hacker news with inline top comments    .. more ..    11 Nov 2016 Ask
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Ask HN: Can new graduates get (good) remote work?
3 points by lwithers  2 hours ago   1 comment top
itamarst 54 minutes ago 0 replies      
Getting a remote job will be pretty hard as a junior developer, since remote work requires more trust in someone's ability to work independently.

I would also say it's not good for someone in your shoes: you'll learn much more and much faster if you're in the same room as experienced software developers.

Increase Hacker News Font Size?
9 points by rosstex  6 hours ago   7 comments top 6
RickS 4 hours ago 1 reply      
> I can increase the zoom on Chrome, but when I do, any article I click on is also magnified.

Is this standard behavior for Chrome? I have my HN zoomed at 125% (2 steps up) and while it remembers it for all of this domain, none of the linked stuff is zoomed regardless of what kind of target window it opens in.

anotheryou 39 minutes ago 0 replies      
I use this firefox extention: https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/zoom-page/

Breakes on some sites, but for most it zooms to up to 150%. When I make the browser smaller it might just zoom to less, depending on how well the site reflows.

jiten_bansal 48 minutes ago 0 replies      
I made this chrome extension to increse visibility and better font size https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/hackernews-theme/n...
LordWinstanley 1 hour ago 0 replies      
On my Android tablet where, sadly, HN is but one of many sites which seem to think I have microscope lenses fitted instead of eyeballs, I use Opera which, while far from perfect, does have one killer feature; namely it reflows text on a page when you pinch to zoom in.

Give it a go, if on mobile. You'll wonder how you lived without it.


[No affiliation. Just a happy camper]

sndean 5 hours ago 0 replies      
Not a great solution when you simply want larger font size, but I use Stylish on pretty much every page.

I use this: https://userstyles.org/styles/22794/a-dark-hacker-news

Makes some of the font larger. You could modify that sheet.

marrejao 3 hours ago 0 replies      
I made my own version just for fun, but it has a larger size :Dhttp://martinsandstrom.github.io/HackerNews/
Ask HN: Why doesn't HN have a comment notification system?
4 points by pvsukale3  4 hours ago   6 comments top 2
jiten_bansal 3 hours ago 1 reply      
I am building notification for HN chrome extension https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/hackernews-theme/n...Since It is my side project, It will take time. Although you are free to contribute in https://github.com/jitenbansal/hackernews
boggydepot 3 hours ago 2 replies      
Related question: Is there a way for me to check replies to my comments? Or my posts?
Ask HN: How do news networks get election data?
239 points by source99  2 days ago   54 comments top 24
Steeeve 1 day ago 5 replies      
AP and Reuters pay people to check the results locally. Between them, they feed a LOT of outlets. A significant amount of the data is available online pretty quickly, but some states and localities simply don't publish the data in a timely manner.

Some news organizations will have their own staff checking results, especially in areas where it is known that the results will be slow and the results are going to be within polling error margins.

You'd think the data could be crowd-sourced more effectively, but private citizens get the data more slowly for a few reasons ... First is that there is red tape involved in obtaining the data (i.e. forms to fill out, fees to pay and it all must be done ahead of time) and second is that after-hours early access to data is just plain limited logistically. If it could be efficiently delivered to a large quantity of people, it would be presented online.

There are a few areas where the government decides that it's more efficient to let private parties distribute data, and it's generally pretty good business to become one of those parties. NMVTIS data comes to mind immediately (carfax and it's competitors), but there are many similar instances.

Maxious 2 days ago 1 reply      
Associated Press offers a data feed http://ap.org/products-services/elections/FAQshttps://developer.ap.org/ap-elections-api

"Shortly before the polls close, over 4,000 stringers report to county election centers. When the first polls close, theyll be ready to start phoning in the raw vote as it is reported by the counties. Theyll place their calls to AP election centers around the country.

At the centers, a total of over 800 vote entry clerks will answer those calls, and walk each stringer through a dialogue as they enter the number of precincts reporting and the candidates votes into our election night system. "

imroot 2 days ago 1 reply      
I did this in the 2014 election cycle, reporting a county in Ohio.

They pay $50 for someone to go to the county and report the election results. There's an iphone, android, and mobile web site, as well as a call center that takes that input.

Honestly, it was a really fun evening in the middle of nowhere Ohio...

timwis 1 day ago 0 replies      
In Philadelphia, the city government publishes election results to phillyelectionresults.com as they're counted. The local civic hacking group (code for philly) built a nodejs scraper of the site (and an API for it) and a mobile-friendly front-end that auto-refreshes. It was available at whowonphilly.com, but the city government office that oversees elections has since adopted it as the official live results site.


Disclaimer: I work in philly's city government. It's really cool, and we'll soon be hiring a product manager (for beta.phila.gov), a data engineer (for open data), and a front-end/wordpress developer.

jtcond13 1 day ago 0 replies      
The NYT had their code on GitHub: https://github.com/newsdev/elex-loader
zodPod 1 day ago 0 replies      
Does anyone know if this data eventually becomes a dataset somewhere uploaded possibly free? It seems like AP's stream is for live data. I'd like the full break down by demographics and counties and stuff but clearly it's too late for it to be live.
rwc 2 days ago 0 replies      
They do -- in the form of staff on the ground collecting the information from the individual county-level offices. They collect that data as it's announced before it's even reported up to state election bodies.
robinwarren 1 day ago 1 reply      
I have some experience of this in the UK at least. Here we have feeds from the likes of the press association as well as the official results coming from the electoral commission. However, networks may have their own people at some or all of the counts. These would be local journalists who are attending the counts and will feed news stories back to the studio during the night. They will also get the results from the returning officer and call them in.

In the UK at least we aren't meant to release the results until the returning officer reads them out so waiting for any of the above while showing a live feed of a result would mean we don't have the result to show on screen immediately. For this reason you would likely also have people in the studio watching the live feeds from counts and entering the numbers which would then be double checked against the official feed later. This can be tricky when the result is drowned out by cheering from a crowd of supporters! ie "Labout party, John Candidate 22 thousand... <WOOOOOO - YEAAAH> ...hundred and 1 votes"

The focus for news orgs is getting these results out accurately before their competitors, no one wants to be slow to announce the results.

namank 2 days ago 0 replies      
The other one is Reuters. AP and Reuters are the two largest networks for gathering news. Most other brands that you know and recognize are in the business of distributing news.
emcrazyone 1 day ago 0 replies      
I'm curious about this myself but more so on the voter registration side. For example, how do they make sure each voter is casting a single vote?

In Illinois I registered to vote well before the deadline. I showed up to cast my ballot but my name wasn't in the "database." The folks managing the polling station had to manually re-enter all my details into an Android tablet. While this was happening, I took out my phone and scanned the WiFi network of the church I was in. I assume the tablets were connected via wifi. I saw no other connection to the tablet besides a power connection. To my surprised the WIFI was running WEP. Hmm, this day in age you would think WEP would be default=off. This was at a local Church too. So perhaps the tablets use cellular data plans?

They get all my PII data entered, I get my ballot, fill it out, and pass it through a machine. The machine is in the corner of the building in a large box so I can't tell if it's hardwired to some network or using the wifi.

Later that day (about an hour later after re-entering my details into the Android tablet) I went to the Illinois voter registration web site to look up my name and I can find my details.

Anyone have any information on the tablet software? Who writes it? How it's transmitted and stored? What about the electronic ballot counting machines? Are the phoning home some where?

The whole setup seems sketchy to me.

As an aside: I know a couple people who have homes in different states and claim they can cast multiple votes by driving/flying to the state where they have 2nd home to cast a 2nd ballot.

bitwize 1 day ago 0 replies      
Back in the day it was via the News Election Service, which was a joint venture of the major news networks and AP. These volunteers (I was one of them) would go down to the voting precinct and once the votes were counted, the election officials would announce the totals for each candidate. They would write down and then phone in these results to a central office. There was a computer automated system at the other end that would ingest the results.
ardacinar 1 day ago 0 replies      
Well, the US seems both more advanced and more ass-backwards compared to here in Turkey. Our way of getting data is very archaic, with people checking the results locally etc. (Internet might or might not be internally involved in that). But the trust in the elections are very low, and so the coverage of the elections has been a BIG issue since 2014 or so, many news networks have a few sources in parallel, and had the numbers for each reporting outlet and their biases on screen at the same time (different outlets converge in the end, but the intermediate numbers they report can be VERY divergent)

In addition to all those, there is Oy ve Otesi, a non-profit does the entire thing with only volunteer work. Their coverage is pretty minimal in rural areas, though.

ambirex 1 day ago 0 replies      
In MN the Secretary of State makes data files (mostly csv) available to media outlets.

We transfer and process them, for national races we we the AP Election API

jimmyswimmy 2 days ago 0 replies      
The state of Virginia has a json feed. But several times I saw news results reporting more votes than the state's website did. So it's at least not just that, if that helps.
VT_Drew 1 day ago 1 reply      
I don't know why there isn't a live data feed. I wish when you went in to vote there was a big screen that shows the current vote count for each candidate. You should be able to stay and watch the screen until the polls close and know exactly how your town voted.
qz_ 1 day ago 0 replies      
Usually the state board of elections reports directly to the media.
namank 1 day ago 0 replies      
Btw, Twitter definitely has the potential to rival and I think, dominate, AP and Reuters if they design the business that way. Just need a reliable way to decide trust worthiness of the tweet/source, and a way to put context around a tweet or a bunch of tweets so the headline can be derived from the tweets.
csommers 1 day ago 0 replies      
Decision Desk > NEP/NEAT for us
stratigos 1 day ago 0 replies      
They get the data they are told to regurgitate from the same centralized authority that produces all other mainstream news... though they are pretty good at making it seem like true journalistic endeavors actually produce the information theyre droning out to the masses of TV zombies.
pboutros 2 days ago 0 replies      
State and county websites, I think?
dvdhnt 2 days ago 1 reply      
My impression is that pollsters, people surveying voters during the election, report via the AP or directly to networks; seems basically like the traditional news wire.
billconan 2 days ago 2 replies      
I previously read an article about this, too bad it is in Chinese http://www.wenxuecity.com/news/2016/11/07/5747980.html

basically it says it is based on exit poll. and it is costly, so many media companies formed an entity called NationalElection Pool to do the report.

And they also hired a company called Edison Research to do the exit poll.

namank 1 day ago 1 reply      
Btw, Twitter definitely has the potential to rival and I think, dominate, AP and Reuters if they design the business that way. Just need a reliable way to decide trust worthiness of the tweet/source, and a way to put context around a tweet or a bunch of tweets so the headline can be derived from the tweets.
Facebook forces user to use messenger on mobile site
9 points by akras14  9 hours ago   4 comments top 3
plouc 2 hours ago 0 replies      
It's not the answer you are looking for but you can install Slimsocial for Facebook - where it works.
jazoom 2 hours ago 0 replies      
It has been like this for me for months. I just stopped using it except at a Desktop.
sebastian-heinz 8 hours ago 1 reply      
you can switch to 'desktop view' in most android browsers, allowing you to use the fb web messenger. i know its super annoying but the only way around tho.
Ask HN: What are you using for project management?
10 points by JacobLinney  12 hours ago   11 comments top 11
SerLava 6 hours ago 0 replies      
We use two great project management platforms:

1. Walking around asking people what the fuck is going on

2. Outlook

To wake is pain; I long for the release of death

TurboHaskal 1 hour ago 0 replies      
We put post-its on a wall and feel productive moving them around.

The rest of the week we stick to good old micromanagement. Jira is great for that.

vaceletm 4 hours ago 0 replies      
We are using Tuleap[1] b/c flexibility and good agile support

[1] https://tuleap.org

gglitch 7 hours ago 0 replies      
My team comfortably uses Asana and appreciates its flexibility; but I'd rather be using Jira. Asana has one highly useful feature we never found similar functionality for in Trello: being able to assign a task to more than one project.
welder 12 hours ago 0 replies      
I use GitHub projects/issues with the WakaTime integration, but most of my projects are open-source or the company already uses GitHub private repos.

Trello also works well alongside GitHub issues.

y1426i 9 hours ago 0 replies      
We use pivotal tracker which is awesome. We use labeling conventions heavily to customize for our workflows.
nekitamo 9 hours ago 0 replies      
I've worked with multiple small teams that used Redmine. Worked fine each time, no complaints.
anthony_franco 8 hours ago 0 replies      
We use Lighthouse App. It's got just enough features for us and pretty simple.
orky56 11 hours ago 0 replies      
Used to use Asana but finding JIRA to provide the necessary amount of structure for me to be disciplined.
dataminded 11 hours ago 0 replies      
I use Teamwork but plotting a jump to JIRA for more functionality.
crystalPalace 10 hours ago 0 replies      
My company uses Asana.
Ask HN: How Can I Get into NLP (Natural Language Processing)?
284 points by aarohmankad  1 day ago   42 comments top 32
gsingers 1 day ago 1 reply      
My co-authors and I wrote "Taming Text" (https://www.manning.com/books/taming-text) specifically for programmers (there is little math, mostly code) interested in getting started in NLP. The examples are a bit dated at this point (2013 publication date), but still applicable for someone getting started. Covers getting started, feature extraction and preprocessing, search, clustering, classification, string heuristics, Named Entity Recognition and finishes off w/ a simple Question Answering system. Examples are in Java. It is not an academic treatise.
erniedeferia 1 day ago 1 reply      
I have found these sources useful for learning and prototyping NLP:



NLTK is always a good starting point:http://www.nltk.org

I also wrote a 3-part article leveraging OpenNLP with Clojure:


If you're interesting in applying NLP without necessarily having theoretical background, wit.ai offers some really impressive features.

Course also offers a good course:


theCricketer 1 day ago 2 replies      
There is a great set of lectures by Dan Jurafsky and Chris Manning:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nfoudtpBV68&list=PL6397E4B26...

It would be helpful to have some background in Machine Learning. For a good introductory course with a mix of mathematical background, see https://see.stanford.edu/Course/CS229

NLP in the more modern systems is backed by deep neural nets. Here's a course on NLP using deep learning:https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLIiVRB6G_w0i-uOoS6cDh...

deepaksurti 1 day ago 1 reply      
For initial learning, I would second NLTK with: http://www.nltk.org

You can also checkout https://github.com/vseloved/cl-nlp. It is an NLP toolkit in Common Lisp. Vsevolod the project owner is a great guy to work with. I had contributed with some minor bug fixes, tests, documentation more than a year back, hence the mention of Vsevolod.

You could also think on the alternative lines of contributing to an open source project in NLP and building an application on top of it. Talking to any such project owner for expected sample apps might help, as they can go into that project gallery and you get to level up your skills. Hope this helps.

smcameron 1 day ago 0 replies      
You're probably looking for something a bit more sophisticated than what I'm about to mention, but if you don't need anything too sophisticated (that is, if you can significantly limit the domain of the speech you need to be able to understand), you could do something like what I did for "the computer" on my star trek-like space sim Space Nerds In Space: http://hackaday.com/2016/06/08/talking-star-trek/

I used pocketsphinx (trained with specially limited vocab) for speech to text, my own home grown Zork-esque parser for "understanding" the text and generating responses, and pico2wav for text to speech for the responses. That's described in a bit more detail here: https://scaryreasoner.wordpress.com/2016/05/14/speech-recogn...

lovelearning 1 day ago 0 replies      
My recommendations, based on online courses and YouTube playlists I've taken:

- Coursera's old NLP course by Michael Collins, Columbia Univ. More of theory and concepts. It's discontinued now on coursera but the material is available at academictorrents. [1]

- NLP with Python and NLTK videos by sentdex [2]. Mostly programming, but with useful nuggets of concepts introduced here and there.

[1]: http://academictorrents.com/details/f99e7184fca947ee8f779016...

[2]: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLQVvvaa0QuDf2JswnfiGk...

hiou 1 day ago 0 replies      
NLTK[0][1] (Natural Language Toolkit) was fantastic as an initial resource for me. Because it's a self contained book and library, I found it to have a very smooth learning curve. There is some introductory programming stuff that you can very easily just skip in the beginning so don't let that turn you off initially.

[0] http://nltk.org[1] http://nltk.org/book

dksidana 1 day ago 1 reply      
https://spacy.io/ is one of the best library for NLP if you are using python
sandius 1 day ago 0 replies      
NLP is a huge topic, and the choice of materials pretty much depends on what you'd like to focus on. In my experience nothing beats a good textbook, especially if you do the exercises.

The classic NLP textbook is

* Jurafsky, Martin: "Speech and Language Processing" (https://web.stanford.edu/~jurafsky/slp3/) -- already mentioned here: a very solid overview textbook to give you an idea about the field;

Should you be interested in statistical NLP (even if it probably isn't as sexy as it used to be), the classic there is:

* Manning, Schtze: "Foundations of Statistical Natural Language Processing" (http://nlp.stanford.edu/fsnlp/).

mrborgen 1 day ago 0 replies      
I did a one week ml stunt last year: https://medium.com/learning-new-stuff/machine-learning-in-a-...

I'd recommend starting with the Kaggle Bag of Words tutorial.

andrewtbham 1 day ago 0 replies      
If you're interested in deep learning for nlp... I suggest at least some familiarity with these papers. It sorta depends on what task you want to use it for.


languagehacker 1 day ago 1 reply      
Take a look at Stanford CoreNLP: http://stanfordnlp.github.io/CoreNLP/

It's relatively fast (after model load time) and quite feature-rich.

denzil_correa 1 day ago 0 replies      
Please read through the Handbook of NLP for a nice overview.


sundarurfriend 1 day ago 0 replies      
My suggestion is, in addition to using the videos and courses for background knowledge, to take up and work on a (non-homework) project, to truly explore the area.

For eg., Betty [1] is quite an interesting project with both real-life use and practical NLP considerations, and is looking for new maintainers. (I'm not affiliated, just interested in NLP myself and have been itching to get into betty for some time.)

If you like thinking about game design, there's also the option of Interactive Fiction [2], NLP-involving ones are called parser-based fictions I believe. A recent FLOSS podcast episode with folks from the IF Tech Foundation was pretty interesting and illuminating regarding this area.

[1] https://github.com/pickhardt/betty[2] http://iftechfoundation.org/frequently-asked-questions/

du_bing 1 day ago 1 reply      
Hi, some tools seem work fine with English, so is there any good NLP tool for Chinese? Hope for some advice, thanks ahead.
garysieling 22 hours ago 0 replies      
Do you want to use NLP in a project, or to dig into the state of the art?

The NLTK approach may be dated, but it is easier to approach as an engineer, especially if this is a hobby. It will give you a good introduction to problems in the space.

The math heavy approaches may give better results long-term, but it will be a much longer time commitment, but this is probably more appropriate if you're trying to find a job.

You can also do interesting things with a small dataset and the free plans of APIs like Watson. E.g., I'm working on a search engine for standalone lectures - https://www.findlectures.com.

carljohan 1 day ago 0 replies      
Jurafaki and Martins Natural language processing is a great book covering a great deal pf topics in nlp.
joelhooks 1 day ago 0 replies      
We've just started adding lessons on this topic on egghead.io [0]

[0] https://egghead.io/lessons/node-js-break-up-language-strings...

noahshpak 23 hours ago 0 replies      
I got into NLP through Chris Callison-Burch's class at the University of Pennsylvania (http://mt-class.org/penn/). Great meta resource for intro readings, background, and advanced methods.

This is the textbook for the course: http://www.statmt.org/book/

dukakisxyz 1 day ago 0 replies      
Check out this curated list of resources dedicated to Natural Language Processing on GitHub: https://github.com/keonkim/awesome-nlp. Also this is a great blog for understanding the business and high level aspects of the technology: https://lekta.ai/blog/
probinso 19 hours ago 0 replies      
Start by finding a linguist. You can find one at your local university.

Let the linguist design your first project. It should be something that they don't know how to solve, but have wanted to know.

Don't worry about if it is feasible. Go to local data meetups when you have enough exposure to form your first questions.

totalperspectiv 1 day ago 0 replies      
Has anyone read Language Processing in Perl and Prolog and have thoughts on it? I'm looking g for something that goes deep on theory, but has good code examples, and is preferably a book.


JSeymourATL 21 hours ago 0 replies      
Build up personal & professional contacts. Check out this group -- ACM Special Interest Group on Artificial Intelligence > https://sigai.acm.org/index.html
elorant 23 hours ago 0 replies      
I would suggest you start with An introduction for information retrieval. You can find a free version here:


stass 1 day ago 0 replies      
Prolog and Natural-Language Analysis[1] is great from both theoretical and practical standpoints.

[1] http://www.mtome.com/Publications/PNLA/prolog-digital.pdf

norswap 1 day ago 0 replies      
I have no particular expertise on the topic, but just in case you missed it, there is this Quora question: https://www.quora.com/How-do-I-learn-Natural-Language-Proces...

It points to NLTK as the framework of choice, and has links to a couple MOOCs and tutorials.

shanwang 1 day ago 0 replies      
I'm going through the stand ford cs224D videos, only done 3 videos and they are very theory focused, lots of math equations. Any one know other good materials on NLP using neural networks?
edblarney 1 day ago 0 replies      
Watch the videos made by Jurafsky (Stanford) as a starting point.

They are quick. This will give you an overview of classical NLP.

From there, you can dig more where you want.

kylebgorman 22 hours ago 0 replies      
I would not recommend NLTK (or its book) or Jurafsky & Martin, or Manning & Schuetze. All are insanely dated. Watch some Coursera lectures, check out a newer, non-academic, application-oriented text, or just build something.
probinso 1 day ago 0 replies      
start a project with someone. write your own data scraper, and implement a model.
joesmo 1 day ago 0 replies      
Check out Stanford's NLP libraries. We've been using those in production for years now. The documentation around it is not great, but the tools work well.
lifeisstillgood 21 hours ago 0 replies      
to the mods: vagabondjack's comment seems sensible, informative and well thought out but seems to have been de-duped in error.

Any chance of raising it out of grey-text territory?

Ask HN: Good resources/sites for things every programmer should know?
12 points by laksmanv  16 hours ago   3 comments top 3
crystalPalace 13 hours ago 0 replies      
A great intro or refresher for a surprisingly large array of languages and some concepts - https://learnxinyminutes.com/

A great start for the generalist software developer/engineer - http://matt.might.net/articles/what-cs-majors-should-know/

sua_3000 15 hours ago 0 replies      
very few devs I know take the time to read these: - https://docs.angularjs.org/api - https://facebook.github.io/react/docs/hello-world.html

Docs may be 20, 30, 40 pages long, and out of those only 10 of those may be applicable, but you really can't know until you read them all. Read the manual.

itamarst 12 hours ago 0 replies      
There's a bunch of technical skills you should have, and I'm sure people will suggest some good resources. But there's other skills as well, about how to think about solving problems, and planning your career, and prioritization that you also need.

I've been writing up all the mistakes I've made as a software engineer for the past 20 years so other programmers can avoid them. A lot of them fall into that second category, turns out. Some technical stuff too, of course. Check out https://softwareclown.com if you're interested.

Grubhub CEO sells stock before making damaging statements
9 points by Skywing  7 hours ago   9 comments top 6
askafriend 5 hours ago 0 replies      
He sells ~11,000 shares every month and has been doing so for a while from what I understand. A former employee posted something to this tune, though I forget where I read it.
inimino 6 hours ago 2 replies      
Whatever you're reaching for here, it's quite a reach.

He sent an internal email about politics and it backfired. It's not like he gave a press conference announcing the company was in financial trouble.

radamanthus 6 hours ago 0 replies      
The transaction was before the elections. Looks perfectly normal to me.
dvdhnt 5 hours ago 0 replies      
Sweet another CEO being emotionally reactive.
laughfactory 6 hours ago 0 replies      
Oh, wow, this sounds super illegal. Particularly if he re-buys at a lower price.
Ask HN: Do you regret using an obscure language for something?
5 points by networked  11 hours ago   1 comment top
NotAtHomeAcc 3 hours ago 0 replies      
I used Scala for a few projects.

I won't do it again.

Ask HN: Which is your favorite source of non Tech news?
10 points by nclx  18 hours ago   16 comments top 9
secfirstmd 17 hours ago 2 replies      
Can't beat The Guardian for solid international and free coverage of important issues.


Al Jazeera English can be quite good (though be wary of some of it's Qatar biases), it tends to be excellent on Africa and Asia.


crypto5 15 hours ago 1 reply      
> https://www.rt.com/usa/366138-harambe-vote-president-us/

JFYI, Russia Today is a heavy propaganda TV network, sponsored by Russian government.

rmason 17 hours ago 1 reply      
Jason Calacanis publishes a series of email newsletters that cover US news, tech and dozens of verticals like electric cars.


You could ask them to support RSS, I've found them to be surprising responsive.

mancerayder 13 hours ago 0 replies      
Reuters! Light on unblockable ads, reasonably neutral coverage and very broad coverage. It's my go to.

I pay for the Financial Times, I blame reading Chomsky in college for that. Solid international coverage. Only subscription I have.

Guardian is nauseating at times, but I read it. NYT is a silly paywall. I deemed its flowery essays not worth paying for.

DanBC 17 hours ago 1 reply      
Not sure it meets your criteria, but I read IrinNews, which focuses on humanitarian emergency stuff: http://www.irinnews.org/
crayon765 13 hours ago 0 replies      
pdog 14 hours ago 0 replies      
None. Seriously, try a low-information diet and see how materially affected your life is.
vonklaus 14 hours ago 0 replies      
For me I try to read state sponsored/official news of several nations in publications like:

- rt

- bbc

- ny times

- xinhuanet

This gives each countries official position and the delta between them is usually useful info.

I also use twitter for curated feeds, which can be useful.

The guardian and intercept are also pretty good. I no longer trust the economist. While obviously biased, I do like ZeroHedge

rbcgerard 17 hours ago 0 replies      
checkout bloomberg's 5 things you need to know today, you can sign up via email
Ask HN: Any good resources for finding software jobs abroad?
359 points by kevlar1818  2 days ago   216 comments top 58
bendmorris 2 days ago 6 replies      
A man was walking along a river bank when he saw another man on the opposite side. "Hello!" he called out, "how do you get to the other side of the river?"

The man called out in response, "you are on the other side of the river!"

mlent 1 hour ago 0 replies      
I have written a bit about working abroad, working remotely from abroad, and how to emigrate to germany and finding jobs in Berlin. Let me know if you find any of this information useful!


Specifically, this posts on working remotely from abroad, but most of the resources listed also have jobs in-person, too.


erikbye 2 days ago 3 replies      
Norway: http://m.finn.no/job/fulltime/search.html?occupation=0.23&fi...

281 java positions, 182 c#, 91 c++

New ones coming in every day.

There is a lot of demand here for skilled developers, most positions are not for startups, but established business.

Software developer salary is typically lower than in the US, but then again, cost of living (as far as apartment rent goes(in Oslo)) is lower than in SV. C#/Java back-end salary usually range from 600,000 NOK (73 188 dollar, at the low end, not much experience, poor resume) to 1,000,000 NOK (121 980 dollar, senior).

The average developer salary in Oslo is at 106k (dollar). National average is 82k, most attractive jobs, and salaries, tend to be in Oslo.

chill1 2 days ago 4 replies      
You could try freelance work for clients remotely. That would give you a lot of freedom to choose where to live.

I am an American living, working (as a freelance programmer) in Czech Republic -- good economy (especially Prague), low crime rate, low cost of living. Happy to answer questions.

sreejithr 2 days ago 1 reply      
The country you currently live in defines what this "Abroad" is. At least specify if you're American or non-American.
kirushik 1 day ago 1 reply      
We at SUSE Linux will be happy to relocate all the suitable specialists (development, QA, support, management... 66 positions are open) to Germany or Czech: https://jobs.suse.com

You can filter by location, we have a couple of positions in Provo, Utah as well...

mrborgen 2 days ago 0 replies      
The company I work for, Xeneta (startup in sea freight industry), is hiring developers in Norway:https://www.xeneta.com/careers

Otherwise, apply for jobs in Norwegian startups through this site:


zemanel 1 day ago 0 replies      
I've found a job abroad (im from portugal) twice, once in UK and recently netherlands, both through LinkedIn Jobs (coincidently or not). Had other contacts through HN Who's Hiring posts as well.

Ps: SanomaNL is hiring in the Netherlands (senior fronted/backend python but Golang is creeping up/devops): https://github.com/sanoma/jobs/blob/master/README.md

jrockway 2 days ago 2 replies      
You still have to pay for Trump's wall.

For me, it's not worth moving. I was born here, and as a result I'm somewhat responsible for the actions my country takes as a whole. Moving doesn't change that. The grass looks greener on the other side, but other countries aren't really doing that well with human rights, LGBT issues, affordable housing, or constitutionally-protected free speech. No matter where you move, you're trading one bag of shit for another.

It's weird.

lacampbell 2 days ago 1 reply      
I'm curious too. I live in New Zealand. How can I get a software job abroad - say in the United States?
afarrell 2 days ago 3 replies      
I recently made the move (US->UK) and am happy to give people advice. My email is in my profile.
smcl 2 days ago 0 replies      
If you're interested in moving to Switzerland then the lad who wrote the post below is semi-frequently on HN iirc. I had a brief email back-and-forth with him which was pretty useful and informative (though I ended up staying put).


jiahen 2 days ago 2 replies      
This is a good resources if you want to work in Asia. https://www.techinasia.com/jobs
mattnumbe 2 days ago 4 replies      
I recruit in Japan and we use DaiJob, Indeed, and GaijinPot. There are also quite a few on linkedIn (they seem to pay a lot better as well)
zwetan 1 day ago 1 reply      
I think the problem is not about finding resources but about culture of the country and their work culture

I'm French, long time ago as long as I was looking from France to work in the UK, about 9 out of 10 recruiters ignored me.

Once I landed in London and did the same search of jobs, interviews piled on me.

I'm not saying you can not find anything from remote and online, just saying it seems much much easier to find something once you are already in the country.

timClicks 2 days ago 0 replies      
The standard website for New Zealand listings is seek.co.nz.

If you are interested in the startup scene, the best recruiters would probably be Talent Army

slimano 1 day ago 0 replies      
If you're looking for a job in Paris, Lyon, London or Berlin -> https://www.talent.io/

Just signup, get a call with a talent advocate so they know what you're looking for, and as soon as the next monday you're in. You will receive from 5 to 15 tailored job offers in less than 2 weeks. That's the easiest way around.

themckman 1 day ago 0 replies      
I was able to find a job rather quickly on berlinstartupjobs.com if you'd like to consider Germany as an option.

Germany is a rather good option for working abroad as getting a visa is pretty easy if you have a college degree and make a certain amount of money. They're pretty liberal about handing out something called the EU Blue Card. That's what I had when I was over there. You don't even need to do anything before you get there. All the paperwork happens when you're in the country. The trickiest part of the whole process is making sure you end up at a place when you get there that you can register at with the local government as you have to show your registration confirmation as part of the Blue Card process. If you can get registered and receive mail wherever you stay initially everything is pretty easy.

xando 1 day ago 0 replies      
https://whoishiring.io has jobs aggregated from few sources including Hacker News Who is Hiring thread.
s_dev 1 day ago 0 replies      
I made this for anyone looking to become a dev in Ireland: https://www.reddit.com/r/DevelEire/wiki/index
planetjones 2 days ago 0 replies      
For EU citizens you could just go on Jobserve.com and find an IT job in the UK or Switzerland (or maybe else where) that interests you and apply. Many jobs will only take people with the right to work, but there may be others who would sponsor a permit from outside the EU.
lifeisstillgood 2 days ago 0 replies      
In Europe simply buy a train ticket and go.

I am assuming however this is leaving the US for ... not-US locations

My suggestion would be to stay where you are, look for remote work opportunities that will give you the ability to losslessly change jobs until you found the work culture that suits.

And it also gives you opportunity to get involved in your local or state politics where you can make a genuine difference.

Just as Europe has a free-to-move labour force (for now!) the US has strong and increasingly independent States that look more and more like the engines of progressive change. California just approved marijuana for example.

Let the countries of the world deal with any changing trade and defence agreements. It's why they have diplomats.

NB - I am not meaning to be as patronising as I may be coming across

sean_patel 2 days ago 0 replies      
I found a couple that seem ok. They let you filter by country and job type.



soci 1 day ago 0 replies      
All Startup Jobs in Barcelona (Europe) here:www.jobsbcn.com

Startup Jobs in Madrid here:www.jobsmad.com

koevet 2 days ago 0 replies      

Very good for medium-long term consulting gigs in Europe

binoyjohn 2 days ago 0 replies      
Indeed.com of the specific country is the easiest way to find open positions in your target country.

Easy Expat < This site contains international classified advertisements, discussion forums, and job listings for expatriates all over the world.

petethepig 2 days ago 0 replies      
Hacker News?"Who's hiring?" & "Who wants to be hired?" posts every month.
paulus_magnus2 1 day ago 0 replies      

They will start you just about any Western Europe country on your first job / contract. After that rely on your network as agencies advertising there are not 1st tier in the supplier chain

hitcontract 2 days ago 0 replies      
There is a platform https://hitcontract.lt/ for IT jobs/contracts in Scandinavian and Baltic countries. If registered you may get all the projects that suits your skills and experience precisely. Also, project managers can invite you to their projects. It's absolutely free for Developers. Please have a look.
lazerwalker 1 day ago 0 replies      
If you're upset with the way things seem to be going with US politics, I would urge you to not flee and look for a software engineering job in another country, but rather look for domestic software jobs that will put your skills to good use.

Maybe this means civic tech organizations like Code for America that explicitly work on public sector projects. Maybe it means working for a political advocacy group like the EFF, or someone working on privacy-related projects to help protect our civil liberties. Either way, helping improve things domestically seems like a nobler option than running away.

sylvainkalache 20 hours ago 0 replies      
There is such thing: www.techmeabroad.com

It only lists Tech job offers from companies willing to recruit internationally and to sponsor working visa if necessary. It's free. I co-created that website. Enjoy :)

coolvision 1 day ago 0 replies      
https://jobbatical.com/ is great, not just for short contracts, i found an amazing permanent job with it.
pcurve 2 days ago 5 replies      
Are there any country outside U.S. that pay more for software job? I've looked before, but I didn't find any, so you'll have to figure out a way to quantify quality of live improvement in dollar figures.
ibrotzky 1 day ago 0 replies      
We can help, www.vanhack.com, our focus is helping international tech talent get jobs in Canada.

Check out our jobs board: app.vanhack.com/jobboard and shoot me an email with any questions: ilya@vanhack.com

mutru 2 days ago 0 replies      
StackOverflow Jobs site is used quite a bit at least in Europe. https://stackoverflow.com/jobs

It's relatively easy to Google for expat websites for any specific country. The salaries are generally lower, but so is the cost of housing.

Our company Smartly.io is also hiring. 3-year-old startup, 100 employees, 30+ engineers, profitable, some real scalability issues to be solved (already 200+ servers), and based in Helsinki. :)

binoyjohn 2 days ago 0 replies      
Any specific country ?Even though there is huge shortage for skilled IT labor in USA, you have a better chance of finding another job in Australia / New Zealand region.
slimano 1 day ago 0 replies      
If you're looking for a job in Paris, Lyon, London or Berlin -> https://www.talent.io/

Just signup, get a call with a talent advocate so they know what you're looking for, then you'll receive from 5 to 15 tailored job offers in less than 2 weeks. That's the easiest way around.

SundayInJapan 2 days ago 1 reply      
If you are interested in AI and want to work in an international environment in a startup in Japan, this company (in which I work) is probably your best bet: http://www.reactive.co.jp/home-en

We are focused on AI and deep learning, and we are hiring research scientists, research software engineers, devops engineers, etc.

askedrelic 2 days ago 0 replies      
Yelp is hiring backend/fullstack engineers in Hamburg, Germany. https://www.yelp.com/careers/job-openings?location=Hamburg%2...

I moved here last year, as an internal transfer. It's been pretty good overall.

gnipgnip 1 day ago 0 replies      
How are the immigration processes in various countries ?

US is awful visa-wise, considering that much of the cap is filled up in a day by Indian body shops; ensuring thus that one can at best start in October, and set out on this magical journey 6-12 months ahead.

jakub_g 2 days ago 1 reply      
Came across this lately for DE/NL jobs:


Also StackOverflow Jobs has a number of openings across whole world, many of them with salaries.

However some big companies with lazy HRs mainly put job offers on their own websites and nowhere else.

felipebrnd 2 days ago 1 reply      
Many companies in Europe: http://landing.jobs
deeteecee 1 day ago 0 replies      
When I worked in Japan, they did already have job search boards setup for software developers setup (forkwell.com). I would imagine some of the other countries might have something similar.
jsingleton 2 days ago 0 replies      
I'd firstly pick a country and then look at job boards for that location. For example, assuming you mean abroad relative to the US, then I run https://cleanwebjobs.com, which is mostly UK based.
beatricek 2 days ago 0 replies      
I'm with a MarTech company based in Berlin and we're having a few vacancies atm.

We're also happy to support with relocation.


rudyrigot 21 hours ago 0 replies      
TechMeAbroad is a website that is basically what you're asking for.
pimeys 2 days ago 1 reply      
We're looking maybe one or too developers to a senior team in Berlin. C++/Clojure/Rust.
mabbo 2 days ago 0 replies      
Someone should post a 'Who is Hiring Outside of America' thread.
Poleris 2 days ago 0 replies      
I'm part of a recruitment firm that specializes in overseas jobs, mostly Asia as we're based in HK. (Our name is Terminal 1 even.)

Please contact me (email in profile) if you're interested in moving out here.

catwell 2 days ago 1 reply      

Seriously, ask your social network contacts in the countries that interest you. Demand for good developers is high everywhere, odds are there are openings at their companies.

Don't just go and browse job offers on random websites, that's inefficient and a lot of good offers are not there anyway. Another option would be to subscribe to something like https://www.talent.io/. Or, if you know some, just get in touch with headhunters in the country. They often have very good offers nobody knows about.

Gabriel_Martin 2 days ago 0 replies      
I'm looking now too.
carlchenet 2 days ago 1 reply      
If you're looking for a job in France (only in French though):https://www.linuxjobs.fr
rifung 1 day ago 0 replies      
My girlfriend found a job in Sydney when we were living in the US through Hired
Pirate-of-SV 2 days ago 0 replies      
For Sweden: LinkedIn and Stack Overflow Careers will take you pretty far in the job search.
dorianm 2 days ago 0 replies      
Who is Hiring posts offers jobs for a wide range of countries
monster2control 2 days ago 0 replies      
No real reason, other than Trump becoming our next president maybe?
hemulin 2 days ago 1 reply      
Sanddancer 2 days ago 3 replies      
Ask HN: How do I protect my parents from the internet?
230 points by throwawaywxc  2 days ago   209 comments top 74
Raphmedia 2 days ago 6 replies      
I am the opposite of most comments here. Don't stupid her away to a mobile device.

We got our mom a computer, a cheap one, and told her to play with it. Break it. Click everywhere.

Soon enough she was playing with windows settings. Soon enough nothing worked. She now knew you can brick computer, she is more careful.

We fixed the computer and she explored the internet. She asked how she could download wallpapers, we introduced her to torrents and file sharing. She got viruses. She learned that you can get virus online and they will delete your hard worked wallpaper collection. She is aware of the dangers of the internet now.

For a while you would download all the free adblockers, anti-virus, etc., she could find and put them on CDs. She learned to clean her own computer.

Right now she is very comfortable with computers and it allows her to have more freedom. She will easily connect with people online, like we do here. I'm certain it has helped her keeping smart.

She even feel out pain now. Whenever one of her neighbours lady has issues with computers they call her.

victorhooi 2 days ago 3 replies      
I second what some others here are saying - get your parents a Chromebook (or Chromebox if they want a desktop).

I got a Dell Chromebook for my mother.

It's nigh on unbreakable, and is great for non-tech parents. Each tab/app runs in its own sandbox, and it allows them to do the things they want (i.e. browsing).

It automatically updates in the background (none of that Windows update rubbish), it has inbuilt malware block lists (via Chrome Safe Browsing), it's fast, doesn't bog down over time etc.

Even if by some magic they brick it, a simple Powerwash (https://support.google.com/chromebook/answer/183084?hl=en) and 5 minutes later, it will be back to a pristine state, they log in with their Google account, and it pulls down their settings again.

Also, if you want to see the latest and greatest coming in ChromeOS - try the Canary channel =). (But be prepared for rough edges).

Feel free to ask any questions.

thomaskcr 2 days ago 3 replies      
Use Deepfreeze or something similar. You'll mark a their documents directory as excluded and then every time they restart their machine it'll be back to the exact state it was in when you first set it up.

You don't want to have to support them using a new OS for the first time - you'll be in for a headache. I use Deepfreeze for anyone who is a "problem user" and most don't even realize they have it if it's set up right.

Someone1234 2 days ago 7 replies      
Chromebooks cannot print.

Everyone loves to recommend Chromebooks to older/less digitally literate people, and they're right to do so in most situations. However Chromebooks have one huge downside that makes them non-starters for some of that demographic: Printing is a no-go.

And don't tell me about "Google Cloud Print." Cloud Printing requires a PC or Mac connected to the printer and a copy of the Chrome browser running. In this scenario we're trying to replace a PC or Mac, not add to them, so Google Cloud Print is a non-starter.

Ultimately people who quickly jump on the Chromebook recommendation need to find out first if printing, even rarely, is a requirement. For a lot of people I've tried to move over to a Chromebook, it has been the single thing that killed the entire project.

Printing in general is a huge hole in Chromebook's offering.

faitswulff 2 days ago 2 replies      
I was really hoping for a discussion on how to keep parents from watching videos about the healing properties of crystals and government chemtrail conspiracies...

...but to answer your question perhaps you can get your parents a Chromebook? I'm not sure what photo editing options exist on the platform, but hopefully it's an obscure enough platform to avoid the majority of malware.

theandrewbailey 2 days ago 9 replies      
tldr: Linux.

I had more or less the same issue (except things still booted) with my parents about 5 or 6 years ago. In a move I thought was insane, I put them on Xubuntu. I moved them to Mint for a while, but they are back to Xubuntu. It's my preferred distro, and the Ubuntu base (for good support) and XFCE (Windows familiarity) made me comfortable it was Mom and Dad proof. Aside from showing them where things are, there have been zero problems. Turns out that Linux is just as good for email, web browsing, Youtube, and solitare.

I haven't used Lightroom, but how does (say) RawTherapee compare?

davio 2 days ago 1 reply      
After my mom got scammed online, I had "the talk" with my parents and we agreed that they would just use iPads and iPhones.

I've had no tech support calls for a couple of years now.

I think a chromebook is a good option if a keyboard is required.

It's a losing battle at this point. Your time is better spent educating them against social engineering attacks (I'm still afraid my mom is going to return a call to the voicemail the "IRS" left)

baby 2 days ago 1 reply      
Story time:

My father complained of virus and malwares on his computer.

I came home, formatted his hard drive and re-installed windows.

I go to eat lunch with my mother in the kitchen, a few minutes later I hear "[baby], I have a virus on my computer!". WHAT?

The first thing he did was to google for "chrome" on internet explorer and use the first result. The first result is a google ads for a malware containing chrome. Had to reformat his computer one more time. I think that's the moment where he got it.

nickcw 2 days ago 3 replies      
How about a Chromebook?

Cheap, keeps itself up to date, fully cloud based.

It wouldn't tick the Lightroom box but it does the internet based stuff extremely well with low maintenance.

breatheoften 2 days ago 0 replies      
I think we are doing a disservice if we restrict this question to only refer to the standard malware/technological attacks. The real space for risk to our parents goes beyond damage to the computer or identity theft. There's some seriously weird content on the internet -- and some seriously strange ways it can interact with our parents aging brains.

I had an "oh shit" moment when my mom described a website that added automated popups over a text editor field -- as she typed it would periodically throw up a pop up with encouraging commentary and editing advice "good idea, can you elaborate" etc -- and it took her a long time to realize that the intellectual/emotional support she was feeling wasn't actually coming from anywhere ... she also got severely addicted to the political campaigns and facebook -- and ended up with a news feed that absolutely barraged her with a constant stream of fake political news stories ... got her down from her 4-6 hours per day of internet usage but it was so fast -- really scary stuff.

Florin_Andrei 2 days ago 2 replies      
> He has even clicked through on a "You have been chosen to win an iPhone 7" link recently - he saw no harm in at least seeing what might happen.

Show him one of those videos with deep-sea fish that use a luminescent lure to eat smaller fish. The pop-up is the lure. The small fish is him. The Internet is like the deep sea, and it's full of lures like that.

One simple criterion I give non-technical people: if it's unsolicited, it's hostile. End of story. No exceptions.

bsenftner 2 days ago 0 replies      
In this respect, the FTC has failed 100% in their mission. Normal, non-tech consumers cannot use the Internet without falling prey to the outlaw landscape that is the WWW.

I think you need to explain to them that the Internet is too much like the Wild West, and they need to stick to trusted web sites, as their "sight" is not tuned to see the dangers. Leaving them too scared to randomly surf might not be a bad thing, in this situation. I have the same type of situation with my 85 year old mother. She is somewhat tech savvy, but not enough. Her browser has every possible 3rd party toolbar, no matter how much I educate her on the situation...

bpc9 2 days ago 0 replies      
An interesting question. I haven't had to do any of this for my folks, but i'd probably do something like the following:

-Setup a network and computers that I can admin remotely. Probably Ubiquiti Unifi gear (great wifi APs, powerful router with DPI / firewall, where I have admin access from my Unifi Controller install. Then I could handle all network troubleshooting remotely, unless their ISP is down or hardware has physically failed (unlikely with the ubiquiti gear)

-Look at something like OpenDNS personal configured on the gateway to help protect against malicious stuff in browser

-Set up any Desktop PC to run a hypervisor, and keep the OS they use as a VM that I could access and administer remotely, and that I could quickly reset to a known-working state.

-Have them use gdrive / dropbox / onedrive to keep documents backed up and accessible across machines

-For laptop / portable, see if I could get them to use chromebooks, or I'd need to replicate the VM setup from the desktop PCs

rwhitman 2 days ago 3 replies      
My mom has had various Windows PCs since the late 90's. About every 3 to 6 months or so I get a call that it's "stopped working" and has either locked up completely or is moving at a crawl.

Nearly every time it takes me hours if not days to do a bunch of scans, install updates and purge whatever garbage has been installed by various malware that she's somehow managed to find. I've done more than a few clean wipes, bought her new machines and yet still she figures out how to kill it again. Most of the time it's caused by her playing some silly online puzzle game, or clicking a link in an email or some sort of fake notification... or AOL, which she refuses to ditch even though it's a huge vector.

It's been decades and she still hasn't learned how to avoid this stuff correctly. I've tried every malware scanner & notification software on the market, and each one of them is eventually bypassed by clever malware or in some cases like AVG or Norton, BECOMES the friggin problem.

Basically, my conclusion is if your parent has a problem like this the only solution is refuse to help them anymore if they insist on using Windows as their primary web device and make them get a Mac and/or an iPad, maybe a Chromebook as others suggested. Then get rid of the Windows PC or simply tell them not to use it for anything other than printing / scanning etc. There is no winning otherwise. Windows for some folks is just plain bad news

Zyst 2 days ago 1 reply      
Linux machine, subscribe to more adblocker malware prevention lists - my mother's laptop has more ticks on the adblock subscription lists than squares - and in case of my father an awkward conversation where I told him a list of safe porn sites.
walrus01 2 days ago 2 replies      
give them a desktop that is basically xubuntu amd64 (xfce4 desktop on xorg) + firefox + chrome, and then install all of the best adblock extensions in both browsers. Even the most clueless parents can't successfully download and run windows binary malware/ransomeware/viruses on that.

the xfce4 GUI is close enough to traditional windows98/windows2000/winXP models that most older non technical users have no problem with it.

the best thing for non technical users/older users/ignorant users is to give them the closest approximation to a thin terminal web browser, whether it is a linux desktop or a chromebook type thing.

johngalt 2 days ago 0 replies      
Here are your options:

Revoke local admin privileges. It will stop a lot of the click-click to install bullshit, but it also means you will get a lot of calls about "access denied" whenever they want to update an app that needs admin rights. Give them an admin account to install/update software separate from their normal account.

Simplify the device by going tablet/chromebook. Probably means you will get a lot of questions regarding how to use/setup the new OS.

Shorten the loop on backup/rebuild and let them hit the iceberg. Good backups and fast imaging with drivers pre-loaded can make cleanup a lot easier/faster.

tbyehl 2 days ago 0 replies      
1) No local Admin rights.

2) Chrome + uBlock Origin w/ Malware filters.

3) Sophos Home[1] which has the bonus feature of being cloud-managed and not providing any control to the local interactive user.

4) Sophos XG Firewall Home Edition[2] on whatever $100-ish hardware the pFense crowd is currently in love with. Web filtering for Advertising and Threats, AV scanning.

5) Backups!

[1] https://www.sophos.com/lp/sophos-home.aspx[2] https://www.sophos.com/en-us/products/free-tools/sophos-xg-f...

sathishvj 2 days ago 0 replies      
I faced similar challenges with my mom, especially since she lives in a different state. She confessed though that she would only ask me. And I'm able to help because I'm in the tech field. I realized that all her neighbors and my other relatives, and parents of my friends & acquaintances, and millions of others would have absolutely no way to get help and protect themselves against online scams and threats.

So I started a free service http://www.littlecaution.org/ where I do talks and seminars about remaining safe online. Since it's just me on my personal time for now doing the workshops, growth and reach is slow. But I continue to work on it.

My belief is that using the right tools is of great importance but raising awareness is a bigger need. All the best tools are no match against human fallibility. So in these talks, the direction I take is about knowing the issues, being aware, and then followed by using the right tools.

paullth 2 days ago 0 replies      
In addition to the stuff you mentioned, for my mother in law I:

removed her user's admin privileges

install flashblock - one of the ones where you have to click on the video to make it run

spent a long time explaining that you will never be chosen to win something, MS support never rings you to tell you have a virus, if something takes over the whole screen and tells you anything suspicious/implausible to press alt+f4

convinced her free music isnt worth the risk of downloading something that trashes the machine. installed spotify

clentaminator 2 days ago 0 replies      
It makes me smile that while proponents of censorship and blocking of parts of the Internet use the "Think of the children!" argument, I never hear anyone shouting "Think of the adults!"

Of course, in this case we're trying to protect people from themselves rather than the outside world, but still...

philip1209 2 days ago 1 reply      
Have you considered using OpenDNS? They used to focus just on protecting family members from internet threats, and it's still a great (paid) product for that:


davidgerard 2 days ago 0 replies      
A Mac. If you live with him, Ubuntu.

If there's that Just One Piece of Windows software he needs, do try it in Wine - Wine works more often than not these days.

I never did viscerally understand how literally 25% of Windows XP installations could be botnet members until I saw my sister's computer in 2010. Oh my goodness. The disk was full because they never emptied the rubbish bin. And I don't think there's ever been a piece of crapware that my brother-in-law didn't download to try. The only thing saving them was that they were still on dialup. They're on broadband now (it turns out the killer use case for videophones is our mother Skypeing her grandchildren), and I shudder to think what it's like. Normal people do not use computers like we do.

webwanderings 2 days ago 1 reply      

I bought the cheap one (Lenovo) sometime ago. It has a good battery life, very lightweight and compact. I have seen the same being used by many people (in the same category). It is the most trouble free and productive piece of material there is. Ignore all these security software and Linux etc. Just hookup uBlock and Ghostery into the user's Google Chrome account and you're done.

RankingMember 2 days ago 1 reply      
While I'm loathe to recommend a walled garden solution and not a particularly big Apple fan, this is exactly where such a solution shines. An iPad is perfect for this situation.
atmosx 1 day ago 1 reply      
Here's what worked for me:

1) Install GNU/Linux, most click adds target windows users.

2) Install an ad-blocker at DNS level. I use a custom variation of this: https://pi-hole.net/ (by default logs DNS requests, mind you. You can disable logging though).

3) Spent some time to educate him on what to avoid online

4) Lastly, I have an RPi running on a VPN exit node (actually I have an RPi cluster, but anyway). When I had an openWRT-based router, I had a script which was fetching porn/torrents/etc. IP addresses and adding routes to the router redirecting connections via VPN.

5) A separate guest network with radius accounting can go a long way into securing your network and help control access (I have a radius RPi server but my APs do not support accounting. I felt kinda screwed when I realised)

akerro 2 days ago 1 reply      
Install them Ubuntu, KDE Neon or Mint. Works for my parents since... I dropped Windows XP.
thght 2 days ago 1 reply      
A virtual machine might be a solution, just leave it full screen for them when you leave home. I've given up trying to educate my parents best practice with pc's, it doesn't seem to work.
SimonPStevens 2 days ago 2 replies      
I think all the people recommending Chromebooks or Linux are entirely missing the point. Those are only viable alternatives within small niche uses for people who literally only use email and facebook. It's the 80/20 fallacy. 80% of the people only use 20% of the features, but for each person in that 80% they use a slightly different 20% subset. It's the same here. Most people only use a very small subset of the internet, and most things they do would work fine on a Chromebook, but each of them has that one thing they just can't live without that only works on Windows.

I have this exact problem with several family members PCs who come to me regularly with messed up machines.

It's not just old people either. One problem person for me is a 10 year old who always insists that all he downloaded was just that one minecraft mod and it was definitely a safe mod, honest, because he downloaded found it on google, or he saw stampy using it on youtube, oh and a java update because the mod says it needed it, oh and forge, and optifine, and, and, and... He's loosely tech savvy, but in a way that doesn't make him any safer, he still gets his computer into a mess. He's not going to switch to a Chromebook. No minecraft, and none of the other games his peers are into. (On a related note, the minecraft modding community is one of the most vile den of scam-mongery I've ever had the misfortune to stumble into)

The older people all require MS Word/Excel (And don't tell me LibreOffice is a replacement, it's not even close if you expect file compatibility with other people who use MS products).

Windows only plugins for specific websites, that's another one that is hopefully getting much rarer, but I still do see from time to time.

I've tried setting up restricted accounts and keeping the admin account password secret, but it always eventually has to get given out. Last time it was because their son needed to do submit his homework on the schools website, but the submission processes required a Windows only plugin which needed admin access to install. They were all panicked because I hadn't been answering my phone and his homework was due the next day. After that I gave up and stopped using restricted accounts.

I've tried disk imaging software, but it's typically a lot more work than it's worth with the images quickly getting out of date and needing redoing with new versions constantly.

This is a big big problem that I just don't have a good solution for.

chejazi 2 days ago 1 reply      
Maybe replace his pc with an android powered device like http://www.toysrus.com/product/index.jsp?productId=101695486
rihegher 2 days ago 0 replies      
You can start with ubuntu that is immune to most of malware and enough if your parents needs are internet + video palying and downloading + office suite
greggman 2 days ago 0 replies      
I am going to answer that pretty much nothing will save your parents from the internet.

While I agree a chromebook won't get owned your parents will still likely get phished. I have no idea how to solve that.



zupreme 2 days ago 1 reply      
There are some good suggestions here but I will give you one based on the assumption that your parents won't want to leave the familiarity of Windows.

0) Deny them admin rights to the machine.1) Create a second profile for each of them2) Write a quick batch or PowerShell script to copy the contents of their Desktop, Documents, Favorites, Pictures, Music, and Vidoes folders (not the entire profile) from their profile to the second profile you created for each of them. Make sure your script only copies new or changed items (so it runs faster) Store this script outside of either profile.3) Schedule the script to run every hour on the hour.4) In the event that they brick their profile with adware, malware, etc, simply login as an administrator, delete the first profile, rename the second profile to whatever the first one was called and then create a backup profile with the same username that the previous backup profile had (so you don't have to edit your script).

Notes:For your script if you are more comfortable with batch scripting then use "Robocopy". If you are more comfortable with PowerShell use "copy-item".I cannot stress enough how important it is that you ONLY copy the folders I mentioned above. If you get lazy and copy the entire profile you will bring over the folders viruses, adware, and malware hide in (like AppData).For the love of God make sure you have up to date antivirus on the machine. That's so basic that I didn't mention it above but I feel compelled to do so here. If you don't want to spend money just install Security Essentials or AVG.

Too 1 day ago 0 replies      
* Set a password on UAC (windows sudo equivalent) and teach him that if the background ever goes black and asks for a password he should be very aware. The default is just a yes/no popup and is very easy to just click yes, even accidentally for tech savy users. For extra protection, don't give him the password.

* Remove the anti virus and tell him that you did so. It just gives a false sense of security and introduces more popups which teaches users to ignore prompts. If he knows it's not there he might be more careful.

* Install ublock origin. It blocks known badware domains and reduces the amount of clutter/ads on almost every web page you browse, making it easier for him to identify weird stuff.

victorhooi 1 day ago 0 replies      
Lightroom is on Android now:


If you have a recent Chromebook, they can run Android apps =):


ChrisNorstrom 2 days ago 0 replies      
I've got 2 computer-illiterate parents and I can confirm the following works very well:

1) Create a user account in Windows that is NOT an administrator account, that way they can't install things without an admin username and password. The PCs admin account should be password protected.

2) Enable the highest level of windows alerts (those "this program wants to make changes or modifications to this PC, cancel or allow" messages). Teach your parents to always click no/cancel/do not allow.

3) Ad blockers like uBlock. Remove shortcuts to, or uninstall Internet Explorer.

4) Use software like DeepFreeze http://www.faronics.com/products/deep-freeze/standard/ it restores the computer to a snapshot you saved every time you restart it. No matter what they mess up or install or screw up, it'll be fixed with a restart.

instanton 2 days ago 0 replies      
I'd recommend you sandbox his favorite browser in sandboxie: http://www.sandboxie.com/I believe the free version allows you to use one sandbox session.

Run him through the process of recovering downloaded files and you should be a lot safer.

EnderMB 2 days ago 1 reply      
In my experience, don't. Offer them your best solution for a novice user, which for me is usually an up-to-date machine with an ad blocker, and make sure that you're open for

Ultimately, they're adults, and the last thing your father will want is to be treated like a child on his own machine. If he fucks something up, fix it, and tell him what he can do to not have that issue come up again.

whyagaindavid 2 days ago 0 replies      
You dont need to even buy a new chromebook. Just install cloudready (which is compiled from chromiumOS) for all generic PC/laptops. Many schools are even using this.www.neverware.com/I am not involved with them. Just a user.
pryelluw 2 days ago 0 replies      
I bought my dad a chromebook. Problem solved.
yathern 2 days ago 0 replies      
If simply educating them on what not to do (clicking on 'free' stuff, downloading without discretion) won't work, I'd suggest switching out the OS to something a little less targetted by malware. I recently got my mom a chromebook, which she loves. You say your dad uses lightroom though, so that might not work for your use case.
tikwidd 2 days ago 1 reply      
I made a really simple UI for youtube-dl in WPF a few weeks ago. It just has a text field for the youtube link, a "download" button and a checkbox for downloading audio only. If you like I can chuck the source and binaries on github.
hawski 2 days ago 0 replies      
I am currently working on experimental Linux distribution for my parents that would be a bit ChromeOS-like.

Ideally for my mom ChromeOS device would be ideal. For my dad it would be not enough as it seems in your case. Maintaining my parents computer is something that always gets back to me. Now I am also living few hours worth of travel from them so it is even less convenient.

Older computer couldn't handle Ubuntu of the time. So always something was not working correctly. Updates on every system are constant source of headaches. My dad got used, but much more powerful machine. I installed Windows 10 for them thinking that Windows is now better and that with perpetual updates it will be out of trouble for me. I installed also Chrome Remote Desktop for service. My dad preferred Linux experience. I hoped that he just needs to get used to it. He was happy with Windows Store for a while, until few of the games he enjoyed playing failed in strange ways. It would not be that bad, but updates on Windows 10 are huge and with 20-30GB free space left after installation it does not update anymore. It only downloads the update, tries to update and fails - on every reboot. My dad bought an external HDD so probably it could be resolved. However he still would like to have Linux in there - old computer was very slow, but it did not fail in such magical ways. For now I plan to install Ubuntu for him and see how it will behave.

For my own learning experience and a bit of enjoyment I started working on my own Linux distribution. The most important thing for me is to have hassle-free updates like on Chromebook. I prepared squashfs image with Firefox and intend to have two partition scheme for rootfs. Updates would be then just download and restart away - completely automatic and in case of failure you would still have previous working image. I could test the image locally and optimize it for fun and profit. For now I base it on Gentoo to build lean system in a similar fashion to ChromeOS build.

[slight EDIT]

type0 1 day ago 0 replies      
> This is pretty remarkable given that my dad only uses it watch golf videos and edit some photos in lightroom. He may occasionally indulge in some porn cough.

Teach him how to use Linux. He can use Darktable instead of Lightroom.

olivercreashe 1 day ago 0 replies      
Take it away from them. Really, if it means that their identities are at risk, I would not put your parents at risk and persuade or force them to not use the interwebs until they get educated.

Btw, a chromebook does nothing to protect them against identify theft. Don't get them anything, better teach them what they might lose.

namank 2 days ago 0 replies      
This is a very important conversation for this decade. Do post your solution on HN once you have it.
ben_jones 2 days ago 0 replies      
Great post. My father is similar to yours, but is also incredibly vehement about his privacy. A few years ago he fell victim to a fake microsoft support scam (foreign accent, cc details over the phone, etc.) and gave them full root access over whatever screen share software they used. He paid a few hundred bucks for them to fix fake problems on the PC, and I could never convince him that it was in fact a scam.

I've since given up completely on locking down the computer or protecting them from themselves in that regard. I occasionally get talked into basic tech support, but thats it.

It's really a relationship problem if anything (IMO).

perakojotgenije 2 days ago 1 reply      
Use Linux. If he only uses his computer for browsing the Internet and editing photos linux mint (mate or cinnamon) will do fine. Show him how to use darktable instead of lightroom and that's it. No more problems.
Tinned_Tuna 1 day ago 0 replies      
The best thing I can suggest is regular, invisible backups. Ensure that it's very difficult for them to avoid doing the backups, and make sure that what ever holds the backups is a battle-hardened.

Social engineering is a broad problem right now, and all you can really do is be prepared to pick up the pieces after the fact.

aibottle 2 days ago 0 replies      
A friend of mine once explained to me, that in order to make the internet and computing environments safer we have to stop making things easier but educate the people (e.g. don't put the single-point-of-failure antiviruses on the computers teach people not to trust links/emails/usb/devices but to check the source and acutally think). I think you should educate them on the topic, and help them to learn it.
pksadiq 2 days ago 0 replies      
One way would be installing some good GNU/Linux (Mint is good for windows users, or Debian Stretch with GNOME classic mode).

And thus your dad can't install any software he just downloaded from some random website. And the GNOME sofware center is great in Debian Stretch (to be released though, sorry).

create scripts using zenity as a GUI for youtube-dl (and any other command you wish him to run)

Also, I would recommend uBlock to Adblockplus.

sakopov 2 days ago 0 replies      
I'm sort of in the same boat with my folks who are pretty much computer-illiterate. After wiping malware a few times I ended up simply installing a VM image for them for internet browsing and downloading content. It takes a bit of getting used to but after explaining how to use it it's worked out great.
namuol 2 days ago 0 replies      
I installed Ubuntu on my parents' laptop years ago. They didn't notice the difference until they tried to print something.
serg_chernata 2 days ago 1 reply      
There are already good solutions below. The one thing I would add is that this may not be a "silver bullet" kind of problem. I'd throw everything I can into the mix to create layers of protection. Educate them but also add software solutions to the mix.

A small addition, how often do they need to install new software after initial setup? Maybe take away admin privileges?

joesmo 2 days ago 0 replies      
Here's a couple of things you can try:

* Drop linux on it with a simple GUI on it and lock the machine down. Don't give him root access or admin rights. Make sure the machine updates and backs itself up without intervention.* Set up his browsing inside a vm that gets recreated on boot (any host OS, linux as guest would be ideal but any will do).

konradb 2 days ago 2 replies      
Not the answer you want but an ipad might limit the damage that can be done. It would remove the need for education.
nxm 2 days ago 0 replies      
Get them a Chromebook - perfect for their needs and no yearly formatting required from my side
chrsstrm 2 days ago 0 replies      
I've started remapping certain file types to open with Notepad instead of the default. I covered all the .js variants but does anyone have a more comprehensive list of file types to address?
peterwwillis 2 days ago 0 replies      
Linux? Or a Chromebook.

They'll only be able to do like, two things with it, but at least Google has tools that replace most office-type apps. I'm going to say Chromebook is the slower but simpler solution.

AlexeyBrin 2 days ago 0 replies      
You could limit his user rights, make him a Standard user and don't let him install new software.

Also, have a look at how suitable a Chromebook will be for his workflow (simpler to maintain from your perspective and harder to infect).

knguyen0105 2 days ago 0 replies      
I have the same problem. For now, I use Firefox + adblock + noscript + public fox (to disable download and exe). Not fool-proof but it's enough
Mz 2 days ago 0 replies      
I will suggest you put together some tutorials on some of the basics. Preferably keep them to one page and include screen shots.

You cannot protect people from their own ignorance.

colemickens 2 days ago 0 replies      
I've never seen someone screw up a Chromebook and it takes less than 120 seconds to reset it to scratch and reload your profile.
shmerl 2 days ago 0 replies      
May be propose for them to use Linux. It should cope better. No lightroom for it though, but there are other good photo editors.
sandGorgon 2 days ago 1 reply      
Use Linux. Seriously. I installed Fedora 24 in my dad's PC and I haven't had a support call in 3 years.
elchief 2 days ago 0 replies      
I made myself admin and my dad a regular user so he'd stop installing malware. So he threw out his computer and bought another one...
vgallur 2 days ago 1 reply      
If you are stuck on Windows or Mac you can try a program that restores the computer to a safe state on reboot, like Deep Freeze.
dfischer 2 days ago 0 replies      
Get them iPads
egypturnash 2 days ago 0 replies      
Ditch the PC and get them an iPad.
akulbe 2 days ago 0 replies      
Another vote for a Chromebook.
amelius 2 days ago 0 replies      
Kids filter?
pikachu_is_cool 2 days ago 1 reply      
Get rid of Windows. Problem solved.
rcamp 2 days ago 1 reply      
I specifically wrote my book, Digital Survival Guide, to help address this knowledge gap in digital security and safety that our society has. However, education may not be enough for everyone and you may need to take a sandbox approach. Have them use a VM and expect to refresh it from a snapshot often. Check out my book, you and your parents will find many useful tips.


Compose.com (old MongoHQ) kidnapping data?
8 points by indignant  14 hours ago   5 comments top
avitzurel 12 hours ago 2 replies      
Do you have an email to prove those claims?

I worked with MongoHQ before they became Compose (not the free version) and they were really nice people.

Usually when a company does something like this (canceling free or something) they let you know in advance so you can take measures, didn't they let you know in advance?

The best time tracker you use
7 points by belvoran  14 hours ago   2 comments top 2
guilhas 14 hours ago 0 replies      
A combination of:- Procrastitracker(1) - Sent emails- Updated tickets (company stuff)- Git/Svn commits- Everything search updated files date(2) - Zim wiki journal feature (dump style) Alt - D creates a file for the day(2)

(1) http://strlen.com/procrastitracker/(2) https://www.voidtools.com/(3) http://www.zim-wiki.org/

welder 12 hours ago 0 replies      
https://wakatime.com/ (Full Disclosure: I built it)

It's fully-automatic, which makes it the best time tracker!

Ask HN: Have you ever got tired of programming?
7 points by nnd  15 hours ago   8 comments top 8
WheelsAtLarge 14 hours ago 0 replies      
Yes, and you should be glad that you are feeling this way this early. Believe it or not programming is a pretty empty profession. Look back at what you've accomplish, how much can you put your finger on that says wow am so proud of that? I've made a difference. Little to none, I bet. It's so easy for your life's work to disappear because things have changed. Programming as a profession pays well but the results are hard to measure.

So use programming as means to something you really want. Maybe the breadwinner to the family you love or focus on jobs that you find fill your need to make a difference. Jobs where you can say without me that would never have happened. Chances are they won't pay as well but you'll feel better about what you are doing. Programming because it pays well does nothing for you in terms of fulfillment. Also, there's the life/work balance. Working continuously without a goal becomes a miserable situation. Understand that and you'll be a more content person.

TurboHaskal 1 hour ago 0 replies      
I like creating things and I consider myself to be a curious individual, which makes me appreciate programming.

Unfortunately I also like things that work.

It's tough. Sometimes I wish it was just a hobby.

lastofus 12 hours ago 0 replies      
I have recently started to consider myself a recovering software developer.

Much like with alcoholism, there comes a point where the negative physical and social consequences of chronic over indulgence starts to outweigh the positives. It sounds silly on the surface but makes sense in the context of an obsessive programmer who spends 8+ hours a day almost every day doing something dev related, whether it be working or learning something new just to keep up.

It's a culmination of realizing how much of your life has been spent creating value for other people so they can pursue their own ambitions, coupled with good old fashion burn out and wondering if all of those hours of ones life could have been better spent.

The only solution I have so far is trying my best to partake with moderation, and only working on things where the end product is something I care a lot about.

david927 14 hours ago 0 replies      
You're not alone. This came up the other day here: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=12897284 and in that thread, I wrote this:

... I don't love [programming]. Alan Kay is right, it's like building "an Egyptian pyramid with millions of bricks piled on top of each other, with no structural integrity, but just done by brute force and thousands of slaves". There's no elegance and no higher vision. It's an Asperger profession; smart but artless.

My advice is to either try to work at making programming better or consider a move to something better.

Personally, I'm part of a group in San Francisco called 20/20 that meets monthly toward the first goal [2020salon.blogspot.com]. If I didn't see a way out, I would have left a while ago.

davelnewton 15 hours ago 0 replies      
Mostly every day. And I thoroughly enjoy it--but it's hard, and the constant decision making can be exhausting.
NumberCruncher 14 hours ago 0 replies      
DHH said that there are really hard and big problems waiting for being solved. He lets the unhappy cubic folks working for big corps solving this hard and big problems and makes his living by solving small problems. He seemed to be happy. And seems to have power to contribute to OS.
_RPM 11 hours ago 0 replies      
I'm tired of doing coding challenges
andrewmcwatters 15 hours ago 0 replies      
I'm tired of developer issues, and starving for actual end results. Programming is a means to an end, and the drive that keeps me going is the desire to see my work finished.
Ask HN: Have you ever thought of leaving programming for something else?
381 points by dvrajan  3 days ago   540 comments top 172
david927 3 days ago 15 replies      
I currently work in a good environment where I'm appreciated and paid well. Not many people in the world can say that, so I have a lot to be thankful for. Programming has done good by me.

But I don't love it. Alan Kay is right, it's like building "an Egyptian pyramid with millions of bricks piled on top of each other, with no structural integrity, but just done by brute force and thousands of slaves". There's no elegance and no higher vision. It's an Asperger profession; smart but artless.

I would prefer, if I could retire, to make short films and maybe to write plays. But I can't retire yet. So I'll push stones. It pays well.

clentaminator 3 days ago 7 replies      
I think about leaving programming every day. I love programming, but I'm not sure I enjoy software development as a career.

I enjoy coding and understanding how computer systems work, but I don't care for the constant changes in tools and techniques in certain domains of development. I'd rather practise with and improve my existing knowledge of a subject, instead of constantly playing catch-up with someone else's tools and workflow. I also don't care about waterfall, agile, scrum, kanban, scrumban or any other development methodology that I've missed. I hate that my job has me chained to a desk (sitting or standing) instead of being able to use my body. All of this makes me think that real-world software development doesn't really suit me.

I'm about six weeks into a new job after leaving a company I worked at for just over five years. Amongst many other reasons for leaving, I thought that a new environment would change how I felt about continuing a career in software development, but I'm not sure that it has. I'm aware of how lucky programmers have it, but I can't help feeling like I just want something else. Grass is always greener, etc.

What are the career options that allow one to work mostly by oneself in one-to-two week stretches without having to play the development workflow game with the daily standups and so on?

Sadly I'm not sure what I'd do if not programming, but music is a big interest and I'd considered teaching music.

tl;dr Woe is me ;)

themodelplumber 3 days ago 2 replies      
Thought about it, and then tried it. I followed my dream and started a creative project that had been dogging me for a long time. EVERYBODY wanted me to do it. Family, friends, people on the street with whom I discussed it. I expected it to be a big moneymaker. And it didn't work out. Not only that, but it became very clear that it was a really poor fit for me on a fundamental level.

I'm glad for the experience, though.

Going back to programming, here's what I figured out:

- I was working on stuff I didn't enjoy, with people I didn't particularly care about.

- I was taking on new work projects without any particular selection criteria.

- I wasn't thinking about the kinds of work that got me excited about programming and chasing it down.

So I recently nailed the first two back into place. I'm working closer to my values system rather than paychecks. In exchange, I'm just saving more money so I have more freedom.

Anyway, burnout is real. I thought I was done for sure and that my interest in programming and computers was a thing of the past. But that was just the burnout talking.

It helped to keep a journal during this time. Not a chronicle, but a thought-dump process in which I asked if my life was actually improving daily. That made it pretty quick to pinpoint my frustrations, as you can only write about the same pains a few times before you start to really zoom in on the causes and potential solutions.

Good luck to you, however it turns out.

JaumeGreen 3 days ago 2 replies      
I left programming for dancing.

I'd been working at the same job for about ten years, and I started to work on a different group that made the same product with a never technology. I hated that, I found it hard to work in that and I wasn't that productive. Also I had some burnout, some depression, and not much to look forward to...

Except for dancing. I had begun some years prior and I became somewhat good, and I even began to teach.

Then an offer came, resign from the job for money was offered to all, I accepted.

For about two years I just gave classes and worked as staff. Unfortunately the money was not enough.

Then I started helping on the dance school's webpage. The money wasn't enough yet.

So I got a programming job and resigned from most of my job in the dance school. I just teach one hour a week.

I really lost my dream job because of money and not being good enough earn enough to life with that.

sean_patel 3 days ago 4 replies      
Programming is a creative art, and when I say that to my non-programmer friends, they laugh it off, but if you think about it, it is true.

Just like artists, the programmers, coders, developers all design and create new things that didn't exist before, and no 2 programs or applications or completely functioning code will be identical for anything other than a fizzbuzz type test.

So it is natural for the creatives to experience burnout and falsely interpret that as having lost interest in our craft / art. I went through this too at a fairly young stage in my career as I had accomplished a lot in 5 short years. I had the pedigree and training -- internship at Magnum Photos in New York -- so I tried being a War photographer like my Grandpa and traveled to Iraq in 2008. 1 week in there and I came running back. It was a fairly freaky experience.

You think you are there to document something big and consequential to the world and initially it is exhilarating leaving the cube and CRUD applications, but all it is for most part is an online newspaper or blog paying you a few $ per shot. Totally not work the risk. Plus the Radical Islamic Jihadis (ISIS) crossed a new line and started kidnapping and beheading journalists.

I also realized I didn't truly have the stomach for it. Imagine actually being on the scene at 1 of these photographs, and having the courage to shoot, only to find out the media (AP, Reuters) won't publish it. => http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2014/08/the...( When Kenneth Jarecke photographed an Iraqi man burned alive, he thought it would change the way Americans saw the Gulf War. But the media wouldnt run the picture.)

Like someone else has stated here, we have it really cushy indeed. So don't get used to it and "itch" for something else. Just work on your side-projects, or learn a new language, or simply stop by to smell the roses and live a little.

Your passion will soon come gushing back and you'll start to wonder why you ever thought of leaving this creative, immensely satisfying craft in the 1st place!

WalterBright 3 days ago 1 reply      
I did consider a career as a lion tamer, but the vocational guidance counselor said I was an appallingly dull fellow, unimaginative, timid, lacking in initiative, spineless, easily dominated, no sense of humour, tedious company and irrepressibly drab and awful. So I decided to stick with programming.
JDiculous 3 days ago 3 replies      
Yes, I want to do something more meaningful than build and maintain web CRUD apps. Despite the media perpetuating this notion that there's a shortage of engineers, I actually feel that this field, particularly the web space (where most of the actual jobs are), is starting to get really saturated. And from a job security perspective, the barriers to entry are fairly low.

These days I'm most interested in economics and politics because I believe that our most important problems right now are in this realm (eg. poverty, job automation, healthcare costs, housing prices, college prices). The Javascript framework wars are laughably insignificant compared to these problems, yet unlike web development, there aren't enough logically-minded people really tackling these problems. Unfortunately there's probably no job out there that I could realistically obtain that would pay me to work on these problems, thus I'm just saving money for retirement and learning on the side.

oftenwrong 2 days ago 1 reply      
Yes. I love programming, but I really dislike how inactive I must be to work as a programmer. I don't like sitting/standing all day, and being chained to the computer. Short activity breaks, and workouts in the morning and evening don't cut it.

When I'm outdoors and active, I am so much happier. If I am on a multi-day outdoor trip to hike or rock climb, I feel like a completely different person. This is especially true on long trips that last more than a week. I have much less stress. I smile compulsively, instead of baring my usual strained expression. I have more energy. You might think at first that is simply because I am on vacation and I don't have to think about work obligations, but when I am on a normal (non-outdoor) type of vacation, I don't get the same feeling at all. I think it has more to do with the outdoor environment and physical activity.

I recently met someone who works as a park ranger, and I became envious of her job. I would love to patrol the woods all day as a ranger, or to be a mail carrier walking from house to house. I make much more money as a programmer, but "money cannot buy happiness", and I wonder often if I should change course.

SyneRyder 3 days ago 8 replies      
I'm mostly happy with programming, but I often think I'd like to try working in a coffee shop, especially a Starbucks. I spend so much time in cafes as a customer, and I really appreciate the difference that a barista's smile or greeting can make to my day. I'm curious to experience that from the other side for a while. I also read books about retail businesses & brands & Starbucks & customer experience for enjoyment, but I'm sure practice is wildly different from theory, especially at ground level dealing with customers for long hours.

But I've never tried applying, because I have no retail experience, and my work experience is mostly as a lone-wolf remote developer or indie developer (also I'm middle-aged now). Always thought I'd be laughed out of the interview. But I still think one day I'd like to try.

sprocket 2 days ago 2 replies      
I graduated with a degree in CPSC in the early 2000's and worked in the field for about 10 years before my wife and I moved to a more rural locale, bought a small herd of dairy goats, and started making cheese. It's a very different and difficult life, but on the whole is very rewarding.

The money will never be the same as working in tech, and you'll almost certainly have to scale back your lifestyle expectations. I still do remote freelance work in slower periods to keep cash-flow flowing, and to fund farm expansion as we grow.

Here's a fun video of my non-tech lifestyle: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fb0ur8cdOfY

More recently, I've been applying my past development experience to farming automation using Raspberry Pi's. I built an automated greenhouse controller last year and this year am working on a device to automatically mix and dispense milk replacer for all of the goat kids we have born each year. (You can of course purchase commercial versions of the projects, but it was a fun application of programming, while learning about the RPi and automation, which I'd never done before.)

karmajunkie 3 days ago 0 replies      
I got kind of burned out after I got laid off at the tail end of the first dotcom implosionI'd stayed in a really toxic environment for a couple of years too long because things were rough for a junior/early-mid-level developer back then, at least in my market. So I spent several months depressed and unemployed before deciding to go back to school which ultimately led me to preparations to go to med school.

Ironically, I took a semester off and took a contract gig for a few months to pay off some bills and save up some cash, and that turned into a full time job writing software in the public health sector. I never did return to finish the undergrad, and have doubts I ever will, as my career in software has been about as good as medicine would have been when you balance the ten extra years of earnings against a slightly higher salary. The only reason I'd do it now would be to pursue a masters in something interesting.

I think if I had it to do over again I'd have probably just stayed in the market a little longer and skipped out on the student loans. I loved biology and medicine but i'd love to not be paying off the student loans too.

jamez1 3 days ago 3 replies      
Left to work in equities after 5 years of software dev. I find the work much more stimulating mentally, as you learn about the world and how business works, not just abstractions.

Luckily there is still a lot of use from my old skill set, and I suspect there will be more as time goes on.

abawany 3 days ago 0 replies      
After a particularly terrible period at a large e-commerce company that comprised of endless and useless meetings, stupid product plans to nowhere, psychpaths galore, brutal waste of shareholder vale, and enough process to make Hell seem desirable, I decided that maybe I was not cut out for the original passion of my life, i.e. development. I started to take evening classes in accounting etc. with the aim of getting a CPA. I also left the above corporate Hades around that time and found a situation at a quirky startup, where I realized that software development is truly what I love, particularly when unencumbered by process feces. Off by the wayside went the CPA plan and I went on to learn more things in a year at that startup than I had in many years at other places. I also realized that leaving something that I have loved and lived since I was 13 is a little difficult and that the things that were causing my disillusionment were not related to my passion but to various unfortunate diseases that have come to afflict my industry.
mimming 3 days ago 1 reply      
After years of software, I discovered that my favorite part of the job was teaching stuff to my peers.

I started by dabbling in teaching:

- Mentored some high school robotics teams in the evenings- Taught night school / weekend classes as adjunct faculty at local universities- Shifted my day job from developer to developer advocate

And then a few months ago I took the plunge... sort of. I went on sabbatical for a semester to teach CS 101 full time at a small university across the country.

It's been a great experience, but it made me realize how much I miss programming. I really miss the intellectual growth that I get from working with professional software developers. I suspect I'll resolve the conflict by going part time in my day job, and picking up more classes as an adjunct.

Kiro 3 days ago 0 replies      
No, I started my programming career late and have had many different jobs before that. Programming is the only job where I don't loathe being there and constantly watch the clock for the day to end.

I think you should experience how horrible 99% of all other jobs are. Then you will truly appreciate what you have.

pjmorris 3 days ago 1 reply      
As we were driving to lunch one Friday, another programmer and I saw a backhoe in use, and started favorably comparing 'backhoe operator' to 'programmer': you get to work with heavy equipment, you can see the results of your work, when the day is done you go home and don't have to think about it. We laughed and cringed, as backhoe operator sounded like a better job by the time we were done.

For me, I can't do anything else. I'm sure I could learn something else, and I certainly get burned out from time to time. However, I find the whole development process fascinating, I still get a kick out of solving the puzzles and making things work, I am deeply gratified to see something I made help someone else solve one of their problems, and code is affecting more and more of the population for better and worse. There's no place I'd rather be.

There's a scene in 'Heat' where De Niro's criminal and Pacino's cop characters are talking about why they do what they do over a cup of coffee at a diner, and it turns out they're both compelled and couldn't do anything but what they do. I'm not sure what I'll do when the Butlerian jihadists or the twenty-something Angular developers come for me, and I have to go find something else to do, but I think I'll keep at it until then.

dbjacobs 3 days ago 2 replies      
Was a programmer and researcher in AI and security for 20 years. 15 years ago was feeling burned out and started looking for a financial planner for my family. I fell down the rabbit hole learning everything about the field and with the birth of my third child 14 years ago, I quit my job and opened my own business as a financial planner.

Programming and computer research went back to being a pure passion. And I haven't looked back since.

subinsebastien 3 days ago 0 replies      
I have been mostly happy with programming in my early days. Im now 28 years old, and been a programmer for the past 5 years. I mostly code Android apps, and sometimes server side code in Node/ExpressJS. For the past 1-2 years, I really want to change my career into more unique/niche fields of engineering. Programming, as I see it now, does not need a computer science degree or any degree at all, to do effectively. And people from other domains are getting into programming, and doing it a lot better than I do. I considered getting trained in Industrial Automation (PLC/SCADA/LABVIEW) and get into more mission critical domains, where I can work with lot of other Engineering domains as well. Another option I consider is to go for a masters in a niche engineering field. But as I analysed my thoughts, what I really (really) want is a unique engineering job, where the entry barrier for others is high. I don't have any idea if I could be a success in the new field. To conclude.

 - Programming is boring after a number of years - Programming is more of an art-form rather than engineering - Entry barrier for programming is low, so you dont have to be an engineer to do programming - Your programming skills plateau after a certain age - Your engineering mindset will be lost if continued in certain type of programming jobs.

gandolfinmyhead 3 days ago 3 replies      
Sadly yes. It's been very frustrating at times. I thought of becoming an environment artist for videogames instead.

Though OP hasn't asked for the following here goes, I feel the IT field has a lot of people wanting to change career paths, more than any other field because of the following:

1. Programming is an art, if not done right and assuming the product is in continuous development, will come back to bite you in the rectum like there's no tomorrow.

2. 99 percent of the industry is about shoving products out without any care for proper architecture or refactoring of any sort. Result -> feature addition/ bug fix times grow exponentially with time.

3. The IT field has no concept of overtime pay

4. 1 + 2 + 3 => loads of burnt out devs :-> people wanting to switch jobs regardless of how high paying programming can be

dcw303 3 days ago 1 reply      
About ten years ago I took a year off to teach English in Japan. Within a couple of months I was dying to go back to development.

Trust me, even compared to other white collar jobs, you would not believe how cushy we have it.

cygned 3 days ago 4 replies      
Call me crazy but I have always had this exit plan. If my business completely fails, I'd give away my stuff and live in buddhist temples, would visit Tibet, travel around and spend my days meditating and helping people.

Sounds like an insane idea, but as a Buddhist that would be a fulfilled life for me.

segmondy 2 days ago 4 replies      
A bit too late, but if I could do it all over again, I would have gone into health care. I have lot's of friend in the industry.

Ask them about their day, they just saved lives - heart surgery, brain surgery, trauma stabilization in ER, just saw a toddler through cancer treatment, and so on and so forth.

What did I do? Oh, I wrote code.

danaliv 3 days ago 0 replies      
Constantly. I considered shepherding. (Seriously.) I spent some time on a farm during lambing season, which is busy, and I enjoyed it. But it's incredibly hard work, and you really have to be 100% dedicated to it. Plus I like traveling, and it's extremely difficult to leave a flock for any appreciable amount of time.

I've thought about teaching (programming) too. My dad is a retired professor, and I entertain no delusions of present-day teaching careers being anything like those of his generation. Still, there's something appealing about even just teaching as an adjunct once I no longer really need the money.

amerkhalid 2 days ago 0 replies      
I love programming especially solving difficult problems. But sometimes I fanatize about being a professional photographer or a writer. These 2 professions seem perfect to me. Perhaps because they provide freedom to work from anywhere, and be creative. When I was pursing these professions semi-seriously, almost everything around me was an inspiration or a creative idea; movies, driving, conversations, food, advertisements, etc.

About a year ago, I started portrait photography semi-profesisonally. I really enjoy photography but didn't enjoy the business aspect of it. And it was hard to coordinate with clients when you have a fulltime job.

A few years ago, I got serious about fiction writing, wrote a lot but could not write anything that I felt was good enough for anyone to see.

Now I am just focused on programming and enjoy photogrpahy when I have free time.

Jeaye 3 days ago 1 reply      
I'm slowly working my way toward park ranger, though I've considered paramedic. Wood working also sounds interesting, and I'm great with my hands. Certainly, programming is my passion; having to do it under someone else's terms can spoil the deal though.
Entangled 2 days ago 0 replies      
Code is clay. What you do with it can make you a Michelangelo or a bricklayer. Sometimes it can make you good money, sometimes it becomes tedious in the wrong job. Still if you pursue other economic means of production, code is always a way to express your imagination, a nice hobby to have.
stunthamsterio 3 days ago 1 reply      
Writing. I love writing, I've published a couple of technical manuals and I'm currently submitting to various short story anthologies whilst working on another (Self published) manual. Writing leaves me happy and fulfilled and generally free of stress.

Trouble is, it does not pay the bills. I'm currently working very hard to pay off all my debt and once that's done I'll be taking up writing full time and leaving the tech industry behind.

manoj_venkat92 2 days ago 0 replies      
I love programming and am also part of a start-up developing a cutting-edge computer vision tech.

I have learnt a lot of concepts by learning programming that can be applied to many real world problems as well.

I desperately want to work in Renewable energy sector like Solar, Wind.

And the best part, my idol, Elon Musky Musk has applied the concepts that we programmers deal with in day-to-day life to producing machines that produce machines that are currently some of the best solutions to the problems like Global Warming, Energy storage & Electric cars manufacturing etc.

This part really gives me kicks. Even though, I think about leaving programming may be in 10 years(I'm currently 24), but the concepts I learnt are going to come in super-handy what ever Engineering things I'd like to do.

santaclaus 3 days ago 2 replies      
Mechanical Engineering -- I work through a different mechanics textbook once a year, or so, for fun. I think I enjoy the theory of how the physical world works more than the practice, which keeps me where I am. :)
skykooler 3 days ago 1 reply      
I'd like to do something that does not involve looking at screens all the time. As it is, I'm stuck with my one skill that's highly valued until I can finish paying off my loans.
tobz 2 days ago 0 replies      
I've thought about going back to school to get a Mechanical Engineering degree, or Chemical Engineering degree.

I grew up with my father being a machinist, and eventually going on to being a QA specialist for a large defense contractor, so I've be lucky enough to be able to learn a lot when it comes to machining and designing. Spitting out a 3D design from a printer is really cool, but nothing beats slapping a chunk of steel into a Bridgeport and ending up with a precisely-milled widget.

My wife is also an engineer at one of the largest (probably largest) physical testing companies in the world, and got her Chemical Engineering degree as well. There's constantly stuff she's telling me about, problems at work, custom things she's doing, and we get pretty deep into conversation sometimes about how to best solve the problems.

The money just isn't there compared to being a software engineer, but like a lot of people have said in this thread, maybe this is just a "grass is greener" thing: these problems that I can't work on just seem that more tantalizing than being the person who is actually dealing with a backlog of them. Vacationing in other people's jobs is fun and easy, and ignores actually being that employee.

stevekemp 3 days ago 2 replies      
In moments of madness I've considered both locksmithing and plumbing. Both are jobs that cannot be outsourced, and which SEO can be useful for.

That said I'm a sysadmin rather than a programmer, and I have no immediate plans to change.

One thing I would not do is become a photographer; that's my hobby (well that and rock-climbing / gyming), and I've seen too many people be burned by trying to become professionals. I charge money to shoot old ladies, hookers, and pets. But having to make a living from it would change how I viewed the subject and not in a good way.

mindcrime 3 days ago 2 replies      
A few years ago, I briefly considered going back to school, getting a degree in Exercise & Sports Science, and getting into athletic training. But in the end, I could never quite convince myself to do it, and the moment passed. I also flirted with the idea of becoming a private detective a couple of times in my life. I actually still find that idea somewhat interesting, but I doubt I'd ever make the money doing that, that I make in software. And here in NC the training requirements to become licensed are somewhat onerous, so I doubt I'll ever pursue it.
no_protocol 3 days ago 0 replies      
Anything involving pragmatic problem solving. Keep the mind occupied with varied tasks and satisfied by frequently delivering solutions. Skip the intricacies and subtleties of dealing with software.

There are so many people performing repetitive tasks who could benefit greatly from relatively small optimizations. I would be able to directly witness the impact of my work and make a difference on a personal level. It's hard to do this in software because the landscape changes so quickly.

It would also be super fun to practice apprentice-style learning in multiple fields and document/share everything.

gnclmorais 3 days ago 2 replies      
Every day. Im a bit jealous of all my friends with professions that dont require any of their free time. They can have all kinds of hobbies and spend their free time doing whatever they want.
Tiktaalik 2 days ago 2 replies      
I definitely have. I enjoy programming and I think I'm pretty good at my job, but I can't help but think that maybe there's something out there.

A lot of my most compelling business ideas I've ever come up with haven't been apps or anything I could start programming right away, but rather have been totally different brick and mortar retail businesses. Opening a retail business is something I've thought about doing for a while, but I looked into some of the details and was somewhat turned off by the extremely high startup costs. I simply wouldn't be able to afford it without some partners.

One of my largest interests nowadays isn't software, but rather cities and urban planning. The idea of designing city features that would have a real, dramatic impact on people's every day lives is really compelling to me. I've thought about taking a break from software and working in this area, but at this point I really don't know if going back to school for this stuff is worth it at all. It's unfortunate that I hadn't discovered I was so interested in this topic when I was in highschool or early university.

uniclaude 3 days ago 1 reply      
I believe a lot of us here on HN would consider leaving programming for doing business. A lot (including myself) already did.

Programming being very often about solving business needs, sometime in your career, you might be in a position to realize that it could make sense to go higher up the chain and build a company.

clarry 3 days ago 1 reply      
I've had programming as a lifelong hobby, and in my teens I thought it'd be my profession. But then I realized I don't really care for what the industry is doing, figured I'd have a very hard time finding a software job I'd like.. so I went on to pick up a new skill. I became a machinist. In hindsight, I regret it, because most machining jobs are too simplistic and repetitive to satisfy my intellectual curiosity (simply doing the same thing over and over again fast and making few mistakes matters more) and the good ones are hard to get into. So now I'm looking to get into software, where even the average job will probably suck less for me.

Problem is it's hard to sell myself to an employer with no degree, no job experience, no portfolio of projects done using the fashionable tech that is in high demand (and which I have no personal interest in). At this point I'm at a crossroads, but the best way forward seems to be to start building my own business. Of course, there are plenty of unknown intersections ahead in going that route, and I have no prior experience from running a business, so where I end up is one big question mark.

wanda 3 days ago 1 reply      
I love programming. Even if I still had to use Perl I still wouldn't give it up.

Admittedly that's because I like Perl, but I also freely admit I'm more productive with full-stack JavaScript.

That said, I wouldn't mind writing about programming, but I can't afford to stop my day job.

I'd love to write an ebook on JavaScript, a spiritual successor to Marijn Haverbeke's Eloquent JavaScript but using ES6/ES7.

Maybe also a book effectively about making your own JavaScript framework beginning as a way to build a simple website or MVP without jumping on a framework bandwagon. The book would later develop into a cautionary tale, warning against reinventing existing frameworks like Angular or Ember. All culminating in a sober recommendation to choose vanilla JavaScript and direct DOM manipulation for simple websites and MVPs; later upgrading to React and Redux for a large-scale, client-side applications, esp. if a team is involved.

I'd also like to write an ebook about CSS and how to use it effectively not as in "pure CSS solution to problem x which is actually in JavaScript's domain" rather "CSS doesn't work like that, it works like this, see?"

Maybe also a series of primers: CORS, React, ES6, CSS, 60fps animation/UI on the web, web accessibility...

iamthepieman 3 days ago 1 reply      
Teaching. But the money difference is so ridiculous that I would have to go back in time and make every financial decision differently for the past ten years including having less children in order to afford it. Instead I have taken second jobs coaching at a gym, volunteered for hour of code and other programs at my local library and started teaching Sunday school at my church.
dotdi 3 days ago 0 replies      
I am in a similar position as david927, working in a good environment, good colleagues, good pay.

I actually have a degree in molecular biology and have transitioned to computer science and an engineering degree, which I think was the right choice for me. I thoroughly enjoy being an engineer but lately I can't help but being drawn towards the arts - music in my case. I have been eye-balling a music academy that offers a state accredited professional guitar degree. According to their information material, their alums are quite sought after because of the hands-on approach, studio skills, etc. I looked at the requirements for admission and I am pretty sure I can get admitted with some preparation, having played on and off for quite a few years now.

The catch here is that music industry is actual shit to work in, as I have heard on multiple occasions. And I cannot afford making less than a certain amount of $$ because I have to/want to provide for my wife and two kids.

On the other hand I started having the (completely irrational) fear of being a complete failure if I don't become a professional guitarist.

geekster777 1 day ago 1 reply      
Yes! I'm graduating school in a month, and I've already considered this. I have a couple years of prior industry experience, though. I love the challenges, but I ultimately feel unfulfilled by writing code. It's something I can do happily for five, maybe ten years, but not for thirty-five.

So recently I've been planning to fund a creative life by saving like a college kid for a decade. The prospect's actually led to a heavy side interest into finance. There are tons of resources on early retirement and financial independence floating around, as well as other ways to create passive income. Based on my starting salary, I'll likely be able to supplement a new career within a decade.

As for what I would do, I'm looking into making music, writing books, and chemistry. Been keeping a journal of book ideas for a few months - challenged myself to write a new one every day - so that I can choose the best ones to practice writing once I get some downtime. I've been playing guitar for over ten years, and I love the production of music. It would likely be recreational, but I want the ability to produce professional quality songs. And chemistry is the moon I shoot for. It's what I've enjoyed learning most in school, so learning and understanding as much of it as I can will bring me great satisfaction.

wkoszek 3 days ago 3 replies      
It's interesting how many of you guys have other interests, but stick to programming since it solves a paycheck problem.
lucaspiller 3 days ago 0 replies      
I like programming, but I don't really feel satisfied working as a programmer. While in college I worked in a supermarket, I found that a lot more satisfying that what I do now - I don't really know why, but I think I just like dealing with people (although I'm quite an introvert, I can do it if my job requires).

As others have said programming is probably the lesser of all evils compared to other jobs though. I don't think there is any other profession where I could so easily get paid as much as I do, and work from pretty much anywhere on the planet.

My mid-term goal is financial independence. I'm 28 and should achieve that in the next few years (I'll probably take short-term contracts and then a big break between rather than quitting completely). I don't really have any other hobbies, so I'm not sure what I'll do then though. I wouldn't mind going back to university to study physics.

berntb 3 days ago 0 replies      
Regarding all discussion about creativity and programming, I heard a usability expert that had been painting for 30 years say this about GUI engineering:

Usability as a subject is the opposite of art, it is kitsch. You actively try to make simple and obvious; to have just one possible meaning.

She also said that art/painting was the best of hobbies, but would have been the worst possible of jobs. Too little money and too many interested people, so it was a rat race.

Personally, I've found hundreds of subjects I love to learn about. But it seems only one thing I really love doing. So they'll have to break my cold fingers off the keyboard. I love to teach about subjects I love, but sadly lack all pedagogical talent. (Maybe I had liked art if I wasn't color blind or so unmusical that I can't clap hand to most of my favorite music. :-) )

aiokos 2 days ago 1 reply      
Writing, honestly. I get absorbed into stringing words into entire worlds, complete with flowery descriptions and characters of my choosing. I find that I can write anywhere, be it on laptop or paper, so it affords me more movement than programming.

It's not that I want something more creative than programming, I consider programming to be equal parts art and skill. I want something more flexible, not tied to a company that requires me to work in ways that I don't find productive (looking at you stand ups). However, for now I'll be following the money and writing on the side, although it does get draining to split most of my day's effort into two creative professions.

JshWright 3 days ago 0 replies      
I'm a part-time paramedic. I'd go full time in a heartbeat if it paid well enough to feed my family...
jimcsharp 2 days ago 0 replies      
Every day of my working life. I am not sure that's not just my depression talking though - maybe I won't be happy in any job.
biztos 3 days ago 0 replies      
I enjoy programming, and I count myself lucky to have a good, well-paying job in an industry that is unlikely to run out of work for the likes of me.

However, I originally set out to become a visual artist. While I doubt I'd be able to pull that off as a career now, I would still much prefer to be doing something in that world rather than instructing machines for the Man. I often think about "transitioning" but so far I haven't found a path (you pretty much have to self-finance), and remain an "artist with a day career."

If anybody is seriously thinking about another profession, and is under 30, I strongly encourage you to give it a shot. It gets exponentially harder once you pass 40.

niclupien 3 days ago 0 replies      
First time I quit programming, burned out, went working on a friend's farm. After some times, I felt much more valuable helping them with computers/website/payment processing problems. Didn't took long, I was back in programming.

Second time, I took some time to execute on a non profit to help our local community. Being good with data really help organizing event people really liked so I tried to spin that into a startup and failed. Like other commenters said, I was doing stuff I didn't really like.

I'm back to programming but I'm really glad I tried different things. Not everything was a failure, I eat fresh organic food from my friend's farm and I have an impact on my local community.

Delmania 2 days ago 0 replies      
I think about this a lot. I truly enjoy coding, it's definitely a fun activity. What I don't enjoy the most is the belief that your work experience is secondary. If you can't pass a coding interview, you don't have an active Github account, and you don't blog regularly, some companies won't take a second look at you, even if you have a proven record of success. I personally admire what jwz did, turning his technically skills into something that supported a venue he really enjoys (DNAPizza and DNALounge).
ninjaroar 3 days ago 1 reply      
Yes. My goal is to reach $10 million net worth (so I am no longer dependant on income to survive - yes, I can live more cheaply, but my favorite cities happen to be the most expensive).

Then, I would retire from the industry and focus on doing computer generated art and sculpture.

That would let me stay in software, but let me be creative (I don't want 'creatives' to design thing, as if they were a different species - I'm creative myself!). No scrums (aka micromanagement), no testing, no bureaucratic processes or anything like that - I would just spend all my time creating.

jitix 2 days ago 1 reply      
Back home in India I used to work for one of the big IT services company in a support/maintenance project. Due to the bureaucracy, lack of innovation and the general self-righteous attitude at the company I used to think that all software development jobs are like that. I wanted to get out of the entire industry once my two year bonded term was over.

Once I left and ended up joining a small startup, I then realized that all programming jobs aren't like that and working on even enterprise software can be fun. Never looked back.

mgarfias 3 days ago 0 replies      
If I could earn what I do building things with my hands, I would doIt in a heartbeat
Unbeliever69 2 days ago 0 replies      
I came from the complete opposite direction. I actually learned programming in BASIC on an Apple II computer in a community education course at my local middle school back in 1980. Programming was a big part of my life for the next 5-10 years, until I fell into other career and education opportunities. It went something like this...

Drafter --> Teacher --> Education in Industrial Design --> Ux Designer --> Teacher --> Ux Designer --> Programmer.

During this timeline of about 30 years I never stopped programming as a hobby. I HATED the politics of teaching (which I did for nearly 20 years) but it paid the bills. Ux...well, everywhere I designed, I felt expendable and, like education, it was highly political. For many decades I felt like there was a big hole in my life. I wasn't happy. Then...I decided "F it!" and dropped it all to pursue programming as a career. While it hasn't been bliss, I am much happier. I am not inclined to slave away as a hired gun. Programming has been a way to express my ideas in a way that I was never able before. At 47 years old I feel like I'm preparing for a trip to the base camp at Mt. Everest. I figure that by time I hit the summit I'll be ready to retire, but I WILL retire on such a high note. Maybe I'll die on the summit :)

j1vms 2 days ago 0 replies      
Want to know really the only thing all of us have in common today? We're all alive. Think about it. Tomorrow for at least one or more of us, that may not be the case.

Despite many great comments from those in the profession or not, go with your gut instinct. When you get to the point where you are thinking of leaving what you do for something else, it doesn't matter whether or not other people got to the same point.

Trust your gut and go with it. Usually, it knows what's best for you.

robynsmith 2 days ago 0 replies      
I'm a huge fan of this essay:

Don't Call Yourself A Programmer, And Other Career Advice | Kalzumeus Software ---> http://www.kalzumeus.com/2011/10/28/dont-call-yourself-a-pro...

I prefer not to call myself a programmer, although it's a decent way of describing what I do.

I create [value] and solve problems. I used to this by fixing hard datacenter problems as an IT/Ops person, and now I do it as a Full Stack Web Developer. The creating things / solving problems mindset is what is really important to me. Programming is just one interesting "medium" to do this in.

I could see myself creating things and solving problems in other profession. One that I thought heavily about is medicine, law, and writing. I think there are many possible places you can do this in life - it's just a matter of picking a medium you enjoy.

If you need to work on something else, then you can always pick it up as a side project or hobby. I used to find philosophy fascinating. I spent probably a decade of my life reading it as a hobby. Part of me wanted to go back to school or somehow figure out a way to learn it/do it professionally...but I honestly got what I needed out of the hobby. Now I've moved onto other things.


If programming made me miserable, I'd consider getting a second degree in psychology and perhaps doing a ph.d eventually. Or maybe go into management. Or maybe go into medicine. Go with the flow or something.

nathanvanfleet 2 days ago 0 replies      
I always wanted to make films. Probably specifically small documentaries about people and sub cultures. But I never really saw that as a profession or much of an option. And ultimately I never really put a tonne of effort into it. I had talked to a few people who I thought were interesting subjects, but they backed out and I realized I didn't have the skills to try and rope them in and get them to do it (in a nice way). Maybe it's just because I don't have very many friends in that field that would support me.

On top of that I think I'd like to own a cafe or roast coffee or something.

But ultimately I got into development work because I was so motivated that the time it took to build experience on my own came easy. And doing the work day in and day out comes _pretty_ easy as well.

Though of course sometimes your interest wanes a little. But I know that it's a lot more satisfying than any job I've ever had. And I haven't thought much about others that I hear about.

In addition to that I just honestly don't think I'd make as much money anywhere else. So as long as I'm into it and it's the best place to make money, I don't see why I wouldn't keep at it.

I just hope I can try to do my other interests in my off time, which over time has become a lot harder than it felt previously.

iends 3 days ago 3 replies      
I think about law school or an MBA at least once a week.

The opportunity cost is extremely high though. It's pretty hard leaving six figures of income in a low cost of living (and the grass is always greener I'm sure).

rurban 2 days ago 0 replies      
I did it a couple of times and always came back.

I started as programmer in school, but decided you don't need to study it. It's easier to learn it by your own. Then I became architect, but mostly automated my problems and solutions. After architecture became tiring, without enough pay, I went to more engineering jobs.

Survey, civil engineering, city planning and finally stage design and film.This was all fun and got well paid, but I ended up as director of SW development soon after. After this was not fun anymore I went into hard core engineering, Formula 1 HW/SW simulation and support, but in the end I did more SW development than HW support. HW is always tricky and unreliable. SW is much more logical and reliable, much easier to analyze. And you are not that dependent on others. In SW it's easy to solve everything by yourself on 10x less time than waiting a year for someone else to approve something or until this piece is replaced.

So I went to full time SW work again, even if I still do work a lot on movies also. This is just for fun, helping out, going to festivals and such.

brighteyes 3 days ago 2 replies      
If I could make a good living off my music, I'd seriously consider it. But that's unlikely.
manyxcxi 3 days ago 0 replies      
If I could make a much money as I do now, I still don't think I'd choose something else. If I did it would probably be, in order:

- Robotics (more on the hardware side)

- Woodworking

- Custom motorcycle/classic car building and restoration

The common theme for me is the creative problem solving, building things in general, and attention to detail/craftsmanship specifically that maintain my attention. As it is those are all hobbies of mine, so I still get to dabble while making a good living doing another thing I really love.

baccheion 3 days ago 1 reply      
Not really, but it could easily be the case that most programming jobs suck. That is, it was clear to me from a young age that programming was my favorite thing to do, but the mundane, backward, pointless, political, and/or stupid nature of most jobs can make things unbearable.

My solution was to eventually either become a consultant/freelancer, or create my own startup. When I then realized that a tech lead (Staff Software Engineer) spends about as much time doing manager-related tasks as they do developing software, and that a Senior Staff Software Engineer or Principal Engineer is essentially a manager (almost no coding), I knew my days dealing with corporate world BS were numbered.

My plan didn't really fall into place, as I became a Targeted Individual (likely at the hand of one of the idiots managers I had to deal with) 2-3 years after graduating from college. That BS left me sitting in this room for the last 5-6 years being harassed all day long.

After a few years of the torture, I was pretty much done working, as I was now unemployed for too long a period of time, my intelligence and reasoning ability were waning away, and the harassing/intrusive thoughts were still present and were still getting in the way.

bbarn 3 days ago 1 reply      
Like some dozen others here, if it weren't for the money.. sure, I'd run a bike shop, with a frame building shop in the back room.

As careers go though, what we do is interesting, ever changing, and an exercise in learning almost every day. Oh, and the pay kicks ass. So, yeah, I've thought it. Lots of us think it all the time, but really, we've got a great job, so while the grass may be greener over there, it's pretty green here too.

JeanSebTr 3 days ago 0 replies      
I did not stop programming but I got a dramatically different job of what I had before. You didn't say why you're curious for that question, that might be like me simply for the need to change.

Even with a gratifying job full of technical challenges, I feared I was becoming a 9to5 zombie. So, I got a new job a few weeks ago. I joined a non profit offering free WiFi in the city as the one man army tech guy. Instead of just software/web/mobile development, I also have kind of managerial type of responsibility and more public relation to do. It's something like a safe steady job with nearly startup mindset.

There's still a bit of programming involved, but it's so different from what I know that it's a real professional challenge. And for that I had to accept a big salary downgrade.

It really depends on what's your motivation. Is it salary, challenges that go in pair with your personal growth or simply working in a different context / mindset?

That may be the tasks you do that aren't fulfilling? For some people, manual work is really gratifying. Last week I was setting new cables in a patch panel; there's nothing challenging about it but it's simple and you can be proud of a cleanly done job.

tixocloud 2 days ago 0 replies      
I started off as a software engineer for 2 years but began to explore the business side of things. I moved into designing/building systems for business analysis (i.e. data warehousing, reporting, analytics, etc.), did strategy consulting for insurance and financial services as well as studied for my MBA. I'm now in charge of leading the analytics initiatives for our credit card business.

I'm still in touch with my programming side through my side projects but the experience I gained through my software development years have been extremely helpful both in dealing with business & technical audiences as well as in solving problems logically.

The main point is that the programming skills you've learned can be useful in another setting. Starting off as a programmer doesn't mean that you will have to do it for the rest of your life. You have many different choices and it's up to you to shape your career the way you want it.

20years 3 days ago 0 replies      
Yes and did to some degree when I left a captive software dev position and started my own business. Still involves lots of programming but mixed with a ton of other things.

I sometimes day dream though about doing something outside of software such as landscaping or remodeling houses. Something I can do away from the screen & keyboard. Something that still involves creating and being able to see the end results of your creation.

kidmenot 2 days ago 0 replies      
I thought about it so many times I lost count.

My dream is writing for a living, and I'm currently writing the first draft of a novel. I'm about 1/5 of the way there, began a couple of weeks ago. I've tried a few other times, but couldn't get past the first few chapters. I'm now at 18k words and going strong, I hope this will be the one.

rmathew 2 days ago 2 replies      
Jamie Zawinski[0] gave up professional programming[1] to manage a lounge[2].

0. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jamie_Zawinski

1. www.jwz.org/gruntle/nomo.html

2. www.dnalounge.com/backstage/log/1998-1999.html

Edit: jwz hates HN; made the links non-clickable. Thanks @Jtsummers.

magpiefabric 2 days ago 0 replies      
The thought flashes by every now and then. I haven't been doing this for very long (~2 years professionally) but I've already started to see little glimpses of burnout on the horizon and plan on working in a proper break from work at some point.

I can't say for definite what I'd do. Music's always been a side passion and I'm attracted to the idea of getting back into music production. I studied it briefly back in college (UK, so I guess high school?) but I don't think my heart was really in anything back then so I let it slip through my fingers. For some reason I also sometimes get these day dreams of working in a market food stand. I can't see how i'd enjoy it considering how disdainful I was of my youth working in retail, but cooking is another little passion of mine so maybe i'd dig it, even if it felt a bit like an step down.

danso 3 days ago 0 replies      
I went into college for computer engineering but immediately double-majored in journalism (my first love in school) and didn't even bother looking for an engineering job after graduation (though I did fail a Microsoft interview).

Today I do both but I'm extremely thankful I stuck with programming. Not just as a useful job skill but as a different, powerful way to see the world.

boggydepot 1 day ago 0 replies      
I'd go historian. After spending sometime reading/watching about Marxism, Ancient Greek Philosophers (Epicurus and Socrates) and Confucianism.

History is probably something that will really give you context on a lot of things. Philosophy is great too.

fastcars 2 days ago 3 replies      
I hate programming as a job. Spending all day sitting at a computer with little human interaction outside of the person next to me and having to concentrate for hours on hard problems is really bad for my mental health. Most programmers seem to either burn out, or spend their day trying to avoid programming by going to meetings and so on.

There is also an extreme amount of micromanagement at my current job. I just get very specific issues and then resolve them. There is no autonomy. The project manager just sees me as a typewriter for his novel.

Jobs where I have been physically active and interacted with a bunch of different people that I don't work with have been much better in terms of my mental and physical health.

I am thinking of dropping down to part-time as I could manage 4 hours per day of programming, and maybe getting a physical job as the other 4 hours.

skypanther 2 days ago 0 replies      
I almost did. I earned my black belt in karate and was teaching a few classes per week. I had frequent conversations with my sensei about working full time for him or starting a dojo of my own. We had a location picked out and everything.

Martial arts can be incredibly fulfilling. I got to help people improve their physical and mental fitness, gain confidence, overcome anxieties and fears. There were constant opportunities for fun, new friendships, and doing good in the community. Plus it was really cool knowing I could do some of those Bruce Lee / Chuck Norris moves I'd see in the movies.

At the time, I was the sole income for our family (wife & 3 kids). The income possibilities were just not there. We could not have made it work financially. Now, I'm an old out of shape desk jockey.

gressquel 2 days ago 1 reply      
Yes, Yes and yes!I consider myself a quicklearner. I am 28, been working as .NET consultant but know the other languages such as javascript/node, php, swift, java. Paid well, but I cant help feeling like I was meant to do something else. I wish I could use my brain capacity to help other people. UNICEF, UN or other NGO. I believe technology can have massive impact on countries which lags behind the "western" standards. I wish I could be part of a program to help out people with the use of technology.This feeling is so intense, I wouldnt be surprised if I quit my job tomorrow. I am not scared of leaving my country (Norway) if there was a great opportunity to work abroad.

Dont really know where to start when it comes to tech + UN. If someone knows please give me a pointer to start.

benjismith 3 days ago 0 replies      
I always wanted to be a full-time fiction author.

Eventually, a few years ago, I started a company to make software for fiction authors.

Best of both worlds!

porker 3 days ago 0 replies      
I did [0], but after that I reassessed, relaxed, decided not to push so hard... and raised my rates.

It's a job, and like any job it sucks (hugely) at times. It also provides money to keep my family, and I get to work on interesting, brain-teasing problems (sometimes! Damn web development).

Frankly, I'm not good at thinking what I'd do until I'm doing it. If I did something else it'd be one of:

 Research scientist University lecturer R&D Psychologist Photographer
I already had the option of a career as a photographer (back before the market tanked, which I saw coming) and classical musician. I'm (mostly) glad I chose neither.

0. https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=10169937

rifung 3 days ago 0 replies      
Yes and I still do. Nowadays I mainly just want to do research in Math/Theoretical Computer Science, but before I also considered becoming a chef or piano teacher.

I should have realized it back then but I enjoyed CS in college much more than software engineering in industry and I miss the difficulty and rigor of the problems.

galfarragem 2 days ago 0 replies      
Enjoying doing something as an hobby is completely different than enjoying it as a career.

What people like is the 'creative part' associated with a skill. When you do something as a career, most of your time will be used dealing with the 'boring part'.

dadro 2 days ago 1 reply      
I bought a small commercial fishing boat and occasionally do that on the side. I make no money but love every minute of it. I'm working on getting my charter license so I can take folks out fishing and hope to do that p/t when I retire in 20 years.
SFJulie 3 days ago 0 replies      
I had a lot of fun being a mover: just be at embauche at 7:00am, no BS required, no love of the job, being outside, seeing awesome landscapes ... being tired at the end of the day, with your job let behind and able to enjoy a simple life.

It was a simple life, but fun. And now season is over. So I look for a job in the IT.

It really changed my life.

I also learned doing bread, alcohol (wines and ciders), playing more music, and did some gardening, illegal picking of (common) plants in the wild ... brawling (movers are no angels) and winning. I grew a spine and a pair of balls.

Don't be scared, life out of programming is quite awesome.

In fact, life is amazing as long you don't feel like in a jail that sometimes is only in your head. I now live with my true colours ; I love to be dirty, mean and sweaty.

Raaah. It feels good to finally be yourself.

mellett68 3 days ago 1 reply      
I think about it often, but I assume it's some kind of burnout. None of my hobbies would translate into even my current pay level.

There's that nagging idea of the 'real programmer' who is getting paid big money to solve interesting problems. Almost certainly a myth but still a frustrating idea.

nstr007 2 days ago 2 replies      
I love programming, I feel I can express my self threw code. However, I wish my wife and others could appreciate what I do like I do. If I could do it again, I think I'd like to be a carpenter or something that can be appreciated in the physical world.
Radeo 3 days ago 0 replies      
After master and 3 years experience I was a trader in a prop firm for one year. And this was...

Best experience in my life, I have learned a lot about myself and that world outside pure IT can be even more astonishing and challenging. Psychological leap I would say, advancing to new level. Despite my friends who couldn't understand with I sacrificed my top salary (yeah, I had it best among my programming friends).

Though I failed (yeah, can admit that proudly, because I tried) and I am back in my profession, with even higher salary then before 1-year challenge I got much better perspective now. I try to widen my horizons more often and in different ways. Oh, and after few months break aiming to jump back into trading on my own account... Real fighters never surrender, right?

nickelbagz 3 days ago 0 replies      
If I had the money I'd stop being a coder, but still use a computer for music composition and production. I'd play the piano and also write about social/political/historical things. I had this luxury once a while ago, and am now working hard again to get back there!
keithnz 3 days ago 0 replies      
my thoughts of other work are often fanciful, I keep thinking cancer cures are taking too long and I'm sure my debugging experience would sort that field out. Nuclear Fusion power reactors are taking far too long to sort out, and I'd kind of like to get stuck into that problem.

Then I sometimes wish I was a full time philosopher.

Other times when I've moved between countries and thought I'd take a break from programming to refresh myself.... I end up thinking about ideas around coding and end up coding anyways. So I think I'm a lifer. Not quite sure what role I'll take if there is a zombie apocalypse though, however I have played through a lot of computer simulations of such events and I seem to be a kick ass warrior

... as I said, fanciful ideas of other jobs :)

mataug 3 days ago 1 reply      
I've considered it a couple of times. Being a chef or someone researching climate change are the two things that I've considered. I have no background in either (I can cook up a decent meal but nothing impressive) and the thought of having to start from scratch bothers me a lot.
biztos 3 days ago 3 replies      
So nobody's interested in sales?

It's a job that solves a lot of the problems people complain about in programming, like spending all day staring at the screen or not interacting with people or doing things that might be pointless.

The downside of course is that you eat what you kill.

Archenoth 3 days ago 0 replies      
I love programming, though I have thought that if it didn't exist--I would probably go into archaeology.

I have always enjoyed discovering things in subtleties, and learning the reasons behind strange things with research. There are still plenty of things that we have yet to figure out.

However, regardless of whether I did archaeology or programming, I'm sure I would get burnt out every once in a while. That just happens, and it isn't necessarily a bad thing. (Even if it is annoying...) It helps me to remember that this sort of thing passes as my inspiration swings back and forth, and that I don't actually dislike my profession. And until I am back into it, I just do things to force myself to be productive.

dver23 3 days ago 1 reply      
I took a year off in my 20's for spiritual pursuits and volunteer work. Best thing I ever did, it wasn't well planned and on a shoestring. If I could do over I would have done the finances differently. I cam back to software, but with a much different outlook and world view.
pryelluw 2 days ago 0 replies      
Not really. I use programming as a tool not as an end goal. I enjoy programming because it gives me the ability to do things I otherwise could not. I also like the deep technical side of it but there isn't much to do there for me.
FullMtlAlcoholc 3 days ago 0 replies      
I absolutely want to be done with coding by the age of 40. Coding is a young man's game. It'll always be a passion and hobby of mine, but it wouldn't fulfill me to still be primarily writing code for someone else's company.

I was an athlete in a former life that allowed himself to get woefully out of shape. I went on a health kick a couple of years ago, got into better shape than I was in college. Now I do personal training on the side, just finished my first triathlon, and am now training to compete in American Ninja Warrior. I really wish American Gladiators was still around though as I would've much rather preferred that.

dschiptsov 3 days ago 0 replies      
Already did.

I have switched to be a guide for Tibet tours (Lhasa, Kailash-Manasarovar) and high altitude trekking and motorcycle tours in Nepal, Sikkim and Ladakh. Customers enjoyed my guided tours in Jokhang and Potala.

Better demand and much more tolerable life than in a coding sweatshop. For everything else there is literally no demand for anything except Joomla websites and Android apps outside the valley, which is already saturated.

And, of course, I have zero interest in things like React or Node.

The sad truth is that indie and small shop IT is already dead. Unless you are a young CS major in US there is no demand for programming jobs. Otherwise there will be a market, not just a few brokers like Toptal.

Beltiras 3 days ago 0 replies      
I can't imagine myself wanting to leave. We are defining the worlde for everyone else. The amount of power over the course of human affairs is staggering when you think about it. A fullstack can be toiling away on some CSS layout problem today and come up with a better design of some widget or other which leads to a breakthrough in UI/UX approach. Several months later nobody is using webpages in the same way. A novice can innovate things that an old hand would not think of and turn the whole world on it's side. The reach and breadth of computing makes it too exciting to forgo.
wheaties 3 days ago 2 replies      
In general, when those thoughts crossed my mind it was when I was working a job I should have left already. There are good companies that value developers and/or give them a reasonably good balanced work environment. Generally the two go hand in hand. For places that don't, frustrations and poor practices tend to push us into less fulfilling lifestyles.

But if pressed... Corporate pilot comes to mind. I've spend I don't know how much money on training and aircraft rental. Most piloting jobs for corporate clients have you working only 2 weeks out of the month. That is, you only fly about ~250hr a year. The rest of the time can be spent hacking or doing whatever else you'd like to do.

pinouchon 3 days ago 1 reply      
Computational cognitive science.

I'm in the process of going back to studying. My employer knows this, as well as most my friends and peers. I plan to spend the next two scholar years (starting in 2017) to take a master in cognitive science. I have worked for 3 years in web development since graduating and have enough money stashed to make the transition.

I'll likely write a lot less code, and more maths and english.

My primary motivation is that I believe that breakthroughs in AI and cognitive science at the computational Marr's level are going to have a huge impact, and I want to be a part of it.

herbst 3 days ago 0 replies      
Yes. But honestly most jobs i think are interesting too would get boring pretty fast and are badly paid in comparison.

The only reason i even thought about that is to have more joy in programking after work.

I fixed it by quitting my job and going digital nomad.

baybreeze 3 days ago 2 replies      
For 10 years programming has been my thing, but for a while now I have been getting the feeling that programming won't be big in 30 years. If all my eggs are in the programming basket and I can't keep a programming job in the future, I would be out of luck. (presumably because it's a blue collar profession by that point).

With that fear in mind, becoming a M.D. actually seems like it would be a good decision. Even this late in the process, doctors have been well paid and relatively rare for thousands of years; a tried and true profession. Plus it will sate my curiosity about the function of the human body.

tluyben2 3 days ago 0 replies      
Tried retiring. Opened a brewery (beer & cider) and going to run a bar/restaurant; brewery runs well but I just like programming too much. Combining them works well and keeps me fit.
keviv 3 days ago 0 replies      
Yep. I was working in a startup (which eventually went public) for close to 6 years. Life became monotonous there and I really felt burnt out. I finally decided to quit and wanted to do anything but programming. 2 week later, I started missing programming again but this time I decided to freelance. I'm getting paid decently while I can do a lot in my free time. I've started reading books and working on small side-projects which I wasn't able to while working full-time
asteli 3 days ago 2 replies      
I'm an electrical engineer via a nontraditional path. Like software dev, it still involves large swaths of time spent staring at screens while inside a box.

I've been mulling over the possibility of some kind of work that would be more conducive to my long term sanity. My imagination has me developing and deploying instrumentation for environmental science. 1/3rd screen time 1/3rd workshop, 1/3rd fielding instruments.

I'll figure something out. Probably when 12 hours of daily screentime becomes unbearable.

parr0t 3 days ago 0 replies      
I've only been programming professionally for a year but can't see myself wanting to get out of it anytime soon, maybe ask me in 10 years to see if that view changes. But at the moment am thoroughly enjoying learning as much as I can - coming from a job I didn't enjoy as a full time baker to having my weekends back, normal social hours and just having more spring in my step by doing something I have a genuine passion for is a great feeling.
partycoder 3 days ago 0 replies      
Not all people like programming. Some people do it only for the money. I internally call them "paycheck zombies", and I try to just stay away from them since they're a bit draining at times, and rarely lead to learning something new.

Some other people are more career oriented and seek professional growth. There are various lines of professional growth, in each stage of the SDLC. Even if someone is new to the industry, a good attitude will eventually lead to growth.

michakirschbaum 3 days ago 0 replies      
I became a programmer to avoid being pigeon holed professionally. Programming has strengthened my critical thinking ability for other creative endeavors, and I could leave for actual engineering (e.g. electrical), applied mathematics, music, art, design, entrepreneurship.. basically I chose programming to leave the door open for any of these activities. I feel that this isn't a flexibility as easily afforded to say, physicians or lawyers.
ohstopitu 3 days ago 0 replies      
One day....when I have enough to live comfortably, I want to get into gaming (Youtube and Twitch or whatever is the main medium for games then).

I LOVE gaming (and transferring my skills learnt from programming & the startup world to the gaming/streaming world).

Apart from that...I've wanted to try and be an investor/trader but I don't know if it's really something I'd get into given the commitment & resources they require.

skoczymroczny 2 days ago 0 replies      
Not really. For me programming isn't something I do for money, but something I like to do, which just happens to make good money. I do semi-boring stuff for money, but do fun stuff (game development) at home. I don't see myself burning out any time soon and looking for something else. Also programming fits my personality type, allowing me to avoid too much contact with people :)
drivingmenuts 2 days ago 0 replies      
All the time.

I'd love to change to working in 3D, preferably with Rhino (which I have a license for). But, that's not what a career is made of and lacking any practical experience pretty much means I'm stuck.

I'm not opposed to starting over at the bottom, as long as the work is engaging. Unfortunately, there's not much call for people with only minimal experience in Rhino3D, that I've found.

navs 2 days ago 0 replies      
Oh lord yes, I've left it behind only to take the next job offered to me and becoming a Business Analyst. Not enjoying it so far.

I'm putting more focus at the moment on exploring issues of Mental health in the IT industry as it's something I've dealt with and continue to deal with.

That seems to give me a degree of fulfilment. Doesn't pay the bills though.

SeriousM 3 days ago 0 replies      
Yep, going to be a police officer. But I would get a lot less money and very bad work schedule / vacation policies. So I stay with developing awesome software.
mikelyons 3 days ago 0 replies      
After nearly 10 years as a web developer I've left the field and moved to south east asia to be a SCUBA diving instructor. Nice change of pace.
du_bing 3 days ago 0 replies      
NEVER, programming is best work ever, giving me much freedom.
exabrial 2 days ago 0 replies      
Quite often! But it pays well and my co-workers aren't terrible. Most efficient way to have job security and make a good bit of $.

Id always be inventing -something- though, recently I got into designing and building high voltage distortion prone vacuum tube hybrid solid-state instrument signal drivers: aka guitar amplifiers :) analog electronics is a lost art!

o2l 3 days ago 0 replies      
I pretty much enjoy programming most of the time. But there are times when I feel, only if I could take a small break and do something else without worrying about money.

I would like to

- Work at a General Store- Be involved in a full movie / tv series making process ( Because movies have always had a deep impact on me, and I would love to contribute my ideas in that domain )- Invent new food recipes- Research on Ancient History

_mikelcelestial 3 days ago 0 replies      
I did this just recently. Before I went to a middle east country for an SEO job, I am a PHP dev for 7 yrs and my last work made me realize that I'm not growing or something and this new environment would make me do this change. Unfortunately, after working for only a few months, I was sent home due to health reasons and dev jobs are hunting me again which I think because of my qualifications in the past.
epynonymous 2 days ago 0 replies      
i did actually leave programming (almost 10 years ago) for a job as a people manager (of programmers/test). it's a lot more fun to write code as opposed to dealing with all the nuances of personalities, politics, processes, etc. i do have a few side projects which have allowed me to stay as a pretty effective coder, but at the end of the day, i'm also doing a lot of non-development things on my side project like go to market definition, managing people, project management, and slideware.

there are definitely very tedious things that programmers have to deal with like unmarshalling and marshalling data across backend to frontend components or test automation (think of having a multi-tier system with ios app, database, email service for forgotten password and having to automate all of that). but at the end of the day, the thing i like most about programming is the ability to see the things i create doing something useful. seeing the end result that's of high quality gives me a sense of pride. i'm definitely a maker, it's what i was born to do. but at the end of the day it's about risk/reward and opportunity cost, at this point there's just too much to give up, and the side project isnt panning out yet.

on a slight tangent, i have an electrical/computer engineering background and was supposed to go into hardware like most of my classmates, but i ended up liking the fact that i had something tangible after hours of programming, even though it was virtual, and with hardware i'd have nothing to show for it, but a pic controller lighting up some led's, a breadboard with a bunch of mixed logic implementing some simple thing, or some vhdl state machine that effectively did something simple. no offense to all the engineers working on this type of thing, but it just wasnt as exciting to me.

i find that there's some balance to it all, like getting paid well, but also having hobbies on the side that you can soak yourself into. but then again, i've heard many a story about people doing what they love and for lots of money.

vbezhenar 3 days ago 0 replies      
I fell in love with programming, when I was about 13, and I love it now (29). Commercial programming (e.g. what I'm paid for) is rarely fun for me, but not bad either. And I have a lot of fun doing programming as my hobby, some experiments, etc, when I'm not constrained with anything. I don't think I would ever change my profession.
inopinatus 3 days ago 0 replies      
I left it for ops and then management and then went back to development.

Cycle normally repeats every few years.

Currently doing all three at once because startup.

BWStearns 3 days ago 0 replies      
Law has always interested me. Unfortunately the cover charge is such that I would only be willing to give it a go in the event of an equity lottery win or something similar.

Another thing I've been toying with is prop trading. It's not entirely separate from programming, but the industry is pretty isolated in terms of expertise so it might be considered separate.

gmac 3 days ago 0 replies      
I thought I was leaving programming when I went back to school to do a Masters and then a PhD in environmental economics. I'm now a lecturer (assistant professor) ... but programming is so useful in academia, and such a rare skill, that I hardly do any less now than I did before. And I'm OK with that. :)
gambiting 2 days ago 0 replies      
I would try doing anything that doesn't involve sitting in an office. Fixing bikes and cars, I would love to have a garage and do things with my hands, there's something incredibly satisfying about getting an old car to work, comparable excitement with getting your program to work.
iopq 3 days ago 1 reply      
I recently started playing a game that I haven't played in a long time. I miss the feeling of being engaged like this. Programming just doesn't do it for me.

I want to love what I'm doing, but unfortunately there's few things that tickle my brain like this. What should I do, take ADHD meds and go to work, like everyone else?

emodendroket 3 days ago 0 replies      
My original plan out of school was to become a Japanese translator and I still enjoy Japanese-language stuff. But honestly I couldn't deal with the vicissitudes of being a freelance translator while at the same time never making much money. I enjoy this too and it's much more stable.
wineisfine 3 days ago 0 replies      
Yeah I wonder what our dev skills be worth when we are 60. And still need some years do get to a pension. And meanwhile you have 21 year olds without a mortgage, kids or wife... with all the time in the world to work and learn new things.

Take for example current js webdev, with a new hot tech every week.

We can't all become IT managers (nor want to)...

SixSigma 3 days ago 0 replies      
Yes. And I did. 30 years programming.

Then I got certified in Autocad, got a qualification in Manufacturing Engineering at part-time school, used that to start a degree in Supply Chain Management in the UK. I'm now on an internship in Miami and I already did a semester on exchange in Finland.

Worked out well so far.

jmunsch 3 days ago 0 replies      
fwiw, I graduated with a degree in painting. Got into an ecommerce shop. Figured out how to automate my position. And felt a big draw to programming. Went back to school via a bootcamp and have been a "developer" for the last two years. Mostly CRUD but recently ML and the tools to shuffle data around to input into the ML. I have been in a slump lately, decided to pick up doing part time bicycle messenger/delivery work on the weekends and for an hour or two after a few times a week. There is something satisfying peddling items around the city for people. Tangible and visceral with immediate feedback. I've found it helpful, it has rebalanced my priorities in a sense. Being out in the world, as opposed to continuosly being in an abstract space all the time.
wingerlang 3 days ago 0 replies      
The thought has crossed my mind, but only in the line of "What would I do?" to which I have no answer.

I also love programming (since maybe 12/13 year old me read HTML books and Flash actionscript to make games) and I don't really want to do anything else anyway.

pragone 3 days ago 0 replies      
Did. Currently in medical school.
nickelbagz 3 days ago 0 replies      
I would do what I love, which is playing the piano and writing about cultural and political things
yitchelle 3 days ago 0 replies      
I left programming to do ProjMan work so that I have more time doing my main project of giving my family the best life possible.

I found that SW engineering is too taxing on my time at my stage of my life. My wife and I are mid 40s and the kids are growing fast.

telesilla 3 days ago 0 replies      
I've been working for almost 2 decades and have recently rearranged life to study part-time. A combination of luck and good timing let it happen. It's done wonderful things for me in all aspects of my life, professionally and personally, and is opening new doors.
sanatgersappa 3 days ago 1 reply      
Yup. Trading futures.
drvdevd 2 days ago 0 replies      
I often fantasize about leaving programming for ... programming. It's amazing the sheer number of things that aren't programming a job in programming might entail (depending on where you end up).
d1ffuz0r 3 days ago 0 replies      
Park Ranger in Alaska or Siberia. Will probably be enjoying more than my current engineering career
BucketSort 3 days ago 2 replies      
Yes, mathematics. After studying computer science problems for a while I fell in love with math.
stepvhen 2 days ago 0 replies      
I got my undergrad in CS and am now pursuing pure math in grad school. Not exactly what you asked, but the time i did spend in the industry was enough to make me want to do something other than programming for money.
AUmrysh 3 days ago 1 reply      
I left programming to get into application security, and I love it. There is still some programming and a lot of reading code, but it's a million times more enjoyable than writing endless REST APIs for me.
bebop 2 days ago 0 replies      
I have always wanted to become a full time wookworker. The problem has mostly been the fact that programming pays much better, especially if I were to start as an apprentice.
uptown 2 days ago 0 replies      
It was some of the motivation behind this post:


jtms 3 days ago 0 replies      
I have been a professional dev for 12 years but have often considered other paths. Just a few: Placer gold miner (yep, like the TV shows), Brazilian Jiu Jitsu instructor, metal sculptor, mechanical engineer
snuxoll 3 days ago 0 replies      
If it didn't require such a huge time commitment I'd consider becoming a PA or MD, but once you already have a family and bills it's practically impossible to get through the required schooling.
Giosk 3 days ago 0 replies      
Everyday I think about leaving my job, but then I figure out that the problem isn't being a programmer, but working for customers that have no idea of what they want.
reitanqild 3 days ago 0 replies      
I actually have worked as a more or less pure system engineer for three years.

It was interesting and a bit painful to not have access to source code and to be completely dependent on a slow process.

ohgh1ieD 2 days ago 0 replies      
Actually yes, every day, I'm counting the days till med school.

I'll probably write code as long as I am alive but not under those conditions, not CRUD apps, not to make someone else rich.

I'd actually say that there are only 4 reasons to write code:

- To learn

- Temporary ( cash )

- To create something which becomes eventually a company

- To solve your own problems

Obv. I don't want to attack someone, that's just how I think about it.

When I entered SE I already knew that I'm not going to do that for a long time, it's on my list, I had to learn it. It's time for the next topic.

aethertron 2 days ago 0 replies      
Academic computer science or mathematics. Or writing (about technology, videogames, and humans). These are stuff I do as hobbies now.
amirbehzad 3 days ago 0 replies      
I always wanted to be "the Nose", the professional that smells perfumes for a living. I have the talent, and high-end equipment for that.
Jach 3 days ago 0 replies      
Shoveling pig shit.

The only other alternative I've considered is to teach English in foreign lands, but I'd probably still do programming on the side.

Aitizazk 3 days ago 1 reply      
Well the next best thing for me would be teaching programming. still couldnt forget the awesome feeling when I made a calculator in a cs101 course :D
raverbashing 3 days ago 0 replies      

And in a way, leaving lower-level programming for the sake of it and focusing on nicer things more connected with the end user kind of feels like it

cottonseed 3 days ago 2 replies      
I left to get a PhD in math. Now I'm back, sort of.
JoshMnem 3 days ago 0 replies      
I haven't thought about it yet. If I ever do something else, it would probably be another application of programming, like math or data science.
SticksAndBreaks 3 days ago 0 replies      
I actually thought about going into the alps mountains shepherding cows on a Alm. Its peacefull and less lonly then programming.
Lawstudent004 2 days ago 1 reply      
I'm 25, I finished my bachelor of laws last year (started in 2010) and I'm doing my master of laws atm (it's a 5 year programme where I live, bachelor is 3 years, master is 2). I've always wanted to do something in IT and lately Infosec has really started interesting me.

Last year I took up some programming classes (java) and I actually liked it, however I kept convincing myself that despite that, I was going to finish law school. Mainly to keep my job prospects open, maybe even get a management position in an IT firm faster that way. But honestly, aside from the pragmatic things that law teaches you, it sucks. It really does. Everyone I know either aspires to pick up notary or fiscal law, just so they could satisfy their own prospects of a well paid, highly regarded profession. It's a fairly depressing field to study and to work in.

I did a summer internship during summer vacation this year at a fairly prestigious firm. I hated that job, it consisted of looking up the latest jurisprudence about i.e. 'higher power', it made me read law books that were too boring to even want to comprehenend. I read an M&A template contract, which was interesting, but I couldn't imagine doing that for the rest of my life. All the lawyers there aged 27 and up were anything but living the dream. They worked their ass off from 8am to 10pm to bill enough hours per month just so they could keep their respective partners happy. The partners were well dressed, hardworking and very prestigious people. They were nice to be honest, they weren't assholes like you would expect. They actually made me, and the lawyers that worked there, aspire to become one of them. But then you hear the dark side of things. One of the partners had 2 kids she hardly saw, she actually had a babysitter/cleaning maid who took care of them all the time. Another one was divorced and spent his time harassing every hot secretary he met. Actually many of the male part ners thrived on exploiting their prestige to flirt with the fairer sex. Which I can't help but feel a bit jealous of, having such prestige must be awesome.

Except that's all it is really, prestige. It's the main reason people study law, to my knowledge.

As I'm writing this, I'm contemplating quitting my master's and enlisting in a bachelor of IT focused on cybersecurity. I'm aware that it won't give me the same prestige, or the nice suits (I really like suits), but maybe I'll stop feeling miserable.

Just wanted to give you guys a view from another perspective, law school and law in general aren't all they're cracked up to be. They're miserable places to study and work. Just google the words law and depression in the same sentence.

gnipgnip 3 days ago 1 reply      
Farming and/or studying philosophy.
sriram_iyengar 3 days ago 1 reply      
hand-made board games
jalayir 3 days ago 2 replies      
Either a chef or a lawyer. Maybe both.
nnd 3 days ago 1 reply      
Music. Maybe it's a burnout, but I find it difficult to use my creativity in programming.
adultSwim 2 days ago 0 replies      
Teacher (community college / high school)TherapistCommercial plant nursery
seanlane 3 days ago 0 replies      
Picked up metalworking while in high school, always figured it could make a decent backup plan.
theparanoid 3 days ago 0 replies      
Physician Assistant. It pays well and doesn't have the youth skew of programming.
petewailes 3 days ago 0 replies      
Not leaving, but augmenting, sure. I'm a programmer by day, and also a writer.
Matachines 3 days ago 0 replies      
Study history and/or industrial design even though I'm horrible in the latter.
imode 3 days ago 0 replies      
as a hobbyist, I don't think I would ever do anything else.

as an employee/employer, become a technician. everybody needs repair work, and very few can call the result maintainable and sustainable. focusing on residential areas helps, too.

yoyobird 2 days ago 1 reply      
I think automation will replace the need for SEs. Sites like weebly, jeenka, snapmobl eliminate the need for a programmer if you want to build your own website. If I were a programmer, I would start thinking about exit paths within the next 10 years
oe 3 days ago 0 replies      
I'd like to drive a train. Train Simulator will have to do for now.
neom 3 days ago 2 replies      
Fun reading this as I very frequently wish I was a programmer. :)
davidw 3 days ago 0 replies      
Not really. I love solving problems with computers!
zappo2938 3 days ago 0 replies      
I regret trying to program for a living.
vladimir-y 2 days ago 0 replies      
Piano player, in a brothel.
qazpot 3 days ago 0 replies      
Yes, writing and painting.
shove 2 days ago 0 replies      
Every. Day.
known 3 days ago 0 replies      
s1gs3gv 2 days ago 0 replies      
learn haskell
Ask HN: How do you expend your professional network?
3 points by thakobyan  15 hours ago   2 comments top 2
bujatt 14 hours ago 0 replies      
Remembering remarkable people at events or on social media, going to many events, talking to smart people, try to work together or cooperate, ask for intros
askafriend 14 hours ago 0 replies      
Obviously by connecting with my peers and [In]Fluencers on LinkedIn /s
Ask HN: Where is a good place for a college student to vacation?
15 points by ntumlin  1 day ago   24 comments top 14
mattnumbe 1 day ago 1 reply      
I spent time in Eastern Europe while in college. You'll meet plenty of people on your way and everything is cheap compared to the US. You can find $10 hostels, tons of people on couch surfing and drink $1 liter-of-beers, meet the locals or hit the larger cities for guaranteed English speaking travelers that are usually more than willing to share travel experiences. I went to Romania, Check Republic and Hungary. I was with 3 other people and we bought a used car for next to nothing and drove everywhere.I live in Japan now and go to SE Asia often. I wouldn't not recommend it, but it would be really intense for first time alone travel. I'd go spring break if you do Europe.
xrange 19 hours ago 0 replies      
If we are serious about climate change, shouldn't we be thinking long and hard about flying anywhere for a vacation? Maybe take a ferry/cruise to the Bahamas or some other Caribbean island?


Or drive to Mexico or another Central American country?

totalZero 1 day ago 2 replies      
South America.

You don't need to get a visa prior to arrival for most countries.

Everything is inexpensive, including cell service. Young South Americans are very big on social media, so you can find reloadable SIM cards on the cheap. Plus, there is WiFi all over the place.

Buses from city to city are cheap and comfortable.

Ecuador is very cool, and you can take a short flight from Quito or Guayaquil to the Galapagos Islands and see a natural treasure of unimaginable richness.

Uruguay is probably the chillest country of all time.

Santiago, Chile, is pretty damn cool too.

People think South America is dangerous, but places like Chile, Paraguay, and Uruguay are a far cry from the violence of Venezuela or the horror stories you hear about street crime in Colombia. Still, the slight whiff of danger makes a South American adventure all the more exciting.

And believe it or not, a lot of folks love Yankees down there.

lpasselin 1 day ago 0 replies      
La Habana, Cuba!

It was the cheapest interesting flight from google flight suggestions. We decided to go and it was great.

We rented a casa on airbnb and bought tickets 2 weeks before.

I don't speak spanish and it was fine.

We simply enjoyed walking and exploring the 3 main parts of the city. If you go for more than a week, you could visit more of the island.

Cuba is safe, even alone at night.

tedmiston 1 day ago 0 replies      
For a month long-period with your first time out of the country and by yourself, choosing an English-native country simplifies a lot of things.

Perhaps consider Australia or New Zealand (or both).

Melbourne is a cheery, relaxed, wonderful and relatively inexpensive city.

fillskills 1 day ago 1 reply      
Thailand, Vietnam, Southern India - Cheap places with good expat population
justanton 1 day ago 0 replies      
Go to Greece: it's cheap, people are incredibly friendly and warm; the food is delicious and there is a huge historical heritage
eb0la 1 day ago 1 reply      

First time there I stayed in a hostel boat in the spree river 10 meters from the Wall.

Nightlife is crazy, and the thech scene is great. If you go there, drop at the betahaus cafe and ask the locals for directions.

aaron695 1 day ago 0 replies      
Thailand is a very easy start and cheap and from there you can jump to other countries in the region.

Stay at backpackers to meet people.

Traveling alone and for your first time can be hard but also amazing as you meet people on the way.

_kyran 1 day ago 1 reply      
> I've seen good things about Africa and Southeast Asia, but I doubt I can get any friends to put up the money to come with me, and I'm not sure I'd like to go there alone with no experience traveling.

Going alone and staying in hostels, you'll find it incredily easy to meet other people.

From December through to January, the weather in South East Asia is fantastic as it's in the cool season (still quite warm). I'd encourage you to grab a flight in and out from Bangkok, and figure out the rest upon arrival.

Australia would also be a great choice at that time of the year.

orthur_b 1 day ago 0 replies      
Russia especially Moscow and Saint Petersburg. Our currency is weak and it would be cheap for you to spend time here. There are a lot of beautiful places. I am living in Saint Petersburg and you can ping me for any questions.
twillin 1 day ago 0 replies      
Doing mission work in a country such as Haiti is a great way to travel with others and make an impact for the better.
tropo 1 day ago 1 reply      
Well, where will your parents be going? They are getting older. You won't have them forever.

If that doesn't spend all the money, good! You'll be needing it. Starting a new household is full of expenses. That includes minor things which add up, everything from a salt shaker to a mop.

Ask HN: Where can I analyze exit poll dataset?
13 points by joshwa  1 day ago   1 comment top
choxi 1 day ago 0 replies      
The FEC will release a summary report, but I don't believe it has the granularity of data you're looking for. Here's the 2012 version: http://www.fec.gov/pubrec/fe2012/federalelections2012.shtml
Security vulnerability in Chrome's JSONView extension?
2 points by Pyppe  16 hours ago   3 comments top
Pyppe 16 hours ago 1 reply      
https://github.com/gildas-lormeau/JSONView-for-Chrome/pull/4... maybe it's about this XSS issue. Funny though, that the extension it's just now suddenly being pulled out.

I would've imagined this extension being used by A LOT of developers...

Ask HN: Are generalists doomed in the job market?
23 points by throwawayayayay  1 day ago   11 comments top 9
75j 1 day ago 0 replies      
I concur with the others here. Your skills are NOT the problem, and your accomplishments in software alone are probably way above the average applicant.

Market yourself better! Use buzzwords like "full-stack" instead of "generalist", and don't hesitate to call yourself a software developer (unless you'd rather do management) but emphasize your flexibility, broad experience, and specialist knowledge in other fields.

rosspackard 1 day ago 1 reply      
Please don't say this:

'Can you work as a sw dev? I'm probably not as skilled as a professional dev. I would never be time-efficient as a professional.'

I have seen many fellow developers say things like this (impostor syndrome). Productivity as a code monkey is rarely relevant to jobs and probably not relevant to the jobs you want. You have worked in a variety of roles and have lots of life experience. This may make you many times more efficient in other essential parts of software engineering. Clear communication, problem solving, planning, understanding actual customer and business needs. The most efficient software engineers I have seen don't type [insert some huge number] lines of code a day, they ask good questions and fully understand the domain before the tackling a problem.

As for your problem finding a job, I would be working on creating a portfolio of code samples/projects in the field I wanted to work. Also I would make sure to tailor my resume depending on who I sent it to and what the job description lists.

One successful approach I have seen is contacting companies you want to work for (works best on smaller companies) and trying to talk to someone before giving them a resume. This can be accomplished at meetups or cold calling/emailing :shudder:. When you talk to them you identify what real problems they are facing. Then tailor the resume to those specific problems (or even throwing in a case-study of how you would approach and solve them).

atmosx 1 day ago 0 replies      
You seem like having the impostor syndrome and/or problems selling yourself. Your skills, as listed above, are above average. I can assure you that you can land a remote job with good pay-check.

Given your track record, I believe the ideal positions for you (and the most lucrative) are managerial positions[1].

[1] https://whoishiring.io/search/45.164/-101.030/2/?search=mana...

BorisMelnik 1 day ago 0 replies      
You have to pick something and stick with it. I think a lot of us have these urges to jump into something new. The industry I'm currently in is definitely not the most stimulating (for me anyway), but I've been doing it for 7 years now and have stuck to it (I'm 37). Prior to that I was an MCSE, did a ton of hardware hacking, marketing, etc but found that I didn't master anything.
zerognowl 22 hours ago 0 replies      
I'm a proud generalist too. One thing I've been investigating recently is the concept of so called 'microdegrees', also called nano-degrees:


Open Badges is also a neat idea: http://openbadges.org/

Open Badges looks even more promising if combined with blockchain tech so it's impossible to forge your ability / qualification, unlike today where a large portion of 'degrees' can be bought and sold on the black market for very little money.

JSeymourATL 1 day ago 0 replies      
> I am seriously struggling to market myself...

Who exactly are you marketing yourself to? What's your target profile look like?

True, HR will not understand generalists. But CTO's will get your tech experience. CMO's will get your marketing/speaking experience.

Tailor your expertise and capabilities to the senior executive that you can best help. Weinberg offers excellent advice to strategic targeting > http://www.newsalescoach.com/2014/03/stop-over-analyzing-you...

ohyes 23 hours ago 0 replies      
Tailor the application and resume to the individual company. Focus on the skills that you have which are applicable to the situation. Being able to frame yourself as the person they want is key. That you can do other stuff as well will turn into gravy rather than a downside.
itamarst 1 day ago 0 replies      
Some ideas:

1. Remote job as a "developer evangelist"? An engineer doing marketing and education, basically.

2. Don't go and tell people "I won't be as efficient as professional SW developer", just go and apply for the job.

3. Remote programming job at small company/startup, where multiple skills are actually valued.

auganov 1 day ago 0 replies      
You'll just need to create a coherent narrative of how it all ties together. It's okay if you consider yourself a generalist, but they don't need to know. Sell them what they want.
Ask HN: People who had built Lead System, what was your experience like?
3 points by bl00djack  17 hours ago   1 comment top
gary__ 10 hours ago 0 replies      
May I ask, why are you building one? Are you solving someone's problem? Is this just a random idea for a startup?
Ask HN: How to teach/learn advanced programming?
5 points by aaossa  1 day ago   3 comments top 2
wayn3 23 hours ago 1 reply      
If you want to teach all these things in a single semester, you teach a whole lot of nothing.

How deep can you even go per topic beyond mentioning that it exists?

The "topics" you listed are all 1-2 semester courses individually.

I'd like to see your 2 weeks on networking. What are you going to teach there? "Hey guys the web exists there are webservers and an http protocol, btw you can boot up a webserver by writing python -m SimpleHttpServer ok thats it see ya next week for our lecture on regex"?

Please don't pretend you're ever going to mention sockets. That's just not enough time.

itamarst 23 hours ago 0 replies      
Most programming classes suffer from teaching everything in the abstract: isolated code. In contrast in real world programming there's usually an existing code base you're working on.

Never tried this, but what if teaching was more like real world? Given an existing code base the students would have more context for why the code does what it does, and get a more holistic view of coding techniques.

Ask HN: Who is having trouble hiring?
5 points by caser  19 hours ago   2 comments top 2
scalesolved 15 hours ago 0 replies      
Depends on what you consider 'hard'? I'd say the market for quality developers is still pretty small and thus time consuming and it takes a lot of time to sift through to find the right candidates or candidates with potential.

If a position takes longer than 2 months to fill I consider it 'hard'.

ddorian43 3 hours ago 0 replies      
fintech/advertising are unsexy now ? what is sexy, instagram/imgur ?
Ask HN: Any tech companies/devs doing anything to honor veterans this year?
7 points by tomjacu48  1 day ago   discuss
Ask HN: How to learn to stop worrying and love pair programming?
7 points by wwwater  1 day ago   10 comments top 3
wayn3 1 day ago 1 reply      
Pair programming is great to get junior people or people just coming in up to speed.

If you put me and another senior next to each other to use just one computer and make us do that consistently, we would both quit the job by friday. Pair programming is a great way to cut your productivity in half (2 people doing the job of one). We trust each other anyway, there's no point in watching each other like hawks. We can just do our own thing and then CR the other guy.

Pair programming is another one of those schemes employed to make people feel pressured into not slacking under the pretense of it being new and edgy and kinda cool. Its great, nobody ever slacks. You just burn out within months.

If you don't think pair programming is retarded, please ask a welder how he would feel about pair-welding. Complete and utter bullshit.

^ I'm talking about professionals. Not brogrammers. Not node.js clowns. Those people could all use some supervision. But sticking two great engineers with lots of experience together like that will jsut reduce productivity and will to live.

daly 18 hours ago 1 reply      
I've done pair programming. With the right partner it is productive and produces better code. The person at the keyboard is at a disadvantage because the partner has more "think time". Anyway, I found it pleasant.

The KEY problem is management. My partner always wanted to type so we ended up with me doing the thinking/review while he worked out the syntax. When we got our performance reviews my partner got a raise and I got a bad review. My manager believed that he did all the work and I just sat around talking.

Beware the 'review' trap...

zzzcpan 16 hours ago 1 reply      
I agree with another comment here, you are not supposed to love pair programming. It's an attempt to put pressure on you. Just never do it, talk to your manager. If they are not happy with your decision, leave, as you are the one to suffer the consequences, not them.
Ask HN: How much do you earn on average through software freelancing?
184 points by worldexplorer  3 days ago   122 comments top 35
fightfortheuser 3 days ago 8 replies      
I used to charge $50 USD per hour, but I kept upping my rates. Soon I charged $100 per hour, and then $125 hour. The highest I ever got for programming/consulting was $150 USD per hour, but I don't charge that anymore. I've moved on to day rates.

Now I bill around $800 per day, but I only work about 6 super-focused hours, and I use the Pomodoro method every day. My clients are happy because I get a lot of work done, and I'm happy because I have to work less.

This is just doing general PHP dev work (Codeigniter and Laravel frameworks), and if I specialized, and if I focused on the ecommerce or finance industry I could probably make more. Most my clients are in the Rocky Mountain West, and so far I have more work than I can finish.

So if you want to increase your earning potential you should:

 1. Specialize and master a niche. 2. Network like your business depends on it. 3. Give free seminars and teach everywhere you go. 4. Label yourself as a consultant. 5. Don't be just a programmer. Work with businesses and fix their problems. 6. Know your worth, and don't be afraid to charge what you're worth. 7. Anchor your costs against how much value you'll make your clients. 8. Keep raising your rates until you can't get any work. 9. Work half as much as you used to. 10. And finally, spend time on things that matter like family, learning, and having fun.
Or you can keep competing against bottom-barrel programmers on upwork, and spend the rest of your life working for peanuts. Totally up to you.

mthomasb 3 days ago 4 replies      
We're a YC company that put together a visualizer for freelance engineering and design rates. It draws on a few thousand data points from our freelance invoice and contract product.

You can filter by location, type of work, and experience: https://www.hellobonsai.com/rates

mikeleeorg 3 days ago 1 reply      
Back when I was freelancing, I charged around $150-200/hr for fullstack development.

I know this is on the higher end, but it is definitely possible to find clients that can afford this higher price point. I routinely took work from clients that had hired a cheaper team and weren't satisfied with the final product, needed someone to fix numerous bugs, or to optimize the performance of their technology.

Also, if you are interested in this higher price point, you need to be ready to truly partner with your client and help them solve problems, vs just writing code. This means embedding yourself in their team as much as possible (which can be done remotely; I always worked remote) and understanding the actual problems they had, rather than just building what they asked for.

On top of that, you'll need to own your solution all the way through. If your client doesn't see you as a lot of overhead, and you can act autonomously, then they'll be even more satisfied with your work and rates.

eloff 3 days ago 1 reply      
I charge $120/hour for development work. I specialize in low-level, performance critical stuff, lock-free algorithms, C/C++, assembly, SIMD code. But most of the work I get is typical full-stack web application development, with a little mobile stuff sometimes.

I charge half rate to startups in top accelerators, like YC, that haven't closed an A round yet. The idea is to build relationships with future customers that have lots of growth potential - but who can't afford $120/hour.


I made more when I was working full-time though.

daxfohl 3 days ago 1 reply      
I quit my 120K job for a long-term $75/hr gig. Turns out I'm making way less than I used to. Taxes are way higher and take too long, no benefits or vacation, have to spend more time on non-billable work. Client is a startup that's now running into financial issues of its own, so a raise is unlikely. This is in Kalamazoo. I have young kids and so can't put in a ton of hours to make up the difference.

Haven't spent enough time marketing, or really just don't know how to go about it. Living in small-town midwest it seems hard to make contacts. Everyone I've talked to wants to offer like $5000 flat fee for a week of work they need done (and we all know "a week of work" always turns into a month). Nothing long-term and nothing very profitable, so I've turned everything down.

In all likelihood I'll be back on the job market soon.

tuckerwales 3 days ago 3 replies      
I'm a 21 year-old who has recently gotten into contracting to supplement my primary income (a Software Engineering Apprentice for a Defence contractor).

I earn 12 an hour for my contract work, which I'm quite happy with at the moment because 10 hours a week means I get an extra 500 per month (which is considerable at my age, it pays my rent and bills and some).

I know it doesn't seem much, but I think I'm actually quite lucky to be able to get a gig at my age with my experience.

uniclaude 3 days ago 2 replies      
Before reading patio11: 75usd/hr

After reading patio11: 200 < x < 500

Then again, I don't only do software consulting, I ship (or fix, or optimize) solutions on time to help my clients make way more than I cost them.

keviv 3 days ago 2 replies      
I'm a full-stack developer and I was working full-time till last month and freelanced occasionally. After leaving my job I decided to take up freelancing and currently, I'm making $35 an hour working on CakePHP/Laravel/Angular project which is low considering my experience (11 years). I usually charge upwards of $50 but this time I made an exception because the company is looking to raise Series A (which means more work at a better rate in future).

Last month, I got paid pretty good money for a React+Redux project.

Mail me at mail+efl@vivekgupta.com

I'm currently free for 20-30 hours a week and looking for more work.

NicoJuicy 3 days ago 1 reply      
I freelance on .net projects for 70 per hour, now I also doing e-commerce for myself which gets me excited now.

Also busy with GPS webapplications on asp.Net mvc (embedded device who track trucks and the refrigerator ), WordPress sites, NodeJS ( MVP's),,..

I have a Cordova app before I go to clients, currently landing on too much work because of it ( it's a great conversation starter and builds trust). Will up hourly rates soon, but have a lot of work the next months ( mostly creating webshops for clients). I also work full-time.

My webshop currently lands me 500/ month without marketing, it's something totally different than full-stack development.

I also did something with Pokemon Go to learn how Facebook worked. https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=12858993 i had the #2 fb page in Belgium. We did events to earn some money with it, it's the #1 rated comment ;)

Currently notified all me clients that i will probably have some delay, but nothing was planned for this month. I do put longer hours currently then i want for now, just to make sure everything will land on time... ( 16 hours per day at the moment, hope soon everything will be back to normal)

Also use a lot of jenkins and automation tools, i hate manual labor. My collegues use 4 tools i wrote for myselve every day. It just takes off a hell of time of lookup up usernames, passwords, phone numbers, logging hours, ... I guess you only need to use it in a "ux friendly" enough way, but just don't sink too much time creating it ;)

throwawayNov07 3 days ago 1 reply      
I make $60/hour through an agency. I do this for 20 hours a week.

This is in addition to my full-time gig.

Assuming I'm booked eight months of the year, that's $38,400.

I could make more if I wasn't going through the agency, but for now, I don't have a name or connections, and I don't have the time to market myself.

So I figure do the agency thing first, build a name, then start soliciting direct clients. Then eventually ditch the full-time gig.

Honestly just stumbling through this.

siscia 3 days ago 1 reply      
My actual rate is 100 /hr for developing work. I charge way less for skype calls, tests, discussions.

I am deeply embedded inside the small company I consult for, it is extremely nice because people trust me, are not in my way and are just looking for results.

Really happy, however since I don't only bring coding experience but also business acume I would definitely increase my rate to 150 /hr .

People come to me with problems, I make sure they actually have that problem, I listen to the solution they propose, I actually make my own proposal about what should be done considering both business and technologies, we talk a bit, more problem or constraints arise, we tweak a bit whichever proposal is better and then I go ahead and I implement it.

Time spend talking between 10 and 30 minutes, client have its solution about ready the day after. We are both happy.

pryelluw 3 days ago 0 replies      
It depends. I work with clients and their budgets. Leaving money on the table doesn't bother me because I want long term relationships. For example, I'm wrapping up a 2 year project this month. Built the MVP all the way to two profitable product lines for the client. Super happy about it. I like to see my clients succeed.

My focus is building solutions to business problems. I don't look at it as software but solutions. When you approach it that way people are more receptive to what you have to say.

I don't reveal amount earned but can't complain. I bill monthly, weekly or per project and it works. Forget hourly. Either way, Im raising my rates for 2017. Best of luck.

cgil1210 3 days ago 1 reply      
What's the best way to start freelancing? A few years ago I used a few freelance sites such as upwork but the pay was fairly low and the work was just around building wordpress sites. Any recommendations? Specifically for backend or fullstack projects?
attaboyjon 3 days ago 1 reply      
I worked on top of my full time job doing web dev for Ad agencies, usually php, asp.net or CMS work. Billed at $80/hr, probably netting 40-60k per year on the side. I had always hoped it would lead me to a career as an independent, but that rate is not enough to make a living with a family. I eventually made it to being an independent, but I had to switch to doing enterprise consulting in a niche market at a much higher rate.
fgpwd 3 days ago 1 reply      
I am willing to work for 10$ an hour for full stack development (React/redux and go or firebase, SQL, sometimes node), or Cordova app development, or programming embedded devices (C or proprietary languages).

But no clients so far except for some friends who have promised to pay in the future if their startup gets successful or gets funded :)

I have tried the usual freelance sites but no one really bids on me. The reason is that I am from India and don't have much to show in terms of projects/experience - my previous company had a very strict non disclosure policy, and haven't worked on anything open source yet, don't have a blog, etc.

I am not very serious though and more focussed on a project/"startup" of my own but still looking for pocket money of 20-40$ a day to sustain myself without having to do a job. I am trying at fiverr now. Somehow I just haven't cracked the money nut yet.

Arubis 3 days ago 0 replies      
I haven't freelanced in ~5 years, but while I was based overseas in a _very_ inexpensive living situation, I scraped by on $35/hour doing WP development (urk...) and infrastructure work (now "devops", though we hadn't come up with that moniker yet). I'm currently fulltime employed; if I were freelancing I'd charge >5x that amount.
bloomca 3 days ago 0 replies      
Where do you get clients, if networking is not available for you? I mean, you are not based in the US, so you can't meet these people.

I used to work a bit in Upwork (I am doing complex SPA in React/Redux, though I can do it in other stacks as well), and charged 3550$ (depend on a project).

Also, my question is, how you raise the bar? Like, I know I can double my rates and offer "solution" rather just code, but how you find such contracts (people tend to not trust you there), and how do you present yourself?

ciaranbyrne 3 days ago 1 reply      
I earn about $150,000 for 50% of my time. The other 50% I spend on my own projects.
naveensky 3 days ago 0 replies      
I charge USD 35/hr and offer full stack services for Java/Scala, AngularJS/JS platforms. I have about 8 years of experience now.

I like to keep myself occupied for 6 hours on long term projects and keep 2-3 hours for short term projects. It helps me maintain my diversification across clients.

I am a bit of tech nerd and offer discounts for exciting ideas based projects, specially for startup. I think such projects are win-win for me as tech nerd and client as low cost delivery.

Feel free to reach me out at naveensky(.at.)gmail(.dot.)com. I always keep looking for new exciting projects :)

ashnyc 2 days ago 0 replies      
I come from the other side. I hire programers for my side projects and i have seen it all. As an entrepreneur the only thing i care about is that i have a working software. Some programers think they should be paid a lot of money but have very poor skills. If you are good at what you do, people will recognize that and you will be paid a higher wage. Just be good at your job and everything will workout.
dver23 3 days ago 0 replies      
For a couple of longer term customers I charge $145/hr.

I'm working a full time gig now and haven't taken on any additional work in ages, but depending on contract length I would start at $170 and up.

As I've seen posted here and elsewhere if you're experienced and charge less than yearly salary/2080 * 3 you are giving money back.

(My wife worked as a buyer at one of the national labs and had to purchase contractors, should used to have to tell them what to ask for because more often than not it would be too low for her to quote them out.)

tanshul 3 days ago 0 replies      
I charge $30AUD an hour for freelance WordPress development. Billing monthly an average of 8 hours ($240) for maintenance and support for an agency which isn't much but nice extra income on the side and the occasional from scratch projects (charges depending on requirement). Main job is a front end developer (angularjs).
zackify 3 days ago 1 reply      
I generally charge 80/hr to do ReactJS / React Native work. I have been doing this for the last 6 months on and off.
anguswithgusto 3 days ago 2 replies      
$100/hr, albeit writing about/for software, not writing the software itself. Copywriting is a super great gig.
ciaranbyrne 3 days ago 0 replies      
I earn approx $150K / year for 50% of my working time on client projects. The rest I spend on my own projects
tedmiston 3 days ago 0 replies      
Do others working in this industry differentiate between freelancing (project-based) vs independent contracting?
marpstar 3 days ago 1 reply      
I freelance part-time in addition to my 9-5. Mostly doing WordPress sites, with the occasional ASP.NET app for projects that need something totally custom. Some other web/mobile work as well. I've been averaging $40k/year the past 3 years in a row.
du_bing 3 days ago 0 replies      
I do web development for $25/hour, HTML/CSS, JavaScript, and some basic things on server, Apache, MySQL, Python. I'm in China, so it's good for me. If you have any project needs help, feel free to contact me, tarvos21 at gmail.com
bdcravens 3 days ago 0 replies      
Don't really freelance anymore, but when I did, $75/hour (mostly in Rails and ColdFusion) was typical. I do some mentoring (codementor.io) at $80-120/hour (they take 20%). (My rates would be higher if it was my fulltime gig)
kovrik 3 days ago 1 reply      
I am doing Java (mostly), 10 years of experience, in New Zealand (not much work to do here, unfortunately), 80-100 NZD per hour.

I'm currently free for about 20-30 hours per week, looking for more work.

Feel free to contact me:kovrik0 at gmail.com

richardwardza 3 days ago 1 reply      
PHP/Node/Phonegap Development in South Africa - R600/hour (about $50) for local customers, $70/hour for US based and 50 euro/hour for European based customers. I think I need to up my rates.
dzlobin 3 days ago 0 replies      
$125-175/hr for contract iOS development in NYC.
nraynaud 3 days ago 0 replies      
I earned a bit less than 10k since August 3rd with French clients (I'm still ramping up my prices).
up_and_up 3 days ago 2 replies      
Hourly? Yearly? Fulltime? Part-time?
tn_ 3 days ago 0 replies      
I usually charge $100/hr for native mobile development on the side.
Security in Web service api
3 points by hoangvukenshin  23 hours ago   2 comments top 2
avitzurel 18 hours ago 0 replies      
First, secure (SSL) and verify the certificate on the mobile app. Make sure no MITM can read your response/request.

For auth, my favorite auth is two fold

For API access => Signature based verification, signing each and every request using a known signature algorithm with the secret key (only known to you and the app developer).

For users => Token based authentication (lots of open source solutions out there).

brudgers 22 hours ago 0 replies      
Curious what you have considered already.
Ask HN: List of frequently used UI notifications texts
31 points by alvil  2 days ago   5 comments top 3
gusmd 2 days ago 2 replies      
Especially as a non-native English speaker, I often rely on the Material Design guidelines as my source for UI writing style.


I see you first sentence was taken directly from this, so I guess you already know about it :)

butz 2 days ago 0 replies      
Not actually a list of texts, but if you have a few minutes, this might give you right idea how to write them: https://www.smashingmagazine.com/2016/07/getting-practical-w...
combatentropy 2 days ago 0 replies      
I recommend the Elements of Style, 3rd ed. https://amzn.com/0205191584

(I flipped through the 4th edition, and the examples and stuff seemed overmodernized. It felt diluted.)

       cached 11 November 2016 13:05:01 GMT