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Ask HN: Patreon for open source?
26 points by hackathonguy  3 hours ago   16 comments top 12
ashitlerferad 20 minutes ago 0 replies      
icebraining 2 hours ago 1 reply      
Paying per commit seems as sensible as paying per LOC (related story: [1]). Simple recurrent monthly donations as one can easily set up (eg. on Flattr) make more sense, in my opinion.

[1] http://www.folklore.org/StoryView.py?story=Negative_2000_Lin...

perlgeek 2 hours ago 1 reply      
I like the idea of using Patreon for Open Source, but I dislike the idea of tying it to the number of commits, because it creates the wrong incentives.

I've also got the impression that most patrons rather prefer a predictable, monthly amount over a varied amount, even if it comes with a cap.

jbrooksuk 2 hours ago 1 reply      
I'm using Patreon for Cachet[0] and it works well enough that people can donate, but discovery lacks for projects which aren't media based. Also, I can't setup another Patreon page under the same account, so what about filling in the voids there?

The idea works, the implementation could be improved.

[0] https://patreon.com/jbrooksuk

sveme 1 hour ago 0 replies      
What I'd really like to see is some sort of business account for Patreon or one of the others. Lots of companies use open source projects as an integral part of their day-to-day work, yet it does not seem straightforward to set up a monthly contribution to this work for a company. Obviously, they can use one-time grants to the Apache Software Foundation or someone else, but sometimes it is really just a single developer or a couple of developers that develop a crucial software package (webpack and others). Would be great if a company could support this easily as well.
lanevorockz 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Might work better if you build a unit test and create a bounty for it.
edem 1 hour ago 0 replies      
There is [Gratipay](https://gratipay.com/~Gittip/) which is based on donations. You might look into that as well. A commit I think is not representing anything apart from the fact that it is a (hopefully) compound piece of code. You might want to pay for finished user stories which are estimated properly.
judofyr 2 hours ago 1 reply      
https://gratipay.com/ exists already, and it's mostly (all?) open-source as well.
ruipgil 1 hour ago 0 replies      
> $X for every commit

Even if you're supposedly giving money to reputable developers that are the percentile less likely to commit fraud, there's still a risk of it happening.

A more reasonable approach would be a monthly or a "version" contribution.

Even better than that would be a "fund" where you pledged your money to developers/projects, and it would be distributed equally or by a clear metric.

tlo 1 hour ago 0 replies      
There is Tip4Commit: https://tip4commit.com/
fridsun 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Do your prior work investigation and try to take the good and avoid the bad.

Some prior work from top of my head:

- Bountysource- Gratipay- Patreon- Flattr

lowglow 2 hours ago 0 replies      
That's what we're doing over at Baqqer.com (https://baqqer.com/) - come over and add your project!

If you're interested in helping out you should join us. :)

Ask HN: What are the modern approaches to robotic control?
39 points by bistable  17 hours ago   18 comments top 8
ModernMech 11 hours ago 1 reply      
You say you're not interested in path planning, but path planning and control are really on the same spectrum, which is motion planning. For instance, where to next put big dog's leg is a control problem, but also a path planning problem (how do I get the leg there? Where is the best place to put the leg? Does the leg collide with anything?). If you can't answer these questions and are blindly putting your leg wherever, you're not in control of anything.

Here's a good paper on RL in robotics: http://www.ias.tu-darmstadt.de/uploads/Publications/Kober_IJ...

RL is not widely used for control, but it has yielded some impressive results. In my experience I had a highly dynamic system for which I built a hand-tuned model for motion planning. I also built a RL model and trained it using the hand-tuned model. The RL model performed more than 50% better than my very best efforts.

Also, some of my favorite textbooks:

Principles of Robot Motion by Choset et. al.

Statistical Robotics by Fox, Burgard, and Thrun

Linear Systems Theory by Hespanha

falcolas 16 hours ago 2 replies      
For more generalized information on how you bring a machine from state A to state B, you may want to read up on Control Systems [0], one of which is the PID controller [1]. It's used in everything from industrial water heaters to quadcopters. It wouldn't surprise me to see them also being used at some level with more advanced robotics.

[0] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Control_system[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PID_controller

glial 10 hours ago 0 replies      
You'll really be missing out if you don't look into the work of Emo Todorov:


He's done some amazing work recently in helping solve problems surrounding movement planning (not really the same as path planning like A*), so you can tell a robot to do something general like "stand here", and it treats the movement planning as an optimization problem and the dynamics of its 'body' and physics as constraints. The resulting behavior is eerily lifelike.

pumpikano 15 hours ago 0 replies      
There is a surge of interest in learning control policies end-to-end. Many of Sergey Levine's recent papers are relevant: http://homes.cs.washington.edu/~svlevine/ there are also some talks linked there).
srlake 8 hours ago 0 replies      
It's been a few years since studying in this area, but one approach we used to use for modelling and control of manipulators (mostly industrial robotic arms) was Screw Theory.

Here's a recent paper using one of these approaches: http://www.intechopen.com/books/international_journal_of_adv...

One approach that could be used for a system like Big Dog would be a feed-forward control loop with kinematic/dynamic modelling of the robot. These approaches use knowledge of the system dynamics to predict the output based on changing inputs or disturbances.

sharemywin 16 hours ago 1 reply      
they use something called "force control" which I think uses a spring to act as some kind of tendon.



Mentions some of the engineers at Boston Dymanics including the inventor of troody.https://prezi.com/tn5kji7ehk3u/prezi-project/

npmanor 14 hours ago 0 replies      
If you're interested in walking, the Florida Institute for Human and Machine Cognition (ihmc: http://robots.ihmc.us/) came in second place at the DARPA Robotics Challenge using force control and capture point dynamics. They do primarily software, but their walking is quite stable.
dbcurtis 15 hours ago 1 reply      
Google "underactuated"
The main social media sites are getting more censored every day
4 points by moribondus  2 hours ago   discuss
Ask HN: How to earn over $250K a year?
18 points by ask_high_earner  13 hours ago   18 comments top 10
cl42 9 hours ago 1 reply      
One thing you didn't really bring up is the sort of life you want to have. Generally speaking, people think of an annual salary as a end in itself, when it is really a means to an end.

For example, if you are living in a small town and making $155K/year, your standard of living is likely significantly higher than someone making $250K/year but living in Manhattan or Soma.

You can double your salary by finding a second job. You'll make $310K/year, work 80+ hours a week. Would you be willing to do that? I imagine probably not.

Finally, what sort of time frame are you on? Specifically, do you want to make more $$ to pay for kids next year? More vacations? Retirement?

Investing $25K/year in an index fund will increase your long term net worth / assets, but it won't feel like you've increased your salary, especially in a market where you might lose money one or two years in a row. This might also make it impossible to pay for daycare, cribs, and nannies if you're ultimately doing this to pay for kids.

So ask yourself (or tell us): (1) what are your goals / why do you need the money, (2) how much are you willing to sacrifice to get it, and (3) what is your risk profile?

If you want some reading material, this is a good blog: http://www.freedomthirtyfiveblog.com/

ChuckMcM 7 hours ago 0 replies      
I recommend you read the Mr. Money Mustache site[1], it has some great tips (although a bit US related). But one of the insights which is relevant to your question is this: Why work alone? Let your excess money work along side of you.

So yes, you have to learn to invest your savings so that they are growing in value while you don't need that money to live on. And because the rate at which they grow is proportional to how much you have saved, the more you have saved the more "extra" money you will get each year. Let's say you're 25 and you are banking $50K of your $155K salary every year, ($22K into 401k, and $38K into savings). If you're savings makes an average of 5 - 6% per year, then after the first year you are "earning" an extra $1,900, the second year ($39,900 + $38) an extra $3,895. Etc. 20 years later you are earning an extra $63K a year in interest on $1.3M in savings. Plus your 401K is worth another $1.3M so you're net worth is $2.6M and if you can start paying yourself about $100,000 a year for ever (nearly all money you keep since its taxed differently than regular income).

But if you want to live a lavish lifestyle and own a jet etc, better shoot for becoming an overpaid member of the C suite (CEO, COO, CTO, CIO, Etc).

[1] http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/

hijinks 6 hours ago 0 replies      
If you are anywhere other then NY or SF Bay area you are throwing money out the window on other expenses. I make 185k a year and support a family of 2 young kids and a stay at home wife in the SF Bay area.

Sure we manage money and things are tight but we get by so I'm having a hard time thinking how 155k can't support a family if you live in cheaper areas.

Maybe look at cutting expenses first.

kasey_junk 9 hours ago 1 reply      
At a certain point it becomes important to be attached to the revenue of a company. Whether that is by direct billing as a consultant, being a founder, or a principal, or some other position where your income is not dependent on salary.

Moving to management in and of itself does not accomplish this, but in many organizations managers are easier to tie to revenue, which is why it seems that way. At the end of the day, all the people I know that make a lot of money did so by running their own businesses in one form or another.

zenlikethat 8 hours ago 0 replies      
You won't get a $250k salary as a "proficient JavaScript engineer" living in the Midwest. For that much money one could hire 3-5 reasonable developers a year in the Midwest. Developers in the Bay Area earn six figures because the cost of living is so darn high. If you jump jobs make sure it's for a 20% increase INCLUDING the cost of living difference otherwise you might be losing money (unless you just want a situation change that badly).

In order to earn that much you have to actually prove that you can provide a multiple of that value. That most likely means moving into management in some fashion.

Investments won't help make you money immediately, it's much more a "twenty years later" type of deal.

gonyea 7 hours ago 0 replies      
Do not work a second job. You'll do neither job well and will never move up or be seen as reliable. You'll also burn yourself out.

To make over $250k, the more common path is to make (roughly) what you're making now and get the rest in the form of stock. Real, liquidable, publicly traded stock. So go to places like Facebook, Google, Apple, etc, and they'll be able to pay that much (if you convince them to!).

Even if they don't, a year or three of good performance will put you in that ballpark.

sl8r 8 hours ago 0 replies      
Tactically, for the tech industry:

1. Earning potential is higher in management, if you can make it to a director-level or vp-level position at a major public tech company; take a look at the relevant comp figures for Facebook, Google, Microsoft, etc. on Glassdoor.

2. Being a sales rep at an enterprise software company with an aggressive comp plan is another option, if you can do the work. As @kasey_junk noted, this is because sales is compensated on a percent of revenue basis.

You might also look at technical consultancies, or try to become a technical expert for pe/vc firms.

Gaining wealth through investing your own money is hard; even at a market-beating 12% a year, it would take you more than 20 years to turn $100k into $1M. You can make money this way, but you need to manage a fund. The entry point is an analyst role at a hf/pe/vc firm.

I think @kasey_junk is 100% right; ultimately, you need to tie your work to some kind of economic value. We as humans are bad at assessing indirect value creation, so the roles that tend to achieve this tied-to-economic-value comp in practice are [1] sales, [2] investment professionals, [3] substantial equity owners.

dustingetz 7 hours ago 0 replies      
That number is achievable doing contract JavaScript remote work for SV based companies if you are very good and can prove it
tiredwired 7 hours ago 1 reply      
Run for a political office.
Ask HN: Can you help out a blind guy by describing the look of an application?
20 points by jscholes  15 hours ago   10 comments top 8
buttershakes 15 hours ago 0 replies      
The QRead application window is maximized taking up the whole screenshot.

On the upper left there are the main menus, Document, Navigation, Speech, Window, and Help.

Directly below that are three tabs each containing a document.

Pattern-Oriented architecture, A system of patterns: Volume 1 (Wiley Software Patterns series)The Architecture of Open Source Applications (which is the currently active tab)Surveillance (A Chris Bruen Novel Book 3)

On the same line flush right are small left/right arrow controls that presumably cycle the tabs.

Directly below the tabs is the text of the selected tab, in this case its a chapter listing. There are 4 carriage returns between each of the Chapter listings.

At the bottom of the window is a Document Position slider, that presumably can be moved to scroll quickly through the text.


Seems fairly functional to me, there is also a right scroll bar on the text field that I think serves a similiar purpose to the Document position control although less explicitly.

Twenty44 15 hours ago 1 reply      
The layout is a pretty typical Windows application layout. Toolbar on the top, below that there is a scrollable text area with navigational tabs across the top of it, probably for working with multiple documents, and finally, at the bottom, there is a horizontal slider labelled "document position". I imagine the slider progresses forward as the text-to-speech progresses, thus showing how far in the document the text-to-speech is, and how much of the document remains.

It looks like a pretty typical Windows application. A bit simple, but there is nothing wrong with that. It looks like something a Computer Science student might build in Visual Basic for a University project. I think it looks a bit dated, like it's running on a Windows 98 computer. I wouldn't call it pretty, but definitely functional. I feel like I could use this application without needing to be instructed on how to use it. The purpose of every GUI element seems obvious, which is a good thing.

I hope I helped! Best of luck in your presentation!

rawland 12 hours ago 1 reply      

A lot like notepad with tabs for several documents, which are also opened in the screenshot. At the bottom, one can see a slider with the title "Document position" for easy navigation. Most importantly the Menu consists of the entries: Document, Navigation, Speech, Window and Help.

How does it look to me:

It looks simple and functional. Seems to be optimized for screen reading as there is not a single icon or graphic.

What's the layout and do you think it works:

It's an older Windows layout with the menubar at the top, followed by the tab bar. Under that one, and covering something like 90% of the screen, is a notepad-like textarea and finally at the bottom is the slider.

Assuming the menu has submenus and it is not too difficult to navigate around there, I assume it works pretty well as it is as simple as it can get. Maybe the slider handling is difficult because I can not imagine how a blind person can ever click on the tiny position indicator. However, it probably has some keyboard shortcuts. But I can only imagine at this point.

LarryMade2 13 hours ago 0 replies      
Its a very plain layout, mostly a big document area where there is text.

At the top of the window below the window title are the menu items:Document, Navigation, Speech, Window and Help

Below those are open document tabs going horizontally - they can be very verbose like the entire title of the book with author

below that is the big document area there is also a vertical scrollbar to the right of the document.

Below the document is a vertical slider control spanning the width with the name "Document position"

And below that there is apparently a status-bar (like on web browsers, going across horizontally,) and seems to be divided in half for messages either on the left or right. currently blank.

jkimmel 15 hours ago 0 replies      
There is single large window displaying text, with lots of space between the lines. At the top, there are tabs with the names of different books. It looks like you can scroll in the large window displaying text to read a book. Also at the top, there are dropdown menus with what I assume are different application options. At the bottom, there is a sliding position indicator labeled "Document position".

It looks the way I would expect an older e-book reader application to look. It seems totally usable and intuitive. I know exactly where to click and what I might expect to happen.

There could definitely be some aesthetic improvements, but as far as "UI functionality" is concerned, this is great.

DKnoll 15 hours ago 0 replies      
Hey there, I'll do my best.

QRead looks like a minimal ebook reader application. There is a tab bar at the top to select an open book/document and the book/document is displayed in a large text field in the centre, looking not unlike notepad. At the bottom of the window there is a slider control to navigate the document.

johnwheeler 4 hours ago 0 replies      
You're getting a lot of good help here, so this is just a comment. My name is John. Contact me at john@johnwheeler.org if you have an idea for an Amazon Echo application to help blind people.
anonfunction 8 hours ago 0 replies      
It looks very old, kind of like from windows 95 or something. Everyone else described the actual content but that is what stood out to me.

Edit: Clickable link that doesn't download: https://www.dropbox.com/s/okt34fulaoxg3b7/Screenshot%202016-...

Ask HN: From programming to AI, how?
54 points by siscia  1 day ago   13 comments top 8
vaibkv 22 hours ago 0 replies      
Here's a tentative plan-1. Do fully AndrewNg's course from Coursera

2. Do a course called AnalyticsEdge by MIT folks from edx.org. I can't recommend this course highly enough. It's a gem. You will learn practical stuff like RoC curves, and what not. Note that for a few things you will need to google and read on your own as the course might just give you an overview.

3. Keep the book "Elements of Statistical Learning" by Trevor Hastie handy. You will need to refer this book a lot.

4. There is also a course that Professor Hastie runs but I don't know the link for it. I highly recommend it as it gives a very good grounding on things like GBM, which are used a lot in practical scenarios.

5. Pick up twitter/enron emails/product reviews datasets and do sentiment analysis on it.

6. Pick up a lot of documents on some topic and make a program for automatically producing a summary of those documents - first read some papers on it.

7. Don't do Kaggle. It's something you do when you have considerable expertise with ML/AI.

8. Pick up flights data and do prediction for flight delays. Use different algorithms, compare them.

9. Make a recommendation system to recommend books/music/movies (or all).

10. Make a Neural Network to predict moves in a tic-tac-toe game.

These are a few things that can get you started. This is vast field but once you've done the above in earnest I think you have a good grounding.

Pick a topic that interests you and write a paper on it - it's not such a big deal.

civilian 1 day ago 3 replies      
I just started the Coursera Machine Learning course. I know that it's probably a bit under your skill level, but the second half of the class might give you some broad education about what's possible in the field of machine learning. https://www.coursera.org/learn/machine-learning/
tunesmith 1 day ago 1 reply      
I'm in the same boat - so far it seems like the plan would be 1) Get more familiar with Linear Algebra; 2) Take Ng's coursera course "Intro to Machine Learning" and 3) start trying some kaggle.com challenges.
genos 19 hours ago 0 replies      
It sounds like you've got the beginnings of Machine Learning (classification & regression), but I'd still recommend checking out Coursera. The JHU Data Science series is good, but more geared towards DS than AI. There are others on there as well; if you're looking to get into deep learning, I echo the recommendation to check out Ng's course, though this might be good, too: https://www.coursera.org/course/neuralnets
lukeHeuer 1 day ago 0 replies      
This seems to be a good introduction if you like to learn by reading while building something: http://neuralnetworksanddeeplearning.com

It basically walks you through building a neural net that can make sense of hand written digits.

crypto5 17 hours ago 0 replies      
Start your pet project in AI, you will gain real hands-on experience and skills, will have some portfolio and will understand is it for you or not.
hluska 1 day ago 0 replies      
This may not be entirely in line with what you're looking to do, but Kaggle is one heck of a good way to learn data science and machine learning. Some of the competitions in particular lend themselves to a deep learning methodology.

The best part is that the competitions keep it fun, and the eventual winners share the methods they used to get such good results.

Good luck!

henry9901420 1 day ago 0 replies      
Ask HN: What's an app/service that doesn't exist that you're ready to pay for?
3 points by karimdag  12 hours ago   9 comments top 6
koolba 10 hours ago 0 replies      
Easily monetizatable ideas (as a service).
g123g 8 hours ago 0 replies      
A portable and highly accurate blood pressure monitor which can take your BP at multiple times throughout the day, similar to existing wearables that measure heart rate etc.
soulbadguy 9 hours ago 1 reply      
1- a more stable, faster version of ubuntu/unity with customer support

2- a good linux ide for native remote developement with proper support for debugger and profiling

3 - a cheaper version of vtune with support for arm and powerpc

pizza 11 hours ago 1 reply      
Neurotransmitters as a Service
kleer001 9 hours ago 1 reply      
Helping me to pick my Hearthstone Arena drafts deck
bbcbasic 8 hours ago 0 replies      
A reliable builder
Ask HN: Gmail spam filters acting up?
3 points by laurenia  12 hours ago   2 comments top 2
emilburzo 9 hours ago 0 replies      
You can't say it's "acting up" because spam filtering is an art, not an exact science.

And if you want to complain about Gmail's spam filter, try using Yahoo Mail for a while, you'll quickly learn to appreciate it.

Anyway, it's a good habit to regularly check your Spam folder.

ChuckMcM 8 hours ago 0 replies      
If you do "show original" you can see the reason in the headers.
Ask HN: Is it common/legal for stock options to never vest?
2 points by glennrivers1  15 hours ago   9 comments top 3
brudgers 13 hours ago 1 reply      

In the absence of a vesting schedule, I see little legal reason that the options did not vest immediately. The primary reason for a vesting schedule is to prevent immediate vesting of options from occurring.

Lack of a vesting schedule is, in my experience, pretty common among less sophisticated [for some definitions of "sophisticated"] founders. It sounds like this a case where it worked out as well without one since you stayed past a typical vesting period.

That said, exercising and liquidating the options is likely something that should be reviewed by an attorney irrespective of vesting schedules or an immanent intent to leave the company.

Good luck.

BjoernKW 12 hours ago 0 replies      
You should talk to a solicitor about this as soon as possible.

You shouldn't immediately assume unethical conduct or foul play, though. Vesting schedules are still somewhat specific to US startup culture.

Is this a private (Ltd) or public (PLC) limited company? If the former you most likely own those shares right away (but in any case you should definitely have a solicitor review your contracts).

calcsam 15 hours ago 1 reply      
You need to talk to a lawyer about this pronto.

No, this is not ethical, nor common.

Legal? Dunno. And that is the question.

Ask HN: Antivirus is blocking my site
5 points by wocg  1 day ago   6 comments top 3
jasonkester 1 day ago 1 reply      
This happened to me a while back:


Writing an email got the issue fixed in a couple days.

partisan 1 day ago 1 reply      
Did anyone previously own the URL and do anything shady with it?
elperdido 1 day ago 1 reply      
Any bad ssl certs on your domain or on domains your site calls?
Ask HN: Would you use an app to keep track of all your relationships?
3 points by tixocloud  18 hours ago   7 comments top 5
blabla_blublu 17 hours ago 1 reply      
Can you clarify what aspect of the relationship you intend on tracking ?

If it is going to be a "how frequently do I stay in touch with X", I might consider it since it will be nice to get an automated reminder to text/call this person.

galfarragem 2 hours ago 0 replies      
ericzawo 16 hours ago 1 reply      
I already do. In Workflowy, I have a section dedicated to people I've met that I work on chronologically. If they're ~really~ special they even make it into my daily diary. Basically I write their name, profession/gig/along with where I met them and maybe a little quip or fact they dropped. It works wonders for networking and building a repertoire with people.

I am fairly social, but I have a big problem with remembering names. This alleviates a lot of this, and I've found that people genuinely appreciate when you remember what they tell you.

JoachimSchipper 7 hours ago 0 replies      
No, but note that CRMs are widely used.
roschdal 17 hours ago 0 replies      
Ask HN: Consultants, how do you keep track of your clients?
2 points by tixocloud  18 hours ago   4 comments top 2
codegeek 16 hours ago 1 reply      
your question is too vague. Track for what ? Projects ? General Communications ? Invoice ? Billing ? or all of the above ?
BjoernKW 13 hours ago 1 reply      
Prospective clients, leads: Trello

Actual clients: Accounting software (Collmex in my case)

Watch_Dogs 2 Launch Page Broken by Same Origin Policy
2 points by daszh  20 hours ago   1 comment top
benmcnelly 19 hours ago 0 replies      
In other news, the reveal itself was pretty interesting, so thank you for the link, even though that wasn't the intended purpose, I had no idea about it :
Ask HN: Does anyone compile Android from source?
3 points by alistproducer2  22 hours ago   2 comments top 2
lovelearning 7 hours ago 0 replies      
Build it on some cloud server.

I built my own images for the emulator and an Odroid mini computer, but never for any phone. The source tree is some 9 or 10 GBs, and I realized somewhere around the 2 GB mark that cloning it on my home connection is a waste of time and bandwidth.

So I built them on a Linode 4GB server. Network and hard disk speeds were magnitudes better than anything at home. Took around 4-5 hours of reading and understanding the process (see links below) + 2-3 hours for each build.

Removing vendor apps from the image is a simple matter of removing them from the correct config files. Since HTC seems to be a good open source citizen and makes their source code changes available, removing vendor apps and rebuilding an image is probably not very difficult.

[1] http://source.android.com/source/index.html

[2] Building Custom ROM (2 videos): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1_H4AlQaNa0

[3] Karim Yaghmour's Embedded Android series (4 videos): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KLUXPxxJc5c

Someone1234 21 hours ago 0 replies      
I don't think you understand what you're asking someone to do.

You don't just download the Android source, type "make," and get something that would work on a HTC 626s. The biggest hindrance is finding the hardware drivers for newer versions of Android. That's why a lot of devices fall out of support, the hardware manufacturer never updated the driver to the latest version of Android.

Best case scenario either the old drivers are still compatible with newer versions of Android (but you lose functionality) or the hardware manufacturer has updated drivers (which you can normally get from a different phone's flash dump).

You may want to ask over at forum.xda-developers.com for your device or manufacturer. But what you're asking for is a lot more involved than you seem to think it is, and has little to do with being able to compile Android.

Ask HN: Am I expecting too much?
83 points by throwawaypotato  1 day ago   63 comments top 40
foreigner 1 day ago 1 reply      
Quit, join a small company. I did five long years at a multinational megacorp without realizing that life could be better. It was like prison for programmers. When I finally quit to be employee #5 at a bootstrapped startup it was a revelation. After I had been at the startup for a month it still didn't feel real - it felt like I was on vacation from my previous job. It took a long time for it to sink in that I didn't have to go back. Ever!

It's possible to enjoy work! Don't make my mistake and waste years in an environment you hate - I should have left after 3 months instead of 5 years. I will never work for a large corporation again.

sintaxi 1 day ago 1 reply      
Every situation is unique and every person is different. But I share my thoughts.

- The right place is the one that helps you achieve your life goals. It sounds like you may be in the wrong place but that doesn't mean you should quit just yet.

- Its probably a good time to start making friends at other companies. Its fine if its casual. You just need to start building your network. If you do this right you may never have to apply for a job or draft a resume again (I haven't).

- You are getting a lot of tasks thrown your way (which is great) but don't make the mistake of thinking doing most the work means you should be recognised as a senior. Thats not at all how it works. Especially in a corporate culture.

- Keep making your seniors look good. You don't want to be a threat to them. If their career advances they will take you with them. You want every to feel that they are more likely to succeed with you around.

- You probably have a lot of energy and motivation at this point in your career so it worth finding a place where you can better thrive. Before you leave your current position however I would be sure you have learned everything you want to learn there. You don't want to be a noob walking into your second position.

Hope this helps.

Todd 1 day ago 0 replies      
One thing that stands out for me is the ratio of onshore to offshore engineers. I have only worked in a few organizations with offshore teams but the experience has always been frustrating.

First, if you're working in an organization like this, it means they value cost management over product. I know that's a sweeping generalization because it's possible to build good products with offshore teams, but it takes tremendous effort, or unusual coordination at the offshore location. This brings me to the second point.

If the product work is being driven by the onshore team, at the ratios mentioned, then a large portion of your time will be coordinating with the offshore team. This can be a demoralizing process. I've often found that it would take me an hour to do what it took me 30 minutes to coordinate and the offshore team 3 hours to implement, for example. The response from management is that this is still a force multiplier and so it's worthwhile.

So as a rule, I avoid companies that do this and I walk away when the offshore cost savings buzz is in the air.

If you actually enjoy building software, then that's a special gift. Many people you'll come across in the profession regard it as a job. You should seek an environment where the people seem to have an active interest in these things.

I don't know where you live, but you might look into an HN meetup or something similar. As others have said, work on building up an informal network. It only takes one good connection to make a great difference in your professional life. Good luck!

aaron695 1 day ago 0 replies      
I like the rule of thumb when there's no one left to learn from in your job, time to move on.

Obviously don't quit, but you could start looking. Even if it's not implemented you have created new systems for your company ;)

But remember what you want is not necessarily what others in the org you are in wants.

Some people just want a easy job. It's not a crazy idea, if the company is not benefiting those who go the extra mile, why do it? Some people value life outside work more. And this certainly shifts a lot as you get older. Why work hard to make widget company A better than competition widget company B?

Level up jobwise, put you energy into a side project(part time self employment) or keep trying if it's important to you, maybe it's more complicated than it seems.

erikb 1 day ago 1 reply      
You name two reasons that always should result in you finding another job: A) You do the job one level up and don't get recognized. B) You can't connect to your colleagues.

Look for a company that is quite different from your current one (e.g. a major software company, another size, another location) and then try again. If you recognize that these two points are still the same you definitely need to change something about your style. But for now changing the company seems the most reasonable choice.

joekinley 1 day ago 0 replies      
It seems to me like you try to make your job better, and outshine on all areas, but you are not trying to do it in a corporate way.

Your bosses only care for 2 things, and those things are the only things that you can use to get their attention and implement change.

1) Does the change make more moneyYou have to show them, prove them that the change you try to implement will make more money down the hill. Will it attract more customers, will it make customers spend even more, how can you quantify this idea into money.

2) Does the change save money spentIf you can prove them that the change will save them money that they are currently losing, then you have to show them how. Show statistics, show numbers.

This is the only thing that works with almost any corporate company and almost every work occupation that I have seen, talked to with other people, and learned all the way.

You either make more money, or you save money, everything else noone cares about.

Especially as a developer, you might know that changing a codebase MIGHT be easier down the road, but unless it is quantifiable by numbers and money, noone cares.

protothink 1 day ago 2 replies      
> I'm very unhappy at my company

> Am I expecting too much?

> Is this just how software engineering is?

> my own unrealistic expectations

> I generally don't get any response whatsoever

> it would at least be nice to get some feedback, and I never get any

> I just can't seem to connect with anyone at work

> there might not be enough interest to warrant having such meetings

> you can do what is essentially bad work and still get paid

> the response has basically been "That must be frustrating"

> I'm wondering whether this is due to the company

All company outside a few small areas is exactly like this, the exceptions being:

* Startups

* Open-source

There is nothing wrong with this company. This is how pretty much all companies are. This kind of environment is suitable for 85% of software engineers. They like it that way, and they want it that way. Companies do not want to be dependent on heroics. They want a predictable process.

> I spend a large part of my weekends writing code for prototypes and projects

* Be on the outlook for a sufficently-funded startup where you could be the CTO or technical co-founder

* Join an open source project

Do not talk about this to other people in the company. In the meanwhile, until you have landed your new role, avoid disturbing other people, or make them feel inadequate. Companies fundamentally cannot use people like you. It is contrary to their desire to keep things predictable, both good and bad things.

By the way, personality-wise, I am pretty much like you. I am a co-founder in 3 startups and 2 open-source projects. It may be annoying for you that you are not suitable for working in most companies around, but at the same time, if you find the right place to work at, you will have much, much more fun and make much, much more money than in a "normal" job.

Agentlien 1 day ago 0 replies      
No, your expectations are not too high. You need to feel ok at work and if you are passionate about the type of work you do, it's reasonable to find a workplace where this sentiment is shared and going to work feels like fun.

I saw a few comments in this thread which said that this is simply the way it is at a large company. I strongly disagree. I've worked full time as a software engineer both at a small company with just a handful of programmers and, currently at a large corporation with over 8000 employees. In both cases, I've been surrounded by people with a passion for software. People who share my interests. People who want to excel at their job and deliver the best possible product. If you're someone with that kind of mindset, I urge you to look for a job where that is the norm. Part of the problem may be that you currently work for, as you yourself put it, a non-software company.

As others have pointed out, don't quit your job until you have a new one. If your search takes a while, or doesn't pan out, you may come to regret jumping the ship before you've found a new vessel. As a final note, let me point out that I am personally not familiar with the job market for programmers in the US. From what I've seen though, it seems like it is harsher than in Sweden.

jacquesm 1 day ago 0 replies      
Create a 'plan B', another job that you have lined up or a launching customer for your freelance career. Then, ask your current employer to be promoted, pronto to the function of senior engineer with associated pay-raise, citing the first couple of paragraphs of what you wrote above.

If they bite, give them a chance. If not, execute 'plan B'.

huevosabio 1 day ago 0 replies      
Hi Throwawaypotato,

I was in a similar position. Non-software company, basically one of two developers in a group whose focus was business. We would occasionally interact with other software teams in other departments to integrate our systems, and I would cherish those moments; but it was clear that across the organization overall view of software was that of a necessary evil.

I tried to convince the group about taking a new approach to how we developed software, to perhaps have more communication between the sparsely distributed software team, I even made a presentation over software processes, how we could improve... nothing ever changed anything. All they really cared was that we made the wishes of the sales team real...

After a year of firefighting, dealing with poor processes, and feeling overall undervalued I resigned to resume my PhD. My advice is that you change to a software company, and in general that you join a company where your role is a first class citizen (I've heard similar complains of friends who are, in say, a finance position within a structural engineering firm).

On the other hand, I left with a strong impression that these type of non-software or software adverse companies are great candidates for companies to either sell services or to directly compete against with more efficient services... perhaps a route I'll one day take.


curun1r 1 day ago 0 replies      
I know some will say that the logistics of life--paying for stuff and the like--can dictate whether you compromise on your work environment. But, for me, I now wish I'd taken the approach of life being too short to waste it in a job that makes you unhappy. And the particulars of your situation really don't matter. If you're unhappy, you're unhappy and it's as simple as that. It feels like you're asking for permission to be unhappy based on the external circumstances. But whether your unhappiness is a natural consequence of your situation or not isn't going to make you happier.

So my advice would be to find something that makes you happy. This doesn't have to be a blind search...there's plenty of research on what makes a work environment fulfilling. The classic is the intrinsic motivators (autonomy, mastery, purpose) rather than the extrinsic motivators (money, fame and such). It sounds like your current environment doesn't have much going for it in the way of intrinsic motivation, so start by thinking about what a rewarding work experience looks like for you and then try to find it.

And if money is your thing (it does enable lots of things that can make your overall life happier), the lesson I've learned 20+ years into my career as a developer (and now management) is that worrying about money early in your career is a premature optimization. Worry about honing your craft and the money will take care of itself up to a certain point. When you progress beyond Senior into team leadership is when you should start thinking about getting paid, and you'll get there a lot sooner if you spend the beginning of your career learning as much as possible and ensuring that you don't stagnate. It doesn't take long to become very senior, but it's not just a matter of putting in the time. I've interviewed people with 20 years in the industry who basically had the same 2 years experience over and over. And I've interviewed people with just 5 years experience who were completely ready to take on technical leadership positions. Be the latter and you'll end up getting paid more over the course of your career.

nikki-9696 19 hours ago 0 replies      
In my experience (which is limited because I don't job hop), the non-software company that I worked for sounded very much like you describe. I did myself a disservice by not leaving sooner. I now work for a software company and it's very different. I am much happier here, working with no offshore bullshit and having co-workers who care about learning, sharing, and our products.

I can't tell you which is "normal", but I will advise you to try to leave. Socialize and network your little heart out, because if a friend recommends a place to work, you can be more sure that it won't suck, and it will be easier to get in the door.

orangepenguin 1 day ago 0 replies      
It is easy to feel oppressed in software development. I don't mean to say that people in software development are oppressed, just that it's easy to feel that way. One of the goals of software development is to create a product that people don't notice or think about (something intuitive). I have found that it is common for developers to feel that their work goes unnoticed at times.

That being said, I would recommend three things:

1) Try to focus a little less on whether or not you've been treated as fairly as possible and look for ways you can improve things for everyone in the company. If you leave, someone else is going to have to deal with the same crap. Is there a way you can make it better?

2) Talk to higher management. Try to be objective and avoid blaming. Just identify things in the process that are causing you to feel unappreciated and ineffective. Could they involve you in more planning meetings? Could you start holding trainings to share knowledge among other developers?

3) Remember that you don't owe the company anything. You should absolutely be professional in all your dealings, but a job is a means to an end. If you aren't getting the pay, recognition, or satisfaction you're looking for, just look for another job. Companies live and die. Employees come and go. Don't get too emotionally tied to it.

edsiper2 1 day ago 0 replies      
As someone said, it's time to move on but take it easy. Try to reduce your "extra working hours", at least try to get enough free time and make sure weekends "are weekends". You need time for you.

Now it's time to start thinking "what would you like to do next" and invest some time in a daily basis looking for companies and positions that you will feel motivated to apply. That research and process may take some time.

Ah, don't get into the "Engineer -> Senior Engineer -> Manager" thinking, titles are not important, what really matters is what you do and how much you enjoy it. If you enjoy what you do, you will succeed.

gorpomon 1 day ago 0 replies      
I've been in your exact situation- very nice, laid back people, but who are boring and have no desire to really improve or change things. It sucks, I feel for you.

Remember to respect the balance. What if you were on the opposite team? One that charged ahead, worked like crazy and valued only the smartest? That might be nice for a bit, but eventually it would wear on you in other ways, you'd be tired, stressed and feel undervalued.

But even after respecting the perks, you're restless. You want to be on a higher functioning team. I say quit, and quit right now. Because right now you're in a place in your life where you want to work hard, study and grow. So go find those people, they are out there. But leave on good terms, because in 5 years when you want to focus on your family, or take up a hobby, or just chill out, you'll want this type of job, and you'll be glad it's something you can come back to. And then 5 years after that, who knows, you'll get that itch again, and once more your off to the races.

kwekly 1 day ago 1 reply      
You're probably at a good point to appreciate the following:


Zelmor 21 hours ago 0 replies      
Leave for a two weeks vacation and come back to the ruins of the project. Then, apply for senior position. If rejected, quit and find a better gig. You will not get a senior position nor raise/praise for what you are doing right now.

But generally, your company sounds like a pretty standard fortune500 crap tier outfit (IBM, Citi, Ericsson, Tata, etc). I suggest you find a better company or position within the company. Move teams if possible. If not, just leave. Don't stick to places like these. I did. I wasted my time.

studentrob 1 day ago 0 replies      
This is an incredibly well written, thoughtful post.

It's not someone else's job to make you happy. It's your job.

How to be happy is something we all work on every day. Nobody can tell you how to do it for you.

For me, some things that have helped are group exercise, meditation, social interaction, trying to challenge myself and being creative. Financial security is also important.

> I've been trying to make the best of things: the attitude I've tried to have over the past year has been that if I can identify various things that we do wrong at work, and can come up with better ways to do them, then it's almost as good as working somewhere where things actually get done in the right way

There's no place that does things perfectly. People deserve to be happy and I think you can find something better than your current situation if you keep looking. It may or may not mean changing your job.

Ultimately, what you're looking for may be found in yourself rather than in your workplace or from an answer on the internet. You can still change your job. My advice would be, consider what you want to do, and give it a try. If you're the decision maker then it's the right thing to do. Even if you're not the decider, when you look back and realize that it wasn't your choice, you've still learned something. Good luck!

Annatar 1 day ago 0 replies      
You are at a company where people are not interested nor invested in the work they are doing: they are there for the paycheck, they resigned themselves to the situation, you are likely viewed as "green and fresh out of college, you'll learn yet", and the situation is hopeless.

I worked at a place like that. And it was a software company. And it was my second time working there. After I realized that the company deteriorated far more than I had anticipated in my absence (and I did anticipate it), I quit the place the first chance I got, and never regretted it.

Generally if you love working with computers, you have to give up working with them professionally, because today's computer work is nothing like the work of old: too much politics and management meddling, too few people who actually care about doing things correctly, or about working with computers at all, for that matter.

For most people working with computers today (and I even experienced this first hand working in Silicon Valley), working in this type of a job is just means to get above average pay, or decent pay, just like for most people an automobile is something that gets one from point a to point b, instead of this incredible machine which can put together economy, performance, and design all in one.

JSeymourATL 21 hours ago 0 replies      
> I work at a large, non-software company...

Basic rule of thumb, the bigger the company-- the dumber and more dysfunctional they are. Also, Non-Software companies simply don't get devs.

Chalk this stint up to experience, prepare to move on.

Pro-tip, on your job search make sure you scorecard your next company for personal cultural fit. The ONLY way to determine this is by talking to actual members of the team you would work with. Here are some good areas to probe during your interview conversations > https://www.themuse.com/advice/the-best-interview-questions-...

new_hackers 1 day ago 1 reply      
It depends. What are you willing to risk to get what you may want?

You have only been there a year and you are eager and motivated. This is great to hear. It also sounds like you enjoy writing software, also great.

Here is what you do not want to do: become a PITA.

Stop talking to management so much (at least for now), they probably are getting tired of it.

Also try to fit into the culture where you work (at least for now).

And absolutely always ALWAYS be a team player. Even if the senior doesn't know as much about the product as you do right now. Offer your help and be nice about it. Don't take things personally, even if someone is being rude to you. Also try to look for people who you admire professionally and help them whenever you can.

In the mean time focus on your skills and keep improving your corner of the world.

What will happen, sooner than later, is that those people you helped will remember you. And when they are in a position to affect positive change, they may return the favor.

While you are doing this, make mental notes of where you want to be and definitely do shop around. By being aware of the real world situations, you'll be better equipped to recognize a better situation.

Best of luck to you!

Akonkagva 1 day ago 0 replies      
May be my experience would help you)Have been in a similar role as you before.Finished Uni, started my first, what I thought was a "major" job.I was developer level there at the time, whereas the rest of the team was much more senior people who teched me up(very big thanks to them).After about a year more senior people moved away from company.Leaving myself as the only team member...Following this, had to do most of the work and ridiculously enough do interviews to hire more senior people in my team... who would be hired based on my feedback ...As well as that had opportunity to participate in company life and influence their main products as I see fit, use it as a playground.

This gave me tons of experience that I could hardly get at my level and age.

Very lucky for the company at the time I wanted for it to prosper, hence have tried to make it as good as I could.

Chance to learn and advance yourself.

P.S. left to a much more senior position in another company after surviving such a rhythm for few good years.

xiphias 1 day ago 0 replies      
Find another job, but don't quit, as it makes salary negotiation much harder. Do the interviews in the background. Also if some engineer you worked with has left the company, ask him to help find job for you.
anupshinde 1 day ago 3 replies      
You should definitely quit the company. Don't waste a lot of time there.

2 years back I quit the company to start freelancing, and sometimes when I look back - I regret wasting those valuable years of my life.

It feels like my situation just 2 years back. I stayed in such a company for 7 long years because of various reasons - but also because it got very comfortable - I had the option to do bad-to-mediocre work and no-one would question it, because everybody thought it was "great work". Three years into the company I had once complained to a new manager that most of the team did "mediocre work" and did not even take minuscule risks. The result was - the new manager put me into a PIP, ironically in a quarter when I was performing very good. She came to apologize a week later. But formally never cleared my name off PIP, instead marked me as a employee she cured on the HR records. That was cruel.

fieryeagle 23 hours ago 0 replies      
I have been through very similar situations like yours during my early day jobs. It's that fire that we always had, fresh out of colleges and into the workforce, the drive to do good things, build cool stuff. Makes you very susceptible to be manipulated into doing more for free. If you think they pay well (just in certain pockets of the world anyway), the ROI from all that you do are multiples of what they gave you.

Here's the thing - your management know exactly what frustrated you and also know that it's the most efficient cost-cutting move, and it simply doesn't overlap with their interests to do something about it.

jv22222 1 day ago 1 reply      
It sounds like the perfect place for you is to work for a funded/profitable startup that has less than 20 people working in it. Preferably smaller.

It's really the only way you get to wear all the hats and solve lots of different problems in lots of technology domains and IMHO the best way to become a true full stack developer.

I can't tell you exactly how to find those types jobs, but I can tell you I've managed to over spend half of my 25 year career working in those types of companies.

Well maybe I do have some hints. I guess in the early days I did a lot of networking and going to events and meetups and such.

Then within the past 10 years I have started blogging and podcasting which exponentially increased my luck surface area and as a result a lot more opportunities come my way.

Anyway, best of luck with it!

wanderr 1 day ago 0 replies      
Every place is different but what you are experiencing sounds somewhat typical of a large organization. It sounds like you would be much happier somewhere smaller! Small startups tend to have the opposite sorts of problems, where each person needs to take on lots of responsibility but consequently everyone gets to have a big impact on the company and product. And as long as they practice code reviews for all changes you're guaranteed to get feedback even if sometimes that feedback is just "that's gross, don't do that". Anyway at a smaller startup it should be way less likely for there to be the kind of disconnect between dev and management as you are describing.
newjersey 1 day ago 0 replies      
I think I can comment on what people might be thinking when you show them your prototype: "will I have to maintain this?"

The only advice I can give is keep yourself available and keep looking for a job even if you want to work where you are at. It can't hurt to shop around.

ticos 1 day ago 0 replies      
A couple random thoughts:You've freelanced before, you're not happy with your current job, so consider getting back into that, at least on the side.

3 seniors quitting in a year does sound a bit like a red flag. Hopefully you're keeping in contact with them? Maybe you can find out why they left and where they went (and whether you can come along).

It's often unnecessarily large and undocumented. Sorry.

Consider running your ideas by some higher-ups before you spend your weekends on them. If they're not interested, maybe they could help you figure out things to work on that would get traction. This might be one of those trite old things where you make the person belivee it's their own good idea, but even then they'll at least know you were the one to implement it.

Things like code quality guidelines and interview processes involve some subjectivity- they're commendable things to want to improve but it may not be as simple as "boom, now it's better."

Not everyone loves talking about software for the sake of software. Maybe connect over biking or frisbee or movies or something. Also, "software" is a vast, vast space of topics. If someone doesn't happen to be in the right frame of mind when you bring up some otherwise-interesting topic, you probably will get blank stares. If you do want to chat about software, find a way to ask people about something you know they're working on.

I do hate the getting-things-done-in-meetings approach. You could try short-circuiting them with emails like "Here's problem X, here's my solution Y, please email me thoughts otherwise I'll go ahead and implemnt it." (YMMV)

In the end, though, it does sound like you're looking to leave. So, keep a list of your accomplishments (even if nobody there appreciates them), the responsibilites you have, positive feedback you've gotten, and things you've learned. Brush up your resume and look around. If you're financially stable, maybe just bail and go back to freelancing. Or, if you're feeling gutsy, maybe apply for a Sr role at your current place- that might be a way to gain some recognition.

pbreit 1 day ago 0 replies      
I think you could use a sizable attitude adjustment. The first thing to is to do your job. It's not clear from this lengthy post that you do that. Quit the politicking. Your 4th paragraph lists a bunch of things that sound like they don't matter a whole lot. Figure out how to work during the work week. Try to assume positive intent from your co-workers.

I guess in sum, start doing the opposite of your gut.

saiprashanth93 1 day ago 0 replies      
Peter Thiel has this funny law that states "A startup fucked at its foundation cannot be fixed".I think we can generalise that and say that a company fixed its foundation also cannot be fixed.Your post is the hallmark of a toxic work environment and no amount of work from you can fix that.Get out as soon as possible.
marcusarmstrong 1 day ago 0 replies      
No, this is not normal. You should quit.
throwawaypotato 23 hours ago 1 reply      
Wow! Thank you for all of the wonderful feedback and suggestions! This all seems like great advice, and I will be giving it a lot of thought over the coming weeks and months (...and years, probably). I don't feel quite as depressed, now!
ztm 1 day ago 0 replies      
Hi, I made an account just to respond to your essay. Congrats, you made me get out my laptop ;)

- Feedback is hard to come by.I don't know your company, but I've known several managers over the years who are excellent people, fantastic engineers in their own right, and decent at organizing projects... but they have no idea how to give constructive feedback. Sometimes this is a personality defect - software isn't known for attracting folks with high EQ - and also it's easier to not risk pissing people off. Sometimes they're guilty of apathy or oversubscription. I think you need a mentor, someone senior who will actually provide this feedback, and ideally who has visibility into the work you and your team perform. They will certainly have insight and perspective. I didn't realize how valuable this was until I started with my current manager, who gives excellent feedback, and I can't thank her enough for it.

- Work expands to fill the time allotted, but work also shifts to the person most willing.If you're pulling those kinds of hours and your team is not, then hey congrats, you're the kid in school who does all the work in group projects... so, presuming you're not okay with being that person... "Why would I promote you when you're carrying the team on your back?"

- "How tall you are depends on who you're standing next to."It's sadly common for a dev to have ten years' experience and not hold a candle to another with two years' experience. It depends on what they did in those years! Folks who aren't still hungry to learn, while still competent, cease to grow. So for evaluating your peers, do respect their years of seniority, but take it with a grain of salt that those years were well spent.

- "One must imagine Sisyphus happy."Camus said that, and while depressing, the quote sums up most of software development in a nutshell to me. You have to value the process - which it sounds like you do - but with the knowledge that your efforts will never make the problems go away. At best there will be new problems. At worst you'll be hamstrung by the situation around you, which leads to the next paragraph...

- "Every group of friends has That Guy. If yours doesn't, then congrats: YOU are That Guy."No matter the context, don't be That Guy. If your senior engineers are so amazing, you wouldn't be asking these questions: it would be painfully obvious to you that you can learn a ton from their experience and example. That is, unless you're very self-centered and narcissistic, which isn't meant as a dig so much as a "know thyself" moment. About the time that everyone learns from you, but you don't learn from them, and you're not just there for the money/etc... it's time to go.

- Culture comes from the top.ICs can't change the culture. At least not much, and likely not outside their team. It's just not how big orgs work. This should be part of the reason directors and VPs are so well compensated: it's on them to set the tone, establish the expectations, and conduct the hiring to enforce those. I personally know five ICs, off the top of my head, who all tried to change the culture, were unsuccessful, burned out, and quit. Find the serenity to accept that from your perspective the culture is immutable, and either accept it or change gigs.

- Yeah, final point: It's time to go.The usual career building advice applies, but I'd also focus on meetup groups. Everyone at a Golang meetup group, for instance, likes Go so much that they sacrifice personal time to hang with others who feel the same.

Feel free to reply if you'd like any further clarity. Good luck!

bitJericho 1 day ago 1 reply      
Just copy paste this to the CEO and see what happens. (minus the self-deprecation)
manyxcxi 1 day ago 0 replies      
I started my career at a very large insurance company in 2005 and for 9 months wrote no lines of code. I was documenting COBOL systems, sitting in disaster recovery planning meetings, all kinds of megacorp stuff that was soul crushing.

My next job, I was the only 'non-senior' on the team of about 12 that wrote all of the code that kept the manufacturing systems running for a very large international biomedical device manufacturer and since we were IT, we were on 24/7 pager duty.

Everyone from top to bottom at both companies were much like you describe- doing just enough to get by, punching the clock, and checked out. Not necessarily bad or dumb, but not necessarily good either.

Being a very outgoing person helped me stand out and I was never left out of meetings because I wasn't senior enough, either because I was lucky that these companies didn't do stuff like that, or because I was engaging enough for them to realize I may not have the title but I had the chops.

I've never again worked for a company that wasn't tech focused, and I've never again worked for a team that was a cost center (my teams made money from clients and we got treated better). The biggest company I've worked for since was 220, the smallest was 5.

As I've looked back on my path from Junior SD to Software Architect to running my own teams and companies I've realized two major things:

1) The megacorp stuff was god awfully boring and soul crushing. I connected with no one (I don't remember anyone I used to work with from those companies except maybe 2 people) but I was smart enough to pay attention to the good and bad things they did. From organization and procedure to inflexibility and beauracracy I was able to pick and choose some of the good habits up that you'd never get spending your career at startups.

2) If I would've stayed at either of those companies too long I would've burned out, or worse, gave up and stayed. It felt like being in an F1 car and having to drive in a school zone. I KNEW I could do cool stuff if I could find an outlet.

You seem to have the creativity and ambition to be very good at your craft and a company like this will squash it in the long run.

Make a list of things you think are good that they do (code reviews, mentoring, general procedural stuff, even if mundane). Make a list of things you think are stifling or dumb (old tech, no code reviews, 'senior' dev only meetings).

Use that list to make sure you're not going to get more of the same at the next company.

If you don't mind client work and love variety look for teams that do professional services work (like implementations for a software product/service company) or an agency (you'll get every variation of good bad and ugly there).

If client work or agency life is too stressful (and it can be FOR SURE) get on a product or service team.

You're still young enough I wouldn't recommend going to too small of a team/company too fast.

I see a lot of startup Cowboys that are good at rapid prototyping but are shit at developing something maintainable. There is a very happy medium between knowing when to go Cowboy and when to play it safe- if you do that you'll always be in demand.

The caveat to that is that I've seen big companies and big teams with awful procedures (or none) and I've seen 4 person teams that had a great workflow and process and shipped quality work fast and without very many issues.

The medium sized teams and companies seem to be a good middle ground of being visible, able to affect change, and having enough other people to lean on and learn from without getting brushed off because everyone is running 1000 mi/HR and has no time.

hosh 1 day ago 0 replies      
Unless you really care about the product (technically challenging or high impact on society), find a smaller company or even a startup to work with.

If you're in PDT or MDT timezone, interested in working remote for a startup (higher risk, below-market-value pay, great mission, small team, challenging work), feel free to contact me and we can see what happens.

vfulco 1 day ago 0 replies      
Get out of there.
thatinstant 1 day ago 0 replies      
Life is too short to be unhappy with anything, anyone, etc; so make a change. Here is a list of criteria I have gathered over the past 20 years in tech on finding the right fit. It doesn't have to apply to just software/technology jobs.

1 - Is software/technology the company's main source of revenue?

This is my top-most question, because I have been an engineer in several organizations where software/technology wasn't their primary concern and it sucks for lots of reasons. All of the reasons funnel back to this question. It makes economic sense that if you're an engineer at a law firm (as an example), you are not the organization's primary concern because you likely do not contribute to the organization's primary source of revenue: litigation. This will have all kinds of downsides to it: lack of training whether from budget constraints or a lack of mentors; lack of advancement on the right things to match a thriving career in software/tech; a lack of pay.

2 - Does the company make software/technology for the right reasons?

This might be a stickler for lots of other HN readers, but I have made an effort to stay away from tech companies who participate in the supply chains of industries that I take up issue with. Example: I'm not fond of war for any reason, so working for a defense contractor is out of the question. Even when the sales pitch sounds great, I still look at whether I'll be able to sleep at night knowing I'm making a contribution to the things I care about.

3 - Does the initial environment suit me?

I emphasis the word, 'initial', because this will change as all environments do... Even at the few companies I have found over the years, they all changed in ways that communicated to me, it was time to move on. People, politics, mergers, acquisitions, lack of new opportunity, etc- The landscape will forever be changing so find your tolerance level for the changes you can handle and work with it, not against it.

4 - Check in with yourself frequently and ask yourself, "Do I still love what I'm working on?" and be willing to make positive changes if the answer is no. 'Knowing thyself' is some of the oldest philosophical wisdom and for good reason. You will continue to jump from one circumstance to another if you don't truly know what does make you happy. I spent years trying to climb the corporate ladder and realized that I'm not cut out for management, but I like being a leader. One can be a leader anywhere... with or without followers, subordinates, etc. Besides most people love and respect leaders, while despise and tolerate managers.

You will feel like you made mistakes and bad decisions along the way, but this is normal growth. Just keep focusing on what brings you happiness.

dang 1 day ago 0 replies      
We moved the text from http://pastebin.com/raw/8sdGRra3 to the text field above. It's longer than Ask HN texts are usually supposed to be, but given that there's an active discussion it seems more convenient to have it here. If there are objections, we can put it back the way it was.
Ask HN: Do you think bots are the next big thing?
8 points by Nivlag  1 day ago   9 comments top 8
Gustomaximus 1 day ago 0 replies      
Bots (in a very general sense..) will be big one day. Next...who knows. With smartphones,we saw these in various guises for decades before the iPhone took the world by storm. Before that they were interesting and we all knew they had potential but didn't offer practical value yet. Some many things had to come together with software, hardware, a vision and other factors to complement the technology like the Internets evolution. Bots and AI IMO will have the same lag then impact one day when we 'crack it'. Maybe we have other factors we need to advance to make them interesting such as robotics or something we haven't conceived yet. While some people dismiss the potential as they've been about for so long without impact, I feel this is evolution happening. Just dont expect it tomorrow. It took 700 years form the first rocket to going to space. 30 years from the first computer to being a common item. 20 years from first smartphone to a mass consumer one. The rate we're advancing tech these days is pretty incredible really.
pfista 1 day ago 0 replies      
No. My guess is they'll end up being another fad due to poor execution and bad user experience choices.
icedchai 1 day ago 1 reply      
Bots were the next big thing... 25 years ago, on IRC.
davnn 1 day ago 0 replies      
I think you have to differentiate between "stupid" bots and "smart" bots, the former sort is working with structured input and the latter is processing your natural language and provides a more human-to-human experience. I think smart bots will become ubiquitous and they might become the next big thing.
beamatronic 1 day ago 0 replies      
It depends. I think you have to qualify the question some how. Mainly, how do you interact with the bot?
Raed667 1 day ago 0 replies      
If you're talking about text-chat-bots then no.

I would pick a 3-clicks UI over a 3 messages UI every time.

tacone 1 day ago 0 replies      
asimuvPR 1 day ago 0 replies      
Define bot please.
Ask HN: Which tool to record manual front end tests?
4 points by s3nnyy  1 day ago   2 comments top 2
dyeje 16 hours ago 0 replies      
I believe you can record manual Selenium tests with the Selenium IDE.


Ask HN: How do you maintain and organize JavaScript?
19 points by thomasreggi  2 days ago   6 comments top 4
zachrose 2 days ago 0 replies      
> What can I do to lower the barrier-of-entry to just write code, and stop fiddling with files, folders, modules, repos, function naming, etc?

If your goal is to write code with as little overhead as possible, put your code in a JavaScript file and bring it into the global namespace of your site with a <script> tag.

> I feel like I write the same couple of functions over and over again, reinventing the wheel again and again.

If your goal is to organize your code so you don't have to write as much of it, then fiddling with files, folders and modules is a worthwhile investment of your time.

At the risk of inducing JavaScript fatigue, I recommend using a tool that will compile single JavaScript files out of multiple linked CommonJS modules. There are two main tools that do this, Webpack and Browserify, and they're by-and-large interchangeable. Use Webpack if you want to be told which one to use.

> I want naming conventions for files and folders as well as functions themselves.

Naming conventions are orthagonal to the actual organization of your code. Be aware that different projects use different conventions, and hopefully make peace with that. For your own projects, find a style guide you like and stick with it. I like this one: http://nodeguide.com/style.html.

mifreewil 2 days ago 0 replies      
> Am I just too lazy to make things npm modules, or is there something larger at play here?

Yes. If you want to re-use your JavaScript, build small CommonJS modules. ES6 modules are here, but the loading part is still TBD.

Use Browserify or Webpack to package up the modules if you want to use them in the browser.

niftylettuce 2 days ago 2 replies      
Here are a few recommendations of mine, from shipping dozens of huge projects (extremely quickly 1-2 mo each) with a lot of overlap:

* Use utility functions wherever you can from NPM packages such as `lodash`, `underscore`, `validator` and `underscore.string`.

* Use as many IDE plugins as you can; syntax highlighting, marking 80th or 100th character column

* I recommend using VIM or an IDE that utilizes muscle memory as much as possible, here's my config https://github.com/niftylettuce/.vim take a look at the plugins I use and the `vimrc` file contents)

* Use `eslint` with a nice `.eslintrc` file. For ES6/ES7, here's mine https://github.com/glazedio/glazed/blob/master/.eslintrc (basically every time I file save in VIM, it checks these ESLint rules and highlights the lines in red that have issues and describes them in the VIM footer/help section at bottom of the editor)

* Use a simple MVC folder organization. See what I did here with Glazed at https://github.com/glazedio/glazed.

* Don't use overly complex frameworks or SPA's unless absolutely 100% needed. It usually just slows you down - and from a user-perspective having a backend templating language vs. SPA to render views is transparent to them (they don't even really see the difference, they just want functionality!).

In general, you really can't avoid having to manually write all the fluff code you consider to be "reinventing the wheel over and over again". This is stuff you will encounter with every project. Projects are very similar in setup, but different in functionality. You just have to make writing _that_ code_ faster, through the use of copy/paste, string replacement, and helper functions. If you start writing shorter bits and blocks of code, then you will be able to transition from one project to another more seamlessly. These thoughts you have are why I came up with Glazed, the practices around it, and everything that's baked in (so I didn't have to do so much of this manual stuff I could just clone it as a boilerplate and get going, then copy code over for unique things from various projects).

Take a look here for additional tools and tips I use to write projects quickly and recommend to others https://github.com/glazedio/glazed#advice

lightlyused 2 days ago 0 replies      
Keep it simple, don't be scared to make mistakes, and re-factor when you see a better way of doing things.
Ask HN: Post verbal discussion, unsure about signing shareholders agreement
4 points by startupman  1 day ago   2 comments top 2
calcsam 1 day ago 0 replies      
(1) I'd advise you to push out the sales guys -- they don't seem to be pulling their weight. Feel free to give them 5% each for their work, whatever seems reasonable, but not more than 15% total.

A startup is kind of like a marriage. If you don't trust your partner when you're dating, you're not going to trust them when you get married.

You can do sales and product development too. It's a skill that can be acquired.

(2) You'd better talk to a lawyer.

Keep in mind Thiel's law: a startup screwed up at it's foundation cannot be fixed. You should use your muscle to make this right now, or it's all going to fall apart sooner or later.


MrQuincle 1 day ago 0 replies      
Look at the future. You say there aren't enough leads per month from the current team.

Perform sales yourself or hire someone. Use that performance as a baseline against which they get equity. If they underperform you have facts rather than feelings to start to talk about equity. If they overperform you'd like to have them in the team after all.

Are there ways to increase the rate at which humans can output information?
5 points by faizanbhat  1 day ago   10 comments top 6
davnn 1 day ago 1 reply      
The fastest way to output information in the future could be to directly output information by thinking and being connected to some interface that can read your thoughts. Are thoughts the upper bound, however?
Zelmor 21 hours ago 0 replies      
If you want to increase your output as a developer, you can start by learning the Dvorak layout.
cauterized 1 day ago 1 reply      
I assume you're talking about order of magnitude increases, not just "learn to speed-read and double your touch-typing speed"?
atmosx 1 day ago 2 replies      
To me the rate of info one generates in any metric doesn't count. The only thing that matters is the quality one is able to generate.
jotux 1 day ago 0 replies      
Inexpensive and robust EOG would go a long way in making human-computer interfaces much easier to use.
w_t_payne 1 day ago 0 replies      
EEG / EMG bodysuit.
Ask HN: Companies who want to outsource some analytics to a data science class?
7 points by stevenwu  2 days ago   2 comments top
rfergie 2 days ago 1 reply      
Hi Steven, I'm interested in this (charity with data on young people's self efficacy) but I can't see your email in your profile.

Either email me (see profile) or I'll check back later today

100 things that are broken, according to HN
52 points by gregjor  1 day ago   15 comments top 9
fitzwatermellow 22 hours ago 0 replies      
This really calls for one of those "trend forecaster"-style four quadrant diagrams: broken / unbroken on one axis, fixable / unfixable on the other ;
fhood 22 hours ago 0 replies      
I don't know, after "everything" the rest of these seem redundant.
cdaringe 21 hours ago 1 reply      
We have an excellent community of self reflection and idealism. Part of that exploration is revealing our own faults from within. If nothing's perfect, everything is broken (ok, kinda!). The list is both a bummer and to be celebrated. Thanks for publishing!
JSeymourATL 22 hours ago 0 replies      
Problems are Goldmines: The world's biggest problems are the world's biggest business opportunities> http://peterdiamandis.tumblr.com/post/128046793118/problems-...
bluesilver07 20 hours ago 0 replies      
What would make this list even better is adding links to the relevant HN articles.
elabftw 1 day ago 1 reply      
The ocean is broken ?!!! Damned !
mrfusion 20 hours ago 1 reply      
What's wrong with the python sorting algorithm?
mrfusion 20 hours ago 0 replies      
Have any of these been fixed yet? Maybe flash ads?
smt88 1 day ago 0 replies      
I don't enjoy using any of these. Great job, HN!
Ask HN: Distributed coworking anytime soon?
6 points by davnn  1 day ago   4 comments top 3
wallflower 1 day ago 1 reply      
One way to get started, try a lunch-and-learn virtually. One person talks/teaches, the others eat. Later, that person may eat and someone else talks. Round robin. Simple, frictionless.

The closest analogue to coworking online that I can think of is building your own community. At the most extreme end, Problogger, Zen Habits, or the Art of Noncomformity. At the lower end, smaller niche communities (e.g. knitting, parents who travel with their school-age kids to foreign countries).

As a purely anecdotal counterpoint, if you have a distributed team focused on solving one of the hardest problems in technology, state-of-the-art video conferencing technology can erase distance and barriers.

> EACH MORNING, WHEN Andrew Fikes sat down at his desk inside Google headquarters in Mountain View, California, he turned on the VC link to New York.

VC is Google shorthand for video conference. Looking up at the screen on his desk, Fikes could see Wilson Hsieh sitting inside a Google office in Manhattan, and Hsieh could see him. They also ran VC links to a Google office in Kirkland, Washington, near Seattle. Their engineering team spanned three offices in three different parts of the country, but everyone could still chat and brainstorm and troubleshoot without a moments delay, and this is how Google built Spanner.

You walk into our cubes, and weve got VC on all the time, says Fikes, who joined Google in 2001 and now ranks among the companys distinguished software engineers. Weve been doing this for years. It lowers all the barriers to communication that you typically have.


asimuvPR 1 day ago 0 replies      
I tried this like 3 years ago. Few people would show up and ultimately it ended being like another work meeting. Everyone also reported not having improvements in their socialising.

Try it out. It helps understand the limits in online interactions.

jasonkester 1 day ago 0 replies      
That seems to nicely combine the disadvantages of a co-working space with the disadvantages of working from home, without adding any upside whatsoever.

You'd have all the distractions of a co-working space but you're still stuck working out of your bedroom, with the couch and TV right there and your partner popping in to ask little favors around the house.

I don't think it's a particularly good idea.

Ask HN: When something goes very wrong
4 points by andrewfromx  1 day ago   10 comments top 5
romanhn 1 day ago 0 replies      
PagerDuty should fit the bill, it's their core competency. You won't need fire drills, since you can see if folks are acking and resolving alerts. Disclaimer: I work there.
orangepenguin 1 day ago 0 replies      
Realize also that exceptional uptime is not easy to achieve. If you want to sell this service, you also need to have incredibly reliable infrastructure.

Example: I worked at a VoIP company. A mishandled call by another carrier in the chain led to the death of a child (it took several minutes to actually reach emergency services in the right country).

You don't want to advertise that your app is available when everything else has failed unless it always is.

atsaloli 23 hours ago 0 replies      
Sounds like 3N which is now Everbridge. http://www.everbridge.com/
iSloth 22 hours ago 0 replies      
PagerDuty, OpsGenie, VictorOps have similar features.

We use the last one for our automated on-call, works ok most of the time.

pavs 1 day ago 1 reply      
Usually, monitoring and alerting system are isolated from your core network by design. It's just good practice.
Ask HN: What's the best highly-configurable dashboard?
2 points by virgil_disgr4ce  1 day ago   2 comments top 2
virgil_disgr4ce 1 day ago 0 replies      
This looks pretty close to what I want: http://mozaik.rocks/

Configurable via npm module, though there aren't that many yet, but this seems potentially great.

Raed667 1 day ago 0 replies      
Check adminLTE
Ask HN: How are you handling your privacy/security?
10 points by lnalx  2 days ago   3 comments top 3
usernamebias 2 days ago 0 replies      
Hey, hope this help.

Assuming you're talking about personal data not team or company data.

Passwords - Lastpass, allows for complex, unique passwords, if one is compromised its not the same elsewhere e.g Mark Zuckerberg's latest fuck up.

Encryption - I use PGP encryption for some emails, not all. Use Signal for Android when using SMS.

Identity - Not much on the digital front, however I have completely eliminated physical mail e.g Credit Card Statements. This mitigates information leak because of mail being stolen or read without permission.

Social Media - I deleted FB a while back, although this was a personal choice, not for known privacy reasons.

Google - (They get a category of their own) Basically turned everything off here: https://privacy.google.com/

max_ 1 day ago 0 replies      
-Passwords - chrome password manager

-Encryption - Was using cryptocat. now using whatsapp

-Identity - pseudonyms like this one. FinchVPN

-Crypto currencies - BitGo, ShapeShift, 7ZIP to store private keys.

Ask HN: How to find people to develop your side projects? and vice versa
52 points by esac  1 day ago   63 comments top 21
projectramo 22 hours ago 0 replies      
Everyone is "random" when you first meet them.

That Indian (or Pakistani, or Croatian, or Thai) person could be just the partner you need. At least look at their work.

And a lot of time they charge less because their cost of living is much lower. You can actually pay them more than others would and still save on a "super" developer.

I think it would be equal time and less energy than going to a University Hackathon for hours and waiting to see who rubs you the right way.

kranner 23 hours ago 7 replies      
> random-indian-guy

Can you pick another stereotype please? It costs you little and is less degrading to us Indian guys and girls who happen to see it.

I'm sure there are newbies and/or posers of other nationalities as well on freelance websites.

tmaly 22 hours ago 1 reply      
Its quite a challenge. I was on vacation over in the Philippines, and I decided to see if I could find someone to help with the front end for my side project. I interviewed two people.

The guy I ended up working with did an amazing job using a team of freelancers on the first task.

On the second task, he asked for more money up front, and then that was the last I heard from him. He took the money an ran.

I am looking for another person or team to help me now, but I think the process is going to be to start with a small task and try to build trust.

The most important skill in these cases is the ability to write amazing specifications.

I have had some good practice over the years, and you would be surprised how much it helps.

rando444 23 hours ago 1 reply      
You get what you pay for.

Every one of us spends our lives building on our experience and then presenting that experience to others in exchange for compensation.

Without a system to manage this, it's just something to be exploited.

How do you as the employee know that someone isn't going to have you do a bunch of work and deny you compensation, or request you do more additional work than what was agreed upon?

How do you as the employer know that someone isn't going to just take your money and not provide the requested work or provide something substandard?

If you can't build a reputation on either side, there's no reason for anyone to trust you.

dos4gw 23 hours ago 1 reply      
http://reddit.com/r/forhire is full of the latter.
edoceo 21 hours ago 0 replies      
I've hired 'random-$whatever-human' many times. Sometimes Indian (1/7) sometimes not even guys! WUT!

Your hiring problem is caused by your lack of time commitment to finding the talent. Your impatience comes through loudly in the post.

That said, Upwork could use some improvements (which I'm working on).

You'll have to get over the idea that you can higher someone perfect , instantly and that some magic group (that you dont actively manage) will ensure that people meet your quality standards

iheartmemcache 22 hours ago 0 replies      
I think what you have is a misunderstanding of the market. 400 Euro isn't going to get you more than maybe half a days work (a day for a long engagement, for someone who's billing mid-tier[1] simply due to the economics of freelancing. You're paying both ends of FICA/SS so that's (-) ~17% federal immediately of whatever he's taking in.

For US freelancers, you're paying for down-time between clients and meetings that won't convert into any work. SuperDeveloperGuy (regardless of his nationality) is going to have a full book, and as such will be able to command a higher rate than random-(any-ethnicity-guy-with-less-than-desirable-experience). The reason why we bill out at lawyer rates is because our labor patterns are similar.

HN has a freelancer thread you can check. I've used it before. I generally discriminate based on the quality of their comments (a subjective metric, admittedly) as well as how long they've been a HNer. Keep in mind college kids are getting 35/hr minimum at any summer co-op, so again, 400 EUR won't get you very far.

RE: Elance, et al -- On Upwork I've had great experience with the Eastern Europeans/Russians who have tons of feedback (is it still racism if it's a positive stereotype? hmm).

[1] (Personally a client approaching me with a rate in that range is price-signaling to me "I'm going to brow-beat you for every dime"; somewhat counter-intuitively the quality of clients I've had has increased as a function of the rate at which I bill. Once I crossed the 3-figures-an-hour-threshold people started taking my time a lot more seriously.)

iweinfuld 22 hours ago 0 replies      
I solved this problem for me by building https://Squads.com. You're welcome to check it out of course. Invite only, to solve the random-klingon-eunuch problem.

Here's a full feature walkthrough without marketing bullshit: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=17uPOmgFFo4

clentaminator 22 hours ago 0 replies      
Your question is making me rethink all "formal" employment as "Someone with a side project looking for people to work on it".
marcell 12 hours ago 0 replies      
Shameless plug: this is the exact use case for my start up, http://codegophers.com which we launched recently.

For people looking for coders, we offer quick turnaround on small projects, typically priced between $100-$500.

For coders, it's a quick way to make money without having to commit to a multi week project. Please check us out or email directly at start@codegophers.com

welder 22 hours ago 0 replies      
These are community websites, since you don't want a marketplace:

1. Find someone from https://nomadprojects.io/

2. Go to a hackathon and meet devs.

These are marketplaces:

1. https://gigster.com/

2. https://gun.io/

mxuribe 20 hours ago 0 replies      
Maybe a local dev. group/meetup? I haven't been to one in years...But the one I used to visit (focused on web design AND web dev. which agreed was too broad) had often some senior folks, as well as newbies/college students/grads in attendance. Most everyone was very polite and accepting of both seniors and newbies. This of course constrains your search to folks who physically attend these meetups...but at least you can discuss things more easily than electronically, vet them in person, etc.

Or, maybe, this question that you posted here on HN you can actually bring up during one of these meetups, and see if others have the same challenge, what advice they can offer? True, not as scalable as a website (or some similar alternative/online group), but at least your name would get known around the locale, and there's the networking opportunities, etc.

jerf 21 hours ago 0 replies      
One of the big problems you have is that at that price range, overhead is eating away at your money pretty fast. Even if you do an hour of negotiation with a few people for "free", then pay one of them hourly strictly for the work, both you and the people you talk to need to be factoring in that time to the ultimate price and whether it's worth it. I will observe that when people describe the successful freelance jobs they do at those rates, including some other comments in this very thread as I type, they seem to tend towards being some very stereotypical tasks that generally amount to "installing WordPress/Magento/similar and slight customization". If you're negotiating something non-stereotypical, you can eat up serious percentages of the time just describing the situation. You may have to step up to a slightly higher tier to even get beyond "hello".
moyok 23 hours ago 0 replies      
I have been looking for a solution to the same problem - short projects with no long term commitment for some side income.Maybe this is useful - CodeGophers: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=11663869
keenerd 21 hours ago 0 replies      
> "I have money but no time"

You have time. The only person I've ever met who actually had no time was on his deathbed.

Everyone else is poorly prioritizing their time. Or their money. Cut your expenses in half and you regain half of your productive hours.

And of course doing it yourself is an investment in yourself - possibly the most valuable investment you can make. Naturally this assumes that you treat the project as "deliberate practice" and not something to simply get out of the way.

If you have the right sort of personality traits (which anyone can develop) you absolutely have time.

tyingq 22 hours ago 0 replies      
You mentioned "bright college student" and "university", which makes it seem like you have a preference for that route.

Most schools have some kind of online job board. One example: https://du.studentemployment.ngwebsolutions.com/JobX_FindAJo...

That said, while there's likely some great budding talent there, there's also a dearth of real world experience. You may find pitfalls there.

duggan 23 hours ago 0 replies      
I know the founder, and it might be that Cohort[0] is what you're looking for. Not publicly available yet, alas.

[0]: https://cohort.is/

DrNuke 22 hours ago 0 replies      
With 400 euros you do not need a dev but a modder: he/she buys templates and cloud space from well known marketplaces for peanuts or for free then inserts your content, sets up your project online and writes you one page to manage it properly. He/she will spend a couple hours and you are served with a working minimum viable product for showcase.
kiril-me 23 hours ago 0 replies      
Why not ask Hacker News Community? May be we can create monthly post.

I find people among my friends. What work really good, but unfortunately slow. But usually people are ready to help with out money. My projects are startups and people found them interesting.

I you need money or ready to pay you can go to freelance website, but I don't know what quality do you get.

tomeglenn 22 hours ago 0 replies      
I'm currently working on a platform to facilitate this sort of thing called http://hivemindly.com but it's not yet ready for a public launch. You can register your interest though.
xchaotic 21 hours ago 0 replies      
I'm not sure what more do you expect ove upwork and the like? Tinder for developers? Unless you put in the time, it's not going work, in love or coding. Simple.
Spotify's new ad format
5 points by rplnt  2 days ago   9 comments top 3
samfisher83 1 day ago 2 replies      
You could pay the $10 a month. I don't understand why people are so hesitant to pay for stuff on the internet?
thomasrossi 2 days ago 1 reply      
It's unlikely that they made such decisions "lightly".Most of the time the correct pricing decision is: make higher pricing (especially for a "startup" which had aggressive pricing to conquer the market). To raise the price of your ads, you need to make them more sticky/entangling, the outcome is straightforward!
Bino 2 days ago 1 reply      
"This will drive customers away, not into subscription."

It probably will not, I'm pretty sure they have the statistics, however it will make some annoyed non-paying customers complain on the internet.

Ask HN: Which VPN do you use and why?
43 points by nomanisanisland  1 day ago   58 comments top 31
atoponce 23 hours ago 0 replies      
You should check out the VPN comparison chart by "That One Privacy Guy" here: https://thatoneprivacysite.net/. There are many factors to consider, such as cipher suite, jurisdiction, and logging.

Even then, don't get your hopes up. It should be worth noting that VPNs can give a false sense of security (such as not logging). All they're doing is moving the goalpost from one end of the playing field to another. They're useful for getting into internal networks, and they're useful for bypassing outbound firewalls in restrictive networks, like public schools and libraries, or churches, but that's about it. See https://gist.github.com/joepie91/5a9909939e6ce7d09e29

If you want online privacy, you really should be using Tor. if you want anonymity, you should stay offline. Regardless, realize your VPN provider isn't going to go to jail for you.

koevet 23 hours ago 2 replies      
Streisand (https://github.com/jlund/streisand) and a cheap Europe-based Digital Ocean box.
rhblake 23 hours ago 1 reply      
I've always liked https://mullvad.net/en/ (Swedish company, around since a number of years), especially from a privacy point of view. You never actually enter any personal information when creating an account - no name, no email, no password, no nothing; all you get is a random unique ID. They also claim to keep no logs, point being, "When Swedish law requires us to divulge information about our customers we make sure not to have that information stored, so that we have nothing to give out."

Various means of payment are accepted, including btc, and cash (of any(!) currency) sent by mail. OpenVPN, possible to choose from a number of countries, no limits on speed or data.

If there are other commercial VPN services that don't necessarily require you to give them any personal information (for account purposes), I'd be curious to know. Would be nice to have more alternatives.

rocketcity 23 hours ago 1 reply      
I use the following OpenVPN docker container on my homeserver: https://github.com/kylemanna/docker-openvpn

I then send all of the logs to Loggly and get notified anytime someone connects to my OpenVPN server.

deanclatworthy 23 hours ago 1 reply      
The old recommendation here used to be privateinternetaccess.com

I cancelled my subscription months ago. They stopped circumventing georestrictions a while ago even though it used to be marketed as having that feature. Support even fixed it a few times for me.

Nowadays I just use one of the vpn scripts on GitHub and a small vps somewhere.

quinndupont 23 hours ago 0 replies      
I use BlackVPN[1], but mostly because they used to have a referral program and I ended up with several years of free service. They tend to be quite quick, have OK (but not exemplary security measures), and offer a nice range of servers for whatever your needs (geofencing, piracy, etc.).

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

mehxa 23 hours ago 1 reply      

It's plain and simple OpenVPN made by nice people, and it's only 3/month.

akerro 23 hours ago 0 replies      
TorGuard because they provide nodes in countries where I want to have my endpoint and they allow torrenting. Their technical support actually knows what OpenVPN and Linux/BSD is and they were able to help me with issues I had (unlike other VPN providers).
MattRogish 23 hours ago 1 reply      
https://www.getcloak.com - works on my Mac and various iOS devices. Well designed, have been with them since the beginning with no issues.
subliminalpanda 23 hours ago 1 reply      
I rolled my own OpenVPN server on digital ocean. I find that having 2 instances running, one over TCP port 443 and one on UDP over an arbitrary port works great in most scenarios.
lewisl9029 17 hours ago 0 replies      
VPNGate [1] is what I usually use for bypassing georestrictions, and it works quite well for that purpose. The client and server software is based on the open-source SoftEther VPN project [2], and the actual VPN servers are operated by volunteers around the world.

I'd hesitate to recommend VPNGate itself for anything that requires real privacy though. However, SoftEther VPN is an excellent choice if you want to set up your own VPN on a box somewhere.

[1] http://www.vpngate.net/en/

[2] http://www.softether.org/

toyg 23 hours ago 0 replies      
Witopia - https://www.witopia.net

It has a large set of exit points, which is what I use it for (at least until geoblocks die, which it will happen at some point). Being based in Virginia, they're probably an NSA front but I have nothing to hide ;) and at least you know it will work...

gorbachev 23 hours ago 2 replies      
NordVPN, outside of US jurisdiction and (claims to) does no logging.

The service used to be really spotty, but they really stepped it up lately.

hendi_ 23 hours ago 0 replies      
AirVPN - https://airvpn.org/

 - claims to be "operated by activists and hacktivists" - uses OpenVPN - GPLv3 client for many platforms - accepts Bitcoin (or PayPal, Credit Cards, ...) - has an API

NetStrikeForce 23 hours ago 0 replies      
For general browsing from different devices I use Freedome by F-Secure. Just because it was convenient to get, works on different platforms (Windows, iOS, Android) and it's cheap. Also their bandwidth has proven enough for my needs on different exit points. The only downside is that now Netflix identifies it as a VPN, so I can't keep watching my series while I'm abroad.

For connecting my servers between them (and my laptop) as some sort of secure virtual network I use my own product https://wormhole.network - The servers are all in an overlay private network completely transparent to any application, so I can move servers to different providers, locations, etc and not have to change a single configuration line (nor configure any firewalls).

rinchik1 22 hours ago 0 replies      
https://ipredator.se/name is weird by was rolled out by pirate bay and quite secure, inactive accounts get deleted with all data and potential history after about a month.
davejamesmiller 23 hours ago 0 replies      
For internet browsing, TunnelBear (via the Chrome plugin - technically a proxy rather than VPN), because it's free and I don't use it often (usually just for testing sites from a different IP address).

For my own network, OpenVPN because it's open source.

johnpowell 23 hours ago 0 replies      

When I signed up they had a 99 cent a month deal going on. I'm not really concerned about privacy. I just needed something to help with the connection to my dedicated server that runs Plex that is hosted with Hetzner.

Comcast here has poor peering to Hetzner and using a VPN solved the problem.

They have a lot of servers all over the world and they few times I have needed to open a ticket I got a reply in less than a hour.

I also have a Droplet on D.O. that can act as a VPN. I switch to that if I am doing anything sensitive.

ancymon 20 hours ago 0 replies      
As I understand VPN providers make users share single IP. Doesn't it give some extra anonymity? For example if you create your own Droplet someone still can listen for your traffic (but not coming from your PC but from the Droplet) and you are quite easily identifiable (because you are only user).
neiled 23 hours ago 1 reply      
VyperVPN has always been good to me and I've never read anything bad against it, anyone had bad experiences I should know about?
JamyDev 23 hours ago 0 replies      
PureVPN because they have lots of countries to connect to. Albeit some sites using a different geolookup library don't actually recognise them accurately.

Reason? My ISP modem basically dies when there's too many connections opened at once. So sometimes an innocent `npm install` would kill my internet for a minute...

gkwelding 23 hours ago 0 replies      
I used to use privateinternetaccess.com, but various issues with them led me to look for a new VPN provider. I eventually settled on ivpn.net as they have a good selection of exit points, their software is easy to use and I can use it across devices too. Their network speeds have been really good too.
teekert 23 hours ago 1 reply      
I usually SSH tunnel to my server at home or to my 5$/month Digital Ocean droplet.
vowelless 23 hours ago 0 replies      
HideIPVPN and Avast SecureLine.

I use HideIPVPN for their European servers. And I use Avast on my phone to automatically get on VPN when I am on certain Wifi networks (it does SSID based connections).

kawsper 23 hours ago 0 replies      
I run my own setup with OpenVPN. I have looked at Pritunl[0] for easier management of OpenVPN.

[0] https://pritunl.com/

evook 22 hours ago 0 replies      
Juniper SRX1500 within my private collocation in a friends data centre. Just worth it, although it could use some redundancy.
juiced 22 hours ago 0 replies      
lukeholder 23 hours ago 0 replies      
IVPN - got a heap of recommendations on the last HN VPN discussion.
CiPHPerCoder 23 hours ago 1 reply      
None. VPNs can't provide any meaningful privacy: https://gist.github.com/joepie91/5a9909939e6ce7d09e29

Okay, that's not entirely true; I do access a company VPN, but not for privacy purposes which is probably what's implied. I use Tor for that.

xytop 23 hours ago 1 reply      
arca_vorago 22 hours ago 0 replies      
To be perfectly honest, if someone needs to vpn for reasons that could cause real backlash, aka political dissent, the best thing to have is a owned box somewhere and tunnel through it. Add one or more layers, and or a use once discard policy... But the sad fact is thats just about the only way to raise the barrier of entry for a state level (notice I didnt say nation state) actor.

Not necessarily condoning illegal activity, just stating things plainly.

I'm pretty sure tor is under attack heavily right now, (see ioerror accusations), and I have used it very sparingly. Of course only NSA level actors can comprimise it with enough upstream fiber/exit node taps...

You must always know your enemy.

I dont understand, how crackers can break into a PC that doesnt run any server?
4 points by id122015  2 days ago   5 comments top 5
Millennium 2 days ago 0 replies      
They can't. Not the way we typically think of "cracking", anyway.

What they CAN do is try to trick the PC's user into putting a server of some kind onto the PC. If they succeed, then they can just use that. This is essentially what most malware does.

noonespecial 2 days ago 0 replies      
The one I fix the most is "You need to update your flash to watch this video". -Clicks OK- -Types OS Admin password-

Now there is a server running.

daly 2 days ago 0 replies      
Some Intel boxes have a Management Engine which can boota powered-off machine remotely and take complete control.

Wireless connected machines can be attacked using skip-levelpackets.

Some ethernet interfaces have controller boards that canbe hijacked remotely.

If you're using a bluetooth keyboard it can be attackedremotely.

MS boxes have a dozen ways they can be attacked (e.g theremote management console, the printer, the shared folders,etc).

Here's the universal law: If the CPU can get at it, then anyone can get at it.

If you want reasonably secure records (e.g. employee data)then ONLY ever record that information on paper and keepit in a locked room. Oh, and don't use the copier becausethe copiers have hard drives that store image data.

100ideas 2 days ago 0 replies      
Because there are many OS services and user-installed programs that do send and receive data to the wider internet, even though they may not be web servers per-se. Also what @daly said.
Zelmor 2 days ago 0 replies      
Services, basically. This is why system hardening is essential. You don't need all 148 services running on a windows 7 home edition machine.
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