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Ask HN: How to Promote your startup on a $0 budget
11 points by kurt_bwc  5 hours ago   9 comments top 7
onion2k 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Talk to people. Go to meet-ups, networking events, cold call potential customers, get on social media, use free promotion services. Google 'growth hacking', which is pretty much the art of building traction at minimal cost. Find a cofounder who is well-connected and get them to advocate your product. Find evangelists who'll shout about your product simply because they love it. Hustle.

And remember that for most technical founders, the marketing side of startups is really damn hard compared to writing code, and is absolutely the main reason why most startups fail. You really should have this stuff figured out before you write a single line of code because without it you have no chance of succeeding. Products do not sell themselves.

toumhi 3 hours ago 0 replies      
It depends on what you do. B2C? B2B? SaaS? Ecommerce?

At the beginning, the idea is to "do things that don't scale": do things manually, go get your users one by one.

At the same time experiment with traction channels: SEO, content marketing, social media, email, PR, email marketing, outbound sales. Do small experiments and do more of what works.

jmnicolas 2 hours ago 1 reply      
Get hacked in a spectacular way (think Sony), everybody will know about you. Bad publicity is better than no publicity they say.

Of course it's tongue in cheek, good luck.

haidrali 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Definitely social media also if you can take you story to front page of HN it will be great though it requires 100 karama
crjHome 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Twitter? Facebook? Other social media..
pstavro 4 hours ago 1 reply      
how about HN itself!?
andrea_sdl 2 hours ago 0 replies      
since onion2k pretty much summarized everything, I'd like to share what I did for my side-project (a time tracker named Haptime) as "marketing".

First of all, I built the software only after I found 3 people in my circle of friends who were willing to pay it forward.This allowed me to understand if I was solving a real problem people would pay for or not (it was important to me, but this might not be of the same importance if you are on a freemium model, which might require a different take on this).

After that, I pretty much used:

1. Referral (for every client, try to make them super-happy every time and then ask for a referral of them)

2. Networking. Onion2k already told this, so, join and meet people who might help you or need you. In my case one breakthrough was to find out my product featured on product hunt (and near 100 upvotes) thanks to the relationships I built over time.

3. Reddit could be another place you find useful, although in my case I discovered that it's a community more geared towards free product (so if you have a trial, you must solve a really powerful problem to have them try it, or have a super-compelling homepage).

4. Quora is another place I gained a bit of traction thanks to some small, targeted questions I answered. Not much a big deal, but it's worth checking out.

Always remember, in everything you do, your goal must be to add value to the people or the conversation.I personally think that when you do only for marketing purpouse and not for the sake of adding more value to what you see, everything ends up being bad.

5. Giveaways are another great idea you can use, find a good blog/magazine in your niche and see if you get to place a giveaway over there.

6. If you are still struggling on how to build your network, the easiest way is to help people.Find people in your niche and help them in any possible and honest way. Don't think about marketing, think about just helping them without selling.Networking is made of friends (at least to me).

7. Timing is everything: If your website is featured in something like Product Hunt, JOIN the conversation and if you can, offer a greeting offer on your product page.

Also... time and effort is required. LOTS of it.For example Airbnb didn't grow up in a day, but grew up thanks to small, continuous ideas and efforts.As toumhi told you: do not automate until it's needed.

If you are an engineer you will want to automate. Resist that temptation, do it only when you can't do it yourself at all.

One nice read about gettin traction is tractionbook.com . I read it recently, and while some of the channels they describe for getting early users might have a price, others are really free, so it's a worth reading.

Ask HN: Facebook graph API how many people like Pepsi AND Coca Cola?
2 points by cryo  2 hours ago   2 comments top 2
smt88 46 minutes ago 0 replies      
You might possibly be able to do this with FQL (Facebook Query Language), but I believe support for that is disappearing in April.

Also, there are some queries they don't like people to do unless they're paying. This might be one of them. Facebook isn't an easy network to scrape.

cryo 1 hour ago 0 replies      
No on StackOverflow are only examples on how to get the like count of one page. The question was how many people like page a AND page b.
Ask HN: Startups for Startups, Health Innovation for the Self Employed?
4 points by brm  4 hours ago   discuss
Ask HN: What was the job market like during the dot-com crash?
181 points by MalcolmDiggs  1 day ago   155 comments top 78
bdcravens 1 day ago 7 replies      
A lot of shaking off of weak developers. I don't say that to insult the very talented developers during that time who couldn't stay employed. Rather, they suffered along with the rest, due to way too much supply. Developers who knew one language who could get hired merely by having a word or two on their resume and having a pulse; when things dried up, everyone who should have been an entry level sales person were all clammering to get the jobs and money they were used to, but it was a buyer's market at that point.

You made it through by being versatile. Not by starting to learn while you were job hunting, but being prepared when jobs were aplenty.

You had to be ready to be employed in a non-VC funded world, doing boring things.

I liken it to today, where you have an abundance of 6-week boot camps and developers writing code against the sexy Javascript framework du jour. Those developers will starve if we hit another period where VC dries up.

Learn some boring stuff, even stuff that gets laughed at on HN. .NET. Java. In places like Houston, there's TONS of jobs, but they're not in Rails or Clojure or Angular. They're in .NET, writing apps for big oil or healthcare.

Though it wasn't as big then, I think learning dev-ops will really take someone far when no one's writing Twitter aggregators or social networks for quadcopters.

tl;dr When times are lean, boring languages in boring companies that make real, not VC, money is how you stay afloat

kevinastone 1 day ago 4 replies      
I graduated in the summer of 2001 (BS ECE). Many of my classmates had their already accepted job offers rescinded before graduation. I ended up working a non-degree job for a year before finding an internship that I worked into a full-time position. Finally found a more permanent career in 2004 when I was hired into an aerospace company (where most of the jobs were).

Keep in mind, besides the dot-com crash and then the sept 11th attacks, the real macro environment of the early 2000s was outsourcing. Everybody believed you could just hire a team in India or Russia for pennies on the dollar. It would take another 5+ years for that trend to reverse as companies recognized the challenges in moving their development resources off-shore.

As I stated, I responded to the off-shore movement by switching to a less-affected industry (aerospace/defense). Most "market corrections" really affect the most vulnerable segments of the job market: entry-level and near-retirement.

canterburry 1 day ago 2 replies      
The only people in demand was anyone with 10+ years experience. Job requirements got ridiculous and if you needed any kind of visa sponsorship you could just forget about it regardless of experience.

If you didn't have every single acronym in the job req and 5+ years of experience with each, the employers simply were not interested. Things like, you'd used Eclipse but not IntelliJ disqualified you because IntelliJ was requested. Some job reqs even requested more years of experience in some technology which had only been around for half the time mentioned.

Sending 100+ resumes a week without any callbacks became the norm. Recruiters could simply sit back and wait for the resumes to come to them. If you weren't actively looking, no one would call you.

Enterprise market was essentially the only game in town. Any kind of web dev just died overnight. I managed to start and finish a masters degree before things got better again.

snorkel 1 day ago 1 reply      
We had to get adjusted to not being treated like a rock stars just for knowing unix. We stopped chanting IPO, IPO. We learned the stock market is disconnected from reality. Took a hit in salary, but nobody starved that I recall. Looking back on it, it was if we hit the lottery but we were too young to realize that this isn't a normal economy we were living in. But c'est la vie, change is opportunity and all that. Just keep your skill set relevant and keep switching jobs until you land a gig working on something that is interesting with people you enjoy being with, and don't expect to get rich, but if you work hard you just might anyway.
tunesmith 1 day ago 0 replies      
I was in Portland at the time and it was bad. I got laid off, was lucky enough to find another job at 80k, and then was laid off again ten days before 9/11. The recruiters I was working with all slowly became unemployed. Once I had an opportunity to interview from a recruiter on behalf of one of either Intel or Nike, and the rate they quoted me (for perl/php programming) was $12/hour. (I declined the interview.)

After a couple of months, I started cold-calling businesses as a consultant/freelancer - got my first gig at $20/hour, and then a more reasonable one at $55/hour, since then I've been passed around via word of mouth. I found that clients were more amenable to contracts than FTE because they all needed work "for now" but were petrified of commitment since they had no idea what the future would be like. Anyway, I stuck with freelancing and have never since taken a salaried job.

Basic advice - don't sacrifice your salary for stock options (unless you're a founder and already have enough emergency fund saved up to last you through another crash). Don't trust your "like a family" employer to take care of you, don't believe that HR has your best interests at heart. You're in business for you, not your employer - treat them well in exchange for them treating you fairly, but not out of some misplaced sense of "loyalty". The rest of it is just, save up and live simply - programmers aren't investment bankers.

poulsbohemian 1 day ago 1 reply      
I graduated in 2000 with several years experience. First gig out of school resulted in huge layoffs but I was paying attention and had already been looking, plus was still young (read: cheap) so didn't have any problems finding something. People who graduated the next two years after me though who hadn't really hustled to build up their resumes ended up leaving tech altogether because they couldn't get hired - and this was in a tech hub (Seattle). It was 2005 before it because "easy" to get hired again and I started to see new grads reenter the market. Even in the 2004-2006 timeframe salaries were pretty stagnate with the exception of places like amazon.com which seemed to be shoveling money at as many people as they could hire.

One of the big challenges was that large companies were the only place to get hired - the few startups that were around were often zombies leftover from the dot-com times; it was clear they weren't going anyplace, and (perhaps exaggerating slightly here...) nobody was starting anything new. Keep in mind though a lot has changed in 15 years - it took a lot more capital for infrastructure in those days so there were fewer companies starting up anyway.

For people my age and older... we saw the pre-dot-com slowness of the early 90s, we got caught in the dot-com downturn, we got caught again in the post 9/11 downturn, then we saw our house values melt down in 2008... so as far as I'm concerned, in good times be painfully frugal and stash cash because the bad times are just around the corner...

Animats 1 day ago 1 reply      
SFgirl.com had the best coverage of this, with their "pink slip parties". The remnants of the site are at "http://www.sfgirl.com/about_us.html", but almost all the links are dead. A few that are still live:



About 40% of the twenty-somethings in SF moved out. SF itself was so dead that one day, at rush hour, I saw a completely empty street in downtown. I asked a cop if something was stopping traffic, and he said no, it had been like that for a few days. Many empty buildings in SOMA.

I had an automatic system predicting the death dates of publicly held dot-coms, based on their assets and cash flow. I keep it up for reference:


(Where it says "Chart is not available for this symbol", that means the company is so dead.)

santacluster 1 day ago 1 reply      
For anyone with actual skill, nothing really changed. But then again, for people with actual skill nothing has really changed throughout the last 25 years, despite the crisis.

Yes, there was a huge market through Y2K and the dot-com bubble for people who knew how to operate a keyboard, and that market collapsed. But those people where as much developers as I am a surgeon because I know how to apply a band-aid. Personally I was glad the bubble burst, because it became increasingly harder to avoid landing in a place where most of the "developers" weren't utterly incompetent.

HN isn't a representative audience though. Most of those people wouldn't be on the early 2000's equivalents of HN either. If this is a bubble and it bursts, most of HN-ers that get affected won't be out of work for more than a month.

Many may have to take a boring enterprise gig, but that's pretty much how the second wave of internet-companies started: bored and with time on their hands, many hackers started to work on what was then called "social software" projects, which eventually resulted in a wave of social media startups.

Things may be different in SV, especially when it comes to the balance of wages vs cost of living, but SV is an outlier.

fecak 1 day ago 0 replies      
I started recruiting for startups around Philadelphia in 1998. For the first couple years anyone who could spell Java would get significant raises to leave big companies in the area for funded startup scene. Signing bonuses were given to most hires, and stock options were valued highly by most hires.

When the crash happened, I started to get calls from developers who wouldn't take my calls a year earlier. Many had a few jobs within a short period of time. I remember placing one guy three times in two years due to closings.

Many recruiters couldn't generate enough revenue and subsequently left the market, which was actually a good thing because the market had become flooded and needed a purging. Salaries came down a bit, but candidates at this point would put very little value on stock options. Options went from being looked at as a large piece of the package to being considered the equivalent of lottery tickets.

To be insulated, I'd encourage you to try to become 'known' in your space. Those with solid reputations and networks were always employed, even if they bounced around a bit.

digisth 1 day ago 0 replies      
In addition to many of the previous posters' comments, I'd add that the number of job offers per week went from a flood (10+ a week, sometimes double that) to zero during the bust. Acquaintances, former co-workers, and myself all took huge pay cuts and the jobs that were available weren't terribly exciting for a spell. Outsourcing and offshoring were the watchwords; in-house custom development was laughed at in many places.

This boom is honestly (IMO) 1) more stable, as many companies actually do have business models and revenue and 2) more exciting (technology stacks are more interesting, tools have improved by leaps and bounds, very interesting companies are popping up.)

My advice is to be constantly learning (both theory and practice); watch trends and become familiar with where they are going (if an exciting new technology comes along, learn some of the basics, even if that's just a "hello world" equivalent - I don't recommend doing a deep dive of anything truly new unless it really blows your mind or you think it's going to become lucrative); try to generalize your skillset a bit - there's a tradeoff here of course, as specialists will often get paid more while the getting is good - but it means you'll never lack for work (and may get stuck with some more drudgery since you're the jack-of-all-trades, master of none.) I'd also recommend trying to get multiple income streams going, whether that's from your own services business, freelancing, or just software-related consulting, so that if/when the crash comes, you've already got your own personal safety net.

poulsbohemian 1 day ago 1 reply      
There were three interesting groups that came out of that time. One was the CEO/CIO/CTO's of startups who found themselves barely qualified for entry-level roles when the bubble burst. It was a sad awakening for them. Another group were mid-career types who found their careers and salaries put on hold for 5+ years while the market improved. That was sad because many were very talented but with no place to apply it; some never really getting their shot again. The third were those who would have otherwise been starting businesses, but the times just weren't right so they put their heads down working in boring jobs waiting for their moment.
pm24601 1 day ago 0 replies      

I basically learned something I thought I knew - debt is bad. Really bad. We survived but it was only because we clamped down super hard and interest rates dropped.

When times are good, cut your debt so you owe nothing. Get some savings but once you have some savings pay off the debt.

I knew lots of people who were still employeed but were freaking out because the stock market was collapsing and they were overleveraged - they had borrowed against their home to buy stock.

When April 2000, hit everyone stopped watching their stocks shoot up to watching their stocks crash - same lack of work getting done but gloomier and more suicidal.

My advice to you is:

network, network, network - now before you need it.

Something that I find hard to do myself sometimes.

Then again I have been through a bunch of crashes/mini-crashes already.

But in 2000, you could not rent a Uhaul - they were all reserved for people leaving ahead of you.

Every boom time gets more and more selective here.

Tech is not a long term career move - the ageism will get you if the boom/bust doesn't. Plan for a life outside of tech if you can.

The froth is happening. I am betting on a crash somewhere around mid 2016. Stock market is looking frothy with the real economy doing nothing. .... just like in 1991, 2000, 2008

mkozlows 1 day ago 3 replies      
Depends on where you were. If you were in San Francisco, I can't speak to it; but if you were in your standard middle American city, it was fine. I graduated with a CS degree in 1999. In 2000, I got a job doing Java dev with no Java experience on my resume, and a 20% raise from my previous job. Later in 2000, I got a job doing Java/Perl (with both on my resume) and another 15% raise. In 2001, I got a Java job and 10% raise. And then in 2002, I got a .NET job (with two weeks of .NET experience) and a 25% raise.

The main downside was that smaller companies kept going out of business (which is why I had so many jobs in that time period -- two of those companies disappeared entirely, one of them taking a month's worth of salary with it, which super-sucked).

A key thing, though, is that lots of really, really, really marginal developers got hired in the late '90s -- I worked with some of those at the first company that went out of business -- and they very possibly never got a job in the industry again. Crashes make companies a lot more selective, just as bubbles make them hire any warm body who can possibly even theoretically write code.

dripton 1 day ago 0 replies      
I had two different employers go bust in 2002.

First one was a startup acquired by a big corporation in 2000, but they gave up on us a couple years later. How much the larger economic climate affected that, versus the indisputable fact that we were spending a lot more than we were making, I don't know.

Got another job before the severance ran out. Second one was a small startup, which ran out of cash and failed to make payroll a few months later. The owners wanted to keep going on a shoestring and offered me equity to stay, but I didn't want to take that gamble. Again, I can't say how much of that was due to the economy (harder to find investors in 2002 than in 2000), versus the fact that the company was spending money and not making any.

Got another job right away. This one was a profitable government contractor, I stayed there for years.

My first piece of advice is to always have current, marketable skills. You don't have to chase every trend, but you should know more than one thing, just in case that one thing becomes the next buggy whip.

My second piece of advice is not to put all your eggs into one basket. Salary is more reliable than equity. Savings will get you through rough times.

pmarca 1 day ago 1 reply      
Stock incentives became considered worthless, and most people were happy to have a job.
michaelochurch 1 day ago 2 replies      
The Bay Area was hit hard, and startups stopped being sexy. Oddly enough, I'd say that it was a great time to make money if (a) you'd made the connections before the bust, (b) you were building something of substance like Google, and (c) you were willing to play a longer game. The upshot of a time when no one's getting rich quick is that there's more audience for get-rich-slowly strategies. Technical excellence tends to produce get-rich-slowly paths; it's viral marketing bullshit (and overhiring) that's behind many of these rapid-growth get-rich-quick startups. When people lose faith in charismatic nonsense, that's the time to drive hard with true excellence and lower-risk get-rich-slowly strategies. If your goal is excellence, you don't want your industry to be "sexy", because that brings in poseurs with zero competence but superior social skill, and they end up (a) getting all the resources, and (b) humiliating the whole industry when they fail.

Think also about Paul Graham. Y Combinator is a case of him monetizing a reputation that he earned (and, yes, he actually earned it) by standing up for startups in the depths of winter. I, for one, plan on making a strong and vocal case for Real Technology (it shall rise again) after the Snapchat/Clinkle frivolity blows up and humiliates the current cool kids. Being able to explain why shit went to hell ca. 2017, as it will, is going to help us make a case for building something better in the next iteration.

That said, it was a bad time for entry-level salaries, and graduate school admissions were ridiculously competitive in 2003-05. If you had a $60k offer (that'd be $72k today) you were in the top third of CS graduates, and non-STEM graduates were lucky to see $40k. I'd guess that the more experienced engineers didn't see a massive salary drop (maybe 10-20% at worst) but it wasn't a good time for job hopping. Certainly that feeling that one could get a 20% raise, just by walking across the street, died out.

It was a good labor market for finance because there was a lot of cheap talent. First-year Goldman Sachs analysts were only in the $60-65k range. (Bonuses could be 50-100%, but they were also working 60-110 hours per week.) Undergrad quants (that's rare but the positions exist) were generally getting $80-90k offers.

People expected housing prices to come down, but they didn't decline by much because there was this other bubble that was building at the same time...

kartayyar 1 day ago 0 replies      
Changes create new winners and losers.

At the time the crash was just starting to happen, I interviewed at Sun for a job in the Java compiler group.

Their office was just off the De Anza and 280 exit in Cupertino. They told me how their neighbor Apple hadn't been doing well,and how they were gradually taking over all the office space near them. The folks I interviewed with thought Apple would be history in a few years, and being a hardware company that was doing well, they would deal with the crash just fine. I believed them.

Apple made a complete comeback.Sun went through many rounds of layoffs before it was swallowed by Oracle.

Luckily for me I ended up taking another job at a company that was one of the few to do relatively well during the crash.

Till this day I am grateful I did not take the Sun offer.

brianmcconnell 1 day ago 0 replies      
The best insulation you can have is cash in the bank or be prepared to move.

The next crash probably won't be cyclical in your city. The money will come back, but it will come back somewhere else.

If your priority is to stay in the city where you're living, be prepared to make that work (which means being flexible about what you do), or be prepared to move (which means being flexible about where you live, and being in a relationship where moving for work is OK).

joeblau 1 day ago 0 replies      
When I went to college in 1999, our guidance counselor told us that for every student graduating with a Computer Science degree, there were 5 companies competing to hire them. She said "You have a 500% chance of getting a job with a Computer Science degree." When I graduated in 2003, 1/3 of my classmates got a job doing software engineering, 1/3 went back to their job they did before they got into college (usually some sort of retail), and the final 1/3 went back to live with their parents and were unemployed.

The only area that was really hiring at the time was the Government, and I lived on the east coast so I was able to work for a Government contractor a few months after graduating. It took quite a bit longer for some of my friends to finally use their degree and some still never have.

_greim_ 1 day ago 0 replies      
I think diversifying your skill set can help protect you against a bubble burst. I had a reputation for being both a programmer and visual designer and I think it kept me afloat through the early 2000s.

And by "diversifying your skill set" I don't mean just being proficient in more than one area, but also being perceived as being proficient in more than one area. This is probably hard to do without switching jobs. You have to sell yourself as being "good at both A and B" during the interview and only then will the perception take root.

Incidentally, this was a double-edged sword for me, since peoples' perception of me being a designer (I had merely added a couple art samples to my resume) always seemed to pull my career in a less technical direction than I wanted to go, partly because I stayed at the same company so long.

cothomps 1 day ago 1 reply      
1) I was fortunate enough to be in a good place where my wages were not hit terribly hard, but there was a big slowdown in wage growth.

2) I did take a pretty dull "and stressful for being that dull" job with an insurance co. as a senior developer after the startup (probably closer to 'small biz' at that point) I worked for had a major restructuring. The dull job did allow me to focus a bit more on some other freelance/networking opportunities.

3) As a few have noted, the biggest thing afterwards seemed to be the outsourcing wave. That plus the sudden glut in the market seemed to nearly wipe out entry level opportunities. There was a period of time where I (being only 6-7 years out of college myself) don't recall working with a single new graduate.

paulsutter 1 day ago 2 replies      
The MBAs went back to wherever they came from. Engineers were suddenly more interested in the work and the team. No more of those ridiculous parties, which were never fun anyway. Lots of people took a few months to a year to travel or relax. People no longer talked about "time famine".

Actually it felt great. Like a return to the basics.

johngalt 1 day ago 0 replies      
In general it was good for the industry. At the peak of the bubble there was about a 50:1 ratio of pretenders to experts. Easy money tends to scoop up a lot of people who don't really belong. The same way that suddenly everyone was involved in real estate during the housing bubble.

> What were job-prospects like?

IIRC development went off a cliff. Even people who were in secure industries were at risk because of the deflation in salaries. IT/Operations was reasonably safe.

> How were your wages affected?

Roughly cut in half overall. Through the worst of it in two years then back to normal.

> Well-insulated if/when the next crash happens?

Aside from a good savings account. Don't be afraid to pick up a little ops experience. Most people I knew who sailed through the bubble spent a few years doing in-house work for some non-tech company. There is always work closer to the business side. When times are good it's all about wish fulfillment with new services/features etc... During a downturn it's ruthlessly about costs.

steveax 1 day ago 0 replies      
In Portland (where I was and still reside) it was pretty ugly. Pretty much everyone I knew in tech was unemployed for long-ish periods. I gave up hunting and started my own business freelancing - did that for over ten years. That gradually got better over time and by 2005 or so I was making more than my last salaried position. During that period I learned to live below my means and always have a 6+ month cushion, so all-in-all it wasn't a terrible thing.
kasey_junk 23 hours ago 0 replies      
The answer to this is dependent on so many factors that you really need to pull them apart a little:

- where in your career you were- where in location you were- what kind of employer you had

Far and away the hardest hit during the last crash were new-grads who had accepted job offers that hadn't actually started yet. Those jobs immediately went away and there was nothing to replace them with. I know of lots of people who left tech in general after this, and others who constitute a "lost" generation that has always made less money/done less interesting things because of this. Everyone up the experience ladder did better in an almost exponential way. That is, junior devs either spent a lot of time unemployed or accepted jobs at salaries well below what they were expecting. More experienced devs ended up hunkering down in "boring" jobs and saw their wages stagnate for a few years etc.

SV and the west coast in general got hit much harder than the rest of the country. NYC, Chicago, Texas, Minneapolis, Atl, etc had down cycles but their diversified employer base meant that it was muted by comparison.

Besides the obvious dying of unsustainable startups and their employees, the people in tech. services were much more impacted than other industries. Particularly hard hit, were body shops and the big consultancies. Finance, insurance, pharma, etc all took much less of a hit.

I'd add that along with the dot com bubble, several other factors added in to make the last crash particularly brutal. Lots of enterprises used the 2000 bug scare as an excuse to retool and there was tons of work that went away after that ramped down. Then 9/11 came along and put a major hit on companies willingness to spend on infrastructure.

As far as being "well-insulated", there isn't much advice to give. These are macro factor trends that impact everyone. The advice for this is the same as for dealing with any risk. Keep your spend rate low, have a safety net, diversify your skill set and have a strong professional network that thinks highly of you.

rwhitman 19 hours ago 0 replies      
I went to school for web design before the crash, and graduated in 2002, when the collapse had completely run it's course.

My first east coast gigs were freelance work that I took from video production shops who got into the business of building websites during the boom because it was such a big money maker. After the crash they had laid off all the unqualified staff (random employees who learned dreamweaver and were therefore somehow qualified to build websites) and started scooping up people with actual technical education (me) for dirt cheap ($25/hr).

I moved to the Bay Area about 2003-2004 and the situation was a little better but I still had to look for work aggressively. Fulltime positions never were presented to me, though there were a lot of on-site freelance gigs out there so I didn't notice. I think companies were still wary of staffing up. I was getting paid what I thought were amazing rates at the time ($45/hr). Back when I was starting out I was always the youngest person on any team by a stretch. A lot of staff guys were 15 to 20 years older than me with a family and kids. Some were even older. Might have something to do with who they chose to lay off a few years before my time, but never asked.

Because of the freelance vs staff situation I basically never took a fulltime job and stayed freelance ever since. Though after I moved to LA I was offered staff jobs circa 2006 onwards and it started getting aggressive after that but I stuck to 1099's. I think a lot of guys who entered the market when I did went the same path.

tuke 20 hours ago 0 replies      
What was it like? It was horrible. My experience was very lucky, but it was horrendous to see all of one's friends losing their jobs and scrambling. People who did get new jobs frequently took shitty jobs that set their careers back a few years. If you did manage to get something new in 2001 you were frequently locked in for some years.

I have been continuously employed or have had substantial contracting since 1999 (almost all regular employment, except for no more than a total of 12 months of various freelance).

I can only guess why, but it is probably some combination of:

1. When the layoffs came, I was in the non-laid-off remnant, probably because I always situated myself to know how everything worked, soup-to-nuts: code, databases, servers, etc.

2. Constant re-education, and willingness to use languages and tools I considered to have technical deficits (e.g., ColdFusion).

3. Constant teaching. Was always teaching Java or, later, Ruby in the evenings. Stayed sharp.

4. Constant networking. Very important -> I networked both at the tech level and at the business level. Keeping in touch with VPs of marketing and business development meant that when their cohort was looking for devs, the business-side VPs would think of me. Techie-to-techie referrals were nil.

5. Maturity. Was recruited into an executive position in 2002 perhaps because of attitude + tech skills.

mark_l_watson 17 hours ago 0 replies      
I had previously moved from San Diego to the mountains of Central Arizona - no problems finding good remote work before the bubble burst.

Afterwords there was not much work for a short while until I took a 6 month development gig (writing a Sharepoint clone) for a company in India at a not very high consulting rate, but by the time I was done the job market was better for remote workers.

kraig911 1 day ago 0 replies      
I went through about 12 jobs in the span of 6 months I think? At first it was easy to pivot into another opporunity but when it sunk it was hard... I was doing a lot of 'shockwave' and perl work - and still I wasn't sure wtf I was doing half the time. I went a year pretty much unemployed and start working in tv broadcasting but the pay there was equally bad.

I can understand why it happened. No one was educated some guy would get millions of funding for nothing but hype and high tail it out of there. People had money and were just cramming into places that didn't have a plan. I could literally walk into a place and make an animated gif on a webpage and people would oooooo'.

When it crashed it was literally like a vacuum and we all lived our life like 'that' didn't happen.

collyw 15 hours ago 1 reply      
Really bad for a fresh graduate in the UK. I was unemployed for a year and a half (I did get a couple of temporary low paid jobs to get some experience). There were jobs around and I got interviews, but in the end they all ended up saying "not enough experience".
poulsbohemian 1 day ago 0 replies      
If you are serious about a long-term career in tech and you are concerned about this, here are some considerations:

1) There are industries like health care and insurance that have traditionally been good places to hang your hat during a downturn. If you can learn about regulations, trends, and domain-specific tech in those fields, you will always have a job.

2) Both in the dot-com era and more recently, there were loads of people who entered the industry because they saw dollar signs. If a downturn hits, many will be quickly weeded out because they won't have put in the hard work to round out their skills and portfolio, or thought about their long-term career progression. You can avoid being pruned by planning ahead and taking action now to make sure you've got solid credentials.

jasonkester 1 day ago 0 replies      
The late '90s were fun.

Money was flying about in all directions and all you needed to do was stick your hand up and grab some of it. Your silly internet company would get $25 Million for the worst idea you could think of. If you'd read a "For Dummies" book, you could take your pick of $75/hr contracts or just grab as much $200/hr freelance work as you felt like. You could stick that surplus money into the market by picking any stock with an "e" in front of the name and watch it double in value every few weeks.

Then 2000 happened. And it went back to normal.


Not a disaster. Not the end of the world. Just back to regular jobs for regular companies with regular business plans for regular developer wages. If you were good at what you did, you were fine. If you were a converted business major, you went to law school. No sweat.

Everybody (at least everybody I was aware of) saw it coming. We were in a bubble. Yahoo wasn't going to double a fifth time that year, so it probably wasn't a good idea to accept that 10x leverage your brokerage offered and dump your life savings into it. We still partied like it was 1999 (since it was), but we were all ready for the day when the party ended.

Then it did. And we went on with our lives.

We might just do the same thing in a year or two. And again, it probably won't be that big a deal.

codingdave 22 hours ago 0 replies      
Corporate jobs and consulting jobs were still around, and most people I know went that direction for a few years. Salaries dropped about 10-20k, based on the conversation I ahd with people in those days.

The good developers I knew went into a holding pattern, sitting at whatever job they landed until things improved. It only took 2-3 years before the demand started to come back. At that point, there was another split, where the really good people went off to new jobs, and the less talented stayed in the same corporate jobs. This then left a few really good years to be working as a consultant, as the corporate teams had lost all their talent and needed help. The guys I know who rode that consulting wave have all since migrated into director or VP positions at consulting firms, and are doing quite well financially, even if they have sold their soul tot he corporate world.

Of course, not everyone went the consulting route. Many of us just stuck with coding, but found better places to do it, for better salaries. But most people my age (40s) have no interest in riding the startup wave again.

mooreds 1 day ago 0 replies      
For context, I was a junior developer during the dot com crash, in Boulder. I worked at a web consultancy.

I saw decent developers laid off, but good developers kept on. I saw companies desperately hunting for business (and signing ruinous contracts to have revenue). I saw promises to employees that had been made in exuberance broken (we'll open a London office). I saw poor business practices--lay offs the week of Thanksgiving, for example. I saw the business I was a part of get smaller and smaller as the fat was trimmed.

However, for good developers, there were still raises. I know some great people who were hired away, so I think that the job market still existed. But you certainly weren't getting the exuberant benefits in the new job.

I was too young to be on recruiters' radar, so I can't comment on that.

As far as insulating yourself, I think the best things you can do are:

   * be humble   * learn new skills   * be cognizant of the business and the value it provides to consumers, and where it is weak   * know if the business is profitable, and how (1 big customer? 1,000,000 small ones? advertising)    * save a large chunk of your salary, and not just in your 401k   * keep your network alive (maybe be an informal recruiter? http://www.mooreds.com/wordpress/archives/1728 )
The easiest way to keep a job is not to need it because you have a buffer of savings, a viable network, and have valuable skills. In my experience, those developers can land on their feet even when they are surprised by a layoff.

tomh 1 day ago 1 reply      
I'm surprised no one has mentioned F*cked Company so far: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fucked_Company

I graduated from ArsDigita University in 2001. Right time, right place to see stuff completely implode. I must have sent 100+ resumes during 2001, and temped at Harvard for a while until getting a job through a friend in Feb 2002, in Java development. It wasn't great, so I kept up the job search and finally went to grad school in 2003 while finding a part-time consulting job, also in Java. That kept me afloat until I graduated in 2006, and moved out of the USA.

Looking back, the companies acted like they could do no wrong, and it bit them hard. ArsDigita was a dot-com darling for a while, but it did crazy things like sign ten-year leases for a branch office that could seat 20-30 people and they had 2-3 actual employees in that city.

I remember in ArsDigita University, we weren't based in the actual office but a place about a metro stop away (where ITA Software based themselves a decade later, yay lisp), in the basement. We started the program in September, and one day in March we were let into a larger, nicer office on the first floor and were told that AD also rented this part as well, anticipating another 20 or so programmers would work here as well. It remained empty until we moved out of the space later that year.

rongenre 14 hours ago 0 replies      
Late December 2000, 2nd and Folsom in SF was completely full of BizDev types talking into their cell phones.

Around April 2001, pink slip parties were still happening, but people were getting nervous. VC funding had completely shut off, I think.

Late December 2001, 2nd and Folsom -- tumbleweeds and homeless people.

Recruiters went from being suckups to being sorta mean. They never liked us in the first place. Interviews became brutal. The best way to survive was learning a little business and knowing the difference between a cost and a revenue center.

vpeters25 1 day ago 1 reply      
> What were job-prospects like?

The market, at least in Dallas/Austin was barren. The only new job postings on job boards were repost by recruiters looking to pad their portfolios.

> How were your wages affected?

I keep lowering my expected hourly rate/salary weekly. When I got it down to 50% a recruiter called me back and got me something.

> Did recruiters simply cease to exist?

All the opportunistic, bad recruiters crawled back to whatever hole they came from. Same with all the unqualified "bandwagon programmers" who cashed on the bubble and gave all of us a bad reputation forcing hiring managers into brutal interviewing processes.

Recruiters were let go too, agencies closed or downsized. A few good ones remained.

> More to the point, what advice do you have for developers who want to be well-insulated if/when the next crash happens?

Well first, you got to have some sort of financial cushion and a plan to cut down expenses to the bone: the day I was laid of on 2001 I canceled my phone, cable, any other superfluous monthly expense. Also moved to smaller apartment as soon as I could. I knew it was going to be rough for a while.

Next is to know which industry to aim for: after 9/11 lots of money flowed to military contractors so I started aiming for that industry. I ended up programming for a company that provided services for the military until the market recovered.

enjo 1 day ago 0 replies      
I finished college in 2002, and moved to Dallas to support my wife while she pursued her PhD. Dallas was particularly hard hit with Texas Instruments and Ericsson shedding thousands of engineers. The market was flooded.

I submitted 45 applications. I ended up with two interviews. It took me 4 months to get my first job. I was being paid about half of what I was making as a high schooler in 1998.

In the end it was one of those strange blessings. That company ended up being a fledgling Quickoffice which launched me into my startup career.

Still, it was quite tense at the time.

HeyLaughingBoy 19 hours ago 0 replies      
Honestly, I barely noticed. Probably because although I was a software developer, I wasn't a web developer. The biggest impact on me was that my retention bonus went away. Because the company didn't want to lose devs due to the dot-com boom draining them away, my company paid a bonus in each paycheck to some developers to entice them to stay. Then sometime around 2003/2004 they realized they didn't need to pay it anymore and stopped the program.

Besides that, I never really noticed the crash. Hiring was just as difficult since the average unemployed web dev didn't do C++ and machine control, so the glut of developers didn't really help us.

adrianhoward 1 day ago 0 replies      
Me: Started selling software in 86. In student/ working at universities 88-96. Industry 96-now.

As for what I did during the crash started my own web/usability company in 2000. Nothing to do with the crash (the company I left was successful and bought a few years later would have made a lot more money if I'd stayed and waited for my stock to vest ;-) Just wanted to get out of management at the time.

Just because the VC / startup market was crashing and burning didn't mean that a whole stack of existing companies didn't want to get on the web at that time ;-)

From my perspective a lot of it depended on where you lived.

The folk I know who were working in the US at the time didn't really notice a lot of difference if they weren't in the valley or NYC. Because outside of those areas the crash didn't cause that large a change in the job market. In the UK (where I live) not a lot changed outside of London, and maybe Brighton.

If you were in SF or London though you were facing a lot of skilled people hitting the streets at roughly the same time. Which obviously drove wages down. For a time it was a employers market.

For me the biggest visible changes I saw were:

* on the bright side: far fewer idiots were hired

* on the dark side: far fewer newbies were hired and trained on the job

* I got fewer calls trying to poach me, and lower offers for London jobs

* I faced a lot of competition from other folk starting their own agencies after leaving a failing startup

The biggest problem was faced by complete newbies or folk still finding their feet since there were far more experienced folk around in the job market. And they got hired first.

Advice for developers who want to insulate themselves:

* If you're working now save money. Money gives you options.

* Be good at your job.

* Understand how to communicate to third parties that you are good at your job.

* Stop thinking that all work outside of the non-VC funded world is dull an uninteresting. It isn't.

* Have connections outside of the startup echo chamber.

* Live, or be willing to move to, locations that aren't flooded by hundreds of people just like you.

zikzak 1 day ago 0 replies      
I went back to school at 25 to get a CS degree in 1997. My first year I would hear stories of people about to complete bachelor's degrees being flown from Halifax to Boston (Canadian, here) to be courted (hotel, dinner, etc) by IT companies.

By the time I graduated in 2001 my cohort were taking jobs at Staples selling computers so there's that. Many people were getting into graduate programs to wait out the downturn. I am not sure how this affected minimum education standards for new hires down the road.

I did OK but there were some lean times.

harel 21 hours ago 0 replies      
My own personal 2 cents: I arrived to San Francisco in 1998, so I was there when things peaked. I got paid more money than was good for me at the time, and getting a job was easy. Getting funding was even easier. I worked for an ASP at the time and on many projects. Some ideas were so silly it beggared belief how they had seven figures in funding and unsurprisingly most failed. But if you had an idea that included that word internet somewhere in the business plan - you got funded. If you could hold a mouse and do a "Hello World" you could get hired. I was also hooked up with one of the larger party organisers in town at the time, working on their web site and music streaming app (though it was all 'website' then, not apps), I was also producing music, playing big parties. I enjoyed myself fully.

So, geeks were given millions and felt like they had to impress the investors. So if the competition moved to a new office, they moved to even bigger ones. If the CEO was driving a Porsche, they got a Ferrari. So you could tell a tech startup was in a building by the multiple Porsches parked outside. The same principle applied after the crash - you could tell a tech startup is crashing due to the multiple people coming out with cardboard boxes. Every day another startup next to us did the cardboard box dance. Our turn came as well of course. My next job lasted 2 months as that company tanked as well, and as a new recruit I was first to be let go. Next company lasted a bit longer but at that time the city was changed. Before the crash I had to park my car at the other side of town and take a taxi to it when I needed it. After the crash I could park everywhere I wanted and at any time. After the crash I had periods between jobs that I couldn't find any work. At all, but I was lucky (and good enough) to ultimately get a good gig. During those dead periods though I had to leave the City which was probably the hardest thing for me as I really like San Francisco.

I don't regret a thing though. And I think the crash ultimately did good to the industry. It was too much before it happened. A strange gold rush with a total lack of common sense. The waves to follow are somewhat more sensible.

reitoei 1 day ago 0 replies      
Jobs for developers/designers were hard to come by in Dublin immediately after the bubble, even for people like me who had experience. Ended up moving to London for two years to work in a different field of IT. A complete waste of time, hated the job, but I needed to pay the bills. Things bottomed out by 2003 and I came back to Dublin in 2004, have been working ever since.
einhverfr 1 day ago 0 replies      
In the Seattle area it was bad enough I started my own business, moved my family of 3 into my parent's house and tried to make do on my income tax refund.
blunte 1 day ago 2 replies      
My experience applies to Dallas/Houston/Boulder, which was probably very different from Silicon Valley.

Before:* Pay increases of 10-50% each year or two as you changed jobs.* Finding a job was a matter of sending your resume to 1 or 2 decent recruiters, then fielding the endless calls about opportunities.* High quality, challenging technical interviews from senior developers and engineers.

After:* No significant pay increases anymore.* Recruiters that never answered emails or calls (explained below).* Low quality interviews given by hiring managers, or in some cases by contractors with little experience of their own.* H1-B visas bringing in floods of people who largely could not solve problems and who needed to be given every solution just short of typing the code.

Prior to dot-com bust, recruiters were professionals who had a fair grasp of the technologies and industries they were involved in. They seemed to treat their jobs as actual professions rather than as temporary stepping stones to something else.

After the bust, companies reigned in their (perhaps overly aggressive) hiring and IT growth, leading to perhaps an over-abundance of recruiting firms. But at the same time, new recruiting firms emerged staffed by low (no) quality keyword-searching resume-pushing monkeys who would work for peanuts. Thus, the real recruiting firms cut staff so severely that the remaining few were buried under resumes of all the IT people displaced (let go).

Companies still had positions open, even advertising them, but hiring managers were very reluctant to actually fill those positions. Despite approvals to hire, nobody wanted to take the risk of actually spending the money on more staff.

This led to the growth in low skill H1-B labor, which further reduced the need for quality recruiters. It all became a game of numbers, a race to the lowest common denominator.

When that didn't produce positive results for industries, corporate management (who could count money but could not judge IT quality) made the next obvious step - offshoring. This further ruined the environment.

Basically there was an 8-10 year dark age in IT (unless perhaps you were in Silicon Valley... I can't speak for that). It still hasn't recovered fully, and it probably never will.

thomasfl 1 day ago 0 replies      
I experienced suddenly loosing my job, wife and house all in a few weeks time during the dot-com crash in 2001. I went from managing a group of 16 web developers in a large international ISP to do web server sysop. I was lucky. There were 45 others that applied for the same job, and I was really just a university dropout. In 1997 I contacted 7 different companies just for fun to see if they would offer me a job. They all offered me jobs. One guy offered me a job in less than 5 minutes without knowing anything about me, except that I knew how to write html and cgi scripts. It was simply to easy to get a job back then.

Later I went on to finish a masters degree in computer science and have two more kids.

jexe 1 day ago 1 reply      
My second dot-com (in NYC) almost bit the dust in 2001 after bunches of layoffs, but management incredibly figured out how to make it through another five-ish years.

The thing that stands out to me the most about that period in time was how flat it was. No significant pay raises, no new hires, nobody leaving (where wasn't really anywhere decent to go). The team and the work fortunately stayed interesting.

Take that for what it's worth - I'm just one data point. Also, the last couple years have been too good to us in our industry, but I don't think it's anything like the absurdity of the late 90's, so I would be surprised if there was a crash that hit as hard.

Also, to echo what others here have said, we didn't know we had it so good until we suddenly didn't. If you're in your first job in a fabulously-funded tech startup with bizarro perks, brace yourself that it may not be normal. :) But appreciate it while you've got it!

tmaly 22 hours ago 0 replies      
I was just graduating 6 months before the crash. I had a job lined up designing cable modem chips for Intel. They gave me 2.5 months salary to not show up. I sent out resumes for a while, but no bites. A friend of mine sent out 2,200 resumes and did find one bite after a while. It was pretty tough, but I picked up some books and learned some new skills. Eventually I found some freelancing projects through a friend. I was able to travel around the world for a bit. I eventually found a full time position using my new skills.
bethling 1 day ago 1 reply      
I worked for two companies in 2000-2002 that went belly up. I was lucky to not be unemployed too long during that time, but it just reinforced that I was lucky to even have a job. I didn't even think about negotiating an offer until recently. That mind set put me back so much that when I became a manager a few years ago, I saw that the company I was working for (one of the big tech companies) was paying fresh college graduates more than I was getting.

I also remember a few times where I was interviewing tech writers, and they would beg me for the job - they had been out of work for 2-3 years.

I don't think it will get that bad if the current cycle bursts. There's a lot more tech companies out there that are making money, and even if/when the VC money dries up there will be some jobs.

knieveltech 1 day ago 0 replies      
It was ridiculous. Newspaper classifieds were still kind of a thing at the time, and I vividly recall section 110 (computer jobs) disappearing entirely for over a year. During the bleakest period the few local businesses that were hiring were asking for insane skill combinations, a decade or more of prior experience, and offering the kind of wages you'd expect working in fast food. The tech support call center I was working at at the time had dudes with advanced degrees and many years of industry experience working 2nd shift just to have some cash coming in. Local news outlets were running stories about senior network admins and programmers with advanced degrees leaving the industry entirely to start up landscaping businesses and the like. It got pretty grim.
sendquick 1 day ago 0 replies      
The earlier bust had a lot of fluff bursting from the bubble, but there were solid, growing companies as well. GoTo (later Overture, then a Yahoo purchase) was ramping up its pay-per-click ad model and several brick and mortar companies were still trying to gain a presence on the web, and were willing to pay for it. Google launched Adwords in October of 2000 and its growth since then needs no recap. Basically nascent companies that were ideas sans business plan fell by the way side, but there was still active investments being made and a growing ecosystem online. A lot of capital shifted into that ecosystem--track newspaper closures with Adwords' growth. Valuations took the biggest hit, but the work didn't.
colinmegill 1 day ago 0 replies      
I also started programming after the bust. This discussion reminds me of an a16z deck I saw a while ago... (http://a16z.com/2014/10/28/mobile-is-eating-the-world/). As people are demanding their Wells Fargo account on their iPhone, what we now call 'tech' has penetrated far enough now to be partly independent of the VCs, so a funding cycle will not mean the total destruction of all careers which were narrowly iOS.
arfliw 1 day ago 0 replies      
As somebody who hired developers at that time, it was far different from today. You could put a job listing up on Craigslist and have an inbox full of 100+ developers, many of whom had great resumes at name brand companies, who were willing to work for a few grand a month. Today it takes $100k+/year to get good people and even that isn't enough. You have to give them a reason beyond money to pick you over all of the other offers they are getting. They didn't care back then, as long as you could pay them.
ebiester 1 day ago 0 replies      
Every time I hear about this, I think about how much of a mistake I made not getting my associate's in '97 and heading to the bay. I, too, graduated into the crash in 2001, but I was lucky because I had an independent study with a professor who referred me to his friend who was hiring.

Now, while it was terrible for B2C, government consulting was booming. It wasn't the sexiest of work, but it was a good four years of my life.

I just wonder what would have happened if I could have grabbed the money and then go to school during the crash instead... Perhaps it wouldn't have made a difference.

snarfy 22 hours ago 0 replies      
It definitely made my lack of a degree all the more painful. I had enough technical chops to get the job once in the interview, but getting the interview was the hard part. I have a pretty diverse skill set which helped land some jobs that I'm sure they couldn't find anybody else for, e.g. windows 9x device drivers.
stuaxo 1 day ago 0 replies      
Having only a years experience at the time, it wasnt possible to find anything, so I spent two years doing non development jobs ( data entry, then a year on a helpdesk ).

In a way it was good, as when I went back, I no longer did java.

(Edit): 6 months unsuccessful job hunting for dev roles, then after money ran out, back to home town and living in a place my mother owned and taking any job I could.

buddy_tucker 1 day ago 1 reply      
Wiped me out. And chances of a recovery are `nil` at this point :/
psygnisfive 1 day ago 0 replies      
Speaking of The Bubble, there's a documentary on YouTube filmed shortly after/during the burst. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EsVpNB2Lv3U

At one point you see these things, pink slip parties.. fascinating stuff. http://www.investopedia.com/terms/p/pink-slip-party.asp

Anyway, we're not in a bubble, so don't worry. :)

cleaver 1 day ago 1 reply      
My experience running my own small consulting company was actually positive. In the late 90's I thought I was a loser since nobody was handing me seven-figure cheques. In hindsite, the stuff I worked on was solid and maybe better than the flashy dot-coms. By focusing on business value rather than what was fashionable gained us increasing revenues year after year.

2008-9 was actually worse... that was the first decline in revenues and it combined with changing climate toward outsourcing with our government clients.

saltcod 22 hours ago 0 replies      
I knew a guy who did a year-long, very expensive program in "IT". He said that they did "some" programming, and by the end reported that they were "just getting into arrays".

So...yeah.... if people like that were getting top salaries, then things were a bit crazy.

mgarfias 1 day ago 0 replies      
Out of work for 9 months, hired at 1/2 the salary (admittedly it was from inflated Bay Area wage to New Mexico wage) at a crap company that was super stressful.

I was dumb, had a couple of options to jump ship from the place that laid me off, and I didn't take them as I was insistent on moving to NM where my girlfriend was in grad school.

Shoulda stayed in the Bay Area. Rule of thumb: if something smells fishy about your current job: start looking asap.

stevewilhelm 1 day ago 0 replies      
It was definitely an employer's market. You could look for people with five or more years of experience in exactly the market and technologies you required.

For example, a job posting looked something like 'Five to seven years of experience building hospitality services using Java Servlets and Oracle Databases.' They would get dozens of qualified resumes and could hire someone for significantly less their previous salary.

georgeecollins 1 day ago 1 reply      
As I recall, talented people were still paid well in 2002, it was just not as hard to find them.

Also, the "dot com bubble" makes it sound like it happened all of the sudden. Lots of smart people thought things were fishy by 1998. By 2000 everyone was convinced. Just because some people are talking bubble now doesn't mean things are going to fall apart next month. Make hay while the sun shines. And be careful about car leases and mortgages.

la6470 1 day ago 0 replies      
I was a Unix sysadmin and in 2000 I could land a 100k job with 6 skills. 2002 I considered myself lucky if I could land a 60k job with 10 new skills. Since then every year I made it a point to tackle 4-5 new technologies. So far it has served me well.
rodnor 5 hours ago 0 replies      
Can anyone elaborate on the experience that Product Managers had in these times?


csixty4 1 day ago 1 reply      
I was fed up with college in the summer of 1998. I was tired of a computer science degree program which required classes in COBOL and IBM 370 assembler. So, I went home to get an associate's degree and start earning some of that hot dot-com dough. By the Spring of 1999, I was looking for my first programming job with another year to go on my two-year degree.

That job search took months. Without a degree or professional experience, I didn't hear back from anyone. Which really stunk, because back then you had to fax your resume and my local Kinko's charged something like a buck a page. I was stocking the sci-fi section at Borders and reading computer books at night.

There was nothing like today's open source community, no sites like Github. It you couldn't point to a commercial product you built, you had no business claiming you could program. Recruiters wouldn't even talk to me.

I got a job at a company that hired pretty much anyone and sent them to a two-week BASIC course and made them web programmers. Literally, the guy who sat next to me drove limos and had zero exposure to programming before taking the job. But they could bill for his time by the hour, so...great! You can read a bit about my story and the technologies I worked with there in my three-part blog series "Pick is a living fossil of computer history" https://davidmichaelross.com/blog/a-living-fossil-of-compute...

Once I took that job doing Pick, I heard from recruiters at least once a week...for Pick jobs. Again, unless you had a job with a certain technology, you couldn't get a job with that technology, because there were 20 other people with more experience willing to work for the same crappy entry-level wages.

The early 2000s were much the same until I dropped $1000 of my own money on a Java certification and suddenly I was getting calls about Java positions all day long.

My advice? I hate telling people to build up a Github profile because not everyone has the luxury of coding in their spare time. But that's one of the most visible things you can do to prove your knowledge of different technologies. Be glad you have it, and use the heck out of it.

Save up money so you can go for months without a programmer's salary. You might need to.

Accept that you might have to take a job that's not very interesting of glamorous. But never take a job in a technology as old as your parents.

nickbauman 1 day ago 0 replies      
I went through a dry patch in the beginning of 2002 that lasted until March. I then got a job working for a company that was acquired by Oracle 4 years later. I've never had a problem finding work since.
la6470 1 day ago 0 replies      
One of the most popular site that came into existence during the crisis was called fuckedcompanies.com which published layoff memos from all the companies. It wad that bad.
snoonan 1 day ago 0 replies      
I entered the job market at 19 years old in 1998.

I did what's now called DevOps, automating server and code deployment, monitoring, etc. I could do no wrong. Got promoted, ran a team before I could buy a drink. Got treated like a rockstar with every role I chose to take. People needed to scale and I knew how to do it without hiring a room full of network admins. Serious stock options. My compensation felt like it was following Moore's Law.

The startup I worked at failed. My friends, colleagues, former managers, almost entire network all got kicked to the curb around the same time. Recruiters dropped off the face of the earth. There was no one out there to reach out to.

I collected unemployment for a few months.

I ended up taking a basic IT admin job for a drug trial company at about 60% my salary. A friend of mine landed at a small business Windows IT consulting shop with a bonus structure I could kill, so I interviewed there. I ended up as a local field engineer driving around to different small business clients fixing windows desktops and printers, but with an extra hours bonus structure that had me back up to my previous salary in a couple of years.

In short, I went from a Unix/Linux rockstar to Windows network guy. Now I own my own language learning business and I'm back doing part time DevOps consulting (what's old is new again). I bill out at $225/hr because people want to scale again. It's nuts because just a few short years ago there wasn't a company on this earth that would touch me for $30/hr.

How does it relate to now? I just spent the past two weeks consulting at a couple of startups, including directly for a startup accelerator and wow, yeah. It's the same vibe.

I got back on my feet. Most of my friends did too. I had to fix Windows XP desktops for pipe supply companies and law firms for a while. I had to launch my own non-sexy business to really get out of it. Now my tech skill set and interest happened to be popular again, so I'm taking advantage of that and doing some consulting. I don't expect the tech stuff to last, so I prefer to look at my own small language business as my long-term gig. I don't trust this.

My advice... Industries go through ups and downs, so you will experience it at some point. I survived by becoming OK with helping businesses outside of the bubble. I built my own more or less non-tech business on the side that grew to where I can live off of that if I need to. I advise maintaining a good network across several industries. If the tech startups bubble pops, you can write code for industrial robot control panels or billing systems. Network in industries outside your comfort zone. My sister-in-law wrote systems on contract for a hotel. A friend of mine works on enterprise tax software for Mexican companies. If the bubble pops, have a diverse network to reach out to. The front door's going to be jammed with resumes from people like you, all at once.

hijinks 1 day ago 0 replies      
there was a pretty good post about it on quora a while ago


antidaily 1 day ago 0 replies      
Let's just say it became way more difficult to get $5k gigs building Flash banner ads.
la6470 1 day ago 0 replies      
2000 I thought IT was the king. 2002 I knew business was the king.
DanielBMarkham 1 day ago 0 replies      
The dot-com crash was quite an adventure. Being a coder/PM, I really didn't realize we were in it until it was already several months in.

I had left one gig and had started looking for the next one. One month I was getting multiple 6-figure full-time job offers. The next month the phone didn't ring.

I ended up going back to basics: marketing. I went through the online job boards and found which skills were still selling, then revised my resume to focus on those. I made my pitch better and started to talking to recruiters.

It's all still just a numbers game. There's a funnel of jobs you apply for. The next level is the recruiter interview, then the tech interview. Different rate quotes get different amounts of volume into the top of the funnel.

I ended up taking a 30% cut from my rate before. That went on for a few months, then the next job was back at my normal rate. In fact, the more I worked the market the better my rates got. I took a big hit for the several months it took to re-tool, but in general within a year or two I was doing as good or better than before. (The only exception is that the full-time job calls dried up.)

The rule of thumb here is that multi-skilled contractors can always find work as long as they have good marketing and sales skills. The guys who had been camping out at the same job for several years and not growing their skillset had the worst time of it.

x0x0 1 day ago 0 replies      
You all are forgetting FC. Fucked was the front page of the startup scene. What was the bubble like? Discovering you were laid off by reading it on FC. Thanks to archive for saving all the content.

Oh, and having a friend who is a very good engineer (ms cs from mit) take a job for $45k to put a dent in their mortgage.


samstave 14 hours ago 0 replies      
Late to the party, but here is my experience:

Absolutely dead.

I went on sabbatical in October 2000 to SE Asia to backpack for 6 months. When I left, my current company had an open return door for me in my position. I also had two other companies that I had been talking to about working for either of them when I got back.

When I got back in March, there were no jobs to be had. I had money in the bank though and didnt realize how bad it was. Six months after getting back we had a party where ~55 people showed up. All tech workers. Out of the 55, only 3 had jobs.

It wasnt for another 12 months that I found a job - falling back to my previous skill as an architectural drafter. Fortunately it was for a small design firm that was wanting to do more technical stuff - so we were designing datacenters, server rooms, corp stuff. It worked out well - but for 18 months it was really really really bad. I only survived because my family owned my condo and I had a roommate who paid me $750/month in rent which is what I lived on. I couldnt get unemployment because I voluntarily left for my trip - on which I spent almost all my savings.

Ologn 1 day ago 0 replies      
> the job-market I've always experienced has been one of ever-increasing demand

Believe me that can change. In a heartbeat. February 2000 and February 2002 were like night and day. BSCS's become much more important as opposed to just experience. You will see more "BSCS required" in ads. Networking - people who stayed in touch with former coworkers etc. came out ahead.

My career started in 1996. I had very little college, but knew Unix decently enough to be a sysadmin. I started at a small ISP, followed by a dot-com startup, followed by another dot-com startup which I was at in 2000.

I thought technology stock price/earnings ratios were at historic highs in early 2000 and was expecting a correction. I expected the crash, although it was bigger and longer than I expected. I thought getting some Fortune 500 experience on my resume would be a good idea. By the end of the year I was employed at a consulting company that placed me as a Unix sysadmin at a Fortune 100 financial company. Actually within a few months the company laid off internal staff and told the consulting company (which was pretty integrated into the staff) that they wanted some consultants cut, which I (barely) survived.

One mantra of our large consulting company is we never had to worry about the next assignment and money, but that was not true. During good times, they made the lion's share of the consulting fees, during bad times they fired anyone who could not be placed almost immediately. So the security they promised did not exist. I had time clocked in at a good placement though so I was safe.

I also had my own startup side project which I killed when the stock market crashed. It was kind of like a Geocities for video games. It had begun to get traction. It was very dependent on disk space, and I had been thinking of spending tens of thousands of dollars of my own money, not just on some servers but on disk arrays. Happily I never bought them. I went with the times - more focused on traction and "eyeballs" than revenue (although I made some revenue from beyond.com which sold software online, it was a public company whose shares went from over $600 to less than $1 and then bankruptcy).

Nowadays my efforts are more focused on bootstrapping and getting revenue early. It's worth it for an angel or VC to goad you on to spending money and chasing traction. They have dozens of bets and only need a few to pay off, you on the other hand might waste years of your life. I spent little money (colo'd at my old ISP), and a year of time, and learned programming etc. better so it wasn't bad.

I visited the Bay Area in late 2000 and had a job offer also, luckily for me I did not pack up and move there.

In terms of insulation: * A BSCS helps* Having lots of money saved helps* Money saved does not mean 95% invested in Rackspace stock, since stocks can go down as well as up* Keeping in contact with former coworkers helps* Having some clean, well architected, "Code Complete" proper code on Github helps* Having a side income from your own personal web sites, apps etc. helps

Another thing - right now the Bay Area is hot and other US cities are not as much. But from what I heard from friends, things were bad in the Bay Area in 2000-2001, whereas in LA, New York, Chicago, Boston, DC etc., they were not hit as hard by the tech crash.

Also, some people I knew were buying tech stocks on the margin in 2000 or even options (10% margin). They lost a lot. Also, unemployed people can eat through their savings very quickly. But there is no better insulation than having a lot of money saved up.

bane 22 hours ago 0 replies      
Absolutely brutal.

I was a Windows developer at the time and I remember a co-worker of mine left to join a startup and make it big. He started work at 8am, was downsized by 2pm and the company shut-down 2 days later. I worked with another guy who was going back to school for a certification, one of those early for profit schools, they had apparently invested much of their profit and when the market crashed, simply fired everybody in the middle of a semester, locked the doors and walked away.

Many of my peers moved back in with their parents and for lack of a job, simply went back to school and got their M.S.'s hoping to ride it out. I know a number of people who left the field entirely and started all kinds of random businesses: personalized woodburnt gift "cards", home-made chocolates, etc.

The company I worked for ended up simply running out of money, nobody had liquid capital to do anything like buy things or be our customer. We simply stopped getting paid.

I left, and through some connections, found a paid internship in a different career to make ends meet, on weekends I refurbished people's decks and delivered rides to kids' birthday parties. Through a twist of fate, my wife was in a weird immigration status and couldn't work (in those days you needed a work authorization card while waiting for your green card and the government was way behind in keeping them up-to-date). We were literally eating Ramen and Taco Bell for most of our food. I grew up pretty poor so it wasn't too much of a downslope, but it was pretty distressing for my wife. One pay period, my wife accidentally threw away my pay check in the trash, we wouldn't have been able to make rent and would have ended up homeless if I hadn't gotten my company to void it and issue me a new one.

Then 9/11 hit and things got worse. Immigration processes absolutely ground to a halt. My wife lost a job she had been able to get on her work authorization papers when they expired and the Immigration service forgot to issue her a new one. I remember an exorbitant anniversary dinner we went to at Olive Garden. We saved up for 2 months for it. It cost about $35 for the two of us. We asked for another basket of all you can eat breadsticks and a pasta refill then took the entire basket and all the pasta home with us so we could split it on another meal.

The place I was working at was delighted with me, and as a reward offered me another paid internship. Nonplussed with their generous offer, I applied to something like 300 other open positions, but the requirements had become insane: 5-7 years experience in fields that hadn't even existed 2 years prior, for entry-level positions paying less than I was making at my internship! I stayed at my internship. When it expired they offered to convert me to full-time at the same rate, but with benefits now being taken out I was bringing home less money!

It was about this time that lots of the courtesy in the hiring process disappeared, things like calling back applicants to let them know their application had been reviewed but they had decided to go another direction, that sort of thing, simply stopped.

On top of all of this, outsourcing was becoming a thing, and tons of jobs were moving to India. Many major employers simply stopped hiring or fired all their technical staff and moved everything overseas. For most of them, it didn't really work out, but it had a major impact in the number of openings and the requirements for the openings. You literally didn't know if your job would exist from one-week to the next.

For me, things started to turn around some time in 2003-2004. My wife finally was able to work after getting her Green Card, my internship converted into a full-time position with better pay, cost to borrow money was stupid low (at the time) with bizarre favorable finance rules (that later got the country in trouble) and we bought a house and started building equity.

The housing market became insane and we sold our house, 2 years after buying it, for a 40% profit. In the meanwhile both of our careers had turn into actual careers and not desperate grabbing at scraps. Outsourcing started to show major weaknesses.

A lot of the excesses of the dot-com bubble and pre 9-11 were carefully scrutinized. Dumb shit like starting a company and spending half the investment money on lava lamps were understood to be a bad thing now. Actually needing a business plan became important. It stopped being possible for 19 year olds with 2 years of experience and a 9 page resume made up of fabrications to get hired into mature startups as directors of engineering and paid $200k salaries. Perl started to fall out of favor as a major force in the development of the Web and Java shops started to become a major "thing".

InclinedPlane 1 day ago 0 replies      
Super terrible. First off, there were far fewer tech companies total. Worse, the internet was still immature. Which had a couple consequences.

One, there were just fewer jobs and yet a lot of people competing for them, so it was especially hard if you didn't have a strong resume. Second, remote work was uncommon so if you didn't already live in a tech hub city you were pretty screwed. Third, performing the hiring process via the internet was iffy. Going through the process back then often involved stuffing a printed resume into an envelope and mailing it somewhere along with a printed cover letter, then waiting for a return letter or a phone call (which will probably just go to your voicemail or answering machine).

Granted, the tech field was a little better but not much, and not universally.

Ask HN: Node.js devs - What apps are you building? What tools are you using?
20 points by mousetraps  12 hours ago   15 comments top 7
proveanegative 40 minutes ago 0 replies      
I can't fill out the survey right now but I like ClojureScript. I'd love a ParEdit mode in VS for ClojureScript.

Disappointed edit: Your account has given answers on a range of Microsoft-related topics with different writing styles (rather decaf at first). Have multiple people at Microsoft used this account?

ketralnis 6 hours ago 1 reply      
I don't really HN want to be a place that companies think they can reach developers, whether for surveys or advertising. It's an extremely slippery slope to being a marketing channel, and then the gaming of the system begins.
KhalPanda 3 hours ago 1 reply      
> [P.S. random 50 survey participants will get $5 towards caffeine or whatever else you like at Starbucks]

Your submission and responses read as if you already consumed the $250 of caffeine yourself. Can we tone it down a bit? It's 9am. :-)

Submitted my response.

stevekemp 1 hour ago 1 reply      
Unfortunate typo there calling Linux "Linus".
sgslo 6 hours ago 1 reply      
I'm happy to take the survey, it will be interesting to see what MSFT works out over the coming months.

Small pet peeve: It'd be nice if you didn't require input on all forms of the survey, especially the open response text fields. I understand if instant.ly doesn't give you an option.

markuz 5 hours ago 1 reply      
I don't like surveys, but I can tell you this.ES6 all the way down. ES7 async stuff looks great.facebook flow looks promising

take a look at 6to5 project

mkoryak 9 hours ago 1 reply      
I wasnt aware that AngularJS is considered a nodejs technology.

for that matter, why is NPM on that list? who uses node without using NPM?

Why you should think twice about Freelancer.com
104 points by Bigdognec  22 hours ago   63 comments top 19
msamoylov 1 hour ago 0 replies      
A freelance marketplace is always full of cheap and mindless people who are not able to deliver anything. They place random bids and produce crap.

Unfortunately most of clients don't realize that it's not possible to get a quality work for $20 per hour or even less. They get frustrated and disappointed in a whole idea of hiring a freelancer.

P.S. If you need a reliable person for your Python or Javascript work just drop me a line ;-) http://careers.stackoverflow.com/msamoylov

zwetan 18 hours ago 1 reply      
I wasted some time testing those sites: freelancer, odesk and elance

here is my conclusion: whatever you do, you will always end up having problems with those kind of site.

Either the escrow can be reverted, or the site side with the "employer", how about installing that odesk thing that take a screenshot of your desktop every few minutes ? and on, and on, etc.

I worked as a freelancer without such web sites for 10+ years (both in France and UK),either solo by networking etc. or via an agent that was finding clients for me in exchange of a 20% commission (yes that's not a typo) and this was 10 times better that any freelancer web site.

So what is the real problem ?

you (the freelancer) are actually the product

so called "employers" can play the game "let's find the cheapest product"(eg. let's hire a freelancer that can work for $8/hour in some other country)

you can not do any margin with a competition toward "cheap"either you invoice per hour, so even if you do the job faster than someone elseyou just invoice the actual hours, or you bid on a fixed price which is also a race to lowest amount of money.

It is absolutely a no-win situation

as an individual or a companywether you're building web sites, applications, mobile apps, etc.all those things have high valuesit is absolutely OK to invoice more that the time it took you to do iteg. make a margin to make a living

also those sites tend to concentrate "bad clients"eg. the one who don't understand technology, why it cost so much to do this,why you can not build something complicated in 10 minutes, etc.exactly the kind of clients you try to avoid at all cost

gregthompsonjr 21 hours ago 1 reply      
I try to stay away from sites like that in the first place, because I see wasting a lot of time building a reputation before getting actual work. It just never made sense to me.

The sites like Freelancer and oDesk are saturated with highly competitive, cheap developers from Asia anyway. It's annoying. Nothing against Asians, but I wouldn't try to dive into a pool of them to get work. It's unrealistic in most cases, because they eat up opportunity like machines -- in large numbers.

Better off just cold calling.

k-mcgrady 21 hours ago 2 replies      
Freelancer is awful. In fact all of those sites are. I made my living off Freelancer for a few years and I can't count the number of times they severely screwed me. I move to Elance which, although much better, has it's own issues. I try to find long-term clients on those sites and move the business away from them as quick as possible and that seems to work well.
gedrap 20 hours ago 0 replies      
When I was freelancing, I tried similar sites and stayed away.It is largely a race to the bottom in terms of prices, and writing unique cover letters consumes a lot of time.

I had much much better results with a monthly 'looking for a freelancer' thread on HN, and instead of writing the cover letters there, I spent time on studying and improving my skills.

michaelkoz 18 hours ago 2 replies      
I own a company and have been using ODESK for the last six years. I have spent nearly 35,000 on above average programmers, their normal rate of pay is anywhere between 15 and 65.00 an hour. At first, i selected this site because it was a good source of low paid talent, but then I realized there were some really solid developers/programmers using the service.

I only really had problem with 2-3 guys who said they were good, but you know during the job they were Googling answers to the problems I had and had no real experience, but for the most part, some great programmers there.

I recommend ODESK, as a buyer, I am super protected from people not following through, so i have some confidence, aside from hiring locally for temp/programming work, I always use Odesk.

deathtrader666 19 hours ago 2 replies      
This is Rishi, and I am the Co-Founder at http://dreamlance.io/

We are starting Dreamlance, a curated marketplace for projects and professionals.

Here are 3 ways how Dreamlance is different from all other curated marketplaces:

1. The Dreamlance Team actually vets each project that gets posted on our boards

- We make sure the project description is complete - We make sure the project deliverables are crystal clear - We make sure the project cost matches the effort required

We put in all this effort so that you dont have to spend a third of your time qualifying leads. We qualify, prepare and polish them for you.

2. We provide a hassle-free & secure payments platform via escrow

- You begin work only when the project owner funds the agreed upon milestone - Once the conditions for the milestone completion are met, we release the funds to you

This way you dont have to worry about chasing down unpaid invoices

3. We provide highly qualified assistance in resolving conflicts - In the event of a conflict of opinion between you and the project owner, we step in and provide unbiased arbitration - We ourselves have seen sticky situations in the middle of a project, and we believe our arbitration expertise will be of immense value to you

For these premium services, we would be charging you only 7.5% of the project cost, an industry low.

I strongly believe Dreamlance will soon become your preferred platform for professional freelancing.

To sign up with us, please visit http://dreamlance.io/apply

And we are happy to have your referrals :)

If you have any questions, please feel free to email me at rishi@dreamlance.io

itl12 21 hours ago 1 reply      
As a western developer, is it possible to earn six figures (US) from any of the bidding sites? Which would be the best to focus on?
alex_hitchins 21 hours ago 0 replies      
Does anyone have a good alternative? Like many people commenting, so many people are willing to do insane amounts of work for next to nothing - where do those who provide value-added services look to outsource or tender?
j4pe 21 hours ago 2 replies      
I've been thinking about forming a co-op for a trusted network of freelancers, to handle the crummy parts of the job (sourcing, selling, collecting) while encouraging the good parts (building, branding, partnering with quality colleagues). I had similar experiences being left with fake jobs/bad credit through freelance markets.

Thanks for sharing! I generally take longer-term gigs, so consistent dealflow isn't as big an of an issue for me. OP, what are you planning to do to fix your offline-network problem?

mudil 19 hours ago 0 replies      
I had pretty difficult experiences with Freelancer.com. I even documented it in this thread:


To summarize: I had a big project, that was not delivered after a several milestones, so the developer canceled the project, took the escrow, and I couldn't even leave a feedback!

settsu 21 hours ago 1 reply      
Use your Freelancer portfolio to get contract work with agencies. They tend to fancy themselves one stop shops for clients and you can capitalize on that.
posnet 19 hours ago 1 reply      
I always wonder when I hear these sort of stories out coming out of odesk, freelancer or elance, if the sort of highly qualified developer is actally their target market. Now I am not saying that people on freelancer are incompetent but like the original post said they now don't have a network outside of freelancer which is far more imporant for an actual freelancer web developer as opposed to someone in india or the phillipines were freelancer.com or similar is their only opertunity for work.
debacle 20 hours ago 0 replies      
> But by growing within freelancer, I had neglected forming my offline network.

You can't advertise the work you've done through freelancer.com as your own?

mk3 21 hours ago 3 replies      
Had similar issues with oDesk, which is now as I know is owned by the same company as freelancer.com. Though it has time tracking and I always tried to bid only on projects with hourly rates, I got stuck with non paying client which dissapeared from the face of the earth, and even when submitting that project is canceled from my side because of no show they are not closing the project. Not to mention I was not paid at all.After this incident I decided to move away from oDesk and similar platforms. As the hourly rates are low, and getting repeating clients with whom you already have relationship to work outside oDesk is easy.

Also there is an issue with 3rd world developers who are making impression that freelancers should be paid dime on a buck.

From client side there are different horror stories when clients are scammed into accepting low-rate bidder, and get burned heavily, and then either turn back from these platforms, or turn to accepting only bids from local country.

sosuke 19 hours ago 0 replies      
I've had luck working with Creative Circle, even found full remote stuff. The rates aren't high since they take a cut, but you can sit back and let the jobs roll in. Very passive freelancing.
DavidWanjiru 21 hours ago 2 replies      
Well, a platform like freelancer is designed intentionally such that you can't, or at least shouldn't, build contact with clients off the platform. Otherwise you and your clients have no use for freelancer.
SixSigma 20 hours ago 0 replies      
I did quite a bit of work on vWorker. I enjoyed doing it and got a very good reputation but I ended up making about $1 an hour
curiously 19 hours ago 0 replies      
Stay away from any website that acts as a marketplace. Their incentives are not aligned with you the Freelancer. Their aim is to get as much money as possible through the market in order to boost revenues from the commission.
Ask HN: XMPP/Jabber self hosting
61 points by BreaXerox  20 hours ago   45 comments top 25
structural 19 hours ago 4 replies      
I've set up a XMPP server using Prosody after evaluating what are typically regarded as the top 3 implementations (ejabberd, Openfire, and Prosody).

I ended up with a Prosody install primarily for two reasons:1) Memory consumption/stability2) Authentication support

The XMPP server hosts up to 700-800 simultaneous users and is located on a machine that provides many other services. With both ejabberd and openfire at this scale, memory consumption was in the several hundred megabyte range and (specifically ejabberd) typically had CPU load of 10-20% of a core.

The prosody setup I ended up using was significantly more lightweight and was simple to set up with server authenticating logins against TLS-enabled LDAP.

In the past, ejabberd was avoided because of serious security issues with the software, but in the past few years it looks like they've gotten their act together somewhat. That said, there's still some recent CVEs, you would want to pay attention to this if deploying ejabberd in any public-facinc infrastructure. As an example, ejabberd used to _require_ storing all passwords in plaintext, claiming that this was "more secure" than the alternatives (ref: https://www.ejabberd.im/plaintext-passwords-db)

xorcist 19 hours ago 1 reply      
I've been though jabberd2, ejabberd and has since a couple of years stuck with Prosody.

The main strengths are that it is very simple and lightweight, and uses less resources. The drawbacks is that it is simple and lightweight, so anything more complicated for corporate deployments is something you often have to roll up your sleeves and implement yourself.

I was scared to run it at first because it is written in Lua, which is an unknown language to me. However, I must say it is quite an elegant language. I could get an authentication plugin running after looking at an existing one, and I trusted it enough to run in production internally for a small team (and it turned out to work well for us).

Edit: Be sure to get a real certificate (startssl is fine), if you intend to use s2s. During the past year or two, most public servers has started to care.

preillyme 19 hours ago 0 replies      
I use MongooseIM and it is a base platform for building high performance messaging systems leveraging XMPP. It is designed to provide communication for millions of concurrent online users in high growth sectors such as Social Media, Gaming and Telecommunications. It is highly customisable due to its clean and modular design allowing easy integration with pre-existing solutions within a company.MongooseIM is truly innovative for building high volume scalable instant messaging solutions, having features specifically designed for enterprise and business.

It's a port of eJabberd and brings it up to ErlangOTP standards.


agwa 19 hours ago 2 replies      
I've been using Prosody for ~2 years on a couple servers and I can't recommend it highly enough: it's extremely simple, lightweight, and easy to configure. Its author is even on HN. https://prosody.im/

I don't recommend ejabberd, unless perhaps you need to cluster. It consumes a lot of memory, which is undesirable on a VPS, and once I managed to get an ejabberd server into such a weird state that it required dropping to its REPL and writing Erlang to fix it (fortunately I have a friend who knows Erlang)!

smacktoward 20 hours ago 4 replies      
I run ejabberd on my personal domain. It was easy to set up and has run without really needing any active management for a few years now.
andrewjwu 5 hours ago 0 replies      
I've been thinking about hosting my own XMPP server as well. Does anyone have any recommendations on the most cost-effective place to host it? Since it's for a small group of friends I'd imagine it wouldn't need anything too resource intensive. Perhaps something like Linode or DO?
raooll 7 hours ago 0 replies      
I would say you go with MoongooseIM. Its a much optimized fork of ejabberd with some things done in a much nicer way ...It support redis session backend , encrypted password, xmmp over websockets to name a few.

Disclaimer:- I personally work on chat server and personally prefer moongooseim to be one of the best available right now.

foupfeiffer 17 hours ago 1 reply      
https://www.hipchat.com/server is all of the functionality (persistent searchable rooms, image uploads, mobile clients, video, emoticons (allthethings) etc.) of HipChat.com but behind the firewall (on premise). Disclaimer I'm a dev on the project, though to be fair everybody in the Beta has been happy with it.
deeviant 16 hours ago 0 replies      
I have worked pretty extensively with XMPP(specially, ejabberd) in a IoT/SCADA context. Setting up your own ejabberd server is fairly painless. Download ProcessOne's ejabberd community edition, and you should be running in an hour. Don't be afraid of erlang as you don't have to get much exposure to it unless want to.

I also had the pleasure working with ProcessOne via the Business edition ejabberd support, as well as commissioning them to build few custom modules that would have taken my C++(embedded team)/C#(back-end team) centric team much more time and money to build ourselves. So ejabberd is a great way to both get your feet wet(open source community version), then scale up in a big way with professional support(commercially licensed business version) should it be needed.

Note: I am not affiliated with ProcessOne in any way. Just had a pleasant experience working with them, and greatly enjoy their product.

lasermike026 19 hours ago 0 replies      
I've run ejabberd and openfire. I had issues with ejabberd and load issues. I use openfire now. XMPP is kind of beast. With ejabberd and openfire had to get into the code and debug it myself. If I stick with XMPP I'm can see myself wading hip deep in the code.

I'll have to take a look at prosody.

praveenster 17 hours ago 1 reply      
I have also been researching this topic for a while. I was using Google hangouts for a while but lately it seems to be dropping messages. Tried Skype next but it will only keep message history on the cloud for 30 days. Next evaluated Facebook. It works quite well but I want to host my own on a VPS. The top three alternatives seem to be prosody, ejabberd and openfire. I was planning to use ejabberd but the issue I have with any of the XMPP solutions is that they have issues with iOS and you need to find a way to get it to work with the push mechanism otherwise the IM clients will go offline in 10 minutes. Any suggestions for this?
haidrali 19 hours ago 1 reply      
I'have been using Tigase for our chat application (https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.hyperon.sm...) the decision of selecting server depends totally upon your requirement. I have used Tigase, Openfire and Jabbered 2 for different projects and have done with lots of customization in them. If sclability is your main requirement my suggestion would be

1- Tigase 2- Jabbered 23- Openfire

I have also heard of Ejabbered a lot but that is in erlang ( which i don't like )My top priority is always Tigase ( the only bad thing about it is you really need to dig into it to manage because there isn't lots of support available in term of blogs tutorials etc)Hope it will help you in choosing your preferred one ....

gdamjan1 10 hours ago 0 replies      
And how do you solve the problem of reliably delivering messages over XMPP?

For ex, if I switch from 3G to Wifi on my mobile (or just loose connectivity) the server still thinks I'm online and will send messages over the TCP socket (that hasn't timeouted yet).

geeknik 12 hours ago 0 replies      
I'm using Prosody. Supports TLS1.2 and Forward Secrecy.

Check your score on xmpp.net if you haven't already. ;)

bgaluszka 19 hours ago 0 replies      
I'm using current ejabberd which is very, very stable and feature rich. As to clients I've http://www.psi-plus.com/ on Ubuntu and https://github.com/siacs/Conversations on Android (which can be compiled from source if e.g. you don't have Google Play).
cookrn 14 hours ago 0 replies      
A Ruby implementation called Vines [0] [1] might be interesting to try out.

[0] http://www.getvines.org/[1] https://github.com/negativecode/vines

debacle 19 hours ago 0 replies      
OpenFire is pretty stable, but not completely stable. It has never not recovered from a restart though.
pinktacobender 19 hours ago 0 replies      

used it on an old project. written in JAVA, not my favorite, but super easy to use and highly extensible.

doppioslash 19 hours ago 0 replies      
I run MongooseIM, an ejabberd fork.It works fine. It needed a reboot once, after that been running continuously.
misiti3780 19 hours ago 0 replies      
I just actually hooked up XMPP using converse.js + prosody - it wasnt fun but it works
ChrisArchitect 18 hours ago 0 replies      
interesting / varied support in here. Prosody seems to be popular. Also in the market for something for small corporate IMing. Anyone ever install prosody on a shared host like Dreamhost?


ape4 19 hours ago 0 replies      
ejabberd is written in Erlang which was a turn off for me. Maybe not for you.
stock_toaster 20 hours ago 1 reply      
prosody has worked well for me, and is relatively easy to set up and configure.
feld 15 hours ago 0 replies      
ejabberd. Way better than OpenFire in my opinion.
shmerl 19 hours ago 0 replies      
Ejabberd is a good option.
Ask HN: Is there a ceiling for developers without a degree?
6 points by vargas84  10 hours ago   2 comments top 2
onion2k 9 hours ago 0 replies      
The opposite - a degree becomes less and less relevant as you gain experience, both in technical skills and management.
mindcrime 9 hours ago 0 replies      
Do developers without a degree have a ceiling in terms of career advancement?

No, since you can always start your own company and make yourself CEO.

Assuming you legitimately do have the skills, temperament, patience, $WHATEVER, you can literally go as high as you want. That is not, of course, to suggest that it is easy. I know, I went this route myself, and I can definitely attest that it isn't easy.

Also, have developers without a degree been able to transition into technical, product, or business leadership roles?

I think some guy named Bill Gates did OK for himself. And some dude named Zuckerberg...

Ask HN: What are projects I can implement to learn a new framwework?
13 points by himanshuy  16 hours ago   7 comments top 7
lsiebert 6 hours ago 0 replies      
As I understand, the classic thing to implement is a todo list. You have CRUD and then need for some sort of storage solution (whether local storage, or DB backed).

I usually start really small, and add features/refactor as I learn more.

mynameismiek 16 hours ago 0 replies      
Any simple game usually does the trick: snake, Yahtzee, black jack. The rules (requirements) are well defined. The pieces (UI) are well defined. That way you can focus on actually implementing the logic in the language/framework of choice. For websites, pick your favorite restaurant and make it. Borrow the text, pictures, etc. and just focus on the code that creates it and not get off on a rabbit trail doing images in paint.net or making up items.
fcanela 16 hours ago 0 replies      
There is some projects that I usually do to get a feeling of the framework:

- Code snippets/tasks manager. Pure CRUD. If you want to get yourself dirty: add authentication.

- A blog (like SEJeff suggested). If you want to get yourself dirty: try to make it multilingual with SEO.

- Syllabication app. Helps me to find how business logic is best placed into app mindset.

I have to go, but if you need more examples just say! :)

SEJeff 16 hours ago 0 replies      
Build a blog, that is straightforward enough and simple to implement in all of those. When you're looking at go, consider gin:


Jeremy1026 16 hours ago 0 replies      
My first project in any new language is to make a Yahtzee clone. To date I have done this in JS, PHP, Lua (for the Playstation Portable), C, Objective-C (for both iOS and OS X).
punkcoder 15 hours ago 0 replies      
I always use project Euler for the learning a language, once you pass that stage I usually go for pet projects.
NameNickHN 16 hours ago 0 replies      
Do something you have need for. It'll help with the motivation.
Ask HN: What did Alan Perlis mean by Programming is an unnatural act?
4 points by blt  12 hours ago   3 comments top
YuriNiyazov 12 hours ago 1 reply      
In every day life, average (non-programmer, non-scientist, non-mathematician) humans do many complicated things naturally. Walking, or driving a car, or ordering food at a restaurant are immensely complicated activities. Huge portions of the human population are not explicitly trained in symbol manipulation or algorithmic thought, and yet they perform those activities with fairly standard education. If you were to ask most of those people to write instructions (at the level that it would be executable by a von-Neumann machine) for performing those activities, you wouldn't get satisfactory results, because humans don't naturally break high-level processes down into their constituent components; only those humans that are explicitly trained to view common processes in terms of their constituent components can do so. This process of breaking processes down into components is a fundamental aspect of programming; it only becomes easy with significant training, which makes it unnatural.
Ask HN: In the process of accepting a job, how do I respond to other inquiries?
5 points by mavsman  13 hours ago   1 comment top
MalcolmDiggs 12 hours ago 0 replies      
You can use this to your advantage. The last time I was in your position, I was totally transparent with the interested parties, and it worked in my favor. ("Yes, I'm interested, but I've got to tell you that I'm inking a contract next Monday. If you can expedite me through the hiring process and make me an offer before then, I can consider it. After that, it's out of my hands.")

Offers flooded in during that final week. People who otherwise take 3 weeks to make a decision hurried up and made their offers within days. I actually ended up accepting an offer that came in about 24 hours before my deadline.

Ask HN: Learn JavaScript from actual websites?
3 points by jndsn402  15 hours ago   3 comments top 3
bzalasky 7 hours ago 0 replies      
If you haven't checked out the annotated source of Backbone and Underscore, I'd recommend starting there. I've also added Backbone.Marionette. Once you've taken a look at the first two, you'll be able to see how Marionette builds on top of both libraries.

- http://backbonejs.org/docs/backbone.html

- http://underscorejs.org/docs/underscore.html

- http://marionettejs.com/annotated-src/backbone.marionette

rajacombinator 10 hours ago 0 replies      
I think you're better off learning through courses. Trying to reverse engineer other site's JS by looking at their source is usually a pain because of how JS source is served (heavily minified) and it requires you to dig through the entire naming structure of the site's HTML, etc. Just stick with some courses that teach you sound principles.
gsands 14 hours ago 0 replies      
codepen.io would be a good place to learn by example. You will see many isolated code samples with the clearly separated HTML/CSS/JS.

As you wrap your head around 'what is happening' as you put it, you can start to combine what you see to make new creations of your own.

For the basic timeline of when things happen, research how a website is rendered. Here's some info to get you started:http://frontendbabel.info/articles/webpage-rendering-101/

Ask HN: What is your method for up/down votes?
48 points by classicsnoot  22 hours ago   67 comments top 38
codegeek 21 hours ago 0 replies      
I have to admit I am a little careless with upvoting stories (I upvote a lot of stories). I upvote articles that seem to fit HN rules, generates curiosity for the audience, something critical to know (i get a lot of news from HN like sites being hacked etc), encourage a decent Show HN etc.

But I upvote comments selectively. I do this to try and ensure that my vote helps to get really good quality comments on top of the page. Of course, sometimes controversial comments get a lot of upvotes. I also upvote helpful comments including when someone adds a clickable link to a Show HN in comments etc. If I learn something new with a comment, I upvote it. I sometimes upvote comments that have been downvoted incorrectly.

I seldom downvote but when I do, those comments are one or more of these:

1) Blatant hate speech, personal attacks, racist remarks, sexist remarks etc. For these type of comments, I just downvote with no comments.

2) Irrelevant comment that has nothing to do with the topic being discussed. Comment that adds no value really and distracts from the main topic. For example, someone commenting like "NSA is coming for you" in a topic about "privacy" etc. Again, I don't add any comments for the downvote for these.

3) Factually incorrect information added as a comment. Sometimes, the commenter might not even know that they are providing false information while sometimes they don't care. In either case, I downvote those comments not because I am trying to prove them wrong but because incorrect information should be marked as such. But be careful with this. I said "factually incorrect" and not "opinionated". For these though, I always try to add a comment with an explanation.

4) Criticism that is not constructive. It is easy to say "you are so wrong" or "Why do we need another site builder" etc but it takes more to write a comment explaining how somone could have done something better.

It is tempting to hit the downvote arrow for things that you "disagree" with and I am sure most of us have been guilty of this (I have been) but we should watch out for this temptation.

3rd3 20 hours ago 2 replies      
I downvote comments that strike me low-effort, trolling or as part of the "HN echo chamber", and I upvote things that seem to give rise to interesting discussions, sometimes even regardless of their quality (which might contradict my downvoting principles).

Kind of related: Did HN happen to change the way the site responds to votes recently? It seems that it was possible to see the effect of a vote immediately by reloading the page up until a couple of weeks ago. Either they have changed something (a new CDN, score blurring as on reddit), or I have somehow lost my comment voting powers. Perhaps its because my avgage score has dropped below 1 lately?

scrollaway 21 hours ago 0 replies      
I find I am having a much easier time upvoting people I disagree with here than I do on Reddit. So I systematically do so if I believe the person has a worthy point.

As for articles, I upvote anything that I think has had an impact on me, however minor. Usually it's articles that actually made me think for a few minutes, but sometimes it's also serious lessons I learn.

oskarth 21 hours ago 1 reply      
I downvote (and sometimes flag) mean comments. In my opinion they are toxic to the community and should not be tolerated. Other than that I upvote comments and stories that are thoughtful and/or contribute something new to the discussion.
Kiro 21 hours ago 3 replies      
Regarding downvoting when disagreeing here's what pg said a few years ago:

"I think it's ok to use the up and down arrows to express agreement. Obviously the uparrows aren't only for applauding politeness, so it seems reasonable that the downarrows aren't only for booing rudeness."


PeterWhittaker 11 hours ago 0 replies      
I never downvote. I don't believe in it. I believe downvoting promotes echo chambers and group think. Should there be an alternative? Perhaps, and it would be "flag with a reason", in other words, choose from a list of common reasons why something should be flagged (like reporting posts on Facebook and other social networks). Anything flagged sufficiently would be investigated; until an admin determines that a post is abuse, it might remain (cannot decide clearly about this). Excessive false flagging would result in the flagger being dinged on karma. And losing the ability to flag. (Another would be to allow one flag per 100 karma points or some such thing.) We know from behavioural psychology that punishment rarely works, that rewarding desirable behaviour is far more effective. Why do we, a supposedly intelligent crowd guided by facts and well established science, behave like schoolyard bullies, shouting down the voices of others?

I upvote anything that piques my interest, intrigues me, expresses well what I thought myself, expresses well a thought completely counter to mine (which often means it is the first two things listed as well), and I often upvote downvoted items; the first paragraph implies why.

ISL 21 hours ago 0 replies      
I upvote when something is important, insightful, or interesting. Thought-out comments or ones that add real value to a discussion get one too.

Downvotes are carefully considered. Probably less than one a week. I reserve them only for comments that are either actively hostile to the community or demonstrably false. Even then, I think about it two or three times before clicking.

samsheen 21 hours ago 1 reply      
I try and spend 20-30 minutes everyday going through the "new" tab and up-voting the new submissions I find interesting (think of it like volunteer work). Somehow I tend to up vote Ask HNs more often than posts that are links to website.
Gambit89 3 hours ago 0 replies      
I upvote articles for archival purposes (read it later, reference, etc.), and on topics I am collecting opinions on.
acheron 20 hours ago 0 replies      
I don't upvote a lot of articles, but with especially good ones I usually remember to. I really don't read a lot of the articles, and always after reading the HN comments -- I'm not going to click through to an article with no summary other than an often-abstruse headline until I know what it's actually about. (Slashdot > HN here, since Slashdot at least had article summaries, even if they were often biased. [1]) If I actually go read the article and like it I usually remember to upvote it I think.

I flag articles every so often, usually political rants and such. As far as I am concerned, the purpose of an article being posted to HN is so an interesting discussion can follow it: if the article is not going to generate a worthwhile discussion (which political articles don't) then there's no reason for it to be on the site.

For comments, mostly I upvote grey comments that I don't think deserved downvotes. Rarely do I upvote comments that are already at the top of the discussion -- they don't need more help. I upvote other comments too if I like them, I suppose.

I probably do use downvoting as just a "disagree" button too much though. But I figure posting an arguing reply just adds more noise to the discussion; it's better to just downvote and move on.

[1] I like how I refer to Slashdot in the past tense here.

eterm 21 hours ago 1 reply      
I upvote articles which interest me and I think I might want to read later, because they appear in "saved stories".

I also upvote stories I think that would interest others.

I rarely upvote or downvote comments.

jeffreyrogers 20 hours ago 0 replies      
I rarely upvote stories, unless they were either very interesting, or were interesting but didn't seem to have enough votes yet.

I upvote comments when they raise an interesting point that I hadn't though of before (even if I disagree) in an intelligent way. I rarely upvote just because I agree with something, and I never downvote out of disagreement.

I only downvote when the poster clearly has no idea what they are talking about it. (Or is just being pedantic and critical to no apparent benefit).

skrebbel 20 hours ago 0 replies      
I vote purely emotionally. If a comment makes me feel something, I click the appropriate button.
ericthegoodking 21 hours ago 0 replies      
I upvote most of SHOW HN, because I like supporting guys who are doing projects.
protomyth 11 hours ago 0 replies      
I vote stories up when It looks interesting and I want to here what other HNers have to say on the subject. I tend to upvote a wide variety of subjects, I just like it interesting.

I don't like down voting for disagreeing, but I tend to down vote when something is factually inaccurate. I'll upvote stuff I disagree with as long as it is well written. Cannot really have a discussion without different points of view.

dataminer 20 hours ago 0 replies      
I upvote articles on which I would like to see more discussion. I upvote insightful comments and rarely downvote as it discourages participation. I think downvoting should be only used for extremely rude or misleading comments. If I disagree with a comment I reply with my point of view.
rl3 20 hours ago 0 replies      
When commenting, I first immediately upvote the underlying story before I even begin to write, with little exception.

The reasoning is that doing so does everything in my (limited) power to maximize the number of people taking part in the discussion I'm about to enter.

organsnyder 20 hours ago 1 reply      
For stories: I upvote only ones that I've completely read myself and found to be high-quality, and only after I've also read the comments (to make sure there aren't any obvious inaccuracies or other problems with the story).

For comments: I try to upvote ones that contribute to the discussion, but to be honest I do catch myself using it as an "I agree" button from time to time. My goal is to promote a high level of discourse, especially on both sides of controversial issues.

I don't have enough reputation to have downvote powers yet, but when I get there I plan to use it sparingly. Codegeek's approach to downvoting (sibling to my comment) strikes me as a model to aspire to.

Semiapies 20 hours ago 0 replies      
I upvote articles that I find interesting or want to follow up on later, as the vote puts them in my "saved stories" list. I used to flag blogspam and like, but that got my flag button disabled for a year or two.

I downvote stupid posts and obnoxious posts. I upvote interesting posts and posts that make me think. I see a lot more of the former than the later, the last few weeks...

I also tend to downvote any post sticking up at the top that doesn't seem highly worthwhile. Kind of like that recent reposting of the Fogus list of papers every programmer should read, where the top-rated comment was by a guy who complained about the title and indicated he hadn't even read the article.

bradleyjg 21 hours ago 0 replies      
Based on a suggestion from a long lost comment on here, I avoid upvoting the first top level comment in a thread, unless it was just posted. Too often a mediocre comment gets pinned to the top because it is the first thing everyone reads.
jmnicolas 21 hours ago 2 replies      
I always forget to upvote articles (sorry).

I upvote comments that speaks the truth and not the politically correct thing to please the HN crowd.

I sometimes upvote comments that have merit but I know will be massively downvoted (any criticism of PHP falls in this category ;-)

onion2k 21 hours ago 1 reply      
I mostly upvote intersting articles in 'new' (coding and science things), comments that advocate rational and logical approaches to problems, and replies to my comments that challenge my assumptions. I rarely upvote things on the main page because they're already publicised, and I rarely downvote things because a comment explaining why something is worthy of a downvote is far more useful than a downvote.

I also upvote articles in 'new' that I've commented on so they're more likely to hit the front page and get my comments votes. I have no idea if it works but it makes me happy.

tehwalrus 20 hours ago 0 replies      
Articles: upvotes for things I read, or things I want to comment on (because of the flamewar weighting.) Occasionally I'll upvote an article that doesn't fit these criteria, e.g. because it is important but I don't have time to read it right now (it then appears in my saved articles list, for later.)

Comments: I upvote comments that teach me something I didn't know, or which are particularly good rebuttals to parents, or if I came to say the same thing. I downvote intolerance (of people, ideas, languages, etc.) and poorly thought out/obviously flawed assertions.

noarchy 21 hours ago 0 replies      
I don't upvote many articles. From time to time during the day I go through the "new" articles, and I'll upvote a few articles that I'd like to see on the front page. They usually relate to programming or general science topics.

I upvote comments that I think are strong contributions to the discussion. Simple enough. HN has enough quality participants that I often find several comments per article to upvote.

I tend to save my downvotes for comments that are overly snarky or pedantic, as I think we see a bit too many of those sorts of comments on HN, and I reward them with downvotes.

Bahamut 20 hours ago 0 replies      
I downvote poorly thought comments, although given some of the abusive uses of downvoting here, I would rather that it not exist.

I upvote articles I find to be interesting reads, articles worth significant discussion on subject matter (tech or non-tech related - does not even have to be math/science/engineering related), or comments to counter bad downvoting. I also will upvote comments I like due to thoroughness, even if I disagree with the argument(s) made.

dragonwriter 20 hours ago 0 replies      
Pretty simple:

upvote what I value and want to see more of on HN (this often includes substantive, well-presented comments that I disagree with.)

downvote what I find to be a waste of time and want to see less of on HN (this specifically does not include material that is well-presented, seems topical for HN's stated focus, but that is just not particularly interesting to me.)

oneeyedpigeon 20 hours ago 0 replies      
I upvote articles that seem particularly interesting and/or that I want to read later. Since recently receiving some harsh downvotes simply for expressing an opinion, I've changed my strategy to upvote comments that I feel have been similarly mistreated. I rarely downvote anymore.
Casseres 18 hours ago 0 replies      
I'm usually logged out, so I only upvote if it's worth my typing in my password to log in.

I don't have enough points (263) to downvote. I should probably engage more.

(I logged in to upvote the Schwab post. This comment was secondary.)

jameszol 20 hours ago 0 replies      
I up-vote the stories I intend to use or share with others in the future. These stories usually resonate with me on some level so I find myself reading significantly more stories than ever actually up-voting them.
swah 21 hours ago 0 replies      
Other that interesting stuff: stories and comments by known commenters, both parties on interesting discussions (so they think that some people aggree and continue talking).
coherentpony 20 hours ago 1 reply      
I downvote political stories and comments. I upvote anything I find funny, insightful, or polite.
ajsbdouibn 20 hours ago 1 reply      
I downvote all comments that have only one link in them yet the author puts the link as a citation.[1] Same goes for footnotes.[2]

[1] https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=8703949

[2] ...

daledavies 19 hours ago 0 replies      
I upvote anything that I find interesting, amusing and/or makes me think.
brudgers 16 hours ago 0 replies      
When I feel like it, I click on an arrow.
lwh 20 hours ago 0 replies      
If I shared it with anyone, I upvote it.
Dewie 20 hours ago 1 reply      
Agreement with my own point of view, and also posts that are clearly contributing to the overall discussion. For down votes: posts that are clearly wrong and/or nonconstructive. Also to spite people I don't like.

Oh, and I upvote submissions that I like, and also submissions that I want to see more discussion around, even though I might not like the submission.

sum8080 21 hours ago 2 replies      
I upvote randomly as a sort of meta-trolling
angrybits 21 hours ago 1 reply      
Pretty sure most people treat the downvote button on comments as an "I disagree" button, which I don't think is helpful.
Ask HN: Good JavaScript introductions for experienced programmers?
12 points by manhattan  17 hours ago   7 comments top 7
johnhenry 14 hours ago 0 replies      
Here's a really good introduction to inheritance: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PMfcsYzj-9M -- a lot of people struggle unless they have a good understanding of how this works. Also, Douglass Crockford (the person who wrote "JavaScript: The Good Parts") has a number of videos that are very useful. Here's the first in a series of eight: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JxAXlJEmNMg -- and if you find that useful, you can check out the rest in the list of related videos.
wldcordeiro 17 hours ago 0 replies      
Eloquent Javascript[0] is a great read. It is written as an introduction but does go on a rather deep dive. My advice would be to skim through some of the earlier chapters since you're experienced.

There's also the great You Don't Know JS[1] series that takes really deep dives into various parts of the language.

[0] http://eloquentjavascript.net/

[1] https://github.com/getify/You-Dont-Know-JS

_RPM 15 hours ago 0 replies      
JavaScript: The Good Parts - http://shop.oreilly.com/product/9780596517748.do

Once you get a broad overview of the JavaScript paradigm it really helped me to read other source code that people wrote.

_random_ 14 hours ago 0 replies      
First decide if it's truly worse it: http://wtfjs.com .. http://wtfjs.com/page/20
collyw 15 hours ago 0 replies      
I found this tutorial helped me write far cleaner JavaScript than I was writing before.


whatsoever 17 hours ago 0 replies      
I'd recommend this onehttp://www.amazon.com/Professional-JavaScript-Developers-Nic...And also, keep a beginner's mind :)
lastofus 13 hours ago 0 replies      
Secrets of the JavaScript Ninja - http://www.manning.com/resig/

Javascript: The Good Parts

Ask HN: Interested in SaaS Metrics for PayPal?
21 points by webstartupper  22 hours ago   16 comments top 5
iDemonix 21 hours ago 1 reply      
As my PayPal hate comment wasn't too constructive, here's some more constructive feedback from someone who has designed a fair amount of landing pages:

- Change the heading font to something sans-serif, it feels very default, and look at typographic hierarchy, all those fonts are white and make it look a bit of a wall-of-text.

- Safari hasn't looked like that for a long time, get some up-to-date screenshots, your making your product look outdated already.

- Two screenshots one over the other is making the page needlessly long, use a carousel or similar so you have just have one that you can scroll side to side.

- You want people to sign up but the box is buried down the bottom of the page, work out a way to get that raised up.

- The pricing plan structure feels a bit empty, if you're not offering more functionality for more money, try and make the higher end ones more persuasive by doing something like indicating what kind of savings you're getting by choosing a more expensive plan.

newrenowhore 20 hours ago 1 reply      
We accept payments via both Stripe and PayPal, and I have to say, trying to find a baremetrics-esque solution for us has been insanely frustrating. We're still calculating LTV, churn, etc. by hand since surprisingly none of these services actually support both, and by looking at the metrics from only one payment source we're missing out on the bigger picture.

So glad to see someone finally made one for PayPal, but without support for other payment systems, I don't see it being able to compete with what's out there. This would only be useful for a company accepting payments from JUST PayPal, which as others have pointed out is probably a rare case these days.

ChartMogul claims to be working on PayPal support, so hopefully that will come through. In the meantime, I still think there's a huge hole in this market for supporting PayPal + other services.

webstartupper 22 hours ago 1 reply      
md8 21 hours ago 1 reply      
Nice app! How do you plan to handle the paypal's rate limit?
iDemonix 22 hours ago 3 replies      
If your business runs on PayPal, I would welcome you to do everything you can to change that.
Ask HN: Does a print-and-mail-something-for-me service exist?
5 points by gregmuender  15 hours ago   2 comments top 2
PaulHoule 15 hours ago 0 replies      
darkmethod 15 hours ago 0 replies      
I haven't used Lob myself. But I hear good things. https://lob.com/
Ask HN: How well does your small company/agency do with social media?
4 points by coreymaass  21 hours ago   7 comments top 3
Chikodi 18 hours ago 1 reply      
Right now I use Beatrix to automate social media posts on my various channels. Beatrix is nice because they curate highly shareable "evergreen" content. Beatrix offers thought leadership on demand, and supports team members.

Buffer is great, too, because it's easy to share things I've already read. Haven't been using it lately, but I was paying for a subscription for a while.

The issue with agency social media I imagine many people have is that it's a great way to be visible, but social media doesn't track well to ROI. People are "too busy" because they don't see immediate benefit of actively maintaining social media channels beyond exposure. Social media for agencies is a matter of deep not wide.

mijustin 21 hours ago 1 reply      
At https://sprint.ly we use Buffer to manage outgoing posts. It's worked really well; especially now that they have the new scheduler: http://cl.ly/image/1I2g153e3c31.

We publish fairly regularly on our blog, so anytime we post something new, we schedule it in Buffer at the same time (using this schedule: http://cl.ly/image/3J1V3Q25242I)

Deyson 21 hours ago 0 replies      
I also use Buffer. I add my posts and I can have them go to any of my social services I choose at a later time.

Simple to use and worth a try. :)

Ask HN: Beta swap?
5 points by strick  16 hours ago   5 comments top 2
matthewjames 1 hour ago 1 reply      
Hey guys, I want to keep this thread going. This concept jump-started my noggin and wanted to gen-up a quick concept. The mockup has not been made responsive yet as I do not have the resources where I am currently.

Thoughts? http://codepen.io/matthewjamesr/full/LERpOB/

MalcolmDiggs 13 hours ago 2 replies      
Tangent: This sounds like an awesome product idea actually. Like BetaList, but more reciprocal. People leave feedback for you in exchange for feedback for them. Somebody build this please. :)
Ask HN: Has anyone successfully moved to the UK on a Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) visa?
24 points by jlangenauer  1 day ago   11 comments top 4
nkoren 1 day ago 1 reply      
Yes, I've just done it. I was already based in the UK, on a Tier 2 (sponsored) visa, but was wanting to turn my side project into a full-time job, which meant switching to Tier 1. The 50k threshold isn't available for people switching from Tier 2, so I had to raise 200k for my startup. Having done that (with 3 days to spare before my old visa expired!), I then submitted for the Tier 1 (Entrepreneur), and received it about 2 months later.
GFischer 1 day ago 3 replies      
I didn't know about it.

It does seem like the investment requirements might be a bit tough (50.000 pounds, disposable), but at least they allow them to be applied to the entire team.

I think the "impossible" part is:

"You can apply if your investment funds come from one or more of the following:

a venture capital firm registered with the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA)

a UK entrepreneurial seed funding competition endorsed by UKTI

a UK government department making funds available for the purpose of setting up or expanding a UK business"

revorad 1 day ago 2 replies      
Which bit of the requirements do you think is impossible?
blowski 1 day ago 0 replies      
Contact @techhub on Twitter - I think there are quite a few people there who got visas, and some startups who arranged them as well.
Ask HN: Web designer for side project?
3 points by iSloth  20 hours ago   4 comments top 3
felonious_gru 15 hours ago 1 reply      
Hey there,

I might be up for this, some quick examples of my work:-









I also happen to be a programmer.. StackOverflow profile: http://stackoverflow.com/users/362006/salmanpk

(Yes, I am from Pakistan but I do try to strive for high quality work and an atheist so rather unlikely to blow you up :P)

Get in touch if this sounds good, the SO profile has my email :)

bramgg 19 hours ago 0 replies      
Meeet[0] was made for this.

[0] http://meeet.co/

mc_hammer 20 hours ago 0 replies      
you can try deviant art and freebbble, both sites also have a lot of "ui freebie" or "ui kit" that u can just build about pretty much anything with...
Ask HN: What is your biggest annoyance at the workplace?
3 points by robmiller  1 day ago   5 comments top 3
JacobHarrington 9 hours ago 0 replies      
Anything that breaks my concentration. As a developer, I'm being paid for my ability to concentrate and perform complex thought processes. Anything that impedes that ability costs the company money via the effort I require to rebuild any shattered mental frameworks due to interruptions.

That's one of the reasons I absolutely loathe open office plans. Open office plans are designed with the values of communication and cooperation in mind, but completely ignore that the reality of development work is usually all about how much information you can keep track of while working. If I have to rethink what I am doing every fifteen minutes because two coworkers nearby are taking a foosball break, then I am not being as productive as I can be. Open floor plans are a terrible idea, choosing to save money on real estate at the expense of quality of the resulting software. I've started using it as a sign of a place I would prefer not to work, though with the pervasiveness of this pernicious insult to developer productivity I highly doubt I'll be able to make it a serious filter on any kind of job search since everyone and their misguided brother feels like it's a good way to enhance development team dynamics.

daven11 1 day ago 0 replies      
Managers who hire specialists in a field (i.e. me) then proceed to tell them how to work. It's solvable, but the cost is me taking on the risk of ignoring managers and proceeding, or present the reasons why their approach will fail and wait.
Jeremy1026 22 hours ago 1 reply      
Leaders that point in circles rather than lead toward the end goal.
Ask HN: Creating html templates vs. code
8 points by basiliothecat  22 hours ago   2 comments top 2
MalcolmDiggs 13 hours ago 0 replies      
I love templating, particularly handlebars. If I'm working solo on a project it doesn't really matter...But if I'm partnering with a designer who only knows html + css, then the templates are a great way for them to contribute without a steep learning curve.

IMHO the best blend of templating and 2-way-binding (and other fanciness) is probably ember.js.

snikeris 18 hours ago 0 replies      
My favorite library for this:


Ask HN: Getting started, when there's no anonymous
3 points by shortimer  20 hours ago   10 comments top 7
MalcolmDiggs 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Just claim that all your early work was done ironically. :)

But seriously: When you're getting started you're going to have a hard time getting noticed... getting anybody to check out your webpage or look at your code or respond to your pull requests. If they do look and give feedback then that's an opportunity to learn. Maximize your chances of getting these opportunities by putting yourself out there. It's an investment in your future.

davismwfl 20 hours ago 1 reply      
I don't think anyone starting out is scarring their reputation. Being new and an asshole will scar your reputation, but being new, humble and learning won't. You see if all the time on Stackoverflow and even here. If you ask a question and need some help, if you are humble and accept feedback to learn you are rarely every criticized. But if you are a douche you'll be called out quickly and rightfully.

I agree that the memory is basically never ending now, but you also have to realize most people will generally only judge you on your recent abilities, not something that transpired years ago, unless it is just so egregious that it can't be ignored. And everyone had to start somewhere, which I think almost everyone gets.

Lastly, don't let fear cripple you into not doing jumping in. Do it, and when you are wrong, just admit it and move on. The tech community while sometimes judgmental and even cruel in their comments is also probably the one place that really does value contributions over mistakes. And at least in my opinion if your contributions and attitude outweigh the mistakes people are really accepting.

27182818284 17 hours ago 0 replies      
I'd put the stuff out there, and as you grow, save copies and such so that you can show the humble beginnings and have a laugh.

Everyone starts somewhere


Beginning of Amazonhttps://groups.google.com/forum/#!msg/mi.jobs/poXLCW8udK4/_G...

Larry Page asking for help while building a web crawlerhttps://groups.google.com/forum/#!msg/comp.lang.java/aSPAJO0...

jimkri 18 hours ago 0 replies      
I know exactly how you feel. I just made my Github this semester, I am not a great coder and most of my code isn't that great. But I am so happy I put it up, it pushes me to improve both my code and my programming skills. Mostly because i know people will see it, but I do not care about that anymore. I just enjoy doing it.

Don't be afraid, everyone starts somewhere. Today you might not be the best, or tomorrow, but you will improve.

driverdan 20 hours ago 1 reply      
Stop overthinking it, no one cares if you make mistakes when you start. Just do stuff, make mistakes, improve, then do better stuff.

You're also placing far too much weight on your work being associated with your rep. When I was freelancing very few people actually looked at my work. Potential employers may look at your early work but the good ones will understand mistakes, especially if you can explain what you did wrong.

magikid 20 hours ago 1 reply      
You just go for it. Everyone starts somewhere.
throwaway751822 19 hours ago 0 replies      
Chances are, neither your reputation or your code will ever matter much to anyone. Just do what you want and don't worry about it.
Ask HN: Best way for online payments by installments?
3 points by zeynalov  18 hours ago   2 comments top 2
logn 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Most businesses solve this by charging a premium for paying monthly and then don't have any sort of termination fee.

I think at ringcentral.com I get about 50% off by paying a full year in advance.

What your customers want from you is a creditor they can take advantage of. Otherwise why wouldn't they just put this on their credit card?

Also, I've never used this but see: https://developer.paypal.com/webapps/developer/docs/classic/...

trcollinson 16 hours ago 0 replies      
I had a few ideas until I went and looked at your business model (which is really cool by the way!). I am not entirely sure that I would consider you a SaaS product, as much as a software assisted services company. That makes it rough. You have a 2 day email program, which looks to be 100% service based. You have a 30 day access product that then adds in a 1 hour meeting (service), a CV Optimization (service?), and a client list, which might just be access to something. If people don't pay within the 30 days and dispute their credit card charge, what recourse would you have? Probably nothing. You'd lose the money and eat the cost. I would say you really need to stick with the all upfront pricing and go with it. It's expensive, sure, but the benefits are also very high to your client and you provide a great service. Sometimes you just have to pay for a service.
Ask HN: HNers in Tokyo?
2 points by S4M  22 hours ago   discuss
Jerasure ECC library pulled out after StreamScale assert patent claims
2 points by blopeur  21 hours ago   discuss
       cached 23 December 2014 13:05:01 GMT