044

044 RR Choosing the Right Career Path with Marty Haught


00:59 – Marty Haught Introduction

03:17 – Peter Cooper Episode

03:50 – Career Advice / Career Directions

05:45 – Chuck on Product/Bigger Companies

09:09 – 7 Career Directions for Programmers

  • Product (Software) Companies
  • Consulting
  • Freelance
    • Own Your Own Biz
  • Content Provider
  • Training
  • IT (Non-IT Corporation)
  • R&D  (Non-IT Corporation)

11:27 – Consulting vs Freelancing

  • Consulting
  • Freelance
    • Programming + Biz Dev
  • Combination:
    • Sliderule
    • “Rent a CTO”
    • Cash Flow AND Technical Aspects

18:44 – Current Mindset of Developers

  • Think/Work in Projects/Team, Not Companies

19:20 – Loyalty For a Company vs. Working Project-to-Project

20:00 – Handling Clients & Projects:  Freelancing vs Consulting

21:15 – Managerial Effect on Happiness

  • Bungee Bosses / Dilbert
  • “Permatemps”
    • 300 Days On / 100 Days Off
  • Favor a good manager over a good project!

24:30 – Do Something You Enjoy / Work On What You Love

25:33 – Marty’s Advice: Explore Options

  • Are You Happy?
  • Try Some of the 7 Different Options
  • Experiment

29:40 – Job Satisfaction Correlates to the Company's Central Mission

35:06 – Stack Rank Your Life

  • #2:  Your Job
  • #1:  Your Hobby

37:07 – As a Beginner Programmer:  Need to Eat, Sleep, and Drink Programming

39:07 – Risk

  • Is corporate programming low risk?
  • Freelancing
    • NEED:
      • 3-6 $ Month Buffer
      • > 2+ years experience
      • Take Side Jobs
    • Freelance Risk is Tied Directly to Ability to Sell

47:40 – Job/Project Cycle

48:06 – Job Security vs Career Security

51:16 – Fear vs Risk vs Confusion

  • Don't quit your day job for your side jobs
  • Risk your time, not your money

54:45 – Fortune Favors the Bold

56:10 – Opportunity Cost for Your Choices

  • Jobs Are About Tradeoffs

56:10 – Josh on Consulting

  • It’s a Stepping Stone
  • Not For the Ambitious

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TRANSCRIPT

CHUCK: As James pointed out, the man is actually a command line utility for pulling up documentation.

JOSH: Yeah but it sucks working for it.

CHUCK: This podcast is sponsored by New Relic to track and optimize your application performance go to rubyrogues.com/newrelic. Hey everybody and welcome to episode 44 of the Ruby Rogues Podcast. This week on our panel, we have a guest rogue, that’s Marty Haught!

MARTY: Hello!

CHUCK: Marty haven’t been on for a while. How about you introduce yourself for our audience?

MARTY: Sure. My name is Marty Haught and I live in Longmont, Colorado in the Boulder area and I run a small consulting company called Haught Codeworks. I also run the Boulder Ruby Group and organize Rocky Mountain Ruby in the area and sort of that makes me a fielder of all questions. A lot of people come to me and ask me to about getting into the community or getting into programming or Java device and sort of hint to why the topic is of interest to me.

DAVE: But Marty, you have been on the show before right?

MARTY: I have. Yes.

DAVE: Oh thank goodness! I’ve been having some serious déjà vu man.

CHUCK: And that folks is David Brady.

DAVE: Hi I’m David Brady I’m the Chief Metaphor Officer at Slide Rule Labs.

CHUCK: Alright and we have Avdi Grimm.

AVDI: Hello again.

CHUCK: We also have James Edward Gray.

JAMES: We are currently recording this show on the Dave-does-not-normally-exist. How cool is that?

CHUCK: That is cool. We also have Josh Susser.

JOSH: Good morning everyone. Hey Dave I wanna know what being “chief metaphor officer” is like.

DAVE: I actually sat down and prepared for you guys. First I’ll tell you exactly what it’s like. It’s like being the chief SIMILE officer only —. I tell people I’m the Hannibal Lecter of delicious, delicious written metaphors. It’s my job to make disturbing visuals for people.

CHUCK: Oh you are good at that.

JAMES: I told you didn’t wanna know. You regret asking now don’t you?

JOSH: I usually regret anything I ask Dave.

DAVE: Yes. That’s more a function of me

CHUCK: Okay Dave, take off our coat. No stop! Stop!

DAVE: Why do you have theme music for taking off your coat?!

CHUCK: Yeah if you saw his Mountain West Ruby Conf talk from, was it last year?

DAVE: Last year, yeah.

CHUCK: Yeah I’m still scarred.

DAVE: I think I’m the only person to end this talk with a strip tease.

CHUCK: Anyway I’m Charles Max Wood from teachmetocode.com and this week we are going to be talking about developer opportunities. This kind of came out of the twitter conversation that James and Marty were having after we talked to Peter Cooper. Do you wanna elaborate on that a little bit so we can get some contacts then we’ll start talking?

JAMES: Yes its actually before we talked to Peter Cooper was when I was trying to get him to come on the show and I was talking about how he’s transitioned into kind of a product and on Twitter I said something like, yeah I think a lot of developers or maybe every developer wants to do that. (I can’t remember what I said) and Marty was like, no they don’t. And I was like, alright come on the show let’s talk about that! So Marty go ahead and prove me wrong.

MARTY: Okay. Well, so like I said earlier I get these questions, its monthly, but people come up to me and they ask me advice about, you know, I’m just new in the community or I’m new in programming or I’ve been programming in a while and I’m thinking of going here, I feel like doing this, sometimes it’s just jumping freelance, sometimes it’s moving to a different kind of consultant company or maybe a product company or what not or a start-up. So they ask me advice about this and they ask me what I think about that. And I’ve also noticed as you guys have talked about this move for people getting the content where they no longer program as their main job but they create content like RailsCasts or PeepCode or Destroy All Software or what not. And I don’t know if everyone would like going in these directions and freelance is another example. That there is more to going in that direction than what a normal programmer would do. They might enjoy more with staying with say, a consultant company or joining Product Company and what not. I think that they are all different and I don’t think any of them are better than the others it’s just depends on what you want and where you wanna go and with your career and what you wanna do with your life.

JAMES: So I guess we should probably just kind of work our way down the list of the various things programmers can do and talk about maybe the pros and cons with those. So like, maybe the farthest thing, there’s kind of working for the man, right? You can do work for some existing company and those can be in various sizes; from small start-ups probably primarily, to the big price companies, right? What do we think about that?

CHUCK: So for me with the bigger companies especially with the product companies, it seems like in a lot of cases, what really makes the difference there, because at a certain point your salary is enough and so getting paid more or less, more than that, it doesn’t make a huge difference for me as far as picking a job (and I’ve had a few). The thing that really made the difference with me was the culture and if the culture wasn’t a good fit, then I really hated my life at that company. A couple of examples that I can give, I work for a start up here in Utah it’s called Mozy (you might have heard of it). They do backup software and I ran their tech support department. I love my job for the first year I was there and they got acquired by a large company and the whole culture changed. It was not as fun to work there anymore and it just didn’t fit me. I don’t want to dog on the company because I don’t know that it’s necessarily their fault, but at the same time that was about when I wound up leaving there. And there was another company that I worked for; it was kind of the same deal, where the culture was just, for me it almost felt toxic. It was like; look just put your head down, crank up the code, make the product work and we’ll pay you and you should be thankful to us. And I realize that I could go get another job, one that I would probably enjoy more and that works. So that’s kind of a risk but at the same time when I worked with Dave at Public Engines their culture was terrific.

DAVE: Oh wait, that wasn’t the toxic culture?

CHUCK: There were some issues though, right?

DAVE: I’ve never worked in a place that didn’t have some insanity in it somewhere and that place had some insanity in it that wasn’t just me, me and you.

CHUCK: Right but at the same time though, we really gelled well I think as a team and as a company. We got along pretty well with all of the other folks including the marketing folks and the support folks and the project manager folks and the C level people with maybe one major exception. (Dave laughed). Anyway,

DAVE: Cause I was the major exception with that major exception.

CHUCK: That’s very true yeah. He come in, he take a dump on —.

DAVE: Oh geez.

CHUCK: But anyway, in general it was a terrific place to work and I probably wouldn’t have left there on my own unless something has seriously changed. And something did seriously change, it stopped being profitable and lets some people go. But that’s the real thing, if you can find a place that you really love to be, and you get to do what you really love to do, then there’s absolutely nothing wrong with having a full time job. But if you are in a company with the culture either doesn’t fit with what you kind of envisioned for yourself, then it’s not worth it. Go find somewhere else because there are coding jobs all over the place and so you can most likely find something that surround you that will work for you and avoid some of these problems. I know that there are other issues that other people have had, but for me that is the major thing, the culture, how well you fit in.

MARTY: So when I thought about this, I think there are mainly five different directions you can go and maybe you can throw a couple in. They are like most people are going to have as their opportunities. Culture is obviously a great thing to talk about because that is an important aspect in determining whether you wanna stay in a certain place or not. But these 5 choices or directions sort of are higher than that. The first one is “Product Company” where the company can be in different sizes but its main focus is creating software and so pretty much everyone at that company in some way or another is sort of dedicated to that goal of creating software. Hopefully its good software but that’s sort of the focus of the company. You have “consulting”, which is like your pivotal labs where it’s a company that has a bunch of programmers that work together on teams and they go out and help a client if that works or whatever, either integrating with their team or building software for them. But in this particular case, this flavour of consulting is that, if you as the programmer are not responsible for other aspects of the business you are just programming, that’s all you are doing. Then there is “freelance”, which is where of course you are the programmer and everything else. So you are owning your own business and all that direction. Then there is “content provider”, which is sort of what you are guys are talking about a few weeks ago, where you are producing something of value to other people and they pay you for it and of course in this cases that’s programmer related but you are sort of doing that direction. And then there is “training”. So you are going up like a jumpstart labs or you are going out a pragmatic studio where you are helping people get better as programmers. So that is sort of the five different directions I see that you can go. And of course you can hop around these.  The other two that I kind of think about is working for and IT department in a company that doesn’t focus on software and then also like rnd at a big corp. which is really an interesting wild and different. So those are sort of the ones that I mainly see out there.

JAMES: Can we talk just a little bit about (because I personally can find it confusing sometimes) what are we calling the difference between consulting and freelancing?

CHUCK: Do you mean like working for a consulting company that you don’t own versus being a freelancer, the one that you do own?

MARTY: Yes in James particular case, that how I’m separating them. It’s that with the consulting company, you are just the developer. You are developing for a clients, whereas with freelance you have to own the entire business process, which what means of course is that you can’t program all the time because you have to do the other things that takes to keep your business going.

DAVE: That’s an interesting distinction because it totally doesn’t apply to my world. I’m not saying you are wrong; I just want to kind of give you a different view point. So, the type of consulting you describe, there’s sort of a couple of shops up here in Utah that you can go there and you can work as a W2 employee and basically, they are glorified technical recruiters. They’ll go out, they’ll bid on a project and then they’ll just send five programmers and the five programmers finish. And I got them done those jobs you know, you write a piece of software to the customer and then you don’t have to worry about that business, that kind of thing. But what Slide Rule is doing, I mean it’s really different with a lot of the freelancers is that; we do some kind of consulting for the customers. We’re finding a lot of really small business people who have just kind of locked in to some cash flow and have no idea how to secure it or how to grow it. It’s almost we jokingly refer to ourselves as “rent a CTO” shop. Where we’ll step in and we’ll actually consult on the whole technical aspect of the business. And by technical aspect I actually mean a lot more than technical. We’ll actually consult on; hey this is driving customers away. This is actually this is taking money out the door and we try to focus it on cash flow and we found that if you can figure out how to turn the technical problem into cash flow, you can get the CEO of any corporation on your side. It’s a powerful persuasive tool and that’s where I wanna clarify is there’s consulting where you just go and program but there’s somebody above you that is managing the consulting business. And then there is consulting where you step in and actually help people. You consult on anything right? In our case we go in and we say you should do this; you should really have your log in protected by SSL.

MARTY: Yeah and you know there are variations so we can actually, that’s a great distinction to make that there’s like a scale here. So you are right. I’ve done those things over the years. So you have like, there is freelance where you own everything and you have to sell yourself and all that and you own everything and you have to do it and be self-sufficient. Bring people in who can help you with the areas that you don’t know about. Then you have like the staff augmentation where literally consulting company, as you said, as a recruiter and say hey I’ve got an opportunity for 3 or 6 months over here. We’ll send you down to an interview and if you get it, you are going to basically work for them for that time but you are W2. And you can get to where like pivotal labs or something where you are doing more full process or maybe you are doing like you are helping them develop their business. Like you guys don’t have any programmers, we’ll be your CTOs and will help them get it done. And they are all cool in some ways but maybe the staff augmentations know a place that’s not so cool. Maybe it’s cool if you don’t have any work at all.

DAVE: It’s a great place to start.

MARTY: Yeah. But you are right. They are all different. They have their own different pros and cons and we certainly can riff on that for a bit too.

JAMES: So I used to work for a company, kind of like what Chuck did for a food company, doing programming for them. And the culture is a good aspect, that’s definitely a part of it. Some of the other trade off I think in working for their company, just personally, the reason I don’t do that anymore is I sometimes feel like when I’m working at one company I’m doing the same thing all the time and I like to try new and different things and I feel like that happens less when I’m working for a company.

DAVE: I had a fantastic interview, oh gosh, eight years ago, nine years ago and I’ve been freelancing, by the definition Marty gave, I was freelancing. I have jumped around from shop to shop and I would freelance for a while and sometimes they would hire me at W2 and so I have a resume, I didn’t have any long flags down on my resume. My resume just looked like just a yardful of grab on. I mean like I have 15 jobs. It was just insane. And I sat down with the project manager who had been at this one company for like ten years and she looked at this and she says, I’m a little concerned that you have one year of experience times ten. And I said I know exactly what you mean as opposed to having the same year of experience times 10. I didn’t get the job.

JOSH: Really?

DAVE: No.

CHUCK: Oh man.

DAVE: In fact I got sent back out to the same shop by later on working for consultancy here in Utah. They sent me up for the same shop to interview and I walked in and it was her again and I was like, oh, hey, we can just move this right along can we?

JOSH: Do we need to talk here? Do I even need to take off my jacket?

CHUCK: Yeah, no kidding right?

DAVE: The funny thing was she did, she actually wanna sit down and interview me because she was very waterfall minded and so in her world, it was like, I’m here to do an interview and interviews takes 55 minutes.

MARTY: So there’s two thing I like to say to that, and I think that some people like that and some people don’t like that and I’m talking about variety and I think it’s a programme that kind of depend on what you want. Because I do like the aspect that went on consulting and there’s freelancer when you are running your own company or you are working for your own company is you get the variety. You get to see a lot of different problem; you get to work with different problem teams, its great exposure, a lot of fun. But at the same time, there is something nice about saying, you know what for the next 2 to 3 years, I’m going to sink in on this problem and I’m really going to own in and I’m going to liberate it. And I’m not going to get yanked when we are mostly done; I’m going to stick with it or a while until I’m satisfied. And I do think there is a time when you wanna move on, so the ten years, repeating the same year over and over again, I can definitely I can see that. But I think that what we are seeing now, seen for a while where developers have more mentality of project based not company based. Like I’ll come and work for you on this project. I mean your company, sure, but once this project is done, I’m probably going to move on. I’m probably going to do something else and even if it’s like 2 or 3 years or what not. But we have more of this mentality that I’m doing it for this particular project or this particular team. And then when that is done and played out then I move on.

DAVE: That makes me so happy to hear you say that because I tell people all the time, like managers; loyalty in a company only goes one way, it only goes up and I tell employers just be aware that I know your company has no loyalty to me, I have none towards your company. And they kind of squint at you because that’s kind of a heretical thing to say, but I follow it up by saying that I absolutely go rabid and just fall madly in love with projects and I stay up at night and figure out how are we going to finish this project and that’s what motivates me. So I love going project to project.

CHUCK: That’s one nice thing about the consulting too is that you do tend to move around just like James was saying and I worked for a consulting company here in Utah, a different one from the one Dave worked for. And I’ve also obviously have been freelancing for the last few year or so. And it’s the same thing, I got moved around from client to client at the consulting company and I moved from client to client as a freelancer and so that is one benefit that you get from both. The nice thing about being a freelancer is that you get to pick your clients and so if you get a client that sucks, you can talk your way around them, get rid of them whereas if you are working on a consulting firm, you can’t always do that. But other than that, that benefit is there and it’s nice.

JOSH: On the other hand on the consulting firm, you can swap projects if one isn’t working out.

CHUCK: That’s true.

JOSH: Often time it’s still a lot easier than try and find a new client. So I found a couple of things about jobs that relate to my happiness sort of job and independent of whether or not it’s working for the man or doing product or being a consultant and one of those things is who do I work for. Who is my manager is has a humongous effect on my happiness and satisfaction at my job. And in small companies, I think you have a lot more civility with your manager. Big companies have seems like you have “Bungee Bosses” you can sort of spring in and then it yank out.

CHUCK: I like that term “Bungee Bosses”.

JOSH: It’s an old Dilbert term. I was on a team at Apple and we were on our third department manager for the year and so we all have that cartoon —. Yeah, who your manager is huge and don’t work for a bad manager and unfortunately most managers are bad managers.

DAVE: I will take what you said and +1 it in the most extreme way possible. I have cancelled people in the past. Had a friend who’s in Microsoft he’s the one of the “Permatemps” cycle in for 300 days and then cycle out for 100 days kind of thing. That’s what Microsoft does with their temp that’s their term for it. It’s their way of getting around Washington’s laws for whether or not they have to pay benefits too. Technically, this is now a full time employee and they are like, okay fine, we are just going to lay them all off for 25% of the time. And they finally pulled out the chair for him and said, hey we are going to you a “Blue Badge” (which is a full time W2 employee at Microsoft) and you have a choice; you can go to work on this team or on this team. Basically there was this really exciting hi visibility. He was going to be on Steve Ballmer’s radar personally if he took this job. But he didn’t know the manager and the manager had a reputation for being a little bit psychotic and the other job was toiling away in obscurity but with the manager he’d work in for two of his 3 Permatemps cycles. This guy was an absolute champion of empowerment and employee growth and absolutely favour the good manager over what you think is going to be a good project or a good job. Because a bad manager will take a great job, it will just turn into ash in our mouth but a good manager can make, you know, toiling away in obscurity into just a fantastic career builder for you. Always favour a good manager over a good position.

JOSH: Amen.

DAVE: Because good manager are so freakin rare.

JOSH: I know. So Kent Beck was the guy who hired me to come to Apple. And I got to say Kent is an awesome manager as pretty much anyone would guess and he left apple while I was still there and before he left, he gave me some advice that I should have taken to heart much earlier in my career than I did. So I’ll just pass in to people. It’s that, and this is not like you make advice but it’s so good, it’s that when you are trying to decide on a job and where you wanna go, do something that you love doing. Go work on something that you are going to have fun doing. That you wake up in the morning and you are excited about going to work rather than something that’s going to make you a lot of money. In the long run you will be much more successful if you are working on things that you enjoy working on and in the long run you’ll work out having more successful career and probably have more money anyway than if you just try and go for the higher paying job that’s right in front of you.

JAMES: Yeah I actually absolutely agree with that. When people ask me what I do, I usually say something like; oh I get paid to play with my favorite toys all day long. It’s true. It’s probably true. And in my career when I try to force myself down certain avenues because it seemed like that was a better idea at the time, that was always painful. And when I sit and do what I love, that’s always been easy to do.

JOSH: And you’ve been pretty successful.

JAMES: Sometimes.

MARTY: So you know, along these lines, one of the pieces of advice that I give people when they first ask me about this is I say what do you wanna do? I ask them that question and I think this is a question that we should all be asking a lot, frequently throughout the year. Are you happy with what you are doing? What do you feel drawn to do? And this is more like not just in to like oh that’s a good project or I like to do that programming thing. It’s more like, Am I happy building things? Do I wanna help people? Do I wanna mentor people? What exactly at a fundamental level deep inside myself makes me happy and something that would fulfil me if I were to do that for the next 20 or 30 years. You may not get the answer right away, but if you never ask the question or quiet and sit with yourself about this, you’re not going to know. And you might be bouncing around because you are trying to go for things that make you happy and you don’t even know it. So try to find that answer. At least find the current answer that you have right now that makes you happy. And after that, I think you should dabble. And I think it’s good to get out and get some experience so maybe try that consultant job where you are jumping around form project to project. Maybe try out a part of company that has a great team and a great manager and what not and see how that is. Or maybe try out doing something different like training perhaps. I don’t know. But the idea that play around stuff until you that find something that really clicks.

AVDI: Yeah it’s easy to think that some things sound imperfect for you from the outside. Maybe you think the start-up experience seems really neat but then you are not really going to know that until you give it a shot. Maybe you’ll find out you love it; maybe you’ll find out that it’s just gruelling. I will say after a couple of years of freelancing experience, just speaking of trying things, I think of  every programmer should try freelancing. I mean even if you are perfectly happy with your job, go and get your Company Inc. even if you are not going to do anything much with it for a while but I just think it’s such a great perspective shift when you think of yourself as working for yourself and as a business entity in your own right. It’s a very empowering perspective and I highly recommend that.

JAMES: Yeah I am along the lines of experimentation like what I’ve always known I wanted to do is program and I’ve always enjoyed that part and always wanted to build things and create things and stuff like that. And then it wasn’t until I’ve done that for quite a while that I actually tried and teaching a little bit. And I really didn’t expect to like that and it turned out that I did. So it was just attempting that and now I tend to teach quite a bit too in addition to doing the programming but I didn’t know that until I tried it.

CHUCK: One thing that I wanna point out too is that if it’s not a good fit for you, if it’s not something that you are going to enjoy, you usually figure out pretty fast. I hear a statistic and this kind of ties more into counter production but, basically, most podcast that people start don’t get past episode 6.

JAMES: Wow.

CHUCK: Yeah and the reason is that–

JAMES: That’s it folks, bye!

CHUCK: It just turns out that people aren’t committed enough to it and it’s because it’s not the way that they work. It’s not the way that fits them and I think that it’s that way with a lot of things. If you get in to that job where you get into freelance, you’ll figure out pretty fast whether or not it’s a good fit for you.

JOSH: So if I’m working for the man and working for somebody else’s company, I find that my happiness in my job is often really strongly correlated with how relevant my work is to the company’s central business.

CHUCK: Yes.

AVDI: Definitely.

DAVE: This is a little rare but I have also found just how useful that company central business is to the human race. I worked in a shop where we were doing vibration control and this is safety engineering right? I’m basically making sure that engine blocks don’t fall out of cars by being vibrated until the wields is cracked because they resonate. Of all the places I’ve worked one way or another were always in some way the coolest place ever. But I mean, we got a bug report that began with the sentence “Fortunately, no one was killed. But” and then the bug report continued. One of our software launched a Toyota Cameron across the room. But it didn’t really go across the room. The shaker table punched it up in the air so hard that the car couldn’t get out of the way and it bent a frame on the car and it was supposed to just kind of shake it a little bit. And I had dreamed since I was a little boy of being a video game programmer and I got the chance to leave that shop and go to Acclaim Entertainment which is you know, famous for not being one of the best few game shops in the whole world. But I went there when they were still software which once was one of the better ones. They made the Turok games back when the Turok games were good. (I actually just realized nobody probably even remembered Turok). Anyway, I went to Acclaim and I was living my dream and I was miserable. I could understand it and finally, I woke up one day and I realized what am I doing for humanity? I was saving lives years ago and now it did not help my mood at all that the Columbine video game shootings or the Columbine shootings happened and were linked to video game violence. That happened while I was at Acclaim and I was like, what is my net input to the value of humanity at this job? And I didn’t have good answer for that and so, yeah, I agree with Josh. The more aligned you are with having relevant work to what the company was doing, but also how the company is central vision is aligned with kind of what you wanna do with your life and your career. Okay, everybody has the right to work in a lead gen company and everybody should leave that lead gen company once you figure out it’s a pile of steaming crap. This episode I’m going to get unfriended on Facebook by about 50 people.

JAMES: We are not talking about social coupon companies right?

DAVE: No.

CHUCK: No. No.

DAVE: Lead generation. And I wanna point out to all my lead gen friends that you people are wonderful people, it’s the industry that you are in that’s slimy.

CHUCK: Yeah.

JOSH: Yeah its almost though like, if you had to explain what you do and what your company does and the company you work for to a like a 4 year old. Would you feel proud or will there be questions like, “What?”

DAVE: How many embellishments do you have to make when explaining what you do to your mom?

JOSH: Okay, well, “Nobody died yesterday, but…”

JAMES: I’m going to start my programming days like my wife would ask me how it went. “Well, nobody died.”

AVDI: With that said I think it’s fantastic and wonderful and amazing that we have so many options as programmers and that we can actually pursue self-actualization in our jobs.

JOSH: Oh no. Are you going to make us feel guilty now? Please?

AVDI: I don’t know, am I? I just wanna put a word in that at probably something like 98% of the human race just works to pay the bills and there is no shame in that. And it’s always good to not only have satisfaction and a good feeling about what you do in your work to have things outside of that. To sort of have things that make you feel good as a human being whether you are employed by whichever employer or not and that’s another argument for doing some stuff for yourself on the side, freelance or however. Just have your own thing that isnt dependant on somebody else’s industry.

DAVE: I would add to what Avdi had said and I don’t think he will agree with this addition, but basically what he said, there’s no shame in having a balanced life and just working to support your life, your marriage and your family rather than other way around. But if that’s true, programming might not be for you. Somebody told me once that you should figure out, you should separate all of the things that are important to you and your life. And you should make the number 2 most important thing, your job and you should make the number 1 most important thing your hobby so that at the end of the day, when you are worn out from your job, you have something even more important to draw you in and pull you in. I didn’t get this advice until I was thirty and I foolishly made the mistake of having my job be my 1, 2 and number 3 favorite things in the whole world which is programming programming programming. I love computers, I obsessed about them. My wife will walk in to the den at 10 o’clock at night after I put in a 12 hour date and I’m writing code anyway just for fun, just to see if I can and I absolutely obsess about it. I guess I started off trying to make a  joke out of what Avdi said and I apologize because it was deserving of more serious consideration because now that I’m trying to defend it, I feel like trying to kick the people that are just in it for feeding their families and I don’t feel good about that.

MARTY: I think that depending where you are in your life, that’s to be very relevant. And I have to say for me, I’m on programming because now the way that it’s a business, I actually have a lot more time so I can do training which takes a lot of your time, still be an active dad and still have time for some hobbies, my skiing this weekend and still program and still do well. I just don’t do it 50-60 hours a week. I only do it maybe just 30 hours a week.

JAMES: Yeah, so what Dave was saying, I think there is actually a point there. For example Marty, you are at the point in your career where you have a lot of experience to draw on and stuff.

MARTY: Yes, definitely.

JAMES: And programming is, man, it’s a steep climb over those first few hills. You know what I mean?

MARTY: You are right, definitely.

JAMES: Like there is a part where when you are pretty early on in the cycle where Dave is kind of right. If they don’t wanna eat sleep and drink code. You maybe ought to try something else because for a while, until you have those 500 conversations with the compiler where you are screaming and trying to shake it off the screen or whatever. It’s hard. And once you get to that point, you have some hard won knowledge that you know, ends up paying off pretty big. But I think that initial process, there’s a reason that there’s of us, that are like we are, that obsess about it a little bit, you know.

AVDI: It’s worth recognizing that we’re kind of in a minority. I mean, if I sort of step aside and argue with myself, I’m also the guy that’s been yelling at wage slave programmers to “get out of my industry!” for years.

DAVE: That’s kind of where I was going with that yeah.

AVDI: You know for better or worse there’s also a lot of space in this industry still for wage slave programmer. I mean what I’m saying is about there is  no shame in that, I’ve basically said the opposite in the past and I could still say the opposite, it’s just that, I think right now, I don’t think there are a lot of like wage slave programmers listening to this. JOSH: Probably not.

AVDI: So it’s not going to do much good to say, look if you’re just clocking in, sitting in front of– playing the office-based game, then you are probably better off in construction. That doesn’t really mean anything because I don’t think very many people listening to this are playing office-based game. But I just wanna say that–

DAVE: If they are, good luck.

JAMES: Let me turn the conversation a little bit because there is one more aspect of stuff that we are talking about that I wanna talk about today and that’s risk. I think that the ideas of risk are sometimes screwed up, right? Like for example–

CHUCK: It’s a fun board game. But man, it’s frustrating sometimes.

JAMES: It just takes too long.

JOSH: Just always start in South America and you’ll be okay.

DAVE: I have one rule for Risk and that’s when you need to grab little titbits out of other colored box because all of your color is deployed on the board, I forfeit the game.

JAMES: I do that. Yeah. The ideas of risk at these different levels of job we are talking about, when I hear about it, sometimes it’s strange to me. For example, I think most people consider the corporate programming kind of job, low on the risks scale. I don’t really feel that way. I mean there’s the advantage of they usually provide your health care and stuff like that, which is one of those things like freelancers often struggle to get, you know? So I definitely see that aspect of it but at the same time, here’s where one of the largest employers of programmers just laid off a whole bunch of people. So, those guys are working for the company and now they are all without jobs and looking again. I feel a lot more secure actually in my freelance set up where client, doesn’t have money where you know, that’s what other clients are for that kind of thing.

JOSH: I 100% agree with that.

CHUCK: It’s not just tied to the company’s well-being or anything else. I mean it could be that you have a boss that decides he doesn’t like you and let you go or HR screws something up and then they have to let you go. There are so many myriad things that can go wrong in a corporation that could result in you losing your job that have nothing to do with you.

JOSH: Yeah but it cancelled your project.

CHUCK: Whereas an independent, it’s a little bit different because it is tied to you or at least to your client in the same way but at least you have a say, usually.

AVDI: Going freelance is the best job security move I ever took. I took it after a few different jobs kind of fell apart under me and I was panicked at the end when that happened because it’s like, it’s this race where you got to find that next safety zone before the clock runs out. And at this point, even if all my clients went away, all that would mean for me is okay, start asking around some more and be, its time to work on another book.

JAMES: Oh man if all my clients leave me, I’m taking the 3-month vacation.

MARTY: So I would add to this that there is real risk with all these. And I agree with the sentiment that the security, the safety blanket of corporate job or the product companies position is not as secure as you think it is. I think it’s good, but I think also when you move into the higher risk places where you like freelance or maybe if you are doing content providing or maybe even training, if you don’t have a solid pipeline, you may find yourself with some time in your hands and I think as long as you understand that’s going to happen or could happen and that you prepare for it so you have a nice buffer maybe 3 months maybe 6 months or whatever it is. So at least you are able to pay your mortgage or what not when you hit a dry spell, then your fine, I agree. I’ve had more work where I have my company on freelance and I had before that where I had to say no a lot. But there were times where you know, we had some time off. Or maybe I needed some time to say organize a conference, it was awesome or you know work on something else. I think as long as you are prepared for that, then it is okay but if you are not prepared for that, well that’s going to suck because then you have to go and scramble for something that has maybe not as ideal.

CHUCK: One other thing I wanna point out with that is that, I think with freelancing especially, your risk is tied directly to your ability to sell.

MARTY: Yeah.

CHUCK: If you do not have a way of filling that pipeline. Like Marty said, if you can’t talk people into hiring you if you can’t convince them that you are the right fit, you are done. And so if you are not comfortable talking to people or if you are not comfortable “pressing” them and saying, look we need to get going on this so we can take care of you and actually mean it, then you are just not going to succeed as a freelancer and so you are better off in the corporate job. But I think most people if they get out there and they give it a shot, I think most people are more competent than they really think they are and they’d find that they could do okay as a freelancer.

DAVE: I would add that if you have been programming for a year or two, freelancing solo might not be for you because you just haven’t had the experience of doing everything in a project from set up to deployment. I mean the whole thing.

MARTY: And managing a client too.

DAVE: And managing a client while you are doing it, yeah absolutely. If you are going to go that route you’ve been programming for a year and we’ve got you all fired to quit your W2 job, maybe ease on to in. Maybe take side jobs and try and work a side project rather than jumping in

CHUCK: Or sub-contract where somebody is else is going to do a lot of that for you.

DAVE: Yeah. Sub-contracting is fantastic because somebody else is manages the company while somebody watch and kind of learn in the wings. But I will tell you, I am so grateful that I learned this lesson in just the worst possible way. I had gone from small company to small company and just seeing the turmoil and the lack of stability. And then I landed a job at a government contractor, big shot, you know, has a whole bunch of defence contracts. I got hired on writing graphics drivers and then I moved over to work on planetarium control software which are really freaking cool. I mean both the software, just loads and loads of fun and I really I took my eye off the ball when it comes to like managing my career because I was at this big government contractor. This is the place of the empire building. I was working with guys that have been in the company for 30 years as programmers. This is where I was going to make my stand. I was going to be here for 10 years and then I got laid off just out of the blue. It’s one of two times in my career when I did not see it coming and the second time it happened was with an actual, clinically insane client. Getting an email, all caps EMAIL at 2 o’clock in the morning. It’s like I come to work one day and everything is happy, everything is cool, I sit down there’s an email from the company president saying, “As we move through this difficult time of transition…” I’m like oh, there must have been some layoffs today and five minutes later my manager stops at my desk and says to me, hey, can I talk to you for a minute? And he’s got a stack of papers and I look at the stack and the top sheet says “exit checklist” and I’m like, oh crap. And that sent me home. My wife, her father got out of the army at age 21. Went to work at one place and stayed there until he retired at age 65, same company the entire time. The company changed names and was acquired 3 times but he went to the same building for like 44 years and I changed jobs like 3 times while I was dating his daughter and I’m terrified. And here I was, I’d finally landed this big government job and I was going to stay here forever and I’m so grateful that I got laid off out of the blue at that job because what it taught me is no such thing as job security.

JAMES: Yeah Marty have talked about that kind of a cycle and I think that’s definitely there. I’ve seen it where it just seems to work out where a couple of projects lined up around the same time. And even if you are going to get a new client or something, there’s a little bit of pause there where you going to go find them and stuff like that. I just try to use those cycles to my advantage, like whenever there are two projects, I’m like, alright, time for vacation or something like that.

JOSH: So there’s a difference between job security and career security. So I live in San Francisco. It doesn’t matter when you are a developer here in San Francisco; if your start-up company goes under and all the developers are in the street looking for work will probably have new jobs within a week.

DAVE: The job market in San Francisco sounds like the job market in Silicon Valley in 1980, where the saying was “If you don’t like your job, just park in a different lot.”

JAMES: So one more aspect I want to head on the risk thing is that, I think a lot of people think starting a product or doing some content production or something like that is high risk. I sometimes hear people make comment like that. That’s another myth that I kind of like us to bust, that I don’t feel that way at all. Like it depends entirely on how you do it. You are getting around getting bunch of funding and trying to meet a bunch of crazy goals possibly, but you know, bootstrap something. Like when I put Rubies in the Rough together, it caused me maybe $200 before it was paying for itself.  You know, get a server, throw some code up on it.

AVDI: Well, and your time.

JAMES: Oh, that’s exactly right. You are right. I’m not clear about that. Your time is always what you are risking but that doesn’t bother me at all. I mean, you know, I would rather risk that. I throw some time into it and see if it’s going to fly. If it does great, if it doesn’t well I lost some time but I’m not on the street or something.

MARTY: James I think what I would say about that is as long as you have something else that is covering you, you are like saying, I’ll spend a day, or I’ll spend four hours a week on. I think that’s great because you are covered by whatever else you are doing. But if you are going to say I’m going to quit and start a new product company and run on 6 month cash or something, then that might be risky but might even worth it. But certainly, the bootstrapping idea, I agree. As developers, we now have an opportunity where it’s almost all free beyond our time to build something amazing and why not take a shot at it. If you are passionate about it, go and do it. Maybe don’t quit all your breadwinning kind of step so you still have some money coming in, but why not? Why not spend a day or week building something that you love.

AVDI: Don’t think about it as a blockbuster thing, like it has to be this huge product, this thing that is going to be break through. It’s okay to have projects that are just side income. Those are so great to have especially if you get one of those gaps in work. Because it’s like, you know what, I’m okay I’ve got some side income its cool.

DAVE: For me people are like, isn’t that so risky? I just don’t understand. I turn around them and I say, you just said the magic words, I don’t understand. That is all your fear. Your fear is not coming from the risk; your fear is coming from confusion. Don’t jump into this whole heart, both feet; don’t quit your day job kind of thing. Do it on the side until you believe that you can do it full time, or do it on the side until it expands to consume so much that you have to quit your day job. That’s a great way to do it where you can get through that ignorance, that fear of the unknown by turning it into known knowns without risking your house.

AVDI: I just wanna say one more thing related to this. Absolutely don’t quit your day job for one of these whims that may or may not pan out. But if your day jobs quits you and you panic, I’ve actually have good luck with, instead of just jumping straight into panic must-find-new-work mode, treating that as a time to work for on some crazy side project. And it’s funny how that can turn into work. Because as an example, I discovered that my job is gone the night before Rails Conf started a couple of years ago. I was actually sitting at Ignite RailsConf right before the main conference started and got the email on my phone that my job had just fallen apart. So I could have said okay, I’m going to sort of scratch any plans that I had for this week and I’m going to run around and desperately asking people for work. There are worse places to run around asking people for work than RailsConf. Instead, I sort of put a project that I have been thinking about in crash mode and I painted a construction helmet blue, glued a bunch of phones to it and thought of cheap audio recording and I ran around Rails Conf interviewing people about remote work because I have been thinking about doing this website and podcast about remote work and remote teams and stuff like that. So, I ran around in this crazy hat interviewing, instead of asking people for jobs. And at the end of the week, I had a great consulting gig and that was partly somebody that knew of me already in the Ruby Community and partly result of this idea that I’m somebody who thinks really hard about remote work and this was a team that was growing into a distributed team and they wanted somebody who was thinking about those issues. So definitely don’t quit our day jobs for one of these crazy projects. But if your day job quits you, consider instead of just running to find some work. Throw all of your energy into some project and make it public, make it visible, blog about whatever you are doing and it’s amazing what can come out of that when you suddenly have plenty of time to throw all your passion into a project.

DAVE: That is fantastic. Fortune favours the bold. Ultimately, we’ve said a lot of things like, if you do this, consulting might not be for you but ultimately, if there’s in between stimulus and response, if you can have a tiny little gap in which you can insert just  a moment of abject lethal insanity, consulting might be for you. Avdi, that story I’m just grinning from ear to ear just picturing you. So what did I do? I painted that construction hat blue and glued phones to it.

AVDI: I’ve left out the most important part. The key to all this, the key that gave me that leap of intuition was I ask myself, “What would Lady Gaga do?”

JOSH: The generic conversation stopper. So one last grip on risk and I think it’s the other side of risk. Risk isn’t all about losing your job and job stability. It’s also about job where you can go and your long term goals and whether you are able to accomplish them.

CHUCK: You are talking about opportunity cost for your choices.

JOSH: Yeah. I think so. That’s a good way of putting it. So we’ve been beating on the man a lot here talking about how consulting and freelancing gives you a lot more flexibility and freedom. If you are doing consulting work, often time there’s not a lot of advancement you can get out of that. You end up doing the same thing forever; even on it’s a different project. It’s just the same thing over and over again.

CHUCK: I forgot Josh is the man.

JOSH: I am now. Yeah. But my last gig I was at pivotal for about four years. No job is going to give you everything. They just can’t because they are not all the same.  I went to Pivotal because I wanted an environment where I could learn stuff and I really want to level up on my actual development and various other things. It was amazingly successful for me in that regard. I loved working in Pivotal environment learn those kind of stuff there, but consulting shops are very flat and there’s just a very low ceiling there. So if you are ambitious, you are not going to be able to stay there for 10 years and have a very good chance of advancing your career. It’s just going to be the same thing pretty much every year for the rest of your career there and for some people that’s just awesome. Some people love that. They get to work on a different project every two months and they see something new and they learn a lot of stuff and that’s awesome. But if you have more ambition and you see yourself as leading teams of people or running companies or whatever, you are going to learn a lot of skills at a consulting shop, but you are not going to walk right into that  position.

MARTY: It’s essentially a steppingstone.

DAVE: Go to New York but leave before you get too hard. Go to California but leave before you get too soft.

JAMES: Okay.

JOSH: And that’s why he is the Chief Metaphor Officer.

DAVE: That’s right. I can’t take credit for that quote. That’s actually out of everything I needed to know I learned in kindergarten.

JOSH: metaphor cheese.

DAVE: It’s stinky!

CHUCK: That’s from Phineas and Ferb. Anyway,

JOSH: It sounds like we are done.

CHUCK: Alright so, now that we have been doing this for an hour, let’s get into the picks.

JAMES: Oops.

CHUCK: James what are your picks?

JAMES: I’ve got a couple. I’ll try to be quick since we are running behind. First of all Adam Keys wrote this great blog post this week about writing more man pages and everybody needs to go read this. It needs to be a required reading. I’ve been thinking about how do we do documentation for quite a while now and I have definitely come to the conclusion that what we are doing is broken and wrong and I haven’t figured out what the right answer is. But I like a lot about what Adam is saying here about how he’s using manpages. He’s doing it with markdown and stuff like that and getting it away from the code. It’s actually turned out that API documentation has, I mean it’s useful when you are at expert level but by the time you are that level, you probably don’t need the API documentation as much. Anyways, Adam has a lot of unique ideas here and his ideas are kind of a new synergy and I think Readme Driven Development which is an old classic blog post from Tom Preston-Werner about how you can put together basically the document about what you are trying to do. You can throw that at markdown that could be readme at GitHub where everybody else sees it. And you can turn that into your manpage if do it correctly, paying attention to what Adam is talking about here. Anyways there are a lot of cool ideas and along those lines and everybody should read that. The other thing I got to tell everybody to do, I think I’m always pointing out new PeepCodes when they come out (but hey that’s a cool service). The new one is Play by Play with Aaron Patterson and everybody should go watch it because Aaron programs probably very differently than you do. And that he has just an intimate inner knowledge of Ruby and so he solves all the problems through that lens. So when he needs to mark something, he does it using Ruby and a couple of lines. He doesn’t load the mocking library and stuff like that and he’s playing around with different Rubyisms in it. And so you know, while it’s not the techniques you would use all the time, it’s a very different way of thinking than I see a lot of people program and I think it’s very interesting. So you should definitely watch that PeepCode. It’s totally worth the price. That’s it. Those are my picks.

CHUCK: Yeah as James pointed out, the man is actually a command line utility for pulling up documentation.

JOSH: Yeah but it sucks working for it.

JAMES: That’s why you need to read Adam’s post, it doesn’t have to.

CHUCK: Avdi what are your picks?

AVDI: Oh let’s see I will start with GNU Make, the GNU utility for assembling programs.

DAVE: Is that at the Apple store?

CHUCK: Not anymore.

AVDI: I would be hard pressed to explain why I find writing Makefiles so satisfying and I’m not being — I actually do, I find it pleasurable. In a way I guess because I guess it’s almost a different programming model, it’s a rules based programming model rather than an imperative programming model. But I really enjoy assembly Makefiles and if you’ve never have, it could be fun to try. GNU Make, there’s a lot more to it than I think a lot of people realize. It has a lot of neat release. And another one is Pinboard. Pinboard is another of these sorts of replacements for del.icio.us the bookmark storage cloud bookmark storage app since del.ici.ous started to suck.

JOSH: They got bough by Yahoo right?

AVDI: They got bought by Yahoo then they got spun off, it’s all very confusing.

CHUCK: Yeah they are not owned by Yahoo anymore, they are owned by somebody else.

AVDI: All I know is at some point, (I can’t remember if it is before or after Yahoo) It started to get really, really slow and I switched over to using Diigo more. Diigo was nice but it’s a little almost over featured and confusing. Anyway, Pinboard is neat because they just by default they cache everything that you bookmark. So they pull it offline and cache it. And they cache everything like pages videos; they cache the video I think. And like all the assets, all the CSS so you get a page that looks like the original page and the just do this by default by everything you bookmark. It’s got some nice features, where it will just quietly in the background will bookmark. If I post a link to Twitter, it will bookmark that link for me. If I read something and read it later, it will bookmark that link for me later. So all that bookmark that I always forget, you know I read but I forget to bookmark them, it just kind of picks up on those so I have been enjoying Pinboard.

CHUCK: So was it like Instapaper?

AVDI: It’s more about bookmarking. Yes it have a to read tag or category or whatever. But it’s not really focused on that. It integrates on Read It Later and Instapaper quite nicely. It’s really about saving an archive of all the links that you found interesting and making it searchable, not just like tags or full text searchable.

CHUCK: Okay

AVDI: And it integrates nicely with Greplin which I think was another of my picks earlier. So you can feed your pinboard account into Greplin and when you search Greplin, it searches through your Pinboard links.

CHUCK: Okay cool. Jeff Schoolcraft on the Ruby Freelancer Show keeps bringing that up in our little chat.

JOSH: Oh great I’ll try that. I use Greplin and Pinboard but I haven’t hooked them up yet, cool.

CHUCK: Alright Josh, what are your picks?

JOSH: Okay, so my first pick is if you are doing a start-up, my start up is part of the Rock Health, their current class. And Rock Health is a start-up accelerator for health related start-ups and so far it has been great. I love being part of them and I think they are somewhat unique among accelerated programming. They don’t take anything from the start ups, they just provide. They are funded non-profit so they don’t want anything from us which makes it doubly awesome. But they also done a mission to help just the start up general and they put a lot of material on line. They do a bunch of speakers coming in and giving presentations. So there is a whole YouTube video channel for all the Rock Health videos they put on conferences. They’re going to be at south by Southwest doing some sort of Zen retreat at a yoga studio, a block or so from where south by southwest is going on. They have a lot of researches there. They just put up a blog about if you are a start-up, how do you deal with taxes so they are worth checking out even if you are not doing health related start-ups. So just go check that out. And a couple of months from now they are going to be opening up application for the fall term which is going to start in July I think. So that our application with this one is due in November so it will probably be like May. If you are doing a health related start up, I encourage you to be part of it.

CHUCK: Do you have to be in San Francisco?

JOSH: You do.

CHUCK: Okay.

JOSH: And there are people that travel to San Francisco from like, Australia to be part of the program, so people do that. They give you a little bit of money as being part of the program so it can help out with that. And then my next pick is I don’t know, you probably have seen this already its “Machete Order for Watching the Star Wars Saga”.

JAMES: Yeah that’s very true.

JOSH: So I know everyone on the show have already seen this but people who are listening haven’t found it yet. This is the right way to watch the Star Wars saga so it doesn’t give away any of the big reveals. And also just that reading the blog post about this, I actually learned a lot about Star Wars that I never considered before. So even if you are not going to go off and watch Star Wars in this order or watch Star Wars again, it’s worth reading just for the critical deconstruction of Star Wars.

JAMES: I didn’t know you can get those at HD Re-Mastered things that he links to.

JOSH: Oh my! I may have to see if I can get there, those are pretty awesome.

JAMES: Yeah that was awesome, I’m thinking of burning them.

JOSH: Yeah, sounds pretty cool. So anyway, that’s it for me for this week.

CHUCK: Alright, Dave what are your picks?

DAVE: I have far too many picks today, so as quickly as possible. Although we are recording this on February 29th, this probably won’t go up until the 2nd or 3rd of March but today is my friend Howard Taylor’s 12th birthday.

CHUCK: Yeah I asked him if he was 10 or 11 and he was like, “You could have said 8 that would have been nice”. And I had to reply, you are not an eight.

JAMES: Those are “leapers” right? Is that the term?

DAVE: Yes he’s a leaper. On the subject of freelancing and consulting and what not, he quit a six figured salary job at Novell as the product line manager for GroupWise and he just walked out and said “I’m going to be a full time cartoonist”. And he did not know how to draw. So if you go to schlockmercenary.com and you’ll look at the strip and go, okay, it’s a web comic strip. It’s really good it’s nicely drawn, it’s nicely colored. Click on the link that says go back to June 20th or whatever of 2000. Go back to the very first strip and you will realize, oh my gosh, he did not know how to draw and there is a reason. When he decided he wanna become a cartoonist, he’s like, I know I can’t draw so I need to make sure that my main character is something I can draw.

CHUCK:  That explains a lot.

DAVE: And the main character Schlock is basically a pile of poop and he’s just a amorphous blob and he’s like, it’s a pile of goo. There is no way I can draw it wrong and he ended up getting the perspective wrong and schlock’s eyeball in the first or second strip. The faraway eyeball is bigger than the close up eyeball and he had to go back and write back story that no, one of his eyes really is three times bigger than the other. And he’s been doing it for like 12 years now and he feeds his family off it, pays his mortgage and more power to him.

CHUCK: They are hilarious by the way.

DAVE: Monday strip, the 27th “paranoia that happens on cue gives me chills” is the funniest punch line of the month, just awesome. Okay really quickly through my other picks, at amazon.com I’m going to recommend two books that I have read over years ago that set me on the path that I’m on now. The first one is “Feel the Fear and Do it Anyway” by Susan Jeffers PhD. And the second book is called “Do What you Love and the Money Will Follow” by Marsha Sinetar. And these books were both written in late 80’s they are still absolutely applicable because they’re not about tech sector stuff, they are about the wet wear in your head and what holds you back. And humans are kind of made out of the same kind of organic psychology now that they were all those years ago. And lastly since there is a Star Wars mention, Knights of the Old Republic is available in the App Store now and you can go back and play the first really good Star Wars RPG. And I have something heretical to say about that, which is anybody who’s played both of the Kotor games, you will remember distinctly that Kotor 2 was an epic disappointment. That it was just huge let down because it wasn’t really a sequel, it was more like version 1.2. It was like a patch on the original game and you need to go back and play both games because you will find out very quickly that all of your happy memories from Kotor were actually from Kotor 2. I am playing through, I’ve booted up an old Windows box just so that I can play Kotor 2 and I’m like this is where I play Kotor 1 twice now on my Mac and I had to go back and play Kotor 2 just to go, this is where all the really good plot twist were. So those are my picks.

CHUCK:  Alright cool. I’ll go ahead and go next. So a couple of books that I highly recommend to people, especially to people looking for jobs and trying to find one that they are really going to like, there is a book out there called “48 Days to the Work You Love” and it’s kind of a non-conventional way of finding a job and it’s just a super book that really kind of sums up the things that you need to have in your resume, here’s how you do an interview. But this does more than that. Here is how you find jobs that aren’t listed on job boards that they haven’t hired recruiter to find. And you know, get you in t the companies so you can find out about the companies and then work things out so you can get in front of the people before they actually get 2000 applications on their desks from people looking for that job. The other book is also from Dan Miller. Dan Miller wrote 48 Days to the Work You Love. He also wrote “No More Mondays” and in fact he rebooted it into “No More Dreaded Mondays” and that one was much more about starting your own business, finding a business site, following it through and things like that. It applies both to products and training and to freelancing and just a super book by Dan Miller. And finally, he also has a “48 Days Podcast” that he does and he answers questions that people send in.  He does everything from career advise all the way up to people sending, I’m looking at this idea here’s kind of how I’m going to approach it, what do you think and he actually gives some advice, like you need to look at the profit margins here, figure out if this is going to work for you here, does it match your lifestyle, things like that. And I just find it very, very inspiring so you can go and check those out either in Amazon or in the iTunes App Store or I mean in the iTunes Store. Anyway, Marty what are your picks?

MARTY: Okay, so I have three picks today, they are all books and actually products like we did talk about so I read through them pretty quickly. So I think “Passionate Programmer” by Chad  Fowler is  a great book that if you haven’t read it yet, on this topic it’s a great book to read and will help you level up as a developer. I think also along the lines of that, “Pragmatic Programmer” which is of course the Dave Thomas back twelve years ago or something like that. Both of these are great books you should read. If you haven’t already, definitely get on to read them. And the third one is one that I’ve just gotten aware of and the one that is most recently and that is eBook called “How to Do What You Love and Earn What You’re Worth” by Reg Braithwaite and that is on LeanPub and it is kind of cool because you can set your own price. It’s like $5 as a suggested price but it’s got some good advice in there and in a certain way if you are trying to get to where the job you want or what not as a programmer and help you get in there, then there is certainly a good advice in there for you to get started. Those are my picks.

CHUCK: Alright. I just wanna +1 on the first two anyway. I haven’t read the other one, but Passionate Programmer, it doesn’t matter where you are going with that career, you should read that book.

MARTY: Yeah, definitely.

CHUCK: Let’s wrap this up. We are in iTunes you can find us by doing a search for Ruby Rogues. You can also come to rubyrogues.com and just click on the iTunes icon and that will take you there. If you leave us a review or give us a rating that does kind of help us kind of move up the charts and helps people find us which in turn we’ll help you help them. You can also leave a comment on the blog. And we’re going to be reading “Crafting Rails Applications” by Jose Valim for our next book club. We have a tentative date toward the end of March but we want to solidify that before we announce it. So start reading the book and expect the need to have that finished before the end of March so that we can talk about it and that’s it. We’ll catch you next week!

JAMES: Thanks for being with us Marty.

MARTY: Thanks for having me guys. It’s fun.

DAVE: Remember, you are our favorite listener but don’t tell other listeners.

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