Confessions of a Web Developer XIV

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It's been quite a while since I've gotten a few things off of my chest and since I'm always full of peeves and annoyances I thought it was time to unleash:

  • I've been at Mozilla for almost three years now and I don't feel as though I've left any sort of mark.  Makes me feel ashamed, to be honest -- I need to figure out how to shake the feeling and do something special.
  • As an ancient 31 year-old, I have to advise all of you to keep track of and manage your retirement accounts.  I know many young devs that go through the motions of getting retirement setup when first hired but then don't do anything with it for years.  Stop now and check your retirement.  It's critical to check it often.
  • Not sure if it's my "new" MacBook Pro or the OS X Yosemite upgrade but my laptop is freezing at least once a day and it's killing my productivity.  Hearing loads of others say the same.  What the hell?!
  • I like the idea of bitcoin and I even more like the concept of ChangeTip (tipping people via Twitter, Facebook, etc.).  What sucks is the volatility of bitcoin -- my bitcoin has lost roughly 10% in value over the past few months.  Damn.
  • My colleague Sean Martell once said "DRM is advertising for bittorrent."  He couldn't be more right.  So many online media services (iTunes, Amazon, Walmart, etc.) and no way to consolidate your purchases into one place.  What a nightmare for users.  Makes me glad I work for Mozilla, a company looking to standardize and keep an open web.
  • I'm incredibly annoyed by Google's decision to remove pointer-events from Chrome.  Seems a big departure and hopefully not a sign of things to come.
  • As a remote employee, I feel like a second class citizen.  I don't get the awesome food, snacks, or catered lunches.  I don't get the parties.  I don't get the company card lunches.  I do get to save on gas, work in the office environment I've created at home, and have flexible hours.  Maybe I shouldn't feel that way?  I don't know.
  • Instagram recently executed a mass spam user purge.  Dear Twitter....
  • I also see that the creator of bitcoin, Satoshi Nakamoto, is unknown.  He or she (or they) also owns one million BTC.  That's 7.5% of all bitcoin.  That's a scary scenario.
  • Remember all the shit we used to talk about JavaScript frameworks that weren't like ours?  Glad those days are gone.  Sadly the shit-talking has moved to other topics...

And there you have it. Feel free to let me know where I'm rubbish.

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  1. Daniel

    On the two Bitcoin related points:

    1) Bitcoin is not a stock, and doesn’t yet have the market capitalization or transactional velocity to have the price profile of a currency. No one should be making short-term, speculative gambling bets with hybrid assets like Bitcoin.

    If you are buying and holding Bitcoin, you should be doing so as a fiat hedge or a long-term (years) investment in the monetary ‘rails’ of the future (riding on a train costs money, owning some of the track is smart).

    If you try to make a quick buck with Bitcoin, you failed before you started. Anyone who wants to use Bitcoin without volatility can do so via the many instant cash-to-Bitcoin wallet services that allow you to hold a fiat balance and spend as Bitcoin.

    2) As for the fear that one person owns 7% of bitcoins: People buy stocks where a single shareholder owns over half the stock, and aren’t going to sleep scared at night. Why? Because it’s about trust and rational self-interest – it’s not in Satoshi’s rational self-interest to dump his stake.

    Also, the US government owns far more of the US Dollar, and has shown time and time again they will openly assault its value with all sorts of shady banking and monetarist actions, yet I hear no one complain about its failed stewardship.

  2. Jeremy

    I also have struggled as a remote employee with the same sentiments. I’ve said the same statement about being a second class citizen. I believe it comes from a notion that because I work from home that I don’t “need” any of the “perks” of an office environment. Wrong.

    All employees, in an office or remote, need to build relationships to be effective and engaged. The lack of “perks” is more about being excluded. How can I build a quality relationship with coworkers when if I’m not included? I become distanced when I’m not able to participate in a party or a group meets in person but forgets to call the conference line so I can join.

    I’m tired of “investing in people” mentalities, because investments are transactional by nature. People are relational, and when you “invest in people” it means you are “investing in perks”.

  3. Kevin

    In response to: “I don’t get the awesome food, snacks, or catered lunches. I don’t get the parties. I don’t get the company card lunches.”.

    I think this may be a case of “you always want what you don’t have.”. I have these perks, but have to suffer through a 1.5 hour commute starting at 6am in the morning and a 1.5hr+ commute (sometimes 2hr) coming back. I also have to live with a roommate who I met through craigslist and can’t afford to buy anything within the area.

    The truth is I’d be happy giving up awesome foods if it meant I could work closer to home and work on interesting projects.

    Don’t take this as me trying to one-up you on the first-world-problem scale or saying “you have it easy”. I’m trying to say “I hear you, it does suck.”. We both choose this for our own reasons and it’s nice to hear the other side’s gripes.

    I suppose that’s what a confession post is for :)

  4. Steve

    Bitcoin volatility? can’t say I’m surprised ;-) it’s hard to turn a made up concept with no financial backing into a real, stable currency :-P

    DRM certainly does suck. It and patent encumbered codecs are jointly responsible for the lack of traction with HTML5Video/HTML5Audio (it’s hard to push a standard when there isn’t a single format that all browsers are willing to support!)

    As for not feeling like you’ve left a mark? Fear not I’m sure that a.) you have and haven’t realized it yet, and b.) will surely add more awesomeness to the Mozilla legacy.

    • Daniel Buchner

      “It’s hard to turn a made up concept with no financial backing” – clearly you don’t understand the pure fiction that is the US Dollar, and how much of it the US government has printed out of thin air in the last 5 years:

      All forms of money are simply mediums of transfer that you trust to deliver value from point A to point B. No currency in almost 40 years has been backed by anything besides a guaranteed slow decline in value via government monetarism and the faith of people too ignorant to understand how economics works.

  5. Hey man, keep it up! I’ve been reading you for years (pre-mozilla era) and think you are awesome.

    Don’t miss the office environment, it is a stockholm syndrome situation. Trust me.

  6. Ben

    Re: Yosemite freezing

    I have a Mac Pro and a Macbook Pro that both do the same thing. I’ve found if I run OynX and clean everything then reboot they run much better for about a week then start to slow down/freeze up again. Apple’s quality has really slipped in the past couple of years.

  7. I have an October 2014 Macbook Air with Yosemite.. doesn’t freeze, doesn’t crash.

  8. I agree with many of your points which I have and they are killing me

  9. Mathias

    In regards to Yosemite freezing, exactly what kind of lockups are you experiencing? Wake from sleep? Random freeze?

    Usually if you are experiencing any kind of freezes on OSX it’s due to other software (i.e. a clean install would not be likely to freeze). You could start by checking what kernel modules (non-apple) you have loaded with:

    kextstat|grep -v

    Any of those could be causing your lockups. In my case I’ve noticed problems with running VMware machines and letting the machine go to deep sleep, disabling deep sleep and enabling “Pass power status to VM” has helped tremendously in my case.

    Hope you find the root of your issues!

  10. bob

    I would think working from home would itself be the perk to end all perks. Being remote, it doesn’t even have to be at home. You can work at a nice coffee shop or wifi-connected park. Working outside in the natural light in good weather is a dream.

  11. Hey my Macbook pro too slows down at times. I do a lot of stuff on it. Planning for retirement is very essential regardless of what industry you work in, as failing to plan is planning to fail. Everybody strives to leave some sort of a mark, or at least they rally around in support of someone’s (team work). Google makes certain people unhappy while others are made happy with its changes. Just think positively and continue to work on your projects effectively as best as you can. Failing to do this, you could regret it later. Cheer up and all the very best for the new year.

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