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All the Perl that's Practical to Extract and Report

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  • A recruiter mailed me -- unlike the last 1,000 recruiter emails, it was intelligently written and persuasive. It earned a reply. But which reply... I don't want to just say "no". Any reasonable offer will be considered. But I don't want to flop back to full-time work again as my consulting is starting to stabilize again. Last time was a disaster. But I'm really not making a living wage now...

    Anyway, for posterity, here's what I have as a reply... I'll probably tone it down a bit before I send it, but

    • And now the reply looks like this:


      It's true. I'm spoiled rotten as a consultant. A company would have to make
      me quite an offer to lure me away from this. But I'm open to offers. I'm not
      interested in more money than I have time to use. What good is a fat salary
      if you can't ski on it?

      Working in a company, there's no prospect of getting your work done and then
      taking the rest of the day or week off. The primary incentive is missing --
      finishing. You have no veto over ill-concieved or overly ambitious projects.
      Your expertise gets in the way; companies want technical labor, with the
      business folks doing the thinking. Programming is about, above all else,
      experimentation, concentration, and cleverness, and management despises those
      things. Without experimentation, only mediocre solutions are settled on.
      It's like picking one set of numbers for an airfoil design according to
      some educated guess and then not being able to change them even though the
      craft turns out to be a Wright Flyer. The mentality of "we have to get this
      right the first time" completely hamstrings getting it right. Concentration
      means no phones and no spurrious priority changes. Every algorithm
      devised -- the cornerstone of computer science -- is a bit of cleverness,
      but this flies in the face of the factory production style, where a large
      group of people works hard from 9-5. Lesser programming sects that are
      eager to toadie to business people's perceptions of programming even
      pat themselves on the back for their bold move to banish cleverness from
      their operations.

      Every job posting talks about the hard work as if to glorify it, the large
      team that's mysteriously needed even though they're supposedly hiring smart
      people, and then gets mired down in all of the organizational overhead
      (waterfall method, architecture review board). "Specifications" appears
      four times below.
      • You are so right. Programming is *not* pressing the buttons on your keyboard from 8am until 6pm. Programming is creativity, thinking, and then a very small amount of doing. If your hands hurt from a day of programming, you are doing something seriously wrong.

        I call this process (of 40 hour typing sessions) "bugging", since the inevitable result is 10 hours to "bug" something and 100 hours to debug it.

        "Bugs are inevitable. All software sucks."

        Sure, when you have a bugger writing your software instead of