I met a ton of great people and everyone was extremely accommodating. I hope you gets lots of offers. I think I ended up with ~70 invitations.
I'd checkout meetups though.
There are maybe only half a dozen reasonable, substantially helpful, and actionable replies in this whole thread (which would put it at maybe a 4% SNR), almost all the rest is useless. If this is what HN is going to be, I don't want it.
As for my advice, it's simple. Go talk to a lawyer as soon as possible, you have a lot of issues that need sorting and a good lawyer is absolutely necessary to get through those issues, and they'll help to put you on the right footing to deal with paypal. It sucks that you have been acting in good faith and doing good work and have gotten tangled in the mess that is the many layers of laws, regulations, and corporate policies that make up our modern immigration, taxation, and financial systems. You have my sympathies for that and I wish you the best of luck, hopefully you'll be able to keep the proceeds of your excellent work without any serious negative repercussions.
Generally, in the search for a lawyer, you get to talk to many (without charge) for 15-45 minutes each. You may be surprised how widely their estimations of the issues vary -- the law is the law, right? -- but you'll learn something from each conversation, and perhaps find someone you trust with your concerns. Also, legal confidentiality means that even if you've messed up on some tax/immigration/work-authorization/business things, talking with them honestly doesn't mean you've made any admissions that get back to the authorities (unless and until with their advice you decide that's the best course).
If a student in the US, your educational institution may also have a legal aid clinic.
You can probably get an 'ITIN', the equivalent to a Social Security Number for non-domestic individuals/entities who need an SSN-like number for tax/financial reporting purposes. See...
...and the related IRS pages. And again, just getting the number isn't admitting to anything or any tax liability. However, it then will be used by financial institutions (like PayPal) to maintain their internal and government-required reporting requirements. Separate from just tax issues, amounts in the tens-of-thousands (and sometimes less) are subject to reporting to control money-laundering from large-scale illegal activities.
HEADS UP FOR ANYONE ELSE CONSIDERING THIS:
If you are going to receive funds with PayPal and they are going to exceed the 'occasional sale' guidelines (which some people interpret to mean the same guidelines at the rule for sending an IRS 1099 form which is < $600 annually.
First establish your business presence in the US, that means creating an LLC, getting an EIN  and establishing a relationship with a US based bank.
If you get hung up on those steps, don't start taking money with PayPal because their zealous anti-fraud/laundering/drug program fires on a hair trigger. It didn't help that the OP is a student from Venezuela which is not one of America's trading partners.
I expect you will lose most of this money in legal fees. However, if the business is durable, and you manage to establish your LLC (that lawyer you got can help with that) then you will make it back and PayPal will back down. As long as the money trail can be tracked and everyone in the path reports it to the Federal Government so that they are satisfied it isn't part of a laundering scheme, or if it was they can catch the folks involved, you will be ok.
If this wasn't the umpteenth time I've heard this story, I wouldn't say this so pesteringly:
To everyone: Stop stop stop stop stop using PayPal. This happens over and over again. For once, thankfully, there are viable alternatives out there -- Stripe & WePay to name two (both of which I've had excellent experiences with).
Not saying they're panaceas or that there won't be security/freezing issues from the new guys, but PayPal has a documented, extensive, and repeated history of freezing accounts with large amounts of money in them over short(ish) periods of time.
It's not surprising they locked the account and asked for documentation. The tax code pretty much guarantees they would within a year in order to file the 1099-K on your account. This stuff is serious to them, both from a financial (the potential losses if this money disappears because it's not been moving legally) and regulatory fronts (US Patriot Act among others requires banks, like those underwriting your US PayPal account, to be able to accurately identify their customers). This might not be easy to fix.
"PayPal has closed my account because I don't have a social security number. It seems like I don't qualify for one because I'm just â€śan international studentâ€ť from Venezuela."
I just don't believe this one bit. People from Venezuela do use PayPal quite a bit.
More likely what this is actually about is that you haven't done the minimum to do business in America, which PayPal told you up front that they expected you to do.
They're not actually able to do business with you, because you haven't taken the correct steps yet. If you say "oh my god they're punishing me for being from the wrong country," you're screwed.
But if you figure out the problem, you can fix it.
Here's the thing. In America, like in Venezuela and most of the rest of the world, you're expected to pay taxes on money transfer. It's an income stream.
The social security number is how Americans track these things in their private lives. Sure, you won't get one because you're not American, but there are foreign equivalents, and they're cheap. We do want to do business with you; you just have to be clean.
PayPal can't give you your money until you do what the US Government requires. It would be illegal. It would make them into a criminal money laundering organization.
I'm not really sure; I'm no tax attorney. But, I think what you want is an ITIN - an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number. They are free, they're available online, and they only take a couple weeks to get.
It's very common in the tech community for people to hear "PayPal shut off an account? They're the devil!" But in reality, this is how America keeps its money from flowing to criminal organizations, and PayPal's hands are tied here.
If you took the time to talk to them, and said "listen, I didn't know there was a problem, can you help me understand what steps I need to take to get this turned around," it's very likely they'll actually help you, like they helped me.
The toxic Redditor behavior is getting out of control. Not every time a large company does something that seems punitive is it actually in the wrong, and in this situation, they're really just following the law. That's expected. That's correct.
Also, to put things in perspective, you seem to be frustrated that you have to wait six months to receive five years of an average American's salary. I mean, I don't think this is actually as bad as you're making it out to be, unless you've tied your entire life to taking money from the internet, and can't survive without it.
I think maybe you should consider the possibility of asking some of your users for a little spare cash through some crowdfunding site (full disclosure: I work for a crowdfunding site, which is why I'm not naming options right now, because it would be unethical.)
And then maybe just try to work with PayPal to fix the problem, instead of begging the internet to try to hammer-lock PayPal into breaking the law for you, because no matter how hard you try, that is never, ever going to work.
Try setting up a Google Voice account, and calling them on the phone. If they can hear your fear in your voice, the human will to do good and help will come out, and they will put in effort to assist. I promise. That's just how people work.
Also consider getting in contact with the American tax authority, the IRS. It's pretty common for people to hate and fear them, but they're actually wonderful people; their big job is to prevent rich people from cheating the system, and to support poor people, and your story is very sympathetic. Someone from the IRS will, if you just ask, put in hours and hours to try to help you, for free. That's what they do for a living.
You can choose to assume everyone's evil and out to get you, or you can choose to assume that you accidentally didn't get the rules right, and that fixing that could change things.
Which one of those assumptions you make will very significantly change the outcome you get.
There is a reason that people who expect good things from other people generally do well in life. They're able to ask for, and receive, more help. Bad things are fixed more reliably. Et cetera.
Just make a human appeal. "I didn't know I screwed up. I still don't know how. I earned this money legitimately, and I need it. Can you help me learn what I did wrong, so that I can fix it?"
Give them a chance to be good - maybe even a couple - and they will be good.
PayPal is not the evil faceless demon they're made out to be. International payments are complicated, and people from other countries often get domestic law wrong.
But I really don't think they want to cheat you; after all, they make their money by helping you do more business. Shutting you off doesn't do them any good.
Please consider approaching this like you might have made a mistake, because if it's you, and not them, then fixing it and changing this is entirely inside your power. Taking responsibility means acquiring power. Pointing fingers weakens you.
I hope the best for your situation. Please be safe.
One point not addressed in the comments is that whether PayPal ever gives you the money back or not, OP has earned $200,000 in income while in the United States and he owes the IRS and possibly the state government as well full US income tax on this amount since he was in the US at the time he did this work. It doesn't matter what his visa situation is, that has nothing at all to do with if he owes taxes. He is required to file an income tax return this year, and pay the taxes, end of story. If he doesn't pay the taxes, he might go to jail and probably will get a felony record and be permanently banned from returning to the US after release.
So this is a pretty serious problem and requires a legal team, which undoubtedly will cost the full amount on deposit to untangle.
He can't just walk away from the situation and let PayPal keep the money, unless he can get the amount he owes in taxes from a relative and pay it, which then puts him into debt.
With that said, some questions:
1) How were you able to process 30k/month through Paypal out of the gate without providing a government ID?
2) How much of the 200K were you able to withdrawal? If any? Do you have any of it in cash?
3) Did you experience an abnormal amount of chargebacks?
I'd love to hear your thoughts.....
I would urge you to simply hire an excellent immigration lawyer to figure out your options w.r.t. the F-1 before you move forward. I have a San Francisco-based firm that I can refer you to if you like. They are (somewhat) expensive but they do deliver good results and they are not a big faceless firm - fast, efficient, get on the phone quickly.
Email me if you want to talk more. FWIW, I dealt with our dysfunctional immigration system for a decade - once having to forfeit a well-paying internship after forgetting to file a dumb piece of paperwork - so I do understand the pain of getting the shaft after busting ass, primarily because of immigration reasons.
Anyhow, hope this helps.
I'd guess that PayPal wants an SSN so they can report your revenue to the IRS for taxes. If so, they might accept an EIN or TIN instead, which you can obtain as a business (which you probably want anyway if you plan on doing that much business).
Alternatively, if you are not actually in the U.S. (you didn't say explicitly), you may need the local equivalent instead, though good luck getting PayPal to accept anything that doesn't follow their script.
In any case, the instant you get access to your PayPal account again, get all the money out of it before they change their mind, which they frequently do, and switch over to the reputable payment provider you picked in step 1.
Finally, next time you start doing business with a service, even a popular one, search for negative experiences with that service and take them seriously. You now know not to use PayPal ever again, but that still leaves quite a few other services out there to get burned by.
You must find a lawyer in any case, a good one! though there is no guarantee it will work, but if something would work, it would be this or a clear provision/flaw you may find on your own (I take it that you won't be able to)
Three legal courses might work on broader terms, leave the actual litigation to the lawyer.
1. The lawyer may prove that someone, who is a US citizen, a family member preferably, or a family friend, is the real owner of the product, and you mis-stated your facts. (meaning, you didn't say under oath, that the said service/product was your and yours ALONE)
The lawyer would take his cut in all cases, and if anything, you should give your family member a cut as well, in this case. Its better than nothing out of 200k$!
2. You may establish a US company, preferably in a state where tax is low and norms are lax, based on strong advice of your lawyer, with preferably the same name as your product. The lawyer in this case would prove (or try to)that the company would receive the money (being a separate legal identity), and a friend of yours who is a US citizen, would be the trustee of the company.
Similarly to above, lawyer will get his cut, your friend would do as well (unless he is the nicest guy on the planet, if he does not take any money, do PM about it on reddit@rikacomet).
3. The lawyer, may establish, that there was an error in your understanding of the US laws (which is clearly so), and since paypal allows for you to be a member of any country, you shall recieve it upon changing the credentials of yours, to your native one's. The lawyer, shall argue, that the payment made by your customers, would hold true, despite you changing ONLY your address details.
Alternatively, if all your payments were made by credit card (which might be the case), you may contact, all your customers, to initiate a cash back (where they will legally call back money from their bank, after stating that a huge flaw was made, and the original deal holds untrue) the bank would know its way with paypal, so no worries there, but what you need to worry about is bank making a case against you. So you would need a lawyer again over here.
Disclaimer: Always, talk to a professional lawyer about legal matters, mine is only mildly suggestive in nature based on laws existing in my country.
NOTE: Please be very careful, while finding a good lawyer, while you do, make sure to make it clear to him, that the payment, would be only a cut out of the 200k in question here, and not out of your pocket.
Take this on a legal document in WRITING, with his signature and official stamp heads, in presence of 2-4 witnesses etc. You really don't want to lose 200k, and then also pay a American lawyer out of your pocket!
Another note - releasing the 4th release's source code under something like the Affero GPL (or a similar noncommercial license) could drive adoption of that version, since many people like to "try before they buy" - and would like to do so with the most feature-filled version.
I guess it was all talk.
Never, ever, keep more than $100 in a paypal account (or as much as you are willing to lose immediately, forever).
Also, if possible, close the bank account your paypal is tied to as they will draw from it as they see fit without your consent.
1. Find a lawyer who can advise you, definitely based in the US, and almost certainly based on CA, the home state of PayPal. As you (potentially) have $200k in cash, you'll have no problem finding excellent representation. Hopefully you can get away with spending only a few thousand.
2. Select a different payment processor. You can do this immediately. Stripe has a good reputation, but there are others as well.
3. (Optionally) Post your progress. Especially if the lawyer can give you good advice that is applicable to others in your same situation, you are potentially saving other innovators many thousands of dollars not to mention headaches.
The issue seems to be that PayPal are worried you're doing something illegal and are not going to pay tax. My advice would be to get a lawyer so you can do everything required to pay tax correctly. In the mean time, try to get some written confirmation from PayPal that your money will be safe while you are resolving this issue - that last thing you want is the money 'disappearing'.
What you should have done (and this is still a legal uncertainty) is have the funds tied to a Venezuelan bank account, your Venezuelan personal and tax identification. It's a little late for that, however.
Best of luck retrieving your funds. I wouldn't be surprised if you got PayPal to release them (they are not themselves a government, so just require enough information to cover their own ass). But expect to be asked some very serious questions by USCIS. For that reason you don't want a regular lawyer, you main issue here will be trying to convince the US you weren't breaking your visa terms.
You need an immigration lawyer.
What am I doing with my life?
I would suggest you go to a lawyer as well, I know how hard it is for us Venezuelans out there. I had a PayPal block once as well and managed to solve, it takes time and a lot of documentation, however it was not even close to the ammount you're mentioning here.
There are alternatives like creating your own company and giving the info of your company to PayPal, that way everything will be as legal as they might need.
Let me know how it goes, best of luck bro
That said, Paypal are acting like dicks, as usual, since you do NOT need an SSN to open ordinary bank accounts in the US.
(#) You may need written permission from your school to work.
Also, other comments have stated that if the lock msg. came via email it could be a phishing scam. Try to avoid supplying personal info if looks like a suspicious email.
I love turnjs btw. Very slick tool.
If you are young and don't have a national insurance number yet, ask them to change your account holder to one of your parents and give them the NI.
I'd basically create a website reporting this issue to the general public and attach all emails and information you can get from them. Also, I'd change the payment method in your website to something else LIKE RIGHT NOW! You should never, ever trust Paypal! Like NEVER!
You should also report this to the media, they will love it! $200K is a lot hell of money!
Use Google checkout for merchants, I've used it and it's really really easy to setup as well as safe.
The ability of PayPal to be a bank and yet avoid being one legally is interesting. If you hold somebody else's money you are a bank, whether you call yourself that way or not.
From a fellow venezuelan, hope you get your money back. And congratulations on your success even in this unpleasant situation.
I thought it was firstname.lastname@example.org, i'm not sure.
For others: Assuming this problem is solved, in future, can an international student collect payments in his home currency? Will US govt allow full time students to do side businesses?
If you get a job offer, such as a 5-10 hour a week job at your college, you are ALLOWED to apply for a SSN.
This is what I would recommend doing if you are just looking for an SSN. But do understand that working without permission is a huge no-no.
As far as applying for pre-completion OPT, you could do that... it will take 2-3 months to get approved and you will start using up the 12 months of OPT you get per degree level. If you choose to go this route, make sure you actually register your business with your local clerk's office and report it.
One other commmenter mentioned a STEM extension. The one problem with STEM is that you have to work for an e-verified company.
I hope I was helpful, I am an international student advisor, but I am not your advisor at your school who I would recommend speaking with.
I can't help you get back the money that PayPal has frozen, but I can help you keep selling it and ensure you keep what's yours.
Email me - tyler [at] simplegoods.co
I will never use them again as I believe they stifle innovation and are a harm to small businesses that are "making it".
PayPal is very much one basket for all your eggs...don't get duped! Get other baskets!
I haven't found a service yet that said "Nothing". The point is not that I want child porn, but rather: It's child porn today, and tomorrow it's "Criticizing the bankster regime" or anything other political.
If you two want to really stir things up, you can start a company which does text analysis of student essays and hire her with an exclusive contract to provide corpus material.
Some background for the company. "katengine.com" appears to be owned by Knowledge Analysis Technologies. http://www.forbes.com/forbes/1998/1228/6214047a_print.html has more info about the company, which was acquired in 2004 by Pearson Education http://kt.pearsonassessments.com/whyChooseUs.php .
If the teacher will be using the 'Intelligent Essay Assessor' from http://www.mywritinglab.com/learn-about/writing-practice.htm... then yes, it's a variation of LSA, as you found. There's a fact sheet there with a picture of what the GUI might look like.
Based on that name, http://www.d.umn.edu/~tpederse/Courses/CS8761-FALL04/Project... says "This was developed in the late nineties by Tom Landauer and his team and is based on Latent Semantic Analysis. In this, using a matrix transformation technique known as Singular Value Decomposition (SVD), deeper hidden relationships between words and documents are discovered, and these relations are used to understand relation between words and sentences."
I found http://writing.ucdavis.edu/news-1/carl-whithaus-essay-publis... which describes an essay critical about machine grading. I couldn't find that essay though.
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/03/29/robo-readers-the-ne... quotes: "A prankster could outwit many scoring programs by jumbling key phrases in a nonsensical order. An essay about Christopher Columbus might ramble on about Queen Isabella sailing with 1492 soldiers to the Island of Ferdinand -- and still be rated as solidly on topic, Shermis said." as well as "Computers also have a hard time dealing with experimental prose." So she might gum up the works by using an unusual but legitimate style.
Speaking of gumming up the works, I suppose that the essay must be submitted to the teacher in a text or word processor format? That is, hand-written or printed essays are prohibited? Or embedding a strange font which shows a "b" for "a", etc., and where the text is transposed accordingly? Pull quotes to throw off the formatting? Hidden text, colored white? That would be subterfuge.
Edit: Pearson also has "second-tier graders", says http://news.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=2757605&cid=395... , with a human involved.
At the same time - and I mean no disrespect - this is community college we're talking about. The purpose of community college is to pick up skills, rather than a liberal arts education; you should, at that price, expect to get a somewhat reduced response.
I am with you here; this seems lazy and inappropriate.
But you get what you pay for. OKCCC is $75 a credit hour. By contrast, my alma mater currently charges $24,000 per year (out of state,) and nominal is 15 credits a year. Even trade schools tend to cost several hundred dollars a credit hour.
At that kind of price difference, you have to realize that you're forcing a lot of corner cutting.
Incidentally, you are probably overestimating the degree to which you'd lower their chances. We often fund groups on the nth try. PagerDuty was those guys' fourth try. Even Dropbox was Drew's second try.
Haven'tried. Suggested fix: on http://deadsimplescreensharing.com/#tutorialComming Up -> Coming up
If you want to stand out in the overcrowded screensharing space, build this one feature:
Allow me to send a URL to anyone so I can see THEIR screen instantly, without them having to download crap.
You will become an instant 'crorepati' :-)
Your extension brings my browser to a really slow pace.
This is why I'm converting an open source app I built to just render everything (using CG, not CALayer) instead of using images. Yeah, images are faster. But I hate to repeat myself and exporting images from photoshop is more time consuming than it seems.
(Edit): Images are usually faster, but that's not entirely true if you use only CG calls on a drawRect. From a memory standpoint, keep in mind that a PNG file will occupy the 'framebuffer' + the original image + all the crap that comes with UIImage. By drawing it yourself, you will burn a little cpu time but than only the result buffer will allocated.
Also don't forget that your design has to be responsive so that it can go from horizontal to vertical. And then keep in mind that if at some later point you want to port to Android that there really aren't any fixed aspect ratios since there are so many devices.
My advice is that you should sketch and then use an app like Keynote to see what your interface looks like on the device. You can be shocked sometimes just how different things feel when you go from a personal computer to a mobile device.
Great resource for what you're looking for. Including downloadable Photoshop actions to make it all easier.
There's no better way to get YC's attention than applying with a startup which is seeing strong user growth/revenue in a large (or potentially large) market.
But generally speaking, in American tech companies, the current norm is something like "a four year monthly vesting with a one year cliff."
If you have that, what that would mean was that you got no stock for your first year. If you got fired in month 11, you'd be out in the cold on equity completely. This is a safety measure for the company: you can't always be sure you're hiring the right person.
But if you get past the cliff, then you receive all the stock you would have gotten during that time.
A four year monthly vesting means that you break your stock up into 48 monthly groups, and receive it in those pieces one at a time. So, assuming the one year cliff, you'd get one quarter of your promise the day that cliff ticked over, then 1/48 of your promise every month thereafter until, after four years, it was fulfilled.
Meaning if you got a 1% offer (which is large,) and you got fired at exactly year 2 of a four year vesting, you would walk away with one half of one percent of the company.
There is a book that I read which I found very, very helpful in understanding the arcana. It's called "Venture Hacks," and despite that the title pretty obviously panders to software nerds, it is chock full of very valuable information, and is presented in a way that I found very, very readable.
It is quite uncommon for a company to give you a percentage up front. Hiring is difficult; sometimes a complete clown looks really sophisticated, and two months in, when you realize they basically just lied their way through the interview, you don't want to send them away owning a piece of your thing after having done nothing.
But, the amount of information you gave us is incomplete, so we cannot actually give you a solid answer.
It all depends on the legal details of your contract. If the it stipulates that equity will be a certain amount even after other's go through dilution, then that's what it is (this is a rare promise to receive in my experience). If nothing is promised, then your percentage is at the mercy of the of the board.
In situations like this I always have a lawyer review my legal agreements so I can get solid answers to my questions BEFORE I sign anything.
From the startup view point rather than employee viewpoint, but it should give you most of the stuff you want to know. One additional point you should consider is what the tax implications of the equity will be.
The equity vests monthly over 4 years with a 1 year cliff. This means that you don't vest anything for the first year (if you leave, you don't get anything). At 1 year, you get 1/4 of the equity vested. Every month thereafter, you get 1/48 vested.
The above is the most normal. You will have to check the terms for your offer.
Funding: If the company raises funding, everyone typically gets diluted by a certain %. On the positive side, the company's total value will hopefully more than increase by more than your dilution :)
Equity is great but since 90% of startups fail, choose wisely if you are taking a pay cut.
After your elaboration: There is a nice concept by Michal Zalewski (lcamtuf) to http://lcamtuf.coredump.cx/juggling_with_packets.txt make a transient storage between servers where the data will be stored in packets that are always in-transit.
- populate the FAQ page
- create pages for specific platforms like Rails, Django etc, (right now it looks too generic), add a blurb for those in the front page
- reduce friction for the "contact me": add a "subscribe to newsletter" email field to start capturing people interested. Send a newsletter from time to time with relevant developments in the project
- promote your project in the (Rails etc) platform niches (forums etc), also in DevOps area
- Write blog articles with examples of how your project helps (starting out with a real problem is better) or even write about anything related (say deployments) and plug your project at the end. Good luck.
Also - watch http://startupschool.org/2012/rusenko/ - it takes time. Focus on hand reaching out to a few people. Doing searches for related posts/projects - checking users profile and reaching out by hand :)
Good Luck :)
HN isn't the be-all and end-all of views. In fact, it's usually good for a server-crushing influx (if you manage to hit the magic sweet spot of "interest" and "timing"), but most of that traffic disappears after a day or so. If it's really cool, it will start getting shared around on twitter from HN, but that won't new you a huge amount of traffic.
Reddit will usually provide a smaller amount of traffic in one hit, but it'll keep coming for a week or so - the way stories move on there are just generally different. If your tool is relevant to a particular subreddit, then that's your best bet for getting consistent traffic.
Finally, put a link to your tool in the comments here - it's worth another shot.
http://www.cwjobs.co.uk/ http://roundabout.io/ http://workinstartups.com/ http://www.gumtree.com/ https://jobs.github.com/positions?description=&location=... http://www.3-beards.com/jobs http://careers.stackoverflow.com/ ...
I've also had good experience with recruiters so far. Haven't gotten a offer yet, but I did get a face-to-face interview for next friday :)
I don't really have any experience applying to mid-range companies, but intuitively it doesn't feel right that anyone should feel the need to conceal their identity when searching for a developer role, especially if your friend is experienced enough to be optimising salary rather than worrying about getting a job at all. Are you sure there hasn't been a misunderstanding?
Pretty much go to any major firms homepage and they'll have a list of open positions that you can apply directly for.
Personally I've never had an issue with using recruiters and have used them in conjunction with applying myself. I prefer the buffer of using them but you can't beat your own research.
Unfortunately most jokes here, as on most forums, fail on both counts. The most common way to fail (a) seems to be to recycle overused catch phrases in insufficiently novel ways.
That said, it seems like it would be hard to control for only occasional (and ideally funny) jokes in a community like this -- if jokes were generally rewarded, hn could become a jokefest like Reddit, dramatically reducing the signal-to-noise ration many of us appreciate it for.
TL;DR - use jokes sparingly, and make 'em good.
(edited for a typo)
Her time is better spent learning to make the most of whichever MATLAB toolboxes she needs for her research. A course on basic linear algebra, and/or other math topics, is also more relevant than learning how to program.
Edit: I just want to reiterate that one can use MATLAB without knowing how to program. I see other comments suggesting a full on programming course but she doesn't need this at all. In many engineering courses, first year undergrads can be expected to learn all they need to start "programming" with MATLAB over the course of a weekend.
Python is relatively easy to learn, it's free, and it can produce useful results with little effort.
Examples of scipy's output: https://www.google.com/search?q=scipy&hl=en&tbo=d...
We make it really easy and accessible for people to get started even without having a background.
We've had students aged 9 (http://blog.codehs.com/post/39684965497/9-years-old-and-codi...)
to 85 (http://blog.codehs.com/post/37288742720/im-85-and-i-learned-...)
Also, it's really fun, and if she continues, she will learn to make a mobile game or two along the way.
You can email me at email@example.com if you or she have any questions. Or just sign up for the free trial to check it out.
We give personal feedback to all of our students on all the code they submit, so they're sure to improve and not only write functional code, but code with good style.
Stanford: http://white.stanford.edu/~knk/Psych216A/MIT: http://ocw.mit.edu/courses/electrical-engineering-and-comput...
If she needs both stats and matlab help, your best bet is probably to search something like "statistics and matlab tutorial" on google:https://www.google.com/search?q=statistics+and+matlab+tutori...
Start with web fundamentals
I wish I could say I had some real solid advice for you, but all I can really do is share some anecdotes in the hope that you can glean something useful from that.
Basically, I try to compartmentalize my thinking as much as I can. During the day, at the 9-5, I mostly try not to let myself get drawn into thinking about "startup stuff", except during lunch. I treat lunch time as "startup time" and I often leave the office, go to a restaurant or coffee shop, and do startup work for an hour there. The delineation isn't perfect though, as I do keep a browser tab open all the time, with Gmail for my startup email address, and I do answer and send a few emails or whatever, throughout the day.
I might also, rarely, pop into the wiki for the startup and make a few notes about an idea that occurred to me, or a link I found or something.
Then, after work at the $DAYJOB, I immediately go back into "startup mode" most evenings. I leave the office, drive to a Barnes & Noble or something, sit in the cafe with my laptop and get back to work. Since I know I have "startup time" built into the evenings, it reduces some of the temptation to think startup stuff while I'm supposed to be working.
Now the fortunate thing is, my $DAYJOB employer knows about the startup, is an entrepreneur himself and is generally supportive. As long as I'm getting my work done and not letting things slip, he doesn't mind if I leave work early on occasion, or take a long lunch now and then, to have a meeting related to the startup, or whatever. I will also sometimes just flat out take a vacation day, to accommodate the need to do something for the startup.
I also allocate almost 100% of my weekend time to working on the startup. So the toughest day to stay focused can be Friday, since I'm mentally preparing to shift gears into startup mode for the weekend, and as Friday winds down, I might start drifting that way a bit. Luckily, Friday afternoons here are usually pretty relaxed.
The toughest part, really, is dealing with meetings during the day. Writing code, market research, writing, etc. I can do anytime. But meeting potential customers, investors, partners, etc., is a challenge since my daytime availability is somewhat limited. Basically I just try to schedule meetings for either A. over lunch (and just take a slightly long lunch), B. as early as possible in the morning (so that, at worst, I come in a little late), or B. as late in the evening as possible.
It's tough to balance both, but it can be done...
Don't forget to embrace a healthy down time. You body and mind need to relax.
I wish I had the time mindcrime has - I have wife and kids so my job is pretty important. I find time late at night as well as on the weekends when I can.
In either case, one tip is to keep a wiki page available, or a notepad and a pen, and as you go throughout your day, let "stuff" that you bump into spark ideas to write about later. Write those ideas down. Maybe you see a link on HN and you have a strong reaction to it... make a note, and blog about that.
If you use Quora, go back through all your Quora answers, and take some of the more interesting ones and expand them into blog posts. If you don't have any, browse Quora and see what questions catch your interest. Blog what would have otherwise been your answer.
Don't get too hung up on being an original provider of content. Few people are. Rather, think more about presentation. Anecdotes, history, even trying to spin something into a more modern context. They all matter.
Keep writing. Keep writing often. It's the only way to get better.
I would definitely recommend using https though because only the hostname is sent in plain text, the URL should be fully encrypted in an https request.
On the other hand, I'm not sure how reasonable this method is from a liability perspective. If a client accidentally forwards a secure url to someone who causes them to lose money, then there might be a chance that you could be liable for not securing your product effectively.