1. 12

What has made your current/previous job your favorite. This can be from a bunch of different factors, but I would assume it comes down to the type of work, culture, and it’s effect on you or others.

  1. 7

    My favorite job of all time was the nearly 17 years that I ran my own company.

    Between the time I was in high school and the time I quit my last legitimate job, I’d worked maybe 5 jobs over 7 years. I quit that last job to go full-time with the company I had started with my friend and business partner a couple years earlier.

    Over the next 17 years I went through a lot of stuff. Losing my friend and shortly thereafter, though not immediately, losing my business partner. Coasting along. Doing very well for a little. Then, after the establishment of my second company, very, very well for some years. In the end, my first industry went a different direction than I could manage to deal with. The second dealt out a little more than I was willing to deal with.

    In the 11 years since, I’ve worked maybe 7 jobs. I was able to dust off my degree in CS and put it to use. First with a middling programming job. I got a couple lucky breaks and worked some very nice jobs. Things improved since the first day. I now make in salary what successful doctors or lawyers often make.

    But, even now, it’s nothing like it was when I had my own thing. I was the guy in charge, the person who everyone went to. More importantly, if I saw something I thought should happen I had the ability to really do something about it. Like, really help a customer in the long term. Or get something new and unknown to people who really want it, or really need it.

    I’m not sure if I’ll ever be able to get back to that. But if I were to, I’m pretty sure it wouldn’t be as anyone’s employee.

    1. 6

      There have been good and not good points about all of my jobs, the one I have fondest memories of is when I worked for now-defunct iOS app studio Agant. I joined at the inception of a very exciting project for me: I was the lead developer of the Discworld Ankh-Morpork app for iPad. I was working with a team of friends, many of whom were fans of the books, we met Sir Pterry, and the folks at the Discworld Emporium in Wincanton, we had a lot of fun, and we made a thing we were all proud of. There were significant technical challenges (keeping the app responsive at 60fps, within memory and space constraints, ended up meaning replacing some Foundation data structures with app-specific alternatives and running the Instruments profiling tool before committing any potential change), schedule challenges, and competing requirements on our time from other projects but it all felt worth working through.

      Unfortunately this time also coincided (not a coincidence, obviously) with the beginnings of burnout. I loved that job and wanted to stay longer, but the company wound up around the time of my first workiversary and we were all laid off. I found another job that should’ve been great, but ended up quitting through actual burnout and depression after a few months. Then the same happened after my next job, and basically I have not had the same levels of joy, excitement or fulfilment out of work since.

      1. 5

        I love these kinds of things. Thanks for asking!

        Right around Y2K, I worked as the “Technical Coordinator” at a “Regional Development Authority” in Cornwallis Park, Nova Scotia, Canada. I got to do what so many Silicon Valley folks have falsely claimed to do, and it was glorious: I got to make the world a better place, using technology.

        An RDA in Canada is an organisation that receives money from different levels of government and has a mandate to promote development in the region. This takes the shape of providing free education, encouraging businesses to move there, assisting existing businesses with hiring additional staff, and related activities. Because of some other programs, my particular RDA (the WVDA) had an additional mandate to improve the lives of residents and businesses using technology.

        I got to do what so many Silicon Valley bros have claimed to do, but never have: I made the world a better place using technology. Looking back, it was probably the best opportunity of my career, and I’ve had many.

        The many projects that I worked on in that short time period is absolutely staggering, as I think about it now. I was the only person in my department for most of my time there, and for the rest I was the more experienced and skilled one of two.

        • web applications (we didn’t call them that then) for local artisans to display and sell their wares, for restaurants to post information and menus, and for listing events in the local area
        • provided tourist information, accommodation information and booking, and an online business directory
        • free email accounts to the local residents, as well as web hosting and technical services for local people and businesses
        • “wireless last mile” to deliver broadband to previously unconnected homes and businesses
        • custom OS and software for touch-screen kiosks that were installed in libraries, tourist bureaus, and malls, which were many people’s only way to access the internet

        I can honestly say that in my approximately three years there, I made the world a better place. There are still fingerprints of my work there in that place, and I miss doing work like that. I haven’t done work like that since, and gotten paid for it.

        It wasn’t all roses: my bosses were absolutely rotten with corruption. One got fired for giving large contracts to his friends to do nothing. Another was getting invoices for services and products that were never delivered from businesses owned by their friends and family. Another was doing that, and also using her expense account to expense trips and conferences she never went to. Eventually, years after I left, the entire agency got shut down and each government decided to run their own smaller operation themselves because of these things. But it doesn’t mean that we didn’t do great things at the time.

        I should really write more details about my experiences, because it really was something amazing, and I’m quite proud of it. Most of the web applications are still usable via the internet archive.

        1. [Comment removed by author]

          1. 2

            Easy there, Genghis Khan.

            Not sure what you’re trying to imply here.

            1. 2

              I think he’s (sarcastically) saying it’s a pretty small chunk of the world. Like I could give a homeless person a sandwich, making the world a better place, but I wouldn’t expect a medal for it. Not my criticism.

        2. 3

          I haven’t had a job I’ve liked, tbh. If it didn’t suck, would it still be a job?

          1. 2

            I actually wrote a blog post about it.

            1. 2

              Google, hardware operations. I only put in six months, it was a temp thing. A FTE position did become available while I was there, but the other temp got it. “Regrets, I have a few.” Still, it was pretty damned cool. I don’t know what things are like on the software side, but HWOps at that time and place had something in common with those Sun stories.

              1. 1

                The one I’m currently in because it’s the first one where I work directly for the public good instead of some private interests (making money for some CEO), also the team is very knowledgeable and just nice people to work with !

                1. 1

                  I don’t think I’ve had it yet.