A new FreeBSD company

drhowarddrfine

Son of Beastie

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I don't know why I felt like posting this but I found this interesting or surprising. I got a call today from a company that developed software for the cattle business. Four years ago it was just three guys and now it's a many million dollars business that is hiring cause they are doubling in size this year from their current 2000 cattle producing customers. It runs on an iPad so, of course, they use Macs to write software for it but everything else runs on FreeBSD and ... they ... don't ... use ... Linux.
 

tOsYZYny

Active Member

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So ... what is the name of the company and are they hiring sysadmins / developers?
 
OP
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drhowarddrfine

Son of Beastie

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tOsYZYny They are hiring ten developers which is why I was contacted. I don't know how they got my name other than it was a referral. I'm being vague until I learn more.
 

scottro

Daemon

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Oy gevalt. (For those who don't speak Yiddish, that's literally oh, help, but basically, just me decrying Crivens's joke, though he has the best name on these forums).

drhowarddrfine, that's great to hear. I think, at present, FreeBSD sysadmin jobs are rare, and the more companies using it, the better for those of us who would prefer to work with it. Thank you for sharing. (One is tempted to put some sort of cowsay thing here, but I'm too lazy. So, I will just say, on behalf of those who may be affected by it.
Mooooo. Mooo.
 

Crivens

Moderator
Staff member
Moderator

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Let's make an ad for the FreeBSD admins.

There is this strange, bearded guy playing golf all day. The CEOs around get curious as to why he has so much free time. He certainly has to be crazy rich to do this.

No, says the guy. I'm a sysadmin, and I am on my job right now. But they are running FreeBSD and that thing simply runs and runs. No one has yet figured out he is not in the basement but on the links.
Admin does a hole-in-one.
Pan out view of CEOs looking at each other with surprised pikachu faces.
 

George

Aspiring Daemon

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Ten developers is a lot.. It could be a social engineering attack.
 

kpedersen

Son of Beastie

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A long time ago I worked on a pig feeding system running on Solaris and interacting with 8051 microcontrollers.
I guess programming isn't always glamorous... or ever ;)

Ontopic: It sounds like a really cool job. I imagine the consistency of FreeBSD will really help here and would be a joy to work with in this context. I suspect they have some really ancient FreeBSD installs hanging around!
 

Crivens

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I spent many years in automotive, some in defense and now in farm equipment. Writing software for a manure push robot may not be glorious, but it pays the bills. No idea if we drive cars in 10 years or still can afford an army, but people have to eat.
 

scottro

Daemon

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Well my wife defended me recently. Someone said I wasn't fit to live with pigs and she said I was. <rimshot>
 

fbsd_

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Hahah FreeBSD spending his time with cows now. Nice cows and hope to not become dirty c0w. Why they not using Linux. I think the best reason to not using Linux for a job is its license(GNU). So are it counting how much cow have been cutted? Anyway I think FreeBSD is flex
 

grahamperrin

Daemon

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Someone once told me that, in a battle of wits, I was only half armed.

:) don't forget the half that's akin to a suit of armour. It improves with age. (My own skin has become thick enough to tolerate most things.)

… this work involves feeding millions of people …

Fair enough. I'm a vegetarian, but if <https://www.performancelivestockanalytics.com/#products> can at least partly improve conditions for cattle that will inevitably feed people's need/gluttony for meat, I can at least partly see the good in the work.
 

kpedersen

Son of Beastie

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Why should they use Linux?
Because! docker! obviously! ;)

In some ways I would be interested in the choice of FreeBSD. Is it historic, a preference or do they have infrastructure in place (drivers, sensors, etc) specifically for FreeBSD. It could be as simple as their lead developer there is a FreeBSD fan. Could be a useful case-study of a success story for my next tech meeting!

can at least partly improve conditions for cattle that will inevitably feed people's need/gluttony for meat, I can at least partly see the good in the work.
I think a sad truth is that if it wasn't for people eating meat, those animals wouldn't be given life in the first place so this work is very important.
These days, I personally cut down on meat because the UK farmers are regressing in terms of animal welfare but if we all cut out meat completely I imagine many animals would go extinct almost over night. Cattle farmers don't exactly want cows just as pets (though if I had a farm, I possibly would!).
 

jardows

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Because! docker! obviously! ;)

In some ways I would be interested in the choice of FreeBSD. Is it historic, a preference or do they have infrastructure in place (drivers, sensors, etc) specifically for FreeBSD. It could be as simple as their lead developer there is a FreeBSD fan. Could be a useful case-study of a success story for my next tech meeting!


I think a sad truth is that if it wasn't for people eating meat, those animals wouldn't be given life in the first place. These days, I personally cut down on meat because the UK farmers are regressing in terms of animal welfare but if we all cut out meat completely I imagine many animals would go extinct almost over night. Cattle farmers don't exactly want cows just as pets (though if I had a farm, I possibly would!).
If you've ever had cattle, you'd re-think that quickly!

Agribusiness isn't glamorous, but it is extremely high-tech with advanced bio-chemistry and genetics at its core. There is great potential for any company that wants to go into business supporting Agriculture, and as the son of a farmer and a FreeBSD user/fan, I am excited that this company is using FreeBSD for its support products. If I were a programmer, I'd be extremely interested in working for this sort of company.
 

obsigna

Daemon

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.... Why they not using Linux. I think the best reason to not using Linux for a job is its license(GNU). ...
As drhowarddrfine mentioned in the initial post of this thread, the company develops apps for iOS devices which are backed by FreeBSD server (client/server applications). The clients are developed on Macs. For macOS and iOS programmers, FreeBSD is the natural choice, since the UNIX-API of both systems is quite similar.

I basically do the same, I use Xcode on Macs for programming both, namely the client and the server side. On my Macs I got running test servers on localhost, so the coding/testing/debugging cycle is a quite rapid one. Usually the code can be directly deployed to the FreeBSD production server by simply re-compiling it. Usually I only need #ifdef __APPLE__ or __FreeBSD__ conditional directives in my code, when I target National Instruments PCIe-DAQ boards or the I²C-ADCs/DACs/DIOs which I got attached to BeagleBones Black running FreeBSD, since this stuff is not simply available on the Mac.

People programming on Windows for Android/Linux chose the hard way, and it is no surprise to me that those are the same who keep-on telling everybody that they are most comfortable with vi.
 

kpedersen

Son of Beastie

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If you've ever had cattle, you'd re-think that quickly!
I don't quite know what I would be re-thinking. In general I agree with you that this is a great project. Besides as mentioned further up in this thread I have worked on a similar feeding system related project for pigs.

Or are you suggesting that my retirement pet cows idea is not feasible? Fair point, I might need to do some more research into it before I commit to that one haha.

People programming on Windows for Android/Linux chose the hard way, and it is no surprise to me that those are the same who tell everybody that they are most comfortable with vi.

Whilst it is fairly difficult to get a decent copy of (n)vi on Windows, I don't think Windows and Android development is particularly any different from Apple's ecosystem. When dealing with C or C++, it is actually a fairly identical workflow to Xcode CLI Tools / iOS, just with less DRM. Really just some makefiles and a cross compiler just like everything else.
 

jardows

Active Member

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I don't quite know what I would be re-thinking. In general I agree with you in thinking this is a great project. Besides as mentioned further up in this thread I have worked on a similar feeding system related project for pigs.
I meant rethinking the idea of having cattle as pets.
 

obsigna

Daemon

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If you've ever had cattle, you'd re-think that quickly!

Agribusiness isn't glamorous, but it is extremely high-tech with advanced bio-chemistry and genetics at its core. There is great potential for any company that wants to go into business supporting Agriculture, and as the son of a farmer and a FreeBSD user/fan, I am excited that this company is using FreeBSD for its support products. If I were a programmer, I'd be extremely interested in working for this sort of company.
More than 40 years ago, a local school offered adult evening classes on programming courses in Pascal in a class room full of Apple II computers. There I met a son of a farmer - a very bright guy, and he told me that they had installed computer based systems for feeding the cattle and this included already at that time individual quantities based on weight, milk production and demand - yes, cows would know how to demand more feeding by touching a panel with the nose.

Usually farmers are less dumb than those city people who believe they are.
 
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