Update on my book for Hamsters

Hello everybody


Its been some time since I have posted anything, but I have talked to several of you over email. The feedback I got after my failed Kickstarter was, I should still finish my book, and many of you even offered to pre-pay for it. Thanks guys (and gal). So I have been busy writing the book. And for those of you who have forgotten about the book, here is the teaser (copied from the Kickstarter):


Is this you?

  • Your career has hit a dead end. No matter how hard  you work, you accomplishments are not rewarded or even acknowledged . But your smallest mistake is pointed out. Or
  • You believe that Real talent will be rewarded. Because you are a great technical person, your managers will notice you, and you will be promoted. Or
  • You think that to become a top earning employee, you need to learn the latest cool thing. If only you could learn one more fancy technology, you’d be at the top of your career.

Most people struggle through life, hating their jobs, dreaming of becoming their own bosses, but never really knowing where to start.

This book will show you not just how to survive the evil corporate world, but how to master it and thrive.

Anyway, I’ve been working hard to finish the first draft. At the moment, it’s very rough, with many repeated ideas. In the second draft, I’ll try to make everything more logical and organised. That should take me another month. I’ll let you know how it goes.

Enter the Hamster

As you may know, the original title of the book was supposed to be “The Programmers Survival Guide.” And I got many emails from people saying “I’m not a programmer, but I identify with everything you said. Can I still buy the book?”

So I am planning to rename the book. But first, a section on hamsters.

Hamsters run on their little wheels. Imagine the little wheels were connected to generators and were generating electricity. And the hamsters got paid depending on how fast they ran.

They run over and over, making money for the company, and a bit for themselves. But no matter how hard they run, they will never be promoted into management, or have any significant career changes. That’s because, at the end of the day, all they are doing is running on the treadmill. While they are making money, they are generic and can be replaced with another hamster at any moment.

And isn’t this the problem with most employees- whether they are programmers, sysadmins, accountants, call center workers? We think that just because we turn up and do our stuff, we will be noticed and promoted. While some CxO type guy, sitting in his air conditioned office, sees you as a replaceable hamster. If you create too much trouble, you are picked up and flushed down the toilet.

The solution?

Stop Being the Hamster!

And that is the proposed title for my book as well. Stop being a hamster, which I define as someone who is very good at one thing, but whom the management sees as replaceable. While it’s true that many of these problems arise from a flawed financial incentives problem(for very senior managers) that rewards short term profit over long term growth, the goal of this book is not to moan or complain. I’m not your therapist, nor do I want the job. This book will show you how you can stop being the hamster, and start taking responsibility for your own life.

Interested? Sign up below. If you are already on the mailing list, I will send updates regularly.

PS: Want a free 1+ hour video course, Introduction to Web Scraping and Data Analysis? Also get a free mini-book, Python: From Apprentice to Master.

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