I have a very related job, as test engineer on a web application and have in some places very similar experiences. I might write my own post but this post already covers part of it.
Software testing is easier to transition into from an unrelated background and requires a somewhat different skillset and mindset. People who are more conscientious or more generalist may be a better fit for testing. Rather than working on a small part of the application, you work on the entire application (or at least a bigger part of it, depending on the product or company) and can sometimes understand interactions that developers are less likely to see. Collaboration skills are very important.
There is a (mis)conception that testing, especially manual testing, is boring and monotonous. There is a grain of truth in that but it gets better when you become a more senior tester, get to automate things, and improve the overall testing workflow in the company.
I roughly agree with your notes on the "path to impact". Web development or testing can be a reasonable plan B or plan Z career path.
Much of your grantmaking goes to new and less established projects. There are many of those. Should we fear the (successful) programs get more funding-constrained once they have scaled up and therefore need more funding, but maybe they have lost the novelty for high-risk-high-reward-seeking donors? Or are other funders (individual donors, ACE recommendations, OpenPhil, other philanthropists) likely to take over?
What will the AWF look like in 5 years? What may have changed? What do you hope for? What challenges do you foresee?
Besides your request for proposals, do you do any active grantmaking? How much? If so, how do either of the two ways bring you good opportunities?
Thank you for recommending the cooling gel mat. If heat turns out a problem in my new bedroom, I might give it a try.
My recommendations (not sure how useful they are, I realize some are quite specific for my lifestyle):
cleanable earplugs for sleeping.
I sleep earlier than most people. With these earplugs at hand, I never needed to complain to my flatmates when they talk or watch movies next to my bedroom. Clean with handsoap.
noise-isolating headphones in the bad old days working in an open office.
I tried the noise cancelling headphones of my friends to suppress distraction from colleagues talking in an open office. I did not like the noise cancelling enough to be willing to pay for it, because it generated soft noise by itself. In combination with a gentle rain noise or music I can not understand even conversations nearby. Good sound quality. Currently in use for video calls.
swiffer staubmagnet ("dust magnet")
Looks nonsense but works. I don't hate dust cleaning anymore. (H/t my flatmates)
sports watch for running
I wanted a cheap and easy-to-carry timer and not pay for features like a GPS tracker or heartrate measurement. Watches seem often too big for me but this one fits comfortably. If aestetics is important to you, try to find something else.
IKEA wooden step
to reach the upper kitchen shelf. Nicely stable but light enough to lift it and take it to wherever I need it. (H/t my flatmates)
100% peanut butter
I eat a lot of bread with peanut butter and good peanut butter is hard to get in Switzerland, where I live. Lots of calories per money spent, but no added sugar. A kg lasts me for a while. (H/t my flatmates)
I'm also pretty short and I can relate to the problems with the footrest. The best footrest I've used so far is a folded not-so-soft blanket (in home office, so not wearing shoes). The storage box you're recommending would be a another good idea in my employer's office. I got myself a desk with height-adjustable legs but my chair cannot go lower, the blanket is for the last few centimeters.
Ironically, I got a decent footrest using a stack of flattened Hello Fresh meal boxes. The meals were more valuable for my flatmate than for me.
I have no good experiences with footrests that are made to be footrests: not stable, too high, don't fit between the legs of my chair - my feet end up everywhere except there they are supposed to be.
Question for my understanding: what is your current job?
How could individual donors best help in reducing suffering and S-risk?
How should longtermist suffering-focussed donors approach donating differently than general longermist donors?
Strong-upvoted this question. Follow-up question: what kind of research could resolve any factual disagreements?
Sounds like a plan. Congratulations with doing your first donations!
How do you prioritize between the 5 charities that you mentioned?
Related: GiveWell's staff personal donations
I strong upvoted the post because I'm really happy to see a discussion about donating - this is an important and actionable topic.