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Ask HN: How do you use Docker in production?
249 points by valevk  9 hours ago   120 comments top 53
seppalala 7 hours ago 4 replies      
Here's the problems we're solving with Docker:

* Sanity in our environments. We know exactly what goes into each and every environment, which are specialized based on the one-app-per-container principle. No more asking "why does software X build/execute on machine A and not machines B-C?"

* Declarative deployments. Using Docker, Core OS, and fleet[1], this is the closest solution I've found to the dream of specifying what I want running across a cluster of machines, rather than procedurally specifying the steps to deploy something (e.g. Chef, Ansible, and the lot). There's been other attempts for declarative deployments (Pallet comes to mind), but I think Docker and Fleet provide even better composability. This is my favorite gain.

* Managing Cabal dependency hell. Most of our application development is in Haskell, and we've found we prefer specifying a Docker image than working with Cabal sandboxes. This is equally a gain on other programming platforms. You can replace virtualenv for Python and rvm for Ruby with Docker containers.

* Bridging a gap with less-technical coworkers. We work with some statisticians. Smart folks, but getting them to install and configure ODBC & FreeTDS properly was a nightmare. Training them in an hour on Docker and boot2docker has saved so much frustration. Not only are they able to run software that the devs provide, but they can contribute and be (mostly) guaranteed that it'll work on our side, too.

I was skeptical about Docker for a long time, but after working with it for the greater part of the year, I've been greatly satisfied. It's not a solution to everythingI'm careful to avoid hammer syndromebut I think it's a huge step forwards for development and operations.

[1]: https://coreos.com/using-coreos/clustering/

Addendum: Yes, some of these gains can be equally solved with VMs, but I can run through /dozens/ of iterations of building Docker images by the time you've spun up one VM.

zrail 8 hours ago 2 replies      
I used Docker to solve a somewhat unconventional problem for a client last week. They have a Rails application that needs to be deployed in two vastly different situations:

* a Windows server, disconnected from the internet

* about 10 laptops, intermittently connected to the internet

Docker let us build the application once and deploy it in both scenarios with much less pain than the current situation, which basically consists of script to git-pull and over-the-phone instructions when dependencies like ruby or imagemagick need to be upgraded.

We run VirtualBox with a stock Ubuntu 14.04 image with docker installed from the docker-hosted deb repo. We use the Phusion passenger Ruby image[1], which bundles almost every dependency we needed along with a useful init system so we can run things like cron inside a single container along with the application. This makes container management trivial to do with simple scripts launched by non-technical end users.

[1]: https://github.com/phusion/passenger-docker

wvanbergen 7 hours ago 2 replies      
At Shopify, we have moved to Docker for deploying our main product. Primary advantages for us are faster deploys, because we can do part of the old deploy process as part of the container build. Secondly: easier scalability, because we can add additional containers to have more app servers or job workers. More info at http://www.shopify.com/technology/15563928-building-an-inter...
suprjami 8 hours ago 2 replies      
Good question.

I have learnt enough about Docker to know it's not something which solves any problem I have, but finding out concrete facts about what others are actually doing with it was one of the hardest parts of the learning process.

The official Use Cases page is so heavily laden with meaningless buzzwords and so thin on actual detail that I still feel dirty just from reading it. https://docker.com/resources/usecases/

aaron42net 6 hours ago 1 reply      
We're moving all of production in EC2 from an old CentOS 5 image managed by capistrano to CoreOS, with fleet deploying images built by the docker.io build service and private repo. I love it.

Every week, we rebuild our base image starting with the latest debian:stable image, apply updates, and then our apps are built off of the latest base image. So distro security updates are automatically included with our next deploy.

We had been deploying multiple apps to the same EC2 instances. Having each app's dependencies be separate from other apps has made upgrading them easier already.

This also means all containers are ephemeral and are guaranteed to be exactly the same, which is a pretty big change from our use of capistrano in practice. I'm hoping this saves us a lot of debugging hassle.

Instead of using ELBs internally, I'm using registrator to register the dynamic ports of all of my running services across the cluster in etcd, with confd creating a new template for NginX and updating it within 5 seconds if a service comes up or drops out. Apps only need to talk to their local NginX (running everywhere) to find a load-balanced pool of whichever service they are looking for. NginX is better than ELB at logging and retrying failed requests, to provide a better user-experience during things like deploys.

Some of these things could be solved by spinning up more EC2 instances. However that usually takes minutes, where docker containers take seconds, which changes the experience dramatically.

And I'm actually reducing my spend by being able to consolidate more. I can say things like "I want one instance of this unit running somewhere in the cluster" rather than having a standalone EC2 instance for it.

mvip 7 hours ago 1 reply      
We've been using Docker for YippieMove (www.yippiemove.com) for a few months now, and it works great.

Getting your hand around the Docker philosophy is the biggest hurdle IMHO, but once you're there it is a delight to work with. The tl;dr is to not think of Docker as VMs, but rather fancy `chroots`.

In any case, to answer your question, for us it significantly decreased deployment time and complexity. We used to run our VMs and provision them with Puppet (it's a Django/Python app), however it took a fair amount of time to provision a new box. More so, there were frequently issues with dependencies (such as `pip install` failing).

With Docker, we can more or less just issue a `docker pull my/image` and be up and running (plus some basic provisioning of course that we use Ansible for).

HorizonXP 2 hours ago 2 replies      
Docker, CoreOS, fleet, and etcd have completely changed how I build projects. It's made me much more productive.

I'm working on Strata, which is a building management & commissioning system for property owners of high-rise smart buildings. It's currently deployed in a single building in downtown Toronto, and it's pulling in data from thousands of devices, and presenting it in real-time via an API and a dashboard.

So in this building, I have a massive server. 2 CPUs, 10 cores each, 128GB of RAM, the works. It came with VMWare ESXi.

I have 10 instances of CoreOS running, each identical, but with multiple NICs provisioned for each so that they can communicate with the building subsystems.

I built every "app" in its own Docker container. That means PostgreSQL, Redis, RabbitMQ, my Django app, my websocket server, even Nginx, all run in their own containers. They advertise themselves into etcd, and any dependencies are pulled from etcd. That means that the Django app gets the addresses for the PostgreSQL and Redis servers from etcd, and connects that way. If these values change, each container restarts itself as needed.

I also have a number of workers to crawl the network and pull in data. Deployment is just a matter of running 'fleetctl start overlord@{1..9}.service', and it's deployed across every machine in my cluster.

With this setup, adding machines, or adding containers is straightforward and flexible.

Furthermore, for development, I run the same Docker containers locally via Vagrant, building and pushing as needed. And when I applied for YC, I spun up 3 CoreOS instances on DigitalOcean and ran the fleet files there.

As I said, I've been able to streamline development and make it super agile with Docker & CoreOS. Oh, and I'm the only one working on this. I figure if I can do it on my own, imagine what a team of engineers can do.

Very powerful stuff.

piva00 3 hours ago 1 reply      
We're using Docker to solve these kinds of problems:

- Running Jenkins slaves for some acceptance/integration tests that runs in the browser, previously we had to configure multiple chromedrivers to spin up on different ports or be stuck running 1 test per machine. Now we have 6 machines (down from 9) which runs 6 slaves each, so we can parallelize our tests as 36 tests run concurrently. That has significantly improved our deployment time (as these tests are necessary to do a deployment) while reducing costs.

- Migrating our infrastructure (around 70 instances) to AWS VPC, we had our machines running on EC2-Classic. While I had previously done some work automating most applications using Chef we have really managed to fully automate our machines with Docker, it was way easier than solving cookbook dependency and customization issues. We have a couple dozen Dockerfiles that fully explain how our systems run and what are the dependencies for each application.

And that is only in the last month and a half that I began using Docker, I was pretty skeptical before as it was touted almost as a silver bullet. And it comes close to that in many scenarios.

BrianEatWorld 3 hours ago 0 replies      
We have a stateless worker process that previously required a separate EC2 instance for each worker. Even using small instances, this meant a pretty cumbersome fleet in AWS with lags for spin up and excess costs due to workers that were brought online and finished their jobs well before the use hour was complete.

Using Docker, we can have several of these workers on a single box with near instantaneous spin up. This means that we are able to use fewer, larger instances instead of several small ones. In turn, this makes the fleet easier to manage, quicker to scale and less costly because we aren't over paying for large portions of AWS hours that go under utilized.

I am not entirely sure that Docker was a necessity in building this as I sort of inherited the technology. I originally was pushing for a switch to pure LXC, which would have fit the build system that was in place better. However, given the fervour over Docker there is a lot of information out on the web and so changing the build and deployment systems has been relatively easy and quick. I bring this up because I think some tasks are better suited to pure LXC, but people seem to be defaulting to Docker due to its popularity.

k_bx 5 hours ago 3 replies      
We use docker for:

- running graphite (can't say it was less pain launching it, since Dockerfile was outdated a bit, and I also had to additionally figure out persistency issues, but overall I'm happy it's all virtualized and not living on server itself)

- building our haskell projects for specific feature (your run a container per feature, this way you omit pain switching between features when you need to build one)

- running tests (per each feature we start container with whole infrastructure inside (all databases, projects etc.))

- running staging, also container per feature

Very useful stuff, comparing to alternatives, I should say. And quite easy to work with after you play a bit with docker's api.

neurotech1 2 hours ago 0 replies      
I've used Docker in semi-production environments.

Configuration abd dependency management is much improved, and more efficient than VMs.

YAML configuration is easy to hand edit.

Docker doesn't have to rebuild an entire image for a minor application code or conf change. Incremental cache speeds up the build process.

Scaleout with "worker" instances is quite easy to manage.

For full production Elastic Beanstalk is worth a look. I prefer to host on DigitalOcean VMs for dev staging.

Docker has a great local community in San Francisco.

preillyme 2 hours ago 2 replies      
Docker explicitly violates the principles of the Twelve-Factor App. Docker apps dont rely on any external environment. In fact, Docker demands that you store all config values, dependencies, everything inside of the container itself. Apps communicate with the rest of the world via ports and via Docker itself. The trade-off is that apps become a little bit bulkier (though not significantly), but the benefit is apps become maximally portable.

In essence, Docker makes almost no assumptions about the apps next home. Docker apps care about where they are even less than twelve-factor apps. They can be passed to and fro across serversand, more importantly, across virtualization platformsand everything needed to run them (besides the OS) comes along for the ride.

amm 5 hours ago 0 replies      
We use docker extensively to ship a large and complex legacy platform that was designed to run as a hosted service, but was transformed into an on-premise product.

The system is composed of several components originally designed to run on separate VMs for security reasons. Luckily, we were able to translate VM <-> docker container, so now each component has its own Dockerfile + shell script for booting up and providing runtime configuration.

Docker helps us solve several problems:

* A canonical build. It provides a way to configure the build system, fetch all dependencies and execute a reproducible build on different machines/environments. It's also used as documentation when engineers have no clue, where settings/parameters come from.

* A super fast build pipeline and release repository. We use maven -> nexus, docker -> docker-registry, vagrant -> local export for a completely automated way to bootstrap an ovf-file that can be deployed at customer site. Releases for the old platform were not automated and took the previous teams weeks (!) on a single platform.

* A way to restrict resources. Given some security constraints from the product, lxc + docker helps us restrict memory and networking.

* Shipping updates. We deliver automated updates through a hosted docker registry for customers who open up the appliance to the internet. Previous teams were not able deliver updates in time for a single hosted platform. We can now ship new releases and have them deployed at several customers data-centers in a matter of hours.

We have been using docker in production for almost a year now and despite headaches in the beginning it's been absolutely worth it.

grownseed 2 hours ago 2 replies      
Not technically in production yet, but I use Docker for the following scenarios:

- Build agents for TeamCity, this was one of the first scenarios and it's been amazingly helpful so far.

- Building third-party binaries in a reproducible environment

- Running bioinformatics pipelines in consistent environments (using the above tools)

- Circumventing the painfully inept IT department to give people in my group easy access to various tools

I've also been contemplating building a Docker-based HPC cluster for a while now, though unfortunately I'm currently lacking support to make that happen.

reshambabble 4 hours ago 0 replies      
We actually started using Docker a few months ago and it really sped up our deployment process. It's not only incredibly faster than using virtual machines for testing; it allows you to host multiple apps on one server and to have all versions of your app ready to download and run. More info at http://www.syncano.com/reasons-use-docker/
misterbishop 6 hours ago 0 replies      
Docker revolutionized our server deployment. My company has 50 nodejs services deployed on VPS providers around the world. It allows us to completely automate the deployment of these servers regardless of the provider's APIs. When we roll out updates, we never patch a running box, we just bring the new container up and remove the old one. Super easy, super reliable, and best of all, totally scriptable.

We also have a pretty sophisticated testing environment using Docker which creates a simulation of our server in on any developer's laptop. It's really remarkable actually.

CSDude 1 hour ago 0 replies      
I use it to grade homeworks, no more open TCP sockets, message queues, open files, some naughties trying to delete my home.
rckclmbr 4 hours ago 0 replies      
We're been using Docker and coreos+fleet for our production environment at GaiaGPS for a few months now, and have been very impressed. We use quay.io for building our repositories, triggered by a github commit.

I agree with what others have said, and for us, the biggest benefit we see is keeping our production environment up to date, and stable. We're a small shop, and want to waste as little time as possible maintaining our production environment. We were able to go from 1 host (that occasionally went down -- and downtime for every deploy) to a 3-node coreos cluster fairly easily. We can also scale up, or even recreate the cluster, very easily.

asher_ 7 hours ago 0 replies      
We use it for everything.

We use the Google Compute Engine container optimised VMs, which make deployment a breeze. Most of our docker containers are static, apart from our application containers (Node.js) that are automatically built from github commits. Declaring the processes that should run on a node via a manifest makes things really easy; servers hold no state, so they can be replaced fresh with every new deployment and it's impossible to end up with manual configuration, which means that there is never a risk of losing some critical server and not being able to replicate the environment.

wyc 5 hours ago 1 reply      
We use Docker to deploy on Aptible, and this makes our projects entirely self-contained. With a Dockerfile in the project directory, the entire build and runtime environment is now explicitly declared.

With "git push aptible", we push the code to the production server, rebuild the project, and run it in one command.

nickporter 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Right now, SFTP as a service (https://github.com/42technologies/docker-sftp-server)

I also used it when our landing page was wordpress-based.

bennetthi 2 hours ago 0 replies      
It seems like a bunch of people are using docker + CoreOS, is anyone using Docker with Marathon in production?
couchand 7 hours ago 0 replies      
We're using Docker for a few internal projects at Stack Exchange. I've found it to be simple and easy, and it just works.

We have a diverse development team but a relatively limited production stack - many of our devs are on Macs (I'm on Ubuntu), but our servers are all Windows. Docker makes it painless to develop and test locally in exactly the same environment as production in spite of this platform discrepancy. It makes it a breeze to deploy a Node.js app to a Windows server without ever actually dealing with the pain of Node.js on Windows.

Also, it makes the build process more transparent. Our build server is Team City, which keeps various parts of the configuration in many different hidden corners of a web interface. By checking our Dockerfile into version control much of this configuration can be managed by devs well ahead of deployment, and it's all right there in the same place as the application code.

sirwolfgang 7 hours ago 0 replies      
Since we are still waiting for CoreOS + (flynn.io || deis.io) to mature. I modified our existing VMWare VM based approached to setup ubuntu boxes with Docker install. Where I then use fig to manage an application cluster, and supervisor to watch fig.

When its time to update a box, jenkins sshs in calls docker pull to get the latest, then restarts via supervisor. Any one off docker run commands require us to ssh in, but fig provides all the env settings so that I don't have to worry about remembering them. The downtime between upgrades is normally a second or less.

The biggest thing I ran into is that each jenkins builds server can only build and test one container at a time. After each one, we delete all images. The issue is that if you have an image it wont check for a new image. This applies to all underlaying images. We cut the bandwidth by having our own docker registry that acts as our main image source and storage.

hippiefahrzeug 8 hours ago 2 replies      
One thing I'd like to point out are OS upgrades, security patches or generally package updates. With docker I just rebuild a new image using the latest ubuntu image (they are updated very frequently), deploy the app, test and then push the new image to production. Upgrading the host OS also is much less of a problem because far fewer packages are installed (i.e. it's just docker and the base install).
benjamta 6 hours ago 0 replies      
We're using docker in part to get round the old 'works on my machine' problem: http://www.rainbird.ai/2014/08/works-machine/
sandGorgon 6 hours ago 0 replies      
We are a small startup and host on Softlayer (we are part of their startup program).

I would postulate this - if you are using AWS, you will not need a lot of what Docker provides. But if you are hosting your own servers, then Docker provides close-to-metal performance with stateless behavior.

For example, when Heartbleed or Shellshock or POODLE hit the ecosystem, it took us 1 hour to recreate all our servers and be compliant.

My biggest complaint and wishlist is for Docker to roll-in Fig inside itself. The flexibility to compose services/stacks is very useful and Fig claims to be too closely tied to Orchard.

germandz 6 hours ago 0 replies      
We are running our app[1] in instances of Google Compute Engine. We installed Docker in those instances.

Our app is a bunch of microservices, some Rails Apps each one running with Puma as webserver, HAProxy, some other Rack app (for Websockets). We also use RabbitMQ and Redis.

All the components are running in their own containers (we have dozens of containers running to support this app).

We choose this path because in case of failures, just 1 service would be down meanwhile the whole system is nearly fully functional. Re-launching a container is very straightforward and is done quickly.

[1]: https://dockerize.it

rplnt 7 hours ago 0 replies      
Satoshilabs use Docker to build firmware for Trezor, allowing people to do the same and verify binaries.


KayEss 7 hours ago 1 reply      
One of the main things I'm using it for are reproducible development environments for a rather complex project comprising nearly ten web services.

We have a script that builds a few different docker images that the devs can then pull down and get using straight away. This is also done through a dev repo that they clone that provides scripts to perform dev tasks across all services (set up databases, run test servers, pull code, run pip etc.).

It used to take a day to set up a new dev enviroment, now it takes around 30 mins and can be done with almost no input from the user and boils down to: install docker, fetch databases restores, clone the dev repo, run the dev wrapper script

domrdy 6 hours ago 0 replies      
We use docker at stylight for deploying our frontend app (wildfly). We use the docker hub for storing images. When we do a release we basically push to the hub, pull on all upstreams and restart the containers with the new image. We have a base application image (containing java, wildfly etc.) which basically never changes so builds and distribution are super fast. We really like the fact that the containers are isolated! We ran into an issue the other day where we wanted to dump the heap of the JVM to debug some memory leak issue, this should be easier with 1.3!
devashish86 7 hours ago 0 replies      
At Shippable(shippable.com) we've been using docker for over an year now for the following use cases:

1. deploying all our internal components like db, message queue, middleware and frontend using containers and using a custom service discovery manager. The containerization has helped us easily deploy components separately, quickly set up dev environments, test production bugs more realistically and obviously, scale up very quickly.

2. running all the builds in custom user containers. This helps us ensure security and data isolation.

We did run into a bunch of issues till docker was "production-ready" but the use case was strong enough for us to go ahead with it

zimbatm 6 hours ago 0 replies      
At Pusher we use Docker for CI.

I've developed a little command-line tool (https://github.com/zimbatm/cide) that can run the same environment on the developer machine and Jenkins. It also makes the Jenkins configuration much easier since build dependencies are all sandboxed in different docker boxes.The tool is mainly for legacy apps and is able to export artefacts back to Jenkins instead of publishing Docker images.

mgorsuch 8 hours ago 0 replies      
I've used docker for process isolation at two companies now. In both cases, we were executing things on the server based on customer input values, and desired the isolation to help ensure safety.

In the first company, these were one-off import jobs that would import customer information from a URL they provided.

In the other, these are long-running daemons for a multi-tenant service, and I need to reduce the risk that one customer could exploit the system and disrupt the other customers or gain access to their data.

I have some other experiments in play right now in which I am packaging up various services as docker containers, but this is currently non-production.

jalev 7 hours ago 0 replies      
Deployment. We have a legacy application that would take about a day of configuration to deploy properly. With Docker (and some microservices goodness) we've reduced the deploy down to an hour, and are continually improving it.
hendry 6 hours ago 0 replies      
I recently 'Docker-ized' http://greptweet.com with https://github.com/kaihendry/greptweet/blob/master/Dockerfil...

The main thing I really like is that Dockerfile. So if Greptweet needs to move, it's a `docker build .` to setup everything on a CoreOS VPS.

diltonm 5 hours ago 1 reply      
I'm considering Docker for a small side project I have where I want to deploy a Runnable Java Jar as a daemon. Getting Java paths right across different Linux distributions can be a hassle, hoping Docker will help me solve this. For that matter, getting a daemon (service) running correctly on different Linux'es is one more thorn I'd rather not have to deal with.
qrush 5 hours ago 0 replies      
Dokku is a great way to move off Heroku and onto something way more cost effective and useful: http://quaran.to/blog/2014/09/09/dynos-are-done/
vasion 7 hours ago 1 reply      
At UltimateFanLive we use docker on Elastic Beanstalk to speed up the scaling process. Our load goes from 0 to 60 in minutes, as we are connected with live sports data. Packages like numpy and lxml take way too long to install with yum and pip alone. So we pre-build images with the dependencies but we are still using the rest of the goodies on Elastic Beanstalk. Deploy times have plummeted and we keep t2 cpu credits.
jonplimetech 8 hours ago 1 reply      
At Lime Technology, we have integrated docker into our NAS offering along with virtual machines (KVM and Xen). Docker provides a way to eliminate the "installation" part of software and skip straight to running proven and tested images in any Docker environment. With Containers, our users can choose from a library of over 14,0000 Linux-based apps with ease. Docker just makes life easier.
DoubleMalt 6 hours ago 0 replies      
We use docker at https://cloudfleet.io to separate the application logic from the data and create a simple interface for additional apps.

As we deploy on low power devices the minimal overhead of docker is crucial for us.

zokier 6 hours ago 1 reply      
Most people seem to be using Docker with distro-based images, ie. start with ubuntu and then add their own app on top etc. Is anyone using more application-oriented images, ie. start with empty image and add just your application and its dependencies?
billybofh 8 hours ago 0 replies      
I've used to to make an Ubuntu packaged app available on CentOS machines. The compile-from-source was a bit of a headache (lots of dependencies which also had to be compiled from source) so being able to deploy like this saved a lot of hassle.
Ashbt 5 hours ago 0 replies      
I don't know if docker would be the right service for my use case, but considering the user experience on this thread I thought I'd ask...

I'm looking to deploy a python based analytics service which runs for about 12 hours per job, uploads the results to a separate server then shuts down. At any given time there could be up to 100 jobs running concurrently.

Is this 'dockable' ?

timthelion 6 hours ago 1 reply      
I'm running firefox in docker right now using subuser[1].

[1] http://subuser.org

bensn 7 hours ago 0 replies      
We use Docker to set up our testing environments with Jenkins and install the application in it. Every build will be installed in a Docker Container automatically. The Container is used for acceptance tests. The Docker Containers are set up automatically with a Dockerfile. Its an awesome tool for automatating and deployment and used to implement the concepts of "Continuous Delivery".
teacup50 4 hours ago 1 reply      
I honestly find it really depressing to see all these folks taking code and applications that would otherwise be entirely portable, and rebuilding their entire deployment and development environment around a hard dependency on Linux.

If Docker becomes sufficiently popular, it's going to put HUGE nails in the coffin of portability and the vibrancy of the UNIX ecosystem.

gwulf 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Using Docker for hands on workshops:


nodefortytwo 4 hours ago 0 replies      
we use docker to run tests, honestly we could deploy the resulting images to our production infrastructure now quite happily however we haven't got round to it yet.
rmoriz 7 hours ago 1 reply      
ing33k 8 hours ago 0 replies      
Not yet .
houk 8 hours ago 0 replies      
I'd be interesting in hearing about others production use case scenarios.
My Kickstarter is going to end in failure today. What went wrong?
9 points by 54mf  3 hours ago   19 comments top 10
vitovito 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Hi, designer here, and also someone whose friends have done a bunch of Kickstarters, and have written about their experiences.

I see two core issues, and neither are readily fixable.

First, "I've received nothing but positive feedback on both the concept itself, and on the Kickstarter project, from individuals ranging from 20-something techie dudes to 60-something mothers of 5. Everyone loves it, in theory."

Second, "Finding backers has been like squeezing blood from a stone, even after nationwide exposure on the #1 morning show."

I'll take them in reverse order.

"Kickstarter is not a store," and Kickstarter means this two ways. As a consumer, there's a chance you won't get your product, or it won't be high-quality, or won't be what you expected, etc. But as a project starter, it also means there aren't roving bands of consumers looking for something to buy.

Common metrics for Kickstarter projects say that if you don't have a large enough social network to get you 25-33% of the way to your goal in the first 24-48 hours, you won't succeed. That's not a factor of money; you don't want one wealthy aunt to contribute $3,000. It's a factor of social reach. This is because most of your funders are people who know you, and their friends, and their friends, and their friends. You get bumps from strangers with media coverage and social networking, but that's not a primary means of finding backers. Expectant parents are not stopping by Kickstarter to shop for baby-tracking apps between Target and Baby R Us.

That means you needed $3k in expectant parent friends on day one, and you had $1200. Kickstarters aren't slow grinds to success, they're two big bumps: beginning and end. You have three reward tiers which don't require someone to actually be invested in your application, you didn't regularly post backer updates to keep engagement up, and you had no user comments for a month. You didn't have enough traction, because you didn't try to get enough traction before you started. Everything is marketing.

Sure, some of the lack of viral spread might be bad timing -- more babies are born in September than any other month, and once the baby's here, you're too busy to discover and use a new app. Maybe you need to be pitching this nine months ago, or again after the new year, to newly-pregnant parents.

Or, maybe everyone loves it in theory, but experienced parents know they would never, ever use it. And that's the first issue.

There's one sentence in the entire video + text description that describes a benefit for a parent in using your app. "You can use the data you collect to identify patterns in your infants life, useful for narrowing down the causes of sleep problems or watching for allergies or illness, and to track growth and development over time."

That's it. The rest of the video+text talks about the app itself, which doesn't tell me why I'd want to use it.

That tells me there isn't a use case for your app. You are one parent with one data point about how you raise your (first!) child. You emphasize personalization in the app because you don't know how other families work. Your experience is not universal, and neither is your desire to collect data.

There are baby tracking notebooks (the paper kind), and there are sites like Trixie Tracker, and they have very niche audiences, because people have been raising babies without apps for thousands of years. A parent has enough to do without figuring out correlations in data on their own from the data they laboriously log in your application.

If you don't basically live on sites like Trixie Tracker, talking with their users, discussing the shortfalls of it and related apps, how can your app be any better? How can it provide real value?

If you're not literally living with other new parents and collecting data for them, so you can figure out the correlations and provide advice to them, and see if the advice works, how can you be sure your app will provide enough actionable information once people start logging data in it?

This is an app you're building for yourself, not for other parents with newborns, and you don't know enough people who want to support you financially in doing that.

If I was hired tomorrow to fix this app, the first thing I'd do is a literature review of common problems new parents face, and common questions and concerns, and common patterns of sleep and sickness, etc., etc. The thing new parents want the most is reassurance everything is normal and okay. You could probably draft a new version of the app to start testing just from existing literature, instead of your own experience.

Then I'd make you decide if your market is obsessive-compulsive data nerd parents, the kind who already use trackers, or if you're trying to make something for a general audience.

For data nerd parents, I would then camp out on every baby-tracking stats site and app, and start spending days and weeks living with new parents, to figure out not just how to log data most effectively, but also, what are the things they're not getting out of their current trackers and why? And how do those things change as their experience as parents changes (second kid tracks different things than first kid) and as the kids age (older kids track different things than younger kids).

A general audience includes Android phones, and doesn't pay for apps, for starters. But a general audience also wants more immediately actionable data, "I have a specific problem, I want to put a bunch of data in, and I want the app to tell me what to do about it." That's a different app from what you've got going on right now.

The net effect of doing all that real-world legwork means when you're ready to restart your Kickstarter (in 18 months), you'll hit your 25-33% goal in 24-48 hours, because you have enough of a network of invested users now.

smt88 3 hours ago 1 reply      
Seems like it just means it's not solving an urgent-enough pain point.

Marketing consumer apps is REALLY hard. I can't possibly overstate that. It's expensive as hell and requires a lot of hustle on your part.

The reason it's so hard is that consumers don't want to download apps and rarely do. So asking consumers to just download and try your app is hard enough, but you're actually asking them to pay for it ahead a time. That's a tall order.

I'll also give you some more honest feedback than others seem to have been. It's a great design and idea, but it's almost impossible to get people to create a new habit.

If people weren't already tracking their baby's every move, they're not going to start doing it now unless the benefit is really, really clear.

A good example is fitness/calorie tracking. That's something that a pretty large percentage of people bounce off of, and the reward is feeling better, living longer, and looking better. That's a pretty big reward, and it's still not an easy thing to get people to do. (Though I should note that people have actually been doing that activity for a long time.)

So this is a really steep hill for you to climb, and it may not be monetizable in the end. That's ok, though, because you're done a fantastic job so far and will always be able to point to this product to show that you can execute. That's really valuable for the rest of your career.

My suggestion, which a VC gave me years ago, is to choose metrics for success (number active users, dollars made, etc.) and choose a target date. If you don't hit a goal for those metrics by that date, walk away from the project. If you don't have a concrete way to cut yourself off, you'll allow hope to string you along forever. Trust me, I've been there more than once!

digitalcreate 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Tracking information is only useful if it allows you to DO something with that information. A simple list of play and poop times doesn't do you much good. A more useful thing would be to give parents information about what's happening that will help them. Is that a normal amount of activity? How does it compare to other babies that are being tracked? Can you discuss this information through a social network to get feedback? What do experts recommend at this stage? Etc.
DanBC 3 hours ago 0 replies      
I don't understand what it does. Or I do undersrand what it does, I just don't understand why.

Being hyper-aware of everything happening with your infant adds stress but provides very little benefit. There are a few things people do need to track or at least be aware of: meconium; billirubin, vaccinations. Tracking temperatures when the child is ill.

If the app was linked to evidence based advice ("when should I call the doctor?"; "can my age X infant eat food Y?"; "what are the recommended sleeping temperatures") then I could understand it. But that would be a scary app to write because you're giving medical advice.

Why do I want to how many nappy changes my three-month old infant has had today?

Some people have weird ideas about forcing the infant into a routine - especially around sleeping. Tracking sleep patterns is probably going to raise anxiety around sleep, when what parents really need to know is to put the child down to sleep withput rocking it or cuddling it to sleep, and to respond to the infant when it cries. "Cry it out" techniques are abusive if they start before the child is six months old, and need to be done carefully if tried after then.

The only use I can think of for the app is specifically advised against in your faq:

> While Newbee is great for tracking daily events and statistics, it's not really meant to be used as a digital journal or scrapbook.

grantcox 2 hours ago 0 replies      
I guess I just don't see why Newbee is so much better than existing baby trackers, that I want to invest in seeing it made. Yes the UI looks nice, but the actual features don't seem any better than the dozens of trackers that are already on app stores.

If this was an existing product on the app store, and was also just a few dollars, I may have bought Newbee because it looks prettier. But $16 for a chance to use a 1 year subscription (if it's ever made, and I have another child around the same time), of a product that doesn't seem to have any advantage other than "prettier"... I'll pass.

echolima 3 hours ago 1 reply      
As the father of a 6 week old, I am curious about the app, but I'm not sure I would use it. Maybe the wife would. I'll put a link to your KS on my blog post today; which means nothing because I have 4 readers. Sorry. But maybe I'll get slashdotted :) (is that still a thing?)
Psylocyber 3 hours ago 1 reply      
Mobile app kickstarters don't do well, because they aren't necessary.

Create the app on weekends and weeknights if you have a full-time job. Then release it and start making revenue.

Then, if you have ideas that need funding to improve the app, go for it.

Most people I talk to won't fund weekend project apps, no matter how good the concept seems. Get it out there and see how the market responds.

CmonDev 3 hours ago 1 reply      
"I've received nothing but positive feedback..."

People are generally nice because it is considered polite.

TenJack 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Just some general video feedback, the music used in your video is too scattered for me. It seems like something more soothing and upbeat would be better.
skorecky 3 hours ago 1 reply      
Why not try generating revenue from the app?
Dropbox broke internet?
2 points by petrohi  57 minutes ago   1 comment top
petrohi 53 minutes ago 0 replies      
It now has window._=function(d){ ... }
Ask HN: What are the most commonly used languages for machine learning?
6 points by dopamean  3 hours ago   2 comments top 2
jo_ 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Short answer: Python and R for academic. Java or C++ for production. Julia has some followers, LUA has a Deep Learning Implementation. Python+CUDA+C++ is very common in deep learning.


Chiming in as a machine learning researcher. My experience is primarily focused on the 'deep learning' buzzword at the moment, so people still researching SVM/NN/clustering may have different experiences.

Academic machine learning is starting to shift towards Python. Most (all?) of the main deep learning packages have either Python as the core (like PyLearn2 + Theano) or a strong Python component (like Caffe or DeepLearn). There is some Java presence (like DeepLearning4j) and some C++ mixed in for the very high performance code. Usually people will write the glue code in Python and then do the heavy matrix-intensive operations using PyCuda or cuBLAS (which are, to oversimplify, Python wrappers of C++ calls to CUDA/OpenCL code).

Some of the bigger names in Deep Learning:

(C++ w/ Python & Matlab support) Caffe: https://github.com/BVLC/caffe Their talk has links to a lot of other implementations.

(Python) PyLearn2: https://github.com/lisa-lab/pylearn2 Another popular deep-learning project.

(Java) DeepLearning 4j: https://github.com/agibsonccc/java-deeplearning

(C++ + Python) Cuda-Convnet: https://code.google.com/p/cuda-convnet/ Has C++ for the learning portions and Python glue.

swGooF 2 hours ago 0 replies      
I would say the top languages are Python and R. Many enterprises use SAS and/or SPSS. Java is often used in production settings or when dealing with Hadoop. Other less popular but still useful languages are: Julia, Octave/Matlab, and Perl.

Somewhat related: Statistical Languageshttp://101.datascience.community/2014/07/07/statistical-prog...

Here is another list:http://101.datascience.community/2012/12/31/5-free-programmi...

Ask HN: What handset do you use and why?
2 points by classicsnoot  1 hour ago   1 comment top
yarnhoj 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Nokia 920Pros > Windows Phone is actually really good + Cortana calls me sir, Nokia apps are outstanding, support for VPN and enterprise apps out of the box, I really dig the UI and unified look of the apps + xbox + windows 8Cons > Windows Phone + Cortana is a bit bratty

Wants > Experia Z3 Compact, If nokia/microsoft doesn't release a flagship small form factor phone I may go back to android just for that phone.

Ask HN: What Happened to the iPod Lineup?
3 points by tronium  5 hours ago   3 comments top 2
shogun21 5 hours ago 1 reply      
As more people are getting smart phones, the need for a dedicated music playing device is dying off.

I loved my iPod and for a long time used that in lieu of a smart phone (and monthly data plan). I'm sad to see the line go, but from a business point of view, I'm not surprised they're phasing them out.

skorecky 5 hours ago 0 replies      
iPhone is taking over the roll of the iPod. People don't want to carry around two devices, especially when it has redundant functionality. I bet the iPod line will probably die in the next few years.
Ask HN: What was the startup that got customers with failed payments back?
36 points by amitu  1 day ago   10 comments top 6
logn 15 minutes ago 0 replies      
Looks like OP got the answers needed. However, are there similar services that use actual lawyers, work on contingency basis, and have a global reach? This is probably something my local law firm would do, but I'm curious if there's a SaaS out there to initiate litigation.
aculver 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Hey Amit! I run Churn Buster at http://churnbuster.io/ . We had a blog post hit #1 here recently, so it may have been us you were thinking about. We send emails and have a real human make phone calls to customers who have repeatedly failed a charge.

On the email side, we've got a lot of optimizations and reporting baked into our service that most folks would find too difficult or time consuming to implement and maintain if they were doing this on their own. As a result, even folks who already had a standard "email customer when payment fails" webhooks implementation get much better results using Churn Buster. (For example, https://twitter.com/citadelgrad/status/499015554209185792 .) They also completely eliminate their administrative overhead and relating to failed payments. :-)

I hope you'll take us for a spin! Email me at andrew@churnbuster.io if you've got any questions or if you'd like to schedule a Skype call to talk about it.

patio11 1 day ago 1 reply      
There are two: BeStunning.net and ChurnBuster.io. I use CB, though integration is only half complete. I know both guys and they're "good people" in Chicago parlance -- would recommend either. (They have slightly different takes on the problem/solution.)
Major_Grooves 1 day ago 1 reply      
Interesting. We do the same for "regular invoices" - i.e. chase customers who fail to pay invoices. http://www.satago.com

We've had a few queries for whether we could do this for SaaS companies paying via credit card too, as a Stripe integration. I'm still not sure if there is a real/big problem to be solved here that makes it worth entering.

rfelix2121 20 hours ago 0 replies      
I'm Richard, founder of Stunning (bestunning.net). We've been dealing with handling failed payments on Stripe longer than anyone else out there (and I've been running successful SaaS apps since 2009).

I'm happy to freely share what I've learned, if anyone has questions about cutting churn and retaining SaaS customers. You can catch me on Twitter, where I'm @rfelix.

nathanpowell 1 day ago 0 replies      
We currently have our eyes on Churn Buster. It looks to be solid and we've heard very good things.
Ask HN: Anyone put OpenStack inside Docker?
3 points by diltonm  5 hours ago   discuss
Ask HN: How many of you guys like erlang
12 points by yuashizuki  18 hours ago   6 comments top 6
HashNuke 13 hours ago 0 replies      
I initially learnt Erlang to write websocket backends for browser-based games. Then found Elixir and moved on to it. I still work with the same stuff that OTP offers, along with a lot of sugary features that Elixir and it's community provides.

The Erlang syntax might be weird at first. But you'll get used to it.

Pattern matching for function arguments is a life-saver. Erlang also runs checks on your module when it gets compiled. It tells you if vars are being used or not, etc. Very handy IMHO.

The best side-effect of the concurrency model, is that your production environment, apart from config vars, will be almost same as your development environment. Unlike most languages today, you won't need a separate server program (Unicorn, Thin, Passenger, etc). You don't have to put your app behind nginx or apache. Use Cowboy (or alternatives), which is a server library for Erlang. I'll take care of stuff for you.

I write some Elixir libraries in my spare time http://github.com/HashNuke

rubiquity 6 hours ago 0 replies      
I love Erlang, though I mostly use Elixir. It's changed how I think about programming in a very refreshing way. The Erlang community is also incredibly practical. I enjoy programming languages that are born out of research, such as Rust and others, but I really enjoy Erlang because it was born out of solving a problem. We're very fortunate that the problem Erlang creators were trying to solve back in the 80s and 90s is a pretty common problem today.

It's easy to get hung up at the aesthetics of Erlang. But the parts that really change you as a programmer are the ideals that Erlang embodies. I urge you to continue on, or learn Erlang by way of Elixir.

bjourne 7 hours ago 0 replies      
Not so fond of it. The syntax is ok (after a while), but the way records work is annoying. You have to use a lot of syntax to reach into records containing other records, especially if you want to change a field in a record in a record. They are also compile-time only and "disappears" after compilation (they become tagged lists).

No builtin syntax for dicts.

Hot code-swapping is its killer feature though. A system mostly written in Erlang can run multiple versions of itself and gradually upgrade data to the new version or downgrade to the old one. E.g your webserver can go from 1.0 to 1.1 without having to suffer even a second of downtime. No other language that I know of has that feature.

jw2013 14 hours ago 0 replies      
For the language I love its concurrency model; creating thousands of "processes" at your PC/laptop is no problem. Message passing over shared memory also makes your distributed program easy to reason about. When talking about Erlang, you can't avoid OTP. It makes creating fault tolerant system at ease. Putting these two pieces together you have a very scalable fault tolerant distributed system.

I don't like the syntax of erlang though. And the missing of macro makes me switch to Elixir.

amitu 12 hours ago 0 replies      
I loved erlang. I still do. To me it is the most well designed language/library set for distributed programming. I love their approach about error handling.

But I find golang much more accessible. Erlang does not scale down, for simpler tasks, erlang feels like an overkill.

Also while I love erlang syntax, and the functional style, my colleagues find golang lot more palatable than erlang.

lastofus 14 hours ago 0 replies      
I enjoyed learning and using it. The syntax is annoying though.

These days I've been happy with Python + gevent for the kinds of things I was using Erlang for (writing load test scripts w/ lots of concurrent connections). I never had much need for what OTP offers.

Ask HN: What is the worst interview question you've ever been asked?
8 points by mavsman  22 hours ago   34 comments top 16
squiguy7 2 hours ago 1 reply      
"If you are in a room with 100 good ninjas and 1 evil ninja and the lights go off, how do you save all of the ninjas?"

This is my favorite because it made so much sense and clearly illustrated my problem solving skills. I said "Leave" as I got up and left.

tptacek 18 hours ago 2 replies      
In addition to being asked whether she'd really be able to handle the demands of an IT job AND be an adequate mother, my wife Erin was (in a different interview) also asked to diagnose a welt on the naked ass of the owner of a hosting company.

I wish I could get my brain to dial in on all the stupid tech puzzle questions me and my friends used to devise for interviewers, but when I think "bad interview question" now, I have a hard time getting past the abuse my partner took in these farcical wastes of time.

rubiquity 4 hours ago 0 replies      
To try and convey I really enjoy programming I briefly described a couple things I work on in my spare time. The interviewer countered with:

"We're looking for really committed team members. Is your side project going to interfere with your responsibilities here?"

I ran quickly after that. Oddly enough that wasn't even the worst thing they said during the interview.

xpto123 9 hours ago 1 reply      
I find asking a developer to write code on a whiteboard or word document to make not much sense. I was asked how many bytes are there in x amount of space, which i find as not much to do with competence in software development.

A follow up question is, whats the point in asking these questions, any idea on what the goal is? There has to be an intention behind it.

JCJoverTCP 3 hours ago 0 replies      
after hundreds of infosec interviews in the past ~5 years, i leave you with this gem: "describe a 'padding oracle' attack, what versions of Oracle does it affect?" this was not a trick question.i wish there was a topic: 'worst answers you've given to interview questions?' The sheer amount of interviews i have been on speaks to my epic failure here.
bitshepherd 20 hours ago 1 reply      
One interviewer trotted out the old Microsoft "Why are manhole covers round?" question.

Another one asked me "how do you make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich?"

Both major gaming companies.

stevenjohns 20 hours ago 1 reply      
"Do you brush before you floss, or do you floss before you brush?"

I was so stunned and self-conscious that I might have had something stuck in my teeth to the point where after the interview I spent about a good 2 minutes looking at my teeth in the bathroom mirror.

I still don't know why they asked such a question. What would they have asked the next person? "Do you fold or scrunch toilet paper" ?

MalcolmDiggs 19 hours ago 3 replies      
I hate the "What is your greatest weakness?" question. It's a great question for a politician, not so much for a software developer. My answer is usually "heroin"...just to see their response.
danielweber 3 hours ago 0 replies      
"Are you just here to waste my time?"
dagw 5 hours ago 0 replies      
"Do you have children?"
johnm111888 5 hours ago 0 replies      
"why are you interviewing for this position?" awful question in my opinion.
emcarey 20 hours ago 0 replies      
Do you like eating salad for lunch? which was a leading question because after I said yes the person interviewing me said, oh good because we are more salad type people here.
victorhn 3 hours ago 0 replies      
What are your religious beliefs?
general_failure 21 hours ago 0 replies      
I feel you should ask the question the other way around. What is a good interview question given the scarcity of them.

In general, most questions that do not involve what you are going to work on or what you have already worked on is bad. What you want to judge is how smart a person is around the topics that he knows and has worked on. Not on things that you expect him to know. A smart person will learn whatever is needed for the job.

dreamweapon 22 hours ago 0 replies      
No single worst one: just all the sordid "Fermi questions" designed, it seems, to make the interviewer feel smart -- so godawful smart, in fact, that he can read your soul like a blueprint based on how you answer a captive whiteboard session about sorting a quadrillion bowling balls using only tinker toys and yard of string; sieving primes using roman numerals; or whatever might strike his fancy at the moment.
techdog 20 hours ago 0 replies      
I was asked some riddle that was so ridiculous I can't even remember it now. It was like I was suddenly in a game show and had 5 minutes to complete a riddle. This was at the end of 4.5 hours of interviewing. The questions had been really good all day until then.

Major search company.

Ask HN: Why is a 5K monitor exciting?
5 points by tenpoundhammer  16 hours ago   8 comments top 5
pedalpete 15 hours ago 2 replies      
At 27", I don't think it is. You can think about pixel size and then how many pixels are on the screen, as screen sizes get larger, so do pixels. On a 27" 1080p monitor, are you really looking at the pixels and thinking they are too large? How about 4k? We barely touched the surface of 4k at 27" and then we go and squeeze an extra 40% more pixels into the same size. I'd say at 50"+ screen maybe that would be noticeable, but at 27"?

Also, what content is going to be made for 5k? We're just getting 1080p and 4k is on the horizon. Will media companies jump to Apple's 5k? How good are website images going to look (depends on dpi I suppose), but that's a lot of pixels.

Then comes what I find the strangest part. Yesterday there was a question on Quora about why Apple only has an 8megapixel camera in the iPhone. http://www.quora.com/Why-did-Apple-use-an-8-megapixel-camera... almost all the comments say "pixels don't matter", and on 1080p monitors, I'd tend to agree with them.

But now you've got photos with essentially a 4k resolution, and everybody jumping up and down that pixels don't count. Then today, we have all this talk about how the new iMac has so many pixels on the screen and how great that is. So which is it? Pixels don't count, or pixels do count? How can they not count on capture, but count on presentation (I would accept that the reverse could be true).

seanmcdirmid 15 hours ago 1 reply      
When we read text on a monitor, lots of tricks are needed to make it look acceptable given that the number of pixels involved are so few: anti aliasing, font hinting to remove display artifactsm and so on. These are only partially effective, and you can usually see the pixels in some way. For vectors it's even worse...no font hinting, sub pixel alignments are common, plenty of crappy artifacts. Compare to reading from a high ppi laser printer...everything looks so nice and smooth. Today, our displays are still dot matrix.

Basically, a 5K monitor gives you the experience of not being able to see the pixels...what you see looks more like a high quality printout and less like pixel art.

paulmatthijs 11 hours ago 0 replies      
The only use I can think of is Media Production, and I'd buy one in an instant. 5K means you can have a 4k preview with stuff on the side (mixer, bin) or a 8k RED source that you crop with more than enough real estate to have a proper view of the end result. Sounds a lot better than working with a 8K stream on 2.5K. The sound guys are going to happy too: more plugins in view, and more faders in Pro Tools. Who said Apple isn't targeted at the Pro's anymore?
TobbenTM 8 hours ago 0 replies      
Compared to the standard 4K or compared to 1080p?
dkarapetyan 16 hours ago 0 replies      
It's not. It's just another toy. Here's a picture of Thompson and Ritchie creating Unix: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unix#History. I don't see any 5K monitors.
Small town, big ideas, no one to talk to
14 points by macu  1 day ago   14 comments top 9
pedalpete 1 day ago 1 reply      
My background is somewhat similar to yours. I'm from a small(ish) Canadian town as well (Whistler, BC). I've always had big ideas, didn't know how to get them out there.

I was fortunate that I had been working back and forth in LA, and was exposed to some people and expertise, but for my first start-up, I was in Whislter, teaching myself how to code, no other programmers locally, no tech community etc etc. I think in some ways it can be a benefit more than a hindrance. You get to focus on your idea and just get it done.

I've spent a lot of time in the Valley, as well as other start-up hubs, and I can tell you, a lot of the people in these places are just full of talk, a lot of it is just a bubble and echo chamber.

On the flip side, it's great to have a sounding board of knowledgeable people, that's what's so great about getting feedback from HN.

However, if you look where you are, you've probably got better access than you think. You don't have to run all the way to California, Montreal, Boston and NYC all have great tech communities, and you don't have to move there. Find interesting meetups that are around the area you're idea is, and go for a night or two (assuming you can get the time off work). If your market is as large as you think, you might even find something in Halifax.

The Valley is cool and all, but I was very surprised the last time I went to the HTML5 conference, most of the people there where actually quite behind on the technology stack/experience compared to the people I work with in Sydney, Australia.

One thing to consider, when you think about the faraway magical land of Silicon Valley, though the valley has a large number of unique technologies and businesses, most people are still working on your basic I/O type apps.

doctorwho 1 day ago 1 reply      
Ignore your co-workers. Don't wait. Just get started.

Waiting kills startups.

Put up a landing page, build 1.0, start figuring out if anyone would really buy your product/service. If you can't get anyone to bite, maybe the idea isn't ready. If you get any traction then you know the market is there.

Living in "small town" NS has some advantages. You probably have a decent internet connection and your current paycheque goes a LOT further than it would in the big city. If you decide to quit your job and dive into your startup full time you'll have a longer runway.

You are NOT alone. You ARE part of the world. You can make connections HERE (you've already started) or reddit or just about any other place where other people in the same situation as you hang out.

canterburry 22 hours ago 0 replies      
I am in Silicon Valley and Silicon Valley won't help you much. What does help is talking to anyone who is your target customer...unless the early adopter Silicon Valley crowd is your target market.

Find where your target customer hangs out, maybe forums, blogs etc and approach them there. Start blogging about your idea and people will be able to find you easier. You'd be surprised what kind of opportunities may come your way if you just start putting your thoughts out there.

rhubarbcustard 1 day ago 1 reply      
You don't need to wait for permission to build this thing.

Start now.

Building a product and marketing it are two completely different things. Most of your concerns are connected to the marketing aspect (no connections etc) but there doesn't seem to be anything stopping your from building it?

If you build this thing and it is a flop then you still come out with a few wins: you show yourself to be someone capable of building a complete/ussable system and you have something to put onto your CV. You'll also probably learn a bunch of new things and come out a better developer.

Once you've built a proof of concept/MVP then you are in a better position to attract some people: showing your work to people is going to get more interest than "I've got this idea but I've done nothing with it" will.

Sales and marketing are a whole different ballgame and are fricking hard but I don't think you need to worry about those yet. Build the thing first, then worry. You have nothing to lose from building it and everything to gain.

"Would you focus on networking and save your ideas until you felt like you were part of the world? Would you focus on saving money, and plan to move and get a foothold in California? Would you ask for time off work and develop a prototype in private?"

None of those, I would build the prototype in my spare time, the safest option as you still have your status quo if the product does not take off. The Web gives us freedom to start companies for next to no money from anywhere in the world, the fact you are not in Silicon Valley does not hold you back at all.

Stop looking for excuses and getting to work!

Good luck.

JSeymourATL 1 day ago 0 replies      
> don't have any professional connections, and don't know who to talk to...

Search HN posts, news stories, blog posts, and Linkedin for potentially interesting contacts working in and around your space. Reach out to them on a professional networking basis. You'll be surprised how many folks will be receptive to your call/email.

coralreef 1 day ago 0 replies      
One thing to consider is you can't just move to the US. You need a proper visa, which as a Canadian means either a TN or H1B most likely. So you'd need to get a job first, and you'd need the proper experience or degree qualifications for that visa. Unless your business was already successful and qualified under another type of visa.

If you're okay with moving, consider moving to Montreal or Toronto.

Why not just build the first iteration of the product in your spare time and see where that takes you first?

frozenport 1 day ago 0 replies      
Use the free time and isolation to build.
japhyr 1 day ago 0 replies      
Have you ever attended a conference? I live in a small town in Alaska, and I don't know anyone else in my town who writes code. I started attending Pycon, and it opened up a world of connections for me. Pycon is in Montreal again in April, if you're interested in Python at all.
gphilip 1 day ago 0 replies      
Off topic: It may be a good idea to prepend an "Ask HN:" to the title to get more visibility.
Ask HN: Can I get feedback on my site?
7 points by notastartup  22 hours ago   8 comments top 6
Gustomaximus 14 hours ago 1 reply      
My questions:

- Price (if only typical example) would be interesting.- Can you reverse scrape website code (non-technical person here...)? Occasionally I would be interested in finding people that don't have a certain type of code on their website for prospecting.- Can you scrape across a site - e.g if I send you a domain can you crawl pages or do you need each specific URL?

As for the website - generally it's good. 1) There is not a good direct call-to-action above the fold. I would update the 'Send URL's" to something more sales directed like 'Get a quote' and remove the 'read on' button that does nothing 2) I would make the blog more prominent once you enrich the information

This could be a useful service for me. Thanks for sharing.

hackerboos 6 hours ago 0 replies      
BorisMelnik 13 hours ago 0 replies      
I could see myself using this service. Seems very user friendly and customer service friendly. great logo. loved how you made it part of your domain / TLD. would also like to see price. in situations like these since you said you cannot show price due to too many scenarios, what you can do is show some example jobs with prices that you've done in the past.
Danilka 21 hours ago 1 reply      
1. Beautiful looking page!2. I didn't answer the following questions: - What are the prices? - How do you actually do it? (request form suggested that you do it nearly manually) - What are the benefits of using you? (i.e. We can scrap any kind of chaptcha protected data by using 1M different hosts) - How fast would you do it? - How legal is it? - Is there API or another way of automatically integrating?3. You kind of told me the same thing under Why & Features

P.S. I'm actually interested: dan[a)danilinkcom

_RPM 17 hours ago 0 replies      
Cool logo bro. I would scale it down a bit though, in my opinion. Also the active color for the top menu links seems strange to me and it definitely shocked me. The logo is great. It looks like a lot of thought / work / blood went into designing it.
MalcolmDiggs 19 hours ago 0 replies      
Love the look, I was definitely left wondering about the price though. And possibly the use-cases and legal implications of the service.

Also it'd be worth figuring out a way to differentiate yourself from import.io, as that service is getting reasonably established.

Ask HN: Browser add-on: Have you or your friends made any money from them?
6 points by rgovind  22 hours ago   3 comments top 2
goyalpulkit 10 hours ago 0 replies      
We built one that gives movie/tv show suggestions with every new tab. There's a link to buy that movie on Amazon which uses our affiliate code. Here is the extension: http://goo.gl/eiYqco

It was published last month and two purchases were made through our Affiliate code, so I would say about $5/month

orionblastar 21 hours ago 1 reply      
We once tried to make a VBScript add on for Netscape and Firefox. I don't think there was that much interest in it after JavaScript was more widely adopted. A lot of websites used to be written in VBScript instead of JavaScript for Internet Explorer only. But then they also used ActiveX controls as well.

Your best bet would be something that searches for prices on Amazon and uses your Amazon Affiliate code for when they buy something you get a commission. You could do that for any affiliate program.

Ask HN: How to be patient when learning?
2 points by bob31  8 hours ago   4 comments top 3
cblock811 2 hours ago 0 replies      
I think taking time to reflect on the progress you made in the last week/month can be good to keep you from burning out. That or finding someone who has a mastery of what you're learning and just talking with them about what you have been doing. Both of those helped me get through learning programming for the first time.
zzzzz_ 8 hours ago 0 replies      
Eternal September?
aligajani 8 hours ago 1 reply      
What exactly is the problem that you're facing?
How Do You Want to Be Recruited?
10 points by podbaydoors  1 day ago   12 comments top 8
rubiquity 1 day ago 0 replies      
For me it's all about not wasting my time, not because I'm a big deal, because I'm not, but because this happened frequently before I went freelance. There are so many non-starters when it comes to jobs, why do companies insist on leaving these out until the very end?

Warning: the content below is slightly dramatic but a pretty fair representation of this game.

1) Tell me the salary range up front.

2) Tell me whether you're down with remote up front.

Great, we got past 1 & 2. Let's move on:

3) Let's talk about best practices. These are important to me because it makes my life at work pleasant.

4) Great, show me proof of these best practices you talk about. See, I knew you were a dirty liar. You're not doing <best practice> because Visionary/CEO/Financier/Business person that is guaranteed to make my life a living hell doesn't see the value in it.

If we make it past 3 and 4 (rare), we're onto salary negotiation!

5) Your idea is never exciting enough to where I'll want to do it for less than my market value.

6) Why yes, I do love programming. No, I won't work for less just because I love doing it.

s3b 16 hours ago 0 replies      
I want a transparent process where I know in advance what I'm getting into. I'd like to know how much they're willing to pay(the range) and what exactly I would be expected to do - the role as well as the product I'd be working on. I'd also like to know about the interview process and how long after an interview I'd be told the result (preferably immediately). Also tell me about the sort of people I'll be working with - team size, roles, backgrounds etc. Once I have that information, it's easier for me to decide on whether to attend the interview or not.
greenyoda 1 day ago 1 reply      
If the recruiter can't tell me a salary range for the job up front, I'm not interested. Why should I waste days of my life interviewing only to find out at the end that they're offering me the wonderful opportunity to take a 50% pay cut?
jerven 1 day ago 0 replies      
The inverse of what you describe;) thoughtful personal customized with understanding both "me" and your client while respecting everyone's time. It is not magic it's time consuming work.
saddestcatever 1 day ago 0 replies      
Honestly, I don't want to be contacted by a recruiter.

I want a list of companies that are looking to hire. I want a list that I can individually research, then find a way to contact them.

zaccus 1 day ago 0 replies      
I have no interest in working with a recruiter at all. I'm fully capable of applying to a company directly if I am interested. Recruiters are parasites who need to get a real job.
MalcolmDiggs 1 day ago 1 reply      
I think a lot of recruiters fail to understand that many tech folks (like myself) simply don't want to work for the kind of company that would hire an outside recruiter, period. So...how do I want to be recruited? Only by actual employees of the company I'd be working for. No middle men.
xpto123 1 day ago 0 replies      
For me the main problem is not the recruiting, its a service worth paying for. The problem is when the recruitment company becomes the employer by inserting themselves in the middle via a services contract and asking 25% for the life of the contract.

There is basically no added value after the initial contact its purelly taking advantage of the situation in order to insert themselves as a middleman with interests often different than both the contractor and the client.

Ask HN: Startup jobs site
9 points by mavsman  1 day ago   7 comments top 6
wnm 1 day ago 0 replies      
This really depends on where you live!

For startup hubs such as San Francisco, New York etc, I think the best job boards are https://jobs.github.com/, http://careers.stackoverflow.com/jobs/, http://www.authenticjobs.com/, and https://angel.co/jobs

Angellist as mentioned on another comment is also great for just finding startups.

I also used to find really good city specific sites with a google search like "startups [CITY NAME]" or even "startup jobs [CITY NAME]"

for berlin for example one of the first hits is: http://berlinstartupjobs.com/

Also, there is a huuuge list with job boards, currated by the guys from underdog.io -> https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/pub?key=0AlOCi7qqICWzdEh...

if you are interested in remote jobs, and dont want to wade through all those job boards yourself, subscribe to http://remoteworknewsletter.com and set a couple of filters to only receive jobs that are relevant to you

JSeymourATL 23 hours ago 0 replies      
> One of my main criteria is a relatively small company, preferably a mature startup.

Search the news archives for startups in the local business journal corresponding to the market where you're interested in living/working.

Go back to 2009-13, put together a hit-list of promising targets, see where they are today. In Dallas> http://www.bizjournals.com/dallas/print-edition/2013/09/20/n...

*Pro-Tip: Reach out to the CEO directly, not all jobs are posted.

davidshariff 10 hours ago 0 replies      
If your based in the UK you can try http://workinstartups.com/
cjbarber 19 hours ago 0 replies      
Hi! Hopefully this is cool/helpful:


would love your thoughts. email in profile.

nostrademons 1 day ago 1 reply      
One option might be to go to sites that only display startups, eg. CrunchBase (crunchbase.com), AngelList (angel.co/jobs), Startupers (startupers.com), StartupHire (startuphire.com), and just apply to or cold-email companies listed there.

Beyond that, feel free to e-mail me (my address is in my profile, slightly obfuscated)...I'm founding a startup that's aimed at people like you, and I'd love to get your feedback on a new product concept.

thegenius 1 day ago 0 replies      
often times startup ceos are accessible, so you might really dig into a company and its ceo, and write a few well thought out letters to the ones that resonate with you the most. be careful here - there's a ton of smoke and mirrors in this space and you could end up with a real egomaniac that's done better blowing smoke than delivering value. startup ceos want talent who will scale our their visions - the more that you can demonstrate that you just want to work hard learning how to solve the problems theyre working on, the more compelling you will be. good luck - theres a lot of opportunity out there.
Ask HN: What do startups pay business attorneys for emails?
2 points by larrys  21 hours ago   3 comments top 2
BorisMelnik 13 hours ago 0 replies      
I had an attorney send a 6 sentence email to a stock photo company and he charged me $325 which included 1 additional correspondence of a similar length.
kayhi 21 hours ago 1 reply      
Most charge by time not by the number or type of interaction
How to deal with arrogant developers?
3 points by _RPM  17 hours ago   8 comments top 7
vishalchandra 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Step 1. Make sure that I am disagreeing in the right spirit and communicating in the right way. See disagreement diagram: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Graham%27s_Hierarchy_... Typically this should ensure that the following discussion is done in the right spirit because I would guess developers tend to be logic driven.

Step 2. In the scenario that even this does not work or cannot be applied easily, then ask that "If we wanted to test out which option between these two, three approaches will work better, than what test could we conduct ?" Focus on defining a test to validate assumptions, rather than arguing for or against an option.

xpto123 9 hours ago 0 replies      
You would get more replies by giving a couple concrete examples. This is culture dependent, but the feedback that is most well received is the one someone asked for. Are you providing a lot of unsolicited feddback on other peoples work?

That might come accross wrongly, ask yourself how you would respond if someone told you the same things you are telling them. Trust takes time to build.

ptrckbrwn 16 hours ago 1 reply      
Humbleness is an important quality of someone who is ready to learn: If someone is arrogant they've agreed that they're the best they can aspire to be. Fire accordingly.
ozuvedi 16 hours ago 0 replies      
Not sure if it's arrogance but my team mate always tries to win (i might be wrong). For example, if we are talking about topic A, as soon as she realizes what she's saying isn't correct, she jumps to another topic or starts to say " Yeah , Yeah I know that... but.... ) haha.... As a friend she is good with all..... professionally i wish I wasn't working with her....
chrisbennet 11 hours ago 0 replies      
Change jobs.:-)But seriously, look for this sort of behavior in the job interview. Interviews are a 2 way street.
catmanjan 17 hours ago 0 replies      
Nothing, you're obviously in a place of lesser power if you're asking for tips on the internet - rather than calling them out on it then and there!
kphild 9 hours ago 0 replies      
Programming is hell as it is. Why make it even worse with your smarty pants "advice"? As long as the boss does not mind, their code is good enough.
Ask HN: What's the best way to stay up to date with software dependency updates?
4 points by eventemitter  1 day ago   3 comments top 3
xamde 23 hours ago 0 replies      
danieljscott 20 hours ago 0 replies      

For java/maven projects. Not really news, but keeps you informed about updates.

clyfe 1 day ago 0 replies      
Use something like Bundler, Maven, Pip, npm, sbt. For example bundler has the `$> bundler outdated` command that shows dependencies that have new versions.
Ask HN: Any startups here that moved off of BaaS (ex. Parse, Kinvey, Kii)? Why?
13 points by mi3law  1 day ago   6 comments top 3
tpae 1 day ago 1 reply      
I used Parse in South Korea to build mobile apps quickly, and the entire experience has been great.


The latency from Parse data centers to South Korean consumers became an issue, and our users were complaining slow response time.

The executive decision came when Parse was having scheduled maintenance, which took place somewhere between 11pm~5am in PST, which turned out to be our busiest time during a business day, in KST (Korea Standard Time).

I had to re-build the entire infrastructure from scratch, import data from Parse, but overall it wasn't a pleasant experience.

The biggest problems for me when using BaaS, was that I had no control over their business decisions, and sometimes you get screwed over and at best they can say is, "Sorry."

BaaS is like the backbone to your application, if it goes down, it could mean the end for a fragile startup.

MalcolmDiggs 1 day ago 0 replies      
We gave Parse a spin, a few times actually. Mostly just for hobby projects. It was proposed for a production build but the general consensus on our team was "externalize anything you want except the core product...because we can't afford the implications of vendor lock-in there".
jtfairbank 1 day ago 1 reply      
I can tell you why we're going with a Baas (Firebase).
Ask HN: In SF next week. Any tech offices I can visit?
8 points by chuhnk  2 days ago   6 comments top 5
BorisMelnik 13 hours ago 0 replies      
This is a great idea! Hope this thread continues. I am out of Miami right now and rarely get to see cool tech offices. Would love to get a list going of tech offices that allow scheduled visits or quick tours.
oswalpalash 1 day ago 0 replies      
I'm coming for the GSoC reunion to SJ as well. Hopefully I can go to some offices on this thread! +1 from me :)
MalcolmDiggs 2 days ago 0 replies      
The guys at Heap Analytics send out an open offer to visit their offices when you sign up for their service. (As a P.S. in their welcome email). They're at 2nd and Bryant. Might be worth checking out.
nlstitch 2 days ago 0 replies      
Hi, Im visiting SV next week as well. (Im from The Netherlands). Could I join you when you visit something :-)?
lstrope 1 day ago 1 reply      
Stop by the Trumaker HQ and get fitted while you're here.


Gravit Open Source Design Tool Release Candidate #1
3 points by quasado  1 day ago   1 comment top
mfsampson 9 hours ago 0 replies      
This looks nice. I used to love Fireworks. Was sad when it was discontinued. Will check this out.
Ask HN: What TLD do you use for your personal site and email?
2 points by buttsex  1 day ago   6 comments top 5
jordsmi 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Currently have a .me for my personal email but am switching to a .com soon.

For which TLD to choose, it really depends on the use case. For just personal email, or if your site is catered to more tech people you can really use anything. If it is being used more for the public I'd be careful because many people don't know things past .com or .net

I often get .co for sites and it usually works fine, but sometimes I've seen non tech savvy people mistake it as a typo and send emails to the .com version

hashtag 1 day ago 0 replies      
These days I am moving away from anything that isn't a .com. I have a couple domains that I think are other TLD for legacy reasons but trying hard not to buy anything that isn't a .com generally
gregcohn 1 day ago 0 replies      
Our company name is a .co. It is generally fine but does lead to some email going astray as people, either out of habit, assumption, or auto-correct, occasionally address it to the .com variant.
sogen 1 day ago 0 replies      
.me seems to be somewhat popular.

what about .net?

nice username btw

emsy 1 day ago 1 reply      
I use an .email TLD. Quite long and most people don't know it yet but for dedicated email usage it fits quite well.
Ask HN: Desktop Linux Hardware Suggestions
4 points by talos  1 day ago   7 comments top 5
brudgers 1 day ago 1 reply      
If the company is supplying the computer, it's a bit of a false savings to worry about $100 for Windows or an extra $100 for an SSD. It's not that wasting money is good, it's that the normal costs of doing business are the normal costs of doing business.

For a business computer, I'd strongly consider computers with business class warranties - e.g. 3 years Next Business Day on-site [or better]. It just doesn't make economic sense to fool around.

Personally, I'd go with Dell. Shopping is relatively easy and straight forward. For cheapness I'd look at refurbished/scratch-n-dent/previously-ordered-new from the outlet [which is not the same as DFS].

I've bought two personal machines that way. My Precision T7400 is pushing seven years old without a glitch, running out of expansion capacity or short of processing power. The Vostro I bought my son is pushing three years. Again, no substantial issues.

schrodingersCat 1 day ago 1 reply      
I assume you want a desktop computer? Dell has great hardware support for debian/ubuntu and RH/Cent OS. I (think) you can purchase a desktop without an OS from their SMB store. Definitely get something with a spinning platter and pop in your own SSD. It will save you a lot of money.Why not build your own desktop? If you want to get the best deal and guaranteed hardware support, read some component reviews on http://www.phoronix.com/ and put it together yourself. Good luck!
walterbell 1 day ago 0 replies      
Dell T20, Xeon ECC $500 no OS, RHEL support, up to 6 disks possible, up to 32 GB RAM.

Only downside is that it is targeted at lower-power server scenarios, so will not support add-on GPUs as it only has a 290W power supply.

Torgo 1 day ago 0 replies      
I don't play a lot of games, so getting something with an onboard Intel GPU has made my life so much better. It just works.
wmf 1 day ago 0 replies      
Maybe a Brix Pro since it has the top Intel GPU.
Ask HN: What would you hack on an 12-hour flight?
4 points by nlstitch  1 day ago   13 comments top 9
philiphodgen 12 hours ago 0 replies      
Having done such flights multiple times, here is my suggestion. You will be absolutely brain dead so take dumb monkey work. :-) Do your GTD weekly review. Clear your inbox. Etc.

Having told you that, however, there was a 15 hour flight (Emirates LAX - DXB) when I wrote a 40 page ebook. I couldn't sleep so I just banged it out.

Also, most sane airlines have power outlets. Sane = carriers that are non-U.S. It has been a long time since I have flown an American carrier. So don't worry about power.

pjungwir 23 hours ago 0 replies      
I have a C hobby project I worked on during a couple flights the other week, but if I flew again I'd probably bring this:


. . . along with paper for working the exercises.

gmanis 1 day ago 1 reply      
Work on something with a small but specific goal. Be it unit tests, programming problems or a simple CRUD app in a new language. You should feel accomplished at the end.
27182818284 1 day ago 0 replies      
If you code normally, I'd say take advantage of the change in context to focus your brain on something completely different. Like designing a conlang or reading the most reviewed Capote works or heck, just finding a couple of people you can talk to if the plane isn't crowded. An overseas flight will have interesting people with interesting stories.
S4M 1 day ago 0 replies      
You can work on stuff that don't require any graphical interface, just a REPL, so you could limit the use of your battery:

- project Euler

- 4clojure

- maths and stats stuff

- artificial intelligence

- chat bot

If you have an existing project, maybe you can find a part of it where you can work in complete isolation.

napolux 1 day ago 0 replies      
If you are proficient in one mobile technology 12 hours should be enough to build a little app :P

My latest iOS app took me just 20 hours totally. (still waiting for Apple approval)

JoachimSchipper 1 day ago 0 replies      
I read "the tangled web" (web security) on my last long flight. Recommended; search for "hilarious" to find the most painful bits.
wnm 1 day ago 0 replies      
sounds boring, but i would probably work on test coverage for existing projects, because i don't need internet for that, and i can stop whenever i run out of battery...
chippy 1 day ago 1 reply      
With or without Internet?
Ask HN: What is your daily rate?
80 points by xpto123  2 days ago   103 comments top 44
jasonkester 2 days ago 1 reply      
This actually comes up quite often. Here's one recent instance:


... and here's my explanation from that thread, on why it's a very bad idea to rely on the responses you'll get when you ask the question here:

This would probably work better as a poll or an offsite, anonymous survey. I don't think you'll get very accurate results from limiting yourself to the small fraction of developers who:

  - don't mind disclosing their salary in public  - don't have any co-workers, employers, or clients who read this site  - have a single fixed rate that they charge everybody  - don't plan to change their rate in the future  - make enough to not feel silly disclosing their rate in public  - don't make so much that they'll feel like they're just bragging
I'd personally be happy to tick a box, but I'm not going to quote my rate here.

EDIT: Here's a recent poll, with numbers severely skewed because the author initially capped it at $200k/year, thus losing granularity from the roughly 50% of early responders who were earning north of that:


noelwelsh 2 days ago 1 reply      
Let me give a quick rundown of rates I've heard for contract developers in London. Please add comments if you feel this doesn't reflect the truth or you have additions to make. Do note I'm specifically referring to contract developers in London.

Highest rates are working in finance. For specialised skills one can get around 1000 per day. 700 is more typical. This is in the context of Scala and "big data" developers.

Outside of finance Scala developers typically get 500-600 per day. Ruby seems to be 400-500, with PHP in the region 300-400.

As always, the rarer your skills the more you can charge. Assuming of course your skills are in demand. As a contract developer you're a bit of a commodity anyway. You're a "Ruby developer" or a "Scala developer" and are seen as plug-compatible with other developers in your class. If you want to charge more (or work less) stop being a contract developer. Become the go-to person in a particular niche, by publishing the best content about that niche, and people will seek you out. Then you can charge more. Oh, and you also want to work for people with money. I know from experience working within education is a great way to be poor.

justacoward90 2 days ago 3 replies      
$1600/day, 8 hours/day, 5 days/week, remote (NO TRAVEL), USA. I write software for startups that have raised in the $5-20M range with at least $1M/year revenue. My software is mostly written in C, C++, Java, Python, Ruby, JavaScript. I began programming more than 15 years ago, although I only "officially" entered the industry during 2010.

Don't set my salary as some sort of goal. Lawyers with 1/5th of my experience or talent go for 2-5x easily. Hell, I should go get a JD.

tptacek 1 day ago 0 replies      
I'm not in a position to share what my rate was at Matasano, but now that I've moved on from there: my personal daily rate is $3k. I'm more likely to do work for free than to work for a single day.
anthonyby 2 days ago 2 replies      
My current daily rate is $9/hour, I work in Indonesia I work as iOS Developer, I have 8 years of experience in IT and only 1 year in iOS Dev.

But I hope my hour rate will increase soon :)

jasonswett 2 days ago 1 reply      
> I believe that services companies and recruiters make a living of hiding this information from the developer community, and often take a 20-25% cut just for sending an email with a CV, a second email to schedule an interview and sending a contract for signature over the post.

Don't mix up hard work and valuable work. If a recruiter approaches you with a client for you and all you have to do is accept the job, that saves you a lot of the hassle of going out and finding a new client. If I sell you a $100 bill for $50, why should you care how much effort it took for me to get that $100 bill?

Another thought: once you get above a certain rate it ceases to make sense to work with staffing agencies. Staffing agencies in my experience usually seem to be willing to pay $30-80/hr, and I'm guessing they probably bill out at about twice what they're paying you. So if they advertise $50/hr as the rate for a particular gig, they're probably billing the client $100/hr, and if your rate is $150, that's a total no-go from the start.

My advice would be to not worry about what anyone else charges. There will always be people who charge more than you and less than you, and it varies wildly. There will always be businesses that will be absolutely shocked by a rate another business would find totally reasonable.

The way I handle my hourly rate is to get a client at $X/hr, and once I've been working at $X/hr for a few months, set a goal to get a new client at $1.5X/hr or $2X/hr by a certain date. Then $2X becomes the new $X and I repeat the process. In this way I've tripled my rate from what it originally was.

I don't share my rate publicly because I don't want a client in 2015 to say, "Well, I saw that you were charging $0.5X in 2014, so why are you asking for $X now?"

instakill 2 days ago 2 replies      
$80 - $150 per hour (depending on the project) capped at 10 hours per week. Live in a GMT +2 area.

4 years rails XP. Help maintain a very big legacy codebase and have built a rails backend that served an education site that got thousands of concurrent visitors at peak.

Know enough devops to provision a secure server, and do deployments via capistrano or ansible.

istoselidas 1 day ago 1 reply      
I am working from Greece, working remotely, my daily rate is approximately 200euro per day (before taxes), 4 days per week (it depends a bit as I am getting paid in dollars), working 9 hours per day (one hour is "paid" break).

5 years of experience as a rails developer, 8 years of experience as a web developer (full stack as I have helped on the server and our app is on angular).

To be honest, I enjoy the team and the company I am working on, even if I believe I could find a better salary. Btw my salary is about 4 times more than the average salary in Greece.

majc2 2 days ago 2 replies      
I don't think your hypothesis is correct. There are sites out there that already aggregate the permanent and contract markets. (i.e. itjobswatch.co.uk) - I'm sure others exist for other territories.

I know its fashionable to bash recruiters - and man do a bunch of them deserve it. But for contractors/freelancers - if you don't like selling then service companies/recruiters are your friend. Quit thinking of them as useless and start thinking about them as a sales channel who do something for you that you don't like. The key is to find the smart operators - who want to build a long term relationship (want to meet face to face etc etc) and don't talk crap. But thats about you taking the time to vet. Although I seldom need to employ because I'm doing a lot of my own sales, its a good backup and this works well in my market place (and I know of others in other markets who follow similar strategies), your mileage may vary.

timwaagh 2 days ago 1 reply      
my current employer gives me 11 EUR/hr. However i charge 15 EUR/hr for smaller freelance jobs.

i work as an (mainly php)associate software engineer, in the netherlands, have a half year of experience. my main skills are LAMP.

I am interested in a remote positions, as well as local (but i am particular about which time of day I work).

davewasthere 2 days ago 1 reply      
My current daily rate is USD$640/day, I work in UK/Aus/NZ predominantly. (remote and travelling mostly)

I work as a Full Stack .Net Developer/Architect for web applications, I have 16+ years of experience, with main skills in C#, MVC, jQuery, EntityFramework, SQL, Agile.

Am not an exceptional developer, but I have a good working relationship with my clients to help deliver on their projects. I don't actively network (that I'm aware of) but seem to get work through personal referrals, so must be doing something right.

TamDenholm 2 days ago 1 reply      
400 + VAT, UK.

PHP Developer and not even a top notch one, i'm solid, but no rockstar, i am however full stack and I have other generic business skills. I also have an excellent portfolio with some very large names on them as well as almost 10 years experience doing this.

You dont need to be an amazing developer to be successful, i'd actually say theres actually more value in getting complimentary skills rather than the last 10% developer skill which is what takes the longest to achieve anyway.

ddorian43 2 days ago 0 replies      
My current daily rate is $15/hour, I work as remote freelancer from Albania.

I work with python/flask/postgresql/mongodb and have 2 years of experience in this stack.

junopatch 2 days ago 0 replies      
My current daily rate is $12/hour, I work in the PhilippinesI work as a Web Developer(ASP.NET), I have 4 years of experience and my main skills are .NET technologies
artmageddon 2 days ago 1 reply      
Does this include salaried positions? Right now the rate I'm earning is about $41/hr($328/day) in the northeast US at a small company. A few years ago I was getting $50/hr on a consulting gig, but that required a 4 hour commute(2hrs each way to NYC).

I'm primarily a C# developer, but I have experience in C++, Java, SQL, and a little bit of webdev(HTML/JS). I've worked on a few mobile apps in iOS and Android(the latter with Xamarin). I'm been programming for about 15 years, and I'll be coming up on 10 years of those which have been for professional companies.

I swear, reading some of these responses makes me feel very underpaid.

wisienkas 2 days ago 0 replies      
My current dayli rate is 20.15 / Hour I work in Denmark

I work as a "Student" Developer, I have programmed for 2 years My main skills are php and java. using linux platform for everything.EDIT: I'm charged about 40% of all my earnings in tax

pm 2 days ago 0 replies      
$750-$900 daily (don't do hourly). Developer/Designer. 8 years experience. Much ado about iOS, Cocoa, etc. Bit of web and Windows. Anything that needs to be done, really.
peteretep 2 days ago 1 reply      
Senior Perl developers in London should be getting 350-450/day for onsite contracting work. The market seems to support 450/day, but that needs to include recruiter cost - that is, you're unlikely to get it if you're via a recruiter. Source: I run http://perl.careers/ and have been active in the London Perl market for the last 10 years as a dev and a recruiter.
flaie 2 days ago 0 replies      
My current daily rate is 220 / day (after taxes), I work in Luxemburg (average of 19.5 days / month).

I work as a Java Developer/Architect with 7+ years of experiences, with very good skills in both backend (Java, Spring, Oracle, PostgreSQL, redis) and frontend (JS, jQuery, AngularJS, HTML5, etc..), REST/SOAP, plus some mobile stuff (Android, ionic) and all the tooling that goes with Java (maven, sbt, ...).

mddw 2 days ago 1 reply      
600 to 800 / day (depending on conditions) + VAT, I work in France (not Paris.) Remote only.

Mainly web sites, some webapps, some native apps.

marketingadvice 2 days ago 0 replies      
My current rate is $150/hour for freelance work and $40/hour on long term contract. I work in Canada and USA mainly.

I work as a marketing consultant/growth hacker, I have +6 years of experience.

Hopefully in another couple years I will move into all remote contract roles so I can try out the digital nomad lifestyle in Asia.

vidarh 2 days ago 0 replies      
I don't usually contract (well, I used to, but that was 15 years ago), but at the moment I'm doing a part-time contract at 750 pounds/day for a startup. London, UK.

I do devops, development and architecture work, in Ruby, PHP, C++ and a variety of other languages, and have about 20 years of commercial experience.

philangist 2 days ago 0 replies      
My current rate is $240/day (60k/yr salaried) as a python backend engineer in NYC with 1.5 years of experience.
Bahamut 2 days ago 1 reply      
My daily rate is currently ~$800-900 (salaried/stock options) in Silicon Valley - I have a little under 2 years of experience and am a top notch AngularJS expert & very productive frontend engineer (with a bit of full stack experience with Node.js & Java). I have been called a 10x engineer.
JoeAltmaier 2 days ago 0 replies      
My current daily rate is 150 / hour, I work on the Internet thus anywhere in the world (but my Timezone is CST/USA)

I work as a Developer/Architect in whatever language, I have 30 years of experience and my main skills are drivers, OS development, embedded and networks.

skeet 2 days ago 0 replies      
My current daily rate is 400 / day, I work in London, UK.

I work as a Node.js Developer, I have 5+ years of experience and my main skills are Node.js, Ruby on Rails, Redis, RabbitMQ, MongoDB, MySQL, PostgreSQL, AngularJS, Backbone.js, jQuery, HTML5, CSS, Linux.

fddlr 2 days ago 0 replies      
My current daily rate is 30 EUR / day after taxes, I work in Hungary.

I work as a Java junior developer, I'm an entrant in the industry, started working in february. My main skills are Hibernate, SOAP web services, Wicket, Nvidia CUDA, and a little hint of C++.

matt6545 2 days ago 0 replies      
I bill per project, a percentage of annual revenue. I work in the US.I work as a consultant for dysfunctioning \ struggling IT departments, I have 20 years of experience and my main skills are Information Risk Management, Information Security.
xpto123 2 days ago 1 reply      
I'll start: My current daily rate is 62.5 EUR/hour, and currently work in Belgium (non-remote worker, 8 years exp.). I work as Java developer/architect and my main skills are Java, JavaScript, Spring, Hibernate, GWT, Camel, SOAP/REST web services, Maven
idlewords 2 days ago 1 reply      
I charge $1K/day, out of San Francisco. I'm not a remarkable developer, but I've been running a production website for a few years and sell my practical knowledge on how to make all the pieces (LAMP stuff) fit together under actual use.
coffeeaddicted 2 days ago 0 replies      
Check this jobboard it has numbers (daily when you select Job Type Contract): http://www.theitjobboard.co.uk/But unfortunately only for jobs in the UK.
fasouto 2 days ago 0 replies      
$1500/week, $400/day or $65/hour doing Django and D3 development from Spain. I charge the clients this way to incentivize larger projects and stay focused with one project at a time.
colinbartlett 2 days ago 0 replies      
My current daily rate is $1,200 USD/day. I work in the United States.

I work as a Ruby Developer. I have 16 years experience in software development and 9 years Ruby experience.

tartle 2 days ago 0 replies      
30 USD per hour, so c. 200 USD per day. Poland, but mostly remote clients. Mobile apps (crossplatform, also native iOS), occasionally some accompanying Python or PHP stuff on server.
wsc981 2 days ago 0 replies      
My current rate is 65 EUR / hour after taxes. I work as an iOS developer in the Netherlands. Will try to negotiate 75 EUR / hour later in the coming months.
eloycoto 2 days ago 0 replies      
160 per day- Working from Spain mainly in Voip(7 years of experience) and full stack dev (Ansible, django, angularjs)
FLUX-YOU 2 days ago 0 replies      
$20/hr, Southeast USA

C#/.NET Developer, 0.5 years of experience, C#, ASP.NET MVC, Front-end web development

html5web 2 days ago 0 replies      
I'm NYC based Front-End Developer, I work for an adv. company, my daily rate is $150.
AgLiAn 2 days ago 0 replies      
11/H.RO (~10 after taxes). Back-end/Front-end senior web developer (PHP mostly).
robomartin 2 days ago 1 reply      
$200 to $300 per hour for software development.

$300 to $500 per hour for hardware development.

FEA and Simulation time charged by CPU-hour so long as they can run unattended (which is generally the case).

Usual contracts are fixed price with tight specs and hourly rates kick in for changes.

lordbusiness 2 days ago 0 replies      
$400/day. Full time remote. (International clients). DevOps work.
kreinba 2 days ago 0 replies      
$45/hour when working on-site and $35 when remotely
mjhea0 2 days ago 0 replies      
you should set up a google survey to capture this!
hmans 1 day ago 0 replies      
Ask HN: What is Google doing with GIS data?
2 points by hellbanner  2 days ago   discuss
Ask HN: Developers above 35 what are you doing?
23 points by taylorlapeyre  8 days ago   discuss
mswen 8 hours ago 0 replies      
I am 52. I bill out consulting doing data science (stats, data wrangling, algorithms for weighted fusion of data into a single source of truth). On my own projects I combine my customer and market research background with web development (self-taught in the past 3 years). I have also maintained an interest in and developed techniques for automating text analysis in the last 15 years. Technical life doesn't have to be over at 30 or 40. Just keep experimenting and learning.
larrykubin 17 hours ago 0 replies      
There's a good thread on this on Quora:


Founder of Wikipedia, Whatsapp, Craigslist, Pandora, Zipcar, etc. responded

benzesandbetter 8 days ago 0 replies      
I'm 36, doing Python, JavaScript, and DevOps consulting for start-ups, Fortune 500's, NGOs, and Federal Agencies in 4 countries.

A couple tips to ensure your ongoing success in the market:

1) Continuously invest in your skills2) Constantly improve your storytelling and communication skills3) Network relentlessly. Make it habitual. Follow up. Care.4) Be fanatical about taking care of your clients5) Nourish your sense of curiosity about technology. Eliminate toxic projects or jobs which feel like they are burning you out. 6) Have a value proposition beyond "I can write code". Develop some domain/industry-specific expertise.

For each of the above, apply the 10X Rule. Execute at a level of 10 times the effort that you originally think you'll need.

tptacek 7 days ago 0 replies      
37, leaving previous startup (sold 2 years ago) on Friday, starting next on on Monday. This'll be #6. I code.
milspec 16 hours ago 0 replies      
I'm 40. I create zero-day exploits at a governmentcontractor. People like me have tame lives and families,so we don't live anywhere near San Francisco. We live inplaces like Texas, Florida, Utah, and Nevada. In some ofthese places you can get a suburban house for 5 digits.

P.S. you're pwned.

wglb 7 days ago 0 replies      
More than 35. Actually more than 35 years in the business. Work in Software Security day, a startup in the evenings/weekends. There is not a day that goes by that I don't program. Job title is Chief Head Prod, owner.
unclesaamm 8 days ago 0 replies      
Speaking for my mom, she's switched a few jobs in the past few months, after a stretch of about 10 years at the same government contracting company. She's a ColdFusion developer by training, and even though there seems to be constant demand for CF developers, she feels frustrated that she can't pivot out and work on new things as much as she wants. She's been asking me recently things like, "What's node.js?" and "What's angular?" She takes notes on what I say, does her research, and tries to pull it off in job interviews.

I think what she views as optimal now is finding a job that will let her explore any new technology. She got excited about an opportunity with the .NET stack, until they lowballed her with an offer about half of what she's currently making (developing a same-old jQuery website).

She's getting calls from recruiters every day, so it's surprising to me she's having such a hard time finding the right job for her. Also she doesn't think she's competitive with the younger crowd, so she's not even looking at certain jobs on the West Coast.

shams93 8 days ago 0 replies      
They don't give out equity in LA for most of my career and the equity I did get got destroyed by dot bomb so I seem to be damned to work 20 hours a day until I drop dead at 45.
justrudd 8 days ago 0 replies      
38. Senior Software Engineer in Seattle. Writing Scala code to do realtime analysis of voice calls (we also analyze voice recordings). Team is probably all over 30 (I've never asked).

Previously a developer at zulily building their supply chain software. When I first started the SC team was all around 30, it was only right before I left that the first under 30 was hired. There are a couple now.

dwarman 7 days ago 1 reply      
67, still developing, still inside game console audio DSP engines.
Patrick_Devine 6 days ago 0 replies      
40, CEO of a startup in SV. Since we're small I'm still writing code, mostly Python, JS, and lots of other stuff. We've only got one dev who is in his 20s and the rest of us are 35+.

One thing about doing development at this age is that since you've stuck with it, if you didn't get stuck in a rut in your career, you should have some pretty serious technical chops.

pedalpete 8 days ago 0 replies      
41, Software Engineer at a start-up. Most of our team are above 35 (8 of us) and they're all seriously A-team. I'm the weakest link in the bunch (though I make up for it in other ways).
chrisbennet 8 days ago 0 replies      
52 independent contractor/consultant. Currently developing machine vision software for determining golf ball direction and spin immediately after the ball is struck. Fun stuff.
findingMyWay 8 days ago 0 replies      
44, Department head. Still write some code, but mostly work on budget issues, staffing, project planning, vision, target architectures, etc.
canterburry 8 days ago 0 replies      
37, Sr. Manager. Still write code but mainly to POC stuff the team will be working on 3+ months down the road. Currently in fraud analytics. Still hack on my own side projects and solo startups in the evenings after the kids gone to bed.
tlubinski 8 days ago 0 replies      
Almost 41. Just started a new (gaming) company in SF and code the MVP myself. Will transition in a CTO role once we secured funding. I know a lot of developers 35+ and I enjoy working with them.
zubairq 8 days ago 1 reply      
42 and working on a Clojure web framework:


harper 5 days ago 0 replies      
36, running my first company as CEO. First time not 100% tech focused. I only code dashboards.
fasteo 7 days ago 0 replies      
44, CTO of my own little IT company. Mostly managing. Some coding - backend - in Java and Lua. Missing Turbo Pascal days.
shortsightedsid 8 days ago 0 replies      
37. Write code everyday and loving it. I run my own consultancy - www.heptaxel.com.
bobfirestone 8 days ago 0 replies      
35, enterprise consulting, I write code every day
akbarnama 8 days ago 0 replies      
40, Freelancer, Developing web applications
bikamonki 8 days ago 0 replies      
40. Still developing. Freelancer.
julie1 8 days ago 0 replies      
42 happily being a grunt dev (front/back in web) ... after being consultant, project manager, my own boss, sysadmin and failing quite some times.

I sometimes wish to do something real for improving humanity well being, but all my attempts failed so far :)

I am telling people that if you want to make money, you should avoid competitive fields and since crisis is there, and devs are still excessively well paid, it gives an incentive for all kind of people tied by whatever pressure (social, debts, financial) to become a coder to make money fast, and for bosses to put more pressure.

If things worsen, I think I am gonna try to propose the funding of my own sect on kickstarter (rael is my model), or coin the term factorer instead of developer which purpose would be to decrease the costs of having stupidly non reliable/deterministic technologies (mongoDB, hadoop, cloud, systemd, USB, oauth2) and excessive costs (big data that are useless for making money, the costs of cloud that are non linear thus non predictable...) to bring back some sanity to this world and more money to the workers really add values to our existence. Or maybe, just stay what I am : a troll :)

adventured 8 days ago 0 replies      
I'm 34.

As an entrepreneur, there's no expiration on my work life that I don't set myself.

The last six years of my life have been the most productive, by far, in terms of churning out value and being good at what I do. I can't work as long of hours any more without feeling it, but I'm vastly better and smarter now; I know a lot more of what not to do and where not to waste my time.

mindcrime 8 days ago 0 replies      
41. Job title at day job is "Senior Consultant". Job title at startup is "Founder / CEO". These days I focus on "big data" at the day job - stuff like Hadoop, Storm, MongoDB, etc. At the startup I kinda do everything, but from a development standpoint I work with a lot of Semantic Web tech - Apache Jena, Apache Stanbol, etc., and write a lot of Groovy / Grails code. Live and work in the Raleigh/Durham area of North Carolina.
Ask HN: I never received $13200 a company claims to have paid. What do I do?
13 points by uhoh_throwaway  2 days ago   10 comments top 6
patio11 2 days ago 1 reply      
The high-percentage cause is that the transfer was actually sent and it is stuck in processing at your bank. This actually happens to a non-zero percentage of transactions, and this is OK, because they get investigated and recovered by CS teams. (Banks, surprisingly, aren't actually ACID even though everyone uses them as the canonical example of an ACID application.)

Escalate with your bank. You do not want to speak to Tier 1 telephone CS on this. You want to speak to someone in their wires investigation department, or to someone who can escalate a call to them. A very quick way to achieve this is to go to the local branch, ask to see one of their business representatives, and explain the situation then sit while they resolve things. If they get the runaround, you ask for the branch manager, mention $10k+ is on the line, and he escalates for you.

Another example is calling directly into the wire investigation group. Now that you know it exists, you can probably figure out how to find it on Google. (If you can't find their group call the Wealth Management group and say "Hiya, someone told me to call you guys. $BIGCO made an incoming wire to my $MYBANK account and it has gone missing. Can you trace it for me?" then wait while they either do so or transfer you.)

Beyond the instant problem with the wire transfer, which is unfortunate, please allow me the liberty of giving unsolicited business advice. It appears that this situation rates "emergency" for your business. That should never happen with regards to one single payment, because routine business mishaps (like, e.g., a bank delaying a payment) will routinely cause events like this to happen.

There are a variety of ways to control for your risk for this. Two which you should implement, as soon as reasonably practical, are a) building up a savings buffer such that you're not dependent on your cashflow to eat and b) charging more, which is partially justified by risks you absorb from having a freelancer/consultant/etc charging model and not being a W-2 employee who could walk to Payroll and say "I don't care what the problem is, just fix it" and having the expectation that Payroll would leap to fix that.

loqqus 19 hours ago 0 replies      
Others have probably told you this already but there's no need to jump to getting a lawyer involved at this point. It's most likely an unintentional screw up.

Continue following up with both the company and the bank. If it is urgent, I would also let your supervisor at the company know, because the HR trolls who run this stuff at big companies are usually incompetent, and a pissed off manager at the company is more likely to be able to produce results from them than you are. (And any manager should be pissed off that employees or contractors are not being paid promptly.)

davismwfl 2 days ago 0 replies      
Also, get the FED ID for the wire. This will make tracing it far easier and faster for your bank to find out what is going on. I just had to do this, but the other way, where we wired someone money and they didn't receive it as expected. Using the FED ID and Wire Transaction ID their bank was able to find and fix the issue very quickly, to both our relief.

If it wasn't a wire and instead was an ACH, then get the batch ID for the ACH and give that to your bank and see if it helps any. ACH is traceable but from my limited knowledge is a little tougher to trace than a wire is.

MalcolmDiggs 2 days ago 1 reply      
I'm sure you've covered this already, but just in case you haven't: Make sure you double and triple check the account numbers on the wire receipt (should be on the screenshot).

I was in a similar situation once (and was summoning the dogs of war) but when I read the receipt closely it turned out the sender had inverted two numbers on my account.

codegeek 2 days ago 1 reply      
Just adding to patio11's advice, you need to find the "wire department" within your bank and go talk to someone in person if possible. The wire departments have their own systems that a usual representative may not have access to. Your best bet is to talk to someone in wire or someone who can connect you with wire team and then investigate.
keithwarren 2 days ago 0 replies      
There should be trace numbers associated with the wiring of the money - start with getting that number from the company and then give it to your bank.

The good news is stuff like this doesn't get lost in some 'check is in the mail' scenario. There is an audit trail that can be proved.

       cached 17 October 2014 20:05:01 GMT