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I'm Peter Roberts, immigration attorney who does work for YC and startups. AMA
257 points by proberts  9 hours ago   294 comments top 115
mehta 8 hours ago 1 reply      
Hi Peter,

Thanks for taking the time out to answer questions!

I am from India and am in US on H1B with gc process underway in EB2 category. I (along with a fellow friend) have been thinking of doing something on our own but are always discouraged by the immigration process. If we were to start something on our own, what are our options? H1b where you have a majority stake seems to not be an option. Is there an alternate way to do this?

I don't seem to satisfy requirements for O1.

sjtgraham 9 hours ago 3 replies      
I'm a UK citizen that has been looking at EB-1A all week (because of Brexit), I'm now sure I do not want to continue living here if we in fact do withdraw from the EU. My questions:

- How many of the 10 criteria must you actually satisfy? Is it a binary decision, i.e. proving 3/10 is the same as is the same as satisfying all 10. Is a positive decision 100% guaranteed is at least 3 criteria are proved satisfactorily?

- What is the standard of proof?

- When would my obligation to complete a IRS tax return begin, i.e. is it when the consulate adds an MRIV I-551 to my passport, when I arrive in the US an immigrant and CBP endorses it, or another time. This might impact when I would apply.

- How long would the EB-1A process take, how long does it take for a permanent resident to sponsor a spouse, can these applications happen concurrently, and are both categories current?

- What are the indicative costs?

sesameoil 9 hours ago 1 reply      
Hi Peter,

I've received my green card through my sponsor company 2 months ago. (It's a highly reputable fortune 100 company and I am building their core web product)

And I have a project that's getting traction and really want to leave the company and commit full time to it.

But everything on the web says I need to wait at least 6 months before leaving the company after I receive green card, otherwise they can kick me out for fraud when I apply for citizenship later. But some people also say this is just a myth.

So the question: Is this true and I am stuck with this company for next 4 months even though I really want to go full time on my project? Any ways to get around this? Thanks!

p.s.I know this is not a type of question that you may be interested in answering since it's a minority case, but I would really appreciate at least a one line comment on what you think (or even saying it's not something you can answer). It looks like it's not just me, at least 6 people are interested so far, we will all be grateful to hear from you!

godbov 4 hours ago 2 replies      
I know that Australian citizens can use the E3 visa for working in the US. Do you know if Australian citizens can start companies in the US using the E3 visa? Is it something like, you work for the company you founded? What happens if the company fails, or runs out of money?

EDIT: Updated question.

jameshush 9 hours ago 3 replies      
Hi Peter,

I'm a Canadian citizen with a four year computer science degree. I've gotten a TN work permit twice, with two different companies over the past three years.

If I started a company with an American citizen and they opened it up, could they then hire me as a Computer System Analyst? Is there a minimum salary they'd have to pay me (e.g. could I get a TN and still only get paid $10/hour)? Is this a common way for Canadian co-founders to enter the United States or is there a better route?

pramttl 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Do you see new OPT STEM extension (24 months) and it's requirements be something that could be met by most F-1 student entrepreneurs on OPT?

Background:The new 24 month STEM OPT Extension [1] (effective from May 10, 2016) which requires employers to fill I-983 [2] (Lengthy Training Plan) has created additional barrier for foreign students intending to start/work with startup companies on STEM OPT Extension (which earlier was for 17 months with less regulations). Being an F-1 student myself I can say that, these regulations could certainly influence more potential F-1 entrepreneurs down the "job seeking" path as opposed to "job creation/entrepreneurship" path because it is much easier for bigger companies with resources to satisfy the USCIS training plan requirements/I-983 as opposed to newly born companies.

[1] https://www.uscis.gov/working-united-states/students-and-exc...

[2] https://www.ice.gov/sites/default/files/documents/Document/2...

otto_ortega 6 hours ago 1 reply      
Hi Peter,

I live in Central America, I have been working as a remote worker for US-based companies for around 5 years now, the past 1.5 years working for a company on Seattle, I haven't signed any formal work-contract but my current employer is willing to help me to obtain a VISA to inmigrate to the US (I only have a tourist VISA right now).

I'm also in the way to co-found a company with my employer as partner, I will get 16% of ownership over it.

What are my best options to move to the US?

May I still apply to an H1B visa despite not having a formal work-contral? (the payments records, Skype logs and emails are the only proof I have)

auggierose 9 hours ago 4 replies      
So what does extraordinary ability mean? Are we talking PhD level ability here, or Turning award level ability, or somewhere in between?
ry_ry 8 hours ago 2 replies      
I'm an English programmer working in the UK for a site owned by, via another company, a very large privately owned US company. I have a child and a partner I am not married to. I have no criminal record.

I'm unsettled by the brexit, and am considering a US move - if my company's parent wants to take me on how difficult is the immigration process likely to be?

kevindeasis 7 hours ago 1 reply      
Hi Peter,

Thank you very much for doing this! I have two questions about Canadian citizens looking for jobs in America. Possibly, looking to immigrate to Americain the future. Also, If possible getting double/triple citizenship.

Let's pretend you are a Canadian citizen, recently graduated from computing science, that is currently living in Alberta, Canada. What is the best way to get a job in America? Should I apply for a visa as well or should they offer a visa sponsorship?

Then, let's say I get hired. What's the best way to get an American citizenship with the goal of maintaining my Canadian citizenship? I was originally born in the Philippines; would it be wise to get three citizenships (America/Canada/Philippines)?

nopinsight 6 hours ago 0 replies      
Hi Peter, Thank you much for doing this. I am a startup founder who plans to obtain E-2 visa and uses it for residency during the first 2 years of business. I hope to transfer to EB-1 or EB-2 with National Interest Waiver (NIW) as soon as possible.

1) What are the possibilities and timeline for applying to EB-2 while holding E-2 with majority interest in the startup? (I have a Masters in CS from a major US research university. It seems to be a challenge to qualify for EB-1 within the next 2 years, but NIW looks quite possible to me.)

A major reason for the plan is that E-2 treaty with my country limits the period of travel out and back into the US to 6 months after the visa approval. After 6 months, it appears that I will need to renew the visa every time I wish to come back to the US, which would be a major time sink.

2) Would EB-2 give its holders complete freedom to travel back to the States without issues and to stay as long as they wish?

3) Are EB-2 holders required to maintain employment with the original employer?

If you have time: I would strongly consider to become a US citizen after receiving an EB-2. What is the typical timeline and conditions to transfer from EB-2 to US citizenship?

Greatly appreciate it.

raz32dust 7 hours ago 1 reply      
Hi Peter,

I have heard different answers to this from different people. Can I earn income from apps on apple store/android etc. if I am on a work permit in the USA? Does it matter if the app was initially launched when I was in India (my home country) or after I moved here?


senpost 9 hours ago 1 reply      
Can a H1B visa holder start a company?What are the options for H1B visa holder to do side projects for money?

Thank you.

Trufa 8 hours ago 2 replies      
I never had a formal university education, what are my real chances of being accepted for a work visa.

I think that I'm pretty good but and have a pretty interesting CV probably not "extraordinary".

What are the chances of me working in the USA? Does it really nullify my chances?

I have been working since I was 17 in jobs related and then very specific to programming, I'm 28 now.

I also have a uruguayan and spanish/european nationality, which would be better for an application?

claudiordgz 8 hours ago 5 replies      
I'm a Mexican citizen living in the US working as a Computer Systems Analyst. Been here for 1 and a half year and my wife and daughter joined me a year ago. I just recently moved jobs and the UCSIS approved me a work permit and I-94 until 2019. I came here as a TN visa, and I am worried if asking for a green card would get me and my family in trouble.
rednotebook 7 hours ago 0 replies      
Hey Peter!

I'm moving with my company (large Washington-headquartered tech firm) from London to California. They're applying for an L1B specialized knowledge visa as a blanket application. What sorts of reasons are people rejected for L1s? I'm very nervous I'll be turned down as I've heard horror stories about USCIS. Does it being blanket improve my chances? What % of people are turned down? I married an American a few years ago and was intending to move to the US to be together but it didn't end up working out - I don't think the paperwork ever got sent in the end. Would something like this impact my chances? I'm probably worrying unnecessarily. I'm 26, worked at the company for just over a year and have worked for a couple of other large tech firms in London before that.


ionwake 6 hours ago 1 reply      
Hi Peter,

If I am a UK contractor with my own Limited company, what visa - if any, do I need to be able to do a 6-month contract in the US?

Thank you.

rileyt 9 hours ago 2 replies      
I have a TN and I would like to learn more about the legality of passive income forms like advertising, affiliates, etc. Where or who is the right place to get info on this? Thanks!
knxclkases 9 hours ago 1 reply      
Hi Peter, Thank you for taking the time to do this AMA.

The company that I currently work for has offered to start processing my GC, but only under an EB3. I have a masters degree in computer science from an American University, (and I have about 4 years of work experience) so I am technically eligible for an EB2 (and since I am from India, EB2 vs EB3 makes a big difference).

My question is, if I go ahead with the processing, Once I have my I-140 and priority date, would it be possible for me to switch jobs keeping the same priority date? If I move to a company with the means (and willingness) to file for a GC under EB2, would they be able to keep the same priority date?

Just trying to understand if this is something worth fighting for? Or if I should just accept the EB3 filing, get my I-140 and eventually move to a company that will re-file it under EB2?

turnip1979 9 hours ago 1 reply      
Thanks for taking the time. For Canadians or Europeans with PhDs and a sufficient track record to make EB1 feasible, is it better to work at a research institution while one gets a green card, or is it better to just plow ahead with a startup and then do the EB1? Can you discuss pros and cons? I've seen many colleagues delay their startup aspirations while they wait for immigration reasons .. I want to understand if this is being prudent or a folly. I've heard the green card that you get as a researcher is nominally approved for that job title. Are there issues people face when they eventually attempt to become naturalized?
bing_dai 9 hours ago 2 replies      
Hi Peter,

First of all, thank you very much for doing this.

My questions are about the USA Diversity Lottery (https://www.dvlottery.state.gov/), as I rarely see any discussions about it:

- Out of all the people you have seen who obtained a green card, roughly what is the percentage of them getting it through the lottery?

- Roughly how much time and money would the process cost? (I would assume it's similar to the ~2-4 years and ~$15K that a regular green card application cost?)

- Any other general comments you have about the lottery?

Thank you.

amingilani 9 hours ago 1 reply      
How much does the whole process cost? As an international founder, that's my only major concern.
poorguyh1b 8 hours ago 1 reply      
Hi Peter. I am on H-1B (currently going through PERM labor certification application). My wife is on TN-1. Could it be a problem at the border (exit then reenter US) because I have dual-intent and she does not?
ecesena 9 hours ago 1 reply      
Thanks for this AMA!

I wonder what is the best structure for a US based company to have employees living in an EU country, such as Germany or Italy?

I mean, I assume they don't necessarily need a visa, and they can come to the US for limited time periods under the ESTA.

What is the best way to give them a salary and/or other common benefits? (health insurance shouldn't be needed, but 401.k or equivalent in their country would probably be a good perk).

FabianBeiner 9 hours ago 0 replies      
Hello Robert! Thanks for doing this (again). I got two questions, but any answer is appreciated!

1st: Id love to stay in the US as a digital nomad for some months. Id have to work on my own projects and maybe on some client ones while doing this (all of them outside the US). Which kind of VISA would I need?

2nd: Are there any chances to get a work permit if you dont own a University degree? (Eg. starting my own company in the US?)

Thank you!

vthallam 9 hours ago 1 reply      
Hi Peter! Thanks for the AMA!

Can you please describe briefly about the process to establish a company here while on H1-B. From incorporation to founder's visa status. Whether there has to be a American co-founder or if it helps to have one. If funding helps in getting a visa etc.

The description about the 2 visa's for GC is clear, i just wanted to know about initiating the process.

Thanks in Advance!

anarazel 9 hours ago 1 reply      
Is there any reasonable explanation for not being "allowed" to leave the US, after filing for adjustment of status? Without advance parole, that is. Especially when a different class of visa (say an O1, while applying for EB1A) would still allow reentry? That can be rather annoying both for professional and personal reasons.
perardi 6 hours ago 1 reply      
I work, remotely, for a private US software firm, and about a year from now, I'd like to move to Toronto to live with my partner. (Yay for long-distance relationships.)

Is it practical to work remotely for a US firm in Canada?

andor436 9 hours ago 1 reply      
Hi Peter, thanks for doing this!

My company currently employs a brilliant, in my opinion, Argentine scientist. We'd love to bring him to the US periodically, but he can't get a visa as he owns no property in Argentina, isn't married, etc. Short of meeting in a more neutral country do we have any options?

danellis 2 hours ago 0 replies      
If I, in the US, found a US-based company with someone from overseas, what should we do to maximize his chances of eventually moving to the US on an L visa?
tommyvoltz 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Is popular github repo enough for o1 visa? it is significant achievement in programmers community)
confiscate 7 hours ago 0 replies      
Hey Peter,

My question is typical in the SF Bay Area, H1B founder:

I am an American Citizen. Opened up a startup C-corp. Company does not have a lot of press coverage yet. I have a friend who would like to join my startup as founder, but have doubts about immigration issues:

- H1B

- EB2

- originally from India

- graduated masters from a U.S. College

- currently software engineer for another big company. Has been for several years

- just starting the green card process

As a startup we don't have much revenue yet. He is willing to give up his salary (just as I did) to become a founder. I am worried about H1B's salary requirement preventing him from doing this.

What options do I have for bringing him on board to my startup as a founder? What would be the best way to do this?

throwawaydui 7 hours ago 0 replies      
Hi Peter,

Thanks for doing this! I am currently looking at a unique situation, so I'm not sure if you would know about this. All I'm asking is if you would know anything from your experience.

I'm an h1b visa holder from India and I recently got arrested and charged with a DUI. After talking to my lawyer, he looked at the evidence (videos, breathalyzer tests) and says its basically a 50% chance at a trial. So I'm looking at a plea bargain. How would this affect my immigration prospects? The DUI itself was my first one and it was a simple DUI, i.e. noone else was harmed or injured.


master_yoda_1 1 hour ago 0 replies      
I am on H1b how much time i have for job search if I quit my current job right now?
aliakhtar 9 hours ago 1 reply      
> the extraordinary ability and national interest waiver routes--are often very good options, and often overlooked because of a misunderstanding about the standards.

Can you please clarify that, especially about the extraordinary ability criteria / standards? Is there a yard stick that one can measure themselves against, to get a realistic assessment of what their chances are?

E.g may be an example persona of someone who qualifies? The examples that are given by the immigration website are olympic atheletes and such. That's probably someone who is way overqualified though. What's an example of a person who just barely qualifies, or who neither under nor over qualifies?

P.S can I hire you to be my attorney for my EB1?

einstein 8 hours ago 0 replies      
Hi Peter, I've a few questions:

1. What's the relationship between O1 sponsoring entity and you? Do you've to be employed by the sponsoring entity? Can you run your own business while on O1? Can you get paid by someone else than the sponsoring entity while on O1?

2. How to determine if I should go with O1 or EB2? My attorney says if my EB2 gets rejected then there can be issues getting any other non-immigration visa.

3. If I already have O1, then what's the process like going from O1 to Green Card? When can you go from O1 to Green Card?

4. If I already have O1, are there tricks to stay in the US and never go back to home country to renew it?


throw42 9 hours ago 1 reply      
I have a O-1, how hard is it to get a EB1A. In what percentage of cases will a O-1 person get a EB1A.
zanethomas 8 hours ago 1 reply      
Also, from my friend again:

I know O1 visa is very specific for example O1 for producing or or O1 for acting. If your O1 is for producing you cannot do acting under that visa. Currently I have only enough experience only for producing. But Ideally I want to get O1 for producing and acting. My question is if you have O1 for producing, while you are at O1 you want to apply O1 for producing and acting, if I get denied is my O 1 for producing still good or it get waive? Or can I just petition to add acting in my current O1? If I petition to add acting and get denied does my O1 as a whole gets cancelled?

linuxfan 8 hours ago 1 reply      
Hi Peter,

I have a green card that will expire in August 2016. I also have a valid travel permit until 2018. If I do not renew my green card in August, and leave the country, will I still be able to return using the travel permit?

alantrrs 9 hours ago 1 reply      
Hi, Peter! as a Mexican, could I get an E2 visa investing $50k of my own money into my startup? Or what's the lowest investment needed for an E2 visa? In order to reach that threshold, could my investment be complemented with VC or angel's money?


gibsjose 9 hours ago 2 replies      
Hey Peter, thanks for this.

Have you heard about SimpleCitizen? (https://simplecitizen.com/)

My wife and I were recently married and are currently considering this for getting her green card.

Any thoughts?

vorador 7 hours ago 0 replies      
Is it possible for a person under an H-1B visa to have a money-generating side-project? I've read that it was absolutely illegal but I'd like to have an actual lawyer's opinion.


marsha_ 9 hours ago 0 replies      
Hi Peter, first of all thanks a ton for doing this.

My first question is how much time it takes to get green card through employment for someone who's not from India or China.

My second question is, does it make any difference to complete my MS before starting the process, or it doesn't change the approval chance and/or delay at all? (MS is from a middle eastern uni, not US)

--Here is a bit background about me: applied H1-B 3 times, didn't get selected. Now the company that applied for H-1B for me is preparing to apply for GC for me next month.I have a BS in CS and 3 years of experience, and almost done with a MS degree outside the US, just need to complete my thesis.

Thanks a lot again!

noahlt 7 hours ago 0 replies      
A friend of mine feels that the H1-B system is rigged, that the big companies will get as many H1-Bs as they ask for and that smaller companies essentially don't have the same degree of access to that labor pool. My impression is that he is wrong, but I'm no expert. As someone who deals with this regularly, what's your takedo you think big companies are practically guaranteed to get H1-B workers? How disadvantaged are smaller companies (esp those without access to YC resources)?
no1youknowz 8 hours ago 1 reply      
Hi Peter,

I'm based in the UK and in talks with (UK Based) investors for a significant amount of seed money to start a company.

I want to setup a US based company as all of the business will be with the US and I want a local office.

What sort of "investment" for the US based company do I need to make, so that I can secure a visa and what type of E visa should I be trying to get.

I know higher the better is probably preferable. But where is the sweet spot? $100k, $250k, $500k?

I do not have a PHd, nor a Masters or even Degree. However I have 25 years of IT experience and I am the technical / founder of my company.


dbancajas 8 hours ago 1 reply      
Peter, Can you evaluate my specific case? I am going to send my resume and also my google scholar citation page.


- I have about 46 citations.

- Graduated last June 2015 PhD EE from a small US school.

- 5+ conference papers in top conferences in my field.

- 1 best paper award in a 250-paper conference.

- 1 best paper nomination in 200+-paper conference.

- 11+ conference/journal papers in Total.

- 3 approved US patents

Go or No-go on EB1-A?

I emailed this law firm for EB1: http://www.curranberger.com/ and they said I won't qualify.

What's your opinion?

freak4pc 7 hours ago 1 reply      
Hi Peter ! Thanks for doing this, I do have a couple of short questions.

I'm an employee of a large US Corporate and got a O1 Visa which I'm currently employed under. I understand that my spouse will be able to move here as a O-dependant, but won't be able to work which is a huge issue for us and will probably prevent us from moving out to the US unless we find a permanent solution.

I do wonder, what are my options of getting her a work permit besides her finding a job that would endorse her and going through the entire process?

From what I've read seems like the two options I have are:

- H1B so she could get a H4. I understand that last year Obama approved some H4 recipients can work, but I'm not sure what the criteria is. I know that it's only able to be filed by 1st of April, but I also understand that there is a premium fee that could be paid to rush things up. Would love your input on this from your experience.

- L1 so she could get a L2. Best solution it seems but getting a L1 is a lengthy process and needs a 1-year employment period which I might not have by the time we want to move.

Thanks for reading this, I would really appreciate your professional opinion on this !


mahoneyturnbull 7 hours ago 0 replies      
Hello Peter,Thank you so much for offering this opportunity - this is really fantastic reading everyones Q+A's!

1.Re H3 'traineeship' visa. Is that a recommended route, in lieu of the o1a for business? Would an accelerator be able to satisfy this from your experience (i.e. 500 Startups) ?

2. Re H1B: Is it true that a more strategic month to submit it is around October? I am hearing conflicting opinions on the matter of timing.

jensvdh 7 hours ago 0 replies      
Hi Peter,

What are the odds of the H1-B lottery system changing under a Clinton/Trump presidency. What kind of changes can we expect from either of them?

oneloop 6 hours ago 0 replies      
Hi Peter, thanks for your time.

I'm European and I live in London and run a small advertising business (business is just me). I have a PhD in STEM. I can code.

Given this, what would you advise is the best route if I want to work and live in the USA? Would getting a job at an American company be enough?

Thank you

chikathreesix 5 hours ago 0 replies      
Hi Peter,Thank you so much for having this. This is really helpful.I have heard that if you could get into YC, O1 would be an option because being selected by YC means you have extraordinary ability. Is that true?
stephentbiz 3 hours ago 0 replies      
What expectations can a startup founder have when preparing to make an offer to an international developer?

What steps do we need to take to get them here :)

web007 9 hours ago 0 replies      
I have several sponsored (H1B?) friends / co-workers who I would want as employees in my future startup. How expensive / difficult is it to take on sponsorship?
rootein 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Can journalists/ editors qualify under the EB-1 visa?
napoleonarwhal 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Hi Peter,

I am from the United States and recently discovered that my cofounder is an undocumented immigrant. What should I do? Are there legal consequences to this?

tostitos1979 9 hours ago 1 reply      
Hi .. I am curious about how the final-part of the green card process works for a married couple living in different countries: say a dependent spouse is outside the country while the sponsoring spouse (say someone who applied via EB-1 or Eb-2) is inside the US. Is it possible for one (the dependent) to use consular processing and the other to do a change of status while inside the country? Thanks so much!
h1bquestion 5 hours ago 1 reply      
Hi, My questions is regarding a different aspect of immigration -- what are my rights if my company promised to sponsor an h1b visa but failed to do so (a mistake on their end). The company offered a compensation package for their error, but I'm not sure what's fair in that case. Should it be calculated on the months I've been there, or the value that could've potentially came if I got the h1b. (Ps the company's success rate with h1bs has been 100% so far)
abeiz 4 hours ago 0 replies      

If a Canadian is currently in the U.S on a TN visa, is it possible to get a green card? Or does one have to switch to a different visa first, as in a H1B?

throw345hn 9 hours ago 0 replies      
1. I studied in a HCI (Human computer interaction) program where there were a mix of programmers and designers. I found that after graduation a lot of the designers were applying for O1B and were easily getting those whereas programmers generally stuck to H1B's even though some of the projects that were being shown as part of the application documentation were group projects. Is it harder to receive an O1A for people in sciences because their work is generally not visual in nature vs O1B which is for arts (or designers)?

2. My OPT ends this month (June 30th) and my employer filed for H1B starting Oct 1st. My university issued another I20 (called CAP GAP extension) which start July 1st. But currently I am thinking about changing jobs immediately as my current employer is suffering financially and I am not sure how long they may survive. Is it ok to do that during the CAP GAP period if my new employer is willing to sponsor H1B? I have read online where some people say its ok but others say its not.

Thanks for the AMA

kumarski 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Do any of the following qualify as extraordinary abilities?

* Winning Academic Competitions* Breaking World Records* Building Very Large Digital Things

dkraft 8 hours ago 1 reply      
If I am a Colombian Citizen with a multivisit visa, and I don't have the actual visa because it is attached to an expired visa which is forgotten in the U.S. - What are the chances of re-entering USA? Is the visa information in the computer or is it useless without the physical stamp?
maratal 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Hi Peter!

I've got a github repository with couple of thousands stars, can this help me to obtain O-1?

ashkan3 5 hours ago 1 reply      
Hi Peter, I'm a software engineer and working under F1-OPT status. I didn't get H1-B in the lottery this year. But I can maintain work authorization by extending my OPT for 2 years from now(STEM). My company told me they would apply for my green card after a year from my employment. Do I need to have a H1-B so that they can start the process for my gc? Or can they start the process while i'm on OPT?


kalemayank 9 hours ago 1 reply      
I'm going to graduate with a B.S next year and already have a startup. We're raising a significant round late this year and i have a cofounder who is US citizen. Is it possible for me to have a majority stake in this company, work on it under OPT and file for an H1B or does someone need to have the ability to fire me?
DelaneyM 8 hours ago 0 replies      
What guidance would you give to a Canadian applying to YC who doesn't plan to stay in SF after demo day? Is it possible to work in SF for the duration of the program employed by the startup, or is it best framed as a holiday? Can one pay oneself, or pay for expenses, in that time?
jerrickhoang 7 hours ago 0 replies      
Hi Peter,

Thanks for taking questions. I'm currently on F1 OPT and just lost the H1B lottery. Was wondering if it's legal for me to apply directly for a GC instead. If yes, are there potential risks during the process and in the future. Thanks

duglauk 9 hours ago 1 reply      
I am on h1b and have a blog with pretty good traffic. Can I have a google adsense account and earn ad $$ ?
ryanlm 8 hours ago 0 replies      
When is the best time to incorporate and do a binding equity split for a new venture? I have a co founder and we've begun to talk about a 50 50 equity split as an S corporation. Before work is done, is it best to have a real entity formed?
Naritai 7 hours ago 0 replies      
I'm hiring a Canadian SW developer (w/ a Canadian CS degree) on a 6-month contract (currently has no right to work in US). Can she generally qualify for a TN visa for contract work?
matheweis 9 hours ago 0 replies      
Is it even possible for someone to immigrate like the Ellis island days? It sounds like it is a complete stonewall if you don't have some exceptional skill and a lot of money ... how could a "normal" person immigrate now?
niwquestion 7 hours ago 0 replies      
Hi Peter,

I am an international founder just starting on OPT after getting a PhD and hoping to get an EB-2 NIW. I have a couple questions:

1. Does starting a (small-at-the-beginning) bona fide technology startup is grounds for NIW? How difficult is the process in general (for a PhD in CS from a US school) and how many paper/citations on average do you see in successful cases?

2. If I succeed in my NIW case, can I later employ my brother (from the same nationality under E-2) and bring him on board as a cofounder later? Does it require substantial cash on his behalf?


relaunched 9 hours ago 1 reply      
Hi Peter,

I want someone to join as a co-founder, to currently work nights and weekends. However, currently, he's under H1B, working for a US company, in the US. What, if any, are the risks to both the startup venture and the individual?

LukaAl 9 hours ago 1 reply      
How does O1 and EB1 visa relate? Being on an O1 Visa make the EB1 visa process any easier? E.g: the qualification for the outstanding need to be reassessed (basically redo everything) or they just accept their previous decision?


Aldo_MX 9 hours ago 0 replies      
Hi Peter,

What options does a person without a bachelor's degree (or similar) have to immigrate?

throwasay30967 9 hours ago 0 replies      
Thanks for this AMA!

Who is behind the "Washington Alliance of Technology Workers" and why do they keep bringing lawsuits against STEM OPT for F-1 visas?

Is there any moves on increasing the H1-B quota or modifying the H1-B altogether?

rinormand 5 hours ago 0 replies      
Hi Peter, really appreciate your initiative. Is there any kind of conflict if I apply to O1 and L1 at same time, assuming I have all the requisites for both. In your opinion the option for Premium Processing Service decrease the chances to be approved? Best regards, RN
haseeb1431 9 hours ago 0 replies      
Hey, I have done BS CS and six years of industry experience outside of US. Can you refer some existing documents/link that can help me understanding and starting this whole process. Thanks for your time.
clamprecht 9 hours ago 0 replies      
Here's Peter's previous AMA, for reference:


canIleaveyet 7 hours ago 0 replies      
Hi Peter,

Thanks again for taking the time to answer questions. I am currently on OPT and was lucky enough to receive a H1B in this year's lottery a month or so ago. It is scheduled as a change of status happening on Oct 1st. Can I leave my current company if I have another offer and transfer the H1B to that company before Oct 1st? I have heard conflicting stories. Thanks!

jlos 8 hours ago 1 reply      
Hi Peter,

As a Canadian with a bachelor of arts degree (I.e. non-CS degree), what kind of industry experience (if any) would be necessary to qualify for a TN-1 or H-1B?


goCanada2 9 hours ago 2 replies      
As a Canadian citizen, working as a software developer for the past decade. I did not finish my degree in CS. Am I eligible to work in USA? What Visa would I need?
dhiren34 8 hours ago 0 replies      
I read recently that the Opt period is being extended. If I was on opt for undergrad, am I still eligible if I decide to go to grad school?
ogandda 6 hours ago 0 replies      
Hi Peter

What would you recommend for a student who is on an F1/OPT STEM extension who wishes to found a startup ?


ex3ndr 8 hours ago 0 replies      
Hi Peter!

Can small startup after are one year of operations immigrate to US (via L1)? What is required from a company to do so?

mceoin 7 hours ago 0 replies      
Hi Peter,

The 0-1 visa has many advantages for entrepreneurs. How would you advise positioning oneself to obtain one?

zanethomas 8 hours ago 1 reply      
Asking for a friend:

Hi Peter, I was wondering, if I have an O visa, and I applied for EB-1 but get rejected, do I lose my O visa?

galaxor 8 hours ago 0 replies      
Dear Mr. Robers,I am a Spanish National, I have a small US Cloud startup company, we pay around 12K a month in services in the US, have invested around 500K in about 5 Years in Hardware are other items. Whats the best way for me to go about a biz / investor or work visa ?
vchauras1 8 hours ago 1 reply      
Hi Peter,

I have two simple questions:

I am on H1-b and I have my I-140 approved (eb-2).

- I want to switch my job and before taking up a new job in USA I want a break. Is it possible to take break of 2,3 months w/o being un-employed? If not, is there a way to achieve this?

- Once I move to a new firm, what process I can follow so that my GC application continue in normal pace?

wlrm 9 hours ago 0 replies      
Can you please give piece of advice how to prepare response for RFE in case of L1 visa? Some tricks or typical mistakes.
codeproject 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Hi Peters:

I got my green cards 10 years ago. I have been working on my startup project for the past 3 years. I didn't make any money and didn't pay taxes. Now I want to apply for american citizenship. in the naturalization form, there is a section for past working places and tax paying history. What am I supposed to do with it?

togepiiod 9 hours ago 0 replies      
Any thoughts or experience with the EB5 route, and founding a startup on arrival? (assuming you have the required 500k or 1m, and you are investing in something unrelated to the startup).

Is it a good choice for canadians?

What is the best way to find a qualifying and legitimate investment?

coralreef 9 hours ago 0 replies      
What was the most difficult case you have ever faced in trying to acquire a visa for a founder?
c0g 7 hours ago 0 replies      
Are there any firms your recomend for someone in the london area?
JamesHo 8 hours ago 1 reply      
Hi Peter,I am a L1B Visa holder, at present. My company is preparing to apply for my GreenCard. I being on L1B visa, would I be eligible to change my employer, once I get I-140 Status?
vishnu291093 9 hours ago 0 replies      
Hey Robert, My question is what all are the different ways for a student under F-1 visa to be co-founder for a start up and will I be able to do it as an OPT and apply for a H-1B visa at the same time.Thank you
poorguyh1b 8 hours ago 1 reply      
Hi Peter. I am on H-1B. What are the legal source of revenues other than the salary I receive from my employer (H-1B sponsor)? Is it ok to have capital gains, dividends, interests?
shpx 9 hours ago 1 reply      
How much harder is getting an extraordinary ability visa without a degree?
vishnu291093 9 hours ago 0 replies      
Hey Robert, My question is what all are the different ways for a student under F-1 visa to be co-founder for a start up and will I be able to do it as an OPT and apply for a H-1B visa at the same time.
eigensheep 9 hours ago 1 reply      
I have been a green-card holder for 9 years and coming up on my expiration date in exactly 10 months. Will I face any trouble if I want to get the ball rolling on becoming a US Citizen?
rafikicoln 8 hours ago 1 reply      
Hi Peter,

Thank you so much for taking the time. My question is: As a recent grad from an American U, can OPT and OPT STEM extension be used to start a new company?

ikestojanovik 8 hours ago 0 replies      
Hi Peter,

Last September (2015) I received my Green Card thought the PERM process. If I was to marry someone today, could they apply for Green Card?


brexit123 8 hours ago 1 reply      

What are the visa options for an Indian citizen ( no U.S Visa ) who has registered a Delaware LLC to get into U.S for few months and doing businesses .


brexit 9 hours ago 0 replies      
Hi! Thank you so much for doing this. My questions:

- Is it allowed for an F-1 visa student to start a company?

- If yes, can that company make money? Under what conditions?

Thank you!

cm2187 7 hours ago 0 replies      
You should do the same UK focused. There will be like a million people who will apply for citizenship or need a visa this year!
LoSboccacc 8 hours ago 1 reply      
would a couple patents and a successful startup experience as CTO, (but not founder) qualify for an O1?
santi87 7 hours ago 0 replies      
How likely am I to have my application denied after an RFE? General numbers
Disruptive_Dave 8 hours ago 1 reply      
yo, NOBODY gets more free work requests than lawyers.
capote 6 hours ago 0 replies      
I'm a US citizen and want to move to Australia for good. How can I find someone like you in Australia to get advice from on how to proceed? (I'd just be looking for a normal software/managerial job kind of like the one I have now)
duglauk 9 hours ago 1 reply      
on H1b visa can I accept prize money (say about $2k) if I win a online coding Hackathon ?
tn13 8 hours ago 1 reply      
Hi Peter,

What is the approximate time that it takes for an H4 spouse to get EAD after H1B's EB1 GC process is kicked off ?


max_ 9 hours ago 1 reply      
Thanx a lot!!:

How hard is it for Africans who have never stepped in the US to relocated to san Francisco as Founders/Engineers for startups?

jamisteven 9 hours ago 3 replies      
Hey Robert - My Question: What do you think would happen to tech in America if H1b's were done away with and all foreign workers had to leave?
george20 8 hours ago 1 reply      
I don't know anything about this topic, but I do know that this is probably not an appropriate response on HN.
saintwind 9 hours ago 0 replies      
A family member of mine works for DHS as a paralegal, more or less, and their department deals with illegal immigration into the US. They often tell tales of how illegal immigrants will commit heinous acts (rape, murder) or somewhat more pedestrian crimes (heroin possession, for instance).

Anyways, the most striking part about this is that it seems a lot of the judges who handle these cases simply don't care. Because these people are often deported and then come back a week later, not a lot seems to be done. Some of the criminals won't be charged, and it seems a lot of people on the in the system will just turn a blind eye. I'm not sure if it's apathy, or if the system is so inundated that they're just unable to keep up, but have you experienced anything like this?

codeproject 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Hi Peters:

Thank you for taking time doing this public service. I really appreciate.

I got my green cards 10 years ago. I have been working on my startup project for the past 3 years. I didn't make any money and didn't pay taxes. Now I want to be american citizen. in the naturalization form, there is a section for past working places and tax paying history. What am I supposed to do with it?

Ask HN: What is your go-to example for a good REST API?
263 points by goostavos  11 hours ago   122 comments top 51
sc00ty 9 hours ago 8 replies      
Stripe. Their docs are amazing too, I always find it a pleasure integrating their API.


taf2 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Twilio - they have a great API.

And in 2008/9 their API was always given as an example for REST APIs done right and it's still true today


shireboy 8 hours ago 2 replies      
whoisjuan 7 hours ago 2 replies      
Plaid API! So well done and documented IMHO:https://plaid.com/docs/api/
shravvmehtaa 23 minutes ago 0 replies      

I'm an engineer at Lob. We'd love any feedback! support@lob.com.

mcphilip 8 hours ago 2 replies      
Google Drive's REST API documentation is a good place to start:


rdegges 6 hours ago 1 reply      
Stormpath. https://docs.stormpath.com/rest/product-guide/latest/referen...

They do an excellent job of providing a clear and robust API. I work there (but not on the engineering team), and still genuinely love the API itself.

kaendfinger 7 hours ago 0 replies      
seanplusplus 7 hours ago 1 reply      
The Slack API is a thing of beauty


supergeek133 7 hours ago 1 reply      
Twilio does a pretty good job as well.
Yhippa 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority API: https://developer.wmata.com/docs/services
huherto 8 hours ago 6 replies      
Follow up. Anyone care to recommend a good book or reference on good design of REST APIs?
bryanlarsen 7 hours ago 3 replies      
Related: anybody have some good examples of a good asynchronous API? This claims to be the standard, but it has confused many of our customers. http://restcookbook.com/Resources/asynchroneous-operations/

To summarize: send a 202 for the initial request, redirecting to a job URL. The client polls on the job URL, which returns 200 with progress information until it's done, when it returns a 303 redirecting to the final output.

One particular problem spot is that many http libraries automatically follow the 303 redirect, and some even follow the 202 redirect.

I definitely think we would have been better off just putting status and final location information as JSON attributes in the body rather than putting it in HTTP response codes and Location headers. Non-standard, but much less confusing for our customers.

icco 5 hours ago 0 replies      
Flickr still has one of my favorite APIs: https://www.flickr.com/services/api/
wozer 7 hours ago 1 reply      
Related question: Does a REST API make sense for an internal interface? Or is the overhead prohibitive compared to a more specialized interface?

(By internal interface I mean: an interface that is used only by the team that created it)

georgewfraser 7 hours ago 1 reply      
OData! So underused. http://www.odata.org/
Cieplak 6 hours ago 2 replies      
REST implies HATEOS. If you can't use an API response to navigate to other resources of the API, I wouldn't consider that API RESTful.

Also, verbs are not RESTful. Verbs imply an RPC interface.

RPC (verb):

 POST https://<payments-api>/card_authorizations/<id>/capture 
REST (noun):

 POST https://<payments-api>/card_authorizations/<id>/charges

niftich 5 hours ago 0 replies      
The Sun Cloud API [1] was specifically designed to adhere to REST as close as possible, including HATEOAS. Here's some background from Tim Bray [2], who worked on this API when he was at Sun [3].

[1] https://kenai.com/projects/suncloudapis/pages/Home

[2] https://www.tbray.org/ongoing/When/200x/2009/03/16/Sun-Cloud

[3] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tim_Bray

Pelerin 8 hours ago 0 replies      
spencera 4 hours ago 0 replies      
I also find GitHub to be a great example for API design inspiration
cnnrjcbsn 8 hours ago 0 replies      
milansm 8 hours ago 0 replies      
http://api.zalando.com is quite self explanatory.
hoodoof 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Question: to what extent does it really matter that an API closely meet the REST best practices?
w8wut 10 hours ago 1 reply      

Good error handling, easy to get started, and they provide Postman collections for each API

programmarchy 4 hours ago 0 replies      
zettajs [1] is a great example of a REST API that meets the HATEOS requirement.

[1] http://www.zettajs.org. "An API-first, open source software platform for the Internet of Things."

foolinaround 6 hours ago 2 replies      
Follow up question:

is there a good example of an OPEN SOURCE REST API?

I would like to see how the versioning is achieved, how the versions are incremented, etc?

Bonus points if it is in the Java ecosystem.

digitalpacman 30 minutes ago 0 replies      
alexmingoia 7 hours ago 2 replies      
Xero. The docs are accurate and complete. The API is consistent. The API works as documented. The API is capable of everything the webapp does.


heironimus 7 hours ago 0 replies      
Not a comment on the API itself, but I like how Stackoverflow/Stackexchange has interactive documentation, allowing you to fill in prompts and have it create the request for you and show the live results.


rcpt 8 hours ago 0 replies      
Not exactly an api but nice to see some common patterns https://getkong.org/
jc4p 8 hours ago 0 replies      
Are we just talking about API documentation? Stripe's the obvious go-to for that, but for big business stuff I was pleasantly surprised with HubSpot's API and documentation. Their own UI uses the API, which means debugging a lot easier I think: http://developers.hubspot.com/docs/overview
nwatson 6 hours ago 1 reply      
kevindeasis 6 hours ago 0 replies      
I'd like to ask a complementary question!

What resources (books/blogs) are you guys/gals looking at that talks about best practices for creating/implementing great REST API endpoints?

Shicholas 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Jsonapi.org I feel this embodies every trope of building web apps (well at least ones that use HTTP 1.1)
abakker 9 hours ago 0 replies      
SurveyMonkey has a very good setup - pretty much anything you can do with their web app, you can also do via the API. https://developer.surveymonkey.com
hoodoof 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Sometimes needs a few refreshes to load for some reason but this is an interesting one to look at:


elviejo 8 hours ago 0 replies      
I always found Flickrs api to be easy to use, and well documented
ranyefet 6 hours ago 1 reply      
JSON API spec is really good http://jsonapi.org
einrealist 5 hours ago 1 reply      
Roy Fieldings dissertation.

If a client starts to construct URIs, then there is a flaw.

wraith69 5 hours ago 0 replies      
I use the FDA's 18f API and the Jsend standard.
coroutines 3 hours ago 0 replies      
I'm actually using the responses here as a hunting ground for companies I'd like to work for.

Carry on...

thejerz 7 hours ago 1 reply      
The JIRA API is pretty good.
BinaryMachine 5 hours ago 0 replies      
kwikiel 5 hours ago 0 replies      
Anything scaffolded by rails.
cheez 6 hours ago 0 replies      
Atlassian has a great process around developing their REST APIs. It was a bit random in earlier iterations but that team has come into its own.
emorse 7 hours ago 0 replies      
I like tumblr's api
thesimpsons1022 2 hours ago 0 replies      
i can tell you a bad one: Yammer
jgalt212 5 hours ago 0 replies      
The Bloomberg OpenFIGI API is very clean.


aioprisan 8 hours ago 0 replies      
Trello and Stripe.
j45 7 hours ago 0 replies      
I like Stripe, but the design of an API is not always cookie cutter.

A lot has been written on API design that makes for interesting reading.

An emulator for a single-instruction (NOR) CPU
4 points by wlrm  3 hours ago   1 comment top
adamnemecek 54 minutes ago 0 replies      
Ask HN: Will VR experiences promote empathy?
7 points by cyrusradfar  12 hours ago   5 comments top 3
curuinor 6 hours ago 1 reply      
Social presence is your research keyword. There's a long history of research done which can be pretty much summed up with Cliff Nass's contention that people confuse humans with computers a lot, and transactional status ends up being important because of this.

I think that in practice, VR will not promote empathy for the same reason that social networks have not: because status aggrandizing products will be too popular. You already see this in horror games, where they become literally too scary for VR because the lowering of status in transaction feels too real.

Look up the Proteus effect: that will lead to some detrimental things whenever it gets implemented in the social applications that people will come up with. So there will come new Instagrams, and they will be more terrible than the old social networks.

missn 8 hours ago 0 replies      
BeAnotherLab is one that tries to do that: http://www.themachinetobeanother.org

They let you experience what it's like to be another person via a custom-built video rig (i.e. you get to 'see' the world as another person).

TheGreatestEver 12 hours ago 1 reply      
But why would a VR experience promote empathy? I can't find any research on that...
Ask HN: How is software consulting different than working on an internal team?
5 points by y1y1  9 hours ago   1 comment top
kohanz 4 hours ago 0 replies      
I've worked in both of those situations, but to be completely honest, I believe the variance in experiences introduced by different company cultures, leadership, team members, etc. is so much greater than any systemic effects from the nature of the company's business (e.g. product company vs. consultancy) that it would be pointless and misleading to generalize about one over the other. You can have both product companies and consultancies that will be enjoyable places to work at and it depends much more in the culture and leadership put in place by the decision-makers than whatever is driving the bottom line.
Ruby K-means implementation which can be easily adjusted to X-means
3 points by wlrm  9 hours ago   discuss
Ask HN: How do we go from 1K subscribers to 10K?
4 points by daverad  12 hours ago   5 comments top
sharemywin 9 hours ago 1 reply      
Just read this yesterday thought it was might help.


Can Google or Facebook ever have a true competitor?
23 points by rms_returns  1 day ago   30 comments top 12
CM30 1 day ago 1 reply      
Yes they could. It's always possible that another company could somehow do search or social networking better than Google and Facebook, find a really clever way of marketing their services and catch on before the former has any chance to catch up.

It'd help if either got much worse at their core business (since that tends to be what dooms a lot of companies nowadays), but even a strong Google could have a competitor that simply offers people a much better and more user friendly service.

But more likely is that they don't die to direct competitors. They die because they become irrelevant. Their 'true' competitor isn't another social network or search engine, it's something that completely replaces the need to have a social network or search engine.

For example, if a company came along and figured out a way to give people results based on what they were thinking about without any direct input required, that could make Google's typical search box and results page and ads completely useless. They'd be like a horse salesman after cars were invented. Same with Facebook.

niftich 1 day ago 0 replies      
What counts as a 'true competitor'? You seem to be asking if there's a chance that someone will upend Google at search, and Facebook at social networking.

But that's not how these companies pay the bills. They built massive ecosystems around their original businesses, and they use that ecosystem to mine data and serve ads. With this money, they've amassed social and infrastructure capital, so they can out-build competitors (Google Drive, Docs), branch out into other product lines (Google Cloud Services), or simply buy them out (Instagram, WhatsApp).

To compete against them, you need differentiation and feature that appeal to a passionate audience. Snapchat, for example, attracts people who've seen or heard how damaging it can be to publically post on Facebook. DuckDuckGo appeals to people who don't want trails of their web searches making it into ads they see on websites. Dropbox works for people because they put out a solid product and aren't trying to force you to be part of a large, monolithic ecosystem.

But it's an uphill battle. Facebook's preferred strategy is to buy out services before they become dangerous (they tried to buy Snapchat back when it was still known mostly for sexting), and Google's is to outbuild others. They form a very effective duopoly in a way.

hyperpallium 1 day ago 1 reply      
FB has a "network effect" the value of the network increases with the square of the participants (i.e. the number of connections you can have). Similar effects occur with human languages, telephones, and the internet. It's a kind of natural monopoly, because once one gets big enough, no alternative can catch up. That's why we have the internet, and not internets.

Google is different, because it's easy to switch search engines. One competitive advantage they have is "google suggest" - this takes massive capital investment in server farms to be fast enough, which is difficult for smaller competitors to match.

NOTE: in Google's opinion, FB was a very serious threat (hence google+), because more information about users means better targetted ads. So they don't think they're unassailable.

Lordarminius 1 day ago 2 replies      
> Can Google or Facebook ever have a true competitor?Unlikely. But never say never.Both companies, have built dominant market positions and have advantages that competitors will likely be unable to overcome.Peter Thiel even argues Google is a monopoly.

> but is it going to be the same always?No. If it were, then the future is already fixed, knowable and stagnant.Unlikely :(

> If not, then what will cause us to move to a different search engine? What can XYZ make to cause people to leave FB and come to its network?

Three things.

1.The company loses direction, is taken over by less competent management or implodes under its own weight e.g Walmart, GM, Apple.2. Government regulation or public pushback creates conditions for its dissolution. Think Bell, Standard Oil3. New competitors emerge. A giant slayer in this case, may initially not seem like a threat at all and may even operate in a different market space or industry from search or social media eg gaming, VR, IOT. Paul Graham has a good article on this.

Btw, I think FB is dying and that's part of the reason they acquired Whatsapp. It will be obvious in 5 years and they'll be gone in a decade or decade and a half.So is Apple,at least in its current form.

tjr 1 day ago 0 replies      
I distinctly remember when "whenever I wanted to search something" I just visited altavista.digital.com. And then, somewhat reluctantly, altavista.com.

Granted, they did not have anywhere near the deep and broad reach that Google currently has, but I would not think it impossible for someone else to come along and tilt things in their direction.

wallace_f 5 hours ago 1 reply      
Do you think a FB competitor that offered really nice encryption and privacy features would be successful?

I'm imagining an app that let's you choose where to store data, let's you store your data encrypted and offers message encryption, and of course allows you to sign up anonymously and permanently delete data.

I hate Facebook but I recognize it serves a useful function - I only use it because everyone else does.

fitzwatermellow 1 day ago 0 replies      
The one company I believe may be on a path to a position of true "anti-obsolescence" is Amazon. I consider the way people younger than me use it for everything. Then I consider my own Prime usage which is up perhaps 100-200% over last year. And even after that I look at the future innovation's Amazon is planning: 1-Hr delivery via drone, dev friendly alexa tasks from anywhere. And I can't think of anyone that can currently be termed a "true" competitor. And I am clearly not the only one to notice. $AMZN stock up %50 since Feb ;)
rajeshamara 1 day ago 0 replies      
Only if Google / facebook stops inventing. Yahoo made a mistake of stagnation. Microsoft made a mistake of stagnation from 2000 to 2009 (Balmer period). Motorola made a mistake of stagnation. Apple is again making a mistake of stagnation. As long as companies not sitting on their arses and let the competition overtake them they will be fine.

Also you can live without FB but cannot live without google. You can remain days not visiting FB but everyday you will search atleast one time.

mathattack 1 day ago 0 replies      
I think No for both cases. Default monopolies can go out of favor very quickly, and new technologies can ramp up very quickly.

On Facebook: Remember that Google got the whole world to sign up for Google Plus with their circles. They didn't do anything with it, but it was a clear sign that you can sign up a good portion of the internet.

On Google owning search, if Apple goes downmarket in the phone market, they could crowd Google out of search on the phone. Or there may be some other new paradigm - searching out of apps, with a non-Google choice winning. And if the search algorithm is MUCH better, it could win. Bing doesn't need to be 5% better - it would need to be 500% better.

f_allwein 1 day ago 0 replies      
Yes. When I worked at Google, people were very aware that their market position is not a given and could change any time - eg as people are far less locked in to Google than they used to be to Microsoft in the 1990s. Eric Schmidt used to point to an article from the late 1990s saying "the search wars are over - Yahoo won"...

It wouldn't be easy obviously, but it is conceivable that someone comes up with something that is significantly better than Google/ FB, causing people to switch.

bwackwat 1 day ago 1 reply      
Basically, I believe it will be much harder for a competitor to reach the same capital as Google or Facebook.

Google and Facebook have massive networks, specialized storage strategies, proprietary protocols and hardware, and not to forget the actual data they have acquired. Lots of hard-to-acquire capital.

On the other hand, I do believe that both products could be better. Competitors could have better products, but not for a long time more capital.

mavenxinc 1 day ago 0 replies      
A year ago, I think you could have included Apple in this list and they have begun their spiral.
Ask HN: How can we disrupt Governments?
8 points by steejk  16 hours ago   11 comments top 7
meric 14 hours ago 1 reply      
Political power is concentrated among a small group of people. This happened because of centralisation of and amalgamation governments and corporations. To reverse it, logically you'd just have to reverse this trend. Break up the EU. Break up the corporations. We might sit here and think it's people like to do "dumb" things like elect volatile politicians like Trump and Sanders to upset the status quo, or do "dumb" moves like leaving the European Union. I'd like to say people are a smarter than we think. I am one of the people, and I think people will figure things out by themselves, just fine. Don't worry. Be happy. :)
tmaly 15 hours ago 0 replies      
I think you first have to rethink your assumption of what capitalism is. What we have now is clearly not capitalism. If it were, the biggest banks would not have gotten bigger after the 2008 financial meltdown.
alexmingoia 6 hours ago 0 replies      
Well first you need to identify the problem you're trying to solve. "something is wrong with capitalism and the way current governments operate" is completely arbitrary and meaningless.
antoinevg 16 hours ago 0 replies      
Maybe focus less on disruption and design for long-term stability and sustainability instead?
varunom 11 hours ago 0 replies      
Prout maybe the answer. http://www.prout.org/
sharemywin 14 hours ago 1 reply      
Every time you raise minimum wage people lose jobs. You raise wages prices go up, prices go up people buy less. people buy less, you don't need as many people.
dc17 13 hours ago 0 replies      
An excessive active itizenship as well as an indifference or failure to intervene in a political life both disrupt stable political system.
Ask HN: Getting started with AI today?
9 points by jason_slack  1 day ago   5 comments top 2
kiloreux 1 day ago 2 replies      
Of course there is (even plenny):

Caffe (Deep learning framework by berkeley) / C++ mainly

Theano / Python

Tensorflow / More Python fully support, but also supports C++

NLTK Natural language processing Toolkit / Python

scikit-learn / Python

Torch / Different interfaces

CNTK / C++

Opencv / C++ Python

I haven't covered them all, but please at the bottom of this list I am maintaining there is everything you need to know to get started


vshan 1 day ago 1 reply      
May not be hot tech like ML, but traditional symbolic AI is still pretty useful in stuff like Natural language processing. Plus, it's a great way to learn functional programming too.

Book rec: Computation Semantics with Functional Programming. It goes through the whole gamut of formal languages, lambda calculus, propositional logic, predicate logic, logical inference engines, nl semantics etc. It uses Haskell to build concrete examples for each section, and contains a concise tutorial on the language too. Very self-contained. No prerequisites required.

Ask HN: Best way to make quick, relatively simple HTML5 games today?
23 points by cableshaft  1 day ago   13 comments top 10
iends 1 day ago 3 replies      
Have you looked at http://phaser.io/ ? Lots of resources available for it, active IRC channel, even a few books written.
colanderman 1 day ago 0 replies      
I've always wondered, why more people don't use SVG for web games. It's easier to work with than HTML+CSS, and since you can specify simple animations in it, you can reduce the amount of work your game loop needs to do manually.
adiian 12 hours ago 0 replies      
Here are my personal options for 2d games, based on my personal background(I developed Flash games):

- Construct2 is you want to create simple games without writing code. Simple to do standard games, hard if you need more control or more complex data structures. It contains exporters for different platform including mobiles(using html5 wrapper to execute html code, based on phonegap or something similar).

- GameMaker - quite similar to Construct2, a bit more powerful and it requires to write more code than Construct2, unfortunately in their own language. You can export games for different platforms(unlike Construct2 it generates and compile the code for each platform in native code) and for html. Each exporter should be brought so it makes this option the most expensive.

- CreateJS - the Adobe Html5 alternative. It recreates the class hierarchy from action3 flash, in html5 js. A tentative to recreate Flash in Html5, good enough. It has the advantage that it can export Flash graphics including vector graphics in an html library which can be used imported in your project.

- Phaser - A nice framework based/inspired/not an exact port of Flixel. It has nice features and it was written only for games so I would say generally it's better than CreateJS, in the same way Flixel was better than plain AS3. It can be combined with Pixi.js to webgl rendering.

- OpenFl - a flash inspired library written in Haxe. The advantage is that it can generate and compile the game in native code for virtually any platform that matters including HTML5. It can even import and use flash objects for graphics.

- LibGDX - write it in java, deploy it on multiple platforms, including html. It uses OpenGl for rendering, for the html export they use Google GWT to translate java code to javascript. It sounded for me as an interesting approach.

My advice is to pick one option and to go for it(the list is far away of being exhaustive). If you have java experience you can check CreateJS or OpenFl, if you want a codeless engine, Construct2 is more popular among html devs than GameMaker.

P.S. It seems Phaser can be easily used with ecma6.

tonyle 1 day ago 0 replies      
I came across this post a few years ago, reminds me of the javascript games written 15+ years ago. For a lot of use cases, This technique is simple and has good enough performance.http://buildnewgames.com/dom-sprites/

Also,take a look at http://createjs.com/.It is pretty familiar if you come from a flash background. The latest version of adobe flash/animate exports to createjs so you can keep using your old flash authoring skills for your assets.

However, If time is your major constraint, unity might not be as overkill as you might think.

kyle-rb 1 day ago 0 replies      
libGDX is a Java game engine that's relatively simple and lets you deploy to HTML5, Android, iOS, and desktop. PlayN.io is fairly similar I think, but I haven't used it.

2048 is actually somewhat of an odd case, since it was originally only an HTML5 game that was built to run in both the browsers of desktop and those of mobile devices. For this reason, the developer didn't actually port the game to Android/iOS until much later. Pretty much all the versions on the App Store/Google Play Store were 3rd party clones of the original, since it was relatively simple and open source.

tobr 1 day ago 0 replies      
PuzzleScript[1] sounds like it might work for what you want to do, at least for quick prototypes. It's a brilliant little online IDE for a puzzle game DSL.

It might seem like a toy, but there's a community of people who create genuinely good games in it.[2]

[1] http://www.puzzlescript.net/editor.html

[2] http://puzzlescriptgallery.tumblr.com

nblumoe 1 day ago 0 replies      
I really like https://www.scirra.com/construct2 for having fun and fast prototype iterations. Just be aware, that it is UI and click heavy, but yet powerful and flexible. I think it will be hard to manage large code bases in Construct, but that is something I have not yet gotten into with my simple hobby projects.
jason_slack 1 day ago 0 replies      
Take a look at Cocos Creator: http://cocos2d-x.org

Utilizes JavaScript and there will also be Lua and C++ support coming.

It is under active development, docs are good and there are plenty of complete game examples to learn from.

k__ 1 day ago 0 replies      
Phaser and Crafty are code oriented 2D game engines.

I think entity component system of Crafty scales a bit better than Phaser, but on the other hand Phaser has a bigger community.

slurppurple 1 day ago 0 replies      
Babylon.js is a pretty good option for 3d games
Ask HN: I think I'm good at quickly identifying dev talent. How to prove it?
11 points by mattm  2 days ago   15 comments top 9
DelaneyM 2 days ago 1 reply      
You become a recruiter.

Identifying dev talent is one (very important!) part of the job for dev managers, but not enough on its own to be successful.

The only pure application of that skill would be as a recruiter.

That said, you're almost certainly wrong. I can't find the quote/citation right now, but distinctly remember that over a decade of data at Google showed that only one person at the company was really individually exceptional at predicting performance as an interviewer (and he was a special niche case).

JSeymourATL 1 day ago 0 replies      
> How could I go about proving it to myself...

Much the same way Devs store projects on GitHub-- start building up your portfolio of talent profiles and notes on individuals that you interview & assess. It's a practiced art-- you become exponentially better the more people you evaluate. Also, understand that people do change and grow as they progress throughout their careers. Take the long view and be sure to follow up periodically.

The best executive leaders create a talent pipeline, typically meet & informally interview 2-3 people a month. Incidentally, this builds-up an amazing network of true contacts, which is to say NOT Linkedin contacts. The best primer on this process is Bradford Smart's Topgrading > http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/915182.Topgrading

> then selling this service if I am capable?

Connecting with buyers, in this case Hiring Executives falls into the specialty function of Sales & Business Development. Professional Services firms are always chomping at the bit for rainmakers. If you're serious about this path, take a development course like Miller Heiman > https://www.mhiglobal.com/

hkarthik 21 hours ago 0 replies      
Identifying talent is not enough. You also need to know how to sell and close this talent. I say this as an engineering manager at a top tech company who got into hiring largely due to feeling like I could identify talent.

Selling and closing is a whole different ball game. You have to be a good story teller, a good listener, and you have to be geniune. You have to be relentless and unwilling to take no for an answer.

Whether you go into recruiting full time, move to management, or just be the engineer everyone uses to sell candidates, practice and hone your selling skills.

projectramo 1 day ago 0 replies      
Prove it to whom?

If you want to exploit the talent, I don't think becoming a recruiter is the best way to go (contra the other advice).

I am not a recruiter, but I don't think their challenge is (necessarily) identifying dev talent. They have to

1. Convince dev talent to sign up for the company2. Convince the company that they can find dev talent3. Look through a lot of dev talent

It's more like a broker. They have to find a particular talent/price mix that keeps bother parties happy.

id122015 1 day ago 1 reply      
You can try it on me, I'd volunteer. Never been employed as a programmer but I'm curious to know if anyone would hire me, and if so what kind of employer would that be.
malux85 1 day ago 0 replies      
Ah hour?!! That is NOT quick. Even Junior developers could identify strong talent if they sat with them for an hour and just talked.

Get it down to 10 minutes, and that would be quick!

JoachimSchipper 1 day ago 0 replies      
As to proving it to yourself - start tracking who you (don't) hire, and the outcomes. You can do this as an employee.
j45 2 days ago 0 replies      
You could become a headhunter for recruiters and get paid for successful finds.
miguelrochefort 1 day ago 1 reply      
This is trivial and any person can do it.
I need some advise about honesty
7 points by dirty-ex-smoker  1 day ago   13 comments top 11
probinso 13 hours ago 0 replies      
Ask for a change of start date. It is not their business what you do with your personal life. All you have to say is you had something personal come up and you need to move your stuff out by a month.

You run the risk of them rejecting you, but otherwise it seems the company policies will have rejected you anyways. Most companies are willing to wait for an employee they've already agreed to.

Also it is very possible that they're looking for things other than marijuana. You should find out what the type of test is.

codeonfire 22 hours ago 0 replies      
What company is doing anything interesting that drug tests? If you tell anyone at the company that you have in the past or do now do drugs or try to stall you won't get the job. Second, who cares if they reneg on the job? There are literally tens of thousands of companies at which to work. Every single company on the face of the planet wants CS people. The only course of action if you want the job is don't say anything and just do the test. Otherwise don't waste your time or theirs.
lgieron 18 hours ago 1 reply      
> I will not cheat the screen because I feel like that is unethical

Is it ethical for them to require your pee so that they can assess your performance based on it? What's next, full medical checkup? Installing a camera in your appartment to see if you're getting enough sleep (instead of say binging on video games during the night)?

Raed667 16 hours ago 0 replies      
Cheat the test, drink lots of fluids (you'll find detailed information if you google it).

There is no possible scenario where you tell these people that you're/were smoking and then you land the job (or at least damage your reputation before even starting there).

anonjdgpogjsop 14 hours ago 0 replies      
Go to the test while being high.Turn your bright red eyes to your interviewer, and say :"I smoked the most I could ! Can't fail your test".
CyberFonic 1 day ago 0 replies      
Great question ! Couple of points:

If the job is in the same state as you went to college, then they shouldn't be able to reject you because of a positive test for marijuana. They might be more concerned about other drugs.

Unless you were a heavy user, you might be below detectable levels already.

My suggestion: Chill man! Delay taking the test if you can, but not too much. Take the test. If you pass the test - then you were worried about nothing. If you don't pass the test, then you have a nice easy chat with the manager you had the good interview with. At that time explain as you did here, it was for a reason and you have gone off it. Offer to do another test at the end of your probation period to confirm that you've kept your promise.

brudgers 12 hours ago 0 replies      
Odds are that you are not the first person that's smoked weed and pissed in a cup when applying. Odds are that they won't care if the job does not entail high security clearances or operating heavy equipment or driving company vehicles. I mean they're hiring recent college grads.

My random internet advice is assume "don't ask, don't tell" is in everyone's interest. If the company asks, point out it is legal where you live.

Otherwise demonstrate discretion because that's more important to the company than an occasional bonger.

Good luck.

dmfdmf 1 day ago 0 replies      
Do a search on reddit (lots of pot smokers over there) on how long pot takes to clear your system or if there is anything you can do to accelerate the process. You might already be safe. If you are still in the detectable time period accept the job but say you can't report till X date because you have some personal matters to tend to where X is long enough to test negative. If this is not feasible talk to your hiring manager (i.e. not HR) and explain that you don't normally smoke pot but had a few puffs (and didn't inhale just like a former President) during some recent graduation parties and that it is legal in your state and maybe the test can be delayed or you can retake it in a month if it comes up positive. If your manager has any company "juice" he can get you past this hurdle. Ideally you want to test negative so its not in your permanent record.
Spoom 14 hours ago 0 replies      
They are doing pre-employment drug screens because it gets them a break on their corporate insurance rates.

I want to be clear here: There is no way that you will get the offer if you either tell them you've recently used, or fail the test. They almost certainly don't have any leeway here because it's an all-or-nothing thing.

ericzawo 1 day ago 1 reply      
Recreational marijuana is legal in your state? That means getting a medicinal marijuana card would not be all that hard. Do you have chronic migranes and trouble sleeping? That's probably enough.

Drink 5-6L water a day (which you already should be doing, American!) and hope for the best. If not, explain you medicate for sleep. I think you're fine.

angersock 1 day ago 0 replies      
Take the test. If they deny based on it, try an appeal.

Don't stress out either way. :)

Ask HN: Need Advice with UK's Tier 1 Exceptional Talent Visa
7 points by uk-visa  1 day ago   1 comment top
afarrell 17 hours ago 0 replies      
As a US citizen who finished up a UK job search a while ago, I looked at this visa a while ago and concluded:

1) It was meant for The sort of folks that earn titles like "Principal Engineer"

2) It was going to be way easier to get a Tier-2 visa sponsorship.

My advice would be to reach out to the influential people who already follow your blog, have have gone to your talks, or who use your product.

The best minds of my generation
16 points by perseusprime11  2 days ago   9 comments top 5
numinary1 1 day ago 0 replies      
Perhaps the best minds are thinking about the challenges of teaching middle school special education in Detroit or how to deliver basic healthcare in East Africa. Are the minds of marketers better? Really?
dotcoma 2 days ago 1 reply      
> into buying things they don't need

with money they don't have, to impress people they don't like - George Carlin

yolesaber 1 day ago 2 replies      
More like highly privileged rich kids from Stanford and MIT are thinking about how to manipulate people into buying things they don't need.

The best minds can't be swayed from their dreams and goals. Otherwise were they truly the best minds to begin with?

mpbm 1 day ago 0 replies      
That's a natural extension of "software is eating the world".

The cost of experimenting with a small team making offers on the internet is small, but the potential returns are enormous. You can afford to have 100 offers rejected because when you find that 1 offer that catches on it really, really catches on.

The best minds recognize the cost/benefit analysis.

kasey_junk 1 day ago 0 replies      
No, they are building amazing software, infrastructure & services.

They are being paid by people who want to sell things.

Ask HN: How to handle staging environments?
5 points by fabianlindfors  1 day ago   7 comments top 5
seanwilson 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Why not use Heroku for this? If it's a staging environment only for demos I can't see how you'd burn through much of your monthly free hours. Heroku makes setting up staging environment very easy.
saluki 14 hours ago 0 replies      

Even if you're not using Laravel(PHP) it works for quickly spinning up a vps on digital ocean or AWS.

You can setup multiple dev/test sites on one droplet.

Deploy repo via github bitbucket.

It's super fast and easy.

We setup live site on it's own droplet then have another staging droplet. Develop locally with valet/homestead (laravel.com), deploy to staging using forge, deploy to production using forge.

Forge has quick deploy which deploys when you push to your repo.

There is also https://envoyer.io/ for zero downtime deployment.

mgberlin 1 day ago 1 reply      
I would highly recommend using Elastic Beanstalk on AWS. I use the python platform most of the time, but PHP is available as well. If you're a new user, you can get a year on a t2.micro for free, and even if you have to pay that usually works out to about thirty-ish dollars a month which is probably tenable.
emilburzo 1 day ago 0 replies      
When resources are tight, I'm a big fan of having a bare metal server + lxc + ansible.

I've also recently began looking into docker, but the update image dance seems like more work to me than the above.

penguinlinux 1 day ago 1 reply      
you can use an instance that has docker on it, then setup docker compose files with wordpress, git , apache and setup a port. then on the machine setup virtualhost to point to the entry tcp port of the docker instance. then all you have to do is build the docker instances . You can mantaint all that with git and handle all of your deployments that way.
Do you build from scratch or integrate open source?
2 points by jjeaff  1 day ago   3 comments top 3
dalke 1 day ago 0 replies      
How much is your time worth? If it takes you $10K of engineering time to roll your own solution, and delays you from shipping your code by a week, is it worthwhile?

That options aren't only "roll your own with open source" or "pay vendors". Have you looked into paying one of the open-source developers for advice, or to do the integration for you, and push changes back upstream? After all, if you think you have to bend it to your needs, then perhaps you don't know how to use it right, or perhaps it's useful feedback where a simple change would help others as well.

I ask because in talking to people, many forget this option even exists. It's as if the idea of paying for open source is a foreign concept.

zhte415 1 day ago 0 replies      
Create a business plan for your problem.

Outline solutions, timelines, 'new work' (stuff you've not done before r.e. custom, vs custom r.e. integrating an existing solution).

Use fact-based thinking and discussion, eliminating any per-emptive questioning you can think of in advance. Treat each other as equals, as by now, you should be on an equal playing field. Don't take or make anything as a personal hit.

saluki 1 day ago 0 replies      
For ticket management or knowledge bases I would lean toward using open source or paying for a service.

For CRM (or anything else) if it's something unique/valuable to your business where spending some development time would bring value and time savings then go with something custom. It would help if you have a development team that can build it quickly (Rails/Laravel) so the cost/time doesn't get out of control. Building the basics and adding needed features would work well.

Ask HN: UK Entrepreneurs, how does a brexit/remain vote affect your start up?
11 points by harel  1 day ago   13 comments top 5
icu 1 day ago 0 replies      
I too have felt conflicted about voting one way or the other. It has taken months of research and discussion for me to come to the conclusion that what is best for me in the short run is not what is best for my son and the country in the long term.

The thing that tipped the scales in my decision to vote leave was coming to the conclusion that democracy is the exercise of sovereignty.

The nature Sovereignty is binary, you either have it or you don't, and I felt it is too valuable a thing to give up as it had been paid for by the ultimate sacrifices of previous generations.

I also realised that leaving the EU doesn't preclude trade or special immigration or visa arrangements to be negotiated between the UK and the EU. So while there is the threat that the EU members would want to punish the UK for leaving but they would also be hurting their own economies and since EU economic growth has been low I don't think they would want to do that.

As a Fintech entrepreneur in London a Brexit might hurt new venture prospects in the short run. It will be harder to raise money, possibly harder to recruit and might be harder to grow into Europe.

Having said that, there is nothing to say that it isn't possible to overcome these challenges, for example hiring devs to work remotely from Europe or from anywhere in the world for that matter.

thenomad 1 day ago 0 replies      
If we end up with worse trade deals and mobility in the event of a Leave - which some rather extensive reading has convinced me is pretty likely (see https://medium.com/im-trying-to-fact-check-brexit , which has been my hobby over the past few weeks) - then that could directly affect me as most of my business is international. Some of my clients are domestic, so that business will almost certainly be affected as the UK's economy slows down or falls into recession.

The international stuff depends on the fine details, of course. Given the pound's likely to take a kicking in both the short and the long term being largely paid in dollars may have its upsides. But overall I'm not going to be at all thrilled if we end up voting Leave.

NetStrikeForce 1 day ago 3 replies      
In case of Brexit I might move my company outside the country (I'm an EU national, not British) and me and my family probably follow suit shortly after. It depends on whether there's visa drama (if there is, then I'll eff off) or the UK remains as part of the free movement of people agreements (like Switzerland or Norway).

It is a shame that fear, lies and racism (which is, again, fear) make people consider leaving the EU, which is the single good thing that happened to Europe since the end of WW2. It is not just about what's the EU (several discussions including some in HN have shown once and again how the EU is completely democratic), but about what the EU could be.

I do respect their sovereignty to choose kicking out EU citizens and requiring them to go through the visa crap, but I can't help but feeling unwanted.

All the reasons to leave the EU seem nave, as almost none of them will change (immigration, adherence to EU regulations, trade agreements, free movement of people) or, even worse, will be forced fed into Britain's mouth without the chance to vote against them.

If I finally have to leave, I wish them all the best as I consider them my friends, but I sincerely prefer to spend my time with friends that appreciate me as much as I appreciate them.

glenndebacker 1 day ago 0 replies      
I'm no Entrepreneur but speaking as a European consumer it would me effect me in the sense that I would think twice of where to spend my money. I think it would have the reflex of spending it rather within the EU than further weakening it.
ig1 1 day ago 1 reply      
Spotify. Just-Eat. King. Skype. Transferwise.

Everyone of them was founded in the EU but became a billion dollar startup while headquartered in London.

Developers, product managers, founders - it's hard to find any startup of size in London which doesn't draw 20-30%+ of it's staff from Europe (and beyond) - London has hugely benefitted from the talent pool of Europe. It's hard to imagine the startup scene existing without it.

(we also sponsor work visas for international staff, it's a nightmare compared to hiring someone from the EU)

Ask HN: What company/companies would you acquire and why?
7 points by max_  2 days ago   4 comments top 2
DiabloD3 2 days ago 2 replies      

I think with the right leadership, they could probably become relevant to the market again. They've been playing so much catch up for the last several years, and also been making several missteps in how they handle user data inside of their operating systems.

Plus, generally pissing off iOS/OSX software devs doesn't really help sell the platform very well, as some developers have dropped iOS and OSX as a legitimate platform, and develop for Android and/or Windows only.

thowaway032498 1 day ago 0 replies      

Because sometimes, you just have too much cash and need to burn some of it.

Ask HN: What language has the best developer experience?
10 points by xupybd  2 days ago   25 comments top 16
nowarninglabel 1 day ago 1 reply      
I think this is kind of like asking what car has the best experience or what hotel has the best experience. It depends so much on what you want from it that there's no clear recommendation.
projectramo 1 day ago 2 replies      
You should probably ask about domain-language-IDE combos.

For example (and these are going to be controversial, but they're just examples):

Datascience - Python - Spyder IDE

iOS - Swift - Xcode

For the web, you get a lot more competition because it is a little harder to develop, and there are lots of backends and front ends to pick between. Probably:

Web app- Django/Rails/Restful Node - Sublime, Dev tools in chrome

and so on...

saluki 1 day ago 0 replies      
Laravel (PHP) has been a great experience.

ComposerValet/Homestead (Local Development)Forge (Builds Servers/Deploys Repos)Envoyer (Zero Downtime Deployment)Spark (SaaS Application Starting Point)

It keeps getting better and better.


NicoJuicy 1 day ago 0 replies      
I programmed in a couple of languages (nodejs, python, ruby, ..) and on my work i use c#

I always believe that c# has the best developer experience within the tools of Microsoft ( Eg. Visual Studio).

Try out Visual Studio community edition and see for yourselve

kek918 16 hours ago 0 replies      
I probably don't have as much experience as others, but I've dabbled around in a few languages and I think my best/most fun experience was when I were learning and creating a couple GUI desktop programs with Qt framework in C++ using their Qt Creator IDE. It's really a blast to work with and everything just feels in harmony.
arcanus 1 day ago 0 replies      

Nothing else has the right mix between a high level, portable programming language, and the low, system level call capabilities of C.

ivan_ah 1 day ago 0 replies      
Python is very good for beginners. It has lists and dictionaries as native objects, which are very versatile.

JavaScript is very good too because you have the "developer tools" in your browser and you don't need to install anything.

Don't have much experience with other languages to talk about them...

panic 1 day ago 1 reply      
Of the languages I've used, Visual Basic (pre-.NET). I never used Hypercard, but I hear it was pretty good too. Newer languages tend to be too complicated to have great development environments.
brudgers 1 day ago 0 replies      
Racket. It's an ecosystem of languages. If it doesn't provide the language the developer wants, the developer can just make the changes.
deepaksurti 1 day ago 1 reply      
Common Lisp (Emacs, Slime) or LispWorks (which has a free personal edition). After using live image based development, going back to the edit, compile, test cycle is like going back to the stone age.

And CL has libraries. See quick lisp. [1]

My own comparison with Python, which I have been using regularly. Python is a toy Lisp with all the adult parts hidden.

[1] https://www.quicklisp.org/beta/

RaitoBezarius 1 day ago 0 replies      
IMHO, Rust. Rust is very developer-friendly, great doc, user-friendly error messages, system level, cross-compilation friendly (\o/), you can experiment in the browser, etc
hoodoof 1 day ago 1 reply      
It's a matter of personal preference.

Explore a few languages, give them a try, see which one you like, then your question is answered.

deathtrader666 1 day ago 0 replies      
Elixir and Elm are your best bets right now.
gamedna 1 day ago 0 replies      
The one that solves the problem in the least amount of time with the least amount of frustration and bugs.
FuturePromise 1 day ago 1 reply      

 1. C# (Using Microsoft tools) 2. Erlang (Very robust, solid language) 3. Python (Lots of users, good tools.)

AnimalMuppet 1 day ago 0 replies      
Java with IntelliJ.

Um, that is, as long as you can just do Java or Android or something. If you're having to get into EJB and Spring and the corporate heavyweight development environment, that's not a pleasant world to work in, even with IntelliJ.

Ask HN: What's a better way to digest regular/tech news?
8 points by coned88  2 days ago   9 comments top 6
AndreyErmakov 2 days ago 1 reply      
What you should really be doing is finding a way to consume as little news as possible, only picking up what really matters. Most of it is useless. Even HN has an inordinate amount of stuff that's either clearly political or local US news which I don't care about, that's why I generally don't follow the news page.

The AskHN is however a source of good discussions which can often provide you with new and useful insights into things.

The must read on the subject:



ericzawo 2 days ago 0 replies      
I'm trying to find a way to discover this myself -- as a former journalist/journalism major, I can be best described as a news junkie.

I use Pocket to save longreads for my daily commute/downtime and it has proven to be the best way to catch up on things for me between devices. I know there are similar apps, I've just been using this one forever.

I try to follow journalists and writers I admire on Twitter, especially ones who err on the side of sharing news items/pieces worth reading, rather than devolve into the mudslinging that is trendy amongst writers #onthere.

I have only been reading HN for the past year but as a newbie to tech it has proven invaluable, and there's plenty of political/financial news that pops up now and then to at least keep me semi-coherent amongst colleagues and what is going on at work.

I find generally speaking the news to be really damaging to my mental psyche. Especially when I was in a newsroom at my previous job, it was not exactly a happy place to be reminded about every - single - mass shooting - and terrorist attack - and bad move by governments - daily, and eventually you either become completely numb to it or let it get to you. The latter happened to me, and other contributing factors led me to really question my involvement in media going forward. I'm definitely still addicted to my Twitter timeline, but I've found that, too, no longer makes me feel good, and am taking steps to only check it once or twice a day.

RepressedEmu 2 days ago 0 replies      
My friend and I are currently working on an app called Krux that aims to resolve this problem. We found that in most news stories fifty percent or more of it can be fluff/intro/unimportant so we built a summary algorithm to cut the articles down. The app harvests the news from a growing list of RSS feeds and then summarizes them to 4 sentences for quick consumption. We plan on launching with Tech, Business, Politics, and Culture sections so you can follow only what you're most interested in keeping up with. We think it will be a good way to stay on top of fast moving industries and keep informed of the top events.
tmaly 2 days ago 1 reply      
I really like using email newsletters, specifically the ones that aggregate items. You can usually find very specific ones, but there are also general ones.

These get sent out weekly, so you do not have to worry about missing the big items in that specialization.

Mimu 2 days ago 0 replies      
I never understood people's issue with news.I don't read any newspapers, I don't read any news-sites, I literally read titles of /r/worldsnews (knowing that most of them are clickbaits, but still) and that's it.

I don't think I'm missing anything, the relevant news come to you one way or another. Yes you'll have it like a day later but who cares? In the meantime you are free to do stuff.

brudgers 2 days ago 0 replies      
For general news, I'm a fan of a paper subscription to The Economist. There is little general news where a week between issues makes a difference, but it does make a difference in reporting.
Ask HN: Is it practical to start a 1-person Micro ISV these days?
12 points by augb  3 days ago   17 comments top 10
mperham 3 days ago 1 reply      
OSS helped because I could build it in my spare time with little investment or risk. I spent the first two years building Sidekiq and Sidekiq Pro and was able to build up an audience by blogging and tweeting.

I spent 15 years working at various startups and earned little more than a typical dev salary in the end. Today I'm making several times my previous salary so the business has been a big success for me.

As for visibility, I'm happy owning my own little niche of Ruby background jobs. I don't advertise or market much, just provide the best product I can, support it every day and developer word of mouth does the rest.

Mz 3 days ago 1 reply      
I have asked around previously. I didn't get much response. I posted a short list to my blog:


This list is not just software vendors. Some are webcomic artists. I was interested in any really tiny web operation actually making enough money to support the people running it.

I suspect the lack of response is partly due to low visibility and/or a desire to lie low. Small shops that don't want to grow into big corporations do not necessarily want excessive attention and also may not be well known enough (as a Micro ISV specifically) for other people to confidently say "Yup, this qualifies." A small shop doesn't need tons of traffic and money to support the few people working on it and may view excessive exposure as a bug, not a feature.

jventura 3 days ago 2 replies      
I'm trying to build a 1-person business for quite some time, going back and forth between ideas. Sometimes I think I would like to implement a desktop app, sometimes I feel web apps would be better, sometimes I just want to quit, etc.

In the last couple of weeks I've been finally building my product as a web application mainly because of these factors: currently I have more experience on web development that desktop development; I use a lot of SVGs and tables and they are easier to do on HTML; I have my source code in Python and C and it is a pain to distribute Python; cross-platform desktop development tools are not great nowadays (Qt is the only serious option and it sucks); I would have to distribute lots of libraries with my application.

The way I see things now is, if you really want to test the market for something and you can use a web app, do it. It is easier for you to control the updates, iterate faster to improve your idea, and have better discoverability. It is less painful for a prospective client to click on your URL than thinking on downloading and installing your application. The funnel for web applications is smaller than for desktop apps [1], and that is really important when you want to test your application.

Later in the game, after you have a stable idea and enough loyal clients, you can always move to the desktop or mobile if that's the case. This is what is happening with all major SaaS nowadays, they start on the web and eventually go to the desktop when they reach some maturity (Evernote, Slack, etc...)

[1] http://www.kalzumeus.com/2009/09/05/desktop-aps-versus-web-a...

a-ron 2 days ago 0 replies      
I don't know. I think the "gold rush" period is over, probably was a while ago. Seems like everyone wants to start their own micro-ISV or SaaS or whatever, but I'm projecting. And I'm jaded because I've failed a few times at these things and have a sour taste in my mouth about their viability these days.

I think those of us looking to start something really want certainty that whatever thing we're thinking of building will be successful. I think it can be, but it takes more grunt work selecting the right thing to build.

To answer your question, yes. Go do it then come back and tell us how it go. And good luck.

sixQuarks 2 days ago 0 replies      
There are lots of successful 1-person online businesses, but they are not software businesses per se. HN has a huge bias towards apps/software, we only hear from coders/technical people. When it comes to Saas apps, there aren't many examples run by solo entrepreneurs.

The vast majority of successful 1-person businesses are run by non-technical people and are more content-driven then software driven.

baccredited 3 days ago 0 replies      
>Is it practical to start a 1-person Micro ISV these days?

I don't think so. I've launched a few 1-person SaaS companies in the past, and some were popular (but not profitable). I've settled on earning a salary and investing as much of that salary as possible.

I still get the urge to build stuff, and I still do, but I now look at it as a hobby.

iatek 3 days ago 1 reply      
IME, the person's idea for the first product is the reason they start the micro ISV in the first place. I don't know of anyone who started an ISV, and then thought of a product.
lj3 3 days ago 0 replies      
RAD Game Tools seems to be doing just fine.
sharemywin 3 days ago 0 replies      
apps could be ISVs. A lot of software is going Saas because the cost per customer tends to get pretty high unless you can get cheap traffic. List on a popular top 10 list or rank high for a keyword.
Ask HN: Given the cost of living, why would a developer live in Silicon Valley?
28 points by hoodoof  2 days ago   23 comments top 11
cairo140 2 days ago 0 replies      
My numbers (n=1, though this is widely true among the transplants I know) worked out in spite of the cost of living. Here is my math, though obviously the number will vary based on individual.

My rent went up by around $2000. At a marginal tax rate (Medicare + Federal + State) of ~40% this meant post tax income would have to go up by $40000 to "break even". Tack on an extra $5000 per year to cover the high state tax rate (this difference varies based on origin state). In comparison, my gross income went up by over $50k within a year and $150k within 3 years.

There are other aspects that add to "why I personally live here". (1) Job security is much better, not in the sense that companies are more loyal or successful here, but in that there is so much going on that you get job security from the strength of the market, and I feel like if I ever lost my job or wanted to change I can. (2) Because of the strength of the market, employers treat employees much better here than in smaller markets. (3) Everybody else is here. The proliferation of people who I can learn from here is amazing to take in.

There are definitely things that will tip the scale in favor of going away. Kids and buying a home are a big one, since those costs are even more outsized here than rent alone. Also, the valley is disproportionately friendly to the cutting-edge, type-A career, and the numbers (in terms of the jobs you can get) are not as friendly if you want to settle down. It's for these reasons it's likely I'll leave, but in the meantime, the cost of living is offset by a long shot, to say nothing about the intangible benefits.

blabla_blublu 2 days ago 0 replies      
- The #Opportunities is staggering.

People are quite comfortable living in places (yes, rent is shit) where there are multiple opportunities so that when one doesn't work out, they can move to the next without uprooting their family/social system. Silicon Valley allows for that in a 30-40 mile radius.

- Number of likeminded folks as @dhogan pointed out. The sheer volume of meet ups, etc. is incredible.

So many startups, so many cutting edge tech companies and a lot of driven folks. You can bounce around as much as you like in the valley. Companies tend to home themselves here, since there is an easier talent pool to tap into. I am not saying other places don't have that, but the volume of such folks + opportunities is very high!

hacknat 2 days ago 1 reply      
Because you might make it big? Seriously though, I just left Seattle after 7 years to move to Madison, WI, for a very interesting opportunity to work on some cool virtualization and orchestration tech. My current company is great, but it's largely a coincidence that it's based in Madison, WI (most of the leadership is on the West Coast). While I'm grateful to be working on something cool right now, I'm painfully aware that there isn't anything else in Madison after my time with my current company is up. Hopefully that's a while, but, software being software, the nature of engineering is very project based. We work in an exceptionally stable industry, but the companies within that industry are not stable at all. I'm definitely getting a strong sense of why someone would want to live near a tech epicenter now that I've left one.
chmielewski 1 day ago 0 replies      
California state is broke. Over the last three years it's gotten better, but compared to 8 years ago, desperate. More people would move there (the new DC?) Which is why "use tax" on vehicle tags is still a thing... and the amount of military in CA? Well they don't (usually) have to pay it.
probinso 2 days ago 2 replies      
Many programmers start their career by trying to optimize their income to achieve independence , rather than optimise their living expenses. this is mostly because the market allows it

it is very rare for someone to intentionally decrease their income for a new employment opportunity , and the highest paying jobs precede your next highest paying jobs.

in the tech industry you are often rewarded for changing your job regularly. if you subscribe to this model, and the bubble doesn't burst , than this can be a very profitable approach to life.

atarian 1 day ago 0 replies      
As a twenty-something who grew up and lived in different parts of California, I actually think this one of the best places to live. If I had the money, I would totally buy a house here. San Diego would be next on my list.
nitwit005 2 days ago 0 replies      
At the moment, the SF bay area still has the most choices if you're looking for a new job.

That actually translates into something of a financial advantage. The two largest pay raises I've gotten have been from quitting and joining another firm.

It depends how settled down you are of course. Being willing to move is generally financially beneficial as well.

dhogan 2 days ago 1 reply      
Try flipping it: Given the potential salary, why would a developer NOT live in Silicon Valley?

But really I think it's largely being around so many like-minded people. The community and the fact that companies are there for similar reasons. At least that's one reason why I personally would want to be there. To have the best opportunity to learn and grow.

kasey_junk 2 days ago 1 reply      
Because its close to their job? Commute time is highly related to happiness.
banku_brougham 2 days ago 0 replies      
i live in Seattle. i like the bay, but a company cant (wont) compensate me enough to move to Palo Alto where buying a house is impossible.
_RPM 2 days ago 0 replies      
Most likely because the best companies are there.
Tell HN: HackerNews is the greatest site to browse in Cuba
12 points by ChicagoBoy11  2 days ago   6 comments top 3
ChicagoBoy11 2 days ago 0 replies      
On a sidenote, you cant help but walk around here and also feel that, should commercial relations someday be fully normalized, there is going to be an economic boom here unlike any the world has ever seen
ck2 2 days ago 2 replies      
Is Cuban internet censored like China?

Surprised there isn't sat internet more available there, you can get that on even remote islands in other parts of the world for a couple hundred US$ per month.

brador 1 day ago 1 reply      
Try http://skimfeed.com

Just browsing the titles is enough to get a feel for the days events.

Ask HN: Is the beer test relevant in choosing investors?
6 points by gnicholas  2 days ago   3 comments top 3
davismwfl 2 days ago 0 replies      
Yes and No. I don't subscribe to the fact that you have to be drinking buddies with your investor, but at the same time, if you can have that relationship then that is awesome.

What is important is that you and any investor you are talking to see the future and your business in a similar way and that you feel they are a positive impact on you, your business and can bring you at least 1 or 2 additional things other then money. If they only thing the investor brings is liquidity, walk away as it won't be a positive relationship in the end.

JSeymourATL 2 days ago 0 replies      
Likeability and relatability should be only ONE attribute of several on your investor scorecard.

Beyond the money piece-- dive into their experience, skills, and expertise. Not unlike evaluating talent hires for your team-- you'll need investors who can also help you solve problems, move the agenda forward, and drive results.

Ask HN: What is your initial setup for your personal computer?
3 points by abahlo  3 days ago   3 comments top 2
kiloreux 3 days ago 1 reply      
Linux UbuntuEmacs with https://tuhdo.github.io/c-ide.html

Ros (Robotics stack)

OpenCV (from source)



Google benchmark and Google test

Linux perf tools (I am one crazy measuring geek)

GCC (latest version from source)

LLVM (Same ^^^)

and one that I don't use that much is radare2 since I am reverse engineering hobbyist.

Ask HN: Good MOOCs to fill in self-education?
5 points by fizzbatter  3 days ago   5 comments top 4
projectramo 2 days ago 0 replies      
Of the big three (Udacity, Coursera, EdX), my favorite for tech courses is Udacity. The others can be great, but the level of detail and clarity of instruction on Udacity is startling. I wonder how much better an experience undergraduate computer science must be for some people.
carise 3 days ago 1 reply      
Algorithms/data structures classes are a good start.

I hear that the Coursera algorithms classes by Prof Sedgwick (Princeton) and Prof Roughgarden (Stanford) are very good. I think the Princeton ones might not be available after the Coursera switchover so would recommend downloading the course content if you can. There were some threads on HN in the last week about it.

Also MIT OpenCourseware has Intro to Algorithms which I hear is good too.

radnam 9 hours ago 0 replies      
Another interesting resource for you to compare MOOC is class-central (not affiliated in any way).
selmat 3 days ago 0 replies      
Here is my own selfstudy process...it works for me...

You can take whatever university degree. Read list of mandatory subjects. Take sylabus and list of recommended literature for every subject. From list of resources take one or two and read them. Almost every course has some fundamentals and introduction to X, to get all students on the same starting line. What you will not understand just ask someone more experienced or google it. Experienced colleague* he wil tell you some hidden notes or let you know this is not so important for your future career if dont wanna be xyz. Take just one and intensive course for month.

We are not fulltime students so we dont have such amount of time dedicated for study.

*you need to have trustworthy colleague who will support you. I know some highy skilled professionals but communication and learning from them is very difficult.

Ask HN: Bay Area physical store to buy FPGA dev kits?
3 points by tostitos1979  3 days ago   discuss
Ask HN: What (lightweight) bug tracker do you use?
4 points by neilellis  2 days ago   7 comments top 7
tga 14 hours ago 0 replies      
Fossil (of Richard Hipp / SQLite fame) has a built-in distributed ticket tracker (+ bonus wiki): http://fossil-scm.org

It is interestingly lightweight -- for example, to add a field to all tickets you get to directly modify the table schema of the tickets table.

Search here to see it in action: http://www.fossil-scm.org/fossil/ticket

devber 1 day ago 0 replies      
I use https://usersnap.com. The screen capture + browser annotations are super easy for my clients to use. And the dashboard is pretty slick too.
piyushco 2 days ago 0 replies      
We use https://leantesting.com, minimal lightweight bug tracking tool with slack integration & browser plugins.
connorski 2 days ago 0 replies      
I built BugTower (https://bugtower.com/) as a lightweight bug tracker. I find it useful :)
xenophonf 2 days ago 0 replies      
I needed a light-weight project management tool, too, so I set up a private Trac instance with the MasterTicketsPlugin (among others).
Madawar 2 days ago 0 replies      
ajthomascouk 2 days ago 0 replies      
Ask HN: What's your choices if you write '7 network frameworks in 7 weeks'?
1 point by worldwar  23 hours ago   1 comment top
tni90 21 hours ago 0 replies      
Silex for PHP, Flask for python and Sails for JS.
       cached 25 June 2016 04:05:01 GMT