When the pandemic hit, most businesses closed their doors. From the 405 to the 3rd street Promenade in Los Angeles, not a soul was in the road. The only brick and mortar in town were grocery stores. People invaded those stores and snatched every last roll of toilet paper. Other businesses awaited quietly while they bled through their remaining cash. Even the online world was not spared. Customers were not sure how things would play out, so they saved their money. Or reserved it for toilet paper delivery.
As a Linux user, I can't help but spend most of my time on the command line. Not that the GUI is not efficient, but there are things that are simply faster to do with the keyboard.
If there is one thing I learned from obsessing over Stack Overflow, it's how to find solutions. Soon I will have answered over 900 questions and this number will keep going up. This is not to say it is a lot, many users have much more quality answers. But If you have done anything over a 1000 times then you had the chance to screw up a lot. Screwing up is synonym to getting experience here.
In 2017, I worked for a large conglomerate. When a company grows a certain size, change is never welcomed. “If it ain't broke, don't fix it” is the motto and software is the first victim. That's how you end up with core products still running on COBOL or FORTRAN. Microsoft still offers customized support for machines running Windows 2000 Server. But not in my company.
There is a time where the thing that bothers you the most in your programming career is the semicolon. You've formally learned that every statement ends with a semicolon, the same way every sentence ends with a period. But then you join a team that has complete disregard for your favorite punctuation.
Starting a small business is hard. Just ask a small business owner, they will tell you how the economy is not in their favor or that it is hard to find good loyal employees. The cost of business is becoming ever more expensive. The owner of a small business is likely to have saved up some money for years, quit his job, then started a restaurant, hardware store, auto repair shop, grocery store, etc. Startups however are the hip new thing young people do. The stories from "founders" start with sleeping in a van for 3 months. Then against all odds, they make a big demo with scraped resources. Finally the jackpot when the round of funding arrives.
It was 7am when my phone rang. Instead of an alarm, it was my recruiter disturbing me from a pleasant dream. It was too early for a phone call or to be caught off guard, so I did not answer. I went to take a shower and get ready for the day. On my way to work, I listened to the voice mail she had left.
Not too long ago, I made a living working as a contractor where I would hop from project to project. Some were short term where I would work for a week and quickly deliver my service. Others lasted a couple months where I would make enough money to take some time off. I preferred the short ones because they allowed me to charge a much higher rate for a quick job. Not only I felt like my own boss, but I also felt like I didn't have to work too hard to make a decent living. My highest rates were still reasonable, and I always delivered high quality service. That was until I landed a gig with a large company.
When was the last time you needed to buy a new PC? Two years ago? Three years ago? The last PC I built was in 2009. I had to upgrade because I pushed the previous one I built to the limit and that was in 2004. A 2009 desktop is old in computer years, but not so much in processing power. It maybe true that there are a zillion new processors out in the market and their benchmark show exponential improvement. But to me benchmarking is just a marketing gimmick. PC sales are plunging but they are the wrong indicator to determine the advancement of the technology. The reason we are not buying PCs anymore is because those we have are already pretty amazing.
After the explosive reception of my story, The Machine Fired Me, I set out to write a book to tell the before and after.
I started as a minimum wage laborer in Los Angeles and I set out to reach the top of the echelon in Silicon Valley. Every time I made a step forward, I was greeted with the harsh changing reality of the modern work space.
Getting fired is no longer reserved to those who mess up. Instead, it's a popular company strategy to decrease expenses and increase productivity.
Tip of the day
There are times you want to make a very quick web request and don't care about the response looks like. It is possible to make requests using Ajax, but we still…
Every little corner has a story. Sometimes a camera tells the story and a picture is worth a thousand words.
There are professional photographers and then there is me who happens to have a camera on my phone. Here's to what came out.