hacker news with inline top comments    .. more ..    4 Jun 2015 Ask
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What happens when your server is compromised and you get help from the FBI?
15 points by imjustsaying  8 hours ago   3 comments top 3
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fbithrowaway 7 hours ago 0 replies      
We've had multiple cases where we have had help from the FBI.

I work at one of the larger webhosting companies, so we have a point of contact with them to start with. We help them out with various things (CALEA, data preservation, child porn/financial fraud, etc) so they tend to assist for major problems.

We reach out to our point of contact. We have to prove that the criminal fit somewhere in http://www.justice.gov/criminal/cybercrime/docs/ccmanual.pdf

They then ask for data (our proof). In all the cases we've handled, our proof has been enough to hand off to a prosecutor. Sometimes the data is enough for the prosecutor to move forward and score a conviction, sometimes they have doubts as to whether a jury can be convinced so they either let them take deferred adjudication, or they try to strike a plea.

We've always known the culprit personally when they commit the crime (name, address, etc.) so I can't speak for other peoples' investigations where these things aren't known.

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mgarfias 7 hours ago 0 replies      
My only experience has been with child porn and terrorism stuff found on servers I worked on. In our case, we burned all the files from the users' account, html/access logs/etc, to CD, and handed them over to an agent who appeared in our office.
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dunsany 7 hours ago 0 replies      
I wrote a paper on the NW Hospital case that involved FBI investigation http://www.planetheidi.com/Pompon-VB2010.pdf
Ask HN: Optimal office relocation (London) based on journey times of employees
3 points by spicerguy  2 hours ago   4 comments top 3
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loumf 6 minutes ago 0 replies      
There are probably a fintite number of points that are your best guess and near a station. Use station locations inside a radius.

Then run them all through mapumental to get distances. Weighting can be done in code or a spreadsheet.

Or implement a hill climbing algorithm using mapumental and the weights to make your cost function.

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alltakendamned 41 minutes ago 0 replies      
It's a problem which is common in the transport sector to decide on where to build warehouses. Unfortunately I don't have recommendations that are open to use, most seem to be custom in-house solutions.

A big question is what you are optimising for? If it's average time, it could be that it is far for everyone. Or are you employees living in clusters that can carry a heigher weight? You already talk about different staff carrying a different weight. etc. etc.

It's typically not even easy to properly define the problem :-)

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ZeroGravitas 2 hours ago 1 reply      
Can't you run Mapumental for each home and then combine the results somehow to find the best location?

Actually, do they already support this? They say "Mapumental handles multiple start or destination points too."

I was thinking just overlaying the maps as semi-transparent PNGs would reinforce the color gradient of the nearest places.

Interviewing while holding a job?
8 points by mtldev  10 hours ago   9 comments top 3
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a3n 10 hours ago 1 reply      
Have a phone interview during lunch. Come in early, leave early. Come in late, leave late.

Go to something like a meetup relevant to your interests, meet people, see where it leads.

2
theGREENsuit 7 hours ago 0 replies      
I've only had one instance where I was interviewing while unemployed. All other times, I simply took a couple of hours off work and went off to the interview. I usually would work a little bit extra in the days leading up to the interview and not have to worry about not putting in my time. When I interviewed last, both of my interviews were on a Friday. My former employer had casual Fridays, so the only thing I had to put up with was changing clothes once I was done with the interview. If I waited until I was unemployed before interviewing, I would miss out on a lot of opportunities.
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SQL2219 9 hours ago 1 reply      
try and schedule Friday afternoon interviews and take half day off on Friday(s). Makes it look like you are taking a long weekend.
Ask HN: What does the path to being a $250k developer look like?
22 points by beamatronic  18 hours ago   14 comments top 7
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hcho 18 hours ago 0 replies      
>You've probably already done some professional networking, written some technical articles for your company or customers, gotten a ton of recommendations on LinkedIn, contributed to visible projects on GitHub, and survived some production deployments/Go-Lives.

None of that really. At least the ones I know don't do any of that.

Here's what they do. They negotiate hard. Every job move, every annual review, they negotiate tooth and nail. Over time they become expensive. The more expensive they are, the more critical stuff gets assigned to them. The more critical stuff they handle and successfully deliver, the more chips they have on the next negotiation.

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philjr 15 hours ago 0 replies      
The quickest way to get to that money is contracting, but it is possible through more traditional employment but you're going to have to probably do 2 things, unless you're willing to wait for some good luck

1. Find yourself a niche. Expert in X where X isn't just a programming language. Build relevant domain expertise which means people who are hiring you are hiring your experience as well as your skillset and you get to stop them running down rabbit holes. e.g. Java programmer who's built large real time streaming systems with Spark. Find a niche that's hot where lots of companies are looking for that expertise.

2. Be fairly mercenary with pay and job. Holding out for higher offers, setting expectations with recruiters early in the process about your salary expectations etc. Ask for exactly what you want.

If you're on $160k now, walk in and ask for $190k with a view to taking that for a year or two and then looking for $220 or $240k. Don't wait for the employer to give you a figure. Set that expectation with the recruiter early so they're not wasting your time. Be aware on that kinda money, employers are going to expect big things and in lots of cases will expect more than just coding.

I realise this is may be very obvious, but you will literally be optimizing for money. That could lead you in to shitty situations / companies. Personally I'd caution against that for most people. However, I understand money can sometimes be the most important hole in peoples lives with certain personal / debt situations, so I don't mean to judge.

If you are assessing your self worth against your paycheck though, this route won't satisfy you!

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MortenK 17 hours ago 0 replies      
High-end contracting within not-so-common software and / or specific business domains.

The contracts are often very long (some many years) and the rates are sufficiently high to get you to 250K and beyond, even after accounting for sickdays, medical insurance, pension, vacation etc.

You can get there through experience in specific technologies like SAS CRM, SAP, Salesforce etc, meaning tech's that are not so common without necessarily being completely niche. You can also get there as a generalist developer with exceptional experience in a business domain like automotive, finance, retail or whatever.

The rates can get extreme when the developer is specialized in both a specific technology and business domain.

A specialist in marketing automation + finance for example or datawarehousing + retail etc.

4
seasoup 16 hours ago 0 replies      
Get a job at Google, Apple, ms, Facebook. Salary is in range with what you list plus RSUs make up the difference.
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JSeymourATL 17 hours ago 0 replies      
>Into what areas would you direct your energies?

Classic advice from Richard Hamming on life & work. What are the most important problems in your field? Are you working on one of them? ... Why not?

Here's a video presentation from 1995> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a1zDuOPkMSw

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gavanwoolery 13 hours ago 0 replies      
Sometimes (albeit rarely) it is luck. I was offered $400k/year to be a CTO at a big (yet relatively unknown) company. Most of my other job offers have not been above $200k.
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ForHackernews 16 hours ago 3 replies      
Are 'typical' developers really in the $150-$160k range? I'm apparently shockingly underpaid.
Ask HN: Do you call yourself a software engineer or software developer?
11 points by WoodenChair  14 hours ago   22 comments top 17
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jdmoreira 2 hours ago 0 replies      
IMO it's pedantic to call yourself a 'software engineer'.I also feel that people who do it are trying to elevate themselves from the rest.

If you feel you are a better developer just prove it with code and great architectures. We don't need titles.

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lgieron 3 hours ago 0 replies      
All non-software engineers employ complex (often mathematical) techniques to analyse their design in terms of reliability, performance, safety, robustness to external conditions etc. We, except maybe for the area of critical embedded software, barely do any of these things. What's more, with the rise of the agile methods, we actually make a point to not spend time on those (see "Move fast and break things"). That's why IMO most of us aren't engineers.
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thoman23 13 hours ago 1 reply      
> "Sure, some of us have taken software engineering classes"

Are you assuming that most of us do not have CS degrees? I assume that most do.

That being said, I consider the terms to be interchangeable. I lean towards "software engineer", but certainly don't mind the "software developer" label.

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kasey_junk 10 hours ago 1 reply      
I largely don't care about titles, my current one is Software Engineer, I self describe as a software developer.

In the US the title of Engineer is not reserved except in a few very specific instances and the argument about whether software creation is engineering needs to first agree on what engineering is, a very open question and one that seems largely uninteresting to me.

In my own head I think of myself much more as a logician/mathematician than I do an engineer, but I bet you couldn't guess/interpret that from the output.

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andymurd 11 hours ago 0 replies      
For the final year of my degree, I got to choose a number of specialisations. Choosing a certain combination would mean that my degree title would read "BSc Computer Science", a different combination would mean that the title would read "BSc Software Engineering". I chose the latter and now I have a magic piece of paper that I can wave at recruiters to convince them to pay me more.
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sarciszewski 6 hours ago 0 replies      
I just call myself a technology consultant that specializes in web programming and application security, or simply consultant for short.

My actual title is Chief Development Officer, but meh.

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Raed667 9 hours ago 0 replies      
In my country it is pretty regulated, you need to get certified and do 5 years after high-school to become an engineer. Or a basic "CS degree" would only require 3 years. This is why if you get to call yourself engineer you pretty much stick with that. + It gets you paid a lot more.
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Inception 13 hours ago 0 replies      
When my company was acquired, all of our "software developers" received the title of "software engineer", so yes I refer to myself as a software engineer. My title is trivial to me, but I would consider my day-to-day activities to be a form of engineering. I apply my software knowledge in order to design, build, maintain, research, and improve systems and/or processes.
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mattkrea 13 hours ago 1 reply      
I think in the case of large scale, high-availability systems it goes a bit beyond development. I'd consider development writing the code.
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smcg 13 hours ago 0 replies      
My company does not allow anyone to have the title of "Engineer" unless they actually have a P.E. license.
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theaccordance 13 hours ago 1 reply      
I typically go by software developer but at my current company I'm a software engineer. From my perspective, they're fairly interchangeable, but Engineer does elude to working on more advanced projects.

On the flip side of things, I think developer is a better buzzword.

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HeyLaughingBoy 11 hours ago 0 replies      
Yes. Yes. Maybe. No.

TBH, while I do have a degree in Software Engineering, and do practice actual software engineering in the day job, I could give a rats ass what my actual title is.

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amarcus 13 hours ago 0 replies      
In my opinion, a Soft Developer is one who mainly just writes code. Whereas, a Soft Engineer is somebody who looks after the project end-to-end (requirements gathering, coming up with a solution and then coding it)
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devhead 11 hours ago 0 replies      
professionally: i agree they are interchangeable

personally: Engineers encapsulate architecture, infrastructure, development, planning, research, dev-ops, provide leadership and lead the execution. Where developers are responsible for specific execution of a project.

my boss: having "Engineer" in your title is offensive to the Engineers who went to school for it, so we'll call you a developer now that you've been a software engineer here for a while.

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valbaca 13 hours ago 0 replies      
I'm both: SDE = Software Development Engineer

So there's that.

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ilaksh 11 hours ago 0 replies      
Computer Programmer = Software Developer = Software Engineeer.

The people that really try to make a distinction may have spent quite a lot of money on a degree or may be trying to justify a higher salary.

Any programming job requires engineering. The amount of skills and sophistication of techniques varies, but if you are programming without doing software engineering then you're not doing it right.

In the context of computer programming, 'engineering' is applied broadly to pretty much any activity beyond typing in a single script.

I believe engineering is an appropriate term because most computer programs are very complex systems are require the application of a range of knowledge and skills. And most of these systems are novel in certain ways often requiring more problem solving ability than some other types of engineers may ever need to apply.

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6d0debc071 13 hours ago 0 replies      
I call myself whatever the job is asking for if I'm applying for jobs and I've the skills. Other than that I tend to call myself by my name, or if I'm really pushed to describe my job to others as a 'programmer.'
What is the physical work environment like at your company?
5 points by ctogden  12 hours ago   1 comment top
1
acosmism 10 hours ago 0 replies      
Checkout the masschallenge office in 3d which was recently added to Google Maps! http://goo.gl/6TEhG9
Ask HN: Americans, how would you change the H1B visa?
5 points by NhanH  13 hours ago   4 comments top 3
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chrisbennet 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Problem: Indentured servitude of H1B visa holders

Solution: Make any sort of "lock-in" illegal. No fees paid to employment agencies, no penalties for leaving early, no posting bonds, no contractual periods of work. Anything that keeps an H1B locked to a particular employer should be illegal.

Problem: Getting brightest engineers without causing wage suppression

Solution: Leave the cap where it is for now and bid for H1B talent so market forces can work. If the lowest bid is over say, $100K, maybe consider raising the cap.

Engineers are the raw material for tech companies and naturally, they'd like to keep their costs low. This has nothing to due with "keeping America competitive" and everything to do with sharing less of the value created with the engineers who created it in the first place.

2
MrTonyD 12 hours ago 1 reply      
I think the emphasis should switch from employers to our citizens. In the US, we have the ability for everybody to be employed - if we required that everything that is sold here be made here. That would instantly improve everyone's quality of life.

But perhaps the biggest advantage is that it would allow us to stop the hiding of profits offshore and using derivatives - literally trillions in profits are being extracted and hidden pre-tax.

I would argue that every country should consider their own citizens first - and only after everyone has gotten to some reasonable standard of living should we consider outsourcing, offshoring, and foreign workers. Ironically, we could do much more for everybody in the world if we first fix the corruption in our own economy.

Ask HN: My free app has gone slighty viral looking for ideas to monetize it
120 points by Rabidgremlin  2 days ago   134 comments top 56
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kriro 2 days ago 4 replies      
I'd approach this differently and from reading your replies you seem to be a fairly laid back (non "cutthroat") guy so this might be interesting for you.

Use it as a fun experiment to see how much you can grow it not how much you can monetize. Formulate some assumptions and test them. I'd personally pick one of the countries and see if I can push installs in that country hard (might be difficult due to language issues).Try to figure out how people learn about your app and install it. Figure out what phones it is installed on and write a blogpost on using your app on that phone etc.

55k active users isn't bad. If you keep on growing someone will get interested even if you didn't monetize before (possibly even because you didn't) especially since it's not a "fad app" but something sustainable as long as there's low resource phones.[worst case you can use it if you ever want to apply at Facebook]

tl;dr: use it as your private growth-lab and learn a lot :)

2
aaronbrethorst 2 days ago 7 replies      
Unlikely to succeed. Your users won't want to be monetized and they're from countries that are relatively unmonetizable. You don't say what you do for a living, butpersonallyI'd slap this on my resume as a 'look at the awesome user base my apps have had' sort of event, and move on. Great way to gain better leverage for the next job move or raise request, but not likely to be more than that at present.
3
polyvalent01 2 days ago 4 replies      
Hi OP I'm from morocco and I can tell you that NOBODY in Morocco will pay your app. Why ? I'll tell you why.

Here in the 3rd world countries we don't have credit card unless we get a job, and when I say "get a job" I mean 28 and up . Morocco is very different from Europe and US because we don't have unemployement and just to make a living is really hard.

Also Piracy here is something commun because our ISP ( and we have only one lol who fuck the market with their High price and low value) Doesn't block torrent, as long as you stay out of Illegal stuffs...

Also even if I have a credit card at 21 ( I worked in a call center in the last summer so I can afford it) I will never lose money on apps. First: I'm poor Second : We only have 10 000 Dirhams ( 900 Euro ) to spend in a whole YEAR. Wich means we're very careful on what we spend money on.

So the best thing I can tell you is to add a banner and one or two Interstial ads and NOBODY will bat an eye .

Hope I gave you an insight OP :)

4
BinaryIdiot 2 days ago 2 replies      
This is tough. When webOS was announced I got into the early Palm developer's program and created an application. It was kinda neat but also not incredibly complex. After the Pre was released within about 6 months it had over 100,000 downloads (which, for a new OS and device, seemed kinda awesome!). It was a free app but I thought I could try to monetize it a little.

First step was to try ads. It went from highly rated to about 3 stars because everyone hated the ads (understandable). I tried putting them at the top, bottom, middle; nothing worked at all.

There were no in-app purchases for webOS (or really any platform at the time) so I did what everyone else started doing: when they launched being able to pay for apps I provided my app for $.99 with no ads. After 2 years of running I made $9.

Essentially I destroyed the user-base my app initially had by trying a couple of ways to monetize them that provided poor user experience. I'm not sure what the best solution is here but don't make my mistake and worsen your user experience to make money; it won't work.

FYI for anyone curious my app on webOS was a take on the tip calculator. I know I know "why would you try to charge for a TIP calculator!?" but I thought the spin I had was novel, you could rate different parts of your restaurant experience to get an exact amount to tip rather than dealing with percentages at all (it only showed you the percentage after it calculated the tip). I had done a ton of tip research at the time and thought the idea might be worth something (plus I was young and dumb). It even had bill splitting! But yeah in the end I really shouldn't have charged for it I mostly wanted to experiment to see if I could monetize it and I ended up completely destroying it. http://www.webosnation.com/dumb-waiter-free

5
gabchan 2 days ago 2 replies      
SocialLite is a great name btw.

Monetization via end users is not realistic. This is my hypothesis regarding your user profile: (1) low-income or no-income aka cost sensitive, (2) possibly bad mobile data infrastructure, (3) pay-as-you-go mobile data or limited wifi access.

Your app is valuable because it is a REPLACEMENT for the company's real app, because the real deal (as you put it nicely) is too large.

I would perhaps develop clones of your app for other social networks, and have a constellation of SocialLite apps for Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Tumblr, etc...

Why?

Because the value is in how lightweight you are but still be able to satisfy end user needs. Do not add ads, or in-app purchase bullshit. Your users don't want that. And customers are gods.

Why?

Because you are collecting DATA. Usage patterns and quantifiable habits. The companies would be interested in that. Even just Facebook might be interested in what stats you have now, and having data on their frienemies adds proportionally more value.

But

Before you write another line of code, please reach out and get some feelers to see if the companies indeed want data and what data they are looking for. Since you are in developing markets, and companies want to expand there, you are providing a unique and rare insight into those markets. Data driven insights are better than anything else.

P.S.:

I would not survey the users. Bad UX (specifically bad information timing) and whatever little data you ascertain will not be actionable anyway.

6
kirualex 2 days ago 2 replies      
I had the same idea 4 years ago and did the exact same thing for several apps. This was a bad idea : https://medium.com/@kirualex/an-android-developers-nightmare...

Google content policy is now very clear :Do not post any applications whose primary function is to:generate traffic to a website; or provide an overview of a website that you do notown and you do not handle (unless you have permission of the owner / administrator of the website).

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cvitale 2 days ago 1 reply      
Mr slightly viral,

You priced your app at zero. It became a success. Monetizing your app now will probably make it less so.Rather monetize by building good will with your customers (brand) and applying lessons learned towards development of your app2. If it's good enough you can charge for it.

8
lsiebert 2 days ago 0 replies      
Don't put third party advertisements in. If you are going to do any advertising, come up with a second project that might be of interest to your demographic, but that costs money, and advertise for your own product.

I'd consider some sort of soccer score app that integrates with FB.

9
onuryavuz 2 days ago 0 replies      
Actually there is an official app published by Facebook, for size-sensitive users. It's called Facebook Lite and here is the google store link : https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.facebook.l...
10
drawkbox 2 days ago 0 replies      
With a free app you have to have your monetization in before launch. But this is a great platform to launch other apps from. Apps even next to a popular free app get more visibility/discovery. Many companies launch a free app designed solely for users to help drive pay app usage.

Donation is probably the only option as advertising for those areas aren't as high in payout. Don't be sad by the letdown you will get from donation though, it is always way lower than expected. Ad supported apps also don't really get that much money.

The only successful app strategy is to have quality apps and as many as you can support with quality levels.

11
ceejayoz 2 days ago 1 reply      
Be mindful of what Facebook's lawyers will think of you monetizing their logo and their website.
12
angryasian 2 days ago 3 replies      
I'm not accusing you of anything, but

Tinfoil is a great app thats similar. Also free and open source - https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.danvelazco...

13
rnovak 2 days ago 0 replies      
I am/was in the same situation as far as popularity goes with my desktop application (for OSX), and I personally went the route of not monetizing at all. To me, the knowledge gained through every feature I added and every bug I fixed is/was more valuable than the money I could have made.

Then again, I have a great paying job that I love, and I primarily built it because I couldn't find a similar application with the features I was looking for, so other people finding it useful is just a bonus. Plus, it's a great way to show that I have passion for development outside of work, and that I'm continually trying to improve myself as a programmer/engineer. I even provided detailed Arch/Design/Req docs in the github repos, just in case anyone was interested in looking.

Of the options listed in this thread, I like the idea of adding an "in-app" purchase for the feature you mention gets requested a lot (photo uploads I believe). The knowledge that will give you is immensely valuable (being able to turn features on/off in the same application), if you don't already have that built in.

Anyway, that's just my opinion, but you should do whatever you think will make you happy.

14
jmbrook 2 days ago 0 replies      
First of congratulations on the app, it is fulfilling a real need.

You have cracked the first problem of getting people to download + use +care about the app.

I like the idea of doing the survey however from my experience (we did a paid for Google Customer survey) our users want more content and for price of free which wasnt hugely useful.

Personally I think you have three easy options:

1. Add some low level not too obtrusive adverts in (you will get a nice trickle of money in)

From my own experience of putting adverts into a util app (https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.teazel&hl=...) no-one minds at all. The key is to not go overboard. We have banners that don't refresh too often, disappear if they going to draw over a dice. The number of apps I see show full screen adverts at start up, every page transition etc - all very icky.

2. As others have said try and grow it and use it for Resume/CV building. My one reservation on this is make sure you actually try and capitalise on it. Im reminded of friends staying in awful jobs due to the training/experience and years later never really harvesting the rewards.

3. Use it to cross promote another app (either by yourself or sell the space). Getting an app to be downloaded is so hard now having this to kick start the next project is a great de-risker.

I would go for option 1 or 3 depending on whether you have other apps in the pipeline.

As an aside is this lightweight wrapping of a webapp model work for other providers? LinkedIn etc?

15
Gustomaximus 2 days ago 1 reply      
Nice app. Developing countries love their saving data (I used to work with an app in a similar vein). In your shoes Id likely move forward in 3 stages;

1) Bug Fix - if you can build momentum on growth your really onto something. Given the 80% inactive rate, have you looked at why people are uninstalling (I saw a bunch of no photo upload button on my quick look)? Improving scale if probably the best way to make money if you don't really need the cash now.

2) Insert reasonably unobtrusive ads and see how they go. Given the countries involved you'll be surprised that even with a large number of users you're not hitting big money. Possibly try a few different ad placements to see the user experience vs. clicks vs. payments.

2) Once you have ads and know how many clicks you are getting, look for local opportunities for the bigger country(ies). Things like sponsorship of affiliate/offer type deals. These should pay more but come with a real time cost.

3) Once you have a view how much a customer is worth, decide if you want to take the cash out or re-invest back into growing the app. Ideally if you can spend $X on recruitment and get back $X+Y you should chase growth. If not, enjoy riding the organic wave.

Regarding the poll, I'd not bother. What people say and do are often very different. I'd be more inclined to test ads and placement for real response. Monitor for feedback and possibly make a ad free version if people want.

I've heard donation buttons don't really work.

Adding additional social support sounds good but at a price? Not sure there. These markets are super cost conscious so I'd personally look to focus on growth first and secondly monetising the user at no cost to them.

Good luck

16
ggurgone 2 days ago 1 reply      
Here's how you could play it:

1) Play dirty: serve high resolution media (pic an videos) to the users - this results in more data downloaded = costs more money to your users. Here is where you ask them to pay a fair monthly subscription that would cost them less than $x-internet-provider-money (you can make tailor made plans depending on the stats)

2) Make it faster for who pays! At the very top of the page you could add a speed indicator (something like a thin progress bar) to indicate the speed of the page.Then make one of the views (the profile page for example) super fast to tease your users! and the ask for upgrade to premium to get all teH things fast :)

No matter how you play it I would "re-brand" it and remove any reference to the FB UI - which I guess is (c) Mark Boy

17
jcoffland 2 days ago 0 replies      
Many apps or softwares are successful because the price is right. Often the right price is free. You need to consider if your user base even has money to give you. Your best bet is to use traffic from your current app as a way to sell another related service.
18
makuchaku 2 days ago 0 replies      
Script the build & make such tiny apps for all popular permission hogging apps with websites. Then cross-promote them within your app.

This is what I would do :)

19
RossTech 1 day ago 2 replies      
Instead of all the pop ups, or ads etc, how about just a simple message to users asking for a contribution. It's a much more direct, and far less abrasive approach, plus it's personal and seems reasonable. I'm betting it will convert at 5 - 10% of users aged 16+.

E.g. Hi, I hope you are enjoying this app and finding it useful. Could you support this app by paying a one-time fee of just $1? It will allow me to keep the app updated and best of all running ad-free! Thanks in advance.

20
eddiedunn 1 day ago 0 replies      
Kickstarter campaigns often charge people extra money for getting access to Alpha and Beta builds. People are impatient, many want stuff sooner rather than later, so they pay for it.

You could offer a modified version of this; allow premium customers access to new features earlier, but roll out the updates to your free subscribers eventually as well. After a delay of 3 months perhaps?

It will gently encourage people to upgrade, but those who don't want to pay won't feel cheated as they will get the features eventually as well.

21
sdernley 2 days ago 0 replies      
Congratulations on the success of the app!

When i've been in similar situations i've tried to look forward and not back. By that I mean, if it's getting a lot of downloads then let the people who have already downloaded it have it, don't change their experience by adding adverts in or damaging parts of the experience. Charge for new people to get the app. Saying that, I've never had it with as many people already downloaded the app, but i'd like to think i'd still do the same thing.

I have an app that I originally charged for and it got very little downloads, I made it free for a while and didn't pay much attention to the downloads, went back to it at a later time and noticed it had a lot of downloads so I started charging for it just to see what would happen, I expected to make it free again within a week due to no downloads. Downloads obviously dropped a bit, but still kept a pretty consistent level and have done ever since. I make a point of always improving the app though, so maybe that helps too but I just think it comes down to timing and having those previous downloads could help, it seemed to help me.

I'm not sure if you can turn a free Android app into a paid one though, I don't think you used to be able to, so that might all be pointless and you'd have to make a new id for it, but you've proved people definitely want it.

Whatever you do, good luck. I'm sure having a high downloaded app will help you at some point even if you don't manage to do as much as you want with this one. I hope you do.

22
fpvracing 2 days ago 1 reply      
Looks like a cool app and you've got some great reviews.

I would not add advertisements as you will risk damaging the good relationship you currently have with your users. Try adding a donation button and just see whether it brings in enough money. Adding support for other social networks also seems like a good idea, but a lot more work.

I'm actually in the process of developing my first Android app for our community at https://fpvracing.tv. Any tips / tutorials you would recommend?

23
samet 1 day ago 0 replies      
I developed and maintained a game for Android devices for 3 years and the game was for Turkish players only.

80 percent of my time was spent for optimizing the game for low-end devices; low-end devices lead the market because of those are the ones that majority of high school (or even primary school) students' parents could afford.

Not surprisingly, revenue coming from low-end devices segment was almost zero because young people using these devices are usually under 18 and were not allowed to have credit cards. Even relatively older ones (such as college students) didn't spend any money because they were trying to survive as students with a limited budget.

Nexus One is a great smartphone with an acceptable large screen and you can still buy a working one from the second hand market. The weakest point of this cheap-heavy duty device is the limited memory, which is you focused on. (Actually it can be hacked to extend internal memory to micro SD card, but still hard for many people.)

Another example of low-end devices is Samsung Galaxy Ace. That is, my friend, a time and effort killer with almost no returns except always complaining free users.

24
blazespin 2 days ago 0 replies      
Rather than monetize, I think instead you should try to get more people to install it. Make it better. Add features to block ads or something. Clearly you've built something people want. Find a way to engage with your users and build more trust with them. Your next app will be quite popular with them, I'm sure.

You're trying to monetize too early. Get real traction first. A million dollars isn't cool. You know what's cool? A billion dollars.

25
lucaspiller 2 days ago 1 reply      
I have an app in the Google Play store, it has around 1,500 active installs and I decided to do a bit of an experiment last year by releasing a paid pro version. It was exactly the same, it just had a different colour icon and 'Pro' branding. I put the price at 99c/99p, and put a link to it in the free edition description (the descriptions were the same other than that). I was pretty surprised when people actually bought it...

I think I made about $5 before I realised after a couple of weeks, and then I took it down. The app hadn't been touched for a few years and wasn't the best quality, so I didn't feel happy for basically scamming people. I was considering doing the same for a donate version, but wanted to improve the app first - which I never got around to.

I think you could get some income by doing something similar, but it's very unlikely to replace your main income.

26
andreasvourkos 1 day ago 0 replies      
Rabidgremlin since you are planning to put a survey in place to understand what your users need, you can actually integrate Pollfish (http://www.pollfish.com) which actually allows you both to survey your users for free easily, and also monetize in a different way than classic ads!
27
philbarr 1 day ago 0 replies      
I wouldn't bother with ads. One of my apps [1] has about 13,000 active users and I make ~20 a month with it. Ads just don't make you any money. Although this is just my experience, obviously, and there may be reasons why the ads in my app aren't as successful as yours could be.

Still, I think it's probably not worth annoying your users for the paltry amount of cash you'll raise.

[1] https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.simplyappe...

28
raverbashing 2 days ago 0 replies      
Don't monetize the app, but build from the success of it.

You have an App with 240k installs, that's very good in a CV or when pitching your services.

This demographic is not going to pay you, sorry.

Now, developing apps that are light and work in older phones can be a marketable skill.

29
garagemc2 2 days ago 0 replies      
I'm sure everyone else has gone through the pro's and cons of different monetisation and product strategies.

But having looked through the thread, I don't believe anyone has asked you to think about Why the app is getting traction.

You can come up with your own hypothesis or you can ask your users.

Once you've understood why, you'll be better placed to take the next step. Whether that involves monetisation, creating clones, developing the app, not developing the app - that is up to you.

Tl;dr Find out why users like your app and try to strategise based on that.

30
qwz 2 days ago 0 replies      
Looks like the same kind of users as Opera Mini which has high number of users in Indonesia, India, Pakistan etc. They face similar problems as you do. Many users which don't have much money.

Idea 1) Sell it to Opera SoftwareIdea 2) Do like Opera and sign deals with mobile network operators to include operator contentIdea 3) Sell Internet access through your app. Internet access is normally sold by hour in these countries. Sign deals with operators and similar.Idea 4) Advertising in app

31
Raphmedia 1 day ago 0 replies      
1. Do not touch the current app. As everybody said, you will simply lose people.

2. Create extra features for a PRO version. Perhaps simply a tab that let you switch between Twitter and Facebook? From what I understand, your app is pretty much a wrapper with a mobile site inside of it. Add tabs for other social websites. Pinterest, Twitter, etc. Something simple that people are going to be willing to pay a few extra coins for.

32
kneonx 2 days ago 0 replies      
You could add a 1 second splash count down whenever they open the app from multi tasking, and a simple payment can disable that. It's not an ad. Just a countdown timer with an unlock feature. For a typical user, it wont be that big of a pinch, but for power users who cycle between apps and check back it could be worth monetizing.

Once again you're not putting ads, you're just exercising your right to monetize something you built ;)

OR if there are premium features you can push out that are not ad-removal related you might stand a chance at converting 1% of your users (freemium model)

33
pratyushag 2 days ago 0 replies      
Given your motivations and comments, I would recommend that you have a whatsapp like subscription in place. One can get around paying for the subcription by inviting friends. For best results, make it easy enough to select all for the invite [you will soon realize that you'll get most of your users from such people who don't mind inviting a friend to an app they like a lot]. At some point in the next 1-2 years, you would likely get to 1 million downloads!
34
pbreit 2 days ago 1 reply      
How about the WhatsApp approach: first year free, then $0.99 per year?
35
fabiandesimone 1 day ago 0 replies      
Why not put 'App Recomendations' messages that drive installs for other apps?

There's a ton of CPA networks that pay anywhere from .5 to $3 for an app install.

36
emilioolivares 2 days ago 1 reply      
This kind of happened to me. I've tried building serious apps with limited success and traction. I'm a huge reddit/imgur fan so a built a hobby site for myself using reddit's api to browse through their images: http://www.flipmeme.com. Currently gets 100k uniques per month, can't monetize!!! In other words, the stuff you really work on doesn't get anywhere, random stuff you build as a joke suddenly takes off?!
37
unicornporn 2 days ago 0 replies      
If you do this I suspect most users will move to "Tinfoil for Facebook". It does exactly what you describe and is popular and open-source.
38
aniketpant 2 days ago 1 reply      
I was looking around and I found https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.facebook.l... which comes from Facebook itself. Strangely it is incompatible with all my devices and I think this is due to a play store location based restriction (I am based in India).
39
nait 2 days ago 0 replies      
You could try adding a "Social Lite Deals" page where you put affiliate offers (e.g. stuff with reduced prices from Amazon).

This way you provide some kind of additional value and don't risk offending your user base. Granted it won't be as effective as ads but perhaps it's a good starting point to figure out what your users like and accept.

40
whalesalad 1 day ago 0 replies      
One of your recent reviews: "Cool! (mainly because there're no ads) To developers: keep ads out please -- willing to pay for it. Android ads are getting extremely intolerably utterly annoying and painful and stupid. Also, please keep network traffic minimal."
41
adam12 1 day ago 0 replies      
Create a supporting website and put ads on that. Blog about updates and maybe even your experience creating the app. If you had that right now, you could be getting a lot of traffic from HN.

I'm afraid if you put ads in the app you will lose a lot of users and get negative feedback.

42
crdoconnor 2 days ago 1 reply      
Add an upgraded app that lets users redirect their traffic via servers you control. If they installed your app for privacy reasons, give them a reason to pay you for more privacy.

If Turkey is very popular that tells me that your users might want to conceal the fact (from their government) that they use facebook at all.

43
bthornbury 1 day ago 0 replies      
I have very similar install numbers to your app on one of mine and I have had excellent monetization off a single banner ad across the bottom.

It reduces the usable screen area by only a little and is hardly intrusive to the experience.

44
tlogan 1 day ago 0 replies      
55k active users is super!Since you are popular in 3rd world countries I would suggesting adding something your users can earn some extra money directly from phone. Maybe fiverr integration, odesk, amazon turk, etc.
45
mastercoms 2 days ago 1 reply      
When I think light, the last thing I think of is ads. Ads will make your app feel bloated to users.
46
bond 2 days ago 0 replies      
My opinion is not to listen people telling you not to put ads.Remember, your demographics is not first tier so that advice doesn't apply... You'd be surprised what a banner or an interstitial can bring on those countries....
47
dutchbrit 2 days ago 0 replies      
Don't do ads, people will uninstall it in a jiffy. Create a second app, call it Social Lite Plus or something, and have some extra options - bit of a freemium version, but not sure if that's a possibility?
48
z3t4 2 days ago 1 reply      
You can take the opportunity to build your brand, or someone else's. Gaining peoples thrust and building a reputation is hard, but very critical! Fifty thousands active users are worth about one million dollars.
49
ranrub 2 days ago 0 replies      
Is this really just a webview that loads m.facebook.com?
50
abannin 2 days ago 1 reply      
Congrats! This is really awesome. You've found some amount of product-market fit, and that is really really amazing. I think you should keep going, as this is when things start to get hard. You've cleared a few hurdles, and now you need to clear some very different obstacles.

From the countless hours that I've spent trying to figure out how to get users to give me money, I can confidently say that a surveying your users about monetization is the worst data you will ever see.

I can also say, with 200% confidence, that ads are not the right decision at this point. Here is why:1) They aren't your users. These are FB users, and if you start showing ads to them, FB will view this as stealing ad space from FB. Not a good spot to be in.2) The geo distribution seems pretty clear that the light weight solution is a compelling feature. Ad SDKs are notoriously heavy on the binary, sometimes 20MB. Ads also use a large amount of data and are often slower than everything else. Most web pages could load in a fraction of time if they dropped the ads. So, putting in ads seems to kill the biggest feature of your app.

I don't buy the argument that you can't monetize that geo distribution. It's true that those geos are overlooked by larger companies, but that also means less competition. Just know that you're fighting for low ARPU users. Whatsapp used this strategy wonderfully. When their competitors were fighting over iPhone penetration in the US, they were building for feature phones in similar geos. They also kept the price point low, keeping in mind they had lower ARPU users.

I suspect that your best solution would be to find a compelling in-app-purchase (IAP). To do this, you'll need to start knowing everything about your users. What features do they use? What features do they not use? When do they use the app? What do they want to accomplish with the app? Remember, Line started selling stickers when everyone could use emotiacons. Sometimes the winning business model is the thing that no one thought to try or everyone thought was too dumb. What is FB missing from the experience that you could add? I've always been impressed at how user's actions can be the opposite of what they say. Your users will reveal their intent by what they do, so watch them very carefully.

I suspect a very telling analysis would be to start comparing users who hit the day-7 mark and leave vs those who hit the day-7 mark and stay. My guess is that you'll start seeing some patterns about how retained users are interacting with the app, and then double down on that.

As a side note, your DAU to installs ratio seems to imply poor retention for a social app. This may be because the growth is targeting the wrong type of user. Regardless, this is a number that you'll probably want to get to know very well. If you do have lower-then-average retention, find a way to turn it into a strength with other numbers that are really impressive, such as engagement.

This is really, really awesome and you should be proud of what you have accomplished. The next stage of growth will be harder to scale, but the bragging rights are a few orders of magnitude higher up there. Keep it up!

51
antigirl 2 days ago 0 replies      
Wouldnt the users get a better experience using the browser rather than using webview wrapped site?
52
maerF0x0 2 days ago 0 replies      
Do the whatsapp thing. Free for 1 year. $1 afterwards. Its affordable even in all those countries.
53
zkhalique 2 days ago 0 replies      
Yes, add google admob and facebook audience network ads, and a way to turn them off
54
mbesto 1 day ago 0 replies      
Make a pro version with a few extra features and sell it for $2.99.
55
julienmarie 1 day ago 0 replies      
FYI, Philippines is an English speaking country.
56
codecamper 2 days ago 1 reply      
You spent an hour to write an app? ok.
Ask HN: Is JavaEE dead?
8 points by Raed667  14 hours ago   19 comments top 10
1
canadiancreed 5 minutes ago 0 replies      
If it's dead, someone should tell the recruiters that keep spamming my inbox. I've had four in the last month asking if I'd be interested in working on some JavaEE projects, even though I have no experience in that (they probably see Java and run with it)
2
arisAlexis 2 hours ago 1 reply      
I am not sure people are responding to your question because it is not clear. Would you consider a servlet application server and an app that uses it JavaEE even though it is not technically that? Google app engine uses it extensively , Spring framework is built on it.Dropwizard is very popular for building REST servers and Jersey too (and it is part of JavaEE 7) but these can also be used with a JavaSE stack and a fast servlet server.
3
needusername 5 hours ago 0 replies      
Define dead. Oracle and IBM continue to make a lot of money with their appservers in Fortune 500 companies. It fits their large bureaucracies well.

In the open source world things have been looking better. When Oracle dropped commercial support for GlassFish so did interest in GlassFish drop. Some of them migrated to WildFly / JBoss AS/EAP. TomEE has been the only new entry in recent years and from the outside it seems they are struggling to deliver a Java EE 7 (which is two years old) compliant server. Geronimo will be closed down soon. Resin is in its on niche.

The other question is how you define Java EE. If you're using JPA in Tomcat, is that Java EE? If you're using Bean Validation in Spring Boot, is that Java EE?

But then again, has there ever been a time when Java EE had a good rep even with Java developers or was it always something they had imposed on them by "enterprise architects"?

4
CyberFonic 10 hours ago 0 replies      
I come across many legacy systems that use JavaEE in my sysadmin work.

After a bit of searching I found that the jobs typically may be found by searching for "Java Enterprise" - surprisingly nothing turned up for me with the search term "JavaEE". Of course, it depends which job board you are using in your search - I tried Monster & Seek.

5
theandrewbailey 13 hours ago 1 reply      
If you want to work in a big corporation or bank, then Java (or even C#/.NET) is a good thing to have. If you want to work at a startup, it's not that valuable.

For the past few weeks, recruiters have been calling me a few times a week saying that they have Java positions that they need to fill, so it's absolutely not 'dead'.

6
peterashford 8 hours ago 0 replies      
IMO JavaEE has always sucked. That said, some big corps have invested a lot of money in it and I doubt it'll be gone any time soon.
7
akulbe 7 hours ago 1 reply      
Yes, it's worth the time. No, it's not dead, AT ALL.

http://www.tiobe.com/index.php/content/paperinfo/tpci/index....

"The TIOBE Programming Community index is an indicator of the popularity of programming languages."

Java is #1.

Android apps are based on Java. It's not going anywhere any time soon.

8
thoman23 13 hours ago 0 replies      
No, not dead. And a foundation in Java will still help if you do transition to another language (read: Scala) in the future.
9
toolsadmin 14 hours ago 3 replies      
Unfortunately not yet. JavaEE, and JSF specifically is garbage.
10
lsllc 9 hours ago 2 replies      
Forget J2EE, Java itself is dead. It got a bit of a shot-in-the-arm when Google chose it as a language for Android and it's had some activity around the JVM (e.g. Scala and also Twitter's fork of OpenJVM). But it's dead.
Visiting San Fran Looking to meet with startups
2 points by justme24  8 hours ago   5 comments top 3
1
CyberFonic 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Have you thought of doing some research? There are lots of startups, but which ones would you be interested in working for? Which ones could benefit from your skills and experience?

Perhaps connecting with people in your field, e.g. through forums for the products / frameworks / languages / whatever you use might open some doors.

You might also want to edit your post, put some information in there that would attract the attention of would-be employers. As it currently stands, I think quite a few people would be put off by it.

2
dylanjermiah 1 hour ago 1 reply      
How do you plan to move to the US?
3
brudgers 7 hours ago 1 reply      
Typo in title, might want to edit it.
Ask HN: Cheap places to stay in the Bay Area?
4 points by kevbam  14 hours ago   6 comments top 4
1
BrandanUC 7 hours ago 0 replies      
If you decide to go with a hostel I'd recommend http://www.adelaidehostel.com/mb/ very clean and safe with good wifi and free breakfast.
2
jefflinwood 10 hours ago 0 replies      
Camping? You could camp out at McDonald County Park, if you bought a couple of cheap tents and gear from Walmart. Convenient for Sand Hill Road, but not really convenient for SF. You'd need a car.

Otherwise, I'd second the AirBNB apartment idea - I think you could probably skip the "hacker houses" and just look for something where you could get a 2 bedroom apartment.

3
charlesdm 12 hours ago 1 reply      
Can't you rent a nice apt through Airbnb for $160-200 a night? You can probably negotiate a discount as well, if you're staying for 2 weeks.
4
koberstein 13 hours ago 1 reply      
Have you tried couchsurfing.com ?
Cofounder for Ramen Profitable Company
2 points by spremraj  10 hours ago   1 comment top
1
zaroth 8 hours ago 0 replies      
Current corporate structure? Current cap table? Who is on the Board? Are they coming on full time and in the trenches with you? Are they a business partner who is going to be sweating equity, paid a salary, a bit of both? Just a few factors to consider.

One globally applicable rule, in all circumstances at least a 3 month cliff and 2 year vesting period, but typically a 1 year cliff and 4 year vesting. Unless you have a decade of prior experience working with the new hire, and really, even then.

Consider tax implications. E.g. You'll need a 409(a) valuation and you want it to be low. Consider if the new hire will get a Board seat.

Most importantly good luck and have fun. Remember it should be an enjoyable experience and trust your gut. In general a smaller slice of a big pie is better than a large slice of "ramen profitable". Be wary of "advisors" who say they will make big things happen for your company but aren't the ones who are going to put in the sweat, blood, and tears to make it happen.

Just a side note, your first paragraph is a bit of a red flag. If you can't find people to work with you on an idea, especially considering you've been through 2 accelerators, it's not likely that geography is the primary cause. Remember, sales is about selling ice to Eskimos and selling people on your startup is a Founder's #1 job.

Ask HN: Career Worries
8 points by Cezve  19 hours ago   11 comments top 8
1
Rifu 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Echoing the sentiments here. If you can afford to take the degree (both financially and time-wise) then I think you should go for it. There will always be positions waiting for you after you get your masters, but the reverse doesn't necessarily hold true.
2
techdevman 19 hours ago 1 reply      
The MSc option sounds best to me, especially if it is a one-time chance to get such an opportunity. It will give you a better foundation in the fundamentals of computer science and software development.

Meanwhile, you can do side projects that apply what you are learning or that help you learn new technologies that your course work won't cover.

3
philjr 16 hours ago 0 replies      
Take the MSc option and you'll end up getting a slightly wider variety of experience along with some potentially valuable connections and colleagues. There's lots of time for work in the future. Sounds like financially you're not that concerned about full time work and my advice with the MSc, if you're able, is to pursue as much "further study" / programming in your spare time as is possible.
4
jtfairbank 19 hours ago 0 replies      
Get the education. I loved mine (the CS part at least). And then push yourself to complete side projects during free time- they'll boost your CV and allow you to practice what you learn in class.
5
cblock811 16 hours ago 0 replies      
Get the degree. I'm also from a nontraditional background, been in the tech industry a little over a year. I can tell you that filling the gulf of knowledge you lack will be much easier if you do the MSc program. You'll have to really ramp up but it'll be very rewarding.
6
JSeymourATL 19 hours ago 1 reply      
> But a part of me keeps nagging at me: This is what youve been planning...

Can you find a way to leverage both opportunities, pursue your MSc abroad while working remote part-time? Your employer would likely benefit having you plugged in while learning the very latest technologies.

7
atmosx 17 hours ago 0 replies      
Combine both: Go for the degree. If you have spare time and feel like you can give at least 10-15 hours per week in a remote job, do it.
8
petervandijck 18 hours ago 0 replies      
Get the degree.
Ask HN: How to respond to recruiters who barely speak English?
6 points by feybay  21 hours ago   6 comments top 5
1
JSeymourATL 21 hours ago 1 reply      
> How to respond to recruiters who barely speak English?

Ignore them; overseas recruiters are indicative of low-rent clients and bottom feeders. Having your CV associated with them damages your brand.

A few suggestions--Remove your resume from the job boards immediately. Instead, focus your search on companies and senior executives who you can help. Linkedin is good for this. (BTW, I'm assuming you've punched up your profile.) Do look for seasoned, established stateside recruiters who focus on your industry or market. Reach out to them selectively. One way to get on a serious recruiters side-- show interest in what they are working on, ask how you may be able to help them. There is power in a networking relationship.

2
informatimago 21 hours ago 0 replies      
Ask them their native language, and start talking in it, of course.
3
chrisbennet 21 hours ago 0 replies      
"I'm sorry, I can't understand you. Just send me an email thanks. Gotta go. Click"
4
sarciszewski 18 hours ago 0 replies      
The correct answer is to not respond.

Seriously, they're not going to be able to sell you to a prospective client if their English is clearly that terrible. It does more harm than good to have your name associated with them.

5
notahacker 19 hours ago 0 replies      
Don't?
Beside a startup, what are the other ways to significant wealth for a dev?
194 points by soulbadguy  2 days ago   173 comments top 42
1
fishcakes 2 days ago 1 reply      
Here are a few ideas:

- Selling enterprise software (you can make 10%-20% of an 8 or 9 figure deal)

- Selling securities in some form or another (you make ~5% of deals worth potentially hundreds of millions of dollars)

- high leverage consulting (solving very hard tech problems for lots of people. for example: I have a friend who helps a whole bunch of computer vision companies and makes a ton. Another friend is an SEO expert.)

- Patenting core technologies and selling those patents (A buddy of mine sold his patent for $10M)

- "platform based land grabs". Think of the people who bought tons of domains early in the Web's history. Or the first guy to make an emoji app on iOS. These are different than "starting a company" as you really only need a product and can pull it all off on your own. I suspect there will be more of these in the future.

All of these require creatively navigating business as well as being an awesome dev.

2
zamalek 2 days ago 2 replies      
1. Startups have happiness potential for developer not only because of the monetary wealth but also because of the wealth of the challenges faced. Developers live for tricky puzzles to solve and startups are one place that you can get them. Startups aren't the only place where you can find challenges (as you've noted).

The monetary wealth typically comes from stock options. Stock options are a promise that you can buy stocks at a certain price at some point in the future (when they become available, e.g. during an investment or IPO). Options are how you become an overnight millionaire. Startups aren't the only place where you can earn options.

You'll typically find that companies that aren't publicly traded have stock options (ask about them in your interview). It's not something that's exclusive to startups - I have options in a 10 year old company and have cashed in some of those options.

2. Yes.

3. Accrue wealth like anyone would. Developers earn relatively high salaries (whether they work for a startup or not) and hence have an easier time getting into the situation where money works for them.

However, even one of those developers who earns $1 000 000 can have no wealth if they waste it all. Someone who earns $75 000 can amass a fortune. It all comes down to how well you manage your money. If you do something to get rich quick chances are you are going to end up penniless. It takes time, discipline and a brain.

There is no quick road to material wealth.

Money does not make you happy, it merely multiplies what is already there. It's a catalyst. If you're already happy, money makes you happier. If you're already sad, money will make you miserable.

3
starmole 2 days ago 9 replies      
It really depends on skill and motivation. If your motivation is only money you are unlikely to succeed.

Personally I am a big corp dev and making >600k/year on track to retire at 40.

But you do not get there by trying for the salary. Try to be good, no exceptional, at what you do. Become valuable and you will be paid. But your motivation should be your craft and not money.

I believe the same applies for startup founders too. As a dev in startup land you are at a disadvantage though - the fail or rise of the company is much more about sales and biz than tech.

I think as a dev big corps are the way better bet. Not much to loose, but possibly high payout. Startups very rarely pay out for devs.

4
tslug 2 days ago 1 reply      
1. No.

2. Yes.

3. Respect the people you want to help you. For instance, let's say you want a bunch of people to take the time to read and answer difficult, open-ended questions for free in a way that could lead to vast personal wealth for you. You could demonstrate your respect for them by showing them the courtesy of proof-reading your post. As the questions are so broad, you also could show respect by sharing what you've learned in the research you've done so far to help educate them and to narrow down what you're looking for. You could demonstrate even more respect by thanking the authors of particularly good contributions.

5
sosuke 2 days ago 4 replies      
A general rant, when someone asks about how to make reasonable wealth, significant wealth, or to get richer than you would be as a salaried worker I assume they are interested in getting into the 1% or higher bracket of earners.

Someone making 6 figures asking how to get more wealth probably doesn't care they are in the top 10%. They are looking up, not down. Saving half their salary isn't realistic for a single income family, and would even be tough for a dual income family.

They probably don't care to listen to the "money isn't everything" advice from the rich. Yes, everyone knows that money isn't everything, and everyone knows that money isn't everything when you've already got it. I have relatives making choices between feeding themselves or their pet for the day, money means a great deal up to a point, and then there is a big gap where it doesn't make much difference. Then after that gap is breached is starts to make a huge difference again.

Unfortunately, for the number of times this question is asked, the number of times I've asked it of myself, there are no silver bullets or proven paths. I have to stop ranting now it is late, I am tired. (^_^)b

6
danieltillett 2 days ago 2 replies      
I am surprised no one has suggested the traditional and still very popular way which is marry someone wealthy.
7
sblom 2 days ago 0 replies      
I worked with a test engineer at Microsoft who started in 1999, which was after the get-rich-on-stock-options days at the company. He spent 15 years living below his means, and recently retired from the tech world forever. He didn't need any tricks or secrets to pull it off, just living frugally and saving tons of money. I suspect I'm way behind him despite earning more and even having a wife who used to earn a software salary as well. Makes me wish I would have saved more aggressively to date.
8
madaxe_again 2 days ago 3 replies      
As someone who has spent their 20's accruing "significant wealth" through a startup (I am by no means loaded, but have not worried about money at all in ~3 years), I'll tell you now - it's overrated.

Money can buy you happiness, but it's an inefficient exchange mechanism - unless you roll two sixes, the amount of work and bullshit that goes hand in hand with growing your "worth" usually exceeds the reward - and that reward for most is tantalisingly close but always "a year or two" away.

Monetary wealth is a means - it is "gas in the tank" - but it isn't the end. The end is your own happiness and wellbeing, and there are much easier ways to secure this than through wealth.

If I'd known what I know now, I would have moved to a hut up a mountain a decade ago rather than going into business. Now I am responsible for the livelihood of dozens directly, thousands indirectly, and while I may have made myself a very comfortable gilded cage, it is a cage, and the cost of my wealth has been my freedom.

9
jcoffland 2 days ago 1 reply      
Contracting! Many people, most of them non-contractors or people who have limited contracting experience will tell you contracting is risky. If you are good it's actually much more secure than getting a "real" job, once you get going. You can't really get fired and as long as you are able to juggle a few clients at a time you will always have plenty of work. If you can consistently deliver results faster than the average deskjocky you can earn a lot of money too.
10
sosuke 2 days ago 0 replies      
Keep making products until one sticks, then keep making products until one shows potential, then keep making products until you've gotten a product that can support you, then keep making that product until it plateaus or you consider yourself successful. If that last product isn't enough, repeat the cycle.

Product could be SaaS, software, consulting, contracting.

11
m-i-l 2 days ago 0 replies      
1. No, startups aren't the only way to "significant wealth". In fact, in my experience, startups are something of a lottery, i.e. you only a very small chance of making a lot of money. For every success story you read there will be many more failures. But having said that, it can still be worth founding or working for a startup because you can often learn a much broader set of skills than you can at a big company.

2. Yes, I have heard about a small number of exceptionally highly paid developers too. However, I suspect this is incredibly rare, perhaps with a similar or even lower probability than making your fortune at a startup. Unless you have some extraordinarily talent and are aware of this and in a position to able to exploit this (but I doubt you would be asking the question if this was the case).

3. I would have thought your best chance of making enough money to reach financial independence is the usual unexciting advice: (i) work hard to get an above average salary, (ii) live frugally and save as much as you can, (iii) invest what you save carefully, (iv) continue this process for many years. If there was a sure-fire quick and easy way of getting rich, I'm sure more people would be doing it, or you wouldn't be reading about it here.

12
eignerchris_ 2 days ago 0 replies      
It really depends on your definition of wealth. Most engineers I know clear 100K+ pretty easily after a few years of experience. If you're in a hot market or sector, you can easily earn $180k+ after 5-8 years. If you produce consistent value for a business, $225k is definitely achievable.

Understand that by making $100k+ you're basically in the top 10-15% of earners in the U.S. [1]. Make $180k/yr and you're in the top 4%.

And realize that plenty of people who make >$150k spend like crazy trying to keep up with the Jones. Plenty of people who make $80k/yr spend wisely end up having more "wealth" in the end.

[1] - http://www.financialsamurai.com/how-much-money-do-the-top-in...

13
alttab 2 days ago 3 replies      
Save half of what you make, diversify your investments, and pay down your debt. Do this for 15 years and you will be rich with your skills.
14
heyalexej 2 days ago 2 replies      
"Significant wealth" can mean many different things. I've seen Derek Sivers speaking at multiple conferences. He has a very interesting question that I since ask myself and others: "What do you optimize your life for?". When you find the answer to that question, it gets easier to go from there.

Robert Kiyosaki and other wealthy people state that wealth is measured in time. Can you not work for x weeks, months, years and still make money or at least maintain status quo? If you can, you're probably already wealthy and doing better than the vast majority of people out there.

We all love to read success stories of startup founders where it escalated quickly and they got out with a huge amount of money. These people however are not a good representation of what's out there. Most wealthy people I've met over the course of my life do things that not a lot of people think about and take for granted. They're sometimes rather boring, not glamorous, not innovative things like selling sausages, web hosting, web development services, selling plain white shirts, toilet paper, pipe fittings, cleaning businesses, restaurants and so on. These people then invest their proceeds in other "boring" assets like real estate, other businesses, fonds etc. with a long term view.

A lot of these people moved from being a specialist (consultants, chefs, programmers, contractors) to business owners. Not working in but on the business. Hiring other specialists, people who do the grunt work, the sales, the programming and so on. They then invest their proceeds into assets that will continue to generate money at different percentages even after they completely stop working.

In your particular case that could mean that you could start with very specialized consulting work. Then slowly transition into providing tooling for a monthly fee. Then slowly removing yourself from the business as much as you can. The beauty of it is that monthly recurring revenue is compounding. Also have a look into SWaS (Software With a Service) http://www.tropicalmba.com/swas/.

Investing/saving $5K a month for 15 years with an expected rate of return of 7% and an expected inflation rate of 3% will bring you to a place where you end up with a balance of ~$1.5MM (or $1MM after inflation) to your name. Would that make you wealthy in your books?

15
crimsonalucard 2 days ago 1 reply      
There's something we all can do if we work together to get each of us paid north of 200k a year.

Form a software developer union.

16
patio11 2 days ago 2 replies      
I'll answer the questions you asked, then give you a better question:

AppAmaGooBookSoft are probably not what you're thinking of when you say "startups" and 5-10 years in any of them will make you quite wealthy indeed, by the standards of e.g. the American middle class.

Do some devs make north of $1 million a year? Yes, for a value of "some." (If you put a gun to my head, I'd say "Maybe 5% of the engineering workforce at AppAmaGooBookSoft. Possibly modestly higher than that in finance.") The shortest path to it is "significant contributions to a major revenue driver for a large company combined with aggressive negotiation."

Depending on where you draw the bar for "wealthy", there are a lot of dev-related businesses which can get you there. Consultancies with employees throw off a lot of money on a yearly basis and also build value which can be sold. Profits for a well-managed e.g. Rails consultancy are on the order of $2.5k~$10k per employee per month (math here: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=7155387), so if you run a 10-person consultancy, you do pretty well for yourself via distributions while also drawing the market salary you're paying all the employees.

There exist many product businesses which are primarily or largely software in character. There exist hundreds of software companies which toil in relative obscurity whose founders are (generally very quietly) millionaires even when one doesn't count the value of the company itself. I built a consulting career off of working for SaaS companies with, in the main, $10 to $50 million a year in revenue. There exist lots of them. The rough economics are often 10% COGS 10% marketing 10% G&A 50% salaries 20% "whatever the owner feels like."

Many of these paths will not involve you being primarily working on compilers and dev tools. (Compilers are a tough sell -- dev tools perhaps less so. There exist plenty of great small dev tools companies.) Even if that is what your business actually makes money on, you will probably have to a) get into business and b) spend the majority of your cycles on building the business rather than building the thing the business makes, unless you take the well-compensated employee route.

There are your answers. Here is my question: what do you want out of life? What does "wealthy" mean to you? What motivates your desire to retire early?

I once wanted to retire early, but that was a symptom of the underlying affliction "I hated what I was doing for a living." If you see wealth as an opportunity to choose to spend most of your cycles on something other than what you presently do for a living, you probably can achieve that without being sold-a-startup-now-I'm-loaded wealthy. Some of the happiest people I know run quiet little cottage industry software businesses on the Internet in preference to the day job. Most don't have seven figures in the bank, but their day-to-day lifestyle might resemble that of a "gentleman of means."

If you want to have sufficient free cycles to study something, consider as an option "Create some enduring source of value which solves the sustenance-for-myself-and-family problem with the minimum number of hours required per week; spend my freed-up-time studying rather than filing TPS reports."

17
PaulRobinson 2 days ago 0 replies      
The myth that growing the value of equity is the only way to make significant money is a lie, perpetuated to keep you working for somebody else until you have "the big idea".

What if you started a company as an LLP with some smart colleagues and you shared in the growth of each other's talents? What if you created a co-operative?

Come to think of it, what's your goal? To be rich, or to be able to go back to school without worrying about money? The two are not the same. I doubt that most of the open source developers you've heard of can rock around in a Ferrari but they are doing what they love and are happy: haven't they effectively got to the point you wanted to, but without the need to slog out to the point of having piles of money?

I'd also as an addendum suggest diving into the [/r/financialindependence](http://www.reddit.com/r/financialindependence) community - lots of ideas there.

18
dleskov 2 days ago 2 replies      
I am with a small company focused on compilers and managed runtimes (JVM), and I can tell you that _good_ compiler consultants are in high demand. For instance, I had a discussion with a CEO of such specialized consultancy looking for GCC specialists last year, and he said that LLVM engineers are even harder to come by.

I also see processor startups popping up all the time that need compiler/tools engineers badly.

Overall, I'd repeat what others have said: "save a lot and invest your savings wisely."

19
joetech 1 day ago 0 replies      
There are ways to make a lot of money with affiliate marketing, but that can involve a lot of trial and error and can (usually does) involve bootstrapping with a lot of your own cash or a credit card. Although I know of at least one person who turned millionaire after bootstrapping by maxing out his credit cards, I would never suggest doing that. It's a deep hole to climb out of if you fail and for every success story, there's probably 100 failures not talked about. In short, the successes I've seen involve buying advertising to get people to a landing page that generates leads with commissions that (hopefully) pay you back more than you spend getting the traffic. It's a delicate operation that pays well only if you get the landing page and affiliate choices right.

I've also seen wealth generated with mailing lists. This is another affiliate marketing play that can be done without feeling too spammy and can still add value to the user.

Similar to a mailing list, a forum can be easy to set up and maintain. Also like a mailing list, if you create a large enough user base, advertising can pay off.

One of the better earners is a subscription model for just about anything. Software provided for free with a "premium" set of features for $x per month is a good way to generate a user base more easily.

A couple things to keep in mind:1. You will almost always have more success when you're passionate about the subject matter.2. It will take time. Most overnight successes are preceded by years of ramp-up.

20
hkmurakami 2 days ago 0 replies      
How much do you need in your nest egg to fully retire?

Now, how much would you need in your nest egg to feel comfortable about being picky about where you work and what you work on, trading in some of your income for mission/learning/location/people etc.?

Once you have these numbers (which depends on your life stage and costs of living), then you can start backtracking and figure out what kind of money you'd need to make and whether it makes sense for you. That will leave you with the universe of options available, which may be wider than what you're considering right now.

21
wsc981 2 days ago 2 replies      
Like others have suggested in this thread: contracting.

Ideally find clients who are willing to work with remote contractors. Emigrate to a "poorer" country and save money. For example, people in Thailand earn on average around 500 EUR a month (from what I've read). If you can manage to work for western clients who perhaps pay you 10.000 EUR a month (40 hour work weeks), you will be able to retire extremely quickly.

22
chrisbennet 1 day ago 0 replies      
I'm not trying to be flippant, but have you considered finding something you like enough that you don't look forward to retiring?

I get paid (well) to do stuff I love so it is possible and possibly easier than becoming wealthy. I think loving your "work" will put a lot more happiness "under the curve" than waiting until you retire to be happy - even if you retire early.

23
soulbadguy 1 day ago 0 replies      
A lot of good answers, and lot of good advices. But it seems there is a lot of assumptions on my motivations and personal view on moneys.While i think that those aren't strictly necessary to answer the question, i guess i am asking a personal question so it's only fair if people some assumptions. So in no particular order , i am sharing my perspective on some the recurring themes :

1 - Why do i want money (or why do i want a lot if it :)) :I am not interested in a luxurious or grandiose life style. For me money is to buy freedom and safety booth for me and the peole i care about. I want myself and them to be able to afford the best of the health care systems, to be able to focus on exactly what we do, etc...etc...

2 - How much is "significant wealth" 10M+

3 - Money shouldn't be the focus, the craft is:I think they both should be. I don't think getting wealthy should be though as a direct consequences of great work.Great work might be correlated or even necessary to building wealth but i don't the former always implies the latter. To get wealth i believe i will have to learn how, much in the same wayi had to learn to be a software dev.

4 - There is no quick fix. stop looking for it.

I am not looking for a quick fix. I am willing to put the hours (hell i am looking forward to it). But i also want to capture and leverage some of the value i will be creating (in a way that's is both legal and ecological)

So again a lot of great idea i didn't though of and i am already reading on all those venues. The idea i am particular interested is consulting : Is there a demand out there for consulting to startup say 30/week for 6 month for some equity in the company ?

Any body in the fanancial market want to share his experience ?

Again thanks for all the great answers

24
ryandrake 2 days ago 0 replies      
Since a lot of people are commenting that the original poster is not being specific in what he or she means by "significant wealth", let me propose a more concrete question:

"Besides a startup, what are some other reliable (close to risk-free) ways to retire at any age with $20 million net worth and $1 million a year in passive income--that a motivated and skilled software developer can achieve starting in his twenties?"

Practical step-by-step advice only, no general platitudes like "just love what you do!" and "don't be in it for the money!" My guess is it's impossible without rolling the dice on business ownership, but I'd love to be proven wrong.

25
Jack000 2 days ago 0 replies      
There's always the "get rich slowly" approach: put a large portion of your income in low-risk investments. This is slow but once you hit a critical mass in capital more interesting opportunities become available. Eg. you could eventually bootstrap your way to buying an apartment complex, parking lot etc.

I think a better question is how do non-computer people create wealth? Devs as a group are already predisposed to having higher income. For my family it has been to work really, really hard, live frugally and invest all disposable income. I'd venture to guess that most wealth creation happens this way - call it the long tail of wealth.

26
dublidu 2 days ago 1 reply      
Devs rarely make $1 million a year, startup or big company. Now if you are 10x better than the average Google/Facebook engineer and can prove it, I think you could negotiate that kind of compensation package as a principal engineer.
27
bandrami 2 days ago 0 replies      
Savings and prudent investment.
28
simplexion 2 days ago 0 replies      
Wealth != money. I feel like I am very wealthy and I make bugger all money.
29
prewett 2 days ago 1 reply      
Save money and invest it wisely in stocks and/or bonds. It's not fast, it's not techy, but it is a tried and true way.

The trick is, you need to figure out what "wisely" is. IMO, if your strategy involves holding on to your stocks, it is probably speculation (=gambling) rather than investing wisely.

30
Sukotto 2 days ago 0 replies      
If returning to school is something you really want to do then there is a third option: go get a job at the school you want to attend.

Just make sure to negotiate your benefits to include the ability to take classes (both the time during your days to attend, and reducing the costs -- preferably to zero -- of attending)

31
pjc50 2 days ago 0 replies      
The same way as everyone else: leveraged property speculation.

If you're really good at maths you could become a "quant". Most of the really high paying developer jobs are unsurprisingly in the financial services industry.

32
Zecc 2 days ago 0 replies      
Apparently you can make millions being an art forger.

https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=9642526

33
involute1344 2 days ago 0 replies      
3 - Marry well.
34
aj0strow 1 day ago 0 replies      
Spend less. Save more. Change companies every 3 years. You'll do fine.

Alternatively make friends with rich people and make them richer. You get a cut.

35
hamburglar 2 days ago 2 replies      
I think the best approach is to stop believing the hype that you went into a vocation that'll net you obscene wealth and instead thank your lucky stars at having entered a field that you (hopefully) enjoy and which also happens to pay a damn good salary. From that point: hard work and perseverance will let you save a pretty respectable retirement fund. And the work isn't even that hard.

I'm sorry to be the grumpy old man in this thread, but asking how to turn your developer job into $1MM/year is like a high school kid planning to play pro basketball.

36
FlaceBook 2 days ago 0 replies      
"I want to be rich, how do I do this?"

Is this yahoo answers?

37
anovikov 2 days ago 0 replies      
Get married to a rich girl. Girls like smart guys.
38
RantyDave 2 days ago 1 reply      
Solve problems for rich clients.

Or steal bitcoin.

39
bsder 2 days ago 0 replies      
Get out of dev, put on a suit and tie, and go suck up doing finance on Wall Street.

Your probability of success is way higher.

40
mauricemir 2 days ago 1 reply      
what do you define as significant? 1M 10M or 100M plus
41
MurWade 2 days ago 0 replies      
email me mustafahossaini@gmail.com
42
jitix 2 days ago 0 replies      
Make a viral app. Something like Flappy Bird.
Ask HN: How does this unicode url works?
2 points by fffrad  15 hours ago   3 comments top 3
3
mc_hammer 15 hours ago 0 replies      
chinese url maybe -- those things are weird
Ask HN: Is a centennial computer feasible?
3 points by Red_Tarsius  15 hours ago   1 comment top
1
ColinWright 15 hours ago 0 replies      
Ask HN: Loosing Interest in Programming After Getting a Job. Any Advice?
4 points by falloutx  16 hours ago   5 comments top 3
1
soham 15 hours ago 1 reply      
It's not about big corp vs startups. It's not about Java or Javascript. It's about finding and working with a team that inspires you.

Those teams do exist, and are perennially looking for good programmers. Move to a tech-hub if you aren't already there, hang out with more tech people, ask probing questions whenever you interview and thus find your corner. I bet that a right team will rekindle your interest (if it's actually lost).

2
gt565k 14 hours ago 0 replies      
Hah, this reminds me of myself.

I worked at some good places and some not so good ones. At one point I worked at a place, and I thought I had it bad, so I left for something supposedly much better. Turns out, it was bad. Worse than my previous endeavors. I felt like I couldn't motivate myself to do anything. No one cared about the quality of the code, why should I? Never the less, I wrote good code, because that's what I believed in, but it still felt empty inside.

I literally thought to myself "Maybe I'm getting tired of being a software engineer and I need to find something else to do"

Then, I pulled up the source code for an old project I worked on. The best project I worked on. The code was beautiful! The project was complex, very involved, and fun. We had a great team that worked hard and solved difficult problems.

And so it dawned on me that I was simply tired of working with people who didn't care and had the wrong motives for getting things done.

This is a process that a lot of engineers / developers go through. Some realize it sooner than others. Some people just don't know better, because they've only had 1 or 2 jobs so they have no point of reference.

And yes, working on anything with Java after experiencing Ruby on Rails is going to make you hate the damn language. But don't do it. Don't hate the language or the framework. Don't be a fanboy. Experience multiple languages and multiple frameworks, as you will see that each has a good use case. Some are better than others for web development. Some integrate better with certain tools.

Don't be the smartest person in the room. Find a place where you can learn from people. Challenge yourself. Learn new frameworks and tools. Network and form long lasting relationships with colleagues. Build cool and fun things. Explore your creativity outside of work. Sooner than later, someone you know will reach out to you, because they value who you are.

3
mcdougle 15 hours ago 0 replies      
It honestly sounds like you're not losing interest in programming, but rather, you're not doing a lot of what you enjoy at your job.

1) You can find a new, more interesting job. It sounds like you've searched around, but you may have to search a little longer to find the right fit. I've heard that many young people go through 5 to 10 shitty jobs before finding one they like.

2) You can talk to the higher-ups about your concerns, if you have a good enough relationship with them. Let them know you feel like your work isn't very engaging and, if they have any more interesting tasks, that you'd like to do some of that.

3) If you're paid well enough, you could just accept that you're not doing what you enjoy, but at least you have a job. I feel like this is what most of corporate society does anyways. You can always do the stuff you like to do in your free time.

When I first started my current job, I was kind of in the same boat. I loved coding and building new things, but found out quickly that what the position required wasn't very engaging or taxing. It was mostly one-off SQL queries and working with SSIS (simple, UI-driven stuff -- it uses programming concepts, but it's very basic). I wasn't building new things, I wasn't working on solving especially complex problems, and it felt like the stuff I was doing could be done by someone who knew far less about software than I do; I was just cranking out simple stuff whenever we needed it. I was probably just overqualified for the position.

I've expressed my concerns and since then, we've started working on cooler, more interesting things, including web development. It's still not the ideal, but it's much better. In addition, I've done consulting work on the side, built a web app (which I hope to ultimately be able to work on full-time), and I've ventured into some non-programming things like real estate.

I probably would've quit and found a different job, but they pay me very well, and I get a lot of leeway, which allows me to work on the other stuff on the side.

I think that a lot of developers probably find themselves in your situation. I don't think it's necessarily the "code-writing" part that's so enjoyable -- it's the problem-solving and building cool things that we love. And when we're stuck in a position where we're not only not doing any of those fun things, but we're wasting our talents on simple things, that's when it gets frustrating.

Consultants: what services do you provide and how do you set your rates?
9 points by seppblatter  1 day ago   7 comments top 2
1
tptacek 20 hours ago 1 reply      
Don't charge by the hour.

It's less important what you start out charging, and more important that you develop the discipline of continuously walking your prices up.

Hardware security is a high-status subset of software security. There aren't that many consultants who can reverse firmware, understand embedded C, or write assembly for a debugger. You should be able to charge a premium to what bread-and-butter software security projects (like web app testing) get. Consider $2k/d your floor (that's what a high-end consultant gets for a bread-and-butter project) and $2.5k/d a rate that probably captures some of the premium for doing hardware work.

Factors on a hardware security project that would tend to "up" the bill rate:

+ Non-X86 non-ARM

+ No source code provided (but this can also be reflected in the project's scope)

+ You have special tooling for the project (for instance, it's MSP430 and you have a really good MSP430 hit tracer)

+ Involves "actual" hardware, like: you'll need to tap a bus, or defeat a JTAG countermeasure

+ Serious RF work

+ Cryptography

"Down" the bill rate:

+ Startup customer, not in a financial vertical

+ Startup customer, has raised less than 5MM

+ Client buys more than 4 pentests per year

+ Competitive bid

+ Minimal software

Source: in 2012 my partners and I sold Matasano Security to NCC Group, which is now the largest software security firm in the US.

2
dsacco 1 day ago 2 replies      
I provide high quality software security consulting for funded startups and enterprises - this includes technical penetration testing and source code review, but also various other things like parachuting in to help developers and managers and solving business/policy issues in the realm of "security." I differentiate my services on several grounds - higher technical proficiency than competitors (many of whom use automated scanners and call it a day) and greater involvement than a simple pen test.

Like many people, I would tell you to frame yourself as someone solving a business problem rather than someone performing a pen test for a client. One is a valuable investment, the other is a commoditized item on a compliance checklist.

I structure statements of work using clauses for 1. scope and definition of the project, 2. approximate dates, 3. rates, including terms of payment/invoicing, 4. limited liability, 5. various other boilerplate and project-specific minutia, such as how and when reports on findings are delivered, etc.

I charge $2000 a day, or $10,000 per week. This is implicit - if you do the math you'll figure it out, but I really just give a final project-based price. A 50% deposit is taken at the beginning of the project and paid towards the final invoice (so 50% at outset, 50% on completion). I know there are many opinions on this; it works, so it's what I do.

I have about five years of experience in information security specifically. Feel free to reply here, or reach out to me via email if you have more questions or want more guidance.

Ask HN: What are other 'Fizzbuzz' type interview questions?
12 points by jabs83  1 day ago   21 comments top 3
1
soham 1 day ago 3 replies      
There are lots of such questions:

1. Reverse a String

2. Find min/max in an array

3. Find/remove duplicates

4. IsPalindrome?

5. Fibonacci (iterative especially)

6. Primes (IsPrime, print first few etc)

7. Calculate Factorial

8. Find one missing number from 1 to N.

9. Basic Run length encoding (values and their counts)

etc.

It's trivial to come up with such questions, but it's not trivial to deliver them and judge a person on it. Before asking any of such questions, I'd urge you to exactly know what you want that person to do and have a sense of where they are coming from.

(I do this stuff for a living. About me: http://InterviewKickstart.com)

2
jgroszko 1 day ago 2 replies      
One I've had asked of me before is reversing a string, and then I was asked to re-implement it so that the string is reversed in place. I like this one over fizzbuzz because it doesn't require the candidate to know about the modulus operator. It lets you see how the candidate reasons around memory and edge cases, which come up far more frequently than modulus.
3
bartonfink 1 day ago 0 replies      
Two I've seen and enjoyed were:

1.) Given a name, print out the appropriate lyrics to the "name game."

2.) Given a word (and the morse code table), output its Morse code translation.

Ask HN: What is current trend on Internet which can be use for nextgen startup?
3 points by Oldmonkk  18 hours ago   2 comments top 2
1
ddorian43 15 hours ago 0 replies      
What is 'nextgen' in this case ? The other place that I've seen this is on consoles, and we know how that worked out.
2
srehnborg 15 hours ago 0 replies      
WebRTC
Am I asking bad questions, or is someone/a bot just being contrary?
2 points by yramagicman  19 hours ago   4 comments top 3
1
jpetersonmn 16 hours ago 0 replies      
I don't think it's bot, just lots of grumpy people with nothing better to do. I quit going there because instead of getting help, I'd get down voted because of simple typos, etc... I still use it a lot, but don't really ask my own questions any more. I also refrain from answering questions as that invites a bunch of know it all's down voting my answer because it's not as slick as theirs. Way too much down voting going on there. But in their defense, there are way to many people asking the same questions over and over without searching. (not suggesting you did, just an observation)
2
kttmrt 17 hours ago 1 reply      
You could try asking that question on http://codereview.stackexchange.com/
3
vixsomnis 18 hours ago 0 replies      
The question looks fine to me, although I can't answer it.
Ask HN: What is the opposite of Y Combinator?
6 points by mangeletti  17 hours ago   8 comments top 3
1
tjr 16 hours ago 1 reply      
I, personally, would be willing to put in 20+ hours a week on a project for equity alone (no salary, ever), as long as I knew somebody from the business side was invested mentally and monetarily in it, and I imagine there are a lot of other folks like me out there.

Without making an express commitment (either in general or to 20 hours weekly), I too would be interested in donating at least some hours of work in exchange for equity, however tiny.

Interesting concept. How might such an equity employment pool be set up? I'm imagining that a part-time equity worker could either be devoted to a single startup, or could select tasks from some sort of cross-company todo list. (E.g., one person might be especially good at Task X, and does that for a bunch of companies.)

2
brudgers 12 hours ago 0 replies      
TANSTAAFL.

If I were a pure business person, I'd let you work for equity with the intent of structuring any exit, and as business person that would be my job, in such a way that the value of your equity would be as small as possible and mine would be as large as possible for what else could "pure business" be all about?

And if it makes me sound like some kind of sonofabitch, well that's how the Venture Capital funds would probably be treating me without a guardian angel on Sandhill Road. Which to my point is what's the normative case for any naive approach? It's that the naive person walks away with nothing because "being naive" means the person is vulnerable to the wolves, and wolves being wolves and not lapdogs aren't really interested in letting you step in their pudding.

Good luck.

3
cspags 10 hours ago 0 replies      
You could try signing up at https://www.cofounderslab.com/. I've had a number of people reach out to me who are looking to partner with a developer.
Is there a popular second hand marketplace other than CL/eBay/Kijiji?
2 points by taylorscollon  19 hours ago   1 comment top
1
speedyapoc 7 hours ago 0 replies      
For which type of goods? At least for mens fashion, one secondhand site that has blown up recently would be Grailed (http://grailed.com).
Ask HN: Developer Health Study Contribute
9 points by jmprobert  1 day ago   discuss
Ask HN: Why do websites ignore HTTP_ACCEPT_LANGUAGE?
10 points by decasteve  1 day ago   5 comments top 2
1
Piskvorrr 1 day ago 0 replies      
From stats ("site lang set by header and then changed by user"), most browsers are misconfigured (Everyone Is American, yay! Except those weird people who are not, oh well, let's send an accept-language of en-US anyway.)
2
junto 1 day ago 2 replies      
This is a personal pet hate of mine. As an English speaker in a non-English speaking country I have everything targeted at me in the wrong language.

What annoys me the most is that it is a huge waste of resources to target ads at me in the wrong language, especially when my browser is passing my preferred language preferences.

Now multiply that by the millions of people who are being mistargetted by ad delivery companies (Google I'm looking at you). What awful losses.

Ask HN: Do you think Stripe will go public?
7 points by nodesocket  1 day ago   4 comments top 3
1
davismwfl 11 hours ago 0 replies      
They have 1 of 2 options. Go public or be acquired. Either way they are obligated to provide their investors with the best return possible. Personally as a user of Stripe I would really like to see them stay independent and go public themselves so they can mostly control the culture and customer experience. Being acquired may mean their culture is changed or their focus gets jacked around.
2
yarrowy 1 day ago 1 reply      
well there's actually some competitors coming up that's offering lower transaction fees. Forte.net is offering 2.15% + 25c per transaction. Mastercard has a competitor as well 2.85% + 30c
3
adventured 1 day ago 0 replies      
It's not a question of if, it's a matter of when they go public or get bought by one of the giants. Visa, Mastercard, Discover, AMEX, PayPal are all candidates for trying to buy them.

PayPal itself got caught in one of these types of decisions. The dotcom bubble peaked around Nov 1999; PayPal was founded (merged) around Dec 1998; they IPO'd in Feb 2002 with the Nasdaq having lost about 50-60% of its value at that point. July 2002 eBay bought PayPal, with the Nasdaq on the floor that Summer, having lost ~75% of its value. This was a massive mistake of timing, the Nasdaq doubled within about 16 months after that Summer of extreme lows. PayPal undervalued itself dramatically by selling when it did, timing the sale exactly wrong.

Venture capitalists have poured $190 million into Stripe. They're going to require an exit, it's a question of whether Stripe catches this stock market boom period, are forced to wait until the next one (potentially 5-10 years or more), or they miss this window and sell themselves to a big acquirer in a few years instead.

The business they're in doesn't quite print money, but it does have solid margins at scale. Visa prints money - $12.7b sales, $5.4b profit (incredible margins). Instead of Visa's 42% hyper net income margin, Stripe might reach 15-20% at scale (more like PayPal's).

Ask HN: I have a product that makes tens of $ a month. What should I do?
7 points by smcavinney1  1 day ago   15 comments top 8
1
saluki 1 day ago 1 reply      
Congratulations on executing, launching and getting customers.

I expect you have a list of emails of previous signups(in a backup of your db), send out a personal email to each one thanking them for giving you guys a try, what did you like/not like about the app. What feature could we add or change that would get you to sign up again. Get some feedback and see if there is a killer feature you're missing that would gain/keep customers.

Try sending emails to pet sitters inviting them to join.

Is there a feature you could add that would benefit the pet owner, maybe a live chat, photo uploads, live updates on a status page that the pet sitter could add to and the owner could check periodically. Maybe drop brochures at vet offices and try to get pet owners to require their sitter uses your app.

You're probably charging too little . . . although Petsitters might have a lower comfort zone that most b2b apps but your sister was paying $99 so maybe $49 is a better price point.

I would second going with digital ocean. $5 to $10/mo plan would probably work easily for 8 total users.

Definitely think about it as a learning experience. Learn more about marketing, A/B testing, user engagement.

Track how often users are logging in, track users that visit the cancellation page and don't cancel (follow up with users who aren't engaged or thinking about canceling send them a personal email and offer a tutorial/on-boarding session so they are getting value out of your app.

Email each user that cancels and try to get some feedback on why they left, ways you can improve.

Listen to Startupsfortherestofus, lots of good info there.

Patio11 also has lots of great gems in his articles, HN posts and podcasts.

Good luck.

2
bb01100100 1 day ago 1 reply      
Fire your brother in law - your business has failed to grow and that failure rests with the person responsible for driving growth through marketing.

Also, consider marketing your product at > $10/month. If a previous (inferior?) product was $99/month, then match that price and market the features your product has, otherwise you marginalise what you've created.Being cheaper is a play that works at scale, but shouldn't necessarily be the reason people choose you.

Does your sister think your offering is awesome, or could you do something to delight her and market this feature/capability as widely as possible?

I could have sworn that you posted a while back here on HN, talking about your start-up.. there can't be that many people who start pet-sitting CRMs... do let us know how you go :)

3
rabidonrails 21 hours ago 0 replies      
If you can sell it to a couple of people, then you should be able to sell it to more. I would take a two pronged approach going forward.

First, focus on explaining the value add of your CRM on your site. The video on the site doesn't really talk about what you do but that people should be using you because you don't offer lots of bells and whistles.

It seems like there are three big value adds:simple schedulingrapid invoice*smart pricing

But, these aren't listed on your landing page. They are listed on your Tour page, but only once you click past the Responsive Design tab (how many pet sitters know or even care about responsive design?). Make it absolutely clear what you offer. (I like your "Get Organized and Efficient" line, as that is really what you're helping the sitter do.)

Second, have your brother-in-law get out and sell. I'm not sure where pet sitters congregate, but maybe just standing in front of a pet store asking people about their pet sitters might net you a couple of leads. If it does, figure out what it takes to close those sales. Then, use those people as testimonials, run a case study and sell off of those numbers.

You might also have some of the pet sitting tutorial-type people on youtube review your software.

Just some thoughts.

4
trcollinson 20 hours ago 1 reply      
A number of folks have given you advise on what to do to keep the business going. But I would suggest sending out an email to your current customers, giving them a shut down date, and then shutting it down. It might sound harsh, but here's why:

You have learned a lot! You made a product, you launched it, you made a little money. That is a fantastic education. But remember not every "business" actually takes off and becomes a business. I have started and given up on a number of great ideas. It's ok to move on to the next idea.

In fact, sometimes it's best to move to the next idea right now. You are in a lull on this idea. It's not working out. It's not sustainable. It will take a significant amount of time to make it sustainable and honestly, will it make you happy? Do you love it? Are you passionate about it? If you are waffling on these at all, then move on and make something great.

I am reminded of a rather well known Angel investor that often tells a story of when she was young having an idea for a particular business. She worked on it night and day for 2 years and didn't make a dime. She was so disappointed as she had to take a part time job selling apartments in New York to make ends meet. Then she realized that this was her real business and passion. She killed off the first business, and made a killing in the second one.

5
yarrowy 1 day ago 1 reply      
Migrate to DigitalOcean, you can probably keep the site on the $5 month plan.
6
LeoSolaris 1 day ago 0 replies      
Find a home for it that keeps the lights on for $80 a month or less, and with any extra, purchase some Google AdWords or Facebook ads. Let it roll on its own for a couple of years till either all of the users are off, or it makes more money. Use it as a learning platform in web design and back end coding. It will look great on a resume if it is still active.
7
ffumarola 1 day ago 1 reply      
Do you have a link to share for some feedback?
8
hesomp 1 day ago 1 reply      
Have you considered selling the product?
Who are the best quiet angels and VCs?
6 points by fivedogit  1 day ago   2 comments top 2
1
MichaelCrawford 1 day ago 0 replies      
Ann Winblad: http://www.hwvp.com/

David Rose: http://www.rose.vc/

Heidi Roizen: http://www.heidiroizen.com/

But also have a read of "The Valley is a Harsh Mistress": http://www.warplife.com/tips/business/stock/venture/capital/...

I personally would not touch Venture Capital with a ten-foot pole.

2
cjbarber 4 hours ago 0 replies      
naval is pretty quiet about his investments, but he's done very well (he blogs and tweets and such but doesn't really hype his investments)

ray tonsing of caffeinated capital, too

Play Date A Free Video Game Release Calendar for iOS
2 points by bustylasercanon  23 hours ago   discuss
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