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1
Ask HN: Monetizing newsletter with 2M and 1M members
46 points by dangelov  18 hours ago   65 comments top 25
1
tixocloud 17 hours ago 1 reply      
Based on what you shared, I'd recommend knowing/learning more about your membership base if you haven't done so already. Your membership list and their feedback is probably the best source for getting monetization ideas that actually work.

1. Figure out how many of the 2M and 1M members are actually engaged (reading emails as opposed to just opted-in).

2. From the engaged audience, who are they and what keeps them interested in the newsletter? What do their lives look like and is there any value that you can bring?

By knowing who your audience is and what they potentially need, you can deliver more personalized content. You could also think about promoting content from partners that go beyond straightforward ads (i.e. discounts, exclusive offers, developer bundles, Amazon AWS credits, affiliate links, etc.)

2
NicoJuicy 24 minutes ago 0 replies      
Also, minimize your cost. What do you use to send your emails? Eg. Sendy is pretty cheap
3
rayalez 13 hours ago 1 reply      
The first thing that comes to mind is sending them affiliate links to Amazon/Audible, that's pretty straightforward.

You could also find authors who are looking to promote their books, and charge them for adding their ad to emails.

Also I'm sure there are plenty of software/info-product companies and startups looking for audience in this niche.

If you can segment books by niche, it should be even more awesome and profitable. Send programming books and courses to programmers(a lot of them have affiliate programs), business books to business people, etc.

If it's not a secret, can you share with us what you did to build this list? The more details the better, it would be incredibly useful!

4
vram22 16 hours ago 1 reply      
Might want to check out Peter Cooper's work on newsletters - e.g. a podcast he was interviewed on (about how he started and grew his newsletter business) was interesting and may give some ideas. Don't have the link right now but if you use relevant keywords in a search, you should find it.
5
amrrs 14 hours ago 1 reply      
1.Have you tried setting up a Paetron account?

2.'If you enjoy our content, support us via PayPal'

3. And once in a month or bimonthly sharing your expenses and asking for support.

4. Contacting relevant youtubers for traffic or brand campaign where you can embed their videos along with the newsletter.

5. Finally, Checking with Book Publication to add relevant new releases as Sponsored.

7
tobltobs 17 hours ago 1 reply      
I am not sure if "not opting out" is a good indicator for "being a newsletter member". Be careful with trying to monetize this. You could damage your email delivery rate and thereby your core business while trying to squeeze those additional pennies.
8
erainey 14 hours ago 0 replies      
It seems like you've got everything needed for a thriving marketplace without the market.

Why is your content all free? Have you tried to directly monetize the content? Why not have the first x,xxx downloads free, then monetize the content and split revenue with the author & publisher? Or have a graduated cost based on popularity, similar to what pinboard did? Something like this may have the side benefit of creating a sense of urgency and anticipation for your newsletter.

9
msrpotus 16 hours ago 3 replies      
It might take some work but you'll definitely be able to get advertisers. The first step would be audience surveys to find out who your readers are and what they are interested in, and then you can go out and find advertisers who want to reach those folks.

However, if you're already doing books, what about Amazon affiliates or even, depending on the topic of these books, selling related products? If someone is interested in finance, business, or home improvement, for example, there's a lot of items they might buy beyond books. You can recommend them and make some money off each sale.

10
gargarplex 17 hours ago 1 reply      
I wrote a book. If you have people who are interested in technology I would be interested in promoting it to your list.
11
michaelthiessen 17 hours ago 0 replies      
Why not ask your members?

You have the attention and trust of a LOT of people. Figure out what they need, what problems they have.

12
csallen 16 hours ago 2 replies      
How many weekly emails are you sending, and how much money are you spending to send them?

In your shoes, I might attempt to break the newsletters up further into more easily monetizable niches. You can track which links are clicked by different subscribers, segment them, and then start sending slightly different emails. Or just straight up create new mailing lists and ask your readers to subscribe to those occasionally.

Just spitballing here.

P.S. You might consider asking on the Indie Hackers forum, too: https://www.indiehackers.com/forum. Lots of people there have monetized various apps and mailing lists.

13
robhunter 16 hours ago 1 reply      
I think this was largely the business model for BookBub - take a look at them
14
kichik 16 hours ago 1 reply      
Have you considered using Amazon affiliate links to make it easy for your users to buy the books? They get an easy way to buy the recommended book, and you get a cut of the purchase.
15
iRobbery 16 hours ago 1 reply      
If i would have signed up for a mailing by a bookstore, i'd only really care about specific recommendations for me. Just a single title, based on set preferences/previous purchases and not too often.

Bit like parties as Netflix do if they release some new series they strongly think you'd like. It feels more like a 'reminder' then an ad, but its an ad of course.

16
andy_ppp 14 hours ago 0 replies      
The content you are sending them "new featured books" sounds like it's going to be not hugely interesting for most people. Maybe try to create really engaging content around the original means of signing up (was it book specific) and you'll probably find sponsors around that relevant content.

What do you think?

17
hayksaakian 17 hours ago 1 reply      
You should promote interesting blog content to your list, and get them to go to your website to learn more.

I'm looking at https://www.reddit.com/r/books/ and it looks like there's so many different things that 'book people' are interested in.

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hackerews 15 hours ago 1 reply      
If community is at all important to your members, you can set up a hiohmy community for them (https://www.hiohmy.com).

It's free but you could place it behind your own paywall.

19
sogen 13 hours ago 0 replies      
Forget about free content and free books , 2 focus on reaching book authors and publishers, 1 segment lists3 profitContact me for marketing campaign ideas
20
sixQuarks 17 hours ago 1 reply      
wait, how did you get 2 million subscribers in the first place? And what does "haven't opted out" mean? Did you buy this list?
21
notadoc 17 hours ago 1 reply      
That's an enormous email list, how did you get such a big member list together in the first place?
22
mcnnowak 16 hours ago 1 reply      
Maybe sneak an Amazon Affiliate link to some book that isn't on your site.
23
jraby3 15 hours ago 0 replies      
For a newsletter that size I'd try an Israeli startup named PowerInbox.
24
pryelluw 16 hours ago 1 reply      
Is it a standard newsletter format or a drip?
25
ajohnclark 16 hours ago 1 reply      
liveintent or powerinbox maybe?
2
Ask HN: Projects that don't make you money but you're doing it out of sheer joy?
454 points by superasn  1 day ago   544 comments top 60
1
StavrosK 1 day ago 11 replies      
Oh man, that describes all of them.

http://ipfessay.stavros.io/ - Publish uncensorable essays on IPFS

https://www.eternum.io/ - Pin IPFS files with a nice interface

https://www.pastery.net/ - The best pastebin

https://spa.mnesty.com/ - Fuck with spammers

https://www.timetaco.com/ - Easily make nice-looking countdowns

And this is just the last two months or so? Also, lots of hardware stuff:

https://www.stavros.io/projects/

2
yourduskquibble 1 day ago 8 replies      
I just saw this thread, and honestly it is probably too late to get noticed by many, but I'm attempting to 'unsuck the web' with my project[0] by pinning "sticky" website elements where they belong - i.e. the website header shouldn't steal your screen real estate and scroll down the page with you.

My project/uBO filter list removes the "annoying" elements noted above as well as other "features" of websites (e.g. social share bars, cookie notices, etc) through a filter list that works with uBlock Origin.

I update the list often, and admittedly am probably entering into an arms race but I'm just really sick of websites hijacking (what I think) the web was built for (information).

Feel free to subscribe to the filter list by pasting the URL below[1] into the 'Custom' section under the '3rd-party filters' tab of uBlock Origin.

This filter list also works on mobile Firefox for Android with uBlock Origin installed.

[0] Project Homepage https://github.com/yourduskquibbles/webannoyances

[1] https://raw.githubusercontent.com/yourduskquibbles/webannoya...

3
dmuth 1 day ago 7 replies      
I built a website which offers real-time statistics for Philadelphia's Regional Rail train system: https://www.septastats.com/

This lets public transit passengers answer questions like:

- "My train is getting later and later, is it actually moving?"

- "My train is getting later and later, has it actually STARTED its journey?" (sometimes the answer is "no", sadly)

- "Is it just my train, or are many trains running late?"

- "What was the on-time performance of this train like yesterday? 2 days ago? 7 days ago?" (Some trains tend to be chronically late)

It may come as a surprise that the backend of the system is actually not a database, but Splunk (http://www.splunk.com). DBs are nice, but Splunk is fantastic when it comes to data analytics and reporting.

I'm currently waiting for Splunk to make some of their machine learning modules available for free so that I can start pulling in weather data, train the machine learning component against both that and the train data, and use that to predict the likelihood of any given train becoming late.

4
jimhefferon 1 day ago 3 replies      
I write math texts that are Free. It is my creative outlet. My Linear Algebra (http://joshua.smcvt.edu/linearalgebra) has gotten some traction (and I get a small amount of money from Amazon). I also have an Introduction to Proofs: an Inquiry-Based Approach (http://joshua.smcvt.edu/proofs) that I find helps my students, but is in quite a niche area. And I'm working on a Theory of Computation.

If I didn't have some creative work I would be much less happy.

5
superasn 1 day ago 3 replies      
The reason I'm asking this question is because I realized something recently. I've been a programmer all my life. I used to love programming in Delphi, VB :P, Perl, PHP, Javascript, etc since school. I created all sorts of stupid things like Winamp plugins[1], Graphics software[2], Games, etc. It was programming just because i liked making the computer do things for me.

But then somewhere along the line my projects started making me money and then I start reading all these marketing books and my perception changed. Now if I'm creating a site I'm usually more focused on SEO, list building and crippling my software so that I can extract more money from my users. I am making more money but the joy of doing it is gone. I feel bored writing software and generally browse HN and reddit and generally force myself to work.

Maybe it's time to go back to the basics and work on stuff just for sheer joy of doing it :D

[1] https://techcrunch.com/2008/09/27/songrefernce-turns-your-mp...

[2] http://www.makeuseof.com/tag/extreme-article-marketing-conve...

6
grecy 1 day ago 0 replies      
I created, run and maintain http://wikioverland.org, the community encyclopedia of overland travel

It's a wiki of all the info you need to drive your own vehicle around a country, continent or the world.

Border crossings, paperwork, insurance, gas prices, camping, drinking water, safety... it's all in there for a massive number of countries in the world.

I'm driving around myself, and it occured to me there is so much info out there but it all slides off the front pages of blogs and forums or is buried in facebook posts. Every three months people re-write and re-post the same stuff because they couldn't find it in the first place. The idea is not for WikiOverland to contain all the info, but at least link directly to it.

7
ztravis 1 day ago 1 reply      
http://www.arabicreference.com

I've always wanted a good Arabic root-based dictionary with vowelling, plurals, etc (basically Hans Wehr online). I also wanted the structured dataset for some linguistic "research".

It was a fun project - I built out a web interface for reviewing and updating entries and put in a lot of hours of manual correction (just to get all the entries to validate - I still have a lot more corrections/fixes to make...). I'm a little burnt out on it at the moment, but I plan on:

- fixing those mistakes and a few other bugs

- cleaning up the UI/display

- moving onto a "real" server framework

- writing up some blog posts about those short linguistic investigations I'd like to do now that I have the structured data

- making an API?

Notably lacking is any plan to promote it... I posted it on reddit and I'd love it if people stumble upon it and find it useful, but I did it mostly as a labor of love and something that I personally find useful!

8
raphlinus 1 day ago 2 replies      
I have a largish open-source portfolio, including a markdown parser, a regex engine, some music synthesis, and some more researchy stuff like a font renderer and a prototype of concurrent text editing using CRDT's. I'm lucky to be working at Google where I get paid 20% time to work on this, but the motivation is definitely not money.

The biggest item in my portfolio is xi-editor, and I confess I'm wrestling with some of the questions raised in this thread. I think it has the potential to be a serious player in the editor space, with extremely high performance goals (including fast startup and low RAM usage) yet a modern feel. It also has a great little open-source community around it who have been contributing significant features.

Yet it's at the point where it's _almost_ done enough to use for day-to-day editing, and I'm hesitating a bit before pushing it over the line. I think I'm scared of having lots of users. It's also the case that I'm very interested in the engine and the core of the UX, but the complete product needs a plugin ecosystem and along with that ways to discover, upgrade, and curate the plugins (including making sure they are trustworthy, lately a fairly significant concern). That's potentially a huge amount of work, and it doesn't really line up with my interests.

I'm wondering if it's possible to focus on the parts I care about and try to foster the community to take care of the rest, but I'm not quite sure how that would work.

If this were a business and I had some way of making a few coins from every user, then my incentives would be lined up to make the best overall product possible, including the less fun parts. But that's off the table; among other things, there are a number of good free editors out there, and the niche for a better but non-free editor is also well occupied.

Maybe the HN crowd has some ideas?

9
CM30 1 day ago 2 replies      
Wario Forums and absolutely anything else associated with it:

https://warioforums.com

Yeah, I know it's not particularly fancy, nor does it involve any clever coding tricks or interesting features. However, it's literally the only community on the internet dedicated to the series, and one I've decided to run for a minimum of two decades to make sure said franchise finally builds a decent fanbase.

Is it going to make money?

Probably not, given how the franchise it's based on sells about 2 million copies worldwide at most, and hasn't gotten a new game since either 2013 (WarioWare) or 2008 (Wario Land).

But it's one with a passionate audience that up until recently had nowhere online to discuss the series nor anywhere specifically dedicated to their favourite franchise. So I decided to change that by setting up and promoting a community based on it, with the guarantee I'd keep it open for decades in the hope that eventually a community at least the size of the Earthbound one comes about here. With the hope that eventually I won't need to run the forum because there'll be enough sites about it to sustain a decent fandom.

10
weddpros 1 day ago 3 replies      
I built https://sslping.com/ to help monitor website TLS/SSL security and certificates. It has 300 users and checks almost 7000 servers every day for TLS problems.

It's a little like SSLlabs server test, only much faster (5 seconds instead of 2 minutes), plus the tests are recurring every day, and you receive the diff if any.

It's always been a joy to receive thank you emails from users, or adding new features for users.

SSLping also allowed me to learn React and Redux. I'm still working on it, adding new features and refactoring what I don't like.

If I ever have to stop hosting it, I'll open source the whole thing. Or maybe I'll open source it anyway. If I could find a deal with a security company, I would work on it fulltime.

I consider it's a success, even if the numbers are not as high as I'd like.

11
t0mek 1 day ago 1 reply      
Yet another Game Boy Color emulator, written in Java:

https://github.com/trekawek/coffee-gb

It's quite compatible and brought me a lot of fun. Blog post describing it:

http://blog.rekawek.eu/2017/02/09/coffee-gb/

12
purescript 1 day ago 3 replies      
I work on the PureScript (http://purescript.org) compiler, tools, libraries and book in my spare time (along with many other unpaid contributors), because it's the programming language I wished had existed when I started creating it. It's still the closest thing to a perfect environment for web development, at least as far as I'm concerned :)
13
tomcam 1 day ago 1 reply      
Hope I don't get flagged or anything. I am astounded by the generosity of the amazing people on this page and have been upvoting like a madman. I probably look like a bot at this point
14
gadgetoid 1 day ago 4 replies      
https://pinout.xyz

A somewhat interactive GPIO pinout for the Raspberry Pi.

Not so much out of sheer joy, but because I needed it.

It started as a basic way to explore each pin and its available alt-functions.

Listings of add-on board pinouts were added later for people who want to use multiple boards- or perhaps connect them to a different host.

15
xeo84 1 day ago 0 replies      
Touchboard: http://www.timelabs.io/touchboard Open source app for iPad to send keys to your pc / mac. I use it for gaming, I really find it useful, here is a video of it: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s1KOUj9SK_c

I've also made CbrConverter: https://github.com/timefrancesco/cbr-converter

Coverts pdf to cbr and vice versa.

And then there are a bunch of other small projects like:

- Ebay Search Scheduler (schedule Ebay searches with custom parameters)

- Twitter Time Machine (download and browse your twitter timeline) https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/tweet-time-machine-2/id83212... - windows version also available

- Autosleep (put the windows down for good) https://github.com/timefrancesco/autosleep

And many others I really enjoyed making and using.

16
m52go 1 day ago 2 replies      
100 Million Books -- mission is to promote intellectual diversity.

It's a Chrome extension/homepage that shows you a new book every time you open a new tab, plus a special hand-picked idea that teaches you a new perspective/fact/concept.

I'm evaluating a couple different paths to make it profitable, but it's not currently making anything since Amazon cut me off its affiliate program.

http://www.100millionbooks.org

17
snickerbockers 1 day ago 2 replies      
For almost a year, I've been writing a SEGA Dreamcast emulator called WashingtonDC. It's slow and it doesn't play any games yet, but it can boot the firmware menu and display the animated "spiral swirl" logo. https://github.com/washingtondc-emu/washingtondc
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jconcilio 19 hours ago 0 replies      
http://www.penginsforeveryone.com - giving away stuffed penguins. Just because we can. (Hoping to actually register this as a nonprofit, but right now it's basically a completely unprofitable business venture.)

ETA: On the development end this has been a pretty great project for my fiance and I. He built (and I'm learning from his efforts) a database for processing requests, filtering by priority, etc., and then an integration that allows those we want to send to be exported to a file we can pull into our stamps.com account, and that creates drafts of the Wordpress posts that power our map of sent friends. The database is pretty big (we're sitting at about 21K requests right now on a shared hosting platform) so some of the work has been to load the requests asynchronously so you're not waiting for 21,000 rows before you can manage requests...

19
codeplea 1 day ago 0 replies      
I have a lot of projects like that!

https://f5bot.com - Social media monitoring. It can email you when your keyword (e.g. company name) appears on Hacker News or Reddit. I don't have any plans to monetize it. I just made it as a small fun project.

Also, like many here, I've made a bunch of open source software for no reason other than the joy of it. Don't ever see that changing. https://github.com/codepleahttps://github.com/tulipcharts

20
apancik 1 day ago 1 reply      
I made Plain Email [0] just because I couldn't find any email client with clean work flow without distractions. I use it pretty much every day. Thinking about open sourcing it - just can't find the time to refractor it nicely.

I also built news aggregator 10HN [1] with throttling (ten best articles every morning and every evening). I use it daily and it helped to fight my procrastination a lot. It's also interesting to watch the data how stories evolve and get popularity.

[0] http://www.plainemail.com/[1] http://10hn.pancik.com

21
martin_drapeau 23 hours ago 0 replies      
Been working on https://www.findyourtennis.com since 2011. Amateur tennis league/tournament management. 3 leagues have been using it recurrently for 3 years here in Montreal. The managers, volunteers, save dozens of hours every season.

Started off as a 'find a tennis partner' forum however getting traction was difficult. Chicken and egg problem. Slowly migrating to solving problems of league and tournament management. Will drop the forum one day. Long transition to do part time.

Now working on a mobile version with cordova. Testing it on the league I am managing. Saves us a lot of time since it automates lots of tasks and avoids the use of Excel.

I don't expect to make money. Market is small and problem is tough to solve. UX intensive. However fun to do on spare time.

My objective is to launch on the app store in 2018. Then I hope lots of leagues around tue world will use to simplify their lives.

22
teapot7 1 day ago 1 reply      
I guess I do ask for money for this, but it's pretty overengineered and I wrote it knowing that nobody wanted or needed it:

Long ago, when Sun workstations were new and exciting, I wrote a simple Roman numeral digital clock, which just showed the time in Roman numerals.

My friend, instead of admiring my cleverness, said "But that's not how the Romans told the time" - which is true. The Roman day started at dawn and finished at sunset, which meant that day and night length were different every single day, as well as in cities at different latitudes.

Several decades later I did something about it, and wrote it up as a mobile app which showed either the modern time or optionally the Roman time.

Then I made it use the Roman calendar, where you don't have individually numbered days of the month, but count instead how many days until the next Kalends (start of the month), Nones (fifth or seventh day) or Nones (thirteenth or fifteenth day), even if it occurs in the next month.

Then I thought I might as well go all the way, and spent more money than I would ever earn from it on having the help text translated into Latin, just in case any ancient Roman time travellers wanted to use it.

A waste of time and money, but one which made me happy.

http://www.teapot7.com/roman-clock-app/

23
cknight 1 day ago 1 reply      
I built https://suitocracy.com very slowly over the last few years. It is for collating information on the ethical conduct of large corporations, as well as rating and ranking them on various criteria.

It'll never make money, but it has been a good project for me to modernise my web development skills which had gone rusty over the preceding decade. I also took the opportunity to learn NGINX and a few other things that I hadn't really been exposed to beforehand.

24
rayalez 1 day ago 1 reply      
I occasionally create digital art:

https://www.artstation.com/artist/rayalez

and make video tutorials about it:

https://www.youtube.com/digitalverse

Computer graphics is still by far the most fun hobby I've ever had, I absolutely love it, it's like the most engaging computer game you can imagine times 100.

There's not much profit in making art(unless you want to do it professionally), but it's an awesome way to spend my free time, and sometimes it generates some ideas I like to share on youtube.

If you want to get into it, I highly recommend checking out SideFX Houdini. It's a bit technical, but extremely powerful and well designed 3D software, kinda like emacs of CG applications.

25
chubot 1 day ago 2 replies      
I'm building a new Unix shell called Oil: http://www.oilshell.org/

It's definitely not making me any money. I would say the motivation is a little bit "joy" / learning, but also frustration that shells are so old, unintuitive, and work so poorly.

I've been going for about 16 months and it's still fun, so that's good. I think that seeing progress is what make things fun.

26
dogas 1 day ago 1 reply      
I built + maintain todolist[1] which is a GTD-style task management app for the command line. It's getting a bit of traction now which is pretty fun. It got a ton of upvotes on Product Hunt which was really cool to see[2].

I have very loose plans to monetize via a paid subscription for syncing with other devices / phones, but there will always bee a free / open source version as well.

[1]: http://todolist.site

[2]: https://www.producthunt.com/posts/todolist

27
vanderZwan 1 day ago 2 replies      
It doesn't have to be a full project, right? Do random drive-by PR-requests to open-source projects count?

A few months ago I ended up scratching an optimisation itch for weeks, trying to figure out ways to make the lz-string[0][1] library faster and smaller. Near the end I went a bit nuts with trying out what works, methinks (nested trees built out of arrays and such), but I had a lot of fun.

It's not even my library, nor did my PR request get accepted/rejected yet. It did however make the compression up to 2x to 10x faster, depending on how well the data compresses.

And hey, I now have an intuitive understanding of LZ compression that I never thought I'd have!

Since a few days I've been working on writing a component for idyll[2] that lets you embed p5js sketches[3]. Progress here[4][5].

[0] http://pieroxy.net/blog/pages/lz-string/index.html

[1] https://github.com/pieroxy/lz-string/pull/98

[2] https://idyll-lang.github.io/

[3] https://p5js.org/

[4] https://github.com/idyll-lang/idyll/issues/117

[5] https://jobleonard.github.io/idyll-p5/

28
neya 1 day ago 1 reply      
This is my current project: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=14785209. It's too long to describe in a sentence, but, it's essentially what I call it the mother of all software (internally). I created it out of pure annoyance towards many of the popular services such as Wordpress, MailChimp, Hubspot, Shopify, Unbounce who had screwed up some aspect of their tools. So, in essence this is a combination of all those softwares under one roof.

Here are some things you can do with this software:

1) Research your market, find out your target audience

2) Integrate with analytics tools and understand your users

3) Automate your marketing strategies

4) Maintain a central data warehouse

5) Maintain multi-domain content properties such as blogs, websites, news portals, etc.

6) Host online trainings, build a student list

7) Etc. (read the link: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=14785209)

I've been working on it over 3 years now, while trying to jump from one web framework to another. Finally, I've settled down on Phoenix. This project alone has helped me learn so many programming languages and also helped me gain more experience as a programmer in general, while simultaneously being able to integrate new tools and platforms into my pipeline - This is how I learned React, VueJS, Brunch, Google Cloud, etc.

At the moment, I've built this only for myself, just to support and test out my startup ideas. I am thinking of open-sourcing it at some point, at least the core functionality.

But as of now, there's nothing else I enjoy doing on a weekend than working on this project :) (also why I'm still single)

29
apankrat 1 day ago 0 replies      
A networking IO abstraction library in C - https://github.com/apankrat/tcp-striper

Based around an idea of IO pipes with minimal semantics (duplex, reliable, ordered) that they can then extend to implement other traits like IO buffering, atomic send, packetization, compression, encryption, etc. [1]

This then allows merging together pipes of different types (by attaching the output of one to the input of another), which combines their traits and yields, for example, a reliable datagram carrier with in-flight compression.

With this it also becomes possible to write a simple IO bridge [2] that relays both data _and_ operational state between two pipes. The bridge in turn can be used to implement all sorts of interesting things, e.g. proper TCP relay, SSL tunneling proxy, TCP trunking proxy, etc.

[1] https://github.com/apankrat/tcp-striper/blob/master/src/io/i...

[2] https://github.com/apankrat/tcp-striper/blob/master/src/io/i...

30
nfriedly 1 day ago 1 reply      
Everything to do with cryptocurrency! I wrote trading bot that was actually making a small profit - and then the exchange got hacked and took all of my coins & dollars with it :(

I've started to get into Ethereum and Solidity recently, but mining even a few coins just to have gas money costs more in electricity than they're worth. I'm letting my desktop mine anyways, but when I reach my pools payout threshold in a week or two (it's got a 3-year-old GPU), I'll probably kill the mining. (I know I could just buy some ETH with USD, but that's probably even more expensive and somehow feels different.)

(To be fair it hasn't been all negative - I bought a copy of the game Portal with the first bitcoin I ever earned, and a Kindle with the second bitcoin. But looking at it from a strictly money perspective, I'm definitely in the hole. In theory, it will be positive eventually.. but I'm still not sure exactly how.)

31
aroc 1 day ago 1 reply      
http://www.get-jumper.com/

A way to motivate people (including myself) to exercise with a chat bot that tracks your progress.

Originally built it to track how often I worked out, and if I didn't, what the reason was and have that reported back to me regularly. Now I have a bunch of people using it, but as you can imagine, makes me zero dollars. Well, technically it costs me money so it makes me negative dollars.

32
TamDenholm 1 day ago 4 replies      
I'm grumpy, i dont like christmas: http://whychristmasisbullshit.com/
33
jtruk 1 day ago 3 replies      
130 Story - a daily microfiction challenge.

https://www.130story.com/

I started this as a Twitter game a few years ago; it felt like a compact idea with a good hook. Earlier this year I automated it- so it picks its own words and collates the stories on the website itself (mostly successfully).

It doesn't have a big following, but the people who play are passionate about it. Some people play every day, and the most prolific author has written ~650 of them.

I've seen people get better as writers, some experimental stuff (like an improvised longform story built over many daily prompts), and occasionally I see a microstory that knocks it out the park. That makes it worthwhile.

34
dzenos 22 hours ago 0 replies      
Building https://tuiqo.com to try and solve a document versioning problem. We realized that even though we created a new way to do document version control and avoid "v1.doc, v2.doc, final_final.doc" problem; people won't switch to it because of lack of options such as formatting tools or any other pure editor features. We are thinking of possible pivots we could try out and we obviously don't have a product-market fit.
35
jjjensen90 1 day ago 1 reply      
I run/develop/manage a private MMOARPG game server for a dead game called Hellgate: London that we call London 2038. You can see more about it here http://london2038.com

Not only do I not make money on the project, it actually costs me money! :)

I have seemingly undying motivation to work on it, knock out bugs, release patches, catch cheaters, etc. The community being so active and excited helps keep me going. I probably spend 30-40 hours of week on the project.

Edit: grammar

36
beilabs 1 day ago 1 reply      
Late arrival to this thread. One of my projects involve working with local female co-operatives in Nepal and help them sell their hand made products around the world. Paypal doesn't operate here, merchant services for international cards are impossible to get. They don't understand technology in any way and there is a lot of hand holding.

The site is https://www.pasatrade.com

We make no money off of this, I operate it at a loss, but each and every sale gets more money back to the women who really need it; a few extra dollars here and there can really make a huge difference in Nepal. The interesting part is they make more money on each sale through us than they do locally or selling through Fair Trade channels.

37
nikivi 1 day ago 1 reply      
I am working on a community curated search engine to learn anything most optimally :

https://learn-anything.xyz/

Everything is open source and is MIT licensed, both the search engine and the entire database it searches over.

There are however many things that we can still do to take this idea further. Hopefully more people join to help us with that. :)

38
anfractuosity 1 day ago 2 replies      
A few of mine:

https://www.anfractuosity.com/projects/painting-a-christmas-... - 'painting' the LEDs on my christmas tree.

https://www.anfractuosity.com/projects/optical-magnetic-stri... - optically decoding data from magnetic stripe cards.

https://www.anfractuosity.com/projects/zymeter-simple/ - a rather unsuccessful attempt at measuring specific gravity.

https://github.com/anfractuosity/musicplayer - playing .wav files via RF emissions from a laptop.

39
yogthos 1 day ago 2 replies      
40
domainkiller 1 day ago 3 replies      
Nomie! https://nomie.io The easiest way to track any aspect of your life.
41
overcast 1 day ago 2 replies      
https://kidisms.com

Sharing funny kid quotes.

Been going for years, not a whole lot of traffic, but the family loves it (that was the intention). Recently migrated from a severely aging kohana/mysql backend to express/rethinkdb.

42
reagent 1 day ago 1 reply      
I built this dead-simple "image enhancing" app (http://en.hance.me) to focus in on potentially embarrassing details in photos. It allows you to specify a zoom area and create a 4-panel stacked image that progressively "zooms in" on your target area.
44
edhelas 1 day ago 0 replies      
Movim, a social network project built on XMPP https://movim.eu/. I'm working on it for 9 years already and starting to have a nice little community using it daily.

I'm really enjoying developing Movim on my free time because I'm still motivated to show the world that we can have decent social-networks and IM solutions by using existing standard protocols (and not proprietary silos like today).

45
cozuya 1 day ago 2 replies      
My web adaptation of the social deduction board game Secret Hitler: https://secrethitler.io

Pretty fun, don't get to do much back end stuff so its a learning process. Its creative commons so can't make $ off it but the $10/month digital ocean box is doing fine. About 100 players on at peak and always games going.

46
expertentipp 1 day ago 0 replies      
Dead simple personal website in Python and plain JavaScript with contact form, URL shortener, private bookmarks, etc. It's my own territory and I do what I want! fuck unit tests, fuck linters, fuck commit messages length limit, fuck your newest web framework, fuck transpilers, fuck pull requests.
47
albahk 1 day ago 0 replies      
Free OpenStreetMap Data extracts (be kind, it is a rushed POC at the moment)

http://propdata.io

I have created a free site containing extracts from OpenStreetMap data. Unlike the metro extracts sites (Geofabrik, Mapzen), my goal is to extract specific datasets such as buildings, schools, hospitals, fast food restaurants etc from OSM rather than standard map/gis data.

My overall goal is to make the extracts available, and then to encourage people who use them and get value to actively update OSM to improve the quality of the data they are interested in. By doing this, the overall quality and coverage of data in OSM should (in theory) be improved.

48
lawrencewu 1 day ago 1 reply      
I created Juicebox, which lets you listen to youtube/soundcloud songs with other people: https://www.juicebox.dj/

I have made no money off of this. In fact, I've probably paid hundreds in hosting/domain fees. But I love what I've built so far and use it everyday with my friends. Please check it out, I'd love to hear any feedback!

49
mimming 1 day ago 0 replies      
http://dinopacks.com

I fill out those 'other comments' on order forms with a request for a dinosaur drawing.

50
jesses 1 day ago 1 reply      
https://gigalixir.com After falling in love with Elixir, Phoenix, Ecto, etc I built this to help increase Elixir adoption by solving the biggest pain point I saw: deploying.
51
dumbfounder 1 day ago 1 reply      
Twicsy (Twitter picture search) still gets around 1.5 million visitors per month, but nets no money. But I wouldn't call it sheer joy though, maybe sheer stubbornness?

http://twicsy.com

52
monkey_slap 1 day ago 0 replies      
Working on a GitHub iOS app to make managing GitHub projects easier. Fun part is now that it's shipped I'm using it to manage itself.

https://github.com/rnystrom/Freetime

Turning this into more of a social experiment now, seeing where he community wants to take this. Publishing download reports and stuff.

Even made a landing page.

http://freetime-app.com/

53
preinheimer 1 day ago 1 reply      
Global Ping Statistics - https://wondernetwork.com/pingsWe have ~240 servers world wide, we get them all to ping each other every hour, and record the results.

We've been generating them for years, they're a pain to store, we've made $0 with it. But I really like the data we're getting. We recently moved a lot of the legacy data into S3 to save our own backup & restore process ( https://wonderproxy.com/blog/moving-ping-data-to-s3/ )

54
laktak 1 day ago 1 reply      
I started http://hjson.org as a JSON for humans interface but I constantly run into the "I love it but I'll wait until it's used by more people" problem.
55
jetti 1 day ago 0 replies      
All of my Elixir open source projects:

 * Plsm - https://github.com/jhartwell/Plsm - which is an Ecto model generator based on existing schemas * Taex - https://github.com/jhartwell/Taex - A technical Analysis library for Elixir. 
I'm also in the process of writing a GDAX (https://gdax.com) Elixir library but won't open source that until it is more complete. I'm using that and Taex in a cryptocurrency algo trading platform I'm developing.

56
kadirayk 1 day ago 1 reply      
http://apimockery.com/ - API Mocking as a Service

I built it to learn React and brush up my Go skills. I occasionally add new features.

It makes $0 now, but I plan to earn 10$ a month before my amazon free tier expires :)

57
GenKali 1 day ago 1 reply      
NextTrain: https://www.nextrain.co.za

We have a fledgling train system in the Gauteng area of South Africa (this area includes Johannesburg and Pretoria). However, the only way to see train schedules is via a PDF (2MB) buried deep on their website.

This was a quick weekend hack to show when the next train is for each of the stations, and some additional info.

58
CiPHPerCoder 1 day ago 0 replies      
Virtually everything in the paragonie namespace on Packagist generates zero revenue, but we built and maintain them because we want to make the PHP ecosystem more secure by default.

https://packagist.org/packages/paragonie

59
atomashpolskiy 1 day ago 1 reply      
Yes, I've developed a full-featured BitTorrent library in Java: https://github.com/atomashpolskiy/bt/blob/master/README.md#-... . It was very warmly received by HN folks

It was VERY surprising for me to find out that one of the most popular programming languages offers little variety in terms of BT libs/clients. For a long time, if one needed advanced options like DHT or protocol encryption, his only choice would be jlibtorrent (JNI wrapper for the well-known C++ library). Well, not anymore :)

60
epx 1 day ago 1 reply      
Morse code player: https://epxx.co/morse

Koch method to learn Morse: https://epxx.co/morse/koch.html

3
Ask HN: What methods, tools etc. do you use to validate your business ideas?
76 points by kadfak  20 hours ago   34 comments top 22
1
cercatrova 14 hours ago 2 replies      
I get on the phone and call people even before building anything, especially with B2B products since their phone number is easier to find. Email works too but it's not immediate and it's easier for people to not reply than it is on the phone. I used a book called Talking to Humans (free) [1] that talks about how to validate ideas.

The main way to do so is to listen to the potential customer and not even mention your idea or that you are working on something. You must first understand their true problems, not your idea of what their problems might be, which many technical people especially do and rush into building a product that people may not even want. Ask them about their problems in their daily life and if you keep hearing the same thing over and over and it aligns with your idea, then build the product. Even if it doesn't, a repeatedly mentioned problem is still one that could have a good solution.

[1] www.talkingtohumans.com

2
tmoravec 16 hours ago 1 reply      
The best validation is a deep understanding of the target group and their problems. Let me give you an example.

First, pick the target audience you are either part of, or familiar with. In my case, I chose new and aspiring managers.

Second, learn about their pains. Talk to them, see what they discuss on Reddit, Quora, and wherever else they gather. In my case, I see questions about communicating and dealing with difficult people and dealing with various corporate processes.

Third, figure out what they pay for. Some groups buy books. Some pay for SaaS. Some prefer webinars, screencasts or courses. The options are endless, but the focus should be on what the customers already buy, not what we can easily make. In my case, new managers often buy books.

Four, pick one pain and fix it. Now you don't really need validation in the conventional sense of the word because now you _know_ what the people want and you _know_ what they pay for. I picked the communication challenges new managers face because I have studied this topic extensively before.

Five, implement. In my case, I started writing a book, even though I have never written a book before. But I know there are people I can help, so there is a chance that I actually will. My progress so far (shameless plug, accept my apology and please remove it if you consider it inappropriate) https://www.thenewrole.com/

This process is a somewhat simplified version of what a marketing expert Amy Hoy talks about. I suggest you check her website https://stackingthebricks.com/ if you are considering starting a side business.

Hope this is useful! :-)

3
busterc 18 hours ago 1 reply      
Perhaps against the grain, I sometimes like to build an MVP for myself before any significant validation; something I'll use even if others won't. Then if others don't use it, I will. It can be a good opportunity to experiment with certain technologies as well. One such example is a service I made http://EmailMeTweets.com

When I first made it public I submitted it to ProductHunt and tweeted at marketing folks, with large follower numbers on Twitter, to please try it and help promote it. There was traction but not nearly as much as fast as I had hoped. In fact, just the other day I created an Indiegogo campaign to gauge the interest in paying for the service. At this time, there are 3 contributors for $12 each. Without a big surge it obviously doesn't seem poised to stay alive... for the public. However, like I said, I'll continue to use the service privately, freely. So, it's validated and minimally viable for myself; unfortunately not for the public.

4
hayksaakian 17 hours ago 0 replies      
I like to imagine that the product already exists, then attempt to sell it to a customer face to face / in person.

Let's say I'm doing some kind of SaaS for accountants. I would meet with dozens of accounts with a sales pitch for "x software". This will quickly help you figure out if what you're planning on building is actually valuable.

Anybody that takes you up on the sale gets to be an early tester.

5
jqbx_jason 17 hours ago 0 replies      
Feedback from others is absolutely critical. I'm just one person and I usually have some sort of abnormal preference even if I don't know it.

So I'll implement a quick version of the idea that gets the point across to others and roll it out to generate feedback. People will likely utilize it in ways you didn't expect or point out flaws in concept or execution- this is good because even if it doesn't validate your idea it could point you towards developing something else.

This works for smaller features within a project as well. Just roll out a rough cut of it, get feedback, and refine. The product I'm working on (https://www.jqbx.fm) has a live chat feature so it's easy for me to roll out a feature to a subsection of users and ask them about it directly. But even if it's as basic as sitting behind someone at your laptop it's almost always worth your time.

6
jsloss 16 hours ago 0 replies      
I'm a huge fan of the interview process Ash Maurya recommends in Running Lean. I'd add to that the understanding Jobs to Be done (Read: Competing Against Luck by Christiansen) for an interview process that really get's to the base progress a user/client is trying to make in a given circumstance.
7
alexayou 17 hours ago 0 replies      
Small-scale test of the general idea. Not even an MVP - test the basic idea as an extreme rough draft. If people respond positively to the general theme, keep testing and building up for that responsive audience. If it's good enough, they'll keep engaging
8
jermaustin1 17 hours ago 0 replies      
In my former life I was a product developer.

I liked to tell as many different people about my ideas and get their feedback for if it is dumb or not. In that list of people will at least be a couple who would be in the intended audience.

If the idea is at least positively received, I might make an MVP if it is easy enough, if it isn't, I'll probably abandon it.

If the MVP is stable enough, I'll probably point Facebook or Google Ads at it to drive traffic.

If any traction is gained, I look at the numbers to see if it is worth it to finish building it, or just leave it as it is running.

I'm not sure if the Google/Facebook Ads are still a good traffic driver, but they used to be.

10
xoail 17 hours ago 0 replies      
There is only 1 metric I believe we all need to test during ideation. Will people use this? If so, why? This may involve various ways of answering that question. Things like, figuring out your target audience, asking around, taking surveys, asking people to sign-up for updates etc.

I happen to hate searching for such answers, and end up creating MVPs only to realize not enough people want to use it. But I think even before MVP, one must pursue getting some early adopters excited to try it (even if it is for free). For my next project I plan to be thorough (hopefully).

11
swenn 20 hours ago 0 replies      
A few days ago someone posted a side project marketing checklist to HN that has many great ideas:https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=14942902
12
bitfork 17 hours ago 0 replies      
If I get a idea for a project og business idea One of the first things I do is checking if where is existing business or similar and go through what they offer and what where price is or if they make any Next write down what they offer now compare your own idea and ask yourself how can I be different and why should customers choose me instead of the compitors
13
jv22222 17 hours ago 1 reply      
If it's helpful, I wrote a blog post a while back that can help when deciding which idea to put deeper validation efforts into:

https://blog.nugget.one/upstart/your-ideas-dont-suck-your-fe...

14
matrix 17 hours ago 0 replies      
Step 1: Create a "reverse" income statement to test whether the basic concept is financially viable.

Step 2: Talk to at least 10 potential customers to assess the idea. Make sure most are people who don't feel obligated to be nice to you.

15
Crepusculo 18 hours ago 1 reply      
Amazon Mturk has been a good way for me to get the opinion of people on potential products.
16
amrrs 14 hours ago 0 replies      
* Google Insights/Trends

* Google Adwords Keyword search tool

These two help in calculating demand of a service or product.

* If you've got contacts, Random Sampled Survey

17
galkk 18 hours ago 0 replies      
Nothing can beat Excel for checking initial financial assumptions
18
polote 20 hours ago 0 replies      
Discuss about your idea with people, if none of them tells you that they would use your product (without you asking if they will use it or not), then probably no one will ;)
19
treestompz 17 hours ago 0 replies      
My own intuition.
20
SirLJ 17 hours ago 0 replies      
Back testing with stock market data...
21
streetcat1 16 hours ago 0 replies      
I look at big companies road map, and do what next thing, only better.
22
alttab 16 hours ago 0 replies      
Customers.
4
Ask HN: How do I secure my future?
10 points by elderK  6 hours ago   11 comments top 6
1
aphextron 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Go get a degree. Preferably ABET accredited. Im in literally the exact same boat as you. Years of self taught experience with no degree (a high school dropout, no less) but constantly apprehensive about "hitting the wall" in terms of career advancement. The best decison I ever made was to start taking math classes at the local community college, and eventually start working on an engineering degree. You will be amazed at how much you didn't know you didn't know. Its quite hard to swallow your pride and sit in a classroom full of teenagers, feeling like an idiot fumbling over undergrad math problems. But once you get over that it's totally worth it.
2
texteller 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Never STOP learning, keep reading, meet and network with people each and every day. When you are updating yourself, your future too gets updated. Simple.
3
jwilliams 5 hours ago 0 replies      
A healthy Github account and some writing goes a long way. Shows your skill and definitely shows initiative and determination.

Whilst having a poor reference isn't great, many people in tech understand toxic workplaces. Sadly, we've all been there. For a new job, I don't think it's good to dwell too much on negative past experience, but it's possible to frame it up in a way people will get.

It's never been a better time to be a software engineer. Keep positive and show off the passion you mentioned.

4
usgroup 4 hours ago 2 replies      
Don't worry too much about references. Tell people at interviews you left your last job because the environment was toxic. There's no shame in that.

GitHub is good. Make a habit of making your work public. Go to meet ups and talk to people directly: job interview is not the only way to get a job.

Use your writing and your code as your cv. It's better than any other cv.

Don't fixate in this idea that if you don't have a degree then you're not worth a damn . If you were a doctor I'd say , yeah ok. But programming is not that . If you could prove you could do open heart surgery more effectively than most surgeons then why wouldn't I let you operate on me? Such proof outstanding , doctors need degrees. Programmers have very solid proof outside the degree .

5
contingencies 4 hours ago 1 reply      
Degree doesn't matter unless you are going for further education (masters / PhD) or a large corporate position.

Work history matters, but experience more so. It doesn't matter where you get the experience.

Basically look for employers that respect execution, execute, and you will not have a problem.

You can also try doing something for yourself, but if you are concerned about income you probably don't have the financial means yet to risk losing on a failed venture, so just keep it as a back pocket option for the future.

6
auganov 4 hours ago 1 reply      
Don't write-off the reference just yet. Obviously, idk how bad it was, but at the end of the day most people understand looking for a job isn't fun.

Don't give up. Going to be okay!

5
Only sane person in the room
20 points by throwaway481923  13 hours ago   15 comments top 12
1
twobyfour 13 hours ago 0 replies      
Before you make that judgment call, make sure the problem doesn't have to do with the way you're communicating.

For execs who are coming from a technical background - especially first-time CTOs or those who have previously worked on teams where other execs were technical or at least savvy - it can be challenging to learn to communicate about technical topics in a way that non-technical people understand. I'm not saying that this necessarily is you, just that it's a common problem, and an important one to rule out.

Even if you're explaining the situation in a way that the CEO can understand the concepts, you may not be explaining the urgency or the repercussions in a way that makes sense to him, or in terms of stakes he cares about. Alternatively, he may be the sort of person who thinks everything other than negotiating with VCs is below his pay grade and it's really [the COO|the office manager|the CEO's personal assistant] who runs the company and get things done.

Tactic 1) try wrapping up your conversations with something like "in short, we need to do X within Y timeframe or risk losing $Z. What I need from you is to get the Acme contract signed by Friday. Can I count on that?" Then follow up about it Thursday, Friday, and Monday.

Tactic 2) talk to people who have been there a while and try to (not too overtly) work out who it is that really gets things done around here, and how they make that happen.

Tactic 3) find someone who's hungry and has lots of potential and initiative, plus involvement in a broad subset of departments (in a startup, the office manager or a senior person in operations is often a good candidate) and empower them to be the person who facilitates interactions between people and departments, makes sure people have what they need to succeed, and Gets Things Done. So that you don't have to be that person, and can concentrate on your own job. Only do this if you're willing to invest a lot of energy in what's still likely to be a crash-and-burn situation. If it succeeds, this is a huge win for your career, but the chances of success are low.

If that doesn't work and there just plain aren't good people in the company, or everyone at the top is clueless or doesn't care, there's no win to be had here. Get out. Go work with sane people.

2
usgroup 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Seems to me that you're basically trying to ask us to judge whether you're the problem or the company is.

Here's some questions to help you decide:

1. Does the CEO communicate down clear objectives for your role or are you having to make up your own? - if no this is a bad sign and they might have pulled a bait and switch on you. Ie you've been hired because someone has to run IT and your role is not thought of as a strategic necessity.

2. Do you have the same comms problem with all non technical staff? - if you do maybe it's you... or maybe th departments are very siloed and speak different languages. You know how corporate PR always comes off patronisingly simplistic. Ever wonder why?

3. Is the office full of "shruggers" (those for whom direction doesn't matter). - companies always have survival functions. if those that stay all have the same characteristics this gives you a strong clue about what the place is like.

4. What is it that you can't communicate? Is it structure and process? - if yes this is also a bad sign. There is a generic meta structure to every department and if you can't talk about pipelines, dependencies and projects then chance are he'll never understand you.

Given that you're not just a coder in a suit that doesn't know how to talk to the softer Cs and you find yourself surrounded by placid types and talking about the basics of processes is met with blank stares then I'd expect more of that for the foreseeable future.

3
Mz 9 hours ago 2 replies      
We stare at each other weekly. I speak, he nods, agrees with everything and then does nothing expected of him because he didn't understand.

Have you been in a similar situation?

I did something akin to this for four years in my marriage (only substitute weekly screaming fights for staring). Then, we agreed to get divorced, at which point I was finally able to implement the plans we agreed to every week which he promptly sabotaged for four years.

/anecdata

4
AznHisoka 9 hours ago 0 replies      
You are part of the C suite. Go talk to the CEO and communicate your issues and concerns. See how you can help fix them. thats why they brought you onboard (no its not just to write code)
5
karmicthreat 11 hours ago 0 replies      
It sounds like you two need to have a frank discussion about communication with one another. You are just talking past each other. You can bring it up a few different ways if the CEO is a bit of a snowflake. Otherwise be very direct.
6
muzani 7 hours ago 0 replies      
I've been in the exact same situation, to a point where it could be me writing the same thing.

Before you judge anyone, get a proper diagnosis. Arrange for one-on-ones with every member of the team, even the ones who have recently quit if you can.

Get them to honestly talk about their opinions. Especially on why they keep failing at their tasks. Make them comfortable, i.e. nobody is getting fired and you're just trying to fix things. Be open and honest with them. There are problems and you'd like their advice on how to handle them.

If everyone says everything is fine, get the hell out.

Otherwise, you should find a few patterns, and this should at least give you a few angles to move on.

7
maxwin 9 hours ago 0 replies      
Making sure you communicate in a way other people can understand you is also part of your job. If CEO doesn't know what you do or what you're supposed to be doing, then he fails and you fail.
8
happy-go-lucky 7 hours ago 0 replies      
> The business is sustained by a legacy product

That must be providing them with a financial cushion, must be the source of their indifference and the reason they are lackadaisical about what you want to change or get done.

9
blacksqr 12 hours ago 0 replies      
Prediction: everybody else there feels the same way.
10
wott 11 hours ago 0 replies      
> Have you been in a similar situation?

Not in a work setup, but otherwise each time I have to deal with a customer service.

11
masonic 9 hours ago 0 replies      
Are they hiring?
12
potus_putin 8 hours ago 0 replies      
Sounds like a communication problem.
7
Ask HN: Which companies give programmers offices?
304 points by jjazwiecki  1 day ago   238 comments top 67
1
msluyter 1 day ago 10 replies      
On the general question of open vs. private offices, my views have tempered over time. The first time I worked in an open office, I hated it. But I've come to realize that a lot depends on the layout of the office and that there are better and worse ways to configure one.

The first case -- the one I hated -- had a) long rows of desks, b) bright overhead fluorescent lights, c) a lot of noise due to being in a large room with sales/marketing, d) a lot of visual distractions due to people walking up & down the aisles, and e) few available areas to go to collaborate away from your desks.

Now, I'm also in an open office, but I find it quite livable, because: a) my desk faces the wall, for fewer visual distractions, b) the room is comfortably lit (ie, not too bright)[1], c) it's a smaller room with only engineering and is generally quieter[2], d) there are enough areas to go if you need to collaborate.

All this is to say that, while the evidence is that open offices generally suck, there's probably a number of ways to ameliorate their problems to some degree without having to resort to private offices. I don't think I'd prefer an office to my current setup, actually.

[1] I think this element is underrated. In fact, I'd be curious to know if there's a verifiable correlation between brightness levels and how loud people tend to talk. There's something about a dim room that seems to induce people to lower their voices.

[2] Small, but not too small. There's a sort of sweet spot. I was once in a room with 3 other people and it was maddening because it was generally quiet but every little noise -- coughing, swallowing, etc... -- was seemingly amplified by the overall quietness to became hugely annoying. (An inverse concept explains why I can work quite well in a coffee shop despite the background din.)

2
jonhmchan 1 day ago 1 reply      
Stack Overflow does. I'm an engineer there and we still think providing private offices to our engineering team is important for their productivity. This includes engineers, SREs, designers, data scientists, PMs, and others.

However, most of our engineering team is remote and if they're not in one of our locations, we give them pretty much what they'd like to build their own home office or go to a coworking space.

For me, I'm actually nomadic, so I tend to work from wherever I'm staying or end up in cafes a lot of time. I still get the support I need if my work "station" isn't optimal.

TL;DR Stack Overflow provides private offices, but is really flexible, especially given its remote policy.

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nfriedly 1 day ago 1 reply      
I have a small private office that I just lease myself. I bicycle in every day and work "remote" for IBM. It's fantastic.

If I want some noise, I'll work from home (I have a 3-year old.)

The down side is that IBM's management has recently done a 180 on remote working and is now "strongly encouraging" me to move to one of their offices and work in a cubicle.

I'm pretty sure they won't actually fire me for not moving, but any promotion is probably going to be harder to come by until things (hopefully) swing back in the other direction.

Or I'll just retire. The benefit of living in Ohio is that I can save like 40% of my salary and still live comfortably. (And lease an office for $225/month!)

4
kuharich 1 day ago 3 replies      
Old Microsoft: it was a BillG ethic: anyone touching software got an office: software design engineers, PM's, QA, even admins ... it allowed one to be quiet and focus. And signaled to co-workers - do not disturb ...
5
qnk 1 day ago 2 replies      
Stack Overflow has blogged about their private offices for developers many times before. This is a post from 2015, I'm not sure if that's still the case: https://stackoverflow.blog/2015/01/16/why-we-still-believe-i...
6
module0000 1 day ago 3 replies      
My programming career involved an office at every position(Blue Cross Blue Shield, Cisco, HP, XTime, VMWare, and a handful of private equity groups). As I was transitioning into another field, the "open office" craze was taking over. I could be wrong, but I have a strong feeling I would not have enjoyed it. Nothing like being an hour into analyzing a core dump to be jerked back to reality by someone interrupting you!
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pixelmonkey 1 day ago 2 replies      
My team at Parse.ly is fully remote/distributed -- and one of the motivating reasons I formed the team that way was to reproduce the feel of Fog Creek's "bionic office", but in each engineer's home office space.

I discussed this a little in my "Notes on Distributed Teams" presentation here:

http://pixelmonkey.org/pub/distributed-teams/notes/#open-pla...

Here's how my personal home office looks:

https://flic.kr/p/v1NZ73

(Shameless plug, here are the positions we're hiring for, if you're interested! https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=14902227)

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LVB 1 day ago 0 replies      
At Garmin in Salem, OR, they have four-person quads. These are enclosed spaces with an additional central table, storage, ceiling and door. Though not my own office, I liked it. Quiet, everyone had a corner with ample space, and a nice group dynamic formed. Devs would move occasionally and you'd get to know other people pretty well.
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jaegerpicker 1 day ago 4 replies      
That's why programmers should work remotely. It's the best thing I've ever done for my career. Moved back from Management to IC because it was remote and it's been amazing.
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sizzzzlerz 1 day ago 3 replies      
My 600-person company, a wholly-owned part of a much, much larger national multi-billion dollar company has single or double private offices, with doors, for the entire staff, new hires, IT, admin, everyone, at our headquarters in SV as well as our smaller, satellite offices. AFAIK, there is no plan to change this. If, however, our current lease isn't renewed and the company moves, all bets are off. I've heard rumors that our parent company isn't happy with the "wasted" space. We'll see.
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pyrox420 1 day ago 1 reply      
AccuLynx - we aren't even in a tech hotbed. Just little ol' Beloit, WI. We got to build a brand new office building with offices for all devs. Great place to work, awesome perks. We saw a marked throughput improvement after moving to the new office.
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mpa000 1 day ago 0 replies      
I manage developers for the publishing arm of a professional association. While I did not have an office when I started as a dev here over a decade ago, all of our developers now have their own offices while we two managers share one. Priorities.

Immediately prior to this, as a junior member of a non-IT/IS-department rapid development group for a utility company, I was relegated to whatever cubicle they could find to stuff me in, usually on the periphery of the call center area. This is also where they'd stick the COBOL guys they'd had to hire back as consultants, along with others who didn't fit into any of the (many) union contract workflows.

(I was a listed as a line-item in the same cost code group as a rented photocopier or scanner, meaning that for most of my tenure there I had ZERO contact with anyone from HR. It was glorious.)

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gwbas1c 1 day ago 0 replies      
Honestly, I'm less concerned about an "office." A cube with high walls is more similar to an "office" than an open layout where everyone shares a table.

What's more important is company culture. Does your company expect you to accept interruptions at any time for any reason, no matter how trivial? Is your manager willing to run interference when suddenly every new employee in every department shows up expecting that you'll handhold them?

You can have an office with a bad company culture; you'll find that your office door is always full of lurkers, or you'll find that you can't walk between your office and the bathroom without getting mobbed with "urgent" requests that need your attention immediately.

What's more important is to ensure that management avoids distractions, that newcomers in other departments are trained, and that processes are established and followed when needed. Handholding should not be required from any engineers; instead mentoring and process refinement goes a lot further than a door that you can close.

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batbomb 1 day ago 6 replies      
Most people programming in National Labs get offices, though you might need to share with one person. If you are in the bay area, think about SLAC or LBNL.
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jedwardhawkins 1 day ago 1 reply      
Micro Focus in Provo, UT provides offices. The last company I worked for was a mature startup with an open floor plan. Most of the noise complaints were mitigated by noise cancelling headphones which were purchased for each engineer.
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s1gs3gv 1 day ago 1 reply      
I think choice is important. Some people prefer one, some the other. The best working environment I've experienced in my life as a software developer was at Bell Labs in the 80s, where small private offices was the norm.

On the other hand, its good to have open working areas available when they are appropriate. In Bell Labs, we'd often congregate near the railings overlooking the Holmdel atrium while our build finished or downstairs in the large open seating areas.

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baccredited 1 day ago 0 replies      
I've had multiple federal government programming jobs with offices. I consider it a requirement at this point.
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caboteria 1 day ago 0 replies      
The last place I worked where I got a private office (and probably the last place I ever will) was the MITRE Corporation in Bedford, MA, a federally-funded R&D corporation. Level AC-5 and above got solo offices, AC-4's had to share.
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DarkContinent 1 day ago 2 replies      
Epic in Madison, WI, gives all employees their own offices. (I can't find a source but I've been on a tour.)
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rbanffy 1 day ago 0 replies      
Two places that allow you (actually they prefer) to work remotely are Avaaz (avaaz.org) and Canonical. Both may share the cost of a rented office. I can't speak highly enough of either - awesome teams, awesome missions.
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hack_mmmm 1 day ago 1 reply      
2 years back We used to get a cabin office @Qualcomm for all Engineers same as VPs. Now Staff Engineers and above still get cabin office and others have moved to cubicles. We have a lab where most of us sit in the afternoon to collaborate. I must say this is the only place where I saw in my career where a fresh grad got cabin offices. It feels great to code in isolation uninterrupted. It also feels great to collaborate in lab with other folks and also code there.
22
borplk 1 day ago 6 replies      
Do pretty much all programmers in Microsoft get their own office?

Is it as simple as that or there's more to it?

23
rwoodley 1 day ago 0 replies      
I've worked for financial firms for 31 years. Almost all of that time, I've been a programmer on a trading desk sitting right next to traders. There is constant noise and shouting. I can tune out a lot. EXCEPT: TV noise, and idle chit chat like you'd have down at the pub. As long as people are focused on work, I can tune it whatever they say. Strange.
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DavidThi808 1 day ago 0 replies      
We mostly have 2 people/office. We would have done individual offices but the office space we found to rent was perfect except the offices were larger and so it was a LOT cheaper to use the existing build-out.

It is working well. People mostly are heads down getting their work done. So add Windward Studios to the list where all developers get offices.

25
zodnas 1 day ago 0 replies      
All full-time employees at SAS have their own office.
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luu 1 day ago 1 reply      
Microsoft is switching from offices to open office plans. Buildings with offices are slowly being remodeled to open plan.

My first team started off two-to-an-office (unless you had something like 5 or 6 years of seniority, in which case you'd get your own office), but they moved to open offices when their building got remodeled.

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bsimpson 1 day ago 0 replies      
At Google, it depends on which building you're in. I sit in an office with 3 other people. My manager sits in an open pod in the hallway.
28
Bahamut 1 day ago 1 reply      
I have my own office at Apple here in Cupertino (just a software engineer)...I'm glad that almost all our teams are moving to Infinite Loop as opposed to the new campus :) . Most of our offices hold two people though (still better than open offices!).
29
neofrommatrix 1 day ago 0 replies      
Oracle does provide private offices in their Santa Clara location. This has mostly to do with this being the old Sun Microsystems buildings. It might have changed now, though after rapid expansion of their public cloud engineering group.
30
Kluny 1 day ago 2 replies      
Automattic. But it's remote, you have to supply your own office. They contribute $250 toward co-working space.
31
drfuchs 1 day ago 1 reply      
Adobe in San Jose. (At least it used to.)
32
msukmanowsky 1 day ago 2 replies      
Parse.ly is 100% remote and I've got a pretty sweet home office :)
33
nxc18 1 day ago 0 replies      
Esri gives just about everyone their own office; aside from people displaced by moves or visiting, I've yet to encounter a programmer without one.
34
potus_putin 8 hours ago 0 replies      
Programmers dont have individual offices ?How can you think with others distracting you ?
35
programmarchy 1 day ago 0 replies      
I worked for a successful medium sized business called SpeakWrite early in my career that specialized in voice transcription for the legal industry. The company was founded by a former lawyer, and the office culture was very traditional. The software team was treated with respect, paid well, and everyone had their own office. It was great! Having worked in tech/startup culture since then, I much prefer the traditional office culture. Now I work remotely as a consultant and have my own office, but miss working on a closely knit team.
36
Balgair 1 day ago 0 replies      
Most DoD and DoE jobs/contractors have personal offices. In fact, I've never seen one that doesn't at least have a cube-farm and most just have a personal office and then meeting rooms and then lab-space, depending on the job. Cubes are terrible in their own right, but it's better than an open office by a lot. At least you have somewhere to put pictures of your kids up at eye level.
37
tibbon 1 day ago 0 replies      
At least give me my own 64sqft cube, and then have some decent lighting. I'd far rather live in a cubefarm than be rubbing elbows with the person beside me. It's not perfect, but having some degree of "my space" is really essential.

Oddly, I had my own office when I was working in IT at 17, but now it's harder to find.

38
thehardsphere 1 day ago 4 replies      
I would hope most companies that consider software to be their core business give programmers offices, even if they have to share those offices with another person on the same team. Most companies that do not often consider programmers secondary to their core business, which is a good reason not to work there if you have a choice.
39
coderjames 1 day ago 0 replies      
Universal Avionics provides their Engineers private offices. It was important to the founder of the company, so when a new building was constructed it was specifically arranged to provide as many offices as possible, even if some are internal (no outside window).
40
TallGuyShort 1 day ago 0 replies      
Microsoft comes to mind? I've only been in a couple of buildings in the Seattle campus, but it was the typical open-air shared desks that you see in many other software companies recently. Are they known for using desks otherwise?
41
matheweis 1 day ago 0 replies      
I shared a two person office at the university that I worked at before my current job. If that sounds like a good deal in exchange for 50% of the industry salary, I believe they're hiring... :)
42
rajeshp1986 1 day ago 0 replies      
I don't think any decent size company could afford to do that in Bay Area. The real estate prices are too high to give personal offices to everyone and that's why open office plans are adopted.
43
mindcrime 1 day ago 0 replies      
When the day comes that Fogbeam Labs has an actual office, and employees, I absolutely intend to make sure that everybody has a private office with a door. Unfortunately, I can't say when that will be.
44
nhumrich 1 day ago 0 replies      
The book peopleware argues for the middle ground. Shared offices. Rooms with a door, with 3-4 people. You have quick collaboration, but also are closed off from unrelated distraction.
45
omg2k 1 day ago 0 replies      
MathWorks (Natick, MA).
46
dsfyu404ed 1 day ago 0 replies      
If your work is classified you almost certainly get an office.
47
rspeer 1 day ago 0 replies      
Luminoso, a natural language processing company in Cambridge, MA.
48
alok-g 1 day ago 1 reply      
Qualcomm
50
bebop 1 day ago 0 replies      
Everyone at ESRI has their own office.
51
ryanSrich 1 day ago 0 replies      
Work for companies that support remote work. You'll always have a private office.
52
factotum 1 day ago 1 reply      
Reynolds and Reynolds in Houston.
53
kk3399 1 day ago 3 replies      
Epic systems
54
dacracot 1 day ago 0 replies      
Lawrence Livermore Nat'l Laboratory. Everyone has an office with a door.
55
meddlepal 1 day ago 0 replies      
PTC in Needham, MA does if you're on the ProE/Creo team
56
bostik 1 day ago 0 replies      
We have team offices at Smarkets.
57
rurban 1 day ago 0 replies      
Cpanel, Houston Texas
58
danesparza 1 day ago 0 replies      
You mentioned it in the question already, but when I worked at Microsoft as a contractor I got an office.
59
suhith 1 day ago 0 replies      
Fog Creek Software does iirc
60
starbuxman 1 day ago 0 replies      
Wouldn't it be more appealing for companies to allow their employees to work remotely?
61
rdiddly 1 day ago 0 replies      
Intel still has the old-school high-walled cubicles in some places. But gradually, floor by floor, building by building, they've been renovating, and you know what that means! More openness. To their credit the new motif is 1) more aesthetically pleasing, and 2) not TOTALLY open.

In other words, not this fuckin' nightmare...http://workdesign.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/Open-plan-o......but more like a range going from this...https://media.glassdoor.com/l/ce/49/d7/6c/intel-office.jpg...to this...http://media.glassdoor.com/m/2d/0e/af/40/desk-with-a-view.jp......and even this...https://media.glassdoor.com/l/17/25/41/7c/intel-office.jpg

62
carapace 1 day ago 0 replies      
I'm literally about to go talk to recruiters and I'm going to try it: I'll take $20,000 off of my pay if co will provide an office with a door I can close.

I'll report back what they say.

I just recently was working in an open office and the difference between daytime and evening (after everyone else left) was dramatic.

63
ozzmotik 1 day ago 0 replies      
i had my own office at cPanel, albeit a small onebut it was a pleasant personal space.
64
jps359 1 day ago 0 replies      
ibm
65
orange_bear 1 day ago 1 reply      
Apple placed me in an experimental building where they were changing the interior design constantly, trying to decide how to design their new "space ship" building. The whole time, I fumed at no longer having an office and having to work in an open office design. I could not focus due to audio and visual interruptions while I worked (programmer) in the open office spaces. But no one ever asked me for my opinion about the experimental open office environments!

Now this: https://www.bizjournals.com/sanjose/news/2017/08/08/apple-pa..."Apple staffers reportedly rebelling against open office plan at new $5 billion HQ"

Glad I wasn't the only coder there who utterly despised the move to the open office design.

66
orange_bear 1 day ago 2 replies      
Thanks for the info! At my last workplace (Apple), the department had brought in a ton of H1B visa workers from body shops and I'm skeptical about if it was legal. They were all crammed elbow-to-elbow in bullpen cubicles. As a contractor at the time, I sat on a bench in the hallway because there were no free bullpen cubes!! The bathroom urinals always had pools of urine beneath them, due (in part) to excessive use. The toilet seats were always urinated on. Oh, good times.
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holbue 1 day ago 0 replies      
Who else read "... gives programers coffees"? :-D

PS: Seriously, free coffee is more important to me than an office. I like open working environments.

9
Twitch link vandalism on Nepal's Wikipedia page?
2 points by phsilva  7 hours ago   2 comments top
1
tomcam 7 hours ago 1 reply      
Article is now down, so can't confirm
10
Ask HN: Have you successfully moved away from Google search?
160 points by chatmasta  1 day ago   113 comments top 54
1
kevlar1818 1 day ago 8 replies      
I switched to DDG from Google about one and half years ago. DDG is my daily driver.

DDG is excellent for programming questions/how-tos. It shows popular StackOverflow questions inline[1]. For Python, it shows Python/NumPy/SciPy documentation inline as well[2]. It may do this for other languages, but I have not witnessed it.

DDG also has a great inline weather "app" using DarkSky (which is an underrated weather site, IMO)[3]. Searching for businesses/restaurants shows a mini map ala OpenStreetMap (or other providers if you choose) and business information from Yelp[4].

DDG also has a community-driven program to add more search features, called DuckDuckHack[5]. I believe all (at least most) of the features I shared above came through that program. A list of all "Instant Answers" can be found here[6].

Need to fallback to Google? (I personally never have.) There's "bangs" for alternative search engines and popular sites[7].

Make the switch. You'll be pleasantly surprised how easy and refreshing it will be.

[1]: https://duckduckgo.com/?q=python+sort+a+list+of+strings

[2]: https://duckduckgo.com/?q=numpy+sum

[3]: https://duckduckgo.com/?q=weather

[4]: https://duckduckgo.com/?q=exploratorium+sf

[5]: https://duckduckhack.com/

[6]: https://duck.co/ia

[7]: https://duckduckgo.com/bang

2
usrme 1 day ago 2 replies      
My usual setup relies on first using DuckDuckGo and when I need answers to a more esoteric problem or error that I am seeing and DDG isn't providing me with what I need, then I modify my search query by appending "!g" and try my luck with Google.

At the moment I'd venture it's about a 60/40 split with DuckDuckGo staying on top across all types of searches.

3
binarymax 1 day ago 2 replies      
I fully switched to DDG about 5 years ago. Specifically programming questions work great. I'd estimate about 5% of my searches I will revert to google, which sometimes doesn't help either because I'm searching for something crazy niche.
4
assafmo 1 day ago 0 replies      
I switched to DDG about a year ago. Sometimes when I dont find something I fall back to Google, but I've come to a conclusion that this usually doesn't help so I stopped falling back to Google at all.

DDG instant answer are excellent, especially for programming.

In work I sometimes use a shared computer in which the default search engine is Google and get annoyed by the badness of Google with providing good instant programming answers.

Still, Google has some pros:- I find it a bit faster to load. - Hebrew results are much better. - Picture results are better. - You can search similar pictures to the ones you have (chrome extension)

Recently I also find myself going straight to YouTube to search certain things...

5
grimgrin 1 day ago 1 reply      
Those who use DDG, do you miss dates in results? Having a date present definitely helps me think about the results:

https://www.google.com/search?q=dcss+branch+order

https://duckduckgo.com/?q=dcss+branch+order

This isn't a case where I _know_ I only want 2017 results, and so I do the syntax to filter it down automatically. I want all results, but I want to be aware of the timeline of whatever I'm going to click.

6
brandonwamboldt 1 day ago 3 replies      
Personally I have no interest in moving away from Google Search, as I specifically use them because Google learns from previous searches I've made and shows me more relevant results. Searching "unzip" shows me the Linux command, not unrelated materials for example.
7
zitterbewegung 1 day ago 1 reply      
Yes , here is how I did it.

1. Put duck duck go as the default browser on your phone

2. Learn the bang paths. Realize that you still may have to fall back to google .

3. Once you have mastered the bang paths start targeting your search queries

4. Realize you cant live without bang paths

5. You should now be motivated to use duck duck go exclusively .

8
brainopener 1 day ago 1 reply      
I've sort of switched...

DuckDuckGo has !bangs. If you search for "!so javascript", then you just end up on stackoverflow.com with a search term of "javascript". There's dozens (hundreds?) of these !bangs -- including !g if you want to run the search on Google.

So I've installed this extension below for Safari. I use the !bangs in the address bar if I want to go somewhere specific -- !so (stackoverflow), !a (amazon), !y (stock quotes). And, otherwise, it just uses Google search.

http://tbastos.com/project/safari-bangsearch/

9
Spivak 1 day ago 1 reply      
I have DDG as the search provider in Firefox and it works great. If you already know what you're looking for it's quick and fast to use the bang syntax.

"Shoot, I need the docs for the user Ansible module"

> !ansible user

And it goes straight to the page.

I typically give DDG the first try on a search then I turn to Google/Startpage if I don't get good results. It's been getting way better over time.

10
Sir_Cmpwn 1 day ago 1 reply      
The thing that trips up most people is the realization that DuckDuckGo does't know anything about you. Many people have gotten used to tailored search results. If you learn to be a little more specific ("django framework" instead of "django") you'll find DDG very pleasant to use. Also, bangs are an indispensable feature.
11
zaro 1 day ago 0 replies      
I've been gradually swithing to DDG over the last 2 years. Initially only my main browser now all of them( on all devices) and I would say it hasn't decreased my productivity.

The only big change is that now every now and then I would double check the search results with !g if I am not happy with DDG results.

Overall I would say DDG or Google is more about habits and comfort zone than anythting else and Google gives better search results mostly because of the search bubble.

12
veidr 1 day ago 2 replies      
No. And, literally just today I (again) disabled the DuckDuckGo extension in my browser, because I felt ridiculous for having done this more than 20 times in a single day:

1. search (via the browser's URL/search field)

2. sigh

3. press L to return keyboard focus to the browser URL/search field

4. press to move the cursor to the beginning of the text

5. enter "!g" and then to re-execute the search using Google

I really do like the idea of a non-creepy search engine. I periodically give DDG another chance. But even more, apparently, I like finding pages and blog posts responsive to my search.

(EDIT: Wow, I learned from this thread that step 4 isn't necessary; the !g can go at the end of the search query. :-D Still doesn't really change anything, though.)

13
mnm1 1 day ago 0 replies      
I use startpage which has Google results by proxy. With js turned off it's really fast. Duck Duck go just had terrible results for programming queries so I wouldn't recommend it for that but I use it on my phone.
14
maxxxxx 1 day ago 0 replies      
I have tried DuckDuckGo but for me Google is still much better. Unfortunately.
15
kapep 1 day ago 0 replies      
I've set up startpage on my desktop at home. I have also used it on mobile for some time but stopped doing so. I'm generally quite happy with it and I would use it on all devices, if it were better at one crucial thing (especially important for me on mobile): Searching for addresses

The map integration almost never works. I only see a map if I search for a city name but never when I enter any address. I sometimes try to add "maps" as a keyword, which results in google maps being the first result - but it almost always links to a wrong street! (usually in the center of the city, the street number is the one I entered though)

16
rjeli 1 day ago 2 replies      
I am surprised to see so many people trust DDG. The founder Gabriel Weinberg made his fortune from the Names Database, which indexed people's information and allowed you to contact them only if you referred more people into the database (or paid).

Not the kind of person I want running my "privacy focused crypto anarchist" search engine.

17
leonroy 1 day ago 2 replies      
DDG is a bit US centric but despite that I use it for nearly everything. On the rare occassion it's not returning good enough results (images or certain UK specific stuff) I just use the aforementioned suffix g!.

Give it a go, takes a little time before you feel comfortable being away from Google's excellent search engine but I got fedup seeing adverts for things I'd previously browsed on other sites, so adios Google.

18
YCode 1 day ago 3 replies      
From a pragmatic standpoint, what do you gain by switching to DDG?
19
mratzloff 1 day ago 0 replies      
I've used DDG for the last couple of years on all my devices. I switched for privacy reasons. It does everything I need it to do, and I get a lot of use out of the search shortcuts (especially !w).

Commit to switching for a couple weeks and you'll find that you rely on Google less and less.

20
epalm 1 day ago 1 reply      
Something that really bothers me about the DDG interface is how it hijacks the up/down arrow keys I use for scrolling. After searching, press down, and the page won't scroll down, it'll just highlight the first search result. Keep pressing down, and the page still won't scroll until the last visible result is highlighted. Press down one more time, and the page scrolls erratically, highlighting the next result in the center of the window. At this point, pressing up/down will scroll exactly as far as needed to keep the prev/next result highlighted in the center.

I find this very annoying. After years (decades!) of training, my eyes know exactly how far one keypress should scroll. Stop messing with the default scrolling mechanism!

21
sigjuice 1 day ago 0 replies      
I tried and failed. I used Bing for a few days right after Google pulled the plug on Google Reader. I was really mad at Google. Bing was quite terrible and I went crawling back to Google Search in pretty much no time.
22
dpflan 1 day ago 0 replies      
I'm wondering: have you kept track of which site results you commonly find that answer your questions? For example, you query DDG a few times for different questions, and for each answer you find yourself on Stack Exchange. If you'd like to skip the "middle-man", it seems like directly querying SE may be the way to go for ~X% (X > 50%) of your questions (at least for those topics).

I think this is could be a good way to help pay more attention to what you're searching for and results because now that I think about Google searching can be really assumptive and get-the-answer-and-leave at times. Maybe digging deeper than top Y results can be a better learning experience.

23
lazyjones 1 day ago 0 replies      
I've been using DDG for more than 4 years now. I use Google perhaps 1-2 times/month when I can't believe there are no suitable results for a query and usually Google just confirms that (i.e. provides nothing DDG didn't).
24
sevensor 1 day ago 0 replies      
I find DDG always has the Python doc that I'm looking for at its fingertips. At this point, I get frustrated and annoyed when I try to use Google search for anything. Also I really don't want four-year-old Google plus posts from people on my gmail contacts list showing up in my web search results. It just underscores the pervasiveness of their search bubble, which makes me distrust the search results.
25
jshevek 1 day ago 0 replies      
To answer the title question: I discovered this week that Bing has radically improved in recent years. Between them & DDG, I don't see that I'll need to rely on Google search ever again.
26
dethos 1 day ago 0 replies      
I've made the complete switch around the year 2012. At the time it felt strange not using Google, however nowadays the sentiment is completely the opposite I'm so used to DDG that using Google feels somewhat awkward.

I really like the !bangs and the instant answers are good enough. I can find, anythings I looking for, using DDG just as fast (if not faster) as I would using Google.

27
subie 1 day ago 0 replies      
* Moved from Chrome to Vivaldi[1].

* Switched from Google Search to DDG or Startpage.com[2] (which is basically a google proxy)

* Moving off Gmail and switching to Yandex.Mail[3].

[1]: https://vivaldi.com/

[2]: https://www.startpage.com/

[3]: https://mail.yandex.com/

28
dionian 1 day ago 0 replies      
On some machines I've made DDG my default. I sometimes revert to google as a backup, and its sometimes better. but generally DDG is good enough for daily use. I figure the benefit of defaulting to it is worth any slightly less quality searches for basic day-to-day lookups
29
volkk 1 day ago 1 reply      
ITT: DDG and bangs. For those of you who also don't use DDG or know what these !bangs are, a quick google search shows that it's a quick way to directly search a website. !ebay motorcycle, would search ebay.com for...you guessed it--motorcycles.

my only question though is, why are these bangs so special when google does the same thing with `ebay.com: motorcycle`. Is it mainly the fact that DDG provides more privacy?

30
zapi 1 day ago 0 replies      
Not really, I'm using https://www.startpage.com/
31
probably_wrong 1 day ago 0 replies      
I found two aspects of DDG very convenient: that I can search in Stackoverflow directly, and that if I still don't like the results I can always add "!g" and repeat the search in Google (useful for finding a very specific error message).

I only got a very small decrease in productivity at first, but I went back to normal pretty quick. So I'd say it went better than expected.

32
bluGill 1 day ago 0 replies      
Yes. I tried duck duck go 10 years ago when I first heard about it, and decided it wasn't anywhere near as good as google. A few months back I was convinced to try it again, and surprise, it is just as good as google.

I recently did a few queries where I didn't find anything so I tried google and it got the same irrelevant results (as a category, not the same pages)

33
ljcn 1 day ago 0 replies      
I switched to DuckDuckGo years ago. I use it in my work as a software engineer and find it satisfactory the vast majority of the time.

On the occasions that it isn't I either append !g, !s, or !sho to redirect the query to Google, Startpage, or SymbolHound, respectively. There are thousands more and they're huge productivity boosters (!w for wikipedia gets used a lot).

34
tchaffee 1 day ago 0 replies      
Yes, pretty much. DuckDuckGo usually surfaces the best StackOverflow answer. Rarely I'll feel like I need a broader search so I'll append "!g" to my search and look at the Google results. And once in a while I get something useful from that broader search. If I had to get by with only DuckDuckGo I would be fine.
35
Jdam 1 day ago 0 replies      
No, why?

A friend of mine is using DDG and whenever I'm over and we search for something on DDG, what we were searching for doesn't show up. Maybe it's Murphy's law, but I'm always mocking him with "search for it on Google" and that usually delivers the result we were looking for.

36
patrickbolle 1 day ago 3 replies      
I'm using Startpage since about 1.5 months ago. A tad slower but I like it and it gives me good results.
37
texteller 1 day ago 0 replies      
As I am data curious, wolfram alpha is best suites me and love the way it presents results. Also DDG is also doing a great job.
38
rakshithbekal 19 hours ago 0 replies      
usually bing but sometimes google when I don't find what I want in bing
39
dlanphear 1 day ago 0 replies      
I switched to DDG probably 3 years ago, I use it all the time. I wish stackunderflow didn't dominate the results in any SE over the primary sources, but I understand it's popularity based... Tired of the tracking, use the duck.
40
jaitaiwan 1 day ago 1 reply      
Initially I found DDG useless and I struggled to get the right query results. As time went on things got better so either I learned how to duck or it better learned about me
41
luckydude 1 day ago 0 replies      
I've been using DDG for a couple of years. Once in a while I'll do a !g search to get google results but most of the time DDG is fine. I search on all sorts of stuff, not just programming.
42
diegoperini 1 day ago 0 replies      
My personal split is probably around 30% DDG, 70% Google. DDG go fails on local searches (Turkey, Turkish sources) and sometimes very long queries like stacktraces does not retrieve effective results.
43
Crontab 1 day ago 0 replies      
I don't mind using Google for search; I just don't use them for anything else.
44
vaygr 1 day ago 0 replies      
Switched to DuckDuckGo completely around 3 years ago. So far so good.
45
Akaahn 13 hours ago 0 replies      
Bing or DDG, at this point you can't go wrong, as long as it isn't google.
46
smithsmith 1 day ago 0 replies      
After the google diversity memo issue, i have started thinking about using DDG all the time. The reason being what if google decides to censor the information when it is negative about it. It looks so obvious but never hit me so hard after the google diversity memo issue.
47
gasull 1 day ago 0 replies      
I use DuckDuckGo most of the time. Sometimes I use !s for retrying the search in StartPage. I very rarely use Google Search.
48
caspervonb 1 day ago 0 replies      
For the most part I've moved away, but everynow and then the default browser setup is configured to use Google.
49
mttjj 1 day ago 0 replies      
I still use Google at work (software engineer) but I use DDG at home and for everything else.
50
sashk 1 day ago 1 reply      
Frequently, I end up using !g in DDG. So the answer is maybe.
51
yellowapple 1 day ago 0 replies      
I've used DDG as my primary search engine for a few years now. Absolutely love it.

It really helps that I can just stick !g at the front of my query if I think Google might have better results (which it usually does not).

For programming tasks, I think my productivity is a lot higher than it would be had I stuck with Google. DDG's "zero-click answers" are awesome, and are frequently just Stack Overflow answers. Google has tried to do this, too, but I've found it to be a lot less useful.

52
DanBC 1 day ago 0 replies      
Mostly. I do a lot of searching of English NHS websites and Google or Bing still seem better than DDG for that.

But the rest of the time I use DDG, and I use DDG before trying something else.

53
known 22 hours ago 0 replies      
I wrote my own search engine with machine learning
54
paulcole 1 day ago 0 replies      
No. Duck Duck Go was awful for me. Search results were overly general and pretty much useless.

I like that Google has like 11 years of my search history saved and can deliver me relevant results. And I don't have to pay anything!

What's there to not like about that?

12
Ask HN: How did you find an audience for your startup or project?
28 points by tmaly  1 day ago   10 comments top 6
1
shubhamjain 1 day ago 1 reply      
In my experience, your expectations shouldn't be as optimistic as success stories like that of Slack, which had 8000 companies signed up before they launched their product. It's wise to assume that your customer acquisition would be wearyingly slower. You don't have to start with 20-30 customers but just 1-5, who get the value out of your product.

For the last product, which I shut down due to lack of traction, the most valuable leads I received was when my product got featured in a newsletter without being asked. I had posted a comment on a Blog post which described a complicated GA setup to achieve something that my product could do without effort and the author forwarded it to his subscribers.

I think that sums it up quite well: look for people who have the same problem as you're solving and pitch them your product. Any other marketing effort: paid ads, blogging, events require too much investment and I don't think they should be recommended if you're bootstrapping a small product.

2
jermaustin1 17 hours ago 0 replies      
In a former life, I was a product developer, I now consult other pre-rev/pre-money/broke product developers on features, ux, and marketing.

I wrote up a nice narrative a while back [1] on my two "first" products I built. The first "first" was on accident, and the second "first" was... kind of still on accident.

[1] http://jeremyaboyd.com/my-first-product-launches/

3
muzani 23 hours ago 0 replies      
From your competitors! I'm not kidding.

If there's a market for your product, there will be an alternative product for it. Like for me, I had a recipe app. My competitors were recipe blogs, Facebook pages, and groups. If you're building something SaaS, there might be a WordPress plugin doing the same thing.

Your product should be 10x better than the solution they hacked together. If no solution was hacked together, it's possible there's no market for it or that you haven't done enough research before building the product.

There might be some exceptions though, like a note taking app, where the competitor is a piece of paper with no community.

4
texteller 1 day ago 1 reply      
Before building any project or startup find where your focused audience are at and try to get closer to them through social networks. So when you build the product, you could ping them back to be your early users.
5
pryelluw 1 day ago 0 replies      
By networking with people who could potentially benefit from using it. This takes time.
6
dillweed 1 day ago 0 replies      
Or how did you find the people your product would innately appeal to.
13
Ask HN: Best language for CRUD app?
4 points by tmaly  9 hours ago   5 comments top 4
1
superasn 1 hour ago 0 replies      
I've heard Laravel is pretty good so going by that the best language would be PHP.
2
steven_braham 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Probably every major popular framework has good crud support. Most of these frameworks contain a orm that will the heavy lifting.

I don't think anyone has a specific language or platform for crud. Most people pick the one they are most familiar with.

3
wechatfan 6 hours ago 0 replies      
RoR would be the easy one to get along with.
4
huydotnet 8 hours ago 1 reply      
CakePHP (PHP) and Ruby on Rails (Ruby) both has very strong CRUD generator.
14
Ask HN: Why are Google memo links being flagged and hidden?
45 points by notliketherest  15 hours ago   20 comments top 10
1
mtmail 14 hours ago 1 reply      
I see the "Sundar Pichai Should Resign as Googles C.E.O" https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=14990494 from 5 hours ago with comments from 2 hours ago, so flagged within an hour doesn't match. 400+ comments.

"Why I Was Fired by Google (wsj.com)" https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=14993683 isn't flagged. Or maybe it was and now no longer is.

Personally I get tired of yet more opinion pieces on the same topic. After reading through 5 long threads I feel like I've seen every opinion and counter opinion.

2
ratsmack 14 hours ago 1 reply      
Is Hacker News deeply rooted in Silicon Valley, and isn't it well known that Silicon Valley do not share conservative views? I think the answer can be derived herein.
3
InTheArena 13 hours ago 0 replies      
I also find it intriguing that both under my account, and under a incognito anonymous, it never hit the front page of reddit either.
4
fav_collector 13 hours ago 1 reply      
Opinion pieces aren't taken kindly in these parts of the woods.
5
Bucephalus355 13 hours ago 1 reply      
Google, to some extent, sanitizes the web of comments they do not feel should be on the web.

I have no clue how much this is done, but the best example is Glassdoor. I've had multiple friends post their Google interview reviews, some posting multiple times and getting in (to Google that is) on their 3rd try.

Those reviews have vanished from Glassdoor (for both people not hired and also the people hired). It is the most bizarre thing, and I tried so hard to find them after being challenged once to do so because I did not believe Google would delete them.

At first I thought it was Glassdoor deleting them, but that's not the case at all. Look up reviews for Amazon Web Services, you'll see they blatantly give answers to questions, list terms, and summarize how the interview cycles go, and those are all up for anyone in the world to see.

6
jxramos 11 hours ago 0 replies      
I was surprised when any of it got flagged given that I'm pretty sure I read earlier posts on HN that spoke about sex or race diversity in tech. I remember getting into a few comment threads on some so I'm sure there's prior stuff in this arena on HN. I guess this one was just too taboo or something.
7
J-dawg 14 hours ago 1 reply      
Thanks for asking this. Here's another one that was posted and then disappeared without a trace:

https://www.reddit.com/r/slatestarcodex/comments/6t1cpx/if_w...

8
soared 13 hours ago 0 replies      
Personal opinions aside, they are technically against guidelines, as is this post.

> Off-Topic: Most stories about politics, or crime, or sports, unless they're evidence of some interesting new phenomenon. Videos of pratfalls or disasters, or cute animal pictures. If they'd cover it on TV news, it's probably off-topic.

> Please don't post on HN to ask or tell us something (e.g. to ask us questions about Y Combinator, or to ask or complain about moderation). If you want to say something to us, please send it to hn@ycombinator.com.

https://news.ycombinator.com/newsguidelines.html

9
whipoodle 14 hours ago 0 replies      
Because it's just the same shit over and over again
10
tnone 7 hours ago 0 replies      
This is a long standing pattern. Whenever a thread about a social justice topic gets too far away from the orthodoxy, it gets flagged and hidden. In some cases I've seen a thread without any noticable flags and with a high score nevertheless drop hundreds of places so it sits between week old content. The official response to the LambdaConf controversy was the most glaring example.

At this point the HN moderators are either incompetently letting the system get gamed for obvious political purposes by one particular camp, or they are quietly looking the other way when it goes down. Either way, it's a pretty open secret by now.

15
Ask HN: Why has Firefox still no support for the html 5 date element?
3 points by steven_braham  13 hours ago   2 comments top 2
1
limeblack 11 hours ago 0 replies      
There are potyfills for this for example here https://www.npmjs.com/package/date-input-polyfill

Not sure why Firefox doesn't support it.

16
Ask HN: What is a typical cap during a pre-seed round?
3 points by HD134606c  15 hours ago   3 comments top 2
1
relaunched 10 hours ago 0 replies      
Pre-seeed? Friends and family or seed rounds are typically unpriced. It's convertible debt, with a discount and floor / ceiling on an eventual qualified / priced round.
2
JeffBrown 6 hours ago 1 reply      
The smarter entrepreneurs and angels are using non-equity instruments like SAFE's or old school Convertible notes and letting later money set valuation.
19
Ask HN: Good examples of well written Rails code?
2 points by nullundefined  17 hours ago   2 comments top 2
1
mtmail 14 hours ago 0 replies      
The https://github.com/openstreetmap/openstreetmap-website has its flaws but it's the largest open source Rails code base I've seen. Actively maintained.
2
dzolvd 16 hours ago 0 replies      
nope. I am sure there are but the ones I worked one were (non-os) mvps that kept getting new middleware and features bolted on until they were barely sustainable and got ported to another language.
20
Ask HN: Must have (Linux) sysadmin skills?
28 points by zabana  1 day ago   17 comments top 9
1
nelsonmarcos 1 day ago 2 replies      
* understand the basic directory structure (/, /boot/, /var, /usr, /opt, /etc)* file management (commands: tail, head, cat, awk, sed)* process management (commands: ps, top, kill)* package management (yum, dpkg)* one configuration manager (puppet, chef, ansible)* basics of tcp/ip network management (ifconfig/ip, netstata/ss, ping, trace) addiontal commands if you want to be more than a junior (strace, lsof, iostat, vmstat)

I'd like to point out that some sysadmins are focused on linux internals while others focus on application in production. So, of course, the list may vary according to the position you're looking to be hired.

2
citrin_ru 1 day ago 0 replies      
There is a very big overlap in what good developer and sysadmin should know about Linux. There are a lot of tasks, which in one teams performed by developer and in other by sysadmin. Random topics which IMHO more specific for sysadmin work:

1. Troubleshooting and performance analysis. There is excellent site about performance: http://www.brendangregg.com/linuxperf.html I don't know a good resource on troubleshooting, but some tools are the same.

2. Problem can be anywhere including network so the next topic is networks. There is excellent book TCP/IP Illustrated old, but still relevant.

3. Sysadmin often spends a lot of time in a shell so it is good to know it very well (and common shell commands too).

3
vram22 13 hours ago 0 replies      
Well this one is not really a skill, but quite a useful guideline or precaution to follow - and consistently:

Make your actions reversible (as far as possible). Had learned it in the field, later also saw it mentioned in a sysadmin book.

I can't count the number of times I've seen colleagues just blindly charge ahead and do, for example, non-trivial surgery (a.k.a. edits) on important system config files (in a haphazard, lets-see-if-this-works manner, without so much as making a backup copy of the file), which sometimes resulted in screwing up the system further, sometimes irrevocably (because, you guessed it, no backups - or no current ones, anyway). And yes, on production systems. Got a few stories about that, may mention them some other time.

4
atmosx 1 day ago 1 reply      
I want to do a blog post series on this topic.

Systems administration is a huge topic with so many interconnected parts and such vast variety of tools. Even breaking it down to segments can fall apart easily as nearly all topics overlap from user management, to filesystems, etc.

My only advice is this: Get a copy of "UNIX and Linux System Administration Handbook" and read the topics that you work on. It's a reference not something that you can read from cover to cover, but it's I own the 4th edition and it's depth is amazing. On 18 Aug there is the 5th edition coming out. Grab a copy.

My only issue is that I'd love to have *BSD included along Linux, Solaris and AIX (which is hard to find these days...).

5
citrin_ru 1 day ago 0 replies      
> What are the most common things a sysadmin does daily

- reacting to monitoring alerts and critical messages in logs. First you need to understand what given alert/message mean, and then goes troubleshooting if root cause is not obvious- improving monitoring system settings/thresholds/metrics (if there no separate teem for this)- deployment (but it often performed by developers)- upgrading OS and 3rd party software (if 3rd party software not deployed alongside own code)- performance tuning- learning software used in production (both: 3rd and written in the company)- writing numerous config files and ensuring that all settings adequate to given environment/system- if system is not entirely in cloud - replacing broken hardware and parts (HDD), usually using "remote hands" in datacenter.- managing ACLs / credentials for different systems, e.t.c.

6
codegeek 1 day ago 0 replies      
I love linux even though I am not an expert devops or sysadmin. I get around working with servers for my product and thats about it. I stackoverflow shell scripts whenever needed. Here is my 'must know' list for linux:

- ssh: you need to know what that means and how to use it

- Difference between ftp and sftp

- cd, ls, pwd (directory stuff)

- scp and rsync (move files from server to server)

- find, cat, grep, sed, awk, head, tail (manipulations and discovery)

- chown, chmod (permissions)

- cp, mv, rm, rmdir, mkdir, touch

- Don't do rm -rf unless you know what you are doing

- Setup aliases on your shell. e.g. .profile file for bash etc.

- top, ps (check processes)

- sudo and su (switching users or running commands as root)

- Know various OS differences like CentOS vs Ubunut.

- Know where to find logs for web servers like Apache or nginx (e.g. /var/log/nginx in Ubuntu).

- Star/Stop services as needed

7
jlgaddis 1 day ago 0 replies      
The skills listed on Red Hat's RHCSA [0] page might be a good start.

[0]: https://www.redhat.com/en/services/certification/rhcsa

8
autotune 1 day ago 0 replies      
While not a fan of most certs, I would highly recommend the RHCSA to get an understanding of common sysadmin tasks as it is a hands-on exam and fairly relevant to the real world, and RHCE as well. In addition you should find some random service in your language of choice on GitHub that requires a database and try to implement in a cloud provider taking into account high availability, deployment types (Blue/Green vs Rolling, for example), durability, backups, security, logging, and monitoring by rolling out the services yourself or through managed services at a given cloud provider using a CM like Ansible and/or Terraform.
9
lumberjack 1 day ago 0 replies      
Not sure why nobody mentioned it yet but iptables.
21
Ask HN: One of my coworkers accused me of sexism, should I tell HR?
11 points by deep_concern  17 hours ago   12 comments top 9
1
Jemaclus 16 hours ago 0 replies      
I would not say anything at all. I would keep all interactions with Sarah as professional as possible, including not reciprocating physical contact or jokes. I would also keep a log of any times she engages in physical contact or inappropriate jokes, and document any interaction in which you felt uncomfortable or were accosted by her. Accusing you of sexual harassment is a non-starter, and that should immediately terminate any friendship you may have between each other. Friends don't accuse each other of creating hostile work environments. Sarah might let it slide this time, but next time you say something she deems inappropriate, you might be having a meeting with HR about "repeated patterns of sexism" or something.

Like others have posted, HR is not your friend. Do not voluntarily talk to them unless they have specific questions or concerns to ask you. If they do that, what you want is to have a strong enough paper trail that any complaints Sarah brings against you are properly rebutted.

One thing I would not do right now is apologize. An apology can be seen as a confession. You want to do what you said you did: assert your innocence in the matter, ask for a retraction, and walk away if none is given.

I have other thoughts on this (e.g., start looking for a new job), which I'd be happy to expand upon if you want, but I think the safest thing for you to do right now is just cease any non-professional contact and document the crap out of everything she says or does to use in case of an inquiry.

Good luck.

2
osullivj 17 hours ago 1 reply      
HR are not your friends. The clue is in the name: human resources. You are just a resource to be managed. And managed out if you become a problem. HR's main function is reducing legal exposure risk due to harassment lawsuits etc. That, and removing human resources that have become a liability. IMHO you should write up a set of notes on the jokes and physical behavior, and anything else that you can think of that will make HR think that firing you will cause them more legal grief than keeping you on.
3
bartvk 16 hours ago 0 replies      
> "you don't need to lecture me on this right now"

> discussion became increasingly heated

Are you sure you don't owe her an apology? I have the feeling she felt hurt for some reason, and just wanted your understanding.

4
NumberCruncher 15 hours ago 0 replies      
[sexism on]

>> she's a physical person and pats or hits me on the arm frequently in jest (I don't reciprocate), and has made a few sexual jokes privately

Is she physical and makes sexual jokes to her other co-workers too or only to you? In the latter case

>> [she] said my remark was "demeaning to say to a woman"

reads like "I want you to recognise me as a woman you dumbass". It's a "women say something and mean the opposit" thing.

[sexism off]

Anyhow, listen to the advice of Jemaclus and don't fuck the company!

5
uptownfunk 11 hours ago 0 replies      
Don't say anything if you're a guy.. with all the pro-feminism talk these days, especially post Damore-gate at Google, the tables could possibly be turned on you. Document everything and keep it strictly professional, you don't have much of a choice at this point.
6
borplk 16 hours ago 0 replies      
Don't talk to HR.
7
Jugurtha 14 hours ago 0 replies      
Maybe you truly weren't being sexist and you were so shocked as to create this thread because it deeply wounded you. Then again, maybe you are sexist and created this thread to have a trail that makes you appear distraught and violated when this thing blows up and say "See! Would I be so vexed as to create an HN thread if I were sexist!", playing the long con (it takes a special kind of mind to think like that)..

Joking aside...

Have you read Robert Ringer's "Winning Through Intimidation"?

As the name doesn't imply, it's not about winning through intimidation, quite the opposite, it's about how to detect attempts to intimidate, manipulate, and take advantage of you, and what to do about it. It exposes some patterns many abusers use (appeal to honesty, accusations to entice apologies and guilt, etc).

The author talks about many instances where he got screwed and what he learned from his master manipulators.

A good week-end read.

8
dudul 17 hours ago 0 replies      
If you have a few witnesses of your interactions who can confirm that she tried to play the sexism card while you were behaving perfectly appropriately then yes you should mention it to HR to be proactive.

HR doesn't care about you or Sarah, they care about helping the company. If you already have a "case" (ie witnesses) and approach them first, then they will see you as the "safer" party to side with.

If you don't have anything solid to back your story, then it's a bit more risky and it may be a better move to not do anything and hope that she won't take any action.

In the future, you should definitely be very careful to properly document your interactions with her though.

9
twobyfour 13 hours ago 0 replies      
This is a tough situation, and the dialog about gender in the tech scene this summer has only made such situations more fraught and adversarial than they might otherwise be.

Remember that just as many thoughtful and considerate men are frustrated because they feel like they're being tarred with the same brush as VCs who abused their power to get away with sexual assault, many women are feeling like they're being told they don't belong in the jobs they've been doing well for years, like their complaints that they have to struggle daily against subconscious bias are being dismissed without even being considered, and like if they want to even pursue their careers they're expected to accept everything from subtle disrespect to outright abuse.

You have a choice to make, and your choice will contribute in a small way to whether the conflict - in your company and in the industry - escalates or de-escalates.

The approach I would suggest depends on several factors:

1) prior to this incident, did you have a good, friendly professional relationship with Sarah?

2) prior to this incident, has Sarah demonstrated a tendency to take professional critique or social/political commentary personally, or does she usually take things in good faith (even if she presents counter-arguments)?

3) do you want to approach this issue in a way that's adversarial, or do you want to repair and possibly further your working relationship with Sarah?

If your answers are 1) "yes", 2) "good faith", and 3) "repair", then I would approach it as follows:

First, ask Sarah if she'd be willing to talk over lunch or coffee or even just to take a walk outside. This sort of discussion is best had in a setting that's public but allows for private conversation and is less formal than the office but is not easily mistaken for a romantic overture.

Tell Sarah that you're sorry that you said something that came across to her as sexist. Without trying to justify anything you said, tell her that a) you didn't intend to say anything sexist; b) that although your initial reaction was to be hurt that she would accuse you of sexism, you c) realize that you may have said something that was hurtful to her without realizing why it would be hurtful; and d) you would like to understand what it was about that interaction that she felt was sexist, so that e) you can learn from this experience and be better in the future.

If she's a decent human being and if you're willing to be sincere and more importantly to really LISTEN, this is the sort of conversation you can learn a lot from -- both about Sarah as a person, and about the sort of subtle frictions and obstacles women face in the workplace on a daily and weekly basis.

If you do this right, and if you mean it, Sarah will learn that you're someone who means well and is willing to make an effort to be a good colleague to the women in your office. The next time you say something that perhaps could be taken the wrong way, she'll be more likely to give you the benefit of the doubt and instead of accusing you of sexism, merely point out that what you said might not have come across the way you intended.

You'll get to understand that she reacted the way she did not because she's an unreasonable person looking for excuses to fly off the handle at her colleagues and get them in trouble, but (probably) because she had a real reason to interpret a situation differently than you did, even if she was having a bad day and didn't handle the situation as well as she could have. You'll discover what it was that set her off in the first place; what the (almost certainly not malicious) reasons were for her interpreting it the way she did; and how to avoid repeating such an incident.

An open and honest discussion like this can add a great deal of strength and trust to your working relationship, in both directions.

If you're not willing to be humble and to listen; or if Sarah is not a person you're willing to trust, then I would do the following:

Document, document, document. Write down your take on what happened. Put a date on it. Do not turn it in to HR. If anything like this recurs, also document it immediately. Then, if and when an accusation or confrontation does occur that does get HR involved, you will be able to show them your side of the story instead of just babbling that you didn't mean to offend anyone.

22
Ask HN: Back end engineer webapps for too long, what to do next?
14 points by rajeshp1986  1 day ago   11 comments top 9
1
clasense4 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Well anybody can build CRUD, so I choose another path. From beginning of 2017, I learn serverless architecture. Currently I'm building serverless data lake on top of aws, and automate the deployment using terraform.
2
steven_braham 3 hours ago 0 replies      
I don't think as a developer that you can fully escape from crud, since nearly every application has to do some database stuff.

I recommend trying to move to a position where you don't have to code much such as QA, CTO or system architect.

3
jermaustin1 16 hours ago 0 replies      
I went from building products to consulting on building products. I still do software dev for some clients (if they are willing to pay enough to make my hatred of it worth it), but I have found this more freeing, plus I make more money, and get to use my brain more on the theoretical and experimental side which is fun.

Most of my clients are pre-rev/pre-money/broke, but the higher priced development work I do, offsets that.

I've also been dabbling in writing, and hiring writers to write for me.

BUT find a hobby that is outside of software development. I do hiking, photography, wood working, and writing. Maybe that will give you something to look forward to after work.

4
imauld 10 hours ago 0 replies      
Are you interested in the operations side of things? Making CRUD apps is one thing but deploying them at scale is another. It's a whole new problem set with a lot of interesting tools (Kubernetes probably being the "hottest" atm).
5
rayalez 20 hours ago 0 replies      
Try being a full-stack developer, or building your own product, or creating an agency and helping clients with business issues. There's just so many areas you can expand into as a competent web developer!

If you're looking specifically for new tech to explore - look into DL and data science, or WebAssembly, or WebVR, or ActivityPub. Those are all the hot exciting cool things that will be in demand, and are super interesting to look into.

6
swah 1 day ago 2 replies      
Mobile maybe? I think Arkit is going to be big. I'm thinking of moving to iOS just because of that..
7
soc 1 day ago 0 replies      
Happens to a lot of us.

Lately just for fun I been working with unreal engine. You can do some really cool stuff quickly and customize in C++.

Now that VR is becoming in bigger and bigger might be marketable some day. That startup magicleap seems to be doing lot of stuff around this area.

Can pair unreal with houdini and do some python scripting / 3d math learning.

8
dickler 1 day ago 0 replies      
machine learning / data science
9
slowmotarget 1 day ago 0 replies      
Try to find a startup near you that's currently looking for a tech lead / CTO, you'll do more than CRUD hopefully!
23
Volunteers needed to teach web development in Oakland
68 points by BeccaScriptEd  3 days ago   9 comments top 6
1
dopeboy 3 days ago 0 replies      
I've been volunteering for three years and am signed up for this fall. Happy to answer questions.

edit: Links for the lazy https://bit.ly/ScriptEdSFBAYvolunteer & https://scripted.org

2
gelqura 3 days ago 0 replies      
I volunteered with ScriptEd in NYC and now in the Bay Area. They are probably one of the most thoughtful, organized, and fun non-profits I've ever worked with. And most importantly the kids have gone on to do some amazing things!
3
salehk 2 days ago 0 replies      
I would love to volunteer but I work in the south bay so it would be very difficult for me to attend the after school sessions.

Is their any other way I can contribute or help out?

4
mbs348 3 days ago 0 replies      
Great program, happy to see it expand to Oakland!
5
snissn 3 days ago 2 replies      
Any ability for me to mentor remotely?
6
justinschulz 2 days ago 0 replies      
ScriptEd is a great and effective way to do something good for your soul! I volunteer in NYC and it's great to see the students empowered with coding skills! This is great for Oakland
24
Ask HN: What does a disciplined programmer look like?
23 points by muzani  2 days ago   10 comments top 8
1
twobyfour 2 days ago 0 replies      
Discipline is about being aware of your own counterproductive tendencies and being willing to do things that aren't entirely comfortable or natural to you in order to be productive.

For instance, I have one colleague who has a tendency to perfectionism, and will spend months tracking down every tiny possible corner case that we're never going to hit, in a small low-priority feature in a CRUD app that wouldn't destroy anyone's lives if it went down for a week. For him, discipline means checking himself frequently and asking what the actual ROI is of where he's about to spend his time.

I have another coworker who loves to start new projects but getting him to finish them is worse than pulling teeth. For him, discipline is about follow-through.

My own job happens to include a lot of responsibilities other than programming. For me, some days discipline is about letting the Slack conversations around the other projects that I'm responsible for and anxious about slide for an hour or two so I can get in a little flow time with the code. Other days it's about putting down the fun coding project so I can make sure someone else's project doesn't go off the rails.

Discipline is different for each person, and it starts with self-awareness - which is the sort of trait that will serve you well in other ways - both in life in general and in any career.

2
trcollinson 2 days ago 0 replies      
When I think of disciplined programmers, I think of Fabrice Bellard.[1] In fact, I think of him so much that he is the person who I have modeled my own practices after.

Here is a short list of a few of his accomplishments:

1) He won the IOCCC twice.

2) He built the TinyCC boot loader.

3) He wrote a fast pi calculator that won a World Record on commodity hardware.

4) He wrote QEMU and FFmpeg.

The list just goes on and on. He is not productive because he has a specific morning routine. I don't know if he follows specific XP practices, but I would doubt that he follows most of them. But I have noticed a number of things he does do:

1) He is relatively paced in his timing. He generally doesn't give crazy time estimates and is very realistic about how long his work will take him.

2) He sticks with similar technologies and has Mastered them. Just like a Master sushi chef can't easily make french pastries and wouldn't bill himself as a pastry chef, a software programmer who has completely Mastered a language like C shouldn't just bill themselves as a Master at Lisp.

3) He is always learning and expanding his Master of his knowledge. It's incremental but very impressive.

4) He has no problem taking calculated risks in his development, and often he can make them pay off.

I would say he has definite patterns. He works and works hard constantly. But I don't think he ascribes to any particular methodology.

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fabrice_Bellard

3
AnimalMuppet 2 days ago 1 reply      
Discipline means thinking about the error paths in your code, not just the happy path.

Discipline means regular testing.

Discipline means documentation.

Discipline means fixing the bugs - not just the "bad" ones, but the annoying little ones. (Not every bug, though - some bugs truly are not worth fixing.)

Discipline means communicating with your coworkers (including those annoying bosses and managers). It means making estimates, and taking enough time thinking them through that they're actually something close to accurate.

Discipline means thinking about the design before you start coding. (This does not mean that you can't explore before deciding on a design. It also does not mean that you can't iterate the design after discovering some issues with it implementation. In fact...)

Discipline means refactoring the design and code so that changes fit, rather than just being hacked in somehow.

Maybe a summary: Discipline means working like the code is going to be used for the next twenty years, rather than like it's going to be used only for the next week.

4
luckydude 1 day ago 0 replies      
Docs and tests are good one. Lots of people like the fun part of coding, which is getting some new thing to work. I've taught myself to like docs and tests, to the point that when I'm reviewing a changeset I look to see if there are docs and tests and just push back right away if there are not.

If you get into that groove, write the docs first. When you have to explain your feature, write out the command line options, all of that, you have to sort of imagine it all in your head, you start to think about is this the way other commands work, am I being consistent, etc. I find that when I do the docs first I do a better job on the code, especially the UI parts or where it fits with other code.

And tests, regression tests. When I started BitKeeper we did regression tests with every command. So frigging pleasant. It got to a point where you basically couldn't break BK if you passed the tests, or at least you had to be really sneaky.

I agree with twobyfour that it's different for different people, his/her comment that you need to be self aware is a really good point.

5
mtmail 2 days ago 0 replies      
Regardless if you put in one hour or eight (or unhealthy 16) hours per day into your project/startup a disciplined programmer works on the most important task. That might be the one leading to most growth, profit or just avoiding damage to the business. That task might be utterly boring, and there's 100 other task that are easier, faster to implement or more fun. Discipline in my opinion means you choose that boring task.
6
demygale 1 day ago 1 reply      
One aspect of discipline that I think is underrated, is to take notes as you work. What you were thinking, what you tried, what worked and what didn't. It helps with reflection even if you never go back and read the notes.
7
Jugurtha 12 hours ago 0 replies      
I have a polar star / meta kind of rule and chunk down from there:

 me[i+1] > me[i]
`i` can be time but is not specified so it can work with any granularity you like: year, month, day, hour, minute. It also works for space: the me in a place needs to be better than the me in another place.

Discipline not being discouraged. One of my favorite sayings since I was a child is "Ad augusta per angusta". At one point I was reading about two to three books or equivalent per day. Now I can't do that and it's discouraging. Discipline to push through that and read during commute what amounts to a book or two per week. Pales in comparison, but it takes discipline not to be discouraged by the disparity.

Discipline also to think more about what I read: from compulsive consumption to pondering and trying to learn from what I read to serve my day to day life, instead of merely getting high on "knowledge acquisition". Wisdom vs knowledge, if you will. A great slogan is Wharton's "Knowledge for action". I like that.

Discipline in outsmarting myself. I'm writing code and I know that I'm not as smart as I am, so I leave a trail of thoughts in the comments to take my future self by the hand on why something was written the way it was, and where to go from there. Plenty of TODO detailing the reasons (so they may be changed if the reasons became invalid). My future self loves my past self for being so thoughtful and prescient and patient with him.

Discipline to avoid shortcuts. "Move fast and break things" is bullshitese to me. It's bullshit and I think people who live by that aren't the one fixing the broken pieces. Shitty code is seldom clever and those who shit it seldom refactor it. Discipline to acknowledge the fact that if I think I'm moving faster by skimping on variable names, I'm being a moron and others may pay the price.

Discipline in trying to think hard about my code and constantly refactor it, unbeknownst to my employer who tells me the code is good as it is and not to break it by refactoring it, to which I retort it's as good as it is (or not as bad as it was) because I constantly refactor it. It means writing documentation for imaginary code beforehand and how I would use it, it means once written getting non-programmers to try to follow the docs for an API so if a non-programmer who's never written a line of code can get it to work easily, future maintainers won't have too much trouble. It means to learn new tools to make better docs. Discipline in taking care to write good exception messages that when raised communicate I'm on top so at least the user doesn't panic and knows if there is a detailed message for it, it's okay. A message that explains why it happened and what to do about it (even giving a list of Linux commands to run to narrow down the scope or fix it).

Discipline in consistently trying to learn more about how the mind works (Hebb, Ebbinghaus, LTP, and how these beautiful tentacular beasts we have in our skulls work). It is about triggering a break-point when I have a good idea and dumping the context to know why and how I had it, trying to go as far back as I can. It also works on bad ideas. Discipline in having a pen with me. It's having a pen and a notepad on my bedside so I can note my thoughts right when I'm about to sleep: ever had a great idea right before you gave in to Morpheus and were glad because you'll implement it "tomorrow" only to wake up having forgotten about it? It's happened to me but I know better than to count on myself remembering it.

Discipline in being intellectually honest and not bullshit someone who knows less than me on a tiny specific point. This includes myself (I have a check: do I know what I'm telling myself or am I just bullshitting myself? Can I prove to myself I know what I'm talking about and what are my arguments? Do I at least have a starting point to get the factually correct information? If yes, what am I waiting for to get it?).

Discipline in observation. I'm fortunate to have a wide range of interests (but even that is a fruit of discipline: maintaining the interest I had as a child and not letting it die). Observe other fields and get inspired, borrow things, mindsets, tools, practices, etc.

Discipline in catching myself when I think something is "obvious". Is it really? During sophomore year in college we had a course in Strength of Materials. A very counter-intuitive and beautiful thing is why a pull-up bar is hollow (a tube) and not full. Discipline to have a magnifying glass on "intuition" and guard myself against thinking something is "trivial" because things rarely are.

Discipline to ask why someone wrote a line of code the way they did. It's easy to think we're smarter than the next guy, it's easy to change a weird line of code, but it takes discipline to figure out why it was written the way it was. Chesterton's fence and what not.

Discipline in asking people questions, asking them to explain to me what they do and why they do it. Whether a banker, a shepherd, a soldier, a surgeon, a dentist, a mechanic, an author, an illegal taxi driver.. I care about process, motivations and incentives: what do people do, and why they do it.

Discipline in seeking universal truths. I have a feeling I'm about to have a great insight about something, I don't know which. It's akin to feeling a presence in the dark, you don't know what it is and if there's anything there in the first place..

PS: If you have that universal truth about mind mastery, economics, and happiness.. Please share your secret here. I accept panaceas and silver bullets.

8
peterchon 1 day ago 0 replies      
consistency.
25
What are the best programming language tutorials?
6 points by CamelCaseName  1 day ago   5 comments top 5
1
bananicorn 20 hours ago 0 replies      
I'd have to go with the drRacket one on this:http://docs.racket-lang.org/quick/index.html

I really like it if I can mess around with visual stuff quite soon when learning a new language.

2
deadcoder0904 1 day ago 0 replies      
If u need the very best, then go checkout https://vuejs.org.Its not a language, but a framework.It just can't get any better than that. Every tutorial must be written by taking an inspiration from VueJS docs.
3
sigjuice 14 hours ago 0 replies      
K&R
4
muzani 1 day ago 0 replies      
freecodecamp, for web development
5
swah 1 day ago 0 replies      
Laracasts.
26
Ask HN: Which helpdesk/ticketsystem do you use?
8 points by realtarget  1 day ago   6 comments top 6
1
mrpatto 16 hours ago 0 replies      
I work at Help Scout, and it's a great hosted sass tool. But you shouldn't just pick the first one you hear about.

I wrote a guide to making the right choice of help desk tool for your own situation: https://www.helpscout.net/blog/choosing-help-desk-software/

Useful to think through before you invest time or money.

2
twunde 1 day ago 0 replies      
My last company switched to samanage which was ok. They had a couple of nice features like an asset inventory, workflows so that we could create onboarding/offboarding and it would send emails to HR and helpdesk. We did need to purchase another solution to do AD authentication though, which was a downer. I've also used Jira Service Desk, of which the killer feature was that it had git integration, which I had a hard time finding in competitors. Honestly there are tons of choices out there. General features you should be looking for are: SSO, reports, customizable self service flows
3
tdburn 1 day ago 0 replies      
We use helpscout. Great product that keeps it simple.

We used groovehq.com before as well, but helpscout is more polished and have a better mobile app

4
lyonlim 1 day ago 0 replies      
Zendesk, but lately feeling a disconnect compared with Intercom's.
5
kull 1 day ago 0 replies      
Zendesk, it works fine
6
wslh 1 day ago 0 replies      
OTRS?
27
Ask HN: How to Make the Most of Your Master's Degree (Computer Science)?
9 points by iCHAIT  2 days ago   8 comments top 4
1
peller 1 day ago 3 replies      
I only went for an undergrad degree, but for what it's worth, in my perhaps cynical opinion going to university is mostly just an expensive way to buy a network. Yea, there's an educational aspect, but anybody smart and self-motivated can get that online for free.

My point is, in five or ten years, you're not going to look back and say "man, I wish I'd spent more time studying" - no, so long as you graduate with okay marks what really lasts are the relationships you make while you're there (classmates, schoolmates, professors, locals). Get out of your comfort zone, join (or start) some clubs, live life. My 2 cents.

2
luckydude 1 day ago 0 replies      
Huh, timely question as I help my son pick an undergrad school.

I'm of the opinion that you pretty much want a grad degree these days, undergrad has become sort of like high school 2.0.

A masters in CS is a great idea. It's where you sort of dig in and find some depth. I went to a hacking school (UW-Madison back then really pushed you to code, we did a pretty big subset of ADA for the compiler class); that turned out to be good. I also took all the classes needed for a minor in Computer Architecture; that turned out to be super useful over the years.

If you get a TA/RA job, at least back then, they gave you enough to pay for school and housing. Anyone know if that is still true? Even if it is not, I highly recommend teaching. You get a deeper knowledge of the topic when you have to organize it enough to teach it. And teaching is practice for conveying your thoughts, something you'll do a lot if you want to be a leader in your job.

Take two years if you can. I know you can do it one but it's more fun if you take two.

Be willing to be a grunt for some professor if you can be a co-author on a paper. Getting practice at publishing is useful. Again, it's conveying your thoughts, the more practice at that, the better.

Try and step up from your undergrad to a better school for your masters. I taught masters students at Stanford, Stanford loves masters students, they are a big source of money. At least back then, Stanford was pretty liberal about letting in masters students (more so than undergrads).

Have fun, learn, network! Don't forget to sleep and have a beer once in a while :)

Edit: I see that other people are saying it's not worth it. I've got a masters and I absolutely think it was worth it for me. But it was "free" in that what they gave me as a TA/RA was enough to cover tuition and housing, it was about $16K. Times have changed, if what they give you as a TA isn't enough, if you are going to go an extra $100K in debt, yeah, I can see why people would say it's not worth it.

Personally, I loved grad school. If I hadn't been so scared by the qualifiers, I'd have a PhD. If the money part works out, I can't say enough good things about grad school. More learning, more networking, and hey, more summer vacations. You'll be working for a long time without those vacations, enjoy them while you can.

3
pesfandiar 1 day ago 1 reply      
Above all, I used it for easier immigration to Canada. I wasn't able to find a job where I could directly use my domain knowledge and it didn't require a PhD.

I gained some research skills, learned about advanced computer science topics, and met new people in my field, but there are cheaper ways (including opportunity cost) to do all of those.

4
SirLJ 1 day ago 0 replies      
After the first job, those degrees are useless in IMHO, after that everyone cares about experience only... The only exception is if you want to go into academics
28
Ask HN: Who was your greatest mentor?
10 points by Kevin_S  2 days ago   12 comments top 5
1
BlackjackCF 2 days ago 0 replies      
I've been lucky to find a mentor to work with at every job I've been at. I guess I was just really receptive to learning. I don't know if I can say I had a "greatest" mentor at any of my jobs, because I learned a great deal from each of them - through their good and bad qualities.

1) My first mentor taught me everything I knew about developing good code habits and staying humble. However, I think I learned the most about people management from him. He was extremely polarizing as a person. He would go to the ends of the earth for his people, but the moment that he felt he had been slighted, you'd be on his shit list. I learned how to foster loyalty and good rapport with your coworkers and employees from him - and also how dangerous it was to take everything at work personally. I thought he was a great manager in some ways, but he burned a lot of bridges.

2) My second mentor was one of the best engineers I ever worked with. It wasn't because he was the fastest or the best programmer. It was because he knew how to bridge the gap between engineering and product. He also knew the importance of documentation and moving at a steady pace. He cared a lot about developer sustainability and ensured that sprints were always scored and paced correctly. I really wish I had, had more time to work with him.

3) The third mentor I worked with was actually one of the most brilliant engineers I've ever met. He turned me onto a lot of new technologies and stretched me to my limits, because he moved at such a blindingly fast pace. However, I think I learned from him the most in his negative aspects. He thought planning was a waste of time, and would just dole out work as quickly as he could so he could get back to engineering. Working with him also meant toeing the line to burnout. From him, I learned how important it was to foster good relations with all departments in order to get things done, instead of just relying on one or two rockstars to pull things forward by sheer force of will.

2
kzisme 2 days ago 3 replies      
I'm always curious how people _find_ mentors.

I have heard of a few services out there where you are able to book "x" amount of time with someone to talk about work or whatever (basically a mentor).

Since finishing up school I've worked with 2 developers, and both have been great and I've learned a lot.

I don't think these sort of relationships count as "mentors", or at least it just felt like co-working. So, I guess you could say I'm still looking? :)

3
forkLding 2 days ago 1 reply      
Books are great mentors, although shorter, they are a quick and condensed look at how things should be done
4
muzani 2 days ago 0 replies      
It's hard to say who was the greatest. Very different. All the good mentors give you one on one time.

I would say my thesis supervisor was the best. Taught me the whole process of engineering, how to actually build an epic project. How to break down a huge project into components and how to make sure each component works.

5
bsvalley 2 days ago 1 reply      
My dad. Then, surprisingly, my father in law. 2 different styles, 2 different perspectives about life. The combination of both is gold.
29
Ask HN: Predictions on what will be the most surprising technology in 10 years?
49 points by sstanie  20 hours ago   63 comments top 38
1
jraines 19 hours ago 0 replies      
Genetic / biotech stuff, driven by CRISPR. All the ones you mentioned, except nanotech maybe, are pretty locked in to create massive changes. I think the bio stuff will be the most "surprising", not least because it's harder to to write believable breathless hype about it. Not to say there won't be plenty of attempts, but I feel like the public is a little more inoculated against wild health/medical claims than "killer AI" or "$100k bitcoin", which is both a good thing and more likely to create surprise when a few of them turn out to be true.

AR a really close second, but I think people will be a little bit more ready for it given prevalence in sci-fi and experience of rapid computer & graphics progress in our lifetime. So it's easier to "expect" a world of Pokemon Go on steroids in your AR glasses than it is, say, one where a boutique offshore firm is offering to give your baby the ability to see into the infrared spectrum or something.

2
hyperpallium 18 hours ago 1 reply      
First, the negatives:

 Another AI winter Another VR winter Another hype-cycle of home automation Another hype-cycle of growing teeth
There will be tech progress, but behind the scenes, doing the same things as before, just better. As prosaic as more modular manufactured goods, in the sense of prefab home construction, automobile components, FPGA's for electronic goods. Some may revolutionize the value-chain in an industry - but you won't see it unless you're in it.

Fundamentally new tech takes 20-30 years to come to market - especially if it really does change things (government regulatory regimes, infrastructure, how we live).

Now Moore's Law isn't giving us shallow victories any more, there is opportunity for deeper changes, that properly absorb and apply its past advances.

Right now, we are undergoing a re-orientation of our political systems, in the sense of how democracy operates without a traditional press; the continuing march of multi-nationals being more powerful than sovereign states; the hyper-concentration of wealth (due to the means of production no longer being land, nor labour, but technology). Social systems are a kind of "technology".

The central question of this technological change will be: why do the hyper-wealthy need people?

The most surprising technology will be new mathematics - not TB machine proofs, but quite simple and basic ones, akin to the positional number system, algebra, calculus. They will analyse complex systems, like Navier-Stokes fluid dynamics; the operation of deep learning networks; internet and traffic congestion; and cortical organization. They won't give magical results, but they will offer a new point of view, that some will experience as magical.

3
iforgotmypass 30 minutes ago 0 replies      
I'm kinda surprised noone mentioned teleportation.

Also, what about human-computer interfaces? (communicating with your smartphone and receiving responses using only thoughts)

4
kichik 19 hours ago 1 reply      
Solar power, wireless service, remote working and transportation advances might change where we live. You can have a house powered by the sun without an electric grid, connect to LTE+++ with 100gbps, work remotely, and have food automatically delivered with self-driving trucks or drones. You could live anywhere you'd want.
5
WaltPurvis 17 hours ago 1 reply      
Re the Gates quote: Unless you're Ray Kurzweil, in which case you always overestimate the change that will occur in the next two years and wildly, ludicrously overestimate the change that will occur in the next ten.

I'm old enough to have lived through the Drexlerian nanotechnology mania, and the Kurzweilian exponentialism mania, so I've learned to be extremely skeptical about anyone predicting earth-shattering advances in any field of technology in a mere decade's time. (The Singularity is not just over the horizon. Stop. You're not going to live for a thousand years or upload your mind to a computer. Just stop.)

My prediction is 2027 will be almost indistinguishable from 2017, if we're lucky, i.e., barring nuclear war or some CRISPR-crafted super-virus. However, if I had to choose a technology surprise for ten years from now it would involve being unlucky, i.e., the Loss of Everything Good due to an overwhelming tide of cyberterrorists and cybercriminals. I think few people (including me) fully appreciate how much destruction and chaos could be wrought, and how difficult it could be to protect our vital systems, so in that sense it would catch a lot of people by surprise.

The optimistic technology outlook for 2027 is petabyte thumb drives, 16K televisions, 8G wireless, cheaper solar cells, and marginally better medical scanners. It's a pretty uninspiring list, and none of it is surprising.

That's my hope. Please let there be no surprising technology in 10 years. Because the chances of a good surprise are vastly outweighed by the odds of bad ones.

6
namlem 18 hours ago 0 replies      
Some sort of inexpensive, portable neuro-imaging device could be huge. It would allow us to interact with technology almost seamlessly, and solve a lot of problems. If it becomes ubiquitous, it also solves almost all out security problems. Brain-based biometrics that work by measuring your brain activity while you look at a particular image. Unlike other biometrics, it's easily cancelable and extremely secure. You can change your "password" by selecting a different image.

It would also grant us the ability to much more effectively monitor our mental state. I bet it could be extremely helpful in combating anxiety and promoting mindfulness.

7
aquadrop 19 hours ago 3 replies      
Well, it's like guessing which number is least likely to be guessed in the same game. If you could predict it right, it's probably not that surprising :)
8
Snowdax 18 hours ago 0 replies      
VR. Next two years are going to be pretty stagnant. The resolutions, etc. just are still enthusiast tier.

But 10 years time? We could be seeing the beginning of the end of TVs, smartphones, cinema, social media, etc. as we know it today. VR arcade warehouses popping up in many places. Perhaps even starting to impact the layouts of newly architected houses to have less walls, focus more on wide one-story dwellings (but stacked on top of each other) and more open space to roam wide in virtual reality.

9
uptown 18 hours ago 0 replies      
Surveillance will not only be pervasive (it already is) but normalized on a global scale. Read up on China's "Social Credit System" for a glimpse of where we're headed.
10
borplk 18 hours ago 1 reply      
One of my predictions is that the AI pendulum will swing again at the other direction and people will wake up again to the reality that AI is far from achieving the romanticised stuff that the so called experts and book authors want the public to believe.

We will see gradual incremental improvement in specialised AIs for things like voice, face and character recognition. We will see an increased usage of AI and AI based technologies to improve efficiency and assist the humans in decision making. But it will not put nearly as many people out of jobs as some people suggest.

11
jimangel 18 hours ago 0 replies      
I heard something recently about how terrible we are at predicting the future inherently.

I can't find the source, but I heard on a manager tools podcast that ~50 years ago they surveyed professionals about the future of flight. There was a ton of predictions about crazy concepts, but the winner was "bigger planes going more places"

This is also kind of a fun read: https://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Incorrect_predictions

12
sevensor 19 hours ago 1 reply      
New materials. The search space in materials science is so impossibly huge that it's an endless source of surprises. The last ceramics hype cycle was about 20 years ago, so we're due for another one. Maybe room-temperature ceramic superconductors?
13
Aron 18 hours ago 0 replies      
I think the transition to self-driving electric cars as a service will be in full force by then, and it will only be slowed down by the sheer number of interlocked changes and requirements to finish that process. The sheer scale of the numbers will ensure significant palpable changes, and for once, it's a change occurring in the physical world of atoms.
14
rcarmo 19 hours ago 0 replies      
Paraphrasing Douglas Adams, I'd go with a volume knob for children, simply because it would be quite surprising if someone was able to get that working...
15
ratherbefuddled 18 hours ago 1 reply      
Automated driving plus Uber style infrastructure plus electric vehicles and improved batteries will start to change the way people use them significantly. Private car ownership will have peaked and begun falling, people will just order one on an app and let it drive off after they've arrived to the next job. Cars will spend much more of the day on the road instead of parked outside houses or offices rather like aeroplanes. Perhaps not a revolutionary or surprising idea in itself but I think the speed of this change will be surprising in hindsight.
16
felipeccastro 18 hours ago 0 replies      
Blockchain, decentralized apps - perhaps based on Ethereum, perhaps not. They have the potential to enhance capitalism in equivalent ways as the current wave of "sharing economy" startups (Uber, Airbnb) has done, or even surpass that.

- it's much easier for more people to become investors, since buying coins/tokens will become increasingly easier and common.

- you won't need to be located at a specific startup hub to launch successful business, because it's so much easier to get investment from around the world.

- it has a great approach for solving the "network effect", where no one can challenge the major players with strong networks, by providing strong incentives for early adopters to join and grow their networks (either by buying very cheap tokens, or producing content that will render them "free money").

- it enables the creation of new business models that might disrupt (ugh, sorry) several existing industries, due to how they solve the trust issue between parties that have no reason to trust each other without a central controller entity. Some are calling this next wave of startups the "Web 3.0".

Sure, it looks like the wild west now, and there are all sorts of problems from scams to scalability issues, but maturity might be only a matter of time.

17
ellius 19 hours ago 0 replies      
3d printing. My buddy works at a major American industrial manufacturer and the work he describes is fascinating. They're slowly starting to take on bigger and bigger chunks of the overall business as their capabilities grow and different business units discover them. I can only begin to imagine the host of fields that will be affected by the ability to do really nifty agile experimentation with physical products.
18
legulere 18 hours ago 0 replies      
The most surprising thing will be that most things will stay the same as now.
19
frandroid 18 hours ago 0 replies      
AR headsets.

There were MP3 players before the iPod, but they weren't taking off quite yet. Then Jobs came, and the iPod changed the music market. And then changed the smartphone market. Google Glass was a good first mass market prototype, Microsoft seems to be going in the right direction with Hololens, but we all know it's not quite there yet. Whoever manages to figure out what the magic combination is for an AR headset that gets massive adoption, will usher in the next UI/portable computing revolution.

20
schnevets 18 hours ago 1 reply      
Industry 4.0 and the rise of intelligent manufacturing. A marriage of 3D printing, AI, and IoT technology will change what consumers can order and how quickly it arrives to them.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Industry_4.0

21
jMyles 19 hours ago 0 replies      
Most surprising? I'm thinking AR, mostly because it's much less discussed today than similarly positioned tech, but no less viable.

Also, it seems about time for another psychedelic revival / breakthrough, so don't count out research on psychoactive plants and compounds (if that counts as tech per your metric).

22
frandroid 18 hours ago 0 replies      
"Plastics!"
23
angryasian 18 hours ago 0 replies      
usable and realistic holography will be the next big step forward in visualization and interactivity.
24
scottlegrand2 18 hours ago 1 reply      
China cleans up their air and Shenzhen disrupts Silicon Valley, creating a semi-totalitarian, technocratic city that is somehow more free and libertarian than Silicon Valley has become.
25
reindeerer 17 hours ago 0 replies      
Small satellite and generally small spacecraft will drastically change the affordability of space, which will drive a lot of new development in space. It's already creating a lot of demand on market for new, small launchers as well to actually get significant numbers of sats up there, and it will become an accelerating loop between nanosat launch providers and small spacecraft getting more affordable quickly
26
ponci 18 hours ago 0 replies      
"Internet of things". It's one of the few things that is already here, economically viable, but not organized or "distributed" as Gibson would say. There's simply no reason not to have connectivity in everything if you do it well with electronics and it provides value. Maybe not surprising as such, so you have to figure out the implications which is usually what tends to be the surprising part.
27
corporateslave3 16 hours ago 0 replies      
One more is the automation of distributed computing. "Big data" will be completely encapsulated and hidden to the end user.
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whataretensors 19 hours ago 0 replies      
AI. Nobody knows what will happen, or if/what roadblocks await. If it continues to scale in the best case, we are in for strange times ahead.
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donatj 18 hours ago 0 replies      
Honestly I think with the mass availability of escapist devices innovation is largely over.
30
JauntTrooper 18 hours ago 0 replies      
Insect-sized mini-drones that will create ubiquitous surveillance.
31
subsubsub 17 hours ago 0 replies      
Sticks and Stones as high tech weapons of war.
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JauntTrooper 14 hours ago 0 replies      
Tomatoes will taste great again.
33
corporateslave3 19 hours ago 1 reply      
cryptocurrencies, whole new asset class, wild west
34
jboggan 18 hours ago 0 replies      
Software will eat programming jobs.
35
Danihan 18 hours ago 0 replies      
Bioweapons.
36
billconan 19 hours ago 0 replies      
I think Robotics will be big.
37
graycat 19 hours ago 1 reply      
I'd vote for by CRISPR and the rest of bio-technology, e.g., as in Eric Lander and his MIT lectures at YouTube, for, my guesses, better crops, healthier farm animals, attacking insects, e.g., mosquitoes, attacking causes of infections, for curing some of the remaining difficult diseases, especially cancer.

A second guess, or a guess for second place, would be artificial general intelligence (AGI) if and only if someone or some team or project gets going on that problem and has some good, basic, enabling ideas.

I have some ideas, but since they really are just architectural or heuristic and not mathematical and not in code I can make only wild guesses for how good the ideas are.

A third guess, or a guess for third place, is my startup and its crucial core enabling technology, i.e., some original applied math I derived based on some advanced pure/applied math prerequisites. Why? In broad terms the core technology of the startup makes some powerful progress on meaning. Is this progress full AGI? Nope. Does the progress fully solve the problem of meaning? Nope. To repeat, IMHO the progress is "powerful".

Is the technology widely applicable? The range of applications should be somewhat wider than the application of my startup, e.g., as some core technology in some infrastructure for some more applications, but for now my original applied math is proprietary and in my startup is locked up and invisible in my server farm.

Why third in this list? Because it doesn't deserve first or second, but, if people like the results of my applied math and what I've programmed, then my startup can well become a big thing, big enough to be third on this list in a few years.

Gee, today I'm wrestling with Microsoft's NTBACKUP. So, today it's grunt work!

38
SirLJ 17 hours ago 0 replies      
crystal balls, teleportation and time travel
30
Ask HN: How did your first software project go?
7 points by Kevin_S  2 days ago   5 comments top 5
1
Xavier66 18 hours ago 0 replies      
First major software project was with a startup I worked for. It was a 3 month project that ended up being extended due to lack of concrete requirements, the client would constantly add/remove features during development which contributed to the projects extension. When the project was near completion, the client demanded to the CEO that he lower the quote on the project because it went past the deadline (this was after we explained to the CEO that the extra features added by the client will take more time, so he was fully aware that extra time would be needed). After the CEO told the client that he can't lower the extremely under-quoted budget, the client left. After four months of full time work on this project, the CEO told us he can't pay us anything because he spent the clients deposit on things he refuses to discuss. I am not sure how the startup is currently doing, but almost all of the developers left after that project. Ultimately this was a huge learning experience for me as a developer, as bad as the entire situation was I learned a lot of things that will ultimately benefit me in the future.
2
flukus 2 days ago 0 replies      
When it started it was just me and another junior programmer trying to build something too complicated for our experience level. Later on we got someone more experienced, unfortunately (for the project) 10 years on he is still the worst developer I've ever worked with, not helped by his arrogance. All of his experience was drag'n'drop VB forms, but he had a CS degree and we didn't, so that made him right every time. He also made us switch from SVN to to VSS, svn wasn't so great back then (no merge tracking) but at least it didn't silently fail every other day like VSS. He didn't believe in using framework features, preferring instead to write his own sorting algorithms that didn't work. His attitude to compile errors was to turn off the strict/explicit options that VB has. He was the living example of a developer with 1 year of experience 10 times over.

Technology wise we went through several iterations, web, descktop, c#, an experimental java one, but thanks to the senior dev we settled on VB.net. Management was more interested in hiring people that would be sitting at their desks at 9AM (I was eventually fired for failing this) than any sort of technical competence. The manager was the type that "understood people" and forced us to put in all sorts of questionable UI features. He was obsessed with how it looked and didn't care if it worked. Every point release involved working through the weekend.

Amazingly the software was quite well received and didn't suffer from too many production bugs. It was delivered only slight late and made the company money.

Then the company got a bunch of funding and things became more hilarious. Management was obsessed with becoming the "google of our industry" and preceded to do the exact opposite of everything google would would do. But those are stories for another time.

3
breeny592 2 days ago 0 replies      
Checklist:

- [x] Working in a consultancy

- [x] Government client

- [x] No direct communication with the users

- [x] Waterfall project

- [x] Short timeline

- [x] Understaffed

- [ ] Clear requirements

Was definitely delivered on time and on budget...

4
tejas1mehta 1 day ago 0 replies      
Bad code but good product
5
jklein11 2 days ago 0 replies      
Poorly
       cached 12 August 2017 12:05:02 GMT