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Ask Slashdot: Do You Run a Copy-Cat Installation At Home? 308

Posted by Soulskill
from the yes-but-cat-food-prices-are-getting-oppressive dept.
Lab Rat Jason writes "During a discussion with my wife last night, I came to the realization that the primary reason I have a Hadoop cluster tucked under my desk at home (I work in an office) is because my drive for learning is too aggressive for my IT department's security policy, as well as their hardware budget. But on closer inspection the issue runs even deeper than that. Time spent working on the somewhat menial tasks of the day job prevent me from spending time learning new tech that could help me do the job better. So I do my learning on my own time. As I thought about it, I don't know a single developer who doesn't have a home setup that allows them to tinker in a more relaxed environment. Or, put another way, my home setup represents the place I wish my company was going. So my question to Slashdot is this: How many of you find yourselves investing personal time to learn things that will directly benefit your employer, and how many of you are able to 'separate church and state?'"
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Ask Slashdot: Do You Run a Copy-Cat Installation At Home?

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  • Next job? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by yendor (4311) on Friday December 20, 2013 @03:46PM (#45748391)

    I learn things in my free time in order to beef up my skills for the next employer since the only way you can get a raise is to change jobs.
    Anyone notice you only ever get more responsibility but never more renumeration to go with all that extra work?

  • Investment... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 20, 2013 @03:47PM (#45748403)

    The way I see it, I invest personal time to learn things that will directly benefit my next employer....

  • Lab environment (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Scutter (18425) on Friday December 20, 2013 @03:48PM (#45748427) Journal

    Most of the places that I've worked don't invest properly in a lab environment and so the only "learning lab" is the production systems. You really need something that you can break and leave broken for days, weeks, or even months. You need something that you control 100% and you aren't answerable to anyone else for its status. A home lab is very attractive in that respect.

  • by Capt James McCarthy (860294) on Friday December 20, 2013 @03:52PM (#45748469) Journal

    I found it easier to start my own company. Yes there are painful trade-offs (wearer of many hats), but if I'm putting sweat equity into something, I'd like to be the beneficiary. I get to dictate direction and scope, and feel so much better about my future.

  • by Andrewkov (140579) on Friday December 20, 2013 @03:56PM (#45748507)

    Wait 'till you have kids and your tinker time drops to zero.

  • Re:None. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by CanHasDIY (1672858) on Friday December 20, 2013 @03:59PM (#45748541) Homepage Journal

    Same amount, for pretty much the opposite reason: I work for a Fortune 500 who punishes employees for taking college classes after hours, pays absolute shit, contradicts their own policy regularly, and treats their employees like criminals a third of the time, children another third, and indentured servants for the rest.

    Fuck them, anything I learn on my free time is for my benefit, not these assholes.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 20, 2013 @04:12PM (#45748633)
    What the hell is a "solutions architect"? That sounds exactly like one of those BS jobs only a Fortune 500 company could come up with. It sounds like the title Dogbert would give himself as a corporate consultant.
  • Re:None. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by cayenne8 (626475) on Friday December 20, 2013 @04:12PM (#45748641) Homepage Journal
    I don't have a bad work environment, but I do separate 100% work from home 'play' time.

    I mess around with tech/computer projects quite a bit at home, but they are only ever directed at my personal interests or projects I'm working on at home. Any help they give me in my work capacity, is purely accidental and un-intended.

    When I walk out of the doors at work and the door hits me on the ass on the way out, I don't give work another thought till I cross that threshold again. They don't pay me for my free time.

    I'll spend working hours and any other paid hours for work related education, no problem. But my personal free time, is the most valuable thing I have. And I give the majority of each week to work related hours, so anything outside of work hours, I prize and cling too as highly valuabe as MY time. Time for me, time for my family.

    I often reject OT hours and pay in lieu of my personal time. It has to be very much needed, and paid for...again, I don't work for free. If I didn't have to work to earn money for a living, I certainly wouldn't be crossing the threshold of a worksite again, so, why would I give my personal time up so easily?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 20, 2013 @04:19PM (#45748701)
    That just sounds sad. Your kids would never been born. I feel bad for them, and for you.
  • I do what I do... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Dave Voecks (3197515) on Friday December 20, 2013 @04:25PM (#45748759)
    because I have a genuine interest in solving problems. That interest doesn't stop at 5pm. I don't feel the least bit "used" that I use my own time to tinker, and learn no things that ultimately benefit my employer. I feel much more satisfied learning things than I would if I spent that same time watching a lot of TV. That's also the same reason I listen to audio books while working out. Learning things IS my hobby.
  • Not sure I get it. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by cfulton (543949) on Friday December 20, 2013 @04:52PM (#45749005)
    Doctors, Lawyers, Engineers, Researchers almost any professional has to keep up with the literature and new developments in their field or fall behind and become irrelevant. While some, might sometimes, be given some time at work to learn and keep up with advancements they are all (the successful ones anyway) reading journals or learning new techniques on their on time. I am not sure what makes developers feel like they are different and should be compensated for keeping up with their chosen field of endeavor.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 20, 2013 @05:00PM (#45749067)

    You wish more people were bad fathers that blame their children for their lack of personal emotional investment?

    Attitude is everything. This guy's attitude is piss poor and I'll tell you now that his children have suffered for it. All he's told us is how big of a selfish asshole he is and YOU turn around and tell him that one thing the world needs more of is selfish assholes? (Ha!) Raising a child right grants our human biology an incomprehensible amount of emotional fulfillment -- probably more than any other achievement, but that fulfillment is directly tied to our initial emotional investment. If your kids are not the largest source of your satisfaction, then it's your own fault, not the entire world's for telling you what you're missing out on.

    Luckily, attitude is something that we humans have the ability to change at will. Unfortunately, assholes like you prefer to dwell in your miserable attitudes and ruin shit for the rest of us whenever possible.

  • Re:Next job? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by div_2n (525075) on Friday December 20, 2013 @05:06PM (#45749121)

    ... the only way you can get a raise is to change jobs.

    This is not strictly always true. If the company you are working for is doing well and isn't in the business of cutting for the sake of cutting, then you CAN get a raise if you can articulate the accomplishments and value you add AND (this is important so pay attention) you _ask_ for a raise.

    If any one piece of that chain isn't true, your chance of getting a raise is slim. You actually have to accomplish some things and add value. You DO need to be able to explain them and why they add value. Example: "I added new automation which saves us 20 man hours per week. This has allowed us to be more productive and save the company money." You must remember that this isn't a game where everyone gets a trophy just for competing. This is the real world where if you want to be shown you are valued more, you need to add more value. Just showing up isn't enough.

    The whole asking part is an art that few possess. You need to be prepared for what happens if they say no and how you will react both immediately and in the days afterwards. It wouldn't hurt to have other job opportunities you're pursuing in mind. If you can have an offer in hand, then that's even better because you're negotiating from a position of power.

    This is a game of chess, so don't play checkers. Changing jobs for raises is not a good long term plan to do frequently.

  • by Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) on Friday December 20, 2013 @05:37PM (#45749393)

    What do your children think of this viewpoint?

    You can still love your kids unconditionally while realizing the heavy price you paid to have them - especially 4. Its probably a lot harder to evaluate the cost of not having kids though, since that's a bunch of what-if's.

  • Re:Next job? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by geoskd (321194) on Friday December 20, 2013 @05:41PM (#45749419)

    There are a million examples of people moving up through the ranks, most promotions happen from within organizations, not from outside. Just look at the new Ford CEO.

    Which is exactly why companies eventually collapse under their own weight. Companies are first and foremost a hierarchical organization. This automatically makes them a political organization, and where politics goes, groupthink goes. After that it doesn't take much to make the leap to mediocrity. Any group of individuals that is capable of working against this trend is going to leave and start their own company, and reap the benefits for themselves. End result is that the only people left are the ones who cant think for themselves, and an organization that spends a great deal of time and money reinforcing their own prejudices. The only real way out of this is a massive upheaval, like a hostile takeover, or a bankruptcy, and even those tend to be temporary solutions.

  • Re:Next job? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by lgw (121541) on Friday December 20, 2013 @05:50PM (#45749491) Journal

    Unions funnel all the money to the most senior 1% of employees, and pay is not related to merit at all. Fuck that.

    I'm an adult, perfectly capable of being responsible for my own career. I've made mistakes, and I've made good moves, and I've gotten lucky, and I've gotten "OMG get me out of here". That's life in the real world. But I kept my tech skills current, and my non-tech skills growing, and I now I make many times what my first job paid.

    But then, I'm good at what I do. If I were in the bottom 20%, you bet I'd be all in favor of a system that ignores merit for seniority.

  • by ScottCooperDotNet (929575) on Friday December 20, 2013 @06:06PM (#45749645)

    A number of people in Dev and IT in general started with nothing but their curiosity and have achieved success. The first thing these guilds do is put up barriers to entry to protect the existing workers, which would lock out new blood and new ideas. It's OK if you're not a fan of meritocracy, but I sure wouldn't want to work for or with someone like you.

  • Re:None. (Score:2, Insightful)

    by CanHasDIY (1672858) on Friday December 20, 2013 @06:30PM (#45749847) Homepage Journal

    If you do not like your job, leave.

    Yea! And if ya don't like the way we run this country, you can jest geet out!

    Seriously, dude, do you live in your parent's house or something? Because those of us with bills to pay understand why people might just stay in a job they hate, and thus don't make stupid, childish comments like that.

  • Re:Next job? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by furbyhater (969847) on Friday December 20, 2013 @06:42PM (#45749935)
    Unbelievable, all these shortsighted and dare I say dumb replies really make the GP's point for him. Of course it is better to operate as a group because it gives you an advantage, and you can bet that the exploiters around got the memo and are operating as a group. Even if you think you're "among the best" you lose a whole lot of bargaining power by going solo just out of some sick kind of narcissism. That you've been brainwashed to this point by propaganda instilled into you since your youth is a truly scary thought.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 20, 2013 @06:46PM (#45749975)

    If you are saying you wish you didn't have kids, you don't love your kids unconditionally.

    Only for one-dimensional thinkers. Life's complicated, there are dimensions that don't include love.

  • Re:Next job? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by lgw (121541) on Friday December 20, 2013 @06:57PM (#45750071) Journal

    No, we know what unions actually look like in the real world, and it's different from what they look like in your head. The compensation of airline pilots is a good example: the top few % make really good money, but typical starting pay is around $20k, and the average pay really isn't that good for such a technical specialty. Union and non-union auto workers take home about the same pay on average. And unions are utterly crushing to the spirits of those of us who want pay to reflect merit! There's no significant advantage to be had that compensates for that terrible downside.

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