Game Programmer Quits Job To Sell Street Food, Doubles Salary

Game Programmer Quits Job To Sell Street Food, Doubles Salary

On the streets of China, street vendors sell a delicious flatbread called “shaobing”. This wonder of creation is incredibly cheap and incredibly filling — they come in all sizes and shapes as well as a with a variety of fillings. These little flatbreads have also helped change the life of one Chinese game programer.

First reported by Tencent, an unnamed game programmer in Shenzhen, Guangdong province left his job in the video games industry and took up a cart to sell “shaobing” on the street. According to the website, the programmer quit his day job at an internet games company because of health-related issues.

In China, game programmers are often nicknamed “Ma Nong (码农)”, which means “number cruncher” — an ironic play on words, implying that these programmers are the new digital coolies. The joke is that these “Ma Nong” work very long hours, particularly when games are close to release.

“The work hours of a programmer are long and arduous, sometimes we have to work overtime, though there was a lot of joy when we finished Yuan Zheng Online,” said the programmer. “When we are finished with work, we often go out to unwind, visiting karaoke parlors or playing basketball. Unfortunately my body was unable to withstand it all and I had to quit.”

After recuperating and finding himself a girlfriend, the man started looking for ways to earn a living — he ended up selling shaobing on the street. According to the programmer, his girlfriend was the one who taught him how to make the flatbread. The duo spent some time working on recipes and, after deciding they were ready, started their own street stand. According to Tencent, the couple now makes around $US3,259 a month, which in China is no small sum.

“We had no idea that we’d sell so much — we sold 100 shaobings in a day, business is only getting better and better.” said the programmer. “We already earned enough for an apartment and now we’re saving up more money. We hope to get married next year.”

程序猿转行卖烧饼:月入2万 买房买车娶靓妹 [Tencent]

Picture: Tencent


  • That is awesome. Though more than anything this reflects on those countries that don’t have laws and policies that look after their workers. I’ve heard a lot of similar stuff about and from the US. Not so much from Canada, UK(EU) & Australia though.

    • I find that in Asia, no matter how communist or tightly regulated their market is, they always let the small business do whatever they want. That’s why you get a lot of street food and the vendors do pretty well.

      • it also helps that in china, no matter where you set up shop
        you’ll still get more foot traffic than Pitt st sydney

  • Thats a great story, really great to here that after going through some health issues, he’s managed to start a business with his girlfriend and they’re earning a lot. And as a bonus I bet he isn’t doing overtime.

    • As a bonus, his gf is making him do overtime that is beneficial to his health 😉

  • I’ve had shaobing. They cooked them on the inside wall of a drum and sold them for 1 yuan. They were also awesome.

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