About a month ago, I finished up the MVP for GoodJobs, and deployed it to the world. GoodJobs is a job board that lists positions at companies trying to solve problems like food insecurity and climate change, among other important things. This is a project I’ve really enjoyed working on, and the first (relative) success that I’ve had with a side-project like this. I want to share a few thoughts about the process, and highlight some things I’ve learned in the past month.

Here we go.

Why a job board?

Let’s start with some context. I’ve been really interested in climate tech projects over…

Every company can have a direct impact.

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I built GoodJobs because I wanted to work on something that would make a meaningful impact on problems I care about. In the process, I’m learning that there’s a way we can all do the same.

Climate change isn’t going to fix itself. I’m not here to convince anyone that this is the case, or that the problem isn’t as bad as it’s made out to be. If you’re in one of those camps, you probably won’t get too much out of this.

The main points:

Some thoughts on the emotional aspect of building side projects, two months in.

Crimes And Punishments Vii, 764, You’ll Find That’s Rather A Hard One ! (1901)

I’m Austin and I built GoodJobs. Over the two months I’ve been working on it, it’s seen some pretty good success, and it’s been a lot of fun to work on. It’s been front-page on HackerNews, generated tons of great discussion on reddit, and a company has even paid me to list one of their open positions. And yet, I’ve almost ended the project several times now. Why? Because building things is hard, failure isn’t fun, there’s always another struggle to overcome, and the emotional aspect of indie-hacking is something I really overlooked.

Here’s the story (so far).

The Ups

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If you’re looking for a job at a company trying to save the world, checkout GoodJobs. It’s a job board with hand-picked engineering positions at companies trying to fix problems like climate-change and food insecurity.

I had someone reach out recently about advice for new programmers who want to freelance, given that finding clients is even harder right now than it would otherwise be. Specifically how does a new freelancer find opportunities for contract work? My response got long enough that I figured I’d post it, so here it is.

Finding contract work as a brand-new freelancer is tough. My…

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The Stripe Press just published a beautiful reprint of Richard Hamming’s The Art of Doing Science and Engineering, which led me (and quite a few others, I imagine) to read some of his work for the first time. The written form of his lecture, “You and Your Research”, is chapter thirty of the book (go read it if you haven’t).

It opens with Hamming admitting that the lecture could just as easily be called “You and Your Engineering Career,” or even “You and Your Career”. He suggests that we should try to do significant things in our careers, rather than…

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In Surely You’re Joking Mr. Feynman, Richard Feynman talks about spending a summer at Caltech to “Just try out biology”, a field he was completely untrained in and unfamiliar with:

…I went over to the biology lab to tell them my desire, and Bob Edgar, a young post­doc who was sort of in charge there, said … “You’ll have to really do some research, just like a graduate student, and we’ll give you a problem to work on.” That suited me fine.

Feynman goes on to do work in the field and even contributes some non-trivial new findings to biology…

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Inspired by Fogus’s “The Best Things and Stuff of 201X” posts, I decided to try something similar. Here is a list outlining some reading I did this year, and my thoughts on it.

Non-technical books

  • How to Read A Book — This was definitely the most impactful book I read this year. It completely changed the way I approach reading for retention and understanding, and I’ve already noticed a big increase in useful information that I can recall and use months after the initial read. …

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I’m very interested in improving my ability to learn technical concepts efficiently. In this article, I’ll go over the heuristics I’ve found that work well for me: Read actively, use multiple sources/formats, work at memorizing, apply the concepts, and finally teach.

It all started with the observation (one I’m sure many of you are familiar with) that I have an interest in learning many things, but only some of those things stick after trying to learning them. I’d read a book, or watch a video lecture, only to then run into roadblocks. Some of the content I would be able…

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This post is a response to the Rust core team’s call for blogs. It will outline some of my thoughts about learning the Rust Programming Language, and how I think 2020 should be a year focused on adding to the quantity and quality of learning resources available.

I don’t yet consider myself a real Rust programmer but the A call for blogs 2020 put forward by the core team is open to “anyone and everyone”, so I’ll lay out what I think about the process of learning Rust, and my experience thus far.

Rust has some fantastic “first party” resources…

What do you do when they control all the cards?

Gods Unchained

Blizzard has indicated its pro-Chinese stance on the current political struggle in Hong Kong. This highlights an issue regarding ownership in digital games: Blizzard (like other game companies) controls all digital assets associated with their IP. Hearthstone is one example, with many players accumulating large collections of arguably valuable digital playing cards. If players become disillusioned with Blizzard, there is no recourse. Physical trading card games like Magic: The Gathering involve physical card ownership. Blizzard’s Hearthstone does not, even though digital cards can have similar values. This raises the follow…

Austin Tindle

Software developer, writer, sometimes thinker | Engineering manager @ https://sumup.com | https://tndl.me

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