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The worst career choice I ever made was walking away from a six figure salary software development job with benefits to focus on the small startup I co-founded just a few years earlier. My wife and I had two small children at the time and my wife was also nearly 8 months pregnant with our third. It resulted in an approximate 70% reduction in income, prematurely cashed out 401k and loss of existing health insurance.
To be fair, it was also simultaneously the best career choice I ever made. Three years later I make more now than I originally walked away from. The raw roads of stress, anger, fear and complete uncertainty have aged both me and my wife at an accelerated rate but we have grown closer to each other than we would otherwise be. We have relied on each other, and she has been unbelievably supportive with all the late nights and required traveling. We discovered what we are capable of. In one day it will be October. In one day it will be the month that we finally pay off our last batch of credit card debt that resulted from that career choice.
I cannot recommend following in our footsteps as from where I’m sitting there are much better, more calculated ways of going about it. Logically, what we did was beyond stupid. Luckily for us, we were still young enough to not grasp the full magnitude of stupidity and we also refused to fail. It’s also crucial to have stellar business partners who are just as crazy and just as determined. We have all labored tremendously and we have each played critical roles in our success. The hard times of fear and uncertainty aren’t over. I don’t think they will ever be, to be honest. But, it sure has been one hell of a ride. I wouldn’t change a thing.18
Perhaps not "best", but certainly most amusing, so what the heck!
Years ago as an intern, I applied to a large pharmaceutical company. On part of the application form, you had to enter the code of the department you were applying to.
What I *should have* put down was "IT", which is the department that houses all their devs. However, I didn't actually read any of what the codes meant, assumed that was the department for helping people with how to mail merge, and put down "COMPSCI" instead. This was computational sciences - loosely summarised as computational data analysis on various druggable molecules.
I do *not* have any sort of biology or chemistry background, so the interview was rather... interesting, and I muddled through on the basis of getting some more interview practice assuming it was a no go.
To my amazement, got a phone call saying that they'd been thinking they wanted someone more technical on the team, and despite my lack of scientific experience they thought I'd be a good fit. I was unsure as to whether I should accept for a while, but then decided to just go for it - and had a fantastic internship there, working on a great variety of stuff, and learning tons all under a supervisor who I'm still in touch with to this day.
tl;dr - Applied for the wrong job. Coincidentally got it anyway, and miraculously had a fantastic year working there.8
Best carrier choice: leaving the old company I worked for...
TLDR version: I yelled at owner/director to shove it..got layed off the next day. Never regreted that day!! EVER!!
Long version: I was asked to implement storing of CC numbers (yes, the whole lot) & their matchig CVC numbers..plain text, no encription.. company didn't even fulfilled standards to store last four digits.. so I yelled at the 'big boss' that he is crazy and that I won't do it.. Next day, I got handed a letter that said they have to lay me off due to lack of work and that my position is redundant & no other workplace for me.. Never been happier in my life!!
I wanted to quit for some time, due to crazy stuff they asked me to implement & how!? & toxic personel. I was called Hitler (& am actually proud of this!!) cuz I was work oriented & didn't kiss mrs.Director's ass.. I wasn't slacking like the rest of them did, so of course, I was the bad guy..
Anyhow, fast forward 6 months, got the best job ever & am now here for 5yrs+.7
1. Get into Linux
2. Quit Med studies after 5 years and jump into the IT train.
use windows tools to resize partitions on a dual-boot laptop. Lost all my data on Linux parttn. :(8
College can be one of the worst investments for an IT career ever.
I've been in university for the past 3 years and my views on higher education have radically changed from positive to mostly cynical.
This is an extremely polarizing topic, some say "your college is shite", "#notall", "you complain too much", and to all of you I am glad you are happy with your expensive toilet paper and feel like your dick just grew an inch longer, what I'll be talking about is my personal experience and you may make of it what you wish. I'm not addressing the best ivy-league Unis those are a whole other topic, I'll talk about average Unis for average Joes like me.
Higher education has been the golden ticket for countless generations, you know it, your parents believe in it and your grandparents lived it. But things are not like they used to be, higher education is a failing business model that will soon burst, it used to be simple, good grades + good college + nice title = happy life.
Sounds good? Well fuck you because the career paths that still work like that are limited, like less than 4.
The above is specially true in IT where shit moves so fast and furious if you get distracted for just a second you get Paul Walkered out of the Valley; companies don't want you to serve your best anymore, they want grunt work for the most part and grunts with inferiority complex to manage those grunts and ship the rest to India (or Mexico) at best startups hire the best problem solvers they can get because they need quality rather than quantity.
Does Uni prepare you for that? Well...no, the industry changes so much they can't even follow up on what it requires and ends up creating lousy study programs then tells you to invest $200k+ in "your future" for you to sweat your ass off on unproductive tasks to then get out and be struck by jobs that ask for knowledge you hadn't even heard off.
Remember those nights you wasted drawing ER diagrams while that other shmuck followed tutorials on react? Well he's your boss now, but don't worry you will wear your tired eyes, caffeine saturated breath and overweight with pride while holding your empty title, don't get me wrong I've indulged in some rough play too but I have noticed that 3 months giving a project my heart and soul teaches me more than 6 months of painstakingly pleasing professors with big egos.
And the soon to be graduates, my God...you have the ones that are there for the lulz, the nerds that beat their ass off to sustain a scholarship they'll have to pay back with interests and the ones that just hope for the best. The last two of the list are the ones I really feel bad for, the nerds will beat themselves over and over to comply with teacher demands not noticing they are about to graduate still versioning on .zip and drive, the latter feel something's wrong but they have no chances if there isn't a teacher to mentor them.
And what pisses me off even more is the typical answers to these issues "you NEED the title" and "you need to be self taught". First of all bitch how many times have we heard, seen and experienced the rejection for being overqualified? The market is saturated with titles, so much so they have become meaningless, IT companies now hire on an experience, economical and likeability basis. Worse, you tell me I need to be self taught, fucker I've been self taught for years why would I travel 10km a day for you to give me 0 new insights, slacking in my face or do what my dog does when I program (stare at me) and that's just on the days you decide to attend!
But not everything is bad, college does give you three things: networking, some good teachers and expensive dead tree remnants, is it worth the price tag, not really, not if you don't need it.
My broken family is not one of resources and even tho I had an 80% scholarship at the second best uni of my country I decided I didn't need the 10+ year debt for not sleeping 4 years, I decided to go to the 3rd in the list which is state funded; as for that decision it worked out as I'm paying most of everything now and through my BS I've noticed all of the above, I've visited 4 universities in my country and 4 abroad and even tho they have better everything abroad it still doesn't justify some of the prices.
If you don't feel like I do and you are happy, I'm happy for you. My rant is about my personal experience which is kind of in the context of IT higher education in the last ~8 years.
Just letting some steam off and not regretting most of my decisions.15
few years back,I wanted to be become supercar designer or weapon designer.
Due low grade in 12th.I got admission in computer science instead of mechanical.
c was introduced in 1st sem.
Score well in first year.
college offer me to change my field cs -> mechanical
4 year later (now)
1) due to health
2) financial issues
happy to be full stack developer.
still like cars and weapons but choosed cs as my real career.16
Made a bunch of bad decisions.
This one is the absolute worst.
Studying biology as a main subject intstead of computer science in high school.
Indian people in here would know, studying PCMB is no less than being a dare devil. 🤣
Why did I do that ?
I didn't want to get into medicine.
I just wanted to study it for fun.
And thought, I'll be able to study all of computer science in college 😶.
Its totally useless now.
How much of biology do I remember now ?
Studying CS would have been much more beneficial for me.13
My worst choice was walking out of my first ever job.
The owner of the company was a very kind person and he really liked and appreciated my work, he even gave me a mid level salary straight away even though I was still in college and didn't have any prior experience.
But when I found myself getting so lucky I thought "oh it's so easy to get a job I can get one whenever I want" then I quit the job for college as I didn't want to do both at the same time due to stress.
The funny thing is that when I quit I didn't even focus on college, I just used the money (which was a lot) to go out and buy stuff I don't need and I even failed a course in the next semester after I was one of the top students in school.3
- Switching to Linux entirely
- Learning how to use the shell
- Using Windows 8
- Hardcoded passwords (I built a small thing for myself, don't judge)3
Dropping out of school. So many lost years on keeping up with stupid and incompetent shits, with the piece of paper at the finish line not obtained. I did that twice and lost.. what, 5 years on that? Time I could've spent doing self-study instead. I'm not saying that anyone else should drop out - don't! - but for me, going to school doesn't seem worth it when I can learn on my own, and do it much faster. Unfortunately however those stupid pieces of paper are still regarded as valuable by some.. so whether refusing to get those is a good or a bad idea, only time can tell...10
I switched my job about 2 months ago. This was my first switch after college (in 7 years). I was at a senior position and was not learning anything new for few months and got really bored.
I had asked for a 100% hike in new company, they gave me over 150%. Apart from this, they offer free food and snacks (or reimburse if you order your food from outside). Unlimited leaves and work from home option. No fixed working hours (I see people working for only 5-6 hours some days). No sign of politics yet. People are very humble and help you out even on silly queries. Company is growing at a very fast pace, it was named in fastest x growing companies about a month ago in some report with growth rate of about 1000%.
I see people around me with so less experience than me but so much knowledge. Feels like I am fresher again and learning so much from them. FYI, I had worked in same field (tech) for initial 3 years of my career. Looking at seniors I am finally able to set goals.
This one time I saw CTO awake at 3 am collaborating actively in resolution of a production issue.
Having seen so much positive, I went over 100 reviews on Glassdoor to find out the only 2 negatives points ever written, one of them was slow Lift in building. The other a9
Missing the first entry date for university was probably the best thing that happened to me.
Got to work full time and show off my expertise in "reallife scenarios" for nearly a year.
Best experience i could've made until now.
Just got a job as a junior PHP dev. Company is really chill as long as the work gets done. I can learn a lot here, and I am doing backend stuff mostly.
Got a great PC with 2 big screens and Ubuntu freshly installed by me.
Loving it so far!4
The best decision I ever made was moving from a big company to a very small one.
I used to work for a large international consulting firm in the model development team. Everything moved so slowly, there were huge amounts of pointless meetings and other time-sinks, we were surrounded by people who were being paid a lot of money but added little or no value, and the general atmosphere of the company was quite depressing. We spent more time having to make PowerPoint presentations for senior management trying to explain why you can't just hire 100 devs and have a product 100 times faster than we actually did developing a product.
I took a bit of a risk and moved to become the fourth person (and second developer) at a niche software producer to take over product innovation and lead product development. Immediately I felt so much happier and realised how much the previous company had worn me down. Everyone works hard and efficiently because your individual output is so much more important to the success of the company and the work you put in comes back to you financially without being syphoned by layers of valueless management levels or time-wasters.
Having responsibility, seeing the impact of your own work and being rewarded accordingly is so important for your sense of well-being. I urge you all to try it if you're stuck in a big company that's wearing you down. And if you're considering moving from a small company to a big one: don't.3
(internships included as I'm on my first real job)
Best: my current job.
Worst: using Google services at an internship instead of quitting (yes, this is a big deal for me). People call me crazy when they hear that but I've got my fucking ethics/morals/values.
For the record, if I'd have to choose between having an income/using Google services or starving, I'd go for the income part anyways, I don't have a deathwish.14
TLDR: SAP sucks. Don't ever work with it. Run away from it. Delete it from your memory. If your company works with it, quit. It's the best you can do.
A couple of weeks ago the group rant was "Story of your best/worst career choice" and I talked about the contract I signed. Even tho that is still true and I still feel like that, I think I got a new worst choice:
WORKING WITH SAP.
When I got this job I knew it would be SAP, but I didn't know what SAP was. I just thought "it's programming, how bad can it be?" OH BOII.
If only I would have done some FUCKING RESEARCH I would know this would be a mistake!!
And I knew I didn't want to work with this, I knew I wanted to be a web developer, but I STILL ACCEPTED THE JOB OH MAN WHAT WAS I THINKING I'M SO MAD.
Were I live we all have the same mentality when looking for the first job, which is to just accept anything you can get, because it's your first job, you need to work and to get experience, even if it's a bad job or if you know you won't like it. When my intership was ending, I told my parents I didn't want to stay there because they treat their employes like shit, and the salary is terrible. They told me to still accept it if they offered because I still need a job (this one was web tho) and experience.
So, of course, since I was looking for my first job, was told this my entire live, always thought like that and they were the first to contact me, I accepted it.
BIGGEST FUCKING MISTAKE!! DON'T THINK LIKE THIS!! AND STOP TELLING KIDS THIS!! IT'S NOT A GOOD MENTALITY!!!
ALSO DON'T WORK WITH SAP! EVER!22
Since I'm still alive and the future parts of my life is a mystery , I say:
My best career choice: coming to work at my current company
My worst career choice: coming to work at my current company2
Got rebuked by the Java teacher today at the University for using proper long names for variables in the code. She though I was just wasting time being lazy in the lab. "If something can be achieved by a single character, why type that long variable again and again?". *Everyone in class laughs*
Then, there was an error in my code [turned out to be long long int in Java is weird], and I had no clue what was going wrong [I'm a week old in Java]. So, I had initially called her to help. She made me change all private methods and attributes to public. When asked "why?", got trolled again.
Now, I know it's okay, and not that I really care about what my classmates think of me, but getting this kind of treatment really sucks. And if this is how future software developers are crafted today, maintainability is surely going to be an issue tomorrow.
Maybe staying in this stupid country was my worst career choice. I should have tried harder and gone abroad.12
Best/worst career choices.
Worst: working overtime and performing awesome feats of superhuman strength to the point of being burnt out and bitter. Turns out I'm just a human being. Cool.
Best: learning, implementing, pushing my comfort zone, and sharing/learning with others. Standing by my design decisions and seeing them blossom into elegant/robust solutions is so incredibly satisfying, and kinda scary. Believe in your abilities, yo.
Best:Working for people with money and crazy projects in mind. Working for dreamers. Working for people that believe in you, as a decision maker, stack choices. Choose not to be a pawn.
Worst: not leaving a company when they indiscriminately lie in the job offer. HR will never say bug fixing (that's like going to a date saying you have a micropenis from the beggining), they will say integrations, product improvement... If then all the tickets are bug fixing i should have said something in the first month.
My best career choice: After 5 longass years, left a multinational consulting firm that constantly reminded me of my insignificance. Joined a small company to work on their flagship app. Learning sooo much.
Worst: NOT LEAVING THE CODE MONKEY SWEATSHOP SOON ENOUGH. ENDURING PAIN != WORKING HARD. THERE'S A PROBLEM WHEN SENIOR DEVS IN YOUR COMPANY ONLY UNDERSTAND PROCEDURAL PROGRAMMING. MANAGERS ONLY CARED ABOUT HOW MANY HOURS DEVS LOGGED WHICH TREATED A COGNITIVE INTENSIVE TASK AS MANUAL LABOR.2
Worst career choice: Not following computer science because there were few careers for computer techs pre-2000s.
Best career choice: Do a 2 years course in CNC (paid by the government). Also, the worst carer choice because I got my burn out in the first (one of the best in the region) molding company I worked for.
Best: Becoming an IT contractor
Worst: Not telling more people to "fuck off and go fuck yourself if you're not going to be helpful" while I was perm
Worst career choice: Not programming when I was younger because someone told me I would pick up bad habits. As a result if feel behind some of my peers at University.
Best career choice: I'll let you know when/if I have a career.4
I started my career 7 years back (at the same company I am currently working) as an Asp.net developer. My company used to work in Microsoft domains back then. 5 years back one of our directors decided to dig into the open-source technologies and move away from Microsoft. And I was the first employee who was assigned to learn python. I thought about switching the company so that my 2 years of asp.net experience doesn't go waste. But I didn't as I started liking python. It was easy, powerful, clean, and same code ran on every fucking platform. And I was introduced to open-source.
Don't know best or worst, but this decision definitely changed my view about software development. I understood that money is not everything, passion is also important. The open-source community runs on passion and dedication. And I love the way it works. The bottom line is, I am happy. And python is beautiful.
Best career decision:
Doing many different jobs before programming, move to capital city to pursue first software development job without money, college degree, place to stay and plans for future.
Worst career choice:
Probably would be staying in Poland despite many opportunities to travel around the world, earn big money or work on really cool things as software developer but I won’t know until I die.2
Juggling two jobs, both being 100miles (~160km). apart from each other: one working for a big VFX studio as a render wrangler getting paid peanuts, and one as Junior SDET for an electronics company. I lasted 6 months on the former as I couldn't handle the insane drive anymore, and stayed on the latter for three more years due to the higher pay and comfy environment. I was really hoping to make connections with the former, too, since I wanted to get into Game Development or into programming cool VFX shit for Hollywood at least. Alas, I digress.
After I got laid off, I took an offer from a small company as a Graphics SWE that happened to have a terrible reputation. Upon reading glassdoor reviews and a few days deliberating, I just told myself: 'fuck it, I need a job so bad,' and took the offer. Turns out that was the perfect time to get hired (all the previous engineers are gone). Hell, those guys did not even practice proper version control, there was no git/svn repo to be found, and all their projects were in hard drives scattered somewhere in their office. I was a bit astounded. All the knowledge the devs had of the framework the company used were salvaged from tons of uncommented, spaghetti code. It was like the entire future of the company was riding on me and the other new guy that got hired 1 week before for the same position. A year later, CEO promoted both of us, which tripled my salary compared to my QA job.
Leaving my work in the soul crushing dog eat dog world of transportation and logistics for higher education software for colleges and universities .
I work at a college and I fucking love it and love my team.
The soulc crushing dog eat dog world of transportation and logistics where I worked as a backend developer and lead mobile developer. Not only did it made me hate and despise native android development, but it also made me despise the human race as a whole. Watching a motherfucker letting go of employees that he knew personally (as in bbq with their families and shit) because my software automated a large portion of their work(it was meant to make it easier for them for that i was originally told) was absolute and total bullshit and i still carry that fucking remorse with me. After that I vowed never to do that sort of bullshit work again....sort off. No one gets fired at this institition for it. Logistics sucks big monkey dick and the people there are the absolute fucking worst. Every single motherfucker i met was a fucking shark, all of them and they would not think about fucking people over if it saved them some money.
Yeah, that even tops the military and that was fuuuull of fuck fuck games and other similar fuckery.2
Not my story, but something that my friend did which inspired me a lot. So, a friend of mine who just graduated with a bachelor's in physics, had a month off after one of his semesters, and while most of us ended up doing internships in companies, he decided to do something else. He decided to go up to a local mechanic and ask him to teach him how to repair bikes for a month. Now in India, a mechanic is sadly one of the least reputed jobs, so for him to go there and work for free was unusual. After working there, he told me about the things he learned and to what an amazing extent he could apply that practical knowledge he gained. It was truly impressive. Which is why I have decided to do something like this in the future as well. With enough savings, I'm sure all of could survive a month. I can't even begin to imagine the potential of this, you could learn so much practically.
I allowed my previous employer to move me from a developer position to a support role and I didn't even complained about it.6
Best: take a job as a data analyst. 1 year later, re-write and re-deploy the entire backend following correct security concentions and well-hashed-out data models.
Worst: attempt to backup a hard drive using dd, just to accidentally brick the laptop (because it had some security layer the school put to prevent just that)
Bestest: use knowledge acquired at my "best" story to nuke windows on bricked laptop. Then extract the leftover data using dd and a series of recovery tools.
Left engineering (and my job) for theoretical CS
My best choice in my opinion, although not every body around me shares it.7
I started Aeronautical Engeneering (yes I know, but I love Aviation). In second semester I saw Basic Programming, and then I realized that I had an ability in programming (comparing to my other fellows).
In third semester I was in "Static" class (vectors and a lot of physics) and I thought: "WTF am doing here, I don't know what can I do with a vector in real life." So I decided to switch to Systems Engeneering in other university (I think it had been always in my blood haha).
I saw one semester and this happened: I loved the career, but the university had an old-educational method that i hated. So i moved to another university, and I'm currently finishing at distance.
I'm just tired of university. I realized that the university is about 30%. The other 70% is experience (and of course a little from Stack Overflow hahaha).
Now, thanks to a lot of Google research and experience in various self projects, I'm here in Brazil working as a Web Developer.
I've learned 1000% more here than in the university.
And that's my short-four-years-story7
(Best or Worst??)1
I dunno if any of my choices have been "bad". Humans are great at explaining things to themselves to feel better. Narratives is our strength and we love them.
In hindsight everything seems to be a correct choice and kinda makes sense. For everything else is just a lesson to learn from.2
The worst (and only, really): I signed a 5 year contract with this company and now I'm miserable.
But I can't to quit, or else I'll have to pay 16000€ so yeah...
And the worst part: after I signed the contract I realised I don't really want to do this, so now I'm stuck in this company for 5 years (unless they fire me) and can't do what I ACTUALLY want to do.
I had another opportunity at the time, but I didn't go because I would be making a lot less, but at least I could leave when I wanted!
Also, my family said this would be better, and 5 years wasn't a lot of time, so I trusted them... What a bad idea!
I will spend the first half of my 20's doing something I should have kept as a hobbie!
I only make bad decisions, I swear12
Being the novice Linux user as I was, I spent nearly all night trying to configure dual boot with some distro (maybe Debian). At about 3 or 4am I was going through the distro's installer and confirmed the previously select partition actions, one of which wipe the wrong partition. 1TB gone 😅👍
Good thing was it was a fresh start for serous projects.
Best: complain about the security issues we had, later got the green light to fix them
Worst: at an intern my boss asked me to create some shady code... and I did it ... 😅
Best choice: not going into game development. Bad payment for horrible working conditions.
Worst choice: telling numbers as first party in the interview process for every job I had so far. Made me earn far under my market value.4
I had two job offers, one paid twice as much. I took the lower paying one because it was exciting work where I expected to learn a lot. I was right on both counts.
Best or worst? Definitely the most significant. I'll let you judge which.3
Worst one was in my first ever web developer job. It was a small company where everything was done in Adobe ColdFusion. Was there for 2.5 years before they went bankrupt and I got made redundant.
So when it came to look for another job, I was hoping to get another ColdFusion related job. But a lot of company's requirements were pretty bullshit. Junior position, but must have 5 years experience.
After 4 months of looking, eventually found another job but as a PHP developer. But since my PHP skills were beginner's level, I had to start from a new graduate level salary all over again. Felt like the past 2.5 years at my first job was a waste of time.
worst: choosing to be a business student instead of studying computer science
best: finally graduating from business school, and now i have time to concentrate on coding fully
Not sure if I could care any less about the choices being made anymore.
But the best choice I made was actually quitting the working from home job I had right when they were starting to use WordPress and outsourcing it to whatever Indian developer they found to do that for them (pun intended, though no hard feelings and understanding of the situation) for their general projects. I just wasn't open to it anymore.
I was setting up websites for almost zero to no money, a website in 4 hours upto 2 days, whilst doing internal support to save their frigging mailboxes from the Outlook Demon all the time. (Exaggerated in some sense, but I abide by the thought)
Best decision would be to start working full-time in an E-commerce fulfillment company, learning the good stuff, both structural and management wise. Working on one entity, but still doing it whilst using 100's of technologies, connecting to a ton of platforms and projects and most of all being able to aid in lessening the work-load for both my co-workers and customers as much as is deemed possible.
Honestly my worst career choice was due to the fact that I was severely dissatisfied with my life at the time, so I answered a recruiting email from LinkedIn.
The job sounded great on paper, the office was great, the interviewees were amazing, BUT at the end of the day it was so much less of a challenge than my current job that I was sick of it after 3 MONTHS (for reference, people who had worked there for 4 years and were seniors were asking me for help all the time at that point...on basic java problems...yeah..).
So my only advice when you get the itch to respond to a recruiter is definitely weight your options. Ask yourself "Am I really unhappy with my job, or is it something else?" because it can really save you a world of pain later on.
I got a different job thereafter, but it was sure embarrassing to run into my old boss at a party and he was like "how's the new gig" and I had already left...2
Best choice: Getting into the technical stuffs... And blowing up my mind almost everyday with a never seen before problem.
Worst choice: Getting stuck into an IT 😐
Best: leaving Job in just 6 months to start freelancing.
Worst: yet to make :p, probably I'm planning to stop working for masters or moving to Geemany from India for on site project. And both are pretty much risky 😅
I want to create an app with usertype 1 and usertype 2 in which both should have separate login forum but in single app and whatever usertype 2 posts,usertype 1 should be able to see in their news feed and should be able to response. People are telling me you should create separate app for each usertype but i don't like that idea.....Help me guys if anybody know what should i do.1