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I hope the Cognitect blog is updated soon. Their articles are always really interesting.
For those of you who work with Clojure professionally, have you ever struggled with job security? Were you ever in a position of "gulp, times are hard, can't find a Clojure job, I might have to go back to Java"? Or is the situation not as bad? The worry around job security holds me back from taking the leap 😞
"times are hard, I can't find a Clojure job, I have to stay at this Java job I've had since 2004" :raised_hand:
it is tricky. I have only ever been employed as a developer writing clojure, so with my last job hunt I did end up broadening my search to java and scala shops. that seemed as uphill as finding a clojure job, and ended up taking a long hunt and getting a second clojure job
I'm in the London area. Any rock I turn has a Java job under it. Clojure is a different beast though... and how am I supposed to get to the level of seniority in Clojure that I have in Java without taking a pay cut 😞 bills need paying...
I'm now "old", have family + kid, relocating not an option (wife has career too), and the Java gig is very stable and is really great in many important aspects - I'm one of the top architects, team is great, boss is great, company is huge and very secure... the suckiest part is Java. But all told, it's not that bad.
Ya, it's pretty tough then. I'm also not that interested in remote work. That's just my own limitation/preference though.
I guaran-freaking-tee that you have a LOT more Clojure opportunity in London than I have in Cleveland Ohio!!
I got my "current" Clojure job by introducing Clojure where I was already working...
😢 I was in the process of doing exactly that when my small company was gobbled by a YUUUGE company, and I instantly became a very small fish in a very large pond. Doing wild things like Clojure ain't gonna fly here now.
I think, to some degree, the best thing you can do to ensure you can get the job you want, is to trying and improve the hiring process at your current job. hiring processes are so terrible across the industry that if you don't try to raise the standard (meaning getting rid of exclusionary ingroup frat hazing nonsense) in your current company (to try and raise it in the industry as a whole) you will just hit that wall, which is even worse if aren't looking for exactly the same job you had before
London Clojure jobs are extremely common compared to oop North, so count your blessings
We recently transitioned into remote only but I'm having a massively hard time staying productive, motivated, and consistent. Any books, talks, guides you can recommend to improve?
@jayzawrotny I've been fully remote for over ten years. My advice: make sure you have a dedicated "office" space at home and a routine. Get up at the same time every weekday. Develop a routine (mine is "feed the cats, make coffee, check my inbox, switch to JIRA and start work" and at the end of the work day, get up and leave the office space). It's important to keep work stuff separate. A separate computer, if possible, really helps there.
Figure out what would motivate you. Other people? Coffee shops? Coworking spaces? If you need something more in-person, transition elsewhere.
If you can, go out for a walk at lunchtime or at least move away from your work desk for at least half an hour. Treat it like a real office job.
But, yeah, if you need a space with people around you, co-working might be a good choice (I kinda like quiet while I'm working).
I've been working in co-working spaces for the past 6 or so years but a month ago we decided to go full remote. I've been able to stay responsive and get the projects that are immediately blocking people done but it's been a struggle to work on my day to day projects for a solid 8 hours.
When you were in an office, did you really work for a "solid 8 hours", or was that just the time you were at your desk?
Unfortunately I live in a studio in NYC so I don't really have an office space, just a desk in the corner of the room.
Well sure, there were days I was less productive than that. But there were plenty where I put in good amount of focused work. It felt more like the path of least resistance to get significant chunks of work done. Where as now that feeling of immediate obligation does not feel as pronounced.
Ah, OK. Maybe look into the Pomodoro technique to help you focus in small bursts -- that can improve your productivity without the "do work for eight hours" mentality weighing you down?
(I used Pomodoro quite a bit when I first started working remotely)
That's true, I'm familiar with the technique so I'll try focusing on it more.
The biggest hurdle seems to be making that decision to work versus doing another task, so I guess procrastination.
The world needs some really solid and well done studies on productivity,. There is some evidence that 8 hours is more than is optimal
Small plug because I work for this coworking company (I’m sure others have similar offerings), but https://www.spacious.com/ is in NYC, and offers day passes - I’ve talked to a few of our members who just day pass it when they’re not feeling very productive at home, but want a dedicated space to work instead of a coffee shop. I get what you mean with the NYC studio not being cut out for working in - doing that today and it hasn’t been my most productive 🙂
Since I live right across from the one on 17th & 7th, I've been very tempted. Perhaps I'll have to make use of that day pass when I really need to focus!
Yeah, I think the best use case for spacious is to use it as a way to augment whatever your work space is. i.e. if you need another place to go sometimes than home or a dedicated office. Best of luck! The union square space is probably my favourite, if you don’t mind the short walk
Oh yeah, walked by that spot a few times. It looks really nice, can't say I'm disappointed to see the TGIF it replaced go 😛
I know I could find a co-working space on my own around here, but a.) Kinda expensive in NYC b.) It is my responsibility to be a solid employee therefore throwing money to avoid the issue sounds less ideal to me than working on the larger, possibly harder to pinpoint problem at hand.
Just needs a bathroom and shower and BOOM!
There is strong evidence that less-than-40-hour workweeks can be more productive in the absolute sense than a 40 hour one. Let me find a source somewhere
Not scientific, but a reputable source: https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2019/nov/04/microsoft-japan-four-day-work-week-productivity
Oh yeah, heard about it. I'm glad that it proved successful, it's good to have at least one anecdotal experience to point to at least.
yeah I recall research from scandinavia (or a nordic country)
but I can’t find it anymore
I'm pretty sceptical of studies that promote limited hours. There's a strong incentive to produce & publish studies in favour of it (it's popular), but it's extremely rare to see it when the stakeholder has to eat the cost.
that makes sense, being sceptical is usually a good practice.
Anecdotally, I find it way easier to stay on-task without social pressure if I limit the number of hours I work per day and box off my leisure time so "I'll do it later" is no longer a realistic option.
@UPSUXBK17 What's your timeboxng approach? I think "I'll do it later" or "I'll do it after I <small, insignificant task>" is my biggest problem.
>There is strong evidence that less-than-40-hour workweeks can be more productive in the absolute sense than a 40 hour one. Let me find a source somewhere This one points in that direction :) https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=13994203 As of today I don't count the hours since I'm motivated enough that time in a given day flies for me. Other seasons I count with down-to-the-minute resolution. For the last 5 years I've worked in full knowledge that 4h/day is the ideal (with the caveat that doing those 4h in one sitting is nearly impossible for me)
Hah! I live right across the street from the spacious on 17th & 7th.
I agree that 8 hours may not be the most optimal but I feel like I'm struggling to get even 4 hours of work done in a day so I'm interested in researching\experimenting to learn how to improve.
So I don't have as much experience as the other guys, but having been self taught with no real curruculum (going on 4 years) and working freelance gigs I understand your struggle.. I know it is silly, but I find a couple things that have helped me has been waking up to a routine (like sean said) and having part of that routine be putting on "work" clothes, and kinda preparing yourself as though you were going to leave the house (get portable large cup of coffee/tea etc). If you can find a part of the house that is secluded that is helpful as well.
This definitely coincides with what @U04V70XH6 suggested. Sounds like it's a good place to start!
I particularly like the suggestion of a to-go coffee thermos/mug!
I technically work in the living room, although I have set it up where its almost a split room? I have bookshelves that are my tech/work storage but also work to to section my work area off, I have my set up facing the opposite direction as the tv, etc
Yup, yup. That's all good advice. Anything you can do to "divide" your working space from your living space helps. We're just lucky we have a three bedroom house and could completely dedicate one bedroom to be a true office -- with real office furniture and office chairs, and set up the routers, printers, computers etc. TV is elsewhere and I have a small laptop that is my non-work machine so I have no need to use my work computer (a big desktop system) for anything that isn't work.
I do exactly the opposite of all that :)
I have one machine where I do everything, rarely work in my office (usually on a couch somewhere), don't get dressed till lunch, and time shift hours regularly to work around kid needs
Interesting! How do you motivate yourself to get working, especially if it's something more tedious or laborious where it's easy to come up with simpler tasks to do instead?
well I rarely have a lack of things to do :)
we do a morning status call every morning so that helps in staying on track. when I remember to do it, I find writing down a set of goals for the day is pretty useful
the most productive thing I do is turn off slack :)
may I ask, how do you keep that list realistic
it doesn't have to be realistic, it just has to be sorted :)
@alexmiller Let's say you start your day and there's some vague, but important problem with Spec you have to draft a solution to, some PRs to review, some community outreach responses you need to post, your blog post to work on, and your kids need your attention. How do you prioritize those and motivate yourself to work on that hard problem while also getting those smaller tasks done?
pick one as the most important
spend at least half the day on that
the kids don't generally need or want my attention, they are teenagers :) they do sometimes need taking to and fro but those are known times generally
I consider some part of my particular job to BE distracted by community stuff, so I just let that happen if it does, but try to timebox it to at least accomplish something for the day
Mind sharing what your timebox approach is?
just looking at the clock and saying I'm going to turn off slack at 3 pm or whatever
nothing more formal than that
Hmm... sounds like you don't really deal with procrastination.
oh, I also procrastinate and fail to do the things above regularly :)
knowing that you'll have to talk to Rich about it the next morning is a pretty good forcing function :)
The thing I love most about remote working is switching between my home desk and coffee places. My morning routine is walking to a coffee place, hack there for 1.5 hours, come back home. Same thing in the afternoon.
I don't really have an office, my desk is in the living room, but my wife has a job too (in a real office), that helps 😉
@borkdude You have a ton of projects! How do you motivate yourself and choose which tasks to prioritize?
I usually start with half an hour of OSS as a warm up . Then switch to normal job. Then some OSS after 20:30. I work only 4 days for money, so I have 1 day + weekends to do more on OSS.
Thanks, that's similar to the routine I want to cultivate. However, I need to get it going.
FWIW, I try to keep my OSS projects to evenings/weekends but I allow myself a half day during the week if any of them have something "pressing" that needs attention. That's a lot of how
next.jdbc gets maintained -- since we rely on it at work, along with
clojure.java.jdbc and... :rolling_on_the_floor_laughing:
Nice! I had a few months from like Jan to March where I was GREAT about working earlier in the morning to work on OSS for 20 min to 1.5 hrs. Now however I've been procrastinating that too, especially with the guilt of being behind in my main job. Hence the delay on the logos for @borkdude 😦
I'm not a morning person, hence "feed cats, make coffee, scan my inbox" to start the day. We have a daily standup at 11am Pacific (we have team members in three timezones in the US right now) so I always make sure I have my day's workload planned out by that -- since I have to tell my teammates what I plan to get done (as well as what I got done yesterday). If I use a half day for OSS, it's always afternoon -- after at least part of the planned work has been done!
Same here, not much of a morning person. That's why I start my day with something "fun" OSS or a small OSS bugfix, try to limit it to 30-45 minutes and then start my main working hours
I also combine it together with going to a coffee place, the walk wakes me up as well
Definitely not a morning person either! The worst part is that enthusiasm + motivation doesn't usually kick in until 10 PM. Then I either have to accept that I'll only put a few hours of work in to get a good rest or work until 4 or 7 AM and be obliterated the next day, continuing the cycle.
What @U04V70XH6 said about getting up at the same time really helps me as well, if I'm not adhering to that, I tend to mess up my biorythm
>In our Procrastination Groups, we saw patterns and themes emerge again and again. While each individual’s struggle was unique, there were many striking similarities among them. We learned, for example, that our plan to start the week off by holding the group on Monday mornings from nine to eleven was completely unrealistic—no one even showed up until ten o’clock!
Reminds me of when I worked at Macromedia... we hired a new engineer from the East Coast and on their first day they turned up about 8:30am... and the lights weren't even on in my team's area... he sat in the kitchen for a while, then moved to an empty desk once security turned on more lights... and he was excited to see the first engineer wander in about 9:30... and I turned up around 10am. West Coast schedules 🙂
I worked there from 2000 until a year after Adobe acquired them. I loved working at Macromedia!
>In 2007, psychologist Piers Steel at the University of Calgary published a review of almost 800 studies on procrastination, 1 including our 1983 book, which was one of the earliest resources cited. Steel ultimately identified four main issues that make procrastination more likely—low confidence in succeeding, task aversiveness, distractibility and impulsiveness, and having goals and rewards be too far off in the future.
Has anyone surprised themselves with what you will dive into to procrastinate? For instance, I've been watching immensely specific, technical walkthroughs of advanced, pro Rocket League strategies. From basic dribbling, freestyling, to advanced 2 v 2 pro tournament techniques. The thing is, I don't even play Rocket League! 😖
the key is to have 2 or 3 things you are actively working on, so you can procrastinate on one by working on the other
When we transitioned to remote I realized I would not be able to fit the two 27" monitors I use in my apartment. Fortunately, a dream came true when I found I can use virtual monitors in VR. Highly recommend https://immersedvr.com/ if that's something people want to get into.
Oh shit! I’ve been waiting on this to be a reasonable solution for decades. How long have you been using it as your main work environment? Do you feel like the resolution/quality are as high as they are on regular physical monitors?
Also I don’t care at all about using this for collaboration — are you aware of any good options for doing multiple virtual monitors that aren’t a monthly cost?
I've been using this since the first week of October. The resolution is less than regular monitors but I find the perfect cone of silence, privacy, and freedom I get more than make up for the slightly lower resolutions. Even watching YouTube videos streamed from my computer to the headset are butter smooth with the WiFi Direct setup. I suspect upcoming generations of VR devices will improve the resolution where it's a non-issue.
I don’t care about videos or really anything except it being good enough for code 🙂, ie for reading lots of text at once. You’ve found it good for that?
(in my true ideal this’d be superimposed on the environment rather than in a cone of silence, so that I could walk around while I work, but I haven’t seen any sign that AR is quite at that resolution point yet…not that I track it very closely)
Immersed definitely doesn't work that way. I do find the text decent enough to code in and when I'm not procrastinating I have no problem getting 4+ hours of VR in, though I do take breaks while it charges.
Also, I'm paying for the Elite plan for the use of the up to 5 virtual monitors. Though in most cases the 1 - 2 virtual monitors will mostly suffice. I don't use the social features either.
Awesome, thanks for the info. I'm so glad you mentioned this, it may be finally time to pull the trigger on going VR workspace :D
Cool! Here's some screenshots I just took if it helps. http://cl.ly/7d838a9fb617 http://cl.ly/d6ae38bfa79f http://cl.ly/c74b83b2f75d
Ooh, that certainly looks nice and readable with that many screens. Do you tend to stand while you work, or sit on a desk chair, or…? (feel free to stop answering all these questions at any time, I’m just super curious)
Oh, hmm, looks on first search like Oculus isn’t Linux comaptible. Maybe even Windows-only? That’s likely a dealbreaker for me.
Definitely up for any questions. I sit in a desk chair but one could stand. The quest offers roomscale positioning so you can place monitors to walk around in a room. I'm just in a smaller room so can't use that as much, but my posture is much better. You could even use it from a couch if so desired.
Well the oculus quest is a standalone device however the Immersed agent only supports Windows and Mac right now.
Hmm, gotcha. Excellent that the quest is standalone, that’s definitely worth the extra couple hundred bucks for me. Might almost be worth switching back to Mac for this, then. So you run editors etc on your (windows or mac) box and the Immersed agent pushes the virtual displays to the Oculus, am I understanding that correctly?
Correct. The agent also installs a driver for the virtual monitors and streams it to the Oculus Quest or Oculus Go.
Oh, and…I can imagine it’s easy to replace the mouse/trackpad with the VR controller, but how are you dealing with keyboard input?
I still use a mouse\trackpad and regular keyboard. The controller does work, but I find it's not as accurate due to the natural shaking of my hand. There is an additional menu to display a virtual keyboard to highlight which keys you have pressed.
Currently Immersed is only focusing on streaming what you do on the computer to the device.
Gotcha, so really you’re sitting or standing in front of your regular computer (for the sake of keyboard/mouse) but with unlimited monitors. Still sounds excellent 😄 Thanks again, that gives me a solid sense of the basic parameters of using it as a workspace! From here I’ll dive into deeper research.
Correct! Some community members are experimenting with https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07YCWNK3H/ref=sspa_dk_detail_0?psc=1&pd_rd_i=B07YCWNK3H&pd_rd_w=3XgIA&pf_rd_p=45a72588-80f7-4414-9851-786f6c16d42b&pd_rd_wg=PVLJM&pf_rd_r=05D1AVBBZGPY8M63G0SA&pd_rd_r=91a9648d-ce06-4d05-9361-2136662016fa&spLa=ZW5jcnlwdGVkUXVhbGlmaWVyPUEyQUFMWTU0U0dDVVoxJmVuY3J5cHRlZElkPUEwMTE0MjA4MUw1NzlVRFdUMzdSOSZlbmNyeXB0ZWRBZElkPUEwMjMyNDg4WFVMRjZNMVRVRkdPJndpZGdldE5hbWU9c3BfZGV0YWlsJmFjdGlvbj1jbGlja1JlZGlyZWN0JmRvTm90TG9nQ2xpY2s9dHJ1ZQ== as a keyboard and mouse.
Later this year Facebook announced the Quest is getting hand tracking, which means some virtual keyboard options may be possible.
Oh, one other question — do you have any pointers to resources on these issues and/or communities actively pursuing it? Programmers are such a niche market for VR/AR that I haven’t had a ton of luck finding good sources of info. Come to think of it, VR/AR workspaces are a pretty niche market among programmers, too 😆
https://discordapp.com/invite/zy6KMbJ the Immersed Discord has been very welcoming and helpful.
i used to wish for that sort of thing -- then in recent years i realized my eyes were not up to it. i hope there are eye-friendly display technologies of this sort at some point. definitely seems like some cool things can happen with vr though :thumbsup:
Oof unfortunate! I do keep it in night mode to add a yellow tint to reduce blue light. That helps a lot. However, this use case is still in its infancy so hopefully sooner than later we'll see more accessible options.
i expect some positive developments on this front as more people experience and report eye issues...but it's been slow-going for things like e-readers where e-ink (and similar tech) is taking ages to develop. the quality there is really not great -- but it's way better than having nothing. more reason to incorporate hammocking time and breaks into one's activities 🙂