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To replace humans with robots, because human beings are complete shit at everything they do.
I am a chemist. My alignment is not lawful good. I've produced lots of drugs. Mostly just drugs against illnesses. Mostly.
But whatever my alignment or contribution to the world as a chemist... Human chemists are just fucking terrible at their job. Not for a lack of trying, biological beings just suck at it.
Suiting up for a biosafety level lab costs time. Meatbags fuck up very often, especially when tired. Humans whine when they get acid in their face, or when they have to pour and inhale carcinogenic substances. They also work imprecisely and inaccurately, even after thousands of hours of training and practice.
Weaklings! Robots are superior!
So I replaced my coworkers with expensive flow chemistry setups with probes and solenoid fluid valves. I replaced others with CUDA simulations.
First at a pharma production & research lab, then at a genetics lab, then at an Industrial R&D lab.
Many were even replaced by Raspberry Pi's with two servos and a PH meter attached, and I broke open second hand Fischer Sci spectrophotometers to attach arduinos with WiFi boards.
The issue was that after every little overzealous weekend project, I made myself less necessary as well.
So I jumped into the infinitely deep shitpool called webdev.
App & web development is kind of comfortable, there's always one more thing to do, but there's no pressure where failure leads to fatalities (I think? Wait... do I still care?).
Super chill, if it weren't for the delusion that making people do "frontend" and "fullstack" labor isn't a gross violation of the Geneva Convention.
Quickly recognizing that I actually don't want to be tortured and suffer from nerve damage caused by VueX or have my organs slowly liquefied by the radiation from some insane transpiling centrifuge, I did what any sane person would do.
Get as far away from the potential frontend blast radius as possible, hide in a concrete bunker.
So I became a data engineer / database admin.
That's where I'm quarantining now, safely hiding from humanity behind a desk, employed to write a MySQL migration or two, setting up Redis sorted sets, adding a field to an Elastic index. That takes care of generating cognac and LSD money.
But honestly.... I actually spend most of my time these days contributing to open source repositories, especially writing & maintaining Rust libraries.5
Why did I choose to be a web dev?
I didn't. That's the first job I found, and I didn't wanna starve4
Pure spite really.
I do things better out of spite.
I picked my career out of spite, finished my degree out of spite, and currently work out of spite.24
I'm specialized in creating technical debt.
Basically, I rant my way in any dev specialty.
Since I never have a solid understanding of what I'm fucking with, ranting is more natural.
Ability to create technical debt is one of the most important skill, often underestimated:
- it will lead to heavy refactoring or even rewrite = more job for dev
- it will save a lot of short term effort, and luckily will produce the mid-term lock-in of the developers (more money for dev)
- it will increase billable hours to the customer. Higher the technical debt, more complex the explanation, and easier to confuse the customer.
- the best thing is that you'll never pay the debt. You'll eventually leave - willing or not - the job and you'll find some green field to exploit and create more debt.17
Specialty? Ha! With an attention span like mine, I'm surprised I manage to keep a job. Even my hobbies are far from each other.2
A jack of all trades is a master of none, but oftentimes better than a master of one.
I pick up whatever is required by my projects, but I do prefer backend & scripting to graphic fuckery.. // pixel left, pixel up...blah, not for me..3
I figured out that I like full stack because I don't like ignorance about software layers, when I know how that record goes from DB to the table in HTML my mind is at piece. 😌
You guys choose your specialities? I just find myself falling into them, and occasionally being interested in them. If the two line up, bingo.
Occasionally I get a reputation for being good at something I can't stand to work with though, which is never a particularly fun combination.4
My specialty, I don't think I actually have specialised in anything, maybe that's why I never run out of work, shove a problem on my desk and it gets done, don't have experience? Welp, you do now!
Maybe that's the point, you see a lot of people fall of the wagon or get stuck without work, and here I am just plowing through the next problem at hand.
My career was founded on trying something new, seeing something and going, it's needs X, or Y and building my own with it - no degree got me into software, and no degree is going to replace the years of experience gained by just trying new things.
It also allows you to be well versed in a lot of areas and not feel the paradigm shift when changing stack, language, framework, or whatever, it's just another tool in the shed that has its purpose.1
I ended becoming a backend engineer because I love designing backend systems. High Level Design is ❤️
Also, I just don't have the patience required to conquer CSS 🤯😤5
Well I choose nodejs and typescript because it was quick and easy to get started and finish a project with but nobody seems to care about that decision. Still get asked to work on react every 11 seconds of my life 💁🏼♀️8
Well, this’ll get me a downrant and probably a pile of abusive and hateful comments, but I chose WordPress as my dev specialty. It’s in that sweet spot between my own uselessness as a full stack and front-end coder and my clients’ inability to comprehend how to click an “Update plugin” button. So they pay me to do that, plus the occasional “design”, and are seemingly happy to do so.
I think I won something. Not sure what. But my stress levels in my career are consistently at an all-time low. I have lots of flexible time in my day to do work, go outside, get exercise, work on hobbies, network with other people, and be with family. I guess being a WordPress “expert” isn’t all that bad.8
Because PHP is the only language that doesn't make me wanna punch my screen 24/7 (which is gonna get asspensive really quickly)25
I didn’t really choose, I just happened to learn C# as one of the 3 first languages I learnt back then. It landed me multiple jobs and that’s about it really 🤷♂️
I used to be a sysadmin and to some extent I still am. But I absolutely fucking hated the software I had to work with, despite server software having a focus on stability and rigid testing instead of new features *cough* bugs.
After ranting about the "do I really have to do everything myself?!" for long enough, I went ahead and did it. Problem is, the list of stuff to do is years upon years long. Off the top of my head, there's this Android application called DAVx5. It's a CalDAV / CardDAV client. Both of those are extensions to WebDAV which in turn is an extension of HTTP. Should be simple enough. Should be! I paid for that godforsaken piece of software, but don't you dare to delete a calendar entry. Don't you dare to update it in one place and expect it to push that change to another device. And despite "server errors" (the client is fucked, face it you piece of trash app!), just keep on trying, trying and trying some more. Error handling be damned! Notifications be damned! One week that piece of shit lasted for, on 2 Android phones. The Radicale server, that's still running. Both phones however are now out of sync and both of them are complaining about "400 I fucked up my request".
So yeah. I started writing my own implementations out of pure spite. Because I hated the industry so fucking much. And surprisingly, my software does tend to be lightweight and usually reasonably stable. I wonder why! Maybe it's because I care. Maybe people should care more often about their trade, rather than those filthy 6 figures. There's a reason why you're being paid that much. Writing a steaming pile of dogshit shouldn't be one of them.5
My "dev specialty" when I first started was Flash and ActionScript. I just wanted to make funny games and shitpost animations on Newgrounds.
Then I got a job building SharePoint modules, got exposed to legitimate programming languages like C# and learned more about enterprise software architecture, design patterns, yadda yadda. I started hanging out more with the front-end guys, who taught me SASS and SMACSS and all that jazz.
Eventual jobs kept leaning me towards front-end, so I guess that's the hole I find myself in lately. Sometimes I get a sprinkle of devops, some infrastructure stuff, maybe a little solution design here and there.
Now I maintain shitpost enterprise applications built by other devs who like spaghetti and meatballs. At least I put in funny ASCII art for strings in my unit tests.
Because almost all the answers from stackoverflow are still optimum, even if it's 7 year old code, all it needs is some good ol' spit shine refactoring
No idea how I ended up here. So basically started with simple wordpress websites, transitioned to react. This move was the hardest.
Then caught up on node and mongodb. And before i knew i was doing db, backend and front end tasks. Now i know bits and pieces of everything
I don’t like the term “full stack dev”. I personally feel like I’m a Jack of all trades and master of none. There’s so much to learn if you’re a full stack developer. Endless possibilities, endless rants and endless frustration 🤯2
Because when you built the UI and you watch how the end user interact with it, it’s like watching your kid approach their first love, or like watching moon rover landing except you designed and built the whole program by yourself.
It’s just magical.1
impatience. webdev and python is like sewing with premade fabrics. i consider java, c and the like as knitting. cool. but not for me. i need results. quicker.7
I have no specialty, I’m a total generalist. Frameworks and buzzword tech is only useful to me if it makes it easier to code without extraneous syntax, or if I need to know it for the job! Recruiters hate hearing this, they want someone who lives, eats and breathes react.js! They want someone with PASSION for easier (or harder due to shit design) ways to do easy things bc ITS FUTURE! React separates true developers from code monkeys! You never heard of Deno? Serverless NOSQL? BAH! Back to your cave, you bickering caveman! MY DIVINE RECRUITINESS DEEMETH THEE UNWORTHY FOUL WORM9
I've chosen system/embedded programming because I liked system programming and did not like anything connected with web, frontend or UI.
So far it seems like it was a good choice. Even though web was not such a clusterfuck before, it was already repulsive.
If anyone reading this is in the are of AR/ VR, please share any tips or stories. Would appreciate it a lot!
Speciality: Conversational interfaces / NLP
Why I chose it: It appeared to be the only area where my previous academic background (Law) was relevant, so they didn't consider me to have 7 years of blank on my CV.2
Oh now that I'm remembering, this is how I learned PHP. It's not my specialty, but I'm writing a small plugin for WordPress.
I was in a dinner with my partner's family. One of their parent's siblings manages the IT in their company, and we had this conversation:
family member: So what language do you know?
Me: A bit of C and C++, and I did a project last year in Java/Kotlin. But my current project uses mostly Python.
Family Member: Oh Python? But Python is a very easy language, even I could learn pretty quickly. That's why we don't use it in my company. We use PHP.
Within a week I was able to learn PHP and some basic templating library, and replicated most their company's website into a new server.6
I chose Network/Cyber Security because it was my internship experience and they were willing to pay me good money to stay on... No but seriously I am much better at understanding how complex systems work than coding them. This job, as stressful as it is, is a different kind of stressful that the deadline-fraught jobs of software developers worldwide.
And i can do it fully remote.
because i saw the potential ((and) power) of games since the first moment i ever moved my joystick in one, and i wanted to be a creator of such powerful magical universes.
I initially chose System Administration simply because it was attractive to me to be the HMFIC, and generally above the law as corporate policy is concerned, as said law for the most part applied to people with less comprehensive knowledge about how any given system or technology works.
Since then though, I've learned that there's basically no better way to become a jack of all trades than being a sysadmin. There's no other position in the tech field that more easily and gracefully parlays into other specialties.
I write automation and aggregation software now, but I still consider myself a sysadmin by trade, as automation is just another function of system administration. I write everything in vim, and almost entirely in perl, because I am concerned above most other concerns about performance. I could learn C or Go or Rust or some other low-level compiled language, and I'm sure I could create even more performant software that way, but that would take me farther away from my passion: System Administration.
I didn't choose my specialty.
And I still haven't.
I'm a bit of an odd bird in that I'm a generalist in a world of specialists.
How did I get my current specialty? I went where the job told me to go.2
Honestly, I can't remember. A combo of wanting to do AI and other smart stuff got me here. But like, not even sure I'm there yet.
Always had a knack for robotics tho. That's the only thing that's natural to me.1
I guess you could say that my speciality is cloud at scale. I’d say it chose me more than I chose it.
Looking back on it though, I think what I like about my speciality is the unique challenges it brings.
Every speciality has its own set of challenges, like tight resource limits in embedded, or client-server synchronisation in native/mobile.
The challenge of cloud at scale is throughput. Designing systems that can support 100K users making a bazillion requests a second, or a data pipeline firing events that you need to process in near real time without dropping a single one.
The real challenge of course is doing all this within a sensible budget. We have virtually infinite compute but we dont have infinite dollars to spend on it.
Its a fun problem to solve.3
Im kind of a generalist. So i applied for anything in the companies i was interested and picked the highest paying one that had no or few red flags. So now im a full stack developer mostly focused on backend.
Because it was actually well documented.
Enterprise backend apparently doesn't give a shit about its users, except if you buy their trainings :)
I chose iOS with SwiftUI because almost anything else that I had to deal with in the past professionally made me want to rip out my hair periodically every few hours.
I’d never want to go back.
For me it was not do much a choice.
I started out using basic and simple text display (graphics existed but was quite difficult).
For a long time I was the sole or part of a pair of devs so specializing was not possible and once we grew to such a size I already was quite proficient in all areas from hardware to customer support and education.
But from that time onto today I have gravitated towards a more backend role mainly because I lack a good sense or visual design.
I know it something looks good, but doing it my self results in more boring or plain designs where more thought goes into UX than nice looking design.
That said, if we do web applications I can still keep up since it usually is more ux heavy ;)
But when it comes to adding background images, nice color sets and such I gladly defer that to colleagues with a better design sense.
I don't know if I'd quite say it's MY specialty yet but the company I work for specializes in automation. I'm technically a support/DevOps person atm but they've got me heading more more back into dev work (which is good)
Realized that there are individuals that wants a simple mobile app to try out their business idea and needs you to take care of all of it from writing requirements to deploying the app. Also from a third world country and would not get any offers for any embedded hardware job.2
Always liked to tinker with software.
And build stuff.
The latter started out the opposite, used to be a bonafide skid.
Until I learned that the most efficient way to break in, is to know how it's built.
My specialty? Mmh probably Laravel, MySQL, Vue & NuXT JS.
& React native.
Built quite a few things with those tools.
.net, asp, sqlsrv, Xamarin & uwp is in my toolbelt too tho.
Whichever tool is the better fit 😁
There's good money in doing web development and easy start threshold (what seems like a bubble that will burst sooner or later). What do I like about web development? Nothing. What do I hate about web development? Frontend. OK, I will work on the backend then. That's the process of elimination.
i chose backend as a specialty coz i couldnt accept having a functional button and someone makes me work extra to get it to move, change color or get bigger
I choose mine (full-stack) because I worked on countless projects on my own and always had the curiosity that span the whole picture although I'm leaning towards a T-shape specialist.