Not only will your clothes feel great, as a side effect you will be stylish without being fashionable. Quality never goes out of style.
But what you're saying points to a larger problem. How do you know that anything you download from any vendor (and that includes such hallowed things in the industry as Apple/Ubuntu/Red Hat/Microsoft/Google updates), is really secure?
The only way to get true security for anything is to build your own processor, build your own PC, write your own operating system, build your own network card, and then hope that there aren't any bugs...
Historically, things that were once thought to be secure -- have been proven over and over again not to be. Case in point: Windows NT -- it had labels all over the box, to the effect, "It's secure, it's secure". Well, fast forward 17 years or so. Numerous incidents and issues have historically proven those assertions to be in error... don't take my word for it... look at the history... Google "Windows NT security vulnerabilities" and you can also add the word "historical" in there, if you want.
That, and I'm pretty sure as a novice computer historian, that history repeats itself, although chances are that your BIOS might be perfectly safe even if you do download it with http (although, make no mistake about it, you are taking a chance, so "chance-taker beware", as the old saying goes...)
Computer security is a tough business, because on the one hand there's too little security, and on the other is outright paranoia... what's the correct balance between those two extremes? I sure as heck don't know...
Anyway... good luck with your BIOS update...
This is the very problem that I'm facing on my project (http://bedefiant.io). Because i don't have a working example yet, it is hard to communicate my vision of how you can use my project. Of course, my project is still under development (I'm working on developing the minimally demonstrable features now), but the situation is the same for both: If you want people to use your software, then you have to show them why they need it and how you can solve their problems.
Honestly the best answer is to find someone to help market it. Since you're asking "How do I do marketing?" the answer probably won't be in an HN comment.. its in a 4 year degree or years of experience.
But apart from that, define your target market and reach them where they congregate. If you want to reach freelance developers, go to whatever website they congregate at and talk to them there.
This reddit thread  has lots of reading and some decent ideas. Maybe try writing a marketing plan.
If you did a tech bootcamp three years ago and it went fantastically, you're probably reading HN today and will see and reply to this. The more success you had, the more likely you're a developer today!
If it went terribly, you might still be working at Starbucks and don't read HN very often.
I was a philosophy major who took some CS courses in college, programmed as a hobby and was working as a product manager. The bootcamp was a great way to build an understanding of the production software development process. It also allowed me to build a strong skillset within one tech stack (MEAN).
The bootcamp was absolutely not an end to my cs/engineering education. When I started at Google the learning curve was steep and I have been constantly taking at least one coursera/udacity/edx course for years as well as company internal classes. Hack Reactor wasn't an end all solution but it gave me a great lay of the land and was instrumental to landing a job of the quality that I did.
I graduated from Dev Bootcamp Chicago in 2014. Before starting, I was a financial analyst for three years, and had been teaching myself some rudimentary python for about a year.
It took me about two months to get my first job at a start up, where I stayed for a year and pretty much made what I was making as an analyst. After that I moved to New York, where it took me a month to find a (better) job at another start up. Now I'm at a third start up as a senior engineer, which also took me about a month to find.
The program was fun, I met some great people (some of whom I'm still good friends with), I think it helped me get a foot in the door in the industry, and I picked up a lot of good conceptual knowledge and soft skills related to building software.
However, the the technical skills I learned from the curriculum ended up being almost completely irrelevant the second I graduated. They focused primarily on back-end development, with a Ruby/Rails/SQL/jQuery stack. Since then, I've focused mainly on front-end, and worked almost entirely with Angular/React/Node/Mongo. Now I'm am starting to dip my toes into Scala and PureScript and have no intention of ever using Ruby again.
My cohort mates saw mixed (but mostly positive results). All the people who were clearly talented got jobs immediately after graduating. It was more difficult for those who had no prior coding experience, or had trouble picking up the material.
I moved back to my home state of Florida following graduation.
Within two months I landed a Junior Rails Developer position at Listen360 - a badass company in Georgia. I relocated and have been with the company for over three years now.
In that time I've developed JrDevJobs.com, a job board for junior devs. Built several side-projects, and taken on contract work at a growing rate.
Bootcamps aren't for everyone, and they don't guarantee success. They are a spring-board and structure for those who are committed and able to learn the trade.
Software development is hard as hell. It challenges your abilities in every way: decision making, risk assessment, empathy, time management, and your ability to handle stress. But for those that love it know the rewards to be worth the struggle.
I'd like to say my bootcamp prepared me for the job I have, but I also know that I was going to become an engineer regardless. I saw the bootcamp as a way to get there faster than learning on my own.
I've toured and given speeches at several bootcamps across the country. I've seen patterns amongst the students: there are those that think they're "done" once they graduate, and those that think they're just getting started once they graduate. The latter tend to outperform the former. Full disclosure, this is totally anecdotal.
I think bootcamps are great for those who love to learn, are always challenging themselves, have a competitive nature, and love technology.
first bootcamp (web dev) 5 years ago, second one (mobile dev) 3 years ago. Unlike most in my CoHort, I had no interest in a dev job, I wanted to provide contract work and perhaps join a startup for equity.
> What are you doing now?
CTO at a startup
> Do you feel that the bootcamp prepared you for the jobs you got?
It got me started, which is what I needed, so yes, but it took lots of work beyond the bootcamp.
> Do you think most of your cohort are still working as developers?
I'd estimate over half
IMO Bootcamps are great, you get a nice headstart with learning, you meet cool people, it's unaccredited so any job prospects are going to be obtained with your own blood sweat and tears anyways.
I remember interviewing a ton of bootcamp grads from a couple of schools in Austin, TX and being largely unimpressed. You know that feeling after you interview someone where you're just _not sure yet_? Maybe you liked talking to the person; Maybe they did great on the coding exercises, but you're just not sure. I've since learned that when I'm not sure, that means no.
Instead, the company paid for me to pair program with experts in different areas (security, devops, general full stack) whenever I felt out of my depth; the first 6 months it meant I spent eight hours pair programming a week with the focus being on my learning rather than feature pushing. I found the people I wanted to learn from either from my past instructors at my bootcamp who really impressed me or from AirPair.
3.5 years later I'm .5 years from vesting 4% at a company that's closing its A rounds now. I work with people I love, I learn new things routinely, I regularly get technical level ups through pair programming or classes paid for by the company, and it's pretty awesome.
I renegotiated my compensation probably every 6 months. I'm quick to give pushback if I'm out of my depth or feel like I'm being treated poorly. It's a startup so it's been a learning experience for everyone.
I'm pretty damn happy how it all ended up.
As for my colleagues, I believe most are employed, but I will offer that you only get what you put into that kind of intensive training. It's only meaningful and effective if you really care. The folks who might have been enticed by a cool job in a growth sector don't do as well as those who code simply because it's a compulsive habit and joy.
I'll submit that there are myriad things you can't absorb in a brief program, that's life. If I was rich I would live to go to college again. But I would also say that I've met plenty of CS grads of traditional 4 year programs that don't have the same drive or problem solving skills as that I've seen come from bootcamp students.
Worth it, especially if you're a grown up with the passion to push yourself and the maturity to follow through.
Hype is all nonsense.
The boot camp served its purpose in preparing me for the job. Namely, serving as a commitment device to force myself to study the initial couple hundred of hours one needs to be able to do entry level programming from scratch. Plus having them provide a curriculum and teachers was nice too, I guess, but secondary to the commitment factor. Having graduated from that was also probably not a detriment to have on my resume and I keep it on there since I have no other programming related education.
I suspect my experience is not unusual-- that the boot camp's value is in being a catalyst that unlocks someone's ability to be a programmer and teach themself most of the skills they need, rather than in being an information-imparting institution.
I'm now in the middle of my second job search after 3 great years there. I'm generally interviewing for "Senior Backend"-type roles that expect 3-5 years of experience. However, I have seen some prejudice against bootcamp graduates, and tend not to reveal that I went to one unless pressed. Otherwise, it's easy to be pigeonholed as unqualified to work on the backend. Interviews have gone well and I've made it to most of the onsites, with two offers already.
I don't keep up with most of my cohort but the ones I know are still engineers and generally seeing career success, though a few people have struggled. However, I think the market was much easier for bootcamp-level grads in 2013 than it is today. I don't recommend bootcamps as strongly anymore, especially for people with very little previous coding experience.
My choice was almost entirely pragmatic, and was heavily influenced by the book So Good They Can't Ignore You by Deep Work author and Georgetown CS professor Cal Newport.
As for the bootcamp experience - I have trouble focusing for long classes, and would have benefited from a couple or more months of pre-study. (Classmates who did the best during the course had the most prior knowledge.)
However, the camp was a great launching point. I did work my ass off, staying up all night to work on individual and group projects in the lobby of the Ace hotel. If anything, the bootcamp helped solidify my own internal identify shift.
3.5 years later, I'm happy with my choice. I'm currently working remote for a startup and teaching evening intro to coding classes (yeah, at a bootcamp, so take my account with however many grains of salt). I really like teaching, and enjoy the intellectual challenge, salary and freedom provided by my day job.
Most of my classmates who I am in touch with are working as developers and seem to be doing alright also.
A handful tried and failed to get development jobs, and went back to their old career, or pivoted more or less laterally to a tech-adjacent field that pays less than development. I can tell you that 100% of the people who failed to get development jobs were people who, during the bootcamp, visibly put in the bare minimum of effort to skate by.
I've written a blog post about it here: http://jonathanfromgrowth.com/2017/03/14/From-Devbootcamp-to...
> What are you doing now?Senior engineer at Uber
> Do you feel that the bootcamp prepared you for the jobs you got?Definitely. My first job was at a small YC startup doing Rails (that's what I learned) and that first year there taught me a lot and was a perfect continuation of the bootcamp.
> Do you think most of your cohort are still working as developers?Yes
For me, it was a bit less about the technical knowledge ( I think I could have self taught most content, albeit a bit slower) and more about the networking and the structure that forced me to dedicate 8-12 hrs/day. The bootcamp was constantly directing me towards jobs and hosting employers. In fact, my current company came in and spoke at lunch one day and that's how I met them and got my job.
For people saying it's too expensive, I think that's absurd, at least in my case. My bootcamp was 6500, and it paid for itself with my signing bonus + first month of work.
I am still skeptical the model is sustainable, but seems to be working for now.
Needless to say I am pretty happy about my choice, the ROI manifested in the first year. I'm not so certain the rest of my class did as well, as many of them struggled with the material and most of them did not understand our final team project. I would also have not gotten very far if I stopped learning independently and pushing myself after bootcamp.
Most of my cohort had some kind of experience in tech before, or had taken a community college class or a few CS classes in college or something. A few that didn't struggled a lot after - one just gave up and went back to his old career, one has been getting odd contracting jobs but nothing stable for the past two years. I'd say that it's definitely not the easy way to suddenly become and engineer, I would definitely recommend spending at least 6 months doing some self-study or taking courses before deciding to take the leap. Bootcamps are also much more expensive now than when I attended, so that's even more reason to make sure this is what you really want to do.
The rest of my cohort is still employed as software engineers, as far as I know. Some have been with the same company, others have switched around a lot. Everyone seems pretty happy when I see them at reunions. A few started their own companies.
I had a couple of interviews the week following graduation which didn't turn into anything. Since then I've been continually applying to jobs and trying to put a decent portfolio together. I can't seem to land an interview anywhere.
Realistically, I'm aware my lack of a degree and long list of irrelevant jobs are likely getting my resume tossed into the trash. I assumed at the very least that I'd be able to land a QA job that I could try to pivot towards development later.
It can be a bit difficult to stay motivated to code/practice/study/apply while also working a 40 hour week at a soul sucking job. I find myself pining for an entry level job so I can at least combine my desire to continue to code with a job. At this point it's the only reason I keep going.
If in WW2, you would've noted that all of the planes that came back had tons of bullets headed to the underside, you might be tempted to reinforce that particular part.
But you're actually looking at the planes who survived -- not the ones who crashed.
You can put that to the "reading HN today" and "not reading HN today" crowds.
I feel the program prepared me well for the day to day things I do and projects I've been able to work on.
Currently working on my algorithms and data structures. Feels like it's time to move on. Been taking courses online to finish my undergrad degree but don't see the value in it at this point.
Considering moving to the Bay Area or remote work.
I'd definitely recommend an online program if you're disciplined. Worked out great for me personally. An in person bootcamp would help getting past sticking points a lot faster, but all of this can be learned online for free like others have pointed out.
Have seen others who took the program be successful in their careers
What mattered after DBC wasn't so much the technologies I learned but my willingness to come up with difficult ideas and say to myself "Sure, I'm gonna learn X (language|framework) to get this thing done". I had too much of an "I'm not that smart" mentality beforehand. I never would have dreamed that I would ever spend a month and a half sitting in Panera Bread with a friend hammering out a streaming video app to show to employers. And it worked! Poorly, mind you. It was pretty awful, but also glorious it allowed you to build a shared playlist and watch YouTube videos with multiple people, all synchronized, with chat, a vote-skip button, and even a way to draw over videos. It did work, and we both got hired in another few months from writing it. Granted, my first employer was pretty crappy, but now I've ended up working 2 years somewhere that I've been very happy.
From what I can tell, those in my cohort who applied themselves actually made it after graduation. Those who couldn't shake the "knowledge on a silver platter" mentality didn't fare as well. Simple as that. There are so many opportunities in our field that it seems that even in 2017 someone with the drive and even average talent can make it.
EDIT: I forgot to mention where I work! I work at KPCC, a public radio station in Pasadena.
Full Stack Software Developer -> Database Administrator -> Graduate School in Biostatistics + Statistical Programmer.
I really don't know how else I would've landed on this track (considering my bachelor's degree) but I quite enjoy the diversity of my education and just generally am a person who likes to learn things.
I completed a Certificate in GIS at UC-Riverside's GIS Summer School, an 8 week bootcamp style program. IIRC, this was in 2002.
I currently do freelance writing and run a bunch of blogs. I have never had a job in GIS. I am currently homeless. On the upside, this month is the last payment on my student loan for the course.
I wasn't going to reply. I figure this isn't really the kind of thing you want to hear and trying to convey a meaningful reply would tend to run long and would also run the risk of the usual accusations that I am trying to make a spectacle of myself for attempting to participate in conversation.
But I saw some back and forth in the comments dissing the idea that Starbuck's baristas would post here. Yeah, I wish I was as successful as a Starbuck's barista. That would be a step up. Yet, when taken at face value, I absolutely fit the question as asked. I did complete a tech bootcamp 3+ years ago (not a programming one, but a tech one). Also: My loser self absolutely reads HN regularly. So there.
So, I am not going to bother to try to give the whole story or whatever. Let's just sum this up with:
Pro tip: Don't be born with a life threatening genetic disorder. Also, there are plenty of people here who are not currently wildly successful and well paid programmers. But some of them will refrain from admitting that in questions like this one for various reasons.
I think my bootcamp prepared me about as well as anyone could reasonably ask, 8 weeks included 1) decent introduction to algos + data structures, 2) overview of django / flask / pyramid, 3) introduction to machine learning + data science with python, 4) 2 portfolio projects, 5) overview of relational databases, 6) intro devops (i.e. deploy python app to aws). Probably missing a few things, but this was most of it.
That said I had done a significant amount of self directed learning prior to the bootcamp, 2-3 CS courses on EDX + a lot of tinkering. I think I eventually would have arrived at the same skill set without a bootcamp, but it was undoubtedly the right decision to go.
I cant account for everyone, but I believe most of my bootcamp cohorts are working as devs (at least, I run into them at conferences / see their updates on FB / etc). It took me about 10 weeks to find a job, the people with no prior coding experience took a bit longer.
Am happy to answer any more questions you may have.
Hackbright paved the foundation for me to start my own company. Couldn't be more grateful for that!
Of my cohort of 15, I think over half are developers, a few are in other product roles at startups, and 1 or 2 went back to their previous jobs.
I've been gainfully employed as a software dev since about 6 weeks after graduation, fist as an "associate engineer" then promoted to a regular engineer.
My bootcamp focused on Node/Mongo/Angular, but after I got my first job most of the work needed to be done in Rails. The bootcamp did not directly prepare me to work with Ruby, but it taught me how teach myself new skills and be okay with being in over my head. I was able to get up to speed after a couple months. I have gotten comfortable working with a lot of cool technologies since then - including Docker/Kubernetes, Kafka, and various tools for running distributed systems. Now I mostly work on the front-end of the product with React/Redux.
I feel comfortable working with much more complicated code than I did 2 years ago, and I keep getting good performance reviews.
I can say that going through the bootcamp definitely put me into the right mindset to be successful as a software developer. Often I was given vague answers left to figure something out for myself, which is pretty spot on to my current work.
From what I gather through Linkden and Slack, the top 2/3 of my cohort is in a similar situation, with the rest still getting Jr. level jobs and a couple who gave up altogether on the software thing.
There needs to be balance to the discussion of code school. I'm kind of saddened to read comments that are either hostile against them, or cheerleaders who ignore the struggles that some students/grads face. Yes, lots of people from my cohort continued to struggle after the program. For a smaller number of them, doing the code school left them worse off. We can't forget about that because industry (and alumni in particular) has a moral obligation to an oversight role to some extent. Same as for conventional universities. Nevertheless, it was a career inflection point for me, and this would have never happened without the code school.
I surely don't know as much technically in many areas, but having well rounded developers (have a business/analyst background) can really be a huge benefit to a dev team.
I'd say I have a much more product oriented role. Working closely with our business team, product manager, customers, etc... to guide the product/platform moving forward. Occasionally on trickier technical issues I'll need to consult with someone with a CS degree for 10-15 minutes for a bit of guidance, but by no means do I need any hand holding.
It was a great decision and it's worked out very well.
I graduated from Dev Bootcamp's Chicago location in August 2013, and after almost 4 months of (quite stressful) job searching, I got 2 offers on the same day- a job offer at a technology consultancy and an apprenticeship offer from an ad-tech startup. Both companies were kind enough to let me pursue both offers (I did the apprenticeship first followed by the consulting role). And after consulting for almost 3 years in both San Francisco and New York, I recently accepted an engineering position at a unicorn in NYC. I'm glad I experience both consulting and startup life, because now I know the startup world is where I belong.
I'm glad I got such a broad exposure to different tech stacks, but I definitely missed out on "diving deep" into one specific tech stack. It's reasonable to believe I'd be much more qualified for a senior developer position at my current job if I had worked in a Rails-only environment for the last few years, although without a time machine it's impossible to be sure.
I enrolled at bootcamp at a time when DBC was by far the most well-known school of the bunch. The Dan Rather Reports clip had just come out, and it was a pretty glowing profile. If I were to do it all over again, I would consider Dev Bootcamp or Hack Reactor, as the latter focuses on JS frameworks, which seems applicable to a broader number of job opportunities than the Rails ecosystem (although Rails is certainly useful as well).
The startup then got acquired and I got experience working with a larger company. Left that after a while and now have my dream job as a Developer Advocate! Literally the job I have wanted ever since I got into programming and attended my first hackathon. Can't believe where I am now.
To answer your other questions:
1) Did the bootcamp prepare me for the job? Yes, but only in that it taught me Rails and I could begin working at this startup that did mostly Rails. The startup took a chance on me, I think that's what really prepared me to succeed.
2) What about my cohort?During the program me and some other devs worked on projects outside of the class. We attended community events, hackathons, and worked on OSS with local devs. All of those that participated in stuff like that with me all went on to have successful careers. Those that didn't? I think they're still taking classes or interviewing for jobs.
They focused pretty heavily on soft skills, like communication and pairing, and also somewhat on generic software construction ideas, on thinking through a problem and breaking it down into its component pieces. The curriculum used JS and Rails, although I didnt feel that I had much more than a surface familiarity of either by the end of the cohort.
I think that, in general, if a bootcamp has a decent focus on software construction and doesn't totally fall down on teaching you the technical stuff, youll probably be prepared to work, at least, as a junior dev. But, you can't just rely on a bootcamp. You really have to spend a lot of time (like, a ton of time) learning on your own, writing code and reading code others have written.
Since then, Ive been working steadily as a mostly front-end and sometimes full-stack developer.
My cohort was a little weird, people went on to do other stuff, like start their own bootcamps. But, I believe most of the people who wanted to be devs are still doing just that!
The code place I went to did a really good job preparing me for the actual work. I am a senior level contractor and actually get to work on interesting stuff.
I know over 10 people off the top of my head who also went to code bootcamps and are all making over 70k in LCOL locations. They are thriving and not hack's in the least.
I'm a programmer working for a startup company in Tokyo.
The primary focus when I went was learning how to "think like a programmer" and learn while building. This let me contribute at least marginally at my first job as I gained more experience through just building more.
It seems like the focus has shifted, though, from what I've seen. I don't think I would choose to do it now, given the current messaging.
I haven't checked everyone individually, but at least 50%, maybe more.
Most folks from my era of the program are still in touch and we're all very supportive of each other from a professional/networking standpoint.
And oh yeah, most of my peeps from Ironhack are still coding too.
I had zero background before the bootcamp, and the bootcamp itself was pretty shocking.
The biggest part of the bootcamp was having it on my resume - giving my limited knowledge "legitimacy".
EDIT: My starting salary was mid 40s after I finished bootcamp. And I felt like I knew nothing for a good 6 months - luckily many employers are happy to take chances on you if you're willing to learn and have common sense.
I'd advocate something like freecodecamp to others looking at bootcamps that can't afford the "good" ones (hackreactor etc)
If I had to do it over again I would still take the class.
I know that is not 3+ years ago.
Even though I am not a developer I read hacker news because the article selection is usually of a high quality and the comment sections are full of reasonable conversations. People trying to find answers or make a point instead of flame wars. Usually.
I was able to take what I learned and apply it to a CRM that I had worked with for years prior to going to General Assembly. I was able to develop services around this CRM that my former employer still uses and I was recognized by the company that provides the CRM for my contributions within their CRM's community.
Right now, I am on my own, still trying to figure out where to go next. I think the biggest takeaway I got from the program was to keep learning; it's part of why I keep coming back to hacker news.
Before that I was 9 credits short of a degree and I was working in account management at a tiny start up in California. I chose the bootcamp in Boston because I didn't have any money saved up to live anywhere but with my mother. I was 30, swallowed my pride and moved home for 6 months. In hindsight that was one of the smartest decisions I made.
Now I'm a senior software engineer at PayPal. I also finished my degree.
I went from couch to employable in 3 months so yes. I worked 60hrs a week on my craft for 2 more years though - now I'm one of the top contributors across teams.
I think so but I have been really bad at keeping in touch. Our cohort was unfortunately competitive with each other so friendships and bonding was not easy to come by.
What are you doing now?SWE at Google
Do you feel that the bootcamp prepared you for the jobs you got?Yes! I had some background coming in and I learned a ton about the web, how to break down problems, and how to be productive.
Do you think most of your cohort are still working as developers?
I think so, but I haven't stayed in touch with all of them. I definitely think the market for juniors has gotten more saturated and I was very lucky to get in when I did.
My trajectory has been pretty solid - we had several people join when I started and I've been at the top of my cohort. I've been promoted and given a raise while my company went through layoffs and perform well even compared to the CS grads from Stanford & Berkeley who joined at the same time.
I expect to be promoted to the senior title in 1-2 years, but I will probably job hop somewhere else in the next year so I can get exposed to tougher cs areas (distributed systems, scaling, information retrieval, etc)
My close friends at the bootcamp work at companies like Pivotal Labs, Pinterest, Yammer, etc. it's definitely a biased sample but I've seen many people do well. Many fail as well, but that's expected.
I'm in my 2nd post-bootcamp developer job at a small-ish company, making double my previous salary before a/A. I love what I do and attending the bootcamp was the hardest and most rewarding thing I've done in my professional life.
I keep in touch with some friends of the bootcamp (my cohort and others), and they have gone to work at various companies like Spotify, Google, Thoughtbot, Bloomberg, Capital One, Vimeo, Tumlbr, WeWork, and lots of smaller companies.
I've seen quite a few people graduating from bootcamps now that have struggled more to land that first job. It seems like the jr dev market is starting to get a bit saturated.
I did a bootcamp 2.5 years ago (Founders and Coders on London). Today I'm a co-founder of Scrimba (https://scrimba.com/), which is a new interactive video format for communicating code.
I'm mostly doing non-technical work at the moment, though some technical as well.
After I graduated I worked a little over a year as a front-end developer at Xeneta (a Norwegian-based startup).
I could not have gotten a job as a professional developer if I didn't do the bootcamp. Or it would have taken me MUCH MUCH more time. So I'm super happy with my experience. Also, most people in my cohort who graduated also work as developers now.
I've been writing a lot about how my process from non-technical to technical was. Feel free to check it out here:
I'm now more focused on back end things...AWS, infrastructure, services, etc.
As far as I know, most of my cohort is still working at good jobs.
Not really a bootcamp but a combination of udacity, lynda, online books/tutorials.
My Background: tennis coach, basic arithmetic, PC power user.
Looking at where my peers are now, I would say that about 50% have turned it into a good career, and the others either changed course or quit.
The curriculum gave me a pretty solid start, though it leaned heavily on libraries and getting things done. Starting my job I felt productive in a very narrow sense, and needed pretty direct supervision for about 6 months before I was at a place to work mostly autonomously.
Finally I decided to get a web developer job. It has been 8 days, we are using React and Redux, and its fantastic. But the senior developer left the team and now with 4 of us left I've realized I am the most knowledgeable developer on the team. This is in SF but not with a tech company. Luckily there is no stress and the hours are great.
For some reason coding on my own projects was only okay but coding for a job is amazing. The day flies by and I get really deep into my work.
I graduated that summer and immediately began doing contract work with a couple fellow graduates. By the end of 2014, I had moved my family to Chattanooga to work for a startup in the eSports space. It was a Rails shop and they had grand plans but the senior developer left and our CEO decided I could take the lead. To be blunt, I wasn't ready, obviously, and knew it. I wanted to be a part of a team and have room to make mistakes (plus be mentored); you can'd do that when you're the only developer then lead developer. So, by spring of 2015, I joined a wellness startup (awesome team) in town and have remained there ever since.
In the beginning, all I did was write tests. I started to contribute to features on both the front and back ends. Now, I own entire features, make design decisions (re: database, code, and the stack), implement CI/CD, review code, and randomly build things in other tech (like an iOS app for testing Firebase Cloud Messaging integration). There's no way I could have done much, if any, of this fresh out of bootcamp.
Bootcamp got my toes wet and taught me, beyond introductory full-stack concepts, both how to read documentation and to accept that programming is hard. Those two lessons are what really helped me to become a professional developer. My team accepted me because I was still passionate even after learning so much so fast. They also were confident that when presented with a problem I would either have a solution, know how to go find one, or be smart enough to ask for direction (that last one took more time to develop than the others).
To be fair, I was an intelligence analyst by trade prior to bootcamp, so I definitely had previously developed skills useful to programming. However, as others have said, bootcamp was/is a springboard that provides structure to the process.
As for my peers from the cohort, I think MAYBE half are still developers and a few own companies.
I was lucky enough to have a few opportunities where I was paid to learn. Got my first big boy developer job at a startup in Santa Monica in oct 2014 after working as a scuba instructor. Now I work very part time from a boat sailing around the sea of Cortez. I can only do this because my resume is solid enough that picking up short term freelance work is not impossible.
If you want to learn something (or do something for that matter) I think passion is the first and most important ingredient. If you want it bad enough the opportunities will manifest themselves.
Bootcamps are great in teaching you the foundation of software engineering (mainly in a web development role).The biggest learning experience I received was learning how to learn.
During my time I have needed to venture into lower level programming and having more CS knowledge really is a big plus.
I feel like bootcamps could spend some more time teaching general Computer science topics, however you can pick the experience up during your career.
Bootcamp gave me the basics. I took them and busted my ass to build on those skills. It took about two months before I got my first job.
I attended a data science bootcamp almost two years ago now. It was 12 weeks long and ran 9-5 each day with a mixture of lectures and pair programming exercises in the morning, and time set aside in the afternoon for working on projects. My cohort was very diverse; there were kids just out of grad school, teachers, actuaries, data/business analysts, and even practicing software developers all taking the same course. I came into the bootcamp with a fair amount of background knowledge (Bachelors/Masters degrees in Math as well as a ~10 year history of teaching myself various computer science concepts and languages), and I have to say that this served me quite well. I didn't struggle to learn Python (the language of choice for this program) or grapple with what gradient descent was really doing, because these were already parts of the way that I understood the field. Instead, I used my 12 weeks to learn about Git/Github, get really good at actually working from the command line, learn about different "big data" techniques and database structures, and pursue a passion project.
That being said, throughout the bootcamp I was keenly aware of the fact that no one was going to "fail out". There were students that needed more direct guidance than others when difficult topics were broached, and there were students whose presentations revealed that their project hadn't worked as well as they'd hoped (this includes some of my own projects). On the one hand, it was good to have a community of people (students and instructors alike) who embraced these failures and helped you learn from them. On the other hand, it instilled some level of self-doubt: "Maybe I am wasting a solid amount of my life savings on an experience that will only teach me how bad I am at this." Or even, "I feel like I did well with this project, and I have some validation from my peers and mentors, but what would a future boss think of this work?"
As a practicing data scientist now, I feel like the bootcamp prepared me to both know how to ask the types of questions data scientists ask, and to know where to look for the answers I need. As far as I know, everyone in my cohort is employed as a data scientist now, save a couple individuals with visa issues (and these few are still actively working on personal projects). Those with prior exposure to the field were certainly able to get better jobs, and quicker.
Ninja edit: italics
in my country these people make so much more than programmers that they would never consider such steps. and senior generally means 5-10 years of experience.
maybe i need to find my way to the us after all. it sounds like 'opposite town'. not really because i need the money, but if i could to tell these suits 'i'm a software engineer, maybe if you do some course you could get as much as i do'. maybe i could die sniggering...
They tend to have started with strong backgrounds in something else. People who would excel in a lot of fields, in no small part because they continue to learn.
This is obviously an anecdote, but I think it's logical those who had bad experiences and did not end up developers most likely do not read HN.
Interested to hear the experience from anyone who was already a developer and took a bootcamp. Was it was worth it?
-Bootcamps are insanely overpriced for what you are getting. Most seem to have a decent student to instructor ratio but almost always the instructors are recent graduates and lack the technical skills in a lot of areas. They could help out on general syntax errors but lacked debugging skills that most devs outside of extreme entry level posses. In the past two years the cost has continued to rise almost exponentially and the trend of hiring former students seems to have continued.
-I'm sure this varies by bootcamp but they seem to paint too wide of a brush. In ten weeks they will touch on both front and back end and give the attendee the illusion that they are "fullstack devs". This is great because you have a nice shinny Quara clone to show off at the end but in reality most people will walk away with little understanding of either. I would rather bootcamps focused on one area (probably client side) and briefly touch on the other end. For my bootcamp I specifically said up front I was interested in the backend and was assured that they tailor the curriculum to the student. In reality it's more a one size fits all.
-Students can't problem solve for themselves. A lot of students (and I include myself in this) couldn't handle issues that could be solved with a basic google search. Some people figure this out fairly early, others carry it on into their careers, but it seems to be especially prevalent with bootcamp grads.
-Students walk away with unreal expectations. Having friends and family that have gone through bootcamps in both large and small markets the salary and employment numbers don't seem grounded in reality. I'm sure this depends on the market but it seems like a lot of people end up taking short term low paying jobs straight out of bootcamp and while some of them find other dev jobs a not insignificant amount don't. Also a lot of people end up being pressured into taking tech but not dev related jobs by their bootcamp, presumably so they can collect a placement fee. The bootcamp I went to is fairly well regarded (you have probably heard of it) and I've never been contacted by them about my employment status, and I know a fair number of people either went back to their old careers or are marginally employed in the tech field (yet they still claim a high placement rate).
-I'm SURE this depends on the bootcamp but mine seemed to openly play favorites. At first it was great because of extra attention but after a number of staff openly ridiculed a guy on the spectrum I became extremely disheartened. A bootcamp should be about education, not a popularity contest.
After my bootcamp I didn't feel ready to be employed and opted out of the opportunity to meet perspective employers. This was met by numerous "talks" by the staff trying to convince me to attend, presumably so the bootcamp would get a cut of any offer I took. In the end I spent a fair bit of time consulting in my previous industry before finally feeling ready and taking a job as a developer (although the job search in a new market was brutal). Since then things have been great and I'm extremely happy with where I ended up, but I'm still disillusioned with the bootcamp model. Part of that is at due to my experience and partially due to interacting with bootcamp devs both in interviews and with employees at my current company.
We are starting to look at hiring two new people at the company, one is for a non dev role who might have to deal with some basic html and css, I'll probably hire out of a bootcamp for this position. The other will be for a full dev position. I'm hoping to poach within the company on this one (from somebody with no experience but who has the interest) but if not I'm going to give self taught or CS grads priority.
If you are looking to change careers and just want to work in tech. A bootcamp is probably a way to get your foot in the door. If you really love programming go back to school (I wish I had, cs masters are pretty cheap) or really work on your own, network like crazy (buy as many beers or coffee for as many devs as possible) and build something really cool. Most people won't notice it on your resume but one or two out of a hundred will and that is all that matters.
I originally saw three primary benefits to attending bootcamp, and I think they're still relevant:
1. It gave me some credibility. Before bootcamp, I had worked with children overseas for a couple of years, and as a care provider the year before that. I had considerable tech experience further back, but nothing related to software development. My resume would have been easy to discard without some way to get connected with employers.
2. It enhanced my motivation. I was paying a lot of money out of pocket, so it placed pressure on me to follow through. I also enjoy working with people, and the classroom setting exceeded self-study in a number of ways.
3. It provided people I could go to when I was stuck. This only happened a half dozen times over the course of the program, but any one of these times might've derailed my interest or motivation.
Overall, my experience was very positive and I was offered a position at Formidable Labs (now just Formidable) before graduating.
It has gone rather well since then. I started as a junior engineer on their Walmart project and progressed to a senior position on my team within the year. A few months in, I received a ~30% raise.
From there, I joined the Walmart Core Web team. That involved building foundational libraries, components, and patterns for the rest of the web teams, as well as a lot of broad architectural work. After a couple of months on that team and some significant successes, I took on additional responsibility, which coincided with another ~35% raise.
Since then, I've worked on Formidable projects for Microsoft and Starbucks, in senior and lead roles. Starting Monday, I'm joining the Edge browser team at Microsoft as a program manager.
Its hard to know what I should attribute my success to - I definitely went into bootcamp with the intention to make the most of every opportunity that came my way, and I continued in that mindset afterwards. I jumped at every chance to learn something new, and spent considerable amounts of time outside of work learning and doing OSS. A few of my projects  got relatively popular (others, not so much ). All of these were side projects that I pursued independantly, and I think that increased my desireability as a team member. A lot of it was probably timing and luck too!
It's worth noting, however, that my experience was atypical and not in line with the rest of my cohort. I know at least a handful that struggled to find positions.
 github.com/divmain/GitSavvy github.com/FormidableLabs/rapscallion github.com/FormidableLabs/freactal interlockjs.com github.com/divmain/recollect
Bootcamps have their flaws, but are definitely filling a need in the tech sector. There's too many dev jobs and not enough devs so while there's some saturation leaking from bootcamps, it's not because there aren't enough jobs; it's just very competitive and companies generally do poorly at recruiting. Bootcamps are trying to fill a void, but they're not all equal.
For anyone thinking of attending a camp: look for camps that offer scholarships to attend. They're hungry for students for a lot of reasons but also it's indicative of a camp that really wants to offer you something and they've managed to get the big companies to pay the way for you. Yes that's how many of those scholarships work. The bootcamp networks with big companies like Google who offer sponsorship for a set amount of students (usually minority students). Whatever you think of the camp, that's a good sign they're trying to expand their offerings and those camps will usually do a great job of helping you succeed.
Second, look at the more established camps. If you're a woman, Hack Bright and Grace Hopper and the like are premiere camps. Their programs are amazing. If you can get to one, consider those your best options for getting a quality education. For others, App Academy has a well earned reputation; Hack Reactor is competitive; General Assembly is well established and has vast resources for students. I'd say Dev Bootcamp but as someone else mentioned, they've changed somewhat over the years and I'm not sure where the quality lies there. I work with a lot of bootcamp grads from different camps for the past few years and I continue to mentor at these camps so this is my firsthand experience with them.
Finally, be ready to study ...not necessarily all day everyday (people have families to attend to) but definitely for a solid 8-10 hours to get the most of it (and try to take 1 or 2 days off; the brain needs a break to absorb all the things you learn and it will be tempting to keep going without breaks).
In all cases, you're going to be surrounded by other students and developers of varying experience daily ...this is the greatest benefit you reap from bootcamps. You have people you can go to hourly! Ask anyone who is self taught how valuable it is to have this sort of access to getting your questions answered all day every day. You're also going to be at a place that constantly networks with companies on your behalf. Regardless of how good the camp is at placing grads, the fact is they're already in the door and it's a leg up for you to have them do a lot of foot work to connect you. That brings me to networking: bootcamps are a great place to do it. There will be guest speakers and events to attend every week and professionals on site whose daily job is to talk to companies so that you know what they want to hear.
Whatever you think of bootcamps, they're always a hotbed for networking and learning. If you go into it with goals, a learning mindset and dedicate your mental resources for the 12 - 24 weeks you're there, you'll do well.
I must emphasize to make sure you set your goals before hand and chase them tenaciously. I think one of the best I things I did was have a mental timeline and SEVERAL acceptable outcomes that I'd be satisfied with. For example, my endgame was to get a job as a developer within 3 months of graduating. During that time I'd attend weekly workshops and network; and I set a schedule to study algorithms and build an app everyday in any language (the idea was repetition, make hacking second nature while studying algorithms was more about digging deep). I would have accepted working as a contractor, creating my own business or being employed as a junior dev and my study schedule made all of those equally likely outcomes. I focused on improving myself, establishing my own network and at the end of 3 months I'd be prepared to either strike out on my own or have a job. Two of those were in my control, and that was important. Nothing can be promised in a bootcamp no matter where you go so it's important to set realistic expectations and to hold yourself accountable for the outcome.
It's a lot of hardwork, but I found it enjoyable, productive, efficient and just flat out fun (really enjoyed late nights with other poor students and all the creative ways we found to grow together) and I highly recommend it.
You don't need to pay a school to learn to code.
The sad truth is, there are recruiters who will throw out your resume if you associate with bootcamps. Why? Because the quality of the programmers they generate is low.
Code camps run like mills. From stories I've heard, they pay instructors as contractors below market rate (20-50k, long long hours) and throw them away with no severance.
That's not even to speak about those who forked over $16,000 you'll never hear of here because they're too embarrassed and afraid they'll get jumped.
Worse, try mentioning anything critical on Bootcamps and they'll create sock puppet accounts to downvote you, harass you and so on.
If you don't believe me, go on /r/cscareerquestions or quora threads mentioning bootcamps. They'll have coursereport.com shilling and trying to keep you from the reality:
You can learn to code on GitHub for free.
You can host repositories on GitHub for free.
You can download Atom (https://atom.io/) and Visual Studio Code (https://code.visualstudio.com/) for free.
You can download Linux for free (https://www.ubuntu.com/download/desktop).
You can watch MIT/Stanford/etc. Data Structures and Algorithm courses online for free: https://github.com/prakhar1989/awesome-courses
Free Programming Books: https://github.com/EbookFoundation/free-programming-books/bl...
Free development services: https://github.com/ripienaar/free-for-dev
And you do not need any college or bootcamp to work at Amazon, Microsoft, or Google.
Seriously, just grab a copy of Cracking the Code Interview.
If you do your prep work and are ready to dedicate 100% to the bootcamp and all that it entails, you will certainly be successful and find the job you want. If you are not fully prepared for the commitment it takes, you will likely not fulfill your expectations.
You get out of it what you put into it.
You should demand your money back, every penny.
> I can only look to my choice of bootcamp
Bootcamps are not gatekeepers. They portray themselves as such to take your money.
But every town needs electricians, plumbers, doctors, etc. It's just frankly, we're pouring out more junior programmers desperate for jobs than there are positions to fill. Every time a cohort finishes, it's 30 more people on top of the thousands of others seeking a handful of positions.
They end up creating junior level programmers, and cherrypicking success stories from people who have already coded before.
> that crushed my dream of working in tech.
Nothing's stopping you from:
- installing Linux (https://www.ubuntu.com/download/desktop)
- downloading Atom (https://atom.io)
Using these resources:
Maybe you would be a good programmer if you continued studying, maybe it's not your path.
I don't know you, but don't be fooled into thinking that any institution or person is a gatekeeper from you coding and getting a job in it. These code camps want you to believe that so they can justify their existence.
For what its worth, I feel empowered by your question to write and here is my story (unfiltered, so please be understanding):
My first internship (senior year) was with facebook. During that internship, I committed myself to teaching my best friend (B) how to code. He was a musician who could not find an internship with his econ degree and was worried for his future. He reached out for help, and when your best friend reaches out for help you make it work with your schedule. So everyday I went home after my internship to teach him, and on the weekends we went to hackathons and worked on projects together. I listened to his frustrations, adjusted my expectations from a beginner, and worked with him to help him become a better coder in hopes that some day he would be at the same level as I am. (His family also lived around the area at the time so I got to live with his family rent free and his mom cooked delicious food for us, so I felt that I got the better end of the bargain).
(After my internship)Right before I graduated from college, I met a wonderful girl(A) and we started going out. I moved to the bay area and she followed after graduation and moved in with me into our cozy one bedroom shared apartment in the heart of SF. Unfortunately, she felt intimidated and it was hard for her to settle in as someone with no technical background. It seemed as if all conversations would end up technical and leave her isolated. It was incredibly frustrating for me to hear someone feel that way so I made it my mission to talk about my work in a way that a 5 year old could understand. I refrained myself from using technical terms and I tried to create analogies to everyday life for the problems I encounter at work (I did not tell anybody this, it was more of a personal mission).
I saved and bought a house in the bay. My friend (B) and my girlfriend (A) moved in with me. I felt lucky to be able to afford a house in the bay area and I wanted to make sure the people I care about has the same luxury. B saved and bought his own house. A saved and bought her own house. I associated their success for my own and I thought I was invincible. I thought I had a gift for teaching and inspiring people so I committed myself to teaching another friend whom I used to know in high school. He worked hard and in 3 months got hired as a front end developer at American Express. I thought his success validated my teaching abilities but this was a short-lived euphoria: A broke up with me because I was distracted and did not fulfill my role as her partner. B moved into his new home and the commute deterred us from hanging out. I was alone.
In the midst of my solitude, my mom successfully convinced me to buy a 3 unit property in Oakland. I didn't care much for it because I have a blinding trust towards my parents. I focused on my own personal growth and landed a job at Google on the analytics team. I worked with an incredible team (some of the brightest people I've worked with) but unfortunately my heart was not in the right place. In the 13 months I was with Google, I probably submitted less than 50 changelists (merge requests). Out of respect for a great team and a great company, I quit.
The past 2 months has been the most fun I have ever experienced. The 2 properties that I invested in produced enough income monthly for me to be financially secure. Without a financial burden, I was able to consolidate everything I had ever learned about teaching coding and come up with my own original curriculum. The realization is profound. Currently I have 4 students (a recently divorced mom who had been a housewife for the past decade, a high school student, a army veteran looking for new opportunities, and a former software test engineer who felt discouraged with her technical growth), and from their diverse background I have learned a few things that I would like to share.
Learning coding in a class of 40 with a 3 month curriculum is not only a bad way to learn, but it amplifies the problem we have with our education system today: Everybody learns at a different pace, understands things at different times, and thus it is wrong to expect everybody to follow the same curriculum with the same timeline. This traditional way of learning prevents students from building a strong foundation, which is essential for their technical growth. It is much more efficient to create a system for people to learn at their own pace than to impose a syllabus with dates for getting things done.
Programming is a team sport, so it is important to realize from the beginning that your code could have a profound impact on somebody else's code. From my personal experience, most technical backlog comes from engineers being ignorant about the potential impact of the code they write. When my students join our team, we teach them the basics and get them going on our Github open source projects right away (submitting and reviewing pull requests): https://github.com/llipio/algorithms
Programming is a team sport, so it is important that when a new engineer graduates from the basics, he/she is put into an ongoing project that multiple people at their level have working on together as a team. Our projects (web and mobile) are all in production with real users to emulate a real working environment. You can checkout our app by searching for (llip) on the app store or visit https://llip.io.
Every Saturday, our team (in full force) attends our local Free Code Camp meetup and helps any beginner learning how to code with their questions and unblock them on their journey.
I'm still figuring things out, so if you want to grab coffee I'd love to share ideas. My email is firstname.lastname@example.org
Thanks for reading!
I don't think I was job-ready upon graduation, or at least I didn't feel that way at the time. I spent a few months helping out s bootstrapped startup while looking for a job and learned a lot from working closely with the CTO. I stayed on with the startup while working a contract gig and eventually left both for my first full-time gig.
Pretend you were working at a company with a hundred engineers. Do you understand how easy it is for every single one of them to simultaneously feel like you do? The React mavens feel like they're just knocking together JS and wonder when they'll be allowed to do real engineering. The backend specialists wonder why they don't understand networking or servers better. The DevOps folks envy folks who build things. The American office wonders why they can't speak foreign languages; the German office marvels that anyone can learn Japanese; the Japanese office worries their English isn't up to the global standard.
There's nothing wrong in specialization -- it's how we stay sane. A very workable and easy to understand formula early in your career is specialize in two things; you don't have to be better at X and better at Y than everyone you meet, you have to be "better at X than anyone who is better at Y" and "better at Y than anyone who is better at X." This is very, very achievable, regardless of how highly competent your local set of peers is.
Also, unsolicted advice as a sidenote, but life is too short to spend overly much time in negative work environments. Assuming the negativity isn't coming from you, changing environments to one of the (numerous!) places where happy people do good work might be an improvement.
1. Programming chips in binary, machine code, and C. You need a variety of chips. Try to learn at least 5 from each manufacturer.
3. Learn Scala, Rust, Haskell, C, C#, Java. (Python and Ruby go without saying).
4. Learn R, machine learning, statistics (prob and regressions), linear algebra and multi-variate calculus.
5. Learn growth hacking (edit:) and lean startup, human centered design, and design thinking.
6. Learn accounting, finance (go through Markowitz, to Black Scholes, Fama, CAPM, and factor models. Read the original papers only and implement everything yourself, in 2 languages).
Now you are ready to read HN.
I'm in this for 30+ years now. (Yikes!). My resume is somewhat nice. I've got a deep store of knowledge and experiences. A large group of people considers me somebody you ask for advice.
And yet, every day, I still learn something new.
Sometimes because it's a new paper cycling about. Sometimes an HN article. Sometimes because some other senior person shares from their wealth of experience. And quite often because a junior does something in an unexpected way - knowledge comes from every corner.
I still feel like I have no idea what I'm doing. I'll probably feel that way for the rest of my life. All my colleagues do.
So, don't worry. There's always somebody who's better than you, and that's great, because you can learn from them.
To reiterate though, pick your battles, follow your interests/employment possibilities, and make peace with the fact that you can't know everything.
Fast forward ten years and every discipline of web development now goes very deep. It's still worth it to have a broad skillset, but it's no longer practical to be upper echelon across the board in web development. This generally leads to a feeling of overwhelm and regret that I can't learn all the things I possibly might want to learn, but on the bright side the playground is bigger than ever.
My advice is don't spend too much time thinking about the big picture, instead pick one practical project at a time and spend 95% of your time making it the best you can. Even if you only read HN a couple times a month, that's all you need for basic awareness of the landscape. By giving yourself heads-down time you can replace some of the overwhelm with a feeling of accomplishment, and you'll be growing your skills to boot.
Up to a short time ago, most humans never ventured farther then 5 miles from their birthplaces in their entire lives. Before printing presses, books, and finally newspapers, all news was word of mouth...a very limited bandwidth indeed.
Even newspapers really were nothing but mostly gossip and had very limited work-related information for almost everyone, so feeling totally overwhelmed by the avalanche of targeted career knowledge is not only ok but actually totally appropriate.
Usernames are de-emphasized and there is no indication of karma/reputation. A trick of perception can lead one to read this forum as if the same handful of broadly knowledgeable people are participating in every discussion.
The reality is, I believe, quite the opposite. There are hundreds of us here, and we all have depth of knowledge in vastly different areas. There are developers, DBAs, sysadmins, doctors, lawyers, writers... I think once I saw someone mention that they were a welder.
Keep that in mind when reading the comments here.
- There will always be people who are better than you, in any field. I see it as a positive and a great learning opportunity.
- There will never be time to learn everything you want to learn.
The question I try to answer is: Am I doing the best I can at the moment? Of course, this can also lead to complacency.
Of course, you, by comparison will seem lackluster. Realizing that a single person on here may be lacking in specific expertise may give you solace.
I often dream about building some project that would provide me passive income to no longer have to work a 9-to-5. It's not that I lack the skills to execute on it, but as a father and a husband, I struggle to find time to commit to such ideas while balancing time with my family. The only time I attempted to build my own product, I ended up getting fired from my daytime job because of performance reasons. It only discouraged me from attempting to pursue anything further.
I've learned that I just can't compare myself to others here, because it just makes me horribly depressed.
What may sound super bad-ass might just be a 20 year old intern riffing like a BOSS!
I can't design for crap. I don't understand the thought process and don't even want to put cycles in to trying. It's not time well spent.
I'm also an enterprise founder. I don't mind wearing a suit selling to folks who have obscene requirements with 6 month to year long sales cycles.I don't understand B2C companies at all. I could never run one. The idea of catering to hundreds of millions of people with none of them paying you while relying on VC to scale blows my mind. I feel similar about small business.
I like the idea of a smaller number of big name customers with large requirements. I also understand how they work: They are for profit organizations trying to make money or cut costs. I see consumers (despite doing a ton of data) as a blob of irrational behavior I don't want to deal with.
I also can't do marketing. I can kind of write when needed but my main focus is on technical content or specialized pitches.
Being on HN is very similar to being a founder, you see everything and wonder how the people around you do what they do.Don't worry about it! You hired them for a reason.
Hope that helps!
I can usually cure it by going to a Sharepoint developers' meetup, or something similar. Running into people who there who are doing consulting work and doing very, very well for themselves while working significantly less that 40 hours a week and using almost none of the cool stuff that gets mentioned on HN.
I suppose the lesson there might be to avoid a game of one-upmanship with alpha nerds. And I don't say 'alpha nerds' in a derogatory sense. It's just that on HN, you're going to encounter lots of people who will run circles around you in one domain or another. And some people love being the absolute expert in their particular technical domain.
That's okay. Good for them, actually! Everyone should do what makes them happy. You might find you're actually happier in a role that is more concerned with the business problems you're solving than with needing to be an expert in everything you see mentioned on HN. Your technical skills will be important, but not as important as your ability to use those skills to help a business 1) save money, 2) make more money, or 3) both.
Some of it is wrong, some of it will never be relevant to you, some of it could relevant to you but not knowing it will never hurt you. Some of it could possibly be relevant but will be obsolete or out of date by the time you get around to using it. Some of it is nonsubstantive self-promotion. Just focus on some area you want to improve on at a given time and do it. Read what you want to read and have time to read and ignore the rest.
Just because someone puts up a nice-looking blog post with some information doesn't mean they're right, or better than you. Not that it matters if they're better than you. You could be in the top 10% and that still leaves hundreds of thousands who are better than you.
That's assuming there's some pure linear scale of developer quality anyway, which there isn't. People are fingerprints, not points on a linear scale.
It's a fantastic book by a now tenured CS professor that provides a good framework for how to think about your career / career satisfaction. He encourages working backwards from the lifestyle you want to the skills you need to master to where you are right now. His framework provides a lot of clarity and helps you ignore the roller coaster of announcements, updates, and new "things" you FEEL like you need to stay on top of.
You can also just read some of his blog posts - calnewport.com/blog - if you don't feel like buying the book. Or check out some of his interviews, etc.
And calm down: HN users are really heterogeneous. Trying to be like everyone here is impossible. Even you find someone with the same profile as you, it is a nice thing to know that there is something new to learn. A bigger problem is when you don't have anything new to learn.
Edit: And answering your question: I feel overwhelmed when I learn somenthing new here, and there is already another article telling me that what I learned is obsolete.
Your work situation can be remedied. Lots of companies require good engineers who're willing to learn stuff rather than pre-know stuff.
The irony is the more i know the lesser confident i get and i reflect it in meetings. I dont know how to avoid it. I am really looking for a mental framework on how to not look like a complete idiot in meetings although what i say is totally factual.
- Most solutions posted here probably won't just work for your problem, you have to work it into your needs - concentrate on what works for you not necessarily whats new.
- Many really cool things took someone years to develop, you are just reading a lot of different people's long-term accomplishments not a small group. And most of those people were sticking to things that worked instead of chasing the shiniest technology.
- Theres more than one way to do anything, just because they may be currently more successful doesn't mean you can't find new solutions, don't forget to try your own thing.
Eventually I just forced myself to choose one thing and focus on it. When I get to the point where I feel competent in it, whether that's a day or 3 months, then I allow myself to move onto something else.
Don't get stuck in your head. Just choose something and commit, no one knows everything, the posts are by hundreds of people, each with skills in different areas. Know one knows it all.
No, or at least not much. Most people have a specialization or two, whether it be front-end, back-end, mobile, application, embedded, games, etc., which limits the scope of what you really need to care deeply about.
Beyond that, it's a matter of your own personal curiosity and desire to expand your abilities; my reaction to most articles is "hmm, that's interesting; I'll remember that in case I ever need it" with just a scant few meriting a "I need to dive into that because I also want to have that knowledge / skill."
I think this is a perspective problem. You need to stop comparing yourself to everyone in all things. That isn't what I come here for. I just come here to gratify my intellect and enrich my life. You don't need to compare to people here. You need to compare yourself to people you are in actual competition with at work or compare yourself to the work standards you are expected to meet. Don't come here and do that. It will only lead to misery.
Try cutting the cord for a few days. It's refreshing.
Then I remember the following.
1). I'm employed, my manager is happy with the work I do, and I make enough money to pay my bills, have savings, and live in a decent place in a safe neighborhood.
2). I don't have to be better than everybody else at my workplace. I just need to find an area where I can contribute.
3). When I apply to other jobs I get some positive responses. I know people who would be happy to recommend and hire me if they can.
4). I've met more than a few people who can talk about data science like they can solve any business problem under the sun, but cannot actually do much of anything except talk.
5). There is plenty of stuff I read on HN that is clearly wrong or exaggerated.
I think the key is to focus on what you need today to stay employed and have a realistic assessment of your weaknesses and where you want to go. Then figure out what you need to get there and slowly work towards that that. I don't need to know Rust, Go, and Vue.js because they have nothing to do with my job or where I want my work direction to go. If they day comes when I do need to learn that stuff, I'll learn it.
I've found that it's not often that I need to be as intimately acquainted with a subject as those who are feature on HN appear to be. In fact, just knowing about something has been enough for me to intelligently answer an interview questions, converse with a senior engineer, or make the right decision on a project. And usually that's because what's most important is being curious and asking questions - e.g. admitting to myself that I'm not an expert.
Now, instead of being a testament to my ignorance and personal failings, HN is portal that let's me feed my curiosity.
You may want to do some research on the impostor syndrome. It's been my experience that anyone who's any good at anything is convinced they'll never "catch up."
Take a walk.
Do what you can.
It is ok.
Yes, there's so much to learn that you'll never have time for it, even if specializing in a small area. It reminds me of a Chomsky interview. He said that he has so many books left to read in his office alone that a lifetime wouldn't be enough. You're in good company.
It may sound obvious but don't forget that HN isn't one person. The guy that knows about particle physics is usually not the one that tell you about the latest type theory research. Don't compare yourself with a collective mind.
Besides, I'm sure there are people less bright than you in all positions you can imagine. Retrospectively, I realize that there are a lot of things I didn't even try for fear of failing or because I thought I wasn't smart enough. It's only a few years later that I realized I missed so many opportunities.
Yes that I realize I have a lot to learn and I should keep removing distractions/bad habits and toxic people/situations out of my life. Yes that I realize there are Ivy Leaguers in here and also people who work at the world's largest companies.
No also because there is also a fair amount of hubris here. There are also a lot of people who miss the forest for the trees. There is still a lot of room for innovation in certain markets and the means of fulfilling human needs are ever evolving even if the needs themselves are still the same.
I take breaks from time to time. Also I've recently deactivated my facebook and unfollowed a lot of people on Twitter/Quora/Instagram. Feels great.
I think a sense of resignation is actually useful here. Just resign yourself to the fact that you'll never be as good as them and that it will take you 10 years to be able to just follow instructions under a Google or Facebook AI scientist (, say). And continue to trod on like the tortoise in the tortoise vs. hare story :-)
Second, think about what kind of site HN is. This is a site whose DAU are mostly highly educated (either formal or otherwise) from very diverse backgrounds in tech, machine learning, etc., etc.. It should come as no surprise that for any given topic there will be a ton of high quality and interesting points of view.
As for the statement 2): "will basically feel the same as I do now." To be completely honest, you probably will. Every new opportunity in life presents you with a chance to learn and while learning most people often realize how little they actually know. But that is why you are learning in the first place!
I think this is one of the (probably many) reasons feed readers failed and chat came to beat email: the feeling of something incomplete. I had to force myself to ignore unread counts to stop myself from going crazy, but Twitter, HN, Reddit, etc. did away with outward signs that there were things unread, and that's a good start.
Sounds like you need to change jobs, if you're at the point of acknowledging that your work environment is negative.
I don't worry too much about it, as long as what I'm building works and can be maintained I'm happy.
The good news about tech changing all the time is if you wait there will be some new language or framework so you didn't waste your time learning something obsolete !
"An expert is someone who knows more and more about less and less till they know everything about nothing" - from a Murphy's laws on technology poster..
Nobody explores all of them.
Figure out what's interesting to you and then go deep on that. Keep an eye on the stuff that's not interesting to you just to develop contextual knowledge, then when/if your interests/responsibilities change and you do need to go deeper on stuff you didn't need before, you can get started more easily.
(1) HN covers a lot of areas of software development; more than any one person can really be expected to know. But each reader is ignorant regarding how big a fraction of the covered technologies are well-understood by the other readers.
(2) HN stories often involve technologies related to web-development, containers, or virtualization. Those technology areas spawn inordinate numbers of tools, frameworks, etc. This exacerbates issue (1).
The thing that helped me the most was to realize that you _have_ to specialize, at least to some extent. It's impossible to know and do everything, no matter how much you would like to.
Pick "your thing", and worry about staying up-to-date on it. Everything else skim through just to understand what's going on. How broad "your thing" should be depends on how much time you're willing to spend.
Don't try to master everything all at once. Just learn what you need, or what interests you and then on to the next thing. There is no "done".
You'll never master everything. No one does. Take it easy. You say you've become an integral part of your team and that you're constantly learning. You seem to be on the right path.
Strive to be a helpful, open, honest team member, with a thorough understanding of core patterns and practices. (e.g. SOLID principles)
Fill your bowl to the brim and it will spill. Keep sharpening your knife and it will blunt. Chase after money and security and your heart will never unclench. Care about people's approval and you will be their prisoner. Do your work, then step back. The only path to serenity.
HN starts to fall in pattern as a lot of stuff you do. There are those new cool hip stuff, papers, a few deep inside blogposts and it repeats itself.
Enjoy HN as long as it holds :)
More money, better work environment, be better at computer science, etc etc.
These are all different things and require a different approach. The sooner you figure out which one you value more, and understand that you'll have to neglect some other things in order to succeed in that area, the better you'll feel.
For example you didn't mention any education - if you want to not feel like a fraud, you'll have to educate yourself on all the things a common 4 year program teaches you. There is no way around it.
You may score a nice paying job in something like web-dev or mobile where there's a lot of demand, but you'll be blindly stitching other people's code together for a long time if you continue down that route.
The solution is to take some time to go fill in the fundamentals.
The more solid your fundamentals, the smarter and more interesting the projects you can be involved in, but you'll have to sacrifice time and money to get there.
Clarifying your real intention is important.
As for not feeling overwhelmed - by being good at your area of expertise. If you know you're better than most people at one specific thing that's in demand, you don't need to worry that someone else is kicking ass in augmented reality, big data or whatever hype phrase of the year is :)
His forgetfulness was legendary. He could barely remember what happened in the morning or what code he wrote. He made this his strength by writing the cleanest and well-structured code I have ever seen. So, not only him, but anyone, without any prior knowledge, can jump into the code at any point in time and immediately understand the flow and be productive. Obviously, it helps that the code was in Python, but being in python by itself does not a great code make.
>board = chess.Board()
I'm pretty sure I'm a genius.
> import this
For the vast, vast majority of developers (no matter skill level), their github profiles are somewhere between "non-existent" to "a collection of weirdo stuff I played around with for a few minutes five years ago that doesn't reflect my professional output or interests at all". It just doesn't have much correlation to anything.
I've got several things on github, but even then it's not really representative of anything. If you look at my profile you'll see that it's a mess of random projects and toys in random languages. But it doesn't reflect how I spend most of my time.
There are a few niche cases where a github profile might matter - like if you are a consultant that specifically works supporting a OSS project and you want to show evidence of that to potential clients. But otherwise, don't worry about it.
I also think that the developer community far overestimates how much "have a good Github" is worth in terms of creating career equity, both because the people who you attempt to influence via it are largely not developers and, to the extent they are developers, are unlikely to spend hours looking at your Github profile trying to extract signal from it. You can probably get superior results for far less effort by writing ~3 good technical blog posts. (Do what makes you happy, naturally, but to the extent that getting well-paying exciting jobs generally makes people happy I'd recommend almost everyone treat having a small number of technical blog posts like exercise, in the "simply too useful not to do" bucket.)
Now I've learned that (1) burnout is real, (2) work CAN be intellectually stimulating enough to not create that OSS desire, and (3) eventually your job ends at 5 and life takes over.
With that said, I WISH more developers opened issues on the projects they've used.
All too often I've seen people drop one dependency for another due to an edge-case.
Even a simple issue explaining the problem, providing a test case or sample code would be great as an indicator to how a developer approaches problems and seeks help.
At Google, a candidate was referred to our team but had chosen to do all his interview questions in Python. This left me unable to discern "Can this candidate write code in C that actually understands memory handling and pointers?". Luckily, he had a GitHub repo for his work on a FUSE layer he had written that demonstrated that not only could he write in C, he also had reasonable commit hygiene (good commit messages, reasonable granularity, etc.).
I would never begrudge someone for having an empty GitHub profile (mine is unimpressive), but I've definitely both decided for and against candidates given the extra data it provides.
Many, especially older developers it seems, only begrudgingly have a profile for tickbox judgments encountered during job seeking. The best developer I ever worked with just didn't care about bothering with a Github profile, and the worst guy I ever interviewed had an expansive profile, including a repo with 80+ stars that was trivial and terribly coded, and our team's conclusion was that he got his bootcamp associates to star it.
At the end of the day it's a private company seeking a profit, and it's a little ridiculous that it's become defacto mandatory for proving you are a good developer, in the same (somewhat annoying and unfortunate) way that FaceBook has become defacto mandatory for proving you lead a social life.
When during an interview someone says they are passionate about software engineering and they have a github profile that reflects this, it gives me a reason to believe this person. But, I take the attitude that 'absence of evidence is not evidence of absence'. When another person makes the same claim but with an empty github profile, I don't assume this person is lying. You can usually tell if someone is passionate or not by the way they talk abot their previous projects as well.
That being said, a well-used github profile is not a reason to hire someone and neither is an empty one a reason not to. Some of the best people in the field that I have had the chance to work with had zero, or close to zero, github contributions.
From the other side (the 'looking for a job' one), when interviewing with a company I worked for some years ago - they did ask me for a link to my github profile and some open source code I did. But the company made most of their software open source and they believed strongly in OSS. I believe this was done not to judge a person for the quality of the work, but rather to get an idea if the person also liked OSS.
* How interesting are those projects generically and in the context of what I would need this developer to do?
* Are these projects actually used by anyone? Are there pull requests, etc?
* Does the developer actively keep working on existing projects or move around? I.E., are these learning vs hobby vs commercial?
* How is their readme? Does it exist? Is it sufficiently complete to convey meaning?
* How is the code organized? Is it reasonably laid out? Do they make use of third party packages and tools? Does it seem like they are re-inventing the wheel?
* Does the code work?
* Is the language chosen the right language for the job? Are they using idioms of that language or more generic ways of expressing loops, vsriables, etc.?
* How extensible is their design? Does it feel krufty or is it a pleasure to read?
* Is the code novel? Are they re-inventing the wheel or are they actually fulfilling a need?
* Are their projects wide and varied in scope and tools?
Those are a few things off the top of my head. Not an exhaustive list.
The code within their Github repositories, on the other hand, can say a lot. But I won't spend too much time perusing it; I'll probably look at their resume, see "Oh, they can write Ruby and Golang and have a Github account", view their Github repositories, see their code, say "Okay, they can write ruby and golang" or "Oh no, they can't" and move on.
You could find developers that:
1. write good code and are active in the community
2. write good code and are not active in the community
3. write ok code and are active in the community
4. write ok code and are not active in the community
5., 6., etc., (... you get the idea)
So, with number 2, you could see an empty GitHub profile and perceive it as low quality, but that's the wrong perception. See `pyrophane` comment as example.
Obviously on a hiring process a GitHub profile with activity is a great plus, but, again, it depends.
1. Participates somehow in popular open-source projects, by posting bugs or updating wiki entries.
2. Opened merged PRs for popular projects that fix bugs or add test coverage.
3. Opened merged PRs that add new functionality.
4. Is one of the maintainers of a popular OS project.
5. Created a popular OS project.
It seems to me that working on distributed OSS projects with strangers on Github or working on personal projects in one's spare time is a very different experience from how most software development shops are run, so there's only so much overlap there between the skillsets.
It does show you that the person knows how to write some code with no clear scope or deadlines, but that's a pretty low bar for most places.
I've worked at startups, and banks.
Thats 20 different people at least ... and all pretty good imo.
The presence of a high-quality, well-rounded set of projects in GitHub is mostly indicative of the fact that the candidate in question has the spare time to work on Free Software. That's a lifestyle thing, and not relevant to the hiring decision.
What's stopping me from trying more is that last time I tried I wasted a lot of time not working for somebody else and getting paid plus a lot of my own money for infrastructure costs and contractors to develop mobile apps for my product. In the end it didn't work out and I am worried next time I'd try I'd just burn a lot of cash again.
So happy working for somebody else now and making a good salary.
I'm very good at identifying needs, in the sense of "here's a fundamental problem, and here's some ways of addressing that problem."
However, I'm not very good at identifying ways of turning that into a profitable enterprise. Often when I think of problems and solutions, it's because others are neglecting something, and aren't even aware of the problem, so there's no motivation to pay for any solutions. That is, you'd be selling something that people don't want because they aren't even aware of the looming problem or risk they have. Later on, sure, when things fall apart, everyone wants the solution I had in mind, but at that point it's obvious and there's too much competition.
My other problem I run into I get too absorbed in my own interests and am not really motivated enough by the profitability of something, even when I know I should be more motivated by it. So here's two ideas, A and B. I'm very interested in A and see it as important, but maybe not so profitable. B is less interesting and maybe less important but more profitable. I subconsciously tend to gravitate toward A, to the thing that I see as interesting and important, but that might not garner a lot of recognition or compensation in the short-term.
I think so far I've been kind of unstrategic about where to go in life, and people have just seen me as smart and valuable enough to have around to solve problems. That's gotten me fairly far, but I've reached a point where maybe I need to be more entrepreneurial.
I've also seen enough things in my life to know that there's a ton of unpredictable social dynamics that go into these ventures, and I'm kind of burned out. Fads, corruption, etc.
What's stopping me? I think it's mostly burnout and disillusionment.
I have a ludicrous dream that I can find talented people and give them the ideas and money and let them go off and build something great, but I know the world doesnt work like this. People would rather work on their own crappy ideas with no money than work on someone else's good idea backed with money.
- What's stopping you?
Or have a partner that is capable of survive without money from some time.
This was 3 months back. I already run a growing fmcg business . It has drained me of time and resources. I cant find time to give it for this project. I am decent in marketing and especially cold calls and walk ins so i am confident to get things done. But existing commitments and ventures are making it hard for starting the project.
I have various ideas, one of which I am actively working on now, but with a full-time job and a young family, my time is rather precious.
Luckily I have a very understanding and supportive partner, who is happy for me to crack on with work in the evenings. Once my primary idea is released, I plan on scaling it up to a true business, rather than a side project. This will mean those other ideas may take a while to come to fruition!
Add to that - I love building things that solve real problems. As such - for years I allowed myself to become a mini-factory of widgets built upon my ideas. It is a great way to learn new things and keep skills sharp. It often isn't a great way to make money or build a business.
When you have lots of ideas, the skills to start building things around those ideas and you enjoy doing it - it can open you up to a serious problem: all too often you end up with a product that you spent a lot of time on (it might even be a really good product) and you realize you don't have any clue how to take it to market.
Taking products to market is hard. It feels like anything that solves a real problem should take itself to market. It rarely happens that way.
If your goal is to make cool products to learn, build a portfolio, etc. then this doesn't matter. Keep doing it and maybe you get lucky and one of your products takes off on its own.
But if your goal is to start a business - I have learned that it is very productive to spend a lot of time before I build identifying how I will get the product out there.
This isn't said to discourage anyone. It's said to help you know which products to spend your time on.
The exercise is simple - pretend that you just finished your idea and it is now a product on your screen. It's beautiful and has all the awesome features and really works well. What now? If your ideas are limited to "Product Hunt", "AdWords" and "viral" there's a red flag.
When I sit back and think - I realize the many of the ideas I am most capable to take to market (due to my own network, industry, relationship with potential customers, etc.) are often the ideas I'm least excited about. These ideas usually overlap with what I do all day every day so don't seem fresh and exciting to me. They aren't as fun. They feel like work.
To be sure, taking a product to market successfully is absolutely possible. A lot of your engineering skills (repurposed) will help you in this effort to track, measure, analyze and experiment. You'll learn a ton as you do so. Just make sure that through careful consideration you are prepared to give proper respect to the challenge of product distribution, or change your expectations of outcome.
I have also found that not being greedy and secretive helps a lot. Talk openly about your ideas and be willing to bring others into projects if you see they have things to offer that you don't. The participation of others can make a massive difference in the outcome.
For all other ideas, I write them down in a journal just for this purpose.
Ideas are cheap, its the execution and focus that takes the effort in my opinion
I've started to make a prototype of my idea, but it will take some time before I finish it.
My approximation for a solution is Crowdraising
Once you have thousands of ideas, you realize you can't pick just one. Then you realize they all have things in common. Then you notice a trend, general principles that apply to all of these ideas. Ultimately, you find one idea that makes the previous thousand ideas obsolete. You become obsessed with the idea, try to tell everyone about it, try to figure out where to start.
Nobody understands the idea. People actually reject it. They feel threatened. You start having doubts, you start questioning everything. You look for the meaning of life. You challenge axioms.
Ten years later, you're still thinking about this idea every day. Yet, you achieved nothing. Why?
I don't know why.
The age old problem. Every future employee would like to beat the paper system, while employers want a process that let's them not waste so much time talking with unqualified people.
You really need to attend MeetUps. Hiring managers need to get a recommendation from someone to take you seriously. The fact that you're "self-taught" is against you as well, so getting a few developers to Vouch for you is critical.
Go to Meetups. The rest will take care of itself.
(While I really do have a friend that does this it should go without saying that I'm just sharing this story because I find it humorous, and this is in general, probably a terrible idea.)
* https://www.w3.org/TR/webmention/ - cross-site commenting
* https://www.w3.org/TR/micropub/ - API for apps to create posts on various servers
* https://www.w3.org/TR/websub/ - realtime subscriptions to feeds
* More: https://indieweb.org/specs
We focus on making sure there are a plurality of implementations and approaches rather than trying to build a single software solution to solve everything.
Try commenting on my copy of this post on my website by sending me a webmention! https://aaronparecki.com/2017/06/08/9/indieweb
We've tried so hard to make technology ubiquitous and accessible to everyone. We thought that that was a good idea at the time, except we didn't really understand it entirely.
The consequence of ubiquitous technology is that the majority now has access to powerful tools to 'express' themselves while being subjected to constant brainwashing into behaving in predictable ways - purchasing, thinking, liking, voting, etc.
By 'expressing' themselves, they contribute to a cacophony of content, which makes it very hard to discern truth from fabrication, leading to confusion, apathy and insecurity, exactly the sweet spots that advertisers of all kinds target.
A small minority profits greatly from this system, while the users themselves are rewarded with a 'virtual self' which is slowly taking over their 'real' self, making even the idea of losing it scary. This mental trap is very powerful - just look at the number of 'zombies' on the streets - people interacting with their phones there and then, disregarding others and their personal safety..
The remaining 5% who are aware of these issues get to share all the alternative technological solutions and monetary scraps left over from the big fishes.
So I don't think there's anything to 'do' about it - just be aware of it and try to stay away from large crowds.
I respect and applaud the efforts of so many who try to build distributed and anonymous systems, but I'm very bearish about any of them becoming 'mainstream' for the reasons described above plus this one: most people don't care about these things.
Those who control these systems are some of the most powerful people in the world. In time, they will get older and more conservative. Soon they will venture into politics on a global scale.
Considering the alternatives, maybe that's not the worst thing after all.
The internet hasn't changed, we have, and the only way to take the internet back is if we change ourselves back.
The filter bubble problem is particularly relevant for us because it's critical for an open network to let users filter out abusive content (whether that's spam, stuff they find offensive, or just a topic they don't care about)... but doing that in a way which doesn't result in creating a profiling db or creating bubbles and echo chambers. The problem is one of letting users curate their own filters (including blending in others' filters), whilst keeping the data as privacy protecting as possible. It's a fun problem, but on our medium-term radar.
I think the bigger problem is cross-generational power. YC itself is somewhat terrifying in this regard, but that's a different topic. In regards to Google and FB, even if we like Google now, we probably won't like the Google 60 years from now. But what is there to do?
Google stopped Microsoft by making Microsoft irrelevant, in the "Microsoft is Dead" sense: Nobody is afraid of them anymore. But people fear Google and FB. Imagine a Microsoft competitor to your startup vs a Google or FB competitor.
This could be a lack of imagination, but it's very difficult to imagine some new company making Google or FB irrelevant in the same way they made their predecessors irrelevant. Think of oil fields. At one point, before oil fields were monopolized, I've heard the ecosystem seemed pretty similar to Silicon Valley circa 2008. Everybody seemed to be able to get a slice of the action, and while it took determination and luck to get involved, it was possible.
Now the oil industry is on lockdown. Imagine asking "What are we doing about Exxon Mobil?" or Walmart. You can't do a damn thing, and there's no shame in admitting that.
As defeatist as it is, we may want to start thinking about ways of riding out the next 40 years in a productive fashion. It's more beneficial to say: Ok, Facebook, Google, and the closed internet are here to stay. Now what?
For example, if you're really set on doing something about it, one of the most effective things you could do is try to join the companies and shape them yourself.
* ActivityStreams 2.0 - https://www.w3.org/TR/activitystreams-core/
* ActivityPub - https://www.w3.org/TR/activitypub/
* https://distbin.com - My implementation of the above. Who wants to federate?
Another aspect of the project comes from a "house terminal" that I set up here, basically an offline Raspberry Pi running GNU/Linux and a custom chat/guestbook program that runs as a "kiosk". This terminal will morph into a kind of in-house only access to the federated network with real time communications etc.
Why should the end user care about this problem?
Have you heard your non-entreprenuer/engineer friends or others online complain about this problem?
If the answer to above two questions is Negative, then the problem/pain point simply is not large enough to fix.
And, as a potential success case to model our strategy off of, we should be looking towards DuckDuckGo, they've written some good material on how to do it.
The internet is only closed if we keep acting like it is. The protocol is the same. Go build stuff.
I'm not sure what can be done about that, but it's certainly becoming an up hill battle.
As a matter of fact, the fact that the browser by default sends everything I type into that bar up to some 3rd party, whether I've pressed enter or not, is pretty scandalous. It's not necessary.
I want local copies of pages that are important to me, for offline viewing, and I want to be able to bookmark specific parts of them in annotated, searchable, useful ways. I want to be able to share these. I want to be able to upvote and downvote their relevance as I use them again and again. I want human readable formats for storing these things. I want them on my filesystem, but not in a bunch of jumbled, strangely named files hidden deep somewhere on the computer. And I want to be able to share them peer to peer.
Remember the good old days, when people had WWW hyperlink indices? It's 2017 and centralized search/social platforms have all but destroyed the artform of digital curation. It is an artform that deep learning will clumsily fumble again and again. This website is a perfect example of how powerful human curation can be. The articles are curated and annotated collectively by human beings. The protocols and the web standards are more or less masterfully designed. We have unlimited programming languages.
I want to subscribe to notable peoples public web-bibliographies. I want them available in formats that are interoperable with my web browsers bookmarking and annotation tools.
I have a slice of hope still that we (the whole community, dev's just like users who need to use services) can "make the world a better place".
The proble I currently see is that:1. We are too few ATM2. Facebook, Google, Apple,... already nested into the minds of many people, even the one's who claim to "think different"3. There has to be something:- big- useful- attractive- free of costs
to use instead of their sh*tty services and you somehow need to convince "Jenna to take here FB profile and also their friends with her to the new place in town".
The same goes for other services like WhatsApp, searching with G., buying on A. etc.
How will we be strong enough (against companies with billions of $$ and the brightest minds in tech cause they wanna earn 120k/yr) to put something up that can not only withstand them but convince all the zombies?
How will you get those zombies moving? The most of the ppl. not even reads news anymore and if they do they just believe what they see & hear. There is no discussion, if someone is pissed she/he is right. There is no science for someone who doesn't even know the value of a scientific method. We are royally screwed and there has to be A BIG UNITING OF ALL ACTIVISTS under one flag.
If we go on like this with every hackin' Joe trying to construct his own facebook clone then we will just die like the rest.
So I'd generally like to see more effort put into making it easier for people to engage in more thoughtful ways.
This can also be applied to advertising. I'm trying to avoid chips, but if they're in front of me I'll eat a handful. So then the internet thinks, "This guy wants more chips!" So if advertising were more about my long-term values rather than my short-term behavior, then it'd be more valuable.
Anyway, it's pretty hard on social media to share deeper analysis and arguments and thoughts. I get that medium was sort of an effort in this direction, counter to twitter, but that's really just blogging with some extra algorithms thrown in. Need something else.
Storj for example is an order of magnitude cheaper than AWS, uses peoples spare hard drive space, encrypts everything and back it up using peer to peer tech.
I am currently pretty comfortable as an Android dev, but I am wondering if I should start learning everything I can about blockchain tech in order to help on projects such as these?
It's easy to trash Facebook, but clearly it provides an insane amount of utility, and people aren't willing to stop using it because of others saying that en masse that is bad for a hypothetical Internet they never really took part in anyway.
IMO the focus should be getting the government to keep its hands off of it. That's not only more possible, but infinitely more important than not letting Facebook try to show us the right ads.
A related problem is that human readable data is often unnecessarily encoded into binary machine data. If we weren't wasting so much space on presentation, we could have just served the human-readable data.
In this future I think it will be considered ridiculous that you had to load an entire webpage full of unrelated images and icons just to read an article or weather report.
This concept will be huge for AR. In AR extra unnecessary information and uncontrollable presentation is beyond annoying, it actually makes users angry and uncomfortable.
Look out for Optik.io .
We live in the land of Startups. All good technology innovation we're used to over the last 20 years has come from the Startup/VC world, when the internet was fresh and nobody knew what would work. Over the coming decades, we'll need vehicles for technology innovation that go beyond the "take over the world & prayer" model, assuming that silicon valley's vehicle of ultragrowth monoliths will eventually align with civic values. They won't.
To illustrate this, let's say you want to improve some problem with Facebook/Google/etc. To even begin, you need $50 million and a minimum of 3-5 years building a userbase. By then, you have payroll, growth obligations, & investor pressure & are forced to monetize, usually in a way that compromises longer-term values.
We can solve this with smarter internet infrastructure. If you could share social graphs between applications, for instance, you eliminate an incredible amount of overhead in developing and experimenting with new social applications. There's a number of great initiatives trying versions of this (IPFS, Urbit, Blockstack -- I'm tracking a number of popular ones over at http://decentralize.tech).
The community needs more organization and more funding around these problems, especially in the field of developing new business models that work for software that don't involve selling out user priorities to global ad networks. I'm in San Francisco and working on this problem full-time if anyone wants to meet up and discuss solutions; Email's in profile.
It occurs to me that all extant social media apps have, at a high level, exactly the same requirements:
1. Allow users to upload some data to cloud storage2. Make that data discoverable to certain other users3. Show everyone ads
Whether FB, Twitter, etc were to be dislodged by another app that is essentially the same app is not terribly interesting. So let's look at which of these reqs are amenable to change:
a. "ads" - No one actually wants them, so get rid of themb. "Cloud storage" - Lots of people would rather own their data, so switch this to "the user's own server."
That sounds pretty compelling. I don't hate FB, but I'd sure rather switch to something that allows me to own my own data, and share pics of the kids with Nana without having to run them through Facegoog's billion-dollar snooping engine. However, there are two big hurdles:
i. Most people don't have a server on which to host itii. Most people won't pay for it, so someone would have to write it and make it really easy to use, for free
...and by a lucky cooincidence, both of those objections have the same answer: Amazon. Most people don't have a server? Amazon will rent you one. Who would develop a self-hosted FB clone for free? Amazon, to get people to rent servers.
Just a thought...
What am I doing about this? Nothing yet, but I have been thinking about this recently.
It's tempting to blame Google and Facebook, and they definitely converted a lot of public value into private value. But I suspect it's mainly down to self-selection bias of internet early-adopters. I call the present state of affairs "eternal October".
We need it to be easier to write secure applications. We need to eradicate undefined behavior from our software stacks. Rust is a good step in this direction. We need well-thought-out APIs that are hard to misuse.
I think we also need a better search engine, and tools to filter news. Tools that detect clickbait, overzealous advertisements, and other forms of low-quality content and push them to the bottom of the rankings, and also punish sites that link to low-quality content.
We need email to be more user-friendly than it is; maybe we need a new protocol that's simpler and consistent with how email (and Facebook/linkedIn mail) is used in 2017. Setting up an email server should be easy, and the settings should be secure by default.
We need tools to identify credible information sources, possibly by analyzing if a given information source is vouched for by someone we already trust. Flooding comment sections and forums with fake comments is an easy way to manipulate the public and create an illusion of consensus or a made-up controversy, but it's a little harder to be fooled if you have automated tools to filter out people that aren't connected to anyone you know by some kind of chain of recommendations.
Speak at events/conferences. Speaking generally to a broad audience with broad information and hard-hitting references not only gets the message out, but also makes it more difficult to make someone feel targeted, like you might one-on-one or in a small group.
I target two groups: technical people who can actually do something about it and teach others (but might not care or be aware of the issues), and average users and groups who might know or not care. Talking to your family and friends (and spouse) helps gain great insight on what people are thinking without quickly ending the conversation if it makes them uncomfortable. As does HN. ;)
Talk to groups you _know_ will be hostile to you. Learn common rebuttals. Learn how to respond to them. And harden yourself with relentless attacks on your facts and opinions.
Offering practical alternatives is difficult. Even if you can, people want to socialize where others socialize---I'm not going to get my friends all on GNU Social or Mastodon (or the fediverse in general) for example. Work security and privacy into their current practices the best you can understanding that compromise is _essential_. Maybe they can transition further in the long-term as they get used to certain ideas.
I encounter similar issues (and get a lot of practice with it) with free software activism---getting people to care about and understand software freedom is far more of a difficult battle than getting someone to care and understand about privacy and security issues.
For those looking for some resources to get them started:
And this is an _excellent_ resource:
If, instead, I had no freedom to build a house at all or the rules were dictated to me by others, I would be less free. And poorer.
Where are the specs for the Outernet Protocol: a NAT to NAT DNS system that doesnt rely on gatekeepers/ISP access. Use the 198.162.xxx.xxx addresses on all of our existing routers for neighborhood scale networking. Build trust by proximity by allowing only known neighbors to connect. Could be very interesting. Especially when Joe mirrors Wikipedia and Samantha mirrors Archive.org and Jan has a realtime mirror of some good Reddit feeds.
Automate the mirroring the internet. Scrape every last bit, in real time, without the ads and crap. Make it available to those trusted folks in your proximity.
Matrix.org is a start.
On a much much broader scale the Web 3.0 will be build on Blockchains, the so called Fat protocols will surpass the Web 2.0 or eventually merge.
Ethereum will build up a considerable part of the ecosystem, with Dapps like status.im
A (personal) system that keeps your own notions (and versions of) and crosslinks them to each another, with translators to/from other persons/entity notions (and subsets - think i/o facades/faces).
Like the tags u put on your images. And how u would explain them to somebody else. And take some of their images (i.e. of same event) with their tags. And tag them yourself. maybe in time.
it's rough sketch, may live on top of any p2p technology.Back then noone could be bothered about "why would i put another layer around myself". Now maybe the awareness is better, i don't know. (contacts in profile or that site)have fun
1. I don't talk to Google and Facebook - I mean, really, litteraly http://sling.migniot.com/index.html?filter=no_.*sh
2. A decade without Google Search and DuckDuckgo instead - sometimes I have to use !g at work
3. I have rooted phones without a Google account - but I know no single other person who does it
And the corrolaries :
- I get a lot less ads for free
- I have to talk again to Google from time to time, for captcha purposes
- I have real-life friends who call me - like in "phone-call", they know I have no Fb, no Insta', no Pinter', no Google, no Snap'
- From Google and Fb's standpoints I'm like a blackhole: I don't leave intentional traces, opinions, preferences but I'm as traceable as a dead pixel on a uniform background.
I left this comment because I feel like a Unicorn : I do this nearly as a hobby and to prove that "It's still possible" - but it takes a BC in computer science and constant fighting :
Nobody does that
1. I have quit Facebook, minimizing Twitter use, and am using Mastodon for my social networking fix. My existing Facebook friends aren't on it, but the people I'm "meeting" are very nice. Will be blogging about it soon.
2. I am re-launching my long-idle blog, but this time supporting indieweb standards for identity. This way, I have a central identity on the web across social networking sites, that I control.
: https://joinmastodon.org/: https://indieweb.org/
Google (however big they are) provides a lot of value to my world at least. Just for search alone. Sure, there are other search engines but none nearly as good. Making it easy to find relevant information is of huge benefit and really does "change the world". I consider this enhancing.
Facebook is like the owner of a seedy bar. Preying on people's need to socialize and serving rotgut. Profiting from degradation rather than enhancement. (IMOP).
People should stop drinking rotgut. That's the way to stop Facebook. Rotgut is cheap anyway. You can even make your own in the basement. But if you want to stop Google you need to build a better search engine. Best of luck with that (seriously, I'd use it, no loyalty but so far Google has some truly useful products).
There is just civilization, which the Internet used to be meaningfully separate from but is no longer.
I'm specifically objecting to the phrase "closed internet". It sounds like the opposite of net neutrality, but in reality, any privacy options within Facebook and Google have been user-driven.
The focus should be on removing Pai. Regarding Facebook and Google, you can simply choose to not use them if you wish.
You only have one choice for broadband, and Pai wants to extend ISPs' monopolies. Let's not let that happen without a fight.
I recently discovered that, on Reddit, anything beyond your more recent 1000 posts/comments/upvotes is totally irrecoverable to you, even via scraping.
I hope I'm wrong about this.
Instead of using open standards, most of our medical data is trapped in proprietary vendor systems that are at best antiquated.
Patients are unable to move their data easily, doctors and hospitals have to pay huge sums to access their own data. The vendors extract massive rents but were all left in the dark and our health suffers
Increasingly, I get my news from non-profits that do original research, or technolgists that are the primary source of the stories I read. They don't use advertising to fund their work, which eliminates the moral dilemmas around stealing content vs supporting our corporate surveillance state.
Also, RSS is the opposite of a walled garden.
I walled it myself by making a small social network for close friends.
Sure, it's probably a big bubble but at least I don't emotionally manipulate my friends by showing them ads or changing the order of their posts.
I'm currently waiting for our supreme court to decide if judges have that power before I spend more time on it (or not). Maybe I'll have my answer next week.
1 - https://sealgram.com/blog/yep-im-rewriting-email.html
Most walled gardens are built for convenience of consumption whereas most federated networks seem to assume a more active and informed participant. The kinds of features you'd build for one group are at odds with what you'd build for the other one.
Then again Brave seems to be tackling the problem from the right angle. I hope their model takes off and people start incorporating similar ideas into other open networks that respects the network participants instead of just treating them as passive consumers.
- Distributed and secure routing, specifically in mesh networks.
- Creation of scalable economy of digital goods (Storage, computation power and networking) between computers.
I believe that these will provide a foundation to build things like distributed email.
Currently freedomlayer contains mostly research documents, though I plan to implement some of it in the near future.
It's a token for advertisement that rewards the user, to be used at Brave browser:https://brave.comhttps://github.com/brave
Related concept video from a few years ago:"Twirlip Civic Sensemaking Project Overview"https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_mRy4sGK7xk
Wish I had more time to work on it.
Why do both Facebook and Google exist? They exist to manage servers. Why do we need servers? Because your personal computer/phone might not be able to handle all that much traffic and might not have dem five nines. How much traffic does it need to handle? What if your phone could handle all the traffic the entirety of humanity could generate? The need for these companies would go away.
"filter bubbles, walled gardens, emotional manipulation" are things I no longer think about
The role that big companies can play (we still need them) is supply hardware, and perhaps subordinate software libraries, also like in the old days.
One way to do this could be for open source authors to introduce a section in the README file expressing the wish that the software will not be used in ways the user is not aware of, such as user-tracking.
I don't really believe social media filter bubbles exist, relative to the bubbles of the past. Even the most isolated Facebook user is more enlightened than my parents were during their childhoods in India.
Emotional manipulation was probably worse when the United States only had 3 TV networks. Before that, "yellow journalism" helped lead the US into the Spanish-American war. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yellow_journalism#Spanish.E2.8...
Of course, we should still work to do better than the status quo, but I enjoy being able to develop a following on social media and/or purchase ads for whatever distributed Internet ideal I want to create.
Web ads are working less well than in the past, but they still work. The companies that have a high-visibility 'start page' (news orgs in 1990, yahoo in 1997, G & FB today) are going to have a lot of power.
Create a compelling start page, get 30% of the world to use it once a day, and your problem will have been solved.
Also bootstrapping https://www.remarkbox.com
One thing is creating websites where they control the content users can see. But the web is still "open", even if facebook bans my content I can still create another website and share it with everybody (probably nobody will ever see it, but that's another problem). The real problem is the new tendency of app stores (Apple Store, Google play, Alexa skills...) If Google/Facebook/Amazon decide to block my content, I have no way to reach other users.
Or would that just put the power into the hands of whoever runs the DNS system
I liken it to the attitude people are starting to take with regard to other aspects of their lives, such as food and materialism. When I go to the store I know that I can save a few dollars by buying the absolute bargain basement produce, flown in from south america, taken from high intensity factory farms, or packaged up and made mostly out of HFCS. Or I could see what I can buy from local producers and from farms that prioritize ethically raising animals. It means my eggs cost 3 bucks more, and I can't have kiwi fruits in February. But wanting kiwi fruits right this minute, even though it is February in a northern latitude is the exact sort of attitude I am speaking of.
So how can you put this into practice? Well a few people have already made similar suggestions so some of this will be duplicating their suggestions, but I still think it is worth saying.
1) Use your own email. I personally like Fastmail. For $50CAD/year I get a great service. I know that I am paying for a service and am not the product. They are doing good work with the open email protocols that exist, and working to produce new open standards for the future.
2) Use Firefox. Do we really want to give a dominant majority marketshare in the browser market to a browser made by a company that makes 90% of its money through advertising to you? This isn't even some sort of rant about google being "evil", it's just a common sense decision. It wasn't a good idea back in the day to give dominant marketshare to a company who incentives were aligned against the web and towards desktop single platform applications, and it won't be a good idea to give that sort of power to company that is beholden to shareholders and makes it money through tracking and gathering data on users.
3) Delete your facebook account. I don't have a fallback here, but honestly I don't think you need one. Between messenging apps, smartphones, email and other communication tools, you will be able to stay in touch with people you care about. Facebook is not irreplaceable and I say that as someone who was in University when Facebook blew up. I am still happily communicating with all of those people.
4) In general, think about your purchasing decisions and who they empower and what the long term gain is. Shopping at the new walmart in your town may save you money for a year or two until they have devastated the local economy and have no incentive to keep prices low. Even if they do, your local area is made worse by the unemployment they cause, and the underemployment they provide. Same thing with Amazon. Are you saving yourself a dollar today to wonder where the retail jobs that helped underpin your community went in a few years? Are you doing all your searches through google when you could maybe do them through Duck Duck Go, or Bing, or just anything that slightly breaks the monopoly that Google has on search?
All of this is stuff that Richard Stallman has been saying for years, and people keep being surprised that he is "correct", but it's usually pretty easy to see that he is just taking a longer term view of things, and understanding that just because an organization acts decently when they are not in a position of power doesn't mean anything about how they will act once they are on top.
In summary, try to think longer term about your decisions, instead of prioritizing immediate convenience, and paltry economic savings, especially when we, as privileged engineers and developers, have the ability and monetary flexibility to do so.
Statebus makes web programming wayyyy easier, and opens up the insides of websites -- you can go to any page, hit a hotkey, and edit the code live to add a feature, or incorporate state from a different site, or re-use the state or code from somewhere else, just as easily as you use your own site's state and code! Because it puts the insides of sites onto the web protocol itself. In Statebus, every piece of state has a URL! And you can synchronize with it as easily as <a href="state://..."> today!
This breaks up walled gardens like Facebook! Today, we have monopolies at the level of websites, because each different website is implemented with a different proprietary stack of web gunk -- MVC server frameworks, reactive view frameworks, networking frameworks, babel, webpack, and -- YUCK! Statebus replaces all this gunk with the web protocol itself -- the statebus protocol -- which opens the state, and itself automatically synchronizes all this state together!
Statebus transforms HTTP from State Transfer to Synchronization:
HTTP: Hypertext *Transfer* Protocol REST: REpresentational State *Transfer* Statebus: State *Synchronization* Protocol
Statebus makes websites wayyy easier to program, and this means that the easiest way to program websites is now the most open way. This changes the economics of the web, and is going to break up the walled garden monopolies that have arisen around websites -- just like the web itself broke up the AOL walled garden in 1995!
Remember AOL? It provided a lot of the same features as the web -- shopping, chat rooms, forums -- but then was outcompeted by the open web around 1995! Why? Because programmers found it was easier to put their content online with HTTP and HTML than by convincing CEO Steve Case to add their content to AOL's garden! In the same way, Statebus is going to make it easier to build social content than by going through Facebook's walled garden! The future will be a diverse, realtime, synchronous symphony of social state!
You can find technical docs here: https://github.com/invisible-college/statebus/And a demo video here: https://stateb.us
A wordpress-like open source platform that communities can install and have their own facebook.
A platform that allows developers to release apps that communties can install. Or turn their existing app into one.
An auth protocol that works with everything else out there and lets people manage their identities across the web, and link up with their friends from their private address books.
The project isn't finished but we do need some help with documentation so that people will know how to create parsers.
If you are interested, I can explain more and reach you out personally.
we try to hire folks having this domain interest and ideally with academic qualification such as the OP describes, but never had any success--always been a priority, i suppose we just gave up after a while.
(some limited success cross-training black-box testers, but that's not a group we want to cannibalize because those stars are hard to come by as it is)
Otherwise, I think the community here is great, and I really enjoy reading the comments and analysis of my fellow readers!
The only thing I might criticise about the folks here is some openes for a broader sense of humor :P and folks thinking tech can solve any problem and is the holy grail (this might be especially true for tech in their department).
In general the comments are worth a lot though. So much easier to weed out obvious bogus articles and great for finding further thoughts on things.
I hope that someday these kids will become self learners and help other kids do the same. Even learning how to send an SOS signal from a phone can be a lifesaver for these kids.
That day is still far off but it is possible.And believe me,Kids are super smart and I am sure that my students will change their lives on their own. All i can do is give them that offbeat motivation.
And the crowd here is very good,Thanks.
Today, I continue to browse HN on a daily basis because I derive value from the comments section of contentious articles. I am pretty weak at Debates, and I think reading up on stances from well informed parties, without picking sides is useful
I come to HN multiple times a day since I thoroughly enjoy seeing the great breakthroughs and technology mashups people make. Also running a smaller company, I am trying to utilize IT in every way including semi-automating our onboarding, client workflows, document processing, etc.
Through HN, I have learned 1) how to host a server in AWS Beijing with multiple docker containers, 2) how to run a low maintenance blog with Armin Ronacher's excellent Lektor, 3) how to create a biz process workflow with Typeform-->Zapier-->countless apps, 4) how to set up an R-studio Shiny Server and use dplyr to analyze university databases, etc. Soon, I will be semi/automating reports for clients using Rmarkdown/Latex which will save my lean org tons of time.
I am blown away by the breadth and depth of material and links. HN is my primary launchpad for all things solutions related. I know I couldn't run my business without it. And I am really grateful for the genuine efforts people on the site make to assist each other.
Vince Fulco, CFA, CAIAManaging DirectorWeisisheng Corporate Management Consulting (Shanghai) Ltd.email@example.com vfulco-weisishengLinkedIn: https://cn.linkedin.com/in/vfulco
It's been difficult to accept that I won't be studying CS. In those darkest of times advice from HN comments kept me afloat.
I can't imagine any other place where a 19-year old computer nerd could get a personalized advice from Ian Murdoch himself, before he passed away.
HN is a great place to learn about different fields of computing, get advice, find and read quality content.
I mostly like to read the discussions and come back for the dopamine rush I get from new stories :).
I love HN for its general disdain for trolling & fluff. People are generally really respectful of each other around here too!
* You wouldn't mean software developer, would you? Property, product, and marketing campaign developers interested in a start-up business might not be happy with IT types monopolizing the word "development".
* Years ago when I worked in IT we were only ever called "computer programmers". People called Enterprise Business Software Development Engineers usually couldn't program.
* I've learnt more about programming doing it as a hobby since leaving paid IT work than I ever learnt when working at it. Does my non-software day job mean I'm not a "developer"?
* A doctor, administrator, or marketer learning programming as part of their job could be better placed for automating it than a software developer learning about some domain they want to automate.
I am now a lead developer and still enjoy browsing here.
Because of HN, I got to know great insights of various topics and specifically different prospective towards them.
I come here for two reasons mainly:
-My interest in anything technology related
-I respect the HN community, generally speaking. The comments are always insightful, the topics of discussion are very interesting.
It's a lesson that'll serve him well for the rest of his life.
* My head of state is He-Who-Must-Be-Impeached; so I'm getting more familiar with fascism on a day-to-day basis. (I won't even use an email provider located in the US due to the way the government over here behaves).
Now if it becomes illegal in the UK to offer any encryption services, require backdoors or lower grade encryption you may need to migrate your residence and business to another country to legally continue business operations.
Second choice will be a pitbull.
Also I've known a signpost with the following words to be very deterrent if deterrence is also an option : "Please do not walk on this property unescorted. Pet Cobra on property. Insert picture of large realistic cobra" How many people are willing to rob a house with snakes?
And finally on weapons, i know a guy with a homemade flashlight casing taser. Not sure it's even up to 5000 volts but he claims its come handy in an altercation with an intruder before.
I suggest if they've taken it as far as breaking into your house, and you can't scare them away (maybe something that _sounds_ like a shotgun getting cocked), you let them get away.
(Burglary implies you're not home- this is more robbery and home invasion at this point).
Losing a $3000 laptop is substantially cheaper than a $30,000 hospital bill and ambulance ride after you get lacerated from the knife they're carrying. If you're having trouble with the math, consider that you lose the $3000 laptop in both cases.
That's also assuming you're not more seriously injured or killed by trying to impede them. What multiple of $3000 is your life worth to you?
The nice thing about a shotgun is a large amount of energy is transfered into the person. Unlike a hardball bullet from a rifle that may go straight through like a hot knife through butter. There are special rounds for rifles designed to fragment and dump all the energy into the person (but these are lethal).
That said, the appropriate choice (including whether a weapon is a sensible choice) really depends on the detailed circumstances that you are addressing (living situation, local crime characteristics, and any personal circumstances that modify the threat profile from the generic one applicable to the locality.)
The equation changes if you have a family or other people in the house that are looking to you for protection.
2. The Daily (by NYTimes) : A daily show covering whats most important in the world on that day.
3. NPR Politics Podcast (by NPR) : Covers the political headlines of the US. Theyre all really smart people who really know the ins and outs of politics.
4. FiveThirtyEight Politics Podcast (by ESPN) : Mostly news about politics , but from a more data driven approach. Really funny too.
5. Pod Save America (by Crooked Media) : Hilarious talk show from a group of former Obama administration speechwriters. Obviously left and democratic leaning, but absolutely hilarious.
6. Pod Save The World (by Crooked Media) : A more serious show about American Foreign Policy.
7. Civics 101 (by NHPR) - The name says it all, but I want every American citizen to be locked in a chamber and forced to listen to this. Absolutely essential to understanding the basics of how the US government works.
8. The New Yorker Politics Podcast (by WNYC Studios/The New Yorker) : Really well rounded show, a recent episode on Mattis is a must listen.
- Planet Money - My Dad Wrote a Porno (NSFW, obviously, but wickedly funny) - Startup - Radiolab - Entreprogrammers (original, not the spinoffs) - The Daily (only when they aren't doing US politics)
Hardcore History History of the Crusades History of the Papacy Revolutions The British History Podcast The Civil War: A History Podcast The History of Byzantium The History of Egypt The History of England The History if Islam Maritime history Podcast When Diplomacy Fails
Gamers with Job Conference Call Crucible Radio (Destiny) Giant Bombcast Idle Weekend Rebel FM The Dive LoL Podcast The Giant Beastcast The Magic Hour The Bungie Podcast Three Moves Ahead Waypoint Radio Wild Weasel
Shift+F1 The Steve Austin Show
I know its an old post, but I guess you can still listen to most of this stuff.
If you are interested in more recent (but less popular posts) check this out:
- Fresh Air (NPR) [various subjects] - Intercepted with Jeremy Scahill [The Intercept fame] - Profile (BBC) [profile peoples, mainly Uk] - Sporting Witness (BBC) [sport related] - Recode Media with Peter Kafka [interview media people] - Reliable Sources with Brian Stelter [about media, political] - State of the Union with Jake Tapper [political] - The Axe Files with David Axelrod [interview politics] - The Forward by Lance Armstrong [mostly NOT sport] - Twenty Thousand Hertz [about sounds] - Larry Wilmore: Black on the Air [new] - The Bill Simmons Podcast [mainly sports] - Inside The Times [nyt related] - The Internet Podcast History [about Internet golden age] - War College (Reuters) [military stuffs] - Grammar Girl - Whistlestop [politics, history] - BackStory with the American History [history]
* "Train by day, Joe Rogan podcast by night; all day!" * StarTalk Radio Show by Neil deGrasse Tyson * Adam & Dr. Drew Show * NPR Up First * How Stuff Works * Darn Carlin's Hardcore History * Michael Blanks' Apartment Investing Podcast * Reasonable Doubt with Mark Garagos and Adam Carolla * Weekly Infusion
Facing challenges like fake news, Google AMP, FaceBook InstantArticle, and the like, some of you may be interested.
FiveThirtyEight politics for politics.
Voices of vr. Excellent podcast about VR news often with interviews the developers working on the cutting edge.
- Radio Lab - Malcolm Gladwell's Revisionist History - Linear Digressions - Hidden Brain - FiveThirtyEight's Hot Takedown - FiveThirtyEight's Politics - Freakonomics - Planet Money - 99% Invisible - Neil Tyson's StarTalk - NYT's The Daily - Talk Python To Me - The Changelog - Hello Internet
I didn't realize that I spend so much time on this.
- Downloadable Content, the Penny Arcade Podcast
- The West Wing Weekly
- GovLove (from ELGL, about local government)
- Pod Save America
- Main Engine Cut Off (about launch vehicles)
- Are We There Yet? (general news about space exploration)
- Orbital Path with Michelle Thaler (recent space/astrophysics news)
- Skytalk with Dave Heller and Derrick Pitts (astronomy news)
-Tim Ferris Show is a little hit or miss but has some excellent content
-Linear Digressions is a fun little podcast to stay caught up on ML trends
-How I Built This is a more general audience oriented podcast that talks about how companies got started
1. Defensive Security2. Branding Down Security3. Risky Business4. SANS Internet Storm Center5. Southern Fried Security
Some non security related ones...Hardcore History, Common Sense, and on a much lighter note, The Comedy Button
I haven't really found any tech podcasts I like yet, they mostly talk about things at a very surface level, which doesn't teach me a lot.
- Hannibal and the Punic wars
- Arab spring: a history
- The Ancient World
- The history of Byzantium
Random Info- Radiolab- 99% Invisible
Interviews- WTF w/ Marc Maron- Joe Rogan (depending on the guest)- The Nerdist (depending on the guest)
My brother my brother and me
Software engineering daily
I've listened to a ton more, but I tend to get tired of some and move onto others. I used to love radiolab and this american life, but find them kind of annoying now.
- The Splendid Table: Because food is important.
- Retronauts: Retrogaming in all its glory.
The People's Pharmacy -- A pharmacologist and a medical anthropologist host an hour long show each week, usually on one medical topic (sometimes, a melange). Their guests are top notch experts, e.g. head of whatever cardiological at the Cleveland Clinic (one of the top cardiovascular centers in the U.S.). They also cover topics/changes sometimes years before they filter into "general knowledge" and reporting. Such as the problems with statins. Or, lately, how "Lyme Disease" is not always a simple diagnosis nor treatment and also the symptomology and sometimes diagnosis is really capturing a variety of infections by a variety of pathogens -- ticks carry many, and individual responses vary.
On the Media -- an hour long show each week. Much of it is "meta", about what is appearing in the media, and what isn't, and why. Helping listeners know and understand "why they are saying that" and "why aren't they talking about this other thing -- hey, there's this other thing!"
I've not been so attentive to it of late, but there's also WBEZ's "Worldview". Extended interviews with experts about world topics. You'll often get information and perspective you won't find anywhere in the mainstream media.
P.S. If you're on Android, the AntennaPod app is a nice, open source podcast app.
- Eaten by a Grue
- Freakonomics Radio
- Geek's Guide to the Galaxy
- Liar City
- S-Town (just one season)
- Seeking Wisdom
- Startup School
- Startups for the Rest of Us
- Tank Riot
- The Dollop
- The Memory Palace
- The Truth
- Thimbleweed Park
- This American Life
- This Week in Tech
Foundation (Kevin Rose's podcast)
- The Memory Palace: http://thememorypalace.us/ (these are stunningly good historical stories)
- On the Media: http://www.wnyc.org/shows/otm/
- Reply All: https://gimletmedia.com/reply-all/ (this is the one I expected to see on every list at hackernews, and don't)
- The Gist: http://www.slate.com/articles/podcasts/gist.html
- The Daily: https://www.nytimes.com/column/the-daily
- 99% Invisible: http://99percentinvisible.org/
- Economist Radio: https://radio.economist.com/
- New Yorker Radio Hour: http://www.wnyc.org/shows/tnyradiohour/
- Planet Money: http://www.npr.org/sections/money/ (not the juggernaut of content they once were)
- This American Life: https://www.thisamericanlife.org/
Shorter series (or just defunct or really rarely updated) that I can recommend to this crowd:
- Zachtronics Podcast: http://www.zachtronics.com/podcast/
- Revisionist History: http://revisionisthistory.com/ (should be starting a new season soon)
- Mystery Show: https://gimletmedia.com/mystery-show/
- A Life Well Wasted: http://alifewellwasted.com/ (great videogamey series)
- Containers: https://www.flexport.com/blog/alexis-madrigal-containers-pod...
- S-Town: https://stownpodcast.org/
Listening at 1.8x for most of these shows forces me to pay attention, and let's me consume more content. The exception is for The Memory Palace which deserves to be heard exactly as Nate makes it (1x).
Should I listen to all episodes in chronological order? Should I only listen to new episodes? Should I cherry pick episodes based on their description?
What I want is a list of must-listen episodes and short series. Does such a thing exist?
The Good Fight
Waking Up with Sam Harris
Conversations with Tyler
The Ezra Klein Show
The Tim Ferriss Show
Software Engineering Daily
Deep State Radio
I have also occasionally interviewed for non-SWE positions at tech companies (usually data scientist or regulatory compliance positions, both of which are closely related to my current field), and I have found the interviews to be similarly light on technical material, but with much less emphasis on speaking and writing skills.
Not having been through any SWE interviews myself, that's about as much as I can say in comparison. My loose impression is that SWE interviews are relatively heavy on logic puzzles and mini coding problems, but that's all I know. I am happy to answer more specific questions about my experience, of course.
I worked as architect, mech. engineer and various other engineering sectors. There are some technical questions of course but nothing like whiteboarding binary search or tree traversal.
My second job after graduation actually meant almost 100% pay raise. After that it slowed down but I still usually get extra 10-20% every time I switch jobs.
Usually the only way to increase your pay is to get another job or threaten to leave your job if you don't get a raise. Threatening to leave is generally a one-shot deal and will probably paint a permanent target on your back.
My sad advice to maximize earnings is to stay at a job for 2-4 years then move on for a 15-20% pay raise.
Step 2. Take the new job.
Rationale for not making a stink with your current employer or negotiating with them once you have an offer:
1. right now you likely feel some combination of under appreciated, used, taken advantage of, etc. and that feeling likely won't change as time goes on. You are likely not wrong for feeling that (even if you suck and are lucky to not be fired). The compensation system didn't meet your expectations and there is really no way to remedy that.
2. Current company will likely not match a 20% bump and if they do it will further the aforementioned feeling of being taken advantage of.
It's time to move on.
I would be pretty happy if I were in your situation.
I stayed with a company after they gave me a 0.25% raise in a year. I stayed because I loved the company. As soon as that was not true, I started looking for a place with a similar benefit package but a higher salary, and I found one. Talk to your boss very casually. Don't demand more money, but let them know you expected more and ask what you could do to earn a better raise in the future. If there is nothing you individually can do that will impact your future earnings potential at the company, that company is just a short-term step on your long-term career roadmap. Enjoy it while it lasts, and keep one ear to the ground for better opportunities in the future.
It sounds like you might not have known this before, so at least now you do. It doesn't help to complain about it to your manager. They know what they are doing. And they'll know why you left when you do.
If you are better now than you were when you started, then it might be time to start interviewing. Take a new gig that pays more. Repeat every couple years until your market value is where it needs to be.
It's a sad state of affairs, but in absence of any way to change it, the best thing to do is act accordingly.
it's hard to find an answer to question 1, as those who know the answer don't want to make it public, but my guess is it's "whatever they feel like" depending on many factors. Those factors can be out of your control or not (budget issues, crappy project where your skills didn't shine, or you preferred taking it more easy because of your life choices)
If you salary is above average and you won't find companies with better salaries, then you're probably one of the highest paid in town, you should feel good about this. But if you know other companies around who pays better, then one course of action is to apply to those in hope of a better salary. If you have friends in those companies, try gathering information about their past year raise and their salaries. Try gathering information about friends in your current company too, but not close co-workers, as they might feel uncomfortable discussing this. Instead, since you're in a big company, ask people in a team far away from you, you don't need the exact number, but at least an approximate that you can use in your talk with your manager. Try to find the policy at your company, if they say somewhere (could be in your offer letter) the yearly raise is between 0 and X%
Regarding question 2: yes you want to make it clear that you want a bigger raise, but you don't want to appear greedy. You can mention cost of living in your town, the raises that your friends in your company got, or it's even better to mention the raises your friends got at the other companies, this will give a cue to your manager that you know you could get a better deal somewhere else. Don't say "I want more money", but instead show that there's a sound reasoning about why you want more money : The cost of housing is going up significantly, you want to start putting money aside for a future down-payment, inflation rate is X%, etc. Since you did a good job you think the You today is a better asset to your company that You last year, because you now have expertise in X, Y, Z, and delivered A, B, C ... , so you'd expect a raise that reflect this, accounting for inflation of course. Assuming you know the policy about raise between 0 and X%, and let's say last year you only got X/3% , you could say that you've made a lot of progress this year, try to make your manager acknowledge your accomplishments, and once he does, say that as an above-average you expect at least X/2% given the annual raise policy is between 0 and X%. Since inflation was pretty strong this year, you'd expect even more to catch up.
Finally, you might find useful advice on how to approach these kind of situation, better written, in the book "Getting to Yes"
Why don't they show up to standup? Why aren't your emails a priority to them? Why was a demo to the CTO necessary or desired? Why did they leave you out? Why was that flow important to them? Why did they discuss something out-of-scope?
I only see your perspective. If you don't know the answers to these questions, why not?
Advice isn't going to help; you need a relationship manager. You probably need to bring someone in to get face time with this person, and handle them on an ongoing basis, again probably in person every time. It's going to get expensive. You're probably not going to make as much money on this contract as you expected as a result. This isn't a technical problem to be learned from and fixed; this is an interpersonal problem with someone who works and thinks differently than you, who is also unfortunately holding the purse strings.
The most valuable thing I learned working in consulting wasn't how to be a better designer or developer, it was how to handle relationships. I learned that the next time I went out on my own, I'd hire a business and relationship manager, and I would absolutely pay them 50% or even 60% of my earnings, because that is the "real" work of consulting.
A relationship manager will give you a list of signs that you shouldn't have taken this job in the first place. A relationship manager would have specified that this person's attendance in standup is either mandatory (and therefore in the contract) or not required (which means they wouldn't have even been invited). A relationship manager would probably have established up front how this person likes to work, and that probably means in-person, and would never have sent an email, and instead had lots of meetings. A relationship manager would have made sure you kept control of the demonstrations, so off-message presentations couldn't have happened, and would have made sure that out-of-scope things either didn't come up, or were quickly addressed by understanding why they came up.
Your takeaway from this will be how to better vet potential clients, so you can either not take their money, or add in the cost of relationship management to their contract. You'll also learn to write better contracts, that firmly establish the participation required, including penalties up to and including the termination of the contract with full payment and no deliverable, should the client violate their expected level of participation.
Jerks, like the CTO you described, do not become more cooperative over time. It is possible that he is trying impress the investors and co-founders. Sadly for you, there is no way to win in these situations. So it is best to move on.
Get signatures for documents.
Have a requirements change control process that is punative. Home builder have this part down. Make them agree to this upfront.
Deliver and keep signed documents handy.
LIinkedIn: Visit now and then to check out jobs and rather have to some extent used as a FB replacement (though in a better sense) to be in touch with people and network mostly to know about their professions or their higher education so as to get an idea of what kind of work or courses they do. Just helps formulate an opinion and build a career path sometimes.
Twitter: Just for news updates and its mostly fun seeing politicians and celebreties wage war of words and then news channels debating and analyzing who trolled whom and what it could have meant. Just to relax after a long day.
Quora: if that qualifies as social media, find it useful to get a general opinion on any random topic. Been spending some time here, though been reducing it to focus on the real world
Twitter? I opened an account a while back and didn't see any differences between FB status update and 140 character.
However I do use reddit daily.
I'm trying to pump a motorcycle Instagram account right now, so I'm active there multiple times a day using a Chrome extension I wrote for the purpose.
Magis for Google Chrome gets you more followers and increases user engagement by giving you a few keyboard shortcuts that make you fast. One button likes and a quick keyboard combination for comments.
Twitter - I use it professionally and religiously to acquire new follower, follow people in my industry and to keep track of the latest trends, etc. I also randomly reach out to people in the same line of work to solicit feedback.
LinkedIn - more of the same, but I don't put that much effort behind it. I just made sure there is a consistent tone of message between LinkedIn and my Twitter handle regarding my professional persona, etc.
Also, why do you ask?
> How about a "professional" social media network?
Have never needed either past college. None of my current friends use it or spend time on it, don't really talk to people I went to high school or college with, and I use iMessage for family. I see no benefit.
For professional social networks, I just never made an account and have no desire to do it. Maybe one day, but maybe not.
For me it's not about wasting time (I waste time on HN, Lobsters, and GameFAQs), just lack of interest and utility.
I think I still have a LinkedIn account but never use it. I have never found professional social networking tools useful. I think thats mostly because I don't really need to do a lot of networking as a data engineer. If my job had more of a 'social imperative' (e.g. sales, leadership, marketing, or freelance) I probably would use it.
I hard-deleted my Facebook account ~5 years ago; it had become a time-suck, downer, and an obligation more than something fun. I don't miss it, though I am aware that there are a few things I'm missing.
I do like seeing what other people are up to but I am not sure I have a lot of interesting things to contribute myself :|
Recently I closed Facebook as well as I was spending too much time there involuntarily, and I've been really productive since then. Every day I miss it less and less. Take into account that I used before and after Whatsapp as the primary means of communication among my friends and family.
I use LinkedIn for professional networking but very sparingly.
I started using Mastodon recently and participate there but maybe a few times a week.
I am on a few programming Slacks and fairly active there. That seems to hit the sweet spot for an old IRC user like myself.
I don't have a facebook account.
Professional social network like... LinkedIn?
linkedin: I used it well for a while to connect with existing co-workers. I still login once in a while to see my network. Ever since I started running my own thing, recruiter emails have dropped even though not entirely.
twitter: Have one but who wants to see my tweets. No one apparently. I am convinced that twitter is only for celebrities or for updates if you are a company/organization.
I signed up for LinkedIn 2 years ago.
Goodreads is the only social network that I enjoy participating in.
A so-called "productivity tool" will save you 15 minutes a day. Asking questions and thinking will save you weeks of work.
More on productivity here: https://codewithoutrules.com/2016/08/25/the-01x-programmer/
- Computing power of course.
- magit: I cannot imagine using git without it. This and org-mode are still the reasons why I use Emacs.
- IntelliJ: My younger, stupid self always felt proud of using spartan tools (spartan, as in "emacs is too bloated and the only thing I need are ed or mg and how dare you using a mouse"). Fortunately I grew up and abandoned all sort of tribalistic or elitist thoughts. IDEs are an invaluable tool and I feel sorry for the suckers that are still trapped on the "programmers that use IDEs are inherently stupid" narrative.
- TOAD SQL & Winmerge: I don't work with Windows anymore but miss these two daily. Let me know if you know of tools that are similar for macOS / Linux.
- cwm: I rarely use it anymore as I don't boot my OpenBSD box as much as I'd like but it has this thing where you press M-/ (I think?) so you can query windows by name. It's really useful. So are groups.
- Ctrl-up & Ctrl-down in macOS. Win+tab in Windows.
- Windowmaker's Dockapps. I miss those.
- ACME: You don't know what you're talking about when you say "UNIX as IDE" if you haven't tried this.
- vi keybindings.
- A internal wiki: 1/4 of my time is spent writing or reading it.
That is probably my number one productivity tool.
The next most important tool is moving everyone to an established process where all requests/bugs/tasks have to come through a single channel. In this case, the channel is Jira for me. Before this, things could come from many different channels. Having things all in one place ensures things do not fall through the cracks. It gives you the ability to see a big picture view of what is going on.
For smaller teams, it might not make sense to use something big like Jira, but none the less, having a process in place really helps.
What's more, the DOM form a tree: nodes have parents and children.
Stacks? Your programming language, whatever it is, uses a stack, the call stack, to keep track of what functions are being called.
Internet routers use queues to create a buffer of packets that have yet to be processed.
Postgres uses trees or hashes to create table indices for faster queries.
Medium uses Bloom Filters to check if a user has read an article or not.
Array(API) = Linked List(Implementation) = address + pointers(Memory)
Sometimes there are little bits and pieces that may look like they are "private state of a component" but over time you'll find instances where it's useful to know that state.
For example I have a LoginForm component and a SignupForm component.
If you have half-way filled email and password on the LoginForm, but click on "Create an account" it would be nice if SignupForm picked up that state from the login form.
So my LoginForm state is stored in the redux store under the key "loginForm".
And SignupForm will pick up that state if available and vice-versa for going from sign up to log in.
Use React Component State if no other component cares about the data.
But I've noticed over the years that, often, when we ask "What is the HN for XYZ," the answer often turns out to be ... HN.
The quality depends on the speaker though. Some venture into TED Talk territory, while others are more focused on a series of publications.
Answers to those would help define your conceptual category, but as it happens each of them corresponds to a particular talk I have in mind.
I have not found another talk series at Cornell (say Chemistry, Computer Science, or anywhere in the Life Sciences) that is consistently as good or broadly interesting. (ex. all of those talks would make sense to a condensed matter, astro, accelerator, elementary or bio-physicist; note that accelerator is about how do you accelerate the particles, elementary could involve what happens when they collide; Cornell has strong departments in all of the above.)
Now they do not have video and slide links for them, but peop