If you could do it all again... would you do anything different?

Would you learn the exact same languages you did? What about frameworks?

Would you have done the same kind of projects? Or took the same jobs?

Do you wish you focussed on a different aspect - so mobile instead of frontend, backend instead of front, etc?

Anything else that in hindsight you wished you did a little different…?


Or not going into tech at all … probably…


Why not? That’s quite a difference and I’d be interested in learning why anyone would feel that way.

Well, I somehow lost interest in some things and I dislike the current state of software development (nodejs everywhere, etc.). I went from “Yeah, I get paid for coding all day long” (4,5 years ago) to “meh, I need to get on the computer” (now).

I am still working on some little toy projects but nothing that is of interest to many people so I could not use that to make a living. And more often, I don’t even know what to program. All things I need are already there and I don’t feel the need for more software in general.

On a side note, I am really enjoying the offline world since a few months. After spending a few months with my moms horse, I bought my own horse a month ago and prefer to spend my time there instead of in front of my computer.


I’m sorry to hear that, burnout can certainly be an issue. Is there any way you can marry your newly found passion for horses with programming? Could you create a related app/website for instance?

With regards to everything already being out there, sometimes not having to create something totally ‘new’ or radical and instead creating a better version of something else could be just as satisfying.

I definitely fall into the latter camp! My end goal is to create a better social network than what’s already out there.

Other ideas could be a horses breeders directory, a site where people can list horses for rehoming, etc… it could be a nice way to find a way to marry your two loves - horses and Elixir :003:


I had some pretty limiting conditions in my life for a long time which sort of forced me to shift my love for programming to “I like solving problems but mostly I just need the money” but if I could turn back time and retain some of the wisdom that I [probably] have now, then I would:

  • Learn functional programming and LISP in particular much earlier.

  • I would ingest as many practical CS courses as I could fit in my average day. I am awfully behind on CS – never officially studied it :100: – and these days I am painfully aware of the gaps in my knowledge.

  • I would learn all popular POSIX tools much earlier and would be a better sysadmin when I needed it. But I am quite happy with my CLI-tools-fu as I ended up practicing it: using find, xargs, sed and awk has netted me many wins in my career (used a lot more tools later as well). Took me a year at the start of my career to appreciate that not every problem requires a tool that I write myself since most POSIX / UNIX tools can be freely used as LEGO blocks.

  • I would attend lectures and courses on how to separate your hobby mindset from your work mindset. Took me at least a decade to begin to appreciate the need to be able to do that. We practice things very differently when we are hobbyists and when we are working professionals. The slots of time during which you are either need to be strictly compartmentalized otherwise you are going around in circles.

  • Learn about computer networks! Everything you can think of, start from the IP stack and work your way up all the way to the countless router protocols. Knowing even a part of all that is so extremely valuable nowadays.

  • Probably just listen to colleagues more. All too often the younger programmers just do competitions on the topic of “whoever argues louder during the lunch break wins the argument”. There is always something interesting to extract from the others’ point of view.


Could you do a part time CS degree?

I am not sure I would want to if they make you learn languages like Java :lol:

Well only one university around here does NOT offer languages besides Java and PHP. The more “progressive” ones tout Python as something new. Poor things. :frowning:

So I am gonna try educating myself. Will very likely make a thread requesting assistance to gather entry-level and intermediate material at some point.


I think lots of people may be interested in that too :023:

I wonder if the University of Kent has something - they had free courses on Erlang. @thompson_si might know :003:

To be fair I am much more interested in CS in general – algorithms, complexity, data structures, concepts, practical applications of various aspects of the science.

I feel too conservative and entrenched in narrow-minded concepts I had to learn as I went along my work over the years.

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My love for computers and programming began very early in my life (around 7) and I had a consistent passion to make computer games even into college.

My one big thing I would do differently is follow my passion and steer away from the trap of enterprise development. I have a good career, make great money, and I heard game companies are horrible to their developers. However, I still feel like I took the path well traveled.


Actually, I am already searching for ideas. But I can’t think of anything that would be of use to people with horses. At least I don’t have a need for some software yet.

For a long time, my end goal was to create an interactive learning platform. But for what? Maybe for Elixir itself, not sure if someone needs that.

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I would not do anything different, because it is the choices I made, using the context available to me at that time, that ended me up here :slightly_smiling_face: .


Immutabilty changes everything.


You should look at The Imposter’s Handbook. It’s a wonderful book to catch all this stuff if you didn’t have a CS degree of if you have but haven’t taught that (like most universities here in Brazil).

The authors have already started working on a season 2 of the book.


Lucky for us we can choose to use whatever tech stack we want. One lesson I learned the hard way is you should spend more time building what you want rather than making decisions solely based on other people’s opinions.


I was a consultant at Ericsson writing Java when Erlang was open sourced. I wish I’d spent some time to dig into it instead of thinking “Meh, a language that only has one potential employer. I should invest my time in my Java skills instead.”


Damn that looks good! Thanks!

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That’s what I meant too :003:

That sounds a bit like me :lol: I think I even bought the Amiga Amos book/package but found it a bit too complicated… then just got distracted with another interest :icon_rolleyes: I wish I had a mentor or a teacher in school that pushed programming.

Do it! I always encourage people to do what their heart is in most - passion for something is such a massive motivator. Could you do one that teaches people horse riding? Or helps them with ‘tests’ (do people even need to pass any tests or courses for horse riding on public roads…).

I share the same philosophy on life - everything that I have been exposed to or have experienced has led to me being the person I am today and is what moulds me for tomorrow… even if that is trying to become a better version of myself.

(However with regards to programming, I do wish I kept at it when I was a kid…)

It does indeed :icon_twisted:

That’s awesome!!! Rob is an Elixirist too… I wonder if he’d be willing to do a version using only Ruby (for the OOP parts) and Elixir for the functional parts, instead of JS (which I am not a fan off :lol:).

Definitely agree there - do/use what you love, if you can. I also apply the same to life - if anyone I know makes me feel sad or is not-so-nice towards me, I just don’t bother with them :lol: we choose who we spend our lives with.

Oh no! You were there from the start Greg! Never mind, I bet it’s given you a far greater appreciation of it :023:

It does indeed! I wonder if we can arrange a forum discount :003:

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I am, let’s say, 95% the same. One can find peace by saying “all of what I have been through made me what I am today, and today I like myself”, however life is about phases. We cannot spend 100% of our life actively learning every day and only ingesting material and hoping it will all make sense one day. At certain point we have to put our foot down and say “I learned quite a lot, I want to put it to use now”.

This does not mean to ever stop learning. It means that if you spent 80% time learning and 20% doing up until a certain age, from then on you should switch to, say, 20% learning and 80% doing.

Buuuuut, we are making this thread a bit like a late night beer conversation now. :024: