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What are you doing this week? Feel free to share!

Keep in mind it’s OK to do nothing at all, too.

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    I’m trying to be a more active participant in the internet. Commenting when I have something to say. Talking to people when I want to connect with them on a subject.

    I’ll also be teaching people to code as usual (through Coding Coach).

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      Coding Coach seems interesting. Is it a volunteer effort or commercial?

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        It’s volunteer. It’s a really wonderful community project.

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      I’m starting a new job! I’m going to frustrate the bad guys through building security appliances based on HardenedBSD and OPNsense.

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        Ooh, that sounds really fun. GLHF! And if you like, feel free to share any links related to the project.

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        I know I’m definitely in the minority in this community, but I’m finally learning the basics of programming and web development. I began college as a CS major about 6 years ago, stopped focusing on school in favor of the “college experience”, and switched majors thinking it was too difficult for me even though I was passionate about the subject.

        I jumped from major to major for years, never really making any substantial progress. Now, most of my general eds are business-related, so I’ve landed on CIS in order to not have to take even more time with CS-specific GEs while still getting as close to CS as I can with what I have.

        Recently my interest in the subject was sparked again, so I decided to subscribe to a course online to learn the fundamentals of web development from the ground up. I’m decently proficient with the command line, but decided to start from the first lesson in case I missed anything important (read: I did.)

        Today is the third or fourth day into the course, and I’m on the Git tutorial, which I never really learned because I didn’t have a need for it. So this week I’ll be finishing that and moving on to HTML and CSS. I really wish I stuck with CS in the beginning, but can’t change the past so the next best time to learn is now.

        Edit: With all that said, will a CIS degree still be beneficial for future career prospects in the field, or would it be smarter to completely switch to CS and have to take more classes before transferring to a 4-year university?

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          Hey! I’m a CS major (gonna graduate in December after 5 and a half years, so we’re similar in age I imagine). First off, props to you for getting started with some online coursework!

          Edit: With all that said, will a CIS degree still be beneficial for future career prospects in the field, or would it be smarter to completely switch to CS and have to take more classes before transferring to a 4-year university?

          The answer depends a lot on what your goals are. From what I’ve read, CIS is more focused on applying technology to business needs, and would put you more in a position for management/administrative roles in a technology department. A CS degree would put you in a position for software engineering/development roles, where you’re creating software. For me, it’s always helpful to think about what my long-term goals are and let them inform my decision-making here and now. If you want to get into a role where you’re building technology, then CS is probably the better route. If you’re wanting to make big-picture business decisions and think about how technology factors into those, then CIS might be better for you. Either way, computing-related jobs are highly needed in almost all industries. Even with the slowdown due to COVID-19, lots of places are still hiring.

          I just took a look at your blog that you have linked in your profile, and it seems like you’re starting to get your feet wet in the world of programming! The upside of a CS degree is that it will give you a lot of background knowledge about computing that will really come in handy the longer you’re in the field. Now, it’s perfectly possible to be a great programmer without a CS degree (some of the best engineers around don’t have degrees!), but if higher education is something you’re already investing in, getting that background in CS fundamentals and computational thinking will really help you out no matter what area of computing you settle on. Good luck, and feel free to reach out if you have any questions!

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            Thank you for the detailed response!

            Once I settled on CIS, I was content with working in a management type role relating to technology for my future, but after some deep introspection, what I really enjoy doing is the actual creation of software (not that I’ve done much of that at all, but the idea behind it is what draws me in a lot more than management.) I’d much rather be solving technical problems and creating my own work than managing others who do that themselves.

            Right now I’m seriously considering switching majors yet again back to CS to better align with what I’d like to do in life. I guess to put it bluntly, I don’t enjoy telling others what to do, I enjoy doing it myself. I already have some foundation in CS due to having a year of it under my belt when I began my education, but in the grand scheme of things that isn’t a whole lot and could definitely be built upon to a tremendous degree.

            Thank you again for the thought out response, that definitely answered what I was wondering. I’ll be sure to reach out if any other related questions do come up!

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          @caius Thanks for posting these threads, I think having a periodic community light “what’s up” thread lends a comfy feeling to the community.

          This weekend I tricked bash and feel like I got away with murder (read: dumb clever hack), so I’m writing a post about it.

          I’m still working on my typing and poking at clojure with babashka – I’ve recently found out about the pods protocol and am looking at that.

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            No problem, someone else (who I’ve forgotten - sorry!) started it a while back and I just filled in when it got to the afternoon of UTC and no-one else had posted it. There’s a few of us that’ll make sure it goes up, lovely and organically un-organised.

            I like them for similar reasons too :-)

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            I’ll be finishing up the xwayland implementation for my wayland compositor and fixing a few bugs. Also trying to find the motivation to write a blog post about writing it in Zig after reading a couple about writing wayland compositors in Rust.

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              I’m working my way through the Category Theory for Programmers book while driving through virtual mud in SnowRunner. After that I want to start on another Haskell book (maybe Haskell Programming from First Principles, Programming in Haskell, or Real World Haskell)

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                Some people love HPFFP; some get bored from it. For the latter (who wants concise writing), I would recommend Programming in Haskell as well as Bird’s book.

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                  Thanks, I’ll have a look at getting Thinking Functionally with Haskell.

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                Today I started to get myself acquainted with CentOS. I have earlier avoided it but now I felt it was time to bite the bullet.

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                  That’s cool! what are you interested in doing with it?

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                    My primary goal is currently to explore and make myself familiar with it. Haven’t used a Red Hat-based distro for over fifteen years. If I feel that I like it I plan to use it on a VPS for hosting a blog.

                    One thing that seems promising to me is the stability. AFAICT CentOS 8 will be supported until 2029-05-31.

                    For this use case I believe that’s a good thing, I don’t want to be forced to do frequent OS upgrades.

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                    Had to start using CentOS since all the workstations at my workplaces are RHEL. I like it, but I’m not a big fan of yum. I’m stuck on RHEL7, and most recent versions of packages need to be manually added.

                    The most infuriating one was installing Vim 8.

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                    Trying to start sleeping better. I’ve found myself in a weird cycle of staying up late trying to study for interviews but feeling too exhausted too study effectively, and then being tired during actual interviews. It’s a struggle to prep for interviews with children.

                    In actual tech, I’m hoping to find some time to fiddle with eBPF. I’d really like to get involved in the open source work at some point.

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                      • Continuing to lead a reading group that’s working through Learn You A Haskell For Great Good. So far it’s been very satisfying!

                      • Finishing up a refactor that takes two very-similar-but-not-quite-the-same models and merges them into one. (Why do we have two? Dev team politics from over a year ago)


                      • Finishing up some fiddle tune compositions for the annual collection that a music camp I teach at puts together.

                      • Having sinus surgery…I’m excited to stop getting sick as often, breathe better, and have clearer speech!

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                        $WORK: Playing with slightly worrisomely expensive hardware, and trying to shepherd a new software project into a good state.

                        $NOT-WORK: Thinking about building a small quadcopter, as a precursor to thinking about building a more experimental drone design. Looking at various DIY guides it doesn’t seem too hard, and there’s halfway decent open-source flight control software. Main question is whether I feel like dropping 250$ on a good transmitter handset.

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                          to be honest, completely demotivated to work. Just trying to make it work until de weekend. I need to relax a bit.

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                            I’m spending the week (possibly the next few weeks) converting two rather large SVN repos to many smaller git repos (to appease the ops guys who don’t want to check out everything to make one small compoment). reposugeon, which I was planning on using, wants the latest version of SVN, which is out of the question because the latest version of SVN doesn’t talk to our SVN server (which I have no access to) because it hasn’t been updated since 2011. git-svn is borked on both my development boxes due to Perl breakage (and I don’t use Perl).

                            Fun times indeed.

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                              At work we are wrapping up a massive project with late requirements, hard to deal partners and lots of chaos. I hope this is soon behind us.

                              Private life: playing with NetBSD just for fun.

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                                Putting together a seminar on software testing for researchers; talking to a researcher at another university about software engineering practices; and automating some of the data acquisition behind the HealthMap Covid-19 dataset.

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                                  Ramp up work on my visual novel from 15 minutes/day to 25 minutes/day.

                                  Planning to prototype a personal dashboard so that I can visualize my daily progress on various metrics, e.g. lines left to edit in my visual novel.

                                  Continue to noodle around with my proto-game setup. I created a shump (shoot’em up) proof of concept out of my original code in just a couple of hours. Now to add actual gameplay and then move onto the next genre.

                                  Continue reading Keep Going by Austin Kleon. Only a couple dozens pages in and loving it. I’d already recommend it to anyone who’s also posted here.

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                                    Finishing out a very intense drive to (just barely) extending our product enough to facilitate a single-day fundraiser for a majority of food banks in the US. We had hoped to partner directly with this-or-that charity focused specifically on child hunger, because great scott is it ever an issue right now, but large charities can be a little slow-moving, just like any large org. General food banks are a less hyper-focused than we wanted, but still very close in spirit.


                                    Slowly iterating through different ZFS (and SPL) module parameters, learning what produces a better desktop experience for a medium-core-count laptop. Obviously a very gradual process, as I have to reboot and also make use of the machine long enough to pass judgment on any effects. Aiming for one change at the beginning of each day, observing performance (e.g. audio latency issues) throughout.

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                                      I have to decide between two job offers. One is in Singapore and the other is in Hong Kong.

                                      My thoughts so far:

                                      • The HK job sounds more interesting than the SG job
                                      • I would have to work remotely for the first 6 months before maybe moving to SG, the HK job I would get to move immediately
                                      • Everyone I ask says SG is nicer than HK. In particular SG is cleaner and has nicer food
                                      • SG might be boring, which is one of the reasons I want to move away from Finland
                                      • I rejected an offer from the SG company before and if I do it again I think it’ll be a bridge burnt
                                      • The SG job’s base salary is slightly higher, and SG has lower income tax and rent
                                      • It’s easier to change jobs than it is to change countries

                                      I’m leaning towards SG but any input would be much appreciated :)

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                                        I lived and worked in both SG and HK for years. I left HK in December.

                                        I’m happy to answer any questions you have!

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                                          Better to be under authoritarian rule in SG than Chinese authoritarian rule in HK. The protests in HK make me respect those who live there but I am not a freedom fighter, nor do I want to be, so it’s not the place for me.

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                                            I agree. It’s a totalitarian democracy vs. a democracy under totalitarianism.

                                            Regardless, he’ll have no democratic rights because he’ll be on a work visa.

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                                              The value isn’t in personally voting but the respective values of the society that seep into every aspect.

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                                                Live in SG, materially support authoritarian rule with people who mostly like it.
                                                Live in HK, materially support authoritarian rule with people who fight against it.

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                                          (It is good to be self-employed, with a good amount of free time to work on open source).

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                                            Just checked out neuron, really cool! I’m hoping to find some time soon to give zettelkasten a serious try.

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                                            This weekend I was experimenting with building a gitremote-helper using gRPC, to align the authentication with the rest of my infrastructure that’s also built on gRPC. It worked really well! I really appreciate git’s overall architecture and how easy it makes plugging in different components (in this case a transport protocol).

                                            This week I’m experimenting with building a web-based debugger using the Debug Adapter Protocol.

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                                              Work: hopefully finishing up a project which has been going on for quite some time. Ready to start working on something new, but first I need to dot some i’s and cross some t’s…

                                              Personal: Trying to workout a bit more instead of being glued to screens which is more or less my natural habitat ;)

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                                                Playing with my personal conlang L’ewa. Today I’m playing with the written script for it. I have a prototype here made with Dotgrid.

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                                                  I’m been dabbling with a side project written in Crystal with the Lucky Framework. I want to use a Twilio mobile number and forward text messages to my main phone/email. Intended for hiding my real number from trivial websites that require phone numbers e.g. delivery trackers for ecommerce purchases.

                                                  I’ve written the MVP code but needs deploying somewhere. It also looks horrendous right now but I haven’t decided if it’s worth polishing and open-sourcing.

                                                  I’ve also been relaxing a bit from coding, picking up my guitar and learning some pixel-art. Just for fun!

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                                                    I’ve been optimising the direct S3 blockstore access in Peergos (not released yet, but it allows all reads and writes to act directly from the browser, rather than proxying through our servers)

                                                    Also reacting to the Keybase acquisition:


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                                                      Teaching my wife how to code, and writing a social network simulation and how chain mail propagates through it.

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                                                        Day 1 new job. A little socially lonely, looking forward to getting to know a new crew, remotely.

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                                                          Possibly take the hotair rework station against my homemade keyboard to try and debug where I went wrong. My project with replacing a PS4 analog stick failed. While I was able to remove the analog stick component with ease, using the station, putting a new one in was impossible. The high temp solder was just a pain and could not get it all out, preventing the new piece to go in. I even tried the bright idea of melting the solder while pushing the new one in but it melted the plastic components inside. It leads me to believe Sony does not want these repaired. On the flip side I learned why these analog sticks “stick” over time: internally a small spring just losses its springyness. Replacing it would make the stick as good as new. Unfortunately you still need to remove the whole thing.

                                                          Coding side, I need to do a follow up on the assembly stuff I did awhile back.

                                                          I’m beginning to feel the urge to just study things again, which is worrying to me…I don’t have the time nor do I want to become more sedentary. I feel like I have to trade work for study if I want it to be a healthy thing.

                                                          And lastly, of course…more Bloodborne. My friends have also discovered Apex so I’ve been getting back into that again.

                                                          Have a great week everyone.

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                                                            At work, I just chased down a data race, so that just got deployed for a soak test.

                                                            At home, still working on the chore minder web app. The back end is in Nim, the front end is in gotoB.js, which has been proving a nice experience. Planning on using Pushover for notifications with it, and I’ve prototyped image resizing and a basic websocket connection with it. It’ll be interesting to see how those tasks scale as I fold them into the core product. Part of me is tempted to split them out into their own processes.

                                                            I plan on blogging about gotoB.js when I finish the MVP on the chore minder. It’s going into a V2 atm (I’m not it’s author), but I think it’s really deserves more attention.

                                                            Also potty training the new puppy, which has been decently hectic. Gives me an appreciation for when she naps, in a way I would not have anticipated.

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                                                              1. I’ve slacked off on open-source maintainer duty the last couple of weeks. Hoping to clear the backlog this week.
                                                              2. Trying to get a C++ library I wrote to alpha release ASAP.
                                                              3. I recently found this brilliant city generator for my DnD campaign. I’ve forked it, and I’m going to start playing around a bit with procedurally generated art.
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                                                                Trying to get up to speed with my new job.

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                                                                  (last week: https://lobste.rs/s/obwsyn/what_are_you_doing_this_week#c_vjp4di)

                                                                  $WORK: I got a ton of work done this past weekend on the code for a paper we’re writing. I got to learn and practice a lot of OpenGL stuff and made a ton of progress.

                                                                  I’m hoping to get a couple more features done and continue the writing process so it can be done before I start my internship next week.

                                                                  I’m also very excited about the direction our work is going and think that it’s going to be a great foundation for my thesis. For the past few years, I haven’t really known what I wanted to do for my thesis, so this is the first time I’ve really felt like I get it and that has been nice.

                                                                  $HOME: I made more of those coffee bean style cookies and this batch turned out more like I was wanting. They’re a little dryer and crunchier which is what I was trying for. My wife and I also made some Asian salad dressing like we used to get from one of our favorite restaurants. We had been trying to make it for a while, and this batch turned out the best so far, so I’d like to write the recipe down. I didn’t start the #100DaysToOffload writing like I wanted, but that’s okay, maybe this week.

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                                                                    For work I’m migrating a service from Elasticsearch 2.3 to Elasticsearch 7.1. We are running the two clusters side by side and will retire Elasticsearch 2.3 once the queries go to Elasticsearch 7.1 Also working on migrating a different service from Python 2 to 3.

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                                                                      • Integrating G-Suite with Jira Data Center. G-Suite returns email as SAML ID response. But out of box SSO integration from Jira, tries to match it with userid (not same as email). So in order to make things working as is, I’ve to convert all Jira usernames as emails. So I end up creating a small script which uses Jira REST API to does this conversion for all the users. I used TQDM Python Library which helping me to show progress bar.
                                                                        • Atlassian Support Engineer mentioned that they will link to my Github and blog into their Knowledge base if I publish source code and write a blog post about it. So planning to work on the same.


                                                                      I’ve been running 25+ miles per week since COVID-19 happened. This time I’m doing more structured training (4 days run including Tempo run). This is helping me to improve my speed. My goal for starting this week (and beyond) is do sub 10min/mile (I know it’s not that fast!) so that finally I can nail sub 2 half marathon!

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                                                                        Broadly: trying to get the GameBoy bootrom to load in my emulator. More specifically, trying to figure out how I am using SDL wrong. I am trying to paint off-white (#EEEEEE) but getting light blue somehow. If anyone has a good canonical resource for dealing with framebuffers (that get passed around & modified by some application), let me know.

                                                                        Also trying to work up the motivation to start a new series of blog posts about writing a fast programming language runtime. It’s intended to be in the same spirit as my old Lisp series, but focused on performance & architectural decisions.

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                                                                          First thought on the color issue would be to make sure the color format of the framebuffer actually matches what you expect. We to write colors out as RGBA but how they’re actually laid out depends on the hardware, BGRA and ABGR are not uncommon. http://wiki.libsdl.org/SDL_GetWindowPixelFormat may be helpful, depending on how you are actually doing your drawing.

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                                                                            Debugged the issue all last night. Turns out I forgot that

                                                                            T array[K] = { X };

                                                                            Will only initialize the first element.

                                                                            So now I can load the (R) and print it to the screen (using the not recommended SDL_UpdateTexture. Haven’t figured out Lock/Unlock) but the word Nintendo is nowhere to be found. Ah well.

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                                                                          Started a new job Today. Back to realizing how much i hate WFH. But I am excited to start poking at a new code base.

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                                                                            At work, I’m learning the packaging workflow for some of the software in Amazon Linux. I’m also writing planning documents, including some of the details of how we’ll add ECS support to Bottlerocket.

                                                                            At home, I’m trying to relax after last week, when I spent a bunch of time working on a talk for LinuxFest Northwest.

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                                                                              I’m writing docs!!! ^_^

                                                                              I like writing docs and tutorials, especially when you’re smoothing out a bumpy path so the next person can just howl on forward, tis most satisfying.

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                                                                                Hmm, I feel like I’ve been sliding backwards recently. Just to be clear, I’m fine mentally, just frustrated that I’m paralysed by choice and I feel like I have a lot of unresolved things to do. In reality, I should just drop a lot of them.

                                                                                I wrote an impromptu post trying to express my frustration earlier today if anyone wants to have a read: https://utf9k.net/blog/mental-overhead-of-data/

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                                                                                  Last week before a nice vacation. Me and Missus were planning to go up to the coast in June, but COVID screwed our plans so instead we’re staying home over her birthday and doing a bit of spring cleaning, having a couple fires, generally relaxing. I’m hopefully going to finally fix my tablesaw (hopefully without having to completely rebuild the mount and/or table to fit the new motor). I also have a bunch of flatpack furniture to build and an office to clean. Once I get through eating all those vegetables though, I’m thinking I might mess around with some ‘tensegrity’ structures and see what I can build.

                                                                                  Or I might just kick back and read a book or two, haven’t decided yet.

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                                                                                    Working and looking for a new job. Already have a couple of leads headed in the right direction, with one I’m quite interested in. It’s about time for a change of pace and to see if I can get a culture that better matches my style of work.

                                                                                    (Note: it’s been a while since we’ve seen a “Who’s hiring?” post. I’d be very interested to work for some fellow crustaceans!)

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                                                                                      Last one: https://lobste.rs/s/wigiwx/who_s_hiring_q2y2020

                                                                                      Ours is still open :)