new things on your own. Most recruiters I've showed to it like it.

tptacek 3 days ago 1 reply      
Don't overthink your resume.
robertelder 3 days ago 0 replies      
I did a big write-up for my students on the process of getting/doing technical interviews:


You may want to start at the section "How Do I Pitch Myself"

jhwhite 3 days ago 0 replies      
I have a section for skills (project management, leadership, etc...) and a section for Technical Proficiencies (Python, Ruby, PostgreSQL, etc...)

I pretty much keep my work experience the same but change around my Skills and Technical Proficiencies to match the job I'm applying for.

dcole2929 3 days ago 0 replies      
I lot of people have various opinions on what does and doesn't constitute a good resume. It'd be nice if some people would post theirs so we could get a nice visual representation of what it would/should look like
known 3 days ago 0 replies      
1. Relevant experience

2. Personal connection

Ask HN: What three books impacted your career the most?
92 points by saasinator  1 day ago   76 comments top 44
combatentropy 1 day ago 0 replies      
1. The Bible. It encourages me to live in a way that's also good for others, especially when I'm feeling selfish and cynical, and it teaches me how to interact with them in a healthy way (e.g. the book of Proverbs).

2. The Elements of Style. I always enjoyed writing, but at first school taught me to write in a flowery, longwinded way. This was the book that cracked the code for me to good writing. It dispelled a lot of self-serving and ultimately self-defeating habits and paved the way to clean, helpful English. When I finally got into programming in my late twenties, I found that many of the same principles make good code.

3. The Visual Display of Quantitative Information. This is like the Elements of Style but for graphs. Again, it encouraged me to cut through the hype and deliver the content as clearly and succinctly as possible --- to serve the reader, not stroke my ego.

EnderMB 1 day ago 1 reply      
1) Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell: I bought this book after it was referenced in one of Alex Ferguson's books. It's a fascinating tale of how people became to be successful by being the right person in the right environment at the right time, from how Bill Gates dominated the world of software, to how The Beatles became one of the best bands in the world. It's a great reminder that a mixture of hard work, the right environment, and dumb luck will help you do well.

2) C# in Depth by Jon Skeet: Buying and reading this book is what led me to continue down the deep rabbit hole of .NET development, and following the C# language from version 1 onwards via the book is a great way to appreciate the language, as well as use it. As someone that writes C# daily this is the main book I recommend to existing devs.

3) Introduction to Algorithms by CLRS: This is a bit of a cheat, because I've only glanced at various pages of this book. I have a degree in Computer Science, but my maths knowledge is lacking (to put it kindly), so despite my degree I have only a practical understanding of a lot of the algorithms talked about in the book. It's been my goal for years to build up my knowledge of maths to the point where I can read this book cover-to-cover and actually understand what's going on. I'm still not there, but hopefully one day I'll make it.

xiaoma 1 day ago 1 reply      
1) Hackers and Painters, by Paul GrahamThis book had a huge influence on me and is why I left a successful and growing low tech business in Asia to move to California and become a software engineer.

2) Zero to One, by Peter ThielZero to one opened my eyes to several angles of business that I hadn't been thinking about. It made me think much harder about making long-term plans towards a concrete goal, even if changes must be made along the way. It also clarified my thoughts about the nature of competition and non-conformity. Courage is in even shorter supply than genius.

3. The Hero with a Thousand Faces, by Joseph CampbellWhile it's not a business book, this book is a deep look at mythology and psychology. I find it helpful both for understanding people and for understanding myself.

msluyter 1 day ago 1 reply      
1. Godel, Escher, Bach -- Because it sparked my interest and got me started down the path.

2. The Pragmatic Programmer -- a classic. Reminds me that I need to re-read it.

3. Effective Oracle by Design, by Tom Kyte -- Not that I use Oracle any more, thankfully, but really provided a lot of insight about how databases function and how it pays to deeply understand their internals when writing webapps.

jjgreen 1 day ago 0 replies      
Sartre's "Nausea", which demonstrates the pointless nothingness of life, so one should not get too stressed out at work because Frank doesn't like your indentation style but that's how everyone at university does it ...
lazyjones 1 day ago 0 replies      
First part of the question (actual influences):

1) Philip and Alex's Guide to Web Publishing (not strictly a book). http://philip.greenspun.com/panda/

2) The "Dragon Book" https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Principles_of_Compiler_Design

3) Computer Architecture: A Quantitative Approach

Second part (at hindsight):

1) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rich_Dad_Poor_Dad (cheesy, but useful)

2) http://toddkashdan.com/upside.php

3) https://www.schranner.com/de/news/2012/04/16/-verhandeln-im-... - German book about negotiations written by an experienced hostage negotiator.

l33tbro 1 day ago 2 replies      
Practical skills are easily acquired. Personal skills and greater self-awareness are what really fast-track you.

1) Scott Adams 'How to fail at almost everything' for life strategy.

2) Robert Glover's 'No more Mr Nice Guy' for assertiveness and being your authentic self no matter what.

3) As cliche as it is, 'The Power of Now' is a great source to return to in times of personal and professional woes.

Good luck and Godspeed in your career(s).

brikis98 1 day ago 1 reply      
1. "The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes" by Arthur Conan Doyle.

This may sound like an odd one, but years ago, I almost never took the time to read. My girlfriend, who knew that I loved Sherlock Holmes books when I was younger, convinced me to try this book as an audiobook while I did my ~40 minute commute to work. I was skeptical, but within days, I was hooked. It made my work commute much more interesting (a British person was reading me Sherlock Holmes!); then I started listening to audiobooks during all my driving (instead of wasting time, I can learn!); then I got an iPod, put audiobooks on that, and started listening to them during all sorts of odd chores (e.g. cleaning, walking, biking); after that, I was so hooked on books, that I started making time to read them too. This had a profoundly transformative effect on my career.

2. "The Lean Startup" by Eric Ries.

I got a copy of this book when I went to a talk by Eric Ries. Eric seemed like a humble, down-to-earth person and helped dispel the notion that to be a successful entrepreneur, you need to be a prescient, superhero, god-like visionary. Instead, what you need to do is to treat your startup and product ideas as hypotheses and test them, as quickly and cheaply as you can (i.e. lean development, MVPs, etc). This fit very well with what I had seen in the real world and with how I thought about problem solving as a software engineer, and gave me a lot of confidence to try out many of my ideas. Since then, I've used these ideas to start a company (http://www.gruntwork.io/) and written quite a bit on what I learned, including an article on The Macro about MVPs (http://themacro.com/articles/2016/01/minimum-viable-product-...).

3. "On Writing Well" by William Zinsser.

If Conan Doyle taught me about the fun of reading, then William Zinsser taught me about the fun of writing. If you want to learn how to write, what it's like to write, or why you should write ("Writing is not a special language owned by the English teacher. Writing is thinking on paper."), it's hard to find a better guide. This book significantly improved my writing skills and even gave me the confidence to write a book (http://www.hello-startup.net/).

e19293001 1 day ago 0 replies      
1. Assembly Language and Computer Architecture Using C++ and Java , Course Technology, 2004 by Anthony J. Dos Reis

2. Compiler Construction Using Java, JavaCC, and Yacc, IEEE/Wiley, 2012 by Anthony J. Dos Reis

3. An Introduction to Functional Programming Through Lambda Calculus by Greg Michaelson

I'm lazy now so just look on my previous comment:

[0] - https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=12099943

GeneWilburn 1 day ago 0 replies      
The C Programming Language, Kernighan and Ritchie, for its simple elegance.

The Elements of Style, Strunk & White. On clear writing.

Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (series), Douglas Adams. So you don't take yourself too seriously.

samblr 1 day ago 0 replies      
If I were to go back and be young - I would dedicate myself to read plenty of books and probably find three genres which would appeal. A measure of a good book is how likely will it lead you to read another great book or how likely is that it changes the perception of another book/knowledge or makes you question-argue fundamental value systems. Wish there was kind of backlink algorithm to measure a book like that. I've found below genre-and-author that appeal more over time and you keep going back to them.

> Tech : C - Kernighan & Ritchie (may be a good python/nodejs book today).

> About tech people : Made in Japan - The Google Speaks - The Everything store - Hatching Twitter - Steve Jobs - Zero to One - Hard things about hard things.

> About non-tech people : Founding fathers - Obama - Einstein - Darwin - Feyman - Teresa - Montessori - Gandhi - Mandela - Che Guevera - Churchill.

> Last but important: Tolstoy - Plato - Enlightenment-Era-Books - Religions(all) - Military fitness.

saasinator 1 day ago 1 reply      
I'll add my current three,

 1) "How to Win Friends and Influence People" 2) "The War of Art" 3) "The Pragmatic Programmer"

LA_Banker 1 day ago 0 replies      
1. "Meditations" Marcus Aurelius

2. "The Practicing Mind" Thomas Sterner

3. "Better: A Surgeon's Notes on Performance" Atul Gawande (I'm not a surgeon; the principles herein are universal)

(honorable mention: "How to Win Friends and Influence People" Dale Carnegie; various biographies by Caro and Chernow)

naboavida 1 day ago 0 replies      
Thinking, Fast and Slow - Daniel Kahneman. Learn why we're fools by nature.

Incerto - Nassim Nicholas Taleb (4 volumes, with The Black Swan as my favourite). Learn how not to be a fool, or at least, minimize its impacts.

The Startup Owner's Manual - Steve Blank. Learn how to find your way through the market.

justushamalaine 1 day ago 1 reply      
Thinking Fast and Slow, Daniel Kahneman

How I raised myself from failure to success in selling, Frank Bettger

Thinking in Systems: A Primer, Daniela Meadows

Most important thing is to get up and start doing stuff, understand how you personally f$$k things up and reap benifits of compound interest in personal development. I think these three bookshave a lot of information that is usable in any career or path one might choose.

fogus 1 day ago 0 replies      
"Thinking Forth" by Leo Brodie --> http://thinking-forth.sourceforge.net/

"How Buildings Learn: What Happens After They're Built" by Stewart Brand --> http://www.openculture.com/2015/07/watch-stewart-brands-6-pa...

"Programmer's Guide to the 1802" by Tom Swan --> http://www.tomswan.com/store/

benkarst 1 day ago 0 replies      
1. "The Age of Spiritual Machines" (2000) by Ray Kurzweil. This futurist book sparked my imagination at a young age as to what was possible with technology. Several of its predictions that have come true today.

2. "Creativity Inc." (2014) by Ed Catmull. Fascinating stories and lessons from the man who ran Pixar, the animated film company with 11 straight number 1's at the box office.

3. "Outliers" by Malcolm Gladwell. Along with talent and hard work, being well-positioned is a big part of success. Put in 10,000 hours to be great at anything.

thorin 1 day ago 0 replies      
Code complete was a great early read for someone who already knew the basics of programming

L'etranger Albert Camus, for the same reasons as jjgreen

A Herbert Shilt book on C programming but could have been K&R instead, was part of the process from moving from simple basic coding to software development

brudgers 1 day ago 0 replies      
As a reader of books, one of the good things about growing older is that the books the younger version of myself read are books that this older version of myself hasn't and there is great pleasure in rereading the books the younger version of myself read as the older person I am.

And that makes this exercise impossible for me. The books I would tell the younger version of myself to read wouldn't resonate the same way (or not at all) with that other person I used to be. Picking books that might have appealed to the younger version of myself accurately would mean picking the books I actually read -- e.g. The Fifth Discipline -- and not books that the younger version of myself tried to read but couldn't but that I read and recommend today: e.g. TAoCP.

Part of the complexity is that the world in which I read books today is radically different from that of my younger self. Today I can get a MIX interpreter from the internet [1]...there's even help on StackOverflow. My younger self couldn't because even in the time when there was an internet bandwidth was low and Google didn't exist.

Like I said it's great to pick up a good book and realize it is better than I remember when I remember it being really good, but it's hard to see how it could have been better for my younger self.

1. Neuromancer

2. Blood Meridian

3. A Pattern Language


quantum_nerd 1 day ago 0 replies      
1. "The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People" by Stephen Covey. Taught me how to be more productive and simplify thinking about productivity. One of the books I re-read every year.

2. "The Bible" - I am not too religious, but I am a spiritual person. I find the new testament to be a good blueprint on how to live a righteous life.

3. "The Pragmatic Programmer: from journeyman to master" - such a timeless classic. Just get it...

przeor 1 day ago 0 replies      
1) "how life imitates chess" Garry Kasparov

2) "how life imitates chess" Garry Kasparov

3) "how life imitates chess" Garry Kasparov

Highly recommended, very good read and smart book. I would call it the modern version of The Art of War.

g051051 1 day ago 0 replies      
1. Peopleware2. The C Programming Language3. Design Patterns: Elements of Reusable Object-Oriented Software

Honorable mention: Compiler Design in C

amerkhalid 1 day ago 0 replies      
1. Head First Design Patterns - Didn't learn patterns in school. This book made a lot of difference in communication with more experienced programmers.

2. Pragmatic Programmer - A classic, learned many practical tips for day to day programming job.

3. Founders at Work - Motivated me to work on my side projects and be constantly learning.

andersthue 1 day ago 0 replies      
1. Start with why, Simon Sinek - to get my younger self to figure out why I am doing what I am doing

2. Drive, the surprising truth..., Daniel Pink - to understand happiness and motivation

3. Crucial Conversations, to learn how to talk and listen and talk to people without ruining the conversation and the possibilities from it

r2r 1 day ago 0 replies      
1. "Zen and the art of motorcycle maintenance" by Robert Pirsig

2. "The art of war" by Sun Tzu

3. "Meditations" by Marcus Aurelius

protomyth 1 day ago 0 replies      
Career not life, so:

K&R C (Draft ANSI Edition) - A small book that shows how you should write. Many of the examples are not really good code anymore, but it traveled and inspired.

Perl Little Black Book - I needed to learn Perl and it was packed. Much like many of the ORA pocket references, except with a lot more examples. My copy is in rough shape with flags, notes, and highlights.

I will have to dig it out of a box, but I had a system process and design book from a college class that I used extensively in my first decade of work. I think I internalized it all. I put the book in a crate with my K&R C book waiting for a good shelf to put it on when I get somewhere a little more permanent.

ericssmith 1 day ago 0 replies      
The headline and the body are posing two different questions. Regarding books that impacted my career in software. The top three are:

1) K&R C

2) Zen of Graphics Programming

3) C++ Programming Language, 2E

I wouldn't recommend any of these to a young version of myself today.

scottlilly 1 day ago 0 replies      
"The Goal" - Started my interest in Lean principles, along with how to apply them to programming - imagining my programs as little data "factories", that need to be made efficient and efficiently.

"How I Found Freedom in an Unfree World" - Taught me I don't need to follow the standard path that "everyone else does", and to focus on how I can actively change my world - instead of waiting for someone else to to change it for me.

"Code Complete" - Get it. Read it. Live it.

deadmik3 1 day ago 1 reply      
"Cracking the Coding Interview" (probably wouldn't even have a career without this book)

"The Little Schemer"

"Stories of Cats and the Lives They Touch" by Peggy Schaefer

rkho 1 day ago 0 replies      
I'm pretty early in my career. There's just one book on my list now (and that's simply because I haven't made time to read others): The Clean Coder, by Robert Martin
kozak 1 day ago 0 replies      
1. "The Lean Startup" by Eric Ries

2. "Insanely Simple" by Ken Segall

3. "How to Measure Anything" by Douglas W. Hubbard

rffn 1 day ago 1 reply      
- The Pragmatic Programmer (Hunt/Thomas)

- Computer Architecture - A Quantitative Approach (Hennessy/Patterson)

- Expert C Programming - Deep C Secrets (van der Linden)

I woud call the Pragmatic Programmer though by far the most influential.

sunstone 1 day ago 0 replies      
1.The Trouble with Lawyers - an early introduction to conflicts of interest

2.One Up On Wall Street - insiders view of the markets and other lessons

3.Consilence - how to distinguish real things from unreal things

kercker 1 day ago 0 replies      
Carol Dweck's "Growth mindset".This book changed my view of diligence and intelligence.
0xmohit 1 day ago 0 replies      
- The Peter Principle: Why Things Always Go Wrong by Lawrence J. Peter & Raymond Hull

- The Upside of Irrationality by Dan Ariely

- Screw It, Let's Do It: Lessons In Life by Sir Richard Branson

kentf 1 day ago 0 replies      
The Pragmatic Programmer, Dave Thomas, Andy Hunt

Fooled by Randomness, Taleb

Linchpin, Seth Godin

phyalow 1 day ago 0 replies      
1. Beating the Street - Peter Lynch2. More Money than God - Sebastian Mallaby3. Dark Pools - Scott Patterson
cmax 1 day ago 0 replies      
1) The Art of Unix Programming2) TCP/IP Illustrated 3) 97 Things Every Programmer Should Know
draw_down 1 day ago 0 replies      
Probably the Dale Carnegie book, as dumb as that sounds.
gyvastis 1 day ago 1 reply      
"The Defining Decade: Why Your Twenties Matter" by Meg Jay
adrice727 1 day ago 1 reply      
"The Art of Learning" by Josh Waitzkin
rabboRubble 21 hours ago 0 replies      
1) Shogun

2) Noble House

3) Excel by Que Publishing

gadders 1 day ago 0 replies      
How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie.

All of your working life is built on relationships, even if you code all day.

ohgh1ieD 1 day ago 4 replies      
1. Ego Is the Enemy - Ryan Holiday

2. sidebar from /r/theredpill

3. The Millionaire Fastlane: Crack the Code to Wealth and Live Rich for a Lifetime

Book number 3 has probably the most 'click baity' and the most douchey title of all times.It sounds like one of those self help books or one of those get rich fast schemas but in fact, it's an eye opener and it encourages hard work.

I'm looking for job as a Python Developer. Need advices
24 points by bkolodziej  1 day ago   2 comments top
vinod_19 1 day ago 1 reply      
Why your Website looks copy of http://glynjackson.org/
Ask HN: How do I use the Firebase Hacker News API with their 3.0 version
9 points by joshstrange  1 day ago   4 comments top 2
tonyle 1 day ago 1 reply      
There was some people talking about this issue in the support forums and their response was to stick with v2 until they sort out the issues.

They recently made a change with the node sdk recently so you don't need the apiKey for public access.Not sure about the web version, You would probably have to use the Browserify or something.


That said, If I were you, I would stick with V2 sdk since I don't think hacker news has actually updated yet.An easier way is to just use the rest apis, That is still clearly working.


cloudjacker 1 day ago 1 reply      
tried empty string or null?
Microsoft is closing all old bug reports they couldn't fix
28 points by ianderf  2 days ago   22 comments top 8
dorfuss 2 days ago 0 replies      
It reminds me of an old joke from the Windows95 era:

How many Microsoft engineers you need to change a light bulb?None. Microsoft simply announces darkness the new standard.

* - (please don't take it seriously)

douche 2 days ago 3 replies      
At some point, simply keeping track of these things is more overhead than it is worth. I don't work anywhere near the scale of Microsoft, but at some point, you just have to say, alright, we're not fixing this; it works completely different in version N+1 that you should have upgraded to years ago, and btw, we're actually on N+3 now, so we are not going to fix old, janky code that we already fixed.
Jyaif 2 days ago 0 replies      
Apple does this after every iOS release.Obviously I'm not filing "Radars" (Apple's name for a bug report) anymore.
CyberFonic 2 days ago 1 reply      
Some manager received a bonus for closing so many bug reports. Wonder if he took the team out for pizza and beers.
winteriscoming 2 days ago 3 replies      
Having been part of projects that grew large over time and are composed of too many components, I understand why this is done. It reaches a point where you can't go to each open issue and see whether it's still relevant in the context of all the new and different technical changes that would have gone in during that period.

That mail does seem to point to a place where users can report this afresh if it's still relevant. So, not a bad approach, to get these bug reports to hopefully in a more relevant and manageable state.

Zelmor 2 days ago 0 replies      
This fits into the picture with the development culture that was hinted on in these irc chats:


GFischer 2 days ago 0 replies      
Many other large companies do that.

Google did that with Android several times, and another poster mentions Apple does that too.


anonbanker 1 day ago 0 replies      
it's interesting to see that Microsoft is actively adopting Jamie Zawinski's CATD model[0].

0. https://www.jwz.org/doc/cadt.html

Ask HN: Would you sign a developer Hippocratic Oath?
10 points by secfirstmd  1 day ago   12 comments top 7
blackflame7000 1 day ago 2 replies      
Computer Science differs from the Medical field in that you never know what someone else might do with your work. In medicine at any given moment you know whether or not you are acting in the patients best interest. Doctors still make mistakes of course, but they still know their intent.

Now lets say I write a program to encrypt messages between two parties because their government is censoring free speech. Here my intentions are good. However, someone else could use that system to organize terrorist activities. It was never my intent but still it is my work being used to aid criminals.

That's where the line gets blurry. In medicine, actions have immediate effect. They either help or hurt the patient. In computer science the same program can be both a blessing and a curse.

jotux 1 day ago 0 replies      
IEEE members agree to the Code of Ethics, which are pretty universal:

>We, the members of the IEEE, in recognition of the importance of our technologies in affecting the quality of life throughout the world, and in accepting a personal obligation to our profession, its members and the communities we serve, do hereby commit ourselves to the highest ethical and professional conduct and agree:

>1. to accept responsibility in making decisions consistent with the safety, health, and welfare of the public, and to disclose promptly factors that might endanger the public or the environment;

>2. to avoid real or perceived conflicts of interest whenever possible, and to disclose them to affected parties when they do exist;

>3. to be honest and realistic in stating claims or estimates based on available data;

>4. to reject bribery in all its forms;

>5. to improve the understanding of technology; its appropriate application, and potential consequences;

>6. to maintain and improve our technical competence and to undertake technological tasks for others only if qualified by training or experience, or after full disclosure of pertinent limitations;

>7. to seek, accept, and offer honest criticism of technical work, to acknowledge and correct errors, and to credit properly the contributions of others;

>8. to treat fairly all persons and to not engage in acts of discrimination based on race, religion, gender, disability, age, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression;

>9. to avoid injuring others, their property, reputation, or employment by false or malicious action;

>10. to assist colleagues and co-workers in their professional development and to support them in following this code of ethics.

bluejekyll 1 day ago 0 replies      
I don't think it's necessarily this easy. While I would say "yes" to the question, I already know that if I write a piece of crypto software, it will be used by bad players to hide their illicit activities, including governments hiding what they are doing to their population.

Similarly, almost all open-source software can be used by these bad actors. I doubt any of them write their router OSes, e.g. FreeBSD, but should I not contribute to that code because I know they are using it to suppress or track voices inside their country? Similar arguments for DNS or other tools that can be used to snoop on citizens.

Now, I would sign something saying I would not take a contract or money from them, but at the same time I think the US/EU sanctions actually already require that.

So how would we design it with these obvious caveats?

secfirstmd 1 day ago 1 reply      
E.g Would agree to never contribute code to a product that you knew would likely be used by a human rights abusing country to repress it's population...
x1798DE 1 day ago 0 replies      
I don't think I'd even sign a medical hippocratic oath if I were a doctor. I consider oaths of that sort to be cheap talk nonsense.

I would not, however, be willing to work on anything that I thought was directly harmful, e.g. I would never work for the NSA.

sheraz 1 day ago 0 replies      
No. I simply don't work on projects that are part of public safety (traffic lights) or medical devices. Or things of that ilk.
ysleepy 1 day ago 0 replies      
Like the Iron Ring in canada?https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iron_Ring
Ask HN: Apart from HN, what other websites you frequent for interesting content?
18 points by TooSmugToFail  3 days ago   7 comments top 6
mod 3 days ago 1 reply      
tedmiston 2 days ago 0 replies      
Ars, The Information [1] (slightly controversial because of their paywall), and I also really like Fred Wilson's short blog posts [2].

[1]: https://www.theinformation.com

[2]: http://avc.com

richev 3 days ago 0 replies      
I get a daily email from http://www.codeproject.com, which sometimes have interesting tech news (not as much as in the past though). See http://www.codeproject.com/Feature/Insider/
pvaldes 3 days ago 0 replies      

For the combination of nerdy humour and botany

humbleMouse 3 days ago 0 replies      
arstechnia, reddit, quora, mr money mustache
pizza 3 days ago 0 replies      
Ask HN: Why isn't there an anonymous communications platform on the blockchain?
4 points by swiftisthebest  1 day ago   2 comments top 2
r721 1 day ago 0 replies      
There's Steemit:


Though I didn't try it yet as they closed registration for a while (there was a hack).

sheraz 1 day ago 0 replies      
Is blockchain really necessary? Isn't http://voat.co trying to be the much more libertarian alternative to reddit?
Ask HN: Is there enough video content out there today to learn cs and programming?
4 points by Onixelen  1 day ago   6 comments top 5
halpme 1 day ago 0 replies      
There's a lot of video content on a lot of topics, but their content is shallow. If you want to get a deep understanding of something, reading textbooks and official documentation is likely the way to go.
IgorPartola 1 day ago 0 replies      
I learned CS from nothing but online media. Videos weren't my primary source, but blog posts and documentation was. Also working with smart people, and working on hard problems.
adamnemecek 1 day ago 0 replies      
I mean new technologies keep coming out basically every day, there will never be enough videos to cover all of them.
coralreef 1 day ago 1 reply      
Have you found a CS/programming topic without enough video content to learn from?
saluki 1 day ago 0 replies      
Definitely . . .

Team Treehouse





CS Lecture Videos

More than enough.

And more being added everyday.

Ask: Has Microsoft spent your trust
18 points by davidgrenier  2 days ago   38 comments top 17
meric 2 days ago 0 replies      
Microsoft has not spent my trust.

I was born in a Mac OS household. By the time I was born, my parents used Apple II clones and Macintoshes for over a decade. I have used Macintosh my whole life, except for the time before I was computer literate.

There was a time when I played Lord of the Realms on hand-me-down Windows 3.1 greyscale laptop I got for free in 2005, and a time when I played Age of Empires on another hand-me-down Pentium I desktop I bought for $99 in 1999. Those were the best times. I also used PowerPoint during primary school and high school.

Having no other experience with Microsoft software, I cannot emphatically say Microsoft has spent my trust.

On the other hand, I have a huge degree of trust in Apple software, which, I must say, has been slowly eroding in the years since the passing of Steve Jobs.

Artlav 2 days ago 0 replies      
Quite a while ago. There never was any alternative as comfortable as the GUI tools people make of Windows, so i kept putting it off for a while.

But somewhere around the start of the Win 10 malware i decided to bite the bullet and moved my work environment to Linux for good.

Looking at where MS was going it would have happened anyway, so better sooner than later.

chrisbennet 2 days ago 0 replies      
Kb3035583: Update installs Get Windows 10 app in Windows 8.1 and Windows 7 SP1

Yes, they spent my trust. I switched my settings so updates aren't installed automatically because now I can't trust them not to perform some unwanted upgrade. Running "Never10" (disables Win10 update) seems to have fixed the immediate problem but not the lost trust.

sirn 2 days ago 1 reply      
I'm actually OK with Windows 10 (with Telemetry off), but still think the GWX overstepped the line. I'm sure they started the program out of good will (make people aware that you can upgrade), but the later practice is nothing but malice.

However, my little bit of trust in Microsoft was spent after I bought their hardware, in particular the still-running Surface Pro 3 Battery-gate[1] (I'm the person who started the thread in Microsoft Answer forums.) Microsoft lied about battery replacement cost, keep treating that the battery problem didn't existed, and insist it's a $560 replacement instead of the promised $200. I'm lucky that media outlet picked this up otherwise I probably won't even get the "we're aware of the issue" response.

That pretty much stop me from ever thinking about being their customer again, for anything ever.

[1]: https://www.thurrott.com/hardware/73079/surface-pro-3s-simpl...

Piskvorrr 2 days ago 0 replies      
Yes. The GWX program, in my opinion, is malware (especially in its blatant disregard for lack of consent); the fact that it's the OS vendor pushing such stuff makes matters worse, not "okay".

(I'm not going to recount the man-hours and lost revenue we got from "admit it, you know you want WinX, and we'll give it to you NOW; it's not like you actually use the computers for anything")

romanovcode 2 days ago 5 replies      
Not really, I also don't get what's the big deal about forcing you to upgrade to Win10. It seems that some people just cannot be satisfied no matter what they do. WinXP lockdown = bad, automatic (and free) upgrades = bad. Than what is good?

I use both Windows and Mac. I have no problem with both of them. Also, C# and VS rocks.

RUG3Y 2 days ago 1 reply      
I tried out Windows 10. I lasted 5 days, I think. I signed in to a Microsoft account, and the password on my PC was changed without my permission. That password was only saved in Lastpass. It's 16 digits of random characters. I eventually accessed my computer and immediately reverted to Windows 7.

I still haven't switched to Windows 10 on my home PC. I won't use Windows for anything work related but I need it for gaming. The day Linux is good enough for gaming, I'll say goodbye to Microsoft forever.

brudgers 2 days ago 2 replies      
If I didn't have a smartphone, I suppose it's theoretically possible the Windows 10 upgrade could be my greatest privacy/anonymity concern. That theory however depends on a a universe in which I never browsed the web with cookies enabled, never played Flash content that I wouldn't want to watch with my mother, and never typed anything into the Mountain View company's search box.

In this universe, I actually have less concern about Microsoft doing something creepy with my keystrokes than I do about Canonical doing so. I run Ubuntu and it wants to send my keystrokes to Amazon and whichever search engine has the current paid placement in Unity. At least with Microsoft it's not continuous direct monetization.

If Windows 10 was a big concern, I wouldn't install it or run it on any of my computers. But that's just me. I run Ubuntu for other reasons. The machines I've upgraded to Windows 10 have had most of the crap turned up except for the peer to peer upgrades. It's right there in the install.

codeonfire 2 days ago 1 reply      
A while back. It was fairly clear to me that they thought they were going to herd everyone into a walled garden with their surface/ windows 8 RT strategy which obviously did not work. They had planned to muddle the market so customers would accidently buy an RT table instead of a full PC tablet. RT tablets could only install from an app store. That didn't really work and about that time is when Ballmer said fuck it and handed the company over to people who have no comprehension of western ideals about what is culturally acceptable when it comes to privacy. Original Microsoft was built from an environment that grew up with the fourth amendment, a valid functioning legal system, etc. Current Microsoft culture is wholly international and reflects the lack of privacy culture, civil rights, and government restraint in many countries represented in large numbers at Microsoft.
Sylos 2 days ago 1 reply      
For me their new privacy policy was already enough. A company, which actively worked with the NSA in the past, asking me to sign a document which would allow them to access any of my personal data whenever they have a "good faith belief" that doing so is necessary. What could possibly go wrong?
ankurdhama 2 days ago 1 reply      
Few years ago I bought Windows 8.1 from some online store. Used the activation key, worked fine, after few months needed to format the system and reinstall windows. Activation key won't work anymore, called the MS support, told them the key, found out that the key was from some "student/education program" and is no longer valid... WTF.

For last 2 years I have been using macOS (osx) and no crap of activation there and most importantly once you understand the abstractions of UNIX you wouldn't want to use any other architecture :)

I guess some major problem with Windows is the business model of OEM around the OS.

tinus_hn 2 days ago 0 replies      
My trust in Microsoft was always limited because they have been behaving like crooks for as long as I remember. They have stooped to new lows though with the "Get Windows X" program and even more with Windows 10 itself. I do not trust them at all anymore. I actively avoid handling my personal data on devices running Microsofts software.
titanix2 2 days ago 0 replies      
Yes it did. I start using a lot (as a student) Visual Studio and Windows 7 after a year with Linux. By this time products were good. I got a Windows Phone 7 and developed some app on it.

After that Microsoft release Win8 with its insane UI that make me loose time compared to previous versions and it was mandatory to develop for WP8. Then it release WP8 with no upgrade for existing phones. It purposely "uglify" VS 2012 removing all color and using CAPS menu which I found more difficult to use.

Things got even worst with Win10 where they actually didn't listen to feedack and release an OS with start menu not really usage. And forced people to migrate by changing their whole system!Also bugs, bugs and bugs with both the system, new version of Visual Studio. And on the phone side they kill the entire Nokia line-up and still no manage to release a usable version of Win10 for phone in on year. The insider builds each broke more stuff than they fix even to the point you cannot even deploy an app.

I franckly tired of this cr*p. Promises not kept. And the fact Microsoft had cards to do great stuff but self destroy them. Many times. I'm still using VS and C# because that's awesome but I will not change my system for Win10. That's why the .net core stuff is interesting.

ionised 2 days ago 0 replies      
What litle trust they had from me was obliterated by their practices over the last year.

Never buying anything Microsoft again.

I will begrudgingly continue to use W10 as I am a heavy-duty PC gamer but I've locked that shit down as tight as is humanly possible.

All my personal computing and development will be done solely on Arch from now on.

WorldMaker 2 days ago 1 reply      
I've been happy with Windows 10 on all my devices. I didn't have any issues with GWX, because I switched over early on, at my convenience. What I hear about it since doesn't sound all that different from what I remember of iOS upgrade nags.
anonbanker 1 day ago 0 replies      
Microsoft spent my trust with the Palladium incident, but I left beforehand for greener pastures/uptimes.

- Linux-only since 1999.

Ask HN: List of technological breakthroughs through tinkering and perseverance?
10 points by zxcvvcxz  2 days ago   5 comments top 5
antoineMoPa 2 days ago 0 replies      
The GNU/linux kernel. It was started in 1991 by Linus Torvalds and it is now so important because of its use in mobile phones & servers (and my computer/laptop/chromebook). We all rely on it indirectly in our daily lives.
dTal 1 day ago 0 replies      
I feel it trivializes the Wright brothers' success to call it merely a result of "trial and error", in the manner of Edison's "test all the things" approach to lightbulbs. The Wright brothers did a vast amount of on-the-ground theoretical work which paid off handsomely. Their propeller design, for instance, achieved 99% of the efficiency of our best designs today. So it's more correct to call their success a result of being carefully methodical, which is worth considerably more than base persistence.

As for your question, quite honestly, I'm having more trouble coming up with a counterexample wherein progress came from a flash of brilliant insight. Iteration is the norm :) If you're looking for virtuoso performances, you could look to Konrad Zuse and his series of tabletop computers; however there's a lesson there as well, for apart from a couple guided bombs they never amounted to anything despite being years ahead of their time. You get better results with more staying power when you work with other people.

cottonseed 1 hour ago 0 replies      
As compared to?
devnonymous 2 days ago 0 replies      
First thing that came to mind when I read your question - I found the story of Bertha Benz pretty amazing :



Of course, the history of science is full of stories of perseverance despite personal and social obstacles but I am unsure whether that's what you meant by technological breakthroughs.

Closer to the modern day, there is the story of India's sanitary pad man although not sure if that counts as technological breakthrough (although it was iterative and fueled by perseverance) :


akoster 2 days ago 0 replies      
I was impressed by reading this recently: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=12074096
Ask HN: Should a shareholding employee have access to the companies cap table?
18 points by shareshelp  3 days ago   6 comments top 4
jeronpaul 3 days ago 1 reply      
In general, I think that telling relatively early employees in a startup their fully-diluted ownership percentage has become the norm.

I assume that this is the 0.75% worth of shares at the current valuation they promised you. You should confirm that this represents your share of the fully-diluted, as-converted shares of the company.

Here is more detail on what fully-diluted, as converted means: https://www.capshare.com/blog/how-many-shares-are-on-my-cap-....

If you confirm that this represents your share of fully-diluted, as-converted shares, then you can calculate the total number of shares on the cap table by simply dividing the number of shares you receive by 0.75%.

Regarding your other questions, every startup has a different approach to levels of transparency about equity.

Most companies do not grant full access to the cap table to employees beyond the founder group.

Many companies will give employees, especially key employees, a sense of their ownership percentage after future rounds.

Companies will typically provide less information to former employees who have left the company.

Exceptions to all of these generalities are somewhat common.

I wrote an article on this subject based on our experience with the 5,000+ companies and cap tables we manage on Capshare: https://www.capshare.com/blog/will-cap-table-transparency-he....

MalcolmDiggs 2 days ago 0 replies      
"It's my understanding that the number of shares are a worthless number without knowing how many shares have been issued in total. Is this correct?"

Yes, this is correct.

"Is it reasonable to expect the company to give me access to the full cap table?"


But, it IS reasonable for your contract to state what percentage of the fully-diluted capitalization of the company your stock options are granting you the right to purchase (at the time of the writing, or at a predetermined time in the future, like at the end of an round).

All that being said: All early employees are going to get diluted eventually (in most cases), and nobody has any way to predict how much dilution you're going to experience over time.

So, while it may make you feel better to know exactly what your options would be worth today, it's kind of irrelevant to what they'll be worth once you pass your vesting cliff.

The best protection, in that regard, is to only work with people you trust. If you're worried about being screwed-over by these people, and you haven't even started working there yet, that might be a bad sign.

tedmiston 3 days ago 1 reply      
Personally I hate that the "right" answer to this question is no.

In my experience working at seed stage, as an early employee having access to the cap table is a given.

At mid to late stage, it's the polar opposite. Funding rounds further complicate things because not all investors get the same terms / buy at the same valuation. With the information available to a normal employee, it becomes virtually impossible to value your own equity.

It's exceedingly frustrating to know you own x% of a company without knowing the total number of shares or the total valuation.

rahimnathwani 1 day ago 0 replies      
"It's my understanding that the number of shares are a worthless number without knowing how many shares have been issued in total. Is this correct?"

It's more than correct :(

Even if you knew the # of shares that had been issued, you'd also need to know the rights attached to each class of shares (e.g. some classes may have specified liquidation preferences) and also the terms on all outstanding options/warrants.

It sounds like you've already decided to take the offer (even without calculating the value of your 0.75%). So your only problem now is to verify that the # of shares in your contract matches the % in your offer. MalcolmDiggs' suggestion (getting the company to include the % that this represents on a particular date, in the contract) should be enough. That way, there's no chance of misunderstanding, and there's recourse for you if it turns out they lied.

How do international students start businesses in the US?
10 points by unicornication  2 days ago   4 comments top 4
atria 2 days ago 0 replies      
You want us to render advice that covers several legal specialties which converge between state, federal, tax, business, and immigration law, which if wrong, could result in a denial of a visa and untold aggrivation to your business partners? In addition, you want us to tell you the secret on how to found a company that will become a unicorn?

You are an F-1, so you are forbidden from working as statatory employee (immigration law + employement law), except as OPT. You are forbidden from forming a single-member Sub S corporation (tax law). However, there isn't any reason why you can't act as a sole proprietor or single member LLC (depending on state law regarding LLCs). While this violates the spirit of the law, as long as you declare your income on a Schedule C the IRS (tax law) won't care. You will not be able be an employee of the company, but you should be able to take a draw or distribution. If you go this route, should should reserve 30% of everything you make to pay taxes and be prepared to pay estimated quarterly taxes.

If you plan on holding accounts overseas, you need to find a CPA that understands the requirements for reporting foreign holdings. You really need to be asking a good attorney along with an even better accountant, and be prepared to pay for their advice.

whack 1 day ago 0 replies      
Judging from the other comments posted thus far, I don't think you're going to find any useful answers here.

The following link seems a lot more informative:


If I had to guess: The OPT is extremely flexible - I know of people who literally sat at home unemployed the whole time. So I suspect it should allow you to found a company as well. If that goes well, and if you're able to raise VC funding, that should allow your startup to then hire you on a H1B, or extend your OPT for an additional 1.5 years.

But my main advise is to do a variety of google searches around the above keywords. That should give you a better idea of what your potential options are. Once you understand the problem space a little more clearly, find an immigration lawyer who's willing to do a consultation for ~$200/hour, and have them give you specific legal advise for your situation. Good luck.

eshvk 2 days ago 0 replies      
> H1B where their employer is their board? But it's still a lottery

I don't understand how you plan to start a business when you are being employed by someone else? As in I don't think you can be listed as a founder in the company that is offering you a H1B

> O-1? But it's supposedly a very hard visa to get?


> EB-5? But you need $500K-1M


Ultimately, it is not easy and only a few can work (not start a business) in the U.S. YMMV and you should probably talk to an Immigration Lawyer.

brudgers 2 days ago 0 replies      
I fear the conclusion about colleges may not be justified by its antecedent. Off the top of my head, my impression is that some of the tech leaders who came to the US as students came as children with their parents, e.g. Sergey Brin was six when his parents emigrated from Russia.
Ask HN: Is callback hell exaggerated?
9 points by tonyle  2 days ago   17 comments top 9
nostrademons 2 days ago 0 replies      
It wasn't really a problem with JS before 2010 because JS wasn't used for servers. UI programming is usually event-driven, and rarely has long chains of asynchronous operations (outside of complicated programmer-defined animations, which few people are using). It became a problem with Node because suddenly folks are making lots of mutually-dependent network, filesystem, and database queries, all of which require a callback.

Even then, I think it's a bit overstated - people were writing event-driven servers in C++ before Javascript was even invented. I do think that being able to use semicolons to sequence two statements is a lot more concise than nesting a chain of closures, though.

MalcolmDiggs 2 days ago 0 replies      
It's a real problem, but so is promise-chain hell, and bound-event hell, and coroutine hell, and multithread hell, etc etc.

It's not black and white, and no library is going to solve all the issues. A pragmatic JS engineer is going to have to use many different tools in their toolbelt on a routine basis, it's just a matter of choosing the right tool for the job (which includes taking into account the environment you're working in and the code that already exists).

But in general, in my experience, callback hell is often a sign of an upstream design-pattern issue. If the procedure you're writing needs to call a series of 20 functions, in sequence, (and wait for them all to callback one after the other) you can probably implement it in a clean way that doesn't require your code to move evermore to the right. Frameworks like Express (which passes around "next"), and Mocha (which passes around "done") set great precedent of alternative ways to conceptualize those kind of issues. Achieving this in practice often means writing a combination of promises, callbacks, and other things.

angersock 2 days ago 2 replies      
So, I think an example here will help you understand.

Let's use NodeJS with Express and with pg-node. Let's say you have a database.

 1. You define an Express handler to handle a get request. 2. In that handler, you connect to a database, which takes a callback 3. You create a query on that connection, this takes a callback. 4. You then write a function that feeds the query result rows into a CSV exporter, which takes a callback (because of course it does).
You now have a pyramid something like 5 levels deep. Callback hell is in fact a thing.

However, I've found that pipeline of promises almost completely solve that problem.

zzzcpan 2 days ago 0 replies      
Yeah, callback hell is not a real thing. People tend to dislike callbacks only when they don't have much experience with them. I remember being like that myself. But there are a lot of problems that are inherently asynchronous and are much easier to solve with callbacks, than with anything else.
smt88 2 days ago 1 reply      

It depends on how much of your business logic must be synchronous and how much it relies on asynchronous operations. It also depends on what you consider to be hellish.

async/await is still cleaner than even a single promise, so you might as well use it.

antoineMoPa 2 days ago 0 replies      
It is a problem that is easily fixed. I like the fact that javascript allows you to write ugly code to make something work fast. When it works, you can refactor quickly by naming anonymous functions / using Promises / using whatever framework.

Here is my nodejs algorithm so far:

 - Code something ugly with 4-7 anonymous function levels - Realize I'm in callback hell - Refactor and make sure all functions have access to the variables they need. (Because the scope is often changed while refactoring) - Test - Repeat

kazinator 2 days ago 0 replies      
Callbacks are successfully applied in lower-level languages. When a serial driver in Linux receives characters, generally at interrupt time, it invokes a callback in the TTY layer. You don't hear kernel developers whining about "callback hell". These C callbacks are just function pointers: any closure-like semantics is simulated by registering a pointer to data along with the function pointer, which is then passed in the callback call.
znpy 2 days ago 0 replies      
No it is not.
Kinnard 2 days ago 1 reply      
       cached 23 July 2016 20:05:01 GMT