hacker news with inline top comments    .. more ..    19 Dec 2015 Ask
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Stop looking at HN and go work that thing you promised yourself you'd work on
62 points by sharemywin  2 hours ago   4 comments top 3
toyg 33 minutes ago 1 reply      
New Year Resolution: turn noprocrast on, with maxvisit 5 and minaway 240.
jacques_chester 5 minutes ago 0 replies      
It occurs to me that the folk most likely to see this advice are those least likely to follow it.
markmarrk 11 minutes ago 0 replies      
How'd you know!
Ask HN: Should I drop out of my second bachelors?
2 points by orange_county  1 hour ago   3 comments top 3
watmough 34 minutes ago 0 replies      
Start applying for jobs. If you've demonstrated some talent you should be able to get in somewhere.
Mz 6 minutes ago 0 replies      
This doesn't have to be an either/or situation. There is no reason you can't go looking for a part-time job in the industry and frame it as "looking for a job to help get your through college." Sometimes, employers have a hard time filling weird slots where they want and need quality candidates, but it isn't a full time gig or has odd hours. That might be the perfect thing for a full time student.

If you get said gig and feel like the usual course load for full time is a bit much, you can look at what the minimum hours are to be considered full time to keep whatever grants and the like you may have that are dependent upon full time student status.

When I was in college, typical course load was 3 classes each worth 5 credit hours for a total of 15 credit hours. But one quarter I took the minimum of 12 credit hours because I needed a break from the pressure but did not wish to drop out. Later, I took an overload, 4 full time (5 credit hour) classes for a total of 20 credit hours that quarter. I had to get approval to do it. I think 18 hours was the point at which it was viewed as an overload.

So dig around in the college policies a bit and consider looking for part-time jobs that would help you get your foot in the door.

Best of luck.

abfan1127 1 hour ago 0 replies      
I'd start applying for jobs. You can always continue your schooling while employed. Your new employer may even have a tuition reimbursement benefit you could take advantage of.
Ask HN: So I'm being let go
76 points by 404error  1 day ago   71 comments top 44
graham1776 1 day ago 2 replies      
The one thing I always tell anyone on the job hunt, which few ever seem to take me up on: Informational Interviews.

These are informal "can I take you out to coffee?" talks with people in your industry to see what they are working on, what is happening with them, what is going on in the industry. Every job I have ever gotten is through informal meetings with people I have met through my network (whether its the current newspaper, your friends, parents, relatives, or other).

At the end of every one I ask: "Is there anyone else you think I should talk to?" and "Do you currently have any opportunities at your company for me?". Rinse repeat.

I guarantee investing in 30 informational interviews will yield huge dividends vs. 30 career fairs, a personal pitch deck, starting a blog, dusting off your resume, or God Forbid: applying to jobs through Linkedin.

lollipop25 1 day ago 1 reply      
> Scared because I don't have a degree and at 30 I'm competing with younger, new grads.

10 years work experience > fresh grad with a degree that has no idea what lies ahead. You know the ins and outs of companies, the kind of people you deal with, you don't throw tantrums, deadlines are deadlines.

> I've built banner ads for advertisers, booked online campaigns in various platforms Google DFP, Yahoo APT.

Yep, experience in different platforms is a huge plus.

> I'm a jack of all trades master of none. I've always taken that as an insult rather than a compliment. I hear it as "your mediocre at a bunch of things...not really good at anything."

I hear it as "I know that much, too much." Being a jack of all trades means you know enough to move around. Your wide range of experience allows you to look for a wider range of jobs. You are more flexible to position change. You are no stranger to being moved across projects, across people, across locations.

> what advice do you have for a 30 year old who's about to embark on a new adventure?

- Read up on the latest trends. Most job interviews will have questions about them (though the job itself may not actually use the latest tech).

- Be sharp, concise and confident in job interviews. I've heard from my co-workers who do the interviews for new candidates. They find resumes good, but they fail candidates because they were terrible at interviews.

- Up the ante. Take up higher positions. You probably make a good project manager with that 10 years around people.

mike-cardwell 1 day ago 0 replies      
I was recently made redundant. I had a 3 month notice period. In that time, I learnt Python and Django and built https://parsemail.org using it. I also set up https://hireme.grepular.com with a list of my skills.

The company who hired me were impressed at my skills list (after they'd questioned me on some of it to make sure I wasn't exagerating). They were also very happy to see a lot of very recent work on Github (parsemail.org). They ended up hiring me for a JavaScript role, even though that was far from the strongest thing on my CV, because they believed I could be effective.

So my recommendation is: Be pro-active. Build and learn stuff over the coming months. It will give you more confidence and stuff to talk about in interviews, and it will make you look good.

edw519 1 day ago 1 reply      
Disclaimer: Twice your age and just getting warmed up.

So I'm being let go

Congratulations. Being let go can sometimes be a badge of honor. Anyone who has never been let go has never pushed the envelope enough.

After 10 years at my local newspaper

Wow, that's way too long for anyone, anywhere. Be glad that this is working out that way for you. It's not the 10 years at one place that's the problem, it's all the other stuff you missed by being in that shelter. Now's your chance to discover cool things you may have missed.

I'm nervous, scared, and somewhat excited.

Change "somewhat" to "very". You should be.

I'm competing with younger, new grads.

No, you're not and you shouldn't think of it that way. There's plenty to go around for everyone.

it will force me out of my comfort zone

Good! That's the best way to grow.

I'm a jack of all trades master of none.

So am I. And it's worked very, very well for me. We have too many specialists and not nearly enough people who can visualize the forest and the trees at the same time. They are the ones who make big things happen.

I've always taken that as an insult rather than a compliment.

Wrong. See above.

So HN, what advice do you have for a 30 year old who's about to embark on a new adventure?

Have fun. Stop worrying. Find something you love and give it a shot. At 30, you're still a baby and you have opportunities that you may not have in 5 or 10 years. This is a blessing in disguise. Treat it that way.

NetStrikeForce 1 day ago 1 reply      
It is time to specialize. You say you're a jack of all trades, but you probably have to spend a bit more time thinking about what are you a master on, because I don't believe you haven't become a master on something after 10 years working in the same place.

You might not be an ace with HTML or CSS. Heck, you might not even be a great coder (I suck at coding!), but you've probably learned very valuable lessons about how a local newspaper works and how your work could add value to them.

Can you remember every time you had an opinion about how to do something and it was shut down by someone else? Do you still think you were right? If yes, that means you think you can do better. What about those ideas you've never shared but still think were great?

Why don't you sell this knowledge to local newspapers? You could start an IT consultancy specialized in the newspapers business. You could sell again your services to the same newspaper that just let you go, plus other newspapers in your region.

This is my advice without knowing much about you. I hope it helps you in any way :)

wtvanhest 1 day ago 1 reply      
There are 3 major steps to getting a job (IMO).

1st) Resume + story. Search google for 'Harvard Computer Science Resume' or 'Georgia Tech Computer Science resume' and use their format. There are standard formats that are widely used for top jobs. You then need to get ready for behavioral interviews. This involves getting a minimum of 3-5 PAR stories ready and to think hard about all the stuff you have done over 10 years. Practice them.

2nd) You need to prep for technical interviews. I'm not a coder, but in my field (finance) there is a lot of material available. I know I have seen stuff about technical interviews here.

3rd) Network. Obviously LinkedIn is extremely helpful for locating contacts. Search for past people from the Newspaper, your high school, any groups you are in. For education, I would probably leave it blank rather than putting a high school on there so it doesn't draw attention to you not having a degree.

It will be extremely hard for you to get a job via a career posting. You will need to reach out to friends and ask them for 'advice' and if they know of anyone that you should talk to in their company.

Expect this process to take 4 months. It seems like forever, but it will take a while. That will be fine. Once you have your new gig, you will be in an exciting new industry.

Source: I just got hired by another large company after a search after shutting down my business.

jnovek 23 hours ago 0 replies      
If you're going to post on HN that you're in search of a job, you should probably include a way for interested parties to contact you... because I'm an interested party. :-)

We (OwnLocal; http://ownlocal.com) works through newspapers and other local media companies. Your domain knowledge would be deeply valuable to us.

For what it's worth, none of the stuff you're worried about (too "old", wrong tech, no degree, generalist) really worry me as a hiring manager. We have all those things on our team.

If you're interested, pretty please send me a note -- jason@ownlocal.com.

sharemywin 1 day ago 2 replies      
I wouldn't wait. It's a lot easier to get another job when you have one. When new HR person asks why say looking for better opportunities to expand my skills...don't bad mouth company or puke company drama. Plus if you have stuff in the pipeline you are that much closer to finding something.
mswen 1 day ago 0 replies      
1] Build a capabilities slide deck.

Frame this exercise as what you would prepare if you were given the opportunity to do a 15 minute formal pitch of your capabilities to a room full of potential clients/employers.

Advertising Agencies and Consulting companies often have this as a section of their pitch decks. This is the "generic" part in which they are telling potential clients why they are generally capable and able to handle whatever will come up in the course of the project and they focus on the people and skills that they think make their agency stand-out while also assuring clients that they have all the "table stakes" covered.

The deck will help you with interviews and networking. How do I tell my story succinctly and engagingly?

2] Create an online portfolio website and other mini-sites. Build a portfolio site describing your accomplishments in various projects at your current newspaper job and include URL to relevant page. That portfolio site should also link to 2 or 3 mini-sites that demonstrate various sub-sets of your skills in action.

This is helpful because you can just send someone you are networking with a single URL that lets them explore who you are and what you can do.

3] Map out your skills. For each skill: label, short description, depth of experience, breadth of experience, assessment of your skill level, clear path toward improvement, enjoyment level and local market demand.

What this map will help you to do is decide where to focus your specialization budget, your time, money and intellectual energy. Ideally you would find a skill where you already have a nice breadth and depth of experience, market demand is at least moderately high and that skill has a clear path forward for improvement such as online courses, great books for moving toward expert status. Of the things you have listed, Javascript stands out as the skill that has market demand and a clear path toward expertise on top of your practical experience. It also has the virtue of being demonstrable.

cweagans 1 day ago 0 replies      
We've got a number of PHP/Drupal roles open at NBCUniversal. http://www.nbcunicareers.com/search-results?search_type=crit...

I've been here for just over a year and it's awesome. Highly recommend applying if you see a job that fits your skillset.

digitalzombie 11 hours ago 0 replies      
Shot gun it, applied to everything that is close to your roles.

I told two people this when they have no experiences or very little and no degree. It doesn't hurt and they all got jobs now. One is working for Raytheon the other is somewhere else in a hospital hitting 6 fig as Oracle DBA with a business degree.

Make a nice resume and put it out to every job and learn from each interview. If you're interviewing a tons of web dev jobs, you will encounter similar questions, so just learn from the ones you fudge up.

Never give up.

I always thought I'm not smart, but I've worked in the startup industry and most of the time I'm surprise how little my peers know. I've only been to one start up that had a very very good programming team and that startup had the money to spend on very decent programmers.

If you're 30 and wanna settle down don't do start up, it's risky as hell and very ton hours. I wouldn't take magic monopoly money of equity and stocks unless you like lotteries. I would go to established company.

I did php for 8+ years and everybody thinks PHP dev is disposable compare to other like RoR. RoR seems to get higher pay and stabler jobs imo.

I hit my 30 now and I'm going back to school for another skill set, data science (math/stat/ml). Startup burnt me out and it wasn't worth it, I got some exotic skills on my resume, Scala, Python, etc.. but once you hit older. You don't want 70-80 hrs a week, and can be let go any moment.

supernintendo 19 hours ago 0 replies      
Send your resume / cover letter to as many companies as possible. Probability can be on your side even when the job market isn't.

Know your worth, but also be open to using your pedigree as a stepping stone to positions outside of your expertise. With 10 years of programming experience you can most likely learn enough Ruby in a short period of time to position yourself as a more compelling candidate than a Ruby dev fresh out of code school.

Consider startups. Smaller engineering teams often rely on interdisciplinary roles due to limited resources. Your role as a "jack of all trades, master of nothing" might actually be an asset to early stage companies.

Most importantly, find a healthy way of dealing with stress. Your family is depending you. This is an inherently stressful role to take but don't let stress derail you. Rather, let it motivate you to open this new chapter of you life. You can do it!

I wish you the best of luck with this situation and future endeavors.

debacle 1 day ago 1 reply      
> I've built banner ads for advertisers, booked online campaigns in various platforms Google DFP, Yahoo APT

I don't want to make you feel like shit, but the demand for your skillset (media oriented programming) is declining. The main focuses these days are on JavaScript replacing Flash and mobile development, but apart from that any company in the space is only making money if it is overworking and underpaying its employees (which is easy to do when they are young).

The money in digital media was cheap and easy for a while, but since maybe 2010 more and more people have been trying to get into the space, because the barrier to entry is so low. This has massively driven down rates. If you're a competent programmer outside of media, you can easily pull down 100k+. If you're in the media space, you're working way more hours and pulling down a little bit more than half of that, in my experience.

tl;dr: You need to decide whether you want to stay in the segment of the industry you are in. If you do, you will probably be in this position again in 2-3 years. If you don't, you need to convince someone like me in an interview that you aren't just like every other "WordPress programmer" out there.

ideonexus 1 day ago 1 reply      
> I've spend the last decade working with HTML, CSS, Javascript, PHP and a suite of other tools.

I think this is all we need to know. You have 10 years experience in web development. That makes you a Senior Software Developer at pretty much every company I've ever worked. I don't think you have anything to worry about skills-wise. PHP is still in high-demand. HTML, CSS, and JavaScript aren't going anywhere anytime soon.

Relax. You are in a fantastic position. You will hopefully even get a salary increase with your next job. The local paper couldn't have been paying much. : )

The only concern might be your location. "Local newspaper" makes me think "rural" or "suburban." If you don't live in a city, that might not be a problem (teleworking jobs abound), but where I live (Northern Virginia) I can quit my job today and have recruiters begging me to start somewhere else tomorrow. So just keep that in mind.

Otherwise, I hope you will find yourself very happy this time next year in a new career and all this worry will just be a fading memory.

wglb 1 day ago 0 replies      
I would like to add to what graham1776 said https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=10759722. This is great advice about kickstarting your networking. When I did a retrospective on my career, I realized that the various jobs or gigs that I had were directly related to my informally-developed network.

Networking is a bit time-consuming, but it will serve you well in the rest of your career.

The other thing I would say (as one who has gone through this more than one time. The actual number of times is a trade secret) is don't delay the start of the search. For example, if they parted company with you on Friday, start working on it on Monday. And it sounds like you have a jump on it already.

The other thing to keep in mind is to not spend more than say 30 hours a week on a job search. Despite your relatively positive outlook, it will be quite stressful and it is important to break away from the search activity regularly.

Edit: typos

tixocloud 1 day ago 0 replies      
Regardless of what happens, trust yourself that you have what it takes to make it.

Spend some time to think about what you'd like to be over the next few years and most importantly, know what you're good at and what you're not so good at. List 10 strengths and 10 weaknesses and include both technical and non-technical skills.

Don't dwell on negative thoughts that tell you that you're not good enough. Sure, people with degrees might have an easier ride to get noticed but it's not impossible for you. Be creative. Make a portfolio. Proactively reach out to prospective employers. Learn something on your own. Take an online course.

People who tell you shit like "you're mediocre at a bunch of things.. not really good at anything" aren't worth listening to. Take it with a grain of salt, learn from it but move on. There are plenty of advantages to being a generalist rather than a specialist. But it really depends on what YOU want to do with your life.

cwisecarver 20 hours ago 0 replies      
My second job was at my local newspaper. Started, I think, when I was 19. I lasted five years. I had html, css, js, and php under my belt at that time too. I was and still am a generalist. I think the current term is Full-Stack Developer though.

You should get more experience with other backend languages. Try Python, Ruby, and something slightly exotic like Rust or Scala or Elixir. If you've been there for ten years you've probably gotten comfortable in your stack and your code. Start reading more code. Push yourself to learn something. Get your github up and churning. Contribute to some OSS projects.

You've got experience with highly dynamic websites. That puts you head and shoulders above people that only have experience building landing pages or small business sites. It's a whole different beast to build something that has to respond to a random bit of content flowing into a page and all that entails. You've worked with some of the most set in their ways people on the planet, journalists at a local newspaper.

I'm 35 now and I've stayed, mostly, in the content space since I started at the paper. That's my niche, rather than focusing on a language or front/backend discipline I focused on content. I've had four jobs since working at the paper and I still remember those days as some of the longest days and most fun I've ever had. I'm now making over three times what I made at the paper when I left too.

You can do this but you're going to have to work for it.

Edit: I don't have a degree either.

USNetizen 1 day ago 0 replies      
I once faced the same situation, albeit with kids and a mortgage. Leverage your development background but get a project management certification and start leading some of those younger grads that will need your guidance. Not only will it offer job security, it could be a rather substantial boost in pay as well. That's the path I followed, prior to becoming an entrepreneur at least - where nothing is ever of any certainty, and, even then, I find myself dealing with it a lot better than I ever thought I would.
kafkaesq 1 day ago 0 replies      
I'm a jack of all trades master of none. I've always taken that as an insult rather than a compliment. I hear it as "your mediocre at a bunch of things...not really good at anything.

Take it as a compliment that you've been the undisputed master at One Very Important Thing: understanding your employer's needs and priorities, and doing whatever it takes to make them happy. All that other stuff -- HTML, JS, etc -- is but a means to this end. (And despite all the rantings and ravings by people on this and other sites about the various pros and cons of these tools, most of them are basically expedient hacks, here today, gone tomorrow).

Somewhat excited because it will force me out of my comfort zone.

As you should be. Being forced out of our comfort zones is one of the best ways to start learning new things. Sometimes it's the only way.

I'm sure that years hence, you'll look back at this as a golden opportunity -- that finally gave you the time and space to think about what you really want to do, travel, get that degree, meet that right person, or whatever. And for every employer that sees you as "limiting" yourself by staying at the same gig for 10 years, others will take it as hard evidence of your capacity for loyalty, dedication, and grit -- scarce qualities indeed, in any talent market.

criddell 1 day ago 0 replies      
I'm occasionally involved in the hiring process where I work but I don't have a whole lot of advice to give you.

One bit of encouragement: newspapers (including local papers) and the people who produce them are still highly respected. You presumably have good communication skills and understand community. In an interview, if you can convey confidence and pride in your accomplishments there's a good chance you will make a good impression and that's half the battle.

Regardless of what direction you head off, good luck.

fefifofu 1 day ago 0 replies      
I know what you are going through! I was let go in the spring and was married in the summer (I am working again).

You need to focus on the excited, adventurous emotions and the confidence it brings, which in turn, will help find you a new job.

If you are not confident (eg. believing jack-of-all-trades is a negative, seeing not having a degree as a barrier, thinking a new grad is a better hire than you) then you might not apply to the jobs you have a chance of getting. The nervousness and lack of confidence will come through in the interviews you do get. Others here have provided tips to help: list at the skills you have, put them in a positive light, practice delivering the message in interview and conversational settings. (We all know how much confidence matters when meeting women, same thing.)

A lot of things you mentioned don't matter: no degree, being 30 (you mentioned that 3 times), recently married, same company 10 years, being a jack-of-all-trades. They don't matter because you can't change these things in the short-term. They nervousness and pressure they provide just are distractions. None of those impact the actions you have to take going forward.

MrApathy 1 day ago 1 reply      
Given the shift in your responsibilities over the years it may be worthwhile to take the effort to put together three or four slightly different resumes, each highlighting a different aspect of one of your prior roles. When submitting a resume select the one that most closely matches the responsibilities outlined in the description. Even if you feel like you're master of none, doesn't mean your resume can't have focus.
chrisbennet 9 hours ago 0 replies      
For one thing, don't describe yourself as a "jack of all trades" because that is associated with "and master of none" in people's minds.

Instead, describe yourself as a "Swiss army knife".

facorreia 1 day ago 0 replies      
Knowing several technologies and tools is a good thing. But you really need to pick one to master. It might be PHP web development (or Wordpress plugin development); it might be JavaScript front-end development; or ad campaign management. Something that you get to know very well, and become very efficient in.
mpdehaan2 1 day ago 0 replies      
People understand the straits newspapers are in, so it shouldn't impact your job search negatively. Still, the advice to look now helps - it's easier to say this is why you are looking - because your company is in hard straights, than if you say you were already let go. Not a game ender though.

I believe we all underestimate our own skills, but there's a lot of folks looking for generalists. I don't believe in "full stack" development quite so much, but there are a lot of people looking for it.

Anyway, 30 is a great age -You're just at the point where you are starting to be very marketable and your experience has built up to a value where you can command a lot more value based on having had the experience of all the things you have done before.

JSeymourATL 1 day ago 1 reply      
> Scared because I don't have a degree and at 30 I'm competing with younger, new grads.

The degree piece is almost ALWAYS an issue with flunky HR functionaries. Not so much for the Hiring Executive, he's interested in how you can help him move his agenda forward. Target your job search on reaching out directly to senior executives WHO you know how to help.

Incidentally, suggest reading Gitomer's Little Red Book- unconventional applications to approaching your job search> http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/75890.Little_Red_Book_of_...

cdnsteve 18 hours ago 0 replies      
Every industry is fighting over anyone with a tech background. Having experience in multiple areas is more valuable I'd argue. Someone who can manage online campaigns, throw down some html, js should be able to get into pretty much anywhere.

30 isn't old. You have real experience which grads don't have. Go into everything with a positive and learning attitude and you'll do fine.

jeremymims 1 day ago 0 replies      
At OwnLocal, we like people who understand the news business and have some programming skills.

I'd encourage you to look at our jobs page: http://ownlocal.com/jobs

BradyDale 1 day ago 1 reply      
Wait, so you're a dev, not a reporter?

Where in the world are you? This is an important question.

dustingetz 1 day ago 0 replies      
All IT departments now want people with programming skills, and a lot of people who are already in IT don't like programming. I think you will get offers from most IT departments that you interview at.
27182818284 1 day ago 0 replies      
The degree issue is very stick for some places and not stick for others, but overall I think it is less of an issue than in the last 15 years.

The best thing you did for yourself was learning the HTML, CSS, etc that you did. That is going to get your resume farther, faster, even without a degree. Having been on hiring committees for organizations looking for new copyrighters, etc, there is such a focus on web that it is always a plus to see, even if there are other developers doing the heavy lifting.

clivestaples 1 day ago 0 replies      
I was in the same boat not too long ago. I was 38 with 15 years at a school district job as a systems analyst and programmer. I wasn't laid off or let go but I couldn't do it any more. I couldn't do one more Exchange or VMWare upgrade.

My advice: go hard! Send out your resume. Leaving my cushy job for the unknown has reinvigorated every part of my life: financial, spiritual, marital, parental. It has been easy but it's been very rewarding.

mipapage 1 day ago 0 replies      
I went thru a round of something like this, where I had been a developer+copywriter+editor+salesman for en early internet biz.

While I have a degree related to my field, I found that the network I had built up over the years, thru sales and communicating with people while editing and fact checking, was the path to my next bit of employment.

tl;dr: don't forget that 10 years of relationship building!

chrisgoman 1 day ago 0 replies      
Why "I am now a provider"? You get better odds with 2 people working together towards a common goal http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=dink

Plus being in California, you are in the best place on the planet for your skill set.

tmaly 1 day ago 0 replies      
There are still a ton of small businesses out there that do not even know how to setup their business on google so that they show up in a local search. Their websites are not optimized for mobile, so they get a penalty both from google and from users trying to use their website. These simple things are low hanging fruit you can easily do.
tahoeskibum 1 day ago 0 replies      
Being a Jack of all trades can be an asset in a startup, specially in your case for a role in marketing/advertising.
legohead 1 day ago 0 replies      
I was let go once from downsizing. I was scared too, but my boss gave me a simple pep talk I've never forgotten:

You are better than you think you are. Do you really think that when you start "X" job, that you will be unable to complete tasks given to you?

kelukelugames 1 day ago 0 replies      
Congratulations! This will be the best blessing-in-disguise of your lifetime. :)
zallarak 1 day ago 0 replies      
You have an excellent skillset. I think you'll do great! If you run into any hiccups, feel free to email me (see profile) but I think you should do fine :-).
lkrubner 1 day ago 0 replies      
It sounds like you have the skills to be a good project manager: good communication skills, plus some technical exposure.
Overtonwindow 1 day ago 1 reply      
Write. A. Book. That has been my backup plan for a decade if all else fails, but ya know what? I really should just shut up and write the book now, while I'm young and healthy. Do it man. Write a book. Throw it up on Amazon. Even if it only your grandmother and mom buys it, you'll still feel great for accomplishing something most people only dream of.
imagination 16 hours ago 0 replies      
create a personal website showcasing your skills
orliesaurus 1 day ago 0 replies      
freelance consultant works
jharohit 1 day ago 0 replies      
Serious Advice:


Freelance (for short term money) & Start talking to media industry specific recruitment consultants(they might charge a fee but with your experience in tech & industry, you might be wanted in a similar outfit)

Current-World-With-Weird-Valuations Advice a.k.a. Just kidding:


STEP 1 -> Get a iOS Dev book.

STEP 2 -> Start a cool spin on a news app.

STEP 3 -> Raise some money at some ridiculous valuation

STEP 4 -> Buy the local newspaper where you got let-go from citing the reason as "strategic acquisition" to the investor.

STEP 5 -> Order a "F U" t-shirt.

STEP 6 -> Buy a paintball gun.

STEP 7 -> Do what Ari Gold did in Entourage when he bought the Agency he was fired from.

How seriously should I interpret requirements for programming jobs?
6 points by tedsanders  21 hours ago   6 comments top 5
thecupisblue 43 minutes ago 0 replies      
(1) Let me spit some fire. Facebook sucks at a lot of things and excels at some. There is a huge number of companies with development teams 10x smaller than Facebook's and 10x better. You're not shooting low if you're applying to something else, you're shooting high, because as someone who has no experience in team work, source control, testing or any specific language, anything will be aiming high for now.

(2.) Probably yes, but with your skill set you should be Aiming for a junior job, not something with 3+ years experience requirement.

(3.) Get experience and look at your old code in six months, you'll see what level you were on. It's not about "how strong is the force in you", it's about "how much experience and wisdom do you have in real world situations". Just in those first six months, you'll probably encounter a lot of situations your college didn't prep you for.

(4.) Go get a junior job. Join an open source project. Develop something alone and ask people to contribute. It doesn't have to be Google/FB/TW.

brudgers 18 hours ago 0 replies      
Keep in mind this is free advice:

Just get a job doing something interesting alongside people who are nice, smart, and willing to help you learn. Big organizations have advantages and disadvantages that vary for each individual. The only way to identify them in your case is actual experience. In the abstract it will just be a guess.

Working somewhere that's not Facebook or Google isn't necessarily "shooting lower" except when the target is a job at someplace everybody has heard of...though I am not sure if Walmart Labs would fall in or out of that category, it does really interesting work, which I point out because the world of programming jobs is bigger than what will make it through to young people studying at university. Even at a place like Stanford.

If the goal is really working on large projects within a large team consider working for a defense contractor. That's where the really big projects are likely to be.

Whatever happens, odds are it's going to turn out well.

Good luck.

JayNeely 21 hours ago 0 replies      
I wouldn't let a single requirement that you don't meet deter you from applying -- if you're a 90% match for a company's requirements list, and truly believe you'd be a good fit for the job, chances are you're a better candidate than many other people applying for literally everything that has a particular job title, regardless of their experience. It doesn't hurt to apply. Just make sure you're pursuing other opportunities as well.

Since you're a Stanford student, I'd guess Facebook actually comes to your campus for some recruiting events as well. Check with your career center to find out. Meeting one of their recruiters in person would be a good chance to ask questions about their requirements and how your experience might match.

ClayFerguson 16 hours ago 0 replies      
The best way to judge your experience as a programmer is not by educational level, but more by number of years of experience. If you have been a novice programmer for X number of years conider your true experience in the pro world to factor about X/5. But mainly just be honest about that number. If you've done 5 on your own, call it 1. But just you should be looking for entry level and you might be able to cut it in the real world.
Zekio 21 hours ago 1 reply      
Well, I once saw a job offer with the requirement "10 Years of experience in NODE.JS" and I'm guessing they are still looking for such a person :)
Ask HN: ICANN charges only 18 per domain name, why am I paying $10?
29 points by allpratik  1 day ago   24 comments top 7
arcdigital 1 day ago 1 reply      
Domains do not cost $0.18 to a registrar. ICANN charges registrars a $0.18 ICANN fee and then the company that owns the TLD (the registry) charges whatever they want per domain. Then your registrar adds their markup to the ICANN + Registry fees. Currently, a .com costs $7.85 + $0.18 + Registrar Markup. (I run a domain registrar)
allpratik 1 day ago 0 replies      
Verisign's some recent financial report's highlights:

1) Verisign ended the third quarter with cash, cash equivalents and marketable securities of $1.9 billion, an increase of $466 million as compared with year-end 2014.

2) Verisign Registry Services added 1.68 million net new names during the third quarter, ending with 135.2 million .com and .net domain names in the domain name base, which represents a 3.4 percent increase over the base at the end of the third quarter in 2014, as calculated including domain names on hold for both periods.

3) In the third quarter, Verisign processed 9.2 million new domain name registrations for .com and .net, as compared to 8.7 million for the same quarter in 2014.

Full Report available at: https://investor.verisign.com/releasedetail.cfm?ReleaseID=93...

Uffizi 1 day ago 0 replies      
It's interesting that Verisign, a private company, controls the authoritative directory of all .com, .net, .tv, .cc, .name top-level domains and that their patents allow them to hold absolute control over the process.


allpratik 1 day ago 2 replies      
Apparently there are 3 guys in picture over here.

1) ICANN - $0.182) Registrars - ~$1 to $23) Verisign - $7.85

Verisign is making huge margins here, thanks to zero competition.

gesman 1 day ago 2 replies      
Government needs to drive this change.Someone is in VRSN pocket.

The action is to find someone important who is not and start driving change from there.

propogandist 3 hours ago 0 replies      
$8.99 @ NameSilo.com - free privacy too

No coupon(s) needed.

HeyLaughingBoy 23 hours ago 0 replies      
What problem?
Advice for teaching my child how to be a hacker?
5 points by flarg  9 hours ago   8 comments top 5
brudgers 4 hours ago 0 replies      

This free advice is worth what you paid for it.

1. You will screw up. Unless you screw up profoundly, everything will turn out better than you can imagine. Even if you screw up profoundly, everything will probably turn out all right.

2. It's great to have plans. They won't survive the opening phase of the battle. An infant quickly becomes a person. But it takes forever compared to your plans. Montessori is years away. No amount of "good parenting" can short circuit that. There's years of changing diapers and little sleep and having no clue before it comes. Enjoy the moment. Enjoy not having a clue. No parent does, some people just don't realize it.

3. Your child will be a child even when they're six one with a black belt. We're all children at heart. Take advantage of the excuse to act like one.

4. Your child is not you. Their grades are their grades not yours. Their team wins the soccer match. You don't. Your child isn't better when someone else does worse. Parent and pursue your own interests.

It's fun and wonderful and hard. You will need grow,too. You will.

Good luck.

kenOfYugen 9 hours ago 1 reply      
If you want your children to be intelligent, read them fairy tales. If you want them to be more intelligent, read them more fairy tales.

 Albert Einstein
Let him grow and make his own choices, just be a good loving parent and have faith in him. Forcing knowledge and skills can backfire, make sure you mediate your passion for hacking to him ;)

manidoraisamy 1 hour ago 0 replies      
"I should just leave it to my wife who is 10x a better person than me."

The first thing to know in a family is to recognize & respect when someone is better than you. You already did that with your wife. I am sure, you will see that in your child - as an individual with his own merits. Children don't need to be taught to be a hacker; they need a companion to explore. See things from his perspective; learn along with him; you will have a wonderful time!

ColinWright 9 hours ago 1 reply      
Play with stuff.

Pull things apart, put them together, wonder if they can be better, make things, experiment, mix stuff up.


It may be that your little one is not interested in computers, but playing, making, exploring, and experimenting will be of value no matter where their interests take them.

LifeQuestioner 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Also op I went to montessori school for a while as a kid. I'm glad I didn't stay. We wernt taught how to be just... Kids. It was all really serious.
Ask HN: Electrical Eng. PhD, Thinking of Moving to Programming Jobs. Worth It?
5 points by ee_throwaway  18 hours ago   5 comments top 4
DrNuke 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Why start again as a glorified code monkey? From a similar pattern and ten years down your line, you might want to consider exploiting programming techniques within your hard-earned domain expertise to make the biggest impact.
CyberFonic 18 hours ago 1 reply      
I'm an EE (with both electrical and electronics/communications experience). I'm wrapping up a P/T PhD in software engineering.

From my perspective the big new opportunities are more in the IoE / IoT / WoT area. Hardware is becoming a lucrative new frontier for startups.

With your background you might want to explore that area where you existing semiconductor engineering skills would be very well regarded.

Web development is a rather competitive space. Wouldn't be my idea of a good starting point. IMHO looking at Google / FB, et al with your level of experience would be a huge step backwards. Researching the up and coming opportunities that capitalize on your existing and desired skills should identify better options for the future.

Shoot me an email (in my profile) if you'd like to explore / debate this issue deeper. BEST OF LUCK!

gariany 18 hours ago 0 replies      
Simple question you should ask yourself. Will switching to programing will make me happier?

Personally, programming is a passion I have and would most likely will do regardless of payment.


dmfdmf 17 hours ago 0 replies      

0) Why did you get your PhD in EE? What was your expectation?

Ask HN: What is the quickest path to a new career in tech?
6 points by balls187  1 day ago   9 comments top 7
hitsurume 1 day ago 1 reply      
Gotto be more specific here. There are many different roles in tech, from engineering to product management to sales etc. What does she want to do? What CAN she do? (I have no idea what a PHD in poli-sci will help in tech businesses)
kwc98 22 hours ago 0 replies      
I see plenty of jobs in QA, a lot of those remote as well. This is good for someone that is organized, thoughtful and sometimes ideally not a programmer. Writing test cases, automation, documentation of bugs, etc. This would be a pretty quick way I believe, not to minimize the role of a good QA person in anyway.
cdnsteve 18 hours ago 0 replies      
You don't need a degree, most programmers are self taught.

Take a basic idea and figure out how to go make it. Hands on experience and YouTube or Google is all you need.

brendanb 20 hours ago 0 replies      
I have a Ph.D. In English and got involved in a startup while doing a postdoc. Initial gig was just copywriting but as the only non engineer, my role quickly grew into product mgmt, business strategy, marketing, partnerships etc. Small teams benefit a lot from someone with her broad range of skills and experience. Tell her to find a product she loves and try to join the team that's building it in whatever role possible.
mswen 22 hours ago 0 replies      
If she happened to take a quantitative methods focus for her PhD in Poli-Sci she could possibly head for the data science segment. Even better if she already knows R.
jlees 13 hours ago 0 replies      
As she's a she, check out Hackbright Academy. Disclaimer: I used to teach there.
a3n 1 day ago 0 replies      
Have a portfolio.
Ask HN: How are people doing networking in containers?
8 points by sargun  23 hours ago   2 comments top
eaxitect 23 hours ago 1 reply      
We have experimented Deis (deis.io) and Marathon (of Mesos). Both provide all requirements for service composition and load balancing. I personally find Deis more simple to use where Mesos is like Rambo for managing infrastructure.
Minimum Viable Language
3 points by hackaflocka  22 hours ago   3 comments top 2
nostrademons 22 hours ago 1 reply      
What you're looking for is Scheme, or perhaps Javascript as it existed in 1995.

The problem with the MVL approach is that ultimately people pay us to solve their problems, and don't care how complicated it makes our lives. That complexity has to go somewhere, and usually the best place for it is in the code, else you're just doing your customer's problem manually. Eventually people realize that they're writing the same code over and over again, and that they could save a lot of time as programmers if those features were just built into the language.

I'd really encourage you to study Scheme and write a few programs in it. It's famous for being the language where you can implement all the other language features in it. So for example, it's pretty common to implement your own object system in it; your programs won't be compatible with libraries that use any other object systems (which is a major reason why it's not used industrially), but you can play around with classical inheritance, prototypes, access control, multimethods, virtual dispatch, and so on all within the language. Similarly, promises, async, green threads, collections, list comprehensions, type systems, and many other language features can all be done as libraries, using the basic features of closures, continuations, macros, cons cells, and arrays. Even things like if-statements, exceptions, and loops don't need special language features, although they're standardized across implementations.

lollipop25 21 hours ago 0 replies      
What I consider MVL for JS is ES3. ES3 JavaScript was "good enough" JS to the point that anything else you need came in the form of libraries, polyfills or transpiled (to some extent) back to it.
Ask HN: What's your favorite read later web tool?
6 points by vram22  2 days ago   24 comments top 11
refrigerator 23 hours ago 1 reply      
I've used Pocket for quite a few years. Previously I don't think there's been much difference between Pocket and competitors, but the new beta of their app has good 'recommended' things for you to read, and lets you follow other users to see the stuff that they 'recommend' - pretty great way to get interesting content.
1123581321 1 day ago 1 reply      
I used to be a heavy Instapaper user with its Kindle digests. Then I used Amazon's bookmarklet to send articles to Kindle. Now I save articles as tasks in Google Inbox because it's easier to see when they are piling up.
Fastidious 2 days ago 2 replies      
I prefer Pocket (https://getpocket.com/). It is clean, it works very well, and it is free. I use it under iOS and OS X.
nyddle 1 day ago 1 reply      
Pocket. I collect all interesting stuff there and read it through once a year on winter holidays.
juriansluiman 2 days ago 1 reply      
Expecting a discussion or just a poll?

Anyhow, I prefer pocket. I have a Kobo ereader and it has perfect integration with pocket. Every article I receive on my phone, laptop, tablet or get send via email, I read via the ereader. It just works great.

Perhaps to mention, I am not using any of the tagging features. It just takes more time to categorize than scrolling a list.

vram22 2 days ago 0 replies      
I mean, a "read later" web tool that has the least friction in terms of use? Things like Pocket, etc. Tried a few, not for long, don't know of many; would appreciate hearing experiences of what worked for others.
speg 2 days ago 1 reply      
I use Safari's reading list on iOS and OS X.
lovelearning 1 day ago 1 reply      
My preferred tool is Evernote. I love its multilevel categorization feature.
dmuth 2 days ago 1 reply      
I'm a big fan of Instapaper (www.instapaper.com) myself.
specifictso 2 days ago 2 replies      
This amazing thing called "bookmarks".

Changed my life tbh

J_Darnley 1 day ago 0 replies      
The unloaded tabs in my browser after it last crashed and bookmarks for things I want to read again.
Ask HN: How can I make sure that my skills develop in a small company?
4 points by phd_throwaway  15 hours ago   2 comments top 2
brudgers 2 hours ago 0 replies      
From my high horse...or perhaps between it and me.

The engineering that matters at a startup is driven by business concerns. A well organized codebase isn't a product. Best practices revolve around making money or at least surviving.

Industry best practice in the hardware industry is selling hardware. A professional matches a budget and requirements to what can be done and what cannot be. The whole idea of being a professional is getting paid to apply expertise to the specific circumstances and not promote one's trivial values. To put it another way, a professional turns down jobs that violate their non-negotiable values. They don't take money and then impose them on the unwilling.

Experience will give you professional judgement. That will make you better.

Good luck.

rrggrr 15 hours ago 0 replies      
You will do fine. Pick a project you like or whose codebase you will be leveraging, and follow their coding standards and practices. Get working code up quickly and don't get distracted. If you end up at a big co., you will look back on this time jealous of the freedom you had and the creativity it supported. Just be sure to deliver working code and useful functionality quickly.
What if we ditched CSS?
2 points by relfor  9 hours ago   2 comments top
MattBearman 8 hours ago 1 reply      
While they're cool demos, you've definitely not ditched CSS, the markup is full of style attributes
DNC Voter Database Breach NGP VAN?
2 points by treerunner  5 hours ago   discuss
Ask HN: How I do learn more about test driven development?
1 point by jklein11  2 hours ago   2 comments top 2
anonfunction 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Here's a good article I read the other day: https://medium.com/javascript-scene/what-every-unit-test-nee...
GFK_of_xmaspast 20 minutes ago 0 replies      
Just start doing it on little corners of things and see how it goes.
CRM for HR
1 point by djrules24  3 hours ago   2 comments top
ckluis 2 hours ago 1 reply      
No information on you or your team, barely any info on your company, if you get funding from this post - I've failed at life.
Ask HN: Now that Congress/Obama betrayed the mideast community what can be done?
2 points by mehrzad  1 hour ago   discuss
Ask HN: Sourcing tech talents to your startup
1 point by ramtatatam  24 minutes ago   discuss
Ask HN: What is a way of making residual income with $5K a month?
101 points by hanyoon  3 days ago   70 comments top 29
buro9 3 days ago 3 replies      
Go to a local dentist, look at how they do things like X-Rays.

What you will find is that they pay GBP 20k+ for an X-Ray machine that connects via USB Dongle to an old Windows machine... really old.

You'll also find that all of their equipment is old copies of Windows, in dusty long-unsupported equipment.

Sell a service, that virtualises all of this and that you manage. Charge them GBP 250 per month for it, on top of any capital expenditure up to GBP 3k for the host server (probably on-site as a Dentist shouldn't go down when an internet connection goes down).

Now go round the other dentists in the area and repeat until you have 20 dentists on-board.

You now have GBP 5k per month in residual income, for hardware that will take minimal effort to support, and for images of Windows taken from existing machines that are now backed-up.

The lesson here: You're probably looking for some complex and advanced solution that you can automate to great fortune!... but actually there's a lot of money just begging to be given to people who solve the simplest stuff in fields where the computing skill is very very low but the expectations of computing and value from it is very high.

Your profit exists in that space. No-one is doing the simple stuff in those fields.

Other ideas: Beauty/Hair Salon booking systems that work inside the hairdresser and whose web and automated phone system actually works too (Twilio + Google Apps (for Calendar and Google Contacts) + a website will do this with medium effort - it's a small integration project).

The other lesson here: It's not doing stuff that is hard, but selling it.

Guest192038 3 days ago 1 reply      
Why not work backwards and start making sales before you have stock, so you know if the business is possible, and if so, what kind of margins you're working with to pay for advertising, inventory, fullfilling orders, packing, shipping, wages, rent, etc?

For example, setup your online store and buy your Facebook ad campaign for teen girls, and try to sell them the Justin Beiber case that you could potentially order from China. When they go through the order process, inform them it's 'out of stock', and flag a potential sale in your database. Now, analyze the numbers, look at how much your ad campaign costed, how many potential sales you generated, how much it would cost to order those actual cases from China, how much it would cost to ship them, etc, and see if the business makes sense. If so, start with a small batch of inventory as you said, you'll get more experience with the entire process, any hidden costs or time involved you overlooked, and go from there.

will_pseudonym 3 days ago 3 replies      
-please put up an email address in your profile if you want people to contact you. And trust me--if you're starting a business, email just became your new best friend.

-read everything @patio11 has ever written. Use your brain and research ability to understand his wisdom. Ignore this advice at your own peril.

-start high end markets first. Better margins, better customers.

-think about what products suck! Talk to affluent friends, ask them that question. If you don't have affluent friends, go make them. Your life and this endeavor will be amazing if you do. Trust me on this. Just make sure they're good people. If you can't tell the difference, that's your side job. Learn how to tell the difference.

-bite your tongue. I'm serious, literally bite it. Listen to what ppl are telling you--it could be your next product! Biting your tongue is like a phones mute button. You should be using both to become a much better listener. I started an interruption/swearing jar with my fianc to break myself of those habits faster. It's tough but super rewarding.

-learn sales. Frank bettger (how I raised myself from failure to success in selling). Dale Carnegie (how to win friends and influence people).

-improve yourself. Sleep 8-9 hours. If you use an alarm clock you're doing life wrong :D, diet (quality and quantity. Whole > processed * 1000. no sugar.) exercise. Move fast, lift heavy things. Sign up for Charlie Hoehn's anti anxiety course. Assuming you're a guy, check out The Mating Grounds and Helping Joe. They'll help you improve your life immeasurably. Sign up for talk therapy. If strapped for cash, group therapy is very effective and inexpensive.

-pay attention to the world around you. The problems to solve will present themselves.

-Don't force anything. It'll hurt to get the round peg into the square hole, and you might lose a finger in the process. NB: Your finger is your happiness.

-cut out negative people, but don't create a Hooli yes-man echo chamber.

-watch randy Pausch - the last lecture. And Randy Pausch - time management.

-email if you need help! I'm an extremely generous person.

socialist_coder 3 days ago 2 replies      
The reason you are getting down voted is because of the wording in your title. "Sure-fire" invokes bullshit get rich quick schemes, the opposite of what the "entrepreneurial spirit" is about.

If there was a sure fire way to generate $5k profit monthly, everyone would do it, and then it would not be profitable anymore. That's just basic market equilibrium.

If you really just want some ideas, don't use the "sure-fire" language.

MarkCole 3 days ago 0 replies      
If someone had a "sure-fire way" of making an extra $5k a month, I don't think they would be keen to share them.

In my opinion the case market is pretty saturated, and it's a hit or a miss about whether you get anywhere with it, or just lose your money. You say with targeted FB ads you can do it, but you need to get one customer for every $9 you spend, that's not a lot.

If you're looking to start a business, I'd highly suggest building/selling something that you can sell for much higher than $10. More in the region of $100 - $500. The plus side of this if you need to make fewer sales to reach your target.

You have skills that could make you an extra $5k a month and more, that would be much easier than peddling cheap phone cases. Take on additional consulting project for example?

Or optionally, follow the advice of many financial bloggers and simply cut your outgoings to prevent the living paycheck-to-paycheck situation.

olivierduval 3 days ago 2 replies      
- "invest $1K in inventory" => no, start with orders THEN buy what's ordered...

- "Justin Beiber case" => warning: you can't use people (or pictures or cartoon or...) images like that... and the rights can be pretty high

- "$1 cases for ~$10" => didn't you forget taxes, delivery, lost,... business is not: sell $10 - buy $1 = profit $9

Well... I think you should take a look at the business side

PlzSnow 3 days ago 2 replies      
I'm a bit horrified at the naivety of this post. I think the best thing you can do is just try it, with the presumption it will fail. Then learn the lessons why it didn't work and try and try again.

At some point you will realise that the notion there's a "sure-fire way to $5K" is completely absurd.

Some random notes on your idea anyway:

- No-one buys from independent websites, only Amazon, eBay, etsy etc

- You will get no traffic to your website

- Phone cases are a commodity, there is no chance you can charge higher than Amazon

- Buying Facebook traffic to sell $10 items doesn't work economically

- Justin Beiber will close down your website with cease and desist

- You will end up with a 1000 cases that you can't even sell for 99c

- The real money is in value-added high-price items, or in selling services

zhte415 7 hours ago 0 replies      
For anyone else thinking 'buy XXX from China' T-Shirts are a great case to learn from: Import quality generic T-shirts in bulk at extremely low cost, then do the branding / dying locally to respond to customer demand. Virtually no risk. Aggressive marketing works in the T-shirt (and other generic clothing) business to discover (key: discover, not compete in. Once discovered, they're gone as of days or weeks) markets/interests in a very short (2-3 day) turnaround time.

Phone cases... seriously though...

diverted247 3 days ago 2 replies      
At the start of every month, buy $350 of the S&P500. At year 40, you should have over $1M and at year 50 over $2M.


mgirdley 3 days ago 1 reply      
I see this done all the time:

Build websites for a couple dozen clients. Charge hosting fees and maintenance each month to keep sites live.

Marking up AWS hosting to $50 / mth and charging some hourly here and there at $100 / hr adds up quickly.

onion2k 3 days ago 1 reply      
Isn't this what the whole entrepreneurial spirit is about?


"Entrepreneurial spirit" is abut identifying a problem that people have and providing a solution it, and then building a sustainable business around that solution. It's not just cobbling together something so you can cash in.

Even though the case market is saturated, with targeted ads I'm thinking it would be possible.

The first thing you should do is research the cost of those adverts. Highly targeted adverts are valuable, and consequently they're expensive. I wouldn't be surprised if an ad targeting young women with an interest in Justin Beiber on Facebook will cost upwards of $2 each time someone clicks, so you'll be needing a to get upwards of a 20% conversion ratio just to cover the $10 you're planning to charge, and that's before any other costs. That's not a sustainable business.

gambiting 3 days ago 0 replies      
Like.....absolutely surefire? I can only think of one - borrow $$$, buy a large warehouse/commercial building in a popular part of town, pay it off within 5-10 years either by renting it out/running a business that at least pays for the loan payments, then once it's paid off just rent it out - if it's large enough you will easily get residual income of $5k/month or more. That's like the only guaranteed way with >90% chance of happening. Anything else is a much larger risk and depends on you knowing how to run a company.
someone12345125 3 days ago 0 replies      
"Even though the case market is saturated, with targeted ads I'm thinking it would be possible." I spent a bit of time in this market years ago... YEARS Ago... Don't enter it. Your thoughts that targeted ads will work prove to me that you're not actually that knowledgeable in digital marketing. If you think that you're going to discover some magic formula to sell these cases that all of the cell phone case creators (including the phone manufacturers) in addition to amazon and much more haven't done and with an unbranded no name business and phone - you're fucking wrong.
johnorourke 3 days ago 0 replies      
Business is hard. Anything of value takes effort and time. Read "The Lean Startup" and "The 4 hour work week". And whatever you do, don't build a website - a website is not a business. Start with eBay, then try something like Shopify once things get better, and spend your money testing ideas and assumptions.
Kiro 3 days ago 1 reply      
What's up with the edit? You can't downvote submissions (afaik?) so what are you referring to?
Silhouette 3 days ago 0 replies      
Generating $5K/month in revenues is a respectable achievement for a new business. It's more traction than many new businesses will ever achieve, and of course most new businesses will fail.

If you're talking about spending $5K/month in costs to run your business, and then presumably on top of that the value of the time that you and your friends are putting in, then you need way more than $5K/month in revenues to make a significant profit.

If it was that easy, everyone would be doing it. Unfortunately, as others have said, a lot of the assumptions implicit in your post are wildly unrealistic.

GFischer 3 days ago 0 replies      
Based on your skillset, and some suggestions posted here, one possibility to generate recurring revenue would be to leverage your "highly targeted marketing" abilities and offer them to existing merchants, instead of trying to learn to do it yourself.

You could either resell / drop ship, or (better IMO) partner with the merchants, maybe on a commision basis? (no upfront cost for them, recurring revenue for you).

mipapage 3 days ago 0 replies      
Your idea is somewhat like Hawkers Sunglasses here in Spain. If you can read Spanish, check this out it is packed full of what you are trying to do, except they made way more money: http://www.elconfidencial.com/tecnologia/2015-04-06/hawkers-...
jackcosgrove 3 days ago 1 reply      
Buy a couple duplex properties in an inexpensive midwestern or southern state. You'll have to save up some money to do this, and depending on that amount your margins may be nonexistent. Being a landlord is a lot less work than running a business and far less speculative, and the profit margins show it. But you asked about income, not profit.
floydax 3 days ago 0 replies      
As someone that tried a similar idea with imported phone cases I won't recommend this path at all. It can be possible, but there are several challenges with this market. There is too much competition, the amount of stores and private sellers that exist will crush the profit margin and some of these private sellers aren't paying any taxes at all.

Another major challenge is the hundreds of devices and colors that exist and that you will have to stock in order to fullfil the orders on a timely manner.

Finding reliable suppliers is also a challenge, I've had a few experiences with chinese suppliers that I've found on Alibaba and they weren't the best. Inconsistent product quality, incorrect models\amounts shipped, lack of proper invoicing which made me have some issues with customs along with additional fees.

I tried some targeted ads with several groups, but it didn't help.

sireat 3 days ago 0 replies      
You sound naive but hopefully well intentioned.

You need an edge, I do not think your skills in making a modern website are enough of an edge (when eBay and Amazon already make purchasing very easy) when it comes to selling products.

If you do not have an edge you need to find a rising tide (from rising tide lifts all boats). At this stage Justin Bieber or phone cases are not a rising tide.

Let me give you an example of an edge:

In 2000 before the first internet bubble popped my Japanese-American friend made $3k net monthly selling hentai DVD boxes on Yahoo Japan.

How did he do it? I hooked him up with a distributor in Florida who was dumping a large quantity of $49.95 retail price 3DVD hentai boxes for $7-8ea if taken in quantity 100+.

My friend sold them for $90 each on Yahoo Japan and he sold about one a day.

So why did this arbitrage work so well?

Because of 2-punch, my access to the liquidator and my friend's access to Yahoo Japan and realization that $90 for average hentai series without pixelation would be a good deal in Japan (surely breaking a few decency laws in Japan).

It was the realization that the Japanese release of the DVD was censored and the American was not was what gave the extra pricing power.

By comparison my US based anime store sold only a few copies at $20-30 in US because it was a very average series.

So theoretically my Japanese friend could have made money even buying at American retail and selling in Japan albeit the risks would have been greater.

I think Yahoo Japan cracked down on this and also the low price DVDs also dissappeared.

Another story: There was a kid from Australia here on HN a few years ago who made very good money in mid 2005-6 selling imitation iPods (buying wholesale in China) on eBay. He was not misrepresenting them as iPods but people though they were. Eventually Apple enforcement got stronger + Chinese sellers started selling them themselves and the business dried up.

His edge was the rising boat of people still clamoring for iPods pre smart phones + average buyers confusion that iPod was not a generic term.

This is Economics 101 whenever there is a huge value capture, there will be new entrants in the market.

The darker side is tha often the value capture comes from breaking a law somewhere. You need to ask yourself whether you can live with this.

lumberjack 3 days ago 0 replies      
2M in rentable real estate should do it.
mod 3 days ago 0 replies      
I think that the vast majority of the comments think you want to earn $5k/month, not that you want advice on how to invest $5k/month into your own business.

The wording is unclear--I had to re-read your title to understand that when I entered the thread.

alinhan 3 days ago 0 replies      
I have another idea for a product that you could import and sell, instead of phone cases from China.

I don't know how to contact you directly, so maybe you can drop me an email. My email address is: my HN username at yahoo dot com.

walkbmc 3 days ago 0 replies      
Kudos i say, Ive always wanted to quit my job and start/build a business!!
reboog711 3 days ago 1 reply      
If you want a sure fire way..

Put 3 million in an stock market index fund. In most years you will get at least a 2% increase, which is $60K (or $5K a month).

Getting the initial capital for this is easier said than done.

circlefavshape 3 days ago 0 replies      
"Don't get whats with all the downvotes"

You are asking a pretty daft question. There is no sure-fire way of making a residual income

pc86 3 days ago 0 replies      
> cheap high quality

Pick one.

chillydawg 3 days ago 0 replies      
Get a job that pays $5k/mo?
Can I name my company after a computer science algorithm? Like YC
6 points by mahshidz  2 days ago   9 comments top 4
heptathorp 2 days ago 1 reply      
Why not? You could name your company after a fruit if you wanted to (as long as there isn't already a company in your industry with that name).
sharemywin 2 days ago 0 replies      
trademark database


you should also check the state you live in. Secretary of state usually manages fictitious trade names

checking domain names is a good proxy also. if no one cared to buy xyz.com then they probably didn't trademark it, etc.

kele 2 days ago 2 replies      
I believe there is a big difference between Y combinator and Dijkstra. In the former case, it could be harder.
lumberjack 2 days ago 1 reply      
Yes but I think it would then be harder to trademark..
Why can't you collapse threads on HN?
2 points by tangled_zans  2 days ago   discuss
Ask HN: Where should i be looking for co-founders?
2 points by gariany  18 hours ago   1 comment top
brudgers 1 hour ago 0 replies      
The standard advice is that potential co-founders should come from the people already known well enough that they can be trusted, productive, and committed.

My take is that a cofounder is should be someone I want to make rich and who hopefully wants to make me rich. It shouldn't be an arm's length relationship or the blush of a new love.

Good luck.

Idea: on the Show page, remove 'Show HN' from the titles
7 points by joelanman  1 day ago   8 comments top 4
tugberkk 30 minutes ago 0 replies      
using show hn in search helps a lot. i say write to every one of them :)
joelanman 8 hours ago 0 replies      
To be clear, the logic I'm suggesting is to hide the text on the Show page only. The text would still be in the title in the database, and shown everywhere else.
brudgers 1 day ago 1 reply      
Based upon the rules [0] I suspect that the title is parsed and that "Show HN" is what moves a submission to that page. Items from |show| can show up on the front page. I believe having the information in the title gives the community the appropriate context for evaluating and commenting on the item.

Then again, my experience is that titles are a poor proxy for content often enough that I try to click on links before commenting on a submission or evaluating it. Often the awesomeness is inversely proportional to the quality of the title. My heuristic is, when in doubt click.

[0]: https://news.ycombinator.com/showhn.html

colund 20 hours ago 0 replies      
The Show HN prefix is useful in the list of top stories to distinguish from regular links
Ask HN: What is the best non-tech hack you've done
8 points by pedalpete  1 day ago   8 comments top 6
hanniabu 1 day ago 0 replies      
Strap a laser to my cats back * ziptie milk cartons together for modular shelving * outdoor kitty condos out of storage tubs wrapped in Styrofoam and a garbage bag with a hole cut in the front * adding salsa to taco mix, best decision I've ever made * burlap + light egg crates + stilts for hydroponics growing platform * shower curtain rod put vertically in a window and use hardware to cups to it for a movable/hardwareless growing apparatus * stuff last night's left overs into a pita for a meal on the go * use clear static vinyl sheet on oven backsplash for an easily removable surface to clean, some can even be put in the dishwasher * drive around on towns bulk garbage night and look for things of good quality to resell (pingpong table, computers, sports equipment, commercial equipment) * buy cheap electronics from dollar store for cheap components such as leds, solar panels, battery holders, switches, motors, easy-to-cut plastic * dollar store 18in square rug tiles are great to line your trunk with * static vinyl sheets on windows or walls for a portable marker board * sift thin steel cable through purse or satchel lanyard when going to foreign countries(or for anywhere) so thieves can't easily cut the strap and run away with the bag * use Mechanical it electrical timing switch for bedroom light to turn light on same time as alarm, use florescent bulb if possible so it starts out dim and will progressively get brighter to wake you up, might be good to turn on light a minute before your alarm * throw left over beef and vegetables that are in their way out into scrambled eggs in the morning so they're not wasted * if wearing athletic shorts with no pockets, you can use the waist string to make a knot on your Keychain loop so you don't have to carry it, works better if you don't have a bunch of attachments on your Keychain

All I can get in during my commute, enjoy folks

refrigerator 20 hours ago 0 replies      
A couple of years ago, Nokia (back when they were their own company) ran a little contest on their Facebook page in which you could win a Lumia 920 (their then flagship phone). To enter, you had to answer a question along the lines of "Why do you want to win this phone?". Instead of writing some sob story like many others no doubt did, my genius idea was to write a poem about why I should win it. It was a fun poem - rhymed and everything - and took me about half an hour to write. I thought there was a chance that Nokia don't even bother reading the entries and just randomly choose the winner, but I also thought that if they did actually read the entries, I'd surely stand out. A few weeks later I checked my email and there it was - I'd won the phone. It felt amazing that my plan had actually worked, and I used the phone for about 3 years before it started to give way.
sharemywin 23 hours ago 0 replies      
I factored a^2 + b^2 in high school and my teacher made me write the Math textbook author. (a^1/3 b^1/3)(a^2/3 + a^1/3*b^1/3 + b^2/3) using fractional exponents. Turns out factors can't be irrational numbers but he called it a brilliant derivation for a high school student. Made the local paper..not bad for being wrong...lol.
sagarghai 1 day ago 0 replies      
Not sure if they are hacks but i do try these:- eating curious things uninvented things. eg. break soaked in orange juice, chapati with lays etc.- alone on terrace with music and a crazyball/football.- buying very cheap throwaway stuff off the internet just to try.
NetStrikeForce 1 day ago 1 reply      
Boost my confidence.

It helped me being more social, remove part of my anxiety, get better jobs, better relationships and enjoy life even more.

Definitely my best hack and I'll recommend it to everyone.

codenut 1 day ago 0 replies      
Here are some things that helps me a lot theses days. Im not sure if these are hacks but its helpful.


-Taking a deep breath when anxious/under stress

-Delayed judgment/reaction/gratitude/reward

Open Ledger Project - the gory details?
4 points by rkagerer  1 day ago   1 comment top
wmf 1 day ago 0 replies      
Ask HN: Would you rather have product working alongside devo or sales/support?
4 points by jc_811  2 days ago   2 comments top 2
mrits 1 day ago 0 replies      
As a dev I'd want product the other side of the world. As a product manager I'd want to be in the same building as dev.
davismwfl 1 day ago 0 replies      
IMO there isn't one right answer. But, if I had to choose just as you laid out, for a new organization/product I'd put product and engineering in one office, for a more mature product/organization I'd put support with the product team and leave devs separate.
So you seriously are crazy about star wars?
4 points by pshyco  2 days ago   12 comments top 10
Rainymood 2 hours ago 0 replies      
I wasn't such a fan but a friend of mine was and explained to me what I needed to know before watching the movie. I went into the movie with expectations at 0.

The movie was epic. I loved it. Damn. Just set your expectations at 0 and may the Force be with you.

atmosx 2 days ago 0 replies      
I believe you are confusing Star Wars with Star Trek. BBT has numerous referrals to Start Trek. The obsession and indirect similarity of Sheldon with Spock (L. Nimoy) is a recurring theme of the TV series as far as I recall. Haven't seen the last season though.
dorfuss 7 hours ago 0 replies      
Markering, social engineering. Hot or not, learn from it!

Everyone in the marketing business should learn how it's done from such premieres (other examples are Bond, Hobbit, Harry Potter).

I think those strategies would not work with a completely new title. Here you have a series that spans over 2-3 generations and through marketing you can create this illusion that this is an incredible cultural phenomenon, and that everyone is waiting, and that it's a part of the saga, and that without watching it you cannot call yourself a member of the polite society, or a middle class.

Look closely at what kind of arguments are used in the marketing messages. "This episode fits to the style of the other films". Now do reverse engineering on that statement - they took focus groups, sociologists, cultural anthropologists, ask people questions: "what are you most afraid of with the new episode", they say: "that it will spoil the style and mood of the previous movies". Now take 2-3 most repetitive statements and construct the smart message that will cover these problems. This is how it's done.

Another element is that the screenplay is written in such a way, that this episode has to be both - relating to the previous episodes and satisfy the fans, but also has to have a self containing story, that will be understood by those unfamiliar to the series. From the marketing point of view the Star Wars fans are not really the target group, they will go to see it no matter what. The real challenge is to broaden the fan base, attract those uninterested. Make the girlfriends go together with the boyfriends, and parents together with the children. Big bucks rule.

I particularly like the way they insert the information into the news reels. Of course the TV stations are being paid for it and the message is well tailored, but goes seamlessly well with other pieces of news. Very few movies are honored like that.

On a technical level - I think Episode I in 1999 was the last one shot on 35mm film. But actors spent most of the time in the blue box, so the editing deserves applause. Episodes II and III were shot on video making the composition with the CGI much much easier. But this time they went back to shooting on film, natural scenery and models. Interesting development. It's also interesting how they are able to release it on all different formats, 2d, 3d, IMAX etc. all at once (like games on different consoles).

I'm slightly critical from the point of view cinematographic art, but I'm admiring it as a global social engineering masterpiece and a business enterprise.

ferrari8608 2 days ago 0 replies      
I grew up with Star Wars. The first three movies were pretty good. I've never been able to finish any of the other three. The new one doesn't interest me, so I won't be going to see it in the theater.

From what I've observed, the new movie is being very heavily marketed. Facebook now has the option to stick a light saber on your profile picture. The merchandise is all over the larger stores. In my opinion, it's mostly hype due to its prevalence from marketing.

bjourne 2 days ago 1 reply      
It's all hype. I don't know if Disney is guerrilla marketing geniuses or if they are just bribing Reddit, but the site is currently nothing but Star Wars-related links. And TBBT sucks. It wouldn't surprise me if the producers had some kind of deal in which they are paid by DC comics so that all the main characters like their superhero comics.
kleer001 1 day ago 0 replies      
It's a nice contrast to the back ground noise of marketing. As if you turned all the ambient music in all the offices and grocery stores and department stores into the same 3 second clip and turned up the volume to 11. Soon enough it will go back to normal. But I hope some people will be a little more cognizant of the presence of marketing in public life.

I wonder what it would be like if all of advertising space were instead filled with affirmations about the human condition, about empathy, about statistical intuition, and about finding cognitive distortions. You know, the opposite of what advertising needs to function. So, totally not possible. But I think it'd be a good idea.

eecks 2 days ago 1 reply      
There's a big advertisement campaign going on worldwide. In my city they have decorated a large Spire structure ("The Spire") as a lightsaber.

It's funny how all the real fans agree that 3/6 movies were terrible. The first 3 released didn't age well in my opinion but were probably great when released.

3minus1 1 day ago 0 replies      
It's the first movie in a long time that I care enough to see in theaters. The originals are masterpieces. After the shitty remakes though it's hard to get too excited about the new movie.
_RPM 2 days ago 0 replies      
I've never seen any of the films and don't plan on it anytime soon. I've certainly heard about the new film though, but I wouldn't want to spend all that time in a movie theater.
williswee 2 days ago 0 replies      
Agree --> To be frank, I think its a decent movie but not something to go crazy about.
Ask HN: Why does S3 still not support append?
14 points by whatnotests  2 days ago   27 comments top 12
codeonfire 2 days ago 1 reply      
I don't think it has a traditional filesystem. It probably just writes all puts sequentially as fast as possible and stores the location and then replicates. The easiest way to append would be to read the object, append, and then write to a new object. If they did that internally there would be no transfer out and no revenue although they could probably charge for the internal expense. Another reason is that people would probably think that appends are no big deal and try to append continuously to multi-gigabyte files. If this is the case then it is best to let the client handle appends where costs are out in the open.
codemac 2 days ago 0 replies      
Google Cloud Storage does not support append.

One reason these things don't support append is at some point they need to choose the "version" of the object. Usually this is done when an object upload has completed.

If they allow arbitrary appends to objects, then they would have a hard time assigning any type of ordering to them, as the concept of an object being "complete" would be thrown out the window.

(EDIT: and what does it mean to have a GET on an object, if you don't know the latest version to return?)

I think something like this could be implemented, but it would probably be an entirely different product that supported some specific traditional file operations (rename, ftruncate, link, etc) but had different scaling properties.

abuqutaita 2 days ago 1 reply      
jedberg 2 days ago 0 replies      
S3 is a key/value store. Appends don't make sense in that context. If you think of it as a key/value store, then a lot of their constraints start to make more sense.
mailslot 2 days ago 1 reply      
Google Cloud Storage does not support append. Their docs: "... you cannot make incremental changes to objects, such as append operations or truncate operations."
ChuckMcM 2 days ago 1 reply      
Well answered by other comments here, the whole "eventually consistent blob" vs "directed graph of mutation operations" problem. FWIW, this is a good distributed systems interview question :-)
EwanToo 2 days ago 0 replies      
S3 is eventually consistent, appending an eventually consistent file is going to get very messy, very fast - what happens when an append reaches a replica node before an earlier one does?

If you're happy with out of order appends, just use a container file format like Parquet where appends are actually additional file creations

bpchaps 2 days ago 1 reply      
After a decently large RAID failure, I needed to gzip and send as many large files and send it over to S3 as quickly as possible on the risk of another failure. The script would gzip the file and then sync it up to s3, all in its own backgrounded processes. If two large files would get sent at the same time, both would die, then /leave incomplete files/.

After leaving that running over night, all of the files appeared to be uploaded... until the owner of the company needed to use them.

I'm still not sure if that's an exceptional use case, but it left a pretty bad taste in my mouth about S3 ever since.

gonyea 2 days ago 0 replies      
Because reconciling 2 separate appends to 2 separate nodes which have different copies of the data would be a huge mess.
yid 2 days ago 1 reply      
S3 is more of a simple key-value store than a full filesystem (and for good reason). I suspect the reason their docs push the filesystem metaphor so much is because filesystems are more familiar to many people, and most filesystem semantics can be implemented using a key-value store. In that sense, there is no update() or append() in S3, just a simple set().
difosfor 2 days ago 1 reply      
I mostly miss a MoveObject operation to rename files myself, but I guess they are keeping things simple and scalable etc. on their end and requiring us to work around it with the existing lower level operations.
jheriko 2 days ago 0 replies      
You mean appending things on the end of files or what? If so, probably because its trivial to work around by storing the data in new files - and large data where this would be valuable should be broken down into pieces for n different reasons anyway.

Why do people who ask questions fall slightly short of providing enough information to meaningfully answer them?

Ask HN: Language/framework pros and cons for writing a web server nowadays?
3 points by pvnick  2 days ago   2 comments top 2
gt565k 1 day ago 0 replies      
Django and Rails are similar in the sense that they come with batteries included and favor convention over configuration. Also, Django recently received a grant from Mozilla, so expect some great features to be added.


Personally, I've worked with Django, Rails, and The Spring Framework (Java).

I'd choose Django or Rails. I do prefer Django, but Rails has a much more vibrant eco system and a lot more plugins (gems) that let you do things pretty fast.

Really you need to be clear on what problem you are trying to solve, because one framework might be better than the other. For example, I've worked with Rails and it has great support for apache solr. If I needed to do full text search on a lot of records and use solr to index them, I'd choose Rails.

Define the problem you're trying to solve, and see which framework is best suited for it.

brudgers 1 day ago 0 replies      
What is the goal?

What is the architecture?

What is the business proposition?

Who is going to maintain it?

What kind of data will be in the backing store?

Ask HN: Payment processor for non-profit donations?
5 points by mattmoss  2 days ago   6 comments top 4
pbrumm 2 days ago 0 replies      
It sounds like what you are needing is more of a donor management system which is like a crm for non profits. They provide membership levels and can process recurring donations and some provide donor login.

I work at Kindful.com and we provide these services, but there are many others, so do some research and see what is the best fit for your client.

jeffmould 2 days ago 0 replies      
Stripe Checkout. Simple to get started and implement. But you are going to have to build/host the pages.
charlesh 2 days ago 1 reply      
Hey there! We've been building a payment processor that handles this exact use case. Would you mind shooting a message to charlesh@pandapay.io

Specifically, PandaPay's API allows for-profit companies to accept and distribute donations to charities compliant with IRS guidelines for tax-deductibility

ApolloRising 1 day ago 1 reply      
Do you need it to integrate with Salesforce?
       cached 19 December 2015 21:05:03 GMT