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Ask HN: What are the cons of Google Polymer?
76 points by LukeFitzpatrick  15 hours ago   64 comments top 16
sshumaker 13 hours ago 3 replies      
Disclaimer: I led development of gaming.youtube.com. We chose Polymer at the time for non-technical reasons.

Some downsides:Performance is not great.Lack of coherent data architecture (e.g. Redux).Difficult to manage state change (as opposed to React) due to a more limited programming model - e.g. template ifs and repeats don't know to reevaluate in many cases. This makes it harder to integrate with third party js libraries.Inferior tooling vs React.

Philosophically Polymer is more about the DOM and React is more JS-focused. Some of this is personal preference.

david-given 14 hours ago 2 replies      
It pretty much requires you to use the babel/crisper/vulcanize toolchain, which in my limited experience doesn't do nearly a good a job of minifying Javascript than other tools (because it can't do symbol renaming). I haven't found a way to use browserify with web components, for example, so no ES6 modules.

Polymer is made of magic. It uses magic cutting-edge browser features where available, and where they aren't it fakes them using magic. Some of its APIs like Polymer.dom(x) are completely magic. When it works, it works really well. When it doesn't you are going to waste so much time trying to find out why.

It also assumes that everything you're doing is through Polymer; so you won't get much mileage out of, say, JQuery. While it admits the existence of other Javascript libraries it tends to blank them at parties.

If I were to do my current project again... I'd probably still choose Polymer, although I'd take another look at the other Javascript UI toolkits. Web components are so, so nice for designing UIs --- I can finally use actual computer science techniques like abstraction and modularity for building UIs! --- and it's got the best consistent look and feel that I've ever seen in a Javascript UI toolkit.

eob 13 hours ago 2 replies      
We use it pretty extensively at Cloudstitch and like it on the whole.

A few commenters mentioned poor browser support, but we haven't experienced any problems other than IE<=10.

In many ways Polymer is just a shim for the WebComponents spec with data binding added in, along with a standard library of web components. The resulting framework-style is basically plain-JS/HTML with a la carte use of Web Components where appropriate. Unlike [my perception of] React or Angular, you can use Polymer a bit without going all in. (Ironically the one thing you can't currently do is mix Polymer Elements from Source A with Polymer Elements from Source B at runtime if they have common, but separately hosted, dependencies).

WebComponents feel a bit like Java swing, in that making HelloWorld is high overhead, but once you've got a nice toolbox of components going, you can pull them out and use them flexibly. This is not unlike React components, except Polymer/WebComponents use an HTML-centric definition format while React uses a JS-centric definition format.

pfooti 12 hours ago 1 reply      
If you are using the shady dom (web components lite, rather than the low perf full polyfill), the library requires you to do dom manipulation through the polymer local DOM API. [0]

That means without shimming other libraries, polymer is incompatible with any other libraries you might use to manipulate the DOM. For example, you can't easily mix angular, react, or ember templates with some polymer elements, because (e.g.,) angular's ng-if directive doesn't use polymer.dom to inject created nodes.

This is currently my biggest beef with polymer. Someday, webcomponents will be great, principally due to composability and portability. Just plug the one component you need in to your extant work. But for now, that promise is not quite realized.

[0]: https://www.polymer-project.org/1.0/docs/devguide/local-dom....

appleflaxen 13 hours ago 1 reply      
I've never used it, because the official demo site was incredibly slow. If the resources of google can't even make their own library feel responsive, then I'll spend my time hitting my head against a different platform.
IshKebab 13 hours ago 2 replies      
Slow as hell in Firefox because Firefox doesn't natively support web components so they use a JavaScript polyfill.

Also it is over-complicated for simple websites. You'll end up in bower-npm-grunt-etc-etc hell very quickly.

lucb1e 14 hours ago 1 reply      
For those who (like me) have never heard of it, here's a link: https://www.polymer-project.org
sidcool 8 hours ago 0 replies      
An issue we faced is with different versions. Each new major version changed so much that we had to rewrite some things. I will wait for a stabler release
etimberg 13 hours ago 1 reply      
I recently used Polymer for a large project. Performance is ok on chrome with full web-components, but unsurprisingly the full webcomponent polyfill is very slow elsewhere. Stick to the ShadyDom polyfill if possible.

Vulcanize is pretty cool, though we had a hard time getting it to work right in a gulp workflow.

dccoolgai 14 hours ago 1 reply      
For the moment, it doesn't really have great browser support and less intent to implement than some other features of the OWP. Whereas service workers at least had Mozilla pushing along with it, Google seems to be "going it alone" a bit more on Polymer and having a tougher time building a coalition for it.
dominotw 14 hours ago 1 reply      
you are kind of forced to use bower.

lacks older browser support

mixing it with other virtual-dom libraries like react is not easy or straightforward.

wanda 12 hours ago 0 replies      
Excluding the performance issue, which largely seems to be confined to instances where polyfills are required, the cons don't seem so bad. The tooling will improve as the library and community mature, and other problems are being addressed already by the looks of it.

I've got a project in the pipeline for which I was planning to use Cycle.js, but I've always had a niggling interest in Polymer.

What I'd like to know is whether Polymer offers any significant pros, because after consuming some of the docs the offer seems to be a better reimagining of ASP.NET WebForms. What are the benefits?

arisAlexis 13 hours ago 1 reply      
If you want to compare with react for example or angular it lacks a mobile framework.
elcritch 8 hours ago 0 replies      
Don't forget to take a look at http://x-tag.github.io especially if you're looking for alternatives to Polymers take on a Web components. Haven't used either extensively yet but x-tag seems more bare metal.
andreapaiola 14 hours ago 1 reply      
More http requests (or vulcanize, maybe...)
vayarajesh 14 hours ago 2 replies      
It lacks a routing system
Scam Alert: Nootropic Pill Supported by Hawking, Gates, Anderson Cooper?
3 points by ada1981  3 hours ago   1 comment top
_RPM 3 hours ago 0 replies      
They did a good job, unless they just copied the CSS directly.
Tell HN: Apply HN apology and revision
643 points by dang  2 days ago   204 comments top 60
mdip 1 day ago 0 replies      
It's nice to see an organization behave like "a decent human being" from time to time.

This post is a shining example of exactly what people want to hear when they perceive a company/organization has failed (especially when it's apparent to the company/organization). It's direct/to the point, doesn't mince words, doesn't attempt to twist it into something it isn't and instantly, in my case, raised the level of respect that I have for YC[1]. Personally, I didn't fully understand the controversy and didn't feel it was as big of a deal as it was bubbling up to be, but everyone has their opinion. Had I been on the "yes, you fucked up badly" side, though, this would have been a response I would have never expected and been pleased to see.

I know there are reasons that organizations don't offer this level of candor. Many of them are the same reasons people choose not to apologise/own up for their own mistakes. The only valid reason is the one that comes from the legal department: Outright admitting a mistake opens one up to possible liabilities and an easy win from a plaintiff in court. In the especially litigious United States, this could be a "death blow" kind of risk. When it's not, I wouldn't want to be the guy in charge of weighing the "goodwill" benefit from handling an apology correctly against the costs of litigation (I'd prefer to attempt blind-folded archery through the wake of a 747). But I deeply wish organizations could behave more like individuals and handle an apology properly: Admit clearly you've screwed up, state the cause and corrections to prevent it in the future, and possibly provide something as a show of good faith that those actions are being followed. I found seek out and find a way to do business with companies that behaved like that.

[1] Which is funny to say. Frankly, I'd have expected a response like this from YC because they've tended to behave in an admirable way.

[2] All of which are terrible ideas and require one to only get over one's ego. Be quick to apologise and quick to forgive is my rule. Just because malice wasn't intended (which is practically always the case), doesn't mean things couldn't have been handled better and people weren't hurt just the same.

postscapes1 2 days ago 5 replies      
I might be in the minority opinion here, but I think Maciej is getting off light on this one.

I am a happy paying subscriber to Pinboard and enjoy his writing as much as anyone here, but Pinboard can barely be considered a startup at this point in time (running since 2009), and he seems like he has not really been interested in adding much new since then (for good reason..)

The original posting stated "It will be like a lighter version of YC for idea and prototype stage companies" - Which doesn't fit Pinboard at all.

I think the original response to the voting, etc was handled very professionally by YC, and Maciej should spend more time writing and less time stewing up trouble.

keithflower 2 days ago 4 replies      
Note to tech world: THIS is how you take responsibility, make things right when mistakes happen, and look out for the communities we live in.
danieltillett 2 days ago 1 reply      
My specific suggestions on how to improve the Apply HN process.

1. Allow more than 2000 characters for the application description. I dont think we need to make this endless - something like 5000 characters should work.

2. Increase the contrast of the text in the description - as a (slightly) older person reading large blocks of light grey text on a light grey background is hard going.

3. Set clear guidelines on what we are supposed to be judging the applications on. Is it what we would most like to see funded, or is it what we think is the best fit for YC?

4. Once a shortlist is selected then let the applicants update the description in light of the discussion they have had. In my case I learned from the questions asked that many people missed what the market was for my idea and dismissed it on that basis. I really needed to go back into the original application and update the description to make this clearer.

5. YC should not limit themselves to the winners of the process. If they see an application they think is a great fit for YC then just interview the applicants. YC is getting a different category of applicants in both cases. In my case I put in an Apply HN application yet I had no interest in applying for a standard YCF or the YC program. Edit. I should add here that I am probably not a good fit for YC, but I am sure some of the other applicants that did not win were.

6. We need some better way of deciding on what is more important - what appeals to the HN community, or what has wider appeal. The HN community is a great resource, but it is not necessarily the best market for a startup. Many of the applications were voted up on what HNers wanted, not on what we thought the wider world wants.

colinbartlett 2 days ago 0 replies      
What a compassionate way to turn this into something good! Thank you to all parties.

If anyone wants to join me in also donating to the San Francisco Coalition on Homelessness, here is the donation form linked on their site:


(You have to actually click the "Take Action" link in the header: http://www.cohsf.org/)

karmacondon 1 day ago 2 replies      
I'm starting to lose faith in the concept of online voting. You get Pinboard, Boaty McBoatface and white house petitions about the Death Star. Maybe it's how easily links can be shared to reach a wider audience. Or just something about the nature of using the internet to vote. For some reason, nonsense seems to be more likely when people make decisions over http.

There's a fine line between "wisdom of the crowds" and "American Idol for startups". I'm not sure exactly where Apply HN falls. It doesn't seem like any individual investment will make or break YC, and this is an interesting idea for an experiment. But I don't come away from this feeling upbeat about the democratic process.

neurotech1 2 days ago 1 reply      
The ability to say "I F'd up" is an important skill of leadership. Capt. Kohei Asoh [0] crashed a Japan Airlines DC-8 into the San Francisco Bay after a miscalculating the final approach. Nobody was injured and the aircraft was repaired. It became famously known among pilots as the "Asoh Defense"

[0] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Japan_Airlines_Flight_2#The_.2...

hsod 2 days ago 2 replies      
It's weird. I read that thread and gave it a lot of thought over the last couple of days, and I was just deciding that I respected your choice (even if it wasn't necessarily one I would have made myself). Then this unqualified mea culpa shows up and I don't know what to think.

In the world of PR, there's a very strong bias towards appeasement. If a controversy gets big enough companies tend to just 'give in.' But these victories are hollow ones as the true rightness or wrongness of the controversial actions become irrelevant. It's impossible to know whether a corporate/organizational apology is genuine or if the stakeholders are simply appeasing the crowd.

My gut says this phenomenon has become more powerful in the social media era as consumer voices are more easily amplified.

levemi 2 days ago 1 reply      
For what it's worth I only voted for pinboard because I like what they're doing. I didn't vote for any of the other startups. I didn't see the promotional tweet and I had hoped pinboard would become a YC company. I'm disappointed all around and while I appreciate that the money will help people at the charity I'd be lying if I didn't say that I'm disappointed Maciej didn't go and join the YC family with pinboard.
rdl 2 days ago 0 replies      
Wow, my respect for everyone involved is higher now than before this incident. Congratulations!
tptacek 2 days ago 1 reply      
You're a good man, Charlie Brown.
simonebrunozzi 2 days ago 0 replies      
Hey, well said.

Fuck-ups happen. The biggest difference is how you deal with it.

chris_wot 2 days ago 0 replies      
dang, good on you. I hope it's not too embarrassing if I publicly say this, but I'm more than ever impressed by your level headed judgement and decision making, but even more so that when you realise you made a mistake you openly say so, then take measures to make it right.

It's very hard to do this, and it's my firm belief that only those of good character have the strength and fortitude to do so!

Maciej, you're a gracious guy and the manner in which you handled this was also exemplary.

As an aside: dang has one of the toughest and most thankless jobs you can imagine: moderating HN and ensuring that trolls, unstable people and those with hurt feelings are fairly dealt with and at times corrected. I am one of those people who dang has had to quietly speak with after I emailed HN, and his gracious, open and firm communication speaks volumes, and is one of the reasons why HN is the best and most interesting forums on the Internet.

alva 2 days ago 0 replies      
Great response dang and big respect to Maciej for directing the 20k towards charity. A good resolution.
gus_massa 1 day ago 0 replies      
Just three recommendations. (I think I have read them in other threads, but I want to insist on them.)

* Say that the HN community will select 2 project for an interview for the YCF program, so it's completely clear that YC has the final word, veto power and whatever additional conditions seam necessary.

* Keep the last vote open for at least 24 hours, as it was in the extended period. I live Argentina, so I have a an hour similar to USA, but it would be nice that the people outside north/south America have time to vote.

* (More difficult) Enable a "hide" option for the ApplyHN threads. There were more than +250 applications and some of them were good and some of them were "obviously" bad. I'd like to filter them from the random order (without flagging them), so I can make my own shortlist of 30-50 applications to read them more carefully and upvote a few more.

minimaxir 2 days ago 2 replies      
While this is the best outcome for all parties, I hope that future experiments have more clearly-defined rules. The outcome shows that brigading is a favorable strategy, and it may set a bad precedent in the long run. (Such as with a certain other startup voting site where vote brigading is expected because everyone else is doing it)
personjerry 2 days ago 0 replies      
Nice. I like how YC "moves fast" and introduces new experiments pretty often, but solves the "break things" issue gracefully and with good communication.
cperciva 2 days ago 6 replies      
If any of you have suggestions for how to do better, I'd like to hear them.

1. Make this "HN selects startups which get invited for YC interviews", i.e., a feeder into the existing system. Essentially, use HN to supplement the network of YC alumni who help out with the application-filtering.

2. Since YC will explicitly still have the final say, open this to both Fellowships and YC Core applications.

3. Have a standardized form. Or possibly even a "make this application public" checkbox on the regular YC application form.

4. Use a more sophisticated voting system. I think a "which of these two looks better" combined with a form of Elo rating could work quite well.

EDIT: To the people voting this comment up: Do you agree with all four of those suggestions, just some of them, or are you voting it up because you like the fact that I'm offering ideas despite thinking that these four are all bad ones? As Dan has said a few times recently, discussion is more useful than votes. :-)

yarou 2 days ago 0 replies      
Good on dang and whomever else was involved in this decision.

@dang - I know you sometimes have to make tough decisions where all parties involved end up unhappy with the end result. But I'm sure that the vast majority of the community appreciates what you do. At the very least I do.

It's not said very often, so I wanted to rectify that.

HappyTypist 2 days ago 0 replies      
I think what YC has done was reasonable. It is true that you changed the rules, but Apply HN is like a MVP. Making things up as you go alone is part of the ethos of startups, and what matters more is if it's done in good faith.
markbao 2 days ago 0 replies      
It sucks that the outcome of the first Apply HN became complicated, but the resolution makes me confident that the people behind this are gracious and understanding which is more important than that mistakes were made this time around. Thank you.
Kiro 1 day ago 0 replies      
I can't support Maciej when he's posting this kind of stuff:



Gratsby 2 days ago 0 replies      
I thought it was pretty clear from the beginning.

But I have to say it's pretty cool to see this response. Shouldering responsibility and admitting fault is something that most people avoid and most businesses don't even think about.

cprecioso 1 day ago 0 replies      
While I was rooting for Maciej, I understood why Y Combinator didn't want to fund him, and I don't understand this decision at all. Maciej applied to YCF, not to just get the money, even if that's all he wanted. He should have either took the money and the mentorship, or nothing at all.
OoTheNigerian 1 day ago 0 replies      
Since I commented on the previous ones, here is my take on this.

Dang and YC have done well and played their part. Maciej has not.

I am with @nickpsecurity in stating that Maciej is misappropriating the money invested in his company. Of course the argument can be made that

1. The money did not get to him at all.

2. Too much bad blood has made participation untenable.

Irrespective of the above, the spirit and intention of those that voted him (I did not) and those that insisted he be given the money (I did) for for Maciej & Pinboard to participate in YC so we can see what happens and how it will affect the product. .

If we are looking for who YC should make charitable donations to, we would mention that.

The aim of this scheme by YC was to engage and bring the community together and it has brought a lot to awkwardness. This is mainly on Maciej and doesn't look good.

To Dang and co, keep up the experiments. Not everyone will turn out as planned.

forgottenacc56 2 days ago 8 replies      
This is a cryptic post, what, in direct terms, happened?
josh_carterPDX 2 days ago 0 replies      
To Daniel and Kevin,

You are both awesome people who are genuinely interested in doing something different to help give new ideas a nudge forward. It sucks that this blew up, but I think the original intent still rings true and I thank you both for giving us a chance to be a part of it.

beatpanda 2 days ago 0 replies      
Wow, $20k to the Coalition is a great choice. That's fantastic news.
nickpsecurity 2 days ago 3 replies      
Excellent response, dang, by you and YC.

Alternately, what Maciej did with the money is more irritating now given point of competition and his comments in it. I was more interested to see what value in business he could create with it given Pinboard success. (rolls eyes)

acconrad 2 days ago 0 replies      
Cheers for doing what's right, double cheers for the donation!
rmason 2 days ago 1 reply      
How about letting the community nominate companies for consideration? I can think of a few bootstrapped companies in Michigan that are deserving. Whether HN would agree I don't know.

Rules would be that you couldn't have any equity in said company or have ever received any compensation from them.

Could the HN community vet them as well as you do?

soneca 2 days ago 0 replies      
I understood it as a game you could change the rules until you posted the poll, already vetting some uneligible applications and keeping Pinboard, and stating that the two most upvoted would pass.Then you messed up because you decided Pinboard was not elegible anymore. Personally I find this final decision and mea culpa correct and honorable. Congrats.

My suggestion: Next time ask a private application for YCF with the sole purpose of considering an application eligible on whatever (transparent) criteria you choose. And dont take it lightly. Be 100% sure that you would give the 20k and mentoring to any of the eligible applicants.

Then create detailed rules and guidelines that allow removing an elegible applicant from the poll and publish it.

Then, only then, publish the poll and state that the 2 most upvoted will be selected.

forrestthewoods 2 days ago 1 reply      
I can't actually find what Maciej submitted, why it was initially rejected, and why it was deemed within the rules. It's kinda hard to scroll through hundreds of posts on a small mobile screen. Can someone summarize those details?
zorpner 2 days ago 0 replies      
Well done -- excellent resolution.
_wmd 1 day ago 2 replies      
If you insist on drawing continuous attention to meta drama (this is something very new to HN since PG stepped back), then please at least document exactly what it is you're apologizing for rather than making some vague remarks then linking to 2 huge threads full of drama. I really tried to figure out what this was all about, but after 5 minutes I've given up.

This is really crap content, please cut it out

rorykoehler 2 days ago 0 replies      
How to make the process better:

- give a 2 week window for applications to go up. Only publish the posts all at once, once the window shuts

- give every user one vote and one vote only so there is a cost to the user in voting

solve 2 days ago 0 replies      
Of all the times I've seen Internet votes made to have a real-world value, the bad parts of this contest were among the mildest of potentially bad outcomes there could be. Went better than expected honestly.
felixgallo 2 days ago 0 replies      
Much respect Dan. And classy, great way to handle it to both you and Maciej.
vs2370 2 days ago 0 replies      
well handled. The positive side of all this is cohsf got 20k donation. So it wasn't that bad after all.
austinhutch 2 days ago 0 replies      
I was extremely disappointed reading the thread yesterday and the overall handling of the situation on the side of YC. This apology and outcome is about as good they come though.
emirozer 2 days ago 0 replies      
I actually really like this outcome of 20k going to charity :)
borski 2 days ago 0 replies      
This was precisely the correct resolution. Thanks 'dang and 'kevin for doing the right thing, and understanding the issue at hand. Sorry if we clashed a bit on the other thread, but I wanted to ensure you understood, clearly, how it was misread by so many, even if it didn't occur to you when you wrote it. That happens all too often in anyone's writing. :)


staunch 2 days ago 0 replies      
Yay. Well done. Now please don't let this rocky start ruin such a uniquely promising idea. This is YC's chance to implement the first true diversity program in SV. https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=11634217
a_small_island 2 days ago 1 reply      
I almost posted an 'ASK HN' on this topic but didn't want to stir the pot. Since it was an online contest, was YC legally obligated to the 'official rules' as it were, and Pinboard had legal recourse? Did that factor into this ultimate decision of capitulation?
kevinwang 2 days ago 0 replies      
tdicola 2 days ago 3 replies      
> A note to HN users: The intention behind Apply HN was to do something new to excite and interest the community and engage it with YC in an interesting way. That did happen, but it pains me that it also partly turned into the opposite. If any of you have suggestions for how to do better, I'd like to hear them.

How about publishing rules for a contest and sticking to them, or canceling the contest entirely if it's not going the way you expected or desired? If there was a risk that some founder you didn't like would be picked the rules should have been clear about how to prevent that (through interview, etc.). And if you realize the rules didn't cover this contingency then scrap it entirely and start over with new rules.

Frankly I'm surprised that this is being pushed back as some failing of the HN community. This is clearly a failing of the contest creators.

andy_ppp 1 day ago 0 replies      
Super impressive to see things resolved this way! Well done.
koolba 2 days ago 0 replies      
This apology is definitely worth more than the $20K. Well spent and nice turnaround.
waddabadoo 17 hours ago 0 replies      
Tough crowd here.
smoyer 2 days ago 1 reply      
There is too much grief being felt on both sides of the table for a measly $20k. I hope everyone's happy with he outcome but let's avoid this kind of pain in the future.
danieltillett 2 days ago 1 reply      
Dan are we going to have a specific postmortem thread on this experiment? I don't want to post a lot of specific suggestions in this thread as they would be rather off topic.
forgottenpass 2 days ago 1 reply      
If any of you have suggestions for how to do better, I'd like to hear them.

Don't open up a selection process if you're not going to accept results that aren't already of the sort that your insider selection process would have picked anyway.

In another thread you called Pinboard your "Boaty McBoatface scenario." The thing worth understanding is that Boaty was the best possible outcome of that poll. If they had wanted to keep to status quo of boring and vaguely-majestic names they should have never opened the process up. Boaty was not a failure, Mountain Dew's poll that selected "Hitler did nothing wrong" was.

Unless you're ready to paint the giant cartoon eyes on the bow of your ship, you don't actually want outsider ideas. So why are you asking for them?

wodenokoto 1 day ago 0 replies      
Is there a tl;dr version of all this?
aaronbrethorst 2 days ago 0 replies      
Props to both of you.
curiousgal 1 day ago 0 replies      
Can someone eli5 who this Maciej is?
krmbzds 1 day ago 0 replies      
Pinboard is the best.
cmech 1 day ago 0 replies      
I think you're missing the greater point here. From the original announcement a few things were quite clear. You welcomed a different perspective [0] and those who wouldn't want to go through the normal interview process [0], people was supposed to be nice [1], bias to be avoided [2] and that HN would decide. With this apology you've largely satisfied HN, but left everyone else wondering if they can ever trust an YC announcement again.

The things that was different about him was called out as faults (participating on his own terms, not knowing rules, making you uncomfortable), he was forced into the normal interview process (which you both said wouldn't happen and explicitly tried to attract people who wouldn't want to, then using that as an excuse to reject him), the "be nice" rules wasn't enforced on the many comments attacking his character as a result of this process and bias wasn't avoided.

It's one thing to change the rules, another not to be true to the premise of the experiment. How could someone now in good faith recommend a YC initiative to someone who doesn't fit the mould, when you can't even make it work with "one of your own"?

[0] "Hacker News users have many diverse perspectives on technology and business. Perhaps if HN picked startups, it would pick differently than YC. Maybe different startups would be motivated to apply, if they knew that the interviewing and deciding would be done by the HN community." https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=11440627

[1] "Anybody who applies to HN in public this way is putting both themselves and their baby in a super vulnerable position. We're going to rise to the occasion by being not only civil, but nice." https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=11440627

[2] "Its easy to form some really bad habits when you sit in a position of power to judge the potential of a person, a team, an idea and their executionbelieving that you know better and focusing your time on finding weakness." https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=11440843

cmech 21 hours ago 1 reply      
Not only do you try to fix the competition and then hide the fact, you're now trying to do the same with legitimate questions. This isn't responsibility nor transparency and surprisingly unbecoming of a organisation like YCombinator that supposedly value merit.
hueving 1 day ago 0 replies      
Pinboard is an old company and not a startup in the sense of the SV term. It's just a small business that manipulated the community. I'm a bit disappointed that it received any money. :(

Democracy has to be more than 2 wolves and sheep deciding what's for dinner.

genericpseudo 1 day ago 0 replies      
Sadly, regrettably, insufficient. You've just, finally, made good on the original terms; you haven't dealt with the insults thrown at Maciej's character. I would hope that you would have realized that was necessary too.

> If any of you have suggestions for how to do better, I'd like to hear them.

Y Combinator needs an impartial, independent ombudsman dedicated to tackling implicit and explicit bias both within the YC application process and, especially, on Hacker News itself.

Ask HN: Are real estate agents the problem with out of control home prices?
5 points by davemel37  5 hours ago   6 comments top 4
meric 2 hours ago 0 replies      
I think the cause of with out of control home prices is low interest rates. Often, people buy the biggest house they can afford, the lower the interest rate, the more they are willing to pay.

As the interest rate fell from 14% in 1981, to roughly 0% today, and mortgage rates fell from ~20% to ~4%, people could afford to pay more and more, comfortably or otherwise, for their homes, and because often people buy the biggest house they can afford as a proportion of their monthly income, the maximum people can pay will continue to rise as interest rates fall. This drives house prices upwards.

As house prices rise upwards, all homeowners will have increased equity-debt ratios, giving them additional collateral to further pledge their houses to increase the amount they can borrow to spend on more properties. It is a pro-cyclical effect on house prices.

ApolloRising 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Los angeles is a prime example of this problem. The demand has so far exceeded the supply the brokers are playing the flip game to a point now very few people who did not already start with a house in los angeles can afford one.

Even the current average tech worker wage at good companies will make buying a home on your own fairly impossible. Forget buying if you are someone who works a normal type job.

A house selling for 250k in a decent neighborhood in 2000 has jumped to 850k in 2016.

proteon 3 hours ago 1 reply      

You can only raise prices if you can find buyers who are willing to pay. If you used this pricing model as a real estate agent you would find yourself completely unable to sell houses pretty quick if, for example, people started moving out of the area. In that scenario there would be more houses for sale than buyers, and the real estate agent with the lowest price is the one who will actually get the sale (and if youre still increasing prices that agent wont be you.. you'll be going out of business).

This is why people cant increase prices forever - you have to lower your prices if the buyer has a lot of good alternatives to buying your house.

To influence the price of housing you need to increase the number of good alternatives for buyers. You can do this by driving people out of the area (lame), or you can build tons of housing.

This is all based on one of the fundamental ideas of modern economics, the supply and demand model[1].

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Supply_and_demand

JacobAldridge 4 hours ago 1 reply      
Two problems with this thought.

1) On average in my jurisdiction, people sell their houses once every 10 years. So the 6% Fees would account for only (6%/10 = 0.6%) annual growth, not the whole 6%.

2) You could compare this to an area where agent fees are much lower. For example, most of my real estate industry experience is in Queensland, Australia where until last year Agent Commissions were capped at 2.5%. If your theory were correct, we would have seen growth rates closer to 2.5%, when in reality they average about 6-8% per annum here as well.

I like your thinking though!

Ask HN: Who are some writers/thinkers similar to Paul Graham and Sam Altman?
6 points by kenentu  6 hours ago   3 comments top 3
Gaessaki 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Not sure if this qualifies as similar to PG, but I'd throw in Joel Spolsky of Trello and StackOverflow fame (http://www.joelonsoftware.com/) in there. He doesn't blog anymore, but there's a decade's worth of posts there concerning technology, product management and startups. Some other names off the top of my head: Hanselman, Coding Horror, AVC, Both sides of the table, Justin Kan (only read a few posts that showed up on HN, but I liked them.)
siquick 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Have always enjoyed these guys

http://andrewchen.co/ Andrew Chen of Uberhttp://jwegan.com/ John Wegan of Pinterest

Probably more growth/product focused than PG and SA, but definitely give some excellent insight.

bbcbasic 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Michael O'Church /s
Ask HN: What are things a programmer should do at least once?
18 points by jdnc  20 hours ago   8 comments top 7
randcraw 10 hours ago 0 replies      
Parse natural language (e.g. English) toward understanding it and responding. You will learn a great deal about ambiguity, the tradeoff between elegance/verbosity and the basics of information (sufficiency, necessity, ambiguity and excess). You'll also better appreciate the language itself, its basic patterns and the value and limits of grammar.

This will reveal the inevitability of verbal interfaces in computing devices (esp. mobile) and the difficulties therein.

It's then worth extending the effort another step, to introduce yourself to the statistical and numerical techniques used by natural language processing pros to keep up with the explosion in language in modern media: personal, social, and mass.

maxander 12 hours ago 1 reply      
The old chestnut, but valid: Learn, and get comfortable in, a functional language. The typical case being Lisp (often in conjunction with a readthrough of SICP), but if you have the stomach for it, Haskell (or languages of its lineage- ML, perhaps OCaml or Scala) offers the same functional "enlightenment", and the mysteries of strong type systems besides.
fahimulhaq 18 hours ago 0 replies      
Write a compiler. It gives you great insights into parsing/tokenizing, building syntax trees, implementing syntax and Symantec checks and code generation. Obviously, you would have to pick a toy language (typically a subset of a known programming language) and your generated code will be inefficient. Still, you would learn a lot.
asimuvPR 7 hours ago 0 replies      
Write a program with another peogrammer. Do it as many times as possible with as many people. Software is built in the mind. Understand other minds and you will understand software better.
bbcbasic 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Manage a team.

Wasn't my cup of tea but at least I know what it is like on the dark side.

Only danger is after doing it for a year it was harder to ace the technical questions at interviews.

zer00eyz 9 hours ago 0 replies      
Read "Database Design for Mere Mortals".

Its one of the few books I keep buying and giving away.

fit2rule 17 hours ago 0 replies      
Here's a list (I've thought about this often):

1. Use your application. (Not the same as testing.)

2. Adopt an apprentice programmer, teach them your seat, pass on the seat. Leave the seat.

3. Program something for fun that is your own idea.

4. Program something for someone else that is their idea.

5. Sort the books/library.

6. No books/library? Build books/library.

7. Re-write the code from scratch, for the hell of it.

8. Take over someone elses' project, finish it to the end users satisfaction.

9. Give your project to someone else, in a state that they can do #8 easily.

10. Build a list of positive observations over a period of X, where X is how long you think it might be fun to do so.

The accomplishment of a number of these actions have, in my opinion, resulted in some really great programmers and some really great software.

Ask HN: Visualize / categorize exception logs
3 points by Zombieball  8 hours ago   1 comment top
hakanderyal 7 hours ago 0 replies      
https://getsentry.com/ might help. It's open source and can be self-hosted.
Ask HN: Is there a Facebook group or something similar for users of HN?
4 points by eecks  18 hours ago   2 comments top 2
joelg 17 hours ago 0 replies      
The Hackathon Hackers Facebook group is pretty active with 35K members: https://www.facebook.com/groups/hackathonhackers/
LukeFitzpatrick 15 hours ago 0 replies      
I just ran a quick search. There's a public Hacker News group with around 9K members:


Ask HN: Front End Developer Burnout
3 points by mouzogu  13 hours ago   9 comments top 5
ApolloRising 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Before you do something drastic, I think the advice below to take some time to rest is a good one. Take your sick days or vacation days and take a full 10 working days off. What happens when you are not around to fight the fires? Are you working in an agency or for a single corp? Does the random reporting of strange bugs increase the budget or show in the costs? You may have better luck showing how much this is costing in terms of man hours rather because that is something managers/directors care about more than "tools, workflow, etc" Try to take it up to the top and show how being less fragmented benefits the company rather than yourself and you may find more people that will listen to your concerns.
calcsam 13 hours ago 1 reply      
Constantly fighting fires is not normal. It's causing you to burn out. When you burn out, you stop thinking clearly about alternatives and ways to exit the situation.

Here's what I suggest.

(1) If you can financially afford to quit, quit. Take a couple weeks to sleep. Then start looking for a new job. Your experience is extremely valuable and if you are in any major metro area you should find one in a month or two.

If you can't do this:

(1) Call in sick for a couple days to a week. Get some sleep, do whatever fun activities make you happy.(2) Start interviewing for different jobs. Consider using tools like Hired or Indeed Prime where you can get lots of opportunities in a short amount of time.(3) As soon as you get an offer that is better than what you're doing now, give notice and start searching full-time for a new position.

elviejo 12 hours ago 1 reply      
In 1996 I knew everything there was to know about webdevelopment.

You only neded to know which HTML tags worked on IE and Netscape. We did our layout with tables... And they worked.. 100% of the time.

Then came Javascript, a language designed to make a monkey dance in a webpage. And all hell broke loose.Suddenly you didn't know which script would work on which browser.

Latter came CSS, and for the next 5 years everybody went looking for the holy grail of CSS that was a layout that looked like tables did.

The the browser wars ended, IE won and maybe could have some peace... But it didn't last.

Latter came JQuery and it made JavaScript tolerable, and then came bootstrap and made CSS tolerable.

Then came Coffee Script and all of the languages that comile to it... JavaScript became the "assembly" of the web.

Then the iphone came a long and now, your webpage gad to work in a screen resolution you didn't know existed.---My conclusion:Front end development is an inestable mess.

Plagued with accidental complexity as defined by Fred Brooks.I left it around the time I realized that fighting CSS layouts to do what a table could wasn't for me. And I stayed as a back end developer.

I definitely recommend changing direction but not completely, where can your skills for usability and design be valuable with less of the accidental complexity??

Maybe mobile development?Specialize in a single platform and become an expert there?

PerfectElement 4 hours ago 0 replies      
If your job allows, try to focus on a single project at a time. Even if it means you'll be making less money. Having too many things going on at the same time works just for short time, for most people.
id122015 13 hours ago 1 reply      
Wow! Should I be the first to comment?.. I've already started.

I'm the inverse of you! I got inspires to say this, like that guy who said he created the inverse of angry birds.

Ten years ago I was in those boring computer science courses constantly falling asleep, being told that many will not make it to graduation, and seeing with my eyes burnt out students in last year of study. Slowly my decision was set, I dropped out and have studied whatever I wanted to know about for all these years. You can bet I know a lot about the world. But I only started to learn developing few years ago, and I'm much left behind compared to those who worked continuously. I tried to start over in a different careers many times in those years, and believe me, its harder. You need a break, to recover, maybe you lack knowledge about how the world works, or what the true face of employers is, but its cheaper to pay money to find that than to start all over.

Be aware of working in teams, maybe you dont know what collectivism is, you might think communism as a name of the past, but it could be reincarnated into another leftist ideology.

Take a break, you are ahead of many, and dont waste your savings.

Ask HN: Can I visit your startup in San Francisco?
14 points by pedrohom  1 day ago   2 comments top
alain94040 1 day ago 1 reply      
Looks like you'll be in Silicon Valley on May 19: come hang out at the startup fair, you'll meet a lot of founders. The fair itself is free (you only need to buy a ticket for the conference that is inside, but everyone you'll meet will come out at some point :-) --> http://thestartupconference.com/tips-for-first-time-attendee...

Redwood City is easy to reach, there's a caltrain stop right next to where the fair is taking place.

Ask HN: Freelance developer hit the ceiling: what to do next?
11 points by anovikov  19 hours ago   11 comments top 3
bbcbasic 3 hours ago 0 replies      
An idea: Try to get a London, Paris or whatever high paying job where you can go remote once you have proved yourself.
CyberFonic 16 hours ago 1 reply      
$100k per year is very good. There are lots of people who would love to earn that much. No wonder you are in the top 10!

Without knowing what your skills are, it's hard to make suggestions. But ... have you looked at working at a top notch company where your skills would be very much in demand. For example, with the right skills you could land a very well paying job in banking in say Frankfurt or Zurich. I've worked for a Zurich insurance company and that was one of the best paid gigs I've ever had.

CarolineW 18 hours ago 2 replies      
What are your skills?

What skills do you want to be using?

Ask HN: How do you like the trend of auto-playing videos on mainstream sites?
5 points by hellofunk  19 hours ago   5 comments top 5
gesman 5 hours ago 0 replies      
It's worse. YouTube will autoplay "next", "next", "next" videos once you stopped watching the video of interest and didn't bother the close the browser's tab.

This way youtube will suck your bandwidth and resources to force-run dozens to hundreds videos through your computer and internet connection.

This will allow Youtube to inflate actual view count numbers and defraud both the publishers and the advertisers.

epalmer 17 hours ago 0 replies      
The net in places is much worse than television. I might open several tabs when researching something or making sure that I read something of interest. Then all of a sudden I hear voices or sounds and have to go hunting them down. I use unlock origin to block ads but now some sites are calling ads within their domain so that ad blocking does not work.

Do the advertisers really think this behavior makes me want to buy their product?

nanis 17 hours ago 0 replies      
Hate is not a strong enough word to describe my feelings.
r721 15 hours ago 0 replies      
Chrome also has options in "Content settings" for "Images" and "Plugins", but there is none for HTML5 video. I think the time has come for introducing one.
Nicholas_C 10 hours ago 0 replies      
It's trash.
Ask HN: AOL geocities friendster myspace Facebook who's next?
8 points by meeper16  1 day ago   7 comments top 5
eecks 17 hours ago 0 replies      
Well Facebook own Instagram, WhatsApp, Oculus and MSQRD (snapchat-like filters) so I think they have a pretty solid hold on the market.

If they can erode some of Snapchats market share with their upcoming Snapchat-like app then they will be doing well.

bognition 1 day ago 1 reply      
What is the unifying feature of this series?
crispytx 1 day ago 0 replies      
Facebook could definitely go the way of myspace & AOL Instant Messenger! It doesn't have a "wide moat", or "margin of safety" like Google, that's for sure.
techbio 1 day ago 0 replies      
As Facebook is included, the question must mean "who's next to succeed" in the space.
nso95 1 day ago 1 reply      
Facebook doesn't belong in that list
Ask HN: What HN meetups and groups do you know?
3 points by anton_tarasenko  1 day ago   1 comment top
eecks 19 hours ago 0 replies      
There's lots of tech meet ups in Dublin, Ireland on meetup.com but not sure if there are any HN specific ones
Ask HN: What's the most interesting algorithm?
8 points by sillysaurus3  1 day ago   10 comments top 9
saturncoleus 1 day ago 1 reply      
Huffman coding is probably one of the more interesting ones, not only because it is so ridiculously useful, but because of the wide taxonomy of implementations. It is quite malleable, able to be morphed and optimized to the particular application: JPEG, PNG, HPACK, Gzip to name a few popular usages and implementations.

What is really enlightening though is implementing a basic one, because it is so simple. The core of it involves popping two graph nodes from a heap and pushing a new one. I did this in school, and was impressed by it, but became far more appreciative when I tried to do the JPEG way. It doesn't even provide a table, just a histogram!

It also acted as the basis for the successor of arithmetic coding, which is pretty much in every modern video codec. Can you imagine a world that is still analog because we couldn't figure out how to transmit digit video or images or audio? Huffman is a key link in the chain between the past and present.

mbrodersen 1 hour ago 0 replies      
The Monte Carlo algorithm is elegant, simple, powerful and useful for a large number of real world applications.
mroll 1 day ago 0 replies      
I like the fast fourier transform method for fast integer multiplication. Only applicable on really big inputs, but the idea is that it computes the fft of both integers, does point-wise multiplication of the resulting vectors, then does the inverse fft to recover the product. More about this (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Multiplication_algorithm#Fouri...).

Another interesting but asymptotically slower integer/polynomial multiplication algorithm is Karatsuba's.

kqia040 6 hours ago 0 replies      
I would say the simplex algo, ridiculously useful and efficient (most of the time)
MalcolmDiggs 1 day ago 0 replies      
I think the RSA algorithm is fascinating, just because of the impact it has had on the industry. Imagine a world without public-key encryption. Crazy right? (Obviously there would be other ways to achieve public-key encryption if RSA had never come along... but you get my point).

While we're on the subject: This book is a great read: http://www.amazon.com/Nine-Algorithms-That-Changed-Future/dp...

kele 13 hours ago 0 replies      
The union-find data structure (the idea is so simple and a sophisticated analysis yields a really low upper bound).

RMQ with linear preprocessing and constant time queries (which is also true for multi-dimensional cases, if the dimension is bounded by a constant).

Knuth-Morris-Pratt pattern matching is the first algorithm where I saw the usage of an additional variable in the pseudocode just to simplify the complexity analysis.

fatimafouda 1 day ago 0 replies      
ElGamal encryption. I'm a Cryptography fanatic. But really, any algorithm involving modular arithmetic is pretty cool.
panic 1 day ago 0 replies      
The HashLife algorithm is pretty neat and easy to understand: http://www.drdobbs.com/jvm/an-algorithm-for-compressing-spac...
informatimago 1 day ago 0 replies      
A* is nice.
Ask HN: Is pursuing a PhD worth it vs. starting/working for a startup?
13 points by ahmedbaracat  2 days ago   6 comments top 3
berpasan 1 day ago 1 reply      
Both seem so different, what are your goals?

If you want to be a teacher or hold a research or Engineering position at a more research driven corporation, and get a confortable life and safe career, get a PhD.

If you want to work your ass off for +10 years at least, life a insecure and stressed out life, have 0,1% chance of being insanely sucessful, rich and change the world, do a Startup.

Doing a startup trying to achieve only "career recognition" or improve your resume so you can land a job at Google or Microsoft is a total waste of time. You'll likely fail, lose your money (and your investors', if you get any) and achive nothing. Being a sucesfull entrepreneur would definitely make your resume better, but that's not the end goal.

When you see startups being acquired by Google you shouldn't think the founders reached their goal. Quite the opposite. It's usually a mild failure (an "acquihire" or "softlanding"), they couldn't scale their company or raise more money and selling to Google was the best thing they could do (besides shuting down the business). Or it was a mild success, the entrepreneurs sold to Google because they would get some sizeable amount of money fast enough, rather than taking the risk to see if the company would become much larger down the road, to sell or IPO at a much higher valuation 5 or 10 years later, for instance.

In either cases the founders won't usually be happy to have become employees once more, and will leave the acquirer as soon as they can and do something else. They can't leave right after the acquisition because he will be vested or will have golden handcuffs (ie.: won't get all his money if he leaves before 2 or 3 years).

Ps.: I have a startup (for 6 years now) and before that I was studying to get a Master's Degree. However, my A plan was always to start a company even once I started the program. So once I got some money to start, I dropped out. I was already quite tired of the academic life and don't regret it. Don't regret the time I've spent doing the master's also, as it was a way to keep myself ocuppied and get some ramen money, while having a lot of free time to work on my product and think.

throwaway_exer 1 day ago 1 reply      
HN sentiment is that startups are only worthwhile if you're a founder.
joeclark77 1 day ago 1 reply      
A PhD can give you an opportunity to work on what you call a "real" problem, but it could also force you to work on "fake" problems. In many fields, the research we academics must do to get hired/promoted/tenured is somewhat artificial and unrelated to the problems we're in the classroom teaching our students to solve. On the other hand there are great stories of PhD candidates starting businesses. I think Google got its start as somebody's dissertation.

When considering a PhD, the best thing to do is look at the advisor(s) you'd be working for and their repertoire of projects. Looking at the "discipline" isn't precise enough; there's a wide range of stuff happening within fields like information systems or computer science, everything from very theoretical to very practical.

Ask HN: What font do you use while programming?
11 points by navd  1 day ago   13 comments top 10
Tiksi 1 day ago 1 reply      
I use Tamsyn (6x12 on lower res screens, 7x14 on 4k monitors), http://www.fial.com/~scott/tamsyn-font/ but it's getting more and more difficult to use bitmap fonts these days. Firefox recently dropped support for them, gtk support is hit and miss.

Where I can't use Tamsyn I use https://github.com/rbanffy/3270font

I like fonts that are easily readable when small so I can get more screen realestate, and bitmaps are the best for that, but 3270 is pretty good as well.

usaphp 20 hours ago 0 replies      
I've spent so much time picking a font for my sumlimetext. The one I use and love is Pragmata Pro: http://www.fsd.it/shop/fonts/pragmatapro/
atmosx 1 day ago 0 replies      
All my computers are Macs. I use Inconsolata (version that supports Hellenic letters by Cosmix) patched with devicons. My editor of choice is VIM on iTerm 13 pt, see sshot[1].

[1] https://www.dropbox.com/s/s3s165lgha1ci01/vim-sshot.png?dl=0

smallduck 1 day ago 0 replies      
PR#3 from <http://www.kreativekorp.com/software/fonts/apple2.shtml>, with green text on a black background for maximum nostalgia. Very narrow & effective on my laptop screen. Considering switching to Input Condensed or Compressed though.
onion2k 1 day ago 0 replies      
Fira Code in my IDE, Menlo in my debug log (so it's the same as Chrome's devtools console), something else in an SSH session, and whatever the default is in Google Docs when I'm writing documentation.
sratner 1 day ago 0 replies      
Input Mono with settings:

 --asterisk=height --i=serifs_round --l=serifs_round --zero=slash --lineHeight=1.4

travjones 1 day ago 0 replies      
Source Code Pro
clishem 1 day ago 0 replies      
Monaco, with Infinality on Linux so it thinner.
holaboyperu 1 day ago 1 reply      
Fira Code
Ask HN: What do you use to write/draw your software/cloud architecture?
5 points by fartbagxp  1 day ago   11 comments top 5
nwrk 1 day ago 3 replies      
Visio, but been looking recently around what's new.Moving from 'drawing/clicking' to writing helped a lot.

Since then using:(paid)https://cloudcraft.co/https://textografo.com/

(open source)https://knsv.github.io/mermaid/

fartbagxp 1 day ago 0 replies      
I'm curious as to what HN is using since I usually do it my way.

I usually stick with what I know, such as powerpoint, but I have a difficult time making it look professional.

I love the README files in markdown in any git repository that are pretty descriptive on what their architectures are.

MalcolmDiggs 1 day ago 2 replies      
I use Lucidchart because they have a lot of AWS-specific icons built in, so mapping out the guts of a VPC is really easy.
palidanx 1 day ago 0 replies      
I use cacoo.com
albasha 1 day ago 0 replies      
Ask YC: is Paul Graham still doing office hours with YC companies?
13 points by berpasan  2 days ago   4 comments top 2
dang 2 days ago 1 reply      
I don't know how often, but he's definitely being doing some.
robbfitzsimmons 2 days ago 1 reply      
Small point, but the handoff was in early 2014, not 2012.
Ask HN: Which Developer Boot Camps Are Most Respected?
20 points by 11thEarlOfMar  3 days ago   27 comments top 8
jakegarelick 2 days ago 1 reply      
Bootcamp grad here. Honestly, I don't think it really matters what bootcamp you go to. I think the defining factor for getting a job depends on what you did before the bootcamp. If you're a college dropout (like me) don't even think about it. However, if you've had a successful career in your field and want to make a switch, you should have no issue getting a job.

As far as the most respected bootcamps, based on who I've talked to I would say App Academy, Hack Reactor.

throwthisawayt 3 days ago 0 replies      
I attended a bootcamp 1.5 years ago and have been working as a full stack dev for almost a year. My firm has hired a few bootcamp grads who have all done well.

However, I would only recommend HackReactor and App Academy in San Francisco as those are the bootcamps I've seen grads consistently do well in.

I find that the placement stats are a bit bs at bootcamps since they are unaudited but I have a strong confidence based on my network that both Hack Reactor and App Academy place 75% of their grads within 6 months into 6 figure jobs.

Happy to answer any questions.

c0110 3 days ago 0 replies      
I've worked with 2 graduates from Dev Bootcamp who contributed a lot on the team. (~5-7 developers total) One of them came on as an intern (originally we weren't going to take him on, but we re-interviewed him. The second time around, he really prepared for the interview) and we converted him to fulltime. Another of our team members went to Dev Bootcamp later and recently landed a position as a backend dev.

Also worked with a HackReactor grad who did some good work on web and embedded stuff (which he learned on the job). One of the common traits of these bootcamp grads is that they were willing to build stuff and took time to learn (ask a lot of questions).

I think DBC also has hiring coaches and a good community for career help. Also, I think DBC alums often go back and mentor new developers in the program, which is nice.

chlee 3 days ago 0 replies      
I would recommend hack reactor as I have consistently heard good things about the quality of training from their grads.

my ex-company hired 1 junior engineer from hack reactor and she has since then gone on and accomplished good things at other companies. And 2 of my ex coworkers transitioned into dev roles after going through hack reactor as well. They have all had positive experiences.

I have also heard good things about hackbrite if you are eligible. One of my ex-coworkers is an now instructor there and she cares passionately about cs education.

Source: I used to work in edtech in the valley so I have relationships or heard 1st hand accounts about these boot camps.

liquidcool 3 days ago 2 replies      
It's mixed, see here:


If you're looking for a job, I'd want to know way more than percentages. Companies, positions, salaries, etc.

I do recruiting and have seen a number of boot camp grads, and their first job is usually an (unpaid?) internship. Boot camps are at most 6 months of study (often compressed to 3). That's not a lot, compared to BS or MS in CS. You may want to look at remote masters programs, like Georgia Tech's.

kelseydh 3 days ago 1 reply      
All boot camps graduate strong students and all boot camps graduate weak students.

Using the name of a boot camp as the basis for judging the abilities of a student is a fool's errand.

Recruiters who do this are making a serious mistake. I say this as somebody who has interacted with hundreds of boot camp graduates across multiple boot camps. There is such a wide range of abilities that move through every boot camp that you really cannot generalize about the talents of each student.

Drilz 3 days ago 2 replies      
As someone with their BS and working on their MS are boot camps actually worth it or am I going to spending a lot of time learning basics.
booop 7 hours ago 0 replies      
Bootcamps have become more about cash and I know quite a few that are in trouble financially. Though they've gotten postive reviews lately it seems they will eventually be viewed in the same vein as Online degrees.
Ask HN: What good cybersecurity blogs do you follow?
10 points by eykanal  2 days ago   6 comments top 6
dpeck 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Spent the first part of my career doing infosec and I've noticed that there is less and less real information out there. The early/mid part of last decade seemed like a golden age of knowledge sharing, some really good books, great blogs, some of which were even corporate.

I don't know whether to blame it on the influx of money into the space, the death of RSS, or the ever shrinking number of people who understand the details of modern RCE but finding quality content with any regularity has been extremely hard to come by.

crisisactor 6 hours ago 0 replies      
I routinely check youtube for infosec conf videos. I've seen all the important ones. Some of the best ones are the Haroon Meer talks, and of course, TheGrugq. Look out for some @ioerror talks too. All on top of their game.

Blogs are usually mentally taxing and very technical. At least with talks we get the person's own voice which is much more preferable to text, as there are subtleties in the langauge that are usually left out from blogposts

SyneRyder 1 day ago 0 replies      
Are podcasts okay? I've become a big fan of Risky Business, one of the podcasts I most look forward to each week: http://risky.biz
bluejellybean 2 days ago 0 replies      
Not a blog but a list of security conference videos


chatmasta 1 day ago 0 replies      

thegrugq (his medium and tumblr)

summit route

and slides/videos from sec conferences are always great.

gbrindisi 2 days ago 0 replies      
Ask HN: Best encrypted messaging app with mobile and native clients?
13 points by mellamoyo  3 days ago   15 comments top 9
dbof 10 hours ago 0 replies      
Signal now has a desktop version which runs with Google Chrome: https://whispersystems.org/blog/signal-desktop/
zurn 3 days ago 1 reply      
Terminology nit: s/encrypted/secure/ - lots of systems that have encryption are pretty insecure.

As to the question, how about OTR+XMPP or Signal. Signal desktop is in beta. I don't think you need to worry about running the desktop Chrome extension on iOS since there's a native iOS app too?

pullany 1 day ago 0 replies      
I'm very happy with Threema (even though there's no Desktop client yet), and I'd certainly never use Signal because it's backed by the US government: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=8106721
zbuf 3 days ago 0 replies      
We ssh into a box and run unix "talk" ...

More seriously, is there a reason for native? Just it's a fairly arbitrary request without more detail, since a network connection is needed anyway. eg. WhatsApp web client is good enough that it 'feels' native.

implicit_none 3 days ago 0 replies      
SpiderOak is currently developing "Semaphor"; an end-to-end, zero-knowledge collaboration platform with native clients on mobile and desktop: https://spideroak.com/solutions/semaphor
threesixandnine 3 days ago 0 replies      
ryck 3 days ago 1 reply      
What's wrong with Telegram?
blindrooster 3 days ago 1 reply      
self hosted IRC
Synaesthesia 3 days ago 1 reply      
iMessage has end-to-end encryption.
Ask HN: Why can't we talk to each other here?
16 points by jheriko  3 days ago   16 comments top 9
nickpsecurity 3 days ago 1 reply      
"Someone made a comment on one of mine quite a while ago, and I feel I have some information that could make their life easier as a result... yet I am unable to do anything to help them because of the time limit."

Just do what I do: click on their name, find a recent comment of theirs, and reply with a message to contact you via your profile email (or whatever) for a solution to previous problem. It's how I got a hold of at least one person here in same circumstance. A few others are on list when I get time for their more difficult areas of expertise.

Kinnard 3 days ago 1 reply      
HN could use a lot of features that would improve its functionality.

I think one of the reasons it's not quit so actively developed is the philosophy behind the project which has a lot to do with PG. He thinks people care about content, not features.

Another reason is that it's written in arc. It's hard to find lisp hackers, let alone arc hackers: http://arclanguage.org/forum

misframer 3 days ago 1 reply      
I think leaving contact information on profiles is enough.
kogir 2 days ago 0 replies      
When I worked on HN we actually talked about this and specifically decided against it.

Currently, everything on HN is public, except for password (hashes), emails, and who [voted for|flagged|vouched] what. If all HN user data leaked right now, it would be a bummer, but not very scandalous.

We didn't want to be trusted with private communication. We're not perfect, and it's easier not to leak data you don't have =P

SyneRyder 1 day ago 0 replies      
As others have mentioned, clicking through to their profile and using any contact details they've left is the best bet for this. If there's no information there, they probably don't want to be contacted. But if you're someone who does want to be contacted, there are tools you can use to make sure you don't miss anything here:

* HN Alerts will send you an email whenever someone replies to one of your comments: http://www.hnreplies.com

* HN Watcher, monitors HN posts for keywords, or you can follow certain users & have their comments & submissions emailed to you: http://hnwatcher.com/

I don't want yet another inbox I have to check (ie HN private messages!), but listing contact details in my profile & having alerts sent to my email has been really useful to me.

ams6110 3 days ago 0 replies      
HN is not a social network. If people who post here want to be contacted out-of-band, they can put their preferences in their profile.
alexandercrohde 3 days ago 1 reply      
This could do a lot more harm than good: spambots, or even worse, recruiters.

Not saying it couldn't be done right, but it might be involved and go against the HN minimalist philosphy.

notahacker 2 days ago 0 replies      
I don't mind being contacted directly, so I put an email in my profile. On rare occasions people have emailed me. That seems to work
ericzawo 3 days ago 0 replies      
I prefer how HN makes it so that if you really want to contact them badly enough, you can figure out how to.
Looking to start or join a support group of CTOs and engineering VPs in Chicago
12 points by junhopark  2 days ago   9 comments top 7
Taylor_OD 2 days ago 1 reply      
Tech recruiter here.

Junho I dont think we have every personally talked but I believe my company has worked with you in the past.

I'm not sure if you know Griffin at Enova but he started the Chicago CTO Forum over three years ago. I think its exactly what you're looking for. I've personally worked with or represented half the guys in the group and they're all great. It's probably the most impressive collection of VP/C level guys in Chicago.

Links below:


You probably know a couple of them but if not let me know and I can intro you.

Gignomai 2 days ago 0 replies      
We've successfully done something similar in Dallas and have found tremendous value in it. We've given a high-level outline of the format here: https://www.credera.com/blog/credera-site/featured-news/stra.... Let me know if you have any questions.
harper 2 days ago 0 replies      
This is a great idea. I know there are a handful of people who would be very interested in participating.

Wanna connect via email and make this happen (harper@nata2.org)

jabzd 2 days ago 0 replies      
I'm in a very similar role here in Chicago and very interested in this kind of group. Feel free to reach out at jbzdawka (at) gmail.com.
remyp 2 days ago 0 replies      
I'm a Chicagoan in a similar role and would love to participate! Send me an email at jeremy.lee.phelps (at) gmail.com
canterburry 2 days ago 1 reply      
Does this have to be a "in person" group? Could it be virtual...and not just Chicago?
gvajravelu 2 days ago 0 replies      
I'm in Chicago and interested. Email me at gopi (at) gopivajravelu.com
Ask HN: Best way to learn 'modern' C++?
13 points by zensavona  3 days ago   5 comments top 5
alstrex 11 hours ago 0 replies      
Here are some general books for getting up to speed with the C++ language itself:

-Programming Principles and Practice using C++ 2nd edition (by Bjarne Stroustrup). This covers everything, although is a bit dry at times.

-Effective C++ (by Scott Meyers). A bit "outdated" from a language standpoint, but many of the techniques still apply and also, not every C++ codebase is using the latest and greatest anyway.

-Effective Modern C++ (by Scott Meyers). A new set of "best practices" for a more modern C++ environment

I haven't found many good resources for JUCE other than reading through the JUCE forums, the project doc (often lacking), and reading examples. What is often helpful is to first understand C++ a bit, then learn the audio specific code and underlying DSP principles in a C++ context. Then it shouldn't be too hard to transition to JUCE on your own. The best books I know for this are:

-Designing Software Synthesizer Plug-Ins in C++ (by Will Pirkle)

-Designing Audio Effect Plug-Ins in C++ (again by Will Pirkle)

olavgg 1 day ago 0 replies      
I'm currently learning C/C++ by just jumping into it, reading, trying, failing, (some swearing!) retrying and so on! It may not be the fastest or the most efficient path of learning, but at least I'm getting way better day by day.

What I really miss is some kind of partner to learn together with, that would be awesome and we could have a lot of good discussions.

dhoerl 14 hours ago 0 replies      
Bjarne's book on C++ - the newest - is pretty good IMHO.
walterclifford 3 days ago 0 replies      
Might have better luck asking this in https://www.reddit.com/r/cpp/
bejrut 2 days ago 0 replies      
checkout Scott Meyers "Effective Modern C++" book, and his talks with same title. It's also worth looking at his older books from "Effective" series.
Ask HN: Is it better to apply as a dual iOS/Android developer or specialize?
5 points by kirykl  3 days ago   1 comment top
opless 3 days ago 0 replies      
I am. But I as I do contracting and choose interesting projects I tend to be a generalist so my outlook is skewed.

If you were just starting out, I'd suggest you work with Xamarin to do your app development in, and Unity3d if you were doing games or 3d work (Though you could use monogame with xamarin if you were so inclined). But then again, my comfort zone is C#.

Android and iOS apps these days tend to look very similar, with the main difference being a soft back button for iOS and none for Android. Windows phone can look very different if you use the Metro design language but quite a few apps that I've used seem to be mostly ignoring it (admittedly niche ones) and looking like the big two.

Whatever developer you hire will be "better" (or at least more comfortable) at one platform than another.

Have you done your market research? Are you targeting a particular market that is likely to have one phone type rather than another? I've noticed that the different platforms tend to attract different types of people. App Annie is a good source on this market data though you'll have to ignore the most-popular apps as you're not going to be the next facebook/ebay etc no matter how hard you try.

Ask HN: What was the source of your last big lump sum
15 points by beamatronic  3 days ago   10 comments top 10
Arcsech 3 days ago 0 replies      
I've never received $10k in a lump sum, much less $100k. I think the largest lump sum I've ever gotten from any source is around $5k, which was a relocation thing for my current job.
yolesaber 1 day ago 0 replies      
Selling $20k worth of acid in college. Everything else has been salaried or otherwise amortized.
thetrumanshow 3 days ago 0 replies      
The biggest lump sum I received was for selling a house we had purchased as a hud repo. After fixing it up, we got a nice profit, plus we didn't have to pay capital gains taxes on the profit since we had used it as our primary residence for enough years.

I believe I know more people who make good, consistent money from on-the-side real-estate transactions than people who make 5-figure yearly bonuses.

dsacco 2 days ago 0 replies      
My last lump sum was $21,000 for three weeks of consulting (my own practice).

I'm not sure if this counts however, as it's a case of my salary being paid out every three or four weeks (depending on the pipeline) instead of every two weeks.

I've never received a lump sum of more than 20 or maybe 30 thousand at once. I have received a five figure bonus before though.

stepvhen 3 days ago 0 replies      
Inheritance. Not $100K, but still high. Paid off my student loans and quit my terrible job for a while.
samelawrence 2 days ago 0 replies      
I made $1750 on a domain sale the other day. That was the biggest lump sum I've gotten in years other than paychecks (which are that exact size).

I'm not very rich.

hijinks 3 days ago 0 replies      
185k from a yahoo buying a company I had options in.
setheron 3 days ago 0 replies      
Largest lump sum was a 45k signing bonus.After tax it was more like 19k (California)

I think I sold a good chunk of Amazon stocks ~ 50k as well (after tax)

flignats 3 days ago 0 replies      
$25k, business plan / startup competition
bbcbasic 3 days ago 0 replies      
Ask HN: F1 student stuck in a CS-PhD program. How do I get a job?
5 points by frustrated_phd  2 days ago   13 comments top 5
vr3690 1 day ago 1 reply      
In another comment you mentioned that you've already used your post completion opt.

Can you apply for a STEM extension now? That will keep you in the country and let you work for another 24 months. Try to get the highest paying job you can and then Aggressively save to pay off your student loan?

After that to continue staying in the country you'll have to get an H1-B. Having graduated from a US masters program you have slightly better chance in the MS cap but the odds may not be in your favour.

The safest option would be to plow through your PhD program. But you probably already knew that.

Quitting the program and getting a job might be a gamble, but weighing the risks is something you'll obviously have to figure out.

sndean 1 day ago 1 reply      
So you're making it sound like continuing in the PhD program isn't an option?

> start failing my PhD program because I just can't take it anymore?

I don't know how serious of issues you're having when you say "just can't take it anymore." If it's anything like what I experienced, it's not unusual. I wanted to quit really often (once per month?) for several years. And I actually did informally quit for a few months.

Sorry that I don't really have any advice. Just relaying my thoughts on "just can't take it anymore": every PhD student feels like that at some point.

brudgers 1 day ago 1 reply      
Is applying in a country where you're eligible to work an option?
frustrated_phd 2 days ago 1 reply      
I guess this is it then... the end :'(
How does Google handle `git status`
3 points by setheron  2 days ago   6 comments top 2
tgflynn 2 days ago 3 replies      
I don't think they use git. I believe I've heard that they use an internally developed SCM.
setheron 2 days ago 1 reply      
looks like from what i can discover online, twitter has a patched version of git that integrates with watchman (https://github.com/facebook/watchman)
Ask HN: New job is frustrating Handcrafted DevOps
6 points by kenbob  2 days ago   5 comments top 3
saluki 1 day ago 0 replies      
Sometimes you just have to sit back and enjoy the ride (and get your green card).

I would work on automating what you can to save yourself time. Be on the look out for easy things that can save other time and present proposals to implement X and save Y time.

I'm been in companies though where for whatever reason no one wants to change/improve anything. Some fear automating things saving time will cost them their job or they might not understand/not want to learn new things. So they are never going to be open to change.

Be on guard for things going wrong and being blamed for trying new things. Learn that they are doing inside and out, then look at ways your team can do it better.

If you just settle in and keep doing what you're doing take some time to learn new techniques and technologies that can help you later. Maybe start a blog, writing to build an audience to make you an 'expert' and open up possible product offerings in the future. (If that interests you).

Good luck, some companies are never going to do things the 'right' way. Good luck passing along some best practices.

jlg23 2 days ago 1 reply      
> How do I convince managers or seniors to focus on automation and monitoring tools?

By providing solutions. You don't sound like you're busy doing stuff all the time so you can spend the time you are waiting for a meeting just doing things. Find a few low hanging fruits where you can make life for others easier, preferably things that save them time. Over time you build a reputation and people will start to actually listen to what you say. Until then, don't talk, just do.

lsiebert 2 days ago 0 replies      
Fundamentally, work for their problems, not yours, to solve your problem.

Log patterns and avoid premature automation, but write down the time you and others take to fix issues and then you can say that technical debt because of blank cost the company X days this last Y period.

Also work on projects that showcase you can get shit done to build up credibility. Everyone who comes in as a junior engineer with different ideas will come across as the hot shot who thinks he knows better. Reach out to the developers and ask them what are areas where automation would make their job easier. Reach out to management and ask them what they want more control over, or want done quicker through automation. Look for other costs, server costs, service costs, etc.

Your frustration likely matters to nobody but yourself though. Find their frustrations and fix both simultaneously.

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