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131

When I was in just out of college, there was a Guy who would stop by my house on recycling day and pick out all our cans and bottles that had a deposit. I became kind of friends with the Guy, I’d ask him how’s business, he’d ask me how I liked my cube and we’d have good laugh. One day we got to talking about what I do and I told him”I made things to help ...


94

Use your talent to earn lots of money, and donate a good part of it. As programmers, we are in the lucky situation to be able to earn more money than we need for our personal needs.


51

Contribute to open source software By making a contribution to open source software (or creating your own) you can have a direct effect on the overall cost of a computer system. This in turn lowers the cost poor or needy people (or charitable organizations) incur to provide them with computers. I know it's not very fancy but it could help!


47

It's cheaper Hiring people is generally much cheaper than normal contractor rates, not many companies will come out flat and say this though so they state a number of "non-reasons".


40

I've had the same question, and I've thought of two things: doing web dev work for a nonprofit, or assisting with computer courses, like an adult education course. There could be poor people there trying to catch up with technology, depending on where the class is offerred, the area, etc. Maybe you could volunteer to manage computers at your local library- ...


31

ask him to tell you about his thesis project; you won't have to say another word for two hours


29

Hmm. From the question it appears you want to be a consultant, not a contractor. You want to go to a company, give them the benefit of yout specialised expertise and then move on to the next. From my knowledge of how businesses work, what you want to do is set up a consulting company that can be hired to present your knowledge to the company and then be ...


28

I live in India but I want to make this answer more general, probably the answer will go to some political or on a non IT way, so apologies in advance. Poor people are poor because they can not enjoy some basic things like food, water, home, jobs and transportation. The lack of these basic things are the main cause of poverty. Our job is to make programs, ...


23

Unfortunately most causes of poverty don't respond well to programming solutions. Google made a valiant effort with the Google.org project, but after 6 years of trying, they've largely found that only donating money to lower-level "on the ground" organizations has much effect. A recent article in the New York Times highlights the problem: Google Finds It ...


22

Maintain a balance. Given something novel (e.g. playing a game, having a beer, etc.), we're able to focus and do that one thing for an extended amount of time. The only way to power through a mundane task (without overdosing on coffee) is to maintain a balance. I say 'mundane' because if this were a task you were really passionate about, you wouldn't have ...


21

Find a non-programming topic that you love, and build around it. Love pro wrestling? Write the comprehensive database of Wrestlemania results in whatever technology you want to learn. Love birds? Create a program that identifies birds based on photos taken. Love french literature? Write a parser that improves upon Google Translate.


19

When you wake up in the morning are you happy that you are going to work or dreading it? If you like your job, pay, environment & coworkers but are lacking in technical growth, then that's a very solvable problem. If you're not happy with the others then it's time to go. If you stay, it will be your responsibility to grow. Tell your boss what you've ...


18

PhD folks are still just people. Yes, they're often very smart (the ones I've met are, at any rate), and they've learned a lot about a particular niche of human knowledge. Maybe talk about something that's not directly related to either of your fields of work. That way neither of you need feel the conversation's about work. (I usually end up talking about ...


18

Depression and anti-depressants can reduce one's ability to think and focus, sure. How much varies by the individual and drugs involved. The standard disclaimer of, "Your mileage may vary," applies here greatly. I was on anti-depressants for a couple of years then off then for about 8 months and have been back on them for about 4.5 months. I don't think ...


18

You'll run into this frequently, depending on where you live and where the company lives. The first thing we need to do is disassemble the term intellectual property. You have: Copyright Patent Trademark Lets look at these things individually. Copyright Under normal employment, depending on what you sign, your employer owns your output, sometimes ...


14

Anti-depressants don't make a person unproductive and uncreative. Depression does. Now, it doesn't mean that a person who is in depression is always a worse employee than a person who is not. It's rather preferable to hire someone in depression but who knows what he's doing than someone who is unskilled, not serious, and doesn't bother about code quality by ...


13

Typing speed does not cause long-term chronic pain. Poor posture, a bad chair, a poorly designed desk/workspace and (in the case of the mouse) gripping the mouse too hard causes this. And above all, sitting in one place for too long. You need to have your entire workspace evaluated & adjusted properly by someone who knows proper ergonomics. Get a chair ...


12

Realize that it won't happen overnight, no matter how motivated you are. Taking care of your health, exercising and meditating are great habits. However, you've just begun. Consider including Yoga in the mix. There's both the physical parts (which will help benefit your kung-fu training) and the meditation (as well as lifestyle) part. It's also easy to ...


11

Intimidated? You are a gainfully employed professional and he has no job. He might have academic smarts but you have real experience. Quite a lot to exchange there, methinks.


11

You can also participate in hackathons organized by Random Hacks of Kindness. From their website: Random Hacks of Kindness (RHoK) is all about using technology to make the world a better place by building a community of innovation. RHoK brings software engineers together with disaster risk management experts to identify critical global ...


11

I have a suggestion, We can develop a website, which will have the details of hospitals, free medical checkups, government free medical services. In case of emergency, people can search for the blood donor near by their state/region/town. Not only poor, you can help every single individual who really need someone in extreme emergency. +1 for this nobel ...


10

I think you need to manage your expectations about what's realistic and what's not and what's desirable and what's not. Your aim -is admirable but my personal experience is that the people who genuinely get the most out of life are those who don't force it and who find the natural level of activity which works for them and accept it. What you need to do is ...


9

I was diagnosed very early on with ADD, which is now commonly called ADHD. I took Ritalin for it for a short time, my parents then pulled me off of the medication once they learned of the side effects. The chemical roller coaster (mostly withdraw from Ritalin) resulted in chronic depression that lasted for about a year. In my experience, and this is only ...


9

You sound like you're tired really, you're doing a lot of stuff and that 4 hours of travelling is a killer (I do 3 a day so I can feel your pain). I'd recommend getting to sleep earlier, try take some time off work if you have any holidays available and rest and relax.


8

I live in Brazil and here, the software costs are prohibitive. This situation has been changed in last years, for the economic development. But it still is unconfortable. Almost every commercial software application imported is too expensive due to the differences in people's income and the minimum wage in relation to a rich nation. All the imported ...


7

Geeks are geeks. Doesn't matter if they're PhD's or self-taught, beign a geek is your common ground. We geeks also love to talk about our work when someone is genuinely interested, and he will likely be no exception. It's so rare anyone is interested in what we do that when it happens, we're like pigs in.. well, something warm and moist but foul smelling. ...


7

Help the people doing the humanitarian aid and/or help alleviate the issues causing poverty. For example, you could: Develop software which enables doctors/teachers to help/work with remote villages more effectively. Help farmers increase the efficiency/yield per acre in poverty stricken areas This list goes on...


7

"Deliver Good" would be a site built by a programmer to help match charities and donors that I believe is in the same ball park of what you mean. The site was started by someone in Calgary, Alberta, within the past year so it may still be gaining adoption to some extent. "Talking Shop: Beef up your resume by doing volunteer IT work" is an old article about ...



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