hacker news with inline top comments    .. more ..    8 Aug 2013 Ask
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If programming doesn't make me happy, what does?
3 points by PaulFreund  2 hours ago   5 comments top 5
unperson123 11 minutes ago 0 replies      
I find that computers (and programming) are best viewed as means to an end than as the end all be-all. The real point should be building something. It could be a novel or a table or a web app and it can be made of software or wood or musical notes or whatever. It is the building of things that's the important thing for me. I find that software is a pretty good way to build things due to its inherant low barrier to entry and ease of distribution. But it is by means the only way hackers can hack. Try building other things, or even just other software things.

tl;dr:Try to build other stuff.

palidanx 1 hour ago 0 replies      
I think what happens is when we become the 'experts' of our domains, we tend to get bored of our profession. After graduating with computer science along with my friends, we really were excited about technology. But after many years, I saw most of my friends get bored with the field, only to see it as a way of paying bills.

I think a part of the problem is working in an interesting domain. For example, a friend who works in a financial domain never really sees the big picture, but works on a quality of service algorithm to speed up a trade.

Perhaps getting bored is a calling to see what we really love in life.

Nzen 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Mark Twain knew the feeling: "Two ways of looking at a river" http://grammar.about.com/od/60essays/a/twowaysessay.htm Didn't offer a solution though.
sdegutis 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Every single person is looking for happiness in life. It's part of who we are. I used to look for it in many things, including programming. But there's only one Way to happiness. Just seek the Truth diligently and you'll find it.
wehadfun 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Teach Comp Sci
Ask HN: How to find problems worth solving?
6 points by thomaaas  4 hours ago   9 comments top 7
Jemaclus 27 minutes ago 0 replies      
Talk to people. People love to complain, especially about their jobs. They'll complain about their pain points. Listen for one that seems interesting.
redspark 4 hours ago 1 reply      
1. Pick a niche or industry you want to work with.

2. Get in touch with owners/managers in your chosen area.

3. Take them to lunch and discuss their business. Watch their face and when they show you a pain point, try to pinpoint the cause.

4. You should discover more than a few problems they would spend money to have solved if you talk to enough of them.

5. Follow up with an email thanking them for their time and mention again how you have been giving some thought to a particular pain point. Try to find an article, software package, etc that attempts to solve their pain point and send them the link.

6. Build a true MVP (should be embarrassing, yet offer value to them), and follow-up with an email. Tell them you have been thinking more about their problem and wrote up a quick dirty app that might help them. Offer to demo it for them. While demoing discuss how much their pain costs their business.

7. Iterate based on their collective feedback.

8. Based on the discussion about pain costs, come up with a value-based price for your solution.

9. Refine your MVP, follow-up with another demo. Sell them a subscription to your solution. It may still be rough, but you should be able to demonstrate value and savings compared to their pain costs. CLOSE THE DEAL.

10. Follow-up

11. Iterate

12. Follow-up

13. Iterate

14. Follow-up

15. Iterate

16...Rinse... Repeat.

johnmurch 4 hours ago 0 replies      
1) Solve a problem that YOU face or someone you know faces/has2) Start small and think big3) Saw this list - https://medium.com/design-startups/49acac7c3405 lots of stuff popped up but saw "A bookmarklet to help people manage their job search the job search process sucks. Let people use a bookmarklet to track jobs they like, which theyve applied to, and the rest" and was like.. WOW - NO one does this. It's super simple and the process sucks for all of us, but could be a simple way to build out a MVP and generate $

Just a thought - Good Luck!

pmtarantino 4 hours ago 0 replies      
It has to be more than just "worth solving". I can think in a few ideas "worth solving" just like that. It has to be good enough so people pay for it.

A lot of people would like to have X feature, X website, X software. Would they pay for it? Ask that question. For what would you pay for right now?

For example: I am starting to selling goods. I'd like a place where I put all my good purchases from ebay, alliexpress or wherever, and I can track it, see when it will arrive, how much stock I have left, etc.

onion2k 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Trawl Firespotting. There's a lot of crazy on there, but in amongst it all are some really good ideas: http://firespotting.com/news
dcu 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Take a look at this pg essay: http://paulgraham.com/startupideas.html
joeldidit 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Ask a lot of people. Ask them about their daily frustrations. Ask them to share what they think the big problems of the world are. Post on forums online, go into chat rooms, etc.
Dedicated Server vs. own server, suggestions?
6 points by federicola  5 hours ago   14 comments top 7
incision 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Are you sure it will save money in the long run? I feel like most of the conversation along these lines that goes on is pretty shallow, performance to dollars in a vacuum.

I'd say flip it around, think about what you're trying to achieve and do the math on all the options to solve it. Pre-framing it as a dedicated rental versus a self-managed purchased is unnecessarily narrow.

migrantgeek 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Do not host yourself. Find a better provider.

With collocation you'll end up responsible for all of the hardware and still be dependent on remote hands so service could still suck and likely get much worse.

System Administration is hard and unless you have the $$ to pay one full time, rent the HW.

Most hosting companies will suck if you don't have much business with them. I worked for Rackspace years ago and bigger fish always get much more attention.

I do some consulting work now and find myself on calls with Hostway pretty often and they seem to know their stuff. You might check them out.

iloveshw 5 hours ago 1 reply      
If you're thinking about hosting yourself it doesn't make any sense. If you think about collocation then it's better but in your calculations include the fact that hardware breaks and with dedicated servers you get it fixed for free, when you buy the server yourself you have to buy anything that breaks and replace it. Almost always it means more of your time spent in dealing with it, more time of your users with lower quality/no service and it adds to the cost.Of course it's an option but you have to keep those things in mind. And before you do it I would search for some other provider of those dedicated solutions (or vps) before making that step
dildonics 4 hours ago 1 reply      
Have you guys seen Hetzner hosting? Their servers have ridiculous hardware for very low monthly costs relative to other hosts, and the support usually gets back to me within the hour.


ScottWhigham 2 hours ago 1 reply      
Upgrading memory on dedicated servers is and always has been crazy expensive. It's absurdly expensive - we had a 4gb Dell server at <big company /> and, if I wanted to double that to 8GB, it was going to be another $50 per month for two years. I could've bought the memory outright for $120. It's around that time that you need to re-evaluate which server you have and whether it's time to change servers completely.
Theory5 4 hours ago 2 replies      
I've always wanted my own server, but then I discovered Amazon's AWS. It's much much cheaper, and you can scale pretty easily.
makerops 4 hours ago 1 reply      

Shoot me an email anthony@makeropspro.com I am developing a service specifically for startups, that you may be interested in, I can probably help.

On a lighter note relating Grammar & Startups. Agree?
3 points by gamebit07  7 hours ago   1 comment top
new_test 6 hours ago 0 replies      
adverb - hard work?
Sorta homeless, more displaced...not really sure what to do...
12 points by ThrewandAway  19 hours ago   8 comments top 5
robflynn 7 hours ago 1 reply      
My email's in my profile. I have some contacts in the Carolinas (N. and S. Mostly around Columbia, SC.) that I may be able to use to help you out. Let's chat and see if we can find something for you.
ulisesrmzroche 4 hours ago 0 replies      
That was the right decision and it took some real courage. I'm in TX, if you find yourself you want to come to Austin. Everything will be better from now on though, brother.
auslegung 18 hours ago 1 reply      
I'm in Charleston, SC and have a really strong community of friends that will be willing to help. If that's doable, email me jmphry at google's email platform .com.
SEJeff 14 hours ago 0 replies      
jackjet 18 hours ago 1 reply      
Credit card? Horrible advice, but you should be able to pay it back fairly quick with your skillset.
Ask HN: What's the cheesiest recruiting overture you've received?
2 points by liamondrop  5 hours ago   1 comment top
api 5 hours ago 0 replies      
"Calling all code coyboys! Come ride with us into the Ruby sunset!"

I lol'd, but I did not respond.

Ask HN: A similar forum/news aggregate site, but mostly for math, physics, CS?
7 points by 11001  1 day ago   2 comments top 2
incision 23 hours ago 0 replies      
I wish I knew.

As it stands, I can keep my queue full via sites like High Scalability [0], Research at Google [1], Arxiv [2] and a long list of "Architecture at X" blogs that post sporadically.

On HN I probably spend more time scanning the "new" queue here than the Front Page. Plenty of quality submissions never gain traction.

Obviously, that's just content. I don't have a solution for the lack of community.

0: http://highscalability.com/1: http://research.google.com/2: http://arxiv.org/

t0 23 hours ago 0 replies      
Quite a few clones have been popping up. Here's the latest: http://theidler.org/

You can find the HN source or create your own. It's definitely worth a shot.

Ask HN: Receiving Payments Outside of USA for SaaS
4 points by dalehurley1  20 hours ago   8 comments top 5
workhere-io 5 hours ago 0 replies      

Edit: Not sure they support Australia, actually.

jvvlimme 9 hours ago 0 replies      

Haven't used them myself but seen some positive reviews for them.

t0 20 hours ago 1 reply      
https://gumroad.com should be what you're looking for.
sendloop 18 hours ago 0 replies      
Take a look at FastSpring.com

Commission is high compared to alternatives but they handle fraud and invoicing. Their "front-end" pages are highly customisable.

taproot 20 hours ago 1 reply      
Word of advice: australians love and trust paypal. (ecom perception)
Show HN : SideProjectors, got a side project to you want to sell?
8 points by sideproject  1 day ago   5 comments top 2
sideproject 1 day ago 1 reply      
Clickable link - http://sideprojectors.com
xwowsersx 1 day ago 1 reply      
This is great. I think it should be a requirement that offers specify the stack they used to build it with so that potential buyers can know whether they can personally manage the app.
Ask HN: Unlimited vacation policy does your company have it? How is it?
14 points by msoad  1 day ago   14 comments top 9
lpolovets 1 day ago 0 replies      
Reposting a relevant answer that I wrote last year on Quora (http://qr.ae/I5tZ7):

I work at Factual, which has an unlimited vacation policy. The amount of vacation that people take varies greatly.

At the high end, I've taken about 8 weeks of vacation during each of the last two years. I tend to do some work during vacations, however, so it's more like 8 weeks abroad in which I happened to squeeze in 4 weeks of work at odd hours. I think a few of my coworkers also take 4-6 weeks per year. Most of these people are pretty disconnected when they travel.

On the low end, some of my coworkers don't take vacations at all, or take one week per year and then feel guilty about it. I understand their guilt about as well as they understand my wanderlust =).

Things that affect how much vacation people take:

* How long you've been at the company. Someone who just joined is much less likely to take a vacation than someone who has been around for a few years.

* Your place in the company hierarchy. More senior people seem more comfortable with taking vacation than more junior people.

* Schedule pressure. If you're working on a huge project that will take 6 months, you probably won't try to take a vacation during that time.

* Being the only person on a project vs. being one of many. If you're the only person who knows how something works, you tend to worry a lot about what can happen while you're gone.

* Personal budgets and travel preferences. If you like hiking trips, 6 weeks of vacation won't set you back very much. If you like overwater bungalows in Tahiti and private cruises in the Galapagos, then you need to have a lot saved up to take more than a few weeks off every year.

* How much you like to take vacations (or how much you love your work). Some people like work enough that they don't want to take vacations. Others don't really care for vacations, so they might take a personal day or two but not go on longer trips.

* Your, ahem, cojones. Generally, if you ask your boss reasonably, you will get a "yes" 90% of the time. A lot of people are afraid to ask.

When our unlimited vacation policy was established, it seemed like people were waiting for their peers to set the boundaries of what was appropriate and what was not. Over time, I've realized that people are just different. People who don't take breaks don't seem to change their habits even when they see others take frequent vacations. Conversely, people who take frequent vacations don't seem to tone things down in the presence of non-vacationers.

dandelany 1 day ago 0 replies      
I think it really depends on the culture of the company. Some companies seem to be afflicted by an unspoken pressure to keep up with one's colleagues in terms of putting in extra hours and not missing too many days. In these situations, I think a defined amount of vacation days may actually be a better policy - when you have a set "three weeks" of vacation in a year, it can be more socially acceptable to use the three weeks allotted, especially if they don't rollover. With an "unlimited vacation" policy, employees may feel pressured not to abuse the system and actually take fewer days off, because they're trying to match the average number of days off taken by all employees rather than a set time span of three weeks, or perhaps a little less in order to appear exceptional.

However, in a healthy company culture which encourages employees to take time off, it can be great. Particularly because long trips are really a different beast than short ones, and it's hard to do a long trip with 15 vacation days. Solution: take 7 vacation days one year, and 30 the next.

thinker 1 day ago 0 replies      
I love it. I shoot an email to our leads/managers and make sure no one is depending on me for any tasks. I make sure to inform them in advance but once I had a spontaneous trip to Paris that I booked my flight 3 days in advance and took two days off for and they were cool with it (it was to shoot my friends playing music in the Parisian streets: http://vimeo.com/channels/streetmusic)

If needed I take my laptop and put in any required work remotely - that's great when you work on web tech. I do this when I know my days aren't going to be busy, such as visiting family. If I know I won't have time or access to the net on a trip I let everyone know so they can expect I will be disconnected.

I've taken about 4+ weeks off so far this year, 2 of which I was working remotely, and will be going to Burning Man this year for a week. I'll probably take some time off in December.

The key is to make sure you are being productive and adding value when you are at work so you don't feel guilty taking time off. When you plan off time, make sure there isn't anything crucial to the business happening at that time. Let people know how you are going to be accessible (IM, email, ability to commit code) or if you are off the reservation.

There is a certain amount of uncertainty and self-inflicted guilt about the whole thing; whether you are taking less/more time than your peers. I guess that's the price you pay for this perk.

chiph 1 day ago 0 replies      
If you're a responsible adult, it works really well. Coordinate your time off with your team & boss, then go. I would usually take 3/4 of December off to spend with family (slow time at work anyway, as the customers weren't wanting changes to be made during their year-end work).

There are any number of ways it could be abused, of course. But the thing to remember is that your coworkers (and boss) aren't blind - if you're using the policy to create a 4-day workweek, and not getting stuff done -- someone is going to say something.

doug1001 1 day ago 0 replies      
so i work at One Kings Lane, which has an unlimited vacation policy. First, i should say that they the true to their word--i have actually seen people take four and five week holidays. Still, the usual seems to be two weeks, which it seems the devs take maybe two of these each year (perhaps more, not really sure).

At OKL, i suspect the policy is just an extension of their "ok, we are all adults here, so just act in the company's best interest at all times--we don't want to work in a soviet tractor factory, we assume you don't either" (my own words, if we had an employee handbook, i imagine it would say something like that).

at other shops, i have heard that the motivation for unlimited vacation is a little less wholesome. The idea is that use it to recruit, then once in the door, the manager can of course limit the employee's holiday because his approval is required. So there's very little to lose, and a lot to gain; when the employee is terminated (resigns, fired) the company does not have to pay out their unused vacation, which is often not a small amount (eg, i suspect a lot of people carry around 2 weeks).

ayers 1 day ago 0 replies      
It is interesting to note that a lot of feedback discusses employees taking less vacation time. This happens for a variety of reasons which have been highlighted and obviously differs from company to company and how the culture is lead from the top. This would not be my first thought when introducing an unlimited vacation policy. From the employers point of view it would be how do we manage and foster a culture that prevents employees abusing this policy, not how do we make sure employees actually take enough vacation.

One company I know has introduced a bonus for taking a set minimum number of days to try and make sure that their employees are taking a decent amount of holiday each year. So for example if you take 20+ days off in the year you will get a annual bonus of 1000.

adammichaelc 1 day ago 1 reply      
It means you never take a vacation.
mead5432 1 day ago 0 replies      
My company has had an unlimited vacation policy for 2-ish years. According to the HR dept, it hasn't really changed people's vacation habits... they still take about the same as they did before: 2 weeks.

The biggest thing has been to make sure that you aren't leaving anyone hanging. This is probably a bigger deal for some departments/teams.

bwsewell 1 day ago 2 replies      
I work at Automated Insights (automatedinsights.com) and ever since I've been there, we've had this policy. The idea is to just not abuse it. Use it when you need it and don't go on last-minute 3 day weekend vacations. Most people go on a week-long vacation once a year (usually during the Summer) and people are able to take days off for personal reasons as long as it doesn't become a habit. Everyone does a good job I think.
Ask HN: Is it time for a career change?
9 points by eecsninja  1 day ago   5 comments top 5
slajax 1 day ago 0 replies      
6 years at a specific career is the new midlife crisis. A career change sounds drastic. I'd give some deep thought to what you actually enjoy about your profession and go after it. I went through the same thing a few years back and decided I absolutely cannot do onsite permanent full time jobs anymore. I absolutely die. I thought about a career change but ended up just quitting my FT gig, starting a couple small businesses and making a go of it on my own. I've never felt more fulfilled. I love programming more then I ever have and I don't see this burning out anytime soon, however if it does. I can always go back.
rvijapurapu 1 day ago 0 replies      
Not that long ago, I found myself in a similar situation as you are. Though I was running my consulting company - I hit the bottom and needed to change, change I did.

Few things I do differently now and has helped me a lot:1. I focussed on side projects as a way to blow-off steam - this helped me a lot. (Looks like you are already doing it) 2. Spice up your work environment - good audiobooks always help me stay sane on those long coding days. I usually choose some good light-hearted reading rather than the intense novels.3. I allocated days to work on my side projects during the work-week. ThIs meant I had to get creative around how I schedule my work-work. Eg: Sometimes I had to work long hours (10+) to finish up with my work schedule.4. Switch off day - usually on Sunday I tend not to do anything work related.

eecsninja 20 hours ago 0 replies      
Thanks for the responses. It's good to hear that others have been in the same place as me. Sometimes it feels like I'm the only one when everyone else at work seems to be doing just fine in their jobs.

I should add that my educational background is actually in electrical engineering, not CS or software engineering. So it wouldn't be a super drastic change of career fields.

I've also wanted to become more independent of full time employment for a while. Ever since I graduated college actually. But it took me a long time to actually figure out how. I wonder if suppressing that desire has resulted in me ending up as a lousy employee.

cik 1 day ago 0 replies      
I had a similar problem - though it was after a decade of work. At the end of the day, I'd come to hate technology, writing software, engineering management (especially), and pretty much the entire industry. And, in the interest of full disclosure - I had some pretty good management.

But I was burning out. I changed careers (within tech) and became a Scrum Master, only to find that I started to miss coding and problem solving, since those skills were rarely in use.

Then, I moved into consulting. I've never looked back. I try to balance multiple clients at the same time, because love having the different challenges these clients require. All of a sudden I'm focusing on a core competency (DevOps in my case), but I get to see the world from Python, C#, Java, and even Physical Hardware scenarios. But that generalist approach doesn't work for everyone.

Try different things. See if you can take a couple of hours a week to poke around with new technologies, or industries. Trying to take the bull by its horns is the key.

stevejalim 1 day ago 0 replies      
Hit me up directly (address in profile) and I'll sort you out with a free copy of http://leanpub.com/freelancedeveloperbook - it'll be food for thought, at least
Ask HN: Should a login page use SSL?
4 points by MarkHarmon  1 day ago   5 comments top 4
mechanical_fish 22 hours ago 0 replies      
You're correct about the forums, of course, but obviously the real problem is this:

their lack of support for encrypted password transmission for their mail server

Unacceptable. Get the heck out of there before you lose something vital.

That's the thing about being shipshape. Why do you focus on getting the little things right? Because the attitude you bring to the little things is the same one you bring to the big things. And because, especially in security or reliability, big problems are built out of minor problems that accumulate or escalate without warning.

tectonic 1 day ago 0 replies      

Beyond that, there's really no excuse for not using SSL everywhere now. If a site has user data, or requires any sort of login, it should use SSL everywhere.

ctb_mg 23 hours ago 1 reply      
Looks like more head-in-the-sand security from people who aren't detail oriented. Yes, your login pages need SSL.

Perceived rarity has nothing to do with it! A password is being transmitted in plaintext.

If forum passwords weren't a target then why are so many website databases a primary target lately? They steal the crappy, unsalted hashes and emails and go to town at other services where they are likely to use the same password.

I can't believe we are having this discussion!

minglot 22 hours ago 0 replies      
You absolutely should have SSL be required when having a login form. Like 'ctb_mg' said, it's hard to believe we are having this discussion. It's scary where plaintext goes and how easy it is to intercept.

The tough thing is that not too many years ago it was perfectly normal to not use https for logins into anything except ecommerce, online banking, and serious corporate and government stuff. Even Gmail didn't default to https until a few years ago - long after they were huge!

We also have to remember that SSL certificates suffered a lot on shared hosting due to dedicated IP requirements (until SNI) and just plain being difficult and confusing to setup. That's a huge barrier for Average Joe that wants to setup a forum about race cars or Average Jane who just wants to manage her own website via CMS.

So now we have tonnes of legacy systems and people who simply haven't gotten the memo yet. All of which is to say that yes your host should use SSL, but it's going to be a long time before you see this practiced by the majority of websites. I'd say your host might be the norm instead of the exception.

Unfortunately their attitude might be indicative about how they think about the rest of their server security though, in which case you may as well move to a host that takes things more seriously.

After years of working with dedicated server companies I found that little things like this did tend to lead to patterns of bad security, bad backup systems, bad monitoring, etc.

Ask HN: would you pay for a "Tell me when" service?
4 points by tectonic  1 day ago   9 comments top 5
palidanx 2 hours ago 0 replies      
From a southern california who drives a lot, I would like a tell me when service when I am going to hit traffic. We always have random freeway closures and accidents and I sometimes forget to look at the map.
bwh2 23 hours ago 2 replies      
Tell me when...

  * my website is down for >n minutes  * my car needs (an oil change, new tires, etc.)  * my credit card balance is within $x of $n  * Justin Verlander is starting, 12 hours in advance  * my softball game is rained out (and notify my entire team)  * we've only got enough coffee grounds left for 2 pots  * my (bus, train, flight) is running >5min late

dscb 23 hours ago 1 reply      
"tell me when it's going to rain tommorrow"

Would the service tell you what time it would be raining/not raining the next day?

Or would it alert you the first day that the weather told it that it would be raining the day after?

mikemcdonald 23 hours ago 0 replies      
I think IFTTT covers a lot of what you've mentioned. For example you can set an alert IF(its going to rain) THEN(send me a text), and a lot can be customized. What kind of alerts were you thinking that would need human evaluation?
mindcrime 1 day ago 0 replies      
I think it's an interesting concept. Coming at it as a geek myself, my thought is "I want this". In fact, I've given some thought to building something like this myself in the past, but never had time. What I wonder, though, vis-a-vis making a business out of it is "will normal people want (or even understand) this"?
Ask HN: Work samples from recruiter's candidates
3 points by ChuckMcM  21 hours ago   7 comments top 5
tptacek 19 hours ago 1 reply      
What worthwhile candidate would ever do this? Why would you create a recruiting process that selects for the most desperate, least informed candidates in the hottest seller's market for talent in the last 20 years?

I'm not "angry" about it, just bewildered.

(I'm also a hiring manager; we simply don't work with recruiters.)

saturdayplace 5 hours ago 0 replies      
I don't get a crap ton of recruiter mail. (Yay?) I'm in a good gig now, so I don't really respond to the ones that I do get. Sometimes, if I feel that they're not too slimy, I'll respond by saying "I'm OK now, I'll keep you in mind down the road if I ever need anything," and file away their contact info in the event my current gig goes south. My life is busy enough that I'd probably be annoyed at the presumption I've got time to deal with a work sample test on top of dealing with the spam in the first place. However...

I'm definitely one of those people described in XKCD's nerd sniping strip.[0] If the sample problem actually flicked that little nerve in my brain, you might get a response from me just because I couldn't help myself. But here's the kicker. You'd only get my solution as long as I could email it directly to you instead of the recruiter. At that point, even if I'm not interested in working for you now the sample problem you wrote has sparked some interest. Now, I'm interested in striking up a relationship with that might not amount to much at the moment, but may prove fruitful in the future. If we've gotten this far, I'm not interested in dealing with the recruiter any more.

[0] http://xkcd.com/356/

bjourne 8 hours ago 0 replies      
I wouldn't. I get mail from recruiters every day so it's not feasible to take the time to solve even smallers puzzles. However, I could direct them to my public github work to prove my skills.

Also, I'm not sure all interviewers consider it fantastic if you ace the puzzle if everyone else who works there barely finished it. On the other hand, if I was guaranteed to get an offer by completing the puzzle, it would change my mind. But most companies that wants programming tasks solved assign such a low value to it and values other factors much higher that it just isn't worth the time.

mechanical_fish 14 hours ago 0 replies      
This is the first impression you want to make on your candidates? You're the busywork company?

These are the kind of candidates you want? The ones who are willing to have their introduction to a future employer be an annotated answer to a "fundamental skills" problem? Instead of, say, a five-minute chat that touches on such issues as "who am I?" and "who are you?" and "what's the job, really, because the recruiter obviously doesn't know?" and "why might I be unusually happy and successful in this job, and also fun to work with, and therefore worth a lot of your company's money?"

mchannon 20 hours ago 1 reply      
This task is beyond most recruiters' skill sets to do properly. Most recruiters are also paranoid about any level of direct interaction, since both candidate and interviewer have significant financial incentives to cut them out of the deal, so you'll have to deal with (and work around) that fear.

A five-minute programming exercise that you spend more than 5 minutes designing, that you grade yourself, will be about the most you can do before you start turning off qualified applicants, at least at this early stage. If I want to spend 3 hours on a programming challenge with no guarantee of payment, I can certainly come up with more enjoyable ways to do so where I don't get constant reminders that I'm taking too long.

The best time for the programming challenge comes after the initial "does this person look like they fit into our organization?" set of interviews. Those interviews not only screen out a large percentage of your pool, but also sells your organization to the applicant, incentivizing them to take longer to get the job.

Ask HN: I'm a chronic procrastinator how do I break it?
320 points by procastatron  6 days ago   291 comments top 10
mduerksen 6 days ago 3 replies      
> it's starting to really gnaw at me


One concrete suggestion:

Develop the following habit. Whenever you are confronted with an unpleasant task X, there is a moment where your mind starts searching for other, more pleasant things to do. This is the moment where you have to implant the habit of asking - not yourself, but an imaginary judge:

"If I defer task X, will it become easier later?".

For some tasks, this may be true (e.g. taking out the trash is easier when you're heading outside for work anyway). For most, it's not.Use this question as an arbiter and follow its verdict.

And when you completed an annoying task, rejoice in the feeling of relief and accomplishment (maybe not the task itself was hard, but overcoming the unpleasantry was), and remind yourself of this feeling the next time.Rinse and repeat.

One more abstract suggestion:

You have probably heard it a thousand times from your teachers, parents etc. - "You could accomplish so MUCH, if just you would STRIVE for it..."You believe it yourself, talking about your "full capacity".

But it's not true. Or at least it's the wrong perspective, allowing for wishful thinking.

The current state you are in - that is your full capacity. More you do not know, because more you have never tried. Or, more drastically: More you do not have, because more you have never proved.

Maybe that's even the reason you are not improving your chore-handling abilities after all (if you allow me this unfounded speculation): You are afraid of hitting your limit (a.k.a. failing) to soon, realizing that you're not that capable after all.

Luckily, there is no such thing as a fixed, inate capacity. Your capacity will definitely improve when you start taking yourself seriously and stop generously sparing yourself the chores. Prove it to yourself what you really can do.

It always risky to advise a person you never met, so take this with a grain of salt. Hopefully it's useful to you.

nsxwolf 6 days ago 5 replies      
If you believe the stats on worker productivity that get tossed around here, 3 hours a day of solid work isn't terrible.

I have one piece of advice - one technique that I got from a cognitive behavioral therapist that helped me. It's pretty simple:

Pick a task you don't feel like doing. Set a timer. 10 or 15 minutes. Work on the task. Do not worry about the end result, or getting to a "good stopping point" or anything. When the timer stops, stop working on the task. Play another game or watch another YouTube video or something. When you feel like it, set the timer again and repeat.

The trick is that if you aren't worried about finishing the task you want to do, you can do the work without that feeling of discomfort and dread that makes you want to stop and distract yourself with something else.

The first time I did this technique, it was actually with dirty dishes and not work. I used to let them pile up because I just couldn't deal with it. I set a timer for 5 minutes and washed the dishes. It was a carefree experience. I walked away at the end, but then something funny happened - I soon wanted to go back for another 5 minutes. Pretty soon I finished the whole load of dishes and it wasn't unpleasant at all.

tehwalrus 6 days ago 3 replies      
Willpower is a muscle, which uses the same resource as brain tasks (programming, arguing)[1] - let's call it "cognitive energy".

1) don't waste cognitive energy on silly tasks (games, arguing in comment threads, etc.)

2) practice exercising willpower - it's a muscle, you can train it to be better. Start by forcing yourself to complete a routine every morning (the trick with habit forming is to not give up after you miss a day.) examples of habits to form below.

3) look into mindfullness meditation[2] - this can help you identify distracting thoughts as they arrive and practice ignoring them.

Meditating is a good habit to form as practice, and it will also help you get better at habits. You could also exercise on a schedule (and record when you do, including how heavy you lifted/how fast you were running). Eventually, with a stronger willpower-muscle, you'll be able to choose the fruit salad over the cake, even when you've just spent your 7.5 hours a day coding.

I've not found pomodoro to work for me as an easily-distracted person, it's better when you're prioritising work tasks (e.g. 25 code vs 5 email) and even then, 25 mins is too short for good programming "flow".

This is a hard problem, everyone has trouble with it. Good luck!

[1] http://seriouspony.com/blog/2013/7/24/your-app-makes-me-fat HN discussion: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=6124462 )

[2] http://www.amazon.co.uk/Mindfulness-practical-guide-finding-... (US edition: http://www.amazon.com/Mindfulness-practical-guide-finding-fr... )

hello_newman 6 days ago 2 replies      
This is just my two cents, take it with a grain of salt as I am simply a humble observer peering into your life, with the little information you have given me.

I dont think you are lazy; I think you are afraid to fail.

Thus far in your life, you've had it easy. SAT's, Valedictorian, probably started programming when you were 12. You have seen your peers struggle to no end with this stuff, yet you've always been able to skate by, and still be better than most. At 21, to be making 130k a year is god damn impressive, not so much for the "money", but for what the money represents; knowledge and your skill level of your chosen craft.

The problem is, again from my perspective observing from the outside, you don't start something because you are afraid you are going to fail. You are afraid, that for once in your life where things have always just come naturally to you, that you will try something new and just fail miserably at it.

I don't think this is a matter of laziness; I think that you just think it is laziness, so you casually write it off as such without really examining the root of your problem.

I could be wrong, but I have seen this before. My sister sounds a lot like you; the oldest child (already the family favorite from that fact alone), perfect grades her whole life, captain of the cheerleading team (I shit you not), Valedictorian, great SAT's, accepted into some art school. She is very smart, makes 40k a year as a copywriter for some mucky-muck agency in LA. She talked to my mom about starting her own (my mom's suggestion) and her response was (surprise, surprise!) she doesn't want to be a failure because she knows most businesses fail.

Then, on the other hand, you have me. I am the only boy in my family (3 sisters), ADD, suffered from bad grades while being surround by 3 straight-A sisters, arrested at 17 for making a drug deal (long story), in some ways, the "black sheep" of my family.

I started an eBay business in high school, which made some money. Started a business in college selling hempseed oil skin care products, flipped inventory, invested the money into a side project/start up. Outsourced the development. Got interest from Nordstrom's, Whole Foods, Landry's, and Black Angus Corporate (I think a PE firm owns them) etc. Realized I loved this so much, told them I had to put it on hold, dropped out of school, and enrolled in General Assembly WDI in Santa Monica (was accepted into Dev Bootcamp, my mom got cancer, stayed closer to home, long story) and will resume operations once I can build the site from scratch myself. It's a B2B site .

What I am trying to say, is don't be like my sister. Your "perfectionist complex" seems to be the problem. I have failed, been called every name under the sun from my own family, and everything else in between, yet I keep going.

Failing is not that big of a deal; in our industry it is a badge of honor if done correctly. Don't be that guy, who in 20 years, regrets the things he has not done, instead of the things you have done.

My advice for this; fail. Fail hard. Go out and pop your "success cherry", and get the fuck out of your comfort zone. Stay humble, stay hungry, keep hacking and go change the fucking world man. Stop feeling sorry for yourself and just go do it. I mean really....what do you have to lose?

zwegner 6 days ago 0 replies      
> I know that I've been given a gift and that I'm a fucking idiot for wasting it, but I've just become a chronic procrastinator and it sucks.

As someone in a rather similar position (my life has been fucked up in so many ways from procrastination), one tip I can give you is to get rid of this mindset.

I feel horrible whenever I waste lots of time, looking back on how I spent my day, thinking "what the hell is wrong with me?" But the thing is, that attitude feeds much of the procrastination. I am an odd mix of being a total perfectionist, and really lazy, so it turns out that whenever I'm faced with a task that I don't really want to do, I'm quite adept at rationalizing ways to avoid doing the task. I think about possible roadblocks, or pretty much anything that would keep me from attaining my sought-ought perfection, and knowing that I'll have the same strong negative reaction later on that I always do, I just won't do it.

If you beat yourself up over procrastination, you're just subconsciously teaching yourself to not even think about whether you're procrastinating or not. Whenever you try and shift from unproductive tasks to work, it's much easier to just stay with the short-term dopamine kick of reading the internet or whatever, rather than dealing with harder decisions about what you need to do in the long term to be happy. Yes, this is backwards. Your subconscious is not very rational...

So, from my point of view, just do everything you can to recondition yourself to not hate working, and to not hate procrastination either. Just try to feel the bit of fulfillment you can get from writing code or whatever, basically just getting your shit done. Have patience with yourself, infinite patience, and know that it takes lots of work to get where you want to be, but it's worth it. You're the only one that can do this.

BTW, if you're like me, a perfectionist to the core, consider that this comes from a deep-seated insecurity, a part of your brain that tells you that you'll never be good enough. At least, that's the way it is for me, and it's been that way since my childhood, as far back as I can remember. On this front, I'd just try to evaluate your emotional well-being in the most balanced and unattached way possible. Get help if you feel like it. As others have mentioned, meditation can be amazingly helpful here, and exercise too. Unfortunately, they're both quite prone to being procrastinated on.

Good luck...

netcan 6 days ago 1 reply      
Me too.

Paraphrasing pg, going in to work and wasting 90% of your time is like getting uncontrollably drunk at lunch. It's very bad habit/behavior/addiction. So first of all, take it seriously.

Here's some things that work/have worked for me, in no particular order. They all interact and work best in bunches. None have cured me. All have helped.

1. meditation - many meditation practices develop your ability to prevent your mind from wandering. Letting your mind wander is a big part of procrastination. It also helps with patience which is also important.

2. Recognize the impulse and address it - This is very complimentary to meditation. You sit down to do a task, then your mind looks for some sort of procrastination (reading, games). Recognize that feeling and feel it. Don't fight it, just experience it for a few seconds. Then place your hands flat on your desk. Your feet flat on the ground. Straighten your back. Breath deep 5 times. The impulse should pass. Tweak this as you like as long as you recognize the impulse, experience it & have a little ritual (sitting straight, breathing, etc.)

This sounds like hippy dippy bullshit said out loud, but it doesn't feel half as lame when you do it. It is very effective.

3. Collaboration - If two people are at a computer, procrastination does not go on for hours. More generally, try to seek out work less procrastination-inducing.

4. Do work in small batches - Take 5 minute breaks every hour. etc. This increases the feedback to you that you are procrastinating.

5. Talk about it.

6. Accountability mechanisms - Your ability to hide is an enabler. Try timed screenshots sent to a friend. Twice daily 2 minute confessional phone call to a friend. Mirror your screen someplace it can be seen by everyone. Coaching sessions. Lots of options. Quirky is ok.

7. Drugs - ADD medication (eg ritalin) can help.

8. Sleep - Less Sleep = More Procrastination. Maybe you need more sleep. Maybe you need 10 hours. everyone is different. Try getting 10 hours for one week and see if it helps.

artagnon 6 days ago 1 reply      
I'll give you a no BS version.

Don't delude yourself into thinking that you're "talented" or "gifted". You're a product of your history: if you spent a significant portion of your life playing DOTA, you're a DOTA-head. In your case, you seem to have spent it trying to get people to view you in favorable light. It's as simple as that.

You're missing the big picture: if you spend 3 hours writing code, and 8 hours playing games, which activity do you enjoy more? Why is that? If you pick up saw and find that you're absolutely terrible at sawing wood and cut yourself multiple times, would you enjoy that activity? OTOH, if you go out and play football (or something you've been practising for years), and manage to score many goals for your team leading to victory, would you enjoy the activity?

Your discontentment arises from a simple mismatch between what you want to do and what you are actually doing. You apparently wanted the $130k job with 3 hours of boring work, and to get by in life (or did some alien drop you into this world while you were unconscious?). What is this sudden crisis about not "changing the world"?

I have nothing to say of any significance, and the only "answers" I have are tautologies. Maybe you can try attending some inspirational talks, reading self-help books? No, I don't mean that with any condescension whatsoever; figure out where you want to invest your time and invest it there.

skue 6 days ago 6 replies      
The fact that this has been going on for years, and that you feel the procrastination is holding you back from your full potential does sound like it could be ADHD, as others have mentioned. Also, ADHD tends to run in families. So if your dad is the same way...

Most people associate ADHD with kids who struggle in school. But highly intelligent people can have it too. It still holds them back from reaching their potential, it's just that their potential is much greater.

Here are some things to ask yourself:

* Do you also procrastinate non-work things such as buying gifts, paying bills, calling people back?

* What is your home like: Do you have a lot of half-finished projects, "piles", or chores that never get finished?

* Are you always running late because you are busy doing other things, or underestimate what you need to do to get out the door and get to your destination?

* Do people tell you that you frequently interrupt others when they are talking?

* Would you describe yourself as a risk taker and more prone to high adrenaline activities? How the friends you keep?

* Are you only able to focus with the help of caffeine, guarana (eg, Vitamin Water Energy), or other energy drinks?

* Do you use nicotine to relax or be more focused? (If so, please stop and see a doctor.)

* Do you use alcohol, not to get drunk or for the drink itself, but as a way to unwind or slow down at the end of the day?

This is a good book: http://www.amazon.com/Driven-Distraction-Revised-Recognizing..., which reminds me of another question:

* Do you buy/start a lot of books, but rarely seem to finish them?

Read enough of the book to see if this resonates with you. If it does, the next step would be to talk to (a) your doctor if you have one, or (b) find a psychiatrist in your area who specializes in ADHD. The book can help you find resources.

Edit: Just to be clear, this list is NOT meant to be diagnostic. Although I happen to have an MD, I am NOT a practicing physician no one should assume they have ADHD based on any list like this. I would only say that if many of these things hold overwhelmingly true for the OP, then it might be worth learning more about ADHD and finding a professional to begin a conversation.

Yes, ADHD and meds sparks a lot of cynicism in some people. However, one reason I recommended that book is that the authors present a balanced approach to meds. One of the authors has ADHD, but doesn't find that meds make much of a difference for him (they reportedly are ineffective for 25% of adults with ADHD). But they have helped many of his patients and his own son.

panic 6 days ago 1 reply      
Although, I wonder if I really fucked my brain/habits up so much that I'll never reach my full capacity.

There's no such thing as your "full capacity". What you're doing right now, that is your full capacity. Either accept that you're at your limit or actually do something to prove you're not.

kstenerud 6 days ago  replies      
I had the same problem. The standard school program was easy enough to just coast through, as were my first few jobs. At one point I was working on Monday and goofing off the rest of the week.

What changed it? Probably some of it was age. Your outlook on life and what's important changes as you get older. I spent a fair bit of time talking to people 10, 20, 30, and 40 years older than me, and while I usually didn't agree with them, I did remember their words. After 10 years I was rather shocked at how my outlook had changed. Now it's coming up to 20 and I've definitely changed yet again. How do you achieve the wisdom of age without actually having to spend years aging? Beats me! But I sure learned to appreciate it regardless.

Another thing that happened is I started taking on harder and harder things. It didn't matter what, so long as it was difficult enough that it would take me years to master. Boxing, welding, classical guitar, open source projects, running a business. I just kept adding things on until I didn't have enough time to even breathe. Then I somehow managed to find the time to get all these things done. And then I piled on more, until I finally reached the point where I literally did not have enough hours in the day to get everything done. Then I dropped some stuff until I felt comfortable again.

Now I no longer have time for video games or TV (except for the odd time when I'm taking a sanity break, which is maybe once a week for a couple of hours). I have shit to do and a daily routine that gets it done. I had to organize my life because I had too much stuff to do! Now I deliberately carve out time to be with friends or do something crazy. Otherwise I'm busy at work, practicing one of my hobbies, or I'm at home on a Sunday, deliberately doing nothing all day because I've scheduled a "do nothing" day.

So my advice to tackle procrastination would be: Fill your life with so much stuff that you can't afford to procrastinate (It's even better to get into a few things you can't get out of easily). You'll figure out how to organize yourself. Then you back off a bit to get some balance back into your life.

Ask HN: How did Snapchat gain initial traction?
4 points by frankphilips  1 day ago   1 comment top
gkuan 1 day ago 0 replies      
This Inc. article (and the quoted NYT article) describes the initial scene very well. It started as a friends and family word-of-mouth viral loop that got into one particular SoCal high school of a founder's cousin and then quickly propagated to other SoCal high schools big time (3,000 to 30,000 DAU in a month) as a way for passing notes. They hired a community manager after they hit a critical mass. http://www.inc.com/christine-lagorio/real-origins-of-snapcha...
Quick thought: Problem with new niche e-commerce stores
2 points by lenkendall  18 hours ago   1 comment top
johnny22 17 hours ago 0 replies      
Can you restate this in the form of a question?
Why Ruby for startups?
8 points by karangoeluw  1 day ago   10 comments top 4
anonyfox 1 day ago 1 reply      
When Rails came up, it's "new way" of developing a webapp fast and without much hassle was exciting. In addition, Ruby is a really nice language, and switching to it may give you massive productivity boosts, depending on where you come from. Plus: the amount of high-quality libraries ("gems") is very high. But i forecast a massive decrease of Ruby usage in startups. I'll explain why in the following sentences:

Startups are not picking _Ruby_, they are picking _Rails_, which happens to be written in Ruby. Seriously, the language doesn't matter that much nowadays it's all about the ecosystem around it. You need one or more nice frameworks, as light or heavy as you want, and a bunch of libraries for common stuff you have to deal with (never invent the wheel again if not absolutely neccessary!).

But time goes on. I was a ruby zealot, but this changed over the last 2 years. Most of the webframeworks of other languages integrated the "rails way" in one way or another. To be clear: Rails hasn't special benefits or is "cool" any longer (i say this as an currently employed rails developer). In addition to this, Ruby itself is showing it's age:

- excessive metaprogramming (like eg. in ActiveRecord) makes these things nearly unreadable/un-understandable today. - parallel processing in MRI is not possible, Rubinius 2 didn't finish/change for the last 2 years (especially unicode support is the showstopper in non-english countries), JRuby brings the disadvantages of the JVM to the table (the startup times in short TDD-cycles are annoying). - Ruby is still one of the slowest scripting languages in use. In addition, stuff like ActiveRecord kills performance even more, some expressions (no exact number) take hundred times longer than writing the raw sql statement in the rails app. The "convenience" of AR comes with price. (and as i mentioned, the "under the hood" isn't that easy to understand either).

To be fair: other languages have their problems, though.

- python: the frameworks are similar to the language in their inception: quite good, but not mind-blowing, boundary-pushing or just "hip". I'd say most usage of stuff like Django results from "yeah, i know python, let's use a python web framework" if you know what i mean. Indeed, there's nothing wrong with that. Also: Python3-transition-hassle, GIL like Ruby prevents parallel processing, similar hassle like with the different ruby implementations.

- PHP: cheap. hosting is cheap (most customers are happy with near-garbage hosting since they won't get _that_ much traffic). developers are cheap and everywhere available. developing is cheap because of the massive amount of high-quality "frameworks" (not only coding-frameworks, but also stuff like drupal, typo3, wordpress, wiki, ...). But: you get what you pay for. Innovations happens everywhere except in PHP, folks there are just playing catch-up. If you have to develop something new, where you don't have the skeleton in place, PHP isn't the best choice. Like Ruby, performance is not that good, especially when you target modern webapps with thousands of concurrent small requests. PHP isn't made for this.

- Perl: slowly fading away. May become "cool" again, similar the way old clothes become "retro" and cool again. No pun intended, i personally like perl. And CPAN is just insane. Everything you'll ever need (and more) is available.

- Scala: very interesting (but also complicated and not beginner-friendly) language. Biggest drawback last time I used scala: the "package manager", the single most important thing of every modern language, the thing that defines how the ecosystem will behave, was just garbage. There (as i know) is no place like "rubygems.org" and just "gem install myawesomelib". It _may_ be that SBT has involved into something great over the last year, i don't know. The whole "JVM Ecosystem" has quite a learning curve, too. Not startup-friendly and you'll need _great_ developers (my experience).

- ASP.NET MVC/C#: This is my personal opinion: i would never use it again or recommend it to anyone. Not only C#, but the whole .NET stuff or other microsoft-centric technologies. It has fanboys for sure, but not only i hate to work with every single piece of the microsoft "stack", MS is fading away slowly. Even silverlight was abandoned, ehrm i mean, "open sourced". The only way to write C# code in a productive way is in Visual Studio. Oh, you'll need the features of the "ultimate edition"? Have fun shelling out thousands of $$ for your developers. Use MS-SQL Server? Look at the license costs. Whatever, i don't want to start flamewars here. Actually i (european) see C# stuff outsourced to indian offshore businesses more and more (no pun intended). C# Development is just "stuff that needs to be done" in some businesses, there is nothing really innovative or exciting going on and developers are cheap.

All this said and done, there is one outstanding "stack", and this is... javascript. We all know the language and the "fame" of javascript and how it evolved over the years. But today, things have changed.

- JS is the only player in the browser. "unfair" advantage. Every softwarestack above have to deal with JS today. - Node.js brings JS to the server. While not suited for anything, it is just _perfect_ for many apps today. - NPM (the "rubygems" for JS/Node) is quite "better" than rubygems and seems way more active today. - Kickstart from scratch with express/mongoDB is really fast and perfectly suited for agile development.- "Big Frameworks" are evolving rapidly the last months.- Desktop- & Mobile-Apps tend to be written in HTML5/JS more and more.- Databases like MongoDB use JS as their query language.- if you don't like JS, there are preprocessing-languages like coffeescript which compile to JS. Write in the style you want, that's it.- The raw Speed of the V8 VM is amazing.

=> if you want, you can have a Stack with JS-pieces only today. From database to the UI, everything can be javascript, which makes development of modern client-heavy apps a breeze.

So, to conclude: The future question will not be "why ruby?", but "why not javascript?".

workhere-io 1 day ago 1 reply      
why is Ruby preferred in the startup world?

I'm not sure it is. If you look at the polls there have been here on HN, Python often places better than Ruby (one example is https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=3745084, but there are other polls as well).

lewstherin 1 day ago 0 replies      
I can't speak for others but I chose Ruby/ Rails over Python/ Django, because the Rails community seemed bigger and much more active. This may not be necessarily true of course, but I took a look at Ruby and liked what I saw, so much that I never looked back :
deathwithme 1 day ago 1 reply      
cause with Rails, a web application is developed fast and very easy and the cost is very low. You know start ups need time and money.
Ask HN: Which is your recommended domain registrar for .it/.ly domains?
3 points by varunkho  1 day ago   1 comment top
zalew 1 day ago 0 replies      
not sure, but you can check out the ones exotic domain finders (like http://domai.nr/ and http://domize.com/) use as affiliate.
Ask HN: How to get a job at a Big Company?
6 points by freework  1 day ago   8 comments top 7
WestCoastJustin 1 day ago 0 replies      
Try searching for python or javascript on http://search.jobvite.com/web/modules/layout/home.htm

You might also check out dropbox, I think they are a large python shop.

Also keep an eye on the "Ask HN: Who is hiring?" posts [1]. I checked the ones for August 2013, and there are lots of hits for python and javascript.

  Ask HN: Who is hiring? (August 2013)  https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=6139927  Ask HN: Freelancer? Seeking freelancer? (August 2013)  https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=6139937  
[1] https://news.ycombinator.com/submitted?id=whoishiring

ra88it 1 day ago 0 replies      
If you are smart and you can at least fake it that you are a "good guy"[1], then you stand a very good chance, assuming you are able to find out where these MegaCorps advertise. I work for one of them, and I found the ad on craigslist, which I think is unusual.

[1] - or girl, but "good girl" doesn't mean the same thing! If you are female, then I would guess you have to be able to fake that you are "cool", whatever that means.

[edit: When I say 'smart', I don't mean 'really smart', I just mean that you do in fact know javascript and python pretty well as you say]

[edit2: If you are applying for a job programming java, then you should probably at least learn to how to write a class, instantiate an object, match a regex, etc. before going in there. But that will be easy if necessary.]

kghose 1 day ago 0 replies      
* Try networking through LinkedIn.* Try going to meetups

It does not matter if your formal CV does not reflect your true skills. Once you start talking to people, eventually they will refer you to their colleagues and invite you over for interviews.

From what I am told it helps to be able to jump past the "HR filter" which unfortunately places a lot of weight on keywords in CVs.

The fact that you have been working in industry means that you now have a strong "experience" component, which many places really appreciate!

Best of luck and just keep at it.

minimaxir 1 day ago 0 replies      
Almost every big company has a dedicated careers website.
sachin0235 1 day ago 0 replies      
I am not sure which country you are based on but there are job portals where you can float their resume, you can also go directly to corporate site of a company and submit your resume. Before you apply look at the skill set required, I am sure you would need to work on your java/.Net/PHP skills before applying else you will not be short listed. You can start learning and can show(FAKE) you earlier projects in those languages. If you are based in US, send me a message, i would be happy to help you out.
mercnet 1 day ago 0 replies      
Find a company you want to work for and then find people on LinkedIn that work there. Some people might see it as stalking, but to me you took initiative so I will most likely respond and assist you on getting past the HR block.
jayzalowitz 1 day ago 1 reply      
setonia.com get job listings geographically located near you.
Ask HN: How to stop requests to ajax.Googleapis.com and load jQuery locally?
3 points by MisterWebz  1 day ago   2 comments top
benologist 1 day ago 1 reply      
Use a userscript to like tampermonkey for chrome or greasemonkey for firefox to swap out the urls for local ones.
Uber has launched in South Africa
3 points by _djo_  1 day ago   1 comment top
Ask HN: why does Gmail keep getting more complex?
2 points by keiferski  23 hours ago   1 comment top
t0 23 hours ago 0 replies      
You can keep tweaking the settings and get pretty close to 2005-style.
Ask HN: What is the best way to introduce your startup to the world?
14 points by kdforf  3 days ago   7 comments top 4
ghc 3 days ago 1 reply      
One lesson I've learned over the years: You can keep launching until someone notices, but if you have to "launch" in the first place, that's the business equivalent of a code smell.

Once you accept that you will not get coverage on any of the major sites, you can think about how to promote your product. You should have already started before you built anything, to make sure your product solves someone's problem. If it solves even one person's problem well, chances are they will know other people who have the same problem and will be your biggest advocate / promotion avenue.

For promotion, sometimes the old tricks are the best tricks. Yes, ads cost money, but $100 spent on AdSense can still send a lot of people to your site if you spend it wisely.

So don't worry about launching, worry about minimizing your customer acquisition cost. And start by simply advertising so you have an initial cost of acquisition for your estimates.

MojoJolo 2 days ago 0 replies      
Our startup is an automatic summarization API (http://www.textteaser.com/). I once wrote an article in Medium (https://medium.com/medium-ideas/59b1747c1d36) to showcase how our technology will perform with Medium articles. It received good feedback. Frontpage in Hacker News plus top post in Medium for last month. We then create a bot in Reddit (http://www.reddit.com/user/tldrrr?sort=top) to summarize submitted articles. Mostly good feedback but some subreddits banned the bot eventually.

So my tip is, don't just show the world your product. Show the world what your product can do.

It is best if you can show your product to where people are familiar with. In my case I used Medium, and Reddit. I'm planning to do it to some popular web applications next time.

apphrase 2 days ago 0 replies      
Unfortunately we are still in beta, but this is exactly the problem we are tackling. Hopefully within a couple of months we will be helping you or similar people. In the meantime, I agree about the good comment below about advertising. And also you should be pushing it to friends and family first. Although a language barrier seems to be an obstacle, I am sure you can find at least a couple of friends to use/recommend your app. We think of it as a tree, first branching is hard but possible, the rest is just growing the tree. Advertising as well as active participation is key here. Needless to say, good quality product/service is essential too. All the best with your endeavour
mw67 3 days ago 1 reply      
It depends entirely on the type of business you are building. There is no one fits all answer. Give us more background, otherwise you should read PG's memos or answers on Quora.
Ask HN: Ad supported website. What traffic is required to sustain it?
5 points by rgovind  1 day ago   8 comments top 3
chewxy 1 day ago 0 replies      
I actually wrote a piece on this in response to a brainstorm on business models: http://blog.chewxy.com/2013/03/06/startup-business-models-ad...

I work in advertising, and I think that is a pretty good guide.

Here are the numbers in case you can't be arsed to click on the link:

Assuming you managed to secure a $0.50 CPM deal. And you're running 1 Dyno and 1 Worker on Heroku. To break even you need about 70k ad imps (~ 25k page views) per month.

BUT the underlying assumption that you can get $0.50 is wrong. It's actually really less than that, don't be seduced by publisher networks that say they can give you more. Always look at the small prints.

Also bear in mind that a lot of publisher networks (that pay relatively well) do have a minimum imps per month requirement - most start about 500k. Adsense of course has no minimum

thenomad 1 day ago 1 reply      
It's extremely dependent on the niche you're serving.

Something like a games website will, at best, get around $3 CPM (counting all ad blocks). By contrast, something about cancer or payday loans will probably get $20 CPM or more.

This is further complicated by how you're doing ads, but let's just assume that you're planning to go the Adsense/similar route. (If you were thinking to run your own ads and optimise them yourself, you can make significantly more than the CPMs above, but there's more work and specialised knowledge involved.)

It's perfectly possible to make a very nice income off 50k visits a month, but you have to be in a very competitive niche.

As a rough guideline (and, as you may have guessed, I have recent practical experience in this area), aim for 800,000 visitors a month in a low-CPM niche, or 100,000 a month in a high-CPM one.

kitcar 1 day ago 2 replies      
back of napkin, $2 CPM, CPM = 1000 banner impressions. 3 Banners per page, mean $6 Page CPM. $3000 / $6 = 500, therefore you will need to generate 500,000 page impressions per month. 3 page impressions per visitor means ~166,666 visitors per month

Lots of assumptions made, but gives you somewhere to start.

Ask HN: Maybe stupid, but how do you reread the comments section?
6 points by helloTree  2 days ago   2 comments top 2
Pyrodogg 2 days ago 0 replies      
I use the Hacker News Enhancement Suite extension for Chrome (by HN user etcet).


When you revisit a comment thread it marks which comments are new since your last visit. You can see an example in the second screenshot in the Chrome Web Store.

ScottWhigham 2 days ago 0 replies      
I'm not 100% I understand but I find that the greasemonkey script "Hacker News Threadify" makes reading and re-reading comments much better:


Ask HN: best hours to send invite emails?
2 points by zalew  1 day ago   7 comments top 2
federicola 1 day ago 1 reply      
First you need to know what kind of customer you are targeting, for example if you're emailing to usa the majority of the population lives in the EST zone. Focus your emails on hitting that time zone (unless you have the capability to segment your list by geographic location and send in staggered sends). Weekends are not good. Mondays are also not good, I frequently use Mondays to delete all spam and junk or unimportant emails. Probably Wednesdays, Thursdays are the best days of the week.
Subject Filters for HN
2 points by projectramo  1 day ago   discuss
Ask HN: Which coding guidelines do you use?
3 points by dutchbrit  1 day ago   5 comments top 5
agoandanon 3 hours ago 0 replies      
K&R braces in all things. Because that is the One True Way to do it.
nkuttler 1 day ago 0 replies      
Oh, it's a question about PHP... Anyway, I either use the one that's official for the language, the one that applies to the project I'm just working on, or the one that seems the most sensible to me. For the latter I normally check a few very popular projects for the language and see what they agree on.
chewxy 1 day ago 0 replies      
PEP 8 for Python,

Go fmt all the things

cLeEOGPw 1 day ago 0 replies      
GNU for C/C++
etioyuahgdhjdkg 1 day ago 0 replies      
Spaces. Not tabs. No exceptions.
Show HN: Commoso | A Communications, Marketing and PR Marketplace
2 points by jkaykin  1 day ago   2 comments top 2
wtvanhest 1 day ago 0 replies      
I'm sure there is demand, but your site is basically just an email form. Why would anyone fill that in unless they knew you had insane marketing experience or some other reason?
jkaykin 1 day ago 0 replies      
       cached 8 August 2013 20:05:01 GMT