I’m both demographically and spiritually on the Gen Z/Millennial border, and a few weeks ago I made the very tough decision to leave my job. In fact, I’m writing this in between jobs now. The full context isn’t very interesting — the company treated me very well throughout my time, there wasn’t a single coworker in the office that I disliked working with, and my day-to-day work was far from being the worst day of my life, every day.

Anyway, I’m here to share the story of leaving my job, and advice on how one should do it in this day and age, based on actions I took. …

Thanks to my buddy Prad for contributing a TON to this list.

You’ll find these tips most applicable if you study Computer Science and are seeking a software engineer internship.

  • The career fair layout is like a spiral that ends up on the floor of the stadium. The larger booths tend to be on the floor, so they tend to be owned by larger companies who choose to afford it, sometimes popular ones. My tactic was to arrive early and start at the center (after some “practice”, see next) then work my way out of the spiral.
  • “Practice” on the companies you don’t really want to work for, but who knows, you might not get offers from anyone you originally wanted to work for and have to settle, but you might end up liking it a lot and learn a ton anyway. …

Introducing mental models for learning and awareness of cognitive biases should become as common as how we teach and instill widely-accepted norms, like honesty, integrity, patience (which is still underrated), etc.

I think this still hovers around the “radical”/”acceptable” categories of acceptance. (see: Overton Window)

Example: entry points. If you really want to learn about Chinese history, to the ability of signaling your knowledge at parties, my way of doing it wouldn’t be from reading a textbook; I would pick up a book or Wikipedia rabbit-hole about Chinese cuisine and visit authentic Chinese restaurants, maybe bug the restaurant owner during non-peak hours. So food is an excellent entry point into history. The majority of textbooks simply bore me. …

Epistemic effort: Thought hard about it for 30 min in my Behavioral Ethics class. Spent 2 hours writing this post. I wrote this to “get it all out” because I had trouble converting my thoughts into words in class. As I’m polishing it up, I feel like I rambled — the result is spread a bit thinly, but I’m OK with it as it fossilizes the ideas and communities I’ve been paying most attention to lately, replete with links for further reading.

The trolley problem is a common thought experiment in described in ethics. …

I get asked this question a lot because I was lucky to be able to intern abroad, so here’s my general answer. There are two likely paths I recommend:

A. Find a startup on AngelList that would be willing and able to provide a temporary work visa. This will usually involve a mixture of desperation from the startup’s side (typically if there’s a lack of specific domain expertise in that geographic region) and demonstrating that you’re highly skilled. …

This past semester, Texas Convergent launched the Build Team program as an opportunity for students across the University of Texas at Austin to learn and test product development skills through a case-based curriculum. Each Build Team consists of 6–8 students from across the University. Our aim was to have a mix of tech, business, and design-oriented students working together as they would in an industry or startup setting. In our first semester running the program, we had over 130 applicants and over 10 teams formed, more than tripling the numbers we expected during our summer planning.

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The pizza line at Build Team Demo Day

The case-based approach

We intended for the learning approach to be similar to that of a case competition or hackathon throughout the semester. These cases were designed with the help of alumni and external advisors to incorporate aspects of the product development lifecycle. For each case, we provided some background, an intentionally vague problem statement, and hints at possible solutions. We outlined a list of potential deliverables before the end of the semester, depending on the skill level and interests of the…

My hobby is to deliver fun and insightful content about startups, technology, philosophy, and early-stage career development. Here’s an audio version of the interview:

Rainier: Michelle Glauser is the founder and CEO of Techtonica, a nonprofit based in San Francisco that provides tuition-free tech training to low-income women and nonbinary adults. Techtonica places them in positions at sponsoring companies that are ready to support more diverse teams. She leads PyLadiesSF, and she also helped make the #ILookLikeAnEngineer ad campaign go viral in 2015! …

My hobby is to deliver fun and insightful content about startups, technology, philosophy, and early-stage career development. Here’s an audio version of the interview:

Rainier: Riley Doyle is the founder, CEO and Technical Lead of Desktop Genetics, a London-based bioinformatics company established in 2012, that specialises in processing data from the breakthrough CRISPR-Cas9 gene-editing technique. Riley holds a Bachelor’s of Engineering from Dartmouth College, a Bachelor’s of Arts in Biochemistry from Colby College, and an MPhil in Bioscience Enterprise from the University of Cambridge. Also prior to Desktop Genetics, he had over 10 years of laboratory-based genetic engineering experience, and worked at Genentech, which is widely considered to be the “Google of Biotechnology”. …

I spent a few hours sifting through my bookmarks for the articles that have shaped my personal philosophy. The following is a list of 23 writings, mostly in blog format, that have influenced my perspective, attitudes and life decisions, for better or for worse.

None of these recommendations are meant to be taken as me agreeing with them (okay, maybe some of them 😜). In fact, some of these authors’ opinions widely contradict with each other, and your gut reactions to them might be negative. But they’ve made me think and might make you think, too.

Most of these articles apply to a person who wants to pursue a career in the tech industry, but the articles under the Learning and Misc headers should apply to just about anyone. Only the articles under the Software engineering header are remotely technical (though even non-technical people may find Jeff Meyerson’s perspective as an engineer, intriguing). …

About

Rainier

software engineer • more at rainier.io/blog • literally GPT-2 sponcon • Texas '18ish ➡️ SF

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