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I'm a self-taught 19-year-old programmer. Coding since 10, dropped out of high-school and got fist job at 15.
In the the early days I was extremely passionate, learning SICP, Algorithms, doing Haskell, C/C++, Rust, Assembly, writing toy compilers/interpreters, tweaking Gentoo/Arch. Even got a lambda tattoo on my arm after learning lambda-calculus and church numerals.
My first job - a company which raised $100,000 on kickstarter. The CEO was a dumb millionaire hippie, who was bored with his money, so he wanted to run a company even though he had no idea what he was doing. He used to talk about how he build our product, even tho he had 0 technical knowledge whatsoever. He was on news a few times which was pretty cringeworthy. The company had only 1 programmer (other than me) who was pretty decent.
We shipped the project, but soon we burned through kickstart money and the sales dried off. Instead of trying to aquire customers (or abandoning the project), boss kept looking for investors, which kept us afloat for an extra year.
Eventually the money dried up, and instead of closing gates, boss decreased our paychecks without our knowledge. He also converted us from full-time employees to "contractors" (also without our knowledge) so he wouldn't have to pay taxes for us. My paycheck decreased by 40% by I still stayed.
One day, I was trying to burn a USB drive, and I did "dd of=/dev/sda" instead of sdb, therefore wiping out our development server. They asked me to stay at company, but I turned in my resignation letter the next day (my highest ever post on reddit was in /r/TIFU).
Next, I found a job at a "finance" company. $50k/year as a 18-year-old. CEO was a good-looking smooth-talker who made few million bucks talking old people into giving him their retirement money.
He claimed he changed his ways, and was now trying to help average folks save money. So far I've been here 8 month and I do not see that happening. He forces me to do sketchy shit, that clearly doesn't have clients best interests in mind.
I am the only developer, and I quickly became a back-end and front-end ninja.
I switched the company infrastructure from shitty drag+drop website builder, WordPress and shitty Excel macros into a beautiful custom-written python back-end.
Little did I know, this company doesn't need a real programmer. I don't have clear requirements, I get unrealistic deadlines, and boss is too busy to even communicate what he wants from me.
Eventually I sold my soul. I switched parts of it to WordPress, because I was not given enough time to write custom code properly.
For latest project, I switched from using custom React/Material/Sass to using drag+drop TypeForms for surveys.
I used to be an extremist FLOSS Richard Stallman fanboy, but eventually I traded my morals, dreams and ideals for a paycheck. Hey, $50k is not bad, so maybe I shouldn't be complaining? :(
I got addicted to pot for 2 years. Recently I've gotten arrested, and it is honestly one of the best things that ever happened to me. Before I got arrested, I did some freelancing for a mugshot website. In un-related news, my mugshot dissapeared.
I have been sober for 2 month now, and my brain is finally coming back.
I know average developer hits a wall at around $80k, and then you have to either move into management or have your own business.
After getting sober, I realized that money isn't going to make me happy, and I don't want to manage people. I'm an old-school neck-beard hacker. My true passion is mathematics and physics. I don't want to glue bullshit libraries together.
I want to write real code, trace kernel bugs, optimize compilers. Albeit, I was boring in the wrong generation.
I've started studying real analysis, brushing up differential equations, and now trying to tackle machine learning and Neural Networks, and understanding the juicy math behind gradient descent.
I don't know what my plan is for the future, but I'll figure it out as long as I have my brain. Maybe I will continue making shitty forms and collect paycheck, while studying mathematics. Maybe I will figure out something else.
But I can't just let my brain rot while chasing money and impressing dumb bosses. If I wait until I get rich to do things I love, my brain will be too far gone at that point. I can't just sell myself out. I'm coming back to my roots.
I still feel like after experiencing industry and pot, I'm a shittier developer than I was at age 15. But my passion is slowly coming back.
Any suggestions from wise ol' neckbeards on how to proceed?32
I turned 40 yesterday. Here are some lessons I've learned, without fluff or BS.
1) Stop waiting for exceptional things to just happen. They rarely do, and they can't be counted on. Greatness is cultivated; it's a gradual process and it won't come without effort.
2) Jealousy is a monster that destroys everything in it's path. It's absolutely useless, except to remind us there's a better way. We can't always control how we feel, but we can choose how we react to those feelings.
When I was younger, jealousy in relationships always led to shit turning out worse than it probably would have otherwise. Even when it was justified, even when a relationship was over, jealousy led me to burn bridges that I wished I hadn't.
3) College isn't for everyone, but you'll rarely be put square in the middle of so much potential experience. You'll meet people you probably wouldn't have otherwise, and as you eventually pursue your major, you'll get to know people who share your passions and dreams. Despite all the bullshit ways in which college sucks, it's still a pretty unique path on the way to adulthood. But on that note...
4) Learn to manage your money. It's way too easy to get into unsustainable debt. It only gets worse, and it makes everything harder. We don't always see the consequence of credit cards and loans when we're young, because the future seems so distant and undecided. But that debt isn't going anywhere... Try not to borrow money that you can't imagine yourself paying back now.
5) Floss every day, not just a couple times per week when you remember, or when you've got something stuck in your teeth. It matters, even if you're in your 20s and you've never had a cavity.
6) You'll always hear about living in the moment, seizing the day... It's tough to actually do. But there's something to be said for looking inward, and trying to recognize when too much of our attention is focused elsewhere. Constantly serving the future won't always pay off, at least not in the ways we think it will when we're young.
This sentiment doesn't have much value when it's put in abstract, existential terms, like it usually is. The best you can do is try to be aware of your own willingness and ability to be open to experiences. Think about ways in which you might be rejecting the here and now, even if it's as seemingly-benign as not going out with some friends because you just saw them, or you already went to that place they're going to. We won't recognize the good old days for what they were until they're already gone. The trick is having as many good days as possible.
7) Don't start smoking; you'll never quit as soon as you'll think you can. If you do start, make yourself quit after a couple years, no matter what. Keep your vices in check; drugs and alcohol in moderation. Use condoms, use birth control.
8) Don't make love wait. Tell your friends and family you love them often, and show them when you can. You're going to lose people, so it's important. Statistically, some of you will die young, yourselves.
When it comes to relationships, don't settle if you can't tell yourself you're in love, and totally believe it. Don't let complacency and familiarity get in the way of pursuing love. Don't be afraid to end relationships because they're comfortable, or because you've already invested so much into them.
Being young is a gift, and it won't last forever. You need to use that gift to experience all the love that you can, at least as a means to finding the person you really want to grow old with, if that's what you want. Regardless, you don't want to miss out on loving someone, and being loved, because of fear. Don't be reckless; just be honest with yourself.
9) Take care of your body. Neglecting it makes everything tougher. That doesn't mean you have to work out every day and eat like a nutritionist, but if you're overweight or you have health issues, do what you can to fix it. Losing weight isn't easy, but it's not as hard as people make it out to be. And it's one of the most important things you can do to invest in a healthy adulthood.
Don't put off nagging health issues because you think you'll be fine, or you don't think you'll be able to afford it, or you're scared of the outcome. There will always be options, until there aren't. Most people never get to the no-options part. Or, they get there because all the other options expired.
10) Few things will haunt you like regret. Making the wrong choice, for example, usually won't hurt as much. I guess you can regret making the wrong choice, but my deepest regrets come from inaction, complacency and indifference.
So how can we avoid regret? I don't know, lol. I don't think it's as simple as just commiting to choices... Choosing to do nothing is still a choice, after all. I think it's more about listening to your gut, as cliche as that sounds.
To thine own self be true, I guess. It's worth a shot, even if you fail. Almost anything is better than regret.12
I managed to get a group of people to use an open source and privacy respecting service instead of its proprietary (surveillance) competitors today.
The experience was good for everyone and I wouldn't be surprised if at least some people who participated will remember this good working FLOSS solution.
My work is done here for the day :)12
Free (crowd funded?) Hosting for NGOs, individuals and projects that is promoting, building or distributing free software (FOSS/FLOSS)38
Call me old-fashioned, but... I kinda liked it back in the day, when Microsoft made proprietary software, the Community made free software and everyone's "cui bono" was quite easy to answer - even those corporations involved in FLOSS did have a clear way to finance themselves.
Now, we have Microsoft coming into open source, seemingly making projects better and offering more and more "free" stuff.
"Free" Windows 10.
"Free" SaaS Office.
"Free" "Private" Repos on Github.
In general - what happened to clear and concise "I give you money, you give me stuff" capitalism like we had it in the 2000s?
I'd rather pay 20 bucks for a game on Steam than get it "free" and with ads or microtransactions - yet, many games, especially mobile, don't even offer me that option. It wouldn't be that hard now, would it?
The same goes for software. That Canonical would need to fuck their users over after Ubuntu One went to shit was obvious - they didn't offer the kind of commercial/enterprise OS'es that Redhat or SuSE sell.
What people seem to forget is that everyone needs to make a profit somehow. You don't get "free" stuff. Even the volunteers in the Open Source Community get something out of it - an opportunity to pad their CV at least, if nothing else.
Nowadays, software manufacturers have the same legitimacy as the "free" financial "advisors" you find at banks - and who could be dumb enough to trust them? Oh yeah: Almost the entire fucking society is who.
But then again, sell something and noone will want it - because they all want it for free, with annoying, privacy-invading ads or with equally annoying microtransactions, or financing based on commission - so you don't only pay ONCE, you pay until you realize you got fucked over and quit.
Capitalism used to work until all those idiots stepped in. How the fuck don't people realize that there's no free lunch in life? When have we stopped being functional people and turned into idiots.
Even worse: Those idiots think that they're entitled to something! They, who volunteered to become merchandise instead of customers, think that they have rights! Do cattle have rights? Nope. They get their "free" hay everyday and I get to buy beef, that's how it works. Moo!
Hell, they are surprised when they get fucked over by bank salespeople or their data stolen by corporations, intelligence agencies or something... What did they expect, goodwill?
Can we please make Adam Smith mandatory reading in school?! I mean, give people a chance to understand capitalism? The nonexistent "goodwill" of traders in general?9
GF made me a Stressball that debugs almost as good as a rubber duck. Downside is that I can't have bananas anymore :(1
I really hate it when I try to be careful with disclosing information of my employer in a rant on Reddit but the CTO who fires me go there and replies in full detail in an attempt to shame you. http://archive.is/sfP00
Because I have bigger balls (or a small brain, depending how you see it) I'll leave the post on but with my response to his comment on my thread as anybody may dig my Reddit account before hiring me for a job.
And yes, he is the same guy I refer in this past rant https://devrant.com/rants/1089376/...
It fucking sucks that the CTO will sleep safe and sound and I can't do much than looking for another job and contribute to FLOSS projects while I build new stuff to improve my skills all this while money is running out. I'm glad I'm living with my parents after this shit hit the fan, less stuff to worry about, but this is not life.13
That one kid who knows absolutely everything there is to know about computers... As long as they run Windows.2
!dev maybe... PSA.... just need to rant...
So I've been damaging my teeth all this time without even knowing it...
Apparently coffee is acidic.... Fck.... And also sugars.... And bread and dairy...
So the problem is not actually plaque.... Just brushing teeth don't help...
Why the fck did no dentist ever say that.... All they say it's brush and floss more....
Since this daily schedule stuff is catching on, here's my day!
- Wake up
- Eat breakfast
- Eat lunch
- Brush Teeth/floss
- School (part time graduate school)
- Hate life for 2 more years5
Why open-source matters: I can remove annoyances like starting in front-facing mode from a smartphone camera software, and hide the button for the "effects" drawer that I never use since I can add Sepia or black/white in post processing should I ever need it.
Both of these annoyances cause missing moments. If the source code of the camera software is open, and if the operating system is rooted, these utter annoyances can be removed.
There are open-source third party applications like "Open Camera", but they lack quick launch support and might have, presumably due to lack of optimization, a two-second shutter lag. Big no.
While you developers are where you are, battling office politics everyday, scrumming, agiling and solving some of the world's toughest problems, I, for the past few nights, have been sitting for hours in-front of my computer, slipping into hour-long day-dreams while trying to determine my favorite ice-block flavor.
All I can say, is, it's either the yellow, orange, green, raspberry, cola, or the fairy-floss one.
And now I'm out of ice-blocks. ;-(
Our DB teacher always told us about God (Codd) doin some Join(t)s. He spoke very slowly. Must have been kinda disturbing for normal people...