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1
How come HN isn't displaying anyone's submissions to HN?
3 points by Xoxox  54 minutes ago   1 comment top
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dang 53 minutes ago 0 replies      
You just helped me figure out a bug I was trying to track down. Thanks! Also, sorry. Please stand by.

Edit: should be fixed now. Sorry for the inconvenience.

2
Ask HN: Tips on starting developing project?
2 points by hippich  1 hour ago   1 comment top
1
gao8a 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Very cliche suggestion, but just start.

Keep adding to it. You're gonna for sure write bad code thats going to be trashed, but keep working at it. The whole project might even be trashed but such is the expense of a creative.

Code, ship, fail(or succeed!), repeat.

3
Ask HN: What inspired you to start a startup?
5 points by htapiardz  4 hours ago   3 comments top 3
1
kiraken 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Trust me, if someone is starting a startup for himself the last thing he want is doing it to be like someone else. As for myself what inspired me is the desire to leave a mark in the world rather than being one of the billions who lives and dies and no one notices their existence except of their family.
2
avni000 3 hours ago 0 replies      
To build something that could have lasting impact while solving a real problem in the world.
3
mindcrime 4 hours ago 0 replies      
In my case I'd say it's a combination of a lot of different factors (some valid, some possibly bogus, whatever).

In no particular order:

Desire to have more control over my own fate / not have a "boss" in the conventional sense

Desire to build something bigger than myself

Desire to leave a legacy behind that would outlive me

Desire to change the world / improve people's lives by creating jobs, creating a place to work that reflects the values of the kind of place I'd want to work

Desire to be wealthy

Desire to prove doubters / critics wrong

Desire to build a great team and do fun things together

etc. It's hard to weight those and say which are most relevant compared to the others, but the "desire not to have a boss" is definitely up there, along with the fact that I just like building things (in this sense, I'm referring to "building" company).

And yes, before somebody says it, I know that "you always have a boss" in some regards. But a "boss" in a metaphorical sense, referring to "the board", "the market", "your customers", etc. is still qualitatively different than having one discrete individual, who has you under his/her thumb, and can yell "jump" while expecting you to say "how high" and who can fire you at will, and generally boss you around.

4
Ask HN: How to Promote/Market Mac Apps
8 points by harisamin  9 hours ago   1 comment top
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harisamin 8 hours ago 0 replies      
Lol so yeah so didnt paste my comment properly here. Basically wondering what Mac app devs are doing regarding this (Google/Twitter/FB ) ads?
5
Ask HN: What will be uber-ified next?
12 points by debuasca  14 hours ago   12 comments top 7
1
fitzc 12 hours ago 0 replies      
The labor market/knowledge economy => Uber for your brain.

Key drivers:

1) Large amount of idle intellectual capital.

2) Changing affinity between employer and employee.

3) High acquisition cost of intellectual capital.

4) Inefficient pricing of expertise.

5) Inefficient validation of expertise.

Further explanation: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/uber-your-brain-fitih-cinnor-...

2
jhildings 14 hours ago 1 reply      
One hour deliveries of most things in Stockholm, Sweden http://urb-it.com/

An easy thing to export to other cities

3
s_q_b 13 hours ago 1 reply      
Here's some ideas:

Laundering Clothes:

Please somebody find a way to do this affordably for laundry. There's Wash.io and local laundromats that deliver, but it can't possibly cost several hundred dollars to wash and fold a few dozen tees, hoodies, and jeans.

Maid Service:

This is essentially what Task Rabbit has become already, but their review system is lacking and there's no guarantee someone won't steal your TV. There an established market here, but it needs a reputation system and some sort of small insurance backing.

Yes, I need to clean my apartment right now.

4
acelik 10 hours ago 0 replies      
Looks like Uber uberified the cargo business.

http://blog.uber.com/UberCARGO

5
kylelibra 12 hours ago 0 replies      
I saw "uber for movers" the other day, struck me as a good idea. (http://lu.gg)
6
chippy 9 hours ago 0 replies      
Waste / Refuse collection.
7
Someone1234 12 hours ago 1 reply      
Prostitution.
6
Ask HN: Sell, open-source, or abandon a $10k/year Mac app?
43 points by EvanMiller  10 hours ago   54 comments top 25
1
EvanMiller 8 hours ago 0 replies      
I received an interesting reply over email which I wanted to share here. With the author's permission I've reproduced it below but blanked out some details:

> I (or we as a company) faced pretty similar situation just a few weeks ago.

> The app is called ______, and it was our first app ever, our child - app that constituted our company brand and still is pretty useful for many small business owners (_______ is an invoicing app, making something like $20k/year on our domestic market).

> Unfortunately(?) business is business, so finally I decided to decline it. Now were making some final touches and will release it as open source project - again facing similar problems - the codebase is almost 6y old, app is not trivial, build procedure is not single click etc etc.

> Besides all those risks and problems, I still believe that opening the source code is worth doing. That way we can help other (less advanced) programmers to start their own mac products/businesses. Im sure that youll agree that after a certain point you need to look inside something bigger than a trivial app from examples folder, something that is/was a real thing, something alive'. Thats IMHO a single priceless source of practical knowledge.

> Thats my 10cents :)

2
debacle 9 hours ago 0 replies      
I think one of the big problems with the app store model is that it creates this idea that you only pay once for software, ever.

Your software doesn't have bit rot, it's just old. It was useful at one point in time and it is just a bit less so now. Consider the value proposition of a Magic Maps 2.0 to your users and what sort of feature list you could create. Decide an upgrade price point, and send an email to your users and create a newsletter allowing them to sign up for the new version. If you get 500 sign ups, cost out the features and have a freelancer develop them. If you get no sign ups, pack it up or sell it to someone.

3
nthState 9 hours ago 1 reply      
Many of us would love an app that was making $10k a year. That's a lot of money, can you do without it?

If it was me, my financial situation may be different, but, I'd drag myself up by the scruff of my neck and set aside some time to fix it......$10k a year!

4
tjr 10 hours ago 0 replies      
Not knowing all of the details, I'm not sure how reasonable this would be, but another possibility is to keep ownership of it, and pay someone else to fix bugs. The key question there is how much that would cost (in both your dollars and your time) vs. how much you are making on the application.
5
echoless 9 hours ago 1 reply      
I think there's another option. You could hire a freelancer and have him/her fix the bugs and get it working on Yosemite. Depending on the complexity of the code, this may or may not be feasible.
6
harisamin 9 hours ago 2 replies      
Id be interested in collboarating/contracting if I could help. I just launched my first mac app http://mackernews.com You should also checkout http://sideprojects.assembly.com/
7
hayksaakian 9 hours ago 0 replies      
Have you considered hiring a contractor tonmaintain the code?

If its generating a profit, maybe its worth it?

8
gsands 8 hours ago 1 reply      
I would fix it up.

You get 3 benefits:

1. Continued income from it (people aren't going to continue to buy it if the bad reviews keep coming in).

2. You keep/improve your reputation. If your software isn't working well for any reason at all, it can give a bad reputation to the person/company attached.

3. You increase the chances of a good buy-out in the future, over what it would currently bring now.

We all know it can be difficult to get traction on a project, not to mention paying users. You already have proved this one can get both.

9
tylerhall 8 hours ago 1 reply      
I was in the same situation as you a few years ago. My Mac app was making enough money to be helpful but not quite enough to be worth the trouble. I seriously considered open sourcing it. But I stuck with it and, four years later, it grew and began supporting my family full-time.

If you truly believe there's no chance of it ever growing larger, than by all means, retire it. I've sunsetted many apps that never caught on. But don't give up on it too soon!

10
sbarker 9 hours ago 0 replies      
Sell it. Get ahold of esri or partnersoft both have iOS apps yet lack Mac support unless you run a VM. It maybe a harder sell as most of the industries that use GIS data (power, telco, gov) use windows. Your are in a premo spot though because Partner and esri are both pushing iOS for outside guys/field workers quite a bit right now even if it's only a bullet point for them it could be a nice pay out for you.
11
revorad 6 hours ago 0 replies      
You could hire someone. I know you might find it hard to let go of your codebase and feel it's too complex, but there are plenty of good programmers out there.

You said you're concerned about how much it might cost. Surely you can afford to try someone out for a short amount of time, given the app makes $10K a year. If you shut it down or open source it, that income's gone anyway. So why not try to keep a good product alive?

One good place to look for a programmer might be the monthly HN threads by whoishiring - https://news.ycombinator.com/submitted?id=whoishiring

12
samspenc 7 hours ago 0 replies      
Please don't wind down the project! I'm sure people are using it because they find it useful, and I think they would be disappointed if it stopped - I know I would if someone stopped working on an app I used heavily.

(1) I think its worth trying to sell the app - you did a good job, obviously it has a user base, and I think its fair you get paid for it and have someone continue to maintain it.

(2) If that's a hassle and you lose control of the project's trajectory - why not open-source? Your users would still use it, it would be free, and there might be some power user willing to take it on and improve the code base.

(3) As someone else mentioned in the comments below, maybe find a contractor to maintain it? This only makes sense if the cost of the contractor is less than what you're making off it, of course.

13
opless 10 hours ago 2 replies      
I'd consider selling it. I'm sure there's a 100lb GIS gorilla that would snap you up. Have you tried waving it at them. I'm afraid the only one I know is MapInfo who I'm sure got bought out by Pitney Bowes back around 2005?
14
glasses 9 hours ago 1 reply      
What about letting someone take over the project but you get to keep a share of the profits for guidance and advice (30% or so).

It benefits both parties, you know what features the project needs to implement and what direction it needs to take to make more money, while the new owner/developer gets ramped up. You guys can even agree to a one year period of help and then separate, but at least the project keeps running and making money.

Not sure if this is usually done, but it seems like everyone wins :)

15
v_ignatyev 7 hours ago 0 replies      
Try to receive funds and make business from it: hire developers, create few updates, try to expand onto new markets etc. and then try to exit this business.

Or just throw off this project and focus on another one. It's old. It's kind of liability not a money generator.

16
bdcravens 9 hours ago 0 replies      
How much time do you put into it each year? You need to subtract that time from your yearly revenue.
17
ErikRogneby 8 hours ago 1 reply      
This just showed up on HN: http://sideprojects.assembly.com/

Crowd source further development and continue to participate in revenue and product direction.

18
thelollies 9 hours ago 1 reply      
Just saw this on the front page, seems like a good option (get others to work with you and share the profit): http://sideprojects.assembly.com/
19
blyxem 4 hours ago 0 replies      
With that amount of revenue, you could easily outsource it to an offshore dev and claim back a lot of your time, while still retaining ownership of the app and IP.
20
eric_bullington 9 hours ago 1 reply      
It looks like a really cool project that you've already done a lot with, but also with a lot of potential.

Are there many active competitors?

Is it written in all Objective C?

21
eddie_31003 8 hours ago 0 replies      
It would be nice to see it Open Sourced, but I agree that it will fall to the wayside without ongoing sponsorship.
22
cdvonstinkpot 9 hours ago 0 replies      
23
harisamin 9 hours ago 0 replies      
i just recently launched my first mac app http://mackernews.com $10K/year sounds great. Ideally Id like to get to that stage. Are there a lot of crashes that youd like to fix or mostly Yosemite style UI updates or both? I would be interested in collaborating/contracting
24
ca98am79 8 hours ago 1 reply      
Have you considered selling it on Flippa?
25
porter 8 hours ago 0 replies      
How much do you want to sell it for?
7
Ask HN: Restarting my career. In a tough spot. Need your advice
6 points by zirkonit  10 hours ago   14 comments top 9
1
jcr 10 hours ago 1 reply      
You might find some useful suggestions in this recent hn discussion:

https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=8844972

To prevent repeating myself, I wrote a comment in the above discussion that you might find helpful:

https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=8845213

2
cweagans 5 hours ago 0 replies      
Avoid oDesk and elance like the plague. You'll get sucked into underbidding your competition and that's not sustainable. I spent way too many years of my life doing it.

Instead, use Gun.io. I'm not affiliated with them in any way other than being a happy user of the service. The jobs on there are very high quality from vetted customers that expect to pay good money for good work.

3
JSeymourATL 8 hours ago 0 replies      
> how to market my services when the time is ripe. Ideas? Suggestions? Help?

Put on your Sales/Business Development hat and go direct. Identify CIO/CTO's, Directors of Engineering (people you can help) at companies you're interested in. Linkedin can be a useful tool for research. Then call/email them to make an introduction via Skype video.

Might suggest reading Weiss on client acquisition> http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/142757.How_to_Acquire_Cli...

4
v_ignatyev 7 hours ago 0 replies      
As one suggested below, go oDesk. Create good profile, do few jobs for excellent feedback and go bigger. Earn money.Better to use your money to re-invest them into your projects or your future (your family, buying the home for example).

I don't know how much do you spend monthly, but oDesk for me really works and it's good alternative to even local jobs for me. Additionally it helped me reach the global market and work for customers outside Russia where I live.

5
MichaelCrawford 10 hours ago 0 replies      
Does this help?

http://www.warplife.com/jobs/computer/telecommute/

Most of the companies I list are in the US; that would be a problem if you had to take a face-to-face meeting, come in to integrate your deliverable, work closely with the QA staff &c.

Most of my work since 1998 has been remote; of that, most of my clients I never met in person, some I met just once or twice.

I have many more that I will add soon, particularly for countries other than the US.

My experience is that oDesk and eLance are not worth the time required even to browse their websites, let alone do the work they offer.

6
nowarninglabel 10 hours ago 1 reply      
Start a blog with a focus on a particular piece of open-source software that you work on (e.g. Drupal) and provide your contact info. Then try to get your feed into some of the well read aggregators and followed on Twitter and such. I get cold requests once a month from that alone and haven't blogged in over a year, requests were more frequent when regularly blogging (note that I don't freelance, I just get requests).
7
RomanPushkin 8 hours ago 0 replies      
Start earning money. Don't do this promotional stuff unless you have earnings covering your basic expenses. Start working on oDesk. It takes time to get a first offer (it took me a month), but oDesk really works.
8
porter 8 hours ago 1 reply      
I found a great developer by first finding his open source project. It's a great plan but will probably take a while. What's your skillset look like?
9
penguinlinux 10 hours ago 1 reply      
first some questions. Do you have savings, can you work in Asia at a full time or part time position an work on your project on the side? You mentioned you can't contact your existing network? Something going on there that you need to avoid these people?
8
Ask HN: What do we do about the leap second?
4 points by briandear  10 hours ago   1 comment top
1
mtmail 4 hours ago 0 replies      
The operating systems can already handle leap seconds. It's not the first time it got added.

Some background on when it failedhttp://www.somebits.com/weblog/tech/bad/leap-second-2012.htm...

9
Those making $1,000+/month on side projects what did you make?
495 points by cezarfloroiu  2 days ago   discuss
2
leesalminen 2 days ago 12 replies      
I spent all of 2014 building a SaaS for dog daycare/kennel owners. The MVP turned out beautiful. Went to a few trade shows towards the end of last year and people went crazy over the software.

0 outbound marketing yet, and already have 22 customers at $100/month. This year my goal is to scale up to 200 customers.

It's a really weird market niche where no one has built software for in 10 years. Pretty neat.

3
tkiley 2 days ago 3 replies      
"Profitable side-project" might be an unstable equilibrium. If you're doing something without scale, it will die when you lose interest. If you're doing something with scale, perhaps it should grow into a bootstrapped startup.

inquicker.com started as a hobby / learning opportunity (2005) and grew into a side project with about $20k/yr in recurring revenue from corporate customers (2008).

Eventually, it turned into a full-time job (early 2009) and I found a co-founder (late 2009). We hired our first four employees in 2010. In 2011 we signed our 100th customer and hit $1m in recurring revenue. In 2013 we hit $5m in recurring revenue.

4
wesbos 2 days ago 4 replies      
I wrote a book and video series on Sublime Text - https://SublimeTextBook.com

It's done about 80k in sales in 3 months - I'm in the process of writing a blog post about how I did it, what worked and what didn't. It's not inexpensive, but it pays for itself quickly so people are fine with spending the $45 on the book + videos.

Feel free to ask questions here so I have content for the post.

5
mappum 2 days ago 7 replies      
An Android app I made in a few hours makes $500/m from ads, and has 1M+ downloads on Google Play. It claims to be a radar detector for your phone, but that's not even possible (it's actually just completely random).

The description says that it is for novelty purposes, but the reviews show people believe it works and it has a placebo effect. Most reviews say things like "I drove past a police station and it went off! 5/5".

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.vox.radard...

It's funny to see it up in the top 20 of the Transportation category on Play, alongside companies that are heavily VC funded. https://play.google.com/store/apps/category/TRANSPORTATION/c...

6
doh 2 days ago 14 replies      
A year ago I developed an universal video downloader site http://savedeo.com.

I didn't pay much attention to it at first, but people liked the site and kept coming back. Year later the site generates around $30k a month and the operation costs are around $90 (close to nothing).

The site is very lightweight as it doesn't really downloads anything. It just extracts direct links to the files.

There are a great challenges that I have to deal with (like YouTube blocking IPs, sites changing designs all the time, etc.).

7
jasmcole 2 days ago 2 replies      
I wrote an Android app based on a blog post of mine which got popular:

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.jasmcole.w...

http://jasmcole.com/2014/08/25/helmhurts/

It reached the reddit front page for a day, and earned 3,000 during that day. Since then, it's averaged ~150 per month, with only small input from me (minor updates)

8
tomrohlf 2 days ago 2 replies      
I created a card game that I sell on Amazon. I have it manufactured in China and sell it though Fulfillment by Amazon.

Quite a change from my day job working in software but I enjoy the diversity.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00PJKCXJC

9
zrail 2 days ago 4 replies      
I wrote a book[1] a year and a half ago that just recently crossed $42k in total revenue. These days it consistently earns $1.5k/mo without much further input from me, other than tweaks to the landing page copy and updates once in awhile when Stripe or Rails changes significantly.

[1]: https://www.masteringmodernpayments.com

Edit: If you'd like to read a preview, you can do so here: https://www.masteringmodernpayments.com/read

10
robinhood 2 days ago 2 replies      
I've created five years ago http://www.totalwireframe.com, based on a hunch that it would interest people. It's a site where I sell libraries for an obscure/niche market.

The first year, I sold for $0 of librairies. In 2014, I've made ~$45,000 and it's 100% passive income. I'm not proud to say that I've worked a total of 30 hours on the site last year (it sounds as if I'm lazy, and I'm not). Moreover, I've never spent a single dollar on marketing, no matter its form.

It works so well that I've taken the decision to leave my daily job to work on the site full time. I (perhaps naively) think that if I make that much money while doing practically nothing, I can surely make a ton more by actually working on it every day for a year. On Feb 1st, I'm making the jump.

It has been tough to get there though. The first year has been a disaster. I nearly abandoned the site. Then, one day, I started to gain traction. To this day, I have no idea why. Then, months after months, the sales went up. It took me weeks and weeks of work to create the libraries I'm selling today. I also did a lot of variations, based on the feedback I received from my customers. My customers are the best, I think. They like what I do, they give me a lot of feedback. In the course of my business, I also did stupid things I regret immensely, like copy a competitor (but honestly it was not intentional), and I'm really, really not proud of this.

Sales have reached a peak of $7500 for the month of May 2014.

The site is based on http://jekyllrb.com/ and is hosted on https://www.webfaction.com/, on a 9$ per month plan. As the site is static, I just need Nginx. That's it. GetDPD allows me to collect payments with both Paypal and Stripe.

To let people pay and downlaod, I use http://getdpd.com/. They are fantastic. I've tried a lot of other options and even though GetDPD looks terrible, it's a great product, well worth the tiny monthly cost.

I hope my story will let people know that it's totally feasible to do a great business as a side project. I honestly wonder EVERY.SINGLE.DAY how come it worked for me, but well,... it worked :-)

11
earlz 2 days ago 1 reply      
I'm making about $500/month (was $800/month when bitcoin price was better) by code reviewing altcoins for exploits, undisclosed premines, and other scams that can hide in code. I have an arrangement with an exchange for a monthly fee, and sometimes am paid by others as well.

I've successfully stopped 1 full blown exploit (admanteumcoin) where there was code that allowed a block to mine any amount of coins desired, (and had RPC calls modified to hide this).

I started out doing it to try to help the altcoin ecosystem, because it's pretty interesting, and because it's a great way to learn more about cryptocurrencies and all their implementations. My code review directory (that isn't actually up to date) is on github: https://github.com/Earlz/coinreviews

12
modoc 2 days ago 11 replies      
10MinuteMail - http://10minutemail.com

Temporary email. Got lucky with traffic, and run two Google Adsense ads.

13
greenpinguin 7 hours ago 0 replies      
I'm working on multiple ideas. haven't cracked the 1000/month yet, but have put together a common repo I use as a starting point for all my projects. It recently got featured on the Google Developers Channel: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k_7zdqz01sk&list=PL2fzhe-bAE...
14
adzeds 2 days ago 3 replies      
I created a soccer app that provides information on betting. It trickled along nicely and then in November it jumped to 3k (~$4.5k) then December it jumped to 7.7k (~$11k) and looks to be on that line still as it is on 2k after 5 days of January!
15
tootie 2 days ago 0 replies      
Reddit thread on this subject from yesterday:https://www.reddit.com/r/webdev/comments/2rb487/people_who_h...
16
dynofuz 2 days ago 7 replies      
I made http://bankofamericaroutingnumber.comIt took less than a day and makes about $150/month. Not quite the 1k but not bad for minimal work.
17
blaurenceclark 2 hours ago 1 reply      
https://www.linktexting.com text to download forms for mobile apps!
18
tjradcliffe 2 days ago 1 reply      
It would be fascinating to see a complement to this thread, "Side projects that never got any traction". The tech press has a huge bias toward reporting on "what works" based on projects or companies that succeeded, without ever looking at the many projects and companies that do exactly the same things as the successful ones without ever getting anywhere.

I've been very successful in the technology world, including running my own scientific and software consulting company for many years, but as a novelist and poet I've been a complete failure, despite approaching the two in very similar ways. Maybe the markets are simply very different, or maybe it's just luck, or something else. So I think it would be interesting to see some side-by-side of projects that took off and projects that didn't.

There are lots of really interesting things people are posting here, but I bet for every success story there is a story of failure that involves a great many of the same elements, yet somehow never grew beyond the "that was an interesting way to spend my spare time for a while" stage.

19
itengelhardt 2 days ago 0 replies      
I wrote a SaaS app for SEO professionals that helps them find link opportunities for their client's websites - https://www.LinksSpy.com .

It currently makes about $1,200/mo. I do somewhat detailed income reports over at http://www.it-engelhardt.de/income-reports

20
reuven 2 days ago 3 replies      
I wrote an ebook ("Practice Makes Python", http://lerner.co.il/practice-makes-python ) for people who have learned Python basics, but want to gain fluency. I'm working on videos for a higher-tier offering, and then will start to market it more seriously.

I only launched the book about 1.5 months ago, and I'm at about $1500 in revenue. I'm definitely hoping to see greater income with the higher tiers (including video) and greater marketing. I'm also speaking with some companies about them buying site licenses of the book, which would increase the revenue even more.

21
MichaelCrawford 2 days ago 3 replies      
It's been a few years, but at one time I averaged $3,500.00 per month, with two months at $5,000.00, from two AdSense units on just one single, quite lengthy but well-researched and well-written essay on legal music downloading.

I am, today, skeptical that it's worth anyone's while to try to make money from ads published alongside one's articles. At one time that was widely accepted as the very best way to make money online, but no more.

I'm getting ready to do a KickStarter project so I can devote myself full time to this:

http://www.warplife.com/jobs/computer/

So far I have some remote employers and clients, and some employers in a few large US cities. After I have lots more remote employers, as well as some in a few other countries, I'll do the kickstarter.

Someone managed to make fifty-six grand from a KickStarter in which he said "I'm making potato salad". Not that he was going to sell it commercially, or had come up with a killer potato salad recipe. I mean like he was fixing his lunch for the day.

Just a couple days ago, I read that three times as much money is raised from crowdfunding than from VC.

Consider that with crowdfunding, you don't lose any equity. You also don't have the problem with a bad VC giving you bad advice, or even demanding you do stupid things.

There are some VCs who are very, very good. Despite having to fork over lots of equity, the good VCs are very worthwhile, but IMHO a bad VC is far worse than not getting funding at all.

22
mafellows 2 days ago 1 reply      
Lead generation service for mobile developers: iOS Leads - http://iosleads.com & Android Leads - http://androidleads.net

Have an assistant that helps curate freelance/contract positions from around the internet and through opportunities I hear about offline. I'm a mobile developer, so it's an effective side business to be working on.

Many people have scored new clients and worked on interesting projects through the service. Some people find it's not for them. Definitely offer a money-back guarantee if you're working on something digital/saas. No reason to be taking people's money if they're not getting value out of your product.

Another valuable lesson: we did really well with podcast advertising thanks to Release Notes (http://releasenotes.tv/). If you can find a podcast with 10,000 - 20,000 listeners that serves a niche, you should be able to produce a nice return. IMO our landing page is terrible, but it converts quite well.

23
cade 2 days ago 2 replies      
This is fudging the question, but after many months of nights-and-weekends toiling, I launched https://www.land-of-nosh.com out of beta testing today and hope to be making $1,000+/month at some point!

My wife has always hated the meal planning/recipe organization and sharing process and available tools (she'd used a few different products). After asking lots of friends for recommendations and hearing enough times, "I use X, but I don't like it, so if you find something better, let me know." it seemed like a promising lead for a side project!

Worst case: I make no money, and my wife finally has the meal planning tool she's always wanted.

24
wolframhempel 2 days ago 2 replies      
I wrote a GPL licensed layout manager (https://golden-layout.com/) that also comes with commercial licenses. It's been out for three months now and seems to appeal to financial institutions. Revenue is ok, especially since most sales are the more expensive (399 GBP) multi domain license, but a lot of the bigger customers don't want to just purchase it through the website, but rather enter into a more bespoke contract which comes with some overhead.
25
edmazur 2 days ago 0 replies      
I built and run http://bots4.net. It's made a little over $40k since opening in 2011.

bots4 is a freemium text/browser-based robot fighting game. It was making $3,000/month at one point, but revenue has dropped significantly since then (and it fluctuates a lot based on the activity of whales). Operating cost is $25/month for Linode VPS hosting. Here's the revenue history as of August 2013:

http://i.imgur.com/rqcxQgv.png

It makes money purely through in-game purchases. Players can buy what are known as "stars" for $10 USD each. Stars let you order items for your bot so that you don't have to camp for them. The alternative if you don't have stars is to wait for your item to appear, so stars ultimately don't enable you to do anything you couldn't do without them, but they are a big convenience, especially in late game where certain items appear very infrequently (still only O(hours) though).

If you want more info, you can read through my posts here (linked to archived version because it's not loading on the original domain):

https://web.archive.org/web/20140210074542/http://community....

26
iurisilvio 2 days ago 2 replies      
Small niches are cool, but you probably can't live from ads. Choose a lame subject with lots of users and make a clean and easy to use website.

I have a small directory website. It's pretty boring stuff, but it is a good source of almost passive income. Never published it. I just created the website and sent the sitemap to Google Webmasters. It's 8 months old and I have 400k pageviews/month.

I have lots of projects in idea stage, I want to execute at least two in 2015. My plan is to reinvest all money from this first side project to create others.

27
cx42net 1 day ago 0 replies      
I've built VoilaNorbert (https://www.voilanorbert.com) with a friend more than a year ago just for our purpose, and got LifeHacker(ed) in September (2014) with more than 20k visitors in one day.We decided to re-write it to include a paid service and we now get around 450 per month that we split together.

Among that, I started selling Prestashop modules on May 14, and now I get around 800/1000 per month from this.

Getting money on your side project is (imho) the best feeling in the world. You get notifications (email for Prestashop, SMS that I configured for VoilaNorbert) at every sales, and when you receive them, oh that feels great! :)

This lead me to learn something very important : you have to finish what you start. It's my big default, I always stop in the middle. Norbert and the modules for Prestashop was an exception, and now they make money!

28
someotheridiot 2 days ago 0 replies      
http://rebrickable.com - using your existing LEGO collection, find other stuff you can build. Thousands of custom designs with building instructions and parts lists.
29
brianpetro_ 2 days ago 2 replies      
Create a Job Board, use the latest social routes to drive traffic and build a list.

The amount you make from the Job Board post is heavily dependent on the amount social followers (drives traffic and makes purchasing more appealing).

https://www.angularjobs.com started making ~$1000/month in revenue with a highly targeted social reach of ~10k followers.

Technical co-founder type? Take what you know about programming and offer recruiting services to the early users of your site. Both companies and developers visit job boards, providing both the clients and talent needed to collect recruitment fees(over 10K in major US cities).

My main gig is http://www.LinkPlugApp.com where I play a technical role.

LinkPlug is how I drive traffic to the JobBoard from social media accounts like the ones below(click a tweeted link to see an ad for the JobBoard):

https://twitter.com/AngularJS_news

https://www.linkedin.com/groups?groupDashboard=&gid=4896676

https://twitter.com/angularjobs

edit: added Twitter account examples.

30
ronaldgl 2 days ago 1 reply      
I wrote a puzzle app for iOS - https://itunes.apple.com/app/id906543727

It's free to download and try it out, but then I charge for additional puzzles.

I was keen to give a complete version of the app for free (without ads) so that people understand clearly what I'm offering. This strategy seems to be working with good and returning custom. Not $1k yet but some reason for optimism ;)

31
smhanov 2 days ago 2 replies      
I have three side projects that together became my "full-time" job. I'm able to spend a lot of time with my kids since I can work fewer hours. I'm tired all the time due to a 4 month old baby, so I'm not doing a lot of things I should.

My method is simple and has only four steps. 1. Write something cool and put it online for free. 2. Wait 4 to 5 years. 3. Gather all the emails asking if they can license it or pay you to adapt it. 4. Then slap on a price/marketing page emphasizing what everybody asked for.

http://websequencediagrams.com is my SAAS business. When I was working on 3GPP at RIM we had to spend hours in Visio moving boxes around, and pasting the results into word documents. It was a challenging layout problem. By 2007 I made a python script that did sequence diagrams automatically and put it online. I began to get emails from companies saying they wanted to license it, so I obliged. After I left RIM, I converted it into a freemium product. I have about 400 users paying $9 to $15/month.

http://zwibbler.com gets about 70 visits a day. It's a javascript drawing library with full-service from me. Again, it started as a free HTML demo, and I began to get emails requesting me to adapt it for pay. Instead, I created the front page that offers a complete solution for $1500. By answering emails and talking on the phone, I can get 3 or 4 clients a month without even trying. I figure out what they want and reposition the buttons to do it.

My favourite is http://rhymebrain.com because I don't have to do anything. Google just transfers $1-2K into my account every month for Adsense.

32
megaframe 2 days ago 5 replies      
Combination Machine Learning, NLP, Neural Networks, stock analyzer. Does automated day trading. Not HFT style stuff. More what a bank pays an analyst to do, type of trading, but smaller scale since it's only my personal funds.
33
tessierashpool 2 days ago 1 reply      
I wrote a bunch of ebooks and created a bunch of videos. I sold them from my blog and via Twitter; in fact, although I started in 2010 and have made at least 10 products, to this day, I only have web sites for one ebook and one video series. (Count each video in that series as a separate product and I've probably made at least 20 products.)

TBH, the worst part about this is that it's so easy, I got pretty lazy about it. This is why I haven't answered the "what did you make?" question - I got so lazy about it in 2014 that the side projects brought in about half what they made in 2015. Kinda painful in retrospect.

Likewise, if I had web sites for this stuff, if I built email marketing systems, I'm sure they'd make more money. I even have a Kindle version of one of my books, and I still haven't gotten around to sharing it with my customers. Kind of embarassing, actually.

But even then, I'm well over the $1K/month mark. No worries there. All you really need to do is create stuff that people find worthwhile.

34
jonoalderson 2 days ago 1 reply      
I run https://www.daysoftheyear.com, a calendar website which lists all of the weird, funny, odd etc national days, holidays events. Alternative celebrations, like 'Ferris Wheel Day' on Feb 14th (vs Valentines Day). They're all real celebrations researched, described, etc. It was built (and rebuilt several times, and constantly iterated) by me, from scratch, on WordPress, in my spare time over a period of years.

The site generates >$1.5k per month at the moment from AdSense alone, without any marketing other than SEO and broadcasting to the social followers we've accumulated. This revenue is secondary to the real and long-term value being generated in the form of large numbers of membership/email subscriptions and social followers.

35
frist45 2 days ago 1 reply      
I wrote a book called Build a Ruby Gem ( http://brandonhilkert.com/books/build-a-ruby-gem/). After release, it's required very little work and has totaled about $20k in 9 months since launch.
36
rememberlenny 2 days ago 0 replies      
I found a great article by Walter Chen yesterday about how to he brought his business to $1000 recurring revenue yesterday.

http://blog.idonethis.com/how-we-got-to-1-000-in-recurring-r...

Im working on a similar service using SMS.

37
moveelo 1 day ago 0 replies      
Mine was not over $1,000/mo but I'm working to get it there.

http://undupe.com was something I spun up one day, it gained a little interest and now it runs around $400+ a month(with under 10 users). Not very much, but a nice start.

I'm working on moving this one up a notch past $1,000/mo while adding other small products to my portfolio.

$1k/mo is still a milestone I've been working on reaching. Up until now, I've been an active contract developer.

Still have lots of product tests running and seeing what will be next. Eventually, this will turn into a nice portfolio of digital assets and income.

38
nickcano 2 days ago 1 reply      
I made a fully autonomous bot for a 15 year old MMORPG. The bot can completely play the game with very little intervention, and I have about 2,000 people paying $5.75 monthly for it.
39
viktorhanacek 10 hours ago 1 reply      
My site with totally free photos. I made it because no stock photo agency/site want my photos.

http://www.picjumbo.com

Today it has 1mio pageviews/month, PREMIUM Membership, Photoshop Plugin, AdSense and some "30-days" ads.

And photos are still FREE :)

40
jafingi 2 days ago 2 replies      
I started a little niche webshop in 2011. In 2014, the monthly revenue were around $2500/month.

It's not passive income, but I only use ~ 1 hour a day on it (packaging etc.)

41
lukasluke 16 hours ago 0 replies      
I created a videotutorial course to teach people how to design and code trading robots - udemy.com/build-your-trading-robot.

It's doing about 1.5k/mth. Launched it 2 months ago. Took me 6 months to create it. Still adding content to it though, will probably take about 1 year more before I complete it.

The site that hosted the course did most of the marketing for me so I just focused on the product. Startup cost was about $150. Spent it on microphone and digital writing pad.

42
ambr 2 days ago 1 reply      
How are you guys marketing these?

I'm not making anything close to that but I've worked on a side project of mine for months with no gain. At this point I'm debating if I should just move on. It's not revolutionary but but any advice would be beneficial.

http://www.psswrd.io

43
raffi 2 days ago 0 replies      
I launched Feedback Army on HN in 2008. It's consistently paid my part of my Washington, DC rent for years. I gave some details about how I marketed it on its blog and in the side projects book someone put together awhile ago. Sadly, I can't find a link to the side projects book or I'd post it here.

http://blog.feedbackarmy.com/

I owe a lot to Feedback Army. It was the first thing I made where I made money without putting an hourly value on a unit of my time. I learned to think of my business as a system for fulfilling what I promised and collecting money from customers. This side project was a great way to cut my teeth on some business and service fundamentals.

44
ca98am79 1 day ago 0 replies      
I made http://park.io last June

I got into this stuff because I am very interested in domains - especially .io domains

At first domains were just a fun hobby - to collect for future projects. But then I sold a few and bought a few more and scaled it out.

I created park.io to automate things.

45
jeremyjarrell 2 days ago 0 replies      
I create videos, mainly focused on agile techniques, that I distribute online. Currently all of my videos are on Pluralsight but I've signed deals to start branching out to other distributors with new content in 2015.http://www.pluralsight.com/author/jeremy-jarrell

Currently the videos generate about $3,500/month in revenue. There's little out of pocket expense for the initial production of each video (stock imagery, reference books, etc) and no ongoing expenses after production is complete.

I started out just focusing on topics that I was interested in but didn't have a lot of success. Once I started approaching things as a business my return improved dramatically.

46
ralphholzmann 2 days ago 1 reply      
Send to Dropbox. Allows you to email attachments to your Dropbox. Makes roughly $2,500 a month currently. More info in this other thread: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=8699687
47
dirtyaura 2 days ago 1 reply      
Something to think about: Based on the answers here and in the related Reddit thread it seems that information products (e-books, targeted blog posts, link collections) still generate better revenue (either sales or ad revenue) than pure software products as side projects.
48
seekingnames 12 hours ago 0 replies      
Have a website that allows folks to create custom logos and backgrounds for their google search engine. People can type anything they want, choose a logo and choose a background.

www.lyfts.com

49
chias 2 days ago 0 replies      
I made a a community built around sharing creative writing, story telling, digital art and artistic expression. It also has a few browser games and a "digital collectibles" aspect to it. I started it about a year and a half ago with a digital-artist friend.

It's got a standard F2P model for the collectibles aspect: you can get everything for free by playing the games / posting in the forums, or you can pay for it. It probably doesn't make as much as it could as I refuse to employ "dirty F2P Tricks", but that's a personal choice.

Check it out if you care to :)

https://www.mycenacave.com/

50
leehro 2 days ago 0 replies      
I have two apps in the iOS app store. One launched in 2009 (Filer) and the other in 2010 (FLAC Player). I've been really lucky that both have done so well, especially 5 years on. I maintain them for major iOS releases and hardware changes, but the little time I have I try to work on new stuff and supporting them. My wife helps with support emails now, which has been a huge help.

Neither app has any server-side components, so they don't cost me anything but squarespace fees for my website and my iOS dev program membership.

Edit: Oh yeah, they're both paid apps and I don't fiddle with the pricing

51
joesavage 2 days ago 0 replies      
Around two years ago now I created a League of Legends champion information/countering website: https://www.championcounter.com/

Growth was slow but steady, and the site now receives ~1.4M pageviews per month. The money to keep things up and running comes through banner ads - it's not a huge amount (have only started hitting just about $1000/mo in recent months, and don't know how long that'll last for), but it's still a nice revenue stream to have.

52
umrashrf 2 days ago 1 reply      
reddit.com/r/SideProject is a great place to look for such projects.
53
jchatelaine 2 days ago 0 replies      
I made https://QuickMail.io for lead generation (making +$5,000/month)

This is the quick (1 min video) version of how I did it: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y0y28HmcqUo&feature=youtu.be

This is the longer version: http://blog.quickmail.io/category/journey-to-1k-paying-custo...

54
tolas 2 days ago 0 replies      
Artwork Archive - https://www.artworkarchive.com

It's an inventory/career management platform for working Artists. Slow but steady growth, mostly word of mouth and recommendations by influencers in the space. Me and one other business partner. We had our first $1k month in our 4th month of operation. We are well over that now and with current growth it should match the income of my full time job in the next year or so.

55
rk0567 2 days ago 0 replies      
~$1k+ per month from few side projects.

+ pc builder site http://assembleyourpc.net I created ~1.7 years ago, generates revenue from Adsense and few affiliate programs, 2-6 hours of work (per month))

+ other niche tools : http://portchecker.co and http://signature-maker.net weekend side projects, 0-2 hours of work(per month))

56
rainhacker 2 days ago 2 replies      
I developed a wifi hotspot locator using NYC Open Data. It is deployed on Google App Engine: http://elemental-shine-793.appspot.com/

Source Code: https://github.com/rainmaker7/locator

57
phrasemix 2 days ago 0 replies      
I created a website for folks learning English as a foreign language: http://www.phrasemix.com

I've been running it for the last 5 years. The first 2 years, it was just a blog that I maintained for free. 3 years ago, I started selling access to audio recordings of the lessons as a subscription.

The site generates about $2K per month off of around 300K monthly visitors. It continues to grow but very slowly.

58
hpeikemo 2 days ago 1 reply      
I created an iOS app http://ideon.co/theconverted/ as a side project. I've had hopes to be able to survive entirely on revenue from my own projects instead of relying on client work. I'm very far from that goal at this point, but the extra income is nice.
59
v_ignatyev 2 days ago 0 replies      
I created http://builds.io and http://udid.io/The first one is the store destributing iOS apps removed from AppStore. And the second one is the service to get UDID of iPhone in one tap. Together they generates revenue around $1000 month on subscriptions and AdSense.
60
flippyhead 2 days ago 2 replies      
http://fetching.io makes well over $1,000 / month but we're just getting started ;
61
benblodgett 2 days ago 2 replies      
https://hopsie.com

I wrote a site creator for non-profits that allows them to create customized fundraising sites.

62
w0ts0n 2 days ago 0 replies      
I have a few small joke websites that run on a vps. I set most of them up as a kid. www.downloadmoreram.com is around $500 m/o on it's own.
63
sauere 2 days ago 0 replies      
Not $1k, but might be a inspiration anyway: 2 years ago i made some simple LAMP+HTML/CSS Videotutorials and put them on YouTube. Production quality isn't great but better than 90% that was on YT at the time. Along with that, created a little site with the Videos and some code examples. Videos + site are making me $100/month.
64
rab_oof 1 day ago 0 replies      
Several folks do a few hundred / month with a few ad-supported utility mobile apps. That's enough for gas and food. To get to ramen profitability, either a good mobile or biz SaaS app. B2C should rarely be depended on for bootstrapping.
65
dalacv 1 day ago 0 replies      
I have some shitty Udemy courses that net me just over that much:

https://www.udemy.com/u/andrewvega/

66
iguanayou 2 days ago 0 replies      
http://bestattendance.com. Built it over a summer back when I was a high school teacher and had summers off. Not sure I would have been able to do it without a nice 3 month block of time. Doing side projects on weekends and evenings only is pretty tough.
67
ehsana 2 days ago 0 replies      
I developed a chrome extension in the early days of Google+ (2011) as a side project to help me remove inactive people from my google+ circles and unfollow unfollowers. Circloscope is now a full-fledged Google+ circle management tool which can help you build and grow your audience in Google+.
68
nitinsingla0999 2 days ago 2 replies      
Inspired by this thread i just created this site (took me couple of hours today), monetizing by Amazon associate program. :

http://www.watchaisle.com

Will complete it by next weekend.

69
ishanr 2 days ago 1 reply      
I wrote a book on Google Authority 2 years back and after steadily growing in sales it gives about 800USD/month now:

https://gum.co/ppyJ

Although I haven't spent a single penny on promotion and selling it for less than I should I guess.

70
DevFactor 2 days ago 0 replies      
Not sure if this counts, but in 2013 I made ~17k off of freelancing & consulting in my free-time.

I also operate some "for fun sites", which are all small projects for example a video-game discount aggregator (just scapes sites for discounts) all together ~$200/mo.

71
ClintFix 2 days ago 3 replies      
I sell 6 and 12 month leadership development programs to companies. I make 50% of the sale. At $50/mo per employee on the program, I make an extra $1000/mo at 40 employees.http://LIFELeadershipCorporate.com
72
jonweber 2 days ago 0 replies      
TickChek.com is a side-project I launched in collaboration with my university's wildlife laboratory to offer tick testing for Lyme and other diseases. We've grossed over $4k in out best months this last year.
73
ricardonunez 2 days ago 1 reply      
http://tailoredwp.com/ Recurring revenue is from hosting services plus some affiliate commissions. It started as a side project, and I think this year will become my main source of income.
74
jsherer 2 days ago 1 reply      
I left my full-time job back in February 2013 (coming up on 2 years). I currently split my time between consulting and growing my products (a downloadable and a SaaS). Revenue from my oldest app is still > $1000/month. Been a fun ride so far.
75
rosspanda 2 days ago 0 replies      
We make about $300 in donations a month over at http://moodpanda.com , we don't do it for the money, its a good way of opening doors and getting invited to events etc.
76
magnetpeep 2 days ago 2 replies      
I started thumbnailing porn torrents at http://www.magnetpeep.com, then the Pirate Bay went down (who I used to index the torrents). I need to get back on that project.
77
deanclatworthy 2 days ago 1 reply      
I run http://unfriend.io - I used to make over 1000e a month with an un-named advertiser who decided to revoke my account without appeal. Now my money comes from donations.
78
trg2 2 days ago 0 replies      
I have an online SEO course that hit six-figures in 2014. I wrote a post on it: http://www.clickminded.com/six-figure-side-project/
79
RealGeek 2 days ago 1 reply      
I built http://www.ranksignals.com SEO tools.

It's a SaaS app and a Chrome Extension. It has tens of thousands of monthly active users and makes $x,xxx per month.

80
v_ignatyev 2 days ago 0 replies      
I made ShotBuf iOS app (http://shotbuf.com) and earned $100 on sales in 2014 :) It's kind of fail story)
81
samsnelling 2 days ago 0 replies      
I launched my first "real" SaaS this year, https://embedkit.com - and got just 1 enterprise customer to net 1k revenue a month.
82
michaelbuckbee 2 days ago 3 replies      
I developed a service that does SSL installation for you on Heroku: https://www.expeditedssl.com
84
fuckall 2 days ago 3 replies      
I sell drugs.

It's a lot harder than you might think.

My clients give pretty reliable recurring revenue, so much so that it's gone from a side project to a full time gig for me.

85
mooktakim 2 days ago 0 replies      
http://tweet-a-lot.com - #tweet-a-lot is a great way to start your own contest to encourage twitter users to post with your hashtag. The service uses gamification to reward behaviour that helps you promote your brand to the most followers.
86
Exuma 2 days ago 1 reply      
I started a personal project last year that's currently pulling $350,000-$400,000 profit a month.

Currently I'm working on scaling very hard.

It was a good year, and it feels good that 15 years of insanely hard learning have paid off... It feels surreal, like I'm dreaming and I'm going to wake up.

87
wildmXranat 2 days ago 0 replies      
Some of these posted ideas are actually pretty good.
88
sam_lowry_ 2 days ago 3 replies      
A local community website, earning from local ads.
89
MichaelTieso 2 days ago 1 reply      
I'm bringing home about $2,500 a month on my side project. This year I plan on doubling it. The issue is that this is really starting to becoming another full-time job.
10
Why people don't use anti-virus app on android?
4 points by HarryPPotter  13 hours ago   5 comments top 4
1
KhalPanda 12 hours ago 0 replies      
Because most people are less susceptible to viruses on their phones. The phone environment is typically a lot more "locked down" than a desktop OS.

Not to say that it's not a risk, but it's one most people are happy to take (and largely get away with).

2
jordsmi 6 hours ago 0 replies      
While there are plenty of android botnets out there, I'd say it is harder to get infected.

On windows you can get hit by many different attack verticals, where on android it is mainly from installing bad apps. As long as you aren't installing bunk apk's you are relatively safe.

3
debacle 9 hours ago 0 replies      
There's nothing to steal on my phone that isn't already accessible on someone else's server, and it's unlikely that any software that I could download from the Play store can interact with Android with the kind of permissions that a real antivirus would need.
4
Someone1234 12 hours ago 1 reply      
Android and PCs are an apples and oranges comparison.

On PC code can execute and do arbitrary things (Window 8 "apps" excluded). The only security protections on PCs is either ring 0 or not ring 0. It doesn't matter if you're Windows, Linux, or OS X the very nature of x86/x86-64 is either "root or not root." Virtualisation might change that equation one day, but containers still aren't commonplace day to day.

So on PC application run away is a legitimate threat. You trust Adobe Reader, but if a website tricks Adobe Reader into executing an attacker's code then Adobe Reader can do anything it has access to on that PC (which is everything in user-mode, which is a lot). So you use AV as a stop gap to try and catch some of these (although its effectiveness is questionable, things like Click-To-Play on browser plugins, automatic updates, NoScript/Request Policy, and EMET are more reliable).

Android also has ring 0/not-ring 0, but unlike PC very little runs in ring 0 anyway, and every user-mode application also has additional security restrictions placed on it. So for example downloading and executing code, while possible, it is far harder to escape even the application's own context (since most of it is JavaScript in a WebKit component, not bytecode). So most code exploits don't execute "arbitrary" code, they execute very restrictive code.

Plus then you have OS enforced app restrictions (manifest permissions). If an app gets hijacked by a bad guy, if the bad guy wants more access than the original author then they need to request it and that is user visible (might set off alarm bells). Even if they just keep the old permissions that may restrict what they can do.

Lastly the way Android is designed in general means certain common issues are mitigated, for example:

- Cryto-Blackmail (encrypt your stuff then blackmail you into paying or it will be deleted), most apps cannot access other app's content, most content is backed up automatically, and if they can access other app's content they may not get enough access to overwrite it.

- Sending spam or DDoS botnet: Android kills background processes. Android throttles processes using up too many resources.

- Stealing passwords: It is very hard for one app to "spy" on another app (rooted phones not withstanding). So if you enter your password on Chrome, you can reasonably be assured that the Space Invaders app didn't "see" it (unlike PC, where one user mode process can trivially spy on another).

11
Ask HN: Socialize to make software
70 points by v_ignatyev  2 days ago   25 comments top 11
1
olalonde 2 days ago 4 replies      
I am in a similar boat (living in China) and HN is really my only way of keeping in touch with the startup/hacker community and "socialising". I really wish there was a IRC channel/website dedicated to people in our situation who are looking to socialise or collaborate together on projects/startups.

I was thinking about this problem recently and one idea that I came up with was to build a "MVP league" that would combine aspects of eSports leagues and online hackatons (e.g. Node Knockout). Participants could form teams and submit a new MVP every X weeks. Another option would be to have theme/technology based tournaments (e.g. "open source", "node.js", "education"). Winners could be selected after each cycle, new teams could be formed, there could be a leaderboard of teams/participants, etc. Sponsors could offer prizes to winners or investors could offer funding.

There are already a couple of websites that aggregate online hackatons (http://challengepost.com, http://www.wehack.it/) but I haven't seen one that operates as a league and most online hackatons are one off things or once a year things.

Curious to hear HN's thoughts...

PS: I added #lfl on Freenode to my auto-join if anyone wants to hang out :)

2
theprestig3 2 days ago 2 replies      
I'm kind of in a similiar boat. I'm currently based in a small town outside of Seattle called Olympia, where there is really know tech/start-up scene. But I see the potential in this town to harbor start-ups and innovation.

Pretty much south of seattle, it's going to be hard for dev and entreprenuers alike to start-up.

So I started a small business that I work in with my free time, to help build a foundation for people to learn code, brainstorm ideas, and start businesses. I do free code classes via meetup, and I'm working on getting something weekly in motion, and hackathons.

And since I've started my group has been getting a lot of interest and support from the community and even the county.

I plan to keep at it, until there is a solid foundation for people interested.

I don't know the demographics of your town, but the concept I started might be something you could give a trial at.

And if it doesn't work out, or pick up interest. Then abandon ship and make your success story.

3
colinbartlett 2 days ago 0 replies      
A lot of people here will recommend Silicon Valley, but I am not one of them.

I believe you will find New York more hospitable. Here we have investors, technologists, and an extremely diverse culture with accommodations and activities for a wide range of budgets and tastes. . Foreigners and non-native English speakers here are just the norm, they are pervasive and not treated like second-class citizens. My experience in the rest of the country is not so welcoming, even in the SF Bay area.

4
jkaykin 2 days ago 1 reply      
For what it sounds like you want to do, I would suggest coming to the Silicon Valley. There are hundreds of meetups every month and many opportunities to meet and work with talented developers (also there is a hackathon every weekend here).

I am a Russian American (I speak Russian fluently) and I would be happy to connect and show you around once you are here.

5
robertoallende 2 days ago 0 replies      
I think it depends if you can find 'customers' for the projects or tech you're passionate about. Anyway, i think the best could be try to do both. Ie, create a link with California and at the same time, star to gather people locally. Become a connector with the 'Valley' and meet people in your town doing the same and help each other.
6
rnl 2 days ago 1 reply      
While the US is likely the largest market, there are plenty of opportunities elsewhere. Ignoring those might be part of your strategy, however if you are willing to take look at what Europe or Asia have to offer you might be facing something quite unexpected as there are tech start-ups everywhere.

I live in Finland and there is an emerging start-up scene here already. Also there are plenty of older, steady-going companies, that have proven business models, who have start-up mindsets towards new things.

If your plan is to create a thriving project that aims to address a specific business problem, you are going to need a group (even small) of likely minded people. There should not be any "work for food"-ethics attached. No body will work for you for food, but many people are willing to work to create something they believe in.

Why exactly do you want to be in the US? I've lived in Moscow and St. Petersburg for quite some time. It is hard to imagine, that you won't find anyone in those cities with summed population of almost 20 million, who is willing to work with you on your or their ideas.

7
vayarajesh 1 day ago 1 reply      
I also have similar situation - I live in Dubai - and don't have many passionate programmers here. After lot of reading and research I have realized that it is very important to work with good programmers like in USA in order to grow and moving physically to Silicon Valley is the best option but if you like your country and have a family to look after you can also try remote jobs.. if you look at remote working with companies in USA it will be almost as beneficial as working as physically present there.

e.g. https://angel.co/jobshttp://remoteworking.cohttp://careers.stackoverflow.com/jobs

You can also try contributing to open source projects on github until you find a way to be around good programmers

8
vladimirralev 1 day ago 0 replies      
I am going to suggest for you to go visit San Francisco, stay in a hacker or startup house. Try a few, some are awesome, some are bad, depends on the guests. Smaller houses are more casual, but bigger houses often host events or team up to travel together to nearby events. Plan to stay around 2 months to really get the feel of how things work. Check if Stanford or some other university hosts a startup camp of some sort. I feel like you should stay away from actual hackathons in the valley, but I may be wrong. Also the winter is warm in San Francisco, so you get to move around easily and it attracts more traveling hackers from around the world. Another thing - don't focus too much on the engineering part - don't dismiss artwork, design, and sales people.
9
kschmit90 2 days ago 1 reply      
It depends. Do you prefer telecommuting or face to face interaction?

Technological globalization has created a situation where, excluding time zone differences, we could communicate in a way that is extremely similar to face to face contact.

Speaking from personal experience, a coding bootcamp might be a good opportunity for you, assuming it is cost effective. Through a coding bootcamp you will have the opportunity to network in regards to tech entrepreneurship and software in general, as well as developing a higher skill level, however you may be proficient enough already.

If I were you I would make a table of pros and cons, based on as many factors as I found to be very important, attribute weights with those factors and make a decision based on the results. Or you could flip a coin and see which side you want it to land on in mid air. That will give you a good idea of which one is more favored by your spinal cord at least.

It's a tough question, good luck!

10
resdirector 2 days ago 0 replies      
FWIW You may be interested in an app I'm building which allows people who work remotely (or in remote places) to socialize with other people who work remotely. The idea is to allow people such as yourself who are interested in tech to have "water cooler"-style conversations even if they are removed from the tech scene.

Feel free to give it a go: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/water-cooler-chat/id94476300...

You might find some interesting people on there to talk to, it's still early days and currently only my friends are using it so far, but we're a friendly, interesting bunch of people :)

11
epicureanideal 2 days ago 1 reply      
Do you have a degree related to software engineering / computer science? What's your email address? Put it in your profile and I'll contact you.

If I were you I would change location if possible. Generally it's harder to change your environment than to just move to a better one. I recommend the SF Bay Area because it's the most tech friendly, and can recommend some places nearby where you'll have access to the Bay Area but live cheaper if you're not moving here to work for a big company.

12
Ask HN: Should we invest more on this?
2 points by acelik  11 hours ago   5 comments top
1
mtmail 10 hours ago 1 reply      
I worked in real estate search for years (8 markets, map-based) and I've seen many websites come and go.

Try to become number one or two in Turkey and serve that market really well, e.g. with help pages, guides, related services like moving company or deposit comparisons. Or expand to another niche like Greece.

Growing viral or with SEO (or worse spending marketing money) in english will be 10x harder because there so many more competitors.

13
Ask HN: Did Cloudflare Destroy My SEO Traffic?
10 points by jorgecurio  1 day ago   9 comments top 6
1
jorgecurio 7 hours ago 0 replies      
Guys it's been resolved.

I had <meta name='robots' content='noindex,nofollow' /> in my homepage.

2
iurisilvio 16 hours ago 0 replies      
I don't think so.

I'm using Cloudflare as a CDN for my website for 3 months now. All my traffic (~98%) is from Google and it is consistently increasing every week.

It saves 20% of my bandwidth serving static resources and some of most visited pages.

I don't use SSL, it is not important for my pages.

3
colept 1 day ago 0 replies      
My personal experience with CloudFlare is that it is best configured as a CDN for your public static front-end. Any CSS, JS, and images will see bandwidth reductions.

That being said, for the back-end I've never seen improvements. If CloudFlare detects a server error, it could show a static optimized page which is great for anti-DDoS protection but the recovery on their end was significantly slower (minutes behind). It's an unnecessary layer in the protocol.

4
dangrossman 1 day ago 1 reply      
Log in to Google Webmaster Tools, claim your site, and find out why it's not being indexed. Understand the problem before attempting to remedy it.
5
jorgecurio 1 day ago 0 replies      
oh god I just found this thread, sounds same as my situation.

https://forums.digitalpoint.com/threads/moved-servers-added-...

6
jgrahamc 1 day ago 1 reply      
I checked to find that I didn't even show up in the search results for my own full domain name

What is your domain name?

14
Ask HN: What you hate the most from starting a startup?
14 points by htapiardz  1 day ago   8 comments top 3
1
api 1 day ago 1 reply      
Oh lordy, where to begin...

(1) The startup world is full of creeps and psychos. There are a lot of sociopaths, vapid fast-talking wheeler-dealers, and people who are just flat out bat nuts crazy. There's also been a huge influx of douchebags since tech became (supposedly) a way to get rich quick. I've been burned by this a couple times and have gotten better at judging character as a result, but be warned-- here be dragons.

(2) Credentialism is a lot stronger in startups than most people believe. Stanford degrees seem to count more than traction. In the end I just broke down and added "did not attend Stanford or work for Google" to my AngelList profile. If you care, you're not going to like me anyway.

(3) Everything follows an extreme power law distribution, and it always implies a catch-22. If you don't live in the Bay Area, it's exponentially harder to get funding. If you do live in the Bay Area, you need a substantial exit event to afford a down payment on a modest post-WWII starter house. This also applies to incubators, startups you might join, employees you might recruit, etc.

(4) Trendy not-invented-last-week syndrome abounds on the technology side: http://www.jwz.org/blog/2003/02/the-cadt-model/

(5) Given the quantities of money involved, I'd expect investors to be more rational than they really are. "Raise on no numbers or good numbers" -- that doesn't exactly strike me as rational. No numbers is better than some growth? That's not by any means the worst example either. I once had an investor type tell me with a straight face that he looks for founders with a "prominent jaw line, an alpha male look."

(6) Founding or building something is lonely, thankless, isolating, and a lot longer of a death march than you probably realize... unless of course you are "juiced" in which case you can walk into a VC firm and walk out with millions for a product that doesn't exist. Then you can hire people to build it while you wheel and deal and pimp your ego. The existence of this kind of "juice" can be enormously discouraging to mere mortals. It's enough to make you wonder if this game isn't as rigged as Wall Street. (I don't think it's quite as rigged as Wall Street, but there's definitely a privilege network.)

(7) With all the talk of innovation you hear from people like Peter Thiel, the reality is that the most profitable stuff is usually some kind of equity play on the rapid growth of some trendy thing that isn't technically that interesting. Examples include Facebook, Snapchat, etc. If you want to extend the human life span, develop AI, or otherwise advance the human condition, sign up for a vow of poverty. The only hack around this seems to be to do something a bit more "boring" to make enough money to then do something more visionary. The poster boy for this is Elon Musk. There are also exceptions -- things that can be both profitable and interesting -- but those also tend to be the hardest death marches of all. While you're struggling to create real value, someone else is making millions flipping some kind of social media app of the week.

(8) Mobile is the future this week. Last week it was the web. Next week it'll be the Internet of Things and nobody will ever fund another mobile startup. Desktop is dead even though everyone builds absolutely everything on a desktop. See #4.

(9) Don't let anyone fool you -- tech is sexist as hell and geek culture is misogynistic with a faint whiff of creepy pedophilia and other chthonic horrors. If you don't have a penis, be prepared for subtile hazing and grunt work and possibly drool on your seat cushion. Racism exists too, but it's less stark and omnipresent than the misogyny.

(10) Age-ism is big too, and it contributes a lot to #8 and #4. A big reason for this is that all the incubator and accelerator programs are geared toward unmarried childless recent college grads who can move on a whim, room with six other people, and special enzymes that can derive a full spectrum of nutrients from ramen and energy drinks.

I could keep going.

Yet I keep coming back for more. Thank you master may I have another?

2
palidanx 1 day ago 2 replies      
I think one of the most challenging things is working on the sales side of a start-up. As an engineer, coding is relatively straight forward, but sales is a different animal.

When working on sales, I think engineers underestimate how truly difficult it is for someone to sign-up, or take their wallet out to pay for a service. The assumption of creating a great product isn't enough for success.

3
pskittle 1 day ago 0 replies      
the anxiety!
15
Ask HN: What can we do to show we don't support the response to Aaron Swartz?
56 points by joslin01  14 hours ago   59 comments top 10
1
jeremysmyth 14 hours ago 4 replies      
Two things.

Firstly, please spell his name correctly. It's Aaron Swartz. That respects him and makes sure that your audience isn't distracted by that tiny detail and can focus on your message.

Secondly, the petition was too narrow and targeted the individual prosecutor for that case. Even if she was removed, it wouldn't prevent the same sort of thing happening again.

The larger issue (and one closer to the point) is that the law is broken.

- There are overlapping laws such that Swartz was charged with several distinct offences for what was fundamentally a single (though repeated) action.

- Maximum sentences for such offences (crimes against property, in particular those that use technology, even crimes that are on the face of it relatively victimless) are grossly overstated when compared to violent crimes.

- Prosecutors are permitted to present the charges in a way that maximizes the sentencing, by adding them consecutively.

- All of the above points join together to maximize the number of cases where the defendant pleads guilty to avoid a court case, so there is a ridiculously small number of such cases that go to trial (and a correspondingly vast majority of cases of which the defendant is, as a result, convicted), even where the defendant is actually innocent of some or all charges, or when it is likely that a trial could result in a not guilty verdict.

No reasonable person could say Swartz deserved 35 years in prison for what he is alleged to have done. The legal system that enabled Ortiz to present the charges as she did is much bigger than any prosecutorial overreach she is accused of in that petition. Let's not make it about one prosecutor. Let's make it about all of them.

2
sarciszewski 13 hours ago 1 reply      
What is the exact problem you want to solve?

What are some of the causes of the problem?

What are some of the effects of the problem?

If the problem disappeared today, what side-effects would it have on the rest of the world?

What, given all of the answers to these questions, would be a solution that solves the commonly agreed upon problem (usually by solving the causes for said problem rather than the problem itself) with minimal negative side-effects?

"Should we code something? Organize a rally in the major cities? Write code to make it easy to start rallies? What're some good ideas to show our discontent?"

No, those are actions. What good is an action without a solution in mind? Plan then act. Don't act without a plan.

3
JonFish85 13 hours ago 1 reply      
I mean, the answer is probably to vote, and to convince others to vote. Start locally, and work your way up the chain. Talk to your friends, get them to vote accordingly. Go to your local government meetings, raise your issues. Volunteer for campaigns for your representatives, whether local representatives or Congress people.

If there aren't any representatives that you support, run for office. Dedicate your life to making these changes. Convince others that these are important issues, convince them to donate to your campaign and to vote for you.

The problem is, this is a hard road to take. And, truth be told, people don't really care enough to do the actual, hard work. They'd prefer to retweet some quote, maybe change their facebook profile picture for a week, if they're really serious about something. But ultimately, that doesn't get people elected, it doesn't put someone in office working to make the change. Best-case scenario, it gets some lip service from a 4-term representative. How much do you care? Do you care enough to actually get out there and actually push for change? Or do you just want to sit on the Internet and complain, and do a little comfortable work that ultimately sits in a GitHub account and rots?

There isn't an easy solution. It's going to take a lot of work to convince people to collectively vote for change in this area. This is why the government is set up the way it is. Every 6 years, it's possible to replace essentially 2/3's of the government (Executive & Representative).

Unfortunately, I imagine that most people truly don't care about this "prosecutorial abuse". He knowingly broke rules & laws, and the government went after him. He had an opportunity to take a plea deal and chose to kill himself instead. Sad? Absolutely. But you'll have a hard time getting enough people motivated enough to vote accordingly. There are other issues that people care more passionately about: budgets, social issues, foreign policy, economic issues, etc. That's why I said at the beginning to start locally, because that's probably your best bet on this particular issue.

4
mst 14 hours ago 0 replies      
> Consistent with the terms we laid out when we began We the People, we will not address agency personnel matters in a petition response, because we do not believe this is the appropriate forum in which to do so.

If that's the case, why not launch a petition to, e.g. require an investigation when somebody under investigation commits suicide? (not an idea I've thought through, btw, but my point is there's ways to address this within the terms)

5
oldspiceman 13 hours ago 1 reply      
Propose a ballot measure in your state.
6
Irish 14 hours ago 2 replies      
What was their decision?
7
thinkcomp 13 hours ago 0 replies      
Take out a full page ad in the New York Times about the issues he stood for.

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/439578912/nyt-ad-challe...

8
shillster 13 hours ago 0 replies      
I'm buying more bitcoin
9
rilita 13 hours ago 1 reply      
Swartz was a member of a group that was intentionally pirating and distributing large amounts of copyrighted material to which he did not have permission to do so.

He is also an idiot for killing himself. If he believed what he was doing was right he should have been willing to face the consequences. To me, killing himself is an admission that what he did was wrong and stupid.

Should he have been thrown in jail for 7 years? Well; he would have had more years alive after he got out then he does now.

Edit: Fuck Swartz. More clear?

10
skidoo 14 hours ago 6 replies      
Stop paying taxes, stop voting. Stop enabling the government altogether. If they refuse to accept that the people own the government, and not the other way around, then there is no reason to recognize its supposed authority. Live a moral and ethical life, but live as though the government does not exist. It will never willingly relinquish its power. You cannot change the system from the inside out. Every politician is a liar. All of this needs to be acknowledged. Rallies and demonstrations and petitions are entirely useless and wasted efforts.
16
Ask HN: The struggle to stay motivated
14 points by pupsocket  1 day ago   11 comments top 10
1
Raphmedia 1 day ago 0 replies      
I'm a lot more junior than you are, but I felt similar recently. I hated my job. Had a few offers that were tempting, paid more, but were farther away. It was a struggle to come to work.

Then, our lead designer walked out. There was a shortage of designers. I stood up and said "Hey, I know photoshop and I've got a good eye! If one of the designer give me a style guide, I'd be able to design this website!".

I did a very basic wireframe for a website, and ended up designing it all. This was FUN. I have not done any other design work since then. But it was enough to open my eyes.

What I hated wasn't the workload. It wasn't the projects. It wasn't the open office. It wasn't my coworkers.

I hated how monotone my work had become. Simply doing something new was like hitting the reset button. Since then, I try to go on the edge of my skillset. We need a video for the office party? ... well, I've done some video editing when I was younger... and my phone has a nice HD camera! Sure, I'm a programmer. I'm not a master at video editing... But who cares?

My biggest skill isn't how I can make awesome loops and how quickly I can connect to a database. My biggest skill is how I can take a challenge, research how to do it, and then do my best to do it perfectly.

Branson said it, but I hadn't understood it until this point. "If somebody offers you an amazing opportunity but you are not sure you can do it, say yes then learn how to do it later!"

We humans aren't robots. You can't simply put us in front of a game and expect us to play it for the rest of our lives. We need bonus stages. Boss fights. Hell, we need to play a whole different game from time to time!

2
ashleyp 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Sounds like you've reached burnout? Take some time off? Happiness > money =).
3
JSeymourATL 8 hours ago 0 replies      
> How am I supposed to get motivated?

Embrace the suck! So much of work-life is a mental game. Can you learn to lean into it, take control, and shake off the lethargy of a controlled environment?

Recommend reading Mark Divine, unusually good practical advice> http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17465530-the-way-of-seal

4
penguinlinux 1 day ago 0 replies      
Hey, Don't take for granted what you have. Life is not perfect. Really , you are lucky in so many ways. I know you might not like where you are but other people would give everything to have what you have. I like you have a great job. make great money, my job is not perfect but I work on lots of personal projects.

I don't take for granted what I have, I know it can easily go away at anytime, and that's why I fight to stay relevant and get better at my craft. I might not be able to do it at work but I have my own free time to learn all the new technologies, docker, ansible, aws , etc.

You need to find something else outside of work to make you happy, I think you have everything to make any man happy.

a good wifea kid on the waya good paying jobhealthyou live in a great country and you have freedom.

if you are not happy wait until you lose any of the above.

Happy 2015

5
staunch 1 day ago 0 replies      
> It's the same with work. The average MIT graduate wants to work at Google or Microsoft, because it's a recognized brand, it's safe, and they'll get paid a good salary right away. It's the job equivalent of the pizza they had for lunch. The drawbacks will only become apparent later, and then only in a vague sense of malaise.

http://www.paulgraham.com/boss.html

6
kappaloris 1 day ago 0 replies      
Do you care at all about what your company does?What did you hate about your startup experience?

While I'm not in your position, I fear that I will one day end up in a situation where I'm working on something that I don't care at all about and regardless of what the job gives back in terms of money/prestige/experience, I won't be able to 'unsee' the fact that I'll be wasting my life for the benefit of a third party.

As of now the only thing that really keeps me motivated is a combination of a challenging problem (not being 100% sure to be able to solve it elegantly) and working on something that I care about personally. Unfortunately it seems to me that this kind of combination is most likely found in the startup world, which means you also have to deal with its generally awful culture.

Maybe you too can find a way to keep motivated, although having a family surely reduces your possibilities. A side project maybe?

If you can't change your working situation then you must find a way to 'recharge your batteries' outside of work and since you have a kid on the way you might also want to consider something that you can share with him/her in the future.

7
joshschreuder 1 day ago 0 replies      
When was the last time you took a vacation over two weeks long? If it was a while ago, that should probably be the first thing to try - and don't work on vacation.

Try and make it clear to colleagues you won't be contactable, and hold yourself accountable to this (no checking tools, email etc.)

8
foolishdream 1 day ago 0 replies      
That is the common link between this specific time you feel this way and all the other past times? You've exhausted all the potential external sources, so maybe it's time to look within. This may sound like voodoo, but there might be some internal source that is causing you to feel this very real sense of anxiety and stress. Before you go do something brash like quitting what seems like a dream gig, dedicate several months to check in with multiple psychologists to see if that doesn't help improve your malady first.
9
HarryPPotter 13 hours ago 0 replies      
Life is art and we are making our masterpieces throughout the way. If I were you, I would quit. Because now for me working for somebody else is probably the best thing I could do to destroy the rest of my life.
10
Arjuna 1 day ago 1 reply      
There's a lot at play here.

Here are just a few notes that come to mind, based on what I've extracted from your comment. They are designed to try to get you to ask yourself, "What is the root cause of my lack of motivation?" They may or may not be on point or specifically applicable, but again, take them as potential "candidate questions", if you will, to get you thinking toward solving the problem.

1. You have a child on the way. As a parent myself, that's an absolute game-changer, and you could be subtly stressed about this. Becoming a parent affects different people in different ways. It's possible that you are mentally focusing more on that upcoming area of your life, and so the motivation to stay connected at work is subtly fading.

2. In conjunction with #1, you mentioned that you live in a high-cost city. That, coupled with the fact that you are going to become a parent, could be causing stress. You may feel that there isn't enough money, and this could be subtly impacting your motivation.

3. I take it that you are a software engineer that worked up through the ranks and are now leading a project. Is it possible that you miss being a developer? That is, are the stresses of managing the project, "talking to mangers and product people" pulling you away from your love of the code, such that it's absolutely draining your motivation?

4. Alternatively, if you're in a "mixed role", where you both code and manage, maybe you are suffering from the fact that all of the product meetings and discussions are killing your productivity, so your backlog just keeps getting larger and larger. If so, that of course can be a deep cause of stress, despite having full control of your schedule, and having all other aspects of your position be copacetic.

5. Are you just flat-out burned-out? Do you need a vacation? It could be that you need to step away and recharge.

6. Is it possible that you have become unmotivated because of your comparisons to your colleagues who have went on to become millionaires? Admittedly, this is of course a very difficult comparison, but if this is affecting you, you will need to work at letting it go. This will poison your Will. There is no other way except to keep fighting, and to keep working on what you define to be important for you.

7. Are you taking time out to exercise and eat right? I'm talking about lifting heavy weights, cardio, yoga, etc. In my experience, this is vital to reconditioning the mind, revitalizing the soul and improving your outlook.

8. Finally, do you still love what you do? This is an important, but potentially tough question to ask yourself in an honest way. That is, if none of the above are factors, it could be that you need a change of season in your life. I've written about this before, but in my personal experience, motivation is secondary (but closely related) to passion.

Generally, when one has an issue with motivation, then he or she may not have discovered his or her true passion in life.

You have to find your passion.

If you do not find it, then it is likely that you will never be truly motivated.

However, once you have found your passion, then you will find that it is literally game on in your life. You will wake up earlier, because you have engaged passion in your life, which will bring motivation to your actions. You will be bringing the thunder. You will be firing on all 12 cylinders. You will not want to sleep more than is necessary, because you will know from deep within you, that you want to bring what is inside of you to others, and to the world.

Ask yourself:

1. "What am I truly passionate about?"

2. "How can I deliver what I am passionate about to others?"

Answer these questions, back the answers up with action, and you will see motivation unfold in your life.

I wish you every success.

17
Ask HN: Tips to build an OpenBSD Thinkpad for airgap use?
7 points by niels_olson  22 hours ago   4 comments top
1
runjake 9 hours ago 1 reply      
INSUFFICIENT DATA FOR MEANINGFUL ANSWER [1]

Why?

What does the OS or network config matter if it's "airgapped"?

What do you consider an "airgapped machine"?

1. http://www.multivax.com/last_question.html

18
Ask HN: Does anyone actually hire from 'developer bootcamps'?
227 points by ruswick  2 days ago   212 comments top 96
1
stale2002 2 days ago 6 replies      
Yes, I work at Refinery29 (obligatory www.corporate.r29.com/careers/), a large women's fashion website in NYC. Of our 30 person tech team, we have had about 5 people coming out of these bootcamps, and they are all awesome.

Although I think your idea of who goes to these bootcamps is pretty off. These aren't people who "had never opened a text editor in their lives." Some of them are people who were working in science, doing research and matlab programming, and wanted to make a career switch. Others are people who maybe majored in math, or perhaps a completely non-technical major but went to a bunch of hackathons or took some intro programming classes for fun, and then when they realized they loved tech it was to late for them to make the switch in college.

Top programs like the Flatiron school are NOT a walk in the park. They are intensive, 60-80 hour a week programs with a very low acceptance rate.

Of the dozen plus people I know who have gone through one, I can't think of a single person who had never programmed before entering into one of these bootcamps (not that it is not possible!).

"looking around, there don't seem to be many jobs for entry-level Rails or iOS developers. If you look around on job boards, there simply is not much competition for entry-level talent."

What? I get emails every other day from recruiters hiring for their social mobile ruby on rails web app. The tech shortage is present more than ever in every level of the industry.

2
shayanjm 2 days ago 1 reply      
Thought I'd give a contrarian perspective here.

I was hiring for a telehealth startup based in NYC and got some referrals to some recent General Assembly grads. I bit and went ahead and scheduled some interviews. It was a total joke, honestly. The graduates glossed over the entry-level interview questions with a lot of handwaving (I would ask them things like "How would you do x given y?") and quoted rates upwards of $100/hr even though their total experience was the 10 week course @ GA campus.

I was so turned off by that experience that I just never even considered hiring from a 'hacker bootcamp' again. I'll echo what others have been saying as well: You can hire them, and maybe they'll perform for a while - but the amount of time you'll need to spend to get them up to speed on CS basics will more than likely not be worth the investment. You're better off hiring a recent college grad whose only experience is working with Java - at least they have the fundamentals and can build on top of them instead of backtracking.

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rememberlenny 2 days ago 5 replies      
Yes.

I work at Conde Nast. I helped work with a bootcamp program to create a "internship" program for new graduates. We took eight students after attending a recruiting event and invited them to work on a cycling program. From the eight, we hired four.

We cycled the students through four of Conde Nast's brands/responsibilities. Currently, we have junior developers from this program working on GQ magazine, Glamour, and our in-house CMS system. They are doing JavaScript web app development.

Going into the hiring process, I was betting on the students rate of learning. We knew they didnt have the domain experience. We were hiring out of a RoR bootcamp, so their knowledge was also going to be irrelevant. Knowing they spent 10 weeks learning at a rapid pace, I believed we could extend that to our own code base.

Our experience was good. Because our company was in a unique hiring period, it made sense. We wouldnt do it again.

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JimboOmega 2 days ago 1 reply      
When I was interviewing over the summer, the VAST majority of candidates I got for my mid-level rails position were from one of these bootcamps.

I'm willing to give anyone a try, and so I interviewed a lot of them over the phone, and gave nearly all of them the coding exercise. Which they almost universally failed to complete.

Still, I wound up hiring one as very junior. And that's exactly what she is. I don't have to hold her hand through the really really basic stuff, and she needs me to get her through sticking points pretty regularly, but overall she contributes to the team.

$100k, though, I really don't see it happening. And she's the exception - she finished the coding exercise.

Which means a lot to me. The coding exercise we use isn't particularly hard, but it requires you to do a bunch of separate things - and it thus requires some ability to go on google/stack overflow/etc and figure out something you didn't already know. Which is what I want most in a junior dev - a way to move forward when you get stuck.

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shawndrost 2 days ago 1 reply      
(Disclosure: I am a cofounder at one of these schools, Hack Reactor.)

> Most of the job growth appears to be in academic stuff like AI and data science

This is incorrect -- web jobs are growing quickly.

> there are companies hiring people at $100k who, twelve weeks ago, had never opened a text editor in their lives.

This is rare, but it does happen. The more common case is the student that coded on the side for a year or two and then jumped in full-time to a school like mine.

> And if it's really possible to build a rails developer from scratch in 10 weeks, why not just just do it in-house through an internship program?

Running an educational program is hard. You might as well ask me "If your grads are really worth $100k a year, why not hire them all and make software?" That's, like, a whole different company.

> And why do most companies still ask for "at least a Bachelors in CS" for web and mobile development positions?

We tell our students, "This means 'you have to know how to code', so that random non-coders don't apply." As a former engineering manager, this was true in practice. I didn't care if an applicant had a BS or not, as long as they could code.

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harshoninternet 2 days ago 1 reply      
Heads up: I run one of these schools in SF and Austin, MakerSquare.

>But if the stats that these bootcamps throw out are true, there are companies hiring people at $100k who, twelve weeks ago, had never opened a text editor in their lives.

This is a very extreme case. As part of the admissions process for most great schools, people who have never opened a text editor are shown tutorials, books, and videos to prepare for the admissions challenge. They wouldnt be accepted until they can solve basic programming challenges. Example: (mks.io/ac1, mks.io/ac2)

There are some schools who admit people who have never opened a text editor in their lives. Flatiron School, MakerSquare, Hack Reactor and a few others are not those. IMHO, programs who admit very beginner students like those should be 6 mo - 1 year long.

> The run-of-the-mill web and mobile developer positions all demand at least some level of experience (generally 2-6 years)

Almost all of our graduates are hired for positions that advertised needing 2-4 years of experience.

> And if it's really possible to build a rails developer from scratch in 10 weeks, why not just just do it in-house through an internship program and avoid paying commission to these schools?

Properly vetting who would be a good student is hard (admissions), properly teaching people is hard, and creating a proper learning environment is also very hard (Most education institutions fail at one or more of the above). All of the above are certainly not core competencies of software companies, nor do they need to be.

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GolfyMcG 2 days ago 2 replies      
My team (a small healthcare startup) spent a lot of time looking at this for our first hire so I feel like I could provide some insights.

First off, I think it varies quite widely on the school. We talked to people from General Assembly and the quality varied A LOT. There were some people who I would have said were capable of being a junior developer and some who I would say are hardly employable. None of them were exceptional programmers though. Everyone we talked to had never built anything prior to GA and were very clearly not what I would think of if I had to imagine an (ideal) programmer.

We did end up hiring a programmer from a program called App Academy and this program seemed way more legitimate. Their staff had people contributing to the linux kernel and git, which gave us a lot more confidence. Similarly, with some of the smaller programs that we interviewed with we saw an increase in quality. The largest correlation we saw though, was that programs that were compensated based on your compensation produced much better people. GA is just making money whether you suck or not. AppAcademy gets paid if you get paid. If you make 10% more, so do they. I think that's extremely evident in the students they send out into the world.

The combination of his salary and equity isn't too far below $100,000, but he's also quite exceptional. He had gone to Princeton, did great in school, had a perfect score on the SAT's, knew about Public Health, etc.

TL;DR:

The average starting salary of $100,000 sounds like BS.Hire from smaller programs that get a commission - not tuition.Just like normal universities, students can vary in quality regardless of their "pedigree."

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aviflombaum 2 days ago 2 replies      
Flatiron School has published an audited 3rd party job report about the success of our graduates. http://flatironschool.com/jobs-report-2014 AFAIK we're the only school to actually do that and not just talk about it. Additionally, if you're into more of a narrative, check out our annual report. http://far.flatironschool.com/

Judge for yourself.

<3 //

Avi Flombaum

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rickytomatoes 2 days ago 1 reply      
I am a graduate of the Flatiron School. With some reservations, I would say that it was a great investment. However, I would not say the same of General Assembly and some of the other boot camps.

What was great about Flatiron:- Really good faculty that cared not just about tech, but about teaching- Really good curriculum that fosters basic CS skills and an 'engineering mindset' instead of just 'learning Rails'- Fosters an attitude that encourages learning for learning's sake- Great support through the job placement system.

What was not so great:- You really can't come in with 0 experience and come out a competent developer. Most of the people in the program had at least some prior familiarity with coding, even if the experience was shallow.- Instruction focuses on the students at the middle of the individual semester's bell curve. Students with no experience (or lacking basic computer skills) can get left behind, students with way more experience (or more aptitude) can get bored.- To me, the average salary touted by the school is inflated. Most people seem to have landed in jobs that pay around 50-60k initially, although many people are able to move to higher paying positions quickly.

I haven't personally been through the GA bootcamp, but I know two people who have and have worked/interviewed with others that have. GA seems to not really give a shit about actually educating people or getting them jobs, just about making sure they pay tuition. There is little to no job counseling, instructors are of (at best) mixed quality, and the curriculum is extremely confused.

Like anything else that you're going to spend 12k on, do your research before you commit. Some schools are great, some are not, and what you get out of it always depends on what you put into it. Look for one (like flatiron) with great job placement, and connections to companies.

Additionally, the idea that 'most companies' require a CS degree for web devs is just not true. Most job postings that are out in the wild might ask for that, but most companies hire new devs through job placement services, or connections that can vouch for the skills of non-degreed developers, rather than through cattle call services like Linkedin, Craigslist, etc.

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circuitcitydeal 2 days ago 0 replies      
Graduate of App Academy NY here:

I just don't mention the boot camp, unless explicitly asked. The "Rails dev in 12 weeks" pitch understandably sounds like a scam at first glance. Fortunately it isn't, and I'm happily employed.

As others have mentioned, almost no one in our cohort came in without prior programming experience. They seemed to be screening for types who:

* Had prior programming experience

* Did not major in CS in college, if they went to college

* Performed well in technical interviews

Teaching is very hands off; per day, you're given a partner, a project, and limited guidance from an available TA/instructor. I rarely talked with our main instructor. Workweeks were expected to be around 90-100 hours.

I graduated a while ago, so this information may not be current. I also can't speak to graduates of other schools. At the time, it seemed like a good way to grab otherwise smart people who missed out on CS in college, and give them the opportunity to retrain.

Edit: Formatting

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serve_yay 2 days ago 0 replies      
The last place I worked (I finally left this past August) certainly was looking at such candidates. They're a really great place to work in general, but not an engineering shop, so experienced engineers get tired of the poor engineering practices and eventually quit. So they decided to start hiring less-experienced devs and have them learn on the job -- they hire them in cohorts with a temporary contract and permanently hire the ones who do well. That decision exacerbated the type of problems that cause the experienced devs to leave, and so they have a real "Dead Sea effect" going on now. Good people get tired of the BS and leave, and the people who do stay, stay because they can't really get as good of a gig elsewhere.

But all in all, not a bad place to spend a couple of years when you're inexperienced! Just gotta learn when to move on and not get distracted by the free pizza and all that stupid shit.

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masukomi 12 hours ago 0 replies      
We've phone interviewed a bunch of candidates from a couple of the Rails boot camps here in Boston. The candidates have been very mixed in quality, but we've found 3 that we not only brought in and made it through our in person interview but also got job offers. Usually we offer them a 3 month internship. At the end of which we'll offer them a salaried position if they turned out to be as good as we suspected.

We also treat the internship as a real internship, not a contract-to-hire. We expect to be teaching them.

As others have said here in one way or another. The good ones are ones who were coding anyway and just needed some help leveling / focusing their skills. The ones who didn't have a clue about programming when they started, don't come out much better IMNSHO.

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anon456 2 days ago 0 replies      
Anyone wondering what ever happened to Zed Shaw's "Coming Code Bootcamp Destruction?"

http://zedshaw.com/2014/10/19/the-coming-code-bootcamp-destr...

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dbz 2 days ago 2 replies      
Yes they do. I'm a recent App Academy graduate and everyone gets a job. There are a lot of benefits to doing a program like this versus a classical CS education. I've been programming since 8th grade, and I was a computer science major before I dropped out of college. I remember having CS professors that couldn't code themselves out of a box, but they "taught" the material they were supposed to teach. App Academy and other bootcamps prepare you for real world jobs by teaching you how to code. They also teach you data structures and algorithms- not as much as a computer science degree might, but by learning how to code, you learn how to look things up and apply them. If you're wondering if you should do it or not, it's definitely a yes. If you have any questions I would love to answer them.
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triskweline 2 days ago 1 reply      
Although the development shop I work at (makandra) has a constant demand for new engineers, we would never hire someone out of a ten week program.

To give you an idea about what kind of juniority is attractive to a shop like ours: We run our own in-house internship program which takes 9 months. It requires CS degree plus some previous experience (private pet projects are OK) to enter.

The intern is paid living expenses and has vacation like other employees. The goal of the program is to hire the intern as a permanent junior developer after 9 months. Junior starting salary is also a far cry below 100K USD, but then again we don't have to live in San Francisco.

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superqd 2 days ago 1 reply      
Our company was approached by a local bootcamp to be a hiring partner. Myself and our VP of R&D attended their graduation day to interview potential candidates. None of the candidates made it to the next level of interviews (essentially failing an in-person phone screen).

We came back to their next graduation, and that batch of candidates was even worse. Next time, we didn't come back, but we did interview some folks over Google hangout. No one made to the next level of interviews. We no longer participate as a hiring partner with the bootcamp.

Now, that's a sample size of 1 (well, sampled it 3 times, but still only one camp), but the experience was about what I would have expected. Most of the bootcampers were 1) wanting to make more money and heard that coding pays well, or 2) out of work and trying to learn new skills to land a job, or 3) switching careers. About 95% of the folks we talked to fell into the never-seen-code-in-my-life-till-this-camp group. And it showed. The camp touted the campers as junior developers, and they were not remotely developers, let alone junior. They were people who now knew what coding looked like. That was about it.

Worse, we got some initial false positives because one of the questions I asked was the very simple but classic fizzbuzz test. It turned out that the day before the hiring day, the camp covered that test, as well as others, that get used in interviews. Not cool.

Overall, I'm not yet convinced of the value of such camps, at least those that say they can take someone with 0% coding experience and turn them into a junior dev in 9 - 12 weeks. I don't think so. Maybe if they've already graduated with a technical degree, or minored in CS, but not for someone who's worked for 15 years as a legal secretary, etc.

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malyk 2 days ago 0 replies      
At the golden gate ruby conference I spoke to people who said they thought that the boot amp people they hired were better than college grads. I think the reasoning is that they had been developing actual web apps vs the college students who didn't have real world experience. My guess is that the curves cross somewhat quickly, but the boot amp folks could hit the ground running better than college students.

I recently interviewed a ton of boot campers and the skill level varies greatly. I would have hired a few of them for junior level roles, but we were really looking for more experienced people. IF you are considering boot camps is try to get in early so you have access to the best people there. My guess is that the best get snapped up fast.

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astletron 2 days ago 1 reply      
I live and work in a city of 300K people. My experience here is that companies have high hiring standards that border on the unreasonable (e.g. min 5 years of Ruby experience for a junior level job) and have little interest in training. This attitude stands in stark contrast to companies in larger cities which are willing (and even prefer) to invest in people by building interns into juniors and so on. I can't generalize with confidence, but I suspect this small town / big town dynamic may exist otherwise.

To answer the original question - companies in my area are unlikely to hire from a Bootcamp and I think this may be a trend in smaller hiring markets.

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fecak 2 days ago 0 replies      
Many companies may not spend money advertising for entry-level candidates because they expect they will hear from them without having to spend. College graduates tend to apply to lots of positions, so why spend a few hundred on an ad for someone you may hear from anyway when you can use that money to advertise for someone more senior level. The entry-level candidate might even apply for the senior level job posting, whereas a senior candidate is unlikely to apply for entry-level jobs.

I've had some experience with bootcamp grads over the past couple years, as they have applied to jobs I had posted (I recruit engineers). Based on my experience, the bootcamps seem to do a good job of building confidence in their grads, although that might be a trait of people who go to bootcamps (those confident that they can change careers in 10 weeks).

I believe there was also a trend of some bootcamps to hire their own grads in some capacity, which could skew the numbers a bit.

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wclittle 2 days ago 1 reply      
Hey Ruskick,

Like many of the other commenters here, I'm also a co-founder of a trade school (Code Fellows, we're 2 years old) that offers immersive programs for web and mobile developers. We have 13 different offerings to accommodate developers with varying skill levels and interests. Our flagship program teaches students who have on average ~2yrs of experience writing code professionally, and our hiring partners offer them >$75k/yr in Seattle (on average, though the spread is interesting...detailed stats here --> https://www.codefellows.org/alumni-stats)

I've talked with hundreds of hiring managers about this topic, and - to answer your last question - the reason why they want CS degrees is because web/mobile developers often need to design systems and solve complex computational problems (not to mention the need to build well-tested, scalable products). There really is no shortcut to learning the foundations of CS necessary to perform well at these tasks.

Thus, to piggyback off of what others have said here, many students who go through these intensive programs often have CS backgrounds and are looking for intense "polish" to get up to speed on recent industry tools and practices.

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kschmit90 2 days ago 1 reply      
I went to a coding boot camp in Omaha, Nebraska of all places.

Less than a month out of the school I was offered a job paying $55,000 a year salary at a large insurance company.

They primarily use Java and Groovy. The bootcamp taught Ruby on Rails. Maybe I got lucky, but I've found that the ability to code is slightly less important than one's ability to speak about programming/code in general.

If you can read and understand documentation, understand fundamental concepts like OO or functional paradigm, and understand what a stack is, a closure, recursion, the difference between an integer and a float, or a character and a string, methods/functions, etcetera, you are more or less hireable.

Basically you have to understand how a computer works, and the fundamental concepts in programming, as well as how to apply them.

However, you do need to have some sort of experience to put on a resume. For instance, if you go to a coding bootcamp you should be able to develop a simple REST API which sends a blob of json from a DB to a URL. That's a relatively complex task, but with a tool set like Ruby on Rails can be done in < week.

Essentially what I am doing at my job is more complex list processing and analysis. Just taking a bunch of data from a db, performing some operations to it, and spitting it back out. Basic stuff.

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kylev 2 days ago 0 replies      
I work for Change.org and we've had considerable success hiring from these bootcamps/intensives. We will continue to hire from them, though we do use a slightly different hiring procedure.

These are my opinions, and not necessarily those of the company.

Hiring junior engineers is always risky. It's a bet against several factors that are nearly impossible to be certain about in any hiring situation, but there are several up-sides to the candidates that we've seen.

1) These are motivated people. The decision to drop everything and code 12 hours, 6 days per week, doesn't happen lightly. Contrast this to some college graduates who drifted toward a CS major.

2) These are not first-job people. Most are switching careers, but have already ironed out some important pieces of their adult life. You are less likely to encounter over-partying, failures to set an alarm, or other maturity problems that impact work or work/life balance. The end result is a more reliable worker.

3) They have a secondary competency related to their former life. Sometimes you can leverage this in their work. It's handy to have an ex-legal clerk doing TOS compliance or a sales guy helping on the ad system.

4) This tends to be a more diverse pool. The factors that still screw with women and other under-represented groups entering CS and related majors aren't as present here. If you've got a Silicon Valley "White Boys Club" monoculture holding you back, train them to fairly evaluate people not exactly like themselves and give it a try.

There can be downsides, of course. Of note:

1) These are not computer scientists. They know one or two toolkits and little or no theory. This can be mitigated by the maturity and motivation mentioned above.

2) It's up to you to effectively mentor junior employees. If you don't have a few people on staff that have the humility and patience to answer questions of junior folks, you're doubly hosed because of the lack of knowledge depth. But that's your fault, not theirs.

3) If you don't have some overlap between the toolkit they just learned and the work you're going to give them, there will be some major frustration. Don't hire a person out of a Rails bootcamp to write Java.

In the end I think this is a pretty decent, if imperfect, way to add quality junior employees.

Obligatory: http://www.change.org/careers

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gmu3 2 days ago 0 replies      
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interesting_att 2 days ago 0 replies      
I know some people who went to App Academy and did really well for themselves. My guess is that a bootcamp is the same hours equivalent of a person a bare-basics CS degree without the internships.

Here is my reasoning:

* 2 years of college is just to finish core curriculum/elective stuff (history, foreign language, writing, philosophy, etc)

* 2 years of college is used to finish computer science major

* Each year, students study for 40 weeks. So in total he studies for 80 weeks.

* Each week, he takes an avg around 3.5 courses a week.

* Each course takes him an avg 4 hours a course (remember college kids waste a lot of time...a lot of time).

Total= 2 years * 40 weeks/year * 3.5 courses/week *4 hrs/course = 1120 hours

Conclusion: If you put in bootcamp hours, which is 80-100 hours a week, it's only 11-14 weeks. That's the avg length of a bootcamp. Bootcamp = college degree in CS (from a mediocre program) minus the core curriculum and minus the 2-3 internships you would do in college.

Many people here are saying that bootcamp alums aren't as good as college grads. I don't have enough data, but I would agree with that statement. While bootcamp grads aren't as good as CS grads, I wouldn't say the bootcamp education is worse than a poor/mediocre CS program, because of some unaccounted for variables:

1) Internships are still vitally important! 2-3 internships is basically a full year of programming on a very diverse set of problems!

2) Selection bias: Better programmers tend to start earlier in their career, hence they don't have to go to bootcamps.

3) Confidence issues: It takes years for people to be comfortable with engineering. I would not be surprised if people don't have confidence issues going into interviews + work after a 12 week bootcamp.

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daktanis 2 days ago 0 replies      
Our investors own a recruiting firm, so I am intimate with that industry. Number one take away I see is that companies are desperate for developers and the job reqs are often a wish list and not set in stone. My brother just finished the Iron Yard 3 month Front-End program, he has become a pretty good javascript dev in that time and I think he will do well. Waiting for the holiday lull to pass to see how the market will treat his new talents. I should add that he did well because he busted his ass, some of his class mates I wouldn't hire at minimum wage.
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bsimpson 2 days ago 2 replies      
I was a freelance web developer for a few years (utilizing skills I picked up growing up) when one of my clients hired me to come on-board full-time for my first salaried position. My supervisor wanted me to build a team, so he had me right a job req. I sent it to him, and he sent it back with the addition: "Bachelor's degree in CS".

I pointed out that, not only is my degree not-in CS, but I would probably be dissuaded from applying to a job that required one. He said "don't worry - it doesn't mean anything, they just all say that."

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patrickford 2 days ago 0 replies      
I had not worked as a software engineer for about 20 years when I went back and attended Hack Reactor last year. I received multiple offers within two months of graduating that were well over $100k. Granted, I have a lot of years of business experience but I would honestly say that I ranked somewhere in the middle of my class at Hack Reactor. There were several coders I worked with there that I would hire in a minute. As other have noted it would be rare for someone to never have touch code before getting accepted at one of the top bootcamps. But for those who have done some independent study then made it through the rigorous program the results are quite astounding. My company recently hired a couple of new college CS grads and I was amazed at how little practical knowledge they had. I would take a Hack Reactor grad over them any day.
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joeletizia 2 days ago 0 replies      
My company did as well. We've hired about 5.

2 had 2-3 years experience post boot camp. They are excellent mid-senior devs. They are from Flatiron School.

We have hired 3 juniors straight out of camp. All are on boarding at or exceeding our expectations. 2 are from App Academy, one is from GA.

EDIT: I'm pretty certain our JRs don't make 100k.

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amcaplan 2 days ago 0 replies      
My experience is limited to the Flatiron School, so I don't pretend to speak for other institutions.

I graduated from the Flatiron School at the end of April 2014. 6 weeks past graduation, I had 3 job offers (1 apprenticeship and 2 full offers) and accepted an offer for $75k - which, by the way, is a very normal salary for a Flatiron School grad (http://www.quora.com/How-successful-are-code-bootcamps-like-...). Now, 6 months after starting work, I think anyone on my team would say I'm more than pulling my own weight. I've already been involved with interviewing candidates and training new hires.

I had some experience with coding pre-Flatiron, but it was relatively minimal (AP computer science - so effectively 1 3-credit college course).

A great developer is made of 4 parts: 1. Inherent talent, 2. Grit and determination, 3. Effort, 4. Experience. You can always boost someone's experience by giving them time to keep learning and helping them along the way.

In terms of recruitment, I can't speak for other schools, but Flatiron grads tend to be placed by networking, not job boards. It's easier for a fresh developer to make a contact and open up a job than it is to fight with others for an already-open spot.

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stephenhuey 2 days ago 0 replies      
A friend of mine with no formal programming training had volunteered at her previous job to edit her company's Wordpress stuff. When she was about half a dozen years out of college she went to Maker Square in Austin where she learned Rails and JavaScript and HTML/CSS and how to use Git alongside teammates. She got a job at PROS Pricing in Houston and was able to fit into a team that built front-end functionality primarily with HTML and Clojurescript and even though she has talked about it being a learning curve I get the sense she has been doing quite well.
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corywatilo 2 days ago 0 replies      
We hired two out of GA in Los Angeles. The reason we chose them was because they were smart and moldable. I don't know if I'd do it again, as it took them a long time to get them up and running, and the lack of a CS background was evident, but they have grown into their roles and assimilated well into the team. We essentially got both of them for the price of one senior dev. I probably wouldn't do it again, as we spent too much time teaching them some programming basics, but I don't regret hiring them.
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radicalsauce 2 days ago 0 replies      
I'm a Hack Reactor alum. I got hired at above the listed HR average starting salary by a well respected tech company a couple of weeks after graduating. By the time I accepted, I had four offers in total - two from Hack Reactor hiring partners, two from companies that didn't even know what Hack Reactor was - and was in late stage process with several others. A lot of my classmates had similar experiences to my own. I'd wager that I was somewhere in the middle of the class in terms of talent/knowledge.

I can't speak for other programs, but due to the rather steep admissions requirements, there's not a single student who arrives on their first day of Hack Reactor without having invested many, many hours into learning and coding. This included becoming proficient (at least to a functional novice level) with Git. I, myself, had a couple of years professional experience - but that experience was at a small eComm company in a small town, utilizing technology lightyears away from the bleeding edge. I went to Hack Reactor because I wanted to make a real go of my career. I don't have a CS degree, but HR got us up to speed on CS fundamentals to the point where I didn't encounter problems when I went to tech interviews.

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donburks 2 days ago 0 replies      
Head Instructor of Lighthouse Labs here. Yes, they definitely do get hired. We are placing 100% of our graduates into Jr. Dev roles. And I suspect that our ability to do that is because of the experience they have had in our course, versus someone self-taught using online resources. I want to address the idea that for the same amount of money, you could learn the same amount of code on your own. On this point, I sincerely disagree. You may be able to learn the same amount of syntax, but you will not be the same quality of developer.

One of the benefits that you are getting from a bootcamp is the immersive opportunity to build practical skills building apps under the mentorship of experienced devs. This one key point is something that you won't get from Coursera, Udemy, or any other similar course platform. You can't get code review from a book, nor can you get advice about best practices related to the project on which you're working, from a MOOC-style course.

Here at Lighthouse, we bring in dozens of intermediate and senior devs to participate as TA's, sharing their knowledge, skills, and experience with our students. That, time and again, is one of the key points that our alumni highlight as one of the greatest values they got out of the course, above and beyond the practical knowledge in the curriculum.

Overall, you will get a better developer out of a bootcamp than you will get from someone who has endeavoured to build the same skills on their own, especially in that same amount of time. The ability to work with experienced devs and get that level of mentorship will always produce a better developer than someone trying to achieve the same level of wisdom and skill independently.

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mdholloway 2 days ago 1 reply      
I just finished such a bootcamp and I'm looking for a job. I'm in an geographic area where there's somewhat of a shortage of tech talent. My plan was to save up for Hack Reactor or similar (I have some experience, but not professionally, and no CS degree) but I had the opportunity to do this one for free. We've had several companies interested in recruiting, albeit not the coolest startups on the block.

I do not anticipate starting at $100k - maybe half that if I'm lucky.

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SeoxyS 2 days ago 1 reply      
I've hired two people out of Hack Reactor and they were both awesome. Much better than most of the newgrads I've hired out of CS programs. I was quite wary at first, but after being very impressed in interviews, they won me over.

The caveat is you have to be very selective in interviewing. Hand out small take-home test projects, and look for guys that not only do a good job, but go above and beyond. Most of the tech bootcamps guys are mediocre, but there's always a few standouts.

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doomspork 2 days ago 0 replies      
You're going to find good people in any group but they'll likely be the same people who would have learned it on their own without the course work because they're self starters and motivated.

That said, after attending a dozen or more of these hiring events I must admit that the quality is abysmally low. Two of my previous employers decided to hire our entry-level engineers from these "bootcamps" and 6 months later all of them had been fired for poor performance, even after weeks of mentorship and coaching. In my experience the amount of handholding was far greater than the work they could do on their own. I can recall helping people with basic command line navigation, simple git commands, and even things like running rspec. Trivial tasks that should form the foundation of your work as a software engineer required almost constant support.

My personal take is that these schools are great in that they encourage people to pursue engineering but I fear that just like other trade schools (e.g. ITT), it's offer a promise of a big paying job without adequately preparing people for the career ahead.

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joeshepmedia 2 days ago 1 reply      
>Does anyone get hired?Yes. I did. I attended Nashville Software School, a full-time 6-month full stack bootcamp. I now work as a front-end dev and am very happy with how things turned out.I did not have any type of CS background before attending NSS. It is not a stretch to say that anyone who really applied themselves to getting hired after leaving NSS has gotten a job. They have graduated over 100 students in the last 2 years.

>If you look around on job boards, there simply is not much competition for entry-level talent.Do not rely on job boards for indication of what's out there. Out of the dozens of NSS grads who have been hired, the vast majority found their opportunities through networking or from companies that have relationships with the school and reach out directly for their junior position needs. The rapid establishment of my network was one of the unexpected, but most beneficial, results of attending NSS.

>Average starting salaries of 100k or moreThat seems like a stretch, at least anywhere outside of the west coast. Starting salaries around here have been about half of that, but the opportunity to get to six figures within a few years is certainly there.

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jmarc 2 days ago 0 replies      
I'm a graduate of App Academy in SF coming from a background in mechanical engineering. Before going to App Academy, I was doing some of the free online tutorials, but without a real curriculum or direction, I was trying bits and pieces of information and never really progressed into knowing much of anything. Most of this self studying was done in about 6 months.

Not really knowing App Academy's name because I was outside the area, I only read reviews that said it was a good program, so I applied. Bootcamps are only emerging in Los Angeles at the moment with General Assembly being the only one there last time I did reaearch.

Day 1 of App academy covered more than I had covered in the previous 6 months. Covering the fundamentals of Ruby/rails and javascript/backbone. Also, App Academy is very rigorous and if you fail more than 1 test of about 7 or 8, you will be dismissed from the program.

I am now working as a backend Engineer in SF starting at over 100k.

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trich7 1 day ago 0 replies      
(Disclaimer: I founded a coding bootcamp called DevMountain.)

I definitely believe it is realistic to get a programming job without a degree in computer science or a related field.

Here's why:Computer science degrees (as a whole) have been greatly devalued recently. I've talked to dozens of employers who are frustrated with "CS grads" who know nothing but archaic languages and have no practical, modern coding experience. Most assuredly YMMV, but universities are doing a really poor job of keeping their curriculum modern and employable. Having a CS degree doesn't make you an engineer any more than studying Latin makes you a fluent francophone. Employers are much more interested in competency and performance than they are with credentials and grades. With software engineering, it's all about what you can build. Not only that, but a college degree isn't a great measurement of talent or skill.

If you can demonstrate competency or skill proficiently in an area that is in high demand for employers, you will be offered a job.

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weatherlight 2 days ago 0 replies      
I was the Director of Operations at a NYC startup, applied to Flatiron School and got in. I ended up as a Junior Software Engineer at an early stage NYC startup making 65K a year with in 5 weeks of graduation. I've been here for 18 months and couldn't be happier.
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elberto34 2 days ago 1 reply      
I am of the opinion that instead of spending $10k at a bootcamp, you can learn the coding yourself with books and free information readily available online
42
schurch820 2 days ago 0 replies      
I came from one of these bootcamps, GA specifically. I have a job at a large tech company in NYC as an junior developer and have been here for almost a year. GA set up good expectations for us and they definitely did not promise us 100k a year! There is also no commission that my company had to pay to hire me. I spent about a month looking for a job. Everyone in my class had a job by 2 months after class was over, so I think the demand is still high for junior talent. I think it works for companies that want to hire developers that they can really shape but have proven their ability to learn. I really loved my time at GA and I have a totally different life than I did a year ago.
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basicallydan 2 days ago 0 replies      
GA Instructor in London here!

None of my students have gotten jobs out of my short-term, part time (6 hours a week) course yet. Most of my students were already employed and looking to find out more about development, or starting their own business. That's why they did a less intensive course. A couple, both with jobs already, are going to start looking soon though, they tell me. I'm excited to see what they come up with :)

However, I know that from the immersive course (UX Design Immersive and Web Design Immersive) which are all full time, many students get jobs. One recently at a company I used to work at, and in fact, my Teaching Instructors were both ex-GA students one of whom had gone on to get a job and then start freelancing.

Pretty cool!

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JohnInArizona 2 days ago 1 reply      
I know this is WAY off subject, but as many people reading this thinking of getting into this field, I see so many options and have no idea which way to start, or more accurately to find out if I have the aptitude (Barely made it past college algebra 2nd year, diagnosed ADHD guessing is why I'm horrific at math) for programming. My thinking so far is I should probably take an online programming course like udemy,udacity,edx,etc and if that turns out well then look to switch my major (2nd year) and then possibly boot-camp after school? During school? NOW? Any input is greatly appreciated.
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krosaen 2 days ago 0 replies      
We are exploring this avenue with our Junior Software Engineer position and have had success in the past hiring less experienced but sharp and quick study engineers.

https://food52.com/jobs

I think the key is to keep a balance of experience within the team so there is mentorship available and to have clear expectations on both sides on ability, how fast one might learn, and the relationship to that and salary. Roughly speaking, if a junior engineer is willing to start at 60% the salary of an experienced engineer but grow by 10-20% a year, it works.

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percept 2 days ago 0 replies      
Anecdotally, I pushed very hard to have a bootcamp graduate from one of those programs hired, because I was very impressed by his learning and commitment, as well as the achievements in his previous career.

However in the end I was overruled by others unfamiliar with the specific technology and relying only on raw years of experience numbers.

I think he accepted a different offer and relocated--unfortunately, another case of management not listening to the front-line troops (but not so for him, as he's better off elsewhere).

(And as another poster noted, I believe he was one of the few in the program who was fairly new to development.)

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k-mcgrady 2 days ago 1 reply      
I haven't hired from them but I bet they have a high hire rate because they have connections. The people who run the program are likely well connected with companies and can find positions for the students. I've seen this with university programs. I know someone who studied a non-computer related bachelors degree. He followed it up with a 1 year masters in software developer (no experience in software before this) and was offered a position at an IT company writing Java after only a few months (on the conditioned he passed the masters). Connections are important.
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malditojavi 2 days ago 0 replies      
Never participated in a bootcamp, but I participated in a RailsGirls event, and I learned a ton. At least, it motivated me that much to keep learning on my own. I commited myself to get something up and running in a server in 2 months, and I did it (http://petithacks.com)

Best ways of learning have been: 1.the study groups done almost twice per month during 3 months after that RailsGirls event, 2. Learn how to get answers in StackOverflow, 3. Ask around to devs in the internet and even my colleagues (I do marketing in a software company).

I don't know how good are these bootcamps, and I'm not sure if all the comments here included are real or just bootcamps trying to defend their business. I'm pretty sure there are good teachers out there, but dont know necessarily if they are in bootcamps. Seeing that many of these bootcamps either they implied to commit full-time, either they were USA-based, either their curriculums were super-easy, I tried to look for specific help in places like Codementor (https://www.codementor.io/r/5HXQM64N3R referral link!), much flexible and I don't feel 'scammed' paying for really basic stuff that you can learn with time + internet.

In http://petithacks.com/posts/how-i-learned-to-build-a-rails-a... I gave more explanations about my learning.

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lighthousedev 2 days ago 1 reply      
I went through an internally-run 12-week bootcamp at my current company. I was hired by the company fresh out of college after I had graduated with a BBA in IT Management. I had some exposure to .NET technologies and basic database design in a few classes in college, but I did not have any real-world development experience other than an internship on a database team.

The bootcamp was designed by the company to bring software developers from entry-level to the equivalent of 3-5 years of industry experience within 12 weeks with the goal of turning graduates into software development consultants.

I went through the first run of the program in 2013 and have been a consultant since I graduated. When I arrived at my first client, although I was lacking in domain knowledge, I was able to run circles around developers that had less than 3 years of experience. I was basically at the same technical level as the developers that had been at the client for 3-6 years. Within 6 months, I had guided the client's executive team on how to effectively target mobile devices as well as leading them to build their first responsive web application, which was built for one of the nation's largest retailers. I also now have a bill rate of someone with about 5 years of experience.

Bootcamps can be produce incredible results if they are done well, but ultimately it comes down to having the right people go through the camps and having the right people teach them. The participants need to be inquisitive, hard-working, and quick-learners, and the teachers need to be passionate about their craft and domain experts.

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SEMW 2 days ago 0 replies      
Data-point: I went to Makers Academy (in London) and was hired eight days after telling their hiring advisor that I was ready to start looking for a job.

$100 (65k) is very unrealistic for a junior dev in London. I was hired at 35k, which is pretty good for a junior.

Caveat: as part of a maths degree (and as a hobby) I'd done a good few chunks of (self-taught) programming, so was a long way from "never opened a text editor".

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mikemjharris 2 days ago 0 replies      
Yes - I studied at General Assembly last year and found a job very quickly in a start up in London. I have helped out with subsequent courses at GA and the figures of around 90% getting jobs are accurate. As with job ads throughout the industry the required skills are often exaggerated. Companies wont necessarily advertise for entry level but will accept. The careers fairs held at the end of each course are highly attended.
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dsr_ 2 days ago 0 replies      
We have hired from both a Boston-area camp program (3 people) and from a university internship program (1 full-time, a couple part-time).

Nobody got a 100K job offer, I think. All of them are productive junior people, who will probably go on to have good careers in the field.

But simply completing the program isn't a guarantee of suitability or even competence -- it's just an indicator that they are willing to spend significant effort learning.

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jraines 2 days ago 0 replies      
We hired a junior developer from Flatiron School in NYC. We were very happy with the process of working with them and very happy (now 6 months in) with the hire. She got familiar, then proficient, with our stack (Rails, Rspec, heavy client side JS with Backbone & Marionette with Jasmine specs, Postgres) at a rate I'd expect of someone with a year of experience.
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tootie 2 days ago 0 replies      
I have a Flatiron guy on my team as an FE dev and he's been pretty good. He had to be nurtured a bit on some softer projects, but after a year or so we put him on important stuff and he's been a solid junior dev. Probably ready for promotion. Even before bootcamps, it was pretty common to have self-taught devs be solid if not better than guys with CS degrees.
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lucasvo 2 days ago 0 replies      
We have had some success with hiring out of General Assembly. Last summer we hired 3 interns out of GA who each first started off with a simple throwaway project and then proceeded on to some easy tasks learning our stack (Java/Groovy). We're not a ruby/python shop and a lot of our work is backend heavy. This was quite different to what these students were taught. During this period they got an internship salary. Out of the three we were interested in keeping two. The third person couldn't catch on to it fast enough. About a year later they are at about the level of a junior dev out of college. Their development since has been comparable to other junior devs. I count that as a success.

We'd probably do it again at some point but our engineering team is not big enough to absorb too many junior devs and train these. GA helped in building a foundation, we wouldn't have had the resources to do this training on our own.

And no, we were not paying 100k to people right out of the program.

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netskrill 2 days ago 0 replies      
i didn't really have any programming experience prior to enrolling in tea leaf academy. Upon completing the courses, Kevin told us that we would be an intermediate level rails developer, and that kind of stuck with me when it came to interviewing. I positioned myself as an intermediate dev, and received an offer. I highly recommend them.
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edohnberg 1 day ago 0 replies      
Full disclosure, Im both a graduate from a coding bootcamp and an employee at that same company (Bitmaker Labs).

There are quite a few assumptions being made in messages on here. I think thats partially because coding bootcamps are very different from one another. For instance, the students we have at Bitmaker Labs typically have little-to-no experience coding, whereas shawndrost of Hack Reactor points out that many of their students have coded on the side for a year or two. I cant speak to how everyone in this industry recruits, but I can share what Ive seen in my experience with Bitmaker Labs over the past two years:

- The number of open web development positions is exceptionally high and the barriers to entry (i.e. prerequisite diplomas, degrees, etc.) are very low in many cases.

Several people have already touched on this point. Ultimately, a students abilities are more important than their credentials. So when you have an industry with a huge number of open positions, and students with practical knowledge and a thirst for learning, its no wonder placement rates are so high at many bootcamps. For us, over 90% of our students find industry work within three months of completing the course. Bootcamps also do a lot of work to build relationships with companies that are open to hiring junior developers and tailoring their programs to fit employers needs. This can help open doors that are otherwise very hard to find when you are learning on your own.

- The job openings are for multiple types of programming languages, but the people hired into these positions do not always have experience with those languages. Startups and larger companies are looking for a great cultural fit in combination with decent coding skills.

As I was saying above, many jobs that we are able to find for students are not posted online. Beyond simply opening doors, we work hard with our students to build networking skills and an understanding of the job market so that they also how to create job openings for themselves. Many companies are focused on finding someone they will want to be around long-term employees who can integrate well into a fast-paced culture and who will be able to adapt to a changing tech stack. I think this is one big reason companies are willing to hire developers with a lower skill level or limited experience. Bootcamp students are really hungry to keep learning, a bootcamp is just the beginning of their coding career.

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lgleason 2 days ago 2 replies      
They are microwave degrees. CS enrollments are up, so give it a few years and most of these programs will go the way of the for profit technical schools in reputation and there will be a lot of consolidation etc.. For all of the shortcomings with a CS degree there are fundamentals that are taught that can't be replaced with a coding academy. The only one I give any credit to is the Nashville Software School because they are a not for profit and have a much longer program.

Back during the .com boom days of the late 90's if you could spell the word computer you could get a job making over 60K+ a year as a "programmer". Some of what is happening today is beginning to remind me of that. History shows us that the market will correct itself. It's just a matter of when.

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nat 2 days ago 0 replies      
We've hired a few as test engineers, and I think results have been quite positive.

We treat our QA department as kind of a software engineering farm team. In fact, I don't know the last time we hired an entry-level SE directly. So maybe our QA engineers are what other places might consider a "junior SE".

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Psyonic 2 days ago 0 replies      
I work at Radius (http://radius.com/) and we've hired a few different bootcamp graduates from HackBright and HackReactor that we're very happy with. We've also turned down quite a few in the interview process though.

Also, my girlfriend teaches at Zipfian Academy (http://www.zipfianacademy.com/), a data science bootcamp, and so far they legitimately have a 100% placement rate. I'm sure they won't keep that up forever, but they do a great job preparing their students. Theirs is a little different, however, as they expect some prior programming and a fair amount of math, so it's fairly difficult to get into.

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dhchait 2 days ago 0 replies      
CEO of Greenhouse here (www.greenhouse.io).

YES - we have hired out of Flatiron school. A total newbie who goes through the program can't come out as a full-fledged developer, but we have brought them in as QA/Automation engineers and then promoted to developer after 9-12 months.

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Arf_22 2 days ago 0 replies      
Hello. Great debate. Full disclosure. I work for Makers Academy and we have many hiring partners. From tech software houses, to up and coming startups to established brands like Deloitte Digital and Argos. Regardless of their size, these companies are choosing to hire from us because our graduates learn the latest technologies and methodologies, and bleeding-edge best practise. Anyway enough from me. I'd rather you read our graduate success stories: http://www.makersacademy.com/graduate-stories Proof companies do hire from us at Makers Academy :-)
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subelsky 2 days ago 1 reply      
I know an awesome Node developer here in Baltimore with no prior experience, who had gone to a bootcamp for six months, and who was offered an intermediate-level position. Talking with her I felt like she was more of a colleague than a brand-new dev.
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saltmeyer 2 days ago 0 replies      
I attended one of these programs (Startup Institute Boston, back when it was Boston Startup school and free) and I had more job offers than I knew what to do with coming out of the program. The most money I was offered was $80k. I think $100k for someone just out of bootcamp is very much the exception, but I believe it does happen.

It seems like you're confusing listed job requirements with actual hiring practices. They don't have that much to do with each other. I don't think every graduate of a developer bootcamp is necessarily qualified to go right into a full engineering role, but more than enough are to make it worth it to employers.

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RRRA 2 days ago 1 reply      
Instructors:

do you see people with CS degrees, from 10+ years ago, going to bootcamps to learn new skills?

I'm in that situation and mostly worked in network, sysadmin & security and also got an LIS so I'm quite removed from the front-end/back-end relationship on a practical level and would like to start some projects and be able to use things like node.js to solve common/daily issues quickly.

Your thoughts?(I'm probably just going to find some times to read up and exercise but was curious about other's thoughts?)

Also, has anyone from Canada tried any good school here?(From Montreal here, but interested about other big cities...)

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redmattred 2 days ago 0 replies      
I'm actually conducting a survey for recent code bootcamp graduates to help measure the success of these programs. If you've recently graduated from a code bootcamp or know someone who has, share your experiences at: http://www.codejobs.io/surveys/codebootcamp/student
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mpatzer 2 days ago 0 replies      
I went to a demo day at the Iron Yard in Atlanta with the intent to find junior developers. Several of the RoR guys had some previous programming experience and did the bootcamp to learn RoR (unfortunately we weren't hiring Rails engineers). The iOS developers showed some promise, but definitely weren't quite hirable. They had a really great start and I asked several of them to contact me in about a year.
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arfliw 2 days ago 0 replies      
I have a friend who graduated from college a couple years ago with a liberal arts degree then went straight into Hackbright (women's only, I think). I did not have high hopes for her success but she actually landed a job pretty quickly as a javascript dev at a startup. She's still there and the company has raised multiple bigger funding rounds. I would guess her stock is worth quite a bit now. Good for her.
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aspencer8111 2 days ago 0 replies      
I was hired almost straight out of a bootcamp. Now am a remote Ruby Dev living in my dream city with a dream career. So ya, I'd say it worked out.
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raderj89 2 days ago 1 reply      
I got my BA in journalism and Chinese. I started coding on my own and eventually found Bloc, an online bootcamp with courses in web dev, frontend, UX design, iOS and Android development. I took their web dev course little over a year ago. I now work at Bloc as a web developer (oh, we're hiring engineers by the way). It worked for me and it's worked for tons of our students.
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almccadams 2 days ago 0 replies      
I was hired as a jr. dev after attending a developer bootcamp. It wasn't near the $100k salary mentioned. I didn't expect that though. I was hired at a living wage starting out and have since moved beyond my first job to an even higher wage. I did some coding before the school and attended a lot of the hacker events before I made the career switch.
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ugh123 2 days ago 0 replies      
What i've seen so far in the comments is that the ones hiring out of these programs are mostly publisher/content sites largely working within some kind of cms. This is mostly simple web dev and likely pays less than $100/k especially for entry level. Furthermore, I doubt job security is very good for these roles.
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technofiend 2 days ago 0 replies      
It's strictly anecdotal but I have a friend who's been a Windows guy all his life.

He was already a great programmer, but he took a DevelopMentor Guerrilla .NET class and made contacts there that put him on a contract for Alyeska.

I doubt if he was a mediocre guy they would have noticed him, but he absorbed and mastered the material and got noticed. shrug It happens.

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allsystemsgo 2 days ago 0 replies      
I was hired from a "boot camp". Well, it was a boot camp preset, but I hired someone to mentor me in mobile development. When I felt ready, I applied to a mobile dev shop and got the job. You still have to continue to really bootstrap your skills for the first year or so, but you'll get there.
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gkilmain 2 days ago 0 replies      
Hi. I participated in one of the first RoR camps in Cambridge MA, facilitated by GA. Prior, I had one year of email development experience. Prior to that? I was a mortgage broker. Taking the course at GA gave me a jump start that someone who is looking to change careers desperately needs.
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lnanek2 2 days ago 1 reply      
It's common to put people who are already employed through these things when their skills are out of date. You'd much prefer a JS developer than a Fortran or Pascal developer today, right? But many huge corporations have only the later.
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klochner 2 days ago 0 replies      
Yes, and I know of other companies who also do, but favored candidates come from other technical disciplines (math, physics, stats, etc.) rather than liberal arts.

shameless plug: we're hiring in SF for ruby/scala/angular, email me if interested.

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gbachik 2 days ago 0 replies      
I went to a bootcamp called refactorU and got hired out of the gate. To be fair I already had coding experiences and just needed some validation and networks. It took about a month to get a job that I'm happy with!
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BrainScraps 2 days ago 0 replies      
Early startup, we have 4 engineers. 2 are bootcamp grads (General Assembly and Flatiron)
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duboff 2 days ago 1 reply      
I graduated from Makers Academy and now work happily at Alphasights. We have already hired 4 guys (myself included) from different bootcamps (Makers, DevBootcamp & Flatiron). So far people seem happy with how things are going.
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__abc 2 days ago 0 replies      
I have, four total from DevBootcamp in Chicago across two companies. You have to be critical and fight the right people, but all four have proven to be amazing additions to the team and wise beyond their years.
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tlrobinson 2 days ago 0 replies      
A friend of mine did General Assembly, and while I haven't worked with him, I was fairly impressed with the breadth of topics they covered, including things like computational complexity and web app security.
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m1keil 2 days ago 1 reply      
Etsy are running scholarship sponsorship program together with Hacker School, focused on bringing more women into engineering jobs. From what I heard they recruited few employees from there.
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faehnrich 2 days ago 0 replies      
I know someone that went to the Software Craftsmanship Guild http://swcguild.com/ in Akron, Ohio and got hired.
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achompas 2 days ago 0 replies      
No specifics, but we hired someone from one of General Assembly's programs at my last job. He had significant industry experience in a closely-related field before the program.
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__abc 2 days ago 0 replies      
I also mentor at Mobile Makers and they do a great job of getting the right people into the program and the program itself is great!
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teechap 2 days ago 0 replies      
I'm at Hack Reactor now. The grads don't seem to have any trouble finding work after the program...
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kwyn 2 days ago 0 replies      
I got hired at Uber at 100k+ and I know that they multiple people from both Hack Reactor and Hackbright.
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rjurney 2 days ago 0 replies      
The data science bootcamps are definitely an effective way to train scientists to be data scientists.
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jtoeman 2 days ago 0 replies      
Have hired twice from them, both are total winners. But took a lot of pruning to get there!
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sp3n 2 days ago 2 replies      
yes

i hired a guy who had been through a general assembly course in london, he had also had a couple short of internships before he got to us. hired as a junior javascript developer and he is doing very well

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aarmenante 2 days ago 0 replies      
I went through DevBootcamp in SF after doing business development for a YC company for a year. My day to day job was interacting with engineering teams, and I found it really frustrating not understanding what people were talking about once the conversation left the business realm. When my boss asked me to checkout one of the developer bootcamps as a potential partner I decided to apply.

I had always been interested in computers and the web, but never made the leap to building something with substance. It's really hard to figure out how all the moving parts of web development work together if you're on the outside looking in. I would read books, follow tutorials, ask friends to teach me, but I would always get stuck on something stupid like installing Postgres. The most important thing I learned at DevBootcamp was how to figure that shit out by myself without wasting time spinning my wheels in frustration.

The numbers that the schools boast about post bootcamp success are really inflated. Very few people who I graduated with found 100k jobs right out the gate. Most settled for 60-80k range, and it took a few months of looking (not bad though!). I'm currently in my second engineering job working on a Java stack. A job in a language and framework that DevBootcamp did not teach.

I think a lot of people don't understand that most of these programs are highly selective and fucking BRUTAL... I was at school grinding away most nights till 1 in the morning. Not only are they challenging in technical sense, but emotionally intense. Being stuck in a room with 30 really smart people who are sleep deprived and being forced to do yoga after a marathon coding session is not easy. I saw people cry on numerous occasions.

Getting a job is hard because of the assumptions people have about these programs. Everyone I went though the program with (and finished) might not have had a CS degree, but they ENJOYED PROGRAMING . Something I can't say about everyone I work with. I went though many interviews where I could tell the person I was white-boarding with wasn't going to give me a shot. I remember being in a final round technical interview and was asked a standard algo question. After answering the problem the person interviewing me asked me how I got to the solution... I had been asked it a million times before and googled the answer after the first time it stumped me in an interview. He did not like my answer.

Good programers are confident and enthusiastic.

Having a CS degree and a math background does not make you good at your job or a great engineer. It's probably a requirement to work on some of the really hard stuff. Google X/Palantir stuff...

I think most of the people coming out of these camps are dangerous enough to make an impact anywhere they go. Given a shot and a little finishing polish they will become great engineers.

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fat0wl 2 days ago 0 replies      
I have friends who have done them & gotten hired -- nowhere near 100k tho.

Its very depressing to me though..... I freelanced as a web dev for years & turned it into a career because it came easy & now am sticking with it for a bit because I got an easy job offer to do some consulting. But man am I envious of pretty much every other profession...

Basically: if I were not already in this position (handed it on a platter), I wouldn't aspire to it. It upsets me to see friends with master's degrees in arts, sciences etc. clamoring to be low-end web devs. If you get up on the wave easily then by all means ride it for a bit but if you have to start from square 1 there are lots of better things to do with your time.

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brogrammer90 2 days ago 0 replies      
Bootcamps will hire other bootcamp graduates. All you need is a "github profile".
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kvirani 2 days ago 0 replies      
Co-founder of Lighthouse Labs here. We're one of the few bootcamps in Canada. Not exactly the US, but I have a few related but different insights.

We've graduated both Web and iOS students and, well, I'm just going to come out and say it: We have a 100% placement/hiring rate of our graduates. Most students secure dev roles within a month of graduating, a few even before they graduate.

That's right. 100% in a country where with 1/10 the population, fewer companies and jobs generally, and no real "valley" comparable to speak of, we are able to have ALL our grads find DEV roles, mostly WITHIN Canada. While I can't speak to whether or not we can maintain that 100% for years to come, I can speak to why and how it's like this now.

While it's easy to argue that 4 or 5 year CS degrees are too long and often not "current" enough, the idea of a 8, 9 or 12 week program that claims to give BETTER or even equal results still seems off.

Being a CS grad who doesn't have strong displeasure with College programs like some others do, I feel that our philosophy is a bit different.

If you ask most professionals where they picked up their skills and expertise, they don't refer to any of their schooling. Instead they'll likely say "on the job". So, you don't grow as much from lectures, exercises, homework readings and online video as much as you do from "DOING". And no form education will ever replace that.

Here's another thing, Instead of comparing a bootcamp grad to a college grad, we should be comparing an bootcamp grad that continues to work as a dev for about 3.9 years to a CS grad coming out of a 4 year program. Who do you think will generally come out ahead?

If you do compare a fresh college grad with a fresh bootcamp grad, I feel that the CS grad does have better and definitely deeper understanding of COMPUTER SCIENCE. Of course they do, you're comparing 0.1 years of CS to 4 or 5 years of study.

Anyway, coming back to our crazy 100% placement of Jr Devs... I think this comes back to our more "humble" take on what our grads are truly capable of and need after graduation. The 8 weeks at our bootcamp prepares most of our students for a 3 month paid internship, which usually translates into full-time Jr. Dev employment at that same company.

So while most bootcamps tout "entry-level ready" developers, we suggest that most bootcamp grads are almost junior ready. They need a few months of mentorship within a company before I would feel comfortable calling them a Junior dev. Owning/Running a dev shop that hires most of it's juniors (as interns) from bootcamps helps me be more realistic about this.

As for salary comparables, Canada (East and West coast alike) is noticably lower than US. Post-internship, our grads make between 40K and 60K. There are definitely a few outliers that will make more than 70K, but that has more to do with their prior experience and what else they bring to the table.

19
Ask HN: Does using TOR make you a target?
8 points by autonomy77  1 day ago   4 comments top
1
mattkrea 1 day ago 2 replies      
It was previously disclosed[0] that yes, even just visiting torproject.org would mark you as a target and all your subsequent traffic would be funneled into NSA systems.

[0] http://daserste.ndr.de/panorama/aktuell/NSA-targets-the-priv...

20
Ask HN: How do you bookmarking?
5 points by ciaoben  1 day ago   13 comments top 7
1
not_a_test_user 12 hours ago 0 replies      
Pinboard plus a Pinboard extension for Alfred (https://github.com/spamwax/alfred-pinboard). It makes bookmarking and tagging almost instantaneous.
2
foxpc 20 hours ago 1 reply      
Dragdis seemed to be a great solution for a while for me. Until they decided to drop every browsing platform except for Chrome. So if you're using Chrome - you're still in luck.

Just register, install the plugin. You can create folders for various stuff. Drag n droping opens the plugin on the side and you can drop it to any folder you want.

Still sad about them dropping Firefox.

3
maguay 22 hours ago 1 reply      
Evernote's Web Clipper. Select the info you really need to remember or the entire article/page, and it'll be saved along with the link and any notes/tags/whatever you add. Lets you store more data than standard bookmarks, and takes away the risk of link rot since the important info is saved on your computer. Plus it works practically anywhere.
4
aswerty 19 hours ago 0 replies      
Currently I just use the in-built Firefox bookmarking features. I put everything I bookmark in the bookmark toolbar either directly or in a folder. For sites I use commonly I add the bookmark directly but delete the name so only the favicon shows (to save space). I then use folders for everything else.
5
stevekemp 18 hours ago 1 reply      
I store them under revision control, and that allows me to share them across devices and browsers:

https://github.com/skx/bookmarks.public

6
zubairq 18 hours ago 1 reply      
I use twitter as a bookmarking service
7
gcb0 1 day ago 1 reply      
delicious. talks of it's death were greatly exaggerated.
21
How can archive.org release 2,500 free DOS browser games (Dune, Oregon Trail)?
11 points by logicallee  2 days ago   8 comments top 4
1
hncomment 1 day ago 0 replies      
Maybe you've heard the expression, "it's easier to ask for forgiveness than permission"?

Being rigorous about permission-in-advance can result in an involved, costly process that often reaches dead-ends and unthinking default ass-covering "no"s.

On the other hand, being bold and then waiting for objections can achieve much more. And by the pragmatism of common-law, and the rough precedents of DMCA takedown procedures, it's plausibly legally defensible! Or at least in practice not too risky.

Most complainants don't want a legal battle, just a prompt fix-upon-request. And some may even be unofficially indifferent to non-profit reproduction, as long as they don't have to go on-record giving permission. In that way, they reserve the right to object at any arbitrary later date, without incurring any negotiation/legal overhead in the meantime.

2
dalke 2 days ago 1 reply      
Presumably they have copyright permissions. For example, see the work done by Jason Scott of archive.org with the author of Prince of Persia to track down the source, at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FnEWBtCnFs8 . But it's archive.org and they push the edge; in part because we don't know where that edge is.
3
eridal 2 days ago 0 replies      
besides Prince of Persia, anybody knows of source code release for any of these games?
4
orionblastar 2 days ago 2 replies      
Not all games have permission to be archived.

Nobody here on Hacker News or the Internet seems to care about copyright of old DOS Video Games and permission to download and play them. It is like they are being given free candy, and they enjoy it, even if technically it was stolen.

But there is a DMCA takedown page that copyright holders can request their games be taken down.

I figure some of the video game makers that have games on Steam and Gog.com will issue takedown requests.

Enjoy it while you can. The Underdogs did an DOS video game abandonware archive 10 years ago and had to take games down as well.

We are all into this playing old games on modern systems craze, so much that we don't really care about copyright and permissions anymore.

The Internet Archive is a non-profit and claims to use the library defense. The Pirate Bay once did this as well, but it didn't work.

Some games like Prince of Persia got released to the public so no permission problems there.

BTW some of the games are really porn, beware if you got your sons and daughters looking into the old DOS games.

22
Ask HN: Privacy vs Functionality
4 points by manidoraisamy  1 day ago   4 comments top 2
1
visakanv 1 day ago 1 reply      
The HN community definitely cares more about privacy and security than 99% of 'regular' users so what you describe has a good chance of being common behavior here!

I personally can't be arsed to protect myself, but that's just me- I'm kinda fatalistic and assume that everybody knows everything about me already.

But you'll definitely find a lot of others who are mindful of privacy here.

2
eridal 1 day ago 1 reply      
for some sites I feel that you get more content using incognito. Like in YouTube, by searching logged into my account it returns videos more related to previously seen videos -- which hide more relevant videos.
23
Ask HN: Should I pay for a cartoon I used in my blog years ago?
12 points by TravelTechGuy  2 days ago   14 comments top 8
1
debacle 1 day ago 2 replies      
1. You should not pay before talking to a lawyer. The $168 could be a trojan horse to open you up to more liability.

2. Possibly but unlikely.

3. Yes. "Removed as requested by $law_firm on behalf of CartoonStock.com"

4. No.

The best course of action would be to remove the cartoon, check for any other infringing content on your site, and ignore the request. Any other action should be preceded by talking to a lawyer.

Also keep in mind that there is a lot of ambiguity around linking - unless you were hosting the image, you didn't necessarily commit copyright infringement.

Finally, if you do reply to the request in any way, do so from your home address.

2
dangrossman 1 day ago 0 replies      
You should verify you're dealing with the rightsholder or their representative, then take their offer, IMO. Paying a reasonable fee to license the cartoon, which is what they've offered you, is both legally and ethically the right thing to do.

You can't copy and distribute someone else's work without their permission. There is no requirement of malice, financial gain, or anything else to be in violation of their rights under copyright law. It's just not allowed, and that's the case in probably 100+ countries around the world, since 90-something were signatories to the WIPO treaties. Your use of the image doesn't fall under any of the fair use exemptions, and neither is ignorance of the law a defense. If they wanted to take you to court, you'd lose, and you'd almost definitely owe more than $168.

3
ahazred8ta 2 days ago 0 replies      
Take this to snail mail to confirm that they really are CartoonStock. Should you pay? Yes. Be prepared to pay the $168. A fee that size IS typical for a copyvio incident like yours, even if you didn't benefit financially. Not paying the $168 now, WILL cost you more after their lawyers rack up billable hours dealing with you.
4
TravelTechGuy 1 day ago 0 replies      
Thank you all for your comments and support!While I did not derive any financial gain from this little cartoon, I wouldn't mind paying a one-off to the artist. However, this looks like a scam, or a way to get me to admit guilt. So here's what I plan to do:1. remove the image and add a static "removed by request of rights holder"2. ask for a written copy of the rights to the specific image, including where it was posted, who drew it, who owns the rights, and how did this company arrive at the price3. I still think this is some sort of a cam, as there's no individual identified, and the address is a corporate address in Seattle (which could just be a drop point).

Thanks all!!

5
autonomy77 1 day ago 0 replies      
Treat with caution - CartoonStock are a British company, based in Bath. I'm not aware of any US presence aside from a toll free number. Most UK Limited Liability Companies use UK lawyers too, so a Seattle based "law firm" representing them sounds somewhat fishy. Be careful.
6
centdev 2 days ago 1 reply      
Seek legal consultation.

With that being said, if they own the right to publicity or copyrights now or represent the artist, it's going to be tough to fight. If it was a personal blog they may be able to go after you personally. But if they are a legitimate rights holder you will spend multiples more trying to fight it on the basis of not knowing about copyrights or not having made money from it.

You should request documentation to the matter and speak with an attorney.

7
megaultra 1 day ago 0 replies      
I'd say $168.00 is reasonable and fair, and an inexpensive way to clear your conscience and square up with the creator/rightsholder.
8
akg_67 1 day ago 1 reply      
> They have a long explanation about liability and such.

Can you summarize the liability explanation? Is the sender a lawyer/law firm or someone just claiming to be the copyright holder?

IANAL, ask them to provide how they arrived at $168.00 as economic value of the image. Similarly, you should estimate the economic value of the image to your blog/venture. Did you generate any income from the blog? Can you quantify the value contributed by image to your income? For example, if you were running advertisement on the page, could you quantify contribution of the page, that the image is on, to your total ad revenue?

Do not pay right away! Keep asking for more information like their validity of their claims of copyright, who owns the copyright? Where the image was posted? More work the sender has to do, less likely they will continue to badger you. In all requests, give them a definite time-period like 30 days / two weeks to respond.

I am very suspicious of such claims demanding monetary compensation unless such claims were preceded by take-down warnings and legal warnings from a lawyer/ law firm. My guess is the sender is a fraud and I am sure you are not the only one they are harassing. Such claims are like 'spam,' sender sends out thousands of them expecting some will pay. Do a Google search on the sender, sender email address, reverse-image search to find where else the image is posted. Contact some of them to see if they received similar demands.

Edit: If you decide to communicate with sender, I will suggest asking only one question in each email and then wait for response. Once you get response, then take a few days and ask another question. It will be a while before you run out of all your questions. You also get to see how determined the sender is to collect from you.

24
Ask HN: Best ways to spread the word about your web app
8 points by bfig  2 days ago   6 comments top 4
1
webstartupper 1 day ago 0 replies      
Step 1: Define your customer segment. Who is hiveflux for? bootstrapped, startups, remote teams, specific industry? If you are not sure yet, look at who your competition is targeting. Niche it down. You can always expand horizontally later.

Step 2: Once you know your customer segment, change the copy on your website to drive the value proposition home for that specific segment.

Step 3: Find out where your target customers hang out. People from specific niche industries hang out at specific niche forums. Hang out at these forums and ask questions and contribute. If you are strapped for time, you could advertise directly on the forums - a lot of them allow you to open paid sales threads.

Step 4: Build a community from the early adopters you find from these forums and then get them to spread the word.

2
v_ignatyev 1 day ago 0 replies      
Hi. I recommend to set up proper social accounts, make them containing clean one-liner/tagline of your web app and link to the page. Then post few tweets with hashtags somehow related to the problem your product solve. Then try to follow 50-100 guys in Twitter who could be your prospectives. Try to get follow backs. Post again. Look for forums and threads where people discuss tools like yours.

To support this campaign, try to write press release and send it to bloggers and magazines popping up on your key search request, set up links with them and ask to post on some date, then buy some targeted Ads in Facebook and Google.

More aggresive you will, more prospectives you engage. The better way is to make natural links on forums and boards related to your product. Better to make it the part of viral loop or even better part of user daily workflow.

3
nkangoh 1 day ago 1 reply      
You built a beautiful project and task management tool, make a post about it, yet fail to show us what it is (e.g. link)? That's pretty much your problem right there. You need to advertise the service.
4
dllthomas 1 day ago 1 reply      
... link?

Word of mouth, for a quality tool, is significantly better than nothing (though probably not where you should stop... others will have more ideas).

27
Will you pay for this service?
4 points by logicb  19 hours ago   14 comments top 8
1
jpetersonmn 15 hours ago 0 replies      
Maybe something that surveyed if the employees thought the meeting was productive/useful. If my work started to poll my happiness I would take that as a sign to start looking for a new place.

I also think that employees would not answer honestly either. Around my office when the bossman asks how everyone is doing, everyone says "great" even though 10 minutes ago when he wasn't there they were all complaining about one thing or another.

2
bartozone 10 hours ago 0 replies      
There's a startup out of New Orleans called Niko, Niko that does something very similar. It's about understanding your employees satisfaction levels. They can also reply anonymously with helpful suggestions to management. Seems like a great idea.

http://www.nikoniko.co/

3
chrisked 16 hours ago 0 replies      
Just saw a minor glitch. On your pricing page with iOS 8 and Sadie browser the prices 0, 19, and contact us is crossed out. I assume this is a mistake.

Wish you success with the service. Keep working on it.

4
HarryPPotter 16 hours ago 1 reply      
Not bad though I don't think employees would be happy to take such survey which obviously has some privacy issue.Risking making employees less happy after meeting is not wise at all.
5
debacle 14 hours ago 1 reply      
Your website sucks, but this sounds like something a talent-driven company outside of The Valley would eat up like potato chips.
6
Dirty-flow 16 hours ago 1 reply      
I don't think team meetings are there to make employees happy.
7
mattwritescode 17 hours ago 1 reply      
Nice idea, you should certainly keep working on it.
8
logicb 19 hours ago 0 replies      
28
Ask HN: What is a good C++ unit test framework for a startup?
9 points by quizotic  1 day ago   6 comments top 4
1
cottonseed 1 day ago 1 reply      
I don't know what special needs a startup has. I've used Catch and been happy with it. I haven't used CppUnit, so I can't compare.

https://github.com/philsquared/Catch

Previous HN discussion (with some other suggestions):

https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=8220352

and a relevant StackOverflow thread:

https://stackoverflow.com/questions/87794/c-unit-testing-fra...

2
induction 11 hours ago 0 replies      
I am a heavy user of gtest. I like to integrate it with CMake and CTest, then use ctest --verbose in the build and release process, with lib_gtest.a linked against test commands specified for CTest.
3
trcollinson 1 day ago 0 replies      
I really enjoy CppUTest. It was written by James Grenning who is one brilliant engineer if you ask me. He also wrote the fantastic book "Test Driven Development for Embedded C" which I would highly recommend to anyone, even non-embedded developers.

I used CppUTest on a c++ project to test algorithms for image and video manipulation. It worked fantastically, very easy to learn, and it helped test drive and optimize the algorithms. Highly recommended.

Edit: fixed typos, typing on phones is hard.

4
snnn 1 day ago 1 reply      
29
Ask HN: Whats the most challenging book you have ever read?
27 points by ThomPete  1 day ago   31 comments top 19
1
kendallpark 1 day ago 1 reply      
MIT's Introduction to Algorithms

I'm not a technical book person and I definitely threw this book across the room multiple times during this class. Hardest I've ever fought for an A-. It's not poorly written, I just struggle with math-y books.

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/introduction-to-algorithms-t...

2
brudgers 1 day ago 0 replies      
The Art of Computer Programming, volume 4a: Combinatorial Algorithms...and I am not suggesting I understand a meaningful fraction of it. It reminds me of how little I know. And in fairness I've been reading volume I by fits and starts since the late 1980's.

Critique of Pure Reason for similar reasons in another of my lifetimes. It's another book I'm not smart enough to criticize meaningfully.

Fiction, clearly Cormac McCarthy's The Road. As a parent it's just brutal to find a place to put it. Not necessarily my first recommendation among his novels, either.

3
sunstone 12 hours ago 0 replies      
"Consilience" by EO Wilson is a challenging and rewarding book, especially considering it is thin, uses small words and short sentences. And has no math whatsoever. My recollection is I could only read a couple of pages at time without needing a nap.
4
avemuri 1 day ago 0 replies      
It probably wouldn't be as enlightening to most adults, but Problems in General Physics by Irodov kicked my ass in high school and taught me a lot
5
chrismdp 1 day ago 0 replies      
One of them was "How to read a book" by Mortimer Adler. I kid you not.

It taught me just how much I was reading for my own entertainment, not for real information.

6
unimportant 1 day ago 0 replies      
Buddhist books whichs content cannot be fully understood as a concept and require subsequent meditation experience.

Most programming books are challenging to me as I'm more of a learning by doing guy and the content is usually either too abstract for me or in form of sample projects that dont teach much beyond mere replication.

7
valdiorn 20 hours ago 0 replies      
Field and Wave Electromagnetics: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Field-Electromagnetics-International...

That shit was tough.

8
throwaway653 18 hours ago 0 replies      
I've never had any problem reading any book, obviously with the exception of ones written in foreign languages I don't speak at all. You can't fake it if you don't know anything at all. (trying to read chinese characters like Ezra Pound who squinted at them for obvious pictographic meanings.)

But there's one exception, my black horse.

I tried to skim the Bible (Old and New Testament), in multiple translations. Including easy ones, dumbed-down ones, ones for deaf readers, etc.

I thought that as literally millions of people have read this stuff for literally hundreds of years, and it permeates every part of western culture, it would be a walk through the park. Much easier than "more difficult" or specialized stuff.

This is not true. I found it absolutely horrific to try to read it from beginning to end. It's very difficult and basically I gave up, even in situations where I had no other reading material and absoluetly nothing else to do except drink some coffee and try to read it. I found the old and new testaments are unreadable.

This is not just because of the subject matter. For example (I've said this elsewwhere) I found the Qu'ran an incredibly easy skim. You can do it in an hour. (easily, and for meaning.)

Just try it:

http://www.nooresunnat.com/Audio/Complete%20Quran/Quran%20Tr...

This is just 566 pages triple-spaced with mostly blank lines, it's like 180 actual pages. It's incredibly repetitive. You can really stop on the parts that say something.

The whole thing doesn't say much, there's not all this useless geneology and history and names and such. It's easy.

Start skimming now and you'll be done by the time you get an answer to a quick email you just sent. 20-40 minutes if you're fast.

So it's not me. It's not hte subject matter. It's just that the old and new testaments are not the same at all. they're incredibly dense books that somehow made it into our culture while being totally unreadable sequentially. (for understanding.)

obviously it's fine to look up specific verses in. but as a book? Forget it. Even if you're stuck on an island with nothing else, it makes for the most impossible reading you'll ever find in a language you speak.

9
kornakiewicz 1 day ago 0 replies      
I would distinguish between challenging, because book is so overwhellming because of high level of proficiency required to read with understanding (eg. University paperbooks) so here I could say that a lot of was hard thus challenging. Other kind are challening because it change way you think about world and/or things and it's hard to apply knowledge you get, even you know it's right "view" like for me some of buddisth papers and Enchiridion by Epictetus. It's pleasure to read, but when you want to live in stoic way - yeah, then it's challenign.
10
samcassatt 1 day ago 0 replies      
Definitely loved Julian Jaynes. It's a "just so" story, but quite compelling and interesting - enough so to have a cult following.

Probably the most challenging/rewarding book I've ever read was Fuller's Synergetics. It offers an understanding of science and nature that is holistic in a way that is timeless and self-evident.

http://www.amazon.com/Synergetics-Explorations-Geometry-Buck...

11
lordbusiness 1 day ago 0 replies      
The definition of challenging I'm choosing to apply here is, stimulating, confronting, enlightening.

Martin Meredith's masterfully researched and written The Fate of Africa completely altered my worldview, and brought into sharp focus contemporary African politics. More broadly speaking, it brought clarity to global politics in general, and our human condition.

12
frozenport 1 day ago 2 replies      
Ulysses by James Joyce, but I am not sure if I missed large parts of it.
13
postit 1 day ago 1 reply      
Definitely GEB. This book stole 5 years of my life =)
14
ainiriand 1 day ago 1 reply      
The infinite book - http://www.amazon.es/The-Infinite-Book-Boundless-Timeless/dp...

Sometimes is a bit hard to conceptualize the infinite, you know!

15
massung 1 day ago 0 replies      
Don Quixote. I was in HS at the time. Was pretty pissed off at the ending after reading through it all. Looking back, though, I'm glad I read it.
16
paramk 1 day ago 0 replies      
'The Zen Experience' by Thomas Hoover

I didn't get most of the Zen kan from this book. But I feel its a great book about the history of Zen.

17
jackgolding 1 day ago 0 replies      
Probably not the answer OP is looking for, but for me it was Baby Rudin at uni
18
megaultra 1 day ago 1 reply      
The Bible.
19
arca_vorago 1 day ago 0 replies      
There are quite a few at the top of this list, and they vary based on subject. Are you speaking about technical books, or literature, or something else?

Regardless, the one that I spent a good year reading through multiple times was Farnsworth's Classical English Rhetoric. A brilliant book that challenged my knowledge of rhetoric and enabled me to hone my rhetorical skills. You can read it to learn or read it just for the awesomeness of the passages.

http://www.amazon.com/Farnsworths-Classical-English-Rhetoric...

30
Ask HN: Why is it so difficult to achieve a fitness habit?
11 points by pabloarteel  1 day ago   29 comments top 13
1
FlopV 13 hours ago 0 replies      
Chances are you're showing up to the gym without a clear intention of why you're there and what you're doing there. Do you have a plan to follow? Do you have goals you are working towards and a way to measure you're progress?

Don't fly blind. Make a plan, execute on that plan. Make short term goals you can achieve to get you towards a bigger achievement. Work towards something, make a plan that can get you there. It's not a habit its a journey to an achievement of some kind (running a mile under 6 minutes, benching 225, completing a race, losing a few inches on your gut).

2
nicholas73 4 hours ago 0 replies      
A fitness habit is unnatural. We are not designed to be motivated by exercise, but by goals, fun, necessity. So, to keep up a "workout" routine is something that takes serious discipline. It is the hard way.

When I was younger and had more time, I had a body you could put a muscle chart on (I did grappling sports). Yet, I'm terrible about actually going to a gym, and I eat whatever I want. I simply did what I had fun doing, was motivated by competing with others, and that was also intellectually interesting to me.

3
zacoder 20 hours ago 2 replies      
Because you lack discipline. You never learned to accept pain and effort now for a valuable gain in the future. You're chasing pleasure and trying to avoid pain. And you're simply living in the present, satisfying every random whim and craving.

Every good thing in your life comes at a price. You may not see it yet, but there are no freebies. If you want a fitness habit, you need to pay for it with time and effort. There are no magic solutions. You simply need to force yourself to suffer. Embrace the pain. If you're not feeling like you're dying, you're doing it wrong.

Go do 10 push-ups right now. Get up from your chair and do them. There is nothing really stopping you. Only the excuses you make for yourself.

4
juleska 18 hours ago 0 replies      
First, sorry for my bad english.

It's because working out is againts the human race, we will "crafted" in a time that se haven't nothing, in a misery age back then and we were built to livre, which means that tour body will work to keep you alive. You will never see a Lion for example running to loose his belly fat, animals just spend energy for 3 things: food, sex and running from a predator, basicaly.

So, to achieve this habit, you have to have a "military" willing, because your nature will always fight against you.

5
ohnoesmyscv 22 hours ago 1 reply      
Habits are easier to form if the person somehow derives a sense of enjoyment from it, or if there isnt too large of an obstacle, or if it's subconscious. Even if you live next to a gym, going there means making the effort to change to gym clothes, break from your usual routine and take time off - time that you couldve used watching tv for example.

What would help is if the act of going to gym does not void you of your usual joys. For example, if you were to watch a tv show, watch it at the gym while you're working out. Like hanging out with friends? Bring one to the gym with you.

6
byoung2 1 day ago 1 reply      
For me the hardest part was just getting started. I had been putting off going to the gym for years. Every few years I'd sign up for a membership and then never end up going. I'd be too busy, too tired, you name it. Then 6 months ago I just walked into the gym and hired a personal trainer on the spot. I've been working out 3-4 times a week since. Now it feels weird if I miss a day. So far I've lost 35 pounds, 6 inches from my waist, and my bodyfat % is down from 26% to 21%. The hardest part was just walking into the gym that first day.
7
kyllo 12 hours ago 0 replies      
Exercising is difficult because you're doing it for fitness, not enjoying the act of exercising itself.

Play a sport instead, that way you get exercise and the time passes much more quickly because it's fun.

8
pizza 1 day ago 0 replies      
Ever been like, "Damn, I'm going through this bag of chips really quickly", made a mental effort to eat a little slower, and still continue to eat at the same rate? If so, it's probably because you held the bag of chips in your hands.

Now, if you were sitting at a table or something, and perhaps put the bag of chips under the table, you'd have to make a little more effort to get the chips (reach under the table, extend arms and so on) and you'd most likely eat a little slower.

My theory is that habit-space is hyperbolic (close is close, far is v. far, etc.). So perhaps if you had a fitness habit that was easy to keep up wherever you spend most of your time, it would become easier.

Am I out of mistaken in presuming that you don't have a way to achieve your habit from within your household? Maybe that could be a way to start.

9
pabloarteel 1 day ago 0 replies      
When we are deciding whether or not to exercise, we use a present-biased mentality. We don't see big short-term benefits (although there are), and definitely don't see short-term costs of not going. (It's easier to stay in the couch than going to the gym).
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companyhen 23 hours ago 0 replies      
My co-worker started taking me after work 3-4 days a week and after a couple months it became a habit. Feels weird when I don't go now. Before, I had no clue about a routine, but thanks to him I developed a good one.

Mon and Th I will do Chest and ShouldersTue and Fri I will do Back and Legs

If I only go M-W-F, I'll hit everything each day (called Starting Strength) with Bench (flat and incline), Squats, and Deadlifts.. among a few other things depending on what parts I want to work on.

r/gainit on reddit was also a helpful place for me, as I am one of those people with a super fast metabolism and have a hard time gaining weight.

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sgdesign 1 day ago 2 replies      
It's difficult for you.

This means there are specific, identifiable factors in your life that make it harder for you to exercise. Maybe you live far from a gym, or you don't have time during the week, or you have back pain that prevents you from exercising.

My point is that you're not going to do any progress until you make concrete changes based on your own specific situation.

So I guess my answer would be that it's hard because most people think it's a matter of motivation and self-control, whereas small, practical changes to your environment (for example, buying a bike) are actually much more effective.

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mingusdew 1 day ago 0 replies      
For me its difficult to quit. If I don't do any moderate/intense physical activity for a day, I become unbelievably restless and all I can think about is going on that next run or hitting the gym.

Basically its just another habit you need to do consistently if you want to be able to stick with it long term.

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HarryPPotter 16 hours ago 0 replies      
Because lacking such a habit is not a problem. People tend to focus on and solve problem because they are comfortable when spotting the cause of problem and then solving it.
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