RIP Philo

programming and nursing...

I'm not sure if this is muppet or bizzaro muppet.

http://discuss.joelonsoftware.com/default.asp?joel.3.463321.26

Anyway, interesting thread .
Permalink zed 
March 12th, 2007 4:22pm
The thread is going to be limited by the G-ratedness of JoS.  Lets set it free.


IT is the worst field to be in, except for all of the others.


Personally, all of my work has been in developing software products/software services.  I'm not sure it's something I want to do the rest of my career since such a small fraction of it is creation and discovery, and the rest is maintaining decisions you made 10 years ago, or repeating the same formula over and over because that's what someone wants.  And trying to compete against PHP developers who will do the same thing for a fraction of the price.

Are there fields where you're writing new code every day to solve a problem knowing you're going to throw it away in a week?  Simulations?  Analytics?  More complicated words here?
Permalink Michael B 
March 12th, 2007 4:36pm
> Are there fields where you're writing new code every day to solve a problem knowing you're going to throw it away in a week?  Simulations?  Analytics?

The research side of many fields is like that. My job in bioinformatics had a lot of "try it out and see" type programming. Guys who work at hedge funds and in finance do a lot of 'researchy' stuff. However you have to be on the research side. The other side is being the guy in bioinformatics or finance whose job it is to turn the researcher guy's code into a production system. That isn't so much fun.
Permalink hello. 
March 12th, 2007 4:39pm
> IT is the worst field to be in, except for all of the others.

I sort of agree with this. When I hear stories from Bored Bystander or Sharkfish or whomever else about these "office space" like environments, I shudder, and am very thankful I've stuck to my guns and only chosen jobs that I thought would be interesting.

On the other hand, my career has been totally up and down. Sometimes I get paid $70K a year, sometimes I get paid $140K a year, sometimes I don't work for a year. I have to live in the most expensive areas of the country (boston, bay area) in order to find work I find fulfilling. My career has been so unstable I could have just been an artist or a rock musician and done just as well, financially. I mean, if I had spent eight years doing art 14 hours a day, I'd be a pretty fucking good artist by now, I think...

The other problem I have with software is the psychological mindfuck the industry performs on your self esteem. It is a bitch when you feel like a complete loser because you _only_ make $90K a year, because guys a couple years older than you are worth billions of dollars or some 20 year old kid makes a web page full of links and gets to retire for the next five years. Sigh.
Permalink hello. 
March 12th, 2007 4:50pm
"being the guy in bioinformatics or finance whose job it is to turn the researcher guy's code into a production system. That isn't so much fun."

I just don't think I have the academic background or the raw intelligence to do useful bioinformatics research or finance. I might aspire to turning the research code into a production system, but I'm more likely to end up the guy who has to fix the whatsit that's broken on the system that was turned over by the research to production guy last year.
Permalink zed 
March 12th, 2007 4:55pm
> I just don't think I have the academic background or the raw intelligence to do useful bioinformatics research or finance.

bioinformatics... the code is pretty easy. the deal is, you get some doctor/microbiologist who is running a lab, and he just doesn't want to do ANY programming whatsoever. so you just get his ideas and write some perl scripts. On the other hand, I got that job because the guy running the lab was a friend of a friend, so I most likely don't have a handle on reality.

Finance on the other hand is harder, because most of those guys are very obsessed with people's pedigrees. It is a rare bird who becomes some sort of serious quant without having a PhD from a prestigious university. Even the grunt programmers who are building out the production systems usually have advanced degrees from NYU, CMU, MIT, etc.
Permalink hello. 
March 12th, 2007 5:00pm
I'm getting out of programming at the end of this year.

I'm not playing this game for 40 years, no thanks.
Permalink what are you reading for? 
March 12th, 2007 5:20pm
what's next?
Permalink zed 
March 12th, 2007 5:20pm
bumming around for a while, I don't have a clue what to do
Permalink what are you reading for? 
March 12th, 2007 5:26pm
>> I have to live in the most expensive areas of the country (boston, bay area) in order to find work I find fulfilling.

Life is always a tradeoff - always an optimization of one factor at the expense of another. The reason a few of us have these "Office Space" type stories is because of just what you described. If you try to stay in one location, you have to make-do with a local employment market. The most shat-upon developers are the ones who won't move to a new job.

I'm not very shat-upon because I have likewise optimized income and availability of work by being a contractor, against more stress and more contention with people I work for and more energy exerted in forging equitable deals.

I'd have less resistance working in a tech belt, for sure.
Permalink Bored Bystander 
March 12th, 2007 6:03pm
That wasn't Muppet.  Not his style at all.  No way.  Besides, the poster mentions certain facts that don't fit Muppet's history (which I won't specifically refer to out of respect for his privacy, an attitude I wish he would also adopt, and which actually he doesn't deserve).
Permalink  
March 12th, 2007 8:20pm

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