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Ask HN: What costly inefficiency do you see at work?
12 points by jtraffic  59 minutes ago   4 comments top 4
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chadgeidel 7 minutes ago 0 replies      
Corporate IT - which is now it's own behemoth in most modern organizations. IMHO it's actively preventing any work getting done. There are tons of startups that are meeting this need (generally referred to as "dark IT" or "shadow IT").

More power to you if you find yourself actually meeting business needs over the company's own internal programmers and systems folks.

I am, of course, trying to effect change from within the org I am employed by.

2
gdulli 7 minutes ago 0 replies      
Spending more money on AWS services than we'd spend hosting them ourselves, spending more time beating our head against insufficient documentation of proprietary Amazon services and wrappers compared to their corresponding open source technologies, spending more time debugging and on general uncertainty, spending more time waiting for responses from another company, having to stop what we're doing and handle backward incompatibility on Amazon's schedule instead of our own, spending more developer hours and fewer sysadmin hours on managing and debugging services instead of more sysadmin hours and fewer developer hours on our own services. (Developer hours are more costly and scarce.)
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kevas 28 minutes ago 0 replies      
Our department gets a few thousand projects a year (work in large format printing). The amount of repetitive steps that each project share is simply mind boggling. By writing 10 or so scripts, was able to shave department labor hours down by 14%.

Excel... how people use excel and the amount of waste that happens just because they don't properly know how to use 'vlookup' or 'if' simply just boils my blood.

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louithethrid 23 minutes ago 0 replies      
The great cycle.. lets not code too much ourselves, lets only be experts at our domain, lets use librarys. The librarys fail, they do not deliver the expected performance, they cant be customized or are suddenly not maintained and we can not port our whole ecosystem.

Lets write most of our code ourselves, get independent from external actors, but we are slow now, glacial and distributed to reinvent a lot of wheels, while others outpace use in our domain. We should use more librarys.

2
Ask HN: What mistakes in your experience do the people you manage keep making?
12 points by blahman2  3 hours ago   4 comments top 3
1
luckydude 1 hour ago 1 reply      
Being stupid about compensation was a pattern when I was managing.

Want people to be happy? Give them no benefits, no health care, no 401K, no bonuses, and plow all of that into salary. People would rather have bragging rights about how much they make. Doesn't matter if you point out that they get a bigger package when the employer pays the health care (if the employee pays then they pay with after tax money).

It is mind blowing to realize that people that are way smarter than me are stupid about money. But I've definitely seen that pattern.

I ignored what they wanted and gave them good health care, did 2:1 match into their 401K, and did bonuses so we didn't get double taxed (corporate and personal).

2
PeachPlum 1 hour ago 0 replies      
That meetings are an open mic comedy venue.
3
AnimalMuppet 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Not running the tests before checking code in.

(Disclaimer: I don't actually manage them. I'm kind of a lead, but nothing more.)

4
Ask HN: What mistakes in your experience does management keep making?
378 points by oggyfredcake  18 hours ago   341 comments top 28
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Boothroid 10 hours ago 8 replies      
* Zero career direction and zero technical speciality for devs

* Underestimation of difficulty whether through cynicism (burn the devs) or cluelessness

* Inadequate training and expectation devs can just piggy back learning technology x from scratch whilst writing production software using it

* Trying to use one off contracts as a way of building resellable products

* Insistence that all devs time must be billable and trying to defy gravity in ignoring skills rot etc. through lack of investment in training

* Expectation that devs can be swapped between technologies without problems

* Swapping people in and out of projects as if this will not affect progress

* Deliberate hoarding of information as a means of disempowering devs

All of this inevitably leads to a bunch of pissed off devs. The ones that are happy to eat it become the golden boys and get promotions. Those that point out the bullshit leave once they can and are replaced with the desperate at the bottom who sooner or later arrive at the same position of wanting to leave once they realise what's going on. I think tech can be pretty miserable if you are not in the upper echelon of lucky types that can score a position at a Google, Facebook etc.

Oh and a couple more:

* Give no feedback unless things go wrong

* Treat your highly educated, intelligent and motivated devs like children by misusing agile in order to micromanage them

2
jerf 7 hours ago 6 replies      
I'll add one that even after 200 comments I don't see: Failure to explain the reason why. Coming down to their developer with a list of tasks without explaining why those tasks are the most important and will lead to company success.

You might think startups are small enough that this couldn't happen but that was actually where my worst experience was. The founders are visibly in a meeting with a couple people, maybe "suits", maybe not. They come out of the meeting and the next day your priorities are rewritten. Cool beans, that's a thing that can happen and that's not my issue. My issue is, why? What are the goals we are trying to hit now? What's the plan? Why is that better than the old plan?

This is especially important IMHO for more senior engineers responsible for architecture and stuff, because those matters can greatly affect the architecture. Telling me why lets me start getting a grasp on what parts of the code are long term and what can be considered a short term hack, what the scaling levels I need to shoot for, and all sorts of other things that are very hard to determine if you just come to me with "And actually, our customers need a new widget to frozzle the frobazz now more than they need to dopple the dipple now."

Not necessarily the biggest issue, there's a lot of other suggestions here that are probably bigger in most places, but this is one that has frustrated me.

(I'll also say this is one you may be able to help fix yourself, simply by asking. If you are in that senior role I think you pretty much have a professional obligation to ask, and I would not be shy about working that into the conversation one way or another.)

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muzani 14 hours ago 4 replies      
* Killing things that are low profit margins, under some misguided Pareto Principle approach. Sometimes these things are loss leaders designed to pull customers for other products.

* Spending too much on marketing/sales before people want the product. They usually just end up burning their brand if the product is too low quality.

* Too much focus on building multiple small features rather than focusing on the value proposition.

* Trying to negotiate deadlines for product development. "We don't have two months to finish this. Let's do this in one." In software estimation, there's the estimate, the target, and the commitment. If the commitment and estimate are far off, it should be questioned why, not negotiated.

* Hiring two mediocre developers at half the salary of one good developer. They usually can't solve problems past a certain treshhold.

* Importing tech talent, rather than promoting. Usually the people who have built the product have a better understanding of the tech stack than someone else they import.

* Startups that rely on low quality people to skimp on the budget. These people later form the DNA of the company and make it difficult to improve, if they're not the type who improve themselves.

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tboyd47 6 hours ago 4 replies      
Trying to write code alongside their devs.

Here's what happens when a manager tries to fill tickets himself: his sense of control of the project is derived not from relationships of trust and cooperation with his reports, but from direct involvement in the code. So naturally, any challenging or critical piece of code ends up getting written by him (because otherwise, how could he be confident about it?)

The manager is essentially holding two jobs at once so they end up working late or being overly stressed at work.

The devs will feel intimidated to make architecture decisions, because they know if they do something their manager doesn't like, it will get refactored.

They will also feel as if they are only given the "grunt work" as all the challenging work is taken on by their manager.

The code itself is in a constant state of instability because there is a tension between the manager needing the other employees' help to get the code written on time, while also needing to have that complete control and mastery over the code that can only come from writing it yourself. So people's work gets overwritten continually.

This is very bad and it's very common - managers should learn to delegate as that is an essential part of their job. If they can't delegate they should remain as an individual contributor and not move into management.

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lb1lf 12 hours ago 6 replies      
Working for a company building heavy hardware, I see the following happen time and time again:

* Reorganizing seemingly for the sake of reorganizing. Result: Every time the new organization has settled somewhat and people know who to interact with to make things flow smoothly, everything is upended and back to square one.

* Trying to make our products buzzword compliant without understanding the consequences - we've on occasion been instructed to incorporate technologies which are hardly fit for purpose simply because 'everyone else is doing it' (Where 'everyone' is the companies featured in whatever magazine the CEO leafed through on his latest flight. Yes, I exaggerate a bit for effect.)

* Misguided cost savings; most of what hardware we use, we buy in small quantities - say, a few hundred items a year, maximum. Yet purchasing are constantly measured on whether they are able to source an 'equivalent' product at a lower price. Hence, we may find ourselves with a $20,000 unit being replaced by a $19,995 one - order quantity, 5/year - and spend $10,000 on engineering hours to update templates, redo interfaces &c.

* Assuming a man is a man is a man and that anyone is easily and quickly replaceable (except management, of course) - and not taking the time and productivity loss associated with training new colleagues into account.

Edit: An E-mail just landed in my inbox reminding me of another:

* Trying to quantify anything and everything, one focuses on the metrics which are easy to measure, rather than the ones which matter. As a result, the organization adapts and focuses on the metrics being measured, not the ones which matter - with foreseeable consequences for productivity.

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ideonexus 7 hours ago 3 replies      
The biggest recurring issue I have with my managers over the last twenty years is their need to add unnecessary complexity to projects. I think a good manager stays out of the way and just monitors employees for any obstructions that are preventing them from meeting their goals. Yet, my experience is that when a manager sits in on a project meeting, they can't help but start giving input on the project itself, adding complexity to defined business rules or adding obscure use cases to the system. Too many managers can't help but dominate meetings because their dominant personalities is how they became managers in the first place.

The worst is when you get two or more managers attending the same meeting. Then nothing will get done as they eat up all of the meeting time arguing about business rules, magnifying the complexity of the system until you end up with some Rube Goldberg chain of logic that they will completely forget minutes after they've left the meeting. A good manager knows to trust their employees and only intervenes to make sure those employees have the resources they need to do their jobs. The most effective managers are humble and respect the expertise of the experts they hire.

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stickfigure 17 hours ago 25 replies      
I've never met a manager that wouldn't rather pay four average people $100/hr to solve a problem that one smart person could solve in half the time for $400/hr.

There seems to be some sort of quasi-religious belief in the fundamental averageness of humans; consequently the difference between developer salaries at any company varies by maybe 50%, whereas the productivity varies by at least a full order of magnitude.

Until "management" realizes this, the only way that a developer on the upper end of the productivity scale can capture their value is to found their own company. I sometimes wonder what would happen if some company simply offered to pay 3X the market rate and mercilessly filter the results.

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JamesLeonis 16 hours ago 3 replies      
Want to jump ahead a few years from Mythical Man-Month? Let me recommend Peopleware by Tom DeMarco and Tim Lister.[2] It's painful that we haven't crawled far out of the 80s practices.

The first chapter says: "The major problems of our work are not so much technological as sociological in nature." Sorry Google Memo Dude. DeMarco and Lister called it in the 80s.

Speaking of DeMarco, he also wrote a book about controlling software projects before Peopleware. Then in 2009 he denounced it. [1]

 To understand controls real role, you need to distinguish between two drastically different kinds of projects: * Project A will eventually cost about a million dollars and produce value of around $1.1 million. * Project B will eventually cost about a million dollars and produce value of more than $50 million. Whats immediately apparent is that control is really important for Project A but almost not at all important for Project B. This leads us to the odd conclusion that strict control is something that matters a lot on relatively useless projects and much less on useful projects. It suggests that the more you focus on control, the more likely youre working on a project thats striving to deliver something of relatively minor value.
I always think about that when I'm doing a Sprint Review.

[1]: https://www.computer.org/cms/Computer.org/ComputingNow/homep...[2]: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peopleware:_Productive_Project...

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ChuckMcM 17 hours ago 4 replies      
There are some very common ones;

* Building a one more generation of product than the market supports (so you build a new version when the market has moved on to something new).

* Rewarding productivity over quality.

* Managing to a second order effect. For example when Nestle' bought Dryers they managed to 'most profit per gallon' which rewarded people who substituted inferior (and cheaper) components, that lead to lower overall sales and that leads to lower overall revenue. Had they managed to overall revenue they might have caught the decline sooner.

* Creating environments where nobody trusts anyone else and so no one is honest. Leads to people not understanding the reality of a situation until the situation forces the disconnect into the mainstream.

* Rewarding popular popular employees differently than rank and file. Or generally unevenly enforcing or applying standards.

* Tolerating misbehavior out of fear of losing an employee. If I could fire anyone in management who said, "Yeah but if we call them on it they will quit! See what a bind that puts us in?" I believe the world would be a better place.

There are lots of things, that is why there are so many management books :-)

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sulam 16 hours ago 3 replies      
I have held management and non-management careers in roughly equal proportion over my career. My list would look like this:

1) believing you can dramatically change the performance of an employee -- it's very rare to save someone and less experienced managers always believe they can.

1.5) corollary to the above: not realizing the team is aware and waiting for you to fix the problem and won't thank you for taking longer to do what's necessary.

2) believing that people don't know what you're thinking -- people see you coming a mile off.

3) thinking you can wait to fix a compensation problem until the next comp review -- everyone waits too long on these.

4) believing HR when they tell you that you can't do something that's right for your team -- what they're really saying is that you have to go up the ladder until you find someone who can force them to make an exception.

5) not properly prioritizing the personal/social stuff -- at least this is my personal failing, and why ultimately management has not stuck for me.

6) believing your technical opinion matters -- I've seen way too many VP's making technical decisions that they are too far from the work to make, trust your team!

It'd be fun to see a list of these from the non-management point of view. I'd start off with the inverse of #6 above:

1) believing your technical opinion matters -- the business is what ultimately matters.

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alexandercrohde 17 hours ago 2 replies      
- Trying to "create a buzz" around the office, asking for a "sense of urgency," and other things that result in an illusion of productivity.

- Focusing on fixing problems, rather than preventing problems

- Acting as yes-men to bad upper-management strategy, thereby creating a layer of indirection between the people who think it's a good plan vs the engineers who can explain why it's not quite that easy

- Trying to use software tools (e.g. Jira's burndown charts) to quantitatively/"objectively" measure engineers

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mychael 13 hours ago 0 replies      
A few patterns I've seen:

* Preaching about the virtues of a flat organizational structure, but making unilateral decisions.

* Hiring people for a particular challenging job, but have them work on menial unchallenging tasks.

* Creating multiple layers of management for a tiny team.

* Facilitating post mortems that would be better facilitated by a neutral third party.

* Using vague management speak as a deliberate strategy to never be held responsible for anything.

* Rewarding politics with promotions.

* Marginalizing experienced employees.

* Talking too much about culture.

* Trying to be the company thought leader instead of helping people do their best work.

* Assuming that everyone underneath you views you as a career mentor.

* Negging employees.

* New hire managers: Firing incumbent employees after youve only been on the job for a few weeks.

* New hire managers: Not doing 1:1s with everyone who reports to you.

* New hire managers: Create sweeping changes like re-orgs after a few weeks on the job.

* New hire managers: Doing things a certain way because it worked well at a previous company.

* New hire managers: Changing office work hours to suit your personal life.

13
greenyoda 17 hours ago 2 replies      
Promoting technical people with no management experience into management jobs, without providing them with any training or guidance. (Happened to me.) Writing code and managing people require very different sets of skills, and just because you're good at the former doesn't necessarily mean you'll be any good at the latter (or that you'll enjoy doing it).

(Similar problems can happen when a bunch of people with no management skills decide to found a company and start hiring people.)

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redleggedfrog 16 hours ago 1 reply      
The worst mistake I've seen management make over 20 years of software development is not listening to the technical people.

Estimates get shortened. Technical decisions are overruled for business or political reason. Warnings about undesirable outcomes are ignored. Sheer impossibility deemed surmountable.

I feel this is the worst mistake by management because the technical people are the ones who suffer for it. Overtime, inferior software, frustration, technical debt, lack of quality, are all things management doesn't really care about because they can always just push people harder to get what they want.

15
rsj_hn 3 hours ago 0 replies      
There is people/resource management and there is also technical management, and most companies really struggle with the latter.

What I mean by technical management is the following:

* onboarding new developers: showing them how to get the dev environment going, how to debug, how to use testing infrastructure, configuration management

* propagating information about design rules: documenting and evangelization of contracts between different different pieces of code, and all the various rules -- what must be authenticated, what must be logged, how to consistently check for access rights, which common module/library to use for what, etc.

* enforcing software development lifecycle: making sure there are design reviews/sign off/etc

It seems that managers offload a lot of the above to senior roles who rely on force of personality and personal effort to get this done, which creates a lot of randomness and also stress. Devs often don't learn these things except by creating breakage and then relying on experience or institutional knowledge.

It's very strange that on the one hand when it comes to corporate policies such as vacation time and provisioning productivity software, or even using the bug tracking system, there are handbooks, mandatory trainings, lots of online resources, etc. But when it comes to the technical rules such as which library to use, we pass to a medieval guild system of ad hoc 1 on 1 mentoring over Slack.

But perhaps I've just been working in the wrong companies.

16
cbanek 17 hours ago 2 replies      
Overly optimistic schedules. Even with a known gelled team, being constantly overscheduled is a nightmare. You cut corners, and are always stressed and tired. Other teams that believe the optimistic schedules may become angry or blocked on you. Over time this just leads to burnout, but since nobody seems to stay anywhere for very long, nobody seems to care.
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shados 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Assuming that because someone shipped software that looks good , that they're good.

Everywhere I worked, there's always one "super star" who keeps getting promoted for shipping something quick that looks good on the surface, but did so either by introducing massive amounts of tech debt (beyond what would be acceptable for an MVP), or by shitting on everyone else (working in a corner, ignoring any request for help, ignoring their direct reports, or generally at the cost of all of their other duties).

Makes everyone else look bad and them look good, and generally creates a pretty toxic atmosphere until management gets it (at which point its usually too late).

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Mz 17 hours ago 0 replies      
When I had a corporate job, they were overly controlling about schedules and how much you could earn in a way that was completely unnecessary and that I felt came back to bite them. People who wanted more money would take on part time jobs for evenings and weekends. Then, when management tried to put a gun to our head and insist we work overtime, these people had prior commitments and couldn't be there. Bonus points for the whole atmosphere of fear with the entire approach of trying to pressure people to work overtime on demand, at the convenience of the company.

None of this was really necessary. Every single year, they watched the backlog of work gradually climb over the course of the summer. Then, around September, they began insisting on overtime at psychological gun point to try to clear the backlog. It would have been entirely possible to allow people who met certain quality standards to work some overtime during the summer and cap how much could be worked. People could have competed for overtime slots instead of feeling forced into it. It would have worked vastly better for everyone.

Of course, an elegant solution like that takes a bit more planning on the end of management. Simply demanding extra hours at a certain point is a simpler, brute force method. But, I felt it had a lot of downside to it and was mostly avoidable for the company in question.

It makes me wonder how many companies basically create drama of this sort. Because this crisis was entirely created by management, IMO. There was zero reason they had to wait until it hit a certain volume and then force overtime on us.

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quadcore 10 hours ago 3 replies      
I think management fails when they don't understand that the nerds hired them and not the opposite. We are the technology, we did it in the first place. We hired managers to help us. By default, we know better than them (because we are the one who do the tech), they should listen to us and not the opposite. Now, when everybody knows his place, we can collaborate and do great work.

I got the luck to work with great managers at amazon. From what I've seen, programmers are driving the company there - or at least, they have their word to say, often, and power that comes with it. On my team, decisions relative to product development were clearly strongly driven by us. Seems to work pretty well for amazon.

20
donatj 7 hours ago 0 replies      
Giving junior devs all the greenfield applications as "learning experiences". Because groundwork should always be laid by those with the least experience.

Haphazard task assignment - I build a feature, then when they need an enhancement, it often gets given to someone else with no understanding of how it works, even though I am free.

Cargo culting in general. We do "Kanban" just to say we do, despite it having zero relevance to how we actually work. It's buzzwordy. Insistence on daily standup despite having very good communication and everyone knowing what everyone else is doing, were a small team in an open office.

Pushing for faster code review and generally treating it as a negative thing that just slows us down.

Previously we actually hired more devs to "help" get a project out the door - I think we all know what the mythical man month has to say about that.

Having to argue about basic security practices. I got in a heated argument about how we needed to encrypt temporary passwords even though they were system generated. I'm still angry. They wanted to be able to look them up for users. Sigh.

21
Deestan 6 hours ago 0 replies      
1) Trying to solve lack of skill with More Rules For Everyone.

One of your teams write messy code? Don't try to educate them. Instead enforce strict coding standards that forbid all but the most basic complexity. Everyone else now have to make their code more verbose and objectively worse, while the problem team still writes bad code but now they make even more of it in a neater formatting.

2) Raise wages only for people who threaten to leave.

3) Run a high tech software development shop but have an IT department that assumes everyone only ever need Excel and Outlook.

Ports are blocked. Local computer admin is locked. Updates are forced, delayed and centralized. Hardware is underpowered. Network blocks ping.

4) Demand to be in full control.

Make sure nobody does anything you don't understand. Shoot down experiments you can't see the point of, even if they're small. Hire skilled and experienced people, but demand that you can understand everything they do.

5) Let random people deal with hiring and interviews.

Hiring is both a hard and sensitive process. On one hand you are giving people an impression of your workplace, and on the other hand you are trying to evaluate the skill of someone who has a different skill set than yourself.

Giving this job to some burnt out elitist asshole who throws resumes in the garbage because they did or didn't include a cover letter, or a wannabe drill sergeant who tries to be "tough" and "test them under pressure" during interviews, gives you a bad rep in tech circles and doesn't help you hire skilled people. Giving it to someone who can't be bothered to reply to applicants or update them on rejections is also shitty.

6) Open fucking landscape workplaces.

Fuck.

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mindcrime 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Thinking they can bend reality through sheer force of will (aka managerial edict), right up until reality smacks them in the face. Example:

M: How long will this take?

D: Three weeks.

M: That's too long, we have to demo at a trade show in two weeks.

D: Fine, we can take out half the features.

M: No, we have to demo in two weeks, with all the features, end of story.

D: It can't be done, end of story.

M: Do it anyway.

D: We can't, what your asking for is literally impossible.

M: Fine, I'll loan you three more developers.

D: No, that won't help. Haven't you read The Mythical Man Month for crying out loud?

M: Of course it will help, how can it not help?

D: Nine women can't make a baby in one month.

M: That's not really relevant, get all the features done in two weeks.

D: Then why did you bother asking me how long it would take in the first place?

M: Just do it.

D: ~grumble~ -- storms off in a huff.

...

...

...

...

...

...

2 weeks later.

M: Is it done?

D: No, I told you it wouldn't be done.

M: Oh, OK. Well how long will it take to finish?

D: Another week.

M: OK, fine.

23
Spooky23 17 hours ago 1 reply      
#1 in my book is sunk cost fallacy.

Everywhere I've worked, the folks running the show have too much ego and political capital invested in products or projects that are turds. The result is massive financial losses for the business.

24
pbourke 13 hours ago 1 reply      
* Acting as if employees are fungible rather than taking advantage of their relative strengths

* Short-term thinking ("we don't have time to fix the tech debt, we have to get something on the board this quarter")

* Over-resourcing projects from the start, rather than letting a small number of employees germinate it and set it on the right path

* Punishing people, often indirectly, for taking risks, conducting experiments, doing quick prototypes, etc

* Frequent shifts in direction, priority or emphasis. If "everything" is important at one time or another, then nothing truly is

25
gwbas1c 7 hours ago 1 reply      
- Bouncing a developer from task to task without ever finishing a task

- Letting whatever customer screams the loudest dictate product behavior, and then effectively alternating product behavior based on which customer is angry this month

- Deferring technical debt until a customer screams

- Hiring unreasonable product managers who have unreasonable expectations. (This just leads to a lot of time being burnt in haggling and a much worse product delivered.)

- Treating software as an art project, getting obsessed with pixels and fonts instead of functionality

- Not paying enough

(edits)

- Interrupting programmers constantly for trivial matters

- Allowing the entire organization to interrupt a developer at any time because he's unofficially become a "go-to" person

- Not backing up critical processes when departments interact. (This is the information needed when there is a bug, support escalation, ect.)

- Expecting developers to handhold people in other departments

(more edits)

- Micromanaging task priority, assuming that a developer jumped on a specific task and completed it instantly

26
zilchers 16 hours ago 2 replies      
Something I see a ton is management by crisis - 20 people from an organization could tell certain managers that there will be performance issues in 3 months if we don't pay down tech debt, but nothing actually sinks in until there is a performance crisis in 3 months.
27
smackay 12 hours ago 0 replies      
There is one cardinal mistake that management makes (and development blithely accepts):

* Management is always right.

This truism is built into the entire fabric of software development: whether your process is an agile one where the product manager has ultimate knowledge of what is needed and on what timescales; the project that is delayed not because of bad planning or poor company organisation but because the developers are not working hard enough; that the only variable that affects the business is how productive / expensive the developers are - all the factors that describe how effective the management is are completely ignored or irrelevant. The list goes on and on and described in better detail in all the comments here.

Of course the solution to all of this is better data. You can be sure that the volume of data is inversely proportional to the strength of belief of the above statement. This leads to the second fundamental mistake that management makes:

* Not reading High Output Management by Andy Grove.

28
jondubois 7 hours ago 0 replies      
- Not knowing what is important and what is not (micromanaging at the expense of team happiness and autonomy).

- Negativity.

- Not changing their minds often enough.

- Generalising past negative experiences and applying them to new situations without properly acknowledging key differences.

- Not recognising the strengths and weaknesses of individual employees - They prefer to just throw more engineers at the problem as though they were rocket fuel.

- Not letting engineers feel a sense of ownership over a part of the product that they're building out of fear that they might leave.

- Not giving raises until it's too late; seriously undervaluing the long-term acquired knowledge of their engineers.

5
Ask HN: How could a tech company function without management?
4 points by bsvalley  3 hours ago   4 comments top 4
1
usgroup 32 minutes ago 0 replies      
Presumably if 10 managers got together to form a company they wouldn't hire a manager.
2
osrec 2 hours ago 0 replies      
I think the key thing is your team needs to consist of driven, collaborative people. Otherwise, you need managers to either provide direction or to resolve conflicts. If everyone gets on and knows what they're doing in the team's context, then managers don't have much of a role to play!
3
edimaudo 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Some sort of holocracy?
4
j45 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Thinking about the things that might need to be in place for a company to function without management:

- Self-organizing and Self-directed employees are often the hardest to find.

- The HR process, when done correctly, allows individuals to join a group to realize their potential that they may not have elsewhere.

- The group's goals would have to be somehow set. I recall Clay Shirky's excellent essay on how a group is it's own worst enemy and can't help but wonder how it might play out in an environment like this.

http://shirky.com/writings/group_enemy.html

6
Tell HN: How to Easily Add the WebExtensions Build of UBlock Origin to Firefox
3 points by kibwen  3 hours ago   1 comment top
1
pestaa 47 minutes ago 0 replies      
Thanks! I wasn't happy about being stuck with the original AdBlock.

Now, let's wait till WebExtensions API reaches feature parity with the old plugins. Vim addons are not yet able to open links in new tabs.

But Firefox is my favorite browser again.

8
Ask HN: Lispers: Which dialect of Lisp do you use and why?
25 points by acalderaro  21 hours ago   30 comments top 17
1
bjoli 13 hours ago 0 replies      
Scheme. The whole "build a language from a small set of well-chosen primitives" really resonated with me.

I tried a bunch of other lisps but disliked them for various reasons. Clojure is nice because of the tooling, but I disliked being tied to the JVM and all what that means.

CL has some very nice implementations (Allegro CL has a limited free version that has forever changed how I think a programming environment should be).

In the end I found guile scheme which is great. The threading situation is good and getting better, the language has all the comfortable srfi's that implementations like chez lack, and it has nice community.

The reason I chose guile over chicken was the r6rs compatibility, which made supporting both chez and guile rather easy. Other than that, I'd say that the chicken community is probably the nicest one online. Chicken is really a fine scheme as well.

I am not a programmer though, and what I want is for programming to be just fun. Not enterprise ready, not web6.0-cool. just fun.

Shameless self-plug: I just finished my racket-like for l-loops for guile: https://bitbucket.org/bjoli/guile-for-loops

2
pavelludiq 10 hours ago 0 replies      
Common Lisp, for it's maturity, stability(decades old code still runs on modern implementation) and remarkably good design considering it's a language designed by a committee. Almost all of it's problems or dusty corners that show their age can be worked around by libraries. Not to mention the quality of the spec is great. I really miss the attention to detail the common lisp hyperspec has when I have to read about some obscure corner of python for example.

I also spend some time with clojure around the time of v1.0-1.2 and quite liked it, but it's maturity level and the JVM made it less attractive in the long run.

I like scheme as well, but because of the spartan(to use a nice word) spec, If I actually want to get stuff done I'd have to chose just one implementation and it's associated libraries, rather than rely on portable code.

3
shakna 4 hours ago 1 reply      
Scheme.

Simple, strongly typed, and really really easy to write and read.

On top of that, its fairly easy to compile as well, which gets rid of a bunch of distribution problems that come with other Lisps.

My first in-production experience was converting a monolithic Python web app to Scheme.

We wrote a library that brought a lot of Python conventions over to make things easier. Like an import macro that automatically namespaces things. (And we copied Clojure's "->)" macro for closing all open parentheses).

Total conversion for ~18,000 LOC Python to ~7,000 LOC Scheme took about nine weeks. The speed-up was about 2.5x.

And despite the much smaller codebase for Scheme - we actually added a whole heap of features, whilst matching all old features. (A bug or two as well, but that's to be expected).

Scheme is just really well suited to parsing, and rewriting itself as necessary.

So far as I'm aware, that stack is still running three years later, so Scheme wasn't just a fad for the team (who picked it up in about a week or so).

4
kazinator 4 hours ago 0 replies      
I use Common Lisp and TXR Lisp, which is my own dialect. (http://nongnu.org/txr)

Common Lisp is well-optimized for application programming. It has excellent compilers, and good debugging support.

TXR Lisp is geared toward scripting; it is a very agile, ergonomic Lisp dialect. It has minimal dependencies and builds as a single executable with some satellite library files in your /usr/share tree, yet is loaded with features.

TXR Lisp is a Lisp-2, but thanks to a square bracket notation, the coder can seamlessly shift into Lisp-1 style programming with higher order functions. Though it has the equivalent of CL's funcall function and function operator, they are almost never used, and there is no #' (hash quote) notation at all.

I am currently working on the aarch64 (64 bit ARM) port of TXR which I hope to be able to include in version 184.

I started the TXR project around this time of year in 2009, which makes it 8 years old now.

5
tetraca 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Common lisp via SBCL. I tried Practical Common Lisp for the hell of it one day, and fell in love with the syntax and macro system once I got the hang of it. I've been using it with Clack to make web applications which is pretty fun.
6
fractallyte 13 hours ago 0 replies      
LFE (Lisp Flavoured Erlang). It's the ideal tool for exploring AI.

Handbook of Neuroevolution Through Erlang by Gene Sher makes a compelling argument (with detailed, varied examples) that Erlang is the perfect language with which to implement neural nets.

Lisp has always been associated with AI, of course. Nowadays it's all Python, Java and R for machine learning, but Lisp can do just as well, plus more: Lisp has an affinity for recursion, and its homoiconicity will - I suspect - prove fundamental for true AI. One can't just 'strap on' its features to those other languages (including Elixir: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=7623991).

So, obviously the right tool for the job is LFE!

7
rekado 12 hours ago 0 replies      
I use Emacs Lisp for Emacs and Guile Scheme for everything else. I prefer Scheme over Common Lisp and Emacs Lisp, because it is more stream-lined, simpler, and elegant.

I'm very happy with Guile and its performance has greatly been improved with version 2.2 (not that performance was a problem before); one thing I miss in Guile is the picture language that Racket comes with.

8
thiagooffm 7 hours ago 0 replies      
racket.

The ecosystem is great. I wouldn't use it for anything big on prod though, but it's easy to experiment with and is fun.

9
JamesLeonis 16 hours ago 1 reply      
Clojure, with heaps of Clojurescript to manage the Javascript ecosystem.

For over a decade I wrote mainly in C++ doing a lot of Windows programming, usually games or simulations. Mix in some VB and C# when I didn't want to battle the Win32 API. I was used to seeing codebases with 100k+ loc and hundreds of megabytes of code files. xkcd COMPILING is real!

While working at BitTorrent in 2013, a coworker back introduced me to his little server that distributes uTorrent executable to everybody. It was an implementation of this[1] paper for a general purpose rules-based engine with a snappy (Clojurescript?) front-end. The whole thing was ~5k loc, and ran on surprisingly small hardware compared to it's traffic.

From there I was hooked. My project sizes are radically smaller, it's LISP, and I can go wherever Java goes. I wrote about my experiences with AWS Lambdas last year [2], for example. The community itself is outstanding. They are some of the nicest people you will ever meet. Because the community focuses on small libraries that are composable, those libraries become remarkably stable. Several heavily used libraries haven't had commits in months or years.

[1]: http://moscova.inria.fr/~maranget/papers/ml05e-maranget.pdf

[2]: https://github.com/jamesleonis/serverless-in-clojure

10
gaius 8 hours ago 0 replies      
Elisp, because it's the practical way to do "real work" in Lisp under the radar ;-)
11
bhk 17 hours ago 0 replies      
12
johnny_1010 11 hours ago 0 replies      
I like NewLisp just for syntax (http://www.newlisp.org/) also OwlLisp (https://github.com/aoh/owl-lisp).
13
kristianp 19 hours ago 1 reply      
I'm using Chez Scheme for a side project. It supports R6RS.
14
KirinDave 21 hours ago 0 replies      
Clojure is, I think, still my most go-to Lisp.

You can argue Clisp is easier to get a quick project going with, but short of that rather old project nothing with a setup any less capable than "lein new" is going to compare for dashing something out real quick.

15
iLemming 16 hours ago 0 replies      
Clojurescript. Because it works. Because it's not frustrating.
16
rurban 18 hours ago 2 replies      
clisp mostly. Easier to use than sbcl, which mostly fails to install.
17
dontJudge 18 hours ago 3 replies      
Javascript.

Cheating because it's not a lisp. But it was created by a schemer who originally put scheme in the browser (before he created javascript). Not what I prefer, but it's the most lisp-like language I actually use in real projects. The support for closures, lisp-1 invoking functions from variables, and dynamic typing feel very scheme-like.

9
Ask HN: Self-taught developers, what repo helped land your first job?
105 points by simplicitea  1 day ago   110 comments top 56
1
neverminder 1 day ago 3 replies      
I got my first job in a company that was desperate, because their only other developer was leaving in days. Got my second job under similar circumstances. And a third one. I did well at all of those companies and left on my own accord. I should also mention that none of those companies were even on a map as far as serious software development is concerned.

Reality is that companies that are not desperate will be picky, take their time, drag you through a bunch of bullshit interviews, etc. Just like every other developer I get pestered by recruiters on regular basis and I often see identical job descriptions that I saw two years ago, so after short interrogation of the recruiter it becomes obvious that those are the kind of companies that are forever looking and never really giving anyone a chance.

I suppose my advice would be: start with the desperate ones, build up your experience and credibility that way and climb higher.

2
josephwegner 1 day ago 2 replies      
Somehow I managed to land my first programming job in the most stereotypical means possible.

I had connected with this young startup through my budding network. I was young, they were young, and we were both involved in TeensInTech (formerly a community of teens interested in startups). I had done a couple rounds of UI/UX feedback for them, that they had requested via TinT. The company made a password & bookmark manager (not one of the ones that is available today. They want out of business).

One day they launched a major website overhaul. Excitedly, I went to their website to play around with it. Purely by chance, I fat fingered my password as I was entering it in. The login failed, obviously, but I was surprised to see that the password input on the failed login page was now filled with a mysterious looking hash. My assumption was that was my hashed password.

This spurred me to open my dev tools and look at the network requests to figure out what was going on. It turned out that their new website was powered by a new API which hadn't really been hardened at all. Within about an hour I was able to find an endpoint that allowed me to enumerate all of the users on their site, and another endpoint that returned a user's stored authentication details (hashed passwords, full usernames & URLs). I wrote a few lines of javascript that looped through all of the users, and fearfully received a dump of their entire credentials table. Obviously that is bad bad bad.

I sent them an email explaining the issue. Their website was promptly taken offline, hardened, and then I received a job offer.

tl;dr; I hacked my first employer's website, and they offered me a job for it.

3
franciscop 1 day ago 5 replies      
My first freelancing job (previous jobs were internships) came from this project getting to the HN front page: https://umbrellajs.com/

It basically skyrocketed from there to what you can see in https://francisco.io/resume/ , with basically all experiences afterwards building on top of that (either directly, by reference or just as credentials for the next ones). People (including Google) also seem to love https://picnicss.com/ and I normally use it for showing my front-end skills.

Something I found surprising is that I got a really high quality contacts from my public projects. I would say about 50% of the job offers I get through my developer persona are high quality which I consider (even if many don't work in the end) vs what I used to get through Linkedin or even Facebook (both closed now) which were exactly 100% low quality/SPAM.

4
slackingoff2017 1 day ago 3 replies      
Nobody ever looks at my repos :(.

Software hiring is stupidly broken. Google has done much research on hiring and a code sample+cognitive ability are the two most important predictors of job performance.

Tell that to anyone that hired me ever.... The first time you'll even talk to another dev is your on-site.

When I was in charge of hiring once we made a huge deal of user repos and probably spent more time looking at them than resumes. Got some damn good engineers from that. But almost nobody does it that way

5
blubb-fish 1 day ago 0 replies      
No job I ever applied to they even took a look at my GitHub profile - and I own or contributed to 34 repos and have 81 followers. Not even when the interview process was guided by technicians my GitHub account mattered. And I actively point out the various repos in my CV. It's honestly a bit frustrating.

I'm involved in interview processes and hiring decisions at my current company - and rest assured that any code versioning accounts will be checked out.

6
ziziyO 1 day ago 1 reply      
Stack Overflow's "most dreaded X" in the developer survey is a good place to look. I work on Salesforce.com, the #2 most dreaded platform after Sharepoint.

Getting a job in that sector was as simple as having some general development experience and being moderately familiar with the platform.

7
njpatel 1 day ago 1 reply      
In 2007 I was working on an open source dock for Linux called AWN (https://launchpad.net/awn).

It helped me get my first job at OpenedHand, working on free and open source software full time. I didn't have any previous experience nor a degree in CS.

8
EADGBE 6 hours ago 0 replies      
I had done a few Wordpress frontends for friends and family and this Ad Agency really needed a "User Interface Developer" for the backlog of projects.

After a few long discussions technically of Wordpress development they deemed me capable enough to handle the workload. I persisted with my intentions to help and break into web development, and it blossomed wildly from there.

By the time I started my second job, I had a real portfolio of Fortune 500 brands live and in the flesh and never looked back from there.

Honestly, it was stupid how easy it was to break into this niche. It took a lot of sleepless nights and long work weeks, but seriously anyone could do this. I'm a big proponent of that. I was a meat cutter before this.

9
logiccraft 1 day ago 0 replies      
Before I landed my first job:

- I found AngularJS a few weeks before AngularJS 1.0 came out in 2012. I started using it for pet projects and became a serial user and answerer on the AngularJS google group for a few months. I spent 1-2 hours every day answering questions.

- A few people from that group started a library making AngularJS UI components for Bootstrap CSS, and I helped: https://angular-ui.github.io/bootstrap/. This was what really got me "slightly known" in open source.

- I moved on to making other AngularJS libraries: most known were angular-promise-tracker and angular-mobile-nav (slide transitions for mobile AngularJS apps). And then eventually, because of my experience, I landed my first job on the Ionic Framework team.

10
danesparza 1 day ago 0 replies      
I was 20. The year was 1994. I landed a job as an internal maintenance dev with a simple Visual Basic project on diskette. I was happy because it was a salaried position with benefits.

I quickly moved up to consultant (since I was with a consulting firm) within a year and ended up getting some real experience on my resume. :-)

11
thegigaraptor 1 day ago 0 replies      
I used to scan potential candidates Github repos but a recent job changed all that for me. A coworker was struggling at standup to handle a "deep get" in a JS object. I wrote a small function in five minutes and sent it over chat, thinking it'd unblock him and he could continue his tasks. He preceded to create a repo and added tests to the code and claimed it.

I imagine that in time, someone will look at that code and use it as a consideration for his employment and be just as disappointed in his output as I was. You may hate it but I love white-boarding with candidates. It's not a binary pass/fail exercise but a look into how a person approaches solving a problem and handling on-the-spot pressure. Sometimes things break in prod and the pressure is on, I want to work people that do well under that pressure.

12
l-p 1 day ago 1 reply      
Despite having completed much more interesting and impressive projects, my first CTO took me based on a few Ti-BASIC programs I wrote because I was bored in high-school.

http://www.ticalc.org/archives/files/authors/107/10786.html

Landed me a job in a small game studio. I'll never understand.

13
mrlyc 1 day ago 1 reply      
In 1984, I wrote a BBS for the Commodore Vic-20 which had up to 63 public and private rooms (message areas), private email and an online game, all in 9.6K of BASIC. Users could start their own rooms and make them public or private. The topics covered everything from general chitchat to string theory. The board was very popular with each user spending an average of 70 minutes on it.

One of my users said "Anyone who can write a BBS for a Vic-20 can program!" and hired me to write code for MSI portable data terminals. That same guy now wants me to work with him at Google.

14
chokma 1 day ago 0 replies      
https://sourceforge.net/projects/daocanalyse/files/?source=n...

A Dark Age of Camelot (MMORPG) chat log file analyzer written in Perl in 2003-2005 helped me land my first dev job.

I switched careers (due to lack of job openings) from becoming a protestant pastor to being a full time developer. I had almost no proof of having programmed in Perl for close to 6 years as a hobby, but the company desperately needed another coder and their senior programmer at that time had taken a look at my SF page. The boss was impressed when I said that my code had been downloaded by over a 1000 users, and so I got my first job, rewriting an SMS-messaging platform.

Now, over 10 years later, my GitHub profile only rarely comes up when recruiters try to reach me - some, I think, use web scraping to match profiles with LinkedIn / Xing to say nice things as a conversation starter in generic emails.

15
giancarlostoro 1 day ago 0 replies      
It's a private project, but basically:

A PHP endpoint that received a POST request of some sort, and then I would return something based on that, a very primitive REST service and a C# application would act accordingly, and it would log the data to a MySQL database. It was meant to allow us at my old job to keep track of who used our computer lab, it wasn't meant to be overly secure on the front-end, if they figure out how to break behind the application we weren't worried about those cases, only the case where our database was compromised.

I think the more important bits of my interview were just our overall conversation, the code just showed I wasn't all talk really. He liked the answers I gave and the rest is history. That was 1 year and 1 day ago. Still working at my "first real job" as most people call it. My previous job was part time and at a school so I didn't do many programming projects.

16
sabarasaba 1 day ago 1 reply      
Back in 2012-2013 I was learning about javascript and nodejs was the new kid in town. I started learning about express and mongodb and within a few weeks I manage to create a scraper for torrentz.eu to index a bunch of movie torrents and fetch their metadata from imdb/omdb and trailers from youtube. I built a pretty UI and publish the website in the chrome store as an app. It quickly began to grow and was averaging around 600-700 visits a day and even made it as a featured app in the store.

One local blog from my city in argentina picked it up and wrote an article about it and got a call from a big local company that they wanted to talk to me. Thats how I landed my first job as a javascript developer.

A year later my app got removed from the store because "it did not comply with their policies or terms of service".

17
cheapsteak 1 day ago 1 reply      
Didn't actually know how to use git when I landed my first FT dev job. Had no Github Account, no portfolio site.

Been coding since I was 12 though, had a good grasp of HTML/CSS, jQuery (but not really of javascript), VBScript, C#, SQL. All stuff I picked up either while making plugins/themes for a BBS I operated, or writing scripts for bots for MMORPGs. My code quality sucked, but I made stuff that people (other BBS operators or bot users) kinda liked and got hooked on the accolades. Sadly that was all in middle school and I didn't know enough to keep backups.

A few weeks after exams ended, and a few months before I would graduate with my Bachelor of Commerce degree (Finance Specialist), I went to my first interview for a developer position at my University. After talking with the manager/team-lead, I was handed a page of 12 questions ranging from logic, sorting, jQuery and databases, and given 30 minutes to complete them. I aced most of it (hiccuped on the sorting). Got the job. Made this: http://m.map.utoronto.ca (just the mobile version, which was a ground-up rewrite SPA)

Been 5 years now. Have worked on projects for Facebook and Google (although not employed by them, but via agency vendors), went through Intermediate Developer, Developer, Senior Developer, now an Architect at a cancer research place.

Still no portfolio (never got around to it), but here's my Github: http://github.com/cheapsteak/

18
davewasthere 1 day ago 0 replies      
In my own time, I built a data-logger PoC that would help us fault-find some issues we were having with a generator (in an aircraft). After the PoC, I did it as an official project (designed the hardware, wrote the embedded software, and wrote some interface software that ran on a PC in c++).

That (and a few other factors) got me a role at Headquarters, on a networking team. But I kept writing tools in software and ended up getting snaffled for a web-development team. And have been doing web-applications ever since.

19
nrjames 1 day ago 0 replies      
It wasn't my first FT dev job, but it helped A LOT for me to get in the past 2 jobs I've had. The combo of creativity and applied (?) optimization algorithm was very appealing to the people that interviewed me. It helped that it generated pretty pictures. https://github.com/clayheaton/blomster
20
zabana 1 day ago 0 replies      
I got my foot in the door via a front-end job/internship in England. What I did was I would find free website design templates (this was in 2014) and turn them into live websites. Then I quickly created a portfolio, hosted it on GH pages, linked to my github account at the time and started applying. It was easier for me because it was a paid internship through an EU funded program. They made me an offer and later on retracted. But thankfully right before the end they were nice enough to hook me up with a couple of other companies who were desperately looking for a Junior Dev (whatever that means). I must say I'm really greatful for the oppotunities because it exposed me to much much more talented devs and I got to learn tonnes of things (vim, back-end dev, basic devops, linux) I barely do front end anymore.

So to answer your question I guess, it depends on your area of expertise. It's easier in my opinion if you're a front-end guy because you'll have "something to show". If you're a backend developer you can always cook up a library in whatever language you use and share it with the community, that along with a blog can go a long way in helping you landing a job.

Hope this helps

21
photonios 1 day ago 0 replies      
None. I applied for internship at a local tech company, I mentioned on my CV that I was working on a WhatsApp desktop client (which didn't exist at the time) by reverse engineering the Android app. That caught their interest. I got the internship. After 6 months they offered me a permanent contract.

The next job I just applied and did exceptionally well on the interview. The one after that was through a friend that I worked with before, he was starting a company and hired me.

22
chx 1 day ago 0 replies      
I started working on and with Drupal 2004 May 29 (it was a Saturday but who keeps count). At the Amsterdam DrupalCon in 2005 I got three offers for 60K USD which was an unheard amount for a struggling but very enthusiastic developer for Hungary. I accepted NowPublic's offer and started with them 2005 December 1, I immigrated to Vancouver (NowPublic was based there) 2008 September 1... To answer the question fully, Drupal and I landed a Drupal developer job :)
23
pryelluw 1 day ago 0 replies      
A really simple VB.NET desktop application landed me a job writing C# code which still handles millions of dollars in banking transactions in Latin America.

I just started working on a simple Django cms called Amy[0] and that has also gotte me work. Weird.

[0] https://github.com/yelluw/amy

See Amy live at yelluw.com (https incoming!)

24
zn44 1 day ago 0 replies      
Not so much self-taught as i was after 2nd year of CS. But i've landed my internship and ultimately first full time job with a game written in c++ and opengl. It was guitar hero style music game with much simpler graphics. Job was at small game studio. It ultimately led to drop out from uni so I never got my degree.
25
nonsince 1 day ago 0 replies      
It's different for me, since my company uses a relatively obscure language (Rust, it might not seem obscure if you hang around on HN but most people just look at you quizzically if you bring it up), but contributing to the compiler and having a library that was being used by a reasonably well-known project was very helpful. I think the single biggest factor in me getting hired was a couple of blog posts I made, however. Nothing proves your aptitude for software to a company than having an extended, long-form writeup of your thought process. Even if you're not that great a writer it's extremely useful to have a technically-focussed blog that a prospective employer can read through.
26
cableshaft 1 day ago 0 replies      
I released this game on iOS (back in 2010), and it was the main thing that got me get a job as lead developer for a startup that made iOS games and apps:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uy08ohBLGhE

Technically I had one other dev job before that (not in games, making websites and apps in ASP and VBA), although I got that job from a friend who knew I could code due to indie game dev meetups, convinced me to move upstate to the Chicago suburbs and be his roommate, then bugged his boss until he hired me. I barely knew him, but it ended up being a good decision because I ended up really fitting in here and I'm still in the area 12 years later.

27
palerdot 1 day ago 0 replies      
I participated in Mozilla dev derby and created - https://github.com/palerdot/hotcold, which landed me my first full time developer job as a full stack developer. At that time, Mozilla used to have demo studio which hosted both the code and the live static app. After Mozilla pulled the plug on the demo studio, I hosted the static app on github pages with a custom domain - http://hotcoldtyping.com

This project is closer to my heart and I would still be happy if I had not gotten a job because of this.

28
singingfish 1 day ago 1 reply      
I spent several years working in research support roles at uni, and used code to automate the very boring parts of my job. Then thanks to open source activity I got into as part of that, I wrote a book. This was a bit under 10 years ago, I'm not sure there's the market in book writing these days.
29
austincheney 1 day ago 0 replies      
The repo that helped me learn to developer is JSLint. This influenced my thinking on code organization more than all other facets combined. Please note though that JSLint has changed directions on a couple things since I started learning programming in 2008.

* https://github.com/douglascrockford/jslint

The repository that taught me about parsers, code style, and algorithms was writing PrettyDiff.

* https://github.com/prettydiff/prettydiff

30
Grustaf 1 day ago 0 replies      
I had an idea for a simple iOS game I wanted to make so followed the Stanford course and then rented a desk at a startup with too much space. After a month or so they felt they needed more developers and since they saw me there with xcode every day they figured they'd hire me.
31
nathan_f77 1 day ago 0 replies      
I learned web development while volunteering at a charity, where I did a lot of work on open source software. I worked on some Rails apps called FatFreeCRM [1] and Errbit [2]. I got my first contract with a YC startup that was providing hosting for open source apps, including FatFreeCRM (unfortunately they shut down.) My open source contributions were also included in my O1 visa application, so that I could come to the US and work for a startup.

[1] https://github.com/fatfreecrm/fat_free_crm

[2] https://github.com/errbit/errbit

32
soneca 1 day ago 0 replies      
Started learning to code 9 months ago, ~2 months ago landed my first job as junior web frontend developer.

I did a code challenge as application, so I believe this was the most important code. But this is my portfolio page (untouched since I got the job): http://rodrigo-pontes.glitch.me

I believe the most important project in it was this To Do app because it shows I can ship things that work:

http://www.dediddo.com/https://github.com/deltasoneca/Dediddo-to-do-list

33
andywood 1 day ago 0 replies      
It was a screensaver that I wrote between tech support calls. The CEO asked me about it, I told him I wrote it, and he put me on the dev team that afternoon. It was C and C++, drivers and apps on Windows.
34
cosmiccartel 1 day ago 0 replies      
I applied for an internship at a local-ish company (I'm from a very rural area, so local means within 100 miles). They did check out my GitHub, and all I had on it was my blog (Rails app I had made when first learning). One of the interviewers checked out my blog, which had only posts about really basic topics on it, and I was worried I'd be outed as an idiot. He said "Oh, you're keeping a blog. That's really cool." I got the job on the spot. That was a little over two years ago.
35
wglb 1 day ago 0 replies      
Well, I started before repos were a thing and even before source revision control was invented. I pestered a professor with questions about the assembly language that I got the CDC 3500 fortran compiler to cough up. Annoyed, he pawned me off to a professor who ultimately became my advisor and gave me my first job the summer after my freshman year. That job involved writing an input module for a program that he wrote that was finding Eigenvalues and Eigenvectors in a 500x500 matrix on a computer with 35k of memory. With no disk.
36
amrrs 1 day ago 0 replies      
Analysis/Comparison of Different Twitter Channels using R https://github.com/amrrs/TwitterAnalysis-in-R

Highlighted some insights based on the way Tweets were made. Got an offer from one of those brands' Data Science team and finally found out that my Analysis became benchmark in the company for Social Media Analytics of Twitter.

Edit: Though the job wasn't my first one!

37
danielhooper 1 day ago 0 replies      
Animated gif puzzle game (iOS). https://github.com/danielhhooper/Gifsaw

very short video: https://i.imgur.com/4zDAQe7.mp4

Was hoping to publish this app but could not find an appropriate service provider for the images.

38
pknerd 1 day ago 0 replies      
It was kind mix of Repo+ blog posts that helped me to land a few freelance gigs, contracts and then ultimately a job.

Mostly people contact me for web scraping and automation related work after viewing my site[0] or blog posts[1]

[0] - http://adnansiddiqi.me[1] - http://blog.adnansiddiqi.me/tag/scraping

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ryan21030 1 day ago 0 replies      
I got a job working at boohoo and I think this repo did a lot for me - http://github.com/DrRoach/Dynamicimage.

It showed I could create a proper project which follows best practices like CI ect. It also helped that it was pretty relevant to the type of business and something that they themselves could potentially find useful.

40
DougN7 1 day ago 0 replies      
I wrote a disk bootloader that could intercept BIOS disk writes, and then continued loading DOS. And then there was a DOS TSR that monitored... (don't remember). Needless to say, this was the late 80's/early 90's. It impressed some interviewers back in the day.
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dope 19 hours ago 0 replies      
I landed my first job with a semi-popular CSS grid system. Funny enough they didn't want to use it they just liked the branding and design of the docs.
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awongh 1 day ago 0 replies      
I completed this coding challenge, an ajax game of cards: https://github.com/awongh/cards funny to look back- no documentation and terrible commit messages :)

This was for a junior full stack dev position in SF

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dgelks 1 day ago 0 replies      
For me it wasn't actually a repo but doing a lot of https://www.codewars.com challenges until I was proficient enough in js to pass the technical interviews
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busterarm 1 day ago 0 replies      
I wrote my own ORM. It helped because the person interviewing me actually looked at my projects, looked at my code and had a conversation with me about it.

It was the only interview I've ever had where someone actually did that.

45
Ixiaus 1 day ago 0 replies      
It was my involvement and contributions to the KohanaPHP[1] web framework, then on SVN, that landed me my first dev job.

[1]: http://kohanaframework.org

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peteretep 1 day ago 0 replies      
I had some shitty CGI code that would extract search terms from HTTP referrer fields, back before everyone only used Google. Someone emailed me asking me for help with it, and as it turned out, I was 16 and needed a week of work experience. Circa 1998.
47
perlgeek 1 day ago 0 replies      
I made my name known in the Perl community through answering questions on perlmonks.org, IRC and a few mailing lists.

Somebody drove me home when I attended a local event, and a few years later, that person hired me (and is now my direct supervisor).

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codingdave 1 day ago 0 replies      
Nobody ever looked at my code. I was working your standard IT support job, and just started writing tools to help the team. I learned, the tools worked, the job evolved into a coding job.
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RUG3Y 1 day ago 0 replies      
Repos weren't considered when I got my first job. I did do well in a technical interview where I pair programmed with someone and solved problems.
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trey-jones 1 day ago 0 replies      
It's not what you know, it's who you know.
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paulbjensen 1 day ago 0 replies      
Junior developer at Tickex, but I showed them a web app that is long gone, and this was summer 2007, before github.
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kowdermeister 1 day ago 0 replies      
First real job was granted not on portfolio (no GitHub in 2006) but based on pure sympathy and luck. It was a job board project.

I had done a few website before, but nothing significant.

I think it does not matter what's in your portfolio as long as you've released a few things and did everything to make to them look good. Not necessarily design but presentation, documentation, testing and function.

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crikli 1 day ago 0 replies      
It was something I wrote in 2003, before git was a thing.

I'd grown up futzing with code in the 80's (AppleBASIC, a bit of assembler). Turbo Pascal, ANSI C, in the early 90's. I'd started crunching through Ivor Horton's book on Visual C++ in 2000.

My girlfriend's (now my wife's) employer had an ecommerce website that was written in this thing called PHP and it kept throwing errors, something about MySQL. Figure out it was hosted on this "Apache" thing.

Bought a SAM's Teach Yourself in 24 Hours on LAMP, spent a month digesting it, fixing the issues with the site in the meantime. When I was done with the book I wrote my own ecommerce platform to replace the one they had (I did all this for no compensation, I just wanted to learn).

Took programming gigs off of what was then called "rentacoder.com" working for almost nothing to get experience and built a portfolio.

The next year, 2004, a big auto parts company in town was looking for a "webmaster." I leveraged having built an ecommerce platform from scratch into that job. I was all things internet for them (except graphic design). Wrote code for their ecomm website (old school ASP.NET), did SEO/PPC marketing, came up with email campaigns, integrated with their ancient PICK-based inventory system, used NLP to detect tone in customer support emails before that was something you could farm out to Google, etc.

So...the replicable aspects of that path, excepting luck and right place right time:

1) Dive deeply into a challenging language. C++ wasn't for the faint of heart then and although it's been years since I wrote any I'm sure that hasn't changed. I'm a much better coder for having had to deal with the obtuseness of C++. Pointer pointers, anyone?

2) Do work until your skillset and portfolio represents enough value to someone that they're willing to pay for it. So much of my early work was garbage anyway...hell my SAMS book on LAMP hadn't covered SQL JOINs, so I was doing queries and iterating through the results and running more queries!

3) Build something that non-developer can understand and connect to. I was able to talk about the ecommerce site I'd built, how I'd integrated with PayPal, demonstrate the UI, etc, to the people that hired me. Had I been presenting something more esoteric, like the time I had to figure out endianness to decode a data file and get it into a MySQL database, I'd have completely lost them and likely not have gotten the job.

54
WalterSear 1 day ago 0 replies      
Nobody looks at my repos. The closest I've gotten was recruiters finding me through keyword searches of github.
55
golergka 1 day ago 1 reply      
None of them - repo and portfolios weren't even mentioned. I was working as a game designer in the company that had a developer opening, and got burnt out. Since the company knew me, landing an interview was easy. I was teaching myself programming since I was 8, and, as I retroactively understand, was at steady junior level in high school already. The interview turned out to be a walk in the park. I wish I was more self-confident and switched over sooner.
56
nickshater 1 day ago 1 reply      
Honestly as a self taught dev with no professional experience your repos aren't going to impress anyone, but github activity will.

Put together working projects and deploy them, make it easy for someone to see what you've built. Provide evidence that you are capable of working with external APIs and common frameworks.

I am self taught and landed my first job pretty easy with just a basic portfolio site, and a few FreeCodeCamp projects that were deployed on digital ocean.

I am now involved in hiring with my company and very rarely do I see an impressive repo let alone an active github, but whenever I see someone consistently committing they always end up with an interview and more often than not end up with a position.

10
Ask HN: Is Georgia Tech's Online Master in CS Worth It?
472 points by soneca  2 days ago   202 comments top 55
1
vikascoder 2 days ago 7 replies      
Current working professional and an OMSCS student here. It highly depends on the context. Biggest pros are:1. This is perhaps the cheapest Computer Science masters in the United States from a premier school. The degree is exactly the same as offered to the residential program and the credits acquired are all legit and transferable to other universities. I had friends who transferred from OMSCS to a regular school and skipped one full semester due to the credits earned.2. An OMSCS qualification holds way more water than if you do random MOOC qualifications on Coursera and others.3. The coursework is the same as the residential program. So if you dont believe in studying an MS at all, then this program is nothing special. Its a Masters in Computer Science. So It's pros and cons are the same as a regular MS.4. If you are international, then having an OMSCS degree is equivalent to having a Gatech MS degree. It is a superb add-on to your profile and also qualifies you as a graduate level tech specialist for future Visa processing.5. If you are international and looking to stay and work in your own country, then your mileage may vary depending on your circumstances. OMSCS provides no visa support and no career counselling. It does have an online portal for jobs but its more geared towards residents.6. Other than that, it forces you to think and study new areas of research while you work so its extremely enriching.7. The program is more or less extremely well run with regular assignments, proctored exams, 1-1 sessions with professors and what not.8. Some companies reimburse your tuition, so its virtually free (at least for me)

Cmon guys, a US Masters for 7000 USD? Are you kidding me? Its totally worth it. In fact I feel blessed that such a thing even exists. GaTech has been a trailblazer in this regards.

2
bkanber 2 days ago 2 replies      
Worth it -- based on what metric?

My wife did an online master's degree (at a legit university that also had an online program). You have to be very good at self-pacing, diligence, and learning autonomously. You have to be so good at it, in fact, that the type of person who would succeed in an online master's program is the same type of person who would succeed in self-learning without the master's program.

So if your only goal is to learn, then I say no, it's not worth it.

However, you're in Brazil and not a lifelong programmer. Credentials may work against you if seeking a job in the US. Many US companies look at South America as the "nearshore" talent, much better in quality than devfarms in India, but also still cheaper and -- because of that -- slightly lower in quality than US talent.

In that case, spending $7k and completing the program and getting the degree may help you get a $7k higher salary in your first (or next) job. It may give US companies more confidence in your abilities, as you received a US graduate school education.

So from a financial perspective and the perspective of job opportunities inside the US as a foreigner, then I think it may be worth it. If you don't care about getting US jobs then still probably not worth it.

Best of luck!

3
ordinaryperson 2 days ago 4 replies      
At 5K, the price is right (my in-person master's was 22K, although my employers covered most of it) but be aware it's not the missing piece to catapult you into superstar developer earning 170K/year.

Honestly I think your time is better spent working on real projects. In my CS master's program I met many students with no real-world experience. One was a paralegal before school, and after he graduated he became...a paralegal with a CS master's. Experience > degrees, every time.

There's value in the program (algorithms and data structures being the most applicable), but just go in with your eyes open knowing that the degree is not a glass slipper that'll turn you into Cinderella overnight. Too many IMHO falsely believed my program was a jobs program and really struggled to find work in the field.

If you can do it at night while working FT, great but don't take 1-2 years off work. It sounds appealing to be done ASAP but you're unlikely to make up that 60-120K/year in lost wages. Unless you're fabulously wealthy.

Good luck.

4
throwawayaug15 2 days ago 9 replies      
Logging in as a throwaway. The program only costs $5k but it was one of the most expensive things I've done in my life.

Got a job at Google directly because of this program (a few classes like CCA helped a lot with interviews). I'm aware of at least a couple dozen of us from OMS here.

The program cost me dearly. It cost me my relationship with the SO and it cost me my health (staying up late nights, lots of coffee).

* $5k cheap, it's nothing, the real way you pay for it is via your time.

* The teachers like the flexibility as much as we do. Many are top notch. I took two classes from professors that work at Google (Dr. Starner and Dr. Essa), one at Netflix (Dr. Lebanon), and a few others have their own startups.

* One of the classes was taught by Sebastian Thrun, with a TA at Google, but I think that's changed now.

* The lectures are good, but you have infinite ability to subsidize them with Udacity, Coursera etc.

* You learn squat by watching videos. The true learning happens at 2am when you are trying to implement something, and end up tinkering, debugging, etc. That's when things click.

* The hidden gem is Piazza and some of the amazing classmates that help you out. Lots of classmates that work in industry and can explain things a lot better. I.e: Actual data scientists and CTOs of Data Science companies taking the data science class. They were amazing and I owe my degree to them in part.

* Working full time and taking classes is not easy. Consider quitting and doing it peacefully.

* From within Google, I've heard from people that did the Stanford SCPD (I'm considering it) and also OMSCS. Lots of people that say the SCPD program wasn't worth the time and effort. No one yet that's said the same about the GT program.

I've heard from people that have done the program in-person, and they say the online lectures and materials are significantly better.

5
lemonghost 2 days ago 2 replies      
I'm halfway through the OMSCS in the machine learning specialization. It has been a great experience so far and definitely worth it for me.

A couple of things to consider: As you mentioned, it is more focused on Computer Science than Software Engineering/Development. There are a couple of Software Engineering/Architecture/Testing courses but I haven't taken them so I can't comment on how relevant I think they are to my day job.

It's an incredible bargain... 7-8K for an MS (not an online MS) from a top 10 school in CS. That on it's own makes it worth it for me.

It's not easy and it's not like a typical Coursera/Udacity course. Depending on which courses you take it can be quite challenging (which is a good thing). You typically don't have much interaction with the Professors but there are a lot of TAs and other students to help you along the way.

Here's a reddit in case you haven't come across it that answers many questions:

https://www.reddit.com/r/OMSCS/

And here's an awesome course review site that a student built:

https://omscentral.com/reviews

6
forrestbrazeal 2 days ago 2 replies      
The answer is highly context dependent. If you think the degree will magically open up a lot of job opportunities for you, you might be kidding yourself. However, if you love to learn and don't mind putting in the long hours, it can be rewarding for its own sake.

(Source: current OMSCS student, hopefully graduating in December)

I made an "informed decision tree" awhile back that goes into much more detail about my thought process when signing up for this degree:

https://forrestbrazeal.com/2017/01/03/should-you-get-a-maste...

I also reviewed the OMSCS program in detail here: https://forrestbrazeal.com/2017/05/08/omscs-a-working-profes...

Hope that helps!

7
opensandwich 1 day ago 0 replies      
I have finished the OMSCS program and in some ways I have mixed feelings about it. My background has been primarily in mathematics/statistics and I didn't come from a "tradition CS" educational background.

Did I learn a lot?

I learnt a ridiculous amount. For the time+dollar investment it is amazing. The program is definitely not easy either.

It has been amazing to learn the concepts in ML (Dr. Isbell) and AI (Dr Starner) courses and then a few weeks later think "I think I can actually use these concepts in my workplace".

Why the mixed feelings?

Not all courses had the same quality to it. From the top of my head, AI, ML were probably the best 2 courses. Other well ran courses I would add was computational photography, edutech, introduction to infosec (besides the rote learning...), however some of the other courses I had a relatively negative experience.

The degree does suck up a lot of time and I would say it is the real deal.

Knowing what I know now I can't say 100% that I will "re-do" OMSCS - to be fair on GaTech I'm not sure whether the challenges that I feel above are due to an online program and I personally would be more suited to an in-person program but the experience has definitely been better than Udacity's nanodegree and any MOOC which I have sat.

Overall I would say if you do it for the sake of learning and that alone - OMSCS is worth it. For any other reason please don't do it.

8
CoachRufus87 2 days ago 2 replies      
Richard Schneeman (an engineer at Heroku) wrote a great blog post on this very topic; worth the read: https://schneems.com/2017/07/26/omscs-omg-is-an-online-maste...
9
crueoj 2 days ago 0 replies      
As someone currently in the program and graduating this Spring, I have found this program to be incredibly rewarding. GT has done a fantastic job turning their on-campus courses into an online format. At first I was skeptical, but I have found this program extremely challenging and have learned a great deal. It has been fantastic in my career development as well, allowing me to land a job in ML before I have graduated.

The program does have its hiccups here and there. Some courses have been reported as being poorly organized, but this is certainly the minority. Also, you may not receive as much individual attention as you would in a on-campus program. This is aided by the fantastic community of students in the OMSCS program which provide a support system for each other through online forums/chat. If you are not much of a self-starter and need specific guidance, this program may not be for you.

10
mindvirus 2 days ago 2 replies      
I graduated from the program in December and I found it incredibly rewarding. There are a lot of great classes, and I learned a ton - in particular, the machine learning and reinforcement learning courses were top notch, as we're the systems programming ones.

One thing I'd warn though is that you'll get out of the program what you put into it - so it's really up to you to choose classes that will set up your career the way that you want it.

11
learc83 2 days ago 3 replies      
If you haven't been working as a software developer long and you don't have a background in CS, it's going to be difficult.

I'm about halfway through and many of the classes assume that you have the equivalent of an undergrad CS degree. It's not intended to replace an undergrad degree.

That doesn't mean you can't do it, but your going to spend a lot of time catching up. From what I've seen, the students without a CS degree, even those with significant industry experience, have had a much harder time with the more theoretical classes.

It's also a graduate program, and the classes are pretty rigorous compared to what I did in my undergrad CS degree.

Also keep in mind that admission is fairly competitive. And admission is only probationary. You have to complete 2 foundational classes with a B to be fully accepted.

12
w8rbt 2 days ago 0 replies      
I've completed the majority of the OMCS program. My specialization is 'Computing Systems'. I have a 4.0 GPA so far. I did not do CS as an undergraduate, but I've been programming since I was very young.

Here are my thoughts on what people need to succeed as an OMCS student:

 * Be able to program in C, C++, Python and Java at an intermediate level. And, know one of these very well. * Be able to use a debugger (GDB) and valgrind. * Be able to administer and configure Linux systems. * Understand data structures and examples (std::set in C++ is RB Tree backed, std::unordered_set is hash table backed) * Understand basic networking concepts and key technologies (TCP, UDP, IP, switching, routing, etc.). * Understand the x86 computer in general.
Finally, I think some of the classes are meant to weed students out. People may think that 'Intro to Graduate Operating Systems' would be an easy first course for CS beginners. It's not (unless they've changed it). It was primarily about writing multi-threaded clients, servers, caches and proxies in C, using shared memory (IPC, POSIX Shared Memory) and various other C/thread projects until you become a half-way decent C programmer. They deduct points for working code that has any errors (memory leaks, etc.) too. So don't be surprised if a seemingly easy OMCS course turns into... I had no idea. I'm going to have to drop this course. I saw that happen to several students.

I've done well so far, but I have the programming/logic background to do the work. If you don't, brush up on the skills listed above before enrolling.

Edit: The class projects are a lot of work. Be prepared to give-up your weekends and evenings. Even if you know the material and the language, it's a job to get through some of the projects.

13
hnrodey 2 days ago 1 reply      
What are some of the prereq's to be prepared to be successful with completing this degree? Asking as someone who graduated with a CS degree from almost ten years ago (wow, time flies). I've been programming/development pretty much that entire time but I think I have forgot most of the core math and core CS concepts that might be necessary in a CS masters degree.

It's hard for me to estimate how much prep I would need to do to come in to this program and feel comfortable with the tasks at hand.

14
orsenthil 2 days ago 0 replies      
I have been doing this for 2 years now. I enjoy this program. There are many students who are taking Gatech OMSCS and also taken MOOCs from Coursera, Udacity, and EDX. The defining characteristic of good students taking this course is, they are all self-learners, independent, and they want to learn Computer Science without giving up on the current full-time job. I have been keeping notes for the all the subjects that I have taken: http://www.coursedocs.org/gatech/index.html - Have a look at it to get a glimpse of the course work involved.

Cons: I've noticed some students who come to get their MS degree from a reputed institution because it is cheap. Due to coursework pressure, they take short-cuts, like doing group-work, discussing solutions when you are prohibited, plagiarizing in assignments, etc.

15
rgrieselhuber 2 days ago 0 replies      
As someone who hires machine learning / data science oriented engineers, I've looked at this curriculum pretty closely and think it looks like a great program.
16
eyeball 7 hours ago 0 replies      
Anyone have experience with their OMS analytics program? Safe to assume the quality will be similar to the OMS-CS? It's run through edx instead of udacity.

https://pe.gatech.edu/online-masters-degrees/online-master-s...

17
mathattack 2 days ago 1 reply      
Only a few data points as an outside observer, but...

1 - The people I've seen doing it are learning A LOT - more than another online program I've seen.

2 - They're also working A LOT - it intrudes on all aspects of their personal life. It's as much or more work than doing an in person CS degree.

3 - The folks I know don't have CS undergrads, which also makes it more difficult.

Net - it can be worth it if you missed CS as an undergrad, but you'll have to work. You need to ask if there are enough people in Brazil who value the credential (or implied skills) to make it worth the time. The time investment is more expensive than the $s. (It will be thousands of hours)

18
el_benhameen 2 days ago 0 replies      
I'm self-taught and have a job as a SWE. My BA is in an unrelated field. I'm considering the OMSCS because it would be the cheapest way to add credentials to my resume and because I'd rather not go back for a second bachelor's. (I don't mean to sound cynical--I'm interested in the subject matter, of course, but you can get all of that without going through a degree program.) Exchanging $7k for more legitimacy in the eyes of prospective employers is the main appeal of a formalized program. Does anyone have any experience with or thoughts on the signaling potential of the degree?
19
fokinsean 2 days ago 0 replies      
I've been entertaining the idea of going through this course as well. I graduated 2 years ago, BS in CS, and part of me misses being in school. Plus my employer has a decent tuition reimbursement program.

Would anyone who works full time and gone through this program care to share their thoughts?

Edit: Just found this great article from another comment

https://schneems.com/2017/07/26/omscs-omg-is-an-online-maste...

20
gatechnoway 1 day ago 1 reply      
Working pro with 12 years experience. Absolutely not worth it. Most of your classmates will have not coded before.

The classes are cheap. The hours are long. In the end your grade depends on teammates who haven't been vetted. Three teammates who can't code? You get a C and don't pass.

Course content is extremely dated. UML and SDLC paradigms from the 70's with xerox pdfs distributed to "learn" from.

This is a money grab.

21
nvarsj 1 day ago 0 replies      
Not to be harsh, but you probably won't get accepted. You'll need to do some CS nanodegrees first, or something equivalent (a full undergrad CS/maths degree is obviously ideal). I know people in similar positions, even one with a physics degree, who could not get in due to lack of academic experience.

Otherwise, I think OMSCS is totally worth it. It is hard though. Really hard. I have a family, significant engineering experience, and I find the workload intense. It puts pressure on my family at the same time because I'm not available as much. So I'm taking it very slow, no more than 2-3 courses a year.

It feels great to be 'back at school' after so many years. I love learning new stuff and the challenges of hacking away at low level things. The kind of thing you rarely get to do professionally unless you're very lucky (or not getting paid much). Almost makes me wish I had done a Ph.D.

I don't know if it will help me get a better job or whatever, but it definitely fulfills my own internal itch.

22
schneems 1 day ago 0 replies      
I wrote about my experiences a few weeks ago: https://schneems.com/2017/07/26/omscs-omg-is-an-online-maste...

I'm through my second OMSCS semester, and it you want to know if I think it's worth it...you'll have to read the post ;)

23
7sevensof7 15 hours ago 0 replies      
It really depends on where you are in your career. The GT MSCS is very well regarded, so it's an excellent credential - but frankly the education is quite haphazard and I don't see that improving any time in the future. Teaching quality varies highly, from great to excretable - for many classes, the model is "a little lecture, then lots of poorly-curated assignments". This consumes a lot of time, in a very inefficient manner. Yes, you will learn, but mostly by through your own effort. The very high workload is really not suitable for a professional MS program, where it has to be managed with a job. I find class workload expands without bound every semester and even one class will significantly impact career and relationships. There is no force causing workload to be decline, so I expect that the program is rapidly going to become dominated by early-career full-time MS students, in the U.S. and outside, who live with their parents and knock out an inexpensive, high-quality MS CS. For those students, it's a great choice. If you don't fit that profile, it's a poor professional choice. If you have the discipline to teach yourself via MOOC classes, you will get a better education delivered much more efficiently - but that doesn't carry the credential. So in short - if you need the credential and can devote full time, it's an excellent choice. If not, I do not suggest it.
24
rrmm 2 days ago 0 replies      
I have a regular old masters in CS from GT. It's probably worth it from a career standpoint (if nothing else it signals that you care about self-improvement and take active steps to doing it). I would expect you'd miss some of the 'grad school experience' (for better or worse) and networking opportunities. The actual content itself can probably be gotten for free from other courses on the web if you take a syllabus from a CS dept to get an overall program. That path wouldn't have the benefit of access to teachers and would require a lot of discipline.

I don't know how it would be looked at in Brazil or what the economic cost/benefit are in terms of your own income. I did know a few folks from the University of Sao Paulo that did grad and postdoc work while I was at GT though, so clearly some people are aware of GT in Brazil. That might be another avenue to get opinions from. I would be interested to hear how the costs compare to an institution that was local to you.

25
mukhmustafa 2 days ago 1 reply      
I joined the program in Fall 2016, and I am half way now. So far, i can say that the program is very useful for workers who are looking for a part-time degree, or for people who can't afford the on-campus program. However, the knowledge you gain and experience you get can't be compared to the on-campus program.
26
decimalst_us 2 days ago 1 reply      
As a secondary question, for those who did complete the program, what was the general time commitment per (semester or class) vs. how long you were in the program? I see that you must take 2 classes in the first year, but didn't see any other further requirements on speed of completion.

edit: Answered my own question - You can't have two consecutive semesters "off"[1]. I.e. the slowest possible pace would be 2 classes in the first year, then 1 class every other semester. So I suppose it would be:spring/summer 'xx: 6 credits, 24 remaining, spring 'xx + 1: 9 credits, fall 'xx +1 : 12 creditsetc.

[1] - per https://www.reddit.com/r/OMSCS/wiki/index

27
josep2 2 days ago 0 replies      
My background: B.A. In Math and Economics. Been working as a software engineer for 6 years now. I have been in the program for about 1.5 years. I've really enjoyed it and learned a ton. I've also been able to pay the full cost of tuition out of pocket. I agree with others in the thread that it depends on context.

I don't think it will have an immediate impact on my earnings or place in my company, but I think the long term value of having it far exceeds what I'm paying for it.

28
MechEStudent 23 hours ago 0 replies      
I'm a working engineer in Ohio, and I hope to start this fall. My work covers it, and the content is highly relevant.

Folks say institution-X is the same. I haven't seen one. Princeton or Stanford are, AFAICT, stunningly more expensive, and not purely remote.

This is a "sine qua non" - without this particular option, there is nothing else on the menu for me at this point in my life and career.

29
daok 2 days ago 3 replies      
I have a question about the requirement to enter the program. It says is require to have 3 people to write a recommendation letters. I have finish my bachelor +10 years ago and I am not touch with any professors. Does providing managers are enough? On the website they put emphasis of not adding friends which I can understand, but I am curious about the serious about getting these letters.
30
j_s 2 days ago 0 replies      
It came up on yesterday's launch of Lambda School (YC S17), but not sure anyone there can provide any additional info.

https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=15015813

31
throwaway170805 1 day ago 0 replies      
Current OMSCS student here. It's been a challenging, eye-opening experience, and I'm grateful to be a part of the program.

However, computer science and software development are not the same thing. If your primary goal is to up your game as a software developer, you might get more out of well-regarded software development books like "The Pragmatic Programmer," "Working Effectively with Legacy Code", or "Design Patterns."

Hope this helps.

32
frgtpsswrdlame 2 days ago 4 replies      
Don't you need an undergrad degree in computer science to be admitted?

http://www.omscs.gatech.edu/program-info/admission-criteria

33
cweagans 2 days ago 0 replies      
Personally, I'd go for an undergrad CS degree first. uopeople.edu might be a good place to start. I'm currently working through that program, and I intend to continue to the GA Tech masters program when I'm done.
34
satyargudimetla 1 day ago 1 reply      
Excellent course. Value for money. I am doing this from India. I don't have words how much thankful I am to the University. CS education made it so affordable by making it cheaper and online MooC. People like me can benefit a lot. I feel proud to be part of Georgia Tech. Course is not an easy one. We need to put full effort. Very practical oriented. I got exposed to many technologies which is very helpful in today's world. Good luck!
35
damrkul 1 day ago 0 replies      
Lots of people neglect to mention that because of the entire program is 7000. If you break that down to 2.5 years, it's approx $2800 per year.

If you work for a reputable company, like I do, they do tuition reimbursement. My company just so happens to cover $5200 per year.

So inother words, I am getting the degree completely for free.

I have completed 7 classes so far, and have 3 left, which again, were all paid for.

36
satyargudimetla 1 day ago 0 replies      
So far I have completed 2 courses. It was really rewarding. I am learning plethora of technologies and subjects. I am really enjoying .Right now I am going at 1 course per semester. I started Spring 2017. I will gear up from next year and go for 2 per semester. Yes , there are limited courses online. But these would be good enough to start with. Good luck .
37
omscs_is_great 1 day ago 0 replies      
Using a temp account. I don't think I would have gotten any interviews at the best of the best tech companies without it (I had an engineering BS in another field). I was only 8 classes in. So career wise, it's definitely worth it.

The classes take a lot of time (see https://omscentral.com), but the learning has been a lot of fun. I loved it.

38
sannee 1 day ago 1 reply      
It looks like they require a 4-year bachelor's degree. This seems to exclude european-educated students, as bachelor's are usually only 3-year degrees here. Has anyone had any experience with this?
39
maverick2 2 days ago 1 reply      
I am a BA(Business Analyst) with mostly traditional Project Management duties. My bachelors was in CS, and I still love to delve into technical details of a solution. I do some data analytics for my product. But have been interested in more analytics driven roles and eventually find a Product Owner/Manager role.

Does anyone have insight if doing Georgia Tech's - Master of Science in Analytics will help me land such role?

40
root_axis 2 days ago 2 replies      
Anyone know of similar programs for undergrad? i.e. an online accredited CS bachelors from a real university.
41
abhishekash 1 day ago 2 replies      
I am also interested to course but 7k USD is still high to be paid as lumpsum upfront. Is someone aware if that would be a staggered payment schedule so that I can pay from my savings as I accrue them.

Thanks

42
ncfausti 2 days ago 0 replies      
Glad this was posted. I was admitted to Penn's MSE in CIS as well as OMSCS for the Fall. No funding for either. Penn is roughly $60k. I currently live in Philly. I'm curious to see what HN thinks would be the better option.
43
aschampion 1 day ago 0 replies      
You may want to look at a previous recent discussion here on HN: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=13382263
44
serg_chernata 2 days ago 0 replies      
I applied and got rejected due to not having my BS from a regionally accredited school, though it's nationally accredited. Very confused because their page implies students from all over the world attend. Bummer.
46
jondubois 1 day ago 1 reply      
After a bachelor degree, university isn't that useful for CS unless you want to get into serious AI research. I don't think it has much effect on salary or opportunities.
47
cdnsteve 2 days ago 1 reply      
Their SSL is currently broken and displaying warnings...https://www.omscs.gatech.edu/
48
soneca 2 days ago 0 replies      
Just to let here my thanks for all thoughtful answers! (as I can't edit my question anymore). Lots of good insights and useful links in this thread.
49
bitL 2 days ago 0 replies      
How is the difficulty of courses when comparing to edX's MIT's Underactuated Robotics or Stanford's Roughgarden's Algorithms?
50
artmageddon 1 day ago 0 replies      
It better be, my first class for the fall semester starts in a week!
51
nheskia 2 days ago 2 replies      
just wondering, is the admission process similar to other graduate programs? do you need GRE scores? letters of recommendation? what has been people's experiences around these requirements?
52
jinonoel 2 days ago 1 reply      
Are there any equivalent online PhD programs that are any good?
53
0xa 2 days ago 0 replies      
I'm speaking from my past experience as a hiring manager at a start up with outlier standards for performance and trajectory in software engineering and machine learning. I estimate I've screened tens of thousands of resumes and interviewed at least a thousand people in my career.

First and most important: your internships and work experience, and what you accomplished during those jobs. They should tell a story of increasing and accelerating personal growth, learning, challenge and passion. If you can share personal or class projects, even better.

After your experiences, your degrees will be considered based on the number of years each typically requires, with early graduation and multiple majors being notable.

 1. PhD, if you have one. A STEM PhD was particularly helpful for ML/Data science positions, but not required. 2. BS/BA (3-4 year degree) 3. MS/MEng (1-2 year degree)
Put another way, if you don't have a PhD, the MS/MEng program is a tiebreaker compared to your experience and undergrad credentials.

International students get a raw deal. The online masters will barely help you get a job or launch a career in the US. US universities appear to offer the chance to work for major US companies with a notable university (such as Georgia Tech) on your resume, only to feed their graduates into our broken immigration and work authorization system, H1-B indentured servitude and no replies from the countless companies that have an unspoken higher bar for those needing sponsorship.

To round out a few other contexts HN readers might experience:

If you are an international considering an on-campus MS/MEng, US universities are charging full price while giving you a credential of limited value and utility. Apply the same comments above but at a much higher price than GA Techs OMSCS.

If you are completing/just completed a less notable undergrad degree, paying for a masters program at an elite CS school (like GA Tech) is usually a bad deal. If it not a requirement for the positions you seek, it won't help your career chances much.

If you have an undergrad degree and your employer will pay/cover your MS/MEng at night/personal time (and that is your passion), awesome and go for it! It will be a lot of work and lost sleep to get everything out of the experience, but a lifelong investment in your growth and experience.

If you are completing/just completed a notable undergrad degree (tier-1, internationally recognized program), you don't need the masters. Feel free to get one for your learning, sense of self and building research connections while you ponder getting a PhD. The hiring and salary benefit will be very small--you are already the candidate every company wants to meet. If you decide to get a PhD, that will open some new doors but take 5+ years to get there.

At my previous company, we made it our forte and team passion to get authorization for employees--given a global pool of candidates and a hiring bar to match. I'm really proud of our effort here given the broken and unfair system. Sadly, many companies do not share this value or cannot justify the time, effort and expense, or cannot scale such a program to a larger number of employees across a less selective bar.

54
davidreiss 2 days ago 2 replies      
> I believe this program is a good complementary source of knowledge to become a better software developer.

That's something you could learn on your own. But your knowledge of "technologies" are more valuable to employers than CS degree - especially if you have work experience.

The tech industry isn't like academia ( economics ) where you have to build up credentials. Work on projects that deal with web technologies or even better learn the back end ( databases ) or even the middle tier/server code if you are a front-end developer.

Becoming a full-stack ( front-end, middle-tier and especially back-end ) is going to be far more important to employers than if you know what undecidability is or computational theory.

Degrees are very important if you want to break into the industry ( especially top tier corporations ). But if you are already work in the industry, employers want to see the technologies you are competent in.

If your employer is willing to pay for it and you have free time, then go for it. Learning is always a good thing. But if you want to further your career, go learn SQL ( any flavor ) and RDBMs technologies - SQL Server, Postgres, etc ( any you want but I recommend SQL Server Developer Edition if you are beginner on Windows OS as it is very beginner friendly from installation to client tools ).

A full-stack web developer is rare and you could even sell yourself as an architect/management. That's a difference from being a $60K web developer and a $200K full stack developer/architect.

55
user5994461 1 day ago 1 reply      
Online courses are worth nothing.

Employers will ignore you the second they find out your master is not legit.

11
Ask HN: How to transfer a project IP from a C-Corp to a person?
9 points by wenbin  21 hours ago   6 comments top 4
1
chrisa 20 hours ago 1 reply      
The devil (of course), is in the details - I would definitely check with a lawyer. If money is an issue, then call around - many lawyers will do a free consultation, where they could probably tell you if your situation required a lawyer to draft a document, or just something signed by the board.
2
brudgers 20 hours ago 0 replies      
I am not an attorney. I recommend hiring one. My lay understanding is that the IP is an asset of the corporation and giving away assets to individuals is likely to be fraught with legal and regulatory hazard. Disputable ownership of IP is the sort of thing that might cause future investment to fall through during due diligence.

Ultimately, the answer to most "do I need a lawyer" questions is, yes, when the stakes are non-trivial.

Good luck.

3
bradstewart 17 hours ago 0 replies      
Get an attorney.

This will very likely have tax implications as the IP has some value, and companies cannot (usually) just give away assets to an individual.

Once you own the IP, you can do (almost) anything you want with it, including start a VC-backed company.

4
jlgaddis 17 hours ago 1 reply      
Sounds like the company needs to sell the asset to the individual, under the terms of a contract. It can be sold for $1, by the way. As others have said, talk to an attorney (the company likely already has someone).
12
Ask HN: How do you cultivate discipline?
22 points by 29052017  1 day ago   8 comments top 8
1
gcheong 22 hours ago 0 replies      
First let's define discipline. I will define it as 1. Choosing to take a desired action despite feeling like doing otherwise and 2. Refraining from taking an undesired action despite feeling like doing otherwise.

Having a goal around your actions is somewhat implied here.

So what can help us cultivate discipline? Well, each time you practice discipline you are cultivating it. So what can help us practice it?

1. Mindfulness; whether through meditation or other practices, practicing mindfulness can help you gain some distance from your thoughts and feelings and make a more reasoned choice to act towards your goals.

2. Environment; setting things up to make taking action easier (e.g. putting you shoes by your bed if you want to go running), or making things harder to do (throwing out all your junk food, not shopping when hungry)

3. Having compassion for yourself. You will never achieve perfect discipline. Realizing that you will screw up, especially in the beginning, and having compassion for yourself when you do (as you might have towards a friend who is struggling) makes it more likely that you will continue to cultivate discipline.

There is a good podcast that covers a lot of this that I think is well worth a listen. Don't let the title of it dissuade you; it is much more than just about depression and procrastination:http://www.myownworstenemy.org/podcast/why-procrastination-m...

2
nxsynonym 6 hours ago 0 replies      
Make it a habit, ignore your emotional responses, and do the hardest things first.

Example: I've been going to the gym for a few years now. I don't have the best consistency for going, since I normally go after work hours. I found that by the time I was done with work I was tired and feeling burnt out from the day, and it was easy to skip going. I started making myself go first thing in the morning by waking up an hour early than normal and so far its working.

3
rkcf 9 hours ago 0 replies      
Discipline is cultivated over time, and for me it is all about consistency. When I want to develop a new habit, I commit to doing it every day. The hardest part is just getting started The amount of time I spend on that task doesn't matter as much as starting the task does. One minute is better than zero. Over time, the time spent increases, and it becomes second nature for me to perform it.

gcheong's comment about environment is also spot on. Make it easier for yourself to stay disciplined. Reduce the amount of willpower/effort that it will take to start a task.

5
texteller 4 hours ago 0 replies      
An interesting animated video on disciple:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cPn3UOt1lxw

6
koolba 5 hours ago 0 replies      
Ask of others what you expect from yourself and be transparent about it. If your not a hypocrite, people will see the sincerity and either rise to the occasion or get out of your way.
7
lhuser123 15 hours ago 0 replies      
Maybe it's like becoming good at anything. A lot of practice, reminders, knowledge, coaching, feedback, patience, etc.
8
quickthrower2 17 hours ago 0 replies      
3 (or so) big concerted attempts. So try fuck up try again etc.

That's what got me in the habit of budgeting/expense tracking and quitting caffeine.

13
Ask HN: Simple Docker Deployment
5 points by lotkowskim  1 day ago   3 comments top 3
1
mjhea0 7 hours ago 0 replies      
Flask + React + Docker on AWS -> http://testdriven.io/part-one-aws-deployment/
2
koolba 1 day ago 0 replies      
If you want the simplest setup check out dokku: https://github.com/dokku/dokku

It's literally a bunch of bash scripts so it's as straightforward as it gets to understand how it works. As a simple deploy target for side projects it works great.

3
codegeek 1 day ago 0 replies      
I have used https://deploybot.com and they are pretty good.
14
Ask HN: Do you use any code review tool/service?
4 points by symbolepro  15 hours ago   2 comments top 2
1
twobyfour 2 hours ago 0 replies      
We do code reviews, but I wouldn't use an automated tool for them. We treat code review as an opportunity for communication, learning, institutional knowledge transfer, and architecture review -- not as a way to enforce code style or catch memory leaks. That's what linters are for.
2
mfluderx 14 hours ago 0 replies      
I use a code review service as I believe that code reviews are important, especially on old legacy code.

I pay for code reviews in the UK from a company called Atlas Computer Systems Ltd https://www.atlascode.com/

They do code reviews for startups to make sure your code is high quality and isn't building technical debt.

15
Ask HN: Why hasn't any company implemented free 1-day shipping?
12 points by pgeorgep  1 day ago   20 comments top 4
1
shanecleveland 1 day ago 1 reply      
Technically, it is not "free two-day shipping" at Amazon. First, you pay $100/yr to get it for most items if you are a Prime member. Otherwise, like many online retailers, you get free shipping (not sure if it's two-day) only if you reach a certain dollar threshold.

So, yes, "it costs too much" is the obvious answer, but it is true. Unless the recipient is in the same "zone" as the shipper, the cost of next-day air shipping is likely still anywhere between $20 and $50 (dependent on many factors), which is heavily discounted from retail rates. That would cut into margins quite a bit.

2
e59d134d 1 day ago 3 replies      
Amazon has free same day shipping for many items with Prime in the US.
3
onion2k 1 day ago 1 reply      
Amazon do free 1 day shipping here in the UK.
4
olegious 20 hours ago 1 reply      
Zappos has had free one day shipping for years now.
16
Ask HN: How much runway did you have when you started your startup?
26 points by HD134606c  2 days ago   16 comments top 11
1
joshontheweb 2 days ago 0 replies      
Infinite. I did contract work part-time while I worked on the business. This was a blessing and a curse. It made sure that I didn't fail due to lack of money but also probably made things take longer than they should have.
2
jboggan 2 days ago 1 reply      
First time: 3 months

Second time: 5 months

I am coming up to the end of my personal runway on this current venture but I raised some money from friends and family and I'm able to pay myself a little bit now! Meanwhile I know people who are sitting on 4,5,6 years of runway and are still just talking about doing it. Whatever it is, if it excites you and you can convince others of that, go do it today!

I'd suggest about 6 months of runway to be safe, but we aren't doing this to be safe are we?

3
muzani 1 day ago 0 replies      
First time: 6 months.

Market validation in 1 month, very strong traction with no marketing. Spent 6 months trying to find investors.

Started borrowing lots of money to keep it afloat. It had good revenue but not a profit (e-commerce profit margins were around 6%). Couldn't get investors despite two accelerators, so we sold off the company after 14 months. But we made a good profit even after paying off debts.

Second time: years(?)

Ended up trying to do too many features. Still "wasn't ready for launch" 9 months in, ended up building features with no market validation. I ended up quitting the company because no progress was being made.

First and second startups were essentially the same, except the second one had a much bigger team, more ambitious.

I'd say keep your runway as short as possible and try to launch something by 3 months.

4
mtmail 8 hours ago 0 replies      
cofounder was struggling paying rent. Not the best start and my advice is to have a honest talk with all cofounders about their finances from the beginning.
5
jamesmishra 1 day ago 0 replies      
About 12 months, but it's easy to spend much faster than you expect.

Although if I were giving advice to someone else doing a startup where it's difficult to get immediate traction (e.g. hard tech, enterprise SaaS, hardware, etc.), I'd remind them of the Jason Lemkin rule that it typically takes 24 months to get anywhere[1].

[1]: https://www.saastr.com/if-youre-going-to-do-a-saas-start-up-...

6
toptalkedbooks 1 day ago 0 replies      
Two weeks ago, i began to collect data and write website (it spent one week), and now i have a little profit.

i am proud of it, but i don't think it is startup, maybe just a side project.

7
timavr 2 days ago 0 replies      
-2 months
8
jwilliams 1 day ago 0 replies      
Twice so far and it was 12-months each.

Btw, that was personal runway - i.e. didn't get paid for that period. Rather than raising 12-months of getting paid.

9
nickfogle 2 days ago 0 replies      
3 months and whatever I could drum up contracting part/time
10
AndrewKemendo 2 days ago 1 reply      
About three months of savings between myself and my co-founder.
11
contingencies 2 days ago 0 replies      
Years.
17
Ask HN: Is long-term use of an unpopular programming language bad?
2 points by jupiter90000  17 hours ago   2 comments top 2
1
BoorishBears 17 hours ago 0 replies      
It's a culture thing.

In your cliche NET 2.x MS-only Windows-Only enterprise setting they won't look down on it, but they might feel you don't have relevant experience.

In many other places people value developers that have non-mainstream development experience because it shows you're willing to explore as a developer and won't shackle yourself to one solution to problems the business faces.

2
dougdescombaz 17 hours ago 0 replies      
There will be a mix of bias and enlightenment. Much like the rest of life. The exact mixture isn't clear.
18
Ask HN: What is your side hustle? How much money does it make you?
22 points by good_vibes  1 day ago   39 comments top 12
1
meric 1 day ago 1 reply      
Trading cryptocurrency - in stock markets charting, Elliot wave don't really work as well (or not easy to use), you're trading against hyper experienced investors. In Bitcoin, ethereum, there is broad participation by less experienced investors and speculators, and there is much more emotions in the chart. It makes technical analysis very easy, because the patterns are obvious, easy to spot, much less likely to be manufactured. The transaction fees are also low allowing small positions. So when I see an opportunity I just put $500. Next thing you know I'm up $200 and I cash it out. One more thing is if I'm ever wrong, cryptocurrency is in a bull market, and the position would always get rescued as long as I am patient. Of course I do have discipline and do cut my losses. Transaction costs is cheap, and opportunities are frequent, so it's easy emotionally to do it. I have a few grand this year which is nice.

I do have a lot of money in stocks and with those I don't do nearly as well but clearly I learned enough to make a quid or two in crypto markets.

2
rasmus1610 1 day ago 2 replies      
I flip stuff on ebay and/or craigslist (or the german equivalent). I want to experiment a little bit with retail arbitrage on amazon fba too.

It is really easy to get started (just sell stuff that you can find in your house and don't need anymore) and I really like this treasure hunt feeling when entering a thrift store or looking for clearance.

made me so far around 300 in less than 30 days and still have inventory left for about 150. and I'm still learning what might sell and what not.

3
ryan21030 1 day ago 1 reply      
I do freelance coding work in my spare time and try and combine it with some open source stuff too as a way of boosting my web presence. I recently made 500 in a month doing work in my spare time, not a huge amount but add on a full time job, it's nice to have the extra income.

Link to my latest project - https://github.com/DrRoach/DynamicImage (It's a dynamic image generation library if you're interested)

4
csixty4 1 day ago 1 reply      
https://statetable.com

~ $30/month from donations covers my Digital Ocean bill for the month.

I'm also trying to get some sales & affiliate revenue going with athletic wear designs on Zazzle. Starting with a niche to get rolling then probably expanding to more general designs. The biggest problem I've hit so far is their fulfillment times & prices.

5
nitramm 1 day ago 2 replies      
My experience is that hardest part is marketing.

Yesterday I have launched https://submit-sitemap.com and I have shared link to it on various platforms. How much traffic I got:

- reddit - side project - 4

- hacker news - 11 (+2 from different aggregators)

- I have added link into 2 communities on Google+ with around 200k people - 3

- producthunt - 3

- Facebook where I have shared it in group with 5k people - 5

- StumbleUpon - 1

And I think that I can subtract 1 from these numbers since I have clicked on them myself to test if those links works. :)

6
angryasian 1 day ago 1 reply      
NL holdem live only. This month I'm at about +$80 an hour.
7
Artlav 1 day ago 0 replies      
Making various things, explaining various misconceptions, playing with blockchains.

Makes me zero money and some knowledge.

8
cdiamand 1 day ago 0 replies      
https://oppslist.com/subscribe

Started charging this month.

~ $40 / mo

9
le-mark 1 day ago 0 replies      
A rental property, earns about $400 a month in principal paid down.
10
richardknop 1 day ago 0 replies      
Trading forex CFDs (contract for difference), gold, oil, grain futures.
11
SirLJ 1 day ago 1 reply      
algo trading and I am pretty happy with the profits...
12
bradknowles 1 day ago 3 replies      
I'm curious as to why you call it a "side hustle"?

Is the term "hustle" not extremely negative to you?

Merriam-Webster defines "hustle" as to push or shove someone in a rude way.

Urban Dictionary says "Anythin you need to do to make money... be it sellin cars, drugs, ya body. If you makin money, you hustlin."

Obviously, you don't seem to think that the word "hustle" has negative connotations, so I'm wondering how you came to that view?

19
Alternatives to Tableau?
14 points by mynameismonkey  1 day ago   25 comments top 13
1
Habesha 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Give Microsoft Power BI a shot. It has a free desktop tool to explore your data quickly, author reports,visualizations and Models and publish them to powerBI service. But you can also leverage Power BI embedded or Power BI as a service to share your reports. an on-premises version is also introduced recently. Research the licensing carefully. https://powerbi.microsoft.com/en-us/pricing/

There is a free course on edx Analyzing and Visualizing Data with Power BI https://www.edx.org/course/analyzing-visualizing-data-power-...

https://powerbi.microsoft.com/en-us/

2
scapecast 16 hours ago 0 replies      
so I hear a few things from you, also based on your comments in the thread so far. You're using Redshift as your DW, and you want to:

- find a (cheap) alternative to Tableau for data viz

- allow basic self-service analytics for your team

- embed charts into applications

- provide a professional growth platform for data engineers

It sounds a bit like you're trying to build what the folks at Clearbit covered in a blog post:

http://blog.clearbit.com/enterprise-grade-analytics-for-star...

Some suggestions (a few of these tools have been mentioned already):

Data viz:

- Metabase

- AirBnB's Superset http://airbnb.io/projects/superset/

those two are open source products; not that the PM on superset used to work at Tableau... just sayin'...

for data viz & embedding charts:

- Mode Analytics

- Looker

- Periscope Data

- grow.com

- reflect.io (highly recommended, built just for that purpose, but I think they want $60K / year too...)

shoot me a note at lars at intermix dot io - we have a spreadsheet with all the data viz tools out there, a list of some 40+ tools....

3
nagarajs 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Using Power BI you can offer BI with rich visualization, mobile enabled with ability to connecf to multiple data sources, enrich your data with 3rd party data, provide row level security and publish the same on pbi.com. Cost USD9.99 per user. We can do embeded analytics, on prem bi, integrate powerbi to your SSRS comes available with ylu sqlserver EA. Need help reach out to us nagarajs@orioninc.com phone 7324220084. Orion systems integrators microsoft Gold Application Development, silver cloud platform, silver data analytics
4
rawrmaan 1 day ago 2 replies      
Not sure if this is what you're looking for, but I've been loving Metabase, and it's free! http://www.metabase.com
5
officefapper 1 hour ago 0 replies      
I'm a fan of Kibana
6
huy 18 hours ago 0 replies      
You can try us out.

https://www.holistics.io

Some benefits:

- Designed with the analysts who's comfortable with SQL in mind, thus extremely flexible.

- Extra visualizations catered for product/marketing analytics: Conversion Funnel, Cohort Retention

- We have in-built ETL that helps analysts load data from Excel, CSV, Google Sheets to your reporting DB without bugging engineers

7
phonon 1 day ago 1 reply      
8
olympus 1 day ago 1 reply      
I'd recommend RStudio. They have a server edition and R is extremely powerful for data crunching. The two downsides are that you'll have to re-code all your dashboards/reports, and R isn't as user friendly as Tableau. This will kill your productivity when switching, unless your analysts are already proficient in R.

https://www.rstudio.com

9
nomel 1 day ago 0 replies      
There's

https://spotfire.tibco.com

They have different licensing prices for the different types of users. For example, the web consumers, that use the templates created by others, are much cheaper than the the full analytics license. Scripting in IronPython, custom visualizations in d3.js and .net extensions. Custom data sources in .net.

10
eyeball 23 hours ago 0 replies      
My company uses qlikview.

http://www.qlik.com/us/

Not privy to prices but I would be surprised if it's less expensive than tableau.

11
kpatrick 1 day ago 0 replies      
SAP Analytics Cloud (which I work on), combines BI, Planning and Predictive.
12
aceregen 18 hours ago 1 reply      
How did that happen? Wasn't their pricing for viewer accounts from their website at $35/viewer/mth?
13
thorin 1 day ago 1 reply      
Depends what you are looking for exactly and what skillset you have. When I was using it jasper reports now owned by tibco had free options.
20
Ask HN: How to stop competitiveness within the Dev world?
12 points by bsvalley  2 days ago   10 comments top 8
1
chuck32 1 day ago 0 replies      
Perhaps because the reality of being a developer is that its a pretty boring job most of the time. Once you have worked at a few different companies on a few varying projects with a few different technologies you realise that 90% of the time you are building CRUD applications. Also working on other people's code which is significantly worse than your own can be frustrating.

So for me having a competitive element to what i consider a fairly boring job definitely makes it much less boring. As for rudeness and arrogance I try not to be those things but if somebody else is i just ignore it. Simple as.

Developers who are not team players do not make it far in my experience.

2
muzani 1 day ago 0 replies      
It's not really due to competitiveness. Some people want the other party to be better.

It's sort of like religion. My IDE is better than yours, my tech stack is better, and you're just ignorant for not being enlightened.

I don't think there is a solution to the arrogance. One of the root causes is that everyone thinks they're hackers who found a better solution. The other cause is that they've invested a lot into what they learned, so they don't like it when better tools obsolete that.

3
le-mark 1 day ago 1 reply      
I get what you saying, this is really a problem for this field. When I started college in 1990, I had spent a lot of time programming and playing around with a commodore 64. Computer science was the 'easy' option for me, so that's what I did. After a semester of observing the types of arrogant people I had classes with, I decided, I don't want to work with people like this for the rest of my life. So I changed my major to another science and graduated. The problem was, there were very few jobs in that field, so I took a job doing something else. I spent years coding on the side, and finally got a programming job, and then a BS in CS.

I've often reflected on where this arrogance comes from. My personal theory is that a lot of people, when they show an ability to work with computers, get a lot of positive attention from those around them because most people don't have the patience or inclination to understand machines so well. I think for some this leads them down the path of really building their identity around what they can do. And when you deeply identify with something like that, it becomes very personal.

This isn't true of everyone, you can have passion without being arrogant, but it is quite common I believe.

Another factor is probably the perceived competition for jobs and promotions. Many think that to reach the next level, or get the six figure salary, they have to out compete others. And this is true, to a point, as the technical coding interview shows.

Edit; something related is the 'tribalism' around languages and frameworks, frontend vs backend, os's etc. When you're just starting out, it's easy to become invested in whatever technology you learned first. You'll write a lot of code and become really accustomed to the tools, libraries, building and deploying. It's only when people branch out and spend a lot of time with other languages and frameworks do they start to see the commonality between them. There's been a lot of convergent evolution over recent years imo. I find that people who understand the basics (http request/response for example) are much more adept at debugging, trouble shooting, and jumping between languages and frameworks.

4
whatsmypwagain 1 day ago 1 reply      
I've been a dev at 5 companies in 15 years. I've never heard any praise for any developers' contributions after they've left the company. But you'll ALWAYS hear denigrations like "he wasn't very good which is why X is so shitty." And it's ALWAYS the person who is most plentiful with praise at group meetings.

"I think we should focus on the positives." - says guy who talks the most shit.

5
throwmeplease 1 day ago 0 replies      
Diversity, culture differences. It has benefits but it also comes with a few challenges. I work in the Bay Area and here people are coming from all over the world. We ultimately see different cultures and styles interacting with each other. Some people come from places where you have to be extremely competitive in order to get the basic things such as education and a job. Especially when you have a billion people in your own country and everyone is trying to work in CS. Or, if your parents are trying to make you the number one. Telling you that being number two is not an option for you.
6
PaulHoule 1 day ago 0 replies      
One thing I see is a kind of bigotry.

For instance, there are some people who only use Microsoft tools since they have an MSDN subscription.

There are other people who run Linux and use only open source tools.

Frequently people in those community think the other one "sucks", even though they both get their jobs done.

7
slededit 21 hours ago 0 replies      
I think this is a false dichotomy. You can be competitive without being arrogant or rude. Competitiveness isn't the problem, it can even be fun when used right.
8
meric 1 day ago 0 replies      
I think it can happen when a person identifies themselves with their ability to program. Emotionally then they won't be able to approve their colleagues (even if their mouths move that way), because it'd undermine their own confidence in their own existence. Many of us who program here think "I'm a programmer." And I think that's where the trouble starts.
21
Ask HN: If you were better at programming, what program would you write?
32 points by acidus  2 days ago   31 comments top 19
1
neilsimp1 2 days ago 1 reply      
It's rarely me not being good enough that's the problem. If I had more time, that would allow me to write the programs I'd want to write.
2
mattbgates 7 hours ago 0 replies      
It's not the type of programming I'd write, but what I'd write it in... I develop web apps.. which are mobile friendly, but I've yet to really have any desire to break into the iOS and Android app market.
3
rajeshp1986 20 hours ago 0 replies      
I doubt any engineer considers himself not good enough to write any app/program and is sitting without building it. I feel many people have the ability to dive and explore and build things once they get a problem to solve. many of us don't realize the problems itself because they are busy working on something else. Also, you only realize the problems when you are actively involved into it. As an example, I have no idea if there is big problem that could be solved in say Finance industry. Identifying problem is a big hurdle. Also, many engineers are sitting in echo chamber where they don't get to know about relevant problems which they can solve.
4
twoquestions 2 days ago 0 replies      
As neilsimp1 mentioned, it's not about not being good enough, as that's fixable with sufficient time.

To answer your question, I'd write a fantasy economic sim game like a sequel to Patrician III or something, except with wizards and weird races and stuff. A big bit of the game would be negotiating with customers for custom goods and services.

Exactly how much money would it cost to for a casting of Bull's Strength before a mercenary engagement? What are the obligations a wizard has in the event their town gets attacked? When is the Teleport spell economically viable vs just taking a boat? How do you negotiate with beings very alien to you?

Classic pet project that I've wanted to do for years, just never had the time/concentration to do it.

5
mhh__ 1 day ago 0 replies      
If I had an infinite amount of time, I would write a much higher level equivalent of LLVM. Specifically, I would spend time investigating ways to easily generate code generators from specifications. I'm also very interested to see how things like theorem provers can be used inside compilers.

If I could be bothered, I would write a really detailed political simulator a la Democracy but with much more detail and elections.

6
muzani 1 day ago 1 reply      
Some kind of procedurally generated fantasy world, designed around generating stories.
7
natch 1 day ago 0 replies      
I'd find which top python modules have not been ported to python 3 and port them to python 3, working in descending order of popularity. Anything to end version hell with python modules and their related installation, dependencies, documentation, examples, and tutorials.

Sure, it may be possible to get things working smoothly today, but that doesn't mean that all the areas I mentioned (documentation, etc.) have caught up. The primary reason they don't catch up is the straggler libraries keep many teams in a past era.

8
jamesmishra 1 day ago 1 reply      
If I was really really good, I'd advance the state-of-the-art in neural network-based machine translation, recurrent neural network language models, neural Turing machines, etc.

Right now, the state-of-the-art is exciting but falls short in some world-changing areas like question-answering. As much as I want to, though, I have no idea how to push the field forward, however.

For the other things I want to do, I am probably sufficiently skilled to do, but I just need the time and motivation.

9
quickthrower2 2 days ago 1 reply      
A Bitcoin trading bot that makes me a tonne of money
10
shakna 2 days ago 0 replies      
The "hard" programs I've come up with over the years very rarely have anything to do with programming skill.

A content-first web browser (think Reader-Mode for every page), depends on: a) Learning the differences between the HTTP|HTML|CSS|JS specs, and what browsers actually implement, and b) heuristically lifting out the content.

b) is a programming problem, not easy to solve well, but there's been a lot of work in that area to lean on.

a) is a documentation/people problem. Not my area of expertise, but definitely the harder problem of the two.

11
andreasgonewild 2 days ago 1 reply      
This: https://github.com/andreas-gone-wild/snackis

But then I grew tired of waiting and just did it already :)

12
mars4rp 1 day ago 0 replies      
I would create a DB engine that runs on FPGA, it will translate SQL store procedures to HDL and run the query on FPGA. It might be stupid, but I am not a better programmer to know!
13
prodboard 1 day ago 0 replies      
I would write an app which offers the best places to visit in any city or town according to my preferences and likes&dislikes indicated.
14
acidus 2 days ago 0 replies      
15
bobosha 2 days ago 1 reply      
A daemon app that saves my slack messages to gmail or even local text files, so I can find older messages. I know this is not difficult, but wish I had some bandwidth to work on this...
16
Artlav 1 day ago 0 replies      
The same, only i would have finished some of them.
17
soulchild37 1 day ago 0 replies      
Probably not write but if I have more knowledge on computer/programming I would want to understand source code of Linux/Rails.
18
SKYRHO_ 2 days ago 0 replies      
If(I){were better at programming I would write a program that would teach me how to program better}
19
sova 1 day ago 1 reply      
Distributed blockchain democracy
22
Ask HN: Rust topics you wish someone had explained when first getting started?
13 points by Toidiu  1 day ago   8 comments top 3
1
_jordan 1 day ago 3 replies      
I wish someone would have explained how to approach learning Rust; It's a really hard language to grasp - when struggling, I think it's important to really understand why whatever you're doing is hard - to learn where your misunderstanding and errors are fundamentally. This is non technical but might be worth mentioning.
2
dumindunuwan 1 day ago 1 reply      
This is my approach,https://medium.com/learning-rust

The ORDER of we are learning Rust

It's less useful to explain about language capabilities by examples or explain about lifetimes before structs, enums

Installation & Hello World Cargo & Crates Variable bindings , Constants & Statics Comments Functions Primitive Data Types Operators Control Flows

Vectors Structs Enums Generics Impls & Traits

Ownership Borrowing Lifetimes & Lifetime Elision

Modules Crates Workspaces Error Handling

Functional programming in Rust

3
neuronsguy 22 hours ago 1 reply      
Some things to avoid early on so you can get a working app out quickly:

1. Don't build OO abstractions, just use structs as data and operate on it with free functions.

2. Don't be afraid of long argument lists with lots of references, where the last one is possibly mutable, C-style

3. If something needs e.g. 2 different structs as inputs and mutates a third one, make it a free function, don't impl it on any of the structs.

4. Don't overdo it trying to use the functional idioms for options and results like and_then or_else etc. Just use match and eventually it will be obvious where those fit.

5. Don't worry too much about error handling, just use expect and explicit panics

6. Don't implement your own data structures, compose the std lib ones

7. Get good at using match and enums to represent state and transitions

Once you've got some more experience and you want to try to write more elegant code, you will run into ownership issues.

1. Use guard types. Basically a struct that owns a pointer into some larger data. Write a lot of these with useful utilities for manipulating that data

2. Use guard types for mutating data as well. I tend to have a type which is a big bag of data (often carefully laid out in memory for performance), and then separate types whose only purpose is to contain references to e.g. 2 or 3 different pieces of data that need to be simultaneously used. That type allows you to do whatever that operation is. This saves a lot of borrow checker fighting.

3. Think in a data centric way. What data do you need? What operations need to be performed? Then design your ownership hierarchy such that that can happen.

Finally you will run into frustration structuring large projects.

1. Use cargo workspaces. Isolate self contained chunks of functionality into crates.

2. Implement stdlib traits like Iterator, From, Into

3. You can use associated types to do statically checked dependency injection. In combination with default trait implementations it's a decent way.

4. Use free functions liberally inside modules, but export mostly traits, data structs, and operation structs.

5. Use rustdoc comments in your code and refer to them.

A lot of the above is opinion and might not work for everyone. I submit that it's "a path" of many for getting productive quickly and then scaling up to writing larger systems.

(Crosspost of a comment I made on Reddit: https://www.reddit.com/r/rust/comments/6rxw21/comment/dlb048...)

23
Ask HN: Anyone know how to get a tour of Tesla?
14 points by inovica  1 day ago   5 comments top
1
tpae 1 day ago 2 replies      
Hey there. You have to know an employee to get a tour. Shoot me an email: tpae@tesla.com and I'll see if I can set you up.

Sometimes they don't have enough slots available, so there's a chance we might not get it. I'll give it a shot for you.

24
Ask HN: Help me with the dilution math?
5 points by HD134606c  1 day ago   3 comments top 3
1
warrenm 1 day ago 0 replies      
TechCrunch had an article about this a month ago: https://techcrunch.com/2017/07/08/why-safe-notes-are-not-saf... (interestingly - an investment note created by Y Combinator in 2013 (https://www.ycombinator.com/documents)).

>"We have observed the following in our own recent direct experience investing in SAFE and convertible notes: that many founders have a tendency to associate the valuation cap on a note with the future floor for an equity round; that they further assume that any note discount implies the minimum premium for the next equity round; and that many founders dont do the basic dilution math associated with what happens to their personal ownership stakes when these notes actually convert into equity. By kicking the valuation can down the road, often multiple times, a hangover effect develops: Entrepreneurs who dont do the capitalization table math end up owning less of their companys equity than they thought they did. And when an equity round is inevitably priced, entrepreneurs dont like the founder dilution numbers at all. But they cant blame the VC, they cant blame the angels, so that means they can only blame oops!"

2
quickthrower2 9 hours ago 0 replies      
I'd love it if someone can eli5 this outlined scenario. It does sound fascinating. I've tried googling about SAFEs but still a bit confused.
25
Ask HN: Which Chromebook to buy for parents?
2 points by sigmaml  1 day ago   6 comments top 4
1
mattbgates 7 hours ago 0 replies      
Originally my mom had the 11" but it was way too small for her eyes and has since upgraded to the HP 14" which is far better. While I encouraged her to get it to reduce her risk of spam and viruses.. she still manages to get a "toolbar virus" or "extension virus" every once in a while.

I believe she had her Chromebook for 4 or 5 years before it just died... and she ended up buying another one. Can't really complain.. 4-5 years for a laptop that is used everyday is pretty good. I tend tog o through 1 every 2-3 years. But love it for its speed.

2
simantel 1 day ago 0 replies      
I always truest The Wirecutter for these kinds of things. They recommend [0] the ASUS Chromebook Flip C302CA: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01N5G5PG2

[0] http://thewirecutter.com/reviews/best-chromebook/

3
pravula 1 day ago 0 replies      
Acer's chromebooks are excellent. Choose IPS.

https://www.acer.com/ac/en/US/content/models/laptops/acerchr...

4
paulcole 21 hours ago 2 replies      
Any particular reason you've ruled out an iPad Pro?
26
Ask HN: What are your favorite entrepreneurship resources
11 points by brianbreslin  2 days ago   8 comments top 7
1
cdiamand 1 day ago 1 reply      
I'm actually thinking about tailoring https://oppslist.com for students.

It's the kind of thing I wish I had when I was in school, and I wonder if your students might find it helpful.

I'll shoot you an email!

2
westurner 1 day ago 0 replies      
I put these notes together:

Entrepreneurship:https://wrdrd.github.io/docs/consulting/entrepreneurship

- #plan-for-failure

- #plan-for-success

Investing > Capitalization Table:https://wrdrd.github.io/docs/consulting/investing#capitaliza...

- I'll add something about Initial Coin Offerings (which are now legal in at least Delaware).

3
itamarst 1 day ago 0 replies      
http://stackingthebricks.com - guides people away from "I HAD AN IDEA WOO I WILL BE RICH" and towards "research an audience to figure out their problems."
4
westurner 1 day ago 0 replies      
AngelList ( https://angel.co for VC jobs and funding )asks "What's the most useful business-related book you've ever read?" ...Getting Things Done (David Allen), 43Folders = 12 months + 31 days (Merlin Mann), The Art of the Start (Guy Kawasaki), The Personal MBA (Josh Kaufman)

Lever ( https://www.lever.co ) makes recruiting and hiring (some parts of HR) really easy.

LinkedIn ( https://www.linkedin.com ) also has a large selection of qualified talent:https://smallbusiness.linkedin.com/hiring

... How much can you tell about a candidate from what they decide to write on themselves on the internet?

5
westurner 1 day ago 0 replies      
USA Small Business Administration: "10 steps to start your business."https://www.sba.gov/starting-business/how-start-business/10-...

"Startup Incorporation Checklist: How to bootstrap a Delaware C-corp (or S-corp) with employee(s) in California"https://github.com/leonar15/startup-checklist

6
westurner 1 day ago 0 replies      
Jupyter Notebook (was: IPython Notebook) notebooks are diff'able and executable. Spreadsheets can be hard to review.https://github.com/jupyter/notebook

It's now installable with one conda command:``conda install -y notebook pandas qgrid``

7
westurner 1 day ago 0 replies      
FounderKit has reviews for Products, Services, and Software for founders:

https://founderkit.com

27
Ask HN: What industry/dept. is easiest to sell to?
9 points by newusertoday  2 days ago   5 comments top 5
1
slackoverflower 5 hours ago 0 replies      
We started our sales automation SaaS product a couple years ago when the market was relatively young. Today it is super saturated. Would not advise people to get into this market, we just got super lucky and got big.
2
jwilliams 1 day ago 0 replies      
Marketing has a large discretionary budget in many organizations - usually the largest (discretionary) in many organizations. So that makes it a good target.

Sales will throw money at anything with a clear ROI. If you can reliably say it'll make salespeople 1% more effective, then that's an easy decision. If you look at Chorus.ai / Gong.io / VoiceOps - these are new sales tools that have really burst into the market.

That said, as a result of this, there is a lot of tech in both of those domains. Your customers will have a lot of tech and be bombarded with a lot of options. Is is very noisy and confusing. So it gets harder to get above that noise and stand out. Particularly in the early days.

So even in those cases, I think starting out in a niche can make sense (A niche of startups can be a good one for a bunch of reasons). Simplifies your approach to the market.

3
jamesmishra 1 day ago 0 replies      
The easier a market is to sell to, the more crowded the market will become -- barring other factors that restrict the number of players in the market (e.g. the cost of building factories, regulations, etc).

Marketing budgets are huge, but the barrier to entry for creating another SaaS marketing tool is low.

If you yourself are looking to start a company, the easiest thing to do is figure out what advantages you have that other companies don't have.

If you have a proprietary advantage in a crowded market, then don't worry about the competition and focus on telling your story to your customers.

But I would avoid entering markets that have low barriers to entry and where you don't have a proprietary advantage, simply because you want to avoid markets with high barriers to entry.

4
jackgolding 1 day ago 0 replies      
I agree, marketing and startups - so many startups made selling to startups (see https://techcrunch.com/2016/02/11/startups-selling-to-other-...)
5
itamarst 1 day ago 0 replies      
The one you know best.
28
Ask HN: Employment contract falls short of offer letter terms
7 points by password03  2 days ago   14 comments top 9
1
codegeek 2 days ago 0 replies      
"my gut is starting to feel like it's telling me something"

Listen to your gut. If you see red flags, most likely there are tons. Either they are giving you a written contract/offer with the terms agreed verbally or they are not. There is no middle ground. There is no confusion. Be very clear about that.

About notice period, I cannot add anything being an American because we are used to "at will" employment where a 4 week notice is actually considered long. But good luck with that.

2
Spoom 2 days ago 1 reply      
Two guesses:

1. One part of the company isn't talking to the other. One person wrote the offer letter and another wrote the contract, or the contract is "standard" and hasn't been updated for your particular case.

2. The company is intentionally trying to get you to accept less now with vague, nonbinding promises to make up the difference later.

I would guess that the first is probably more accurate. Keep pushing to get the offer letter terms into your contract. You'll find out soon enough if they refuse.

This lack of communication might be a red flag on its own, of course.

3
CalChris 2 days ago 0 replies      
4 years with a cliff is very standard (at least here in SV). 3 years seems like a recruiter mistake.
4
lsiebert 1 day ago 0 replies      
You are a professional. You want to work for professionals that have their shite together.
5
switch007 2 days ago 0 replies      
Listen to your gut. It's not very common (in my experience/circles) to take employment contracts seriously, and that gets abused. ("Oh yeah it says that but we won't act on it...")

IMHO the prevailing attitude in the UK is that the contract is a mere formality.

> My notice period, shall I want to leave is static at 3 months. I don't like this.

That is quite rare in my experience. I wouldn't be happy with that, personally.

P.S. I'm slightly biased in that I find overall contracts quite egregious these days (maybe on a global scale we in the UK used to have it good?): assigning of all IP past/present to employer, no other paid employment at all without their permission, submitting to their medical examinations/sharing of medical data, 10s of legalise terms that make it easy to fire you, e.g. to the effect of "you will give all your exclusive attention to the company", "never speak ill of the company"...

6
jenscow 2 days ago 0 replies      
The fact that you feel the need to ask "is this a red flag?" on HN is the red flag.

I was on a 1 month notice, and they let me go after 6 months for "performance" reasons. No mention of any performance issues in my 2 reviews prior, during my 3 month probation period. It was just after I completed the project I started on so I was just a cheap contractor (in hindsight, there where other signals).

To me, a 1 month notice shows their intentions and if they want you for the long term then they shouldn't be worried about how easily they can get rid of you.

By the way, in the UK they don't need to give a specific reason to fire you in the 1st 2 years, as long as they pay your notice and holidays.

All their other promises aren't worth the paper they're written on, and the fact the contract explicitly retracts any other promise enforces this.

7
teddyuk 1 day ago 0 replies      
I have never accepted having a 3 month notice period, would never have 3 months of theirs is 1 month. I was asked to have a 3 months period once and asked them to change it to 1 month and they did without any problems.

It sounds like they want their cake and to eat it, which in itself is a big red flag I would stay well clear

8
richardknop 2 days ago 1 reply      
That seems quite dodgy and definitely a red flag. 3 months notice period is quite rare. You should push for more standard 1 month.
9
JSeymourATL 2 days ago 0 replies      
> they seem to be fobbing me off, telling me that the offer letter is binding...

Reply: Wonderful, then it shouldn't be too much trouble updating the contract accordingly. Surely Mr. Employer, you would want to make sure all the corresponding details are correct with the intended offer.

29
Ask HN: Have you ever taken (or not) a job mainly due to the company's mission?
36 points by raybb  1 day ago   43 comments top 26
1
bandrami 1 day ago 1 reply      
Sure, several times. I've mostly done ops for the nonprofit sector so it's a little easier (I'm in avtech right now for rea$on$, but most of my career has been nonprofit).

Now, I live in DC so this is a lot easier for me than for people who live in other cities. But K Street and Old Town are chock full of Societies for the Advancement of Whatever, who always need technical work done, and there's rarely a problem finding a "Whatever" that you believe in (or just think is cool).

A few thoughts on this:

1. The "cool" factor should not be underestimated. One of my favorite jobs was sysadmining at Mount Vernon; it's not that I particularly believe in George Washington, but that is a mission that is undeniably "cool".

2. You will not make remotely as much money as you will in the for-profit sector (see above), but you'll have a much better quality of life. I spent years as a sysadmin without a pager, because they really don't care if the server goes down overnight. You will also (in my experience) have a much freer hand with what you do than you do in a tech company. If their brief is lobbying for human rights, they neither know nor care what stack you use to implement their intranet.

3. Org work has a very specific annual rhythm that you need to understand to work with. Every year there's a conference, a publication of some sort, and a membership drive; each of those is an "all-hands-on-deck" situation that lasts about a fiscal quarter (and you probably will be stuffing envelopes and manning a booth and checking people in). That leaves you one quarter per year for infrastructure work. Use it wisely.

2
snowAbstraction 1 day ago 0 replies      
I almost signed at a software company working with interesting maintenance optimization for big machines, like trains or helicopters. Up until the final meeting with the CEO, I was promised that I could stay out of the military applications. But the CEO luckily told me that actually I could not be avoid those applications. So I politely said that I would being declining the offer and that I was disappointed that lower staffs and bosses mislead me.
3
rnprince 1 day ago 0 replies      
I once joined a successful, for-profit, private company, because I liked its mission, despite being offered lower compensation and benefits than I could have accepted elsewhere. This was very naive of me, and didn't turn out how I had hoped at all.

It turned out that the mission was more of a very well executed recruiting and sales strategy than what I felt every day at the organization. Looking back, the recruiting effort talked about their culture and values so much that I should have known they were very insecure about something. The lower compensation wasn't required by the company's financials from what I could tell, nor was it made up for by especially meaningful work. Unsurprisingly, the organizational flaws of not valuing employees and cutting corners also showed up in other ways, most painfully in the form of amazingly bad code and hostile managers. The job was unbearable for me, as well as for many others.

I think the takeaway is that honest, successful companies should be willing to fairly compensate their employees. If a company can do that but doesn't, you should reconsider working there.

4
itamarst 1 day ago 0 replies      
Yes.

1. I want to be working on helping scientists, and this influenced current job search. Beyond personal satisfaction, this also has practical benefits: all things being equal, if you're motivated by the company's mission you'll be more focused (more at https://codewithoutrules.com/2017/08/03/stay-focused/).

2. There are jobs I simply won't take, because I think they're immoral or unethical. Other jobs I'd probably only take if I was desperate for money, since they seem pointless. (more at https://codewithoutrules.com/2017/08/07/do-something-useful/).

That being said:

* If you're bored, you will enjoy your job less.

* If you're working crazy long hours, you're actively undermining your ability to do your job. Doesn't matter how important it is, working longer won't actually help. (more at https://codewithoutrules.com/2016/08/18/productive-programme...)

So basically, my take is: finding someplace that you think is worthwhile and is a good work environment. Any, of course, pays you what you need. Living below your means can give you more flexibility in what jobs you need to take.

5
MollyR 1 day ago 2 replies      
Yea, I tend to avoid companies that pretend to be about something other than making money.

Its mainly for practical reasons, they tend to pay less.

6
nasalgoat 23 hours ago 0 replies      
In a healthy job market, it's fairly easy to go beyond just salary and duties and decide based on more esoteric reasons whether to join a company or not.

I once turned down a job that paid more than another one because they wanted me to wear a tie.

7
ful09003 20 hours ago 0 replies      
Leaving my current employer and joining my next solely due to mission (plus a bit of culture). $current employer was recently acquired by a large multi-national "health/beauty eCommerce company" with an end goal to have complete domination in that sector. $next employer is focused on delivering a quality service to a specific audience (plus give back to that audience as much as possible). While it's asinine to assume that $next has no interest in expanding profit, the difference in mission and culture spawned from those missions is night and day to me. I've come to realize that if I am personally unable to reconcile a company's mission with my own interests and beliefs, I will eventually be unhappy regardless of the benefits they provide.
8
goodroot 1 day ago 1 reply      
I have passed on many opportunities. Without a lucid mission and vision, what is the company doing? If my heart isn't in full alignment with the organization, why am I committing a large chunk of my waking life to furthering their goals? Our dance on this earth is too short to commit your health, talent, and wisdom to something you don't believe in.

Can you share the circumstance that you're mulling over? Good paycheque, ambiguous plan?

9
Caveman_Coder 1 day ago 0 replies      
Yes. If the company has too much corporate bullshit marketing talk.

Also, I've found that the more a company talks about how great their "culture" is, the shitty it is in actual practice.

10
here_comes_pork 1 day ago 0 replies      
I don't work for fossil fuel companies, or companies that do heavy business with them. Along the same lines I would love to find a job with a company in the green energy/sustainability business. Problem is that there don't seem to be a ton of options for the kind of coding I do...
11
paulgb 1 day ago 0 replies      
Yes. The one that comes to mind most prominently is Palantir.

Dodged a bullet there, considering that those options would probably be underwater.

12
rleigh 23 hours ago 0 replies      
Absolutely. My current position was carefully chosen (academic open source software development) for this reason. I did interview with some other companies, including ARM and Google. I could have definitely taken their offer and worked for ARM on Aarch64 toolchain stuff, which was also all open source software work. I would not have taken up a position with Google; its goals are not aligned with my own, no matter how much they might have paid.
13
vandahm 1 day ago 0 replies      
I worked as a software developer at a nonprofit for four years, mostly because of the organization's mission. It didn't pay nearly as well as the for-profit sector, but the job had quality-of-life advantages that mostly offset that.

The nonprofit sector has its share of frustrations. Nonprofits are subject to auditing requirements that restrict them from doing things that we take for granted in the for-profit sector, and fundraising campaigns were always really stressful. But, by and large, it was four years of productive, meaningful, good-quality work.

14
jamesmishra 23 hours ago 0 replies      
Yes! When I was interviewing at Uber in 2014, I wasn't truly interested until my interviewer mentioned that Uber reduces the drunk driving rate after it launches in a city[1].

(Later on, other studies[2] have cast doubt on the earlier findings, but from a mission perspective, I found that the employees really care about the drunk driving problem, and are proud to work on a product that can reduce the rate of drunk driving.)

[1]: https://www.uber.com/blog/chicago/dui-rates-decline-in-uber-...

[2]: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/04/07/business/uber-drunk-drivi...

15
mattnewport 1 day ago 1 reply      
It usually doesn't get that far - I've turned down interviews at companies I wouldn't work for because of their mission (an Apple recruiter for example who contacted me through a referral from a former colleague). If I'm that opposed to a company's mission or business practices that I'd turn down a job offer I'm probably not even going to waste my time interviewing.
16
hprotagonist 1 day ago 0 replies      
You know the scene near the end of "Real Genius", when the team realizes they've been duped and Chris screams "Kent, how could you build that mirror?!"?

I ask myself that question before taking a job, so that nobody else will be able to.

17
Raphmedia 1 day ago 1 reply      
No but I have left a company due to the lack of vision and mission.
18
doktrin 1 day ago 0 replies      
Yes, most notably to work on a microfinance platform. I believed in the social mission and the model's viability.

As for the inverse, I've avoided many large tech companies because I felt they broadly lacked a mission.

I don't regret following my proverbial heart from time to time, but I do actually regret not trying out one of the tech giants while I was still in the US - some domains and problem spaces are hard to work on elsewhere, Greater Mission (tm) or no.

19
xemdetia 1 day ago 0 replies      
Yes, if you don't believe in the mission or at least think it is a good idea you aren't going to do well there as some place where you do. It's a lot easier to do that much more even in a 9-5 role when you don't have to spend effort trying to make sense of what is going on. It's the same as on the other side of the hiring equation saying someone is a 'bad fit' for the work you had planned for them.
20
bradhe 23 hours ago 1 reply      
I left a job due to it's mission. I worked for a (very, very large) adtech exchange. Their motto was "we keep the internet free." I couldn't reconcile the fact that 80% of engineers used ad blocker while working on the technology it fought against.
21
megamindbrian 1 day ago 0 replies      
I avoid feeling like a middle man. I want to provide services to people. I turn down stupid startup ideas every day.
22
smoe 1 day ago 0 replies      
I have quit a job mostly because of the unofficial but clearly visible mission change.

So far I haven't taken a job because of a specific mission (I'm happy as long there actually is one beyond a sales pitch), but denied or ignored offers from companies where I would have moral problems with what their doing.

23
SAI_Peregrinus 1 day ago 1 reply      
I've done (and will continue to do) volunteer work on the side. That's often a part-time job (20 hrs/wk) taken entirely due to the mission of the organization.
24
bsvalley 1 day ago 0 replies      
Nope. It's like VC's... They always bet on a team rather than an idea. With great people, you usually do great things.
25
atwong 1 day ago 0 replies      
Maybe not 100% but it did influence the decision on working for an open source company.
26
ahmadi123 1 day ago 1 reply      
30
TechCrunch stores user passwords in plain text
15 points by codingninja  1 day ago   6 comments top 3
1
tedmiston 19 hours ago 0 replies      
More accurate / precise headline: TechCrunch Startup Battlefield Australia site stores user passwords in plaintext

At the bottom it says "Powered by Trackiva" which looks to be a splash page service.

> Trackiva is the platform that powers the famous TechCrunch Battlefield application selection process.

So really it sounds like this splash page service, which looks to be relatively unknown in Google is insecure, making (at least) some of the OWASP Top 10 vulnerabilities.

Apparently the app is made by this company Fardini Media (https://www.fardinimedia.com/). Hopefully they'll find this thread from a Google Alert or something and fix it.

2
CM30 1 day ago 1 reply      
Damn, that seems pretty bad. That said, could this be a problem with the Startup Battlefield mini site or do you think it's common practice across TechCrunch as a whole?

Part of me cynically thinks the latter, but another part of me thinks a lazy developer could have taken shortcuts with what they saw as a less important part of the site. Either way, it's bad news and I hope they address it soon.

3
mtmail 21 hours ago 0 replies      
This website hasn't been updated in a while. http://plaintextoffenders.com/ Scary how many websites still do that.

A website I would've never expected it was https://www.pm.org/, a community website for Perl developers run by ... well Perl developers. https://what.thedailywtf.com/topic/1874/perl-mongers/5

       cached 17 August 2017 20:05:01 GMT