how do you tell people that they are making a big mistake...
Post created: 2020-07-16
Recent conversations have made me explore the general landscape of Brunei's current job market a little more.
I am more than a little concerned that UNN's "big data lead" position involves Hadoop. I'm pretty sure that's a recipe for ballooning "no you just need more nodes to make it scale horizontally!!!" costs. Hm.
More generally, I have been concerned about the technology strategy and direction in ASEAN countries for the past five years. So many shoddy webapps built on deprecated or near-deprecated technology...
Planning ahead and assuming that I get to work as a professor, I think the easiest way to get students to study is to point out that working full-time at a FAANG makes you out-earn basically everyone in the country. For some rough numbers, my return offer converted was approximately: 155k BND salary, 110k BND stock, 50k+25k BND signing bonus.
I'm certainly not expecting to earn that much back in Brunei. What was the saying again? That a PhD attracts the kind of people who are ok with setting a million dollars on fire? Moreover, of the career options available to me in Brunei, I am well aware that academia is not the most financially optimal on a personal level. It is at a nationwide level that I think this route is optimal -- if even 5% of a graduating cohort finds decent remote jobs a la GitLab, that vastly increases the economic inflow into the country. If the sole goal is to boost the economy, I think we are best served churning out graduates with basic programming skills that have interview ability drilled into them.
Well, that's just what I think the country needs (or, at the very least, would benefit strongly from).
I've been thinking a lot about finances in general. On a personal level, I happily live a relatively low maintenance life where my only vice-like expense is food. I can count all the non-food "big item" purchases that I have made in college on my fingers, which includes stuff like a table (only got one last year). I think I would be fairly content with internet access, money for the occasional textbook, and old consumer hardware -- all things which I am lucky enough to comfortably afford.
So the whole setting a million dollars (or in my quick projection, closer to 2 million dollars) on fire doesn't matter to me as much. But I don't exist in a vacuum. That could change depending on a number of factors, of which the most significant is family (and potential future family). I think if anything convinces me to stop coasting and work harder, that would probably be it. I suppose this would manifest by figuring out how to work a second job instead of messing around with pet projects. I think 60-80 hours are actually very doable if single without other obligations, but the legalities are incredibly annoying.
Well, I'll figure this part out as I go along. Whatever will be, will be.