seeking night owl-ish (my time) software apprentices - 2022/01 edition

Gab summary / preview

In late January, 2022, I plan to post to Gab's "Programming, Computing, and Electronics" forum. I plan a short version of the ad and then a link to here. Here is my (draft) short version:

I'm a very experienced software developer seeking apprentices. I've been programming on and off since 1983, I dev'ed for 2,000-employee software companies 20+ years ago, I have a BS in CS, I've been semi-successful as a freelance developer for around 10 years, and I have a zillion lines of uber-geekery in GitHub. If SatanSoft wants to store my code for free, I'll take them up on it. The semi-successful is due to my people issues, not tech issues. In fact, people issues are where you may come in.

I don't care where you are. You need very limited tech qualifications that I detail in my full ad (this). It would be very helpful if you're sometimes available sometime within 5pm - midnight Eastern Time. Beyond that, see my full ad as linked above.

the original 2021, December intro

Note: hopefully I answer more and more questions as I go on, rather than having to say "see below" everywhere.

I am an experienced software developer with valuable skills. I'd like to help you learn those skills.

what you'll need / very basic qualifications

You don't need any formal experience, but you need basic computer skills. I don't care where you are. You need a laptop, desktop, or at least a real keyboard and large screen. (A Raspberry Pi is almost certainly sufficient if you have a keyboard and monitor attached.) Otherwise put, a mobile device won't do. I run on roughly $300 of hardware that I bought used in 2017. A friend got a $100 laptop at a pawn shop that would probably be good enough.

no pay

When forced to a binary choice on Craig's List, I say "no pay," and that's the short and medium answer. If you need immediate reliable money, I can't help; if you need reliable money at all, history shows I can't help. In this case, I'll say "more below" because that needs some explanation.

qualifications continued

Regarding basic computer skills, you need to be able to attach and email files, or an equivalent. Thus, it is probably good to know what a "file" is at a basic level. In roughly May of 2019 Satan's Operating System (SOS) changed such that trying to attach a file that had another 500 files in the same folder (siblings) would crash the file picker. If that issue is ongoing, you'll either need to have relatively clean folders or you need to know how to create a folder and toss everything into it. Unfortunately, I'm not pulling this out of air; this bit an apprentice hard.

You need to be able to turn file extension visibility on such that you can see the whole file name "blah.html" or "blah.txt". Also, it helps if you know where your files "live" relative to C: in SOS. For example, from helping hapless muggles and because I didn't stop using SOS until 2013, "My Documents" is C:\Users\Bob\My Documents.

At first, you need to be content communicating in writing, starting with email. This probably means you need to type fast, but if you want to spend time hunting and pecking, maybe it will work. I don't initially want your phone number or XYZ newfangled app contact info. My contact info is on my resume.

It is very helpful if you can sometimes be active between 4pm and 1am my time--Atlanta / New York / US Eastern Time / UTC -5.

my money issues

"Night owl" and "active between 4pm and 1am" are hints. These days I sleep from 4am - noon; for decades it was more like 7am - 2pm. Working 9am - 5pm takes a large and immediate physical toll. I tried it one last time several years ago. I wasn't being picky, so it took me less than 2 weeks to find an $80k job in "Atlanta dollars." Atlanta has a very low cost of living relatively to Silicon Valley, and I learned recently that Atlanta is far less expensive relative to Boston than I would have though. I would think $80k in Atlanta is $240k in Silicon Valley.

If I could work 9 - 5 now, and I took a few weeks to think it through, I could make $130k in "Atlanta dollars," maybe more.

There are a few corporate solutions for night owls, but I got sick and tired of dealing with that whole hiring process. I keep trying to make freelancing work, and I really should be able to make it work well enough. I will make it work if it's the last thing I do.

So I'm great at the technical part of freelancing but not the sales or account management or money collection. All the things that go wrong are another story for another time.

what's in it for me?

I'm an idea person (not a people person) and an introvert--Myers-Briggs INTJ, supposedly as was Ayn Rand. Even Rand pointed out, though, that humans are social creatures. So I want the people part of a small company without the nonsense that comes with a formal organization such as 9 - 5 business hours.

For several years I have pushed many other objectives and most other people aside and tried to focus on making freelancing work. It's still not quite working, so I keep doing more of the same. For the moment, the people around me need to at least tangientially be helping me with work. Apprentices have helped in several ways. One of them can find me 50 computer gig ads to consider in an hour or two. That's very helpful; now I just need to make those ads profitable. If I'm helping with technical stuff, that almost always puts me in a good mood, which helps me with the people parts of gigs.

One of the reasons I'm writing yet another iteration of this ad is that I saw someone come from my very accurate clock source code on GitHub onto the live version. He played with the app for a while. It made me happy just to see someone engaging in such geekery. I realized this ad needs to be linked from that app and eventually all the links leading from GitHub.

For the record, here is the previous version of this ad. I'm moving some of my "apprentice lessons 2019" off my home page, too.

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