An American Millennial

Where are you and where are you going?
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Lemur
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Re: An American Millennial

Post by Lemur » Wed Oct 02, 2019 9:36 am

What python course are you currently doing?

Scott 2
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Re: An American Millennial

Post by Scott 2 » Wed Oct 02, 2019 6:05 pm

Great to see you doing so well. I predict you'll look back to 2019 as an inflection point in your financial position. I'd encourage you to remain flexible in regards to saving, allowing work to consume that additional mental energy. You are building life changing human capital every day. Especially within your generation, tech is going to create a sharp class divide.

If there's an area my formal CS degree fell short, it is around not programming. All our energy went into complicated algorithms and concepts. As a professional, I've seen estimates that only 18% of the effort on a delivered product goes into writing code.

Does your team use any sort of static analysis tool for code quality feedback? In the .NET world there are products like NDepend or SonarQube. Something like that could offer you a middle ground between demanding code review from an over-scheduled manager and no feedback at all.

How do you collaborate when working from home? I've been doing it for 9 years. Slack threads replaced half our email a few years ago. A few times a week, I might get on a conference call with screen sharing. I'm considering introduction of video chat. It's not part of our culture today, and so I'd be challenging some existing norms. I'm curious what a young company does.

Viktor K
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Re: An American Millennial

Post by Viktor K » Wed Oct 02, 2019 7:24 pm

Lemur wrote:
Wed Oct 02, 2019 9:36 am
What python course are you currently doing?
First two things I did in Python were build an Indeed scraper after watching a video on YouTube about making a Twitter bot and a second video about using Google Sheets. After that I had to try and figure things out on the backend via Google. Finally, I caved and spent the first dollar ever on a course to take Codecademy's Python 3 course, which is behind their paywall. My work is reimbursing me. It's a good course, I like it because it's Codecademy, but the Pro membership I don't think is worth it.

At this point, I feel comfortable enough with Python that the course is something I will finish, but am not desperate to do so. I can't learn from code alongs and video/audio, though, and Codecademy was the first thing I found that was an interactive course.
Scott 2 wrote:
Wed Oct 02, 2019 6:05 pm
Does your team use any sort of static analysis tool for code quality feedback? In the .NET world there are products like NDepend or SonarQube. Something like that could offer you a middle ground between demanding code review from an over-scheduled manager and no feedback at all.

How do you collaborate when working from home? I've been doing it for 9 years. Slack threads replaced half our email a few years ago. A few times a week, I might get on a conference call with screen sharing. I'm considering introduction of video chat. It's not part of our culture today, and so I'd be challenging some existing norms. I'm curious what a young company does.
I will have to look into those. I'm still learning faster than when I was on my own, having the demands of the job, being employed 40/week, and being able to ask questions (though sometimes it takes a while to get an answer, and often the answer is cryptic). But the one code review I had was very helpful. Not necessarily on what to do/how to do it, but style/cleanliness.

My work uses Slack and Zoom and I do video chats around 3-5/week, sometimes more. We don't really do much collaboration, usually projects are 100% mine, backend, frontend, database, where to even start in the codebase. Most of the time I'm on Slack for questions, jokes, catching up. Mostly questions of course. And group chats for bugs/requests. If I can't work through something, that's when we hop on a Zoom call, almost always video chat then screen share. Everyone gets a headset when they join and since maybe 25% of our team is remote/out-of-state, with more like 75% remote outside of Mondays, video chat is more or less the norm.

Scott 2
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Re: An American Millennial

Post by Scott 2 » Wed Oct 02, 2019 7:59 pm

Wow, that is heavy use of video chat. It's probably time to update my approach. Thanks for sharing.

slowtraveler
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Re: An American Millennial

Post by slowtraveler » Thu Oct 03, 2019 3:29 am

Huge congratulations man. Sounds like you're much more satisfied, stimulated, and successful in your life now.

I have 2 questions about where you are now.

1) Considering how capable remote work is, would you consider becoming a remote worker to take advantage of the FEIE and pay 0 federal or state taxes while having lower expenses?

I mean this as in the future. Clearly, you're settling into a new environment at the moment but once you bore, there's a tax efficiency improvement available both federally and at the state level. The only reason I'd want to go into work would be a stimulating environment and it seems the video calls handle this need more than I expected was possible so I don't see much reason to stay long term unless you love the city. If you're ever curious about this, it's one of my passions so ask away.

2) Considering how remote the work is, would you have been able to get work like this from abroad? I'm asking this one more for me. I keep thinking about what to do once my gig runs out and software/engineer (accounting possible but I feel it's less useful long term due to automation) are the only ones I really feel called to so if I was able to learn the skills + get the work without returning, that'd make the choice clear for software over engineering.

You've really been an inspiration man, thanks for sticking around for the long run and sharing your journey.

Viktor K
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Re: An American Millennial

Post by Viktor K » Thu Oct 03, 2019 9:47 pm

slowtraveler wrote:
Thu Oct 03, 2019 3:29 am
1) Considering how capable remote work is, would you consider becoming a remote worker to take advantage of the FEIE and pay 0 federal or state taxes while having lower expenses?
It's possible, but it's hard to plan that far in advance. My 5 year goals include kids and maybe a home, and moving abroad is hard enough already with just the two of us and the cats. Also, there are things that are just as important to me as savings, taxes or otherwise, such as playing sports, diet, ease of life, and others. Living abroad also means cycling through friendships, and missing out on a lot of family things, both of which I didn't enjoy much.

One thing I would consider, if remote work continues in the future, would be home ownership in a more affordable place. Home prices where I am now are in the millions of dollars.

slowtraveler wrote:
Thu Oct 03, 2019 3:29 am
2) Considering how remote the work is, would you have been able to get work like this from abroad?
It's hard to say. I think you could, sure, but I got really lucky that I got in front of the right person. Even doing everything "right" so to speak as far as having my resume critiqued dozens of times, SEO'ing my LinkedIn, having a portfolio site, being active on Github, doing projects, writing cover letters, e-mailing HR directly, etc, etc... I think luck still played a huge role. I was expecting up to a year of unemployment. With experience, it would be easier, I'm sure.

Another issue working abroad remotely, I've heard from others, is the time difference, which can be an added stress. Best thing for you to do, in order to really know the answer to your question, is review/update your resume, and start applying to remote jobs.

Viktor K
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Re: An American Millennial

Post by Viktor K » Thu Oct 24, 2019 9:50 pm

Combined finances with gf

Mister Imperceptible
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Re: An American Millennial

Post by Mister Imperceptible » Thu Oct 24, 2019 10:24 pm

RIP Viktor K

cimorene12
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Re: An American Millennial

Post by cimorene12 » Fri Oct 25, 2019 7:13 pm

If you decide to go to Canada, the time difference won't be a big deal as long as you're in the same-ish time zone as the company that employs you.

Viktor K
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Re: An American Millennial

Post by Viktor K » Tue Nov 05, 2019 9:00 pm

October - November

Image

Image

Finances
Net worth trending upwards.

Combined finances with girlfriend. Working pretty well. This bleeds over a little with personal because the idea is that as a married couple our finances would be combined. Would hate to find out then that combined finances causes problems.

We've always split everything down to the yuan or even the jiao, so to speak. So it's been a relief so far, with little friction here and there.

She has the savings (parents paid college, no student loans to pay the last 5 years we've been together, and lower spending on average than me), and I've got the debt.

We had a big talk which revolved around things such as what different incomes would mean, my student loans, her savings, savings goals, spending habits, etc. Once everything was aired out we pushed forward.

Spending is a little high right now seeing as how we just moved from subtropical to continental climate and winter is coming. As well, living out of suitcases in furnished apartments the last 4 years means there's things we need. We're fine with this. Spending may be higher than average in areas like groceries as well given some new developments around health things, allergies, dietary preferences.

Goal is to keep $30k liquid between us, pay bills (obviously), and the rest to student loans until they're gone, then that surplus starts going to investments. Had a thought to trade the rent for a house payment as a means of diversification (and saving/investing?), but was dissuaded by respected colleague at least with regards to doing so in Chicago, and haven't looked into it since. Still have a couple years before worrying about it so not a concern/on the mind.

Girlfriend got a job first paycheck comes 27th. About $1400 after tax.

Technically, by the way, this means we're positive net worth by some $12k. :lol:

Personal
Diet improved which is good. Lots more produce, plenty of whole grains, maybe a little low on protein.

Hobbies still lots of soccer, but it's done from now until Dec 10th so they can erect the dome for the winter seasons. Which is good because I think I was playing too much and have plenty of bumps, bruises, strains that need to heal.

Would like to get back into D&D at one point as a creative outlet. Have also considered looking into game development again seeing as how programming confidence is rising with professional successes.

Professional
I’ve only been employed 3 months and have already had to pick up and use/build with Vue.js, Vuex, Bulma, Python, Flask, PostgresSql, SQLAlchemy, Docker, AWS and various dependencies I had never heard of before. And now I'm building something from scratch using C#, Azure, and .Net, authenticating with ADB2C, using application users in PowerApps, just got my Vue Router working today...etc.

Three weeks ago the CTO looks across the table in the meeting with everyone, says, "So, my time is better being where people need me instead of going head down and coding. So the new website, you're going to make it. And it has to be done in 10 weeks. What do you think?"

Only had 1 really hard week/few days. Server authentication working for the new website and it was literally...4 days I think of changing the same line of code every 5 mins until it finally worked. That was terrible! Documentation wasn't there and seems like we were the only ones on the internet trying to do this.

That was a couple weeks ago, it's been super fun since. Writing algorithms, doing some CSS stuff (but have to wait for designer's mockups to come back before really nailing stuff down), using Vue, router, Vuex, Bulma, .Net (don't understand at all but somehow bumped my way in the dark to get the API set up), oath/server-to-server authentication. Lots of stuff that I really excel at and enjoy. Pretty much code 38 hours/week.

Summary
Time is flying. Will be more interesting in 6-9 months to see how everything has worked out. Life is completely different from just this summer.

Viktor K
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Re: An American Millennial

Post by Viktor K » Tue Nov 05, 2019 9:13 pm

cimorene12 wrote:
Fri Oct 25, 2019 7:13 pm
If you decide to go to Canada, the time difference won't be a big deal as long as you're in the same-ish time zone as the company that employs you.
It's true. Still might be something we'll try, but may also just look at LCOL in the US... Actually with this job being remote (apparently I could have stayed in LA, savings an extra $1400/mo on rent in addition to moving expenses), it's an option. We have at least one employee that works from Canada. Healthcare...

cimorene12
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Re: An American Millennial

Post by cimorene12 » Tue Nov 05, 2019 11:32 pm

Viktor K wrote:
Tue Nov 05, 2019 9:13 pm
We have at least one employee that works from Canada. Healthcare...
Test drive it with a trip to Canada with your girlfriend where you work remotely and see if it works. Healthcare is a big deal.

Scott 2
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Re: An American Millennial

Post by Scott 2 » Wed Nov 06, 2019 12:27 am

Hahaha they are asking so much of you. Startups are way more demanding than enterprise development.

For comparison, developers at my place need to use C#, a JavaScript framework and SQL. We had a guy promoted from help desk to dev two months ago, I think he's finished two or three smaller changes since then. Everyone is happy with him.

Even if the job could be fully remote, your face time may pay off in greater opportunities.

Viktor K
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Re: An American Millennial

Post by Viktor K » Wed Nov 06, 2019 5:02 pm

cimorene12 wrote:
Tue Nov 05, 2019 11:32 pm
Test drive it with a trip to Canada with your girlfriend where you work remotely and see if it works. Healthcare is a big deal.
Good idea. I'm sure it would work out. The culture is similar enough and they even speak English. This is a long-term goal, but not something that's in the works right now nor 100% certain.
Scott 2 wrote:
Wed Nov 06, 2019 12:27 am
Hahaha they are asking so much of you. Startups are way more demanding than enterprise development.
I'm aware of this, as is my manager who has been quite successful in the tech/development field and is quite candid about these things as well. I'm fine with the extra responsibility with the junior title saving me from serving up disappointment when I do something wrong. I hope though that it will pay off in salary/opportunity sooner than a junior role at a larger company.

I will be disappointed if, in 1 year, the industry sees me the same as all other junior developers with 1 year experience.

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