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Old 02-14-2017, 09:57 AM   #26
just_grindin
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Re: Career: Poker or IT?

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I've been considering artificial intelligence personally.
From what I've been hearing it's probably a good investment with future employment demand.
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Old 02-15-2017, 08:56 AM   #27
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Re: Career: Poker or IT?

What free resources online are a good starting point for someone with next to no IT knowledge? I started with Codeacademy and it's taking me through HTML and CSS to start. I'm not sure if that's a waste of time, but so far it's been easy to follow (a bit of a bore at times though). To clarify, I don't know what branch of IT I'll be getting into--not necessarily web development. Is it just common practice to learn HTML/CSS these days, regardless of which path you choose? Sorry, again I apologize for my ignorance. I feel like I'm at the base of a mountain looking up at this mammoth peak right in front of me. It's a bit overwhelming and unclear at times what exactly I should be doing to help myself build them skillz.
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Old 02-15-2017, 09:52 AM   #28
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Re: Career: Poker or IT?

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What free resources online are a good starting point for someone with next to no IT knowledge? I started with Codeacademy and it's taking me through HTML and CSS to start. I'm not sure if that's a waste of time, but so far it's been easy to follow (a bit of a bore at times though). To clarify, I don't know what branch of IT I'll be getting into--not necessarily web development. Is it just common practice to learn HTML/CSS these days, regardless of which path you choose? Sorry, again I apologize for my ignorance. I feel like I'm at the base of a mountain looking up at this mammoth peak right in front of me. It's a bit overwhelming and unclear at times what exactly I should be doing to help myself build them skillz.
There are a ton of resources out there. I've heard Odin project is good and is free. Anything that gets you coding more frequently. Side projects etc. Try building something from scratch. You'll learn a ton.

You'll find after awhile most popular/widely used languages have the same basic semantics with a few different syntactically different ways to express certain constructs and ideas.

Edit: Make sure you're also looking at different programming paradigms and understand a little about both such as Object Oriented and functional programming. The most important part is building so don't focus too much on that at the start.
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Old 02-15-2017, 10:01 AM   #29
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Re: Career: Poker or IT?

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Let's assume pay is equal. Which career would you prefer and why, online cash games or IT? By "IT" I mean web developer, software engineer--sorry but I don't know the general umbrella term for this.

I'm at the crossroads and I'm trying to choose which path to pursue. I'm a profitable grinder so I know what poker is like. I don't know what a career in IT would be like in terms of job satisfaction, overall happiness, etc. Does coding all day get monotonous? Is it a grind too?

Another thing that I've always been curious about is the difference in working at a giant like Apple or Google vs a small company. If anyone reading this has any insight on this or actual work experience at a big as well as a small company, which do you prefer and why?
Grunching:

It gets me every time surprised that people, who know what poker is like really do ask this.

Clearly 100% answer is IT.

You have a lot less stress. If you are good, it is a lot less monotonous than poker. You actually get various interesting problems to solve. Again if you are good in any bigger company, you will have a lot of freedom with your time, as long as the job is done. If you put in the same effort like you have to put in in poker, you will get more money, satisfaction, quality of life out.

Big company versus small company:

In big company all processes are more standardized. It has positive and negative in it. Basically if you find anything dumb/bad, it is a lot more difficult to change this "dumb" in a big company than in a small. In a big company you know a lot more where you are standing and what is going to happen. Personal opinion of you, but also of your boss plays a lot smaller role than in a small company. The stability is higher in a big company. It is on one side good, because the probability that everything will go down the hill is lower, on the other side bad, because the probability that you will suddenly jump a number of levels in your career is also lower, than in a small company.
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Old 02-15-2017, 10:17 AM   #30
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Re: Career: Poker or IT?

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Clearly 100% answer is IT.
I don't agree. I am exploring AI as a sweet spot between poker and programming, but tbh, I think it's more psychological. If you're truly wired psychologically to gamble, you'll be unhappy with the stability that a company has to offer. And if you're truly wired not to gamble, you'll be unhappy with the downs wings that poker has to offer. Just don't make a decision based on short-term variance, running good. Take some advice from people you respect in both fields as to why you should choose. And, make an honest assessment of the positives and negatives, and how well your talents/psychology match with each profession. The deciding factor, imho, will be which way you're wired.
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Old 02-15-2017, 10:21 AM   #31
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Re: Career: Poker or IT?

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The most important part is building so don't focus too much on that at the start.
I can see how building things from scratch can ramp up the learning curve really quickly. My problem is I'm such a beginner I don't even know where to begin. Literally the only thing I may can do is construct a super simple static, generic, boring web page. Given that info, what would you recommend as for building something or else getting tools under my belt first?
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Old 02-15-2017, 10:30 AM   #32
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Re: Career: Poker or IT?

Build something that does something you want. Maybe fool around with dealing cards and recognizing holdem hands or something and see if you can recreate some odds you know (chance of flopping a set say) and once it works see if you can make it answer more complicated questions (like, what if everyone gets 3 hole cards, how does that affect hand strength)

If you want to do web stuff, make web stuff that does something you want. It's OK if it already exists in some other form, I learned an awful lot about programming by copying people.

I ride a bike a lot, I made a website that does the season planning for me, downloads my rides from strava, makes all kinds of graphs, tracks where I'm at vs where I should be, nags me to ride more if I'm behind (like now), etc.
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Old 02-15-2017, 10:52 AM   #33
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Re: Career: Poker or IT?

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I can see how building things from scratch can ramp up the learning curve really quickly. My problem is I'm such a beginner I don't even know where to begin. Literally the only thing I may can do is construct a super simple static, generic, boring web page. Given that info, what would you recommend as for building something or else getting tools under my belt first?
100% agree with what Rusty said. I just wanted to add you need to start asking more questions about things you're interested in in turning into software. You can Google at least a starting point in almost any software you pick up. So instead of asking "what language should I learn" ask something like "how can I solve this problem/need/etc in code?" Just pick a language. Can be any language.

If you like web, learn javascript along with your html/css. Python is another easily accessible language. Vanilla C is also very easy to learn since it's a terse language with freely available resources. You'll start to find out that some languages are better than others for solving certain problems.

Programming is a really creative endeavor. Syntax is probably only 20% of it. The rest is dealing purely in thought. Don't get bogged down because you don't know syntax. There are tons of primers online for understanding universal programming constructs (loops, types, arrays, enumerations, hash tables, etc). Most of the stuff you find online will almost exclusively deal with the syntax of the language. It's not going to show you how to think about building something. For that you'd need more academic material or coding interview problems. But even if you only know the basics you can still build something. You'll continually be learning and you can always go back to old code or problems and apply new knowledge to make it better.
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Old 02-16-2017, 01:44 AM   #34
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Re: Career: Poker or IT?

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100% agree with what Rusty said. I just wanted to add you need to start asking more questions about things you're interested in in turning into software. You can Google at least a starting point in almost any software you pick up. So instead of asking "what language should I learn" ask something like "how can I solve this problem/need/etc in code?" Just pick a language. Can be any language.

If you like web, learn javascript along with your html/css. Python is another easily accessible language. Vanilla C is also very easy to learn since it's a terse language with freely available resources. You'll start to find out that some languages are better than others for solving certain problems.

Programming is a really creative endeavor. Syntax is probably only 20% of it. The rest is dealing purely in thought. Don't get bogged down because you don't know syntax. There are tons of primers online for understanding universal programming constructs (loops, types, arrays, enumerations, hash tables, etc). Most of the stuff you find online will almost exclusively deal with the syntax of the language. It's not going to show you how to think about building something. For that you'd need more academic material or coding interview problems. But even if you only know the basics you can still build something. You'll continually be learning and you can always go back to old code or problems and apply new knowledge to make it better.
Replace "what language should I learn?" with "I hate PHP. What language should I learn instead?"
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Old 02-16-2017, 04:51 AM   #35
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Re: Career: Poker or IT?

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Build something that does something you want. Maybe fool around with dealing cards and recognizing holdem hands or something and see if you can recreate some odds you know (chance of flopping a set say) and once it works see if you can make it answer more complicated questions (like, what if everyone gets 3 hole cards, how does that affect hand strength)

If you want to do web stuff, make web stuff that does something you want. It's OK if it already exists in some other form, I learned an awful lot about programming by copying people.

I ride a bike a lot, I made a website that does the season planning for me, downloads my rides from strava, makes all kinds of graphs, tracks where I'm at vs where I should be, nags me to ride more if I'm behind (like now), etc.
I want a damn shufflemaster that doesn't dent the cards!
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Old 02-16-2017, 07:52 AM   #36
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Re: Career: Poker or IT?

Really nice advice. Thank you guys. I guess it's still unclear to me when I can start building simple things. Like how much of a program (any program) would I have to learn before attempting to build something? Is Codeacadamy or Odin good places to get this base knowledge? Or perhaps you guys really do mean try to build something with no prior programming knowledge, and learn as you go along?? That seems like it wouldn't work unless you had some basic tutorials under your belt first right?
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Old 02-16-2017, 09:19 AM   #37
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Re: Career: Poker or IT?

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Really nice advice. Thank you guys. I guess it's still unclear to me when I can start building simple things. Like how much of a program (any program) would I have to learn before attempting to build something? Is Codeacadamy or Odin good places to get this base knowledge? Or perhaps you guys really do mean try to build something with no prior programming knowledge, and learn as you go along?? That seems like it wouldn't work unless you had some basic tutorials under your belt first right?
You will need some tutorials in the syntax and semantics of a language but you will quickly find that a lot of constructs translate easily to other languages and languages share a lot of features so don't get bogged down by which one to learn. Pick one now and start building something. If you need objectives try hacker rank,code wars, ot interview cake for problems to keep you coding something. Try to look at code or blogs by experienced developers to get an idea about how they solve problems, especially blogs that use the language you do.
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Old 02-16-2017, 12:09 PM   #38
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Re: Career: Poker or IT?

Beasting, I highly recommend CS50. I spent several months fluffing around with programming tutorials and really getting nowhere before I finally committed to pushing myself through CS50. I found it to be just the right balance of hand-holding and throw-you-in-the-deep-end. It also gives you a fairly broad exposure to various aspects of CS, which may help you hone in on where your interests are and what, exactly, you'd like to pursue (or if you should even be pursuing CS/programming at all).
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Old 02-17-2017, 05:03 PM   #39
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Career: Poker or IT?

My suggestion to get your feet wet would be to pick a simple tutorial and build something. Programming can seem overwhelming at first and if you see something that you built working it can motivate you.
At least thats what worked for me coming from no CS background.

Last edited by BRpokah; 02-17-2017 at 05:09 PM.
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Old 02-18-2017, 03:08 AM   #40
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Re: Career: Poker or IT?

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My suggestion to get your feet wet would be to pick a simple tutorial and build something. Programming can seem overwhelming at first and if you see something that you built working it can motivate you.
At least thats what worked for me coming from no CS background.
Definitely this. AHK script / data scraping is a pretty good start (imo) and can easily transition into a much bigger project.
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Old 04-11-2017, 10:15 PM   #41
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Re: Career: Poker or IT?

What's the DBA field like today? It was hot around 2000 when I was still in school. What time frame would one need to go from absolutely no knowledge of IT whatsoever, to landing a DBA job? And can you learn these skills online, for free by self-teaching, like you could on the s/w development path?
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Old 04-12-2017, 12:10 AM   #42
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Re: Career: Poker or IT?

Well, uh. I've barely met anyone in a long time who called themselves a "dba"

It might still exist as a career but I really just haven't seen it.
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Old 04-12-2017, 05:25 AM   #43
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Re: Career: Poker or IT?

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Well, uh. I've barely met anyone in a long time who called themselves a "dba"

It might still exist as a career but I really just haven't seen it.
Ha, that doesn't sound too promising.
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Old 04-12-2017, 06:11 AM   #44
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Re: Career: Poker or IT?

Databases are still very much worth knowing, surely.
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Old 04-12-2017, 06:55 AM   #45
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Re: Career: Poker or IT?

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Ha, that doesn't sound too promising.
It might depend on where you're located. We have DBAs where I work and they make as much as the department manager.
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Old 04-12-2017, 07:10 AM   #46
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Re: Career: Poker or IT?

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It might depend on where you're located. We have DBAs where I work and they make as much as the department manager.
Silicon Valley
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Old 04-12-2017, 11:38 AM   #47
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Re: Career: Poker or IT?

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Databases are still very much worth knowing, surely.
Yes of course. But the days where I would submit my design to a DBA and he would craft the tables and optimize everything seem pretty much over. These days any place I've worked I've been expected to make any tables or table updates myself, make indexes myself. If I need something fancy like partitioning or special placement of data files, again, up to me. Optimizing queries, up to me, etc.

I have mostly worked for smallish companies in smallish groups though. I am sure that if you work for like Intel or something there are probably people who's sole job it is to massage databases. It's just not something I see any more (that I used to see, around 2000 or so)
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Old 05-02-2017, 06:04 PM   #48
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Re: Career: Poker or IT?

Since beginning this thread I've been plugging away at freecodecamp, which is teaching the basics of web development (HTML, CSS, JS). But I've been hearing lately, from those in the industry, that web dev may not be a good path to choose, as it might not be so in demand in a few short years. I don't no if that's true or not, but assuming it is, what fields are hot now, and are expected to be hot, at least in the near future?

Also I get easily lost in the knowing what's what. Is Web Dev a subset of SW Engineering? Should I just be learning basic SW Engineering at this stage (complete and utter novice), rather than focus on something as specific as Web Dev?

And on the Big Data front, I have read numerous positive things about this field. Is this a completely different discipline than SW Eng, or does this fall under the SW Engineering umbrella too? And can someone self learn Big Data for free (MOOCs and such) and be work ready after roughly 700 hours (of learning/self-study)? The only leg up I may or may not have in Big Data is my Stats background. I majored in Stats. From what I gather Big Data is some mix of math/stats, database, and sw eng. I'm not sure which of these elements is most important, and what's the best plan of attack as far as what to focus on when learning (basically from scratch, except for stats which I'm familiar with at the bachelor's degree level).
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Old 05-02-2017, 07:35 PM   #49
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Re: Career: Poker or IT?

Web development is a subset of "software engineering" as much as that term has any meaning. It is hard to say what the future of "web development" is although there's been essentially no slowdown that I can detect and everything is moving to "the cloud" which means goodbye to desktop apps and more web development.

I am not a fan of javascript but it kinda seems like if you want to work in the web space you should know it. All the most interesting stuff seems to be happening in the front end layer right now.

"Big data" is a very nebulous term. There are some aspects of software development in it, but the "data scientists" I know are not programmers. They can all program to some degree but they are not experts at it. They are mathematicians. There are also people who are responsible for setting up the underlying systems behind big data - databases, massively parallel job systems, etc. They aren't really programmers either, they're more like specialized IT/devops people. There are some programmers in the mix but I don't think of it as programming as a whole.

I think being self taught at some things is fine but I kinda don't think you're going to be breaking into a field that is mostly people with PhDs as a self taught person.
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Old 05-02-2017, 07:36 PM   #50
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Re: Career: Poker or IT?

(for the record, about half of my 20 year career has been in "web development" although not contiguously. It is better to be a general purpose developer who can be a good web developer than it is to just be a web developer, if you ask me. I get whatever job looks good, not just ones that are specifically in my wheelhouse)
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