Lost in Translation

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About Lost in Translation

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  1. My Journey (A request for guidance)

    Thank you for sharing. To be blunt, you have been in the presence of God. All the excuses you have ever made to protect your fragile sense of self are falling away, at least they are if you allow them to. The choice is always yours. I had a similar experience, including the golden light and the supernatural presence. Others here have also felt this.
  2. coding

    Software Programming is a very dynamic field. The technology in demand today might have very little demand in five or ten years. It's common to spend a few years working on a project with cutting edge technology only to find that same technology is out of fashion when you finally release. For example, in 2013-2016 I was working with JSP (Java Server Pages) and JSTL (JSP Standard Tag Library ) for web development. We used various Spring libraries to build a nice financial application running locally hosted WebLogic, then Tomcat servers. Since then we have moved on to Angular 4 (2017-2018) and now Angular 7 (2019), both with Spring Boot / JPA (Java Persistence Architecture) based APIs (application programming interface) - both running on the Amazon Cloud. We've also migrated from Java 7 through Java 11 in that same timeframe. (Java 8 was a big change since it introduced Lambdas (nameless functions), which really simplify coding in some ways). What technologies will we use in a year or two from now? That's impossible to know. The only thing I can guarantee is that I will need to continuously learn new technologies in order to remain competitive. It's literally never ending, and this, above all else, is what drives people away from software engineering. I have seen many bright programmers get chewed up in this churn of learn, unlearn, and relearn. Many of them move on to positions in management, or become business analysts, or move on to quality assurance. What niche will serve you best to allow you to start working as a freelancer? At your current skill level there is none. You would be in a far better position to spend time learning the basics. If formal university training is not an option, then learn HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. Learn a bit of Node.js, perhaps spend time learning the basics of SQL. Then look for an entry level position at a small or medium company (less than 200 employees). Take whatever job you can get. Do whatever is asked of you, and let the programmer or programmers at that company mentor you. Consider it a kind of apprenticeship. After a couple years you will have a much different understanding of technology and might be in a position to start freelancing.
  3. coding

    I suggest you start with the basics. Learn about variables and basic types (char, int, float, etc), iteration (if/else, for, while, do), functions, and aggregate types (structures, classes, etc). This is why I think all programmers should start with C, even if you won't actually be a C programmer. As I mentioned above, the K&R book "The C Programming Language" is an excellent intro to the basics for this reason. After learning the basics, you can give your hand at JavaScript. In the meantime there is no reason not to being with HTML and CSS. Learn what it takes to build static websites without any framework or JavaScript. Check out the CSS Zen Garden website for examples of what can be done using only basic HTML and no programming. http://www.csszengarden.com/
  4. coding

    Web development has changed a lot since it first became a thing twenty years ago. Back in the '90's, all you needed was HTML, a bit of CSS, the ability to copy/paste JavaScript enough to make image rollovers and the ability to embed a plugin or two. If you had some PERL and could whip up a CGI program then you were set! Today is radically different. Today you need HTML, CSS, and JavaScript still, but you also need knowledge of JavaScript frameworks, for example Angular. You also need to fully understand asynchronous programming. For example, your UI makes a REST call to some API to get data. Back in the day you would make that call and wait for a response. Not anymore. Now you pass a callback to that call and immediately return. When the data are available, the Ajax framework you are using will invoke your callback, passing the data as an argument. This is easy to do when you have just one call, but modern websites usually make several calls, and the data often depend on each other. In other words there is a chain of dependencies. Lots of bugs show up when programmers don't get this right... What I'm trying to say is web programming is still programming. I can teach someone the basics in six months and get them reasonably competent in one domain, but it takes a lot longer than that to be generally competent. As a freelancer, you will be expected to operate either as an expert in one niche, or be highly competent across the board. Both take time. So where are you now in your skills? Have you already learned programming basics? Have you worked on projects before? This matters in determining the pathway before you.
  5. When does one "become" a taoist?

    This is a very good question, and it goes hand in hand with "What is a Taoist?" Some say a Taoist is someone who follows a specific lineage of internal martial arts leading back thousands of years to a certain founder. Others say a Taoist is someone who lives their life according to the principles laid out in the Tao Te Ching. Between these two extremes there is a lot of room and unfortunately not a lot of consensus. I would say that a Taoist is someone who lives life in the manner of a Taoist. This means study of the Taoist classics, daily meditation (this is also an issue without consensus), and embodying the understanding that change is constant, and thus is the only permanent truth. Hope that helps!
  6. Favorite Daoist Quote

    "That without substance can enter where there is no room." TTC, Chapter 43
  7. Should I or shouldn't I ?

    Oh, please!
  8. Is the earth hollow?

    Earth is actually a dodecahedron. https://mobile.twitter.com/thedesoceity Or perhaps it's rhombo-hexagonal... https://mobile.twitter.com/theearthisrhomb
  9. I feel stuck, purposeless and confused

    *sigh*. What a wonderful movie... "It's the cans! He hates the cans!"
  10. I feel stuck, purposeless and confused

    I feel for you. It's not easy to care for people, but you can't let caring for someone else take over your life. That's not fair to you. Somehow you'll need to find a way to share your lives with each other while also having your own lives. Perhaps you have a hobby you enjoy? You could set up a shop in the garage. Or maybe you enjoy sport and can join a local team. It doesn't matter, as long as it's something that you can call your own.
  11. On a quest to make sense of things

    The first practice I recommend is mindfulness. Learn to notice your emotions as they arise. That's hard, because often the emotion (especially fear or anger) already "has" you and it's not easy to be mindful once your emotions are already running the show. When you notice the emotion, it's common to judge it. For example, you may be happy, so you tell yourself "I'm happy, isn't that good", or you may be angry, so you tell yourself "I'm angry, that's not good - I'm not a good person." When that happens STOP IT! Judging your emotions creates a feedback loop that reinforces whatever emotion you are feeling. Whether good or bad that will ultimately lead to imbalance and become a source of pain for you. Instead of judgement just allow yourself to feel what you are feeling. Feeling is fine, but mind your actions. Emotions are like entities: they want to jump from person to person so don't let them. You may need to honestly tell whomever you are with that you are feeling overly stimulated, and politely withdraw for a few minutes to sit with your emotions. After a few minutes, when you feel some balance, you can explain what you were feeling and talk about it. This is a technique that I use. It works but it takes practice. You'll make mistakes. That's normal. That's OK, just be kind to yourself and try to forgive yourself when you fall short.
  12. Why do YOU think the world is so messed up?

    ^^^^ THIS ^^^^ The Book of Job, written some three thousand years ago, talks about this. I highly recommend it.
  13. Any particular metaphor you use for chi?

    This reminds me that I need to make time for practice... When I am still, and focusing on my breathing, I imagine the air entering as clean, bright, white light. As the light enters my body it flows where it will, picking up the filth it finds along the way. By the time I exhale, the light has turned dark and muddy, sometimes oily. It's not pretty. I continue this process for as long I desire. My goal is to reach a point where the light leaves as clean as it enters, or at least isn't completely dark. Success is by no means guaranteed.
  14. Which books sit on your nightstand?

    Just finished "12 Rules for Life: an Antidote to Chaos," by Professor Jordan Peterson. https://www.jordanbpeterson.com/12-rules-for-life/ It's a heavy book, but absolutely worth it.
  15. Why do YOU think the world is so messed up?

    I don't see anything artificial about financial scarcity. Money is an abstract representation of work. There is a finite amount of work that can be done over a period of time. Work builds upon itself, and the results of work accumulate (for example, the house you live in represents the accumulation of work used to create it), thus the money that represents this work also accumulates. Calling financial scarcity artificial denies this basic relationship. It demeans the value of work by implying that work can be infinite, or that the results of accumulated work are already infinite. A good way to see this relationship is to imagine a barter-only economy. When people are exchanging chickens for concrete, labor for lodging, and corn for cabbages would you still call the scarcity artificial?