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disposablecoder

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About disposablecoder

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  1. disposablecoder

    Hostility in the field

    He's understandably upset; he believes his career is over - at least in this industry, anyway.   He said if he had more time he could learn "back-end" (??) web programming, but he only has until the end of the month, then no more rent.   yaustar: This is the U.S. - I believe as long as his supervisor states it in the form of an opinion, he's in the clear.
  2. disposablecoder

    Hostility in the field

    I have just received word from my friend that a former supervisor - with whom he had a good working relationship - has just confessed to misrepresenting him to potential employers due to a misunderstanding of certain events.   This fully explains everything he has encountered in his job search.   All questions have been answered - thank you for your patience.
  3. disposablecoder

    Hostility in the field

    Oberon_Command:   This sounds much like a "damned if you do, damned if you don't" scenario. It's as if the industry expects my friend to thread a too-thin needle - which doesn't really make sense as a job requirement. Now, certainly some standards of decorum are expected, but it seems to me that in this industry they are both un-intuitive yet ironically restrictive - your manner of clothing and behaviour can be relaxed, but precisely how relaxed is measured with a micrometer.   Note, this is from an outsider from a very suit-and-tie industry. Undoubtedly my observations are skewed.     "Shoved out" is his words, and I must say they are inaccurate. All three dismissals were layoffs after business downturns, where many of his peers joined his ranks in unemployment. However, you raise an interesting point - could his reputation be falsely impinged due to this? It was my impression that this sort of event was common in the industry, but if there is an expectation of the rats leaving the sinking ship before it's under the waves, someone might get the wrong idea about precisely why my friend was laid off. How possible is this? Would three "strikes" means he's out of a career? Is there any way to counter this?     He knows this all too well; he asserts that his career has been "murdered" (yes, I know - he has a flair for intensity)...     I can't post details, because he doesn't remember details - I suspect his injuries might be an influence. I also promised not to divulge any medical information or any information that can link these accounts to a real person. I apologize, but I don't know what else to do here.     That's a big problem. His strategy has been to make himself so skillful that those skills sell themselves because due to his injuries, he cannot "sell" himself; it would be like asking a paraplegic to run a marathon. And before one of you says "some paraplegics do run marathons", this is where the metaphor falls flat - there are no prosthetics he can use to substitute for his lost ability. I only wish the ADA would recognize his condition for what it is, and call for equivalent "ramps" so that the many people like him can live fuller lives.
  4. disposablecoder

    Hostility in the field

    Hodgman, I find it telling that between the two possibilities of someone having a friend (after all this, calling him a mere acquaintance seems rude - God knows he could use an ally if this is the battlefield he has to fight on) willing to go to bat for him, and the same person inventing a complete being out of whole cloth, you pick the latter.   Frankly, I don't care what you believe.   For the record, my friend may have leaned more toward a targeted hate, but what I see is just a complete and perfect lack of compassion, to a degree that borders on mental illness. I expect C-level executives to have this level of detachment; but to see the rank-and-file, who could just as easily be the victims of the same events, be so heartless is positively chilling.   So, technically, the field is not actively hostile - it's just so cold, so callous, so indifferent to the demoralisation (thank you, Kylotan) that it creates, that a person who has been abused his entire childhood could be forgiven if he confused such lack of compassion with hostility.   May God have mercy on you all.
  5. disposablecoder

    Hostility in the field

    Frob:     From what I understand, he knows many languages - C++ is the only one he mentioned that I was familiar with. I can ask him to list exactly what other language he knows, but from the number of them he is on-track to:     This misunderstanding is my fault, not his; for that I apologize.     The entire demeanor of this board - and I must assume the industry - takes things to the extreme to the point of self-parody. I almost would think that such behaviour would be the standard.     From what I understand, anything less than a programming job won't pay his bills. There would not be enough hours in the day even if he was awake 24 hours each - he's almost at that point now even in this industry.     He has been on this board before (he's the reason I even know about this board) and you treated him worse than you're disregarding him here. If I didn't know better, I'd swear you lot intentionally tried to induce an illness on him - but I know that the real reason you behaved such was the sheer ignorance of what you were doing. In any case, he refuses to come back to this board, and I absolutely support his decision.   And I am not about to reveal any identifying information to you about him or myself.       We will have to agree to disagree on this.     His primary philosophy is a constant "death march" (that's how he puts it) of self-improvement. He practically re-invents himself every interview. He's constantly learning new things. Just the change from when I first met him to the last time we met is profound. If someone told me that what he needs to do is stand still for a moment, I would be more prepared to believe that than some absurd cry for more change.     Not only would I strongly advise him against representing himself on this board, I am seriously wondering if he needs legal representation for this problem.   It would definitely be a change - you have to admit that.
  6. disposablecoder

    Hostility in the field

    Promit: I apologize for not making myself clear. I do not think the industry is "out to get" my acquaintance by himself; I think the industry is making unreasonable demands and otherwise behaving irrationally that affect a whole class of people that my acquaintance happens to be a member of. It's not targeted hate but unchecked callousness (to the point of being bad for business) that I accuse the industry of.     I dare say this is exactly the problem - this irrational "touchiness" and their arbitrary judgement about who is "unpleasant" is precisely what my acquaintance has had a head-on collision with. I have not seen any character flaws in him that would make any rational person hesitate to accept him. He says he has "bent over backwards to please people" and otherwise conform to social norms, and to me it shows; if I had to name a flaw, it is that he might be a little too formal - as the child of British parents (which obviously biases me), I'd say that's the best flaw to have. To accuse him of having "some foundational personality problem that is on display to employers that he is not willing to acknowledge or address" sounds almost as if you are deliberately mocking him about something you know not to be true - though obviously you don't know him at all.    Of course, at this point in order to assert that he has some character flaw, you now have to insist that *I* am lying about his character.     He may have no where else to go - his skills are specialized to the game industry (I imagine his passion is in play here); his knowledge of C++ might be transferable, but he has no other experience outside of the ten-odd years in the game development racket. What industry would be willing to accept him without the other skills (his web knowledge is weak, for example) he would need to be hired? Furthermore he is at a point in his life where ageism is a serious problem; I am fortunate enough to be in an industry where the wisdom and experience that comes with age is greatly valued; but even *I* - a babe in the woods, as far as programming is concerned - know that ageism is rampant in all tech industries, save maybe game development.   What field do you recommend a former game developer that has been shoved out of the industry go to?   Oberon_Command:     What if the candidate didn't have the resources to spend? Are you openly saying the poor aren't welcome into the gentleman's club of game development? That would be refreshingly honest, if cravenly callous. I would think the candidate who spent his last dollar might me a more interesting (and, dare I say it, more passionate) employee than someone with tons of resources to spend who throws their gains around freely with no concern of poverty.     This statement is asserting an assumption that is not true in his case - as I implied by stating that he "commutes for hours each day AND stays late to make a deadline," he claims he has no spare time - he claims he is over-obligated to the point that he is shorted sleep most days of the week - and you ask of him even more?   He tells me that he derives great joy from programming games - the reason he went into the industry is because otherwise he'd never have the time to work on them at all. If this is not passion enough for you, I don't understand how you define the word.   Then interview him. Had he the skills necessary to do my line of work to the level that he does yours, I would find a position in my firm. If I had the power, I would make one - in my professional opinion, he's that good of an investment.   We're both adults here - we both know nothing's ever that simple. People fall through the cracks of otherwise seemingly impenetrable systems all the time. But one thing that separates the professional from the amateur is the refusal to simply accept flaws in those systems, to insist on repairing those flaws, and to save those souls stuck in the cracks. My acquaintance has fallen harder than anyone I've ever personally seen. However, I've not seen even acknowledgement that cracks can exist in the game development industry.   ---   One last question I want to pose to everyone in this thread: Is it truly impossible for you to believe that my acquaintance's difficulty getting a job in this industry isn't his fault? Must you insist that despite all of his hard work, poise, determination, and passion that he is still at fault for his own rejection? If you cannot even open your mind to the possibility that the blame for his current state lies outside of him, then there is no point in continuing this conversation.
  7. disposablecoder

    Hostility in the field

    Oberon_Command: By "roadblocks" I mean requirements and interview questions not related to the requirements of the job, and by "resources" I am widely inclusive - money, time, and anything else it takes to get a job in this economy. My acquaintance has tried to jump over every "roadblock" only to find obstacles designed to block him alone. He has exhausted every resource he can exhaust and gained nothing but the enmity of his peers.   You mention you expect someone who is a game programmer, who commutes for hours each day AND stays late to make a deadline, to then whittle away even his last minutes developing "side projects" to acceptable in the industry. That hardly seems healthy - only the obsessed would dedicate such a percentage of his time to those pursuits.   As for my acquaintance's talents: I agree that asking for desire, intelligence and speed of thought is reasonable; I believe the problem here is an irrational refusal to acknowledge those talents on display due to personal feeling rather than suitability for the job at hand. I now believe my acquaintance is being discriminated against, pure and simple.   Tom Sloper: As soon as you are challenged, you throw a tantrum and shut off communication - quelle suprise. Nevertheless, the desire to cut ties is mutual.   Josh Petrie: I believe my question have been answered, much to my disapproval. Working at a game programming job may be pleasant, if granted; but the process of getting that job is morass of gamesmanship and abuse not worth any amount of money, no matter the ease of labor. I might accept a game developing job, but I'll never apply for one.
  8. disposablecoder

    Hostility in the field

    Hodgman: Good Lord, that document is like staring into the mind of a psychopath. And he's trying to convince others to follow his lead? If he has been successful, then my acquaintance's experience has been fully explained.   Though I want to reiterate: The places he has finally been hired to have all been to his satisfaction. He stresses it's the places that reject him that are doing so for reasons not related to the requirements of the job that he finds unsatisfactory.   frob: You declare that my acquaintance's passion must be shallow to be "so easily" dissuaded. Let's flip that around - how deep must one's passion be? Must it be infinite? Do you actually expect an applicant to tolerate any roadblock, spend any amount of resources to get a game programming job?   Well, judging from this line:     All the other superpowers. You not only demand an infinite patience - you demand virtual perfection. With all due respect, who are you - or anyone in this industry - to demand so much? And, from what I hear, return so little for it? Is there no sense of decency in this industry? No sense of reciprocity?   The attitude on display in this sentiment directly leads to rampant exploitation, or in other words:     Of all the people here, I'm starting to line up behind Dave Weinstein.   And then we have:   Tom Sloper: I don't think my acquaintance is lying; especially not with what he's shown me and definitely not after reading frob's attitude and DEFINITELY not after reading Hodgman's document!   You state that my acquaintance's story "does not ring true" yet you don't even supply criteria to base this judgement on. What doesn't "ring true"? Why don't you believe him? Are you so blinded by your own experience that you won't at least open your mind to other possibilities? You've done nothing in this thread but declare arbitrary axioms you never justify. Why should I believe you? Perhaps I should turn the tables again and demand that you "look within" to find some humility.   ***   After reading all of this, I am starting to wonder less if either of us are cut out for this field, and wonder more if this field is cut out for us. I still have the freedom of choice - thank providence; my young acquaintance is broke, hungry, and on his last month's rent. I can't possibly see how he can switch careers now unless there is one that requires exactly the same skills as a game developer demands - and even then, he won't have the experience of the field that those employers demand. You're watching one of your own (though it's obvious you don't feel any kinship) lose life's struggle and I see no ounce of remorse. I fear that next month I may find him on the sidewalk either begging for change - or worse, heaven forbid - lying in a pool of his own blood under a tall building.   And the only reply I expect to hear from the industry he loved is, "good riddance."
  9. disposablecoder

    Hostility in the field

      My first guess is that you need the money...   According to him, my acquaintance's passion was "systematically beaten out of" him by the very people interviewing him. He had plenty of passion during the job, but the interview process in the game industry is "intentionally" demoralizing. As someone who's had his fair share of interviews, I can sympathize with his position, even if I disagree that's the interviewer's intent. Nevertheless, if it is true that the interviewers are the cause of this destruction of passion, it would seen especially cruel for the interviewer to demand the very thing he's destroying.   Furthermore, if it's one thing I can attest to, it's that he will never lack for a passion for quality. He speaks almost in terms of Bushido in regards to his "code of honor" in regards to his code quality. I'm convinced he would deliver quality code even if he *detested* the person or company he delivered it to because it would be a matter of "seppuku"-risking honor to him.   I can understand a preference for passion when selecting candidates, but to insist on a dog-and-pony-dance of passion while mocking the dance smacks less of professional discretion and more of frat-house hazing antics.   If nothing else, please be mindful that you're not destroying what you seek, because what is plentiful today could be scarce tomorrow.
  10. disposablecoder

    Hostility in the field

    Frob: So, basically you are saying that passion - of some kind - is considered a prerequisite for the game industry. Is this true for the larger programming industry as well?   I doubt I'd have a problem with that, but the acquaintance I've been talking about has had some heinous acts perpetrated on him which make the type of passion you talk about psychologically impossible - and treatment is not available to him. Couldn't enough experience compensate for a lack of passion? I can't believe someone of his skill level is being shut out of an industry simply because he isn't excited enough about it - and due to being a victim of a horrible crime, no less. If you are locking him out, is there anywhere else he can turn? Anywhere else his skill will be valued? Or are you telling him that he has spent half his lifetime trying to rebuild himself after a horrible event in vain?
  11. disposablecoder

    Hostility in the field

    Hodgman: That really sounds like the type of environment I'd like to work in! If the posts from frob and Tom Sloper didn't give me pause, I'd cancel my weekend plans, re-write my resume and start working on a demo project in the morning!   Actually, now that I think about it, maybe this is the passion frob is talking about - in which case, that problem is solved...   However, that leaves Tom's post. As someone who has seen friends snagged by Catch-22s, his post hit me harder than I realized (I apologize for the strength of words in my reply; I hope I did not offend) as I have feared landing in that position myself. Tom probably intended his post to mean something other than I interpreted it; but nevertheless the reason I interpreted it that way in the first place is not only the experience my friends had (and I fear), but primarily what my acquaintance has shown me the industry has said about him, and heard his version of what they've done. What I've seen lines up exactly with what I first thought Tom suggested with his statement: that unfitness for the career is arbitrarily assumed if you ever have a period where you are employed without already having a job lined up. You can't even take two weeks of vacation between leaving your last job and starting to look for another one - you are "out" if you have not already been hired. I'm just struct with the appearance that the idea that he was unemployable was taken as a philosophical axiom, and their efforts laid in justifying that axiom after the fact.   And to be blunt, after seeing this, I could see no reason that someday this couldn't happen to me too. There's no way I could prevent this. I might be able to make it unlikely, but "unlikely" is a horrible thing to hinge an entire career on.   So, please forgive me if I cast aspersions onto a site member that he didn't deserve. But as unpleasant as my current position and field is, I can't let go of what I've seen without some counter-argument that there is a way out of the self-reinforcing cycle of being declared "unemployable" because you *aren't employed*.   Incidentally, I've told my acquaintance about this chain - I assume he's going to keep up with it.
  12. disposablecoder

    Hostility in the field

    Hodgman: So you're saying that somewhere out there there's an office filled with companies all in the same field (theoretically) competing against each other? I can't imagine what that would be like - I assume part of the lease agreement includes no espionage or poaching; but still, the dynamics there must be unprecedented. Someone could write a thesis on the interplay there and ace it.   Frob: Two things caught my eye - first, you mention that "People who are slow and methodical may work well in other jobs, but tend not do well in software"; to me that's very counter-intuitive. I would think being very methodical would be instrumental in preventing bugs - a very worthwhile trait. I can see slow being an issue, but if it's not so slow as to adversely affect deadlines (which the ability to catch bugs before they're made would offset), is that really that much of a problem?   Second, you mention passion - a lot. I've never seen the word passion mentioned that many times in a safe-for-work context. It's almost cult-esque in its flavor - not that I'm accusing of anyone in the games industry of being in a cult. It does give me great pause, however; if passion - not deliberate, careful thought - is necessary to create a game, it is contrary enough to my experience to wonder if it's the right fit for me.   Tom: Now, not knowing the person I'm referring to, I can understand how you could just toss a well-meant (if cliched) comment regarding his character; but to someone who's actually met him, your comment seems... incongruous. He's one of the more insightful people I've seen and be's a better programmer than *I* am - saying that he needs to "look within" sounds facetious, and reading that someone like him can't cut it frankly makes me wonder what criteria you or your respective HR departments are using to judge. *I* would hire him had I my own programming studio. Furthermore, your statement, "the good ones always get back in" smacks of the same self-assured (and self-reinforcing) elitism that I'm trying to abandon. I have seen my industry dwindle after some of the best talent was turned away not by a lack of skill or drive, but by exercises of dignity after refusing to put up with the excess liberties of management. There is a vast difference between the natural obstacles of difficulty, and the artificial flaming hoops of arbitrary roadblocks. Please convince me that the attitude on display here (and in the quote that started it all) is the consequence of the former and not the latter, and I am misreading your intention.
  13. disposablecoder

    Hostility in the field

    I don't think he's referring to his current place of business - the last time I visited him, it was a diverse (surprisingly and refreshingly so for CS) workplace - though another company has taken over much of the management of the one he's working at; maybe his workplace has changed since then.   Another acquaintance has had *extreme* difficulty re-entering the workplace - he's how I found the first quote. The experiences he's described seem downright abusive, but he might be especially sensitive to adverse behavior. I *do* know that the game programming field is exceptionally competitive (what field isn't these days?) but what I heard from him seemed like it was deliberately meant to dissuade him from attempting to re-enter. I admit it's incredulous, yet this person is one of the most honest people I know. Have you heard of anyone actively steering someone away from the industry?
  14. disposablecoder

    Hostility in the field

    No, it's from another board.   Also, someone I trust that works in the industry suggests that there is a frat-house mentality in the industry - is that true? If so, I'd say that would be almost as bad.
  15. disposablecoder

    Hostility in the field

    I have been thinking about shifting into the game programming industry, but when I see various message boards about the subject, I see comments like:     Is this industry really that hostile? This seems a bit extreme to me.
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