I'm coming to realize, literally over 20 years late, that to continue making money from my tech skills in the long term, I need to transition from being a web monkey into doing contract sysadmin work, and indie app / plugin type development.

The main reason is because I find it intensely unpleasant to work on websites built by cargo cult, subsequently left in horrible states of decay & disrepair, whose owners still believe they are qualified to have many more opinions than they actually are.

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Sounds prima donna until you work in the trenches being a web monkey.

My main problems making this transition happen:

* I have no idea how to break into sysadmin gig work and collect repeat customers

* My dispatch reliability is terrible due to externalities which I have yet to solve

* My ability to stand up my own indie tech stack to support all this (consulting or coding or both) is drastically impacted by externalities which I have yet to solve

All the clues to this were present when I built my first web site developed for someone else, and when my dad (part of the "someone else") went to check it out, we immediately got into a fight about the navigation, because he was literally born before the Great Depression and didn't understand how people born after 1980 use a web site.

It has been some form of this, repeating ad nauseam, with I'd say about 4 out of 5 web gigs ever since.

(I'm both elderly in fedi years and was a REALLY late baby for my dad, stfu)

@Mek101 I'm stuck in All Wordpress All The Time nightmare hellscape mode

@deutrino If you're interested in sticking with software development, another option to consider is industrial systems. Industrial automation is booming at the moment, with an increasing focus on data collection (from machines, not people), visualization, and reporting. It's not perfect or glamorous, but it pays.

Source: It's kinda what I do

@deutrino Some of the more recent front-end stuff is web shit (and unfortunately is moving in that direction), but because corporate manufacturers and utilities move at a glacial pace, a lot of the worst of web dev culture has been held at bay. Everywhere else, there's plenty of stuff still running on crufty systems from as far back as the 80's. Desktop apps, embedded systems, databases, servers. Biggest downside is that it's mostly Windows.

@faoluin that's a good point on industrial / embedded software.

Sadly one of my problems that I didn't list is being allergic to (by my best estimate) the vast majority of 9-5 work situations. I might be able to do it if I actually believed in whatever was being developed, but there are so few of those jobs.

There's a company near where I am that does marine embedded systems though, I have definitely given it thought.

@deutrino If it's a 24-hour operation, they might have a night shift you could apply for.

Unless you mean you need more a flexible way to schedule your time. That can be tricky since some industrial facilities tend to operate on a crunch all the time. In that case, another option is looking for a contract/consulting company that might be able to give you better flexibility.

@faoluin actually there are some research labs around here too :thonking:

part of my problem is I'm kind of in a chicken and egg situation right now working against a disability and would need to ramp up before I could take on anything even remotely approaching full time.

beyond that... I need a team which is highly interactive and process heavy because it's the only way I can effectively work on shit I don't personally care about.

whenever I think of all this I go back to, "just do gigs" 😑

@faoluin it's helpful to have to actually think it through again in order to discuss it, though.

@faoluin honestly I think I'd be happier as a data archivist or something like that than even as a sysadmin. it kind of speaks to my weird preferences. hard to bootstrap into later in life though.

I almost had a position doing exactly that at one of the research facilities around here when I was 17, too. ugh!

@deutrino Oof. Yeah. Finding work that you enjoy and suits your lifestyle and preferences can be really hard sometimes. 'Merica, heck yeah. :/

@faoluin in one sense I'm a *little* prima donna, not in the needing to be the leading lady way (quite the opposite), but rather in the I literally can't make myself work on things I don't care about without a ticketing system and something kanban-adjacent in place, so you better not be paying lip service to those things, kind of way :uhm:

perhaps it's uncouth to admit that, but it's the damn truth and I will never ever have a good experience working with others without fully accepting it

@faoluin ((if this sounds like ADHD/ASD/executive dysfunction issues in a very thin cloak, that's because it is))

@faoluin came back to this because I realized what you meant by front end etc in your original reply

I'm happy enough coding webshit personally, what turns it onerous for me is having to code it to the specifications of people who don't know what they're doing.

making a webshit UI or API for some piece of equipment is less likely to make me hate life than having to make somebody's tentacle-filled pile of PHP always worse and never better on their command.

@deutrino That's fair. Although, given the age of some of the systems I've had to integrate with (without rewriting any of it) that problem isn't necessarily any better. Many industrial programmers from pre-2010 came from electrician and technician backgrounds, rather than professional software development. :P

@faoluin yeah, I did some contracting with a quantum dot research lab for a while and ended up quitting mostly because they dicked with everyone's pay, but also partly because I got overruled by some exec who flew in from overseas and decided to do a bunch of shit the terrible way. it definitely happens in all types of human endeavor.

@Mek101 @faoluin somebody who manages and/or curates large collections of stuff.

my first non fast food job turned out to be doing this at one of the aforementioned research labs for huge bibliographs of scientific citations. a lot of it had to do with lake sediments.

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