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1
Ask HN: Why HN logo not in SVG?
3 points by crehn  4 hours ago   3 comments top 2
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balazsdavid987 24 minutes ago 0 replies      
Explain the performance benefits
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shoo 2 hours ago 1 reply      
Make a business case for it
2
Ask HN: What's your spectacular burnout story?
165 points by coackroachhead  19 hours ago   136 comments top 38
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bonniemuffin 18 hours ago 8 replies      
About a month before my dissertation defense, I had already accepted a postdoc offer across the country, put in notice on my apartment, signed a new lease and arranged my cross-country move, but I had an absolutely impossible amount of work left on the list of things my dissertation committee claimed I needed to do before I could graduate, and my experiments just weren't working.

It was clear that the work was impossible, but the committee wouldn't budge on the fact that I had to finish it. I was working around the clock and then laying in bed for a few hours worrying before working some more, and I absolutely couldn't take it anymore.

I decided the only solution was to drop out, which meant the postdoc would rescind my offer, and I'd have to break the new lease, cancel the move, etc. I went into the admin office to let them know I was simply not coming into the lab anymore and they could do whatever they wanted to do about it.

Suddenly the "must do" list evaporated and they said I could just write up my work and graduate. So I did, and I got the phd and went off to the postdoc and it all turned out fine-- it turns out all I needed to do was decide to throw my life away and really mean it, in order to call their bluff.

I think the experience gave me a better sense of when I'm approaching the burnout zone, so that I can better avoid it. I've also never experienced anything even close to this in a work environment -- if my job was like that, I'd quit in a hot second and go work somewhere not-awful. It was only the fact that they were holding the degree hostage that caused me to feel forced to overwork myself into an unhealthy state.

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middle334 16 hours ago 3 replies      
Drank for the first 25 years of my career. High-functioning alcoholic, I guess. You've definitely heard of the products I have a bunch of code in, and the companies I worked for. I don't know how I managed getting blasted every night and still write all that code. As things got worse I started working for smaller and smaller companies, and wound up essentially jobless and alone and drinking off of my savings in a Silly Valley townhouse full of liquor bottles.

The CEO of the startup I'd just blown-off a job at (showed up the first week, "worked at home" for another couple of weeks, then stopped showing up entirely) drove over and knocked on my door to find out what was going on. Drunk off my ass, I told him, and that I'd get some help. So I made That Call and got some help. Did about three weeks of inpatient care (Stanford recovery unit, and then a place in the Santa Cruz mountains), then moved into a halfway house and spent a lot of time in AA meetings [AA is controversial, I know]. Never spent another night in that townhouse, wound up selling it. That CEO hired me back as a consultant a few months after I got out of inpatient.

I've got 18 years sober now, much of which I've spent working on software at great companies on products you've almost certainly heard of and probably used. Married, with a teen-age son, and doing better financially than I ever would have imagined. Still going to AA meetings, though nowhere near as often as I probably should.

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atdt 18 hours ago 3 replies      
I am in the midst of one. It has been about a year and a half, plus or minus, and it has taken a tremendous toll on my well-being.

I find it especially difficult to deal with the mismatch between my sense of what I can do, which is calibrated to my former self, and what I can actually deliver. I desperately need to believe that what I am going through is a temporary perturbation, so I keep trying to "shake it off", and I make plans and commitments from a sense of self that is still stubbornly calibrated to who I was then and not what I am today. As the months turn into years, that sense of competence seems increasingly fantastical and dubious. Was I ever good at my job? Did I suck then, too, and just fail to realize it?

These doubts are compounded by the fact that I have changed employers and change teams multiple times so no one I work with now is acquainted with that former self. But he really did exist, at one point. I swear he did. At least I think he did.

> When you are playing really well ... you cant even imagine playing badly. And when you are playing badly, you cant even remember what it felt like to play well.

(Tiger Woods: How Low Can He Go http://www.newyorker.com/news/john-cassidy/tiger-woods-how-l...)

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AnonyBrah 17 hours ago 6 replies      
Quit my first job (software engineer) after 5 months.

I was burned out, not only from the work, but from spending my entire life following orders - from school to the workplace. So I quit my job after 5 months despite the fact that that's considered sacrilege, with maybe $13k in my bank account.

I spent the next 3 months pursuing nothing but my hobby at the time (music production). The first month was possibly the best month of my entire life. It was the first time I truly felt free - no homework, no stress of finding a job, no having to be in an office from 9:30-5:30 M-F.

Then I ran out of money, so I had to start applying for jobs again. Ended up getting a much better job (both pay-wise and quality-wise), so it worked out.

Now I'm burned out again and completely sick of working in this industry. The day-to-day work is boring as hell, and I couldn't care less about Javascript frameworks. I hate having to spend the bulk of my waking hours in the prison of an office.

But I continue working because I'm saving a lot of money every month. Currently have almost $100k in the bank. After this job, I'm going to take at least a good year off to do what I want to do, not what the labor markets force me to. I have a lot of passion in certain areas that I'm not able to devote full attention to due to work. I want to have a much greater positive impact on the world than being some menial code monkey working on proprietary software or a corporate Kool-Aid drinking cock sucker.

I've realized that I will never be happy in a traditional job. Being subservient and following orders is not in my nature.

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codewritinfool 17 hours ago 1 reply      
This might not be a normal burnout story, so sorry ahead of time. I'm not mentioning any names of individuals or companies, so please don't ask. They are all well-known, though.I partnered with a proven businessman for a project that took more than 5 years and about 8 hours per day, every day (I was already working 8 hours per day at my daily job). The deal was 50/50. We had great early reviews from media but only a handful of sales, like 5. He kept adding features because he said that's why we didn't have sales. The new features did not bring us sales. In the end it was my fault. He was known for being ruthless and litigious. When his attorneys came calling for full source code I caved and gave it all away and walked away from the partnership. It ruined a friendship or two, was tough on my marriage, and for a time I was suicidal.He never made any money on the product itself and ended up losing the code. I did not keep a copy. He sold a few of the patents here and there and they're in use by companies that if I mentioned the names your eyes would get big. They have incorporated some of the technology into products, but not all of it. I have no idea what he made on those deals.It absolutely killed my creativity. That's been 15 years ago and I still can't get motivated on any side project at all.I still am not completely whole.
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dnautics 16 hours ago 3 replies      
A buddy of mine was working in the lab of the scientist who "invented" unnatural amino acid technology (rumblings about how it was taken from the postdoc in the lab across the hall). That was the sexy project de jour of the lab; but my buddy was working on a less sexy project - catalytic antibodies. This is where you take the concept that antibodies can be adapted to fit any molecular shape and try to make it fit something that looks like the transition state of a chemical reaction, resulting in acceleration of the chemical reaction. (designer enzymes!)

The results till that day were modest at best, and that's because stabilizing the transition state is only part of what a real enzyme should do, and even though the professors are supposed to teach you this in your biochem/chemical biology deep-dive courses in grad school YMMV, and it's easy to sell a starry eyed grad student, especially when the prof doesn't know any better, too.

Anyways my buddy's project was even worse - he was supposed to make a protease (an enzyme that degrages proteins). And if you look at proteases, their clefts wrap around the protein even more than an antibody ever could (they have shallow clefts), because burying the reaction away from water is a critical aspect of their function.

He spent three years working in a lab that demanded 80+ hour workweeks. Towards the end his sleep cycle had flipped, he was playing around making geometric designs with his pipet tips, and spending much of his workday playing a flash website gameboy tetris, and many days going to the casino to play poker instead of work.

finally his boss modified his project, instructing him to graft a metalloprotease domain, onto the antibody in an attempt to get it working. A breath of fresh air! Suddenly he was invigorated with a new approach to the project. But not long after that, he was back to the old routine of being burned out, and totally unproductive, spending hours on trivialities, like trying to strip metals from his water supply to really get it right and get it working. In the end, it never worked.

It turned out that the metalloprotease domain was designed by Homme Hellinga. Years after this, the scientific community discovered that Homme Hellinga was faking his enzyme design work.

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patatino 18 hours ago 0 replies      
I had a superior who quit and got treatment. After that he became a forest ranger.

I think your choice of words "spectacular" & "crawl back to reality" shows that our society is still not ready to fully accept mental diseases. This is not personal but why would you think they have to crawl back to reality? I don't think they ever left.

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dlet 16 hours ago 2 replies      
I had just finished the writing exams after my two years of preparatory class (a specific program we have in France to join the best business and engineering schools). During the 2 weeks of exams, I was sleeping 3 hours a night on average.

When I woke up one morning, everything seemed really blurred. I could not precisely get where I was in the room and, when I tried to talk to my parents, they seemed really far away. I was also deeply tired and just wanted to sleep.

After 2 scary days like this, we went to a neurologist. He looked at me and asked my parents to leave the room. Looking at me, he told me: "I know you take hard drugs. Tell me anything about it so I can help you". I have never taken any drug. When he realized this, he did a lot of tests but found nothing. He just asked me to rest.

After 2 long weeks, I slowly got better and finally fully recovered. The neurologist told us it was probably some kind of burnout. It happened 2 other times few years after but it was less intense and I am now able to feel more precisely when I work too hard or sleep too little and that there are some risks.

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rrggrr 17 hours ago 0 replies      
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Learned_helplessness

Lost major supplier responsible for about 1/2 our gross profit at about the same time our broad market entered recession, two key employees were mired in divorce proceedings, and another key employee left to fight CNS lymphoma. Three years and about three soul crushing false recoveries later we emerged with a lot of work ahead to rebuild and reduce debt.

The advice... expect nothing. Don't let the highs carry you or the lows crush you. Recognize circumstances outside your control and shut the door on them when it comes to your opinion of yourself. Earthquakes rock the brilliant and dullards al the same and sometimes having survived the experience is accomplishment enough.

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yeukhon 5 hours ago 0 replies      
I started working long hours since undergraduate, plus my then-gf lived in SF and I was in NY, so I would work and talk to her until she went to bed (3 hours difference so if 11PM there would be 2AM here). Every other week I would work overnight in my lab. When I was an intern, I would also work on the weekend in the office until midnight. I remember sleeping overnight several times in the old Mozilla MV office. Oh not to mention attending several overnight hackathons (which I hate right now)

I continued this habit working long hours once I started my full time job espeixally because I was depressed after breaking up with my then-gf. I would committ 80-100 hours per week. I am talking about 9-9 or longer and on the weekend 9-5 or whenever I get tired. If major outage, I would be up all night. I would drop my dinner and solve whatever issues came up. I would skip lunch to get my code deployed or whatever. I would have 9-5 meetings and then continued my work afterward. I pretty much did everything I can before my offshore team takes over. I would just write an email and tell them I got most of the problems taken care of, just monitor the issues.

Relationship with coworkers and managment, and with my gf all added up.

This went on for about 6-7 years since college.

I am 26 now.

Then I attempted suicide, twice, this year. The second time, a number of HNer might remember, I posted here my goodbye. I still haven't had the chance to thank the dozens of people who sent me emails.

I am doing much better, although I can never work that many hours now , and I also will never do much coding after work unless I really feel like doing so. If I go back to work, I expect myself work 9-5 and only overtime if I have to.

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mundanevoice 17 hours ago 0 replies      
It happened to me when I was in the first year of my job. I was coding for 14 hrs straight for more than a year. I had a lot of websites that I needed to maintain and all the tech was new to me.

Then when burnout struck me hard, I realized that I just don't want to open my laptop anymore. Also, even side project started to feel like a burden to me.

Then I decided, enough is enough and I need to do some changes to my life.

- I did join a gym near my house.

- I stopped coding in evenings. I would wake up early and code for 2-3 hours in morning and be content with whatever I achieve during that time.

- Evening hours after office would be only for gym, relaxing, having dinner and watching TV.

Believe me, it was the best decision I did for myself. My health both mental and physical improved drastically and I started loving coding again.

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pier25 13 hours ago 0 replies      
I've had a few burnouts in my life.

The worst one... I was producing music and sound with a friend for a prime time TV show. We were supposed to start working on the music in February to air the show in October.

The project suffered from many production problems. The executive producer was the son of a billionaire who owns one of the biggest TV networks in Latin America and had never done this before. One of the directors was a junkie and a drunk. Money ran out. Actors were not showing up to the stage. It got ugly.

Eventually we started working on the music and FX in September, weeks before airing. We were 2 guys in charge of producing episodes of 45 minutes. Music, FX, dialog cutting, etc, at the rate of 2 episodes per week. I slept less than 20 hours per week and drank 5+ red bulls every day. I don't know how I didn't end up in a hospital.

Even worse, the mastering engineer destroyed our already bad job. We didn't know about that because we never had time to watch the show on TV and listen to the final audio that was being aired.

This went on for about 2 months until someone figured out the show was crap and they started cutting heads. We were fired, and they never payed us about 50% of the work.

I thought making music for an important TV show would be the best thing in my life, but it killed my musical soul.

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throwaway378037 15 hours ago 3 replies      
It's happening right now, for me. Burnout feels like having no purchase on life, nothing making sense, no creativity, no joy, just fleeting comforts amid growing and deepening discomfort.

The way I see it, this kind of tiredness can't be met by a good night's sleep. It's a tiredness of the soul.

Sadly, what I have found is that to cope with the tiredness, boredom, stress and loneliness of my 'successful' life, I have turned time and time again to pornography. My use has spiralled and includes really quite violent, and in some cases illegal, stuff. And I have hated myself for it. I don't even enjoy it.

The problem is that the porn addiction itself exacerbated and accelerated the burnout process, and further isolated me.

Now I have decided to take some time out, with friends and well away from any internet connection, to break the cycle and re-sensitize myself. I need to breathe and feel my body again and feel connected to life and other people. In a few days I will be away from the Internet in a beautiful place in nature with good, supportive people to be with me.

And for the first time, I intend to be open and share this struggle and let them know really how dark it has gotten in here.

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throwaway26960 18 hours ago 3 replies      
Got sued by my previous company for a line of code that they asked me to change. Luckily I had proof that they asked me to modify that line of code. If I didn't, well, I'd owe them millions of dollars and have my wages garnished for the rest of my life. Writing software is a bit ridiculous, your employer can blame you for anything and you'll have to waste years of your life and tens of thousands of dollars in the legal system.
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iforgotmypass 16 hours ago 3 replies      
Wanted to achieve lot in my life. And saw money as means to do that. Was ambitious, working hard. Left the job, founded company. Worked my ass off for 5 years. Failed. But earned enough so that for the last 2 years haven't been really working while trying to get my shit together (although soon the savings will run dry). Ruined my marriage with the only person I really cared about. Can't get any motivation to do anything and feel "out of loop" and outdated to get back into the job market. Thinking about the suicide.

Lessons learned: 1) money does not make you happy. If you don't know how to be happy with little, you won't be happier when you have a lot. 2) job and career is not everything. Healthy work-life balance means a lot.

.. Actually kinda hard to put all the thoughts, feelings and experiences of turbulent 7 years in only some sentences.

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mindwork 14 hours ago 0 replies      
Started startup with extremely high expectations of me and bad partner. Had 9-5 work as software engineer I threw myself on the startup working after hours till exhaust. I decided to do something to relax - started crossfit. Once I just collapsed on the street and after that I had extremely bad panic attacks and near death feels. Didn't know that it was panic attacks and clinical depression at the moment, thought maybe some internal organ damage. Took me 3 separate 1-month admissions to hospital and 3.5 years of taking anti-depressants to recover.It did change my outlook on life, first of all I shifted my priorities to health first and work - second, I'm trying to stay out of the stress and taking care of my body(running, gym, meditation, yoga) everything that helps. Ever since then I don't things too serious, and I don't wanna ever work till exhaust. I know it's sounds cheesy but listen to your body and be healthy. Also it takes a lot to admit that you are in depression, and seek medical attention to that. If you wake up every morning and the only thing that you want is to go to sleep because you can't embrace new day - you are in depression. If your personality changed out of the sudden - you are in depression. If you don't have any thoughts in your head only feeling of worries - you are in depression.
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burnout445 17 hours ago 1 reply      
Agreed that this questions is asked in a stupid way but I'll throw mine out there.

Last July I ran a migration (SaaS CRM company) that should have taken 3-4 weeks with 1 week of downtime, but the client insisted on 1 week with 4 days of downtime. It was the first major migration moving this platform out of beta and I loved that product (and that client) more than anything, so I said fine.

I made it super clear to my boss that this was going to fucked up and this was a bad idea, but I was down to try. Long story short I work 20+ hours a day for 7 days (heavily helped by, in retrospect, pretty dangerous amounts of adderall/provigil/Ritalin/caffeine/ambien for when I actually did need to sleep) and we got it down.

During the last day of QA I clasped in my office from exhaustion and went temporarily blind, ended up in the ER. That didn't matter though because the migration was a resounding success - client was happy, executives were happy, product was stable.

My boss was incredible (truly the best boss I'll ever have) and was ready to give me anything I wanted... except a budget for more staff, which was really the issue here. This product was my baby and I was going to ensure its success no matter what happened.

Put in my notice three weeks later. They told me to name my price and title bump to stay, but weren't willing to let me hire the two or three staff I knew I needed. I offered to stay as long as they needed to help with the transition but turned down all their bonuses because I didn't want to be beholden to them.

I finally left 6 months later to make slightly less money with a slightly higher title at a company that gave me the team I knew I needed. I still miss that company more than anything, getting to see a mission criticalcproduct go from idea to being used by massive multinational companies was incredible and an experience I doubt I'll ever have again.

FWIW I'm still in touch with people from my old team and the company has since hired three more staff (plus the two existing staff the team already had) and a VP to manage the team. By not giving me to staff support I asked for and letting me burn out the company has "lost" somewhere around $800k in new staff costs alone.

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jacquesm 14 hours ago 0 replies      
Ran a start-up for 7 years, burned out because of the toxic business environment for a start-up and ended up on an island in Canada. The next couple of years I spent building an off-the-grid house, a solar array, a metal working workshop and a windmill. In retrospect I wasn't doing less to recover, just different stuff and stuff that I did not need to interact with the world of business for. Since 2007 back in 'cilvilization', completely rebooted my career in a different direction which feels much better.
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Scirra_Tom 16 hours ago 2 replies      
Mine was recently - worked on our new website for about a year. Then we took the decision to make it scalable. Tried to retro fit scalability in 4-6 weeks before giving up (ouch).

Took the decision to start from a blank canvas around last September, and up until February I only recall having several days off (Christmas, NYE etc). Worked in the day, the evenings and weekends. Impending sense of doom only seemed to subside when I made progress - this feedback loop kept me hooked and driving forwards.

Launched the site (https://www.construct.net) a couple of months later, but it burnt me out. Had to take a fairly significant amount of time off to switch off. I was waking up in the night with a horrible twisting in my chest and random bursts of adrenaline. Not healthy!

The site has been up and running and selling now for months really well, so I am proud and relieved.

Benefits:

* Learnt how to make a scalable site

* Re-writes are always significantly better written

* Learnt a LOT

Downsides:

* My health!

Also, you can't retrofit scalability which is a lesson I learnt the hard way. Seems obvious but I had a years work at stake so had to give it a try and having the guts to scrap everything and start again was incredibly painful but has worked out well long term. Feels very comparable to learning to backup.

When I look back at those several months - I honestly remember very little of it. As our startup has grown we've also learnt than I'm now becoming a significant bottleneck as my bandwidth isn't unlimited and it's a huge relief that we're now taking steps to address this.

I'm also not someone who can easily ask for help and leave it until it's too much to handle. This was a big contributing factor.

Not a "spectacular" burn out story but I teetered very close on the edge of something quite negative - I'm not exactly sure what but I'm glad I avoided it.

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throwawway32018 14 hours ago 1 reply      
After a decade of depression and trying to drown it with alcohol, weed, and the occasional psychedelic, something finally snapped. I'd tried therapy, AA, switching industries, none of it seemed to make anything better. Asked for a sabbatical from work but they wouldn't grant it, so I quit. Packed my things, moved in with the parents, and went cold turkey. I guess you could call it a self-inflicted rehab; they live in the middle of nowhere and not knowing anybody or having a car I couldn't really get myself in trouble.

The first few months were hell, but I read up on CBT, stoicism, meditation, habits and personal health and slowly, with a lot of work my mental state started to improve. There were a lot of weeks were it felt like I was regressing but I kept practicing healthy self-talk and eventually got through the rough spots. Being out of work, I worked on side projects to keep my skills sharp and learn new things whenever I was feeling good enough.

It's been a year now, and I've never been happier. After maybe 9 months I was feeling strong enough to "re-enter society," so I started applying for jobs. Nothing's materialized yet but I'm confident I'll get back on own feet sooner or later. Regardless of the current job-hunt stress, I think it was unequivocally worth it to straighten out.

The books that helped me most:

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/46674.Feeling_Good

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/7015403-the-gifts-of-imp...

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/13721709-the-antidote

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/865.The_Alchemist

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strangecyan 18 hours ago 1 reply      
I think these are really important stories to share and openly discuss but the way this question is asked is just ridiculously insensitive.
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pengo 14 hours ago 1 reply      
I have my own software development company. My clients use a purpose-built framework for managing funding applications and grants online. As a sole operator my workload varies: when I add a new client, customisations can keep me at full capacity for several weeks, at other times maintenance can total less than twenty hours a week unless there are requested enhancements or I'm adding new features.

Late last year while my business hours were at a low ebb, I was asked if I could pitch in for six months as lead developer on a government web portal. I'd taken a similar contract two years before when my own business was ramping up, and not found it too taxing to meet the needs of my own clients on evenings and weekends. I didn't factor in two things: I now had twice as many clients, and a cynical dynamic called "Murphy's Law".

Almost as soon as I signed the government contract, clients began requesting (different) extensions to the framework. Without the contract I would have been at full capacity. I found myself starting work for my own clients at 4.00am every morning, then heading off to lead the web portal development team, then putting in more hours for my own clients at the end of the day ... plus weekends. This state of affairs continued with very little respite for the entire six months.

Knowing normal life will resume at a fixed future point is often enough to get through something like this. But my health suffered increasingly as time passed. In the last few weeks I was very sick indeed. I was asked to renew the government contract for a further six months but had the sense to turn that offer down. Two days after the contract finished I had to be admitted to hospital. I was seriously ill, and it has taken two months to get back to the level of health I usually enjoy.

Yes, I was foolish to accept that contract. I have learnt a lesson I won't forget.

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user68858788 15 hours ago 0 replies      
Grew up poor and depressed, decided to take risks because suicide is always an option. Took on $150k of loans to move out of the Midwest to an art college. Instructors couldn't help, I dropped out and taught myself programming. Flash games, then websites, then an internship. I lied about still being in college. Five years of frugality, study, and weekly depressive episodes before I got my first real job. I burned out quick, the smallest pressure would have me stuck in a depression so deep that I couldn't form thoughts.

My burnout is continuing into year four. Working at a big name company for a year now and haven't written a single line of code. I feel so apart from the team I'm on. Still have periods where I can't think, but now nobody notices when I don't come in, sometimes for weeks at a time. The big salary doesn't count for much when loan payments and city rent take the majority. Haven't seen my family in three years, missed both my grandparents' funerals.

I still think it was the right decision to leave the Midwest, but I wish it didn't take so much sacrifice.

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luckydude 11 hours ago 1 reply      
I pushed the idea of clusters at Sun. I was the guy that designed Sunbox, which was a bunch of small cheap servers in a rack with an Kalpana ethernet switch in front of them and some vlan like stuff that made it appear like all the servers were on all the subnets (no router overhead, this back in the days of 20MHZ sparc chips, you actually noticed the router in the mix.)

Here's a picture of it, written GNU pic (I say GNU because I got James to put in a construct called the `i'th so you could do for loops. So the picture is adjustable, I can change the cpus variable and it will draw the picture with the new number of cpus. That's GNU pic unique.)

http://www.mcvoy.com/lm/sunbox.pdf

It was a big failure. For lots of reasons. Scott (ceo) insisted that it ship with Solaris rather than SunOS, nobody wanted Solaris (somewhere I have a tape of me presenting it at the Moscone center and someone was beating me up about the Solaris issue, I finally lost it and said "I know, I hate Solaris too, I was forced into it". My boss said "find all copies of that tape and destroy them". Yeah Solaris).

Sun was focussed on SMP machines, they thought that would solve all the world's problems, clusters just couldn't do it. Which completely missed the point. Sunbox shipped with SMP machines in the rack, I think 4 processors sparcstation 10's.

I pushed it along through sheer will power. It was like a little dude pushing on an oil tanker, I actually pushed Sun a degree or two off their stated path. But there was a ton of "Larry is trying to kill SMP" fud.

But it was too much. I burned out and my boss, Ken Okin (fantastic dude for many reasons), said "Go home, I'll call you when I need you". When I say "too much" I mean it. I was either in, or about to be in, a nervous breakdown and Ken saw that. I came back in after about 3 months and Ken took one look at me and said "I said I'd call you, go home!". Just to be clear, Sun was paying me to stay home.

So I did, for almost a year. My job became playing pool, but that's a story for another day (and probably boring to this crowd).

I did see my product manager years later, up in Tahoe skiing. He came over, bought a beer, and said "I guess you were right about that cluster thing". This was after google did 10,000 machine clusters that worked really really well, way better than any single SMP machine hope to do. Kudos to him for admitting it even if it was obvious.

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nulagrithom 13 hours ago 1 reply      
I had spent the day up in Omak, WA trying to install a new router at one of our offices. Omak is nowhere -- about an hours drive from the Canadian border in central Washington. Both the fiber company and the ISP had screwed up, and I ended up drinking my lunch at a bar. I was really pissed off because I knew there was no way they'd fix it any time soon, and I'd have to spend hours driving back up to that god-forsaken town sometime next week. On my way back, I started contemplating a career change, as one often does after a particularly frustrating day, when I saw a hitchhiker on the side of the highway.

I've picked up every hitchhiker I could since 2008, during the housing market crash. That was the year I saw a very clean looking man with a dog hitchhiking out of town. Being young and dumb, I picked him up. He was a construction worker, and told me the story of how he'd lost everything during the crash. He'd just sold his truck and was trying to make it to Spokane, where he'd heard there was still some commercial work going on. It took him two days to hitchhike from Seattle to Yakima; that's normally a two hour drive. That hit home. My entire extended family had lost their construction business during the crash. I've been picking people up ever since.

So I pulled over on the side of the highway just outside of Omak and offered a ride.

We start with some small talk. He's looking for work picking fruit and was striking out in Omak, so he figured he'd move along further south. I tell him I'm headed through Wenatchee, which about that time was ramping up for the cherry season. He'd never heard of Wenatchee, but it sounds agreeable to him. I thought that a little odd, but then he starts asking me what I was doing up in Omak.

I tell him about the router I was trying to install. He asks what brand it is (Cisco). He starts asking more questions about what was wrong. We're about 10 minutes in to troubleshooting the problem verbally when I realize he knows way more about networking than I do. Finally I point blank ask him why the hell he's picking fruit.

Turns out he had been working in LA as a Linux admin. He was also working on a side project, basically Pinterest for outfits, when his girlfriend took exception to the time he was spending on the project. He didn't go in to great detail, but it became pretty clear to me he had seriously, dramatically, burnt out, and the girlfriend was just a trigger.

He decided to forget everything and take a bus north to do some manual work for a while. He was still sending money back to her to make the car payments. This guy had abandoned everything, traveled to the middle of nowhere, slept in bushes, and done manual labor in the sun all because he was sick of life as he'd been living it.

I tried offering him a laptop. He wouldn't take it. He didn't want it. Said what he needed was a bicycle. As we crested a hill in to the Wenatchee valley, he became quite excited about the size of the town and the number of orchards he could see in the distance. I dropped him off soon after. I'm pretty sure I saw him riding a bicycle in downtown Wenatchee some time later.

This event still fucks with me years later. It could just as easily become my story, or your story. Mental health is fragile. Take burnout seriously.

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throwawayzzzz 11 hours ago 0 replies      
PhD dropout. There was a rotating door of students joining for a year and then quitting, but I stuck it out for 3. By the end I was nocturnal, experienced my first panic attack, broke up with a long relationship, and my file organization went to shit. A few professors were betting behind my back whether I'd quit. We met 7 days a week, and I was expected to have progress everyday. Depression and stress evolved to new levels. Considered ways to relieve stress, like smoking, self harm, therapy, drinking. Tried some. Finally, decided if I didn't quit, I was headed down a very dangerous path. Spent the next 6 months playing video games and recovering, with the help of drinking alone, and trying to date again.

After 6 months, I was more or less better again, but picked up some minor bad habits I still haven't really kicked. Quitting PhD was the best thing I ever did for myself.

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v1k1n 16 hours ago 0 replies      
Never told this story to anyone but here goes...

I was working at a consulting agency as a linux sysadmin pulling crazy hours for two years. I ran support for a client that had an app that in house devs had 'modified' and a mission critical file transfer service. I was on a team of two with 24/7 on call support. Thing was, no one ever called the other guy so I was always the one getting 5am phone calls on Saturday mornings. Weekly late night (8pm - 3am) deployments were common and considered successful in the eyes of the company.

After about a year of this my lifelong struggle with depression started to reemerge. Feelings of loneliness and doubt began to crop up and I would cry uncontrollably on my commute back home from work. It was around this time that the daily suicidal thoughts took a turn for the worse. It was all I could think about, every minute of the day.

One day I was chatting with a co-worker and my boss when they complimented me on some recent weight loss. I was in a mood that day and told them the truth: I was having trouble eating. I wasn't eating breakfast or lunch and most nights would trade dinner for whiskey. After my weight loss was noticed, I decided to hide the fact I couldn't eat by telling everyone I was on a new diet. Side note: I had gained a considerable amount of weight over the time I spent at that company. I recently celebrated my 100 lbs weight loss.

I continued to lose weight, though not entirely by choice. The suicidal thoughts were deafening, blocking out any hope or joy in my life. I had become my job and saw no way out.

Eventually the client I was working for no longer needed my services and I was removed from the contract. I tried to celebrate but was so numb inside I didn't feel any happiness at all. I took a week off but still had the same feelings of dread and depression. I did a lot of reading on burnout and realized I was on that slippery slope.

After returning from my sole week off, I was placed 'on the bench'. For those who have never worked at a consultating agency, this means you still get a paycheck but have no work to do. It also means you are in a constant state of fear for your job until the agency finds you a new billable position. That didn't help much to lighten my mood.

I made the switch from sysadmin to webdev during this 'bench' period. I was able to secure a position as an internal React.js dev and for a few weeks started to climb out of burnout. I thought I could start being happy again with my new role but my company had different plans for me.

As I was still 'on the bench' and not billable, the company decided to move me to a new contract doing dev work for M$ sharepoint. The project was in shambles, had no tech lead, and the only other dev had decided to format the site with tables (!) as he didn't know any other way. I expressed how displeased I was but my complaint fell on deaf ears. I decided I couldn't take it anymore.

After convincing the manager to make me 'lead sharepoint dev', I put my two weeks in. I had setup a job at a boat rental I had worked at in summers past. I now work the same hours but get paid for every hour, which is great.

I took a full month off after my two weeks. Spent the time laying around the house and playing video games. One of the best months of my life. I thought a lot about where I had been and where I was headed. I started hanging out with friends & family again and realized I was on the right track.

I can now saw I've never felt better in my life. I lost a bunch of weight, met a girl, and genuinely enjoy every hour of every day. The choking thoughts of dread and suicide are gone, replaced by the joy and happiness I thought I would never have again. I recently started my own consulting company and have vowed to never let myself dip back into burnout again. Every day is a new journey; you just have to find a way to make it work while not wanting to die every day.

My advice is to recognize the signs of burnout early. It is far too easy to attempt to 'push through' and stress yourself out more. Many companies are willing to sacrifice your well being only to turn around and ask for more. Dont be afraid to run far, far away from any place that prioritizes their bottom line over your mental health.

apologize for formatting, wrote this on mobile.

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acct37284632 18 hours ago 1 reply      
I created an account extra for this, cause this is super personal.

So, it all started last year. My mother who has been suffering from lung cancer for three years was doing pretty well - given the condition she has to deal with.

Then, all of the sudden, my brother has died in an accident. My mom took that with the pain I guess only a mother can feel, but to my surprise she was braver than I thought.

I, however, pushed all the pain away and started to work as hell. Within weeks I took new responsibilities at work place, travelled a lot and to make things even worse, fell in love with a co-worker of mine. This ruined my years lasting relationship, but at that moment, I thought, it was worth it.

Turned out, it was not. My new relationship became a nightmare. Passive aggression all over, paired with depression, illegit accusations and stark disputes all over. Of course, all of this happened only when we were alone.

I have always been a very "stable" person, but at this time, I began asking myself what am I doing here. My mother is about to die, my brother had passed away, I left my girlfriend, who was my partner and my best friend for years for a girl who is so full of negativity. And the few moments I have for myself, I am doing hard work.

It was too much for me. I collapsed and could not do anything. Thanks to a good friend of mine, who brought me to the hospital. I went to a private clinic specialised on trauma and depression in a very nice area.

I had sports, psychological sessions, creativity and relaxation all over the day for a while.

I came back stronger than ever before. For me, key was to really enjoy every single moment. "Love it, leave it or change it", has become my slogan more than ever. Contrary to my situation before, I just applied it also to the very small parts of life. And, my focus changed from "leave it" to "change it". I am thankful for what I have, even if this is something I currently struggle with. But when I am really thankful from the deepest of my heart, I find the strength to change it. I started giving a fuck what people I don't care about think about me and instead started to reveal true feelings to the people I really want to have in my life.I learnt to say "no". I have never been overloaded with work from mean co-workers or managers who just piled their shit on my table. It was more I actively searched for work that somehow sounded "interesting" or a meaningful CV bullet point. I have been the mean manager of myself. I stopped that. Saying no to a thing that just sounds "pretty cool", but is actually not meaningful in my life, is the best lesson I ever got taught.

And, best of all: I quitted my job and just agreed to to stuff for the company as contractor until they find another person to work on it. I joined the company of a good friend of mine, which is outside the tech world, doing half of the hours I used to do and get the same amount of money. And the best thing, I can now learn and play with technology with no pressure which makes me more productive. And with that knowledge I feel I can help my friend surviving with his non-tech company in the storm of digitalization.

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dkokelley 18 hours ago 0 replies      
I've found this story to be an interesting perspective of what burnout looks like: https://tim.blog/2014/02/13/anxiety-treatments/
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throwaway97987 11 hours ago 0 replies      
Happened to me and currently in the midst of it.

What happened : A disastrous startup failure. While the people I worked with were nice, everything we did failed so completely and utterly, that I lost my mind. Part of it was a seriously underperforming founder, partly just really bad situations. We could not achieve even 10% of any of our goals. Everything was a miserable failure, we were living together in an apartment and since the other founders left after the failure, I lost my home too and had to go crawling back to my parents' place to recover mentally. I had no desire or strength to do anything at the time.

The worst part was, that it was a decent idea that has already worked in some markets and I saw myself as the ideal customer. Our team, on paper, was strong and had diverse skillsets. I had put all of my hopes into making this a win.

Now, I am left with no idea of what to do next, and still no motivation to do anything either. The only thing I always wanted to do, is a door that is permanently closed now (due to age. I'm young, but that path closes at 25. I didn't pursue it because I used to be a dumb kid who wasn't mature enough to make hard decisions early on in his life).

My GRE score expires next year, so I am considering a higher degree and a move to the US or Canada. Maybe even a Phd, since I did some research work in college and liked doing it. But I am terrified of a big commitment now.

The quality of startups in my country is really low, and while I have interviewed with a few, nothing stuck out.

A few good, big companies are there, where I SHOULD apply, but haven't. I have failed in everything I have done, even prior to my startup. Nothing has worked, and nothing has amounted to anything. So why even attempt right?

/meaningless rant

Advice to others : Do what you REALLY want to do, and stick to the most proven/established way of accomplishing it. Startups should be attempted ONLY if there's no other way at all of doing what you love. That precludes 99.999% of the cases.

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burnout2017 15 hours ago 0 replies      
Throwaway account, no names, vague time and place details, for reasons.

I loved my job, programming and developing software was what I always wanted to do, and had been very successful doing it for years. My company was shooting for new areas, with underwhelming results so far, but trying nevertheless.

Then, at one point, my personal life took a serious blow, one that relatively quickly destroyed my relationship with my spouse, but without the ability to separate or divorce. Social and family-at-large life, which had never been intense but was always satisfying, vanished. During that time, my company's situation simultaneously degraded in quality of projects, budgets and general outlook, and my job increased in scope with a lot less hands on programming, less resources, more management, more teams and more firefighting (human and technical). Like in the personal side, I was professionally stuck without the ability to make drastic changes.

After a few months of this, with increasingly frequent episodes of stress and anxiety, I ran out of steam and blew up completely. I took a leave under medical supervision, doing therapy and working on coming to terms with all the various aspects of what I was dealing with. Despite the newly available time to do whatever I wanted (within reason), I couldn't do anything at all. My mind ached to do some coding for its own sake, but it took a long time before my body could again be able to keep focus on anything for more than a few minutes.

Time has passed. Therapy helped, coming to terms has continued to advance at a very slow pace but is still very far from complete. My focus came back, and I went back to work in pretty much the same circumstances, professional and personal, that I was before the blowup. Part of the anxiety turned into desire to overcome challenges, another part remained (and still does) as energy-draining anxiety.

I wake up every day knowing that I'm not over it. I remind myself that me and everyone around me wants, and to various degrees needs, me to go on. I hope that things work out, and it is quite possible that they will, although it is impossible to predict how, when or to what extent. I have learned to allow myself some room to, in the bad days, not be the nice and strong person I want to be, and instead let weakness take over while I try to rest. One weak day something bad may happen. Many days trying to stay strong may lead me down the hole again, hard. I just try not to think of, or control, the future much anymore.

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burnout170819 16 hours ago 1 reply      
Long time member, first time anonymous post. Here's my tale of woe and burnout. There's a lesson at the end. Nothing profound. But if you find yourself in a situation like this it may help.

Last job. Unremarkable but comfortable corporate job in web/backend development. Longest stint I had done in my life, at least going back to elementary school. Been there over 5 years. Got promoted to senior. My boss got bumped up a step and another developer on the team got promoted to his role as my new boss. Long story short, my new boss had it out for me. I started to get reports from fellow team members that my boss was dumping on me to others.

I ignored it until the annual review came up. After years of positive reviews, I got a minimally acceptable review. I challenged it and a couple weeks later I was slapped with a PIP. The allegations in the PIP were complete nonsense. (In one instance, they actually cited a bug I had fixed at the documented request of the project manager on one of our major applications as evidence I had been working on unassigned tasks.) This is when the burnout started.

I talked to a few people whose knowledge and advice I trusted on the subject and they said basically the same thing, "This is a battle you can't win. Get out as soon as you can." I heeded their advice. I put my head down and continued to do my job (more carefully and scrupulously than I ever had) and started looking for a new job. I don't regret this. Actually, I had already been actively looking by this time. But I started broadening my standard. There is one other thing I wish I had done at this point. (Spoiler: this is when I should have talked to a lawyer.)

As I had come to expect being a regular HN reader: finding a new job as a senior developer of a certain age nowadays can be tough. Especially when you're outside a major tech hub and not able to easily relocate. After six month and a couple frustratingly close calls, I still didn't have a new job. Six month review comes around. New PIP. New bogus allegations. I was fuming. This is when my burnout peaked. It was affecting my sleep and I developed a weird hives-like rash on my the back of my legs.

I was ready to quit but a friend recommended talking to an employment lawyer she knew. So I scheduled a consultation. I wanted to know if I could sue for defamation or something like that since the claims management was making about my performance were completely unfounded and I could cite documentation, code, and project management records to demonstrate it. He told me to get real. If I couldn't demonstrate flagrant discriminate on the basis of a protected class (race, sex, or age), I was wasting his time and my money. My company could fire me at will and the only reason they were keeping me around was to "paper my file" so they could quash anything as silly as I what I was dreaming up.

However, he also advised me not to quit my job. That's just what my boss and HR were hoping I would do. He said unless they fired me "with cause", for which poor performance does not qualify, I should stick it out. That way I wouldn't give up my claims for unemployment or COBRA. He said they might even offer my a minimal severance when they let me go. So I resolved to stick around until they fired me. I also started to push back against my manager's harassment. I tried to be polite but firm. But I started openly using the term harassment in talking with him.

Once HR got wind that I had used that term, they were involved. There were meetings with our HR reps and mediated sitdowns with my boss. They even initiated something called a 360-degree review for my boss.

This lasted for another 2 or 3 months. The whole time I knew I was doomed but at least I now had the satisfaction of feeling like I was sticking up for myself and enjoying the chaos that was swirling around the team instead of feeling like I was suffering the brunt of it. Finally, one Friday afternoon, my boss and I got into a voluble debate about some trivial technical matter, some tests I was working on IIRC, that he had called me into his office to needle me about. Monday morning I was called into a conference room, where I found my boss and our HR rep waiting. My boss read a statement notifying me I was terminated immediately. I was walked back to my desk by the HR rep to collect my personal belonging and walked out of the building. I wasn't offered a severance. But I felt liberated. I signed up for Obamacare, kept my dental benefits under COBRA, and HR didn't challenge my unemployment claim. Rash disappeared after a couple months. It took me about 6 months to find a new job. And no joke that 6 months was tough. I had to work much harder at finding my new job than I ever did at my old job.

The one lesson I can offer from this experience, the one thing I wished I had done sooner: as soon as you think your boss is out for you, consult with an employment lawyer. It will be worth the $200-$300 it costs.

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hn2a76dc2a 17 hours ago 0 replies      
In the late 1990s I was on the top of the dot com world, I ran internet operations for an F100 company. I had 35 direct reports, over 1000 people spread throughout the company indirectly reported to me. I did it all: systems admin, networking, application development for front and back end. I advised the CEO and senior execs on our internet strategies, what companies to acquire, which ones to avoid.

I poured everything into that role, shunning personal relationships with all but a few very close friends.

I made the calculus that, like others in the same company before me, I'd put my time in and after 5-7 years I'd downshift roles. Write some papers, some patents, put everything I'd learned into product and service development.

Thing is, I didn't appreciate how much the company and company culture was changing even as I was helping drive that change.

The company changed from focusing on experience to certifications. Personal loyalties were almost frowned upon. If you were a technical professional you had to demonstrate that you filed for multiple patents per year (in my role I was actively discouraged from filing patents for corporate politics reasonsI could always file later).

In very short order I lost my team and lost my role. It turned out that while I was excellent at "internet stuff", I sucked at corporate politics. Once real money started being spent on infrastructure and applications I grew a target on my back large enough for its own corporate task force.

Multiple executives pulled me aside to tell me bluntly that I had no future at the company, but I didn't listen, I'd been there close to a decade, doing "internet stuff" most of that time, how could they throw that all away?

I got a consolation role in another organization at the company which lasted a year and then the entire organization was disbanded.

In parallel in my limited personal life, both of my parents were dying, with their deaths bracketing 9/11 by months on either side.

9/11 destroyed the neighborhood I had been living it.

By 2002 I walked away from all of it.

And I've mostly stayed away since then. I made quite a bit of money in the 1990s, not enough to be a VC, enough to semiretire.

Every now and then I resurface and work with a startup for awhile, but I just can't pour myself in anymore the way people expect. It's just a job. I hope the startup does well, but I've become too jaded.

I briefly tried raising money, but found VCs were turned off that I walked away from the 7x24 lifestyle and my conservative approach to growing a business did not comport with their goals for portfolio returns.

So, yeah, it was a meh experience. I remain surprised that I survived the final year of working insane hours for the company even as I knew that they would jettison me as soon as I was no longer capable of working 18 hour days 6 days a week.

I'm in a much better space mentally, but it took over a decade after that experience before I "felt better".

My family and personal relationships take priority, and I actively turn down gigs and new work if they conflict with that choice.

I don't really have any advice. I feel like I wasted a decade creating capital value for a company way out of proportion to my compensation. And another decade wasted "recovering" from rejection from that company.

I guess my only advice would be, when you do burn out figure out an acceptable cover story if you decide to ever return to tech. Recruiters & head hunters, let alone hiring managers, will avoid at all costs anyone who admits to having burned out.

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guestimation 17 hours ago 0 replies      
My first job was at a startup with ambitions wildly out of proportion with it's funding and leadership. From the time I started until the entire engineering staff quit/got laid off (~24 months), the CEO and COO hired and fired (or lost) 4 CTOs, 2 Directors of Engineering and 3 Sr. Engineers for offenses that ranged from disagreeing with project estimates to fomenting open revolt in the engineering team.

10 months into the job, CTO #3 had been forced out, DoE #2 had just turned in her resignation and we were completely unable to attract experienced engineers of any quality. COO assumed direct control of the engineers while marketing and sales kept themselves busy as "product people." I was looking for a new job and getting ready to jump ship when marketing and sales, giddy as children, came up with the idea of pivoting into EdTech. I was offered the chance to lead a small team in building out these new products and because I was a young engineer with ambitions wildly out of proportion with my experience and skills, I accepted. What resulted was the most stressful 10 months of my life. The hours (14-18 M-F and 10-12 on weekends) were doable but I was constantly second-guessed and undermined. My engineering teammates were all incredibly supportive and I would turn to the more senior guys for advice on navigating the technical landmines but it was a war everyday with everyone else. We had market research from parents, students, teachers and school administrators that would be ignored by the product guys in favor of "instinct." We had UI/UX designs that we paid for that were ignored in favor of "I like this better though." I can't even count the number of times I had "If I had asked my customers what they wanted, they would have told me a faster horse" quoted at me. I had marketing guys bully their way onto our sprint boards so they could move their half-baked, pet features onto the top of the pile. I had sales guys promising clients features that weren't even possible given our budget and deadlines.

I finally broke and set up some rules, some bullshit and some good, so we could make some progress. For starters, my team took over our main conference room and kept it locked. I told them to ignore any form of communication about the project from anyone that wasn't based out of the conference room. I would cancel or skip all internal meetings with sales and marketing and would only attend meetings one-on-one with the COO. I made sure that no one went on a sales call for the product we were building unless one of the team was on the call with them. I would monitor our sprint boards to see what features were being pushed up on the sly. And then I would delete them. In the end we managed to push out a fairly polished product (really nice beta) with about a quarter of all the promised features. Our clients did end up buying it but no one really loved it and no one really hated it. I quit 4 months later when I was asked if I was interested in leading the team to build out more features.

The entire experience was terrible during but I kept going because I thought it would look nice on my CV (it does). I took six months off to "crawl back to reality" as you put it and realized halfway through that there was no reality to crawl back to because I had lived reality in all it's HD, 4K shitty goodness. Sometimes when people are assholes you can be a bigger asshole back and win and sometimes you can't. That's all there is to it.

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HillaryBriss 15 hours ago 0 replies      
i know the request here is for the spectacular, but sometimes burnout is a low-grade smoldering, a background process that lasts for years and ends with a dull retreat from the furious confusion. without some creative (and fictitious) adornments the story is a bore.

but maybe that's ok. sometimes life is more exciting than it needs to be.

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sandworm101 11 hours ago 0 replies      
Lawyer. 8 years in IT/privacy/compliance consulting, mostly startups. Tired of ratrace. Applied to armed forces to become JAG officer. Took all thier apptitude tests. "Want to be a pilot?"... hell yes. Now a 2lt finished basic and waiting for flight school. Of i fail as pilot ill become jag. Never felt more relaxed.
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dilemma 9 hours ago 0 replies      
Looking at the answers here the common point is, expectedly, overwork. It is obvious why this causes burn out but there are a couple of reasons why you should not overwork that are not so obvious.

To handle stress and not burn out, you need:

1) A sense of self. You need to not just understand but to feel that no matter what happens at the office, and even if things go wrong, you'll be OK. You do this by having a life outside of work - friends and a social life not connected to your workplace or even industry, hobbies or side projects that give you confidence outside of your professional life, and people who care about you for non-professional reasons.

2) To compartmentalize. Work is work, and just part of your life. While it cannot be completely so, what happens at work shouldn't affect your outside life in too large a degree. Success at work should bring you some kind of satisfaction, and failure should make you reconsider your choices, but not to a too large extent. You can only compartmentalize if you have the things in 1); you need more than 1 thing that is important to you in your life.

If you overwork, you can't have 1) because you simple don't have the time or energy to cultivate it; you can't compartmentalize and leave work at the office, and work pressure will cause negative stress in all aspects of your life, resulting in burn out.

Even in high-level positions you should aim to stick to a 9-5 schedule as much as possible because otherwise you won't have the mental energy to be effective.

38
fweespeech 18 hours ago 2 replies      
3
Ask HN: How JetBrains with just 500 employees can do this all?
28 points by edpichler  20 hours ago   17 comments top 10
1
peoplewindow 15 hours ago 2 replies      
Very experienced and skilled devs. Plus they build everything on the Java platform and always have, so they get a big productivity boost over many companies that use less effective tools.

Also, not VC backed. A 'real' company, that actually makes money because people buy their products. Our expectations of how many developers are needed for things is inflated by the prevalence of unprofitable venture backed firms that over hire.

2
rl3 14 hours ago 0 replies      
I love JetBrains, but that number isn't that impressive. If you were to assume only half of that 500 were actual developers, that's still 13 developers per each product you listed. All of their products tend to use the same core technology as well.

Consider that Todd Howard's team that built Skyrim consisted of roughly 100 people.

Epic Games employed 250 people as of 2016. Most of those are not developers. Yet, their Unreal Engine 4 changelogs are mind blowing:

https://docs.unrealengine.com/latest/INT/Support/Builds/inde...

3
quantummkv 5 hours ago 0 replies      
All of their complex products are actually plugins on top of a single base called the intellij Platform(which is open source). Any changes they make to it automatically percolate to all their products. This allows them to keep small teams for every product that focus only on the specific language plugin.
4
traviswingo 19 hours ago 1 reply      
How many people do you think it takes to make a single product? From what you listed, they average 26 employees per product. The products aren't released at the same time. Most of their products are the same, with minor differences depending on the language they're supporting. IMO they have too many employees...
5
xiaoma 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Look at how much more Microsoft did before reaching 500 employees. They wrote not only compilers and languages, but also games and productivity apps for poorly documented platforms and even OSes.

Jetbrains is doing well for themselves, but it's far from unprecedented.

6
dasmoth 5 hours ago 0 replies      
The linked Wiki page now says 700 (looks like it was updated fairly shortly after this was posted).

I'm curious how this breaks down between developers, customer support, marketing, and admin. My guess is that developers might be a fairly small fraction of he 700...

7
Zekio 20 hours ago 1 reply      
Most of the Products are basically IntelliJ IDEA with only features pointed at a specific language, so you have a smaller install really
8
dsacco 16 hours ago 0 replies      
That's about the amount of employees I'd expect, actually. You might be surprised at how many products or engineering initiatives can be accomplished by an efficient 300-500 person team.
9
LoSboccacc 3 hours ago 0 replies      
"Just"
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netspider 20 hours ago 0 replies      
Hi they all based on intellij ide platform
4
Ask HN: Current state of cross-plattform native app developement
5 points by KabuseCha  16 hours ago   3 comments top 3
1
snyp 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Since its a small team and its your first app just a PWA is gonna take you a long way while trying to understand product market fit and simply to see if users like your product. Case in point checkout out Missive email app, everything is html/css (no frameworks) and it performs really well on all platforms (sometimes even better than react native), i think they're a 2 person team
2
jwilliams 9 hours ago 0 replies      
I'd recommend starting with what you know best. PWA/Webview is a decent place to start for many as it's a quick learning curve.

If the application takes off, usually you'll drop the cross-platform approach and re-write in the native variants - IMHO obviously. In that lens you're better off iterating quickly and then diving into specific native builds. I'm sure there are many that will disagree.

If you know React really well, then React Native might make more sense. Weex is good if you're coming from Vue, but the technology is still relatively new (and documentation is light).

3
ghuntley 13 hours ago 0 replies      
5
Made a Drag n' Drop Bot-building Platform, but No Time to Manage it
8 points by mrcabada  18 hours ago   1 comment top
1
nmstoker 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Looks good, I wish you luck bringing it to market successfully.

You might want to have someone look over the language on the documentation pages as there a lots of subtle (and not so subtle!) mistakes: https://talkbot.io/docs?/Introduction-0/What-is-a-bot?-1

6
Ask HN: What mistakes in your experience does management keep making?
437 points by oggyfredcake  3 days ago   373 comments top 15
1
Boothroid 3 days ago 8 replies      
* Zero career direction and zero technical speciality for devs

* Underestimation of difficulty whether through cynicism (burn the devs) or cluelessness

* Inadequate training and expectation devs can just piggy back learning technology x from scratch whilst writing production software using it

* Trying to use one off contracts as a way of building resellable products

* Insistence that all devs time must be billable and trying to defy gravity in ignoring skills rot etc. through lack of investment in training

* Expectation that devs can be swapped between technologies without problems

* Swapping people in and out of projects as if this will not affect progress

* Deliberate hoarding of information as a means of disempowering devs

All of this inevitably leads to a bunch of pissed off devs. The ones that are happy to eat it become the golden boys and get promotions. Those that point out the bullshit leave once they can and are replaced with the desperate at the bottom who sooner or later arrive at the same position of wanting to leave once they realise what's going on. I think tech can be pretty miserable if you are not in the upper echelon of lucky types that can score a position at a Google, Facebook etc.

Oh and a couple more:

* Give no feedback unless things go wrong

* Treat your highly educated, intelligent and motivated devs like children by misusing agile in order to micromanage them

2
jerf 2 days ago 6 replies      
I'll add one that even after 200 comments I don't see: Failure to explain the reason why. Coming down to their developer with a list of tasks without explaining why those tasks are the most important and will lead to company success.

You might think startups are small enough that this couldn't happen but that was actually where my worst experience was. The founders are visibly in a meeting with a couple people, maybe "suits", maybe not. They come out of the meeting and the next day your priorities are rewritten. Cool beans, that's a thing that can happen and that's not my issue. My issue is, why? What are the goals we are trying to hit now? What's the plan? Why is that better than the old plan?

This is especially important IMHO for more senior engineers responsible for architecture and stuff, because those matters can greatly affect the architecture. Telling me why lets me start getting a grasp on what parts of the code are long term and what can be considered a short term hack, what the scaling levels I need to shoot for, and all sorts of other things that are very hard to determine if you just come to me with "And actually, our customers need a new widget to frozzle the frobazz now more than they need to dopple the dipple now."

Not necessarily the biggest issue, there's a lot of other suggestions here that are probably bigger in most places, but this is one that has frustrated me.

(I'll also say this is one you may be able to help fix yourself, simply by asking. If you are in that senior role I think you pretty much have a professional obligation to ask, and I would not be shy about working that into the conversation one way or another.)

3
muzani 3 days ago 4 replies      
* Killing things that are low profit margins, under some misguided Pareto Principle approach. Sometimes these things are loss leaders designed to pull customers for other products.

* Spending too much on marketing/sales before people want the product. They usually just end up burning their brand if the product is too low quality.

* Too much focus on building multiple small features rather than focusing on the value proposition.

* Trying to negotiate deadlines for product development. "We don't have two months to finish this. Let's do this in one." In software estimation, there's the estimate, the target, and the commitment. If the commitment and estimate are far off, it should be questioned why, not negotiated.

* Hiring two mediocre developers at half the salary of one good developer. They usually can't solve problems past a certain treshhold.

* Importing tech talent, rather than promoting. Usually the people who have built the product have a better understanding of the tech stack than someone else they import.

* Startups that rely on low quality people to skimp on the budget. These people later form the DNA of the company and make it difficult to improve, if they're not the type who improve themselves.

4
stickfigure 3 days ago 25 replies      
I've never met a manager that wouldn't rather pay four average people $100/hr to solve a problem that one smart person could solve in half the time for $400/hr.

There seems to be some sort of quasi-religious belief in the fundamental averageness of humans; consequently the difference between developer salaries at any company varies by maybe 50%, whereas the productivity varies by at least a full order of magnitude.

Until "management" realizes this, the only way that a developer on the upper end of the productivity scale can capture their value is to found their own company. I sometimes wonder what would happen if some company simply offered to pay 3X the market rate and mercilessly filter the results.

5
JamesLeonis 3 days ago 3 replies      
Want to jump ahead a few years from Mythical Man-Month? Let me recommend Peopleware by Tom DeMarco and Tim Lister.[2] It's painful that we haven't crawled far out of the 80s practices.

The first chapter says: "The major problems of our work are not so much technological as sociological in nature." Sorry Google Memo Dude. DeMarco and Lister called it in the 80s.

Speaking of DeMarco, he also wrote a book about controlling software projects before Peopleware. Then in 2009 he denounced it. [1]

 To understand controls real role, you need to distinguish between two drastically different kinds of projects: * Project A will eventually cost about a million dollars and produce value of around $1.1 million. * Project B will eventually cost about a million dollars and produce value of more than $50 million. Whats immediately apparent is that control is really important for Project A but almost not at all important for Project B. This leads us to the odd conclusion that strict control is something that matters a lot on relatively useless projects and much less on useful projects. It suggests that the more you focus on control, the more likely youre working on a project thats striving to deliver something of relatively minor value.
I always think about that when I'm doing a Sprint Review.

[1]: https://www.computer.org/cms/Computer.org/ComputingNow/homep...[2]: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peopleware:_Productive_Project...

6
lb1lf 3 days ago 6 replies      
Working for a company building heavy hardware, I see the following happen time and time again:

* Reorganizing seemingly for the sake of reorganizing. Result: Every time the new organization has settled somewhat and people know who to interact with to make things flow smoothly, everything is upended and back to square one.

* Trying to make our products buzzword compliant without understanding the consequences - we've on occasion been instructed to incorporate technologies which are hardly fit for purpose simply because 'everyone else is doing it' (Where 'everyone' is the companies featured in whatever magazine the CEO leafed through on his latest flight. Yes, I exaggerate a bit for effect.)

* Misguided cost savings; most of what hardware we use, we buy in small quantities - say, a few hundred items a year, maximum. Yet purchasing are constantly measured on whether they are able to source an 'equivalent' product at a lower price. Hence, we may find ourselves with a $20,000 unit being replaced by a $19,995 one - order quantity, 5/year - and spend $10,000 on engineering hours to update templates, redo interfaces &c.

* Assuming a man is a man is a man and that anyone is easily and quickly replaceable (except management, of course) - and not taking the time and productivity loss associated with training new colleagues into account.

Edit: An E-mail just landed in my inbox reminding me of another:

* Trying to quantify anything and everything, one focuses on the metrics which are easy to measure, rather than the ones which matter. As a result, the organization adapts and focuses on the metrics being measured, not the ones which matter - with foreseeable consequences for productivity.

7
ChuckMcM 3 days ago 4 replies      
There are some very common ones;

* Building a one more generation of product than the market supports (so you build a new version when the market has moved on to something new).

* Rewarding productivity over quality.

* Managing to a second order effect. For example when Nestle' bought Dryers they managed to 'most profit per gallon' which rewarded people who substituted inferior (and cheaper) components, that lead to lower overall sales and that leads to lower overall revenue. Had they managed to overall revenue they might have caught the decline sooner.

* Creating environments where nobody trusts anyone else and so no one is honest. Leads to people not understanding the reality of a situation until the situation forces the disconnect into the mainstream.

* Rewarding popular popular employees differently than rank and file. Or generally unevenly enforcing or applying standards.

* Tolerating misbehavior out of fear of losing an employee. If I could fire anyone in management who said, "Yeah but if we call them on it they will quit! See what a bind that puts us in?" I believe the world would be a better place.

There are lots of things, that is why there are so many management books :-)

8
sulam 3 days ago 3 replies      
I have held management and non-management careers in roughly equal proportion over my career. My list would look like this:

1) believing you can dramatically change the performance of an employee -- it's very rare to save someone and less experienced managers always believe they can.

1.5) corollary to the above: not realizing the team is aware and waiting for you to fix the problem and won't thank you for taking longer to do what's necessary.

2) believing that people don't know what you're thinking -- people see you coming a mile off.

3) thinking you can wait to fix a compensation problem until the next comp review -- everyone waits too long on these.

4) believing HR when they tell you that you can't do something that's right for your team -- what they're really saying is that you have to go up the ladder until you find someone who can force them to make an exception.

5) not properly prioritizing the personal/social stuff -- at least this is my personal failing, and why ultimately management has not stuck for me.

6) believing your technical opinion matters -- I've seen way too many VP's making technical decisions that they are too far from the work to make, trust your team!

It'd be fun to see a list of these from the non-management point of view. I'd start off with the inverse of #6 above:

1) believing your technical opinion matters -- the business is what ultimately matters.

9
tboyd47 2 days ago 5 replies      
Trying to write code alongside their devs.

Here's what happens when a manager tries to fill tickets himself: his sense of control of the project is derived not from relationships of trust and cooperation with his reports, but from direct involvement in the code. So naturally, any challenging or critical piece of code ends up getting written by him (because otherwise, how could he be confident about it?)

The manager is essentially holding two jobs at once so they end up working late or being overly stressed at work.

The devs will feel intimidated to make architecture decisions, because they know if they do something their manager doesn't like, it will get refactored.

They will also feel as if they are only given the "grunt work" as all the challenging work is taken on by their manager.

The code itself is in a constant state of instability because there is a tension between the manager needing the other employees' help to get the code written on time, while also needing to have that complete control and mastery over the code that can only come from writing it yourself. So people's work gets overwritten continually.

This is very bad and it's very common - managers should learn to delegate as that is an essential part of their job. If they can't delegate they should remain as an individual contributor and not move into management.

10
ideonexus 2 days ago 3 replies      
The biggest recurring issue I have with my managers over the last twenty years is their need to add unnecessary complexity to projects. I think a good manager stays out of the way and just monitors employees for any obstructions that are preventing them from meeting their goals. Yet, my experience is that when a manager sits in on a project meeting, they can't help but start giving input on the project itself, adding complexity to defined business rules or adding obscure use cases to the system. Too many managers can't help but dominate meetings because their dominant personalities is how they became managers in the first place.

The worst is when you get two or more managers attending the same meeting. Then nothing will get done as they eat up all of the meeting time arguing about business rules, magnifying the complexity of the system until you end up with some Rube Goldberg chain of logic that they will completely forget minutes after they've left the meeting. A good manager knows to trust their employees and only intervenes to make sure those employees have the resources they need to do their jobs. The most effective managers are humble and respect the expertise of the experts they hire.

11
alexandercrohde 3 days ago 2 replies      
- Trying to "create a buzz" around the office, asking for a "sense of urgency," and other things that result in an illusion of productivity.

- Focusing on fixing problems, rather than preventing problems

- Acting as yes-men to bad upper-management strategy, thereby creating a layer of indirection between the people who think it's a good plan vs the engineers who can explain why it's not quite that easy

- Trying to use software tools (e.g. Jira's burndown charts) to quantitatively/"objectively" measure engineers

12
mychael 3 days ago 0 replies      
A few patterns I've seen:

* Preaching about the virtues of a flat organizational structure, but making unilateral decisions.

* Hiring people for a particular challenging job, but have them work on menial unchallenging tasks.

* Creating multiple layers of management for a tiny team.

* Facilitating post mortems that would be better facilitated by a neutral third party.

* Using vague management speak as a deliberate strategy to never be held responsible for anything.

* Rewarding politics with promotions.

* Marginalizing experienced employees.

* Talking too much about culture.

* Trying to be the company thought leader instead of helping people do their best work.

* Assuming that everyone underneath you views you as a career mentor.

* Negging employees.

* New hire managers: Firing incumbent employees after youve only been on the job for a few weeks.

* New hire managers: Not doing 1:1s with everyone who reports to you.

* New hire managers: Create sweeping changes like re-orgs after a few weeks on the job.

* New hire managers: Doing things a certain way because it worked well at a previous company.

* New hire managers: Changing office work hours to suit your personal life.

13
greenyoda 3 days ago 2 replies      
Promoting technical people with no management experience into management jobs, without providing them with any training or guidance. (Happened to me.) Writing code and managing people require very different sets of skills, and just because you're good at the former doesn't necessarily mean you'll be any good at the latter (or that you'll enjoy doing it).

(Similar problems can happen when a bunch of people with no management skills decide to found a company and start hiring people.)

14
redleggedfrog 3 days ago 1 reply      
The worst mistake I've seen management make over 20 years of software development is not listening to the technical people.

Estimates get shortened. Technical decisions are overruled for business or political reason. Warnings about undesirable outcomes are ignored. Sheer impossibility deemed surmountable.

I feel this is the worst mistake by management because the technical people are the ones who suffer for it. Overtime, inferior software, frustration, technical debt, lack of quality, are all things management doesn't really care about because they can always just push people harder to get what they want.

15
cbanek 3 days ago 2 replies      
Overly optimistic schedules. Even with a known gelled team, being constantly overscheduled is a nightmare. You cut corners, and are always stressed and tired. Other teams that believe the optimistic schedules may become angry or blocked on you. Over time this just leads to burnout, but since nobody seems to stay anywhere for very long, nobody seems to care.
7
Ask HN: Any blockchain lawyers in the Bay Area?
5 points by HD134606c  14 hours ago   3 comments top 3
1
jwilliams 9 hours ago 0 replies      
Cooley LLP has a number of people dedicated to blockchain and digital currency:https://www.linkedin.com/in/marco-santori-7ab37b28/

https://www.cooley.com/news/coverage/2016/2016-11-03-acclaim...

Never dealt with them, but a place to start.

2
fern12 14 hours ago 0 replies      
He's not in the Bay area, but you might try this guy:https://www.linkedin.com/in/provencounsel/

I have not worked with him. Caveat emptor.

3
gt_ 14 hours ago 0 replies      
Aaaand it begins
8
Ask HN: Did you learn a language online? How fluent are you now?
9 points by superasn  14 hours ago   5 comments top 3
1
superasn 14 hours ago 1 reply      
After playing Duolingo for almost 345 days straight and completing the course (english to french) I tried watching a french TV channel today and i couldn't even understand one single sentence.

I feel that while I have learnt a few basic words it's very difficult to get any fluency using such an app.

I guess the best way to learn a new language is to directly immerse yourself into the environment but that's not possible for me. So I was wondering what other ways are there to learn a new language and what worked for you..

2
oblib 14 hours ago 1 reply      
I learned Javascript and a bit of Python online, but I'd learned Perl years before that by reading the O`Reilly books.

What works for me is learning on a "need to know" basis. JS and Python are not so different than Perl, and most all languages have common traits and features so it comes down to learning syntax a lot of times.

I am not very fluent. I reference APIs and sample code, and head to Stackoverflow for answers a lot, but only when I need to and I don't hesitate when I need to because you can waste a lot of time doing that.

3
Mz 9 hours ago 0 replies      
My mother says her English became fluent from watching American TV. So, I will suggest you look for subtitled videos online in the target language.

There is a large difference between spoken and written. If you want to be able to converse in it, you need to develop an ear for it. I have an ear for German, which I never studied in school. I never developed an ear for French, though I studied it in both high school and college. I can make conversation in German. I can read and writes little French, but trying to verbally exchange pleasantries in French is hard.

Decide what your goal is. Realize that understanding is easier than replying, both verbally and in writing.

9
Ask HN: How often do you unplug?
21 points by wu-ikkyu  1 day ago   20 comments top 17
1
amerine 1 day ago 2 replies      
I decided a few years ago that I was tired of being fat, so I started working out. Fast forward to today... I'm still fat (dieting is the trick folks, you can't burn an extra 700-1000 calories a day while using that "deficit" as a reason to enjoy that dessert and get to a healthy weight) but I usually walk about 7 miles a day (thanks Apple Watch for the effortless tracking), every day. During that time I will listen to an audio book. Sometimes I just spend the time thinking about hard problems in whatever project I'm working on, but most often I enjoy a book.

Listening to book on that walk is how I unplug and is probably the best habit I've ever picked up. I'm 40lbs lighter, probably 100 or so books better read and have a nice collection of destroyed Nike trophies.

2
kradeelav 1 day ago 0 replies      
(a) Insisted on having a dumbphone after college; and it helps immensely in this regard - still get text and calls without the notification spam.

(b) Recently settled on a plan of spending ~30 minutes after work explicitly checking social media/net stuff, but removing the firefox icon from my sidebar/dock after that. Not having that icon there gives just enough friction that I'll end up in a calmer loop of doing digital artwork (my second job) or wandering off to read. Any important emails gets taken care of during dead time at the day-job, or pre-written in textedit.

3
nxsynonym 1 day ago 0 replies      
Daily.

I have a studio-based art hobby, and have made it habit to spend 1-2 hours daily in there free from internet,phones,and TV (music is ok tho). More time spent on weekends when I can fit it into my schedule.

It does wonders for my anxiety and stress levels, sort of like a brain nap without sleeping.

I would spend more time daily, but work and life get in the way.

I also try to read for 30mins-1hr at the end of the day, but by the time I get to it I usually fall asleep quickly.

4
neilsharma 1 day ago 1 reply      
I turn off all devices an hour or so before bed every day. Realized it takes about that long to calm down and focus; staring at a screen usually means having my attention pulled in various directions every few seconds. I usually sleep better as a result too, and it gives me time to properly wind down my day (read a book, stretch, meditate, etc).

I also exercise quite a bit as well, but don't really consider that to unplugging -- it feels more like plugging myself into fitness + outdoors, which feels like another form of work tbh.

5
thisone 1 day ago 0 replies      
My devices don't distract me.

I'm neither popular enough on Twitter or Facebook to be receiving notifications on a regular basis.

I have no need to get slack notifications unless I'm directly @'d and that's rare.

I don't belong to any WhatsApp group, because that's bloody annoying.

So, no. No need to switch off. I can carry on about my day, phone at my side and it only bings at me if it's actually important.

6
cweagans 1 day ago 0 replies      
I have one day per week where I'm not connected at all. It was very difficult for the first few weeks, but it meant that I have time for other hobbies. I've taken up woodworking and read quite a few books that I've been meaning to get to for a while. My overall happiness is up from when I started, and my productivity on my normal days is up too.
7
Tevunah 1 day ago 0 replies      
Every week for Shabbat (25 hours from Friday night).

Only notification I get is using my cell phone as an alarm clock that auto-dismisses after 5 seconds.

I go to Temple in the morning and evening. Read both religious and secular books. Nap and if the weather is nice a walk in the forest nearby.

8
wingerlang 1 day ago 0 replies      
Literally never unless my iPad of iPhone dies while I'm on the toilet or such scenarios.
9
bsharitt 1 day ago 0 replies      
I unplug as a part of my usual routine. when I get home from work my phone gets put upstairs in my bedroom (and is essentially an alarm clock until the next day). For entertainment, I will use my computer as a TV(Netflix, etc), but most of my other entertainment is non-computerized. I read paper books, I've largely replaced video games with various tabletop games like boardgames, d&d and Warhammer with the last item there leading into another nondigital hobby of miniature painting and modeling.

So my evenings are usually unplugged, at least from interactive computer stuff, but still making allowances for TV and music.

10
marssaxman 1 day ago 0 replies      
I just leave my phone on silent mode most of the time, and look at it when I want to see what's up. I don't use the facebook app, or use Twitter at all, so the only notifications I get are for text messages.
11
wreath 1 day ago 0 replies      
I need to have some time off between work and whatever else I'm planning for the evening. I usually go for walk (either walk from the office to my place, or after i go home) and during this time I don't check my phone or listen to anything.

The other activity is listening to music. Fully. I bought a turntable last year and that changed my listening habit. I usually put on a record and give it all my focus, almost like meditation.

12
PascLeRasc 1 day ago 0 replies      
My hobbies are playing bass and cycling, and I really try to keep them analog - I don't want a bike computer or tracking app, and I don't care about recording myself or digital modulation. It's stayed just as fun as 6-7 years ago when I got into both of these things. I'm pretty much the same way with cooking, which recently evolved from a necessity to a hobby. All my friends love their rice cookers but I find them really hard to use and I don't want to watch a screen to see when my rice will be done.
13
jwilliams 1 day ago 0 replies      
I wish I could say I was good at this habit. I tend to stick to it and then have lapses.

Ideally a full day off every week. Day off means a hike or a real disconnect. Being in San Francisco it's good to get out of the city and remind yourself of how beautiful Northern California is.

14
michalpt 1 day ago 0 replies      
Surfing. Nothing better for me than having a 2-4 hours surfing session and then return back to my computer with a clear head.
15
j45 1 day ago 0 replies      
Time away from the screen tends to greatly increase my effectiveness when back at a keyboard and screen.
16
taf2 1 day ago 0 replies      
Never
17
SirLJ 1 day ago 0 replies      
walking (or biking) outside with my wife and just talking about stuff is the best way I find to unplug...

Just add, also around the pool in the evenings with a beer or a little cocktail again just talking and no electronic and no music even...

Before when the kids were younger the best was sports few times a week (hockey, basketball, soccer, football) - it was just great, raw emotions, etc :-)

10
Why does Apple bundle the Yahoo Stock App as a default feature?
3 points by hbarka  17 hours ago   3 comments top 3
1
dawie 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Still. Why does apple use the yahoo data feed for its default app? It's shit.
2
schappim 10 hours ago 0 replies      
Apple does not bundle the Yahoo Stock App.
3
minimaxir 17 hours ago 0 replies      
The native Stock app is made by Apple; it just uses Yahoo data.
12
Ask HN: What mistakes in your experience do the people you manage keep making?
34 points by blahman2  2 days ago   21 comments top 9
1
luckydude 2 days ago 2 replies      
Being stupid about compensation was a pattern when I was managing.

Want people to be happy? Give them no benefits, no health care, no 401K, no bonuses, and plow all of that into salary. People would rather have bragging rights about how much they make. Doesn't matter if you point out that they get a bigger package when the employer pays the health care (if the employee pays then they pay with after tax money).

It is mind blowing to realize that people that are way smarter than me are stupid about money. But I've definitely seen that pattern.

I ignored what they wanted and gave them good health care, did 2:1 match into their 401K, and did bonuses so we didn't get double taxed (corporate and personal).

2
mtmail 2 days ago 0 replies      
Side-stepping management and complaining to the HR department. The HR department's job is to protect and side with the company. Often enough they will call or email the manager asking "what's going on with employee XY" and sometimes even forward the full complaint email to management. Unless there's serious misconduct (e.g. sexual harassment, fraud) expect little privacy.
3
slv77 2 days ago 0 replies      
Assuming that leaders are promoted to mangement first and then they lead rather than they lead first and then they are promoted to management.
4
matt_s 1 day ago 0 replies      
This one will be harder since you have had to manage people to get some anecdotes. Its much easier (and fun) to poke fun at management. I used to manage people, doing SW engineering now and enjoying the "freedom".

* Assuming that the I (as a mgr) am in charge of their career. As a manager I can coach you but you have to have some sort of goal other than "be employed". Take some initiative.

* Thinking that pure technical merit of an idea will magically sell it to me (manager) and above.

* Under estimating the effort to get something complete.

* Not talking to people. If you go back n forth a couple times via email or chat and can't resolve something, talk in person. Before you complain to me about another person or team, please have at least talked to them first.

5
jwilliams 2 days ago 0 replies      
If people you manage are consistently making the same mistakes... I think that reflects back on the manager more than the individuals.

Thinking more broadly - I think a very positive behavior in employees is actively seeking and integrating feedback. Many people have a mindset where feedback comes to them. Being proactive on this front can be be really transformative.

6
segmondy 2 days ago 1 reply      
The one that I've seen and mostly righted is them thinking that the direction of their career is my or the companies responsibilities. It's not, but I still drive them and advocate for them to grow on behalf of the company. I tell them that if they find themselves in a different environment, they might find a company or manager that cares about them and their growth. They must find ways to be self driven and drive their growth and keep learning. Learning only during projects is not enough, one must step ahead of the pack or get left behind.
7
danreed07 1 day ago 0 replies      
I read a few comments on the other thread. So much of the output fall's on management's shoulder to clarify, motivate, and inspire.

Thinking over my stint at running a few teams, so long as we hired well, there was literally nothing I could complain about, but there were infinitely many more shortcomings I could see in myself.

8
PeachPlum 2 days ago 0 replies      
That meetings are an open mic comedy venue.
9
AnimalMuppet 2 days ago 1 reply      
Not running the tests before checking code in.

(Disclaimer: I don't actually manage them. I'm kind of a lead, but nothing more.)

13
Ask YC: What happened to the YC Research new cities project?
19 points by awwstn  1 day ago   1 comment top
1
sctb 1 day ago 0 replies      
Yes, there have been some developments and the project is definitely active. There should be more public information coming out soon.
14
Ask HN: Anyone else scratching their heads about coin offerings?
109 points by curtkobain  21 hours ago   63 comments top 28
1
shp0ngle 20 hours ago 2 replies      
There are no rules in general. There is an ERC20 standard, but that is basically "shared API" that all the tokens agree on, and that was created organically. Before ERC standard, people made up their own interfaces to tokens; now, they have a shared API. But these are technical rules. There are no other rules; everyone can create a token and dump it online, with no rules.

The discussions are taking place on Ethereum reddit, I suppose, or maybe on other Ethereum-related subreddits and forums.

Those forums are usually hives of scum and villainy, as you would expect. Scammers scamming other scammers.

Because of existing code, making a new token is relatively easy; you take an existing one and change some variables. Yes, it doesn't do anything useful, but it doesn't need to; you just need a pretty website, where you put """"whitepaper"""" and a pretty photos and some """graphs""", repeat the word "decentralized" a few time and you are ready to dump.

Since there is no regulation, those things are popping up one after the other. Want to create HackerNewsCoin for a new decentralized platform for programming discussion? Why not. Promise a release date for a very vaguely described project, far along in the future that everyone forgets by then, and you are all set. Does it make sense? No, but you get rich out of other people wanting to get rich.

Unlike with investing, there is no actual value being made here. Just people wanting to get rich quickly. There is no substance, just scams on top of scams.

2
keithwhor 20 hours ago 4 replies      
I'm just going to drop this in here, this is a quote from Patrick McKenzie during a live chat on Product Hunt [1] that John Collison tweeted out back in April [2]. It's an answer to: "What is one thing you believe that others disagree with you on?"

It's a pretty cynical view, but worth digesting.

> The fundamental innovation in Bitcoin the social dynamics of the gold rush phase, which distribute cryptocurrency tokens widely for almost free. This creates a self-organized distributed boiler room to market Bitcoin. Bitcoin needs nothing else to get as big as it has; this is convenient because it has nothing else. Bitcoin has no utility as a means of transaction or a store of value. The blockchain is the world's worst database. The long line of very smart people on the other side of this bet have been scammed, are scamming, or both. Bitcoin will, accordingly, go to zero with the inevitability of gravity.

[1] https://cards.producthunt.com/cards/comments/452743?v=1

[2] https://twitter.com/collision/status/850454173384454144

3
macNchz 20 hours ago 0 replies      
I think there is a non-trivial amount of money laundering happening through these thingsthe new markets, wider selection and total lack of regulation of cryptocurrencies give people more avenues to mask the source and destination of money. There is so much money out there that people want to move but can't because of where it came from, government controls, taxes etc.
4
infiniteparamtr 20 hours ago 1 reply      
It doesn't make sense to me. I thought BTC was supposed to decentralize currency. One currency to rule them all. Having dozens of different ones that fluctuate like this seem counter-intuitive.

Sure, it's still decentralized. But now in order to buy things, we'll have to realize some sort of standardization. Of course, there are things like the Pot Coin, which obviously has only been deployed for a certain purpose.

So maybe everything is relative to BTC anyways, just specialized for different markets.

Apologies for the stream-of-consciousness format.

5
hendzen 20 hours ago 0 replies      
Honestly, none of these ICO's are generating any real value yet. What is a widely used product that has been funded by an ICO?

Even 0x is a protocol for trading tokens. That implies you need tokens worth trading...

ICO madness is just a symptom of the crypto bubble. Which is itself a symptom of the tech bubble. Who do you think is buying into all these cryptocurrency assets - Software engineers and other tech employees with a large amount of disposable income due to the meteoric rise in tech salaries.

6
kanzure 21 hours ago 0 replies      
I wouldn't go as far as to compare the minds behind ICOs to the people involved on LKML.

The linux kernel developers that have jumped ship from LKML to bitcoin can be found on the bitcoin-dev mailing list: https://lists.linuxfoundation.org/mailman/listinfo/bitcoin-d...

Also, bitcoin/linux developers should not be blamed for these ICOs -- many of these schemes are totally unrelated and would just as easily be using centralized databases for their shares.

Altcoins exploded in 2013 with their initial offerings listed here: https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?board=159.0

.. and since then you can go look up "ERC20" and find some Slack stuff.

8
pavlov 20 hours ago 2 replies      
My feeling is that the success of ICOs is a side effect of the meteoric rise in value of Bitcoin and Ethereum.

There are many people who have become virtual currency millionaires. At that point anyone would be looking to diversify. Purchasing traditional assets would mean paying taxes on the coins. Purchasing ICOs just diversifies your coin holdings into an even more speculative asset class.

9
FTA 20 hours ago 0 replies      
Though the following may not answer many of your questions, I found these three videos to be very illuminating in regards to the blockchain and ICO processes and futures. They really helped me because I knew next to nothing about the whole field but saw lots of talk on social media and wanted to learn more.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o1mkxci6vvo Investment Panel with Naval Ravikant, Meltem Demirors, and Garry Tan

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OnHRnlrO6bQ Payments Panel with Balaji Srinivasan, Elizabeth Stark, and Ryan Charles

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IrSn3zx2GbM A conversation with Naval Ravikant (who is very prescient in this field)

10
probe 20 hours ago 0 replies      
While I'm not part of any, I have heard from members of the existence of underground slack and FB groups of fairly sophisticated investors and early adopters (obv now all closed to public).

Some money is also from investors escaping currency devaluations or restrictions (ex. China). I've heard of quant traders who are porting public equity algos to crypto. Naval R. Also Said on a recent podcast that some cryptocurrency traders meet in person to do trades too.

Would be interested in hearing what other things people have heard (or can confirm). I have a feeling some big whales(or syndicates) are participating in market making bc of the small caps of some of these coins, and that may cause a lot of boom-busts. Regardless, I'm still really bullish on crypto/blockchain as a whole though!

11
cslarson 20 hours ago 0 replies      
Discussion happens on the two main Ethereum related subreddits: https://www.reddit.com/r/ethtrader/ and https://www.reddit.com/r/ethereum. At ethtrader, as a community, we've recently had an effort to put forward a set of criteria for evaluating ICOs, a test example of which is https://np.reddit.com/r/ethtrader/comments/6tg8up/ethtrader_...
12
TaylorGood 20 hours ago 2 replies      
Also keep in mind the growth of Cryptocurrency as a whole. New wealth is being created and reinvested.

For example, I participated in a token offering 18 months ago which has produced a sizable value. I then took 20% of the gain and spread it across new token offerings.

At scale, think of everyone whom invested in Bitcoin early and Ethereum at the ICO. Their gains are used to reinvest into the crypto ecosystem at the earliest stages, thus, keeping their fortunes regenerating and growing.

13
michaelbuckbee 20 hours ago 0 replies      
I don't have a good sense for the size of the ecosystem. I had assumed that 1.5Bil of some ico coin was X amount of ETH * current ETH exchange rate. But that if you actually tried to sell all of that it would collapse the market, so if gun to your head you tried to cash out with $1.5 billion USD you'd "only" get $100mil or something.
14
thebiglebrewski 20 hours ago 0 replies      
I'm also flabbergasted by the amount of cash (seemingly) that is going into this. I bought some ETH and already made like $2K on a $4K "investment". I'm willing to lose it all but feel like it could be around for a while so why not.

As far as the ICOs....yeah I don't get why you'd buy into that unless you truly believe in the vision and team, and so many of these stories are super shallow. I go with what other commenters are saying, that many of them are shams, they go big on FB/Google advertising to attract rubes, or they're being used for money laundering.

However, I also think that there's room for an ecosystem like this eventually, hence my investment. Just seems like early days and a lot of people taking money because they can. And maybe I'm just the rube though!

15
leoharsha2 17 hours ago 0 replies      
To the beginners - Watch this video - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pl8OlkkwRpc

Highly recommended. It's healthy to take a step back from all the 'money talk' and hear about why blockchain was invented. This is good for Mass adoption. Blockchain is good, the money run on Bitcoin adds it's piece to the pie.

16
bpicolo 20 hours ago 0 replies      
> Are they preparing for an event where fiat currency becomes worthless

You know what they say about fools and their money. It's taking money in with no actual repercussion if any of your plans fail. It's hilarious how formulaic they are all now. They take some already existent service idea, throw 3 "decentralized ooh ahh" points at the top, and then show pictures of 10 people's faces at the bottom (employees and "advisors").

It's very 2k era dotcom bubble "how do I get rich quick?"

17
TYPE_FASTER 17 hours ago 0 replies      
> Are they preparing for an event where fiat currency becomes worthless?

Worth less, maybe.

Tensions in North Korea? Maybe South Koreans buy digital currency.

Magnitsky Act or sanctions preventing Russians from moving money to the US or other countries? Maybe they buy digital currency.

Real estate market sky high, maybe people who sell take the profit and use it to buy digital currency, seeing as the stock market is also at an all-time high.

18
techaddict009 21 hours ago 0 replies      
I dont know about offline. But this ICOs are investing heavily in various advertising platform. Reddit, FB & Adwords full of ICOs ads if you just search anything about blockchain.

Shameless plug: https://www.cryptoground.com/what-if?amount=1&coin=all&month...You can check returns of currencies here :P

19
cslarson 18 hours ago 0 replies      
This got bumped off the front page rather quickly...
20
jaequery 20 hours ago 0 replies      
they arent your typical investments. id think its more like the millenials version of a horse race tracks as a form of entertainment. it is astounding to see there is a rediculous amount of of money that gets moved around every day, so obviously these arent just your average kids, there are some big hands involved. it should be pretty easy for bankers/whales to get in and manipulate the prices as they please.
21
viach 21 hours ago 0 replies      
These misterious investors could be the people who have large amounts of etc to invest and not interested in mass selling, you know, just a thought.
22
SoreGums 20 hours ago 1 reply      
https://coinlist.co wants to be an ICO platform of preference, their first go is the Filecoin ICO. Issue with them is having to be SEC compliant which makes it pretty much US only (not strictly, however dealing with everything narrows the field vs here is the address, send ETH)
23
freech 20 hours ago 0 replies      
There are a lot of people who regret not investing in Bitcoin early and who want to believe they'll get another chance now.
24
davidgerard 20 hours ago 2 replies      
My previous summary of ICOs: https://davidgerard.co.uk/blockchain/icos-magic-beans-and-bu...

Truly the least substantial asset I have ever seen. I hope the SEC goes feral on them, and soon.

25
first_amendment 20 hours ago 0 replies      
The "free and open" discussion is happening on Reddit and on various crypto forums like bitcointalk.org. There's quite a lot of it actually
26
Mahn 20 hours ago 1 reply      
My impression is that ICOs are motivated solely by greed. There isn't a whole lot here other than an insatiable thirst to make money.
27
sowbug 20 hours ago 0 replies      
Compare to the dawn of the commercial internet, and it makes a little bit of sense.

Most of us know the internet has been around in different forms for many decades, but it wasn't until the 1990s that commercial use took off. Easy distribution of information was the killer technology: web pages and search engines made instant trips to the library for the silliest questions a normal thing. Amazon was one of the first to get online retail sales right: they picked a fungible type of merchandise (books, which are 99% software and 1% hardware, so you don't really need to try before you buy a specific copy, which means you're fine with a mail-order shopping model). Clearly this wasn't just something cool -- it was a better way of doing things that are a part of everyone's daily life.

But then lots of other folks piled on with increasingly worse "me too!" ideas. Pets.com is the poster child: yeah, you can buy dog food over the internet, but _should_ you? But there was lots of demand in the form of people realizing a little too late that the internet was a huge investment opportunity, and "Amazon except for kitty litter" was close enough to scratch the itch, so the money piled in.

The most positive angle of the dot-com bust is that a lot of incredible technology did come out of it. Google was far from the first search engine, but it had the benefit of learning from the mistakes of Lycos, InfoSeek, Yahoo, AltaVista, and Excite. Facebook was SixDegrees except targeting an amazing combination of elites (top-tier colleges) and young adults experiencing newfound freedom + maximum horniness (college students). Even Microsoft has successfully reinvented itself as a pretty good PaaS provider.

So here we are. Bitcoin started ages ago, in 2009. Some people got it at first, and many to this day still dismiss it as a scam (though I know nobody who understands the technology and thinks it's anything but genuinely revolutionary). But increasingly, people are realizing that, like the internet, Bitcoin has introduced killer technology: decentralized distribution of truth. I haven't yet seen the Amazon of Bitcoin that so obviously connects commercial potential with this new blockchain technology -- perhaps it is Bitcoin itself, where a large percentage of the world stores at least some of its wealth there and it becomes part of the fabric of daily lives -- but there is no doubt that it will arrive, and that there will be more of them soon after that, and that there will be a day in our lifetimes when we can't imagine how we lived our lives needing to consult a government, or an agency, or a giant corporation, or a bureaucracy to learn the truth whether we possess liquid assets, whether we own property, whether we have a professional credential, etc.

Unfortunately (but just like the late 1990s), most of the current ventures are garbage, and nobody knows which is which. Moreover, some of them weren't even created in good faith -- just like IPOs in the late 1990s, some of these offerings are patently absurd. So lots of wealth will be transferred, much unfairly and much semi-randomly. Many people will be hurt.

But out of it will come the next Google, Amazon, and Facebook.

28
sabujp 20 hours ago 0 replies      
coin offerings are great, it keeps increasing the value of my bitcoin, so keep it up please.
15
Ask HN: Your opinion about tournament to hire people?
10 points by chukye  2 days ago   23 comments top 11
1
matt_s 1 day ago 1 reply      
200 hundred developers for ~8 hours and they value developers at roughly $50/hr. So they want $80,000 of free work with a reward at the end of getting a job for $100k/yr.

Steer clear of it. If this is their mental model of how work should be done, imagine what it is like inside the company.

I would also wonder, if in the US, what laws they might be breaking for this "hiring" process.

2
29052017 1 day ago 2 replies      
A lot of people here are whining about getting paid.

If there are 200 developers who are willing to participate in such a tournament, then its most likely that they are either jobless, or looking for a better position or find this kind of tournament fair game.

Regarding getting paid for your code, I just want to ask do you get paid for writing/designing programs or solving problems when you go give a regular interview. Of course not. Apart from perhaps from a free lunch at the onsite facility and the travel tickets, do you ever expect to be paid your average hourly rate when you go to give interviews at companies like Google or Apple. I don't think so.

If someone whines about getting paid, then you need to assume that the person has either made it or is not jobless. A lot of jobless people would go great distances to land a job - sitting in a AC room for a day writing programs is surely not that unpleasant a demand.

I am sure that a lot of folks here would have a very different opinion if they were jobless/homeless or looking desperately for a job.

3
sevilo 1 day ago 0 replies      
My problem is not so much about getting paid, lots of companies when they hire they carry out at ~4hour in person interview, within which you'll be spending at least 2-3 hours solving problems and you're not getting paid to do it.

However I will not feel comfortable working for this company knowing this is their hiring process, they pay no respect to a developer's skill to communicate and work with others, their knowledge in building software at large scale, ability in bringing improvement to other people's skills and the company's processes. Sorry to be blunt but it sounds to me they're trying to hire code monkeys/coding robots not software developers.

4
thisone 1 day ago 0 replies      
from my perspective of someone who likes working in collaborative environments, it's bullshit and indicative of a place that I would never want to work for.
5
lsiebert 1 day ago 0 replies      
I guess you might be able to go, eat the food, work on your own project, and walk out.
6
bsvalley 1 day ago 0 replies      
Where is this? Which coutry/city? Where I live it's the opposite, you receive 200 emails per year from recruiters for jobs.
7
UK-AL 1 day ago 0 replies      
Massive waste of developers time if they are not paid for this.

I think they are relying on recruiting younger developers.

8
romanovcode 1 day ago 0 replies      
Are you get payed for the day? If so then it's fine I guess, no harm no faul.
9
kojeovo 1 day ago 0 replies      
If I got paid and got to keep the IP I might consider it.
10
Klockan 1 day ago 1 reply      
Sounds like a typical hackathon, people participate in those for free all the time so I don't think that this is strange.
11
bjourne 1 day ago 0 replies      
That's incredibly unethical.
16
Ask HN: Seeking advice for the next steps of a health care side project
4 points by JPLeRouzic  1 day ago   15 comments top 6
1
jwilliams 1 day ago 1 reply      
I've known a few people go through this. One product was something that detected when someone hasn't moved in bed for a period of time. This can be used to prevent bedsores.

They found the regulatory environment absolutely crippling. After banging their head against the wall too long, they eventually gave up.

I'd say going with an experienced incubator/mentor/etc in this space would be a great idea. https://rockhealth.com/ is one good example. They can give you access to health care companies, networks, mentors, etc.

2
tixocloud 1 day ago 1 reply      
I have a friend who's been working on a healthcare-related startup (smart baby mat). When I used to help out, I remember it being quite complex as he's gone to hospitals to help him perform some clinical trials before going to market. If you'd like, I can put you in touch with him.
3
somid3 1 day ago 1 reply      
Hi, I have a lot of commercialization background in this space - this is me - http://linkedin.com/in/somid3/ - shoot me a msg at somid3 at google's email service dot com
4
mchannon 1 day ago 1 reply      
Did the company that inspired you suddenly stop being interested in you, even if you had a proof of concept?

The profit motive means technology works as follows, particularly in health care: if you can build it and corner a healthy market, shut up and take my money. If you want to give it away or sell it as a loss, please leave a message at the beep.

Don't worry about building in all kinds of bells and whistles. Sounds like what little you have is more than good enough- call that company back and stop acting so profligate with the IP if you want them to throw the marketing and compliance resources at a project that desperately needs them.

5
itamarst 1 day ago 1 reply      
Keep in mind that selling something like this would quite likely involve an expensive FDA regulatory process. So probably not something you can do as a side project.
6
Jugurtha 1 day ago 1 reply      
I've worked a bit on ECG signals (Physionet, too). You may want to take a look at:

- "Baseline Correction with Asymmetric Least Squares Smoothing" by Paul H. C. Eilers and Hans F.M. Boelens[0]. They used it for chromatography and spectroscopy but I've had great results applying that to detect and remove the baseline from ECG. The article provides 11 lines of MATLAB code to illustrate.

- Savitzky-Golay filter: For smoothing. I liked it for some of the noisy signals.

- Poincar plot for RR intervals.

[0]: https://zanran_storage.s3.amazonaws.com/www.science.uva.nl/C...

17
Ask HN: How could a tech company function without management?
12 points by bsvalley  2 days ago   12 comments top 11
1
brudgers 2 days ago 0 replies      
Programmer Anarchy is a methodology for when Extreme Programming is not extreme enough or Agile is not agile enough or just because it can work. Fred George [1] is probably its most well known proponent. It's not a gimmick or joke.

A presentation: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uk-CF7klLdA

An article: https://martinjeeblog.com/2012/11/20/what-is-programmer-anar...

[1]: https://www.linkedin.com/in/fred-george-5965b5

2
romanhn 2 days ago 0 replies      
Google tried it, didn't last long [1]. Managers are information hubs - somebody's gotta take in the streams of information from team members, Sr. management, other engineering teams, other departments, customers, random stakeholders, etc. and distill them down, making sure every party has the useful and relevant bits. Without managers everybody has to talk to everybody else ... good luck with that.

[1] https://hbr.org/2013/12/how-google-sold-its-engineers-on-man...

3
matt_s 1 day ago 0 replies      
A 1st layer of management doesn't need to be heavy handed manager types if the employees hired are "managers of one" and can self-direct their work. The "manager of one" wording comes from 37 Signals, read up on how they manage.

Software cannot make sure careers are on track and goals are met. Yes software can track a todo list but career goals are a human activity to coach employees. Imagine someone that is purely working on say mobile apps part of the product set but wants to get some experience on the backend. Thats a conversation since they may not feel comfortable (e.g. an introvert) jumping on backend tasks since that might introduce some conflict with the team. Finding out what motivates a person is a conversation, not a web form.

If you have a small group of people that are self-motivated (aka manager of one) working together on various software projects, what would status reports or time tracking be used for?

4
j45 2 days ago 0 replies      
Thinking about the things that might need to be in place for a company to function without management:

- Self-organizing and Self-directed employees are often the hardest to find.

- The HR process, when done correctly, allows individuals to join a group to realize their potential that they may not have elsewhere.

- The group's goals would have to be somehow set. I recall Clay Shirky's excellent essay on how a group is it's own worst enemy and can't help but wonder how it might play out in an environment like this.

http://shirky.com/writings/group_enemy.html

5
danreed07 1 day ago 0 replies      
Doubtful. Hiring and firing decisions require domain specific knowledge and day-to-day knowledge of operations. A the third-party company would have to have someone on-site at all times to gauge the needs of the company.

Software could arguably replace status reports and time-tracking, but a compelling incentive system needs to be put in place to encourage this behavior. It's often my experience that people skimp on administrative duties when left to their own devices, including myself.

"Software" at its current manifestation cannot manage career tracks. Machine learning may change.

Senior management level do not have time to deal with employee problems. They generally are tasked with higher order duties, which generally fill their 40 or so hours.

All evidence suggest that the first layer of management is needed.

6
NumberCruncher 2 days ago 0 replies      
The 1st layer of management is a shock absorber between the senior management and the employees. The senior management doesn't want to solve the employees' problems, they want to see some random shit getting done without having to deal with complains of burned out employees, rules of [whatever business you are in] or even with the laws of physics.
7
usgroup 2 days ago 1 reply      
Presumably if 10 managers got together to form a company they wouldn't hire a manager.
8
mythrwy 2 days ago 0 replies      
By keeping it really really small. No larger than one person.
9
osrec 2 days ago 0 replies      
I think the key thing is your team needs to consist of driven, collaborative people. Otherwise, you need managers to either provide direction or to resolve conflicts. If everyone gets on and knows what they're doing in the team's context, then managers don't have much of a role to play!
10
dv_dt 2 days ago 0 replies      
Maybe look at stable cooperatives like the Mondragon corp.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mondragon_Corporation

11
edimaudo 2 days ago 0 replies      
Some sort of holocracy?
18
Ask HN: How to transfer a project IP from a C-Corp to a person?
11 points by wenbin  3 days ago   6 comments top 4
1
chrisa 3 days ago 1 reply      
The devil (of course), is in the details - I would definitely check with a lawyer. If money is an issue, then call around - many lawyers will do a free consultation, where they could probably tell you if your situation required a lawyer to draft a document, or just something signed by the board.
2
brudgers 3 days ago 0 replies      
I am not an attorney. I recommend hiring one. My lay understanding is that the IP is an asset of the corporation and giving away assets to individuals is likely to be fraught with legal and regulatory hazard. Disputable ownership of IP is the sort of thing that might cause future investment to fall through during due diligence.

Ultimately, the answer to most "do I need a lawyer" questions is, yes, when the stakes are non-trivial.

Good luck.

3
bradstewart 3 days ago 0 replies      
Get an attorney.

This will very likely have tax implications as the IP has some value, and companies cannot (usually) just give away assets to an individual.

Once you own the IP, you can do (almost) anything you want with it, including start a VC-backed company.

4
jlgaddis 3 days ago 1 reply      
Sounds like the company needs to sell the asset to the individual, under the terms of a contract. It can be sold for $1, by the way. As others have said, talk to an attorney (the company likely already has someone).
19
Ask HN: Lispers: Which dialect of Lisp do you use and why?
38 points by acalderaro  3 days ago   42 comments top 19
1
bjoli 3 days ago 0 replies      
Scheme. The whole "build a language from a small set of well-chosen primitives" really resonated with me.

I tried a bunch of other lisps but disliked them for various reasons. Clojure is nice because of the tooling, but I disliked being tied to the JVM and all what that means.

CL has some very nice implementations (Allegro CL has a limited free version that has forever changed how I think a programming environment should be).

In the end I found guile scheme which is great. The threading situation is good and getting better, the language has all the comfortable srfi's that implementations like chez lack, and it has nice community.

The reason I chose guile over chicken was the r6rs compatibility, which made supporting both chez and guile rather easy. Other than that, I'd say that the chicken community is probably the nicest one online. Chicken is really a fine scheme as well.

I am not a programmer though, and what I want is for programming to be just fun. Not enterprise ready, not web6.0-cool. just fun.

Shameless self-plug: I just finished my racket-like for l-loops for guile: https://bitbucket.org/bjoli/guile-for-loops

2
pavelludiq 3 days ago 0 replies      
Common Lisp, for it's maturity, stability(decades old code still runs on modern implementation) and remarkably good design considering it's a language designed by a committee. Almost all of it's problems or dusty corners that show their age can be worked around by libraries. Not to mention the quality of the spec is great. I really miss the attention to detail the common lisp hyperspec has when I have to read about some obscure corner of python for example.

I also spend some time with clojure around the time of v1.0-1.2 and quite liked it, but it's maturity level and the JVM made it less attractive in the long run.

I like scheme as well, but because of the spartan(to use a nice word) spec, If I actually want to get stuff done I'd have to chose just one implementation and it's associated libraries, rather than rely on portable code.

3
fractallyte 3 days ago 0 replies      
LFE (Lisp Flavoured Erlang). It's the ideal tool for exploring AI.

Handbook of Neuroevolution Through Erlang by Gene Sher makes a compelling argument (with detailed, varied examples) that Erlang is the perfect language with which to implement neural nets.

Lisp has always been associated with AI, of course. Nowadays it's all Python, Java and R for machine learning, but Lisp can do just as well, plus more: Lisp has an affinity for recursion, and its homoiconicity will - I suspect - prove fundamental for true AI. One can't just 'strap on' its features to those other languages (including Elixir: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=7623991).

So, obviously the right tool for the job is LFE!

4
tetraca 2 days ago 0 replies      
Common lisp via SBCL. I tried Practical Common Lisp for the hell of it one day, and fell in love with the syntax and macro system once I got the hang of it. I've been using it with Clack to make web applications which is pretty fun.
5
kazinator 2 days ago 0 replies      
I use Common Lisp and TXR Lisp, which is my own dialect. (http://nongnu.org/txr)

Common Lisp is well-optimized for application programming. It has excellent compilers, and good debugging support.

TXR Lisp is geared toward scripting; it is a very agile, ergonomic Lisp dialect. It has minimal dependencies and builds as a single executable with some satellite library files in your /usr/share tree, yet is loaded with features.

TXR Lisp is a Lisp-2, but thanks to a square bracket notation, the coder can seamlessly shift into Lisp-1 style programming with higher order functions. Though it has the equivalent of CL's funcall function and function operator, they are almost never used, and there is no #' (hash quote) notation at all.

I am currently working on the aarch64 (64 bit ARM) port of TXR which I hope to be able to include in version 184.

I started the TXR project around this time of year in 2009, which makes it 8 years old now.

6
shakna 2 days ago 3 replies      
Scheme.

Simple, strongly typed, and really really easy to write and read.

On top of that, its fairly easy to compile as well, which gets rid of a bunch of distribution problems that come with other Lisps.

My first in-production experience was converting a monolithic Python web app to Scheme.

We wrote a library that brought a lot of Python conventions over to make things easier. Like an import macro that automatically namespaces things. (And we copied Clojure's "->)" macro for closing all open parentheses).

Total conversion for ~18,000 LOC Python to ~7,000 LOC Scheme took about nine weeks. The speed-up was about 2.5x.

And despite the much smaller codebase for Scheme - we actually added a whole heap of features, whilst matching all old features. (A bug or two as well, but that's to be expected).

Scheme is just really well suited to parsing, and rewriting itself as necessary.

So far as I'm aware, that stack is still running three years later, so Scheme wasn't just a fad for the team (who picked it up in about a week or so).

7
rekado 3 days ago 0 replies      
I use Emacs Lisp for Emacs and Guile Scheme for everything else. I prefer Scheme over Common Lisp and Emacs Lisp, because it is more stream-lined, simpler, and elegant.

I'm very happy with Guile and its performance has greatly been improved with version 2.2 (not that performance was a problem before); one thing I miss in Guile is the picture language that Racket comes with.

8
JamesLeonis 3 days ago 1 reply      
Clojure, with heaps of Clojurescript to manage the Javascript ecosystem.

For over a decade I wrote mainly in C++ doing a lot of Windows programming, usually games or simulations. Mix in some VB and C# when I didn't want to battle the Win32 API. I was used to seeing codebases with 100k+ loc and hundreds of megabytes of code files. xkcd COMPILING is real!

While working at BitTorrent in 2013, a coworker back introduced me to his little server that distributes uTorrent executable to everybody. It was an implementation of this[1] paper for a general purpose rules-based engine with a snappy (Clojurescript?) front-end. The whole thing was ~5k loc, and ran on surprisingly small hardware compared to it's traffic.

From there I was hooked. My project sizes are radically smaller, it's LISP, and I can go wherever Java goes. I wrote about my experiences with AWS Lambdas last year [2], for example. The community itself is outstanding. They are some of the nicest people you will ever meet. Because the community focuses on small libraries that are composable, those libraries become remarkably stable. Several heavily used libraries haven't had commits in months or years.

[1]: http://moscova.inria.fr/~maranget/papers/ml05e-maranget.pdf

[2]: https://github.com/jamesleonis/serverless-in-clojure

9
flavio81 1 day ago 0 replies      
Common Lisp.

It has standarized, well-documented, proven-for-decades way of doing necessary, common day to day stuff like conditions and restarts (aka "exception handling"), package system, or object-oriented-programming. Consider, for example, that Scheme has no standard way of organizing your code into packages and namespaces. Nor standard exception handling system; you are expected to use a lib, use what the particular Scheme implementation you are using offers or roll your own using the (extremely powerful) continuations feature. Scheme also doesn't have a standard OOP system like CLOS. You can implement all of this in Scheme, but Common Lisp has this standarized, proven, well-documented way for all of that. This makes reading others' people code easily, because common stuff is going to be done in a standard way that you already know.

It is a Lisp-2 which, for me, makes programming comfortable. People always talk about how macros in Common Lisp are "unhygienic" by default, but it is trivially easy to write a hygienic macro on Common Lisp.

It is an ANSI standard and the Common Lisp implementations largely comply with the standard, which means that I can take my code and run it with no changes (or very slight changes) on awesome Lisp implementations like LispWorks, SBCL, CLISP and many others.

There is a big amount of documentation available and in the last 10 years the amount of libraries, books and tooling has increased to make CL programming nicer than ever.

The implementations can be really high performance. SBCL can be had for free and it's performance is awesome. It is amazing that a dynamic programming language could be that fast. Also the implementations are mostly very nice to the programmer.

Common Lisp also allows to do low-level stuff if you like, for example it has full support for bitwise binary manipulation. Numeric support is magnificent and standarized: All CL implementations support real, fractional, complex, int, arbitrary precision numbers, and work with them really quickly.

Clojure seems more limited compared to Scheme or Common Lisp, being tailored for doing everything the functional way; while both CL and Scheme allow you to be 'eclectic' and use whatever programming paradigm the situation calls for.

10
gaius 3 days ago 0 replies      
Elisp, because it's the practical way to do "real work" in Lisp under the radar ;-)
11
thiagooffm 2 days ago 0 replies      
racket.

The ecosystem is great. I wouldn't use it for anything big on prod though, but it's easy to experiment with and is fun.

12
Blackthorn 2 days ago 1 reply      
Clojure. It works very well, I prefer the lisp-1 nature of it to something like Common Lisp, and I really appreciate being able to call out to the JVM (or Javascript, but I don't use ClojureScript at all) for whatever I please.

It has Pulsar, which is miles ahead of any other lisp's threading abilities.

I wish it had a more mature static typing story, but I guess you can't have everything.

13
bhk 3 days ago 0 replies      
14
kristianp 3 days ago 1 reply      
I'm using Chez Scheme for a side project. It supports R6RS.
15
johnny_1010 3 days ago 0 replies      
I like NewLisp just for syntax (http://www.newlisp.org/) also OwlLisp (https://github.com/aoh/owl-lisp).
16
KirinDave 3 days ago 0 replies      
Clojure is, I think, still my most go-to Lisp.

You can argue Clisp is easier to get a quick project going with, but short of that rather old project nothing with a setup any less capable than "lein new" is going to compare for dashing something out real quick.

17
iLemming 3 days ago 0 replies      
Clojurescript. Because it works. Because it's not frustrating.
18
rurban 3 days ago 2 replies      
clisp mostly. Easier to use than sbcl, which mostly fails to install.
19
dontJudge 3 days ago 3 replies      
Javascript.

Cheating because it's not a lisp. But it was created by a schemer who originally put scheme in the browser (before he created javascript). Not what I prefer, but it's the most lisp-like language I actually use in real projects. The support for closures, lisp-1 invoking functions from variables, and dynamic typing feel very scheme-like.

20
Ask HN: Looking for a tool
4 points by szatkus  2 days ago   10 comments top 6
1
gvisoc 6 hours ago 0 replies      
That particular sub-area of static analysis is called (change) impact analysis. If you google that you'll find several tools, but many of those results are a couple of years old, or framework-specific. Take a look and good luck.
2
BjoernKW 2 days ago 2 replies      
It's called static analysis, which given JavaScript's dynamic nature obviously doesn't work as well as with statically-typed languages like Java. However, IntelliJ IDEA or WebStorm offer decent analysis tools for JavaScript as well. In IntelliJ IDEA "Find usages" is the name of the feature you're looking for.
3
paradite 1 day ago 0 replies      
You can definitely write a tool to do it for JavaScript.

Sublime text has something similar that gives you the usages of a function when you hover over its name. Its not as 100 percent accurate as strict static code analysis, but it works pretty well for function names that are not duplicated everywhere.

4
remyp 2 days ago 0 replies      
Good test coverage goes a long way towards solving this problem.
5
stephenr 2 days ago 0 replies      
What language is your project? Jetbrains IDEs have static analysis based "find usage" for dynamic languages like php.
6
rawland 1 day ago 1 reply      

 grep -inr 'X'
Can be expanded via regex, awk, etc...

21
Ask HN: Why does YouTube not offer a download button?
9 points by zeptomu  2 days ago   16 comments top 11
1
krapp 2 days ago 1 reply      
Youtube is constantly on the knife-edge of being sued en masse by large media owners, as they were by Viacom. It's why their copyright strike system seems "broken," when it's really operating as intended, giving copyright holders arbitrary power to remove content they feel is infringing (without regards to fair use) because anything less would probably lead to those companies to simply prefer to sue Youtube into oblivion.

Technically speaking, of course Youtube could have a download button, but if they did, as far as the Viacoms of the world are concerned, they're just enabling piracy, and taking control away from content owners.

2
jeabo 2 days ago 0 replies      
If someone downloads a video, they won't go back to YouTube to re watch it, thus not seeing more ads.
3
thewavelength 2 days ago 0 replies      
Ads, most probably.
4
tantalor 2 days ago 1 reply      
https://support.google.com/youtube/answer/6308116?hl=en

Download videos and playlists to watch offline for up to 30 days when you arent connected to the internet.

5
ralmeida 2 days ago 1 reply      
Aside from what is already mentioned in other posts, there would be logistic concerns to enable downloading in a large scale.

By assuming the content will be watched by a human, they can throttle buffering to transfer only what's needed for human consumption, thus spreading out the network load.

6
hsuresh 1 day ago 0 replies      
It does, in countries that have poor internet connections.I did have the option to download videos, when in India.
7
michalpt 2 days ago 0 replies      
As others said, there would be no need to go back to Youtube.
8
wingerlang 2 days ago 0 replies      
They allow download of videos in their apps in selected countries. I don't think you can share the actual files though. But the feature is great.
9
Yaa101 2 days ago 0 replies      
And licenses, and lawsuits, and headaches and...
10
grover_hartmann 1 day ago 0 replies      
Just use youtube-dl, mpv even integrates with it nicely.
11
quickthrower2 2 days ago 0 replies      
Because you wouldn't need to visit the site, view ads, etc.
22
How do you argue with anti vaxxers?
14 points by garyfirestorm  1 day ago   35 comments top 9
1
sirspacey 1 day ago 0 replies      
Ask open-ended questions recursively. People often have a story or experience at the root of their beliefs. Uncovering that root (with your questions) also gives the anti-vaxxer an oppprtunity to ask new questions about why they believe what they believe. Generally, we need new questions to arrive at new answers.
2
Mz 1 day ago 2 replies      
Unless you actually need to argue with them because, say, you share custody of your child with one, you probably shouldn't bother.

I am neither an anti vaxxer nor pro vax. I get hated on by both camps. Neither side is very rational about this. So, you should probably put this in, say, the same box as religion and try to a) be respectful of their right to live their lives as they see fit and b) avoid the topic.

3
propogandist 1 day ago 0 replies      
why has the government given vaccine manufacturers blanket immunity from injuries and deaths attributable to vaccines?
4
xchip 1 day ago 0 replies      
I'd use a technique called Street Epistemology, it does wonders with religious people. There are lots of videos showing people lowering their level of confidence after just a few questions. I recommend watching this trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=moApG7z2pkY&feature=youtu.be...
5
akulbe 9 hours ago 0 replies      
You don't. They're convinced, and you're not going to change their minds.
6
muzani 1 day ago 0 replies      
Agree with them. You can't get autism if you die from polio.
7
oldandtired 21 hours ago 1 reply      
You don't argue with either side. Neither side has a recognition of the other's concerns. If you have close friends that are doctors or even nurses who will be candid with you, you quickly come to the realisation that the range of reactions to any vaccine is dependent on the many factors, including effectiveness of vaccine in each recipient (from totally effective and full immunity to total ineffectiveness and no additional immunity to detrimental effects).

Some people react very badly to the current vaccines and when this is not recognised by those who are pro-vaccination, this just re-enforces the anti-vaccination viewpoint.

As a child I was around others who were infectious with chicken pox, never got sick. But as an adult, I came close to dying from chicken pox that I got off my children. No reaction as a child but near deadly as an adult.

Yet Tetanus vaccines (which I have had at various times) cause me no side effects at all, even though most people I know have a fairly severe pain reaction for a period of time after the injections.

When it is not recognised that there have been manufacturing errors in various vaccines over time or that there are proportion of people who suffer very adverse effects from vaccines (up to and including death), this only goes to strengthened the viewpoint that vaccines are dangerous for those who are against vaccinations.

I have come across various people who know that a specific vaccine would kill them or their children but have the viewpoint that everyone else must get vaccinated so that they (the unvaccinated) would be protected.

Where we should be putting our research is to find some sort of standardised way to pre-test an individual for efficacy or adversity of any specific vaccine.

There is no point giving a vaccine to someone who will have strongly adverse side-effects to it, nor is there any point in giving a vaccine to someone where that vaccine will provide no additional protection to the person. Too often, the excuse of "herd immunity" is used without thought to whether or not this actually true for any specific vaccine. The problem here is that, if the vaccine works and gives you immunity, then what reason are you concerned about that someone else hasn't had their shots, other than passing this disease onto other unvaccinated people.

I don't bother with a flu shot. But if you want it, go for it. I know people who get sick every year after they have had their vaccines for the flu. I know of one fellow did this religiously every year and every year he got sick. After discussing this problem with his doctor, it was suggested that, over a period of three weeks, he get a one third dose. Since then, he hadn't got sick.

Vaccines have made significant inroads into certain diseases that cause a great deal of grief for many in society. But no vaccine is 100% effective and every vaccine will adversely affect some proportion of the population (however small that might be).

Instead of demonising those against vaccinations, maybe, this demonising should be against the companies that push the affordability of drugs and vaccines (and all the other related medical technology) beyond the capability of those who need it most just because they can and it will be most profitable to them to do so.

Most have heard of Martin Shkreli and his antics with drug prices. What many don't realise is that he was just following the general principles of the drug manufacturers, he was just a little too obvious about it.

8
bdibs 1 day ago 0 replies      
You dont.
9
pneill 1 day ago 0 replies      
You don't. You can't argue with crazy. Or as philosopher once put it, you cannot answer questions of value with statements of fact.
24
Ask HN: Is having videogames in your portfolio/GitHub a bad move?
37 points by samwestdev  15 hours ago   48 comments top 32
1
everyone 15 hours ago 2 replies      
Games are some of the most complex and challenging kinds of software to write. They are also fun to work on.

_Do you want to work for people who are too to small-minded to realise the benefits of game programming?

_Personally I would be honest, and try and find a job with pragmatic people, that I would enjoy and find rewarding.

_What if you get a job with a 'serious' company only to discover that they are idiots and you quit after a few months?

_In short, be yourself. You'll be happier.

2
timavr 15 hours ago 1 reply      
Interviewer was not smart. Games are super positive to have in portfolio, due to them being products with complex architecture and high UX demands.

It might be not great for pay, but generally game devs have no trouble landing jobs in non gaming fields.

Also a lot of enterprise user facing applications run on Unity/Unreal.

3
rl3 15 hours ago 0 replies      
>In my country when I last interview I got treated like an fool every time I mentioned I program games.

Just use it as a filter. If you get that reaction, you most definitely don't want to work at that place. Save yourself the time.

In fact, if the interviewer(s) who have that reaction were to take a permanent marker and scrawl "ignorant, low-caliber trash" across their foreheads, it'd accomplish the exact same thing as their outward disdain for game programming.

4
troels 14 hours ago 0 replies      
In addition to what others have already said here (Games are super hard to do, so any interviewer with even a modicum of technical acumen will value it highly), I would add that there might be some cultural factors at work here. My experience with the italian software scene is virtually non-existent, so take my prejudices with a grain of salt, but my impression is that mainland Europe is much more conservative with regards to credentials. You might have a much difference experience interviewing in some of the tech hotspots. Moving within EU is easy - hop on a plane north and talk to some companies.
5
Bjorkbat 14 hours ago 0 replies      
One year at GDC (game developer's conference) I saw that SpaceX of all companies had a booth in the same area of the conference reserved for companies looking to hire devs.

At first I thought this was rather curious. What on earth would SpaceX want to do with game devs?

Then I found this article.http://www.businessinsider.com/why-is-spacex-at-a-video-game...

Turns out it's not uncommon for SpaceX to hire game devs. Apparently if you can make a relatively sophisticated game (especially an online multiplayer game), you can make software for a rocket.

So there you have it, game dev experience is good, and it sounds like that interviewer you talked to is a liability to his company for passing on great talent.

6
senko 14 hours ago 0 replies      
Other commenters pointed out that the interviewer was stupid to hold this against you, and that this signals what kind of people you might expect to work with - both are correct IMO. The interview goes two way -- it's also your chance to interview your potential employer.

However, here's some additional unsolicited advice: a useful rule of thumb for any portfolio, reference or experience info you may want to bring up during the interview is: Include only the information that will support/advance your changes of getting the job you want

As a contrived example, if you've done a tonne of PHP work but have recently switched to Haskell and want to do more of that, your resume should highlight whatever Haskell stuff you did do, even if trivial, and only mention PHP in passing ("I've also done plenty of work in various other languages such as PHP" - this is not to say to not include the projects, just don't bring up the PHP part).

Specific to your situation, if you've got web/app dev references, code, etc, put them up front. But if not (probably the case here), the games/demos will (should!) be a great showcase of your passion and ability to deliver, and are useful as an indication of how clean / well thought out / polished your code is. The smart interviewers will recognize this.

7
Lerc 14 hours ago 0 replies      
I also make games. This has never caused problems in interviews because of technical reasons.

It has caused people to ask, "Why would you want a job like this when it's clear you want to make games"

Best Interiview is where I made the Management guy quite nervouse because the conversation with the tech guy was going so well It looked like he was going to quit to go make games also.

8
bg4 15 hours ago 3 replies      
Your interviewer was an idiot.
9
swalberg 15 hours ago 0 replies      
Did you frame it in terms of the problems you solved rather than the game part? While the interviewer may have a bias against games, it could be spun as "I learned a complicated technology to build this game" or "in order to build this game I had to keep refreshes under XXms which required an innovative solution to state handling". Or perhaps "yes it is a game, but I use it to keep my skills sharp. I use the game to push my boundaries and practice good coding skills, and bring those improvements to my day job"
10
nferracin 14 hours ago 0 replies      
Being Italian myself it makes me both angry and sad reading about what you experienced in your interviews.

Beside what many already mentioned (developing games is actually quite complex, so keep doing that and don't hide it!) I'd suggest you to take a look at developer jobs around Europe. I'm working as a developer in Berlin and I can tell you there are a lot of great opportunities here if you are willing to relocate. Feel free to get in touch if you need anything! Buona fortuna!

11
krapp 14 hours ago 0 replies      
Games are applications designed to solve a particular problem domain, no different than any other type of software. It just happens that the problem they solve is "having fun" or, more cynically, "monetizing fun."

Most "game developers" don't even ship anything (currently including myself) so what I would be concerned about is not having a game, which itself puts you ahead of a lot of people, but what the quality of the game is, and what it demonstrates about your abilities as a programmer. Games can be incredibly complex and difficult to build and can demonstrate a myriad of useful skills. As someone with a CS degree in, basically, "C# CRUD apps that talk to Access" who dabbles in game development on the side, I definitely respect it. Even using a framework like Unity doesn't make it easy, just easier.

Unfortunately (although somewhat deservedly) Unity development and indie game development so there might be a bit of friction involved if that's all you have in your portfolio.

But no, I wouldn't remove them, certainly not if they're any good.

12
pmiller2 14 hours ago 0 replies      
Having anything in a public GitHub or code portfolio I can look at puts you ahead of a majority of candidates in my experience. An interviewer with the attitude you mention is conflating producing games with playing games. Games present some serious technical and UX/product issues and should be considered serious software, even if playing games isn't a serious pursuit.
13
camhenlin 6 hours ago 0 replies      
Whenever I see a game on a candidate's profile, I like to spend at least a few minutes trying to play the game or get it working, review its code, and then ask some pointed questions about it during our interview. I love seeing hobby game dev stuff. So many opportunities for creativity, problem solving, an open endedness
14
yladiz 15 hours ago 0 replies      
You absolutely should not remove them. It depends on the job, and the complexity of the games you create, but worst case if the interviewer is personable (e.g. not your terrible interviewer) it's at least a talking point and can show you're more well rounded, but if the job deals with the same languages that you've programmed the games in it's even better. It's definitely a different part of the industry but I've never heard of games being detrimental to a portfolio, and in fact I've heard some respect/praise for ideas from game development a previous job (doing front end web development).
15
ahartman00 15 hours ago 1 reply      
Did you showcase the engineering challenges or the 'features' of the game? Meaning, were you talking primarily about code, or how fun it was to play? I'm wondering if it was how you presented yourself.

Unfortunately I don't have any personal experience here. But there are many gamers in the 'serious' business software jobs I have worked here in the US. I'm watching someone play super mario galaxy right now, and it would be much more challenging than making crud apps.

16
charlesdm 15 hours ago 0 replies      
Nope, keep it up -- they are not! However, I guess it depends on the environment. Europe tends to generally be more conservative.

So when you're talking to a (dry and boring?) ERP company, they might not have much affinity with games. On that same note, a game company might not have much affinity with ERP / MSFT MFC stuff. You should probably focus on the technologies used more than on it being actual games when talking to an interviewer.

So you're going from one extreme, to the other. :)

17
ju-st 14 hours ago 0 replies      
How many interviewers for software development jobs in Europe do even know what a Github portfolio is (serious question)? The developers will at least know what Github is. But the idea of having a Github portfolio or developing software for fun and for free is definitely a foreign concept for many. I wouldn't mention this at all when interviewing for a position in normal (boring) corporation in Europe.
18
rhinoceraptor 14 hours ago 0 replies      
Why would a developer want to work on a Serious Enterprise Business Application (tm) as a side project after doing just that all day? The whole point of a side project is to work on something in a different domain with different challenges and technologies, and that isnt a big important production system.
19
andretti1977 14 hours ago 0 replies      
I'm an italian dev too and it is not so difficult to find stupid interviewers like that, especially if you are looking for a job in a big corporate. You should filter ahead your potential employers and you should always think at what you really want to do: corporate stuffs or something else?
20
borisj 14 hours ago 0 replies      
USA here. As someone who has sat on both sides of the interview table, I've never once thought of game development being a negative thing to have in your portfolio. I don't know what your country is like but that attitude sounds moronic and immature.
21
quakeguy 14 hours ago 0 replies      
Not a bad move at all!Games and their creation are one of the most creative tasks to accomplish in my experience, therefore highly regarded (as i came to know).

Sociological question for anyone willing to answer, why is it seen as a "bad skill" in Italy?

22
laci27 14 hours ago 0 replies      
As an employer, I can say that it's nice to have someone who also programs as a hobby. Games require passion for programming and a good deal of know-how.As opposed to someone who just finishes the task and goes home to do whatever else..
23
stordoff 14 hours ago 0 replies      
Games are hard, and will punish bad code a lot of the time (you only get XXms before the next frame, making poor performance easily visible). It says more about the interviewers that they don't realise that experience is valuable TBH.
24
pixelmonkey 14 hours ago 0 replies      
Are you kidding? If I see game development on a resume, I get really excited! They showcase creativity, UX skills, and complex programming.

* I've hired over 30 programmers in my career and 2 former game developers are on my current team.

25
monquixote 14 hours ago 0 replies      
I absolutely love it when potential hires have developed games in their spare time. Firstly it shows that they program outside of work which suggests they really love programming and aren't just clock punchers. Secondly it shows that they are the kind of person who can complete a non trivial project purely through intrinsic motivation. Finally games can be pretty technically challenging so if you can make something half decent you probably know what you are doing.Any company that looks down on you for writing games is probably not going to be a fun place to work.
26
trelliscoded 14 hours ago 0 replies      
I'd consider game development experience to be a plus for any programmer.
27
NicoJuicy 14 hours ago 0 replies      
Interviewers aren't developers. Just keep it on GitHub and don't mention it. If it is mentioned, say you are interested in the deep software improvements that games require
28
deeteecee 14 hours ago 0 replies      
If anything, quite the opposite. Don't let those fools put you down. The challenges you've solved, if anything, have a wide range of complexities in my opinion.
29
abtinf 14 hours ago 0 replies      
It seems you have found a very useful way to filter out terrible employers.

Ask yourself: do you want to work at a company or your coworkers think game programming is bad?

30
HombreMono 15 hours ago 0 replies      
Useless stuff, make a game?

If people was clever enough,they would understand that creativity and curiosity are necessary things in order to make you a better programmer.

We are reaching a world where new ideas and new point views are necessary. att.Daniel

31
galacticpony2 14 hours ago 0 replies      
It 100% depends on the company and the hiring process.

It probably helps with some of the "cool" places. I would certainly value it as a plus in "general skill level", but that's because I'm cool.

It will probably not help or even be held against you with the "uncool" places. If it comes down to it, why would they hire you instead of the clown that has experience in <related enterprise crap> instead?

32
Away2017 14 hours ago 1 reply      
26
Ask HN: You're on bathroom break, what productive phone app do you use?
4 points by fouc  1 day ago   11 comments top 11
1
AznHisoka 1 day ago 0 replies      
I used WebMD to learn new health facts like how sitting in the toilet and using the smartphone can lead to hemorrhoids.
2
gvb 1 day ago 0 replies      
3
patatino 1 day ago 0 replies      
I solve half my coding problems on bathroom breaks so no distraction for me :)
4
afarrell 1 day ago 0 replies      
I use anki, a Spaced Repetition flashcard app. When learning a new tool/framework/etc, I make flashcards asking why it does things a certain way. This helps me learn the mental model of the tool more quickly.

I also make a flashcard if I spend a long time debugging something so that I make sure to keep the knowledge that I gained from the bug hunt.

5
abawany 1 day ago 0 replies      
Well, not necessarily during a bathroom break (sometimes, I just don't multitask) but I use Cool Reader, which is an eReader app. My phone contains all of the books that I have, some of which I haven't read yet, and I use the app to resume reading.
6
halfnibble 1 day ago 0 replies      
Helium IDE for BlackBerry10. ;-)In conjunction with Term48 terminal emulator and GCC.crap and codehttps://crackberry.com/helium-blackberry-10
7
coding_animal 1 day ago 0 replies      
True Skate for iPhone. I had a job that I hated and I played this game for fifteen minutes. It helped me relax.
8
danreed07 1 day ago 0 replies      
Brilliant. Math problems that can be done without a calculator; separated by domains such as probability, group theory, number theory, physics, AI, etc. Wonderfully stimulating really.
9
threesixandnine 1 day ago 0 replies      
When in bathroom I play chess on my phone.
10
SirLJ 1 day ago 0 replies      
Safari browser to read HN
11
Jugurtha 1 day ago 0 replies      
My normal bathroom breaks are very long when I'm home and I have my laptop with me, but I can't do that at work (small startup, one bathroom) so my breaks are short and I just sit there collecting my thoughts.

Bonus: Alkido. I've installed Alkido and read a bunch of books (epub) on my phone. I read during commute. I haven't found other apps that don't suck (they all ask for way too many permissions, access contacts and information like WiFi, etc, which I find ridiculous).

28
Ask HN: Any recommendations for sharing project information between teams?
3 points by jernaumorat  1 day ago   4 comments top 4
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jernaumorat 1 day ago 0 replies      
We have a lot of disparate information. So, you will have design information from Engineering (performance documentation, known issues in simulation) Testing information from Operation and then customer observations and resolutions from Sales / Application support.

We also want to improve how we track lessons learned in product development so that when a new project is kicked off the designers can look back at previous dev jobs.

We have used wikis and ticket systems but they are mostly in house built tools. Just wondering if there are more professional grade tools that you have used.

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davidkim 1 day ago 0 replies      
We've been working on a solution to this problem at - http://scenery.is. Let me know if you'd be interested in testing it.
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PaulHoule 1 day ago 0 replies      
One classic tool is an issue tracking system, particularly when it is synchronized to version control, wikis, file repositories, etc.
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twobyfour 1 day ago 0 replies      
What sort of information are you trying to share? Just documentation? Specs? Something else?
29
Ask HN: What are some good mobile SDKs (Android and iOS)?
3 points by philippnagel  1 day ago   1 comment top
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neospice 1 day ago 0 replies      
In no particular order:

Stripe.React Native.Firebase.

30
Ask HN: IT Director is forcing Microsoft in, how to stop?
9 points by stop_themadness  2 days ago   23 comments top 11
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matt_s 1 day ago 1 reply      
Kickbacks are most likely not the case. Why would a billions of dollars a year in profit company need to pay people to adopt tech? It is highly unethical and probably a fire-able offense for a sales person at a US company to bribe (aka kickback) potential customers to buy their stuff. Think about that for a minute.

Just like you and your peers have a culture of liking Open Source, macs, etc. he/she likely has a strong bias (culture?) towards Microsoft solution stack.

See if you can get some time on the persons calendar and ask open ended questions about the shift in technology. Rewriting an entire product or changing an IT stack from one tech to another is costly, even more so if 50% of the staff turn-over.

* Does management see this as cheaper?

* Do they value having a vendor they can call and an SLA support contract? Lots of large companies like this - "you can't be wrong in picking IBM" is a joke phrase for a reason.

* Is there some vision they have where they were convinced some tech will enable it? I've seen this too, they get convinced of some new way of doing things by consultants for a company, which comes along with using that companies tech stack. But mgmt doesn't care about the tech stack they care about how it can help the business.

* Does this person view Open Source tech like Node, Go, PHP as "amateur hour"? They could have a strong bias of using stuff from name brand companies.

It probably boils down to the IT Director having a different world-view than you and other devs.

2
gesman 2 days ago 2 replies      
Single vendor driven solution for all stacks (at least with Microsoft being the vendor) is more scaleable and easier to manage and support than shuffling multitude of open source fragments and solutions all over the enterprise.

If it's not a mom-n-pop shop trying to save pennies and dimes - it makes sense from CTO standpoint.

3
29052017 1 day ago 1 reply      
Could it be that this is all a figment of your imagination?

Think about it. Can you prove that your current CTO is getting kickbacks? If not, then is it fair for you to talk aloud without having any evidence for your case?

Imagine what would happen if you start this kind of Gossip in your office. May degrade the culture that you value so much.

Now, the CTO seems to be doing what he is supposed to do. I am sure if you were the CTO, you would have wanted your favorite stack to be adopted by as many people under you as possible. Or it could be just that in the grand plan, eventually everyone in your company would have to move on to a single stack.

Maybe your reluctance to MS Stack comes from lack of sufficient knowledge of the stack and the resulting fear of unknown if you are forced onto the stack.

My simple advice to you my friend is this : Don't spread rumors in your workplace based on biases or prejudices and if you don't like the way in which company is headed, you should look elsewhere for places where you will feel better in line with company's vision and its policies.

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paulcole 2 days ago 1 reply      
The fastest solution is to publicly accuse a higher up of receiving kickbacks from Microsoft with no proof. I 100% guarantee you won't have the problem of working at a company where Microsoft is being forced in any longer.
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zunzun 2 days ago 1 reply      
I worked at a large natural gas company in the US where the MS sales reps had accurately analysed the IT director to have Imposter Syndrome causing professional insecurity. By taking the IT director out to lunches - away from everyone else - and letting this person know what a smart choice they were making, how wonderful the .NET platform was, etc. they were able to persuade the company via this person to redesign all internal software from scratch using MS's UML design and coding tools. You might be in a similar situation, where the kickbacks are social and emotional rather than financial.
6
UK-AL 2 days ago 0 replies      
I doubt its a kickback.

It's probably a more strategic decision to standardise on one stack.

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rakshithbekal 2 days ago 1 reply      
I don't think this is how businesses work. Its like trying to get a teacher to not teach a certain lesson because you don't want to learn it. Aren't they paying you to do a job? Not the other way around. If you have problems adapting they might consider someone else who'd do your job instead, is it worth putting your career at risk because youre not comfortable with change?
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eip 2 days ago 0 replies      
Time to find another job.
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SirLJ 1 day ago 1 reply      
If you have SLAs with your customers, it would be pretty much mission critical to have SLAs with your vendors as well, open source is great until you are stuck in the middle of the night with a major system down and no vendor support...
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cm2012 2 days ago 1 reply      
It's almost certainly not kickbacks driving this.
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NetStrikeForce 1 day ago 0 replies      
Very strong accusations here. If you have any proof, let Microsoft know. They don't take fraud and corruption kindly.
       cached 20 August 2017 12:05:01 GMT