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  • Showing only topics in ~life with the tag "work". Back to normal view / Search all groups
    1. Career advice: specializing in niche tech stack vs. finishing first degree

      Hello all, was inspired to fish for responses after seeing another user request resume feedback. Apologies if the background is on the longer side. TLDR: Dropped out 10 years ago; have only a high...

      Hello all, was inspired to fish for responses after seeing another user request resume feedback. Apologies if the background is on the longer side.

      TLDR: Dropped out 10 years ago; have only a high school degree and university transfer credits. Conflicted between finishing my degree online while working full time, vs. specializing in a niche tech stack (Salesforce) via current employment. Looking for any input because I'm prone to decision paralysis.

      Background I'm in a really weird place currently in terms of long term career track. I dropped out of college for computer science a decade ago. The school was a private for-profit (yikes) and I couldn't transfer any credits out. Either way, I was aimless, so I enrolled at a local community college with the intent of transferring to a state 4-year, earn my bachelor's, and figure things out from there. A connection at the community college helped me find full-time employment in a help desk role, so I paused my studies.

      That help desk role turned into a weird application analyst/developer position that involved configuring applications using a low code platform. I taught myself Python and some super basic React while there, and my crowning achievement was making a hideous set of Python scripts that ended up replacing an automation program that the company couldn't get working anyways. When my boss at that job moved to a new company, he contacted me in the next year to fill a systems analyst position, which in practice was learning Salesforce administration and whatever else third party tech tools the company decides to adopt for projects. I've been here for 1.5 years now. The pay is not amazing for HCOL, but I'm still living with family and the work is fully remote so I'm not complaining.

      The best part, actually, is that there's a lot of room for career growth with actual on the job experience... if I teach myself Salesforce development. There's a few other people on my team who all stumbled into Salesforce admin tasks like myself, but none have a CS background so I've already taken on and delivered on some tasks that would previously have gone to a consultant.

      I don't know how many folks here work with Salesforce development, but my research tells me that it's a locked ecosystem, incredibly flooded on the entry level by people holding certificates from Salesforce, and a different enough beast from traditional software engineering that X years as a Salesforce developer won't exactly translate to X years of experience when trying to pivot to a software dev role. I already had a difficult time getting any responses back when I tried to apply to junior software dev roles during the pandemic - which could be my resume, but I'm sure the lack of a degree and primary work experience being on low code platforms were not helpful. Either way, the thought of relying on Salesforce for breadwinning is... not something I am "above" by any means, but does trigger a bit of anxiety for the future.

      The second option would be to go through some reputable online degree program like WGU or CSU Monterey Bay's CS Online. I've actually been slowly earning credits to transfer to the latter, but I've never been a great self-paced learner. I read that these programs are perfect for people working full time, but I absolutely do not fit the bill for the type of student who can blitz through WGU's program in a year. So both would take me maybe two years to complete if I start in 2025, which is something to the tune of $15-20k USD. I can afford this, but it's not exactly a drop in the bucket either. Dropping work to attend in-person at lower costs at a local university unfortunately is not an option.

      If I were driven and disciplined enough, I could do both - learning SF dev on my own time and applying it to work, while also earning my degree - but I'll be honest and say that's just a recipe for disaster. I know me; if I had even a fraction of the discipline required to make that work, I'd have upskilled out of here years back when pandemic hiring at tech companies were at an all time high. That train has come and gone, though.

      18 votes
    2. An equitable solution to a problem at work regarding sick leave and staffing?

      Please bear with me as I'm not terribly sure if this is the right place for this, if I'm phrasing it right, or if I'm making a mountain out of a mole hill. I work at a childcare center - a private...

      Please bear with me as I'm not terribly sure if this is the right place for this, if I'm phrasing it right, or if I'm making a mountain out of a mole hill.


      I work at a childcare center - a private school marketed as "the best in the area". By most metrics, we are exactly that. I've worked here for nearly 15 years in a variety of roles, namely as a prek teacher for over half of that time. I have a good relationship with my directors and the schools owners, despite some issues in the past (I'm eager to champion more rights and privileges for employees).

      This week was the sickest I have been in years, and it was the same for several other staffers as well. We couldn't call in, however, because none of us had fevers, vomiting, or diarrhea (the "big three" for what's acceptable to call in for). We all had flu-like symptoms, though those of us who went to the doctor tested negative for anything. Dozens of students had been getting ill with STREP, Influenza A/B, and Fifths in the weeks prior. It just took its time in reaching the staff!

      I co-teach in my class and my co-teacher and I both lost our voices for days. Others had full-body aches, tremendous coughing fits, extreme lethargy... It was terrible. However, almost none of us got the time off that we needed to recover. Why? Staffing. The owners/directors don't want to close a room due to illness, even if both teachers in the room are horrendously sick. I spent days with the kids, barely able to talk or move, just trying to get through the day. My coworkers were the same.

      Does that seem right?

      The directors/owners essentially picked those who were deemed "sickest" to take a day off. While in the moment I understand that decision, it doesn't seem like a terribly good way to handle it either. I want to bring up my grievances about this with the owners (I already have with the directors, they don't disagree with me but "that's just the way it is") but I also know that showing up with a problem and no solution won't go over well. I also know they don't want to close a classroom at all costs, which is my preferred solution. The last time one was closed was when 5/6 teachers in another room had COVID simultaneously and we were mandated to close the room.

      Anyone have any thoughts? Even if it's to show me a side I may not be considering here? Thank you for your insight.

      22 votes
    3. Looking for advice on a work related issue

      I'm currently a software developer consultant working as a lead developer in the fintech industry. My team consist of me and 6 other developers of various levels of expertice. I started apx a year...

      I'm currently a software developer consultant working as a lead developer in the fintech industry. My team consist of me and 6 other developers of various levels of expertice. I started apx a year ago in this position and the project was to take over an system built by an external company and develop and maintain it going forward. We grew the team over time, so initially there was only me, but after 3 months we'd added a couple of other developers. The most junior developer with only a few years of experience took on the scrum master role at 50%, which allowed the other of us to focus moren on dev stuff. I wouldn't have said the scrum master was a junior level developer based on them having worked for several years. That was my expectation...

      After a few months we've continued to grow the team. All in all we are now 7 developers. The person that initially had the scrum master role has since opted to focus more on the dev side. We've accomodated them and since mid january they've focused soley on dev. However, the outcome of this hasn't met my expectations. Working 50% as a dev I understand (and expected) that they wouldn't pick up the domain/system as easily as simeone soley focused on the dev role. Given that they've now had a couple of months I don't really see any improvement however! And, to be clear, it isn't really about their level of output. I'd be content if they were able to show some increased understanding of the domain and/or had increased the quality of their work somewhat. I see none of this and a tendency to "hide" their work (postponing creating PRs so it's hard to judge their progress/need of help, not asking for support, dismissing offers for help when given, non participation in discussions/problem solving etc etc).

      Speculating, but to me it seems they are not comfortable in their dev role and I seem to have failed in this instance to establish enough trust (either in me or in the team as a whole). I don't see this issue in the other team members though (even with the more junior people). Complicating things is that I am not their manager. So, it is ultimately not my responsibillity.

      Any advice in addressing the issues? Ideally the outcome would be a situation where they have started to contribute to the team in some meaningful way. Should I be more patient? Should I impose help on them, e.g. comitt to pair with them on all work? What is a good and construcrive way to approach this (preferably without being a complete ass)?

      9 votes
    4. Folks in those $100k+ jobs, corporate types, office workers... What would you say you actually do?

      I work as a prek teacher. I go to work, clock in, and spend 8 hours actively engaged with kids teaching reading, writing, math, social skills, science, games, and more. I don't have "down time" at...

      I work as a prek teacher. I go to work, clock in, and spend 8 hours actively engaged with kids teaching reading, writing, math, social skills, science, games, and more. I don't have "down time" at work; I'm always on, because I have to be. There are demands of me every moment I'm there.

      But what about you corporate folks? I can't seem to figure what you actually... Do?

      My dad worked such a job (VP in pharma) and I could never get a real answer from him. He would always just say "I'm busy", he traveled a lot, and as far as I could tell his "work" was just meetings.

      Other business folks I interact with, it's the same. They're always playing on their phone, or (my favorite) constantly talking on the phone when picking up or dropping off their kids at school, and ignoring them. A buddy of mine is a senior exec and was able to complete baldur's gate 3 during work hours because he's just sitting around in meetings all day.

      How is that work? How does that justify earning 4x+ what I make?

      I'm genuinely curious because I've never gotten a straight answer and my impression is that in these jobs you don't actually do anything, but that can't be right.

      Sorry if this is a dumb question.

      60 votes
    5. Any friendly entrepreneurship communities that aren't rotten with the whole "grindset," hustle culture stuff?

      I've always been interested in entrepreneurship, and I think I want to get serious about doing something. I checked out the Millionaire Fastlane forums, and it's just completely saturated with the...

      I've always been interested in entrepreneurship, and I think I want to get serious about doing something. I checked out the Millionaire Fastlane forums, and it's just completely saturated with the whole "grindset" BS. I tried reading a couple of threads, and my eyes almost rolled out of my head. 🙄

      I've also hung around on the entrepreneur subreddit, and it just seems like a bunch of people without much experience trading unproven advice and people trying to sell courses.

      Does anyone know of a better community? I'd like to find some friendly, welcoming adults with actual experience to talk with. Are entrepreneurship and hustle culture always a package deal?

      34 votes
    6. Is anyone here a consultant? I have questions...

      Backstory: Seemingly randomly, I was contacted by a company that saw a comment I made online about a previous area of expertise that they want to venture into and have asked if I'd like to be a...

      Backstory: Seemingly randomly, I was contacted by a company that saw a comment I made online about a previous area of expertise that they want to venture into and have asked if I'd like to be a consultant to them.

      I've never been a consultant, dealt with them directly, or have any idea what would be expected of me as one. Looking up consultants and consultancies and what they do has provided zero insight as they seem to be purposefully vague or overly broad.

      Starter questions (I realize they're vague and I'll have follow up questions as I get a handle on this):

      1. If you are or have been a consultant, were you independent or part of a firm?
      2. What do you actually do?
      3. What did/do you charge for your consultancy services?
      22 votes
    7. Career advice (or success stories) thread

      I've seen a few posts on Tildes now about careers - sometimes personal posts about burnout and how to manage it, other times links to articles about layoffs. The end result of both of these is...

      I've seen a few posts on Tildes now about careers - sometimes personal posts about burnout and how to manage it, other times links to articles about layoffs.

      The end result of both of these is often a need to find a new job. For some it may be as simple as applying for the same title at a different company and having success, for others it may be a long process of determining what type of career to go for next and perhaps education or other factors that can help them get there.

      I wanted to try starting a thread to see if those of us who are struggling can ask for advice, and perhaps those who are doing well can help or even post their career journey to show how they got where they are today.

      37 votes
    8. My boss is being accused of sexual misconduct and I don't know what to do

      Hi all, I don't know where to turn on this. I work in a small company, my boss who is an amazing person and has given me so much and helped me really kick start my career has had some accusations...

      Hi all,
      I don't know where to turn on this. I work in a small company, my boss who is an amazing person and has given me so much and helped me really kick start my career has had some accusations over the past little while. But now I've heard a few stories that really show that he's done some shady stuff. My boss has been like a brother to me and is a close friend. I have no idea how to digest this and I have no idea who I could talk to, so I'm just posting here.

      I don't want to lose a friend, he's been nothing but amazing to me.

      Edit: thank you everyone. I'll keep reading the comments. I just need to reflect on this and I appreciate your discussions.

      Edit 2: There is proof enough to not deny things, inappropriate and agressive advances and groping stuff. Nothing good.

      40 votes
    9. Layoffs, survivor guilt, and existential dread

      The company I work for laid off half of my office this week. I'm one of the survivors, and trying to process what happened. The company has been transparent about revenues. However, we had no idea...

      The company I work for laid off half of my office this week. I'm one of the survivors, and trying to process what happened.

      The company has been transparent about revenues. However, we had no idea that we would be so badly penalized for management choices that created significant operating cost overruns in the face of a projected short-term demand decline. I've lost half the members of my immediate team, good friends, people whose work and thoughtfulness I deeply respected. The entire department structure is being upended. The harshness of the selection for people who were being laid off included a teammate who's in the hospital, parents of young children, people on the edge of retirement. I'm suspicious and extra hostile towards the company - it's very significant to me that all the people of color and people who've had recent medical leave are among the lost.

      It's not the first time I've watched and survived a company's poor management and bad choices, but this is by far the worst. I've worked very hard at staying professional with the customers this week. I'm still inwardly seething with rage. I'm trying to figure out how to be supportive to the people who are leaving. I'm trying to figure out how to help a team lead who's in his first management job, and is totally devastated and nearly frozen with helplessness. I'm decent at my job, but don't know why I was kept and others with equal or greater skills were let go. I don't feel good about what qualities I might have had that corporate desired to keep - dutifulness, compliance, amiability, reticence?

      At the same time, I'm looking at months of double workload even though corporate management claims they'll outsource part of the duties (so that's another symptom that I'm replaceable) and manage the task pipeline. There's a frankly insulting retention bonus if I stay for another year. We've gotten the usual anodyne HR garbage about the employee assistance program and coping skills. The corporate management's left us with the ominous "stay tuned for further announcements over the coming weeks".

      I don't have a lot of choices here. I'm trying hard to stay focused on the present, without looking over the cliff of dread at the future. At the moment, I'm the sole support for our household and source of health insurance. My spouse is badly burnt out, and I don't want him to look for work a minute before he's healthy and enthusiastic about a job. I'm a late-50's end-career professional who wouldn't normally have much interest in restarting yet again elsewhere. I very deliberately chose this company, job and location, liked the work I was doing, the people I was doing it with, and I was looking forward to building on it. There's still the possibility that our half-vacant remote office will be closed and consolidated with the corporate headquarters. I have less than zero interest in relocating, and plan to keep separated coworkers who live here as personal friends.

      I'll be grateful to hear any advice on coping with this situation, and hope the replies will be helpful to others in future.

      47 votes
    10. In your opinion, what is the appropriate number of outfits to rotate through at work?

      Background: I don't like choosing outfits in the morning for work. Due to whatever combination of mental issues/oddities I have, in the past I've gotten stuck at point for a very long time. After...

      Background: I don't like choosing outfits in the morning for work. Due to whatever combination of mental issues/oddities I have, in the past I've gotten stuck at point for a very long time. After reading about how someone like Steve Jobs or Mark Zuckerberg wears the same thing every day, I decided to try a version of that to reduce the number of decisions I had to make each morning. I didn't actually want to wear the same thing every day, because then I'd become "the guy who wears the same thing every day" at work. So I decided to have a number of predetermined outfits that I rotate through. I have some number of dress shirts of various colors/patterns and a matching number of pants of various colors to go with them. I have a few pairs of shoes in the typical colors that I just match with the pants. I've been doing this for years now, and it's great for simplifying my daily routine, but I occasionally wonder if people notice.

      So my question is: How many outfits do you personally think is the right number such that no one would notice? Alternatively, what number do you think would be the best for whatever reason?

      To be clear, this is just a fun discussion question. I'm not really looking for help or advice. I won't say how many outfits I have on rotation right now to avoid anchoring.

      28 votes
    11. Any advice on handling being an engineer at a shrinking team?

      I work at a Series A startup. I joined on the promise that it would be 16 backend engineers a year from when I joined. It never grew and maxed out at 8 (non-eng headcount experienced the most...

      I work at a Series A startup. I joined on the promise that it would be 16 backend engineers a year from when I joined. It never grew and maxed out at 8 (non-eng headcount experienced the most growth). Fast forward to 18 months and it's looking like between parental leave, illness, responsibility differences, and general departures, in a few weeks I'll be one of 2 backend engineers actually writing code, and one of 3 backend engineers overall.

      There's 1-2 resume-building projects I'd like to stay for, but it's likely that one of them will get deprioritized. I've never been happy in this role for a slew of reasons, reasons for which others have left. This could very well leave us at 1-2 backend engineers in Q1-Q2. We are hiring, but I suspect we'll only backfill 1 role as 1-2 engineers are on "temporary leaves" (but one leave is 3 months, the other is basically indefinite).

      Any advice on what to do in this strange situation? I'd like to say that I'm considering quitting and want to train another backfill, but it could hurt me more than anything else. I'd be interested in more options (no backend engineer's comp has increased in the 18 months I've been here except 1 underpaid / underleveled person) or a small sabbatical of 5 weeks. I wouldn't mind a senior title but lots of qualified engineers have been rejected for it so I stopped putting weight on the title. But all of those are a little rude to accept if I quit less than 6 months after.

      edit: removed some typos, clarified some timelines e.g. months -> weeks

      22 votes