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Frank Lai18:06:46

Hi all, I’m looking for some advice here. I’m a new grad and would love to get a job doing functional programming. After trying out some functional programming and building a lisp in school (Racket), I like how much less cognitive load there is programming in Racket and Clojure. So far, I’ve done a compiler (written in Racket) and trying out some Clojure (went through the Brave Clojure), so I wouldn’t say anything significant. But I have the heart and work ethics to learn. tldr: Do you guys have any advice for new grads trying to break into a junior functional programming role?


It depends where you live. I think it’s not going to be easy to find a remote-junior dev job.

Frank Lai00:06:15

Hi I’m also trying to move to SF because of the sheer number of opportunities and family. I wonder if it’s generally true for most people to get their first role doing functional programming after accumulating some experience


no, I have worked with people for whom Clojure was the very first PL they’ve learned

Frank Lai00:06:51

I see. That’s interesting to know


…but that is uncommon. the state of clj survey showed that clj is overwhelmingly engineers that have been at it a while


As an SF Bay Area resident, I’ll caution that it is stupidly expensive to live here. Where are you currently @UJ6A15X5K?

Frank Lai15:06:20

@U79NZHC6A I read that as well

Frank Lai15:06:46

@U04V70XH6 Currently in Toronto. Yes, I’m hoping the salary difference could make up for it, but at this point in my career, really hoping to learn as much as I can. Anecdotally, I feel there’s a lot more engineers with interesting experiences in the Bay than other places (e.g. experiences with different programming paradigms), perhaps it’s because there’s a lot of more engineers in the Bay area


I would also say, unless you are young and single, stay away from early stage start ups. They can sound enticing but you will have no life outside at work at most of them and no job stability (most startups implode fairly spectacularly and without notice).


I loathe the "brogrammer" culture that is endemic in most Silicon Valley startups.


Perhaps Clojure landscape in Toronto isn’t too scarce to start looking outside, especially at the Bay Area.

Frank Lai16:06:44

@U04V70XH6 I think you’re spot on. I’m single and a lot of them do sound very interesting to me I’ve got to say. The idea of a small and tight team and potential to make big impact in and outside of the company sounds like a dream job to a 2x years old whose friends all left for other cities for jobs. I will try my best to keep my head leveled. In fact, I’m gonna fly to SF for this startup career fair which has a lot early stage startups…


Let me know when you are in town. And remember that almost no startups have any impact on the world 😁

Frank Lai16:06:26

@U04V70XH6 Will do. Yes, I think that’s statistically true haha …

Frank Lai16:06:22

@U2HBNQQBE Yup, Toronto does seem to have something. But I’m moving for family as well. Plus there seems to be a lot more options for tech workers in the Bay.


@U04V70XH6 I vehemently disagree with most of what you’re saying about startups. You’re painting the culture with awfully big strokes.


@U0516F690 having lived and worked in the Bay Area for twenty years and been around startups quite a bit (either directly or via friends), as well as founding one and having to deal with VCs, I stand by my criticisms.


Like most things, you’ve got to be aware of the tradeoffs when deciding where and what to work on. Startups by their very nature are high risk. If you’re looking for stability and low risk. I would suggest you look at a more established company


There are some good startups, of course, but overwhelmingly the "startup culture" here is pretty awful.


I'm not criticizing startups for risk -- I just mentioned that as a possible concern to someone considering moving to a different country to get a job.

👍 4

In your opinion, the startup culture is pretty awful.


California is an "at will" employment state, so you can be terminated with zero notice even from well established companies.


@UJ6A15X5K I would suggest you create a list of (employment) priorities of what’s important to you. Location, salary, industry, stability, values, culture, etc. then start your journey from there.


You may come to realize what you thought was important, really wasn’t.


@U04V70XH6 re: risk - absolutely, I was also doing the same.


Also, since you're coming from Canada, think about work permit issues and what you may need from a company in that area. I suspect Canada -> America is an easier move than the one I made (from England) but still. Also, as a new US worker/temporary resident, you may run into issues around banking and credit ratings.


When I moved here, I had to start from scratch as far as credit was concerned (despite having excellent credit in England), and several banks refused to let me open an account while I was in that transitional stage before getting my green card (in the end a credit union helped me, where banks would not, and my US girlfriend signed me onto her Wells Fargo bank account as well).

Frank Lai20:06:39

@U04V70XH6 @U0516F690 I will keep these in mind, thanks!