Hacker News Re-Imagined

Most jobs that are performed outdoors do not involve the level of programming skill that you can provide. Nor would the type of programming likely be that engaging for you (at least on its own). They would also likely require a lot of skills that a CS degree/code camp never prepared you for. If your goal is to not be cooped up then go code on your porch, or in a park. Making a career out of working outdoors would probably require a career change out of straight software. Likely into a labour/trades/technician role. These have rather different challenges.

Land surveyors have to know some basic programming, but their main skillset is knowing how to survey, and being willing to walk around with their equipment all day.

Wildlife monitoring and Remote Sensing and GIS tend to be.... remote. Usually the equipment is satellite or set up by a park warden/summer student who doesnt have strong programming skills. They might call a contractor if they're having problems with it.

Industrial automation requires a fair bit of mechanics, circuits, hydraulics, pneumatics, a bit of basic programming and a strong aptitude for physically putting things together/taking apart (especially in freezing mud).

Geology can split either way, supervising drilling can mean lots of time in a tent staring at drill core as you write the core log report on computer but you might also end up in an office downtown doing oil flow modelling based on the log, or writing a financial report based on the model. (or a mix). Same with mine engineers, petroleum engineers, civil engineers.

Lots of these jobs are 12 hrs a day, 10 on 10 off or 14/14. You go to cool places but the downside is that you gotta go even if you dont want to. Your wife is due to have your first kid next week? Sucks that you got a two week shift starting tomorrow. Quick 1 day job a few hours drive from town? When an unmapped gas line gets hit it'll be week long fiasco of overtime hell. Sent to an offshore rig near Newfoundland? Get stuck there and miss all your other flights as helicopters are grounded by a metre of snow overnight!

Field jobs are exciting and interesting stuff is always happening, but its usually not good news. If you're feeling cooped up but overall enjoy software, try working from outside your house! If you're looking to change careers, becoming a Professional Engineer could be the move. Its not a short path though, and then you're responsible when things go wrong

  • 4 months ago

  • @Phithagoras
  • Created a post

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