hacker news with inline top comments    .. more ..    11 Sep 2014 Ask
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Ask HN: New to SF--where do I meet people?
8 points by throwaway_sf  9 hours ago   13 comments top 5
ashraful 2 hours ago 2 replies      
I faced the same problem when I moved to SF last year. I'm not sure what the best way is. You could try going to meetups but its very hit and miss. Working from a co-working space (or even a coffee shop) might be helpful too. It all depends on how extroverted you are and how comfortable you are in approaching people and striking up a conversation.

I've been working on an iOS app to help hackers meet each other. Its called HackerLunch and I'm hoping to launch it next month (hackerlunch.com - sign up if you want me to email you when I launch).

The app basically pairs you up with another hacker everyday at lunch (or less frequently if you want). I tried to make the experience as frictionless and easy as possible. I'm hoping people will find it useful.

foolishdream 6 hours ago 1 reply      
I'd steer clear of meetups, hackathons, etc. Most of them are polluted with low signal/noise. I've found them to be a total waste of time but it's a great way to get that initial job if you don't have one already. You need things that are curated by cost, signal, or strong mutual acquaintance. Meetups usually don't have high enough obstacles to avoid pretend programmers.

The best way is engaging smart coworkers. These are the people that are going to vouch for you, shortcut the hiring process, help carve out good opportunities for you.

Other things I've done with varying success is randomly contact people off forums that I might be in a position to immediately help; inform existing contacts and ask them if they know people that I should meet out there; develop parallel hobbies like soccer, rock climbing, etc that can segue into deeper friendships. Engaging quality coworkers and these other activities tend to compound over time.

cblock811 7 hours ago 0 replies      
Odd to use a throwaway account. Anyways start with Meetups. You'll get to know some of the more social techies in the area. Search the most active Meetup groups in the area and go from there. They can be non technical too (I'm sure there are loads of hobby related meetups too, I just don't attend them)
bgoldste 6 hours ago 0 replies      
I'd be down to at least grab a drink, is there a non creepy way to get in touch from hn?
andymoe 8 hours ago 1 reply      
Why a throwaway account?
Ask HN: Were you screwed at your startup?
7 points by tzz  9 hours ago   2 comments top 2
throw481481 5 hours ago 0 replies      
When I was in college, I did a startup with my brother who was living on the other side of the country in New York. While in school, we began to get early traction. Being naive, he talked me in to dropping out after finishing off the semester. And so I moved in with him. I got to work right away, but my brother continued his full-time job, which we had planned he would do for a short period of time. Note - this agreement was informal, nothing was formalized. We also agreed that he would work as much as he could on the startup on the side, and pay me a stipend to cover my living expenses + spending money as long as he was still working full-time.

As it turns out, business is business, even with family members that you trust. He ended up almost never helping me on the startup. He didn't quit his full-time job, and blamed me for not creating enough value for the startup. This blew my mind since I had done everything (design, development, sales, marketing, social media), when all he did was chip in 10k or so for 4-5 months of runway. He left me to do all of the work, and legally I couldn't do anything about it. Finally, he stopped paying me.

The worst part is feeling exploited by someone you love and care about. I have no doubt he would have committed to the startup had I gotten significant traction. I'm actually glad it didn't work out, because I would have just probably been screwed over even more down the road. It's sad knowing that family will even do this - burn a close relationship just to get dirt-cheap equity in a startup. "If it goes well, commit to it, if not, you just saved 60k by not having to hire a full time engineer. Plus you won't have to quit your high paying job, so there's nothing to lose!" - I feel like this is what went through his head.

I can't speak towards getting screwed on an idea, but if I learned anything from this it is that nobody can be trusted. Sure, I'll start another business one day and will be vulnerable to my cofounders, but never to this degree. Get it on paper, always. And constantly ask yourself, what is the worst thing that could go wrong at this point in time. Always be prepared for it to happen. If you aren't open to this, you probably shouldn't start a business, because sometimes things go even worse than you might think is possible.

foolishdream 5 hours ago 0 replies      
My advice is: Don't join a startup*

*until you're experienced enough. You must be able to distinguish short term and long term greedy behavior, be able to act selfishly most of the time without appearing selfish, understand and practice game theory. Until this point, you're just going to be taken advantage of until you're either sucked dry, or you've learned all the right lessons.

Every non-exec employee that joins post cofounder up until a year before IPO or 8-9 digit acquisition gets below market compensation. There are hundreds of startups and probably tens of thousands of people that get chewed up in between.

Don't join a startup in this trough of sorrow, unless you're ok with getting less money. Hopefully you're getting better status, experience, position, power, leverage, or something tangible out of the deal. Money-wise you're much better off being a quant or Goo-ama-twit-book. Arguably it's psychologically healthier too.

The biggest problem in startups is the prevalence of low functioning psychopaths. You assume you both are long term greedy, but turns out they're just ruthless social climbers looking to take advantage of whoever is inexperienced enough to get exploited.

Take SnapChat Evan Spiegel for instance. Regardless of Spiegel's excuse to cut out Reggie Brown (whether it's lack of contract, lack of tech skills, lack of ability), Spiegel flat out denied that Reggie Brown made any sort of attribution. How ridiculous is it that hes a potential billionaire and he's trying to stick it to his former friend and frat brother by denying that he had any involvement at all?

Evan is not the only low functioning psychopath by far. Once you get burned a couple times, you'll start to recognize them and their behavior patterns.

High functioning psychopaths are a different animal. They are usually long term greedy, and are great to work with as they have internalized game theory. As long as you both can mutually benefit, working with them is great. They are ruthlessly effective. They get deals done, manage people well, focus on the right things, and treat you very well. All you need to do is stay useful.

Ask HN: Common Core Math, Better? Or Worse?
2 points by eglover  3 hours ago   discuss
Ask HN: How do you deal with users on your machines?
3 points by donw  5 hours ago   3 comments top
walterbell 4 hours ago 1 reply      
openldap, pam_ldap, etc?
Ask HN: What would you consider a good web framework 'tutorial app'?
3 points by webmaven  5 hours ago   4 comments top 4
Someone1234 5 hours ago 0 replies      
Twitter clone. It is straightforward enough to not take a lot of time, while touching many different "real world" areas (e.g. database, WebAPI, UI, etc).
edavis 4 hours ago 0 replies      
I don't think one size fits all here. To me, a good tutorial app is one that effectively showcases the strengths of a framework while being honest about weaknesses.

So for Django/Rails, anything that goes over CRUD operations would be good. For Flask/Sinatra, an API endpoint. For Meteor, a small, realtime chat application. You get the idea.

And keep it simple. Don't try to cram everything into a tutorial especially if there is a lot of complicated setup required. Just give me the lay of the land and at the end of the tutorial a link to the reference docs so I can keep going if I want.

atmosx 5 hours ago 0 replies      
Anything that has the following at basic level:

Primarily* Login scheme* i18n translation* Ability to display content from databases

Secondarily* API consumption (e.g. twitter, instagram, etc.)* Caching* Dynamic content support (JS and JS frameworks)

sauere 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Write a Hacker News clone. It can be done within a few days. It includes all elements for a web app: basic MVC, storing stuff in a DB, handling authentication...
1 Year of GitHub Streak
12 points by sahat  10 hours ago   1 comment top
zallarak 9 hours ago 0 replies      
Wow! Your open source work is great. Congratulations. A great example of how maintaining good habits changes the game.
Ask HN: Is a well designed program really bad?
3 points by erikb  8 hours ago   5 comments top 5
informatimago 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Covering real life in a program shouldn't make it uglier than aprogram covering only textbook cases. To handle the more numerous andcomplex cases, you will _generalize_ the code. This will let youavoid handling specific cases in specialized code, but instead cleanlyhandle all the cases with a single rule.

That's the same principle in physics (and really in all sciences),where from a lot of seemingly disparate and noisy experimental data,you elaborate a general theory, with a model that's beautiful andsimple (ie. which reduces to a few simple and nice equations).

Some design patterns are useful to perform this abstraction, like theinterpreter design pattern or the emacs design pattern.

On the other hand, it means that most of the code you will write oruse, won't deal with the specific problem, but with more abstractconsiderations (such as how to manage resources, or how to transformcode), like in physics, most of the theory don't deal with actualphysical phenomenon, but are actually mathematical theories that seemquite remote.

Let's take a few examples.

Often, users specify more cases than needed. For example, they maysay that some price depends on some parameter, such as the number ofpersons:

    1 -> $10   2^0     2 -> $20   2^1    3 -> $40   2^2    4 -> $80   2^3
It is obvious that there's actually a formula: price = 10*2^(nperson-1)).

Actually, there's always a simple formula, since any set of N pointscan be extrapolated by a polynom of degree N+1.

The interpreter pattern let you decompose the operations you have toperform in the different cases, in a set of simple operations that arespecific to the problem domain. The specific cases can then expressedas simplier "programs" using those operations. In a way, this allowsto decompose the problem in two orthogonal parts, one set thatcontains generic simple operations, and another that contains simplierprograms specific to the concrete cases. Since those real-life casesoften change, having a domain specific language to express them letalso write them more easily and quickly, and even dynamically(ie. change the specific case programs without changing the software,just changing the data that is intepreted).

Another pattern found in emacs, and similar to the garbage collector,is the display engine.

In the case of the garbage collector, we decouple the memorymanagement from the actual program, by having a separate algorithm,orthogonal to the problem specific algorithms, to deal with theproblem of memory allocation and release. Once the garbage collectorhas all the information it needs to be able to release safely thememory that is not used anymore, it can do its job without interferingwith the domain specific program.

Similarly, the display engine is entirely decoupled from the rest ofthe editor in emacs. The display engines is able to detect by itselfwhen the contents of the buffers change, and to compute alone thedifference between what is displayed on the screen and what needs tobe displayed after the changes. It can then produce an optimizedupdate sequence for the screen or terminal. The rest of the emacseditor routines can modify the buffers with absolutely noconsideration for the displaying, which simplifies greatly their code.

In conclusion, if write your program as some general rule performingthe same treatment to all cases, and encode the specific real-lifecases as specific data to be processed by the general rule, you canobtain a program that still handle all the specific cases, but doingthat in the most general way, and therefore being as clean and as welldesigned as you wish.

Monkeyget 7 hours ago 0 replies      
I take it that by design you mean code quality and that you include error handling in edge cases.

Yes bad things do happen in the real world: connections fail, files are missing, input are invalid, programs have bugs,...

Yes you do have to handle it: validate data, check status code, add guard conditions, report errors, document input, returned codes and thrown exceptions. Here is a nice article on error handling in programs if you are interested (for node.js but most is universal): https://www.joyent.com/developers/node/design/errors.

Yes it makes program larger. That cute 10 liners that throw an exception to the user's face if anything goes wrong will end up larger.

But does it make the code bad? No it does not. It makes the code correct. In business software, edge cases and error handling routinely take more effort than the standard case where everything goes right. It's not a wart, it's a fact of life.

A piece of code is not finished when it appear to work. It is finished when it is written, robust, clean, documented and tested. Cutting corner means that when the bug report inevitably arrives a lot of time and energy will need to be spent. Way more than doing the right thing the first time.

"that's exactly what the really productive, fast paced coders in my company do.". They appear productive and fast paced but they are not. They only appear to be so because they twist the definition of done. By moving the goalpost they throw a bunch of garbage over the wall wishing good luck for some sucker later on. But, hey, it sures look good for management. That's not even adding technical debt, technical dept implies you make a deliberate trade-off. This is just burning money.

pagantomato 4 hours ago 0 replies      
I know exactly what you're referring to.

The general strategy[1] is to make sure what you're designing fits into an existing design pattern. It should be rare for you to have a situation where you're not within the confines of a well-known, well-understood design pattern. The sooner you become familiar with patterns, the more rapidly solutions that fit those patterns will come about in your head. The solutions will also feel less ugly, since you're essentially still being conventional.

You should be able to describe, in English, what design pattern you're using to come up with a fix.

[1] I didn't say this was a perfect strategy, but I think it helps.[2]

[2] Well, it helps me anyway. :-)

atmosx 5 hours ago 0 replies      
I'm not even close to other experienced programmers here, but from my small experience usually the two things play really nice together: beautiful and useful.

Other than that you need a balance and since your customers pay, they have a priority so if they need a feature, you might first want to deliver something that works and then re-factor.

sharemywin 7 hours ago 0 replies      
do you have an example of what your talking about. I'm thinking even ugly things like input validation should be all in one spot and easy to follow and read. if there's a lot of weird state you need to track you can manage that in it's on class.
Ask HN: How do you go from being an average developer to a great one?
15 points by vishalzone2002  12 hours ago   13 comments top 9
arghbleargh 10 hours ago 1 reply      
As you noted, the biggest thing is practice. But here are a few specific tips that I believe significantly improved my programming ability:

1) Try to get the implementation 100% correct on the first try. I don't mean that you should implement the whole system in one go, but the part you implement should do exactly what you want it to do (i.e. no typos, mixed up variable names, etc.). At first I thought this was a bit harsh, but it was amazing how much debugging you can avoid with a little more focus in the beginning. Also, it forces you to adopt good coding practices and make sure your algorithms are fully specified.

2) Don't tolerate tedious work. If there's any part of your workflow that's tedious, spend a lot of effort trying to minimize it. Some examples of things you might do: write a script, refactor your code, use a better editor, use a different programming language. You won't learn much from changing 100 variable names to camel-case, other than how painful it is. You will learn something from writing a tool to help you do that.

3) Think about how various libraries and frameworks you use are implemented, especially if they have features that seem like "magic". Try to reverse-engineer their design, or take a look at their source code (if available). This is a natural way to gain exposure to new ideas.

Regarding more "theoretical" subjects like algorithms and data structures that you might need to know for interviews, you could practice on programming contest websites (e.g. www.codeforces.com) or read some textbooks. However, in my opinion, those are not nearly as important for a software developer as the three things mentioned above.

mromanuk 12 hours ago 0 replies      
Practice make the master. If we change 'programming' to other discipline, it becomes evident:How do you go from being an average pianist to a great one?

Practice, mentors, books, new challenges, rewriting code, etc.

JSeymourATL 11 hours ago 1 reply      
Apply Richard Hamming's golden advice from "You & Your Research" to your career.

1) What are the most important problems in your field?

2) Are you working on ONE of them?

3) Why Not?

mcdevhammer 12 hours ago 0 replies      
A lot of reading blogs, articles, etc. online, and a lot of time spent in your spare time working on projects. Also working on things that are new and challenging to you. Also if you come across something you don't understand while reading and article or working on a project don't just skip over it, spend the time to really understand the concept.
hvd 10 hours ago 0 replies      
I got this piece of advice from a mentor. "The best developers are not the smartest ones, but the ones who ship most often."That being said, following a test driven development path will put you ahead of everyone who doesn't test.
foolishdream 7 hours ago 0 replies      
Start calling yourself one. Then work on a prominent enough project that people start believing you. If this doesn't work, write / speak / comment / manage your way to credibility and higher visibility. If a great programmer programs by himself in the forest and no one notices, then no one cares.
georgem12 12 hours ago 0 replies      
Reading a lot seems to help - keeps you up to date on what's possible, so when you hit a problem you have something in the back of your mind to resolve it. (more practical than algorithms-y).
matttheatheist 9 hours ago 0 replies      
By making a lot of mistakes.
muddylemon 12 hours ago 1 reply      
Work with people smarter than you
Ask HN: Mods: Ability to collapse comments thread
3 points by chdir  10 hours ago   3 comments top 2
dang 10 hours ago 0 replies      
It's going to come eventually. In fact, it may be the only major change to the Hacker News UI that we're committed to. But we don't yet know when.
Ask HN: Would you wear a smart watch that needs daily recharge?
4 points by mromanuk  9 hours ago   17 comments top 9
junto 8 hours ago 3 replies      
As a side note. If you want a 'dumb' watch that doesn't need recharging every few years, try a kinetic one. My Dad had his Seiko Kinetic watch for over 25 years. He managed to smash it in a car accident, and promptly replaced it with another one. No batteries required!

  The caliber also incorporates Seiko's unique Kinetic Auto-Relay  technology. It is powered by the movement of your body with   Kinetic Perpetual quartz accuracy and reliability. With Auto-  Relay, the watch will, when not worn, operate normally for 6   months on a full charge, after which it goes into "sleep" mode   for up to four years. The accuracy remains and the calendar   continues to show the correct date, month and year, but the hands  stop, conserving energy, until, once the watch is put on again,   the hands automatically reset to the correct time.

Take that 'smart' watch!

sa5 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Yes. I take my watch off at home so charging it isn't a big deal. Do most people wear their watch while they sleep?
ulfw 8 hours ago 0 replies      
No. Maybe i am just too old for it. But I used to go brush my teeth before going to bed, take off my glasses and be done.

Nowadays you go connect your phone to a charger, connect your laptop to a charger, connect your tablet to a charger, maybe connect your bluetooth headphones or headsets to a charger and now also connect your watch to charger. Quite the odyssey.

Brave new world. It's really time to invest tons in new battery research.

a3n 9 hours ago 0 replies      
I have a Tactix GPS watch. One of the features that swayed me for that instead of cheaper ones is "a battery life of up to 50 hours in GPS mode (depends on settings) and up to 5 weeks in watch mode." So I don't worry about it, and it doesn't take long to charge when I notice it's about half uncharged. And if I ever go that long and forget ... so what? I have a phone.

So probably the answer to your question is no, I would not. I have a long lived GPS watch, and I already charge my phone once every few days (Moto X).

Whenever I'm in a context where I could use a smart watch (as opposed to an athletic watch), I have my phone anyway, which is better (for me).

I'm also curious if a smart watch is subject to a voided warranty if the water detector dot inside indicates water got inside, like a phone. My watch is advertised waterproof to 50m, which is much deeper than the odd creek or a toilet.

Someone1234 8 hours ago 1 reply      

That's the reason why I haven't been interested in purchasing a Moto 360, Galaxy Gear, Sony Smartwatch, or similar. The Apple Watch is no different.

The Pebble is the only remotely interesting smartwatch around, but I haven't got one simply because the benefit doesn't out-weigh the cost (although if someone gave me one for free I'd give it a fair shake).

The real question for me is: What does a smartwatch do that the cellphone in my pocket does not? The fitness stuff is one answer, but frankly a $350 fitness tracker is a little expensive relative to other products in that category readily available (e.g. Fitbit @ $99).

olivierduval 7 hours ago 0 replies      
Agreed, a watch is a kind of fire-and-forget item: it has to work when you need it and to be forgotten the rest of the time!!! If I need to charge it every night (even every week), I won't use it. But maybe I'm not geek enough...Moreover, I don't see enough added-value in this kind of devices right now.BTW... isn't it possible for that kind of devices to recharge like "forever" watch, only by the move of the hand?
lazylizard 1 hour ago 0 replies      
the solar powered g-shocks i think last forever..
lifeisstillgood 7 hours ago 0 replies      
Yes. Of course and we all will.

Exactly the same argument was presented for this Nokia flip phones versus my iPhone. I mean I used to have a mobile phone that went a week or more between charges - now I often don't make it from lunchtime to bedtime.

But guessed what I typed this on?

lutusp 9 hours ago 0 replies      
> I simple don't see myself, taking a watch off my wrist, charging it for the night and wearing it again in the morning.

It's a simple question of cost versus benefit. I have to recharge myself every day, but I think it's worth it. Electric cars have to recharge overnight.

> Is this one of this things that I will be doing anyhow, or just a passing fad.

To me, the advantage of having a wristwatch that didn't require recharging was offset by the fact that it didn't do anything except display the time, and not very accurately at that.

Ask HN: Is something happening with HN's ranking algo?
2 points by vitalique  8 hours ago   3 comments top 3
27182818284 6 hours ago 0 replies      
valarauca1 7 hours ago 0 replies      
10-20 is the normal threshold to make the front page, the past few days haven't exactly reflected this, due to large influx of Apple related posts.
jacquesm 7 hours ago 0 replies      
Stories hit the frontpage when they have 3 upvotes, and sometimes stories get a second run at it.
Ask HN: Cross platform password manager without cloud?
12 points by thefreeman  4 days ago   8 comments top 6
pwg 4 days ago 0 replies      
You are missing one. Password Gorilla: https://github.com/zdia/gorilla/wiki

Cross platform (Linux, Windows, Mac for Password Gorilla itself).

Several Android apps that inter-operate with the same format password storage file (Bruce Shiner's PasswordSafe format file). Scroll part way down the above page to find references to some of the Android apps.

Your passwords are stored in an encrypted file stored on your local machine. You can do with the encrypted file what you wish. PWGorilla itself includes a merge feature that merges encrypted files together, and alerts you to the differences so you can fix things up.

Its browser integration is through the OS clipboard. However on Linux the integration is almost to the level of an auto-type plugin (because the X11 clipboard works in a way that allows the better integration).

So, it fits these of your requirements:

Cross platform (Linux, Windows [check], Android [secondary app])

Lets you keep your own data and sync it however you want [check].

Integrates with browsers [partial check].

So it's close. Not 100%, but close. It is also GPL open source, so you've got nothing to lose in giving it a try.

[edit: add a couple paragraph breaks]

diafygi 4 days ago 0 replies      
KeePassX is testing a KeePass 2.0 compatible release[1]. There's even a PPA for that version[2].

[1] - http://www.keepassx.org/news/2014/04/433

[2] - https://launchpad.net/~keepassx/+archive/ubuntu/daily

gintsmurans 2 days ago 0 replies      
Well its not yet cross platform and lacks autotype stuff (because is a text editor), but obviously I would like to vote for my own made text encryption App for osx: http://textcrypt.4apps.lv/app/updates/TextCrypt_1.0.424.zip :)
datr 3 days ago 1 reply      
KeePass 2 can be run under Mono on both Linux and Mac OSX.
lutusp 3 days ago 1 reply      
> Cross platform password manager without cloud?

Interesting you should mention this. I just got done installing Keepassx on Linux, but it's cross-platform (Windows, Mac, Linux):


Also, easier, if you're running a Debian-based Linux:

# apt-get install keepassx

And finally, there's an Android-compatible program that reads and uses the same database file in the same way:


After creating some passwords I tested all the versions' ability to read and issue passwords from the master database, it went off without a hitch.

BTW all the versions are free.

As to "without cloud", no problem, just copy the master database around to where you need it. I have an easy way to directly copy (i.e. no cloud involvement) the database from my desktop machine (where I create and test the passwords) to my Android devices, where it works perfectly.

EDIT: Oops, I see you want a Windows version with browser integration. Sorry, I didn't test that mode.

Alupis 4 days ago 0 replies      


EDIT: Oops, didn't see you already looked at it. Well, KeePass doesn't necessarily need browser integration -- get yourself a cheap VPS, put your db file on there, and just point your local KeePass at it (it's entrypted and password protected, or key-file protected, etc).

There is also an Android version for KeePass. So... seems it would fit all your use-cases.

Ask HN: What is a fair pay for a bootstrapped startup to hire marketing intern?
3 points by rush-tea  9 hours ago   4 comments top 4
1123581321 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Assume an intern would get $10 an hour or $400 a week. If you think a typical competent intern would generate $2,000 a week in revenue, then you'd want to set commission at 20%, or ideally 25% to compensate the intern for the risk they're taking.

The thing is, though, that your losing your time and focus is a big opportunity cost of hiring an intern, so you shouldn't hire someone you doubt can do what you want. Hire carefully, pay a normal salary and you'll be happier and also attract better candidates.

dangrossman 9 hours ago 0 replies      
You may want to have a quick chat with an employment lawyer in your country before you make your first hire. Employees in the US are owed minimum wage by law, along with FICA taxes, unemployment insurance, etc. Interns are not a special case. There is not a legal way to have an unpaid intern who does marketing work for your business, nor to pay them less than minimum wage if their "profit sharing" happens to add up to less than that.

Have you considered running an affiliate program?

notahacker 6 hours ago 0 replies      
Whether 10% is fair really depends on whether you're hoping the intern helps generate a few dollars or a few hundred dollars net profit per day worked, and whether you're expecting recurring revenue from those clients (if you are then 10% is very low, period)

There are a lot of salespeople on comfortable base salaries that get more than 10% of revenue they generate. Some of them have no real experience or qualifications.

Then again, there's also a depressing number of startups boasting about their funding and great new office location in adverts offering the opportunity to do a month or two of full time telesales for them with compensation only for top performance

foolishdream 7 hours ago 0 replies      
Do you already have sales / customers? It's usually a terrible idea to outsource customer development early because you don't get that critical feedback for your product until you figure out the real reasons why customers aren't buying / renewing / using.

It might be too early to hire an intern or sales rep, but definitely read up on Jason Lemkin's sales stuff. It'll give you good benchmarks and rules of thumb that will save tons of time figuring out on your own.http://saastr.com/2013/01/11/when-you-hire-your-first-sales-...

Forever last few days before launching
2 points by aktively  8 hours ago   1 comment top
justinraczak 8 hours ago 0 replies      
I've been in the last few days of my project, Crowdscore, for...longer than I care to disclose. At times it's been agonizing. We seemed to be spinning around on seemingly inconsequential details. And while it flies in the face of the era of 'fuck it, ship it', in retrospect I can live happily with the delays we've faced. All our squabbling over why this feature was better than the thing that competitor does and why this interface would be more valuable to users ultimately caused tiny shifts in our strategy. Now looking back in retrospect at what we planned to ship and what we'll ship, we've designed and built something we're more proud of and more confident in because we sweated the small stuff. We chased down answers to all of our "what if"s. While we shipped a little later, we have the one-liner answers to the questions like "how is this different" and "why do users want this?"

This is a little different than delaying on background colors, but this has been my experience.

Ask HN: Should I open-source my code?
23 points by endriju  12 hours ago   16 comments top 11
codezero 11 hours ago 0 replies      
Whether anyone wants/is interested in the code, open sourcing it is effectively the modern bullet point on your resume. Open source, it, write some good documentation and let it run wild if it's desired, but if it's not, it will still look good as a personal and technical achievement.

Good luck at globocorp! :)

b0ti 9 hours ago 1 reply      
If you open source it, pick a license that's more restrictive (e.g. AGPL). This leaves a chance for you to get lucky and sell it to a company who wants it to use it as closed source so that you can buy a few beers. Otherwise they will just take it and use it without a single thank you.Probably I'll get downvoted for this but IMO releasing work under the BSD, Apache or a copyleft license that you created on your free time is like playing charity for large corporations.
jacquesm 11 hours ago 1 reply      
I don't understand the 'I was hoping for it to become a product with a functioning business model, but i was struggling to come up with one.'

On the site it says:

> there is no fee and its completely free.

So why not change that? Set up a 3 tier 'buy' page and charge $0.15 per merge if you buy 10 merges, $0.12 if you buy 50 and $0.10 if you buy a 100 pack.

That way you can figure out if people are actually willing to pay for this service.

Open sourcing it is great but that still requires someone to run it.

Just try making it a paid service first, if that does not work you can always re-consider and make it open source after all.

endriju 8 hours ago 0 replies      
Thanks everyone for the valuable feedback, i appreciate it! The option that i am most likely to go with is to open source and document the interesting parts of the code (parsing sheets, merging data) and keep the site as an example use case for the OS projects.
buckbova 11 hours ago 0 replies      
If there's a piece of this that you think'd be especially useful, like the merging of data, then it'd be nice to pull that out and open source just this piece.

But if you don't have the time or want to expend the effort, I agree with what some others have posted here. Open source it with some decent documentation and screenshots. It could serve you well down the road.

valarauca1 11 hours ago 0 replies      
There's really no reason to not open source it. Unless you just want to burn your code and your work. Throw it on github, and maybe somebody will find a use for it.

I'd say I'd like to play around with it. But merging data files doesn't work over a web interface :\ since then I'd need to upload like 4 GB lol.

pnathan 11 hours ago 0 replies      
Interesting service. Spreadsheet merging isn't the easiest thing ever. :-)

I am a firm proponent of libre software and encourage you to open source it under a strong copyleft license. If it is really useful, it will be picked up someday and looked at. If not useful, then it's not a great loss to you.

anonymous_ 11 hours ago 1 reply      
I'm receiving code 503 at http://app.exmerg.com/
wehadfun 11 hours ago 0 replies      
If you can't make money on it then open source it if you have time
programminggeek 11 hours ago 0 replies      
There is certainly value in open sourcing a project, just for the attention it can get you. I don't know if it's going to change much for what you are doing, but you never know.
angersock 11 hours ago 0 replies      
Easiest way to find out is to open-source it.
Ask HN: Did posting your startup in HN give you users or only competitors?
11 points by thisuseristaken  19 hours ago   4 comments top 2
yellow_and_gray 15 hours ago 0 replies      
Speaking openly about a problem is a sign of strength, not a weakness. It's a sign of a weakness to avoid showing signs of weakness.

You want to be educating people of what you are doing. Copying an idea has little to do with the codebase being either small or clonable and more with the people behind the idea. And I don't mean just about having courage. Ideas by themselves are roughly worthless. There's no market for them. There's no place where one can go and buy an idea.

Describing your idea in detail doesn't mean other people will copy it. First they'll have to be convinced it's a good idea. If you ever tried to change anyone else's mind you know by now how hard that is. Not even founders themselves can predict how well their own ideas will do. Larry and Sergey originally tried to sell Google to Yahoo for $1m.

And even if people are convinced your idea is a good idea, they'll still have to compare it to the existing idea they are already working on and see which one they're more likely to do well with. A better, more ambitious idea might seem frightening. A simpler idea might seem more tangible. It could be at least a year before one can convince themselves it's ok to let an old idea die, and at least two years to pursue an ambitious one. Ambitious ideas really are that frightening.

If you are not convinced choosing between two ideas like this is hard, here's a simpler test that doesn't even involve a good idea. When you have only a bad idea and no good ones, how long does it take you to stop working on it?

Regardless, good ideas will have competition anyway. You can't avoid it. So actively working on the next step of getting feedback on what you have is a sign you are strong enough to take the next steps, however small they seem, as opposed to hiding to avoid competition.

Dropbox launched on HN (https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=8863) and their biggest gain wasn't the number of users they got from HN. Their biggest gain was probably that they became less frightened by the idea of one day evolving into a startup with 300m users.

iamwithnail 19 hours ago 2 replies      
I've mentioned mine on here a few times, and it's picked me up a few users, although i've never done a 'Show HN' type thing. Most startups, I'd hazard, are specific enough in implementation, market and niche that you need to find someone who cares enough about all of those same things and has the skills, time and wherewithal to land it. Lots of people have ideas, few land them - there are probably 50 teams working on the same idea as you, but most won't land them. (On my example - the site's in beta, it's a soccer stats site so probably barred in a lot of non-UK domains as gambling related, of niche interest in any case, etc. My site's a clone/improvement, in many respects, on others that I've used in the past - fixing my own problems.)

If you've got a world-changing, hugely scalable, easily copyable concept, then yeah, probably don't post it here. But otherwise, it's all in the implementation, and posting it on HN probably won't change that.

China's going to copy us. Should we care?
2 points by ccvannorman  10 hours ago   3 comments top 2
mp4box 23 minutes ago 0 replies      
Saw this on HN couple of days ago


zxwing 6 hours ago 1 reply      
Copier will be your follower forever, not leader. If one day the copier passes you, it means you are not a real leading innovator in this area, the copier(in your words) is.I think you are overestimating the risk. Keep your own pace, focus on your customer, don't put too much time worrying about potential copier
Request HN: Please join the battle for #netneutrality
3 points by Nib  13 hours ago   1 comment top
joeclark77 6 hours ago 0 replies      
Interesting wording: "let the guys at FCC know we won't let them do this". What you're advocating, "Net Neutrality", essentially means giving the government complete control over the Internet. That is, the FCC itself will be deciding what web pages you may and may not see. The current US government is hardly "neutral", as the recent IRS scandals and EPA scandals and Operation Chokepoint scandals have revealed.

The free market is a lot more "neutral" than Net Neutrality would ever be.

Ask HN: Will Swift developer ever be a job title?
7 points by thisisdallas  14 hours ago   4 comments top 3
jefflinwood 14 hours ago 1 reply      
It's a replacement for Objective-C, but you can mix and match code in the same project.

You'll need to know both, at least for the time being - many open source libraries are written in Objective-C, so if you need to make tweaks, you'll need to understand Objective-C. Also, a lot of existing tutorials aren't written for Swift.

One really important thing to note is that even though the languages are different, the underlying iOS/OS X libraries and frameworks are the same. The hard part isn't really learning the syntax of the language, it's understanding how to accomplish what you want. For instance, showing pins on a map or displaying items in a collection view.

FWIW, I teach iOS app development, and I think that beginners should learn Objective-C, not just Swift.

rgtk 14 hours ago 0 replies      
Beginners should comprehend essentials of Objective-C first and then learn Swift. At first there will be demand for Objective-C since a lot of companies already use it. But over time it should change in favour of Swift (more aggressive promotion by Apple).

Swift is a replacement for Objective-C in Apple world. But that doesn't mean Objective-C is going anywhere. It has rich ecosystem and experienced developers all over the world.You can create application using both languages simultaneously which allows you to use mature libraries or frameworks in Swift.

Language is a tool. Companies don't hire programmers for knowledge of specified language but for the ability to solve problems.

loumf 14 hours ago 0 replies      
Some jobs will require Swift, some Objective-C, some both and some neither. The best Junior jobs will realize they should require neither and hire the best general programmer, which is what I have always done.

Senior developers only need Obj-C for now, but should be learning Swift already.

Career paths when your starting from the edges
3 points by king_mob  17 hours ago   1 comment top
mfalko 9 hours ago 0 replies      
I would be interested to hear any responses as well. I've followed a similar path. I dropped out of college at 18 and played traveling ski bum for a few years. Then I moved across two states and decided to get my life straight. I've since been working my way through college, but I feel like I'm in the exact same position. I have a rough idea of what I should be doing to become a better programmer and get into the industry, but after five years on this treadmill I feel like I'm missing something.
Open Letter to Oracle: Quit Installing McAfee with Java Updates
8 points by cl8ton  1 day ago   3 comments top 3
UnoriginalGuy 1 day ago 0 replies      
This has been said many-a-time and by, frankly, bigger names.

Unless we can come up with an alternative revenue source to suggest Oracle use instead to fund client-Java then it will continue no matter how disapproving everyone is. Oracle isn't exactly a company who cares about how much they're liked.

I have no idea exactly how much McAfee pays Oracle, but I also have no suggestions for alternative revenue sources (as ads on the download page are poor generators). At least it isn't spyware/malware, we can be thankful of that (jokes about McAfee aside, it is still better than the Ask Toolbar in my view).

staunch 1 day ago 0 replies      
Don't expect an evil corporation to stop being evil. It's not an accident. Just hit them where it hurts by never buying their products and always telling people that they suck.

Oracle sucks.

Spoom 13 hours ago 0 replies      
End users of Java aren't Oracle's customers, so they don't care.
Ask HN: Which headphones should I buy?
8 points by Nib  17 hours ago   26 comments top 18
mp4box 27 minutes ago 0 replies      
mlwarren 8 hours ago 0 replies      
Monoprice 8323's[1] have good reviews[2] for the price. I picked them up and I'm happy with them. I really like the detachable cables and the fact that they provide two cables in the box. I did do some modding to the headband to give more padding, using [3] as a guide. I believe I picked up the headband on amazon for ~10 dollars.

[1] http://www.monoprice.com/Product?c_id=108&cp_id=10823&cs_id=...

[2] http://www.engadget.com/products/monoprice/8323/

[3] http://www.head-fi.org/t/619640/modding-monoprice-8323-with-...

gesman 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Add $50 and get Bose, around the ear, active noise cancelling ones.

Anything else if either going to hurt your ear or let the noise in or both.

sparkie 17 hours ago 1 reply      
You're paying largely for the brand with a pair of solo2 - they're fairly low-mid range headphones wrapped in an expensive package. Widely considered a waste of money among audiophiles.

Start looking here for something in your price range, and check reviews surrounding any particular set (http://www.head-fi.org/a/headphone-buying-guide)

runjake 10 hours ago 0 replies      
I don't need some specialized headphones or anything, just plain old headphones that are nice and loud, and let me hear music...

Then a pair of $25 Sennheiser HD 200 series headphones. Cheap, great sound, fairly decent at isolating noise. Why spend $200 if you don't have to?

Alternatively, look at noise cancelling headphones like the Bose series, but try before you buy, some people cannot stand the "pressurized" head feeling of noise cancellation.

vreragaw 17 hours ago 1 reply      
It's best you go to a more suitable audiophile specific forum for advice. You'll just get a mixed bag of suggestions of "suggesting what I own" responses. This is from the forum I personally use for headphone suggestions. Also, get closed headphones that isolate sound well if it's for a office environment.


The only advice I can give you is try many headphones in person with music your familiar with and like. Shops like to play just the right music that compliments them specific phones. I settled on Brainwavz after testing Sennheiser, Grado, Beats, Audio Technica, Beyer, Koss and Shure.

jleyank 16 hours ago 0 replies      
Quick comment.... If you really like your music, get some kind of headphone amp/usb-connected DAC so that you don't rely on the sound card of your laptop/desktop. Why spend lots of cash when you're using a 30-cent component?

Echoing another comment, closed-ear cans are a must for the office but I think open-ear cans sound better when you can use them. I have Grados but ears are a personal choice thing. There are some excellent in-ear earphones (Etymotics, for example), but these take some getting used to.

stripe 17 hours ago 0 replies      
SteelSeries Siberia V2 Full-Size Gaming Headset [1]

I am wearing those up to 5 hours a day.

- Fits nicely around me large ears

- Cable has an extension

- Audio quality feels better than with any beats I have worn

[1] http://www.amazon.com/SteelSeries-Siberia-Full-Size-Gaming-H...

whichdan 13 hours ago 0 replies      
I have an Audio Technica ATH-M50 that I'm happy with. It's around the $150 range, sometimes $100 if you find a good sale. Using my iMac, I can never put the volume above 3 notches. It's definitely loud! And comfortable, since it's circumaural.
lsiunsuex 17 hours ago 1 reply      
I have the LG Tone Ultra HBS-800 Bluetooth Stereo Headset - Pearl White

Love them. Charges in just over an hour, lasts all day. Connects over bluetooth to my iPhone for music or phone calls or to my laptop for Skype calls / music. Work great when landscaping or cleaning the house or working out. Really, I wear them all the time. Comes in black also.

svennek 17 hours ago 1 reply      
If you can use in-ear phones and don't need to have any contact with your surroundings during your music, the ER4 from Etymotic Research are by far the best I have ever had...

They dampen the environment so much, that even when I have reasonable lound music, I get surprised about how LOUD the world around me is when I pull out the earphones..

wilsonfiifi 17 hours ago 1 reply      
You should have a listen to the SoundMAGIC E10, good price good sound. http://www.amazon.com/SoundMAGIC-Isolating-In-Ear-Earphones-...
jtfairbank 16 hours ago 0 replies      
I dig my audio-technica. I was happy to see a lot of people at [MHacks](mhacks.org) with them. I got mine for about $150 on sale, just check around the webs.
vishalzone2002 12 hours ago 0 replies      
I use Sennheiser HD 280 Pro. Really comfortable and at <$100 is probably the best value for money
farmerjack 13 hours ago 0 replies      
Sony MDRV6 (or MDR7506; both have equivalent parts). You can find a pair in nearly every studio.
PhrosTT 11 hours ago 0 replies      
Anybody have an opinion on just getting the Bose QC15?
lukasm 14 hours ago 0 replies      
Sennheiser HD201
massappeal 8 hours ago 0 replies      
I just bought the Beyerdynamic Custom Pro One (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LDBWrSENTps) for about $200 and I can't recommend them enough
Ask HN: My employer doesn't want to pay me
7 points by ukdev  2 days ago   20 comments top 12
tptacek 7 hours ago 0 replies      
- I have signed contract but without a witness. Is it still valid to go to county court?


- I have the access to the server so I'm going to take down the website (I can do other suff as well)

No. Ask lawyer first.

- I'll use my SEO skill so the first result on Google will be "XXX is someone cannot be trusted"


- I have a evidence that he/she was acting in a conflict of interest. I'm gonna email board members and investor.



It seems to turn out that this:

- I have the access to the server so I'm going to take down the website (I can do other suff as well)

... refers to the company's website. Thus stipulated, my "No, talk to a lawyer" is "No, that would be insane; you could end up criminally liable".

junto 8 hours ago 0 replies      
You don't do anything that could jeopardise your position. Your first step is to get help.

  If you haven't been paid in full  Speak to your employer first to try to sort the problem informally.  If this doesn't work, talk to Acas (Advisory, Conciliation and  Arbitration Service), Citizens Advice or your trade union   representative.  You have the right to go to an Employment Tribunal to get your money.
I was in a similar position a few years ago. We were told though that the company was in financial difficulty. We later found out that the company had been withholding pensions payments (and PPP employer payments). It is a illegal and your employer can be prosecuted. If you have similar concerns then you can report them:


The following links will help you:

- ACAS: http://www.acas.org.uk/index.aspx?articleid=1461

- Citizen's Advice: http://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/index/getadvice.htm#searchb...

- Gov: https://www.gov.uk/understanding-your-pay/deductions-from-yo...

If your employer is refusing the talk to you, then you are left with little choice but to move on to arbitration. That's what ACAS are there for.

Approach the whole thing calmly. Do not get angry and make stupid mistakes (like deleting websites or code). Do not shout and scream at your employer. Remain calm and civil. I often like to pretend that I am acting as a consultant for myself when dealing with situations like this. It helps you to remain more impartial.

Your job is first to understand exactly what is owed. Then you need to extract x.xx from your employer. You then would also like an explanation if they feel like keeping you in their employment. Then should you choose to leave, because their explanation was not to satisfaction, then you would like a letter of recommendation. However, do not quit until you speak to Citizen's advice first. There maybe implications if you quit before your resolve your greviances.

anigbrowl 2 days ago 1 reply      
Call a solicitor! If you don't know who to call then call your local bar association and explain that you have an employment problem. Typically a first consultation will be free.

- I have the access to the server so I'm going to take down the website (I can do other suff as well)

...and stop posting nonsense stuff like this, even though you may be justifiably angry. That sort of thing is a good way to end up being the defendant in a lawsuit, instead of the plaintiff.

Stop with the revenge fantasies and call a professional. Right now you are angry because you have been shafted by this employer, who has basically put one over on you. If you start making angry threats you are likely to end up in even worse trouble and your employer will end up looking like the victim while you will look like the villain. I promise you that getting a letter from a solicitor will rattle your employer a hell of a lot more than any threatening behavior you could possibly engage in.

viraptor 2 days ago 0 replies      
https://www.gov.uk/make-court-claim-for-money/going-to-court Do not break anything, or you'll be also liable. There are official ways of dealing with people not paying - use them.
dllthomas 1 day ago 0 replies      
Others have cautioned against taking down the site or similar, and I second those. I'd also like to point out that libel laws in the UK can bite you even when you tell the truth so I'd be careful with the bad press approach as well.

As virtually everyone has said, the very first thing to do is get in touch with a solicitor. The next thing to do is follow their advice, which I would expect would be first sending a "srsly, pay me" letter, and then going to court if that doesn't work.

facorreia 2 days ago 1 reply      
If you take any of these actions (specially the "other stuff") you'll open yourself to criminal and civil prosecution including damages, defamation and cyber crimes. You need legal assistance. Maybe you can start here: http://www.adviceguide.org.uk/england/work_e/work_rights_at_..., http://www.lawontheweb.co.uk/employment_law
issa 2 days ago 0 replies      
It's already been said, but take heed: do not do anything illegal or unethical yourself. Be professional.
Spoom 1 day ago 0 replies      
What would you do and in which order?

If I was your employer? I'd get a restraining order against you and use this post as cause to fire you, as well as keeping it for a great defense against a lawsuit (since you've painted yourself as a malicious hacker).

CyberFonic 1 day ago 0 replies      
I'm not a lawyer. AND I do recommend you consult with one. The following is a suggestion you might want to discuss.

Based on your contract, you should be able to get an enforceable demand for your employer to pay you. If you are not paid and the deadline for payment expires, you might be able to get a lien over the server and other property. At that stage you can shut things down, etc. If the employer is a company then there might be a case for flagging them as trading whilst insolvent. Under UK law that is a biggie.

As @issa suggests maintain your dignity and professionalism. Taking revenge could put a dark cloud above your reputation.

Unless you have political skillz be very careful with how and with what you contact board members. They might be in cahoots with your problem person. I'd suggest in person meeting so you can better assess the situation. Emails are often very unsuitable for such information.

brudgers 1 day ago 0 replies      
My advice, consider just walking away and finding another job. I'm not saying that that's what you should do, only something that is worth considering.

Collecting may take a lot of time and energy. That time and energy is on top of the time and energy spent actually showing up at the office and doing the work, and the time already spent is a sunk cost.

Finding other gainful work gives a person options. It gives a person time, and reduces financial pressure. It lets a person look forward.

Good luck.

jason_slack 1 day ago 0 replies      
My advice: be more professional. What you posted makes you sound childish with how you might "get even" for them doing this to you.

Remove this post, walk away from the job, gain other employment and try and get paid from them for the work you have done.

Have you seen the movie "Office Space"? There is a scene where they just stop paying an employee in hopes they get the picture and just leave on their own. A non-confrontational way to part ways....

duncan_bayne 2 days ago 0 replies      
Either: speak to a lawyer, or go to county court (if it's a small amount; it sounds like a county court is something like the small claims court where I live).

Don't do anything retaliatory or hostile until you've exhausted your legal options, because it will either leave you liable for damages, or harm your case, or both.

Ask HN: Throttle FCC (net neutrality) to smallband speeds Add your sites here
5 points by NicoJuicy  13 hours ago   2 comments top 2
Someone1234 13 hours ago 0 replies      
This seems very childish, will likely negatively impact third parties, and doesn't really even get the message (any message) across to them.

It also somehow manages to miss the point of what the Net Neutrality debate is even about... At this point it is mostly about peerage fees and if ISPs can extort them from third parties. It won't suddenly cause internet speeds to drop to pre-broadband levels, even for non-fast lane services.

I now have a negative opinion of "MaxCDN" and "neocities." I've never heard of them before, so now my only opinion is a negative one. Good job?

This is misguided. These guys have the right idea:


That is more constructive, gets an actual message across (rather than passive-aggressive nonsense), and best of all might actually swell a movement for positive change.

As an aside, if I was a customer of either "MaxCDN" or "neocities" I'd be pissed. You guys are no better than the ISPs, purposely degrading third parties' traffic (between your clients and their users) to further your own agenda.

NicoJuicy 13 hours ago 0 replies      
Ask HN: Why is that 10+ years experience folks struggle to find work
25 points by tunetune  1 day ago   43 comments top 12
mindcrime 1 day ago 5 replies      
I haven't found that, or anything even close to that, to be the case at all. Maybe it's a geographical thing? I'm on the East Coast and from what I can see, if you have a "hot" skillset (Hadoop/Big-Data, MongoDB, Clojure, Node.js, Angular/Ember, etc.) you won't have any problem finding a job, regardless of your age.

Personally, I'm 41 with 15+ years of IT experience and I have never felt any sense of age discrimination at all. But, I'm also constantly working to keep my skills current, and I do a lot of things to make myself attractive and known in my area - speaking at events, writing articles, blogging, etc. shrug

My feeling is, if you're sitting at 15 years of experience and you've been, for example, writing Java code for 15 years, go pick up a Scala or Clojure book, or learn R or take the time to learn Hadoop, Spark, Storm, Kafka, MongoDB, etc. If you have skills that are "hip" at a moment in time, I don't think it's usually going to matter much how old you are.

OTOH, if you are a 15 year Java programmer who is still writing Java 1.2 code for a JSP based app that integrates with a COBOL book-keeping system on an IBM S/360, and you refuse to even look at that "new fangled" Java 1.3 or newer, then yeah, you might find yourself in a tough spot if/when they decide to turn off that mainframe.

crpatino 19 hours ago 0 replies      
Good comments so far, specially those touching on skill-set rust and interviewer bias. I'd like to offer a different perspective, not because is better but because is another uncorrelated factor.

Maybe more seasoned people struggling to find work are looking for jobs as if they were young?

As a single data point, I have 10 years of (paid) experience and a graduate degree. When I was about 30 I struggled a lot to find any IT related position. Part of it had to do with me doing the same thing as all the fresh crop of B.A.s were doing at the same time: send resumes, apply to jobs online, contact my alumni association, etc.

The thing is that I was competing in a market where I was seen as past the pull date: overqualified and too expensive for entry level positions, but still not mature enough for management.

Fast forward 8 years and I am doing much better. One thing I accidentally discovered is that there is a lot of weight in having a list of colleagues that know you, trust you, and are willing/able to let you know of career opportunities that are not heavily publicized. I have been in both sides of that kind of relationship and it is a win-win.

So, maybe some people struggling may benefit from being a little more social? Or maybe their own network is very isolated (all work at the same place) so they all enter times of need at the same time and are not able to help each other out?

gesman 2 hours ago 0 replies      
It's a mentality thing, nothing to do with years [or lack of thereof] experience.
janbernhart 15 hours ago 0 replies      
Overall in development I don't see problem for 'experienced' people to find (good) jobs. I do see problem for people who have only mastered the tools, method, paradigms etc that were common when they graduated 20 years ago.

(though irony has it that some mainfraim experts can earn a fortune because nobody has that skill any more while some companies do still need it.)

As for cultural fit; you'll see youngsters in t-shirts getting rejected at bigger corporates, and 'older' developers in suits getting rejected at startups. Not necessarily an age thing on a meta level. (or is the question specifically aimed at employment at startups? In that case, ignore my comment above).

hcho 17 hours ago 3 replies      
I suspect most 10+ years experience guys are actually 10 * 1 year experience guys. When you have someone like that in front of you in an interview, it is quite difficult to look past the fact that the person has no respect to his job.
csmdev 18 hours ago 1 reply      
Employers want cheap workers and experience is seen as expensive. This is why most companies have one or two real developers and dozens of juniors learning on the job.

If you're experienced, you're better off building a startup.

bikamonki 22 hours ago 0 replies      
Because they are expensive while not necessarily better.
JSeymourATL 11 hours ago 0 replies      
> Why people with large experience struggle to find work ?

#1 Reason: ineffective, non-focused job search strategy. #2) Passive approach, negative or even a pessimistic attitude. #3) They've stopped learning and growing.

aprdm 12 hours ago 0 replies      
I have the feel that the salary stops growing up very quickly.Do a 10 years guy earn more than 200~300k/year? Or it says in 100k/year for ever?
brogrammer90 21 hours ago 0 replies      
It's because the people hiring you are in their late 20s and have culture fit as the second most important attribute. I've seen it first hand where my team chose a 30 year old man child over a 40 year old. The latter actually got marks against him because he wore a suit to the interview.
SFjulie1 23 hours ago 0 replies      
grumpy old 10+ myself, I can answer for me: because for me it is boring to play the comedy.
zubairq 16 hours ago 1 reply      
Contact me at zq@nemcv.com, I have personally helped 1000s of people in your exact situation to find the right job. Just be ready to take the red pill! :)
Amazing things with reporting
5 points by andrew_kneto  16 hours ago   7 comments top 3
undertheradar2 16 hours ago 1 reply      
I got so frustrated with the available choices (either really crappy = birt, or really expensive = tableau) so I finally made my own:


Feel free to use it or improve it. I think it's great :-)

chromano 16 hours ago 2 replies      
We're developing chartbliss, that is a tool for creating dashboards (but obviously you can create tabular reports as well). Check it out at http://staging.chartbliss.com/, feel free to get in contact with me in private and I will get you access to our private beta instance.
GFischer 15 hours ago 1 reply      
Of the tools I haven't tried, QlikView sounds very nice and looks like it would do what you need:


I've tried several other reporting alternatives, and so far, I've been disappointed with most.

We're currently using Microsoft SQL Reporting Services and Crystal Reports, and are happy with neither (and they don't do what you need).

Edit: Tableau (what undertheradar2 mentions) sounds nice too:


The other one mentioned in the conversation is Spotfire


Edit2: they all sound pretty expensive though.

Ask HN: Do online press releases still make sense?
3 points by bictorman  18 hours ago   2 comments top
JSeymourATL 11 hours ago 1 reply      
The Old School PR Model is broke & busted. Nobody cares about your press release.

Here's a good read on getting buzz from Tim Ferriss> http://fourhourworkweek.com/2013/09/17/how-to-get-national-p...

Ask HN: Fastest way to get recurring revenue with hosting?
58 points by NicoJuicy  1 day ago   37 comments top 10
luckyisgood 1 day ago 2 replies      
Web agency founder with a decade of experience in selling websites here. I wrote a book on the subject of recurring revenue for web agencies and web professionals, all based on our experience.

Here's what worked for us:

- after selling a website, we sold the mandatory support and maintenance contract. We considered this service the foundation, or level one of our recurring revenue stream. This is fairly easy to sell and renew. The recurring revenue we got from this was enough to keep us afloat.

- after selling support and maintenance, we upsold the client to "levele two": services which grow our client's online business. The types of services we offered in this plan: everything that needs to be done to reach client's business goals, and that we could deliver well. This was harder to sell (because the type of client needs to be just right for this kind of service), but the amount of money coming in every month is substantial. This is what makes the agency grow in long term.

Here's what didn't work for us:

- web hosting. We've been offering this for more than a decade and in the end, all things considered, it is just not worth it. A combination of support + maintenance + growth-oriented services is a much better bang for the buck. We sold most of our servers and hosting accounts to a specialized hosting company and focused on what we did best.

For the exact details about building, pricing and selling support and maintenance services, check out my book: https://www.simpfinity.com/books/recurring-revenue-web-agenc... the part about growth-oriented services is coming soon, matter of weeks)

I love talking about the subject of recurring revenue, it's a passion of mine. I'll gladly answer any questions you might have.

Edited: typo.

bdunn 1 day ago 1 reply      
Like many others have said in this thread, it's hard to make any meaningful dent in your profit from being a middle-man between your clients and who's hosting their sites.

I'm a fan of bundling which sounds a bit like what luckyisgood was getting at.

Every consultant wants diversified and/or recurring revenue. This is why just about all of us inevitably create (or try to create) products of our own. Eventually, many consultants get wind of the idea of retainers, which can have the predictability of SaaS but without needing to build and market software first.

The issue arises with how most consultants put together retainers. It's usually something like "I'll sell you in advance 20 hours a month of my time for $2000."

Here's the problem:

Any first grader can figure out that you're effective hourly rate is $100, which is probably less than your real rate but hey, it's a retainer and it'll relieve your need to always be selling, so that's OK for most.

Since you'll be making $100 an hour on this retainer, your income potential becomes constrained (you're now on the hook for 20 hours a month @ $100/hr) and the client knows what your hourly rate is. "Brennan, I need more this month. I'll pay you $2500 for 25 hours" or "Can I just pay you $100 an hour when I need you?"

And this is where the retainers of a lot of the consultants I've talked with go south, and the relationships sour.

A better approach (which is something patio11 and I talked about during an event we hosted last year) is to instead sell bundles which could include your time, and hosting and make these bundles really tricky to divide.

I could sell a client on:

- Hosting

- Backup management

- Framework / security updates

- A/B test experiments and management

- Up to 20 hours of upgrades and modifications

Now it's not so easy to divide the invoices I'm sending my clients monthly by X.

And I could charge... $5000 a month for that. Or whatever would make it so that my client gets both the peace of mind they're looking for (smart guy managing hosting, backups, security issues, etc), a product that's becoming more valuable (running a/b tests, analyzing their funnels, etc), AND a pool of time for me to do whatever random updates they need.

NicoJuicy 1 day ago 2 replies      
I'll give you example of how i upsell a website

When it is a new company (is going to launch in 1 month for example), i propose them to set a launch page (basic one, created in max. 15 minutes) for 100 , to collect emailaddresses.

The launch page includes a text email to all of your visitors when they subscribe and say that this proposal doesn't include HTML (for images), because that is custom work and more difficult.

When the moment arrives, i ask them for the text they want me to send to their visitors.

In 70% of the cases, they ask to include a picture of the team.. I explain them that this was not part of the deal, but that i can change the message to a HTML email for 80 (if provided the assets first).

So, selling a website earned me another 180 , a happy customer (the launch page is added publicity)

How do you upsell?

callmeed 20 hours ago 0 replies      
10 years in niche websites here. We sell a website system (hosting + cms) to professional photographers. A lot of them. We do traditional hosting where each customer is an individual apache host with it's own database, FTP account, etc. But you could just as easily do something in a multi-tenant, "cloud"y fashion.

The margins are decent IMO. You can get a decent sized VPS or dedicated server and easily have your costs under $2 per user per month. Then you charge the customer $9-29 per month.

They key will be automating the setup process. If you're doing traditional hosting, you may also need some sort of control panel (they all suck, btw).

We also sell other SaaS tools for photographersallowing them to sell and share photographs. We upsell them to our website clients.

It's hard to define fairly easy to create recurring revenue. We were profitable from day 1 but it took more than a few years to clear $1M in annual revenue. And now there are a lot of well-funded competitors (wix, squarespace, etc.). So, my advice would be to find a niche, figure out what they need, and focus on them.

I have a few ideas (below). This is random, but I would advise you to avoid restaurants. I've tried it. Many others have too. They owners are too busy, have little money, and most just don't care that much.

Some other ideas I've had:

* A static website hosting service based on Jekyll. But a web-interface somewhere allows you to create new jekyll posts/pages.

* Wordpress hosting for landing pages. I like Unbounce but it's expensive. Create a WordPress theme with 12 different page styles and let me make an unlimited number of landing and lead-gen pages for it.

* Elementary school websites. As a parent of 4, I've yet to see a good one. I'm sure there are existing players, but if you can carve out a niche, there are COUNTLESS other things you could build for them. Start with some private catholic/christian schools near you. They have much less red tape in their buying process. If you have some sales chops, aim at the district level so you can bag a few schools at once.

txutxu 1 day ago 1 reply      
If operations/systems is a second class citizen in your company, then you just live with that fact, minimize the headaches and maximize your other incomes.

When you offer "hosting"... do you offer intelligent systems? advanced low level networking? CDN? anycast DNS? disaster recovery plan? peak resistance? awesome monitoring system with 24/7/365 support of the solution? 0day level security solutions? nanosecond performance? 99.999% SLA? penetration testing as proactive maintenance? multidevice testing of every change or patch? development, staging, validation and production environments? storage engineers? database tuning? project road-map with weekly (or daily) reports and meetings of a team of engineers analyzing infrastructure usage, logs, new threats, proposals and evolutions? an awesome web interface for ALL customer facing controls? a problem free experience?

Or are we talking about cheapo domain+cert+shared resources "online presence"? If yes, than maybe just stick to one provider and seek for a "reseller plan", to minimize costs, and as said in other comments, start offering a "maintenance package" as part of the products/solutions to get some recurring revenue.

When you get a great team of operations and support engineers with outstanding knowledge and passion for "systems", they stay motivated, and they are not mismanaged, you will be able to monetize them (and their "toys") with "hosting", "cloud", "online presence", "services" or whatever name, in team with the rest of the solutions you sell.

Infrastructure is a complex and expensive topic. If you do it properly, you can move money. You just need more customers wanting your system solutions/team, than the cost of it.

Otherwise, there is many competence and "third party" services, and the average position is to re-sell that, and focus on the ego of "i'm a designer/coder, systems is a second class stuff I cannot convince you to payme more for that".

antocv 1 day ago 0 replies      
There is no money in hosting.

Call it cloud, thats where the money is.

imdsm 1 day ago 1 reply      
I think we have quite a few people waiting for the answer, and a few people not wanting to give up the answer.
kijin 1 day ago 0 replies      
As others have mentioned, hosting is not a profitable business in itself. There are plenty of web/vps/dedicated hosting services who have been in the business for years and who can easily outcompete you on price, features, stability, and pretty much every other metric that you can come up with.

Except one thing.

DreamHost staff are generalists. They're probably good at fixing hacked WordPress blogs, but they will never be able to compete with you when it comes to in-depth troubleshooting of the exact application that you built for your client. At best, all they can do is direct your client back to you. At worst, they'll misdiagnose the problem and damage your client's website.

You, on the other hand, are a specialist. You know the website inside and out. You can take one look at an error message and figure out exactly which line of which file is causing the issue. You know when the software stack will need to be upgraded, and you know which parts are the most likely to cause trouble after an upgrade. You know when the client is expecting traffic spikes, and you know that when that happens, DreamHost is likely to suspend your client's website.

Your hosting package, should you choose to offer one, must take advantage of these differences. It should be part of a long-term support contract, not a standalone product, and it should be massively overpriced, like, at least an order of magnitude more expensive than the off-the-shelf equivalent. In exchange, the client gets a server stack that is perfectly tailored to their app (nginx, node.js, redis, you name it), a guarantee that they will never receive a canned answer in response to an urgent support request, and a guarantee that their website will not be suspended in the middle of the biggest marketing campaign of the year.

And of course you should be ready to fulfill such expectations. Don't use cheap servers to host your clients, get some Linodes or Droplets instead. There will be no in-house email hosting, it should be outsourced to Google Apps or some other company that specializes in email. Don't mess with cPanel, your clients can call you if they need to make any changes. Everything should be premium-grade, because there's no money to be made in the low-end market. Make your customer feel like your offer is actually worth the combined cost of hosting and support that you're charging them for.

moron4hire 1 day ago 2 replies      
I'm a "consultant", but I've only had the same, one client for the last 3 years, for whom I work 40 hours a week. I have a comparatively low rate ($75/hr), which the consistency of work has made difficult to argue over. I'm also getting bored with the project. Basically, it's in every way what it was like having a real job, except I don't put pants on most days (I work 100% remote, my client is a 3 hour drive away).

I don't specialize in anything particular. I do both web and desktop apps for my client. They are a small suite of systems for collecting certain types of physics data, mapping it, and performing a basic analysis of subsets of that data. Other than setting up the servers (system administration is a weak spot for me), I've built everything of consequence in the project: from designing the database schema, to implementing and even improving the client's proprietary algorithms, to building a smooth, intuitive (as intuitive as this can get) UX around Google Maps. But it's mostly done now and I'm bored with the project.

Any tips on how to get out of such a rut?

j45 1 day ago 0 replies      
I see a lot of great discussion but not much centered around hosting itself. I do agree with Brennan and have been pricing how he described for some time, it works. Value based pricing always works with the right kind of clients.

Along the way I was able to run a website that delivered the retail customer website of a billion dollar company using my code.

How something as silly as hosting helped make it happen..

I have hosted customer apps and sites in a datacenter since about 98. Networking, security was something that there was little choice to avoid picking up in addition to software development.

Forget about today, even 15 years ago (man it's weird typing that), hosting was quickly becoming outdated. Yet, there was still an earnest need that was going unfulfilled.

The need I see repeatedly is for complex/custom hosting of Web apps and websites instead of the basic ones.

Example today? Even something as simple as Wordpress is a pain to reliably host when there is traffic for the average person. Someone deciding to master WP has lead to a fantastic startup with WPEngine which sits on the premium end compared to it's peers.

This isn't for everyone: assuming you have the ability to develop your skills as needed, and with the right support, you can tackle your slice of the complex/custom/app hosting market.

Even small businesses with custom workflow or website apps often end up needing their own vps or dedicated server to maintain. If you're this passionate about hosting, I'm trusting that you have or are pursuing dedicated hosting skills.

Putting together a managed server hosting package that may or may not provide application level support can be quite stable income assuming the line is clearly drawn between code induced issues vs infrastructure induced issues.

How much is on the other side?

On the low end I have changed a few hundred a month, all the way up to a few thousand a month, so a customer can have a sys and app admin rolled into one.

The right kind of customers definitely have a peace of mind budget, where they want the discipline and consistent availability of someone who cares about them more than a contractor. The bottom rung of customers don't scale very easily, either.

Ask HN: How to convince my boss to use Angular.js
8 points by rodrigoavie  1 day ago   11 comments top 8
akbar501 22 hours ago 0 replies      
The first step would be to understand his/her priorities.

Talk to your boss, make a two second statement like "I'm excited about Angular.js and I think it can help improve our business. However, rather than just pitching a technology to you, I'd like to learn more about your priorities and the priorities of our team so that I can focus my energies on improving our business."

Then sit back and listen.

Business priorities will trump a change in technologies. Also, if you want to be taken seriously, then you should know both the pluses and minuses of switching to Angular. What browsers do customer use? Are they supported? What is the skillset of the team? Will training be required? And so on. Be ready to discuss these topics objectively.

What benefits do you think Angular will bring? How will that help the company develop faster at a lower cost, provide a better user experience that'll increase revenue, etc.

iends 11 hours ago 1 reply      

I wrote this to convince my boss to use AngularJS.

kalagan 23 hours ago 1 reply      
What are these applications doing?Do you want to turn these applications completely into Single Page Applications or you just want to have some clean JavaScript instead of the old school jQuery?
codeonfire 22 hours ago 0 replies      
Create a "prototype" i.e. don't ask permission. If time prioritization is a problem then spend a few hours after five making it.
saurabh 21 hours ago 0 replies      
Create a reusable directive that you can embed anywhere in the app and just enough API's to drive it.
mobman 1 day ago 0 replies      
jst ask him to follow this thread ....m sure he would be enlighted .:
atmosx 20 hours ago 1 reply      
honest question: Is JQuery considered old-shool?!
Ask HN: Which libraries are Gevent compatible?
3 points by valanto  20 hours ago   discuss
       cached 11 September 2014 04:05:01 GMT