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Ask HN: What should I do?
159 points by pattle  8 hours ago   139 comments top 62
edw519 6 hours ago 4 replies      
When you greet your interviewer, hand them this card:

| |
| Hi, I'm John Doe and I'm happy |
| to meet you. |
| |
| I have a stammer, but we should |
| not let that interfere with our |
| conversation. |
| |
| I'm an excellent web developer |
| and I love what I do. My speech |
| impediment does not affect my |
| work. |
| |
| What can I do for you? |
| |

edent 7 hours ago 5 replies      
1) Yes, you are vastly underpaid. (Unless it's 3 years with FrontPage Pro!)

2) Apply for big companies / public sector. They have massive HR departments who will send you an equal opportunities form. Disclose your disability and ask for support during the interview. That should help them prepare for you - they will also have the budget to support you if you do get the job and require extra help.

3) Build a portfolio. If your CV and Portfolio are good, then your interview is basically "can we work with this person." If people are sufficiently impressed with your work, it won't matter whether you stammer, have dreadful BO, and have a hobby of murdering kittens on the weekend.

4) Speak to your GP and see if you can get help. Speech therapy isn't perfect, but it can help.

Good luck!

gee_totes 5 hours ago 3 replies      
Yay! Another stuttering dev here on HN! I have a stammer too (stutter here in the US); you're not alone!

I'll bet that code tests in interviews really suck. I know that they suck for me.

I think alot of it is going to depend on interviewing with the right person. Keep trying, and eventually you'll find them. Also, if that doesn't work, you can always try to pick up totally remote freelance work, but if you're looking for full-time, you should be able to find it.

One thing that may really help is getting an introduction from a friend (or a recruiter) to any companies you're interviewing for. I got one job with a conversation that went like this:

My friend: "Well, I have someone for you, but he has a pretty bad stutter"

Employer: "As long as he's smart and can get the job done, I don't care if he talks backwards!"

And I got the job.

Real employers (who aren't skeezy and exploitative like your current ones) don't care how you talk, they just want someone who can get the job done. And those are the people you should be working for.

In some ways, you can think of the above as a positive selection filter. Imagine all the non-stuttering schmucks who are out there working for skeezy employers who care more about how people talk than who can get the job done (and imagine how shitty the management must be if their hiring is not based on people's skills).

In closing, I know this turned into kind of a rant without any really good advice, but I just wanted to give a solidarity shout out to another stuttering dev here on HN.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm going to drive-by down vote all the commenters who are like "herp derp why don't you just stop stammering"

cmadan 6 hours ago 0 replies      
As a deaf programmer when I was on the job market I also faced similar problems that you faced. My issue was with hearing not speaking (although my speech is also not as good as a normal hearing person).

Here is what worked for me

1. Persistence. Keep trying.

2. Target the BigCorps.

They have HR departments and product managers that are sensitized to disabilities. Sometimes they actually have commitments to a diverse workforce which can work in your favor. And they are unlikely to shortchange you based on your disability if you make it through (since it isn't the HR employee or product manager's money).

3. Let him know about your disability before the interview.

For me, I had a short 1-minute speech prepared stating my hard of hearing issue and letting them know they might have to repeat the question 2-3 times or write it down in the interview and asking them if they were fine with it. I'd speak it as soon as I sat down in the interview chair. For you, you might want to send an email before the interview stating that you prefer communicating via writing? Maybe take your laptop and use Notepad to communicate?

4. Do Google Chat + Doc instead of phone screens.

You didn't mention whether most companies want you to do a phone screen or not and whether you're missing out on opportunities because of this. Phone screens are impossible for me and using an text relay would take forever, so I usually ask the interviewer to do a Google Chat + Doc interview instead. Most oblige, some of them (usually a lazy HR associate) don't for unexplainable reasons.

bradleyland 6 hours ago 2 replies      
> I've asked my current employers for a raise but because they know my situation and they know my stammer means I interview badly they know I am stuck here.

They are wrong. They are completely and utterly wrong.

You can have a stammer and still interview well. I once knew a guy named Jack. He's one of the funniest and most charismatic people I've ever known, and he had severe strabismus (lazy eye). I'm not talking about a minor case either. One of his eyes would roll off, staring in to the distance as you were talking to him.

The eyes have it, as they say, and when you have a conversation with someone suffering from strabismus, it can be extremely uncomfortable and distracting. Jack knew this, but instead of being sheepish about his condition, he would address it head on. He had a clever quip that he used to simultaneously draw your attention to his condition, as well as communicate that he understands it can be distracting. It became immediately clear that his confidence out-shined his condition.

I know this isn't easy advice, but you have to learn to do the same. Based on the work in your Github profile and the posts on your blog, I'd say you're certainly worth more £15,000 a year.

Your employers are not the ones who believe you interview badly, you are! When you stop believing that and put yourself out there, you'll grow past it. Once you grow past it, you'll earn at a level appropriate for your skill level, rather than a social limitation.

hardik988 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Hi pattle - I know exactly what/how you're feeling - I stutter as well, and am currently interviewing.

The biggest problem of stuttering during interviews is not the stuttering itself, but rather the break in the train of thought while brainstorming answers to interview questions.

First off - phone interviews are a nightmare for me - and I almost always fail to make an impression - because of the several ticks I produce while trying not to stammer.

I used to think I would do better at face-to-face interviews, since I can at least write on the whiteboard. Every piece of interview advice I've read says that one should keep speaking while thinking during an interview, and not just be silent and think - which is how I work best, because my brain is freed from the burden of speaking correctly.

When I 'speak while thinking of solutions', my brain automatically starts focusing on being careful about not stammering, and that really hurts my ability to focus on solving the questions - which are quite difficult in the first place.

One solution that's partially helped: I know that many stutterers are much better off when saying something semi-rehearsed, whether it be a phrase like, "So the brute force solution is _____ " or whatever. My brain goes into mechanical mode while saying this phrase, giving it more time to actually think.

I've never revealed to interviewers that I have a stutter (even though they would probably suspect that by the end of the interview), but I guess you should consider what edw519 says in the top comment.

Please feel free to contact me if you have any other questions.

alinajaf 7 hours ago 4 replies      
You're getting screwed at £15k, I've never been paid that little for developing web.

For reference, my salary history over my 6+ year career is as follows:


Note that I am a totally average developer, nowhere near as smart or knowledgable as a lot of the guys here on HN. I have a CS degree, barely (I got a 3rd), so that helped at the beginning, but most of my luck has been thanks to an extremely welcoming market.

If you have three years experience, you should be clearing £42k, if not £45k. I don't know much about speech impediments and how easy/hard they are to fix, but in this market, trust me, you can achieve £42k+ for fizzbuzz and a pulse.

EDIT: Modified figures in last paragraph on account of OP having three years of experience.

mattmaroon 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Question: can the stammer be fixed, or at least improved? If so I'd make that priority #1. (Sorry but I know nothing about stammers beyond what I find from a cursory Google search and my memory of The King's Speech.)

People here will tell you the world's a meritocracy and that if you're good enough employers will hire you anyway. That's bullshit. I wish it were true but you know by now it isn't. People act first and rationalize later. They'll think of all sorts of reasons why they shouldn't hire you due to your stammer. "He'll be hard to communicate with." "He's a bad culture fit." Etc. They might all be wrong, and maybe it's their loss because they're passing up on a great employee, but you'll be consistently undervalued the rest of your life due to that. You shouldn't be, but you will. Don't let your perception of how the world should be prevent you from seeing how it actually is.

Perhaps you've tried to fix the stammer, or perhaps it's unfixable. Or perhaps you just haven't devoted enough effort to it. If it's the latter I'd highly recommend doing that. I know it's unfair. You're a web developer, not a public speaker, and as long as you can communicate well with your team it really shouldn't be a factor in a job interview. But the world is unfair and it is what it is. Your options are to keep trying to do something you know isn't working, or adapt to the situation.

(If it can't be fixed I'd try to find a clever way to mitigate it. Lie and tell people you're a mute for a bit and see if they are more receptive. You'll have to do some experimentation. I wouldn't do this until I'd exhausted every avenue of fixing it though.)

Regardless, don't fall back on "my code should be able to win these battles". It should but it won't, and the longer you spend beating your head against that wall the more frustrated you'll become.

dylanhassinger 7 hours ago 1 reply      
You are a programmer. You can make value by wiggling your fingers. (Stammering is just fine!)

The solution: Build a micro product, turn it into a freedom business, and fire your boss.




Fwiw, self-help products can be gold mines. You might try to develop a product to help other people with stammering, I have paid for "quit nailbiting" and "stop being shy" products.

msellout 7 hours ago 1 reply      
You may be entitled to protection by disability laws (http://www.stammeringlaw.org.uk/disability/disab.htm) that will help you gain a raise or new employment.
masnick 6 hours ago 1 reply      
You could also think about freelancing with a business partner who does the majority of the face-to-face or phone work with clients.

I ran across this interesting freelance/consulting contract yesterday: https://github.com/ashedryden/freelance-contract. It stipulates that all the day-to-day communication is text-based, with in-person or phone meetings as needed but scheduled 2 days in advance.

With that kind of contract, you could realistically avoid dealing with most in-person/phone client stuff, or do it alongside your business partner if needed.

I don't think this kind of arrangement would look abnormal to a client. There's efficiency reasons for wanting everything text-based (IM, Basecamp, etc.) and for having a single point of contact for phone/voice meetings (your business partner).

danso 5 hours ago 0 replies      
Have you tried to bring up the issue at the beginning of the interview, by saying something up front like: "Hi, great to meet you, just so you know, I do stutter when I talk, but etc. etc. insert self-effacing joke here"?

Off-topic: I couldn't help but remember the This American Life episode where a student with a stuttering problem records himself speaking a monologue and removes the stutters in post-production:

georgespencer 6 hours ago 0 replies      
Interview for a job with us. You can instant message us during the interview! Email address in profile.
gigantor 5 hours ago 1 reply      
I'm a person who stammers (probably 7/10 on the severity scale) and make as much or more than my top peers. I'm also a contractor, go through and pass more interviews per year than the average full time developer, despite completely blowing some interviews in moments of silence.

1. Your compensation is directly correlated to the company you're dealing with, knowledge of market rates, and negotiation skills.

2. If your employers do in fact don't give you a raise due to your stammer and keep you 'locked up', they are unimaginably terrible mentors and leaders and you need to discard this toxin from your life as soon as you can.

3. Enroll in stammer-specific therapy. The Camperdown speech shaping program is one of the more recent ones for long lasting effects.

4. Read literature about organizational behaviour and power; your quality of code and unit test coverage has very little to do with winning any battles.

shin_lao 6 hours ago 1 reply      
Build a portfolio. Work freelance. You'll do most of your work over email or chat. Your clients will not care about your stammer.
eitally 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Just to add a useful, encouraging data point. My DBA supervisor has a really challenging stammer, and he's fantastic -- both as a technical leader and a people manager. We value him highly and his stammer has never, ever been a problem (or changed the way people interact with him). There is hope!
mattwritescode 7 hours ago 0 replies      
Yes, underpaid (massivly).

Firstly are you sure the companies are not employing you because of your stammer? Just checking your not going to interviews and putting your feet upon the table etc (thats not going to get you a job).

To be honest many companies I have worked in have had a range of people and abilities but at the end of the day what got you the job was your ability to turn out code.

The best thing to do is apply for positions and arrange the interview, at this point let the interviewer know about your stammer.

More importantly if they know in advanced then they will be prepared. Let them know what can be done to make the situation easier for you and for them (i can guarentee they too will be feeling very awkward).

What will also help during the interview is to tell them how best to help you manage your stammer.

A friend of mine can speak a lot better down the phone than face to face so at his work place his boss uses the interval phone system or instant chat to work with him.

mikecane 8 hours ago 0 replies      
Your stammering problem must bleed into the rest of your life too. Sorry if this is a question you've heard a billion times already, but have you done any research about how to get rid of it? A prominent TV personality here in the states named John Stossel confessed to growing up with a stammer that he still slightly has and talked about how he was able to rid himself of it.
AdamGibbins 7 hours ago 0 replies      
There are cures to the majority of speech impediments, if its affecting your life day to day its likely you can also get this (this being speech therapy etc) on the NHS - you should speak to your GP for advice. I've often considered it myself, I have a mild lisp.
ses 7 hours ago 1 reply      
Wow, off topic I know but this is the kind of question and responses that give me faith in HN (and online communities in general) being a useful resource for people to participate in. This is a real world problem of someone who has had the courage to ask for help and they're receiving some decent responses and encouragement. My only words are yes I would say you are underpaid and I'm sure there's a better job out there for you so good luck with the job hunting.
drsim 6 hours ago 0 replies      
When I was a permanent employee or contractor I'd always check in on the CW Jobs salary checker (http://www.cwjobs.co.uk/salary-checker/salary-calculator) when negotiations came around.

I found the salaries and day rates there are a little higher than those I discovered by speaking with colleagues, but it's a great rule-of-thumb.

Use things like this to press for a raise/promotion or decide to jump ship/re-skill in more commercial languages.

If your stammer doesn't affect your ability to perform your job (as it's unlikely to do as a programmer vs. say, a call centre agent) you should be paid market rate.

Web developer market rates here:
...be sure to go to 'top salaries' for your county as the usual London weighting is in effect!

polymatter 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Here are some stats for you about the UK job market for web developers (http://www.itjobswatch.co.uk/jobs/uk/web%20developer.do). You can use that in your negotiations with your current employer or to encourage you to look further afield.

You're doing the right thing blogging and posting to github. I encourage you to continue. You are definitely worth more than £15k, even in Suffolk.

almost 5 hours ago 0 replies      
Wow man, you are sooo underpaid. I know there are a hundred other comments telling you that but just thought I'd add to them. Know this, there are loads of companies out there that REALLY want to hire you, it's hard to hire programmers at double your current salary.

Just tell people about the stammer, you'll find plenty who will understand and be accommodating.

Check out the monthly "Who's hiring" threads on here as well, the latest was posted yesterday:


Go contact some likely looking positions on there right now! Seriously, you're a programmer, programmers are really in demand right now. You can and will find something better.

Also, fuck your current employer, how dare they take advantage of that to pay you so little.

Good luck! Why not let us know how it went when you've had try...

stevejalim 8 hours ago 1 reply      
Where are you based, would you be willing to relocate and what skills do you have? I know a really great, warm web dev agency that is hiring. I can at least ping you a link. Email address in my profile.
pklien 7 hours ago 1 reply      
Do you have a personal brand on the web? Do you blog? Do you publish code on services like github? How influential are you in the digital world - what's your social media presence? These are the strengths that matter!

Also, use this characteristic as a strength, in interviews introduce yourself "Hi, I am ____ - because I stammer, by web work is the best you'll find".

eksith 6 hours ago 1 reply      
Legitimately, no one can or should refuse to hire you or give you a raise for the quality of your work due to the stammer. That's outright discrimination. But as you've seen, that's how some jerks act when they know they can take advantage of you.

There was a brilliant invention I saw a while ago that replays your own speech to you at a slight delay through headphones. This forces you to listen to your words as you speak and so you slow down to catch up to it. Over time, this improves your speech to a point where you may be able to leave the headphones behind and speak without aid.

I wish I knew what the invention was called or even where it's available, but hopefully someone here has heard of the same. This is the only device I've seen so far to actually cause near-instant improvement in speech.

netcan 3 hours ago 1 reply      
I'm not entirely sure what this has to do with innovation vs iteration. It's more about why don't "third world" problems get solved by startups. There are a few answers to this:

a - It's where the money is. Most of the products in the world are manufactured for and sold to the rich. That's what rich means.

b - Startup founders are rich or come from rich communities. So are their investors and advisors. They are also young, urban, techie, etc. So, they see the things these markets need and make products for them. It's hard to design stuff for markets so removed from yourself.

c - It's easier to start at the luxurious end for all sorts of reasons and startups are starting up. Elon Musk gave a good explanation about doing it at Tesla (offsetting the high per-nit cost of new technology). There are other reasons that explain why you find many small chocolatiers selling $30 boxes but few competing with Cadburys. Making stuff cheap is often. harder and more expensive.

mozmoz 5 hours ago 0 replies      

1) Get great at what you do. Nothing helps to open doors like a great portfolio and great track record of success.

2) Maximize the things you can do non-verbally. You are lucky that you are in the Web Dev industry and are not something like a car salesman which would require a lot more verbal communication. For example:
* Write articles for websites such as Smashing Magazine.
* Contribute to open source projects on Github.
* Start a mailing list offering great web development knowledge and tips.
* Start a web development blog.

3) Get really good at writing. If you don't speak well, make sure you write well. Your emails should always be professional and well written.

4) Freelance remotely. Through Email/GTalk/Skype Chat/Asana/Basecamphq you can communicate with clients non-verbally. Client will always want to touch base by phone at some point, but these great tools will greatly help reduce the amount of time you need to speak on the phone.

5) Work on improving your stammer. Invest in a Speech Therapist. This could be a life-long process but if your stammer is getting in the way of your career it is worth practicing on improving it every day. Don't ignore it, work at it like you are training for the Olympics. If your job can't give you a raise, perhaps they can pay for a Speech Therapist.

6) Finally, remember you are not alone. Everyone has disabilities and your situation is not unlike people who are very shy or who have social anxiety and who try and avoid face to face conversations. Find similar people to yourself and share tips and advise and help each other.

Good luck my friend!

octopi 4 hours ago 0 replies      
As someone with a mild stutter (5/10, 8 on bad days) but actually does a fair amount of public speaking for a living, I understand how difficult this can be for you. As context for those that have never experienced this before, Nathan Heller describes it very eloquently in both what it feels like physically and how it affects one psychologically and socially: http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/assessment/2... It was an emotional read for me as it captures so successfully my own situation, and I'd imagine it will be too for many with a stutter.

I can only offer some anecdotal advice based on my own experiences, but I hope your situation improves soon (I agree with most of what everyone else is saying: you are being underpaid.)

- Slow down your speech. Sometimes my thoughts get ahead of my mouth, and my words don't come out eloquently. Sometimes when I do phone interviews (or presentations) I put a little card in front of me that has written in big letters "SLOW DOWN." Speech pace may not be a factor for you, but this trick can probably be applied to whatever you're personally going through"put something on a card that keeps you subtly conscious of your speech. Of course YMMV if this makes you nervous and enhances your stammer.

- Practice. I've basically found that all presentations and speaking events turn out better after practicing aloud. With interviews, you can ask a friend to help you prepare, and this may help you with "softball" non-coding questions (e.g., why you looking for a new position, describe a technical challenge, etc.)

- Speak more. This goes hand-in-hand with the point above but is really important. I speak more so I gain more confidence in my own speech, which helps me get over my stutter. Heller (the article above) makes a great point in saying that stutterers actually seem to be attracted to professions in which speaking is a critical part of the role. I somewhat feel the same way, and perhaps if you realize this, you can too. A stutter isn't something to cower away from, it's a challenge to step up to and break through.

benjamincburns 5 hours ago 0 replies      
Yes, you're grossly underpaid. You're doing 100% the right thing by building up a portfolio.

That said, it would be a mistake to think that you can fix this problem with code alone. While a portfolio can "do the talking" to get you in the door, you still have to communicate with your coworkers once you're there. I'd second others opinions to talk to your GP, tell him/her that your speech impediment is affecting your career. Put just as much effort into working with a medical professional as you did/are with your portfolio, and over time you'll have no trouble earning what you're obviously worth.

[EDIT: Also, let your employer know that you're doing these things. Chances are you're more vital to them than you realize, and all of this will help you get that raise. But if you do get it, don't let that placate you. Keep improving yourself.]

[Second edit; I confused this with a Show HN post I was reading at the same time, sorry. Sentiment is the same, however.]

jackrmcdermott 4 hours ago 0 replies      
I stutter also--it's an incredibly frustrating experience for sure, but there's a lot you can do!

For one, I've been creating iOS apps to help people speak through proven speech therapy methods (http://speech4good.com). We're helping thousands of people improve their speech right now.

You can also join various support groups through the Nat'l Stuttering Assoc. (http://westutter.org) or the British Stammering Assoc. (http://stammering.org)--I would highly recommend one of these groups.

Most of all, stay positive! You're in great company (Churchill, James Earl Jones, and more!)

ebbv 6 hours ago 0 replies      
I dunno about in the UK but in the US it would be illegal for companies to discriminate against you based on your stammer, and I know personally I would not care. I would be fine doing the interview over text if that's more comfortable for you.

Don't let them take advantage of you. Of course I would need to see your work to know if they actually are, but if you can write PHP/Ruby and JavaScript they probably are.

sinak 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Hey pattle - what sort of web dev do you do? Any particular programming languages you're particularly proficient with?
graeme 6 hours ago 0 replies      
edw519's comment is a great idea.

I also want to say that stammer's are beatable. My dad had a terrible stammer when he was young. He managed to get over it, through deliberate practice.

Now he's very social, always has groups of people laughing at parties. Except for an occasional stutter you'd never know he had had a speech impediment.

I don't remember exactly how he did it, but if you want to know more, send me an email (it's in the profile) and I'll ask him.

acangiano 6 hours ago 0 replies      
At first I thought this was a parody of the other guy complaining about $115K a year. Then I saw it was serious. Perspective, eh.
krmmalik 6 hours ago 0 replies      
Have you considered freelancing? You could work remotely mostly and explain upfront to your potential clients regards your situation. Clients just want the work done mostly. I understand the lack of regular income could be an issue, but you could potentially earn alot more than you are earning right now.

Also, please let me have some of your details and I'll add you to my address book. I consulting in Digital Strategy and occassionally have a requirement for someone to do some development work.

munr 6 hours ago 0 replies      
You're definitely underpaid. Growing up, I also had a mild stammer, and went through a couple of weeks speech therapy (not sure what age, sometime around 10-11) after speaking to my school nurse about it. You may want to speak to your local GP and see if you can get some help. A lot of what I learned was just about how to slow down my speech and breathe, which felt a bit silly at the time, but over the years it has proven to be valuable. I'm sure you'd also get some value from some it.

You're also fortunate to be in an industry where online communication is the norm, and it should be fairly easy to pick up side work and build up your skills and experience that way too. During my years freelancing, I worked for clients where 99% of communication was done via email, Basecamp, etc, in which case having a stammer is a non-issue as very little communication is voice.

Good Luck!

powatom 6 hours ago 0 replies      
> I've asked my current employers for a raise but because they know my situation and they know my stammer means I interview badly they know I am stuck here.

You work in an industry where you can get away with relatively little verbal communication. Do NOT let your current employers convince you that you can't move to a better paid job because frankly, your pay is disgustingly low.

I've worked with 'web developers' making upwards of 25k who wouldn't know web development if it hit them in the face.

Provided you're not an absolutely lemon at your job, you should be able to walk into a job paying 22-28k right now, easily. Obviously this depends on location too, and whether your skills match up to the experience you claim!

Your stammer is nothing more than a hurdle - remember that. Simply accept that stammering is something you do, and try not to let it get the better of you in an interview situation. You are applying for the position of a web developer, not a public speaker.

Your current employers are taking advantage of your lack of confidence - tell it to them straight that you want a raise because you are being underpaid.

minikomi 6 hours ago 0 replies      
I feel like all these underpaid posts are trying to send me a message lately.
zura 6 hours ago 0 replies      
I have an occasional stammer as well, but for me it is kind of an opposite - I did speak quite well during interviews, but it happens only after I get a job, on a day by day basis - at meetings or conversations with colleagues/friends.

Maybe it is some kind of defense reaction of brain, but it thinks that this is not that important for everyday life :)

I have to add that I tend to speak quite fast.

sirbrad 5 hours ago 0 replies      
Your code should always win the battles.

I've had a stammer all my life, it's one the most frustrating things ever. Here's a few things I'd do/did;

- Make a portfolio of the dev work you've done.
- When you start speaking with an employer, mention your stammer before the interview so they know what to expect. I think this will also help you mentally prepare as well, there will be 'no' surprises.
- Stay calm & good luck!

mhb 6 hours ago 0 replies      
1. You should make the title more descriptive. Maybe What should I do? I stammer in interviews
stevebot 2 hours ago 0 replies      
It sucks if people judge you for your stammer, and if a company lets that get in the way of the interview, they probably suck too. My advice is keep trying until you find a place that doesn't judge you. Otherwise, even if you get past the interview, you will probably find that the company's discrimination will just leak into other avenues.
BSousa 5 hours ago 0 replies      
I really wished when people posted to complain about their situation they would give more details.

Where do you live? Can you take freelance work? Available to travel if opportunity arises?

At the moment I don't have any leads but if I know where you are located at least, I could try and see if I (and others here I'm sure) could help.

piyas 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Hi, I stutter, often badly. Think this way - it is the fear that does this to you even more. I have learnt to live with it, make it your way of doing things - make people to accept you as you are, you will see you will overcome it - I worked in UK before. The card idea is perfect. When I public speak, I declare that I have a speech impediment and offer to re-iterate when needed. I taught a bunch of college kids in a classroom, all saw me, not my stuttering
DoubleMalt 7 hours ago 0 replies      
Drop me a mail if you're interested in working on visionary products.
MIT_Hacker 5 hours ago 1 reply      
There's actually a great company called Balbus Speech which develops mobile apps for speech therapy. I've watched someone go from being unable to speak to perfectly flowing English while using their solutions.


danesparza 5 hours ago 0 replies      
Understand that your technical abilities are a small part of why people actually hire you. If they feel they're going to have a hard time communicating with you, or that you're not a good personality fit -- the hard truth is most people will pass.

Here is my advice: See a good speech therapist. If your stammer is triggered by your emotional state, see a good counselor. Take a communications class. Start interviewing like crazy (just to get comfortable with the process itself).

I'm giving this advice out of my own experience. All of these things have improved myself and my spouse's life immensely. You'll feel more confident and have certain tricks and tips up your sleeve to help you nail interviews.

You've got a lot of life ahead of you. Don't live it out of fear.

shanecleveland 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Is there the possibility of programming an app or tool for stutterers? Use that as gateway to both confront the topic and demonstrate your ability to overcome problems through programming.
mikecarroll 6 hours ago 0 replies      
Mention it in your cover letter when you apply and pass it off as a strength, not a weakness--show what you, from your experiences with your stammer understand about using web development to communicate with users that other developers just wouldn't naturally understand.

Then, when you go get invited for an interview, make sure you control the variables of the situation beforehand: remind the person who schedules the interview that you have a stammer and ask if you can bring a tablet computer to use to help communicating with the interviewer (or something similar that would work). If you set the rules for how the interview proceeds beforehand, it should give you control of the situation and show that you are in control of being able to communicate and work successfully despite the stammer.

southphillyman 6 hours ago 0 replies      
Wow kind of surprised by this. I worked with a project manager who stuttered...and his job was literally to talk to clients. Also worked with a tech lead who stuttered AND spoke in a heavy chinese accent...and he would give 2 hour lunch and learns and no one batted an eye. Anecdotal of course, but I'd think software would be the one place where this wouldn't be a problem. Sometimes I feel like business analyst and technical analyst have jobs solely to communicate for engineers lol.

Anyway maybe during interviews you should tell the interviewer that you are stuttering because you are nervous due to the pressure of the interview and that your communication skills are improved around people you are comfortable with/relaxed environments.

jami 6 hours ago 0 replies      
I think disclosing ahead of time is the best advice. Think of the interview as an opportunity to start working with your company on how to get the most from you. With three years' experience, you may still be very young, so you may not have that all figured out yet. But if you let the interviewers know that you can communicate effectively (even if you have to do the interview via Skype chat in the same room), that will help quite a bit.

Also know that some interviewers, given a candidate who otherwise meets the requirements, like to find buried treasure. Persisting until you find a whole team of those interviewers could work as well.

kvnn 6 hours ago 0 replies      
You should post your resume here, or at least let us know what you're capable of and where you're heading.
yummyfajitas 7 hours ago 1 reply      
Have you considered practicing not stammering? I don't think it'll be easy, but it sounds like the obvious course of action.
guy_c 7 hours ago 0 replies      
One option would be to partner with an experienced freelance developer that has work they are looking to sub out to someone else. They can then be the client facing side of your development skills.
amorphid 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Track down some deaf or mute software engineers and ask them for advice. Maybe you'll get lucky and one of them will hire you!
angus_c 4 hours ago 0 replies      
I have a stammer - often very severe. I don't have all the answers but I hope I can offer inspiration.

I'm now working at Twitter and I speak at conferences internationally. I've struggled through the issues you have and I used to assume I could never get a job of any kind.

In the end it's about attitude. Don't try not to stammer. Speak as much as you can. Be who you are, know what you're good at and let others know it. Always remember that a good employee will hire you for what you can do, not what you can't.

lisagonzo 2 hours ago 0 replies      
What a beautiful outpouring of human compassion- I'm sorry I don't have advice, but am truly moved by the outpouring of help from all posts. Lovely! :)
pattle 4 hours ago 0 replies      
If anyone wishes to contact me please see my profile for my email address and personal website
davidradcliffe 6 hours ago 0 replies      
Props for asking for advice! Good luck!
CiaranMcNulty 6 hours ago 0 replies      
Out of interest, do you tell people in advance?

I've interviewed a person with a stammer and the recruiter had mentioned it beforehand, so we got over the initial discomfort very quickly and carried on as normal.

And yes, £15k with 3 years experience is LOW.

christianboyle 6 hours ago 0 replies      
Have you considered looking for remote/telecommute positions? Maybe you could work with a speech therapist at nights while getting paid fairly during the days and work your way back into an in-office position (if that's what you desire).
Dear HN "Who's Hiring" responders
347 points by ComputerGuru  21 hours ago   195 comments top 40
Udo 20 hours ago 5 replies      
I was absolutely with you until

  but it is a hirers' market

which, even if it is (and that's debatable), is not the correct reason for anyone to behave differently. In this case, applicants should not be reading the actual postings because it's a hirers' market and hirers are now somehow considered royalty. Instead, applicants should be reading them because it's basic curtesy and not doing it ends up wasting everybody's time. If it became an employees' market over night that rule would still apply.

Having the upper hand (imaginary or real) should not play a role here. This is a bad place for expectations of entitlement.

raganwald 20 hours ago 3 replies      
I like this: tl;dr if it'll take the company more effort to reply to your email than you put into sending it, you're doing it wrong.

I don't particularly care whether it is an employer's market or an employee's market. My rule of thumb is that if your email is going to jobs@foo.com, you can send anything you want. But if you are sending an email to a person by name, it is a matter of courtesy to write a personal note.

Likewise, if that person replies to you from their personal email, you deserve more than an obvious form letter, even if it's just a single sentence.

moocow01 20 hours ago 1 reply      
Perhaps you should interpret it as feedback that its not a hirer's market. In a market where most people have many opportunities the incentive to respond with a high effort response is very low. The better thing to do would be to consider the casual emails you get as leads to a potential hire - you'll have to put the effort in. Additionally what you are seeing is likely not by mistake - its an indication that hiring right now for applicants is in many cases more of a numbers game than it is about crafting a great cover letter. That being said I honestly don't think you are doing yourself much good with this sort of message - I'd just do the best that you can with what you get back.
wwweston 20 hours ago 2 replies      
I completely agree that it's courteous (and often more effective) to give the communications you send the level of attention you'd like them to receive.

But is this true?

> it is a hirers' market

I hear a lot about the war for talent and devs having to beat away recruiters with a stick.

> Take the time to actually read the posts: just because a listing contains the word "developer" does not mean it's a software developer. Business Developer != Software Developer!

Fun fact: this mistake apparently gets made on the hiring side too -- last November there were some jobs posted on StackOverflow Careers with titles like "Children's Development Programming Executive" (it was for developing children's tv/video programs).

briholt 20 hours ago 4 replies      
I'd take the opposite approach: be glad when applicants send such poor cover letters because it immediately lets you know you should NOT waste your time on them. Some one who would send such a bad boilerplate cover letter is lazy for not sending an actual letter, technically inept for sending links to a private LinkedIn profile, and has a poor theory of mind regarding what an employer would like to see. This especially bad for a communication-heavy position like BD.

The much scarier prospect is if that applicant actually read this and sent you a real cover letter. The applicant hasn't actually improved their poor skills, they've merely learned a trick to conceal them. This makes it harder to filter them out and you'll end up wasting more time on them if you brought them in for an interview. Ever scarier, while juggling 100 other startup tasks, you might let a bad candidate slip through the cracks, into the interview process, and then actually hire them. You just lost about 1,000 company workhours across your team in trying to cajole the bad person into being useful before you finally give up and let them go.

dizzystar 20 hours ago 1 reply      
I totally agree with your rant, but the fallacy is that you are posting with the absolute expectation a certain level of talent to apply, when this is not the case. HN attracts under-qualified programmers along with high-quality programmers, and I suspect there are far more of the former than the latter. You're more likely to get the low-quality programmers because they are more likely to be looking for work, especially in a field where who you know can get you a job easier and with less effort than sending off resumes to companies.

I didn't apply anywhere, but if I had, I would certainly write a well thought-out cover letter because I would rather not apply to everyone and I understand my chances are quite a bit lower than the company's expected talent level of the baseline applicant, so I would want to focus on places where I have a semi-decent chance. If you are applying to a job via HN, then it is a given that the company is setting a high bar for talent.

niclupien 17 hours ago 3 replies      
I've applied to many positions (internships) advertised in these threads with a lot of effort to craft each email for each of them. I don't speak english so often so it took me a very great amount of effort to do this. Got only 1 reply, the others didn't even bother saying "Thanks for applying" or anything.

I don't know if this behavior is normal but I would expect a bit more from hirers advertising on HN. Especially when they ask for very specific things that I know I got on my CV.

virmundi 21 hours ago 2 replies      
Can we make a trade? Who's Hiring posts will have a clause that says, "Sorry, but we're only looking for folks willing to relocate to X. Don't contact otherwise", in exchange you get better emails? Sounds fair to me.
prunebeads 18 hours ago 0 replies      
I sort of agree with you, but there's also a form of over expectation from recruiters and HR services. In order to pass the screening tests, sometimes applicant must have demonstrated skills to save the world, and have proven track records of having done so. 3 times. I read this linkedin blog entry a few days ago where it was said that in order to be considered worthy of an interview, the applicant must show how much of a difference he brought in his previous job. This is completely silly. Not everyone can claim to have raised the company income by 235% by successfully reorganising from scratch the workflow of the engineering team. I am only slightly exagerating. Maybe that's just me taking things too literally. Or maybe I suck at what I do, but everywhere I worked, success was more the result of good teamwork than of the efforts of one single person. Yet simply stating that one is a good team player is not enough.

Yeah, everyone can say: I am a good team player. And every HR can say: Our company provides the best working environment. Hypocrisy on either sides leads nowhere, but it seems like it's still the expected standard.

I think that a linkedin profile can be enough. And if the profile isn't publicly accessible, there might be a good reason: privacy. So why not simply ask? At least it would show that the application is being processed. Or perhaps there's an option somewhere on Linkedin which let a user directly grant access to his profile to people handling job offers when they apply, and you just rant about those not seeing that option.

smoyer 8 hours ago 0 replies      
So you put zero effort into a attempt to reach the top-echelons of software developer/entrepreneurs and you expect the applicant to customize a resume? The person you'd like to hire most likely has a job, as well as a few offers a week from people that are actively seeking them out.

If you really want to reach this type of employee, you'll have to send individualized notes saying you have an open position, that you already understand the person's capabilities and why your company would be a great place for them to work.

tl;dr If you expect to reach the best employees by putting a few paragraphs on Hacker News, you're doing it wrong.

jawns 21 hours ago 1 reply      
I found out about my current employer (Monetate) through a HN "Who's Hiring" post, and we've hired several other developers who first heard about us here. I agree with OP that HN readers have a reputation for quality, and I'm surprised that he's seeing so many low-effort responses. I've seen several employers set up "nerd hurdles" that require potential applicants to do something that takes a modicum of effort (and talent) before they can apply -- e.g. coding challenges. Maybe that can help weed out less-serious applicants.
jpdoctor 20 hours ago 1 reply      
> tl;dr if it'll take the company more effort to reply to your email than you put into sending it, you're doing it wrong.

No no no, they're doing it right.

All those lame responses? You think you're gonna get better behavior after hiring?

It's not a response so much as an organization intelligence test. You hire 'em, you get what you deserve.

lhnz 19 hours ago 1 reply      
Are you insane?

What kind of place do you come from in which jobs are rarer than developers? Aren't you normally paying recruiters through the nose to access me?

(For the record, I'd write a good message if I felt like the job was for A-listers, but the reality is I just read a lot of them and I can tell that most of these places aren't there.)

EwanG 19 hours ago 0 replies      
As one additional data point to consider, anyone who has had their information posted to any of the job boards, or ever submitted once to a consulting company, gets dozens of solicitations a day where it is obvious that the person (if not robo mailer) saw a keyword and thought it wouldn't cost anything to send a "personal" request for you to reply. Even if you are a 100% match you often won't hear anything back.

Given that, I can't say I'm surprised that many people feel that what's sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander...

eksith 17 hours ago 0 replies      
That's rather unfortunate.

I'm not sure if it's now a hirers' market or not; I'm not out for a new job at the moment, but I would never, ever send an email without tailoring it specifically for the place I'm writing to. At the least I'd go to their site, see their products/services, look at the demos and look into their history.

  >"Hi, saw your listing on HN, here is my LinkedIn. Call me."
>...just BCC all the emails in the Who's Hiring thread.

This is just plain rude! It shows not only a lack of respect to the company they're applying to, it's just a lack of manners altogether. Even if someone isn't serious about applying (and by the looks of the emails you got, they weren't) there should be some basic etiquette at play when communicating professionally.

Email isn't Twitter with more chars.

orangethirty 21 hours ago 2 replies      
I tested this and when I send two line replies to the ads in the hirin thread I get a better response than when I send my CV. Go figure.
niggler 20 hours ago 2 replies      
I've talked to some people who have tried, and the ultimate conclusion was that adverse selection works against you: the people you think are really bright on HN don't end up applying, and the people who reply usually have some problem that makes them unappealing. This is true of all places you could look to hire people, though, so you shouldn't have any higher expectations.
Ovid 12 hours ago 0 replies      
Completely agreed. I'm trying to hire software developers who are willing move to Amsterdam (at the company's expense, complete with work permit!), and respondents show all the enthusiasm of a dead fish. The company I represent repeatedly rejects candidates who don't seem excited about the opportunity and if they saw these original emails, they'd reject many of the candidates out of hand.

Instead, we work with the candidates to coach them on how to present themselves to a company and how to improve their CV/resume. As it turns out, most of our applicants are excited about the opportunity, but they've never been taught the basics of how to hunt for a job. I'm not sure why that is. Are programming jobs always so plentiful that people assume no effort is required? (Actually, that is sort of true. I came to programming after a decade of mostly service jobs and I'm inundated with recruiters without even trying, but I still remember my days of living on pot pies and ramen, so I put effort into applying).

TL;DR: many people dream of living and working in Europe and I'm handing them the opportunity on a silver platter, and I still get the "here's my CV" three-word emails.

prakster 20 hours ago 3 replies      
> "it is a hirers' market". It's NOT a hirer's market; what planet are you living on!
dinkumthinkum 18 hours ago 0 replies      
Your advice is basically common sense. I would find it hard to believe that you are actually reaching anyone here, though. :( If you're the type of person to send out the "meh" emails, are you really likely to be the type of person that reads this kind of post and says "AHA! I shouldn't do that?"
sravfeyn 14 hours ago 2 replies      
I should probably post a "Dear HN 'Who's hiring' posters". And put following content.

With the same token that you say HN is not a CraigsList, when an HN-responder puts an effort in going through their product and writing a personal note inquiring about a possible opportunity at their company, posters should have the courtesy to respond to the responder acknowledging that in-spite of their good/bad profile they can't hire him/her.

I know these two advices are from me to you and you to me. All the remaining folks who have been one-liners will continue to be so.

Btw, I am a graduating student from IIT Delhi, who have applied to many startups that interested me with a personal-note and list of projects I have done with clickable-links. While about 10% of posters responded saying that they did like my profile but can't take it further because of visa, remaining 90% never responded.

While I am not the best engineer, when my detailed & clear personal application doesn't get an acknowledgement reply, I can imagine why responders are just sending one-liners. If posters want to hire, they will hire from one-liners. No point of detailed-personal application.

On a side note, my profile with links to projects is https://gist.github.com/sravfeyn/13534c67812183235a2c/ I am hunting for an engineering position at a start-up with product-innovation.

eli 19 hours ago 1 reply      
Poor cover letters are really one of my pet peeves.

Dear Applicants: Why would you send me what is very obviously the same cover_letter.doc that you send everyone? What do you think it says about you as a candidate if you couldn't be bothered to replace "Dear Hiring Manager" with my name? And that little informal note in the body of your email ("Hi, saw your ad on X. See my attached cover letter and resume"), that effectively becomes your cover letter. It's the first thing I read when you apply. Make me want to open your resume right away.

So what should you write in the cover letter? Not single right answer, but here's an idea: Most jobs--especially at startups--are really about solving a problem that the hiring company has. Sure, the job title might say "DevOps Ninja" but if you read carefully you can figure out that what's really going on is the company has grown rapidly and needs to get serious about its messy, hacked-together infrastructure. Address this in your cover letter. Talk about how organized you are and how you once recabled a data center in a weekend, etc.

uzair88 20 hours ago 0 replies      
To those who are applying for a biz dev role like this: do you honestly expect to get a job where you will be selling for your company (whether it be vision, product, etc.) when you cant even sell yourself to get a job?

Finding a job isnt a game of percentages. Or atleast finding the right job isnt (imho). Find the 2-3 jobs you really want and spend the time to make the recruiter believe you could actually sell for their company one day.

dustingetz 20 hours ago 0 replies      
the people you want to hire don't need to be told this
randomor 19 hours ago 0 replies      
There is then the other scenario when candidates put out a well thought out letter after few hours and only to hear no response, black hole. I, for one, do not really get systems like jobvite and no email and direct human contact for hiring developers who you "value".
rdouble 19 hours ago 1 reply      
That sort of email only doesn't work if the resume is bad, or like you say, if they have their profile settings wrong. If it's a good resume, a brief email is preferable.
rwhitman 17 hours ago 0 replies      
Yea I discovered this from the seeking freelancers post, I had to stipulate that people drop at least a link or resume, otherwise I was getting emails like "I write Python. Email me. Thx."

Please folks I get that you are in demand but not pasting even a link in the email is just plain lazy and a little rude. You don't realize it but you are actually competing with 30 other people per listing, HN gets more exposure than you think...

yarou 20 hours ago 0 replies      
Perhaps it was an April Fools' joke, because if anyone were serious about the position, they wouldn't put:

"Hi, saw your listing on HN, here is my LinkedIn. Call me."

kposehn 19 hours ago 0 replies      
> if it'll take the company more effort to reply to your email than you put into sending it, you're doing it wrong.

Oh so true.

cosmie 20 hours ago 0 replies      
I constantly hear people complain about how few applications they get a response on. Yet, I've always had a pretty great response rate when I start applying.

This advice/note/rant just clarified a potential reason for the differential.

radiusq 18 hours ago 0 replies      
Not sure what you expect when you're seeking "business development" applicants. These are normally the kinds of guys who'd rather bullshit with you over the phone than give up any real details about themselves.
jacques_chester 20 hours ago 1 reply      
I feel like, with a few word replacements, this post and all the replies could come from /r/OkCupid.
neltnerb 18 hours ago 0 replies      
I completely agree. If I'm looking for a job seriously, I won't make my first impression saying "call me" it will be an email asking questions about the person posting the information's thesis research...
Kiro 12 hours ago 0 replies      
It's funny how both hirers and applicants think they are the ones who set the rules. This thread is as bad as the "if you're a recruiter..." posts.
zerni 20 hours ago 1 reply      
And while you (the hirers) are at it you might as well put in your listing if J-1 interns are welcome ;)

I lost a couple of hours (yes, I bother to write an proper answer) writing mails only to find out that interns from overseas are not welcome.

namenotrequired 18 hours ago 0 replies      
I totally understand it's frustrating.

But I don't think you can change them with a post like this and I don't think you should, or that you even want to.
People that would be doing this (regardless of whether they follow your advice or not) aren't the people they want to hire anyway.

If this post is the reason why they try, then they're not good candidates either way. If they follow this advice they're only making it harder for you to weed you out. Sure - that's what they want, but not what you want when you're hiring.

groundCode 10 hours ago 0 replies      
>> tl;dr if it'll take the company more effort to reply to your email than you put into sending it, you're doing it wrong.

from my side of the table, when I was interviewing (about 6 months ago), probably 8 out of 10 startups that I applied to and interviewed for didn't bother to contact me again - not even a polite "thanks but no thanks". I'm not arrogant enough to think I'm the perfect fit for every company I apply to or even that I aced every interview, but I would think common decency dictates at least a response or acknowledgement after an in person interview.

Two sides of the same coin, in my opinion.

ryanjodonnell 20 hours ago 0 replies      
TL;DR's should go at the top of the text, not the bottom.
michaell2 17 hours ago 0 replies      
in related news, "Report: Unemployment High Because People Keep Blowing Their Job Interviews" http://www.theonion.com/articles/report-unemployment-high-be...
4nil 13 hours ago 0 replies      
Where does one draw the line? How is one guaranteed on the ROI of drafting a good response.. I used to go the extra mile, spend time writing a good cover letter, personalizing my resume for the job and most of the time I did not even get a response.
Ask HN: Any good CMSs for showing off creative works?
2 points by dougk16  4 hours ago   discuss
Ask HN: Why the Google Hate?
23 points by anonny  17 hours ago   18 comments top 9
lubujackson 16 hours ago 0 replies      
A bunch of reasons, some valid and some not.

In the 90s, people felt exactly this way about Microsoft. Part of it is simply market strength and longevity. Like the Yankees, people just get tired of always seeing and hearing about Google.

A lot of people have issues with Google's business policies. Very little human support, even for paying customers. Websites that rely on Google's traffic both fear and are frustrated by Google's (unintentional) power over their business, and this includes many startups.

Some people are unhappy with Google's recent moves, including a lot of former employees. The new focus on Google+ and sunsetting of several products has alienated some people who are concerned about Google's identity and goals.

Lastly, some people feel that Google's employees tend to be either arrogant or naive. It's important to realize that people have developed these strong feelings over many years by interacting with Google's products, so when employees assume that Google is great and "would never do anything to hurt small companies" or something like that, it angers people who feel like they have personally experienced just that.

I certainly don't believe most of these concerns are valid or judged by the same standards any other company would have, but that is the nature of being a for-profit company so central to the workings of the Internet.

ancarda 10 hours ago 1 reply      
I used to love Google - I used pretty much every service they had to offer. But in the last few years I've found myself distancing from them - I've replaced all but a small few (Reader, Email and Docs) of their services and I intend to get the last few over with.

Why? I'm not sure. I guess Google, to me, used to be about pushing what's possible. With each service, Google created something that surprised and impressed me.

Lately, everything they do seems to be rooted in aggressive data mining and advertising. Google is almost psychotic in controlling users for data. They feel threatened by Facebook, enough to force and wedge everything into Google+. What does Google even know about social? Why would they feel the need to move into that area?

Google can't seem to make up their mind on what services they feel like running. It's not just Reader, although that was the final straw for many. Over 40 services[1] have been axed by Google so far. How many more? Can anyone rely on Google for anything, and when they neglect services millions rely on AND host them for free, how can one realistically compete?

Is Google+ just yet another 'this is how to do something' - like Wave was? Just a demo. Just a way to 'kickstart' innovation in something? Now look Google Glass - is it really an innovation to help us or is it just yet another front for data mining? Makes you wonder doesn't it, if Google cares so much about data why they cancel so many services.

Google have an overall terrible attitude which I only feel is getting worse. I no longer trust them with my privacy, which is why I'm migrating almost all my online services to ones hosted on my own server - At-least then I can stay away from the ever prying eyes of Google.

[1] http://www.slate.com/articles/technology/map_of_the_week/201...

benologist 17 hours ago 1 reply      
A few things come to mind, but mostly related to Google 'today' not being the little underdog it was 15 years ago when it started, it's a giant corporation.

You are probably employee #sixdigits counting everyone who's no longer employed and #50000-and-something for current employees and that just isn't as prestigious even if their standards haven't changed.

They make a lot of unpopular decisions - most things with google plus, no more free google apps with your own domain, significantly changing app engine pricing, reader and the long list of other dead services that collectively spell "be careful" even to their most vocal fans - the tech industry who made god knows how many millions pandering to Google and Google fans openly mocked Keep's launch!

To counter that they offer perks and they work on some really cool stuff and they still have a reputation for hiring smart people ... but all of that is normal for any startup today.

I would guess (but don't know) that a similar transition happened for HP, IBM, Oracle, Sun, Microsoft, PayPal, eBay etc as well when they finished puberty. I would be somewhere between indifferent and disappointed if one of my friends settled for a job at any of those companies.

It's great if it's your dream though.

joe_youngblood 10 hours ago 0 replies      
First congrats on getting a job at Google. That's one hell of an accomplishment. Tell Matt Cutts I said hi

I agree largely with lubujackson and cupcake_death. It really stems from Google's scrappy startup persona at the beginning and their new corporate goals. Anyone can tell that Google is taking more and more space on the search result pages for themselves using design tricks to add spacing, barely highlight the ads at the top, and even going so far as to build their own vertical search engines in the shopping and travel spaces and then inserting them at the top (to be fair Bing does this to an extent as well) pushing other websites down the page where users barely look.

Google claims these moves are in a users best interest, however, when they came online in 2000 the drumbeat was far different and the best interest was to serve up applicable websites. It seems they are slowly pushing towards a 'google knows best' world where "I'm feeling lucky" is eventually replaced with "this is 100% exactly your answer" and there is little need to go anywhere else.

The pushing of Google+ has not helped their persona any. From seemingly pointless integration with Android and YouTube to forced (and very broken) usage of Google+ Local by small businesses and let's not forget that AuthorRank could EASILY have been a partnership with other social media websites but Google decided to force it on Google+ only and then made it a ranking factor (so use it or lose traffic) which is resulting in some spammy queries as shown here: https://twitter.com/YoungbloodJoe/status/318834815837290497/...

Combine all of that with Google's killing off of beloved products, and making some free products paid only (Google apps) and you get many who are fast to wake up and smell the new order of things like smelling salts shoved under our noses. It should be clear that Google is now a pure wall street business and their core focus is no longer serving up the best search results in the form of webpages, but continuing to find ways to increase revenue from their single largest source of income, Google web search.

For some there is a bit of dissonance. For example, loving Android but getting fed up with how Google might treat a small business through their broken local system, or wanting to see the future of the Google self-driving car, but suddenly being aware of Google's growing governmental ties and seemingly lack of caring about privacy protection for some. In a recent interview with Reuters Vince Cerf, a Google Executive, was quote as saying "Google should not force internet users to use their real names" but then went on to say that Google is not forcing anyone to use a real name to use Google services and that users have a "choice" however, he clarifies that users under oppressive regimes seem to get a pass more than those in say the USA,Canada, or the UK. All of this while Google gets nice and cozy with the USA's "National Strategies for Trusted Identities in Cyberspace" a program that seeks to identify everyone online.

side note: Google is not the only one chasing after a day when Anonymity is dead: http://wrightimc.com/blog/2013/03/04/the-death-of-the-anonym...

Finally there's the matter that Google has been much more of a copycat in recent years than an innovator. Google's business model works like this: If it's really popular and a solid brand name, make a ridiculous offer to acquire the company. If not, build your own free version and use the power of the Google homepage / search results / Android / YouTube to push your new version. If successful in either capacity wait until competitors die off, then add lots of advertising/monetize in other ways. If not wildly successful, kill the product. Groupon is making money? Let's off to buy them, Rejected? ok, we'll start "Google deals". Paypal makes money? Let's do "Google Wallet", etc... In 2010 I met a Googler at an investor meetup at SXSW while pushing an idea for an online video startup. Like all the other attendee's he asked what our concept was. My partner and I discussed that we were being tight-lipped but that we'd like to arrange a meeting later. Gave him our card and our elevator pitch, which was highly watered down. 2 months later, yes 2 months, the very basic part of our concept was debuted at Google I/O as "YouTube Lean Back". Now I'm not accusing Google of any misconduct, but either my idea was hijacked and discussed or I think like a Googler, either way it was still far off from the concept we had that we (thankfully) did not disclose completely. If this has occurred even just a handful of times at large tech conferences it could be a reason for small startups to not want to interact with Googlers a whole lot.

Frankly it shows a lack of imagination and integrity at Mountainview, which if I were a long term investor would scare me.. except for the fact that they have those cool little 'moonshots' that could pay of huge later on.

tl;dr - there are a lot of reasons, but it really comes down to the abrupt way in which Google is changing stance to be a corporation protective of their profits and intruding on the spaces that others want to go into business in (that's likely the best explanation for your startup friends). Here's an audio interview that covers more of this in depth. http://www.capturecommerce.com/blog/organic-seo/is-google-ev...

Google is not "evil" but is a company and is doing what any other company with shareholders and stock would/should do. That doesn't always make it right and there are bound to be unhappy users and missteps along the way.

planetjones 9 hours ago 0 replies      
I'm not sure the attitude you've observed is that prevalent - Google is still an extremely attractive employer. But like everything that's been around a while and has become large - people no longer perceive it as being in vogue.

Personally I have lost some enthusiasm with Google because of some of the bugs I see in their software. My Google Account was created in the UK, but I now live in Switzerland - when I visit Google Maps I get a mixture of English and a different language e.g. "Maletgs". No-one at Google seems contactable to solve this - I have posted to the Google Group (another shambolic piece of software - dejanews minus the spam was better IMO) and nothing happens. I have one Google Apps account with my domain and one other Google account. Yesterday I tried signing into gmail and it told me both accounts were active - there was no sign out button. But when I logged in it just kept reloading the same page without any error. So I was stuck. Eventually I loaded plus.google.com where there was a sign out button.

Some of Google's software is becoming super frustrating IMO - but I guess this happens in many places, when it stops being new software and is (effectively) legacy software that's hard to maintain.

27182818284 16 hours ago 1 reply      
I would contest the feelings about Google are shifting from "AWESEOME!" to "Ugh, is there anything else around?" because Google has stopped innovating in its day-to-day software production. There are driverless cars, but those are just TV-News-OMG things"they aren't coming to me soon. At the same time in the day-to-day you have everyone from Paul Graham to Alie Ward (a celebrity TV chef) complaining about the new Gmail compose. That's a huge diversity! One writes about lisp and created YC, the other cooks and uses Twitter and they both agree on had bad it is. Not a good sign, right? You'd be right to argue that's just one example, but scratch the surface with a search and you see people most recently angry about Google Reader and before that a plethora of other products.

The bottom line is, people have fallen out of love with Google because Google is no longer different. They're on the path to becoming a new Microsoft. (Heck, they basically had a freebie with something as neat as Google Glass and they even fucked that up. Just wow. Let's award it to Newt Gingrich and the guy who joked about cutting himself with it. Good job Google. Good job. )

cupcake_death 11 hours ago 0 replies      
Plenty of people burnt by G's often parasitic and monopolistic forms of monetisation. E.g: placing "search this site" in SERPs for brand queries (actually performing yet another Google search + Ad's) to get more adwords ad's in front of users. Forcing brands to bid on their own names in search results by not protecting trademark claims in any cohesive way.

Suffocating industries with verticals, with poor /no support and then moating, (Think local search and Yelp/online Yellow Pages").

The Binghoo vs. Google pissing contest, (They both look like bullies).

Hijacking loans, mortgages, credit cards, new cars, (and other 'big ticket' items) with aggregated results yet cracking down on aggregators algorithmically in core organic claiming it's not good for the user, (Double standards).

G +... fake numbers they are throwing around when they've clearly strong armed users and 'advertisers' such as the Google Places migration.

Google reader...

Lots more, but generally it's the "Do no evil" BS. Where folks feel hoodwinked into believing G was anything more than a money making machine, even at the cost of their own integrity.

I blame Mayer for the mess in search and Schmidt for the borg like focus on $$$ and social, at any cost.

slater 17 hours ago 0 replies      
First, congrats on getting the job :)

I'd think it's probably a mix of envy (we all know Google pays well, offers great perks and benefits, looks good on a CV, etc.), and maybe fear - Google controls/funnels so much of how people interact with the web today, as a start-up you have to a) stay in their good graces and b) hope they don't come in to your start-up's space and stomp on you.

Oh, and hope - to be bought by Google if your start-up's product is compelling enough ;)

nyrulez 14 hours ago 1 reply      
I am in the NY office but maybe I hang out in the wrong circles. I have heard nothing but admiration so far. I read a lot of FUD online (like this thread) but my real life experience has been very different. I do have some friends in startups and haven't seen that kind of attitude either.

Whay exactly do they say ? just curious.

Ask HN: Are there any children's websites that teach coding or coding concepts?
39 points by brewgardn  1 day ago   41 comments top 23
masterponomo 1 day ago 2 replies      
This is not a website, but my kids LOVED The Art of Computer Programming (1st edition, when they still had the Maurice Sendak illustrations). The pictures in the volume on Sorting and Searching, though, are not recommended for kids under the age of 9.
stiff 1 day ago 1 reply      
I first learned some programming being 8 year old and typing BASIC programs in an editor. Somewhat surprisingly, I think it was easier to get started then than it is now, BASIC was then included among the initial program set of the computer, complete with an IDE and if you ever got to that level it included graphics routines etc. and everything was described in a single book. I now have been seriously programming for more than 10 years, including 7 professionally, but whenever I want to do some fun graphics or sound stuff I still struggle a lot to pick libraries, install them, actually make them work etc.

I would love some recommendations for programming languages + runtimes that you install with one click and immediately have at your disposal a decent language + IDE without weird quirks together with good graphics and sound primitives. I don't think this should be specifically for kids. It should simply be free of ridiculous language issues (PHP and JavaScript are out) and ridiculous runtime issues (managing a thousand and one libraries). Then it will be as good for kids as for adults (as if there was some magic gap between them!) willing to prototype. Actually, I think it is a great project idea, the few existing projects that target this are not all that great I believe.

EdwardMSmith 1 day ago 1 reply      
Just re-introduced my kids (8 and 10) to Scratch:


Drag and drop visual programming. Its good for kids because it allows them to quickly create things that they're used to seeing/using (graphics, animations, sounds), but still uses real programming concepts.

At 5 you're going to have to sit with her and help guide her on concepts, but she'll pick it up quick.

Edit: Err, 5th grade, I see, not 5yo... sorry.

sopooneo 1 day ago 4 replies      
I always thought the game "lightbot" might be good as part of a intro course.


jbellis 1 day ago 1 reply      

Also, +1 recommendation for Scratch.

gorrillamcd 1 day ago 0 replies      
There's also [Hackety-Hack](http://hackety.com/), which was made to help introduce kids to programming with ruby. It uses a DSL I believe. I'm sad to say though, it looks like it hasn't seen much activity recently (only 2 blog posts total and last commit was a year ago).
cwhittle 1 day ago 1 reply      
Depends on whether she has an innate interest or whether you're trying to spark interest, but I think this is the best/most fun way to start any kid with the basics: http://drtechniko.com/2012/04/09/how-to-train-your-robot/

My six year old just started with Blockly, which is similar to Scratch:


But we're going to try http://kidsruby.com/ as soon as he's got enough written language under his belt. Probably will work great for a 5th grader though.

SurfScore 1 day ago 0 replies      
It's not a website, but we created an iPad game called Kodable that teaches kids programming concepts. As an added bonus, its pretty damn cute! We target 5-7, but most young kids tend to enjoy it.

We're also creating a curriculum to integrate it directly in elementary schools.


Email me if you'd like a coupon code for the IAP (jon at surfscore)

nicolethenerd 1 day ago 0 replies      
Since nobody's mentioned it yet, StarLogo TNG - http://education.mit.edu/projects/starlogo-tng

StarLogo TNG is similar to Scratch, perhaps a little bit less intuitive, but it's 3-D and lets you do some pretty cool stuff. I'm a bit biased, because I worked on StarLogo TNG, but not biased enough that I won't admit that Khan Academy has by far the best programming tool for kids I've seen so far. I can't say enough good things about it.

bink-lynch 1 day ago 2 replies      
My daughter 5/6th grade was using Khan Academy:


jessriedel 1 day ago 0 replies      
Shameless plug for my buddy's Bay-area summer camp for middle schoolers:


They teach kids to code games in Python. Last summer was very successful.

carlsednaoui 1 day ago 1 reply      
If you're in the NYC area, you should come to our next CoderDojo session (free programming classes for kids, I'm the NYC co-founder): http://coderdojonyc.com/

If you're somewhere else, definitely take a look at http://coderdojo.com/ and see if there is any Dojo near you.

zpj5005 1 day ago 0 replies      
She should really look into http://codehs.com

I've gone through most of the lessons and while they do a really good job of breaking coding concepts down into real world scenarios involving dogs and tennis balls.

I think they also provide live chat based help if you pay extra.

skanga 20 hours ago 1 reply      
If you have kids who are into Minecraft then check out
draegtun 1 day ago 0 replies      
jmeyer2k 20 hours ago 0 replies      
Check out some resources and this tutorial on my blog here:
I'm 12 years old and I write for raywenderlich.com just for this purpose.
paul7986 1 day ago 1 reply      
Check out http://CodePupil.com.

It teaches HTML/CSS thru visual exercises and games.

g-mark 8 hours ago 0 replies      
I have been teaching 6th through 8th graders Processing (processing.org). They love the creative, visual aspect of it. It's essentially Java, with a layer of ease so you can very quickly get things done. The quick code-run-tweak cycles are an advantage (similar to Scratch in that respect). Because it's Java, all the programming fundamentals (functions, variables, loops, branching, objects) can be taught - but with the purpose of creating something interesting. There are a number of tutorials and books available for teaching (see www.learningprocessing.com), and you can code entirely online at sketchpad.cc.
stickhandle 23 hours ago 0 replies      
I recommend "Python for Kids" from O'reilly
groundCode 10 hours ago 0 replies      
What about Ruby for kids? http://ruby4kids.com/ruby4kids
bigdata123 1 day ago 0 replies      
robomind.net : I was able to teach my 4 year old daughter and keep her interest with this simple free application.
Hosting in mainland China?
4 points by myshortname  11 hours ago   3 comments top
remyt 10 hours ago 1 reply      

There is, but not with English support.
It's not true, but China is huge and latency can be an issue, depending on the service you want to host.

If you host in China you DO need an ICP license. One of your Chinese staff will have to register one for you. Choose someone you trust.

Why do people hate the new Gmail compose window?
18 points by nscheffey  2 days ago   25 comments top 18
munaf 2 days ago 1 reply      
- It feels cramped and crowded with my inbox as a backdrop

- Vertical reading space is limited

- The toolbar is aligned at the bottom of my screen which causes me to run into the OS X dock, which I set visible on hover

- It compresses all message recipients (To, CC, ...) into a single row which makes you have to double-check if everyone's in the right place

- The formatting popover appears over your content if you want it to persist

- I feel verbally limited by its small writing area

- They haven't solved the "too many IM and compose windows are open" problem. When you get into this situation, things feel really crowded and messy.

- The hover state on the formatting toolbar "+" is jarring because the item you hovered over changes underneath you, making you (sub?)consciously worry about a misclick since it will launch a damn-obtrusive Google Drive dialog

- Between the appearance of Gmail as a whole, and this as an addition, my feeling of information overload when dealing with email has only increased. Gmail just isn't very "zen."

plinkplonk 2 days ago 0 replies      
Why the does the (tiny!) window open aligned to the bottom right of the screen? I hate this feature. When I compose an email, I want the typing area front and center, not squished to the bottom right of my screen. Who composes email in a miniscule squished-to-a-corner text area?

The 'user interface designer' who came up with this, and the Product Manager who approved this should (imo) be stood against the nearest wall and shot. GMail has been on a steady downhill path from when the 'new design'ers ran amok.

beering 2 days ago 1 reply      
If the new Compose interface was actually that awful, it wouldn't have seen the light of day. What do you think Google employees use for all their email all the time?

The window is not that tiny - compare it to the chat window, for example. And since so many of my emails reference other emails, it's nice to be able to browse my inbox at will without opening new browser frames.

I was thrown off a bit by the auto-hiding of CC and From fields, but it's habit by now to use Tab and Shift-Tab to navigate the form elements. Thankfully, it's still about as keyboard-accessible as before, since I don't like to use my mouse much.

mooism2 2 days ago 1 reply      
A particular nit: It's harder to change which e-mail address I'm sending from. Old way: use drop down list to select the from address I want. New way: click To field. From address drop down list magically appears. Use drop down list to select from address I want. This was so intuitive I had to look it up in the online help.

More generally, I don't like that there's a window within my Gmail tab. I don't like being invited to mess around with window-sizing and -placement instead of just being left to write my e-mail. It reminds me of MDI, but without the saving grace of being able to maximise the child window. Why have I got to use a horrible little subwindow instead of something closer to full width?

I can't see how it's supposed to be an improvement. What does it do better than the old way?

asafira 2 days ago 0 replies      
I think there are some pretty unintuitive "features" it has. Example: reply to someone that has sent you an e-mail. Gmail sends you to a new section of the page below their e-mail, and allows you to start typing your response (just like it used to be!). Now, change the subject. How? Well...press the "back" button, of course. But then what happens? Apparently that compose view isn't right anymore, so it pops it out into a window. Why? I'm not sure.

But in general I also feel that things just seem really cluttered when you compose e-mails in a window alongside your chats. I usually have 4+ chats going, and it usually hides a couple when I compose the e-mail. It also just _appears_, as fast as a popup, over my field of view on the page --- I don't find that transition very pleasing, TBH. One might argue it's the same for gchat windows, but maybe I just got used to those. Or maybe it's time for a revamp for those, too. (Which might actually be coming soon, anyway)

DanBC 2 days ago 1 reply      
I feel stupid when using gmail.

I have no idea how to do simple things, and each time I want to do those things I spend a few minutes noodling around the interface hovering over various parts of the UI hoping for a tool tip.

woodchuck64 1 day ago 0 replies      
Old compose let me use Vim with "It's All Text" in a plain text window. I don't see any options for Vim on the new compose.
mansigandhi 1 day ago 1 reply      
I actually love it and have been using it for months now.

1. You can compose multiple emails at a time

2. You can copy-past from/to draft/existing emails/new emails

3. You don't need to change windows when you need to write an email. Works just like how google chat and facebook chat work embedded within the main page....it doesn't interrupt your flow.

When they came out with it months back, my first reaction was -- "wow that's brilliant!".

pasbesoin 2 days ago 0 replies      
More work to accomplish the same things. More "undiscoverable" UI.

But, particularly regarding the latter, I don't know yet how many phone calls to explain this to my parents and walk them through it repeatedly until they remember it (for lack of having an effective reference to consult).

sherm8n 1 day ago 0 replies      
It's only awful because I've been used to the way they've been doing compose for years. They only made very gradual changes so it didn't affect my flow too much.

With the new interface, it makes me pause for a second when I want to get something done quick. I imagine I'll get used to it and you all will too.

JustARandomGuy 2 days ago 0 replies      
It feels like a solution for a problem that doesn't exist.

What does the new compose window gain you? Nothing. It's smaller and more cramped for no good reason. Oh sure, you can see the emails in your inbox while composing, but I almost never need to do that.

I contribute a lot to tech mailing lists on Google Groups, so I spend a lot of time writing long, detailed technical responses to emails. I prefer having a big screen to do my composition. Making it smaller for no obvious benefit annoys me.

cgopalan 1 day ago 0 replies      
I have been using it for sometime and while initially jarring at first, I found that I like it better mostly because:

- Its small but not tiny.

- It allows me to reference previous emails while composing a new email. I think this helps a lot.

They could have had a tab-based solution too where the new email would be in a separate tab. But this one keeps the new email in view which is better.

msamiry 2 days ago 0 replies      
for me it's that when I'm writing an email I want it to be on the focus, on the center of the screen, the new compose is positioned in the lower right corner and it just doesn't feel right.
dragonwriter 2 days ago 0 replies      
There's only two things I can see that might be the issue:

The rich text toolbar is gone (the keyboard controls are still there), and the toolbar that is there hides most of its icons until you hover over the '+' icon, even though it doesn't save any space.

The second is the only one I see as negative, but I can understand that people would dislike the first, too.

codegeek 1 day ago 0 replies      
Looks like a chat window. Enough said!!
daniel-cussen 2 days ago 0 replies      
I saw that last night too, but come on, are we following the guy's every tweet...hmm...yes, I suppose you and I literally are.
justhw 1 day ago 0 replies      
feels like chat

less focused

hate popups

meerita 1 day ago 0 replies      
I don't use the web UI since they made IMAP available.
Show HN: April Fool's Pranks
100 points by siong1987  1 day ago   72 comments top 38
tkahn6 1 day ago 3 replies      
Someone does this every year and the jokes still dominate the front page.

Some people get upset about this and some people let those people know that it's not a big deal because it's only one day out of the year.

This discussion is repeated on every joke submission.

bhickey 1 day ago 2 replies      
I wrote a file system that gives weather reports: http://github.com/bhickey/cloudyfs
dbarlett 1 day ago 1 reply      
INTERCAL on Interstates http://www.intercaloninterstates.org/

Stackoverflow rolls out "Chat with an expert" https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=5470570

dbarlett 1 day ago 1 reply      
arcatek 1 day ago 2 replies      
April Fools on the Python bugtracker

#17587 Have all core library modules imported by default


hkuo 1 day ago 0 replies      
If you can get access to someone's iPhone for 30 seconds you can install a web app that looks just like the iPhone interface but with various surprises when anything is pressed.


carlsednaoui 1 day ago 1 reply      
Google Analytics - Visits from The International Space Stations: http://carlsednaoui.com/post/46805160838/google-analytics-ha...
hayksaakian 1 day ago 1 reply      
stereotypical job ad for a startup

probably by 500 startups


saw it posted on YC jobs

pawn 23 hours ago 1 reply      
I put this one together. I tried to be pretty blatantly obvious but some people still bought it.


maguay 1 day ago 0 replies      
Some awesome CSS for messing up your colleagues' browsing experience for April Fool's day: https://github.com/wesbos/aprilFools.css
vrdabomb5717 1 day ago 1 reply      
Youtube on the selection of a winner: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H542nLTTbu0
jaredsohn 1 day ago 0 replies      
OkCupid Labs Date Courier (find dates via snail mail): http://www.okcupidlabs.com/blog/2013/03/30/Date-Courier.html
dbarlett 1 day ago 0 replies      
Wolfram|Alpha Handwritten Knowledge Engine: http://blog.wolframalpha.com/2013/04/01/introducing-the-wolf...
Urgo 1 day ago 0 replies      
I've been keeping a list of every website that puts up an april fools' day joke since 2004. Here's the 2013 list (submit to here if you like too) http://aprilfoolsdayontheweb.com/2013.html
EmilRehnberg 1 day ago 1 reply      
milkmiruku 1 day ago 0 replies      
YokoZar 1 day ago 0 replies      
Last year I uploaded an empty package to Ubuntu titled "Free Launchpad Karma" -- the idea was that whenever an Ubuntu developer wanted more Launchpad karma points, they could easily file a bug against it, close a bug against it, upload a new version, provide a translation, and so on.
dbarlett 1 day ago 0 replies      
tonystubblebine 1 day ago 0 replies      
We did Goal Tracking by Mail and we're actually honoring these.


People seem to want an Android version of Lift, but we thought a nice, high-res paper version would do more to increase our reach.

1123581321 21 hours ago 0 replies      
My favorite is Craigslist's new mobile site: http://Chicago.craigslist.org
ak0s 1 day ago 0 replies      
Lambda the Ultimate is moving to Facebook: http://lambda-the-ultimate.org/node/4709
nirvanatikku 1 day ago 0 replies      
Google Analytics: Visitors from the International Space Station - Control Room


Trezoid 1 day ago 0 replies      
deviantART launches deviantHEART, a dating site for artists: http://www.deviantart.com/deviantheart/
nirvanatikku 1 day ago 0 replies      
Android Dev Portal "Add New Awesome Application"


EmilRehnberg 1 day ago 1 reply      
Google Japan has one on character input methods:

And Kotaku is not late to the party either:

TallboyOne 1 day ago 0 replies      
elamadej 1 day ago 0 replies      
Supposedly "Wearing Unerdwear can solve EVERY SINGLE problem you can imagine"


andrewchoi 1 day ago 0 replies      
Just found this thanks to a late night diff eq. problem set:


royalghost 1 day ago 0 replies      
Google Analytics - We were visited from International Space Station - http://www.merocampus.com/blog/2013/04/01/merocampus-visited...
tvwonline 1 day ago 0 replies      
The Guardian has announced 'Guardian Goggles'.


sidwyn 1 day ago 0 replies      
mayankj08 1 day ago 0 replies      
moxon 1 day ago 1 reply      
Everest launches a startup within a startup, code named: Project Pink Elephant
schuyler2d 1 day ago 0 replies      
Type 'peep' at http://www.wnyc.org/
arseniclifeform 1 day ago 1 reply      
iRoll - create fake iPhone apps to rickroll others. http://iroll.co/
Ask HN: What is the best way to get good at linux shell commands?
8 points by brenfrow  1 day ago   9 comments top 4
SoftwareMaven 1 day ago 1 reply      
Cmmandline Fu[1] is a good place to start to see the possibilities; then, start forcing yourself to solve daily problems on the command line that you might either solve using a scripting language or solve by manual repetition.

Working on the command line is just like writing any other software. You have to think about what you are trying to do, and decide how you will accomplish it. As you think "what do I need to do next", Google is your friend for finding the obscure command to accomplish the task.

Repeat every working day until you aren't going to Google.

1. http://www.commandlinefu.com/commands/browse

dylanhassinger 1 day ago 2 replies      
1) start using Git and Github for all your projects. This will force you to get good at command line basics

2) Make your own dotfiles with shortcuts. Here's mine:


3) Get a VPS server and set it up. This will require you to learn a little bit of everything - FTP, web server install, libraries, more. I'm doing this now, it's a bitch!

Here's a great VPS deal I found recently, I'm setting mine up now:


DivisibleByZero 1 day ago 1 reply      
I'm not sure about books, but I can offer a bit of advice.

Try and get a friend who is good at Linux. Standing over the shoulder and watching someone using Bash, vim, etc helps a lot. I share some tidbit of system usage almost daily with my roommate and its done wonders for me.

Type "Google" and hit enter on Bing
2 points by manishm  23 hours ago   3 comments top 2
mostlystatic 22 hours ago 1 reply      
What is supposed to happen? Looks normal to me: http://imgur.com/6XA69iv
manishm 23 hours ago 0 replies      
Google hits back, Gmail Blue: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zr4JwPb99qU
Ask HN: Does anyone know what's going on at Coinbase?
166 points by joezydeco  10 days ago   discuss
niggler 10 days ago 3 replies      
This is absolutely an issue that needs to be handled immediately. When there is real money involved, trust/faith is by far the most important factor. If there is any concern about missing money, people will lose faith in the service and usually stop using it. To give an analogy, consider what is going on in the minds of the Cypriots while their accounts are in limbo.
FredEE 10 days ago 5 replies      
Fred from Coinbase here.

There are still a few lingering issues, which we've been working hard to fix and will be looking at again today. To those affected, I'm very sorry for the wait. Funds are safe, it's just a question of opening the pipes properly to let them flow normally.

smallegan 10 days ago 3 replies      
Not sure if my story syncs up with what everyone else is seeing:
-I purchased 10 coins on the 14th.
-Money came out of my account on the 18th.
-They said they were available to me on the 20th via e-mail
-Have tried multiple times to send money to external wallets with no success
-My account balance went from 10 to 0 to 10
-Support has been horrible
rdl 10 days ago 0 replies      
IIRC, Coinbase has a founder and an engineer, which doesn't excuse non-responsiveness, but is probably the reason. They're probably hard at work trying to deal with this problem, and haven't prioritized support or notification of affected customers. That might have been a good choice if the fix only took a few hours, but as it's dragging on a bit, it's probably better to take some time out from fixing it and communicate with customers.
ashray 10 days ago 1 reply      
I hope they figure this out soon. This is the kind of thing that scares me and the primary reason that I decided against speculating in bitcoins. For someone like me who can't really afford to lose a lot of money, I need to trade in historically stable stuff (even if they are as rigged as they are..).

I don't really understand bitcoin very well, that is reason #2. I hope the Coinbase folks though have a solid grasp of it and can fix this otherwise this is going to look very bad.

waterlesscloud 10 days ago 1 reply      
I'm rooting for them, but they definitely need to communicate more.
jonpaul 10 days ago  replies      
I'm a Coinbase customer, and as an additional data point, their customer service has been wonderful. Now granted, this was about a month ago. I did send them an email on Thursday and haven't heard back from them, but my request wasn't urgent, so I haven't thought much of it.

Overall, I'm rooting for them, and being YC backed, I'm confident that they'll figure out their issues. I do hope sooner rather than later, as I can't wait to use their API.

Ask HN: What other online communities are you a member of?
9 points by chuhnk  2 days ago   4 comments top 4
nonamegiven 2 days ago 0 replies      
My friends are pretty cool, with similar and different types of experience, but that's private in email.

I wonder how many large or small communities exist in email? I guess only the NSA and Google knows.

bobisme 23 hours ago 0 replies      
http://bit.ly/reddweb (my web dev multi-reddit).
tobylane 2 days ago 0 replies      
It's possible to find good subreddits, to make a few 'multis' to read a few times a week.

Meta filter, twitter, something awful, LinkedIn will come up.

clockwork_189 2 days ago 0 replies      
StackOverflow, /r/developers, LifeHacker, TechCrunch
Ask HN: Which college should I attend?
9 points by student_  3 days ago   21 comments top 12
logjam 3 days ago 1 reply      
My advice is just choose the place you'll feel happiest at for 4+ years. Think carefully about social support in terms of positive family and friend interactions.

Choice of schools doesn't matter much - how interested and excited you are to learn is the critical factor, and the environment and your own situation influences that heavily.

You can get an outstanding education at any of those schools, regardless of department.

Whether you get a B.S. or B.A. won't matter. Don't forget to broaden your education and follow your interests wherever they lead - learn a foreign language in depth, take many humanities classes, take science classes outside the engineering track, learn how to write, draw, teach, etc. Enjoy yourself and the hard work will just naturally flow.

I studied engineering and biochemistry, but the classes outside my technical majors proved more valuable over time than anything else.

joshAg 23 hours ago 0 replies      
If you want to be a software engineer, UCB probably has the most renowned CS program of all the schools you mentioned.

At Cal the only differences between L&S CS and EECS are lower division classes. L&S CS and EECS students at Cal take the same upper div classes, and most of the same lower div classes (only differences are the non CS GenEd's and eecs has to take ee20n and ee40 but L&S doesn't).

I think the perceived value between a UCB CS degree and another school's CS degree (regardless of BS or BA) will be much greater than the perceived difference between a BS or a BA. And if you ever run into anyone who claims there's a major difference between a BA and a BS @ Cal, just point out that a Berkeley physics degree is only a BA as well.

EDIT: just realized I didn't give you an opinion. Here it is: Go to the most difficult program where you are reasonably sure that you can still get at least a 3.5 GPA. No, GPA isn't everything, but it is a lot, because people tend to use it to weed people out when there are too many applicants for something, especially right after undergrad or for grad school. Some schools have grade inflation. Others, like berkeley, have an active policy against grade inflation: [1]. Yes, you can still get a good job with a 2.1x GPA from one of those schools (or, at least, I managed to), but it's much harder than if you have a GPA > 3.

[1]: http://www.eecs.berkeley.edu/Policies/ugrad.grading.shtml

27182818284 1 day ago 0 replies      
This is actually the startup I'm working on. We applied to YC a couple of days ago. My cofounder and I believe that there are better ways to find out where you should go and what you should study than the traditional routes of nearly guessing, getting a postcard with your name on it, or taking a tour around campus with a student worker. (Though, honestly, schools love the last one because attendance rates, once you get the student to set foot on campus, are above 70%. So as much as I knock the idea of a tour with a student worker making less than $10 per hour, it does seem to seal the deal.)

Anyway, we're going to change college selection for a lot of students. I'm sorry we're not ready, yet.

BadCookie 3 days ago 1 reply      
I agree with the others that B.A. versus B.S. makes little difference from the perspective of a future employer. It might make a difference to you, though, in terms of what the class requirements are.

UCB is nice if you are interested in startups. If you get into Caltech, visit if you can (and haven't already). Caltech was my "dream school" from middle school onward. I was admitted and visited, at which point I realized that it was a horrible fit for me socially. I'm not saying that you'll feel the same way, but of the schools you've listed, Caltech is probably the weirdest, and therefore the riskiest choice if you don't know exactly what you're getting into.

pasbesoin 3 days ago 0 replies      
1) Don't let your focus deride you from getting a more well-rounded education. That said, it should be an interesting, engaging, and satisfying education. Not just "because I should".

2) And, that said, keep your eye open towards to possibility(s) of turning this into a 5 (5.5, 6?) year Masters track. I guess I'm of two minds about this. My understanding from others is that, particularly in the shorter timeframe, such a curriculum might squeeze out time and opportunity for some other topics -- you might miss things you would find of significant value. But, it can be a more direct path to a more valuable degree and perhaps to a deeper educational experience in your topic of interest -- if this does indeed mesh with your interests.

So, I'll say, look into such opportunities. Whether you ultimately decide to sign up for such a path is a matter of whether it would be right for your (and what opportunities end up presenting themselves -- or, perhaps better stated, what you can shake loose, and at what cost).

P.S. A difficult, hard, challenging professor is one thing. A crap professor is another (and, believe me, they do exist -- whether their attitude is malicious, disengaged, or even ostensibly helpful). Don't waste too much time on the latter. Nor work too hard to avoid the former; I remember one math(s) professor with a somewhat fearsome reputation, but boy did you learn! :-)

jason_slack 3 days ago 1 reply      
Take a walk around each and talk to some people and figure out which one of these schools will LET YOU BE YOURSELF!

Which one you will learn at, but be able to pursue your outside passions.

Which on you can kick back with friends to blow off some steam.

I wouldn't consider money at all. You have the rest of your life to pay back loans and that is worth picking the place for the reasons I listed above and not worry about cost.

logn 3 days ago 1 reply      
I agree that BA vs BS isn't too big of a deal. But some employers do actually require a BS. You will lose some opportunities but they're probably at high-bureaucracy places with pointy haired bosses.

IMHO, choose the place where you'd (1) graduate with the least debt, (2) have the best chance of graduating, (3) would enjoy the most, (4) has the highest quality teachers (teachers, not researchers), and (5) has the best students... in that order.

You should also visit the campuses and pop in on some classes and talk to students or professors.

D-Train 3 days ago 1 reply      
Just like the others have said, choosing the school that makes you HAPPIEST is best. Culture is so important when it comes down to these long-term commitments.

Also, do think about the networking aspect. That is, where are some of those alums at those schools heading off to. This may be an important as you think beyond college.

They're all great schools, and if you're confident in your ability and work hard, you'll make the most out of any school you choose.

... and just because I am an avid fan of my undergrad, I'm going to throw in Georgia Tech to the talk. Just cuz...

Good luck and congrats!

fakeer 3 days ago 0 replies      
1. Look at the campus, area around and weather.

2. Which college gives you how much loan burden(assuming you are taking one)

3. Which is more international

4. Look at your house and all those US UG things and see where you'll fit in, someone commented sth related above (back in my country there are hostels and no matter which hostel you are in, you are living in the entire campus)

5. Walk into all these campus and see which one makes you feel most good (okay, it's not that simple but you'll know)

6. I am sure you've worked on all other factors like acads and job prospects and entrepreneurial scene :-)

Lucky you, congratulations :-)

genwin 3 days ago 0 replies      
If you'll do programming then a degree often isn't required to get a job, so choose the one you like the best regardless of the credentials you'll get. If you'll be paying for it, or borrowing, I suggest not spending or borrowing a lot more to get better credentials.

If it were me the location would be a big factor. If the costs were equal I'd choose Berkeley because of the great nature in Yosemite and the Sierras, and also Berkeley is near an epicenter of tech development.

eli_gottlieb 3 days ago 0 replies      
You haven't even begun to answer the most important question: what are you looking to get out of university?
vph 3 days ago 1 reply      
they all seem to be great schools, with great teachers. I'd choose a place where you'll live on campus and hangout with smart CS majors.
Ask HN: Are you familiar with this new "Expert Chat" in StackOverflow?
3 points by tzury  1 day ago   2 comments top
tzury 1 day ago 1 reply      
How did the popular 'Proposition HN' idea turn out?
3 points by Snail_Commando  1 day ago   1 comment top
josephpmay 1 day ago 0 replies      
Here's his update from February:
How important is a degree in CS?
4 points by samdunne  2 days ago   6 comments top 5
unimpressive 2 days ago 0 replies      
Full Disclosure: I'm just some kid on the Internet, in case my handle didn't clue you in.

I think that even if you forgo a degree you should endeavor to learn about theoretical computer science and mathematics. A good education (in whatever form you manage to get it) should be intellectually enriching, even if you rarely use it. (Though if you really understand it, I doubt the sentence "you rarely use your knowledge relating to concepts like algorithmic complexity or formal verification." will remain true for long.)


rprospero 1 day ago 1 reply      
I'll go against the prevailing wisdom here and say get the degree. My roommate lost his job two years ago. Despite having eight years of industry experience, it's been impossible for him to find a job. ANY job.

He got a phone interview with another company. Everything was going fairly well until the interviewer asked where he went to college. Bob said he didn't have one, though he had done an equivalent job at his previous employer. The interview ended right there.
Bob tried to get a job at a call center. Bob had three years of experience at an IT helpdesk and was a personal friend of the manager at this new firm. Wouldn't let the manager bring Bob in for an interview since Bob didn't have a B.S.
Desperate for work, Bob applied for a receptionist position. He got back a form letter saying they required at least a masters.
To try and make rent, Bob started advertising as a baby sitter. In the very first phone call he got from a parent, the parent asked what Bob's degree was in and ended the interview immediately afterwards.

Granted, these are the lowlights of a two year streak of seeing Bob get screwed by his lack of a degree, but you need to look at it from the perspective of the corporations. We've all seen plenty of individuals graduate from college programs without the competence to wipe themselves. So, if the people who PASS are that stupid, what kind of idiot do you have to be to fail?

Granted, if you're starting your own business, it won't matter one whit. That's what Bob is doing now, since the job market is impossible. But you should go get the degree if you want the option of getting hired.

rpedela 2 days ago 0 replies      
I guess it depends. The most important thing is knowing the basics. Usually someone with a CS degree knows them. I have found very few self-taught web/mobile developers who can answer questions about complex data structures, threading, etc. Knowing that stuff helps you build more efficient, less buggy software. I would personally recommend a CS degree because it will force you to learn the boring, yet important, stuff. And it will make it a lot easier to find a high-paying job.
daniel-cussen 2 days ago 0 replies      
Put yourself on the other side of the coin. Companies say they need to ask for a Master's to get candidates with Bachelor's degrees. Maybe, take it with a grain of salt.
FellowTraveler 2 days ago 0 replies      
If you need to hire 2 people, and you have 200 resumes, the first thing you do is throw out all the ones with misspellings and without a degree.

Other than that, the degree isn't that important, compared to the skill-set and work history.

The pure ability can be gained just from Google, Wikipedia, and practice at home. So can all the theoretical knowledge.

Ask HN: Why the recent flurry of .io domains?
16 points by Jeremy1026  5 days ago   discuss
moonboots 5 days ago 2 replies      
I chose an io domain my site http://typing.io because of the input/output programming reference. It's also more difficult to find a reasonable .com domain related to typing practice.

The registrar I'm using is about $48/year [1] with no price bumps for renewals.

[1] http://en.gandi.net/domaine/prix/detail/io/

argonaut 5 days ago 0 replies      
One big reason is that if you're making a B2D product (business to developer), adding a .io to your name is pretty acceptable.

See: segment.io, filepicker.io, etc.

These companies have adopted the ".io" as part of their company name, all in order to get a cheap domain. If you tried to buy a domain name like segment.com, that would be around $100k (ballpark). (Segment.com is probably not actually for sale, since an actual business is using it right now!)

bmelton 5 days ago 0 replies      
I think it's mostly just due to the fact that a $75 .io domain is still many times cheaper than having to purchase an already-registered domain from somebody outright. Plus, it's short, and there are still tons of domains available on it.
fakeer 5 days ago 0 replies      
It's because of "I/O - Input Out". Gives a nerdy touch to the URL.

Maybe also because it's one of those easy sounding, feels real short and quick like some other domains i.e. .in, .co and .ly. Nth beats a .com yet.

Anyway reason you think, we might start getting single character TLDs? As in .a, .k , .z &c?

RileyJames 5 days ago 0 replies      
We chose to use .io as opposed to .com because io seems to be accepted within the development / tech community. Rather than come up with a web 2.0 domain name we'd prefer to use the name we like. http://theoria.io. If the product didn't have a tech / dev audience I'd probably go with something else.
uladzislau 5 days ago 1 reply      
I'm happy about .co domain zone as well. An average $20 year for one domain vs. $8,000 asking price for the same domain in the .com zone. I really hate domain squatters.
blazing_grey 5 days ago 0 replies      
As everyone else is saying, it's still a pretty uncrowded namespace and the 'IO as in input/output' thing is great for B2D or D2D sites. More concretely, it's a way for me to have a personal site whose domain is 6 characters, all of which mean something (http://lsh.io, my initials and "input/output").

Thread derail: I just bought that domain recently. What's the MVP for an engineer's personal site?

roryreiff 5 days ago 0 replies      
For us (Splash.io), it was a matter of not having the ability to purchase splash.com, and that our URL is not really that important (we are a mobile app, App store ranking and searchability is a way bigger issue). Plus, .io seemed reasonably acceptable for our product. We also nabbed getsplashapp.com, but splash.io is shorter, and I think easier to remember.
birchbird 5 days ago 0 replies      
It's usually because the ".com" version of the domain is taken and the sites cater to a more tech savvy audience. I'm not sure I've seen examples of medium or large companies/services using .io domains. (Exception would be survey.io, but it's a few years old)

As psycr says, it's also a reference to I/O and could also represent 1 and 0.

psycr 5 days ago 0 replies      
It doubles as a reference to the computing term I/O: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Input/output
ed56 5 days ago 0 replies      
Because Stone Cold said so.
Would it be hard to have a mobile style sheet for HN with pressable buttons?
105 points by techtalsky  7 days ago   discuss
faramarz 7 days ago 1 reply      
I spent an hr hacking away at this no-class, no id, table within a table within a table layout.

I didn't make the fonts scale to mobile screen ratio because I know a lot of people like to have the ability to pinch in and out.

PG, if you're reading this, all you have to do is dump this at the bottom of your css file.

  @media (max-width: 740px) { 
body { padding: 0; margin: 0; width: 100%; }
body table{ width:100%; }
body table tr td:nth-child(1n+0) table:nth-child(1) tr:nth-child(1) td:nth-child(even) .pagetop {
position: absolute; top: 4px; left:30px; z-index:100; width: 100%; text-align: left; }
body table tr td:nth-child(1n+0) table:nth-child(1) tr:nth-child(1) td:nth-child(odd) .pagetop {
position: absolute; top: 45px; left:30px; z-index:100;text-align: left; color: #fff;}
body table tr td:nth-child(1) { height: 70px; vertical-align:top; padding: 1px;}
body table tr td:nth-child(1) td:nth-child(1) { height: auto; padding: 0;}
textarea { width: 100%; }
.pagetop { color: #ff6600; }
.pagetop b { display: block; float: left; clear: both; width: 100%; margin-bottom:4px }
.pagetop a { display: block; margin-right: 10px;float: left; }
body img {width: 20px; height: 20px; }
body img:after { display: block;color:#000; font-size: 20px;}
pre {max-width: 100%; width: 300px; word-wrap:break-word; overflow: auto; }
a {word-wrap:break-word; }

End result is this:

dbaupp 7 days ago 0 replies      
Just sticking this at the end of the CSS file seems to help (obviously the 800px could be adjusted downward if that is deemed too wide for filtering mobile devices):

  @media screen and (max-width: 800px), handheld and (max-width: 800px) {
img[src="grayarrow.gif"], img[src="graydown.gif"] {
width: 20px;
height: 20px;

(It'd be nice if the images were unicode symbols, e.g. http://www.fileformat.info/info/unicode/char/25b2/index.htm)

And possibly putting the following in the <head>, so that the screen starts zoomed to a reasonable level.

  <meta name="viewport" content="width=device-width, initial-scale=1">

noonespecial 7 days ago 1 reply      
And the accidental down-votes despite my best efforts and intentions.
rsoto 7 days ago 5 replies      
Yes, it would be really hard. For as much as I love HN, I think it does not stand to the standards of what it is: a meeting place for hackers.

When we work on the web, we focus on being semantic, conscious about the actual web in which one size does not fit all, usability and design. None of which HN has: tables, it doesn't work on mobile (and the links on the submission aren't clickable) and you can't undo your vote. I understand another hacker value is protoyping and MVP-thinking, but when you have a vibrant community a few years old, that's not the case.

Maybe the hacker thinking on HN is doing it yourself, maybe you can come up with a browser extension that fixes this stuff.

In the meanwhile, you can use ihackernews.com for when you're on the go.

the_cat_kittles 7 days ago 0 replies      
I use http://hackerwebapp.com/, its great.

edit: I just realized you are talking about not being able to vote on things easily- sadly you cant do that with hackerwebapp, but it is still a really good mobile site.

neeee 7 days ago 0 replies      
I use this[1] Hacker News app on Android. I think it's beautiful and it works really well for me.

Haven't found anything comparable on iOS.


jconley 7 days ago 0 replies      
I think that would be great! Personally I use the news:yc [1] app on iPhone (no affiliation). It works well and the author updates it when there is a parsing problem.

[1] http://newsyc.me/

kripy 7 days ago 2 replies      
Been down this road before where somebody pointed me to: http://ihackernews.com/
meseznik 7 days ago 1 reply      
I've been using cheeaun's version to read from mobile:
It will be great to see it integrated into HN
sgdesign 7 days ago 0 replies      
You're better off just using one of the many great mobile-optimized versions of HN out there. I don't think HN will ever have a mobile version, although I would love to be proven wrong.
techtalsky 6 days ago 0 replies      
Well, sigh, as usual a bunch of chatter about it and not a word from YC. Well, it was worth a try.
sjezewski 7 days ago 0 replies      
I scratched my own itch a few weeks ago.

Check out:


I took a weekend crack at it recently using moovweb's sdk:


It's far from complete, but already much more usable.

rebelde 7 days ago 0 replies      
I've always thought that we need to make it very easy for HN:
somebody, please post some CSS that is short, simple and does the job; so simple and elegant that they will have no choice but to copy and paste it into the news.css file.

EDIT: dbaupp did something while I was writing this. Great.

aleksandrm 7 days ago 0 replies      
Idea is worth adding to http://hnwishlist.com, although it does already have an entry titled "Include a mobile/responsive version".
jjcm 7 days ago 1 reply      
Make one and send it to pg.
jpinkerton88 7 days ago 1 reply      
yes yes yes yes
Ask HN: Have you ever hired an Indian Fresher for your start-up?
6 points by sravfeyn  4 days ago   16 comments top 5
biswajitsharma 3 days ago 1 reply      
If I may ask, why are you particular about Getting to US?
What do you think you'll get in US, which you won't get in India?

Here are a few points I have.
1. Understand the business of Startups: Startups are usually ideas to 'fill up a gap'. With Logic, you are more likely to find gaps in a less matured market.

2. Why Emerging markets, are better than Matured markets: It is hard to believe that 1.2 billion people will not contribute to be one of the best economies of the world. It's hard to believe that there wont be enough business opportunities in India. (Same goes for China, which is already on top, and other emerging markets like Africa etc.)

3. Who will be winners of future? I would imagine people who are slogging to get the emerging markets better will be at best position in future.

3. If you think there is some kind of lack of opportunity in India. Well create one. If you think there are ways you think things should happen, well you should work to work those things out.

On VISA Issue: With Startup VISA coming, it might make a few things easier, but only time will tell the right story.

ashray 4 days ago 1 reply      
Visa issues in the US can be very hard for companies to deal with. Established companies normally have good protocols and departments for overseas hires. However, startups barely have departments, let alone a dedicated department for overseas hires.

Normally, the best path for an Indian to get to the US is to study a degree in the US, gain some work experience in that year you are allowed H1-B work after your degree and then hope that the company you worked for wants to retain you (they usually do..). Plenty of people I know have followed this path.

May I ask though why you are restricting your search to the US ? There are many startup hubs around the world and interesting companies in Europe (Berlin, Amsterdam, etc.) or even South America (Santiago, Chile).

Also, there's a vibrant startup community in India as well. So what's wrong with India ?

abhinavsingh 3 days ago 1 reply      
All the best for your hunt, but here are some bare facts you must consider:

1) A startup hiring a fresher from a foreign country to work on their multi-million dollar vision is going to be a rarity. Imagine, why would someone hire a fresh talent from foreign land while they can very well find one in their local area. What specialty do you have to offer in particular?

2) Instamovie, SSH hacking, Impressive github projects list isn't really going to be a criteria for any startup to hire you. For most companies these points in your portfolio only mean that you are worth a talk. Also early stage startups need talent to come in and start contributing from day 1. They really don't want to hire and invest in nurturing someone. Thus, until unless one of your projects have similarity with what startup is trying to do, they are just some points in your CV.

3) Over the years, I have seen a number of my colleagues who also wanted to work in the valley (for very same reasons as you stated) wasting their energies behind finding a gateway to the valley. It's totally not worth the (dedicated) effort because, even if a startup that is sponsoring Visa hires you, getting through the Visa process can take significant time. Process of H1B Visa starts in April and within 1 month all Visa slots get exhausted. If you are lucky to get your visa processed within this cycle, you will have to wait atleast until October for Visa process to complete. If you are unlucky and your Visa application is not entertained this April, all you can do is wait until next April. Till then you can only work for the company from India (or visit on a B1 visa). B1 visa and working remotely, both again seems like a rarity for a startup.

So until everything falls in place by itself, your best bet for a ticket to valley would be:

a) Go for MS/Phd and follow the path as someone explained

b) Join a company in India, gain significant experience for an year or so, then try your luck again. With real world corporate experience behind, you will stand a better chance of getting hired by a startup abroad.

Just my 2 cents. All the best again.

shanelja 4 days ago 1 reply      
In all honesty, most companies aren't willing to work through the Visa process, they are either too small and have never done it before or know how difficult it can be.

Larger companies tend to be less averse, but even then it comes down to the candidate, hiring you has to be worth the expense and trouble they would have to go to to find a suitable local equivalent.


Clickable, since he screwed up :c

Raspu10 2 days ago 1 reply      
Would you consider working in Thailand or Singapore? I know Inceva was looking for talent and can sponsor for Visas. Maybe worth a shot.
Ask HN:Why are Apple, Yahoo, MediaTemple, StumbleUpon IPs doing Xmas port scans?
9 points by oso2k  5 days ago   discuss
Ask HN: Submitted security flaw. Was pressed for employer.
12 points by Jeremy1026  7 days ago   discuss
dmckeon 7 days ago 0 replies      
Disclaimer: I am not a lawyer, certainly not your lawyer.

Are there any contracts between any of the parties:
you, your employer, the software company -
that might require you to provide or disclose any information?

Does HIPAA apply?
Did you view any protected patient info?

If I were you, I would not post further publicly
until after you consult with a local attorney who
understands both the potential HIPAA issues and
your personal exposure regarding your employer.

Best case - the software company fixes the issue, thanks you publicly,
deals appropriately with whoever signed off on the metamorphosi code, encourages your employer to give you a
raise, a promotion, a 4 week vacation somewhere pleasant, a personal
zeppelin to commute in, and a pet unicorn.

Worst case - the software company portrays you as a hacker (in the worst
connotation), accuses you and your employer of industrial espionage and
violation of patient privacy, sues you and them for significant damages, encourages the Feds to
look into the situation, and your career in programming takes a very messy turn
into legal limbo for a few years. No unicorn, either.

tl;dr: Stop posting details. Get legal advice. Great catch. Good luck.

runjake 7 days ago 0 replies      
> Do I ever have to disclose any personal information when reporting a security flaw.

No, of course not.

And in this case, I think it would be to your detriment to reveal such information.

chris_dcosta 6 days ago 0 replies      
This is exactly the reason why some choose to notify sec problems anonymously.

You may find that this comes back to bite you badly especially if they consider your communiqué to be a blackmail-ish threat, even if you did not intend it to be.

Jeremy1026 7 days ago 0 replies      
tl;dr: After reporting a security flaw I was pressed to divulge information that did not affect the security flaw reported. Do I, for any purpose or reason, have to give the creators of the software in question this (or any other identifying) information about myself?

Also, clickable link: http://www.jcurcio.com/posts/obscurity-is-not-security/

sp332 7 days ago 1 reply      
Is there supposed to be a link for [1] ?
Can YC alumni screen applications to my disadvantage?
11 points by mangrish  7 days ago   discuss
soneca 7 days ago 0 replies      
I think that if this competitor is willing to pivot based on a insight you had without even having a MVP, with no data to support it, than you don't have to worry about them. They will just keep pivoting everytime someone smart give them a tip and will be lost sooner than later.
argonaut 7 days ago 1 reply      
No. Neither.

You're worrying too much. Stop worrying too much.

Are you going to force every potential employee to sign an NDA because you're afraid they'll tell others? Are you going to avoid explaining to people at meetups what your company does? Etc. etc.

What about the chance that a big company is going to copy what you do after you launch? All startups must be screwed then (sarcasm). Etc. etc.

Ask HN: Best environments to hack in SF
4 points by EddieB  4 days ago   6 comments top 6
LarryMade2 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Seconded on the library - make sure to get a card and access their on-line catalog - besides the HUGE computer book section in the library itself there are many e-editions available for on-line patrons.
yid 4 days ago 0 replies      
I worked on a startup for a month from the SF public library near the Civic Center. The trick is to go up to the 4th floor, where they have some really nice reading rooms with power and free wifi, and pretty nice views of the outside. Good light, too. Just make sure to empty your bladder before coming, because you sure as hell don't want to use the restrooms (I've seen homeless people bathing in the sinks).
jwb119 4 days ago 0 replies      
Not technically SF, but if you are down in the Valley you have to check out Red Rock Coffee in Mountain View at least once. Great spot.
BillSaysThis 4 days ago 0 replies      
If you're willing to go to Mountain View, as suggested by jwb119, Hacker Dojo (http://hackerdojo.com) is a much better choice IMO than Red Rock. Don't get me wrong, Red Rock is probably the best of the downtown MV coffee shops and I worked there many mornings before the Dojo opened, but the Dojo is much larger, has far less ambient noise and the people are much more amenable to conversation.
EddieB 3 days ago 0 replies      
Wow, thanks for the great responses!

I will definitely head up to the public library near the civic center and checkout the POPOS guide.. great information :)

As for the hackerdojo, I already plan on heading there but wont be down that way for a couple of weaks yet..

Best wishes to all Summer 2013 Y Combinator applicants
3 points by victorology  3 days ago   3 comments top
amitkumar20 3 days ago 1 reply      
hello there,
When i open hacker news then in my account there is written(1) beside my username. What does it mean actually? And also how could i be able to understand if Ycombinator ask me any query regarding my application.
Mobile Dev market demand slowing down?
5 points by oneiroscopist  5 days ago   discuss
ScottWhigham 5 days ago 1 reply      
Interesting... It's funny how, when a tech/thing is "hot", you just don't really look ahead 5-10 years and think about it being anything less than "hot" then too (or at least that's my tendency). Looking at your question today in a new light, I can see how many factors would cause this:

1) More time = more competition. The more time has passed, the more developers have been able to learn to code.

2) More competition = better marketing by the competition. If your marketing skills stay the same, it's likely that you'll see lower/diminished call for services if your competition's marketing skills increase.

3) More marketing = more generalization. If everyone is advertising the same services, what are the differentiators? Price and design are easy ones for even the most uneducated clients to see. Architecture and "quality" are not.

4) More generalization = more commoditization. Everyone does "it" so you have to do "it". And you'd better not charge too much more/less than everyone else.

5) More commoditization = lower profit margins.

6) Lower profit margins = adding new services to make up those costs.

Sorry for the ramble - just thinking out loud a bit. I'm probably off on one or more of these but I like the thought process.

oneiroscopist 5 days ago 0 replies      

good observation. On the other hand, one would expect the demand to be rising, too - everybody and their dog wants a mobile app.

The reason I posted, though, was to see of other mobile devs see the same trend.

jamesseattle 4 days ago 1 reply      
I'm not as tuned into iOS right now but a guy I work with just got an Android gig. As soon as he started looking he got a ton of calls and found one he liked in less than a week.
Show HN: My weekend project, Hacker's Coffee
15 points by SiliconAlley  10 days ago   5 comments top 4
tsm 10 days ago 1 reply      
Looks pretty nice! You have a classic chicken and egg problem...nobody will be active on it until other people are active on it. But with you in NY, me in Chicago, and presumably many HNers in SF it shouldn't be too hard to get a few first meetings going.

(And if anyone wants to talk to a young, ignorant hacker who just inherited a startup and works for a second...hit me up! http://hackerscoffee.org/users/98727/pub)

larrydavid 7 days ago 0 replies      
Nice work, the timelapse video is great as well.
ceeK 10 days ago 0 replies      
Impressive. Hopefully one day I'll be able to whack out a weekend project like this.

Thanks for the time-lapse video, was very interesting to see someone else's working perspective especially.

akivabamberger 8 days ago 0 replies      
Nice! Was hoping for a more realistic profile for Jesse P :D
Despite the enormous cost, is MIT a ideal school?
6 points by michaelscaria  6 days ago   8 comments top 6
argonaut 4 days ago 0 replies      
Let me add to my previous answer. There is no ideal.

Some pros for MIT (not all deal with CS):

1. great research opportunities for undergrads

2. you'll be surrounded by lots of smart, technical people (and TONS of CS people as well).

3. great recruiting for big tech companies and large and mid-size startups.

4. Boston/Cambridge is a really great city for college students (there are so many of them).

Some cons:

1. The Boston startup scene is much less active compared to SV (which also means less small startup recruiting).

2. You are required to take a lot of classes you might not really find useful or enjoyable (physics, chemistry, etc.)

3. The social scene can be a bit of a mixed bag. There are a lot of different social circles.

And the biggest con, I believe:

4. MIT classes will grind you down with work. You will have a lot less time to work on side projects / startup ideas while at MIT.

argonaut 6 days ago 1 reply      

I will be as vague and provide as few details as this question. :) You seriously need to define "ideal." Because there are hundreds of variables in determining whether one school is better than another. And some people value different things from others. One person might value the quality of the social opportunities. Another might value the quality of research opportunities. Another might value the quality of undergraduate teaching. Etc. Etc. Etc.

18pfsmt 5 days ago 1 reply      
Does anyone else find it odd that the OP is using "a ideal?"

I realize we are not all native English speakers, but this kind of crap just kills me while reading HN. I normally keep it to myself, but since this post pertains to education I thought it relevant.

chris_dcosta 6 days ago 0 replies      
As someone from outside the USA, it certainly looks impressive on a CV.
nayefc 5 days ago 0 replies      
You might as well go to Stanford, at least there is you'll see the sun more often there :p
Ask HN: What chrome/Firefox extensions/devtools do you use for web development?
17 points by mmq  12 days ago   17 comments top 15
jrajav 12 days ago 0 replies      
One upcoming feature that I'm very excited for is Workspaces in Chrome dev tools: https://plus.google.com/+GoogleChromeDevelopers/posts/644qQu...

It will allow developers to set local folders as first-class source folders so that they can be navigated and modified just like normal sources pulled over the network, with the added benefit that you can also save your changes back to the files. This still doesn't make it as suitable for development as, say, Sublime Text, but it's a big step in that direction. Now if only you could script it, we'd be golden!

As far as extensions go, the only one I use on Chrome is Advanced Rest Client, and it works very well for what it does: https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/advanced-rest-clie...

On Firefox, Firebug is still invaluable, don't work without it: http://getfirebug.com/

weirdcat 12 days ago 0 replies      



CSS Helpers:

  CSS Reloader




  Tamper Data


Charles Proxy (has an autoconfigure add-on)


  SQLite Manager

gknoy 12 days ago 1 reply      
My coworkers and I really like JSONView [1]. It pretty-prints JSON, which makes it much easier to visually inspect and explore the results of RPC calls for our web apps. One extremely useful feature is the ability to fold nested elements, which really helps to get a big picture of something's structure.

1: https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/jsonview/chklaanhf...

mootothemax 12 days ago 0 replies      
Hasher. Not only does it perform all kinds of hashing, but it also converts unix timestamps, numbers between bases, a bunch of string conversions AND some URL friendly conversions as well.

Other than the developer toolbar, it's the tool I use the most:


jameswyse 10 days ago 0 replies      
Chrome already has most of the stuff I need built in, but I also use:

- JSON Viewer - https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/jsonview/chklaanhf...

- Hasher - https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/hasher/kignjplbjlo...

- LiveReload (combined with my node.js server) - https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/jnihajbhpnppcggbcg...

- AngularJS Batarang - https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/angularjs-batarang...

- Screen Capture - https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/cpngackimfmofbokmj...

- Pendule - https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/pendule/gbkffbkamc...

Though I might replace Pendule as I only ever use it to find the current window dimensions and there must be a better extension for that out there.

jwoah12 12 days ago 0 replies      
Pure Chrome dev tools and Firefox/Firebug. Maybe it's a case of not realizing I need something because I don't know about it yet, but they seem to work fine for me.
minhajuddin 12 days ago 0 replies      
Angularjs Batarang when building angularjs apps. Gives access to the $scope easily: https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/angularjs-batarang...
nekgrim 12 days ago 0 replies      
rajivtiru 12 days ago 0 replies      
I use Chrome

JSON Viewer - Readable JSON

REST Console

Web Developer - SO MANY OPTIONS
One [unintended] feature I really like is when I have saved passwords for certain sites and I dont actually remember what the password is. Web Developer has a convert form type javascript injection to let you see the password. Easily abusable, but yeah...

FajitaNachos 12 days ago 0 replies      
I just posted a link a few above yours to a Chrome extension I wrote called hotfix. It lets you push changes from Chrome Dev Tools to GitHub


tharshan09 12 days ago 0 replies      
After I started using chrome for my main development and debugging, I have never needed any extensions.
corentino 12 days ago 0 replies      
If you do some mobile website, Ripple Emulator is the one I use :


sangupta 12 days ago 0 replies      
IE: Firebug Lite, Firefox: Firebug, Chrome: Nothing
Google PageSpeed and Yahoo YSlow!
JSONFormatter and XMLFormatter for Chrome
Advanced REST Client and Secure Shell for Chrome
pdrummond 12 days ago 0 replies      
Dev HTTP Client: http://goo.gl/BhFb9
dsmithn 12 days ago 0 replies      
SQLite Manager for FireFox
Ask HN: If some of VCs/angels is your customer should you contact them?
4 points by tlogan  5 days ago   2 comments top 2
gatsby 5 days ago 0 replies      
Yes, absolutely contact them.

Start the conversation with a casual email introducing yourself, thanking them for using your company, and asking if they have any questions or feedback on the product or service you provide. It opens up the initial conversation without being pitchy, and would potentially allow you to get an honest critique before asking for a phone call or meeting.

chris_dcosta 5 days ago 0 replies      
I can't imagine this ever happening, but the question of "how to contact your own customer" is bizarre.

The fact is, when they are already your customer it's what is known as a warm lead, as opposed to a cold call. You seem to be imagining this "problem" without knowing the game.

Ask HN: Instagram just changed/broke their API. How do you handle API changes?
3 points by ankimal  4 days ago   discuss
       cached 2 April 2013 20:05:01 GMT