• Activity
  • Votes
  • Comments
  • New
  • All activity
  • Showing only topics with the tag "work". Back to normal view
    1. My premise is that you genuinely want to help the company and the next person who moves into your old position. Maybe you got a promotion, or you found an even-better job. In any case, you want...

      My premise is that you genuinely want to help the company and the next person who moves into your old position. Maybe you got a promotion, or you found an even-better job. In any case, you want the old coworkers to succeed, and you want to make a smooth transition.

      So there’s a few pieces to this:

      • What do you do when you leave a job?

      • What have other people done, when they left/moved on, that gave you the knowledge and skills you needed to excel?

      • What did they NOT provide that you wish they had?

      It’d be easy for me to focus on “what did you do” but none of us know how successful that was. So tell me, rather, about your experience as the person picking up the reins. What did that teach you about the process?

      Anecdotes welcome! (And tell me how to refer to you in the article. Private is fine.)

      10 votes
    2. After watching Office Space for the first time a few weeks ago, I was struck by the scene where Peter is talking about his average working day, and it got me to wondering about how much actual...

      After watching Office Space for the first time a few weeks ago, I was struck by the scene where Peter is talking about his average working day, and it got me to wondering about how much actual work I do at my job. I'm pretty sure that even on a good day, I put in less than 2 hours of actual graft. The rest is just mindless internetting, chatting with my colleagues, and wishing I was elsewhere.
      So I'm curious how much work other people actually do in a day, and how you pass the time when you're not doing anything at all?

      31 votes
    3. I've recently accepted a new developer role for a small tech company where everyone works remotely. I've had experience of working from home as a freelancer in the past and slightly more recently...

      I've recently accepted a new developer role for a small tech company where everyone works remotely. I've had experience of working from home as a freelancer in the past and slightly more recently working for a distributed company, although there I was working in a small shared office with one other colleague.

      I wondered if anyone has any tips or advice on how best to remain productive as well as avoid distractions and try to keep a work/life balance?

      I do intend to eventually find a co-working space but immediately I plan to work from home for at least the first few months.

      Thanks!

      16 votes
    4. Hello Tildes, I recently was accepted to my first PhD program, to one of my top choices. I am really quite excited about it. So I wanted to ask you... If you have a PhD: Are you glad you spent all...

      Hello Tildes,

      I recently was accepted to my first PhD program, to one of my top choices. I am really quite excited about it.

      So I wanted to ask you...

      If you have a PhD:

      • Are you glad you spent all that time pursuing it?
      • What does having one allow you to do that not having one would prevent you from doing?
      • Do you still maintain connections with your advisor(s) and/or fellow students?
      • Are you proud of your research?
      • Do you still look at research in that field?
      • What do you do now?

      If you pursuing a PhD, or have one and can answer these questions as your past self:

      • Do you get along with your advisor?
      • How much time do you spend looking at publications in your field?
      • Is most of your new knowledge from these publications, or do you perhaps rely on books you have not yet read?
      • How has your own funding (e.g. NSF fellowship) or lack thereof impacted what you do with your day?
      • What do you anticipate doing after you finish?
      • What (open source?) tools do you find the most useful in your work?
      • How do you balance work/life?
      • If you are/were a TA, how did you learn how to be an effective one?
      • How do you make sure you are on track with your research goals?
      • What are your biggest wins? Your biggest regrets?
      • any other things you want to talk about?

      Cheers!

      22 votes
    5. Intro Hello everyone, @wanda-seldon has been giving us an introduction to quantum physics. For now, she will be given a short break to prepare new stuff. In the meantime I will be covering some...

      Intro

      Hello everyone,

      @wanda-seldon has been giving us an introduction to quantum physics. For now, she will be given a short break to prepare new stuff. In the meantime I will be covering some classical mechanics, more specifically thermodynamics. In part 1, we need to work our way through some of the more dry concepts, so we can understand and appreciate the horrifying implications of the fun parts. So I promise, this will be the most verbose one.

      Some of you may have briefly seen a version of this posted, that was due to me misunderstanding the schedule with @wanda-seldon. If you saw that one, I will mention I rewrote nearly all of it to be more readable.

      Now, on today's agenda: The basics of heat, work and energy and how it's all related.

      Previous posts can be found here: https://tildes.net/~science/8al/meta_post_for_a_laypersons_introduction_to_series

      Important note

      If @wanda-seldon in her posts mention "energy", it's most likely in the context of energy operators, which is a concept in quantum physics. I'm not going to pretend I understand them, so I will not be explaining the difference. We will cover what energy is in classical mechanics. So keep that in mind if you read something from either of us.

      Subject

      Summarized

      What is heat? Using a lot of fancy words we can describe it as follows. Heat is an energy that is transferred between systems by thermal interaction. And what is work? Work is an energy that is applied in a way that performs... work. The combined energy in a system is called internal energy. This type of energy can be transformed or applied to other systems.

      These are a lot of new words, so lets break that down a bit.

      Systems

      A system is just a catch-all term for something that can be defined with a boundary of sorts. Be it mass, volume, shape, container, position, etc. A canister, your tea mug, the steam inside a boiler, your body, a cloud, a room, earth, etc. They are all systems because you can in some way define what is within the boundary, and what is beyond the boundary.

      In theory, you could define every single nucleid in the universe as an unique system. But that would be counter-intuitive. In thermodynamics we tend to lump things into a system, and treat it as one thing. As opposed to Quantum stuff that looks at the smallest quantity. Calculating every single water molecule in my coffee would be pure insanity. So we just treat my mug as the boundary, and the tea inside the mug as the system. And just so it's mentioned, systems can contain systems, for instance a tea mug inside a room.

      Energy

      Energy is some quantifiable property that comes in either the form of heat, work. It can be transferred to other systems, or change between the different energy types. An example of transfer is my coffee cooling down because it's in a cold room. That means heat has been transferred from one system (my mug) to another system (the room). Alternatively you could say my hot coffee mug is warming up the room, or that the room is cooling down my coffee. Thermodynamics is a LOT about perspective. An example of transforming energy types is when we rub our hands together. That way we convert work (rubbing) into heat. It's really not more complicated than that. An interaction in this case is just a system having an effect on a different system. So a thermal interaction means it's an interaction due to heat (like in the mug example).

      This brings us to an extremely important point. So important, it's considered "law". The first law of thermodynamics even. Energy cannot be destroyed, it can only change forms.

      Your battery charge is never really lost. Neither is the heat of your mug of coffee. It just changed form or went somewhere else. The combined energy of all types that is residing inside a system is called internal energy.

      Heat and work

      Let's say we have a system, like a room. And all windows and doors are closed, so no energy can leave. In this system, you have a running table fan connected to a power line, getting energy from outside the system. The table fan is making you feel cool. Is the fan cooling down the room, heating up the room, or doing nothing? Think about it for a moment.

      http://imgbox.com/CKtQLLOQ

      The first thought of many would be to think that this fan would cool the room down, it sure makes you feel cooler! But it's actually heating up the room. As we remember, internal energy is the energy inside a system (room, in this case). The fan is getting energy from outside, and uses this energy to perform work. The fan accelerates the air inside the room, and this accelerated air will evaporate some of your sweat, so you feel cool. But as we remember, energy cannot be destroyed. So we are importing energy into the system, increasing the internal energy. Some of the work from the fan is also directly converted to heat, since the motor of the fan will get hot.

      So if we are not getting rid of any of this excess energy, we are increasing the internal energy. And therefore actively increasing the temperature of the room.

      http://imgbox.com/SAtqk7YG

      To use a more tangible example: Simplified, this phenomena is why green house gases are bad. Lets define earth as a system. Earth gets a lot of energy from the sun. And a lot of this energy will be reflected and sent back to space. Green house gases will reflect back some of this energy trying to leave earth. So instead of having a roughly equal amount of energy enter the system (from the sun, from us doing stuff, etc) that leaves out in space, we have an increasing amount of energy on earth. This, as a consequence, increases temperature.

      Implications

      Now, what are the maybe not so obvious implications of this?

      Waste heat, from supplied energy or inefficient work is a constant headache in engineering. If we cannot remove enough heat, we will actively heat up objects until they are destroyed. Thats why good cooling systems are important in cars, computers, etc.

      Whats next?

      Now this was not so bad. In the future we will cover phase changes, equilibriums, entropy, the heat death of the universe and briefly touch upon engines. So thats most likely two more parts after this. After that @wanda-seldon will take over again.

      I plan on doing one main part per week, but if something is asked that warrants a small topic I might do smaller ones inbetween.

      Feedback

      Something unclear? Got questions? Got feedback? Or requests of topics to cover? Leave a comment.

      20 votes
    6. I've been thinking about this for a while; working conditions in the U.S.A., stagnant wages, the growing power of the corporation, and the waning power of the worker. It seems to me that to speak...

      I've been thinking about this for a while; working conditions in the U.S.A., stagnant wages, the growing power of the corporation, and the waning power of the worker. It seems to me that to speak of unionizing in the workplace is so taboo, so fraught with risk of retaliation from the employer, that we need to do something different.

      What if we took an active role in speaking about, supporting, and encouraging people of a completely different industry to our own to unionize? If the employers come down on the leaders, well hey, they don't work in that field.

      So, what do you think?

      23 votes
    7. I have a friend at the office, who is very dear to me. I don't have many friends, and I've known this person for over five years. But recently they've become increasingly cynical and sometimes...

      I have a friend at the office, who is very dear to me. I don't have many friends, and I've known this person for over five years. But recently they've become increasingly cynical and sometimes outright toxic. Saying things like "our job doesn't matter", "nobody cares", and "you should stop trying to improve things". The company we work for had incompetent managers for the last couple of years, who were ignoring issues and basically making it up as they go. The management was basically purged, and now there are a lot of new people. So I guess it is my friend's way to cope with the situation. But it feels unhealthy, because recently they started lashing out on people, including new people who have done nothing wrong yet.

      I am honestly kind of afraid to bring this issue up to them, because (a) I am afraid to lose them and (b) they will probably respond with something along the lines of "you don't know what I've been through", or "eff off", or plain old silence. I feel like they are hurting, but I don't know how to help.

      What should I do? Should I do anything at all?

      11 votes
    8. Hello everyone, I plan on going back to college in the Spring while working full time. I think taking two online courses or a 1-1 split of online / in-person courses per semester would be more...

      Hello everyone,

      I plan on going back to college in the Spring while working full time. I think taking two online courses or a 1-1 split of online / in-person courses per semester would be more than manageable while working full time but my particular job is so slow (office environment) and I'm allowed to study during downtime that I'm considering taking at least three courses per semester. What do you guys think is a non-overwhelming amount of classes to take while working full time and have any of you been in this position as well?

      15 votes
    9. Tildes, I'd like some opinions please! I work in a genetics lab as a research assistant and I've got the opportunity to pursue a PhD under the supervision of the lab director whilst maintaining my...

      Tildes, I'd like some opinions please! I work in a genetics lab as a research assistant and I've got the opportunity to pursue a PhD under the supervision of the lab director whilst maintaining my current position and salary, with work I'd probably be doing anyway contributing to my thesis.

      I feel like this is a pretty good opportunity: I'm not getting any younger and I have a young family, so going back to school to do this on a studentship is not an option, and my employer is willing to fund half the tuition fees and cover materials/ reagents etc. Word in the media is that there is a glut of PhDs at the moment, but I don't have my heart set on an academic career, so I won't be crushed if I end up in industry. I'm based in Europe, so would be looking at taking 3 years for the whole degree, which is coincidentally when my current contract is up.

      Has anyone pursued a PhD under similar conditions? What was your experience like? Was getting your PhD worth it (especially in the life sciences/biotech)?

      Thanks!

      7 votes
    10. Firefly has a fairly large cast, and I believe this really adds to the different perspectives they can show for any single topic. For this post, I want to discuss what Firefly says about work. I...

      Firefly has a fairly large cast, and I believe this really adds to the different perspectives they can show for any single topic. For this post, I want to discuss what Firefly says about work.

      I decided against writing an essay for this, so I thought I'll just mention a few things that stood out to me.

      Your job is your adventure

      I always found Kaylee's story on how she joined the crew really endearing. She had a love and passion for ships, and let her knowledge (and unspoken hard work) offer her an opportunity to travel and experience new things. I love how her job, as the ship's mechanic, is a part of who she is.

      Work can be hard and hard to come by

      Ultimately, Firefly is a story about survival. Mal takes jobs that can be dirty, they're not fully equipped for and just a little...illegal. However, you have to work with what you can get with what you have. And there's nothing wrong with doing any job to survive...of course this leads to...

      Your job doesn't need to define you, but it can reflect who you are

      Inara works a job that comes with a lot of judgement. She takes pride in her work and doesn't let anyone shame her for it, though they definitely do try.

      One of my favourite Simon moments is when he has Jayne in the operating chair after learning that Jayne betrayed him and his sister. Simon tells Jayne that he'll always be safe when he's in the chair. Simon is a doctor, and though he obviously has a great ability to do harm, he never will.

      Jayne's all about the money. I think it's shown that Jayne would love to do "respectable" work, but doesn't have the opportunity. He would rather play the hero, but can't, so he's all about making as much money as he can. His morals are probably the greyest of the crew. Still, he feels shame, and learns that when you comprise your morals for a payday, that is you. Ultimately, it's not who he wants to be, and definitely not what he wants to be remembered for.

      I think there's something really universal about the themes that Firefly has about work. After all, most of us will spend a significant portion of our lives at work, and I think it's not hard to relate at least a little bit.

      5 votes