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  • Showing only topics with the tag "careers". Back to normal view
    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. Canadian colleges: Lethbridge vs. Manitoba for Computer Science?

      Hi everyone, I recently got accepted into University and Lethbridge and University of Manitoba for Computer Science second degree. Both of them have co-op programs, but I don't know which would be...

      Hi everyone,

      I recently got accepted into University and Lethbridge and University of Manitoba for Computer Science second degree.

      Both of them have co-op programs, but I don't know which would be better for me. Ideally, I want to go the uni with a better job market for CS, so Lethbridge seems to be the winner since it is close to Calgary. But I am also looking to immigrate to Canada in the future, and I know that Manitoba has easier requirements for Permanent Residence nominations.

      I am in a bit of a bind, and I am trying to gather as much information as I can before I make a decision. Anything you have to share would be much appreciated. Thanks!

      P.S. I know Toronto and Vancouver are much better places for jobs, but sadly I missed the deadline to apply to most of the colleges there. I do plan on applying for jobs in those cities though.

      7 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. Help me think about the next step in my life

      Hello, I am a late 20s person from Europe who works part-time at a low-skilled job and is nearing completion of a masters in Financial Mathematics (FM). I also have an undergraduate degree in...

      Hello, I am a late 20s person from Europe who works part-time at a low-skilled job and is nearing completion of a masters in Financial Mathematics (FM). I also have an undergraduate degree in Economics and a post-graduate degree in Finance.

      Previously I’ve worked full-time as an IT consultant, in R&D at an asset management company and in operational risk at an investment bank. I stopped working full-time in early 2018 due to mental health issues such as depression, anxiety disorder and possible Asperger’s. But even before then it was obvious my health was deteriorating and I actually got fired from my second job partially due to these problems. Since then I’ve slowly working (or at least trying to) on my health, which has improved substantially but not as much as I would like. So in early 2018, with way too much time in my hands, I decided to get the part-time job to partially offset my expenses and also decided to go back to school to study FM.

      I took the latter decision for multiple reasons. I was tired of doing work that was not very technical or quantitative. While working on my health I realized that I don’t do well with work that is subjective, unstructured or involves little interaction (for example doing a lot of reading, specially with no clear goal). I did a little programming at previous jobs and more during the masters and I can say with some confidence that I enjoyed it. But going back to the FM masters: it is very technical, I was fascinated and curious about it plus it has an excellent track record with regards to employment prospects. I also considered “going back” and doing an undergraduate degree in computer science but decided that it was just too long (minimum 3 years).

      So with this “introduction” out of the way let’s get to the heart of this post. I don’t know what to do after I finish my masters. Of course I could just apply for jobs related with what I am studying. However, I think I really want to try working in the technical side of IT. I will admit I don’t know much about the different aspects and careers in IT but I find it interesting. Every time I was doing non-technical work I just wanted to understand and do the work of my technical colleagues. I think it both better suits my personality and aligns well with my long term goals of increased freedom and flexibility (IT generally pays well and you can do a lot of work remotely). I have this idea of maybe becoming a free-lancer but I can understand that is not realistic in the short-term so working in IT inside a company is probably my best bet. Regardless, another objective of mine is to be able to work less than 40h per week. I think it would be great for me, specially health-wise.

      I have to say I got more excited about my ideas when I saw this post here on Tildes: https://tildes.net/~comp/quj/would_any_tilderino_be_interested_in_tutoring_me_in_programming. I am willing to put in the work and it would be awesome to have some tutoring. Another point I took from that post is that IT is a very big field and I honestly don’t know specifically what I want to do inside that space. However, I do know I don’t like dealing with UI or graphical/design aspects.

      I guess I will finish by asking direct questions to help people structure their answers around (but if you want to talk about something else I wrote, be free to do so):

      • First of all, what technical areas within IT do you think would suit me? If it’s not much of a hassle, please provide a brief description of what people actually do in those areas.
      • Is it realistic to start working as a technical IT freelancer and learn as I go? Or are the odds very slim?
      • Alternatively, if I decide to take the safer route of nailing a technical IT job, what should I do to put myself in a better position to attain that goal?
      10 votes
    7. Ask Tildes: How do you get a promotion when you work in a remote office?

      Some years ago, I wrote a book about telecommuting, including a section about the reasons people don't want to be remote workers. High on the list was, "It's too hard to move up in the company"...

      Some years ago, I wrote a book about telecommuting, including a section about the reasons people don't want to be remote workers. High on the list was, "It's too hard to move up in the company" because if you're out of sight, you're out of mind.

      Well, now suddenly nearly everybody is a telecommuter, whether or not they like the idea. So that particular skill is particularly relevant. And I've been assigned an article on "How to 'manage up' when you work from home." I'd like your input.

      My article is meant to compile practical how-to tips for people working from home on “how to stay on your boss's radar.” What advice do you have to share?

      Ideally: Give me a bullet point (“Do XYZ”), why (“It accomplishes this”), and perhaps an anecdote sharing how it made a difference.

      Please don’t expend energy telling me why it’s important, or what the barriers are. Take that as a given. I’m looking for solid “Do this” suggestions.

      17 votes
    8. Advice for a soon to be college graduate

      I am going to be graduating with a BA in Economics in May, and I am overwhelmed, like most people, with all the stuff that I am now responsible for. I was mostly wondering what advice you wish you...

      I am going to be graduating with a BA in Economics in May, and I am overwhelmed, like most people, with all the stuff that I am now responsible for. I was mostly wondering what advice you wish you heard when you were 22.

      10 votes
    9. Has anyone done an on the job/industry PhD?

      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. Any other attorneys on ~s?

      I'm a civil litigator in Texas, just curious if anyone else on here practices law! When the site opens up, I see value in creating something akin to the /r/lawyers subreddit where access is...

      I'm a civil litigator in Texas, just curious if anyone else on here practices law! When the site opens up, I see value in creating something akin to the /r/lawyers subreddit where access is restricted to licensed attorneys, and I'd be happy to jump in on setting that up when it does.

      10 votes