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    1. Looking for advice for starting out as a freelance software engineer

      Beginning of next year I am setting out as an independent software engineering consultant. As such I am interested in hearing from others who have already done something similar! I have been...

      Beginning of next year I am setting out as an independent software engineering consultant. As such I am interested in hearing from others who have already done something similar! I have been working as a developer and team lead for more than 10 years of which the last 5 have been focused mostly on the .Net stack. Now I want to expand my horizons a bit more, preferably with a new domain or another tech stack.

      What are some suggestions/advice you'd give someone just starting down this path? Anything I should avoid doing? Anything I should definitely do? I suppose the specifics will vary a bit by country, but are there some general things I should be thinking about?

      Oh, if you happen to have a need for a senior developer/tech lead, give me a ping!

      9 votes
    2. I need career advice

      Long story short I am a web developer that currently makes more money than I've ever made in my life to this point. The downside is that my benefits package is sub-par. Very few vacation days, no...

      Long story short I am a web developer that currently makes more money than I've ever made in my life to this point. The downside is that my benefits package is sub-par. Very few vacation days, no health insurance (though we do get $ on our checks to go toward costs), fairly bare-bones retirement plan, etc. I also feel kind of aimless at this job. There is no clear path for raises or promotions. It's too small of a company for that.

      I got an offer today for a job with a company that a former manager of mine works at (We both left our previous jobs around the same time, so no poaching concerns there). It's an opportunity to change my specialty from backend development (databases, server-side code) to frontend development (HTML, CSS, JS). I've always enjoyed frontend development more than backend. Feel free to giggle about this terminology because it's definitely ridiculous. The job basically resolves all of my benefits issues. Unlimited vacation, pretty good health insurance, and a more robust retirement plan. There are also very clear paths for raises/promotions. In fact one of the first things you do when you get hired is sit down with your manager and department head and plot out a career track for yourself. So in my case I'm aiming for team management or something along those lines in a few years. So they would cater my training and promotions around that. There's a guaranteed yearly raise, plus a nice 5% bonus at end of the year.

      So what's the problem? Because the second job seems perfect, right? Well the second job pays nearly 12% less a year. So what's the problem? Because that's an insane drop in pay, so clearly stay where I'm at, right? Well I was told by my former manager (and potentially new department head) that the plan would be to fast-track me into something closer to my current salary once I'm there for a few months and start excelling at my job. And I trust this guy because he fought for me to get raises twice when I worked under him before. It's rare to work under someone who will go to bat for you, and he was always that guy for me and I've no reason to think he wouldn't be again.

      Because the way I see it, once I get a raise or promotion under my belt I should be pretty close to where I'm at now, but with substantially better benefits. And in a place with more of a future for me than my current job.

      I just really don't know what to do here. I've "made a decision" in my head about a dozen times today, going back and forth between options. I kind of feel like it's worth taking the hit in the short term to be working at a place that will pay off better in the long term. Not just financially, but I'll get to broaden my skill set and actually have a concrete plan for progressing in my career.

      Looking for any advice, or opinions, or whatever. I'm completely torn here.

      edit -- Just wanted to thank everyone here. I decided to accept the job offer. My wife and I are working on a plan to weather the loss of income. Next step is writing the resignation letter....which always sucks. I hate disappointing people and it's a small company that I'm leaivng so my departure will be felt.

      14 votes
    3. Anyone ever get an international job?

      First off, fuck job applications. It's an awful and tedious charade. Creating accounts on hundreds of websites for the resume parser to not work and have to manually upload that all again, to then...

      First off, fuck job applications. It's an awful and tedious charade. Creating accounts on hundreds of websites for the resume parser to not work and have to manually upload that all again, to then write a cover letter that's skimmed at best, for a word to be missing from the resume which their detection tech passes before you're given a real shot.

      But regardless that's not why I'm here. I'm in the process of applying to jobs, but for the first time I'm applying to jobs internationally (I'm US based). Have any of y'all applied for and received jobs abroad? What was successful and what wasn't? I'm primarily looking into pharmaceutical research or pharmacovigilance/drug safety because that's where English language jobs are in my area of study, but hope to eventually become fluent enough in a different language so I can move back into infection prevention or disease surveillance.

      16 votes
    4. What are your thoughts on using a website/blog as a resume?

      Like the title says, I'm curious if anyone has experience encountering digital resumes. Whether you're an employer or you've used a digital resume yourself how well did it work? Were you more...

      Like the title says, I'm curious if anyone has experience encountering digital resumes. Whether you're an employer or you've used a digital resume yourself how well did it work? Were you more likely to hire a candidate because they had a well-rounded website that showed off their skills or was it an immediate discard because it didn't conform to normal practices.

      I'm graduating with my MS in organic chemistry this May, and I'm trying to work my way in the job market. A website/blog sounds appealing to me because I can show off data annotations and analyses from failed reactions that normally aren't discussed in papers, so I think it would be a good fit.

      8 votes
    5. I need life/career advice

      Hi friends. I need your advice. For the past 7 years I've been self-employed as a writer. I self-publish books on Amazon and other platforms and I've had a lot of successes as well as a lot of...

      Hi friends.

      I need your advice. For the past 7 years I've been self-employed as a writer. I self-publish books on Amazon and other platforms and I've had a lot of successes as well as a lot of failures. It's been amazing and weird and fun and stressful. But I'm just not where I hoped I'd be this far into my career. Being a professional artist is really hard.

      I write under a pen name and the stuff I write--while I do think is good and I am proud of it--it's also slightly embarrassing. I don't share it with anybody, friends or family. Most people understand when I tell them why I can't share, but I know over the years my close friends have felt a little jilted that they don't get to know my secret.

      I've dabbled with leaving professional writing behind, but after so long it feels like a daunting prospect to get back into the job market. My background is in IT consulting (6 years), sysadmin and jack-of-all-trades type stuff. So I understand managing servers, virtualization, networking, troubleshooting, and so on. I do have a minor background in programming, and last year I spent a lot of time learning Python, I learned Docker, I learned Git, I spent some time diving deeper into SQL. I'm skilled in Linux (and love it, actually). I don't have any certs. This past summer, I applied to a handful of local IT jobs (I left the big city years ago and now live in a very small market, almost 3 hours away from a larger city) and didn't hear anything back. I spoke to a recruiter who wasn't very helpful at all beyond saying he thought my resume looked good. I disagree, though... I don't think my resume is that good at all.

      I just don't know what to do, though. I'm 40 years old. I've always wanted to be a writer, and I'm doing it. But I'm not writing the stuff I really want to write, and it's hard to pivot. Partly because of the sunk-cost fallacy, but also because starting a new pen name is very difficult and can take years to really gain traction. A lot of days, even though I work hard and push, I still feel like I'm failing. I'm not making the kind of money I'd like. The last two COVID years were pretty hard and I didn't work as much as I should have.

      My partner works at a small company on the web development team, and I'm considering trying to get a meeting with her boss (who actually really likes me) about possibly getting some kind of junior developer position. They're currently having a tough time finding developers because their pay isn't really competitive with the current market and they don't offer work from home. They mainly do PHP for client websites, and while that's not my jam, it would at least be a foot in the door for a development role. I learned to program in high school, understand a lot of the fundamentals, and had a blast with Python last year (it came very easy to me). I taught myself HTML in the 90s, know CSS, and have some basic PHP experience from my WordPress days.

      When I think about having a tech job again, I really just envision being able to work in Linux full-time, work on backend problems, and just solve higher-level issues. Not really a client-facing position. In a development role, I really don't know what I'd prefer. Just command-line, backend stuff maybe. I don't really care for frontend UX stuff. I'm most concerned with a good work-life balance, being able to leave my job at the office, and feel like I'm learning and doing and helping. I've got no FAANG aspirations or any desire to be some hot shot. I just want a chill life with chill people.

      But I'm really just feeling lost. What do you think I should do?

      12 votes
    6. Great, affordable downtowns that don't require a car?

      Hi all, Yesterday I got the good news from my work that my remote work assignment is now permanent and I am free to live and work anywhere in the US. I get to keep my salary so really any place is...

      Hi all,

      Yesterday I got the good news from my work that my remote work assignment is now permanent and I am free to live and work anywhere in the US. I get to keep my salary so really any place is on the table for me and I wanted to get some feedback and advice from those who live or have lived across the US.

      While I would personally be content moving to the middle of nowhere, my partner has been aching to get out of the suburbs of the Bay area and be around more people and things to do that wouldn't require her to drive places. Personally, I'm looking to take my rent price down to a maximum of ~$2100 per month for a 2 bedroom that will give us enough space to each do our remote work. Some places that I have been looking at are:

      • San Diego, CA - not so affordable but has great dog beaches and vibrant downtown
      • Chattanooga, TN - affordable but small for my partner and lacks the restaurant variety we have grown accustomed to in CA. Knoxville, TN may be a runner up.
      • Kansas City, MO - I have nephews that I have neglected being a part of their life and this would put me within 30 minutes of being close to them. Apartments are dirt cheap in downtown.
      • Richmond, VA - closer to my parents but haven't looked too into this. I grew up on the complete other side of VA but am willing to come back to the state .
      • Chicago, IL - this place is massive and I have no idea what are the best places in the city to live vs. what to avoid. I have always heard Chicago is underrated and I'm not opposed to the cold. I like that they have tons to do but it isn't really close to family as I would like to be.

      Anyways, I'm open to hearing about some underrated places and putting some time into researching them. Walkability and things to do are critical in selling the city to my partner who really doesn't want to drive to do anything.

      27 votes