Compiled tech career advice from comments

Roughly in order. All content plagiarized with no apologies, because that’s how we do it on the streetz. Generally drawn from these comments though:

The Manichean dialectic

First, begin to absorb the general ethos of these fellas (watch a couple of videos per day for low-impact fun and profit):

Also read Hacker News daily, as it’s a good way to pick up general tech lingo and developments in the tech world. Succeeding as a contract coder is also part political and you need to understand the pond you’re swimming in.

Read this book boildown to learn how to learn, and apply it to the critical path to getting paid CASH MONEY:

  1. 12-week coding bootcamp [Ed: not viable for me at the moment, will self-teach]
  2. Create a website and blog about programming
  3. Write some simple apps, put them in the app store if possible
  4. Specialize in something and go deep
  5. Go to as many IRL geek meetups in your area as possible and network

Apply Scott Adams’ talent stack thinking to IT [Ed: but still go deep?] JS + AI + data science == superstimulus to the recruiting officer’s brain, so they will overlook juniority. [Ed: This won’t work for everybody but it’s good advice for me, I have the math background to pull that off.]

You can get a job working purely as a front end developer and those skills are highly in demand. Learn the following, in order of career significance (i.e. go deep on Javascript):

  1. Javascript (ES6 standard)
  2. AngularJS/ReactJS (the main Javascript framework these days)
  4. Jquery
  5. One backend language (for ease, try NodeJS which is Javascript on the server, otherwise go with PHP or Java)
  6. Linux

For 1 and 3, at least, do FreeCodeCamp. Read the book/pdfs “Javascript: the good parts” by Crockford and “Eloquent Javascript” to go deep on that subject. Get a VPS and play with it to learn Linux backend, or at least run a virtual server. [Ed: dual-boot and play with the shell and shell programming to get used to that, maybe do Linux from Scratch to go deep on that one. Dunno about AngularJS or Jquery.] Learn the Linux file structure, the permission system and such things as systemd daemons. Also try use the terminal as much as possible and learn vi. The terminal is immensely powerful and used by most serious unix-like developers. Maybe combine all of these and run the blog on a VPS, advertising one’s resume and apps?

Avoid C, C++, PHP, and Java, and the Unix suite except as hobbies or sexual masochism.

This is basically the landscape of JS frameworks right now: Angular 1 is the king and has been for about 3 years. Backbone, Knockout, Ember are some older contenders that are still popular. React is an up and comer that is taking market share from Angular. It doesn’t provide as much structure so you basically have to learn another add-on framework (Redux, Reflux, etc). Angular 2 is on the horizon, but hasn’t really gained traction yet. Aurelia is like Angular 3 but not widely used. Learn Angular or React. The latter is more popular in the US than here, so should be fine.

Conceptually, learn basic algorithms (quick sort, binary sort, recursive search) and data structures (arrays, linked lists, trees, graphs, hash maps). [Ed: I haven’t read it, but I suspect Knuth’s classic book would be good for this, and you get to swagger around the IT department. Other possibilities are “The Manga Guide to Data Structures” and the Great Courses series for learning Python.]

You can get books on,, There are huge torrents of programming books (presuming you are already comfortable with that software, which I understand is pretty common).


About Aeoli Pera

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69 Responses to Compiled tech career advice from comments

  1. Mycroft Jones says:

    Here is the sort of wisdom you find on hacker news (I mostly agree with it, btw) The key is for us to skip to step 10 without having to waste 20 years in between.

    Language learning apps are step 5 in the ten step process of achieving programmer hubris nirvana.
    1) I’m in college and I’m going to build an app to easily buy and sell books
    2) Off campus housing is hard, I’m going to build an app to find roommates
    3) Splitting bills with roommates is hard, I’m going to build an app for cost splitting
    4) All my previous apps sucked because they weren’t social, I’m going to build a social network app
    5) I’m bored partying with my new friends, I’m going to level up and build an app to learn a new language
    6) I’m lonely, I’m going to build a dating app to find a mate
    7) I found a mate and the whole engagement/wedding industry is a fraud, I’m going to make an app to make it easier to navigate
    8) My children are awesome, I’m going to build apps to manage their time/friends/eating/sleeping/learning
    9) Technology is a waste of time, I’m going to spend my time on other hobbies and my family
    10) I’ve been working 20 years in a boring industry and I see an opportunity to write boring software that solves boring problems that businesses will actually pay for. Jackpot.
    Edit: As others pointed out, should have included: ToDo app, Blog App, and a travel app. Travel should probably be 5 with language at 6.

  2. What I did:
    1) Started a basic bitch as humanly possible on Treehouse
    2) Started building my LinkedIn network and posting loads of articles et cetera (now have 6500 LinkedIn connections with a good percentage of C-Level and Investment shot callers)
    3) Got a Treehouse TechDegree in JQuery, Angular 1 and Node
    4) Got some startup experience and experience getting funding (didn’t really go anywhere)
    5) Persevered with an engineering startup that is growing arms and legs now
    6) Learned basic WordPress and took loads of business and sales courses on Udemy
    7) Springboard Data Science Intensive
    8) Udacity Deep Learning Foundations ND
    9) Udacity ReactJS ND
    10) Udacity Robotics ND
    11) Between 7 and 10 I started getting offers to help market Initial Coin Offerings and have a bunch of advisory and board roles in new ventures

    If I were starting from basic tier I would learn wordpress, sales funnel stuff, Springboard Data Science Intensive, Treehouse JS TechDegree, Udacity AI ND and Udacity ReactJS ND and just network like hell. This also means learning Python.

    Back end it’s probably worth learning Django because all the Data Science, AI and Robotics stuff is written in Python. Also PHP Lumen is good.

    Be sure to write quality professional content and be part of some kind of movement to change something. That always throws up good relationships and options. Like a good church even and charity work and stuff. Make websites for that people will love you.

  3. The hardest thing is probably powering through a time when you’re faking it and dealing with crippling imposter syndrome. That was hardest for me. But then I just realised that everyone else is the same and the main thing is to make progress every day even if you’re crawling through mud and it takes you 12 hours to move 4 inches you’ve just got to do it.

    Also this new crypto funding market is throwing up a lot of opportunities to raise capital without Snake melons fucking it all up for the rest of us. Blockchain is a big thing worth looking into more. I have a few blockchain things on the go. Very exciting and promising. Something to perhaps even be optimistic about.

  4. Mycroft Jones says:

    If Aeoli gives you my email, can we talk about more about ICO etc? Been connecting with the local bitcoin community and want to run a couple ideas by you.

  5. Yeah, that describes the “ideas for money-making apps” tech-tree pretty well. As you point out, the mature thing to do is to solve a real problem that hasn’t been solved umpteen times before. It can be very niche – the global market for anything is big.

  6. das engzig is legit, and I second the advice to network like crazy.

  7. “Legit” as in “his story makes sense to me”.

  8. I’m on Skype at ‘’ feel free to reach out

  9. I see the engineering sector as something with huge potential. I can think of several apps and applications of robotics also. You need 5 years in industry these days to understand what apps to make. All the basic bitch shit has already been done a million times

  10. Only Troo Thals the rest of us are faking it until we make it to heaven

  11. Aeoli Pera says:

    That’s…is that pessimistic or optimistic?

  12. Aeoli Pera says:

    How fortunate that we have this giant repository of wasted talent just sitting here.

  13. Aeoli Pera says:

    I did the thing, it’s up to you guys now.

  14. Aeoli Pera says:

    I’ll vouch he’s also a legit dude.

  15. Aeoli Pera says:

    We will eventually need to make a more specific algorithm because autism.

  16. For me personally it’s pessimistic. I am doomed, basically. The more I understand what I am the more sure I am of this.

  17. Aeoli Pera says:


    My religion says a thing or two about that…

  18. you can reach me at any time

  19. Pingback: Plan 0.1 – Operation: Release the Wokebro

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