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    I’m putting the final touches on an update of my book, Practical Elm, and I also wrote an intro to a package for creating complex forms in Elm (https://korban.net/posts/elm/2018-11-27-build-complex-forms-validation-elm).

    EDIT: I’ve also helped restart Elm Weekly as one of the new maintainers. Check it out if you’re interested in Elm: elmweekly.nl

    1. 1

      Having not touched Elm (or heard much about it) - any thoughts as to why I should/might take a look at it? :)

      1. 2

        There are a few different reasons off the top of my head:

        • It can be a relatively easy introduction to functional programming in a statically typed language
        • If you already use JavaScript, it gives you a different perspective on dealing with state and data flow
        • There is an Elm package which allows you to step away from HTML/CSS and write your UI code in pure Elm; I think it’s a very interesting experiment and I wrote up an introduction to it. Again, you can use it to broaden your perspective on how web UIs can be constructed
        • It has a time-travelling debugger, which isn’t something widely available in other languages
        • It’s also an experiment in different approaches to building the community and evolving the language. It’s starkly different to the constant churn in the JavaScript world
        • There are at least dozens, and possibly over a hundred companies already using it in production.
    1. 2

      At home, I’ve been playing with Fuchsia, working on porting a toy Haskell web service to Rust, and trying to work through two Udacity courses on self-driving cars and neural networks.

      1. 1

        The name of your web service interested me. What all does it currently do?

        1. 2

          The web service itself operates on (presumably WGS84) coordinates stored in SQLite. It accepts new coordinates via a POST interface and retrieves the latest coordinate from the database. The web UI uses the HTML5 geolocation API to post your current location. There’s a couple of TODO items, too.

          1. 1

            Ah cool! So are you planning to use it to track/update your location to show “where you are”?

            1. 2

              I’m sort of building out my own Google assistant sort of thing, so it’s mostly to be able to correlate location with other things in a first-party sort of service. As of now, it’s single user. In the future I might expand it out to share single waypoints or a range of points. It’s probably the first web service I (with a systems engineering background) have really been interested in building, so it’s also as much a chance to play with something useful and take it in a bunch of different directions.

              1. 1

                Pretty awesome!

        2. 1

          The Fuchsia part interests me (I do not currently have time to do something more practical with it but have read a lot on the design and code), do care to elaborate on some of your experiences? Is it on real hardware or in a VM?

          1. 1

            I spent a while trying to get it on a T440s from about 2014, and I couldn’t get the EFI to map the memory correctly. I haven’t had a whole lot of time to dig into it, but I’ve been really tempted to put it on my pixelbook. I do have it running in qemu, too, but I so much prefer to have real hardware.

        1. 5
          • Spent last week in San Francisco training at the new job, which is off to a very good start, though the city was pretty bleak because of the wildfire smoke. My intuition for code/infrastructure has been shaped by a 20-year career solo or on small teams, so seeing what a team of hundreds can build has left me in a constant state of awe. I’m a hick visiting the big city and it’s pretty great. The way we’re drawing the line between them and my outside projects (Lobsters, podcast, etc.) is that we’re not going to talk about each other in public. This week is more training and getting used to macOS, which I last used in 1992 on an LC II pizza box. (Spoiler: Infinitely frustrating.)
          • Scheduling interviews for the first couple podcast eps.
          • Thanksgiving! I’m on desserts, so probably going to make ice cream and maybe a pie.
          1. 1

            I had to get used to macOS again too for the job I started in August. It’s… weird. And infinitely frustrating is a good description.

            1. 1

              This week is more training and getting used to macOS, which I last used in 1992 on an LC II pizza box. (Spoiler: Infinitely frustrating.)

              I miss classic Mac OS, too.

              1. 1

                Were you located in Chicago previously? (maybe you still are) Do you consider SF “bigger” than Chicago? Just curious as I’ve only been to Chicago.

                1. 2

                  I have almost always been in Chicago. SF feels like it’s the density of Milwaukee with the prices of Manhattan. (So: significantly smaller.) I’ve enjoyed my two visits and hope to get more time to play tourist, but it would take incredible incentives to prompt me to relocate.

              1. 3

                Hm, as an organiser of many meetups: I like this, but I’d prefer it to not encourage more meetups to serve pizza.

                (I have no issue with pizza per se, but moving beyond the “pizza & beer” monoculture important)

                1. 5

                  Hey now, everyone loves pizza! It’s versatile, readily available, easily eaten without utensils, and can serve most niches for people with dietary requirements or taste preferences. (Beer, on the other hand…)

                  1. 3

                    I do even agree with your points! Pizza is the easiest food to quickly get on short notice with a wide variety of variants. This is not a “I hate pizza and you should feel bad for ever serving it”.

                    But everyone loves pizza until all you serve is pizza. You’d be surprised how much positive response you get when you finally run something with other food.

                    Also, with caterers taking note of meetups as a target, other food gets close to pizza when it comes to convenience and price. Usually, they serve a rolling menu where you can only pick what’s available at that night.

                    1. 3

                      Oh, totally agreed that too much of a good thing is a bad thing. More variety would be nice - at least pizza places offer non-pizza things if that’s your only option.

                      1. 1

                        Hmm what are some other things that you would like to server in place of pizza? Other dishes such as pasta/salads? (I can’t think of a good replacement)

                        1. 2

                          One meetup in Chicago does empanadas and those work pretty well. I’ve also seen burritos go over well.

                          1. 1

                            Those both sound like good ideas - I guess it really depends on location as well.

                          2. 2

                            For larger things, curry/rice is a great alternative that can easily cover many food styles. Bagels are also awesome.

                            For smaller meetups, any buffet can be made affordable or even be prepared yourself with a short trip to the supermarket and 15 minutes of cutting and slicing.

                            If you have enough money, any city has a lot of small scale caterers, though they tend to cost a little more then pizza. (Not much, but it may be prohibitive) At least in Germany, getting some food from the restaurant around the corner is usually possible, even if they don’t officially cater. If they are close, they might even bring stuff up to your offer and lend you plates. This definitely becomes easier if you are always at the same location.

                            My rule of thumb: go to a local sports club, see what they do ;).

                        2. 1

                          I suspect you’ve never tried to eat vegan, gluten-free pizza.

                        3. 2

                          I’ve gotten some feedback on some of the events I run that having non-pizza options was definitely a thing. I started running one event out of the venue space in a bar, and that’s worked quite well. Lots of food/beverage options there.

                          1. 1

                            Yep. There’s lots of way to solve it. I want meetup organisers to be creative. (also, I want meetup organisers not to spend too much time, it may become exhausting)

                          2. 1

                            In my previous company (which just raised money) we had trouble to find other “sponsors”, so we tried not to put the usual pizza and beer stuff. The result is that less people came because they had to come back late at home without eating and going to the restaurant for a meetup was too expensive.

                            We finally setup for the pizza and very few beers, but it felt like people preferred the catering than the talks…

                            1. 1

                              Oh, food is important, I just want variety.

                            2. 1

                              Pizza isn’t the most healthy, but hey, John Carmack didn’t develop Doom ordering chinese takeout every night :p

                              1. 3

                                BRB, registering the “John Carmack Meetup”, where everyone is John Carmack.

                                It isn’t as much about health. Eating Pizza once a month is fine and if you visit meetups so often that their choice of meal becomes a health issue, you should probably reconsider your meetup habit before your food habit.

                            1. 8

                              My two cents: find a way to make remote work maintainable for you.

                              1. 5

                                Agreed.

                                I’ve looked at coworking spaces, but finaicially it’s not a possibility right now. The company also will not reimburse for it.

                                They might change their tune if they knew that not having a coworking space is making you consider leaving the company. If you can make it clear that this is a requirement for your job and the alternative is hiring someone else, then in most cases they will pay for it.

                                1. 1

                                  I’ve never really considered this way of thinking.

                                  I would assume most companies would just view you as dead weight or an extra cost (why give this remote worker money to co-work when I am saving money by not having them in the office)

                                  1. 1

                                    It depends on how replaceable you are of course, but the cost of training a replacement for many folks who write and operate software is very high, so people are incentivized to avoid that kind of disruption.

                                    1. 1

                                      I agree completely! I suppose I’m just jaded from previous jobs where most people had left until it was only contractors left (no full time employees left)

                                2. 3

                                  is that because you think the startup opportunity is too good to walk away from? or remote work is too good to walk away from? or a combo?

                                  1. 10

                                    I’m not /u/zpojqwfejwfhiunz, but I agree with him on this.

                                    Being remote gives you a lot of flexibilty, and there are quite a few ways to work outside of the house that don’t have to involve being in a co-working space, such as coffee shops or parks. This may not work as well on meeting days, but it is worth investigating. Also, if you’ve not been taking advantage of working remotely, maybe start trying to get creative about flexing those privileges.

                                    Does your current company pay for you to visit them once in a while? Are you living with anyone? Can you have pets in your current housing? Do you have regular social contact with people that will help you grow? I know for me, working remote allowed me to move closer to family and friends I hadn’t seen in a long time, which did far more to attack the problem of lonliness than working in an office did. I moved 1300 miles to pull that off. Perhaps that sort of move might make sense for you?

                                    I would attack the lonliness angle from outside of work before I would switch to working at a local company, and I’d do a lot of research on the local company before I switched. Maybe make a friend or acquaintance there via a shared social gathering, or the like, and get a sense of what the company politics are like, or if people there like the company culture. It sounds like you have great co-workers, that’s not something to be set aside lightly.

                                    In other words, take advantage of working remotely to be able to surround yourself with people that will build you up. If you can’t figure out a way to make that work (and you have been working remotely for 4 years, so that seems quite possible), then I’d consider working in an office, but not before.

                                    1. 9

                                      such as coffee shops or parks

                                      …and libraries!

                                      Libraries are so undervalued it’s unreal. I’ve been working remotely for the past 4/5 years, and while I do sometimes work from cafés, there is an implicit social pressure to keep buying things to justify taking up a table. No such problem with a library. If you’re in a big city, these can be incredibly beautiful buildings too.

                                      1. 3

                                        Thats such an amazing idea. If I go remote this would be my main place to work at. Its such a nice building but I rarely have a reason to go there.

                                        1. 3

                                          Thats such an amazing idea. If I go remote this would be my main place to work at. Its such a nice building but I rarely have a reason to go there.

                                          It’s cool, I’ve tried it - only downside is private rooms for calls are not always around.

                                      2. 4

                                        thanks for the well thought out reply!

                                        • certainly going to attempt working outside a bit more
                                        • social contact with others seems to be a common thread, not currently doing much of that
                                        • approaching the local company from the inside makes a lot of sense
                                        1. 3

                                          Yeah, when you’re working remotely, being able to fill your social needs outside of work is key.

                                          In some ways, you could view it as an advantage of working remote. After all, you don’t have a commute, that frees up some of that time to be spent elsewhere. Be intentional about spending it elsewhere.

                                          1. 4

                                            Along these lines, I personally find that limiting media consumption is critical. It’s better to force yourself to be bored than to always have the TV on or be staring at a screen. That boredom will force you to find other hobbies. Ideally, you’d find at least one athletic hobby, and at least one social hobby.

                                  1. 10

                                    When I first started working remote I also got really lonely. It’s a real thing that I think is overlooked too often. People fail to take into account how effectively being alone impacts your mental health. I found that chatting online and video calls just aren’t the same as actually being in the same room/space as people.

                                    1. 4

                                      I had the exact same experience and switching from home to co-working space changed everything. I felt that I had “colleagues” even if not working at all for the same company. I rediscovered that the “coffee time” wasn’t about coffee but about socializing.

                                      I cannot stress enough that having a clear distinction from working space and personal space is really important.

                                      1. 8

                                        I have the opposite experience. I work remotely from my kitchen, and I can spend days without talking to or seeing anyone. No “cabin fever,” whatever that means. I kinda miss coffee table socializing, but only a little bit. In fact such socializing can be quite painful & awkward for me, and I’m glad I no longer feel the obligation to join up at a coffee table..

                                        I checked out some coworking spaces and my employer said they’d cover the bills but at this point I don’t really see many benefits to it (they don’t even offer free coffee.. I’d reconsider if there was a good coffee maker that goes straight from beans to brew). There are definite downsides, such as the commute. And having to lug hardware back and forth if you don’t plan to always work from the coworking space.

                                        Now, being lonely can be a problem but my experience is that obligatory lunch/coffee table time with coworkers doesn’t fix it. Time with family or good friends would fix it.

                                        1. 3

                                          Very interesting to read someone having the opposite feeling and experience!

                                          I found that having to commute also helped to put rythm in my day and have justification for being in town and see friends before going back home. Isn’t it something that you miss?

                                          What your routine like? Do you wake up, have breakfast and stay in the kitchen the whole day for work? Or do you have a more fragmented day?

                                          1. 5

                                            What your routine like? Do you wake up, have breakfast and stay in the kitchen the whole day for work? Or do you have a more fragmented day?

                                            There are plenty of interviews posted on https://remotehabits.com/ with questions similar to these. I’m not affiliated with them. I just find the site useful enough to post a link.

                                            1. 1

                                              Thanks that’s a great resource to get new ideas and improve remote days!

                                            2. 2

                                              I have it somewhat similar to DuClare. I visit the place about once per week, taking with me an Intel Skull Canyon NUC, and that’s about the right frequency for me. Traffic jams, parking and people get on my nerves, even if I get over the awkwardness of meeting a subset of coworkers. No real life friends to speak of, too.

                                              I do not have any routine, other than a mild morning coffee. When I feel like it, I do 200 hours a month, when I don’t, I do way less and focus on personal projects. Life is short, don’t do what you hate.

                                              1. 2

                                                I found that having to commute also helped to put rythm in my day and have justification for being in town and see friends before going back home. Isn’t it something that you miss?

                                                No friends. Spending time in town was never really a thing for me. My onsite jobs have always been on the outskirts of town or in the middle of nowhere (e.g. in a monastery). When I had to commute to town (for school), I’d always head straight home anyway.

                                                What your routine like? Do you wake up, have breakfast and stay in the kitchen the whole day for work? Or do you have a more fragmented day?

                                                I get up at around 8:55 am, get dressed, brush teeth, sign in on work laptop at 9:05 or so and start working, with a cup of coffee. I might go out and buy something on the lunch break, or I might quickly grab something from the fridge and maybe take a little nap afterwards. Lunch breaks end up taking 45 to 60 minutes. I log out sometime around 17:30, give or take 15 minutes. It’s been a very regular routine so far.

                                                It works pretty well, though I’d like to get in the habit of starting a little earlier (8:00-8:30), keep the lunch break under 45 mins and get more of that evening for myself.

                                              2. 3

                                                For the cost of a months membership you can get a pretty amazing coffee setup at home.

                                                I order green beans online (dirt cheap and they keep for years), then roast (40 minutes every few weeks), and grind (this is the most expensive part; spend $300 or more on the grinder).

                                                After that an aeropress or stovetop espresso maker is fine (comparable automatic machines cost many hundreds).

                                                1. 1

                                                  Man, the difference between what they call coffee at work and my basic coffee machine with decent beans… I can’t drink that disgusting shit at work without sugar. And they’ve already changed both the machine and the coffee beans supplier. I just don’t understand.

                                            3. 3

                                              Agreed. I’ve been working full-time remote for almost four years now. The first year was great. But since then, I’ve noticed a distinct loneliness about it, and I miss interacting with my co-workers more directly. It certainly isn’t for everyone. That said, it has allowed me a great deal of freedom to live exactly where I wanted to live, and I wouldn’t trade that for the world.

                                              In the meantime, I’ve recently started co-working at a local co-working facility, and I enjoy getting out of the house a few days a week. It makes a big difference.

                                              1. 2

                                                This is my experience too. I’ve been remote for a little more than 2.5 years now, and I’m feeling emotionally drained because working from home alone all day just sucks. The freedom is great, but I don’t know that it’s worth it.

                                                1. 1

                                                  How much does your space charge per month and does your company cover any of that cost?

                                                  1. 1

                                                    This so much. I’m going thru a 4 year “can i do this forever” period. sigh.

                                                1. 13

                                                  In the spirit of, I’ll do the same. Some of this is a little fuzzy because I don’t have access to all of my offer/promo letters:

                                                  Dates,Company,Title,Salary,Stock
                                                  2015,ActiveCampaign,Product Specialist,35000,0
                                                  2016,ActiveCampaign,Software Developer,65000,0
                                                  2017,ActiveCampaign,Site Reliability Engineer,85000,0
                                                  2017,Sprout Social,Site Reliability Engineer,105000,1600
                                                  2018,LinkedIn,Senior Site Reliability Engineer,185000,300000
                                                  

                                                  EDIT: The stock grants at all except for LinkedIn are basically useless so I won’t go deeper on them. The LI grant was over a 4 year vesting schedule, and it’s only the initial grant, not counting any potential refreshers.

                                                  All positions except for the last were based in Chicago. A note, it was a little surprising how nerve wracking this was, but I think it’s pretty valuable so it’s worth it. Also I highly recommend reading this article by Dan Luu. It’s not exactly on topic as a whole but it has a pretty good breakdown of average compensation for engineers at larger companies.

                                                  1. 4

                                                    Great job moving up fast!

                                                    1. 3

                                                      I have a lot of beers to buy my mentors. 😅

                                                      1. 2

                                                        Luckily, you have a lot of cash to buy beers!

                                                        1. 2

                                                          “I thought I was making a lot of money. Then, I adjusted for cost of living and cost of bar tabs…”

                                                          1. 2

                                                            So true! My rent is ~4k. That plus student loans and 401k means money goes faster than it might seem.

                                                      2. 2

                                                        How important was working at larger companies for your growth as an engineer?

                                                        1. 4

                                                          Incredibly so, but not in any of the ways that I thought it would be. Two things I’ve found valuable in no particular order, keep in mind that I’m not claiming mastery:

                                                          • Working at a large scale makes everything harder. I don’t mean large scale in terms of customers (although the statement holds true for that as well), but rather scale in terms of employee count. How do I get projects that I care about in front of the right people? How do I gain trust on my team? How do I identify the best solutions to problems that affect an org of hundreds or thousands of people? How do I ship those solutions in a way that makes sense and avoids political conflict? Not all of it is pleasant, but I’ve found it valuable as someone who has spent the beginning of his career focusing on technical advancement primarily. So much of this is tied into my goal of developing into a better tech lead. Still a long way to go, but working at a larger scale has definitely helped me gain experience faster.

                                                          • Community and connections. I don’t have to do much work to interact with people who have spent years if not decades honing their crafts, and most everyone is willing for me to put some time on their calendars. I am a fairly mediocre engineer – mentorship and a lot of hours working have been the main thing that have helped me out.

                                                        2. 1

                                                          $300000 in LinkedIn stock in your first year?

                                                          1. 3

                                                            Not all in first year – that’s over a 4 year vesting schedule. I’ll edit the comment to reflect that, can be confusing.

                                                            1. 1

                                                              Well, MSFT stock ;)

                                                          1. 9

                                                            It’s really a shame that we can’t pair with other people outside our companies, typically due to stupid shit like NDAs.

                                                            All of us have shitty codebases, nobody has secret sauce, we might as well be able to learn together and solve problems.

                                                            1. 2

                                                              I agree - I wouldn’t even go as far to say pairing on work stuff, but getting together and talking about interests(programming/tech), side projects, or just life.

                                                              1. 1

                                                                I felt this very strongly when meeting with old colleagues that also changed jobs. Then we’d share our new experiences and how we’d do things and stuff. It’s very stimulating and helps tremendously to get a sense of how to improve!

                                                              1. 3

                                                                As someone who works remote I think this is a pretty cool concept.

                                                                EDIT: If you enjoyed the OP - some feedback/info about his first 20 office hours are pretty interesting: https://robertheaton.com/2018/10/02/lessons-from-my-first-20-office-hours/

                                                                1. 3

                                                                  Working on my RSS feed reader, learning some more Docker stuff, and hopefully playing some D&D.

                                                                  1. 1

                                                                    Do you mostly use Docker for work or just personal stuff? If it’s mostly personal stuff how did you get into learning it? Book recommendations?

                                                                    1. 1

                                                                      Personal stuff at the moment. Working on dockerizing my RSS feed reader. I just read through some of the official docs and now I’m just playing around and googling stuff.

                                                                  1. 4

                                                                    first weekend off from new job, gonna go out and take some photos and see if i can find something interesting.

                                                                    Then get some time to make some improvements to a little project for collecting network data.

                                                                    1. 1

                                                                      Are you in Berlin? This looks like Berlin.

                                                                      1. 2

                                                                        Yeah im in Berlin.

                                                                      2. 1

                                                                        Cool photos! What do you normally shoot with?

                                                                        1. 1

                                                                          thanks, canon ixus 285 HS, and a canon eos 100d

                                                                          1. 1

                                                                            if your interested i have a telegram group just about showing off your photos

                                                                        1. 2

                                                                          I suppose I should have put this in the ask: I use a combination of

                                                                          • mutt
                                                                          • rainloop
                                                                          • aquamail on android
                                                                          • thunderbird

                                                                          edit: added thunderbird

                                                                          1. 4

                                                                            It’s appropriate to comment on your own submission when answering it, as you’ve done here.

                                                                            1. 2

                                                                              good to know!

                                                                            2. 1

                                                                              How do you like Rainloop? It looks pretty nice at a glance.

                                                                              1. 1

                                                                                I like it a lot! Definitely the best self-hostable one.

                                                                            1. 3

                                                                              I go to a local shared office space (aka “co-working” space). I like it. Gives me more of a structured routine and more natural light than my basement. My office mates are also in tech so they’re respectful and quiet.

                                                                              1. 1

                                                                                Do you have to pay monthly for access to the space? I looked into some in my area, but most of them were decently expensive last I checked.

                                                                                1. 2

                                                                                  Yes, there is a monthly fee depending upon which tier you select. There is a “floating desk” where you choose whatever is open, the dedicated desk, which I chose, and the private office. And since I’m commuting to a city area, there is also a cost for parking. However, the total amount is worth it if you can write it off on your taxes or your company is gracious enough to cover it for you.

                                                                              1. 5

                                                                                Although I only did this twice this year, working on a train has been an amazing experience. If you travel in a non rush hour, you can grab a good seat and enjoy the view and have a great quality time. But, I’ve been thinking about taking a week off home to work from a cabin in the mountains to see how the experience goes.

                                                                                1. 2

                                                                                  That sounds interesting! Sadly there aren’t many trains where I’m at to give it a go :(

                                                                                  The one thing I’ve also considered recently is: https://atinyhouseresort.com/ - I’m not sure how comfortable these places would be , but they look pretty cool.

                                                                                  1. 1

                                                                                    I once started a big programming project on a 4-day train trip from NYC to SF. I think it’s the most productive I’ve ever been. Having your own little cabin with a wonderful view, perfect silence and no internet reception is perfect working conditions.

                                                                                  1. 69

                                                                                    Fastmail. They are trustworthy, quick to respond to service requests, and rock solid. I can count the number of outages in the past ~10 years on one hand.

                                                                                    1. 18

                                                                                      +1 for Fastmail. I’ve been using them for several years now and they’re very reliable, have a really solid web UI, and from what I can tell a solid position on security. They also contribute to moving the state of internet mail forward by improving Cyrus and contributing to RFCs. All in all I’d highly recommend them.

                                                                                      1. 13

                                                                                        They also contribute to moving the state of internet mail forward by improving Cyrus and contributing to RFCs.

                                                                                        That’s another good point: they are by all accounts a solid technical citizen, contributing back and moving the state of the art forward. I like to reward good behaviour when I spend my money, and it’s nice to be able to do that and get top of the line service, to boot.

                                                                                      2. 14

                                                                                        I also switched from Gmail to Fastmail.

                                                                                        The funny thing is that for the amount of press that Gmail received/receives for being “fast”, once you switch to Fastmail, you realize that Gmail is actually very slow. The amount of bloat and feature-creep they’ve introduced is fascinating.

                                                                                        1. 3

                                                                                          You’re talking about the web interface or the speed at which the mail is sent?

                                                                                          1. 1

                                                                                            The web interface.

                                                                                            1. 2

                                                                                              I just use thunderbird (and k9 on mobile). I don’t see why you’d ever use a web interface for email when a standalone client is so much nicer to use.

                                                                                              1. 1

                                                                                                I’m on a desktop client too (Evolution). Just pointing out the advantage of Fastmail over Gmail. :)

                                                                                        2. 9

                                                                                          Love Fastmail. I only wish more tools had first class CalDAV/CardDAV support. When I switched over, I was genuinely surprised how pervasive it’s become to slap on Google account sync and call it a day, even in FOSS. Aside from the built-in macOS/iOS apps, most solutions involve fussing with URLs and 3rd party plugins, if it’s supported at all.

                                                                                          1. 1

                                                                                            Fastmail has a link generator for CalDAV so it’s super easy to get the right URLs. I do agree for 3rd party plugins, it’s annoying to have to install add-ons for standard and open source protocols…

                                                                                          2. 7

                                                                                            It was the best one I found, too, overall. I dont know about trustworthy, though, given they’re in a Five Eyes country expanding police and spy authority every year.

                                                                                            Maybe trustworthy from threats other than them, though. I liked them for that.

                                                                                            1. 7

                                                                                              Yeah, I’m not concerned about state level actors, or more properly, I don’t lose sleep over them because for me and my threat model, there’s simply nothing to be done.

                                                                                              1. 4

                                                                                                I’m not worried about the state spying on me, I’m worried about the apparatus the state builds to spy on me being misused by service provider employees and random hackers.

                                                                                                1. 1

                                                                                                  If those are your concerns, using PGP is probably recommended.

                                                                                                2. 3

                                                                                                  That will be most folks, too. Which makes it a really niche concern.

                                                                                                  1. 2

                                                                                                    Maybe it oughtn’t be niche, but it’s pretty down my list of practical concerns.

                                                                                              2. 5

                                                                                                I use Fastmail as well, and became a customer by way of pobox.com acquisition.

                                                                                                I’ll have to add, this was about the only time I can ever recall that a service I use was acquired by another company and I was actually fine with it, if not a bit pleased.

                                                                                                My thinking was along the lines of “well, the upstream has purchased one of the biggest users of their tools, can’t be bad.”

                                                                                                I’ve not had any noticeable difference in the level of service provided, technically or socially, except the time difference to Australia is something to keep in mind.

                                                                                                I do hope that no one here in the US lost their jobs because of the acquisition, however.

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                                                                                                  I do hope that no one here in the US lost their jobs because of the acquisition, however.

                                                                                                  Nope! We’ve hired a bunch more people in both offices, and the previous Pobox management are now C-level execs. We’re pretty sure the acquisition has been a win for just about everyone involved :)

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                                                                                                  I can also recommend it, especially due to their adherence to web standards. After 10+ years of GMail, the only functioning client had been Thunderbird, which too often too large. Since switching to Fastmail, I’ve been having a far better experience with 3rd party clients, and a better mail experience in general (probably also because I left a lot of spam behind me).

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                                                                                                    I second that. I was searching for a serious e-mail provider for a catch-all email, calendar and contacts.

                                                                                                    I had trouble setting up my carddav autodiscovery DNS configuration and they helped me without considering me as a “dumb” client. Serious, clear and direct. The most efficient support I could’ve encountered by far.

                                                                                                    It’s paid, and I’m paying the second plan (of 5$/month), and I think it’s perfectly fair, considering that, firstly, e-mail infrastructure is costly, and secondly, that their service is just plain awesome.

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                                                                                                      They’ve recently added the ability to automatically set up iOS devices with all of their services when you create a new OTP. I didn’t know that I needed this, but it’s a wonderful little bonus. It’s stuff like that that keeps me happily sending them money, and will as long as they keep doing such a good job.

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                                                                                                        I did not know about such a thing, since I’m not an iOS user, but sure sounds nice !

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                                                                                                      Do you know if they store the emails in plaintext server-side?

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                                                                                                        It’s a good question. I don’t know, and would like to. I’ll shoot them a mail.

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                                                                                                          Their help page on the matter isn’t clear, although it does describe a lot of things that seem pretty good. Now you’ve got me wondering. (Happy Fastmail user here, and I even convinced my wife to move to it from GMail!)

                                                                                                          edit: It does sound like it’s plain text but you could read it a couple of ways.

                                                                                                          All your data is stored on encrypted disk volumes, including backups. We believe this level of protection strikes the correct balance between confidentiality and availability.

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                                                                                                            Encrypted at rest (encrypted block devices), but cleartext available to the application because we need it for a bunch of things, mostly search, also previews and other bits and pieces. Of course, the applications that hit the on-disk files have their own protections.

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                                                                                                              I’d imagine their disks are encrypted as a whole - but not using per-mailbox encryption based on keys derived from individual user passwords.

                                                                                                              However, even if such claims are made you can’t verify that and shouldn’t trust a companies word on it. I’d recommend PGP if that is a concern.

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                                                                                                                using per-mailbox encryption based on keys derived from individual user passwords.

                                                                                                                If this is a feature you’re looking for in a hosted solution, Protonmail is probably your best option.

                                                                                                                However, even if such claims are made you can’t verify that.

                                                                                                                Up to a point you can, Protonmail has released their webmail client as open source. Of course, with today’s JavaScript ecosystem it’ll be very hard to verify that the JavaScript code you are running actually corresponds to that code. Also, you can’t verify they’re not secretly storing a plaintext copy of inbound mails before encryption. But down that path lies madness, or self-hosting.

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                                                                                                                  But down that path lies madness, or self-hosting.

                                                                                                                  And the desperate hope that your correspondent also is sufficiently paranoid.

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                                                                                                            +1 for Fastmail. Switched recently after self-hosting (well, the last several years at a friend’s) since the dial-up days and I’m satisfied.

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                                                                                                              Another Fastmail user here. I switched from GMail and my only regret is that I didn’t switch sooner.

                                                                                                              I don’t think there are any workflow advantages, but I appreciate that they don’t track me, and I trust them more than Google.

                                                                                                              I have the $30 per year subscription.

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                                                                                                                One of other things I want to highlight is reliability/availability. Making sure I dont miss important emails is even more important than privacy to me. Newer, smaller, and privacy-focused sites might not have as much experience in keeping site up or getting all your mail in reliably.

                                                                                                                Fastmail has been around for quite a while with positive feedback from everyone Ive seen. So, they might perform better than others in not missing/losing email and being available. Just speculating here based on what their customers say.

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                                                                                                                  SMTP actually tolerates outages pretty well… I’ve had my self hosted server down for a couple days, and everyone resent me everything when I fixed it.

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                                                                                                                    Haha. Good to know.

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                                                                                                                  What service do you use for Calendars and such?

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                                                                                                                    I use FastMail for calendars and contacts. I actually don’t use it for e-mail much since my ISP is pretty ok.

                                                                                                                    For Android I switched from CalDAV-Sync + CardDAV-Sync to DAVdroid. Both work but the latter is easier to configure (by way of having less config options).

                                                                                                                    I tried self-hosting Radical for a while but for the time I had to put into it I’d rather pay FastMail $30 per year.

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                                                                                                                      Fastmail! We have a family email account and shared calendars and reminders and suchlike, and I have a personal account as well.

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                                                                                                                    Well, the same thing as the last time: porting my IRC daemon from C to Go. I’ve had some problems with motivation, though that has sorted itself out and now I have before me the task of rewriting about 4000 lines of fairly straight-forward “business logic” code. It’s mind-numbingly boring and fairly time-consuming.

                                                                                                                    Since this is part of an over-ambitious project where I replace most GUI/TUI applications that I use, this rewrite being a warm-up exercise for Go in a problem domain that I’m comfortable with, I am considering starting a blog-of-sorts. I’m not sure if I could keep it alive for long as one needs to remember to describe the steps he takes and put them in context for readers which, needless to say, takes its time, but also as a side effect often provides interesting insights. There’s definitely a lot to write about.

                                                                                                                    What does one use to share a stream of short updates? I don’t feel like spamming an aggregator with them would be very productive and summarizing events at fixed time intervals seems like a hassle.

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                                                                                                                      I’d recommend http://jrnl.sh/ if you want to quickly do streams of updates directly from command-line.

                                                                                                                      I personally like my fork which has one additional feature: native exporting directly to HTML https://git.timetoplatypus.com/timetoplatypus/jrnl

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                                                                                                                        Keeping a log/record of things you have learned, wanted to share, or ran into in an issue tracker for the project would work probably. Possibly just a markdown file? Makes it easy to at a later date write about the process from beginning to end.

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                                                                                                                        Apart from regular work and my master thesis, I have an offer from a really interesting company in Amsterdam, and I am trying to figure out if I could actually afford to move there. That may sound dumb, but the rents in that city are absolutely crazy (and there are basically no apartments under 1.5K€/month). Dutch crustaceans, any recommendations or tips?

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                                                                                                                          How far into your thesis are you? I’ve been considering going back to school for a bit now, but have been hesitant. Any regrets so far?

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                                                                                                                            Not as far as I would like to, hahaha. I have most of the experimentation done and verified, now I just need to actually write everything down, so this is the tedious part. Honestly, I think learned far more things in the company I started working a half a year ago than in the master degree, but I guess that depends on a lot of personal things.

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                                                                                                                          Government jobs tend to be 40 hours or less. State government in my state has a 37.5 hour standard. There is very occasional off-hours work, but overtime is never required except during emergencies – and not “business emergencies”, but, like, natural disasters.

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                                                                                                                            I’m surprised that tech workers turn up their nose at government jobs. Sure, they pay less, but the benefits are amazing! And they really don’t pay too much less in the scheme of things.

                                                                                                                            How many private sector tech jobs have pensions? I bet not many.

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                                                                                                                              I work in a city where 90% of the folks showing up to the local developer meetup are employed by the city or the state.

                                                                                                                              It’s taken a lot of getting used to being the only person in the room who doesn’t run Windows.

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                                                                                                                                I feel like this is pretty much the same for me (aside from the meetup bit).

                                                                                                                                Have you ever worked with windows or have you been able to stay away from it professionally?

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                                                                                                                                  I used it on and off for a class for about a year in 2003 at university but have been able to avoid it other than that.

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                                                                                                                                  Yeah. I hadn’t used Windows since Win 3.1, until I started working for the state (in the Win XP era). I still don’t use it at home, but all my dayjob work is on Windows, and C#.

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                                                                                                                                  they pay less

                                                                                                                                  Not sure about this one. When you speak about pay, you also have to count all the advantages going with it. In addition, they usually push you out at 5pm so your hourly rate is very close to the contractual one.

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                                                                                                                                    Most people who are complaining that they pay less are the tech workers who hustle hard in Silicon Valley or at one of the big N companies. While government jobs can pay really well and have excellent value especially when considered pay/hours and benefits like pensions, a Google employee’s ceiling is going to be way higher.

                                                                                                                                    There’s a subreddit where software engineers share their salaries and it seems like big N companies can pay anything from $300k–700k USD when you consider their total package. No government job is going to match that.

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                                                                                                                                    Do you work in the public sector? What’s it like?

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                                                                                                                                      I do.

                                                                                                                                      Pros: hours, and benefits. Less trend-driven development and red queen effect. Less age discrimination (probably more diversity in general, at least compared to Silicon Valley).

                                                                                                                                      Cons: low pay, hard to hire and retain qualified people. Bureaucracy can be galling, but I imagine that’s true in large private sector organizations, too.

                                                                                                                                      We’re not that behind the times here; we’ve avoided some dead-ends by being just far enough behind the curve to see stuff fail before we can adopt it.

                                                                                                                                      Also, depending on how well your agency’s goals align with your values, Don’t Be Evil can actually be realistic.

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                                                                                                                                        I will say, I once did a contract with the Virginia DOT during Peak Teaparty. Never before in my life have I seen a more downtrodden group. Every single person I talked to was there because they really believed in their work, and every single one of them was burdened by the reality that their organization didn’t and was cutting funding, cutting staff, and cutting… everything.

                                                                                                                                        They were some of the best individuals I ever worked with, but within the worst organization I’ve ever interacted with.

                                                                                                                                        Contrast that to New York State- I did a shitton of work for a few departments there. These were just folks who showed up to get things done. They were paid well, respected, and accomplished what they could within the confines of their organization. They also were up for letting work knock off at 2PM.

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                                                                                                                                          Also, depending on how well your agency’s goals align with your values, Don’t Be Evil can actually be realistic.

                                                                                                                                          Agreed. There’s no such thing as an ethical corporation.

                                                                                                                                          Do you mind sharing the minimum qualifications of a candidate at your institution? How necessary is a degree?

                                                                                                                                          I’m asking for a friend 😏

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                                                                                                                                            What about B corps?

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                                                                                                                                              No, not even them.

                                                                                                                                              When you think about what “profit” is (ie taking more than you give), I think it’s really hard to defend any for-profit organization. Somebody has to lose in the exchange. If it’s not the customers, it’s the employees.

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                                                                                                                                                That’s a pretty cynical view of how trade works & not one I generally share. Except under situations of effective duress where one side has lopsided bargaining leverage over the other (e.g. monopolies, workers exploited because they have no better options), customers, employees and shareholders can all benefit. Sometimes this has negative externalities but not always.

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                                                                                                                                                  Then I guess we must agree to disagree 🤷🏻‍♂️

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                                                                                                                                                  Profit is revenue minus expenses. Your definition, taking more than you give, makes your conclusion a tautology. i.e., meaningless repetition.

                                                                                                                                                  Reciprocity is a natural law: markets function because both parties benefit from the exchange. As a nod to adsouza’s point: fully-informed, warrantied, productive, voluntary exchange makes markets.

                                                                                                                                                  Profit exists because you can organize against risk. Due to comparative advantage, you don’t even have to be better at it than your competitors. Voluntary exchange benefits both weaker and stronger parties.

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                                                                                                                                                    Profit is revenue minus expenses. Your definition, taking more than you give, makes your conclusion a tautology. i.e., meaningless repetition.

                                                                                                                                                    I mean, yes, I was repeating myself. I wasn’t concluding anything: I was merely rephrasing “profit.” I’m not sure what you’re trying to get at here aside from fishing for a logical fallacy.

                                                                                                                                                    a tautology. i.e., meaningless repetition.

                                                                                                                                                    Intentionally meta?

                                                                                                                                                    Reciprocity is a natural law

                                                                                                                                                    Yup. No arguments here. However, reciprocity is not profit. In fact, that’s the very distinction I’m trying to make. Reciprocity is based on fairness and balance, that what you get should be equal to what you give. Profit is expecting to get back more than what you put in.

                                                                                                                                                    Profit exists because you can organize against risk.

                                                                                                                                                    Sure, but not all parties can profit simultaneously. There are winners and losers in the world of capitalism.

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                                                                                                                                                    So, if I watch you from afar and realize that you’ll be in trouble within seconds, come to your aid, and save your life (without much effort on my side) in exchange for $10, who’s the one losing in this interaction? Personally, I don’t think there’s anything morally wrong with playing positive-sum games and sharing the profits with the other parties.

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                                                                                                                                                  For an entry-level developer position, we want either a batchelor’s degree in an appropriate program, with no experience required, an associate’s degree and two years of experience, or no degree and four years of experience. The help-desk and technician positions probably require less for entry level but I’m not personally acquainted with their hiring process.

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                                                                                                                                                    I would fall into the last category. Kind of rough being in the industry for 5 years and having to take an entry level job because I don’t have a piece of paper, but that’s how it goes.

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                                                                                                                                                      For us, adding an AS (community college) to that 5 years of experience would probably get you into a level 2 position if your existing work is good. Don’t know how well that generalizes.

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                                                                                                                                                        Okay cool! I have about an AS in credits from a community college I’d just need to graduate officially. Though, at that point, I might as well get a BS.

                                                                                                                                                        Thanks for helping me in my research :)

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                                                                                                                                                I don’t, but I’m very envious of my family members who do.

                                                                                                                                                One time my cousin (works for the state’s Department of Forestry) replied to an email on Sunday and they told him to take 4 hours off Monday to balance it off.

                                                                                                                                                That said, from a technological perspective I’d imagine it would be quite behind in times, and moves very slowly. If you’re a diehard agile manifesto person (I’m not) I probably wouldn’t recommend it.

                                                                                                                                                EDIT: I guess it’s really what you value more. In the public sector, you get free time at the expense of money. In the private sector, vice versa. I can see someone who chases the latest technologies and loves to code all day long being miserable there, but for people who just code so they can live a fulfilling life outside of work it could be a good fit.

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                                                                                                                                            (Ha, nice. I’ve wondered about doing these previously but wondered if it would be too granular given the weekly what-are-you-doing threads technically cover the weekend. Nice to see someone else had the thought—and tested the theory out. ✌🏻)


                                                                                                                                            I picked up a secondhand gas BBQ tonight, and have cleaned it so we will have to fire that up Saturday evening to give it a test run. Also got a friend (& future colleague) coming to stay for the weekend, his one request is I take him sailing so that’s pretty much our plan once he arrives tomorrow.

                                                                                                                                            I might see if I can flush and refill my car’s manual transmission fluid at some point too. Had a lovely big syringe and hideously expensive oil turn up in the post today.

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                                                                                                                                              I really enjoy the weekly threads, but most people seem to focus on work tasks and such. I wasn’t sure if this thread would get much love or hate, but it’s a decent test I suppose :)

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                                                                                                                                              As someone who has been working remote for almost 4 months now and it has been an interesting experience thus far.

                                                                                                                                              Previously I was commuting 50-60ish minutes each way to work, so I was fairly excited to not have to put up with that drive and the traffic.

                                                                                                                                              A few times I’ve felt really strange being in my house for the whole for a few consecutive days, so going out and grabbing a coffee helped me a lot. I would work at a coffee shop or something, but my employer sent a desktop as opposed to a laptop.

                                                                                                                                              I also no longer enjoy spending time in my room - I also believe it is important to have a separate room/space set aside for remote working, but I don’t have that luxury right now. I work about a foot away from where I sleep so just “relaxing” after work isn’t very appealing anymore.

                                                                                                                                              I still do sometimes feel like I am on an island since I can’t turn around and ask a question, but I’m trying to over-communicate more to solve for that.

                                                                                                                                              Those are just some of my thoughts on remote work thus far thanks for the post! :)

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                                                                                                                                                You should ask your employer for a laptop then. It looks like it’s affecting your work.

                                                                                                                                                1. 2

                                                                                                                                                  I suppose - I did initially ask for one, but they sent me a more powerful desktop instead for some reason. I’ve never heard of getting a desktop for work until now lol.