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Old 02-19-2021, 08:19 PM   #61
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Longtime software engineer. Somehow I thought in retirement I'd find myself volunteer coding for some open source package.

Tried it for a bit and found I've absolutely no desire to stare at a monitor hour after hour (without the incentive of a paycheck). Just today this thread finally convinced me to toss a whole bunch of old programming books in the recycle bin.

Instead I'm building houses for Habitat. Working with a really great bunch of retirees. Feels more worthwhile to me.

So, instead of keeping up with the latest technology I'm digging thru the Uniform Plumbing Code.
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Old 02-20-2021, 05:07 AM   #62
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As I catch up with this thread, I am just beginning to realize how much of an outlier I am ��

The whole point of retirement me is to be able to spend more time actually programming. While I was working, as a senior engineer, I kept getting pulled into systems design.

I have just spent the past month digging into the Swift language and the Xcode IDE so that I can start creating iOS apps. My goal is to release at least one app by the end of the year. It has been a wonderful challenge to do something so different from what I what I did for a living.
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Old 02-20-2021, 08:42 AM   #63
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Instead I'm building houses for Habitat. Working with a really great bunch of retirees. Feels more worthwhile to me.

So, instead of keeping up with the latest technology I'm digging thru the Uniform Plumbing Code.
You are my long lost sibling! I could have written this myself.
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Old 02-20-2021, 11:05 AM   #64
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As I catch up with this thread, I am just beginning to realize how much of an outlier I am ��

The whole point of retirement me is to be able to spend more time actually programming. While I was working, as a senior engineer, I kept getting pulled into systems design.

I have just spent the past month digging into the Swift language and the Xcode IDE so that I can start creating iOS apps. My goal is to release at least one app by the end of the year. It has been a wonderful challenge to do something so different from what I what I did for a living.
While I didn't go out and pick up new skills after retirement, I did finish off an old work project that had been canceled before I got to finish my design and simulation. I hate to leave fun things unfinished. And I did work part time for a few years, which was enough to have fun but get it out of my system.

My biggest programming project in retirement was my retirement optimization program. I included all income sources (and delay choices) and account values and spending and then used an iterative gradient optimization to find the maximum yearly spending amount. All in C, updated each year, and very much specific to us. Another 10 years or so and we'll have reached a stable situation with all income in place and RMD's started and the program will have served its purpose. DW certainly won't want to run it. But I'm surprised I haven't seen more of this here, versus spreadsheets.
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Old 02-20-2021, 11:40 AM   #65
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... an iterative gradient optimization to find the maximum yearly spending amount.
Sounds like a cool project, but I haven't done anything similar because I didn't know it was a problem I needed to solve.

Now I'm thinking of all the financial things I could automate....

Your post also reminded me to check on the status of gummy and his collection of calculators/lessons. I was saddened to read that he passed last year.
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Old 02-20-2021, 02:27 PM   #66
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Longtime software engineer. Somehow I thought in retirement I'd find myself volunteer coding for some open source package. Tried it for a bit and found I've absolutely no desire to stare at a monitor hour after hour (without the incentive of a paycheck)...
Neither do I, so I don't . Like any other hobby, I'm in control of how much time I spend in my programming playground.

App development is popular these days, but I write software to support my mathematical investigations. Math supplies the 'what' and 'why'; programming is an important part of the 'how'.
P.S. Continuing the trip down memory lane, I've used four C language IDEs on Mac: Lightspeed C, THINK C, CodeWarrior, and Xcode (in that order). I occasionally need more computational horsepower than my late-model iMac can supply. I've investigated trying to rent space on a supercomputer, but no one seems to be offering that service AFAIK.
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Old 02-20-2021, 05:06 PM   #67
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Originally Posted by bonvoyage View Post
As I catch up with this thread, I am just beginning to realize how much of an outlier I am ��

The whole point of retirement me is to be able to spend more time actually programming. While I was working, as a senior engineer, I kept getting pulled into systems design.

I have just spent the past month digging into the Swift language and the Xcode IDE so that I can start creating iOS apps. My goal is to release at least one app by the end of the year. It has been a wonderful challenge to do something so different from what I what I did for a living.
While I wouldn't go as far as "whole point", freedom to work on my own programming projects is certainly one of the major points for me. They are free from the restriction to be the thing that megacorp most needs right now, and even more, free of the pressure to make money soon, or even make money at all.

Of course lack of restrictions or pressure can also destroy motivation or lead to endless pottering so motivation is a tricky thing. Though endless pottering is only a problem for some, for some others it's the goal!
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Old 02-20-2021, 05:26 PM   #68
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Of course lack of restrictions or pressure can also destroy motivation or lead to endless pottering so motivation is a tricky thing. Though endless pottering is only a problem for some, for some others it's the goal!
Surrounding yourself with others who have similar interests can help. The work environment used to supply that, and I suppose that's why it wasn't a high priority for me after retirement.

The makerspace changed that for me. Not only have my woodworking skills improved by an order of magnitude, but it was also hugely motivating to find others who enjoy making stuff as its own reward.

The thrill of coding is rooted in problem solving and building stuff.
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Old 02-20-2021, 06:34 PM   #69
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Surrounding yourself with others who have similar interests can help. The work environment used to supply that, and I suppose that's why it wasn't a high priority for me after retirement.

The makerspace changed that for me. Not only have my woodworking skills improved by an order of magnitude, but it was also hugely motivating to find others who enjoy making stuff as its own reward.

The thrill of coding is rooted in problem solving and building stuff.
I think that's very true, but it means if you have uncommon interests you're out of luck. Still the world is large and there must be ways to search for community, even if it has to be virtual. At the moment everyone is united by a common interest in not catching a dangerous disease, so I assume they're all virtual now.

Maybe I'm overselling the obscurity of my interests though, so if you come across some place where people are designing in music notation for expressive electronic instruments then don't hold back
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Old 02-20-2021, 06:42 PM   #70
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Maybe I'm overselling the obscurity of my interests though, so if you come across some place where people are designing in music notation for expressive electronic instruments then don't hold back
Can't help with that, but I can give you a venue with some techies who might be interested in seeing a Zoom talk if you'd like.
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Old 02-20-2021, 07:21 PM   #71
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Can't help with that, but I can give you a venue with some techies who might be interested in seeing a Zoom talk if you'd like.
Sure, why not. I don't know if this forum has DM features, or otherwise maybe there's a public web address or email I could follow up with?
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Old 02-20-2021, 07:40 PM   #72
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My second jobs were application and server management, and I only learned enough PHP to be dangerous. I built and configured linux servers for small offices, file and application servers, security systems, phone systems. I recently fired my last client, and do very little beyond keeping a home Debian server going. I will probably always tinker with the hardware a bit.
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Old 02-20-2021, 07:43 PM   #73
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Sure, why not. I don't know if this forum has DM features, or otherwise maybe there's a public web address or email I could follow up with?
Cool! PM sent. I think you get there by clicking on your profile or "User CP."
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Old 02-20-2021, 08:13 PM   #74
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The thrill of coding is rooted in problem solving and building stuff.
I'm not a programmer by degree, so always felt like I snuck into the club, hehe! I love the puzzle solving aspect.

My coding started outside of work, and it continues now that I'm retired.

Mobile apps were something I set my sites on after retiring, and I've got an app (with 1K+ users each) on the both Android and iOS stores. Not a big user base, and takes very little effort to maintain them. Apple makes me jump through hoops that aren't very fun (a far cry from solving a programming puzzle). Not to mention making me pay $99 plus tax for the privilege of giving away my app to all who want it (Android is free).

Also, 16 years ago I "met" some guys on the AVS forum (home theater PC) and I took the "back-end" programming assignment for scheduled recording of TV programs (another guy took the UI bit). Believe it or not, that project is still ongoing after 16 years. The instigator is now trying to repackage the application to go into the Windows App store (and of course needs me to change stuff). If we get this working, my code will be concurrently downloaded by users from Android, Apple, and Microsoft stores, hehehe!

I can't say I "love every minute of it". As mentioned in an early comment in this thread, setting up the development environments are my least happy moments. But like the OP, the "fun" comes when interacting with the other guys on the project on how best to get something done. And finding that secret incantation that will do what you really thought was impossible. Even dealing with the StackOverflow know-it-alls that really just like to denigrate people has it's charm. There's a nice feeling to answering a few questions and having your juju line head upwards.

The only Raspberry Pi work I've done has been strictly "cookbook", which I don't find very satisfying. This is a Kodi instance, which gets OTA TV from my bank of tuners to play on a stand-alone TV. It's frustrating because I spend enough time to get it working, but not enough time to really understand it. Then it does something unexpected and taking the time to understand it and fix it is like fixing someone else's computer...totally NOT what I find satisfying.

But I find that fixing little things that come up with my mobile apps or my TV recording app is quite enjoyable. I engage with people, albeit virtually, but do come together to get stuff done. We like each other. Some day I might even meet them in the real world (they're all over the US).
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Old 02-21-2021, 11:12 AM   #75
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I had a 35 year career as a programmer and manager. I retired almost 5 years ago to be part owner and manager in a member based recreation area.

I keep the membership and marketing information in an Access data base. It's nice to be able to use my skills to get information out of data base. Even if it only means writing a little VBA.
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Old 02-23-2021, 05:06 PM   #76
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20 years ago, I started a project for my hobby - ham radio. It has grown to be the most popular program in its category and, counting myself we have a team of 10 developing, documenting and maintaining it. We give it away.

I retired as an IT architect and never wanted to be a manager, so I'm pretty surprised to be here now. Fortunately, there are only seasoned pros on the team, so little management is needed. We have a Skype chat group to keep in touch. Each of the members of the team is an expert in the application domain, so we don't need any system analysts.

Code management (about 300k lines of code) is done in Team Foundation Server. We publish a build every Tuesday. It is used for ham radio competitions and during the season, 10,000 or more users will download the update.

It has been very rewarding and the user base is very appreciative. We accept donations occasionally to cover software and other costs, and generally have to stop them after 12 hours or we get more money than we want to deal with. We don't make any money at it, we do it for the intellectual stimulation and camaraderie.
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Old 02-23-2021, 05:10 PM   #77
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Yes, itís Mooreís Law in action. I take on interesting work in my consulting business now being semiretired. I recently did a project using a Rasp Pi for an industrial Iot project. Itís amazing! And, a Pi is a very cost effective PC if you are mostly using web-based access.
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Old 02-23-2021, 07:09 PM   #78
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Software Engineer for 41 years. When I retired I gotta little antsy and ended up writing a loan amortization application and then a tax computation worksheet application. Thinking of what to write next(?)
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Old 02-23-2021, 08:28 PM   #79
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I was so very encouraged reading through this thread. My "fear" as retirement is now months away is that I would have severe withdrawals not coding and regret my retirement decision. Oh sure, you can always go back to w*rk... My story is so similar to this thread's contributors that I don't think I will miss it now and I'm less fearful. THANKS!!
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Old 02-24-2021, 09:35 AM   #80
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I thought any interest or fun in doing what I did for a living would be a function of age, cognitive retention, and eyesight (looking at a bright white screen for hours).
It has been for me and thus I do not want to do any software coding now. But I read there are many views on this site. I think many must be younger than me and still have the need to create. We all eventually loose that need.
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