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Ask HN: Open accelerator program without the VC?
25 points by snoonan  4 hours ago   19 comments top 15
Asparagirl 3 hours ago 0 replies      
It's not an accelerator but rather a conference: you want Amy Hoy and Alex Hillman's BaconBiz conference in Philadelphia (http://baconbiz.com/), or the Business of Software conference in Boston (http://businessofsoftware.org), or Rob Walling and Mike Taber's MicroConf in Las Vegas (http://www.microconf.com/).

All three are for bootstrapped businesses. All three also have incredibly useful and non-fluffy videos of their past speakers online, well worth watching even if you can't attend the actual events.

And keep the faith -- the VC model has tremendous drawbacks for many people, especially those of us who are not willing to essentially become indentured servants. Bootstrapping is highly underrated.

akg_67 17 minutes ago 0 replies      
Most US States and Canadian Provinces have Self-employment programs (SEPs) that provide 8-12 weeks of extensive training and framework followed by 6-12 months of one-on-one mentoring and guidance. They also hold networking events for you to network with past and present members of the program. These programs are primarily funded and supported by state and federal small business initiatives.

I went through a similar SEP program in Toronto. I am again considering similar program in WA state for my bootstrapped business.

Following resources can help you identify appropriate programs and mentoring:

Small Business Administration http://www.sba.gov/category/navigation-structure/starting-ma...

SCORE http://www.score.org

Small Business Development Center http://www.wsbdc.org if you are WA state, I am sure other states have similar program)

tomasien 4 hours ago 0 replies      
This isn't going to help you, but that's what we did locally (in Richmond, VA) for the Lighthouse Labs accelerator - no investment, just mentorship, space, and a demo day. 3 of the companies are growing considerably, but only 2 ended up raising funding - the other was always going to be bootstrapped. It worked out great! Our next class is going to get funding (same amount as YC) for 0% in equity to maintain the integrity of the program, with an option to take more and give up equity. We're really excited about it and I think someone with more prestige should do it nationally.
chippy 4 hours ago 1 reply      
I suppose you should consider what it is that an accelerator offers, and what it is that they cost, how an accelerator actually works and what you are looking for.

For example for some companies the VC seed funding that an accelerator provides may not be crucial, but the access to business advice, mentors and contacts could be. This generally costs equity - would this be something you'd be after? Are you after no costs, or less costs than the typical startup in an incubator? Why would an entrepreneur want to invest their time but not their money?

andrewhyde 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Checkout Startup Weekend NEXT http://www.swnext.co/

Unsure of if you are looking for a peer group to help you through the highs and lows or a PR plan (accelerator graduates rarely have a huge splash, it is all about habits formed and community support).

ing33k 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Check out SLP http://www.startupleadership.com/.

Also heard several good things from startups who were part of Microsoft Accelerator ( https://www.microsoftventures.com/ )

carlosrt 1 hour ago 0 replies      
One Million By One Million is an accelerator that doesn't take equity: http://1m1m.sramanamitra.com/


Disclosure: I have no affiliation with them.

revorad 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Not quite what you're looking for, but recently, someone tried an online incubator idea called nreduce - http://joshschwartzman.com/#/nreduce/

I think they shut it down eventually. Find more in old discussions - https://hn.algolia.com/?q=nreduce#!/story/forever/0/nreduce

georgespencer 2 hours ago 0 replies      
You don't need an accelerator. As far as I can tell from the data, it's unclear whether there is any net gain to being in an accelerator at all.
devinmontgomery 3 hours ago 0 replies      
I think this is basically what Kickstarter is. It gives you a defined set of goals and a deadline. You do a pitch and get money. But instead of that money buying equity, it buys your product or service, validates your idea, and hooks you into advice from the best advisors of all - your customers.
rjdagost 3 hours ago 0 replies      
My experience in trying to raise funding for a business model similar to yours had me asking the same questions. If you're not shooting for the moon in terms of business size, VCs (and thus accelerators) are just not interested. They claim that it takes just as much time to administer a large investment as a small one, and thus they are only interested in the companies that are swinging for the fences. There seems to be a financing gap for mid-size companies, ones that fall between small local businesses and companies seeking to be the next Google. There's probably a big opportunity in this niche.
ritwikt 3 hours ago 1 reply      
You might want to answer what you want from the accelerator - you seem to be hinting @ growth - you might want to qualify that further since you seem to be covered on market access and possibly money
plaxis 2 hours ago 0 replies      
You might like to check out NYU Incubators @ 137 Varick Street, DUMBO, and Urban Futures Lab at 15 Metrotech in BK. Independent accelerators and support systems attached inside, university support, NYC govt and private company backing.
X4 1 hour ago 0 replies      
May I ask what acceleration means? I always thought it's another word for money and some pro tips.

I, would be happy, if I could join an experienced and older team and start working on an interesting problem. Doing my M.Sc. in CompSci in Germany atm. and none of my friends has any entrepreneurial ambitions or skills, which is depressing and sad. All of them just want a job in the industry. Not really expecting payment.

illumen 3 hours ago 0 replies      
co-working spaces
Ask YC (dang and kogir): How about some transparency?
183 points by swombat  20 hours ago   51 comments top 15
dang 18 hours ago 7 replies      
Right! Let me try to set you at ease, at least a little. Yes, we will make an effort to make moderation more transparent.

In fact, we already have. It was my decision that PG should out me as moderator, and that was mainly so I'll be able to answer users' questions.

I think your points are mostly correct and entirely understandable. Qua user, I feel pretty similarly, so I don't anticipate much trouble seeing eye to eye about this in the long run. I'm optimistic that we can eventually please both the bulk and the core of the communitythough that will still be far from everybody.

Also, there's no one on the team arguing for secrecy. The question is not whether to be more transparent, but how.

A few points from the moderation side.

You should know that what appears to be HN's "secrecy" has in reality mostly been extremely limited bandwidth. For most of HN's existence, PG ran it at the same time as he was building YC plus having two kids. That made for an awful lot of dropped packets. One might argue that he should have handed HN off sooner, and one would in my opinion be completely wrong about that. Without HN's "secrecy" there would have been no HN.

Second, it's been true for a long time that you can get answers by emailing info@yc. (We're going to change that to hn@yc, but that's not up yet; I'll add it to my profile when it is.) I'll be taking over the HN-related emails from Tara, who has been valiant but will soon be relieved.

I intend to be a lot more responsive in the threads, partly because we know that community concerns around transparency need addressing, so we'll make a priority of it, but also for two non-obvious reasons: (1) I've written software for navigating and moderating HN very quickly, and (2) I type faster than PG.

Beyond that, there are a lot of questions about how to get this right. Many of the factors aren't obvious. I have more to say about this, but this comment is long enough, plus I'm tired and my brain hurts, and we'll have lots of opportunities to discuss it further.

pkteison 19 hours ago 1 reply      
I don't want more transparency. It just gives people something concrete to argue over, and you can't please the haters, so don't waste your time trying.
mabbo 18 hours ago 1 reply      
I always loved the SomethingAwful "Leper Colony" page. It was a list of who was put on probation, banned, or permabanned, and a link to what they did to do this. It had a quick explanation of why it happened.

It was a great way, as a lurker, to get an understanding of the rules via watching others fail to follow them.

This is a different beast here, as no one is paying to be a member, but I wonder if there isn't something to learn from how that page operated.

ijk 19 hours ago 0 replies      
I think a bigger issue is that the front page is too important. It's always going to be the page with the most views, but compared to most other aggregation sites, Hacker News has very little memory and makes access to the archives difficult.

This is part of what shapes its community, of course. There's probably at least some reasoning behind why it works that way, but it seems to me that the lack of memory distorts the importance of the front page.

lukasm 19 hours ago 1 reply      
I don't think the problem lies in transparency. The problem is scaling the community. How to keep the signal high? Naturally, people are trying to organise things by adding rules when you simply cannot relay on "level of trust". Sadly, there is a hidden cost with every regulation. For example, I stopped actively participating in StackOverflow. I pine the days when SO was a lot smaller community with high signal to noise ratio, but, more importantly, it had that human feel.

These days, it's very different. Topic are being parsed and filtered by robotic moderator that cannot possibly let something even remotely option-based slip through. Comment that are relevant, but with subtle jokes are deleted. I remember when Joel and Jeff were actively answering questions to have the critical mass. Now that answers and questions would be closed or moderated. e.g. http://stackoverflow.com/questions/652788/what-is-the-worst-...

olalonde 18 hours ago 0 replies      
> Secondly, I (and I believe a number of others), whilst appreciating all the efforts that you guys are making to keep HN a great place to be, frequently feel baffled, hurt or just insulted by the way that moderation is applied.

Could you give some concrete examples? Articles can get dropped off the front page when many people click the flag link (i.e. it's not always driven by the moderators). Also, I believe submissions with a high comments to up vote ratio are weighted down (the rationale being that it usually signals a controversial topic prone to flame wars). There have been cases of questionable hell banning, but this can usually be resolved by contacting the mods privately AFAIK.

throwaway13qf85 19 hours ago 1 reply      
Is it possible that it sometimes doesn't have anything to do with moderation at all?

Every submission has a big 'flag' button on it. I don't know exactly what that does when clicked, but I assume it tends to make submissions drop further into obscurity.

Some topics that get a lot of exposure (the NSA and bitcoin come to mind) are likely to get heavily flagged when they appear, which probably doesn't look much different to moderation.

mplewis 13 hours ago 0 replies      
I'd like to see a moderation log like on Lobste.rs [1]. They list all the actions their moderators take and why. This includes renaming posts, deleting posts, and banning users.

Their description of the moderation log: "All moderator actions on this site are visible to everyone and the identities of those moderators are made public. While the individual actions of a moderator may cause debate, there should be no question about who the moderator was or whether they had an ulterior motive for those actions."

[1] https://lobste.rs/moderations

akerl_ 19 hours ago 1 reply      
Posts drop off the front page because of a variety of reasons, from flagging by users to being hit with the penalty for having a poor upvote / comment ratio.

It's not the staff's fault that people jump to assume An Act Of Malicious Moderation if a story drops.

samth 5 hours ago 0 replies      
One of the best ways to increase transparency would be to make the source for HN available. There's already an official GitHub repo for issues -- why not have the source there too?
mschuster91 18 hours ago 1 reply      
Might be worth a try to publish all the stuff affecting ranking, like site/domain-specific penalties, (hell)bans etc.
jontonsoup 17 hours ago 0 replies      
It might be interesting to expose the algorithm more (not saying the entire thing, but if auto penalties are applied which ones).
steveklabnik 19 hours ago 0 replies      
Yup, I agree 100%. The lack of transparency is incredibly frustrating, for all of the reasons mentioned above.

I wish I had more to say than "+1," but I wanted to give more than just an upvote. "you tend to assume the worst" really resonates with me.

This comment went from +3 to (currently) -1. Interesting.

kylelibra 19 hours ago 1 reply      
Does HN have any set community guidelines written out?
wudf 19 hours ago 0 replies      
rapid feedback is important for the user just like it is for the developer
Ask HN: have you ever worked on a startup with remote co-founders?
3 points by taigeair  1 hour ago   1 comment top
eldavido 20 minutes ago 0 replies      
I tried it, company didn't ultimately work out but remote cofounders is fine as long as there's a high degree of trust and mutual commitment.

Remote vs. non-remote each have advantages. Remote gets fewer distractions (I find working in offices/near others very challenging when try to do focused work vs. home office), access to bigger pool of people, 2x "people coverage" for B2B sales/fundraising/partnership discussions, and more emphasis on results vs. ass-in-chair syndrome. Whereas local will have better and more frequent communication, less potential for misunderstanding, easier to bring the whole team to meetings, etc.

Bottom line: it can work, but you have to have the right people. I actually enjoyed it a lot.

I'm looking for a full-stack job like Mike Ross has at Pearson Spector
3 points by basdevries  2 hours ago   3 comments top
gphilip 2 hours ago 1 reply      
> I haven't got a PhD but I can (at least) learn and think on that level.

How do you know this? More pertinently, how do I know this? How can you convince others that you are "at PhD level"?

Well, one way to do this is to do something "at PhD level". Build something which (i) is appealing to the kind of people whom you would like to have as colleagues, and (ii) shows your mastery of the full stack (as you define it). Put it up on GitHub, and let others see it. Show them the code, as the saying goes.

What would such a thing be? Knowing what the "interesting" problems are is part of "being at PhD level". So you probably already know what to solve, or it will come to you if you think about it a bit.

Good luck with your efforts!

Learning about design / web design principles
2 points by Dale1  3 hours ago   1 comment top
ISeemToBeAVerb 2 hours ago 0 replies      
My opinion on the matter of learning design has always been to place a primary focus on the basic elements and principles (see link at bottom).

There are plenty of abstract design theories to study, but when it comes down to actually working, there is no substitute for a mastery of the basics. Paul Rand has some practical thoughts on design in his books.

Overall, I would place an emphasis on learning to articulate the problems you need to solve through design. Design is not something you can learn in the abstractthere can be no effective design without first defining the problem(s) your project presents. I would say design is 90% problem solving and 10% aesthetics.

I've found the best way to learn design is to first understand the basics, then go out and apply them to the designs you encounter. Look at other interface/web designs and ask yourself questions based on the principles you've learned. The key here is to understand the "why" behind the "how".

As for the "how", project-based tutorials are okay, but you should be careful not to get lost in the actual project. You want to be gathering techniques, not just following steps.

ResourcesWikipedia: Elements & Principles of Design http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Design_elements_and_principles

Anything you can find by Paul Rand. Some of his books are out of print, but if you're creative you can find them on the web.

Grid Systems In Graphic Design by Josef Muller-Brockmannhttp://www.amazon.com/Systems-Graphic-Systeme-Visuele-Gestal...

DNS results now being manipulated in Turkey
106 points by makmanalp  1 day ago   65 comments top 19
alex1 1 day ago 3 replies      
Can you do a traceroute to If it's actually reaching Google's network, then yeah, they're doing deep packet inspection on DNS traffic. If not, they're probably just routing to a DNS server they control.

If their goal is to manipulate traffic to www.youtube.com (probably to block access to certain videos), another solution would be for YouTube to require SSL for all connections coming from Turkish IPs. Of course, this wouldn't work if they got some Turkish (or other) CA to sign a bogus www.youtube.com certificate.

EDIT: As lawl points out, trying to require SSL on www.youtube.com won't work either, since they could just do an sslstrip type attack.

EDIT 2: Proof that they are in fact messing with routes to Google Public DNS anycast addresses (they're doing to same to OpenDNS): https://twitter.com/esesci/status/449902883933126659

davidu 1 day ago 1 reply      
DNSSEC wouldn't stop this... unless the resolver knew to require DNSSEC and ignored unsigned responses (which is unlikely).

DNSCrypt could help here... but chances are their middleware would just barf on it.

You need something more evasive.

bayesianhorse 1 day ago 1 reply      
Seems like Erdogan is hell-bent on restricting free speech in Turkey.

Somehow it is comforting how abysmally bad he is at doing that though...

mrtksn 1 day ago 0 replies      
I can confirm NS lookup to Google DNS, when done using the national cable ISP network, returns spoofed results.

here: http://i.imgur.com/jfZS31C.png

ttflee 1 day ago 0 replies      
[sarcasm]Having been enduring this kind of shit for years in mainland China, I am glad to see that it migrated to the (sort of) 'free' world, eventually![/sarcasm]

BTW, I have to manoeuvre some IP addresses of the CDNs in /etc/hosts in order to get access to github.com today, and some others for stack overflow.com last week. Interference from those who have power really sucks!

CDNs nowadays are so vulnerable to political issues, and some CDNs seems to be hurt by extended non-specific attacks/blocks to some other sites sharing the same IP addresses, due to some unrelated reasons, which makes me feel nostalgic to the web before CDNs.

gaoshan 18 hours ago 0 replies      
"Using VPNs seems like the only valid solution"

But a government like China interferes with even VPNs (more so outside of the greater Shanghai and Beijing metro areas, in case anyone is sitting in those areas saying "My VPN works great"... they permit it and can block or interfere with it anytime they like) so I don't think they are really a solution. In China, nothing really works if the authorities don't want it to. VPNs are degraded to the point of being unusable, SOCKs proxy over SSH is the same, TOR is unusably slow, etc. Unfortunately, I don't think there really IS a solution in the face of determined governmental interference.

sanqui 1 day ago 0 replies      
I didn't see this posted on HN yet - Turekey is also blocking the Tor Project's website: https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2014/03/when-tor-block-not-tor...
wila 1 day ago 0 replies      
Google also offers IPv6 public DNS servers, maybe that helps? (probably not though as they might not yet have turned on ipv6)

2001:4860:4860::8888 and 2001:4860:4860::8844

Also look at the other links that user lemonade posted here.

vijayp 1 day ago 2 replies      
Too bad DNSSEC isn't widely used; signing the records would prevent this from working. The government could still block the DNS requests, though.
M4v3R 1 day ago 2 replies      
Excuse my ignorance, but does anybody knows why they are doing it? Is there any piece of news I missed?
acd 1 day ago 0 replies      
Wont stop tor or onion addresses

You can do the same setup ashttp://piratebrowser.com/

Jugurtha 1 day ago 1 reply      
SSH tunneling also works. It's cheap and easy to set up.
roeme 1 day ago 1 reply      
Please correct your second query, asking for the A RR of "youtube.com\@" is needlessy wrong
Fasebook 1 day ago 0 replies      
It's about time Turkey took a step towards US in controlling the flow of information. I mean, how long has this been going on here, undetected? The obvious solution, Turkey, is to target specific individuals after digging into their background, confirming that they are not computer experts before attacking them via their computer.
cryptologics 1 day ago 0 replies      
this is what I get with VPN and without VPN http://i.imgur.com/XNtDGYq.png
lemonade 1 day ago 1 reply      
There are many more public DNS servers out there, too many to block.There is a nice comprehensive list here:


You might also be interested in https://dnscrypt.eu.

bohm 1 day ago 0 replies      
namecoin would fix this: https://www.namecoin.org/
STSW 1 day ago 1 reply      
Hide my ass will do a good job here..
hadoukenio 1 day ago 3 replies      
The NSA and GCHQ have been doing this for years, so why complain about Turkey doing this? The only difference I can see is targeting individuals vs targeting the general population.
Ask HN: Why hasnt Google Wave caught on?
8 points by 3rd3  10 hours ago   5 comments top 5
27182818284 38 minutes ago 0 replies      
I was an early adopter and I actually saw quite a few non-techies in my circles want invites right away, because it was seen as the next Gmail.

Except it delivered none of the "wow!" that Gmail did. It was slow, didn't really seem to have an immediate purpose (where as when Gmail came out, most people I knew had hit some sorta inbox-size limit before and knew that pain point)

and so on.

BruceIV 7 hours ago 0 replies      
I played with it some, and besides the fact that only a few geeks were using it, the UI was terribly frustrating: it was slow, and had just enough "desktop app" functionality to put you in that mindset, but not enough to actually behave like you expected (kind of an uncanny valley sort of thing
carlosdp 8 hours ago 0 replies      
Well besides the fact it was closed down, Google was trying to "replace email". That was just too big of a step to attempt in one go with drastic changes in interaction.

That coupled with the fact you could only communicate with other Wave users made wide-spread adoption impossible.

mrmondo 8 hours ago 0 replies      
I don't even know what it is, I think that's probably at least part of the problem for people.
nicolasd 8 hours ago 0 replies      
I used and liked it, but imo it was more an experiment for google and they had no real use-case/focus.
Ask HN: How does the software and hardware interaction work?
2 points by lexi-mono  5 hours ago   1 comment top
brudgers 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Knuth's MIX & MMIX are the languages of TAcO.

MMIX section is a free downloadhttp://www-cs-faculty.stanford.edu/~uno/fasc1.ps.gz

More here: http://www-cs-faculty.stanford.edu/~uno/mmix.html

Ask HN: What is the difference between a junior and senior developer?
76 points by nchuhoai  1 day ago   84 comments top 41
hapless 1 day ago 9 replies      
Most of the important skills have nothing to do with technology

- Requirements gathering

- Customer interaction

- "Managing upwards" (dealing with PMs, product people, designers)

- Estimation and planning

- Becoming a team player (Most college students only do a few, short-term group projects. This does not adequately prepare graduates for tight-knit teams in a professional setting.)

Anyone with a little bit of coding background can learn rails in a few days. The hard-won assets are all "soft skills:" professionalism, teamwork, planning. As far as I know, there's no substitute for real industry experience. (It would be awful nice if there were!)

jraines 1 day ago 3 replies      
Here's the best take I've read on the subject, by John Allspaw of Etsy: http://www.kitchensoap.com/2012/10/25/on-being-a-senior-engi...

Choice quote: "I expect a senior engineer to be a mature engineer."

He elaborates at length about what that means in the post.

jgable 1 day ago 2 replies      
In terms of getting a title of "Senior Engineer" at most companies, it is mostly a function of experience. It is highly unlikely you will be hired as a Senior Engineer straight out of college.

Don't focus on getting the title. Instead, focus on what you can control, and the titles and career advancement will take care of themselves.

There's a well-known, well-written essay on the qualities that a Senior Engineer possesses: http://www.kitchensoap.com/2012/10/25/on-being-a-senior-engi...

Technical maturity comes from working on and finishing large projects. As with anything else, you can work for years and have lots of "experience", but if you are not critically thinking and learning during the journey, you won't get anywhere. Learn the pros and cons of high-level, architectural decisions so that you can be prepared to make those decisions someday in the face of uncertainty.

Personal maturity means working effectively on your own and especially with others. Pay attention to the highly respected engineers in your organization, and observe how they work with others.

Good luck!

ryanobjc 23 hours ago 0 replies      
To answer your question directly ... a senior engineer MUST absolutely have had the responsibility of taking several systems to production and maintaining it there for some period of time.

Ultimately there is just a whole area of experience that you cannot short circuit. While we laud genius programmers who brought something to the world (eg: Bram Cohen of bittorrent fame), there is a lot of luck involved, and ultimately no one is an island, there is a lot of supporting work to make something truly successful and widely adopted.

Good luck in your job hunt, but my best advice is to have patience, be humble and realize that your experience is a starting point, and you have much to learn.

rjd 21 hours ago 0 replies      
I haven't seen the term "pragmatism" in this thread. Thats a major difference I've noticed over the years. Something that used to drive me nuts when I was a junior dev, and something I get torture my underlings with these days.

I've found most junior debs I've worked with over the years (and have memories of my own behavior) of being too cock sure of approaches, to keen on new techniques etc...

Over engineering is a major problem I see from younger people, often leading to fragility and bugs, blowing out support in 6-12 months. The other issue is using frameworks for everything, which I've found on questioning reveals fundamental lacks of knowledge about the domain they are experts with (being instead framework experts). Using massive library packages for access to one util class is very very common.

Sometimes I deliberately ask for nonessential 3rd party framework changes, or the utility class to return it slightly different just to make sure that juniors have to look into the framework and understand the domain they are working with. Quite entertaining at times, even if you have to throw out there code and rewrite for them :)

joeevans 1 day ago 1 reply      
Let's be honest.

The qualifications for being a Junior developer are (1) familiarity with new frameworks (2) nimbleness with polyglot approaches (3) ability to code considerably more than sit in meetings (4) an approach towards getting things done, rather than spend time considering getting things done.

Not every developer has the chops to be a Junior developer, but if a Senior developer has the interest and is willing to work hard at it, they can make it.

jasallen 1 day ago 0 replies      
Junior Dev:Needs more help / guidance

"Dev 2":Mostly works independently, knows when to ask for help

Senior Dev:Provides more help / guidance

analog31 23 hours ago 0 replies      
When I was a manager, I had a stack of job descriptions for different "levels" of engineers as I prepared a case for promoting a couple of my people. To generalize from what I saw: The formal levels are based on things like autonomy, authority, and interaction. A senior engineer is expected to do things like choosing best practices rather than simply following them. Making presentations to non-engineers, including customers. And so forth.

Granted, making out this rule in an actual workforce might be a challenge, because job titles are affected by a number of practical factors such as the lack of other options for retaining people. A business can become top-heavy with senior titles, but people will seldom be demoted to reflect disparities between their job descriptions and their work. A hot candidate will be hired into a senior level, to put them into a more favorable salary range.

nchuhoai 22 hours ago 2 replies      
FIrst of all, thanks everyone for chipping in, great insights here.

It seems to me that the majority of people here have defined "seniority" with professionalism and a large repository of social skills acquired over the years.

I guess independent from that issue, the reason why I originally asked the question is when it comes to job postings. When companies advertise positions marked as senior, do they then actually mean it in the above definition?

Call me naive and unexperienced, but I'm somewhat surprised by the heavy emphasis on experience over knowledge. Is someone with more domain-knowledge but less experience more junior than someone with little to zero domain-knowledge but more experience?

peterhi 22 hours ago 0 replies      
For us a junior is someone who is starting, possibly a graduate or even just out of school. This is someone who is still learning the craft of programming (gathering real world experience) rather than the text book skills.

After a year they should no longer be junior. They are just a plain old developer, if not then perhaps programming is not for them.

Senior developers are simple those people who have a say in planning the direction that the company will take with their software. Strategic thinking in relation to the business needs of the company.

Developers tend to have a very flat hierarchy so senior is just as likely a management position rather than a recognition of outstanding skills.

In our company at present we have no juniors as everyone has been there more than a year, but we also have no seniors. To be honest I think that senior developers only appear when the head count gets into double figures and management cannot hold meetings with everyone over every little thing. Hence senior as a management position / title.

tsenkov 23 hours ago 0 replies      
One of my first mentors once said to me - the junior developer solves easy problems with complex solutions. The regular (simply) developer solves complex problems with complex solutions. And the senior developer makes problems disappear.
IvyMike 23 hours ago 1 reply      
At my previous company, I liked their ranking system. Basically, you moved up as you became responsible for larger and larger systems.

A brand new junior employee is responsible for very little--most of what they do is going to be reviewed by more experienced engineers.

A senior engineer might be able to be tech lead a small month long project, a principal engineer might be responsible for a large subsystem, an architect would be responsible for an entire product.

Finally a distinguished engineer (essentially a VP-level position, but on the tech side of things rather than the management side) would be responsible for the technical direction of the entire company and be a strong input to the overall design of brand new products.

jmspring 1 day ago 0 replies      
Ability to understand not just the language and project you are working on, but the system and how to adapt or troubleshoot when met with challenges you don't understand. The ability to convey concepts and mentor people when they are in a bind. Knowing when to take a step back, look at the problem a new or ask for help.

Some of that comes through experience, but I've met people with time put in that can't get their head around more than their niche. (I'm talking general programming here, not deep specialization)

d0m 1 day ago 0 replies      
As a senior developer, you've got some war stories under your belt and hopefully learnt from those. When people use senior developer, I suppose they only mean dev with some years of experience. I.e. There's a big difference between the theory in school and working on a real project with various stakeholders.
mrpoptart 22 hours ago 0 replies      
You are now an expert in College. What do you know now that a freshman does not? Not just the schooling, but the ability to use the school more efficiently. The people you know, the places with which you're familiar, and the little nuances of college life are all part of your achievement. Similar processes happen in the software world. With time, your toolset grows, your professional capability grows, and your ability to produce higher quality with less effort grows.
MortenK 1 day ago 0 replies      
Different companies have different definitions for junior, senior etc. Like other comments mention, it's mainly length of professional experience.

Many places defines senior developers as having +5 years of professional experience (i.e. excluding college). But it varies a lot from company to company.

lutusp 1 day ago 0 replies      
> How do you specify/categorize junior/senior developers?

Experience. A very skilled young programmer with "raw engineering talent" won't automatically be described as a senior developer on that basis alone. Also, keep in mind, in a very ageist profession like programming, being called a senior developer can be taken as an insult.

implicit 22 hours ago 0 replies      
It's useful to consider developer maturity in terms of the maximum project complexity they can handle:

A junior developer can effectively build a software solution to something, given some advice about the interfaces and algorithms to be used.

A senior developer just needs a high level description of the desired technical solution. They can be trusted to instrument, refactor, collaborate, rewrite, invent, and get the problem solved.

A lead developer can be given bigger problems and organize an entire team of developers to tackle it.

This line of reasoning still works if you keep going:

A product manager can be given a metric to improve or a customer to satisfy. No further direction is required. They can be relied upon to do research, come up with a plan, hire staff (technical and nontechnical) and organize it all.

All CEOs have the same problem to solve: "Grow the business."

pekk 22 hours ago 0 replies      
The difference is how much they want to pay you, and how much scope and accountability you get.

The same person could be reasonably senior at one place, and reasonably junior at a different place.

Jach 23 hours ago 0 replies      
I think it depends on the particular individuals and the company. Sometimes the only difference may be salary. There's already a bunch of different responses here on what the difference could be. My own rough heuristic is that a person in a senior position should have a clear sense of the influence on business value that they and their decisions make. A junior developer is engrossed with solving a problem, a senior developer is engrossed with the business improving on some metric by means of solving a problem.
robert_tweed 1 day ago 0 replies      
It's a bit of both, but it's mainly about experience rather than knowledge.

A senior is expected to be able to handle anything that comes up during the course of a project (including when things are on fire), to be able to delegate, to be able to mentor juniors and quality-control their work.

Juniors are expected to be learning as they go (to a greater extent) and likely to make mistakes or need help now and then.

In particular, a senior will know when they have something wrong or it's not good enough. A junior is reliant on others to tell them what's expected in a given situation.

If you are a recent graduate you are, by definition, a junior. After a few years you might have the experience necessary to become a senior, if you have earned the trust of your peers, especially those in charge of that decision.

michaelwww 21 hours ago 0 replies      
A senior developer has the sense of carrying the responsibility of the project forward, a junior developer does not and relies on the senior to carry that load.
puppetmaster3 21 hours ago 0 replies      
I am CTO and 20+ years:Difference is just the role assigned, sometimes 10K hours of hands on, mostly not. Jr. dev is sometimes there just to fasttrack to manager roles.

A Sr. Dev. role is the one that people go to when an issue is not resolved for a period, one example is a month long intermittent bug. They are Sr. because Jr. ask for this bug to be assigned to Sr.. Sometimes Sr. do the real training new people.(I'll show you how it should work, go to X to show you how it works).

And here is the effect: If Sr. dev. has the tile to go w/ role, has to train and fix strange bugs, they use their position to KISS. Sadly, in most orgs, Sr. dev. is a role, not a title, it's just as common that Jr. dev. has a higher org. rank.

A role test: so lets say you want to add another 3rd party library. Who'll fix the bugs? Now you know who the Sr's are.

These roles are not new, this is very old: "Fools ignore complexity; experts avoid it; geniuses remove it."

jason_wang 23 hours ago 0 replies      
To me, the differences between a Jr. and a Sr. Dev are the experiences gained from getting burnt by bugs, quick estimates, production issues, etc.

Essentially the number of battle scars.

sabinazafar 11 hours ago 0 replies      
I think the simple answer is being able to make decisions and think more critically about the problem and the business implications. Junior developers usually require very specific and structured directions to achieve something ( even though they may be incredibly smart), senior developers on the other hand can work with fewer requirements and fill in the gaps when requirements are not clearly define.
joshcrews 1 day ago 0 replies      
You can tell a senior engineer what needs to happen, and the engineer can manage the rest.

A jr. engineer, not yet.

danjaouen 1 day ago 1 reply      
To me, the most important distinction between a "junior" and a "senior" developer is that a senior developer isn't afraid to work with and maintain legacy code.

When I first started out, I was obsessed with only using the latest and greatest technologies, but I've come to realize over the course of my career that this is simply infeasible for many organizations.

techtalsky 1 day ago 0 replies      
I definitely don't think it's just raw engineering talent. I agree that there's most certainly a social aspect to it. I think it has to do with professionalism, architecture chops and experience, a sense of good workflow and process, a sense of accountability, and a proven record of getting projects done and done right.
Eleutheria 23 hours ago 0 replies      
> What is the difference between a junior and senior developer?

10 years.

lipanski 23 hours ago 0 replies      
If I were to be cynical, I'd say age and wage (and the feeling of knowing it all).

However, contrary to some of my previous experiences, a senior is that person that has an answer to most of your questions (and the disposition to answer them). It's that person in the office that can pull a project or a team on his own on the long term, without major fuck-ups and with a clever solution for all unexpected problems.

And if you're interested in the more superficial description: human resources would call a senior someone who's been mastering his domain for at least 3 years.

yoyo1999 14 hours ago 0 replies      
Ideally, a senior developer should be somebody whom "been there, done that".

However, most "senior" developers were made by political fight.

trhtrhth 1 day ago 0 replies      
Dabbling a lot does not make you a Senior Dev. It's the part where you create and debug complex systems, such as you don't see while doing your small school projects. That, plus hopefully a little more wisdom when deciding which frameworks or design patterns to use and how slavishly to adhere to them.
burntroots 20 hours ago 0 replies      
The real difference between a junior and senior developer? A senior developer was able to convince a manager to give him the title and pay raise. It's more of a political distinction than anything else.
bjeanes 20 hours ago 0 replies      
Competency at negotiating.
bakhy 23 hours ago 0 replies      
experience. and price :) (which, IMO, is 90% of the reason why older devs have trouble finding jobs, and not so much the supposed difference in ability. young = cheap.)

also, to me it seems that it's more about your position in a company, than skill. i.e. being a senior does not mean being better, it means having more responsibility. being a senior is a position, not a level of skill. although, they would normally correlate.

you certainly won't be a senior as soon as you get out of college.

ecolner 23 hours ago 0 replies      
There is only one thing that makes you a senior developer: years in the industry. That's it. Ask your manager the minimum amount of time on the job for promotion. They'll use a formula to figure out if you're ready for more responsibility, but the gating factor is years on the job.
QuantumChaos 23 hours ago 0 replies      
A senior developer has to be able to lead a team of engineers in the creation of a product (or maintenance of an existing one).

What this requires depends on the job, but it is a mix of technical virtuosity, social skills, and ability to navigate the corporate environment.

bowlofpetunias 23 hours ago 2 replies      
I can tell you what the difference isn't. It's neither about age nor experience. And I'm saying this as an old fart who has been doing this for 25+ years.

Sure, time helps, if you learn from your mistakes, both in engineering and life itself.

But I've seen 40 year old developers who I would consider juniors in every way that matters, and 20-somethings who I would trust to take the role of lead developer.

kosso 23 hours ago 1 reply      
Experience. Time-served in a startup/dev environment.

Ability to communicate (hopefully) without offence.

Skin thickness.

/* amusing, yet inspiring and educational comments */

enterx 17 hours ago 0 replies      
a senior knows why.
TYPE_FASTER 21 hours ago 1 reply      
Two things I expect a senior developer to understand: threading and some details of networking. Examples: effectively making some operation run concurrently in another thread without adding too much or not enough locking. Understanding how HTTP keep alive works. Being able to troubleshoot TCP connection issues using WireShark. Even if you're a Rails developer and never see the details of the HTTP implementation, they can be valuable to know and can save you a ton of time when troubleshooting production issues.
I am a successful software dev but I have a serious drinking problem
311 points by user249  2 days ago   218 comments top 64
Snail_Commando 2 days ago 3 replies      
I don't know if you'll see this, but I hope you do.

I've struggled with addiction and I've made decisions that I'm ashamed of and disgusted with. There was a period of my life when I was also hopeless. I thought that I had lost everything. In a sense, it was true. (Rather, I destroyed most of what I had and subsequently lost the remaining pieces.)

Despite all of that, it does get better. It took me far too long to accept that.

The fact that you are posting here tells me that on some level you are ready to get better. Recognition of the problem begets hope.

Maintaining an attitude of "it doesn't get better" turns out to be a recursive function. Since lives are finite, the base case turns out to be total self-destruction.

At each time step, each recursive call, sustained hopelessness only begets more hopelessness.

Not only do the effects of addiction and hopelessness compound, but you get a first row seat. You watch the function expand, you see every call. You literally destroy yourself in a slow, humiliating, dangerous, and deliberate fashion.

A friend of mine liked to quote a man named Albert J. LaChance, he wrote: "Addiction is a slow form of suicide- suicide on the installment plan."

Whichever metaphor you choose, one thing is clear: changing your attitude is a necessary (but not sufficient) prerequisite for recovery.

You are obviously intelligent, so it should go without saying, there is no avoiding the fact a chemical addiction is a uniquely difficult problem to solve. Fortunately, it is a problem that a great deal of science is expended upon. And there are many ways to receive medical treatment.

Tedious self-help meetings and hollow platitudes are NO substitute for scientifically validated medical treatment. In your case, it is essential that you have medical intervention while you detox.

(Self-help is very helpful to some, and it does have a reported effectiveness of (last I heard) 10 - 50% (surely, a study carried out with utmost statistical rigor!)

Self-help meetings aren't right for me, but I will vouch for their occasional effectiveness.

Should you choose to follow the self-help branch of your recovery timeline, be aware that the self-help phase comes after the detox branch. All future recovery branches of your recovery timeline form after the medical detox node.)

You need medicine and science right now!

Alcohol withdrawal can kill late stage addicts. You wrote six months ago that you attempted a cold turkey solo-detox and experienced DTs. Those suck. They are also a sign that you need to be extra cautious in your recovery.

When you go to detox, go to a licensed recovery center where a doctor can monitor you. Usually this means a hospital equipped with mental health facilities. An ER will suffice if you are out of other options or are having seizures. You can also go to a rehabilitation center (with a competent medical staff)! The last option might start your detox and then segue into a 28 day (or longer) program.

Alcohol is perhaps the most dangerous drug to detox from. (Perhaps surprising to some, you won't die from heroin withdrawals.)

You can (and should) get medical leave from your employer for treatment. I'm fairly certain it's illegal for them to deny that. (Since you are a competent developer, I'm assuming you work at a company with benefits.)

If you do not have health insurance, please contact your local medicaid office.

Please do this. For your the mother of your child, for your kids. For the person in the future who you will come across who needs help with their addiction. But most of all, for you.


This last part is my favorite aspect of hacker news. I get to tell someone that they are wrong.

I used to have your attitude. I even attempted suicide. By the grace of faulty nylon, I'm still here.

"It doesn't get better." <- That quote is factually incorrect. I'm just one instance of its disproof.

Now, to break Hacker News guidelines with extreme prejudice:


If you don't post an email in your profile in the next few hours so that I can talk to you. Via email, skype, phone, whatever. I will reply to my comment with an email address so that you can contact me when you are ready to talk and/or seek treatment.

philiphodgen 2 days ago 1 reply      
There is an astonishing variety of comments here. Frankly this is not a vi vs emacs thread.

I wish commenters here would understand that the OP's glide path is currently aimed at one of two outcomes: insanity or death.

If the OP is reading the thread (and I would guess he is not) I would implore him to ignore all of the comments except those from people who have had up-front and personal experience with the damage from alcoholism.

A flippant comment -- just so you can look clever on HN -- may condemn the OP to a dismal fate. Cut it out.

OP, seek the seemingly harder way. It will turn out to be the softer, easier way. This means a new way of living (on the one hand) or a slow painful death on the other. Let the others here on HN plait their shit. You must either change or die.

Disclaimer: Anecdotal personal experience sample size for this topic is > 1.

seanccox 2 days ago 3 replies      
Have you sought help? Alcohol is an addictive chemical, and if you have a dependency, you don't have to overcome it alone.

If, on the other hand, you are like me an you simply drink too much, I can share how I got the situation under control.

First, I threw out a lot of the liquor in the house (I kept the good whiskey that I was already saving for a special occasion). Then, I stopped going out to bars as often and, to a certain extent, avoided people I typically drank with or found ways to socialize without being around alcohol. I also took up yoga in the mornings. I like yoga, but if I drink the night before, I won't feel like waking up for it. So, I remind myself before I go out to a pub or meet friends that if I drink, I'm screwing up my routine.

That combination has helped, and it's gotten me to a place where I can go out on a Saturday night, get a nice buzz going with three or four beers over several hours, without reaching that 'fuck it' moment where I start doing shots and smoking cigarettes till dawn.

subversively 2 days ago 3 replies      
As another poster mentioned, addiction is about getting away from some kind of unbearable inner pain. I'll share mine, what I did to get deaden it, and how I finally healed it. I'm 31 now, have a wife, exciting job, close friends, and most of all, I'm happy.

My pain comes form severe bullying; I got beaten up literally every day as a child for three years. After that, I finally got transferred to another school, but the damage was done.

I used video games, porn and promiscuity to deaden the pain. That distracted me from starting a career, and I ended up living on the street for six months.

I tried pretty much everything to heal myself.

* What did not work *

- Religion; God did absolutely nothing to my pain away. Religious counselors were very judgmental and made me feel worse, and their advice just caused new problems.- Cults; They had interesting teachings that were partially very entertaining, but Ashtar Sharan had nothing but a Galactic shrug to offer my very real suffering (I would have been prepared to actually believe in Ashty had he actually helped me, but it was clear that he did not)- Meditation; It helped, but only temporarily. When I missed my meditation session the pain came right back, and I grew distant from the world.- Yoga; Like meditation, it did help, but it took such great lifestyle changes I just didn't feel like me any more. I'm a child of the West, and Yoga is radically different.- Sex; obviously, sleeping around is a great distraction and can be genuinely fun, but when it's addictive it hurts in the end and you draw other people into your drama.- Counseling; Wallowing in my pain with a guy who think everything is a fascinating freak show made things much worse.

* What worked partially

- Cannabis; Smoking weed actually worked better than meditation to give me temporary relief. It also made me confused when used heavily.- New Age; There is a lot of partial truth floating around, if you avoid the obvious marketing ploys. "Think And Grow Rich" is pretty good, and so is "The Science of getting Rich". Basically, the idea is to sit down and think about stuff you want in detail. It has a similar calming effect to meditation, and can lead to actual creative problem solving. It did not, however, significantly heal my hardest pain points. But the idea of "you can reach your goals" kept my trying.- Pressure point tapping; EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) is pretty good, it can stimulate and permanently remove some trauma. It has its limits though, and I felt like an neurotic idiot tapping my wrists all the time.

* What really worked

- Philosophy; Getting a genuine core philosophy and actively deciding my values gave me a lot of strength.- Openness; being extremely honest about my shortcomings with deserving people lead to a form of intimacy that makes the trauma not seem so bad any more.- "Taking the pain"; This is not the same as sucking it up. It is feeling like crap, and accepting that I am feeling like crap right now, without suppressing it. Practicing this takes the "fear of the fear" away. This is probably the real benefit of meditation when done properly, but I didn't need to sit on a cushion to do that.- Self-acceptance; This one is the kicker. I no longer slapped my wrist for slacking on the job, or being not as nice as I could be. Paradoxically, this lead to me not slacking on the job, and being nicer. It also helped find my niche, where my shortcomings don't matter.- Dimethyltryptamine (DMT); An illegal psychedelic drug, it has been used as indigenous medicine for centuries. This is the only way I have been able to permanently release my worst and oldest pain points. I stopped smoking spontaneously after a couple of trips, and have noticed a sharp raise in my productivity and overall wellbeing.

Obviously, this is just my story, but I hope that some points might help you, or someone else.

mattm 2 days ago 3 replies      
I have struggled with porn at times and have done a lot of research on addictions. I also have a couple friends who are alcoholics. IMO, Gabor Mate has been the best resource I have found on understanding addictions. His theory is that addictions start in childhood due to some kind of constant, ongoing stress. It could be something like abusive parents or severe bullying. When we find something that temporarily relieves the stress, our body latches on to it and doesn't want to let go. Personally, I've found that understanding addiction and the addictive cycle has helped me a lot. From meditation, I've also become much more aware of my body sensations and understanding the danger periods when I am getting stressed.

After I did a 10-day Vipassana meditation retreat, I put together https://www.programmingspiritually.com to try to help other developers that face some of the same issues. Email me if you're interested and I'll sign you up for the course for free.

mkhattab 2 days ago 9 replies      
I'm an escapist. Whether it's movies, youtube, video games, literally anything that is unproductive, I'll spend an inordinate time doing. Luckily, I don't drink or do any drugs, but I might as well since I'm pissing my life away. It is as if I'm stuck in neutral. However, I do make just enough money to get by.

The odd thing is that I can't pinpoint why I'm this way. It wasn't always like this. I guess reason doesn't matter at this point.

Anyway, I don't think my post adds anything useful to this discussion, but good luck.

forgottenpaswrd 2 days ago 2 replies      
Man, first thing: YOU ARE NOT ALONE.

You are not the first human to become addicted, nor will be the only one. There are people out there that have been in a worse situation than you and that have gone out of addictions.

You should find those people, meet them and get out of drinking. Over years you made a path that you have to undo. This will take years, like it took you to create it.

Your wife and kids did the right thing: to stop supporting your addiction. It is time for you to take steps.

I have studied a lot of psychology but I can't help you because it would be like trying to explain quantum physics before learning basic math. But there is people out there that really know what steps you could take for getting out and doing great things with your life.

shawnee_ 2 days ago 1 reply      
The good news is that it's not a hopeless cause, even though it might seem that way. I used to think that mine was.. totally genetic and thus incurable; that I was doomed to the same death-by-alcohol fate as many in my biological family, so why bother?

The only people who can understand are those who've been through it and found a way to put the brakes on. It's worth testing out.. my test found the world a whole lot better with the brakes fully engaged at a complete stop, so that's where I've been for a while now.

There are people out there -- young and old, men and women, wealthy and poor, god freaks and atheists alike who've done it. Find them, listen with an open mind and among them there will surely be someone you can relate to who can help you learn about what worked for them.

zealon 2 days ago 3 replies      
Test for ADD/ADHD. Seriously.

Many people with ADD/ADHD end up in the IT business. Drinking and drug problems, nicotine and caffeine addiction, high-risk behaviours and family issues are very common among ADD/ADHD people.

The reason behind this: low dopamine and norepinefrine levels in the ADD/ADHD brain. Those low levels create a very high reward threshold, so people with ADD/ADHD tend to unconsciously seek for strong or risky stimulus.


terranstyler 2 days ago 0 replies      
Wow, I'm impressed some of you guys share information about your personal weaknesses. AFAIK this is one of the big steps towards dealing with your problem, so congratulations already.

Also, FWIW, my wife is a behavioral therapist and already treated a number of addicted people. She says you learn this kind of "bad" behaviors if, given a problem, they are the "only" or "most successful" behaviors you know and you repeat them for a long time.

Treatment then is to identify

- why you think it's the only behavior you know or the most appropriate

- what your definition of a "successful behavior" is

- what are other appropriate behaviors

- how to deal with situations in which your "bad behavior" usually occurs and how to substitute the bad by one of the good ones.

Disclaimer: I have no psychological background whatsoever, this is just my view on the things.

goatforce5 2 days ago 0 replies      
Craig Ferguson did a good piece about his alcoholism, a year or two that went missing from his life, 15 years of being sober, etc.

It's really good, and there might be something in it for you:


middle334 2 days ago 0 replies      
Throwaway account here.

I was a "high functioning" alcoholic; 35 years in the software business, and I've worked for companies I know you've heard of, and you've almost certainly used my products. 15 years ago I was drinking 750ml of liquor a day. Lost a few jobs, was living in filth, and was about to be homeless.

Long story made short, I got into detox and then AA, changed pretty much everything in my life that wasn't working and haven't had a drink since. First couple years were intense, and I still go to AA meetings every week. It's a maintenance thing. I know I can't drink again.

It can get better, but you can't do it yourself. If you're a heavy drinker, get medical help in the first few days because withdrawal can kill you. I think you'll find your employer amazingly helpful and supportive.

[I'm extremely skeptical of solutions that involve other substances. I guess if it works, it works, but I'm not going to get much out of talking to you about it.]

stef25 2 days ago 0 replies      
151 days ago you said you'd been clean for a year and a half - what happened?
madaxe_again 2 days ago 0 replies      
You're not alone. I live in a world of perpetual insane stress, and continuously self medicate through the not-so-winning triangle of cigarettes, coffee, and weed, in quantities that'd make a mobster blush. I've had my fair share of victory, and I feel more than my fair share of loss, but don't we all.

I've tried stopping my various vices, but without treating the stimulus loop, it's nigh on impossible. When I step off the grid and go travelling for a month... I suddenly no longer feel the need for any of them. This is a huge relief to me, as it means I realise that this behaviour isn't something endemic to myself, rather a habituation as a result of the feedback loop I allowed to grow.

Step out. Do something totally different. My promise to myself that I will do this, and soon, is the only thing keeping me remotely sane. At the very least, hit the road for a month and see somewhere new, meet someone new, and see if you're the same person. You might be surprised.

ciokan 2 days ago 2 replies      
My father died of alcoholism and whatever we said to him or do wouldn't change a thing in his mind. That's a very strong addiction and he didn't stop even when doctors told him he's in terminal phase. I believe the change has to come from inside of you and you must identify where it all started and what was it's trigger and treat that first.

I have nicotine issues but I stopped smoking in favor of e-cigs. Nicotine is not that bad, the cigs are killing you not nicotine itself.

I also find doing sport to change my mentality a lot. You start looking different, you value yourself more when your body changes and you won't want to go back. Give it a try. Good luck to you!

Jxnathan 2 days ago 0 replies      
I'm just like you -- a developer with an addiction. But my addiction is different... and illegal. I'm not motivated unless I'm high on fake aka K2. If you haven't heard of 'fake', it's basically a really strong marijuana with research chemical additives.

Since gas stations started selling it 3 years ago, I became addicted and when they were banned from selling it I had to find more. I found it online and have been ordering it every since. I leave work early sometimes so I can go smoke it. The only downside I've noticed, is that I'm less sociable (in person) because of how I look when I'm high (red eyes, droopy eyelids) and it makes me tired extremely fast. Sometimes I will wake up at my computer desk wondering when I fell asleep or how long I've been out. I'm sure it's probably not good on my lungs either, but I smoke cigarettes so I'm used to knowing I'm harming my body internally. I just love the way it makes me feel, almost like a reward. I use it as an award for coding something beautiful. "Oh that code actually worked?! Time to smoke."

I hope we both find help. We need it.

DonGateley 1 day ago 0 replies      
I have 16 years sober after ending homeless and literally in the gutter (no millions passed through my hands but it was still a lot.) I had been fighting with it for 20 years watching everything and everyone slip away as you have. This is better than that.

Yes, it was AA that supported me through it. No, I am not religious now and wasn't then. I was just willing to suspend disbelief long enough to try something. I am at a loss to explain why it worked but that doesn't matter.

Despite what many people think AA requires no faith or belief of any kind beyond acceptance of the fact of your situation.

Many read "Came to believe that a power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity" as a statement of belief in a spiritual solution. It is not that at all, it is merely a hypothetical that is pretty hard to deny on the face of it. Bill and Bob were really, really smart.

Take that hypothetical, suspend disbelief, do the recommended prayer and meditation with the caveat "I don't know if this has any real meaning but, whatever" if you need that and see what happens. That's what I did. I don't question the mystery of my recovery I just marvel at it. You can choose your eventual spiritual path or none at all later in the game but you have to have a game left to play to do that.

In summary, believe nothing but try anything.

bobsgame 2 days ago 1 reply      
I struggle with nicotine, caffeine, and porn. I take Chantix and run at the gym which in combination helps a great deal, but I still relapse now and then on the nicotine. The others I seem to have overcome completely. I had to change my life and I also found spirituality, something I had denied due to insecurity and unwillingness to accept others. I wish you luck.
eob 2 days ago 0 replies      
Hey man, hang in there.

Everyone in this thread has different advice from different experiences. Different things work for different people. Here's my advice: tell your friends to hold you accountable, ask them if you can call or text them when you're feeling vulnerable. Hell, move in with a friend if you're currently living alone. If you don't have anyone like that in your life, join a group like AA.

Humans can be solitary creatures if we let ourselves, and when solitary the world looks very different. Surround yourself with positive relationships and open yourself to them so they can help hold you up.

facepalm 2 days ago 1 reply      
So sorry to hear that. I hope you can still overcome it.

My theory is that addiction is best "cured" by replacing it with something better. That could be doing more satisfying things in your life, but perhaps also simply a less destructive addiction, like playing video games.

I think if you make it into a willpower challenge you are probably doomed to fail, in fact it might make it worse because you'll feel like a bad person for presumably being "weak" (having no willpower). I think modern understanding is that for willpower challenges it is better to arrange things in such a way that the challenge becomes easy (like having no alcohol at home), rather than making it a contest of iron will.

I really enjoyed the books on Willpower by Kelly McGonigal and and by Roy F Baumeister. I suppose just reading such books won't cure an addiction, but perhaps they could be of interest to you.

I'm sorry, it's easy to talk since I never had a severe issue like that. But I had a lot of therapy - what always stuck most were the points when I learned to accept myself.

annasaru 21 hours ago 0 replies      
It's very hard to deal with such an issue all by yourself. Hope you get therapy or coaching , something to ease your burden . It can definitively get better with time. Drinking is notoriously hard to shake off because it is sanctioned in so many situations for adults. I know this sounds crazy , but maybe join a group ( Art of Living, Hare Krishna, Sai) where you are forced to be constantly surrounded by people. These are safe ways of delivering a mental jolt while being surrounded by empathetic folks.I don't subscribe to them , but suggest use them as a tool and it's not hard to shake them once you are cured) . OR volunteer somewhere in a group that takes your mind off. Sorry I seem to be hawking Indian spirituality - but these groups that I mentioned readily accept anyone - and make them feel at home. Am sure other ethnic communities in the USA also offer similar.. All I am saying is a mental jolt, and gentle empathetic friends and family can cure , last but not least, a qualified therapist.

Being part of a group will accelerate your recovery , drain your negativity and heal. Talk is cheap so I will stop here.

hanula 2 days ago 0 replies      
First of all, it's great that you are sharing this publicly. It's a big first step to recovery. I can't tell you much as I'm only 31 and I enjoy alcohol, sometimes in larger doses but it's part of my culture and local way of life.

I can only tell you that beating the thing called "alcoholism" is to decide to stop drinking. That's it. My father after many years did it, one day, just like that. No one belived him. He's over 60 now and enjoys alcohol in very normal way. My friend, also 31, quit drinking completely 3-4 years ago and he was a person who drunk unbelievable amounts, even to me, just crazy. Now because of health problems he's 100% sober and he's fine! He's happy and can enjoy everything he was doing before.

So. People will tell you that it is a disease, that you are sick and you won't be able to quit on your own.. Wrong. It's only about you, your decision, your life. Take care and ask yourself some hard questions. Self-awareness and self-acceptance is the key.

toerojas 2 days ago 0 replies      
I think we've all been at a place where we feel that we're using something a little more than we should. Please remember that addiction is a behavior. When you talk with a psychotherapist and get real professional medical help, which you absolutely should, they will help you identify the triggers that cause you to drink. Maybe you're stressed and drinking allows you to relax. Maybe you feel overwhelmed and drinking lets you feel in control. Maybe your parents were alcoholics (mine were) and your drinking fills a void. Whatever it is, there's a real reason for your drinking and uncovering that reason is the key to your sobriety.

Alcoholics Anonymous and other 12 step programs have a high drop out rate (about 50% within the first 90 days) and are not backed by science, so you should talk with an addiction medicine doctor first (and go through an appropriate detox program).

That said, what makes 12 step programs effective is the support community you build in them, so find some people you feel safe talking with and who you can call anytime. In fact, find as many of them as you can. You have ~200 people on HN who took the time to comment, so there's a start.

ctdonath 2 days ago 0 replies      
Lots of good options posted here, lots of good insights.

I'd like to see more discussion about the enzymes needed to metabolize alcohol. AFAIK, it's very much a genetic matter: some people (or, of note, peoples) just lack the genes needed to process it in a manageable manner, tend to feel the effects with greater intensity than others, and thus find it much faster to go too far and harder to get out of that state and not go back. Those who have it can enjoy a few without further compulsions; those who don't dare not a drop. All this, of course, is poorly expressed and based on fragments I've gleaned. Anyone have a better analysis, and perhaps a way to test for this genetic predisposition to alcohol tolerance or lack thereof?

Dale1 2 days ago 1 reply      
As someone who likes a smoke (Weed & Cigarettes) and is currently trying to lead a healthier life I feel your pain buddy!

Have you ever tried just cutting down? Even just a little bit? I don't believe in this "Just stop and never drink again" rubbish I think it has to be done in baby steps.

Anyway, hope you're okay and whatever you do don't go the religion route. It's a dangerous path to tread especially with the types who run these things.

OfferSavvy 1 day ago 0 replies      
I have been sober for 6.5 years. I was a blackout drinker, and then ventured into narcotics. I thought that it all used to be fun. I did it to fit in, find acceptance, feel a part of. But at some point that changed for me. Using was no longer fun at all, it was more like work. I never felt "just right" but rather was always chasing the dragon. I got to that place of hopeless despair. Its a place not unlike where Dante passed in the Inferno with the sign that reads "Abandon Hope all Ye who enter here". Everyday I would wake up in fear, and with guilt shame and remorse. When I wasn't using, I was thinking about it, planning how I was going to get it next, imagining what it would be like- how it would "Be Different this Time". Always the same torment and insanity. At that point, i would use to feel numb.. to not feel anything at all. I didn't want to think about myself, or what I was doing. I wanted to just escape and not feel.

I turned 21 in rehab, in po-dunk Rock Creek, OH. Only after a few weeks clean, and the bitter irony of where I was in life, did I have that "moment of clarity" and have a little bit of willingness to accept that I was powerless over alcohol, and my life had become unmanageable. AA does not have a monopoly on recovery, but it has worked for me. We suffer from a spiritual malady, and our recovery is contingent upon a daily reprieve. "what am i doing today for my recovery?" I think you are posting this because you need to know, and you need to hear that everything will be ok. There is hope, I promise that you are NOT Condemned to live with active addiction. Know that you are going down a path that is not unique, so many before you, who have done worse things, and lost more things, and suffered longer have gone been in your shoes. And for them too, there is way to beat this disease. Anonymity is the greatest form of Humility. We are just people helping people, from one addict to another, I can empathize with you, I know how you feel, I have felt those pains before. Call an AA central office near where you live, send me a message if you need help

fsloth 2 days ago 0 replies      
All my support. I lost my mother recently to alcoholism.

You have identified your problem. You can still recover, but get some external help!

You are probably aware that there is a very high risk that unless you get control of your habit you will die of it. Massive drinkers can develop memory issues - brain will develop lesions, short term memory will become poor. Not so good professionally. There are several high-risk medical complications that are likely. You might develop a liver cirrhosis. I hear this is extremely painful. You might get cancer. Also, painful.

Seriously, terminal alcoholism is something you really, really want to avoid. My mother spent the last month of her life psychotic in a hospital bed and before that she basically lost all control of her bowels. Reading had been one of the joys of her life but her memory became so poor that in the last years she could not really follow books (she did crosswords, though).

It's just not that you feel shit for drinking, the drink will turn you into a living husk in the long term. You will probably need psychiatric as well as physical treament. Get help. Any help.

motters 2 days ago 1 reply      
That's surprising because at least in my case I discovered when I was a teenager that boozing and coding don't mix. Even small amounts of alcohol make it hard for me to concentrate on any amount of programming, and so that is why I rarely consume it. I just like coding more than boozing.
cookerware 2 days ago 0 replies      
I was also a software developer, not as successful but was living in a nice flat in downtown, but I ended up getting fired a few times within the year.

The first time it was smoking heroin and cocaine. Lasted about 2 months. I used to do it at work too because I was addicted. Shortly after getting fired, I smoked crystal meth to get through the heroin withdrawl. This is how scary heroin is, I was addicted after the second time I picked up. With the help of a marijuana dealer, I got clean after he cut off my heroin dealer. I'd call like crazy but he would no longer sell it.

I still remember laying on my bed on my 25th birthday, withdrawing from heroin, thinking how seriously I fucked up.It took a few months of feeling complete apathy until I began to improve. However, I still relied on tobacco and weed to get through the hard stuff.

Few more months later I found another job, higher paying and less stressful. However, I began drinking this time. Half a bottle of vodka everyday after work and smoking weed before and after work. I'd come over with a hangover everyday and I eventually couldn't keep this up for long.

Fast forward to now, I'm totally clean from any substance. I have absolutely zero fucking desire to repeat what has been a complete wreckage of my financial savings, losing my flat, and a waste of time.

What does worry me is the health effect it might have, especially the street drugs I took during this short period of time on top of the weed and alcohol. I'm alright now but I still can't wash myself of the guilt and the regret. However, it keeps me well away from it.

Looking on to the future, I am willing to be successful, and I realized that I can't do it with dependence on drugs and alcohol. I simply couldn't allow it to get in my way.

otto12 2 days ago 0 replies      
I hope it does get better for you

My mother died when I was in my early 20s after years of addiction to alcohol.

She had her ups too, which made it hard for all of us to see everything fall apart again and again.

Until there was no coming back.

No AA, family support and interventions unfortunately ever helped her long term.

I hope you will find some reason to quit, even if it's just knowing that you can get your kids back - even if it takes many years.

It took me many years to "forgive" my parents (they died within 6 months of each other), realising there was no forgiving needed - they had their struggle and unfortunately failed.

Still saddens me that my own kids have will never know their grandparents.

I hope you will live to enjoy your grandchildren.

bargl 2 days ago 0 replies      
OK so I'm just going to put this link out there. I can't do a write up like his but what he said moved me to make some changes in my life. It was a fresh perspective on how to beat some of my own failings through successful habits. Anyway. here ya go. http://www.reddit.com/r/getdisciplined/comments/1q96b5/i_jus...
zafka 1 day ago 0 replies      
All I can tell you is that It really can get quite good after you stop drinking. Not always right away, and of course, not all the time. But I really am grateful that I am able to enjoy life as much as I do. While I regret my time as a derelict, I think I might have needed that to convince myself to stay stopped now that I have quit. ( for quite a while now)
madamepsychosis 2 days ago 2 replies      
Try Alan Carr's "Easy Way To Stop Drinking". Addiction perpetuates itself partly through false beliefs, this book goes through and debunks all of them. I used his guide to quit smoking, and it was really helpful.
Stronico 2 days ago 0 replies      
After reading a lot of the comments I think it would be useful to create a distinction between a drinking problem (loosely defined as someone drinks to much, has negative consequences, etc) and addiction (loosely define as strong, life threatening withdrawal symptoms and intense cravings).

I've heard addiction defined as a "Confusion of your survival instincts" caused by prolonged exposure to a drug which seems to be an adequate and accurate description of addiction.

mitko 2 days ago 0 replies      
Fwiw, I'd like to share some the way I approached alcohol, after going through some times where I drank more beer than water.

Now, I still drink from time to time, but it is easier for me to decide not to drink in a given situation.


paraiuspau 2 days ago 1 reply      
TL;DR - Seek counselling to drill down into the causes for this behaviour.

I had a drinking problem for 10 years, I am/was a successful systems engineer. I think I know how you feel.. Do you maybe find that you are living a life which doesn't belong to you? Or put another way, are you just "spinning"? For me, I would go on enormous binges of drink and drugs for 3 days, then abstain for 2 weeks or so. I fixed it by "pressing play" on my life again, which involved selling my house, and going on an adventure in another land. Ended up doing the same job, but my environment was so different, new language, culture, etc.. I stuck with counselling through this time and found a keen sense of introspection. Ultimately, I drilled down to the real problems that were manifesting the symptoms such as drinking, junk food, drugs, excess pr0n, etc... they were all methods to regain "control" over a situation I felt powerless over. Ironic, really, as with drink and drugs we actually relinquish our control.

Not sure if this post is going to help you, as indeed everyone's situation is personal to them, but the common factors persist with such self-abuse situations.


alex_hitchins 2 days ago 0 replies      
If you want to talk to a recovering alcoholic, get in touch. I've been dry for 9 years.
practicalpants 2 days ago 3 replies      
This is a male outlook and take this for what you will, but I'm a programmer, and I've found that so much of overcoming addiction (drinking and porn, mainly), bad sleeping cycles, and raw anxiety, social or otherwise, comes form improving your sex life. For me this doesn't mean monogamy, or at least I haven't met a girl in some time I'm ready to be exclusive with, mainly because I've become aware of just how many fish there are in the sea... but rather treat yourself to a dynamic and varied sex life, with multiple women. It's both a rush and a centering, re-energizing force. It fulfills biological needs and challenges you to be a better person. It's not easy, i.e. it challenges you to be a better person.

If you're feeling overly stressed, be real with yourself, do I have the sex life I want to have, am I missing out on some life experiences here? Be aware of how your sex life can relate to frustrations, addictive patterns, etc. because there is a real relationship, and it should not be discounted as a source of whatever problems you're having.

hunvreus 2 days ago 0 replies      
I believe that regular exercise and switching to a proper diet (paleo) helped me give up on alcohol altogether.

I'd recommend you start kicking you own butt: go to http://www.nerdfitness.com/academy-overview-page/ and subscribe, start building a routine. Stick to it and you'll quickly see that abusive drinking isn't just an option.

sixmonthssober 1 day ago 0 replies      
I hate the fact that I cannot attach my real name or handle when writing on this topic, but that's just the way things are right now.

Today is my 180th day sober. If you asked me a year ago if I'd be dead or six months sober in a year's time, I'd have gone with dead.

Somehow I kept my current full time developer job through the past five years, but over the last decade have lost one job, bankrupted a company I co-founded and had my wife leave me. I offer the same advice as OP: Stop drinking now. Telling yourself you'll stop at some arbitrary point in the future won't work. The long term consequences are ugly; My teeth and skin are fucked up, my short term memory is cracked, and it's only been the past six months of my adult life that I've not been pissing away every paycheck. But I feel a lot smarter now than I was a year ago.

I decided I wanted to stop, and so I did the only thing I could: I moved away from the self-destructive social scene and habits I had been wallowing in. I just up and left (luckily could work in another city).

But keep in mind that post-stopping is really hard. I feel so productive and sharper now that it's ironically depressing; I know I wasted years and threw away dozens of opportunities. There are friendships where I fear I'll never be able to repair the damage that drunk me caused, but I will try. In the past month or so I've finally been able to man up and contact some of them to tell them what's happened. Some I owe money. I will fix this. Even if they still won't forgive me.

Having someone to talk to and an avenue to vent is essential. Big lifestyle changes helped me, especially getting out of the environment where I could get away with drinking like that every day and working from 11 or noon still drunk.

Other people here have mentioned the medical ramifications of quitting. It's no joke. I didn't quit until I feared dying from quitting as much as I feared dying from continuing. Maybe this is the choice you have now. I hope you choose life. After all, that's why we're here.

From my experience of quitting:

Read up at the Crippling Alcoholism subreddit. Lots of good resources on quitting.See a doctor, get evaluated and say, "I need help."If tapering helps, do it. I tapered for four days before checking in. It's different for everyone, but I had night terrors, sweats and I heard voices. This lasted a couple of weeks. Get medication for anxiety. But don't stay on it long. I'm back to having the occasional anxiety attack, but that's better than puking on my laptop once a month or so.Eat better, lose weight. Focus the addictive part of your personality on fitness goals. I've lost 2.5 stone so far. I almost feel like a person again.

Message me if you want.

aquarin 2 days ago 0 replies      
I have become passionate tea drinker and can suggest it to anyone. I also spend time during tea drinking to meditate for a moment. Recently even perform gongfu style tea preparation.
gjvc 2 days ago 4 replies      
Please find a meeting near you. http://www.alcoholics-anonymous.org/
MorningInfidel 2 days ago 0 replies      
I've found Martial Arts helpful to get myself out of my head and take the edge off the monkey energy that isn't being released through my sedentary, code -> video games -> sleep lifestyle through the working week.

In particular, pick one that's as close to actual combat as possible. MMA is great, but perhaps too intense. I've started training brazilian jiu jitsu and can't recommend it enough. Something about fighting for your life against someone who could easily put you to sleep/manhandle you that's therapeutic.

Sam Harris blogged about it here: http://www.samharris.org/blog/item/the-pleasures-of-drowning

I wish you all the luck in the world in getting past this.

Stronico 2 days ago 0 replies      
You should check out the documentary "Pleasure Unwoven" for the psychiatric/brain aspects of addiction http://www.amazon.com/Pleasure-Unwoven-Explanation-Disease-A...
icholboy 2 days ago 0 replies      
FWIW I used these techniques to overcome tobacco addiction and stress related mental/physical problems:

i) Sport, cannot be stressed enough how benefitial it is for human body any kind of regular sport activityii) Change of current habits, which might be in turn conducting you to your current situationiii) Travel for an extended period or regularly, will effectively break your acquired habits and may open your mind to new ideas (it changes the perspective)iv) the jacobson method of progressive muscle relaxation, which can be as effective as anti-depressants and that's no marketing talk. at least it worked for me.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Progressive_muscle_relaxation

venomsnake 2 days ago 0 replies      
There were examples in Charles Duhigg's The Power of Habit about people that have managed to turn their life around. Probably it is worth taking a look at.

Also - as a person that has struggled with (thankfully) only weight - there are no silver bullets.

glanotte 2 days ago 0 replies      
I am an alcoholic sober for 7 years. You know you have a problem and that really is great because then you can address it. If you need to talk to someone, find me on twitter @glanotte and we will find a way to get in touch.

If you don't want to talk, get to an AA meeting or if you don't think you can control yourself, check into rehab. Strike while you care about it, don't wait for yourself to start making excuses.

caymaness 2 days ago 0 replies      
The thing that helped me the most was to simply accept that I was not alone in my pain/struggles. For far too long did I imagine that my pain was unique. Once I opened up to friends I found, to my surprise, that many people were going through a very similar type of strife. Accepting that you are not alone is a major first step towards recovery.
jesusmichael 1 day ago 0 replies      
Dude... Don't feel bad, you join the ranks of 1000's of lottery winners, except you have skills... You're the 1% if not in net worth... definitely in brains... Do something
spiritplumber 2 days ago 0 replies      
Hang in there, bro.
cnp 2 days ago 0 replies      
Get through the tough, deadly part, then look into Ibogaine treatment in Mexico or Canada.
patrikj 2 days ago 0 replies      
Did the addiction have anything to do with the fact that you are a software developer?

Good advice, but I doubt that developers would be especially prone to alcoholism.

randomflavor 2 days ago 1 reply      
drinking is just a symptom - real problem is between your ears. you drink to quiet it. until you find a replacement you are fucked. you can't just 'stop'. maybe for a few days or weeks or months, but the consequences of your drinking won't really change.
mydogmuppet 2 days ago 0 replies      
If your drinking is costing you more than money its usually a problem. Alcoholism is an equal opportunity employer. Are you Willing to take action to stop drinking ? You are not alone; there are many who have similar experiences. Many of these problem drinkers made a decision that today was going to be the day that they started to save their own lives.
yeukhon 2 days ago 2 replies      
I hope you will feel better.

My problem is simply I can't go to bed on time. I try many times, forcing myself to go to bed but I just can't. I always stay up late and even when I feel sleepy I can stay awake =. I am getting tired of staying awake all the time. :(

PreetikaThakur 2 days ago 0 replies      
It's good that you have at least realized, for the all tings you did. There's nothing impossible if someone actually tries it. I wish you luck :) Hope you''ll soon get what you have lost.
halis 2 days ago 0 replies      
I'm a 32 year old software developer and I've been sober for over 6 years now. Had a horrible drinking problem, that got progressively worse since my teen years.

Today, I have a wife and two sons and I don't miss drinking one bit. But I had to get pretty low to stop. Everyone's bottom is different, I was lucky that I hit mine so young.

julie1 2 days ago 1 reply      

The original study on nurses in Israel estimates the probability for stressed people to give in to addiction to be 150% more than average.

Coders are liking this culture of burn in/burn out like junkies anyway.

It is clear our way of working is health hazardous.I never saw another profession more despising that much CHSCT or usual working wisdoms or health protection.

In my former (game company) the alcohol was even bought by the company every friday and it was poorly accepted people refuses to share a toast. And I saw the casual boozing a lot in a lot of places.

The average drinking in computer development and drug use {when I include the graphists designer} are way above the average of my supposed to be unsafe with all these junkies suburb. I don't come from a favela, just one of the banlieue that gives nice rioting picture on CNN/fox news every 10 years.

The work culture in IT is the most dangerous and irresponsible I never saw. No respect for anyone, neither workers, nor providers, nor sometimes customers.

It makes me sometimes feel as if I was working with psychopaths, and I did my conscription, so I met psychopaths. But soldiers made me feel more secure.

epynonymous 2 days ago 0 replies      
same here, i like to drink scotch
newblahbl4hblah 2 days ago 0 replies      
Get help. Don't put it off.
ffbellfhtlflf 2 days ago 0 replies      
Kinda makes me wonder why the hell so many people are tryna tell me to slow down. Seems like motherfuckers should be shuttin' the hell up and enjoyin' the show
nitishdhar 2 days ago 1 reply      
Keep calm & write awesome code
seanhandley 2 days ago 5 replies      
Or.... you could practice moderation?

Alcohol does not make you into a problem. You make yourself into a problem, and lump alcohol in with all the other things that you could blame it on.

Grow up. Be accountable to yourself. Don't externalise blame.

homakov 2 days ago 5 replies      
That's sad, but you are not doing drugs - you can quit easily, just do it! Try to do sports or stuff like that, travel.. Seriously, alcohol is disgusting if you drink it every day.

I have a hooker problem, no joke. Since we are talking about addictions here?

Coming Soon to Hacker News: Pending Comments
604 points by pg  8 days ago   805 comments top 2
beloch 8 days ago 10 replies      
My may concern with this system: Sledgehammer meets tack.

The comments on HN aren't perfect, but they're far from bad when compared to other sites of this nature. There has been a downwards trend most probably due to the increasing popularity of HN. A response is warranted. However, this system has the potential to silence a lot of high quality comments on any threads that aren't on the front-page for an extended period of time. Thus, you get a feedback loop. Good posts require quality discussion to stay on top, but must stay on top to get quality discussion going with this added approval lag.

I think you should ease these changes in as conservatively and gradually as possible. For example, apply it only to the top page at first, and reduce the number of endorsements required for display to 1. You might also consider merely greying out comments that have not yet been endorsed, as currently happens to down-voted comments. Another option would be to apply the endorsement system only after threads have reached a certain age so as to jump-start discussions. Additionally, I would recommend that authors of a parent post should be able to see all child posts regardless of their karma. Below, Babuskov raised the point that the endorsement system will obstruct useful back-and-forth discussions between sub-kilokarma users in buried threads that often takes the place of a private messaging system on HN. This would fix that more effectively than merely reducing the endorsement requirement.

You should not entertain any illusions that you can flip the switch and watch this system work perfectly, and that you will therefore be able to avoid confusing people with many changes over a lengthy period of time. Tweaking will almost certainly be required.

cperciva 8 days ago  replies      
Someone who has a pending comment will have to wait till it goes live to post another. We're hoping that good comments will get endorsed so quickly that there won't be a noticeable delay.

Is there some timeout? If not, commenting on a several-day-old thread will guarantee that you can never post another comment, since once threads drop off the front page it's not likely that many 1000+ karma users will even see those comments, never mind endorse them.

This developer is flooding your appstore with 1,000 new apps per week
15 points by whatts  1 day ago   5 comments top 3
jaredsohn 1 day ago 0 replies      
I don't think the motive is "trying to make your profession as a developer obsolete" or that these actions are effective in doing so.
AbhishekBiswal 1 day ago 0 replies      
This reminds me of the developer who made over 47,000 Blackberry apps.


dholowiski 1 day ago 1 reply      
I have an appstore?
Ask HN: Encrypted Chat, on-the-fly?
5 points by kyanite  1 day ago   2 comments top 2
lutusp 1 day ago 0 replies      
> Is there a service somewhere where you could simply send them a link, to open up a new tab in their browser, and commence a encrypted chat session right away ...

It might not actually exist in packaged form, but Secure Shell is everywhere now and it will do this easily, with an appropriate setup. Secure Shell relies on the same basic scheme as most modern encryption methods -- public-key cryptography.

With Secure Shell, one would have the normal peer-to-peer chat scheme, with one difference -- the communications channel would be encrypted using the SSH protocol, and both participants would have exchanged validations.

For a round-table chat with more than two participants, it becomes more complicated.

Wait, hold on -- I just thought of something simpler that does exist. You could use a Secure Sockets Layer approach. You would send your friend an URL preceded by "https://" and identifying a server that has a chat server and that supports the SSL protocol. That would be much simpler and it already exists. If you had a chat server running on an SSL server, each participant would be linked up securely, and the round table issue would be resolved.

walshie4 21 hours ago 0 replies      
https://crypto.cat/ is a potential solution to this problem, add Tor and you can consider yourself fairly safe.
Ask HN: Validate my idea
8 points by zeynalov  21 hours ago   8 comments top 4
ASquare 19 hours ago 0 replies      
"I've already spoke some possible future corporate clients, all of them found it great and would like to use it after it's ready."

If that's the case, then they should be willing to put their money where their mouth is.

Ask them how much they would be willing to pay for a solution like yours and whether they would be willing to pay (even half of) that upfront.If they don't want to, perhaps they don't really need it or are not your real customers.

There is nothing that will validate your idea better than pre-paying customers.

lbotos 20 hours ago 1 reply      
This already exists in a few forms. How do you plan to compete?

Also the page doesn't work well on browser windows less than 1300px. Just an FYI. Wish you the best!

na8g4w9 6 hours ago 0 replies      
Not sure if there is any market for this. For small businesses and hair salons, there are already scheduling apps like schedulicity, which have reminding functionality built-in. I think you should try doing automated debt collection. Something like this => http://www.debtordaddy.com/
LazerBear 20 hours ago 1 reply      
Well, this is a problem many businesses have and I assume they will pay for a solution.

However, to me it seems like an itch that is very hard to scratch. It all really depends on your execution.Can you really build a product that doesn't annoy the costumers? If so, then it's an idea worth pursuing.

One good way to validate your idea is to look at competitors. Are there any players in this field? Are they making money? Can you provide something better?

Another way might be to perform some sort of "smoke test". Build only the software component that calls and talks to people. Then start calling people you know (without them knowing it's you), and have the service ask them simple questions. Do they hang up instinctively? Do they provide any info? You might even want to call them in person afterwards and ask about the experience, though they might not want to speak to you ever again...

By the way the site has way too much text.

Will pair for food
30 points by ianaroot  2 days ago   17 comments top 9
pairing 2 days ago 0 replies      
Ian if you're honest about the 6 months works and 80 hours a week you are really underselling yourself. Your situation reminds me a lot about when I first started out. I worked on personal startups for 6 months with insane hours, and after 3 months I started applying nonstop for opportunities to grow as a developer.

I can say that 1 month of mentorship at my job was equivalent to those 6 months, so I'd recommend you start applying for Junior Developer positions to further grow as a developer. I took a brief look at your github page and I think the next area you should work on is rspec and testing as I see a lot of empty spec/ directories.

I see a lot of people saying to pair remotely and I'm going to go against the grain and say that I think that would be a poor decision for a newbie looking for mentorship. At my current job, we don't really do pairing so I can't help you out but there are plenty paid pair programming opportunities in the Bay to choose from (Pivotal Labs and their clients are a good place to start).

gexla 2 days ago 0 replies      
Dude, just go build stuff. It's cheap! If you were able to spare the 6 months of 80 hour weeks to learn Ruby, Rails and JS then you have the spare to start building things on free or very cheap hosting.

And you probably overshot a bit. I'm sure most of the interesting bootstrapped tech businesses out there were probably started by people who could barely code. Don't focus too much on the tools, focus on the end results.

As for pairing, what is it that you are really looking for? Are you looking for a job? Just looking to be a great programmer first and then figure something out later?

Don't pair for free. Get paid. If it's a job, then you should be fully on the team as an equal to everyone else. Otherwise you are probably just dead weight.

Better yet, build something! FFS, what I wouldn't give for 6 months just to block out to build something. I haven't been able to do something like that since high school. That's why I roll my eyeballs when somebody posts on there that they are 14 and they built X app. If I had the spare time that I did when I was that age and access to the stuff people have today, I would be flying on a rocket to Mars by now. ;)

Edit: Okay, building rocket ships isn't cheap.

philip1209 2 days ago 0 replies      
Check out AirPair - they just graduated from the latest YC class.
jedanbik 2 days ago 0 replies      
Want to be taken seriously as a developer? Get a job doing it. First of the month is just around the corner, and you have plenty of time to spruce up the README files on your github page to prepare. :)
jsherwani 2 days ago 0 replies      
If you and a prospective partner are interested in doing this remotely, try using Screenhero. Many users have found it's the best way to code together remotely.

Disclosure: I'm one of the co-founders of Screenhero :)

xecutioner 2 days ago 0 replies      
Join me remotely ?
jesusmichael 2 days ago 0 replies      
how about remote work?
_sabe_ 2 days ago 3 replies      
"six months of Rails and JS" sounds like the average HN reader. There's probably someone building a Saas with a REST-api for converting text betwen upper and lower case. Join them, post the link here and get your 10 remaining minutes of fame.
vra 2 days ago 1 reply      
okay join us.
Ask HN: How much would you pay monthly for an unlimited tier to a task mgmt s/w?
2 points by leejaew  17 hours ago   4 comments top 4
glimcat 14 hours ago 0 replies      
"Unlimited" isn't a key value point. What matters is if it works and how well. Limits are just there to facilitate the creation of pricing tiers, and only work if the pricing tier you're trying to push them to lines up with the value delivered.
paulbaumgart 17 hours ago 0 replies      
It depends on how much better it is than Pivotal/Trello/Asana.

If it's not better along some axis I care about, then unfortunately the answer is probably $0 :/

andretti1977 10 hours ago 0 replies      
I confirm what others have said: it must be better than Trello and it must work very well...so maybe i wouldn't pay for such a software
db48x 14 hours ago 0 replies      
well, an unlimited license for org-mode is pretty cheap.
Popular startup stole my code now what?
43 points by x1024  3 days ago   34 comments top 12
computer 3 days ago 2 replies      
Wait until they are close to exiting and then threaten to sue for 5%, settle for 2%. It's the absolute worst timing for a startup to get hit with something like this.

Of course, only do it if you're actually in the right, so check with a lawyer first.

jmathai 3 days ago 3 replies      
In all honesty it's probably not worth pursuing. It's unethical and if they operate other parts of their business this way one can only hope they eventually implode.

I had a similar experience. I founded a company 3 years ago where we open source the majority of what we do. We entered into a discussion with a well funded (>$40M) "startup" about how they could use our service as a whitelabeled SaaS offering to their customers.

After a few promising exchanges including a Skype call with their Founder and VP of Engineering they stopped returning all of my attempts to see what the next steps should be. Turns out the reason was because they forked a private repository of the work we did - web, iOS and Android.

We found out they're using our code because they didn't even bother taking out our Crashalytics code and we started to get a bunch of pings. To this day their iOS app still uses our "yellow" color for toggle buttons.


They didn't violate any terms of our license (MIT) but I lost some faith in humanity because of what they did :).


My company is Trovebox - code @ https://github.com/photo

seivan 3 days ago 1 reply      
Not a single Engineer on their team http://www.flipps.com/flipps-team/ - such overhead.
mattwritescode 3 days ago 1 reply      
To be honest I would just keep clam and carry on. I really doubt you can do anything about it.


Proof. You say they took your code but whats to say they already had something similar in development. Without actually seeing the code changes you are just making assumptions (although it does sound suspicious).

Personally I would say take the moral high ground. Just forget it and move on. A lawyer will take you money and you will probably be worse off than before.

tedchs 1 day ago 0 replies      
I don't understand why a company would expose their source code to a job applicant who was not yet hired?
Ryel 3 days ago 0 replies      
Wow that looks like the most boring, un-inspiring group of people I've ever seen. You are a lucky man (or woman) to have walked away without a job.
swalsh 3 days ago 1 reply      
You have their email, how long was the interview? Just send them an invoice for your typical hourly rate...
palakchokshi 3 days ago 2 replies      
If you didn't sign an NDA when you interviewed post your code fix here or on your blog. That should bring some visibility to your "cause". Otherwise it is your word against theirs.
arikrak 3 days ago 0 replies      
A popular startup once stole some content I created, but I decided it wasn't an amount that was worth suing over right then.
poopicus 3 days ago 1 reply      
How do you know they shipped your code?
bozho 3 days ago 4 replies      
What bothers me is that there are no technical people on their "team" page. Only an "R&D manager".
centdev 3 days ago 0 replies      
How are you sure they shipped an update with your code
Ask HN: Rich ex-entrepreneurs turned VC's: "Bug" in society?
6 points by sendos  1 day ago   9 comments top 9
nairteashop 1 day ago 0 replies      
Serial entrepreneurship is not for everyone. Once you've put in nearly every waking hour of 5-10 years of your life into building a company, it is easy to see why doing that all over again may not be all that appealing. Especially once you've got a family and other competing commitments.

However, many entrepreneurs still want to help create and bring new and exciting things into the world. Becoming a VC is one relatively low-stress way of doing this. It is also a way of "giving back to the community".

The few ex-entrepreneur VCs I know have been amazingly helpful, and frankly I don't think any of them are in it for the money - they have quite enough already.

Mz 1 day ago 0 replies      
VC's do more than just "invest." You have to pitch them on the idea and new companies need capital with which to work, so, no, I don't agree with your view. It takes a lot of time and energy to launch a new venture. Like the military, that tends to be a game for the young, who have that kind of energy. But having some feedback from someone with experience helps improve the odds of success so new people aren't flying quite so blind. It is not a bug or defect. It's a feature.
timrosenblatt 1 day ago 0 replies      

Investing seems like it is fun and easy to a lot of people who haven't done it. I'm not saying it is or isn't, I'm only saying that there's a perception that it's a fun and easy job. That perception might be right or wrong, and might not be a simple binary yes/no.

Sure, there are big plusses, and yes you can make a lot of money doing it. Starting a company is no cakewalk either, and investing is a nice way to get paid while enjoying the ability to talk to lots of smart folks who educate you about a broad array of subjects.

It's also not easy. A lot of investment funds fail. Not everyone is enjoyable to deal with. There are many hard truths.

FWIW I know a VC who left investing to start another company b/c he hated having to say "no" to so many folks, and to deal with some of the other pressures in the environment. There are negatives that aren't always obvious. http://www.quora.com/Venture-Capital/What-is-the-worst-part-...

As to your bigger point about the moral and social value of investing -- I think nearly everyone would agree that religious and community leaders are more deserving of high praise than a VC. In some cases, people who sweep their sidewalks might be adding more social value than some investors ;)

That being said, I think it's unfair to paint every investor with the same brush.

A good VC adds value and helps companies grow and succeed. The jobs created are good for society. A company like Tesla also serves a bigger good -- moving us from fossil fuels to renewables is a good thing for society, and capitalism is an effective tool for pushing that forward. The people who gave Elon Musk money to make that happen are (indirectly) helping.

Not every company is quite so noble. There are certainly lots of terribly useless investments -- http://www.businessinsider.com/a-year-later-41-million-start...

That being said, if we're going to point the finger at the investors, what should we make of the business people and engineers who work on these 'useless' apps? Are they also profiting from socially useless activities? Is there no room in human life for entertainment? Is there no value in an app that makes it easy for families to share special moments with one another?

I think there's a certain amount of acceptance required that not everything in a society will/can be focused on directly moving that society forward in the most obvious way, and being ok with that.

lauradhamilton 1 day ago 0 replies      
I don't really agree with your assessment. First of all, having a knowledgeable person with operational experience deploy capital in viable early stage companies is indeed useful for society. Companies need capital to grow.

Also, it's harder than it sounds to invest in startups. It's not the case that any rich idiot can multiply his money by being an angel investor. It's very, very easy to lose your shirt that way.

carebuddy 10 hours ago 0 replies      
I think many entrepreneurs just don't want to take that high risk of failing anymore, as with startups the odds are against you. And even if they would want to, I can imagine successful entrepreneurs have more money then they would need for a new company, so why wouldn't they want to invest that money into other startups, a world they understand well?
tormeh 1 day ago 0 replies      
Money breeds money. It's just a consequence of the right to private property that this will be the most profitable strategy. It's bad, but changing it would require a huge rethink of capitalism, and the powers that be wouldn't like that because they are a product of the current system. Even the cool ones, like Elon Musk, counts here.

I've often thought about this. Why do we have the right to own land? The people who own the land rights to various parts of Manhattan, Bay area (and other popular places) might pay some taxes and handle some paperwork but other than that they just collect what's basically a tax on everyone who wants to be where the opportunities are. Same with operative systems APIs (like win32) and processor instruction sets. It's not really relevant how the specific individual/company/family got into the position as a gatekeeper. It could have happened hundreds of years ago. Now they're just a taxman you can't vote on. Constrained gatekeeper resources like land or frequency spectrum should be government property for all eternity and rented out to the highest bidder on, say, a fifty year basis. Non-constrained gatekeeper resources should become public domain.

Money isn't nearly as bad, though. You can take investments from the lowest bidder after all, but you can hardly get around Manhattan/Windows/x86. Basically, the issue here is that it's easier to let your money work for you than working yourself. Maybe you could put into law that for each share sold or dividend given (basically, whenever an investor gains cash from his/her investment) a certain percentage also has to be equally distributed among employees. That might work, but I can imagine that investment targets would be vulnerable to investment competition from countries without such a law.

anthony_franco 1 day ago 0 replies      
It isn't "just investing". Especially with regards to angel investing, the entrepreneurs are able to use their knowledge and expertise to allow many other startups to exist and flourish.

In my personal experience, I've worked with a pair of founders that have become amazingly successful at creating viral growth in companies. So by investing & advising, they've been able to multiply their impact on the world.

deepsun 1 day ago 0 replies      
Because, starting a company, and running it for a long time requires very different set of skills and mindset. And it's a very different experience, and people are different.

Also, the most successful entrepreneurs actually continue to create companies, often in very different areas: Elon Musk, Richard Branson, Martin Varsavsky, Oleg Tinkov.

a3voices 1 day ago 0 replies      
The bug is called capitalism. It's an imperfect societal system, but a better one has never been tested before.
How to Write Drivers?
3 points by unknownhad  1 day ago   1 comment top
Ask HN: How do I deal with the "unpaid overtime crowd"?
51 points by EC1  2 days ago   96 comments top 26
codegeek 2 days ago 2 replies      
First, kudos for doing what every one of us should do i.e. value our own time. It is amazing to see a lot of people who just don't value their time.

This mentality that somehow sitting in office for long hours and cranking shit out is just so horrible. I really believe that this has to do a lot with the individual employee/person rather than just management. Yes, I am not counting out the pointy haired bosses and all but to a great extent, it is up to you, the employee, to dictate how long will you be working on a given day. Sure, some of us love sitting in office because we probably have nothing better to do (been there) but learning to value your time is really underrated. People, learn to value your own time and you will suddenly see how everyone else around you respects you for that. /rant

Now, just to add the other side, creating value is a lot more than spending x hours in office. Like you said, you designed a major component of the app which is what matters. Yes, there may be days when you want to crank that stuff out like there is no tomorrow because you are excited about it, go for it. And yes, go work on some weekends if needed for the team (release/critical fix etc). Take one for the team but do it wisely. Let everyone know that you are willing to raise your hand but you are not a doormat.

In your case, since are you doing the right thing, your company does not deserve you and based on what you said, they already don't care about you. So like everyone else is saying and you know the answer anyway, find something better and move on.

basseq 2 days ago 1 reply      
ISSUE #1 - Barring unpaid overtime, what are their expectations? You're working 37.5 hours per week (7.5 5), which is less than the "standard" 40 (though you're still considered full-time for the sake of benefits, etc.). It's unclear whether your 7.5 hour figure includes "non-productive time" (e.g., lunch, breaks, etc.).

ISSUE #2 - Quantitatively, your numbers may be hyperbole, but they don't bear out your claims. Your co-workers have 3x as many fixes as you, but they only work 2.6x as much as you (assuming 14 hours / day 7 days / week). By these numbers, they are 15% more effective than you are. (And they're harder workers.)

Fundamentally there's a culture mismatch. You think you have differentiating skillsthey don't agree. You think you are more efficienteither they don't agree or that's not their metric. You want to work a 40 hour weekthey want people who will kill themselves.

There are a couple options (e.g., going hourly), but I don't think they're realistic given the context. After all, your effective hourly rate is way higher than someone who takes home the same salary but works twice as much. So I agree with the other commentators: find an opportunity that's a better fit for you.

MortenK 2 days ago 8 replies      
This is my personal opinion as a software development manager, so take it as just that.

A developer that always leave at exactly 17.00 and adamantly refuse to come in on a Saturday, gives a very clear signal that they don't give a shit about the company, the product or the team. They're there to get paid.

While most employers realize that your work isn't (or should be) your single burning passion, it is very negative for team morale when one of the guys always flakes out when the clock hits 17 regardless of the fire in the kitchen.

I knew a developer who always left at exactly 17.00, because "that's what they are paying me for". On several occasions, he deployed breaking changes to production five minutes before leaving. Other devs had to come in and work very late to get the system back online. While he is technically in his right to leave at 5, he causes his team much grief and as such is not an asset.

The other side of the coin is that lots of software companies, really has little to no control over software development. Especially startups run by young, inexperienced guys rarely have any idea what they are doing. This is a company where crisis' occurs daily or weekly instead of maybe once every couple of months.

They make up for this by rampant overtime, and excuse this with BS about being dedicated and a team player. You know you're in such an organization if they talk about how "that's what the industry is like".

Your organizations work culture seem like that - very long hours and (seemingly) no extraordinary reason for coming in on Saturday.

If that's the case, then leave. There's not much that can be done except a total change of top management.

But if it's a rare occurrence that they call you in on Saturday and there is a good explanation for it, then buckle up and help your team mates.

kohanz 2 days ago 2 replies      
As stated by other, the obvious answer is to leave.

What is puzzling to me is that you sound like a skilled and confident developer, yet seem afraid of wading into the job market. Are your local employment options that bad?

pauleastlund 2 days ago 3 replies      
So I'll lead with "you need to leave." Huge, obvious cultural mismatch.

With that said, I think it's bizarre how some of the commenters here are vilifying your management. I don't know the specifics of your company, but you can't run a startup at crunch time with devs putting in 7.5 hour days. Even at Google, which I considered extremely cushy and laid-back, there was the overt expectation -- repeatedly referenced in internal literature -- that engineer-weeks were about 50 hours long.

I think it's great that you've identified the level of work-life balance that will work for you and are standing your ground. But you need to understand that working 7.5 hours days is not some sort of universal human right. In the (near) future when you search for jobs, you need to communicate that preference up front and make sure that management is on board with it rather than taking for granted that they will be.

CocaKoala 2 days ago 0 replies      
They're simultaneously threatening to fire you and also begging you to do more work; those are polar opposites. Do you feel like they need the work and are trying to use the (empty) threat of termination as motivation, or do you feel like they're trying to take advantage of you and get something for free?

Either way, you should probably quit. But if you can figure out what they actually need, it might help reduce your stress a little bit. Only a little, though, because having abusive managers or coworkers is really terrible and wears at you in a way that's pretty hard to describe. So you should probably quit.

calcsam 2 days ago 1 reply      
Leave. You're a bad fit for the company culture. The company culture is a bad fit for you.
jason_slack 2 days ago 1 reply      
Its hard to do, but I really think you need to leave.

Give your 2 weeks but be OK if they let you go on the spot.

If you dont have a lot of money, maybe you could put in a few more weeks before you quit and literally try and save every penny you can. If you have vacation time in the bank hopefully you get paid out for it.

I've been in situations where the "Boss" doesn't have a clear technical understanding between different roles and it is very hard. It feels like a Dilbert and/or Office Space moment to me.

hubtree 2 days ago 0 replies      
If the stress is overwhelming you, then you should see if there is a solution to remove the stress. If not, then you should probably quit. It isn't worth what stress can do to your health and relationships.

If they need you to do more work beyond your 40 hour week, to the point that they threaten to fire you, then your supervisor likely realizes they need you.

If you find that at 5pm that you are twenty minuets away from finishing something up, then you should consider doing that from time to time, just to show you're on the team.

I am lucky enough to be in a position that I am on salary, but I am still paid overtime if the work load moves beyond 40 hours a week. If I need to work an extra 15 to 30 minutes to finish up what I'm working on, I don't count that as overtime. If I get a ticket that needs addressed, but there isn't time to do it in the normal work day, that counts as overtime.

Maybe consider proposing something similar. If what they really need is a little more help, but don't want to hire a new dev, they may be willing to come up with a compromise.

Good luck.

up_and_up 2 days ago 1 reply      
> They come in at 8am, and leave around 10

> Now they want us to come in on Saturday.

I would definitely GTFO!

Productivity != hours sitting at a desk.

I have worked at a company like this and the issue was definitely poor management direction and poor technical discipline.

ctb_mg 1 day ago 0 replies      
My two cents is that this situation is more prolific than you might think.

My own theory is that most young engineers start out by valuing their own time -- but they find themselves in a situation like this. They then relegate themselves to working long hours to please management, and eventually they work inefficiently all the time and are OK with that.

They're too withdrawn/introverted to stand up to management or take the leap to find a new job.

Regardless, like many others said, time to quit. They're not a good fit for you and a "bugfix scoreboard" sounds absolutely vile.

joesmo 1 day ago 0 replies      
Sounds like management doesn't appreciate you, nor are they competent at what they do. You deserve better. It's commendable and professional to work a set number of hours (~7-8 / day, though it varies). It is unprofessional and a sign of management's failure to ask you to work more, work on weekends, or catch up to hours you don't owe them. It would also be unprofessional for you to bow down to such ridiculous requests. It sounds like you are contributing more than anyone and with your skill-set, you should have no problem finding another job, hopefully one that isn't filled with unprofessional managers who can't manage and demand one work unprofessional hours.

tl;dr: Working more than 8 hours a day is unprofessional (except in rare, extreme circumstances where it is rewarded).

JDDunn9 2 days ago 0 replies      
Sounds like they are trying to exploit you. There are plenty of companies out there that want you to think of them as "more than a job", but don't want to give you equity or pay competitive wages. Start taking interviews for other jobs. Once you have on lined up, you can either quit, or use it as leverage to talk to your boss.
fuj 2 days ago 1 reply      
Just.. leave. I know it's easier said than done but, I've been in a similar situation. No money in the world pays the stress you're going through.
elandybarr 2 days ago 0 replies      
I don't think they necessarily "don't give a shit about the company".

In fact, I think setting appropriate personal boundaries is extremely important. A lot of devs recognize 'hour creep'. You know, stay in a few days until 6, and before too long, it becomes expected. I am saying this as a founder and someone who puts in as many possible hours.

At first, I thought, "Are you guys not really in the game?". But now I recognize that there are only a few people who I should really expect to be on that level, and it should be made explicitly clear from the get-go.

In this case, there is a clear metric that the employee is facing. However, this person certainly adds quite a bit of value.

I think this is worth confronting management over. But I also agree, that if there is a rare occurrence for weekend work, then that is also part of the team. Rather than quit outright, like many suggest, I would confront management very clearly about your personal boundaries and ask them explicitly what is the gulf between their expectations and what you are giving.

once_was 2 days ago 0 replies      
I once worked in a cafe in my teens, we would be paid up until half an hour after close to do cleaning. Mopping the floor was the last task I did, it would usually end up running 5 or 10 minutes over the time I got paid. Your post makes me imagine dropping the mop half way through finishing the floors and walking backwards out the door while flipping off my boss because that half hour ticked over.

"The moment I step through my work door I set a timer for 7.5 hours." This is a terrible work ethic. You set a timer? I don't agree with doing unpaid overtime either, you certainly won't see me in the office on a Saturday, but sometimes things need to be completed before you leave for the day. But maybe that's just my opinion working in a remote office in a vastly different time zone to head office where my work needs to be delivered.

Although not a metric, I did chuckle that you state your co-workers work twice as long as you (14hrs vs 7.5) yet have three times as many fixes as you and then reference the reason for this is the time they spend at work.

bmm6o 2 days ago 0 replies      
If you aren't already looking for a new job, why aren't you? It sounds like a bad fit and they don't appreciate your contributions.
fsk 2 days ago 0 replies      
Look for a new job. Your relationship with them can't be salvaged.

Also, this is why you keep a 6-12 month emergency fund, in case you have to walk away or get fired.

all_the_things 2 days ago 0 replies      
Stress isn't good for your clients and your personal relationships. I've had a similar problem, I'm quite insistent on using my own equipment, my recent client said yes to get me move over 4hrs away from my home, then the security team said no once I setup my kit and put down a six months deposit on a flat. I insisted on new equipment or a pay raise for pay in lieu of my slower rate of experience and discomfort which effects my out of hours work. They bought me a new iMac and I'm now technical lead for a reputable sports product. I arrive at 7am and leave at 3pm but turn out 200% more than other members in the team and maintain test coverage +90%. Remember to keep a smile on your face when you discuss it with them though. They'll worry about what you know and what they don't. The first one to lose their manners is usually wrong regardless of the technical details in companies like these.
contactmatts 2 days ago 0 replies      
For reasons like this, I'm not sure I'll go back to a salary model (in favor of hourly model). I value my family time and personal time, but for those times where "the barns burning down", at least I'm compensated for putting out the fire.

(...And if the barn is always burning down, look for a new job.)

stefan_kendall3 2 days ago 0 replies      
You posted this looking for support for what you know you need to do.

Quitting isn't fun, but sometimes it's the only way to solve a problem.

babo 2 days ago 0 replies      
There is no point to play that game, you will loose anyway. Keep with sane hours, find a new job, quit.
sharemywin 2 days ago 0 replies      
Like everyone else said the best option is to find place with a better fit. Second, I would throw them a bone here and there until you find something else. third, do enough to get off the bottom of the list.
ceedan 2 days ago 2 replies      
Instead of writing to the HackerNews posters asking for common sense advice, just quit your job.
pinoceros 2 days ago 0 replies      
No matter what, get out. They are toxic people with twisted values who do not understand quality. Get out.

Accept their offer to buy out your contract. If they try to terminate you, be ready to lawyer up for a breach-of-contract suit.

Get out.

salibhai 2 days ago 0 replies      
My suggestion: Look for a company that you can comfortably work the 9-5 and not have any issues with that.
DuckDuckGo tracks you
4 points by hakin  1 day ago   2 comments top
moonboots 1 day ago 1 reply      
These link modifications increase privacy by hiding the referer from the destination page [1].

[1] http://www.gabrielweinberg.com/blog/2010/05/duck-duck-go-sea...

Ask HN: Glasses that act like a flashbang?
2 points by sillysaurus3  19 hours ago   2 comments top 2
gcb0 16 hours ago 0 replies      
a small charge of magnesium? would still make a little bang.

how about reading some patents of flash bangs? that what patents are for.

also, a glass? the idea that the assailant will be making eye contact is nice, but your eyes will also be there

wesleyac 19 hours ago 0 replies      
Wearing bright lights next to your face with the intent of quickly flashing them in the darkness seems like a Bad Idea.

Just sayin'

Saving your YC application
6 points by spb  1 day ago   4 comments top 4
vgrichina 1 day ago 0 replies      
Doesn't just pressing Cmd+S / Ctrls+S in browser do the job? ;)
asadlionpk 1 day ago 0 replies      
You could just print the page as pdf?
coreymgilmore 1 day ago 0 replies      
Made myself something way more complex to scrape the page...this is nice.
AbhishekBiswal 1 day ago 0 replies      
Ha! I used to copy the page source and keep it. Thanks, man.
Tell PG: "Pending" discourages conversation on older threads no longer on FP
16 points by dotBen  3 days ago   3 comments top 2
pg 3 days ago 1 reply      
Neither; simply a bug.
pearjuice 21 hours ago 0 replies      
Is this "pending" still a thing? How does it work again?
Ask HN: Do any alumni think YC was not worth it?
14 points by nsted  3 days ago   1 comment top
Robby2012 9 hours ago 0 replies      
Why wouldn't it be worth it? I mean, it only lasts 3 months, you get $17,000 and you get access to an incredible network of contacts plus very good feedback. How can't it be worth it?
Ask HN: Any useful tips for writing in Emacs?
11 points by fjk  2 days ago   6 comments top 4
phren0logy 2 days ago 1 reply      
I bound fly spell to ctrl-; to bring up a list of the misspellings and cycle from the first through the rest for misspelling closest to the cursor.

That means if I'm typing and I don't realize the misspelling until the next sentence, I can correct it WITHOUT moving the cursor. Once you do this, you can't go back!

edavis 2 days ago 0 replies      
You can move paragraphs around with M-<up> and M-<down>. It also works on headlines/plain lists.

Just discovered this yesterday and wish I had known about it earlier.

lvryc 2 days ago 0 replies      
Do you use org-mode?[1] It's perfect for outlining and managing lots of information. Once you've written your paper, you can easily export it to HTML, PDF (through LaTeX) or plain text to be copied into a Word document, if that's the way you swing.

[1] http://orgmode.org/

arh68 1 day ago 0 replies      
Auto-fill-mode and follow-mode are useful. If you write Unicode characters (and don't have a mac) C-x 8 <Enter> is useful, too (tab completion!).
Ask HN: Staying motivated?
6 points by SomeoneWeird  2 days ago   4 comments top 4
avenger123 2 days ago 0 replies      
Just chill. Don't worry about it. Do something that you enjoy and don't feel guilty about spending all your time at it. Don't feel guilty for not doing much or just "wasting" your time. This is your mind/soul telling you something. Listen to it and pay attention. Maybe you're burning out, maybe not. Give yourself the freedom to just chill for a few weeks and not get worked up about what you should/should not be doing.

I don't know your details but this could be your mind and body telling you to change for the better. Do you exercise, do you sleep well (at least 7-7.5 every night). Do you have hobbies outside software? Do you get out and hang out? How's your personal relationships? All these things matter and if something is really out of sync your mind/body starts to fight you. Listen to it. The trick is to have a balance to your life and still get to where you want to go. Sometimes the balance shifts in one direction or another but it's always good to try to maintain the balance.

Pyrodogg 1 day ago 0 replies      
One suggestion is to try and flip your day. Don't expect to have energy after your solid day at the office to focus on smaller things at home.

Get up earlier and spend some time right away working on your smaller things requiring focus. I don't think your core work day would be robbed of anything either, a significant portion of the energy loss is the context switch from work to commute to home.

If you get up two hours earlier and go to work at the same time, the end of the day will feel a bit latter but i'd wager you'll be just as productive as the end of a day right now.

Note: Speaking from speculation, not experience.

BorisMelnik 1 day ago 0 replies      
I have a really hard time with this. I go through periods like this:

15-20 days - really motivated work 10-12 hour days5-8 days - motivated but uninspired4-5 days - completely unmotivated and uninspired

that is pretty much my typical month, every month. the lows are low but the highs are high. just find your groove and stick to it. everyone becomes unmotivated at times.

sharemywin 2 days ago 0 replies      
find someone else to work on stuff with. Also, I try to set my goals small for the night. a lot of times I end up working on alot more once I get started.
Show HN: Pingsure, test your webapp every hour.
3 points by softwareman  1 day ago   10 comments top 5
jesusmichael 1 day ago 1 reply      
"integration testing" couldn't this just be "testing" or "QA"... Your website doesn't really tell me what you do and what the capabilities of it are... You should have a demo/test case walk thru so we can see multi-level or multi module testing setup and response... I'd be a customer if you can continually test modules and processes.
kashifzaidi1 1 day ago 1 reply      
Well definitely it is an interesting idea, outsourcing your QA. But as you pointed out the problem really is to validate if people want it or not. Personally, when you outsource such a core part of your service, co-ordination becomes an issue. But it is a valid idea.
ctb9 1 day ago 1 reply      
Are the integration tests driven by selenium, phantomjs/casper, or something else?
sauravt 1 day ago 1 reply      
andretti1977 1 day ago 1 reply      
Sorry i don't need such testing platform because i have very small projects so i think it could be a good idea only on a dirrent project size.
Ask HN: Possible to know everything in a computer system, like in old days?
7 points by wbsun  2 days ago   6 comments top 6
samwilliams 2 days ago 0 replies      
I have spent the last year developing an Operating System as my Bsc dissertation. In September I will begin a PhD, the focus of which firmly resides in OS design.

I may be under qualified to say this, but I believe pretty strongly that the number of people that truly understand everything that happens when they use a computer is tending towards zero. This is partially the fault of rising hardware complexity, but more fundamentally your Intel/AMD CPU, your SSD etc is not open source. It is unlikely then that you will be able to understand exactly what your computer is doing when you execute an instruction, because Intel will not tell you how it works, only that it does. You could of course reverse engineer the chips, but I do not believe that anybody has.

There are a number of places you can go to learn more about how modern systems work, I will list the fruitful resources I have used below.

- wiki.osdev.org/Main_Page

This wiki has a lot of valuable information, if you have not already found it.

- www.intel.com/content/www/us/en/processors/architectures-software-developer-manuals.html?iid=tech_vt_tech+64-32_manuals

The Intel manuals describe how the CPU frontend functions, but does not explain how this functionality is implemented on the backend. The problem here is volume. The combined volumes weigh in at over 3300 pages.

- scholar.google.com

- Wikipedia

I hope this has been helpful - good luck!

gshubert17 2 days ago 0 replies      
Have you looked at http://www.nand2tetris.org/and the book The Elements of Computing Systems, MIT Press, By Noam Nisan and Shimon Schocken?

"The site contains all the software tools and project materials necessary to build a general-purpose computer system from the ground up. We also provide a set of lectures designed to support a typical course on the subject."

damian2000 2 days ago 0 replies      
Raspberry Pi was an attempt to get people (kids especially) thinking about computing at a lower level than the modern windowed OS/smart phone OS. I've done a bit of bare metal programming on it myself which is a good way to get a feel for the ARM processor, without an OS in the way. There's a project here which is a tutorial on building an OS on the RPi from the ground up:


I have also done a small amount of FPGA work which is more towards the hardware level, bypassing a CPU altogether.

Grothendieck 1 day ago 0 replies      
Niklaus Wirth's Oberon system (http://projectoberon.com/) includes a complete CPU (in Verilog), compiler, and OS. I haven't studied it, though.

For a slightly more common architecture (although hopefully we are entering an FPGA-enabled golden age), try Harris & Harris's "Digital design and computer architecture". It covers the MIPS designs (using both SystemVerilog and VHDL simultaneously) in H&P's "Computer organization and design", but in a more compact and systematic way (omitting H&P's broad but shallow coverage of advanced topics).

jloughry 2 days ago 0 replies      
Designing and building a CPU from scratch is still possible; in fact it's easier now (using an FPGA and a hardware design language) than it was a few years ago (using 7400-series TTL chips and wire wrap). It's old, but I highly recommend the book Understanding Digital Computers by Forrest M. Mims (1987). It teaches the architecture of a four-bit computer completely and is sufficient to gain a foothold from which to read Hennessey and Patterson. From there, read Gordon Bell's description of the VAX (and The Soul of a New Machine). For perspective, learn about the architecture of Burroughs and the IBM AS/400.

I can think of no better way to grok the underlying hardware. Write a simple assembler. Next, begin writing an OS.

olssy 20 hours ago 0 replies      
Nope, but it sure is fun trying!
Ask Octopart: Can you redirect hnsearch.com to the new HN search page?
4 points by ontoillogical  1 day ago   discuss
       cached 30 March 2014 20:05:01 GMT