I am getting old and I need money. I bet many people do, but for some reason they prefer not to speak about it. Over 8 years at Stack Overflow I scored 11k rep and some badges.

my rep

There are not many answers there, as you may see below. It is roughly 64 rep per answer.

my 8 years

I like discovering things and going deeper into the matter. Like everybody else, I guess. But doing this is not fun anymore. Because companies need to do things fast. It is stressful, and I am not that stress resistant as every company wants. I also find it hard to work on problems that I don't find interesting, like doing the same bash script that was written 1000 times before by every and each developer who faced the same problem. This is my primary motivation in life - doing things properly once, to save time on scale, so that somebody else can spend this time better. This also makes me an awful employee, the one who misses deadlines and is not as effective as everybody else. Impostor is not a syndrome, it is a pressure, and I can not withstand it.

This is a long post for Stack Overflow. It is about getting some money for my reputation if anything that I did has any value to anyone. There are mining farms extracting crypto currency every N minutes, some of them burn energy, some do not. There are grants from Mozilla, USAID, Horizon 2020 but these are not accessible for someone who just digging in software problems. The competition for those is fierce, and it requires you to know beforehand what you will be doing.

I tried to help Gratipay as a platform that can be used to sustain ourselves, but it was shut down by FinCEN who over this years together with PayPal and other previous generation mafia invented rules that we can not compete with. I was involved in blockchain in the past year, but that didn't make secure. It is exciting to be there, but not so exciting to realize that I can not support myself and my family.

If I provided some value, is it possible to convert that value to something that will keep me alive? Or it doesn't matter for this site? If it was not me, then somebody else who has time and money would do this.

(sorry if I won't reply soon, bringing this up is exhausting, and I need to rest a bit)

  • 7
    What should Jon Skeet get then? A knighthood? (He's British) Dec 14, 2018 at 12:12
  • 11
    11k is really not that much to be honest, especially for Stack Overflow. Dec 14, 2018 at 12:12
  • 4
    @Mari-LouA he should probably just get Britain.
    – Bart
    Dec 14, 2018 at 12:37
  • 3
    Why was my previous comment deleted? I suggested that the OP asked his question on SE Workplace, I was not mocking them. If their wholly unrealistic reference to receiving a pension for SE were removed and they instead asked what someone with their skills and experience but who finds deadlines particularly stressful (some actually thrive on that challenge), could do. Dec 14, 2018 at 12:41
  • 7
    Did you consider using a code mentoring site instead of Stack Overflow? There you can contribute your knowledge in return for a small fee. Or heck, if you don't feel 1 on 1 is for you, start a Patreon and set up a site where you distribute your expert knowledge on certain topics at your own pace. I'm happily supporting some Unity3d developers myself for example.
    – Bart
    Dec 14, 2018 at 12:42
  • Where would the money come from?
    – Bathsheba
    Dec 14, 2018 at 13:39
  • 5
    pretty disappointed with the -19 tbh. The point has been made and OP is obviously not trying to troll ...
    – Magisch
    Dec 14, 2018 at 14:12
  • 3
    @Mari-LouA I once considered having all of Jon's badges minted out of actual metals on a miniature scale (bronze / gold / silver) respectively. But, even at a 100:1 scale, he'd still topple over forward if he were to wear them all, and that's not because he's clumsy.
    – user50049
    Dec 14, 2018 at 14:50
  • 7
    @Magisch A post can be not useful for reasons other than somoene trolling. Downvotes aren't just for trolls. In fact, downvotes aren't even the right tool for actual trolls. Flagging would be the right tool for a post that's actually trolling. And just because several others have already reflected their opinion of the quality of a post doesn't mean future readers should be prohibited from sharing their opinion of it's quality.
    – Servy
    Dec 14, 2018 at 15:17
  • 1
    Apologies for mangled second comment earlier but it was rushed. Sadly, it's occurred to me that this could be a form of sardonic hoax... I hope not. Luckily, Tim's answer is extremely helpful and useful, so it should help anyone in a similar situation. Dec 14, 2018 at 15:38
  • 1
    "bringing this up is exhausting, and I need to rest a bit"... :-0 Well now i know why you requires a pension.
    – Jorgesys
    Dec 14, 2018 at 22:27

2 Answers 2


Sounds like you need to get into the world known as consulting. There, you don't actually really do anything, you just charge a ton of money to tell companies how they should be doing stuff. It's kinda like retirement, except that you still need to answer your email and bring yourself to install and use Skype.

While you work on that, I highly suggest that you take a look at some of the open positions our clients have posted to see if any of them interest you. While I can't vouch for every hiring manager individually, we work very patiently with our customers to help them understand things we understand as programmers about programmers. So, it (as a platform) and the jobs that our clients post tend to be of substantially higher quality than the grind you're talking about.

Also, we're hiring, and we never poke people with sharp sticks. I used to be a systems and embedded engineer until I got sick of the stress and death marches, just like you have. Maybe you'd enjoy a different kinda challenge where having a developer background would give you an advantage? Sounds like you're pretty fed up and sick of it; I've been there.

Alas, I can't cash in your rep. But, we wuv you and want you to succeed, so I've made you a letter of recommendation. Well, sort of a letter (I am so gonna regret the existence of Photoshop after this):

Picture of Tim Post holding a paper sign that encourages companies to interview our valued user, the OP

And I want you to get out there and explore other possibilities, because being done with one thing doesn't always mean being ready to start something else until you feel inspired.

So here's me helping you feel inspired:

Tim Post giving a thumbs up sign

Now, go get out there. If, and this is a really big if, you manage to get an interview at a job you'll likely love, I'll send you a nice T-shirt to wear for good luck, and some other goodies for you to fidget with in the waiting room (we have some curiously click-y pens!) You're welcome to email me once that happens using the address in my profile.

We want the best for you and want to support you, but sometimes that means steering you in a direction that's a little harder than the one you were headed. A pension from us is barely sustainable, we can barely afford Joel's coffee needs. But you finding a better field where you could thrive? That's sustainable.

Good luck to you, our best to your family, and keep being awesome. It's gonna get better if you head in a better direction; it's bound to :)

  • 5
    Gahh I wish I could leave bounties on closed questions for this answer. This is incredibly heartfelt for what could've been just another run of the mill heavily downvoted meta question. You've definitely made at least one person's day a little better. Thanks for spreading the love, Tim.
    – scohe001
    Dec 14, 2018 at 17:09
  • 1
    Wait, there are clicky pens? I have the ones with caps but TIL you have clicky pens. I wish the store still existed..
    – ɥʇǝS
    Dec 14, 2018 at 19:20
  • Clicky sharpies too. The little trapdoor ones Dec 15, 2018 at 15:15

Have you considered requesting donations in your profile description? Honestly it probably won't help, especially with only 11k reputation, but it's more likely that you'll get something out of it. There is no possible way Stack Exchange will actually give you a pension, no matter how much reputation you accumulate. Not only is that not their business model, but frankly, 11k is not a lot (especially on SO).

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