seeking night-owl-ish software apprentices - 2020/09 edition (new ad posted to CraigsList 2021/03/04)

what's in it for you?

I've been a web developer and more generally a software developer for many years. The most immediate payment I can attempt to give you is highly marketable knowledge or a path to highly marketable skills.

If I'm given a binary choice on Craig's List, I say "no pay." Given this is my own forum, I can elaborate. If you need immediate money, I probably can't help you, and I don't want the stress of worrying about your financial problems. Even if I can help you, it would almost certainly be commission-based or otherwise conditional, and I can offer no guarantees. Also, I am in no hurry to discuss money. I first want to know if you're potentially trainable as a developer. With that said, there are possible paths to money, but, again, I'm in no hurry to "go there."

what's in it for me (without details yet)

I've been asked several times before, and it's a good question. The answer isn't simple, though, so I come back to it below.


I elaborate on some of the above and / or state it differently on my "apprentice steps" page.

the first few emails: how this works--what I can / will do and can't / won't

I can understand if you want to exchange a small number of emails to confirm that I'm "for real" and, thus, maybe reading some of this stuff I wrote is worthwhile. After that, the just-aforementioned "apprentice steps" page is important. I spent a lot of time on various versions of it.

At a certain point, I don't want to hear "How do I get started?" or variations thereof. It is possibile that my "steps" page is completely unintelligible. I think I'm prepared to hear that, but if it's total unintelligibility, we're probably not going to get anywhere. If you say something more like "after searching on this topic for 20 minutes, I sort of see X, but how does that help with Y?" THAT should get me excited to respond. More generally, you're going to have to drive the communication for a while. I am tired to pushing or chasing potential apprentices.

Early on, the answer to "What should I do?" is something like "Try to do anything at all." In "steps" I list various small JavaScript examples. Get them working on your own machine / disk. Make small changes. Study them in the debugger. Or at least try. My job is to reduce frustration. If you convince me that you're trying, I will likely be motivated to help.

I often ask potential apprentices "What do you want to create?" Even if it would take you years, what software would you want to write? If you don't have an answer to that, look at my GitHub. I'm not expecting you to understand the code, but see if you can get some idea of what I'm trying to do for at least one of those projects. Repositories are sorted by latest activity, so it probably helps to look at stuff that I'm working on currently, but, in the end, find anything that looks the least bit interesting. If you show that you've spent some time trying to understand at least my intent, I will likely get excited to start telling you about the project and the very small steps necessary to head in the direction of helping me with them.

My "grand unified" page also has some thoughts.

what's in it for me?

As of September 14, 2020, the most immediate answer is that I want help looking for / finding software gigs / projects / jobs. "Help" can be quite a range of activities. If at a given moment we are both active on some form of type chat, that helps. You may be studying JavaScript or setting up Linux, and you're asking at least occasional questions or making comments or giving me code to look at. You do that while I gig hunt. That in itself helps.

I can almost always find gigs on Craig's List computer gigs, whether Atlanta or another US city. But it's getting harder and harder for me to start looking. There is too much emotional baggage attached, after almost 11 years. If you just "keep me company" in some productive form, that helps. If you look for gigs for me to answer, that helps more. When we get that far, I'll tell you what to look for.

More broadly, I'd like to try to right a wrong in some small measure. Among the arsenal of the Forces of Evil, they made college in the US very expensive while at the same inflating the hiring value of college degrees. Then they start giving jobs to (statistically) incompetent but credentialed Indian "developers." (I have very reliable sources on the statistical incompetence of Indian developers.) I suspect that quite a number of people can learn to develop. I'd like to help a few.

validation of my Craig's List ad

2021/03/04 - new CL ad posted: 2021-03-04 20:05 updated: 2021-03-04 20:09 ; post id: 7286448193

As of 2020/09/14, Monday, 9pm my time, I may be about to post to Craig's List Atlanta computer gigs. If not now, it will probably be the next few days. That should be enough to determine that I'm "for real" and will perhaps cut out some questions. The link to this page from my home page is secure / httpS. In case you get here without the "s," just add it to the URL.