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Back to the office today 🏢




Today is the day for A level results.


morning... back from hols


Giving serious consideration to resigning, in spite of not having anything lined up. Notice period is 13 weeks - I don't want to be here for another Christmas! 😞 Apologies for the whinge!


What about your current role is it that makes you so unhappy?


It's a production line - there's no involvement in design or planning, and precious little collaboration. Just an endless procession of JIRA tickets. Also, I don't believe in what I'm building - it's looking more and more like an instrument of oppression.


is there nothing you can move sideways in the company potentially?


if you’re hating your job resigning is defo a good idea

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What is it, Universal Credit software or something? Drone spying?


Not quite that evil, but not exactly honourable either! I don't think there are opportunities to move within the company, and my reasons for looking elsewhere are largely down to cultural factors.


Clojure question. What is the best way to test that a key value has length within the middle of a thread first macro? E.g.:

  (if #(not (= "" %)) do some logic here)


@rhinocratic sounds like you've made up your mind already and are trying to rationalise the decision? if you're unhappy leave


@rhinocratic hmm been there! It's a tough decision and very much depends on your personal circumstances. On a number of occasions I've jumped from the frying pan into the fire but more often it's been at least different which was good enough! One reason I quite like consultancy and/or contracting is I get to move if I hate somewhere...disadvantage is I have to move if I like somewhere (but there's always the option to go perm)


@bronsa Yes - I think you're right there. It's having a deleterious effect on my mental health.

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@yogidevbear look at as-> and cond->


although I'd probably just split it into two threads and let the intermediate result

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I though that might be the case (re splitting the threads)


@agile_geek I've made a couple of jumps in the wrong direction as well, which is perhaps the reason for my hesitancy - but you're right, the change in itself is probably sufficient justification.

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@rhinocratic I hope you can make a change soon... and feel free to come here and talk to us about it. We are all here to help and you can use DM is you don't like it to be out in the open. We have all been there at some stage and know how it feels.



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Sam H11:08:09

13 week notice is pretty harsh. Are you based in London @rhinocratic?


@shan No - I'm working in Manchester at present. I think a couple of people who left recently were able to negotiate the notice period down to something more reasonable, but there's no guarantee of that!

Sam H12:08:23

I remember there’s quite a few tech companies in manchester. Co-op seem to have some decent stuff going on


Yes - I've applied to them a couple of times, but never got beyond the 'phone screening. I think perhaps they're looking for someone with more Python experience, which I lack!

Sam H12:08:58

what’s your language background?


Principally Java, C#, JavaScript and Clojure, with C/C++ in the distant past.

Sam H12:08:38

ah ok, did you mention willingness to learn Python in the phone screen? Guess it depends what they’re after too


Yes, I mentioned it - and I have used it for occasional scripts. However, it's not one of my primary languages. I'm not sure why I don't fit the bill, but I feel discouraged from re-applying!

Sam H12:08:57

fair enough, good luck in the search!


The only two perm roles I had with 3 months notice wanted every single days worth! One of them I was only 2 weeks outside the 3 month probationary period (which only had 1 weeks notice) so I worked there for exactly 6 months and 2 weeks! although reason for leaving was for an opportunity I couldn't turn down, not that I disliked the place


I feel like I'm going to have to re-read this 5 or 50 more times to properly grok the implications, but it feels interesting:

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Saved it for later


especially when I look at distributed technologies like datahike:


I don't think you should distribute your domain model really, or at least, I don't think that's what Val is suggesting there.


@dominicm I think I am mashing 2 probably different things together. Tho we distribute domain models all the time when using web browsers, databases, etc


@otfrom but your application has a single representation of that right? You don't need to replicate that between a cluster of applications, no?


I think ultimately I'm thinking more about edge computing or peer computing (which is why the datahike and cdrt stuff interests me), so partially connected things having a view of something is something I'd like


finding nice ways of accessing and replicating that is something I'm researching (badly) in my spare time


and I'm probably misunderstanding the datascript post really


datahike might be a good way of replicating data around, for sure. But are you interested in peer computing where you share schemas of data and have peers attempt to generate data which matches that schema?


generating and operating on/reacting to is probably where I want to end up (say sensors and watering devices, or people updating the same database like thing around meetup events)


Yup, that makes sense. But for a domain model I don't see the application of replication.


so, more just the datahike stuff and less of the domain model replication then?


Yeah. I see them as orthogonal. Datascript is good for domain modelling. Data hike is good for data.


Wow, you guys go deep on Thursdays… Seriously though, the last few posts have given me both a lot to think about and a HUGE dose of Imposter Syndrome all at once…


@maleghast don't worry. This is me just faking it until I make it in public


You can’t fool me @otfrom I know you’ve got more of a handle on this stuff than I have, even if you are winging some of it.


if I can't fool you that way then I've really got you fooled?


Haha - touché


You in Scotland today? It really can’t decide if it’s a nice day or not over here…


☀️ :rain_cloud: ☀️ :rain_cloud: :rain_cloud: :rain_cloud:


@maleghast yes, a bit mixed today


Yep, that’s exactly it over here 🙂 At least the house is quiet - my wife’s taken the kids to the Safari Park at Blair Drummond (near Stirling)


I used to get imposter syndrome


Now i just realise that i know so little about programming i’ll forever be a newbie


and i’m ok with that 🤷


I find if you have the attitude of a newbie it allows you to question things and ask questions you would normally shy away from.


Which can be quite liberating

Rachel Westmacott15:08:49

Almost everyone could do with more epistemic humility.


what does epistemic mean?


I am but a simple man.

Rachel Westmacott15:08:50

pertaining to knowledge

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Rachel Westmacott15:08:51

asking questions (and not being afraid to expose one’s ignorance) is a big part of it

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Yeah, I don’t mind being like that in here, amongst peers, but I do need to be able to feel authoritative in my role as a Technical leader when I am with colleagues, and feeling like an imposter when I am trying to argue my case for this or that approach, idea, thing with other people has a really negative effect on my ability to do that…


@peterwestmacott - I went and looked that up before I un-collapsed the thread; thanks, excellent new word.

Rachel Westmacott15:08:36

“epistemic humility” is one of my favourite things. Epistemology should be taught in schools. How can you know anything without knowing about knowing!


I guess it depends on what you view a technical leader to do and why


@guy - Part of my utility to the company that I work for is making decisions about what tech to use, how to solve technical / requirement problems / challenges that without me there they simply would not be able to solve. On the one hand I know that I am not an imposter in relation to them and their grasp of what we__ (professional geeks and nerds) do, but from time to time I do become quite aware__ of just how much I don’t know, and even how much what I thought I knew differs from a / the new evolved or modified consensus, since I learned it.

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I try my best to always be learning, and that in itself is a good place to be - I try not to be certain that I have the answer but like to go away and check my thinking, with peers, by doing research and even by prototyping things.

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This does not allow for the tendency amongst non-technical people to assume that a) We are Wizards, Gandalf-like in our wisdom in the arcana of tech and b) that anything is possible with [insert technology here].


Separately, in tech community your status stems from knowing more than the other guy.




I’ve always felt its not knowing more but experience, but maybe they are similar. Also maybe a silly point, but i would use “the other person” probably instead of guy 👀 .


fair enough, guy is already taken here 😄

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(also would agree that experience > knowledge, but also knowledge > ignorance)


From which all the various insanities spread: being unable to ask for help for fear of being looked down on when you’re new in a company; siloing knowledge in an attempt to be polite, get along and not muscle into the other guy’s Area of Expertise (and source of status); writing unmaintainable but cool code, and so on.


And also the thing people call an impostor syndrome, which in most cases is (I contend) actually that dread feeling of going down a level in social status, internally scrabbling for a way to make it back, and realising you don’t have a good comeback. (Thus if you care about your status in tech community, an unknown concept throws you; if you accept yourself as perma-low-status, give up on competing on this arena, and derive your status from elsewhere, it doesn’t.)

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</rant subject=“social-dynamics”>


I feel that the status anxiety is exacerbated by the innately hierarchical structure of most companies. I find it remarkable that people submit so willingly to a system that's not dissimilar to feudalism, and that there aren't more cooperatives.

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Everything’s hierarchical because of the network effect.


(not hierarchical as in: some people tell others what to do, but hierarchical in: nodes have a rank and can be compared.)


Flat organisations are even more vicious because then you’re fighting over unspoken/unrecognised status. It’s no longer important who the lead is, it’s important who gets listened to and heard (as opposed to merely given time to speak) to in a meeting.


Heavens, yes. Never been much of one for holding court, but there's always an element that thrives on it.


Yes… I think that most of us, in the software development / delivery space rather despair of the kind of palace intrigue that tends to go on in all configurations of business and indeed other organisations that ask us to write code.


I move around so much I get comfortable with not knowing stuff. I am resigned to it. I'm always learning but I'm comfortable with not knowing and having to ask a lot. Advantage is I always have a different (outside) perspective.


I am a long time tabletop and Live Action Roleplayer, I can do__ politics if I want to, but I don’t want to at work, where it has real-world net effects. I want to get on with my work and help making the company / organisation better / more profitable etc.


@agile_geek - That is what I enjoyed about contracting / freelancing when I did it. There was always an understanding that there were internal “things” that I would need to learn, and asking was a good thing, but I was often able to contribute a fresh perspective into areas that were proving problematic without being seen as pushing an agenda or trying to climb the greasy pole as we all knew I’d be gone in 3-6 months time, if not sooner.


Oh hey, didn't know you were also a LARPer. Any fest systems?


@carr0t - I’ve not been to the LT since 2001; I was there 1997 to 2001, in The Wolves, with a group called Dan’athur but also closely aligned to and actually from a small group of characters from Helvetia


Since then I’ve played Omega, almost through its entire run, and then a bit of Maelstrom.


@maleghast not just contracting.... previous to that spent 7 years in consultancies


I also staffed / crewed and helped to write the Ars Magica freeforms under the banner name “The Lion and the Serpent” run by NWO Games, with Iain Andrews at the helm - he was head of plot / story for Odyssey, the alt game to Emprie at Profound Decisions that finished last year.


@agile_geek - Ah, yes, well then you are being paid for outside wisdom, often unpalatable outside wisdom that cannot be seen to come from inside the org.


I wish I was paid for 'outside wisdom'... usually I was paid for scutwork, The times I was listened too were always proportional to 1) Who commissioned the consultancy & 2) how much my day rate was. The higher up both of those the more I was listened too.


I take my hat off to you, Sir, it’s not an easy life - 7 years of it must have felt like a long time in some ways, though I suspect you had some fun too 🙂




Never did Maelstrom. Went to the first Empire and didn’t enjoy it, though it was also about -5C or colder most of the weekend...


I tend to prefer LARPs where I get to sleep in a real bed, so I do Cthulhu horror ones and such


@carr0t - I can agree with bed == good. I’ve not done any LARP since my daughter was born, over 7 years ago, so I can’t really claim to be an active LARPer, but I do write the odd thing every now and again; I even had some poetry added to the Empire Wiki lately…


So, I keep my hand in, so to speak 😉


And, I am getting ready to do some tabletop again, in the not too distant future…


Anyhoo, back to Clojure…


i've a mate who's into Rust, and it looks like the good ideas behind Datomic and DataScript are spreading:


I like the name 🙂


ooh, i've not heard of Dune before. it sounds very cool! you recommend it?


The first novel, very much so. I am not so keen on the other books, though I have read the following two. The original novel is by far the best imho.


awesome. i'll check it out.