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1
Ask HN: How do you get people to use your product when you suck at networking?
201 points by ziggystardust  14 hours ago   66 comments top 24
1
hluska 8 hours ago 0 replies      
I have some feedback for you.

First, your business has to solve a very intense chicken or the egg problem. Quality freelancers will not join until there are good projects. And you won't get good projects until you have quality freelancers. In freelancing, the problem is even more difficult to solve as both sides of the exchange require quite a large investment in time. Listing yourself as a freelancer (and building a high quality listing) takes work. And listing a project also takes work. This is an obscenely difficult problem to solve and networking alone will not get you there.

Second, you decided to enter a market with a ton of competition. Your competitors range from the simple but effective (Craiglist) to the complicated but mostly useless. People who list projects are wise to the game - they know that most sites deliver shit. And freelancers are also wise. Whenever I've joined a freelancer website, I've been inundated with 'offers' to do 200 hours of work for $500 USD. How do you provide better value to both sides of the market?

Third, your website is quite bad. If I just navigated there by chance, I'd have no idea what I was even looking at. Much less would I have any idea what to actually do. Your language and choice of words betray a serious lack of professionalism. Work on your copy a touch and maybe find someone to read it over - preferably someone who will tell you the unvarnished truth.

Consider:

"Due to some amount of trolling on the site, filters to be implemented and the site will be cleaned up within the next 24 hours."

That's not only a grammatical nightmare, but you're coming right out and telling people not to trust you!

Or, consider "no bullshit listings for freelancers." At best, that's an extremely unprofessional attempt to sound edgy and hip.

Good luck with this!! You seem like a good person and I'd love to see you fix this (badly broken) business.

2
emson 8 hours ago 1 reply      
At the end of the day it boils down to consistently making content and publishing it in multiple channels. Read Content Machine by Dan North and Authority by Nathan Barry. Both books give you really good insight into how to make "sticky" content. You will need to write articles on Medium.com and answer Quora.com questions - each piece should reference each other creating a web that drives traffic back to your central brand website. Look at the Garry Vaynerchuck course on Udemy, he describes how to use the various social media channels to build a personal brand. My website has been tracking how well his course has been performing http://www.coursenut.com/courses/udemy-building-a-personal-b...

Finally host your own landing page, stick Google analytics on it, and track how your visitors behave with Inspectlet.com and experiment with A/B tests (split tests).If you want to learn how to do this on AWS check out my course and I'll throw in a coupon and save 70% https://www.udemy.com/go-landing-pages/?couponCode=HACKERNEW...

Many thanks and good luck!

3
zerognowl 13 hours ago 1 reply      
I start products with marketing as the base, that way when it comes to launch day, I have everything I need to start spreading the word about it. So many developers do their launch in reverse; they build their product, and then marketing is left as an afterthought.

So get your Producthunt invite, build some Karma on Hackernews, share useful links on Twitter and gain a following. Create Facebook pages, write tutorials for your product, do Reddit AMAs, do Reddit selfposts, etc

Try to add value as much as possible. All the best marketers I know are doing Youtube screencasts for free and showing their prospects that the company has a genuine passion for the product(s).

4
rublev 12 hours ago 1 reply      
Get good at networking. It seems like you decided that you're already bad at it. You got good at programming and it took time right? You're not going to get good at networking casually just as much as a 'biz guy' is not going to get casually good at programming enough to launch a product.
5
jeffmould 13 hours ago 0 replies      
Several things:

(1) Your real market is the people/companies seeking to hire freelancers. You need to focus the site on that. Once you start having jobs listed, the freelancers will come. Otherwise, as a freelancer there is no real reason to join unless you offering some other benefit.(2) It's fine if you only want to have freelancers from Mumbai or Bangalore, but if you want listings you need to open that up to more than just those to locations.(3) Change the Title of the page "No bullshit Listings for Freelancers" really doesn't sound professional and if you are targeting people/companies seeking to hire, may be a turn-off.(4) Create a landing page that tells what and why. I understand you want "simple" but at the same time you need to explain what/why/how.

6
gt2 7 hours ago 1 reply      
"Do things that don't scale" comes to mind.http://paulgraham.com/ds.html

You eventually want a product that users come to on their own, but in the beginning, you could talk to users on both sides to get them to come to the table. If you are interested in the space, this should come easy!

For instance, talk to people who want apps and sites created. Formulate their requirements into really great, attractive, clear posts on the job board. Give them logins to your site so that they can see the post. Now you have real users, and real job listings.

Now "advertise" the job listings, and/or your site in general with freelancers (tweeting the jobs, tweeting at freelancers, announcements with popular hashtags, telling your freelancer friends about the new site, etc etc). As others have said, when there are job listings, the freelancers will stick after their first click when they see there are listings.

Get feedback from both sides. I think the freelancers will be more able/willing to communicate electronically their feedback, and you will already be in touch with some people who had apps/site projects, so you can get feedback from some of them directly. Rinse and repeat many times.

I do think the existing freelancer sites need improvement in the personal touch area, so I think it's totally possible for you to compete, and even a major advantage to you in the beginning stages since I think success will hinge upon you doing things like this, which don't scale.

Good luck, please post a follow up to let us know how it goes!

7
robertelder 14 hours ago 0 replies      
From the YC lecture series:

Lecture 4 - Building Product, Talking to Users, and Growing (Adora Cheung)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yP176MBG9Tk

8
spyckie2 7 hours ago 1 reply      
You are not at the branding and promotions stage - you are at the UX and user studies stage.

Your user experience is ... void of any considerations for your user. No way to search for a particular set of projects, no way to see potential matches, no way to see how old a particular request is, no way to unselect a city, etc.

I would strongly recommend you avoid marketing and promotions until you have iterated several times on real user feedback. Your current product will most likely leak users so you'll just be wasting money.

Don't try to get user testing through marketing - that's super inefficient. Just pay people directly to use your product and give you some real world feedback. Much faster, cost effective, and easier to do.

9
qwrusz 12 hours ago 1 reply      
I think your title simplifies your issue to the extent it's difficult to answer.

#1 Is your product aimed at freelancers like yourself as you describe, for when "work load gets a little difficult to handle" and these busy freelancers are looking for "other freelancers to help" do some of the heavy lifting, but you (busy freelancer) remain the point person between the client on an already established project?

Or

#2 Is your product aimed at everyone i.e. competing directly with freelancer.com and upwork.com where you are trying to:(a) get a market of clients to post their project needing a freelancer and (b) have a community of freelancers for clients to hire from?... With your revenue being some version of taking a small cut per job.

I realize your site is pre-beta and not finished. But knowing the actual goal here helps provide feedback and better advice for next steps.

Side note: How to get people to use _______ (fill in blank) when you suck at networking has very different answers depending on what the product is. Sucking at networking is rarely the main issue. I suck/don't enjoy networking but it turns out it only gets you started, other kinetic factors take over quickly (word of mouth by clients is an example).

10
dasmoth 14 hours ago 1 reply      
Note that your site currently doesn't work in Safari (desktop or mobile). A quick glance at the error console shows that you're using the Fetch API [1]. Polyfills are available.

Have you tried running any adverts? Ultimately, I suspect it comes down to either running a marketing campaign yourself or networking enough to find someone else who's prepared to handle that side.

[1] http://caniuse.com/#search=fetch

11
Kiro 14 hours ago 1 reply      
Ads. Seriously. Say what you want about ads but they have helped me gain traction on both my games and my products. Only enough to get the word of mouth moving and after that it usually sorts it out itself.
12
ziggystardust 14 hours ago 0 replies      
Just in case anyone is interested and wants to collaborate,This project is open sourced at https://github.com/Obsessive/FreelanceList.in
13
danellis 8 hours ago 0 replies      
The easiest way to get there quickly is probably to partner with someone who is good at networking. If you're on your own, that brings a lot of other benefits, too.
14
karmicthreat 11 hours ago 3 replies      
I'm going to get downvoted for this, but make some fake content. Projects users can bid on, but will never win. If real projects get put up, manually try to get developers interested in bidding on it and into your system.
15
jstanley 14 hours ago 1 reply      
I tried to list myself on your site but the only options for city are Mumbai and Bangalore. I guess I could just pick the closest, but it's still 4,500 miles...
16
gm-conspiracy 13 hours ago 1 reply      
Why don't you ask the developers that you have used off of craigslist what would make them want to sign up?

They are your target market, no?

17
mmcconnell1618 13 hours ago 0 replies      
Who is the target audience for your product? Where do they hang out? Who are the influencers in their communities? Talk to your target users and get feedback. If the product is a really great product/market fit then you don't need to network to get users. You need to make sure your product is solving a need for someone and then find ways to let them know about it.
18
snarf21 11 hours ago 0 replies      
It seems like you built a product that you want. You've made the assumption that people other than you don't like using freelancer.com or CL. To me it doesn't make sense to try to make a product like this without first having several people tell you why they agree with you (that the status quo isn't good enough) and what they want different and are ready to use your beta when it is ready. Then use it yourself to handle your overflow. If that works well for people looking it may generate organic growth. But as others have said, use reddit etc. to keep getting more people to try your product and give you feedback.
19
free2rhyme214 13 hours ago 0 replies      
This isn't very compelling. I recommend solving different problems. (I hope I'm not harsh, I'm just trying to be honest)
21
kardashian007 1 hour ago 0 replies      
TL;DR: mostly pull but with appropriate application of hustling

Networking isn't scalable unless you have something industry/domain specific and can reach influencers (top bloggers, users, etc.). It's probably better to work on appealing SEO, design and succint message in a way which automatically sells potential customers on its value. Let the product sell itself 24x7 so you don't have to do as much work. Then, once profit is coming in, think about a sales team and hustling others whom don't/won't self-discover. At the beginning, focus on schelping to solve real/hard problems, providing fanatical support to early customers and other things that don't scale; and eventually make the product experience so compelling they voluntarily spread the word as well.

22
artur_makly 7 hours ago 0 replies      
check out growthHackers.com - its a forum specially devoted to your predicament.
23
ekpyrotic 8 hours ago 0 replies      
1. Networking is actually a very bad way to secure initial customers. It is very unlikely that you are going to find yourself in a room with your target customers. You'll end up wasting time and energy on people who are never going to use your product.

2. Develop a persona for your target customer. Make it tangible so you can imagine your end-user. Imagine how they go about their days. What their interest are; what their hobbies are. What they do in the morning; what they do at night. Their fears and challenges. What is the challenge that your product is solving for these people?

3. Now, you should have a sense of who you want to reach. It might be quite a broad category... 'Heads of Business Development in start-ups', 'Design freelancers on PeoplePerHour'. At this point you should be in a position to think about where you might be able to find lists of these people. Go niche, so you don't overreach. It's easy to capture a small market than a big one. Start small, and grow to new markets. Maybe, if you're building a freelancer website, it'll mean dialing down your target market to 'design freelancers in Aspen'. Try to find a directory of people online that meet this category.

4. Create a database of all these people. Only start with 100. It should have their names, companies, email addresses, and a notes column. Fill all this data in. This is a list of potential early adopters.

5. Draft these people a short, targeted email laying out in CLEAR and DIRECT language your valuable proposition. 'I spotted your were a design freelancer in Aspen. I'm building... I thought you might be interested because... Is this something you might want to use?' Follow up a week later with an even shorter note for people that didn't reply. RESPECT their details. Don't spam them. This is a PERSONALISED message.

6. You will receive two responses (a) 'yes' -- that's great, you have an early adopter; track their use of the service and value them; (b) 'no' -- that's even better, ask them why they don't think it's a good fit for them; ask them for feedback; why isn't it attractive; what would make it attractive?

7. Fill in your database with all these responses. After you have 20-50 responses, you have some important intelligence about whether you have built a product which ACTUALLY solves a market problem (i.e., you have market fit); if not, pivot -- build a product that responds to these people's feedback.

8. Rinse and repeat.

Sorry for the plug... people have told me that the most time consuming bit of this process is finding these people and their emails. That's why I built Find Emails Team. You can find it here: http://findemailsteam.com. For a few dollars, we can put a manual team to work to find these contact details for you.

Best of luck!

24
swiftisthebest 14 hours ago 3 replies      
There's a ton of competition. Try something else.
2
Ask HN: Are you working paid part-time while still having a full-time job?
41 points by zippy786  11 hours ago   17 comments top 9
1
carsongross 9 hours ago 2 replies      
I would worry about this about as much as your employer worries about ensuring they have a well thought out career development plan for you that includes a fully funded pension.
2
RickS 7 hours ago 0 replies      
I am not currently doing this, but have in the past. What follows is only my experience (full time roles in bay area startups with very standard contracts)

There are two points of overlap between your employer and your side business to be mindful of.

1) time and resources.

Generally speaking, your employer owns all IP you develop at work, or using work resources. In practice, I've never seen an employer be a dick about this, but you should still be exceedingly careful. It's really easy to be 100% free and clear on this one. Just don't ever do side project work (to include answering emails, etc) on work machines or on premises at work.

2) intellectually property.

This one's trickier. The agreement that matters most you already signed, if your employer uses one. It's basically a list of stuff you've already invented or have as a side project, and it exists specifically as a papertrail. eg: I work on finance software interfaces as my full time job, and have also done work on this for myself on the side. This agreement says "I created product X, which does Y with method Z" as part of the employment agreement, so that they can't later claim that I only came up with Y and Z because of my employer's training or resources, thus entitling employer to the project.

How careful you need to be here depends on the thematic proximity of your employer and your side project. If you work for dropbox and your side project is flappy bird, you're probably fine. If you work for adobe and your side project is an alternative to photoshop, do a lot of homework and consider talking to a lawyer.

TL;DR: don't use employer time or resources, do use common sense.

3
kasey_junk 11 hours ago 2 replies      
Most employment agreements I've signed have at least a notification clause, if not an approval one.

Those may be illegal in your jurisdiction but in most places in the US they arent.

You should verify this before starting to look for part time work.

Respectfully, I'd argue that building your own skill set or business is going to be exponentially more valuable use for those hours anyway, unless you really need the cash.

4
Tharkun 9 hours ago 1 reply      
What I do on my own time is none of my employer's business. Mileage and regulations may vary, of course.

I work about 20hrs a week on various side-gigs. Pretty strict about the working hours and work not overlapping with whatever my current employer is doing. It's nice to keep things separate.

5
anta40 1 hour ago 0 replies      
I ocasionally do short-term freelancing jobs, to get more cash :p

I don't remember whether this is stated in my employment agreement or not, but practically freelancing is OK, as long as you get the job done first. Do it after office hour, for example.

I'm in Indonesia, BTW.

6
jonathanbull 8 hours ago 0 replies      
When I built https://emailoctopus.com I was in a different full-time role. Unless such a clause is written in my contract, why should anything I do in my spare time need sign off from an employer?
7
oddlyaromatic 8 hours ago 0 replies      
Not tech, but I have a full time job (managing disability support programs, 40+ hours a week) and a part time job (10-20 hours/week running a small one-person office), with occasional work on the road as a music tour manager (4 or 5 weekends a year). I don't always tell the main full time employer what I'm doing when I request time off, but it's always worked out so far. Main problem is tiredness when you end up working many days without actual time off. I'd be careful of making a solid hourly commitment to a second job. I just about get away with it because my employers are flexible and care more that work gets done than where I am or how I do it.
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salemh 8 hours ago 0 replies      
Most of the clauses I've seen with larger clients (Marketing Agencies) relates to work with their clients, or overlapping "competing" services for that specific employer.
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IndianAstronaut 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Working in finance or banking will severly restrict your ability to do this. Definitely review your contract if you work in or plan to work in these areas.
3
Ask HN: How do I get my life back in order?
14 points by throwaway828282  5 hours ago   9 comments top 9
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vfulco 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Here is my perspective on some of what you have asked. I heard a great quote the other day, "don't look back, you aren't going there". Generally human beings do the best they can with the info they have available at the time. Respect and accept that. Believe me, I have been in your shoes having lost my partner, soulmate and beloved wife at 37 to rectal cancer. I can only say it gets easier to carry the burden. Although there will be moments when the survivor guilt is overwhelming, try to honor their legacy and the years they were robbed of by living as fully as possible. It will benefit you and the world around you. A good therapist will help too epecially one who has a specialty in cancer related. Be well. --A fellow traveler on the grief journey.
2
davymac 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Psychiatrist for some temporary help (unless this turns out to be an issue that has long been masked) and a therapist immediately. Don't wait assuming it'll just get better. The moment you finish making your appointment, grab some Nike's and start running. There's known formulas to fix the misery. I speak from a lifetime of struggling with depression. Don't ignore it. Don't "get used to it" like I've heard others say. Fix it.
3
brudgers 4 hours ago 0 replies      
My condolences on your loss.

As others have suggested, talking with a qualified clinical therapist may be a reasonable way to coming to find a peaceful place for your friend's death and to live with your grief in healthier ways.

A qualified clinical therapist can bring understanding and insight to the grieving process. This doesn't mean that your loss isn't unique, just that people tend to encounter similar patterns when grieving and these patterns are normal and can be dealt with in healthy ways without ignoring the reality of personal loss.

My childhood best friend, Leonard, was struck and killed by a car Thanksgiving night, 1984. Writing that made me sad. The loss is still there after all those years. But I've found a place for it and it would be worse I think if I didn't still feel the loss. My friend Phil was in the Marine Corps when Leonard died. He'd known him longer than me. The Corps would not grant him leave for the funeral.

All these years later, sometimes when we talk, we talk about Leonard's death because it hasn't gone away. But mostly we talk about our families and friends and our work and the joy in our current lives. Because that doesn't go away either.

Good luck.

4
paulcole 2 hours ago 0 replies      
>I just work enough get a paycheck, binge watch TV and occasionally go out with friends.

This is a reality millions of people live with (and millions more would love to have). You'll probably get used to it over time.

5
mchan 2 hours ago 0 replies      
First of all, try not to beat yourself up about screwing up or making the wrong decisions. This is all normal and a part of your experience. What you have gone through may need some time to process.

Start with small steps. Over thinking and over reasoning is a way for your brain to avoid what you are actually feeling. This is normal because we are all inclined to avoid unpleasant feelings. Slowly try to get in touch with those feelings, even if they're painful. The more you try to avoid them, the more they will linger, and the more you try to suppress them, the deeper your depression. Getting in touch with those painful feelings are actually not as bad as you fear. It can actually be cathartic.

Along with all the suggestions to see a qualified therapist, I would recommend reading some of Pema Chodron's books. There's one in particular that may be relevant for your situation called 'When things fall apart'

I won't wish you good luck, because luck will not make things better for you. This will take some time and a little effort to work through. You have already taken the first step by reaching out. What you do next, and the skills and lessons you will learn through processing this experience will grow you as a person. Remember - one step at a time.

6
ilikejam 5 hours ago 0 replies      
It sounds very, very much like you are depressed. You should seek medical advice.

I don't think there's much else to say, really. Get well, and the rest will follow.

7
Broken_Hippo 4 hours ago 0 replies      
I agree that it seems like depression. It is really common after any major life event - good or bad stress. In this case, death. I'm sorry for your loss.

I'd recommend therapy and a trip to the doctor. If it makes it easier, call your physician and take this with you to explain. He or she might be able to recommend a psychiatrist or therapist for you as well.

If medication is recommended, I recommend taking it. It doesn't mean you'll be on it forever, but it will make it a whole hell of a lot easier to work through this to get to the non-medicated point.

8
internaut 1 hour ago 0 replies      
I can tell you what I know to be true.

Given time, you change and adapt. A great majority of dysfunctions put themselves right if you wait.

If you are patient with yourself you shall be fine. I repeat: be patient with yourself.

Here is my hypothesis or idea of why this sort of thing happens to us.

The brain is this complex organ and when it undergoes stress such as bereavement it shall put you in a certain state, such as low mood, because some part of it not under your conscious control has decided to do this. Seeing this as an error, could be an error. To put it another way, when you injure your leg, you cannot walk on it because of pain. Pain tells you not to hurt yourself more so. The same is true of mental troubles, only instead of pain, it is a lowering of mood. Perhaps this should be understood as a safety mechanism.

In most cases if you run on autopliot for a period of time, perhaps some months or years, you shall recover. In some cases you need to change your environment in some way, but your intuition should be the judge of that.

9
angersock 5 hours ago 0 replies      
Get your ass to therapy--it's good for everyone.

Consider going to school and studying something perhaps unrelated to engineering. You'll meet people and be given a perspective you won't pick up on the internet.

Go outside, start working out (walking, jogging, lifting, swimming, rowing). Do something in meatspace.

4
Ask HN: Alternatives to AWS?
45 points by bachback  6 hours ago   49 comments top 25
1
user5994461 3 hours ago 1 reply      
Google has all the exact same offerings as AWS.

The IaaS part is called GCE (Google Compute Engine): https://cloud.google.com/compute/pricing

Given all your comments in this thread. You seem to struggle quite a lot to understand the market and you didn't clarify what you want to achieve (how many servers do you have now? how many applications do you run? how many dev? how big is your company?)

So forgive me for thinking you are either a hobbyist or a newcomer, with rather simple needs. If that's the case, GCE and AWS are overkill. You should stick to Digital Ocean or Linode. It's wayyy simpler and cheaper.

2
brudgers 3 hours ago 0 replies      
To me, the alternatives to AWS depend on the workload. For Netflix the alternative is building a chain of massive data centers or negotiating with Microsoft or negotiating with Google. For a Ruby on Rails app, Heroku is one. For someone just monkeying around with Kubernetes, maybe a some Raspberry Pi.

The alternatives also are related to the specific business. For Home Depot, running on AWS means running in a competitor's data center.

The problem of finding and alternative to AWS really boils down to research, and that's a time commitment versus just whipping out the plastic. One might say, "Nobody ever got fired for using AWS."

3
jburwell 3 hours ago 2 replies      
The following are a few alternatives off the top of my head:

 * Google Compute Engine * Microsoft Azure * Joyent * IBM BlueMix * Linode (like DigitalOcean more VPS than cloud provider)

4
nik736 3 hours ago 2 replies      
Depends on what exactly a cloud provider is for you. If it's only about VMs with an API and global footprint there are several options:

- GCE

- SoftLayer (IBM IaaS)

- Azure

And additionally there are several other providers that are more comparable to DigitalOcean like Vultr, Linode, Scaleway, etc.

5
hurricaneSlider 3 hours ago 0 replies      
We use Azure. In some aspects they're playing catch up but if you're a startup and can get into their bizspark program, there are a lot of benefits. They are also making a significant effort to open their platform to Linux, Docker and other cloud technologies beyond Windows.
6
tshtf 3 hours ago 1 reply      
Google has far more than App Engine today; they basically compete with AWS directly service by service.
7
Feld0 2 hours ago 2 replies      
OVH specializes in dedicated servers (https://www.ovh.com/ca/en/dedicated-servers/) but they offer an API for ordering them and can deliver many of them within a couple of minutes. They have a number of "cloud"/managed offerings as well if you browse around their site. They have datacentres in France and Canada, and are currently bringing up new ones in the US, Australia, and Singapore that they hope to launch by the end of the year. I've been a customer for >3 years now and have been very pleased with their service and support.

OP mentioned a desire to work with bare metal/do IaaS their own way, and dedicated server providers are awesome for that. Conversations about infrastructure are often about "cloud vs. running our own datacentres!" and renting dedicated servers is an interesting middle ground - you get a ton of hardware and bandwidth for your dollar and maintaining the hardware isn't your problem. You give up per-hour billing but you could very well still save money - it's a serious alternative to VPS providers like DigitalOcean.

8
sidcool 3 hours ago 0 replies      
I have used Google Compute Engine, and we're quite happy. The I/O especially is quite good.
9
obulpathi 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Google Cloud is not an alternative, but a much better option. If you have pains with AWS or want a better version of Cloud (ease of use, performance, scalability), give Google Cloud a try.
10
Jaepa 3 hours ago 1 reply      
There are a couple options, but it kind of depends on what you want.

There is Openstack, which is a collections of IaaS provider with connected with an API.

Digitial Ocean & Vultr which you already know about.

GCE mentioned else where here.

Linode, while not feature rich is the 2nd largest VPS provider.

Azure, which is Microsoft's IaaS. Which I've always had some reservations about, but have actually subcontracted management out separate companies to protect user info.

Scalaway is great low price option but there AZ's are mostly in Europe.

I'm personally using LunaNode, which doesn't offer nearly as many nine's in up time, but is great for the price (I have a 3 cpu, with 2G of ram, for ~$10 a month).

There are tonnes of IaaS platforms out there, very few have the full feature set of EC2, but again it depends on what you want.

11
meddlepal 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Google Cloud Platform and Azure. I have a lot of experience with GCP (mostly Compute Engine) and really really like it.
12
lwhalen 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Profitbricks, Rackspace, hosting it yourself on an Openstack cluster, etc. There are really a glut of 'cloud providers' out there, you just have to do the footwork of defining your needs and then finding one that meets most of them. Alternatively you could hire a consultant (hi!) to assist you, if you'd prefer to stay focused on the business side of things.
13
mlacks 2 hours ago 0 replies      
I've learned to really appreciate what Joyent brings to the table, as far as philosophy, but I haven't had the chance to really test it out for myself.
14
kayman 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Digital Ocean is the most popular. But as others have mentioned, there is also Vultr.Vultr has locations in Sydney which was a big plus for me.

I personally can vouch for Vultr. Been running a freebsd system with them for over a year now.

When clients ask about AWS, I throw in Digital Ocean or Vultr so they can save a ton of money. Most of the the time, they go with AWS as it is the most popular but tends to be an overkill for most of the projects I'm dealing with.

15
caghan 2 hours ago 0 replies      
If you're looking for something new, you should try Live Vertical Resize at skyAtlas. http://www.skyatlas.com/why-skyatlas/
17
tf2manu994 3 hours ago 1 reply      
Maybe not what you wanted but hetzner?

Crazy cheap. Support is garbage.

18
api 18 minutes ago 0 replies      
Personally I am partial to heterogeneous deployments across commodity vendors like Digital Ocean, Vultr, Linode, OVH, etc. You do have to think a little bit more about security and devops but you get a lot of power and robustness for a lot less money.

We do use S3 for backups and big storage. That has no equal.

19
Rauchg 2 hours ago 0 replies      
If you want to focus on the code and not the servers, give a try to https://zeit.co/now

Disclosure: co-founder and CEO

20
cjbprime 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Azure, Google Cloud, Rackspace.
21
codingdave 2 hours ago 0 replies      
What are you trying to achieve? There are a plethora of choices and services out there, but without knowing what you want to do, all we can do is give you a list of company names.
22
smtt 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Depends on your exact needs and such but I really like Heroku, it doesn't have as much as AWS or GCE but it has some nice benefits like good monitoring/stats, very cool pipelines system and super easy scaling
23
nwrk 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Oracle
24
NetStrikeForce 3 hours ago 0 replies      
I'm not sure you're looking for an AWS alternative if you think DigitalOcean is one.

Right now only Azure (behind) and Google Cloud (way behind) are alternatives to AWS.

If what you need is just VMs and a CRUD API, then yes, DO is a very good alternative (I run most of my servers with them).

25
twelvenmonkeys 3 hours ago 0 replies      
If you'd like to try something simple, use us: https://datamantle.com just a simple VPS provider.
5
Ask HN: Why do companies buy ads when they are the top result in search?
138 points by Man_On_the_Moon  23 hours ago   83 comments top 25
1
calbear81 23 hours ago 4 replies      
This study (http://searchengineland.com/google-research-even-if-you-rank...) is a bit old and possibly biased (since sponsored by Google) but when I worked in SEM the experience we had was the same which was the top organic position + the top paid position netted overall more traffic to our site than with just the organic position alone. The other considerations are:

1) Brand SEM terms are cheap - if you own the brand, especially something like Squarespace, your ad will have a high quality score and will thus pay a much lower CPC than a competitor trying to vie for eyeballs with your brand name as a keyword. This means that brand terms generally are pretty cheap to buy.

2) Real estate ownership - The more real estate on the page you own the more click share you will get. This will keep other organic listings from getting click share which may mean your competitors will get less traffic off of searches for you.

3) Control over message - Ads provide a high degree of creative control which means you can change the copy and also add on Ad Extensions like sitelinks, app download buttons, "click to call" buttons, etc. These are all things that are harder to control on your organic listing.

2
pakitan 21 hours ago 2 replies      
To add some anecdotal data, even when our company was at #1 for our main search phrase and when there were fewer PPC competitors, we were still getting more traffic with PPC + organic, rather than leaving it just to the organic listing.It's like there were 2 different sets of people - those who tend to click on ads and those who tend to click on organic results. And you want both.That was quite a long time ago. Nowadays, for our main search phrase, there are 4 PPC ads at this time. And Google is now blending ads much better with the organic results, they are barely distinguishable to the untrained eye. Being #1 organic result doesn't bring you that much benefit in that setup, you're actually being #5 overall - barely visible.
3
fragsworth 21 hours ago 1 reply      
My experience with Google ads was that it is very easy to accidentally get them to display your ad in this way, without you knowing it.

You choose a list of terms you want to show your ad in, but by default Google will also put your ad up in "related" searches. If your company or product is already popular enough, it's likely to end up in the related searches for the terms you chose.

This cost me quite a bit of money before I found out I was wasting money on these ads by accident.

4
bruceb 22 hours ago 1 reply      
I attended a talk by Nordstrom's SEO team and one of their findings was people who click on the top ads spend more than people who click on non ads links. They seemed to think the paid search results might align closer to what the buyer was looking for.

That being said they were not 100% sure.

5
tf2manu994 23 hours ago 1 reply      
Yep. It's a defense mechanism.

Also prevents someone from buying an ad for Squarespace.co or some other domain for a phishing site, which could result in bad press from a """"hack"""" (note the use of quotes, it's not hacking.)

6
shostack 7 hours ago 0 replies      
I actually overlap with SquareSpace on non branded terms in some areas and helped lead the search group at a top search agency in my last job. Not tooting my horn, just sharing my credentials since these threads inevitably have lots of uninformed rants and assumptions.

Many brands could see a lift from bidding on brand terms not just in click volume from covering more of the SERPs but particularly conversion rates from controlling one of the most prominent placements of your brand online.

Ad extensions can do wonders for many, and Google didn't fully let you control messaging for your homepage like you can with brand term ads.

Beyond that there are a few other really compelling reasons that make it a no brainer in many cases.

- Control the landing page URL, particularly for setting parameters or a/b testing

- Controlling site link messaging and URLs to help searchers self select a more relevant experience, particularly if you have multiple audiences

- Potentially a slight boost to account level quality score (I've seen mixed data on this)

- I don't see this mentioned enough, but you can get solid organic query volume data in AdWords now

- Super valuable insight into the raw queries. Are people searching for "your brand vs new competitor brand?" Are they searching around some horrible PR that you were unaware of? Maybe they are looking to see if you sell a product and if you don't you should consider it. With secure search everywhere now, this is arguably one of your best data sources for these sorts of insights

For the pennies per click you pay it is absolutely worth it in many cases. If you have doubts, Google just released their data driven attribution model in AdWords, which, among others, can help inform whether you are giving too much credit to them (although this can be hard to actually determine).

For most companies I'd fully educate on the pros and cons and recommend trying them before making uninformed assumptions. At this point, I typically default to enabling them fwiw.

7
gleb 21 hours ago 1 reply      
I'll add one more - analytics. It's the only way to get accurate impression numbers. Which is a useful thing to trend for brand keywords.
8
slap_shot 22 hours ago 0 replies      
As others have already explained, it is done to prevent competing services from achieving the number one spot for your search result.

There is a very cool and informative video from Google that shows what goes into bidding for and awarding the ads that are shown. I had truly encourage you watch this:

http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=PjOHTFRaBWA

9
alkjshdkfjasdf 13 hours ago 0 replies      
I am a little late to the party, but want to address one topic that I didn't see mentioned below.

One answer to your question is "volume", with a related cause of personal incentives.

You're getting those clicks for free and buying ads on branded terms is just cannibalizing your organic results. Now, instead of $500 per day, you want to scale your campaign to $5,000 per day.

How do you do that? Your return will be less efficient as you seek volume, but you need to spend the $5,000 as effectively as you can.

You (or the agency) look better / get paid more when they're able to spend with a better return. It's probably not your department, or your KPI, what the organic SEO is like. So if you cannibalize some conversions from organic in the SEM attempt to spend the budget and raise conversions, you're probably happy, because you're hitting KPIs that matter to you.

It would take a wise leader to recognize what is happening. Even then, they might decide that although the efficiency of the overall SEO/SEM spend is lowered, it provides more volume. If your company is focused on growth, they may prefer volume over efficiency.

It's rational, once you try to see the larger context in which these decisions are made w/in a company. (It also has it's drawbacks)

10
47 21 hours ago 2 replies      
If you don't advertise on your brand keywords, your competitor will. We spend quiet a lot on our brand keywords to avoid competitor siphoning off our brand traffic.
11
FollowSteph3 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Because competitors will big on your company name and you want to appear before them in the search results.
12
sfifs 20 hours ago 0 replies      
Yes - It is mainly so that a competitor doesn't show up above your organic search results by buying your keywords and it adds another line item for your brand.
13
mcbailey 22 hours ago 1 reply      
A group of economists at Ebay ran a series of experiments to measure the value or promoted links when the brand already own the top organic link http://faculty.haas.berkeley.edu/stadelis/Tadelis.pdf

They find no measurable short term benefit to purchasing the "Ebay" keyword on sales.

14
jmatthews 20 hours ago 0 replies      
I got in to a debate with my business partner about this very subject. It turns out non-technical people tend not to distinguish between organic results and paid results. For example, he personally clicks our brand based ad instead of our organic result when he googles us. I had to explain that we were spending money every time he did that.
15
LyalinDotCom 21 hours ago 1 reply      
Marketers often work with middle man companies to create the ads, you'd be surprised I think if you heard how many times the ad owner never even looks at the results of how it looks to customers.

But also lots of the other reasons posted here are very true too.

16
griffinmichl 22 hours ago 0 replies      
Because if they don't their competitors will.
17
f_allwein 20 hours ago 5 replies      
Side question: would you click on the ad or on the organic search result? Why?
18
symbolepro 20 hours ago 0 replies      
Localization is also one of the reasons. For eg.,I live in japan and when I search for amazon in google, the organic result is .com but the top ad link is .co.jp. And I always click the ad link.
19
freyir 20 hours ago 0 replies      
If they didn't buy the ad, someone else's ad would be at the top. Many people don't distinguish between the top search result and the ad.
20
gsylvie 22 hours ago 0 replies      
It increases the clickable area that will result in a visit to your site, it blocks others from taking up any of that critical real estate (via ads or organic rank), and like others have said, it's probably relatively cheap for the brand owner to bid on their own brand.

I think increasing the clickable area is pretty important, especially with mobile users.

And customers, since they know it's an ad, might be nice and click on the organic link instead. :-)

21
dccoolgai 17 hours ago 0 replies      
Because the ad is the first search result. We don't even really care that much anymore how our "organic" results play out.
22
garyadamshannon 20 hours ago 0 replies      
Brand reinforcement. The more you see it, the more you know it, the more likely you are to trust / use the brand. It's simple really.
23
NumberCruncher 21 hours ago 1 reply      
Googling in Munich (logged in in Chrome) for squarespace I get an ad for siteground.com.
24
douche 18 hours ago 0 replies      
Marketers and ad reps are very good at rationalizing and justifying their existence.

As someone else mentioned down thread, I'm happy to reward those who cannibalize their organic results and help ensure that their adwords budget doesn't go unused...

25
known 19 hours ago 0 replies      
6
Ask HN: 30+ men and women in software, how much do you make?
73 points by geiwo  1 day ago   102 comments top 47
1
salary_chat 18 hours ago 1 reply      
Americans surely know the value of a good developer. Unbelievable how terrible the pay is in Europe. 70k-80k is a common end-of-career salary here.

I once had a business partner (French) and we were launching a software-based business. He was the President, I was the CEO (leading all technical, engineering and operations management matters, that's quite a bit... he was handling the sales).

I told him that as a first step, I wanted to pay myself a $80k salary as soon as the business would have the appropriate cashflow. He told me "$80k ? That's quite a high salary for a CEO, but this sounds like a good long-term objective".

Lol. This is one of the reasons I talk about this partnership in the past tense. But this gives you an idea, about the mindset in Europe and of how the compensation tends to be way below the value produced.

For some reason I'm happy when I read here about people just turning 30 making over $150k per year as development manager / senior devs. This is what a first-class engineer deserves.

2
Webster 1 day ago 2 replies      
Recently turned 61. I make $110k, 30+ years a developer. Currently work with Java on Search Engines. Spent most of my career in C working on chemical search engines. Happy to be healthy, alive, and still having a blast writing software
3
salary_throwawa 1 day ago 2 replies      
Canadian checking in (Calgary). $175k in my late 30s.

To get here I've had to negotiate every career change. I learned early that an offer was just that, an offer. I made it a habit to not accept the first offer and (almost) always counter.

I find that too many of us don't negotiate hard enough. I suppose it's easier to negotiate when you have options. With my salary and age, I'm also finding fewer options when I look for the role.

4
tboyd47 1 day ago 0 replies      
Just turned 30. I make $95k before taxes and I'm eight years a developer. I'm married and have two kids. We rent and have no plans to buy yet. I'm east coast.

I worry about ageism sometimes, but it still seems far off. I'm more concerned about just not getting jaded. I've been in a lot of work environments that seemed good at first, but turned out to be rather unpleasant.

I love being 30. It's a great age. I'm excited to get older, too. No desire to go back to my 20s.

5
throwaway3223 20 hours ago 0 replies      
I'm in early 30s, live in Ohio making around $105k before taxes working as a backend developer for a medium size company. $90k to $110k is a pretty standard salary for a backend (or full stack) developer with 10 years of experience throughout the state from my interview experience. Adjusting for cost of living in Seattle versus my location, your salary is pretty comparable to mine. Done just about everything software wise from the frontend to the backend in a number of different languages (C#, Java, Scala, JavaScript, Python, PHP).

If you're witnessing ageism already, you're probably dodging a bullet working at those toxic places for reasons that go beyond just ageism. Seattle would be my choice to live in though if I were on the West Coast.

I do projects on the side as a hobby (mobile apps and such). Keeps up my skills and pays for my lunch money. Used to do a lot of contract work for startups in the area and small businesses. Wanted more stability, so I gave it up for a regular salary. I sometimes miss the freedom I had with my previous work, but doing my side projects keeps me happy when I get bogged down with too much "process" at my day job.

6
jimmywanger 1 day ago 1 reply      
40 years old, 155k, 10% performance bonus, full remote with the stipulation that I stay within a couple time zones of PST.
7
this_throwaway 1 day ago 2 replies      
After 30,

- 125K, startup.

- 110K, cut salary for an early stage startup.

- 150K, with upto 25% bonus, plus options, startup that made boatload of money.

- 210K, consultant

- 280K, consultant

- 300K, consultant

8
EXueBRJ9d 1 day ago 2 replies      
Male, 45, wife, child free, Boston, lots of experience + advanced degree, $250K. Team lead is probably the best description of my role.
9
HugoDaniel 1 day ago 3 replies      
Male, 33, 8 years of experience, 24k EUR in my last job.(Currently trying to bootstrap a personal proj.)

Lisbon, Portugal.

10
zerr 1 day ago 0 replies      
Interesting, at 31, what kind of ageism did you face? I'm thinking about some kind of under-23 hipster startup... Or did you experience it within a well-rounded company/people?
11
Tech1 1 day ago 1 reply      
30, M, NYC, 120k. Firmware (C++), and some Java.

I just realized how bad I'm getting boned.

12
SpendBig 16 hours ago 0 replies      
Have been a system engineer, switched to PHP developer(mainly backend). I am 31, wife and kid. I make about $45K a year in the netherlands. Really have no idea if that matches the salary of other php developers in my country with about the same experience, but im having a great time at the company i work for.
13
throwaway_sal1 1 day ago 0 replies      
75K Euros. Georgia (non-EU eastern European country). Working from home for western European company. Early 30s.
14
dylanz 10 hours ago 0 replies      
I'm 37 and work part time from home. I used to work a lot of hours in a CTO and CEO role, making more money, but opted for a smaller salary and having more free time in my life. I'm very happy right now. edit: I should note, I have 2 kids and treat myself to a lot of luxury, so I barely scrape by month to month. I'm fine with that. Carpe Diem.
15
madengr 1 day ago 0 replies      
Well I'm 45 and in hardware with 20 years experience; $148k + 13% bonus. I didn't make near, at 30, the quoted figures here. I guess software really does pay well. If my employer thinks they pay me too much, they can bugger-off.
16
ev_rolfe 18 hours ago 0 replies      
I think its worth noting that the majority of the people posting their salary here seem to be quite successful so I'd take these response with a grain of salt.

Seems likely that people who are successful will be more willing to post their earnings then people who are not!

17
throawaybay 9 hours ago 1 reply      
125k base + some stock... 8 years experience, age 36. Bay area. Full stack, mostly java.

Talking with friends it seems like salaries have exploded the past 1-2 years. I know of two at ~160k and recruiters are indicating 160-180k base right now.

So it seems like I'm leaving a lot on the table....

18
d4rkph1b3r 1 day ago 2 replies      
35 Los Angeles (working for a BaY Area company remotely).

175k total cash comp (part of it is bonus).

19
foobar100 1 day ago 3 replies      
33 here, NYC, Finance, major company. 15 years experience. Low-latency trading systems programming, and some management. 380 base, 450 bonus.
20
f500throwaway 1 day ago 1 reply      
Age:31

Years exp: 8 full time

Base: 180k

RSU: 60k/yr

Bonus:30% (more last year)

I work remotely for a fortune 500 as a software engineer. No degree. College dropout.

21
sg47 1 day ago 0 replies      
$201k base with 15% bonus target. In management. Bay Area.
22
sydthrow 19 hours ago 2 replies      
Male, 43, Sydney, 17 Years experience. No degree. Self taught.

2008 - $125k + 20% bonus - Full-time employee

2009 - $80k - Started my own web development company

2010 - $110k - Built a product

2011 - $132k - Daughter born

2012 - $145k -

2013 - $150k -

2014 - $150k - Son born

2015 - $250k - Hired 1st employee

2016 - $480k - Hired 2nd and 3rd employees

23
mythrowaway1 1 day ago 0 replies      
Married, 33, no kids, Washington State(the middle). I do WebDev, fully remote, $110k plus bonus. no degree. In my mid twenties i was making $260k in management, but there was months of travel per year involved, was fun for a while.
24
V-2 1 day ago 0 replies      
35 years old, 5 years of experience as a software dev.

Poland

I make the equivalent of about $16.5/h on B2B (net pay after all taxes, social fees etc.)

25
ta-20161001 22 hours ago 1 reply      
Mid-30's. Male. Married. A few kids.

SF bay area. > 10 yrs at top tier post-IPO SV company. Backend infra development (C++). One of the top 10-15% engineers in the company.

> 400K total comp this year - < 50% of that is salary; rest is bonus and stock grants (portion vested in 2016 of all the grants received over the last 3-4 years).

Going forward, it seems stocks will dominate the total compensation but its okay given the current state of my company.

Taxes: effective 35-40% (federal + state + payroll).

26
IndianAstronaut 19 hours ago 0 replies      
Early 30s. Had a late start in my career so just 4 years of work experience in data analysis and data engineering. 75k in Texas.
27
sdrothrock 1 day ago 0 replies      
31, male, Tokyo, four years at the job, 7 mm JPY, no bonuses/perks.
28
throwaway3927 22 hours ago 0 replies      
31, wife, 4 kids, compiler development, 10+ years in software development, BS in CS. Colorado Springs, CO, USA. 85K$.
29
throwaway873 17 hours ago 0 replies      
40 years old, 3 years dev exp., 140k salary (no bonus and not counting options). SF. I have no idea why they offered me so much, but I jumped on it.

Wondering what my next move in a couple years should be.

30
ChoHag 15 hours ago 0 replies      
35. Just jacked in ~100kpa for a 55% pay cut to an undemanding role in order to spend more (all) time at home.
31
particleswarm 1 day ago 0 replies      
40+, East Coast (North Carolina), have been a developer for 15+ years. $145,000 salary.
32
byoung2 1 day ago 0 replies      
My last salary as an employee was $175k at age 35 as director of engineering. 8 years of experience.
33
money_throwaway 1 day ago 0 replies      
Vancouver, 37 years old. $150k base, $30k bonus, $150k RSU/annum all CAD.
34
safajirafa 1 day ago 0 replies      
I live in Montreal, 35, make CAD 98k/y 10+ years of experience. Married with kids
35
ohgh1ieD 17 hours ago 0 replies      
Male, 32 years old, 45k before taxes euro, central Europe, C#.

My salary is actually above the average.

36
TiredGuy 1 day ago 0 replies      
32, married and kids. St. Louis Missouri.Recently jumped from about 87K to 100K plus 10% yearly bonus.Benefits and good work env.
37
nullundefined 1 day ago 1 reply      
Male, 30. 4.5 years "professional" development experience.

$170k base salary plus $20,000 signing bonus. 0.5% equity. Series A small company.

38
canadathrowm 1 day ago 0 replies      
30, Vancouver, 105k base canadian dollars + options (likely not worth much).

Feel very underpaid after reading this. 8 years experience, CS degree.

39
dev_salary 1 day ago 0 replies      
Male 34, 12 years full-time, working in Denver area as a Java dev.

$145k, $90k/year in RSU, 15-20% bonus from base salary.

40
ta120k 1 day ago 0 replies      
Sydney 120k converting aud to usd and including superannuation.

14 years exp.

41
shinryuu 18 hours ago 0 replies      
29k in London, 2 years experience. Python backend developer.
42
salary_12345 1 day ago 0 replies      
Male, 33, 10 years of experience, Near London, 50k + 11% bonus and other benefits.
43
android521 1 day ago 0 replies      
110k (total comp ) , 31 , south east Asia. CIO
44
devmgr12345 20 hours ago 0 replies      
36, Seattle, Dev Mgr, $150k
45
eecks 1 day ago 2 replies      
Can I also ask how much tax people are paying?
46
salary_tossme 1 day ago 0 replies      
male, 28, 5 yrs experience, $132k w2 + $10k/yr side contracting work. Florida
47
ali23854 18 hours ago 0 replies      
I'm 37. Wife and child. In London.2003 - 15k

2005 - 27k

2010 - 43k

2011 - 47k

2012 - 53k

2013 - 66k (Got a promotion)

2016 - 73k

7
I Am Sam Altman, President of YC Group. AMA
340 points by sama  5 days ago   432 comments top 136
1
kriro 4 days ago 3 replies      
Could you outline the exact reasoning why YC still believes SV is the place to be for a startup. I've never heard any explanation that went deeper than "well investors are there and network duh"

It seems very broken that IT specifically should be bound to a physical place. Are there any plans to innovate in this regard or any research YC is doing?

2
mieko 5 days ago 3 replies      
I've been running an east-coast-but-middle-of-nowhere startup, primarily implemented by myself, and self-funded, with the occasional with help of random one-off contractors in the hospitality/IoT space for two years now. Basically during off-hours from a (pretty successful) day job in a non-tech company I started years ago.

My choke point has always been finding another technical-minded parter that gets the industry. Every time I've seen the YC application season roll around, I've thought it'd be a perfect fit for applying to YC, with the connections and clout that come with it. What's stopped me, even at my half-assed pace, was the chance of the huge ego/momentum hit of getting rejected, considering it's still a labor of love (although profitable).

I have a handful of customers that are already paying monthly for "The Vision Lite" at discounted prices: just enough for me to continue development. But larger competitors are sure to move more aggressively into the area over the next year or so, before my current trajectory can deliver on the "this is Star Trek-level shit" experience I've got planned. I'm sure I can grow my customer base at a moderate rate, but I'm not sure I can keep up once the field gets serious against better-funded competitors.

Where do you think the tipping point is between the Basecamp-style "Just get profitable, stay profitable, and move forward" model vs. "Take VC money and turn a two-year schedule into a six months, and get entrenched while you can?" (Fred Brooks notwithstanding)

3
davemel37 4 days ago 1 reply      
It seems half these questions are from Single Founders. Considering YC's interest in experimenting with who and what they fund...

Has YC ever considered a class of only single founders and trying to solve the problems YC anticipates with single founder startups (i.e. emotional support, etc...)

It seems to me that the demand is there, and the potential for single founders to succeed is certainly possible... why not experiment putting together a track that "fills in the blanks" for singe founders much the way YC does with legal and accounting for startups to get started.

Edit: I recognize the signaling issue of not being able to convince a cofounder to join, etc... but sometimes signals are just noise.

4
leroy_masochist 5 days ago 2 replies      
Do you plan to allow future YC teams to attend the program remotely, or with a greatly reduced expectation of spending time in Mountain View?

I get that SV is a great place to start a startup, all things being equal. But there are a lot of great opportunities that are 8-12 time zones away. And leaving your customers alone for 3 months -- especially if you are trying to grow rapidly during those 3 months -- sounds very risky. Additionally, the money spent living in SV for three months could otherwise be spent on working capital; this is extra true in developing markets where costs are lower.

In the absence of a formal policy change re: moving to SV for 3 months, would you be willing to extend a bit more leeway for founders who really want to get their companies into YC but don't want to spend too much time away from the customers they're trying to please?

5
kinkora 5 days ago 2 replies      
You (and by extension YC) always seem to mostly focus on the success stories of the alumni/group. Have you or will you consider talking about the failures? If you can't do it, is there a reason why?
6
watermoose 5 days ago 2 replies      
Sam, thanks for taking the time to talk with us. I hope it's ok, but I've got a few questions about something not directly related to YC applications.

As a middle-aged developer, I've seen a lot in my lifetime, but I believe that right now, even though in some ways I'm much more hopeful for the future than I've ever been, I feel like there are many huge time-bombs out there in the world that make focusing on a startup just to have a chance to become financially successful a petty and, for some, a possibly futile ordeal.

For example: political divisiveness/change/chaos, scary world leaders and potential world leaders discussing/threatening/testing nuclear weapons, wars for and against religions involving terror, causing mass death, spawning racism and restricted freedoms, other random shootings/acts of violence, discord and violence between people that are racially targeted and those who want to serve the public to protect people regardless of their race, terrible diseases/epidemics some without cures or growing resistance to cures that we've long depended on, weather related natural disasters, economic troubles, etc. The list goes on and on.

Given the climate of the world today and all of our problems, what things do you want to see- not just in the startups that you and/or YC as a whole want to help, but across the board? And what do you say to those that think that just don't feel safe enough to invest the time, money, and effort on a startup which has a greater chance of failure than success when they could just be working a stable job to try to save enough to survive what is ahead?

7
allenleein 5 days ago 5 replies      
Hi Sam, in interview with Elon Musk, you asked him 'Do you think people that want to be useful today should get PhDs?' Elon: Mostly not.

Here are my questions:

1. Do you think people need to get a PhD degree to become useful research scientist in AI industry?

2. Do you think people need to get a PhD degree to become Member of Technical Staff (Machine Learning) in Open AI?

Thank you.

8
40acres 4 days ago 0 replies      
Have founders successfully applied to YC with just an idea? A "hey I think this would be cool, here's some data with respect to the market but I don't have a product"?

If not, what would you need to see from an application with no product to be accepted into YC?

If so, what was about that application that made you believe in them so much?

9
bfrog 5 days ago 1 reply      
My hardest decision in the past has often been when to decide a startup has failed and its time to move on. Having seen many startups both succeed and fail you're in a unique position to perhaps give some strong opinions on this. Do you have any sort of timelines/guidelines you like to look at as a gauge of success and when it's time to double down or dump it off the side and try again?
10
anexprogrammer 5 days ago 2 replies      
Two related questions.

It's known YC prefers teams. Do you have a preferred shape or size for the team (2 tech, 1 marketing, or 1 tech, 1 web, 1 marketing and business etc); is any combination shown to be more likely to succeed within YC?

How do you view teams too heavy on tech? It's common for a group of tech people to have the idea, but as a team have some gaps on say the marketing side, and probably other areas.

A startup I was involved in, years ago, lacked much depth in sales and marketing. Filling that gap was a nightmare. Candidates would happily talk out of their hat, claim allsorts they didn't have, and those we trialled failed hard then invent no end of "reasons" why it's working perfectly. Suddenly recruiting programmers was easy!

Even people we've known in this area suffered from at least some of these habits, sometimes meaning it's a case of "nice guy, don't trust him as co founder". Made it hard to resolve, so the least worst techie got stuck with site copy etc.

No surprise, I've learnt much more about online marketing since those days. :)

11
tmatthewj 5 days ago 3 replies      
Most recent startups from India backed by YC seem to be solving problems within the country. Examples - Razorpay - Stripe for India, Kisan Network - Online Agriculture marketplace in India, Innov8 - Co-working spaces for Indian startups. Is that relevant when YC looks at an application that comes from an Indian startup / co-founders? We could generalise the question by replacing India with developing economies with good infrastructural problems to solve.

How would an Indian startup trying to build a global product primarily for the U.S / Europe market fit into the scheme of things?

12
cannabis_sam 5 days ago 1 reply      
What is your view on income inequality?

Do you think the start-up structure of running a business could increase or decrease income inequality (and what do you consider beneficial?)

13
EGreg 5 days ago 0 replies      
We applied many times in the last 5 years, since launching our company (Qbix). Every time we go through the application process, it seems we've grown. Our main app is now about to break 4 million downloads and we've tripled our revenue this year and talking to VCs.

Does it make sense to keep applying to YC, given our size now? From what I understand, we got rejected every time because our equity split is around 80-20, which makes us more like a single-founder company. We would have liked to be part of YC but if YC strongly prefers not to consider single-founder companies then we would save time and not apply.

14
hashnsalt 5 days ago 1 reply      
What visa do international founders apply for when they are selected to join YC?And those who decide to stay in the US and establish their startup here after the 3-month time period, what immigration options do they have?
15
pfarnsworth 4 days ago 1 reply      
What is the oldest age for a founder that you have accepted for YC?
16
ikeboy 5 days ago 1 reply      
I'm a solo founder, technical but my prototype website was built by someone else. The main part of my idea isn't technical (in the sense that Amazon wasn't technical when it first started).

What should I know about applying based on that?

Also, for the competitors question, should I put a list of 15-20 names I made, or choose the top 3 or so?

Finally: I may be able to launch within the next few days. Should I try to launch and wait to apply until I have launch data, or should I apply now? (The nature of the startup is consumer facing and I think I can gain some traction within the first week.)

17
stevens32 5 days ago 1 reply      
You've mentioned that you look for solo founders to show above all that they're effective - what would be a good metric for that? Is being able to push out an MVP and getting the first handful of users seen as being effective? Is the bar a lot higher?
18
hindsightbias 5 days ago 3 replies      
Does the YC Group provide any psychological counseling/guidance/referals for attendees? Does it feel any responsibility to?
19
r0naa 5 days ago 1 reply      
Why are you primarily looking for >billion dollars startups?

I would wager that if you take a look at an accurate distribution of markets according to potential you would find a magnitude more small/average markets (that are untapped) than billion dollars ones. And similarly, I suspect that the success rate for those "boring" ventures is much higher than the exciting shiny rising stars.

Question: Why not optimize for companies that are certainly not going to become Airbnbs but will capture the full value of an averagely sized market (say between 50 and 300 millions)? And if my guess is correct and they end-up eating a lot less resources than the soon-to-be-unicorns, you could even optimise for volume.

Is the pay-off (wrt. to the energy spent and success rate) for unicorns really worth it?

20
xzion 5 days ago 3 replies      
Any tips/examples on trying to sell a product that provides ethical/moral benefits but very little/nothing financially?

Some friends and I were throwing around ideas on how to eliminate scalping, a practice we get bitten by. We came up with some solutions that might work, but they don't provide any financial gain for event organisers so I couldn't see them going for it.

21
danielonco 4 days ago 1 reply      
How important is for YC founders to be ethical in a world that cares mostly about financial success, profit margins, exponential growth, etc? Think Theranos, Zenefits et al.
22
ne01 5 days ago 0 replies      
What do you think about bootstrapped startups like Basecamp, Wildbit and Campaign Monitor?
23
nabiha_zahra 5 days ago 1 reply      
Let's say someone is a fresh college dropout and wants to focus on learning programming and start a startup, and apply to YC Summer 2017 in March. What advice do you have on how to go about that?
24
rexreed 5 days ago 1 reply      
Given YC's increasing more social and larger-world problem solving focus, is being Silicon Valley-centric still a core goal of YC? Are you planning on coming back to the East Coast?
25
konas 5 days ago 1 reply      
What order do you look at an application -- is the video last?
26
davidw 5 days ago 1 reply      
How much investment money is simply "transferred" to local landlords in the bay area?

Any ideas how your 'YC cities' thing is going to look?

27
zeeshanm 5 days ago 1 reply      
Does the likelihood of getting into YC increases after you have been rejected five times consecutively?

serious question

28
aestetix 5 days ago 0 replies      
I see a lot of companies being advised to focus exclusively on user growth, but many have no business model and must eventually make serious compromises, often at their users' expense, to succeed. How often would you say companies are able to tack on a profitable business model after the fact without making such compromises?

Twitter seems to be the example du jou, but there are many.

29
nabiha_zahra 5 days ago 1 reply      
What do you look for/like to see in a solo founder application? What makes you believe that someone could be successful as a solo founder?
30
cjhanks 5 days ago 1 reply      
How important is technical defensibility? On one extreme I could have a technically sophisticated product with a poor user experience. On the other, an off the shelf software catalog with great user experience. Ideally you have both... Realistically it is difficult given time constraints. Where does one settle for success?
31
ttam 5 days ago 1 reply      
What is your opinion today on cryptocurrencies and how big was the decline in Bitcoin/Ethereum startup applications?

Do you feel the YC partners are mainly bullish or bearish irt cryptocurrencies?

32
fernandillo 4 days ago 0 replies      
Redomestication. We're based in spain with some public help in form of soft-debt (very common in spanish startups). That makes slower the process of redomestication, typically around 4 months. If chosen for YC, Is it possible to create a parent company in US to give the x% for the YC investment? Tnx!
33
spynxic 5 days ago 1 reply      
Do individuals have the opportunity to participate in funding start-ups via YC? If so, what type of minimum requirements exist for getting started?

If not then how quickly can the [unrelated] problem below be solved, algorithmically

Unrelated Problem: Given a set of numbers of length n, find a single rule that can map each item x to the corresponding item x+1

34
marlonmisra 5 days ago 0 replies      
Do you plan to release more details about common visa/immigration issues and how Y Combinator helps with them?
35
foobarqux 5 days ago 1 reply      
Without mentioning what was actually discussed, do you think the Bilderberg conference results in significant actions/effects in the real world?
36
ne01 5 days ago 1 reply      
I don't want to sound too arrogant but why should I apply if I think I can succeed on my own?
37
annerajb 5 days ago 1 reply      
Sam,

are the odds stacked against us if we have 5 founders? (EE, ME, EE, SW, Sales/Business)

Also does a startup that can help reduce carbon emissions/move from something that generates lots of emission classify under the energy section of request for startup?

38
wcchandler 5 days ago 2 replies      
I want to be a farmer.

Is there a place for me in YCombinator?

(p.s. I have several other follow up questions I'd love to ask if you entertain me with a response)

39
polmersgh 5 days ago 1 reply      
Will you fund a startup that has no idea about monetizing, like AI research companies?
40
BillionaireBear 5 days ago 1 reply      
Hey. We received an email saying to reapply because we were in the top 10% for the last cycle. In this case, what order do you look at the application? How useful are alumni recommendations?
41
LifeOfRio 5 days ago 1 reply      
What will be included in the Startup Class MOOC? How will the MOOC differ from the previous Start-Up Class?
42
GFischer 5 days ago 1 reply      
Are you planning on another project to fill the void left by the YC Fellowship? Especially on the "a little funding" part, and the "remote" part.

I understand you have limited resources and that YC's core is focused on fast growing companies, but some early-stage ideas/prototypes need a little help before becoming something YC would accept (and, it looks to me, the bar is higher every year).

The MOOC fills one part of the gap, but, will it enable promising students to get some sort of funding?

43
mazeway 5 days ago 1 reply      
How do you evaluate more technical startups like the one you mentioned: Rigetti Quantum Computing. I assume one needs some theoretical quantum physics knowledge to evaluate it.
44
dietbacon 5 days ago 1 reply      
Hi Sam,

My cofounder and I don't live in the same country so we're each recording half the video separately and then editing the pieces together. Does this affect us negatively in any way?

45
tonyabram 5 days ago 1 reply      
And thank you for the Playbook. This, along with cs183, is among main materials of my life so far.
46
CN7R 5 days ago 1 reply      
How does a college freshman get into startup culture without technical skills learned in upper division classes?

Is working at a start up a viable path for college graduates or is it recommended starting at a more established company?

Do you see Silicon Valley maintaining its dominance as a tech capital in future decades or will there be better entrepreneur ecosystems?

Which industries are ripe for entrepreneurship? Like the automobile industry at the moment has innovations of self-driving and electric energy source.

Thanks!

47
draghu_1 4 days ago 0 replies      
1. Where do you think the jobs in the software field will be after 10 years?Currently, we can say that the jobs are in the web developer and mobile app developers categories.Like that what would be the major category in software?And what would be the future of web and mobile app developers if they know nothing about machine learning now.

2. In the competition of web vs mobile? What would be their state after 10 years?Will there be more native mobile apps or websites?

Thanks!

48
tima101 5 days ago 1 reply      
Sam, thank you for working on a new online course. I think it will have a huge impact.

For how many companies per batch, YC is a second accelerator?How many companies have raised Seed round?

49
Jd 5 days ago 1 reply      
Do you really think that financially incentivizing voting will create good downstream effects? Almost all ideas of civic duty are historically drawn from non-financial incentives and the idea of attaching some financial incentive to them potentially seems to further exacerbate a "pay to play" atmosphere that is one of the reasons people (like myself) don't find it particularly stimulating to participate in the present political climate.
50
KeatonDunsford 5 days ago 1 reply      
Hey Sam. I'm considering applying with my nonprofit edtech startup (a new crowdsourced education system that's peer-to-peer and mobile -- built around software, like Watsi). I'm a solo-founder still currently building the MVP.

Quick question 1: Is there a "Delaware C Corp" equivalent for the incorporation process/legal structures of nonprofits by state, or does it not matter?

Real question: Is there something to be said about founders waiting until they have users and initial growth to then use the YC opportunity to transition towards growing their company? In other words, if a startup is only getting one shot to go through YC, generally is finding initial product-market fit harder, or is growing the company?

Granted, the latter can't happen without the former happening first. But it would seem that for some founders that have genuine insights into real big problems, it would suck to waste the opportuniy of YC just "checking the boxes" of building their MVP, which they could know how to do already from PG's essays/YC's blog/Startup Class -- whereas they could be getting genuine advice on problems unique to their specific domain problem if they just waited and applied later.

51
thekevinsu 5 days ago 1 reply      
what is YC's stance on cannabis related startups that take the plant?
52
jondubois 5 days ago 1 reply      
Does YC ever plan to open a new office/branch in another country (not the US)?
53
pan_w 5 days ago 1 reply      
I'm working on a startup that provides live remote video assistant as a service and we piggy backs off of existing technology platforms (FaceTime, Hangouts, Skype) rather than building the tech ourselves for the meantime.

Do you prefer that companies have their own technology or is it okay that a company utilizes existing platforms in the beginning?

My team consist of CS and ME/EE.

It's PokeBin.com if you wanted more information.

54
Det_Jacobian 4 days ago 2 replies      
I'm 27 and I've cofounded only one company in a lifestyle industry (video games). Despite being nearish the top of my particular field, I don't have a PhD in a relevant field like AI. Games are hard in that they are very competitive, but we're not exactly curing cancer.

How behind am I, assuming my primary goal is maximizing positive impact on the world?

55
Yinka_Adepoju 5 days ago 1 reply      
What do you think about younger people under 18 applying to YCombinator?
56
nodesocket 5 days ago 0 replies      
Sam... Do you think bootstrapped companies, where founders want to build a "lifestyle" business and not raise capital can compete and be successful in SF and the valley?

Put in another way, would there ever be a case where you'd recommend a bootstrapped company not take investment (assuming the terms were good) in the bay area?

57
ckehoe 5 days ago 1 reply      
If one of our 3 co-founders (CTO), is in a different state right now, should we still include him in our application video?
58
carapace 5 days ago 1 reply      
Have you read Christopher Alexander? (Pattern Language, et. al.)
59
310BrownGuy 5 days ago 1 reply      
Hi Sam. Can you explain the process for considering a Non-Profit a little bit more? A friend and I naturally think that we have a significant value proposition in the non-profit sector with everything other than the technical part flushed out thus far.

EDIT: Particularly if there is potential synergy with a business component as well?

60
rojobuffalo 5 days ago 1 reply      
How many applications are you guys expecting this year and what percentage do you expect to invite to interview?
61
soneca 5 days ago 3 replies      
Is this thread being punished by a flaming war trigger? It is not on front page, not even the first Ask HN page.
62
mrhektor 4 days ago 1 reply      
What is an ideal stage for a company to apply to YC?We've gotten together an excellent team and partners, and are just starting to build out the value prop. However, we don't have any customers / traction yet. Should we wait to apply, or apply right now?
63
kfish15 5 days ago 1 reply      
If you were in early 20's, what 5 things would you deem most important to work on to help the world?
64
brianbreslin 4 days ago 0 replies      
How do teams deal with families? I'm curious how many founders can uproot their entire families for 3 months to relocate, or do they just try to make long distance work for the 3 months while the spouses/kids stay back home?
65
marauder016 4 days ago 1 reply      
Hi Sam seems like 'Science' was removed as a category in RFS. Can you comment on this?
66
ta11 5 days ago 4 replies      
I have applied many times . I now have a patent for a technology that I believe is a disruptor of enormous proportion. I have asked repeatedly to get a few minutes with someone to discuss this technology, because your application process doesn't seem to work for this.
67
Lordarminius 5 days ago 0 replies      
A delegation from YC was recently in Lagos, Nigeria. What data and/or considerations did you take into account that kindled your interest in Africa (instead of say, Brazil ?)

Do you have any particular industries in mind to invest in? where do you see the most potential?

68
jondubois 5 days ago 1 reply      
How can an engineer become employee #1 or #2 of a fast-growing YC startup? How important is networking (knowing the right people) vs simply having the right credentials/experience?

What sort of advice does YC offer founders when it comes to hiring early employees?

69
nabiha_zahra 5 days ago 1 reply      
The application for YC has recently changed. You no longer ask the question about what is a person's greatest achievement, which was previously said to be the most telling question on the app. Where are you now getting that info on the new app?
70
h4nkoslo 5 days ago 0 replies      
Do you stand by your statements calling for government supervision and control of machine learning research? Is it likely that machine learning will become a highly regulated industry roughly on par with nuclear power plant development?
71
rojobuffalo 5 days ago 1 reply      
I noticed you guys added Food and Farming to the RFS. How did that decision come about?
72
soneca 5 days ago 1 reply      
How well suited is YC for a company that only expect to have YC itself as investor?

i.e. might have no interest in presenting at demo day or pursue any further fundraising, but instead look for profitability and self-investment as the path to growth.

73
lizziepika 5 days ago 1 reply      
What do you think of the women in tech movement, and other diversity initiatives?
74
bazsouthafrica 4 days ago 1 reply      
Hi Sam, I would like to apply for Winter 2017. If we are not accepted for this batch, would it hurt our future chances (i.e. could we apply again for the next batch without being negatively affected).
75
toocute2care 5 days ago 1 reply      
Thanks for doing this AMA, a quick question...

1. What's the possibility of YC companies doing biz dev with LargeCorp during the 3 month bootcamp? Is this something that YC can help with due to it's large network etc.

76
diziet 5 days ago 1 reply      
If you went back in time and did Loopt again, what would you differently?
77
afchavez40 5 days ago 1 reply      
Do you prefer international companies that don't have U.S as a market?
78
ENadyr 4 days ago 0 replies      
Hi, I know you started accepting hardware startups recently, I also realize you value teams that can iterate quickly. Having spent 18 months working to show that what the complex hardware product is feasible, my worry is that we would be seen as "slow" because in the software world , where I came from, 18 months is a lifetime. So my question is, do you treat hardware and software startups the same in terms of iteration speed?Cheers!
79
arodceo 5 days ago 1 reply      
What do you look for in a single founder (non-tech) when they apply with their company being very early stage. What helps you determine they'll be a good company even if they are early?
80
jmcmahon443 5 days ago 0 replies      
Can you make the application autosave?
81
imkeean 5 days ago 1 reply      
What startup stage would you recommend a company be in when applying?
82
davidlee1435 5 days ago 1 reply      
You've been very outspoken about AI, but tangentially related to AI are intelligent chatbots and more general conversational interfaces. What are your thoughts on chatbots?
83
tomrod 5 days ago 1 reply      
Sam, I greatly respect the positive impact YC and you are having on society.

This question is unrelated to YC. How often do you go with your gut in decision making, and how well does it turn out?

84
stansedberry 4 days ago 1 reply      
Sam, thank you so much for taking the time to add so much value to all of the applicants of YC. I have learned so much.

For emerging industries like our's in the virtual reality space, there is so much money driving the industry into gaming and the desires of the bigger players like Facebook and Oculus. Is it more valuable to align with these bigger players and play along with their game, or disrupt the industry but risk being outcasted?

Thanks!Stan SedberryVidi VR

85
rnc 4 days ago 0 replies      
Sam, you started Loopt when you were 19 and figured things out very quickly along the way. Could you give us some insights on how to increase the speed at which we learn stuff? Many people here(myself included) rely on books to learn about something or solve theirproblems, and that doesn't seem to be the case with you and other top founders(Collison brothers, Drew Houston, etc.)
86
charlesyost 5 days ago 2 replies      
My partner and I think search engines will look and feel completely different in the future, thus we're working on this next generation.

Do you agree with this? How do see these evolving?

87
rbloughlin 4 days ago 1 reply      
If we edit our application after we submit it, then are you notified? Or is there a chance you read our application before we edit it and you miss our edits?
88
ifemide06 4 days ago 0 replies      
Sam, what would you say to a bootstrapped fast-food delivery startup, cash positive, little overhead and 10,000's of customers applying to YC?
89
mangeletti 5 days ago 0 replies      
What are your thoughts on Zcash[1] (either the product OR the company behind it)?

1. https://z.cash/

90
VaedaStrike 4 days ago 0 replies      
Is someone's creds on 'getting things done' largely based on visible projects? Or are other things considered?

For example becoming a self taught programmer? Quadrupling one's income? Doing all that while starting a new family? I feel like I'm becoming significantly more formidable. But the side project that pulled me into becoming a programmer, itself, is still lacking clearly visible progress.

91
konas 5 days ago 1 reply      
We happen to match up with your RFS for city-related to startups. Do we need to tie this into your RFS beyond checking the box on the application?
92
andy_ppp 5 days ago 1 reply      
Can you be clearer about minimum requirements? I have an incomplete prototype but I get the impression you want more? It'll probably have a few security issues right now that I need to iron out too.

When to put this on the Internet to show you guys and how much should I have.

Working on this in my spare time is very difficult to get to a point I'm happy with. Maybe I should quit my job?

Be good to be super clear on this...

93
hellojebus 5 days ago 0 replies      
I want to transform the way we use checkins and turn them into awesome real world experiences.

I have the idea, a v1 design, portion of the API, and incomplete web app prototype... all built by me. I lack the business plan in paper however have pretty cool ideas on how I can eventually generate income.

Is this enough to be considered? Have companies come to you with less while still being accepted?

94
nswanberg 5 days ago 0 replies      
You've said it's important for founders to be able to communicate and persuade, both in public and one on one. I think in that same talk you claimed to not be a very good public speaker but that you were much better in person. There are lots of examples for learning better public communication. How do you learn to be better one on one?
95
peter_retief 4 days ago 0 replies      
Inventors and innovators in Africa have a really hard time getting access to international markets and funding. Can you help?
96
mbaha 5 days ago 1 reply      
Do you think we'll be seeing more and more XaaS-like businesses growing ? Or do you think we'll move away from selling APIs ?
97
a13n 5 days ago 1 reply      
Would you consider negotiating the equity percentage for startups that stand out in terms of team/traction? If not, why not?
98
shams93 5 days ago 0 replies      
Have you seen any patterns in terms of idea generation, do successful startups come up with the idea for the business in the same way, or is it basically extremely diverse, I'm wondering if people are tending to use any analytic methods to find low hanging fruit to get started or whether its largely "scratching an itch."
99
imkeean 5 days ago 1 reply      
Do you favour companies on your request for startup list? Such as a pharm/biotech company > a software startup?
100
tonyabram 5 days ago 0 replies      
Sam, I have several pet projects, but I know YC loves teams severely committed to a single project. Is there a reasonable chance not just to get the interview, but to join the batch if I send multiple applications but most of them won't have this "three months of growth of KPI" kind of traction?
101
santoshimz 5 days ago 2 replies      
With so many companies like General Assembly offering part time bootcamps without one leaving the job can't YC follow the same approach where one can work on a startup without having to leave the job. This will bring in more ideas and products by people who don't want to quit their day-to-day job.
102
pr5k 4 days ago 2 replies      
Has there been any graphic designer co-founders accepted into YC? If so, has there been anything noticeably different about that dynamic compared to usual co-founder teams of hackers? If not, are applicants that include graphic designer co-founders at all desirable at YC?
103
dave1619 4 days ago 1 reply      
How involved are you and Elon in OpenAI? What are your roles specifically, both for you and Elon?
104
freese 5 days ago 0 replies      
What are some examples of adding value to a company that's already raised a good seed round ($2-4M)?
105
partycoder 5 days ago 0 replies      
What do you think of South America?
106
palakz 5 days ago 1 reply      
What are the chances of a Subsidiary in getting accepted to YC? Have you had any case like this previously?

P.S.: I'm talking about a case where only the subsidiary has applied for YC and that subsidiary is making a different product than what the parent company is making.

107
davemel37 4 days ago 0 replies      
Two Questions:

1. Would YC consider a media/publishing company that is not really a tech startup short of leveraging tech to reach a broader audience. (it's more like investigative journalism to arm buyers with info. needed to negotiate better deals.)

2. The info. in these reports can capture value by being sold right away, but giving the info. away for free is more in line with the mission of eliminating information asymmetry (by selling we are just replacing one inbalance, with another)...so is it better to capture initial value...or try to build trust to the point of people going straight to you to research purchases...and monetize later on or with add-ons (i.e. outsourced negotiation.) or eventually becoming the defacto source for consumer research (which is bound to be monetizable one way or another)?

108
oli5679 4 days ago 0 replies      
You have said that the best founders believe their success is inevitable, yet YC (understandably) has a really high failure rate.

Do you think it helps, as a founder and in life, to be optimistic rather than realistic?

109
no_protocol 5 days ago 0 replies      
Do you prefer startups from a certain level on Maslow's hierarchy of needs?
110
twelvedigits 5 days ago 1 reply      
Are applications confidential?
111
marknadal 5 days ago 1 reply      
Can you be too far along? We already raised from billionaires Tim Draper and Marc Benioff of Salesforce. Is this still okay to apply? And how much does being a solo founder reduce chances of getting in?
112
econnors 5 days ago 2 replies      
What are the best ways for hardware startups to show traction pre-launch? We feel like we have a compelling prototype, but are worried that a lack of pre-sales/press/etc. will be a red flag.
113
du_bing 5 days ago 1 reply      
Hi, Sam, how do you think about the opportunity of technology in China, do you think China a good place for investing and developing? What the difference between the China market and USA market?
114
avi0103 5 days ago 2 replies      
What is the minimum stage the product should be in to be selected in yc ?
115
afar 5 days ago 1 reply      
What do you think is the biggest blind spot or most limiting aspect of YC Group and how do you plan to fix it? Asked another way, what are YC's weaknesses, in your opinion?
116
nabiha_zahra 5 days ago 1 reply      
How do you identify small but fast-growing markets?

Is it a good/bad idea to found a startup in a market that is no longer saturated but also has big players (such as social media?

117
mdeligoz 5 days ago 1 reply      
When interviewing, what key points are you looking for?
118
tinbad 5 days ago 0 replies      
What companies have you seen/interacted with lately that have a good chance of taking IoT to mass adoption that are worth watching for?
119
LifeOfRio 5 days ago 0 replies      
Are there any books on Start-Up Market-Research a.k.a Talking to users? If not, what are the top mistakes startups make when talking to users?
120
internaut 3 days ago 0 replies      
sama, a big picture question, what is your take on the Stagnation Hypothesis?

I know you know a bunch of people who are concerned about technological stagnation and I was curious about your personal take on it.

Thanks

121
Xcelerate 5 days ago 0 replies      
What are your thoughts on quantum computing?
122
wwwdonohue 5 days ago 0 replies      
How important do you think blog posts/videos/other forms of content are for startups coming out of YC?
123
ttam 5 days ago 0 replies      
a question about anything else:

what's you opinion on product managers and when/do you think a startup should hire one?

124
imkeean 5 days ago 1 reply      
What universities stand out to you in particular, if any, when gauging talent from institutions across the world?
125
neom 5 days ago 0 replies      
Bunch of folks in the city world keep asking me how your city stuff is going. How's the city stuff going?
126
michaelbarton 5 days ago 0 replies      
Are there ways to apply to HARC, or demo at HARC for people who have ideas that might fit within its remit?
127
tmaly 4 days ago 1 reply      
I watched your startup course that was done at Stanford.

Have you ever considered writing a startup book?

128
dietbacon 5 days ago 0 replies      
How do you assess the "quality" of founders that have no startup track record?
129
Jd 5 days ago 1 reply      
Have you ever invested in a band or music production company or considered doing that?
130
bourneliu 4 days ago 0 replies      
On average, how much time will you spend on handling 1 application ?
131
wishdock 4 days ago 0 replies      
Why didn't I see this earlier :(
132
bourneliu 4 days ago 0 replies      
Will you come to China? When?
133
kgc 4 days ago 1 reply      
Do you secretly have a Japanese nickname that goes something like Sama-sama?
134
scinering 4 days ago 0 replies      
When you want to start a startup and you don't have any kind of job experience in tech industry, do you think that is necessary to be intern in some tech company, or just to focus first on coding skills, and to build stuff?
135
ternbot 5 days ago 0 replies      
How do you make a product that is profitable while serving an underserved poor market? i.e. if a market is massive but has no money to spend - is the business model different?
136
ali30 5 days ago 0 replies      
Sam whst mean the word hustling to you??
8
Ask HN: When are you considered a senior programmer?
214 points by lollipop25  3 days ago   150 comments top 58
1
misframer 3 days ago 4 replies      
I really liked this comment by @stray [0] from a similar Ask HN from a few months ago. That thread was titled "Ask HN: What makes a Senior Dev".

 Mistakes, rewrites, late nights, firefights, and deadlines. Core dumps, memory leaks, hardware faults, and plain bad luck. Big O, data flow, always learning -- or out you go. Manager metrics, schedules hectic, methodology hegelian dialectic. Taking the heat, feature creep, open office, uncomfortable seat. Holy wars, revolving doors, carpal tunnel, all you can take? There's always more. Fucking suits, random reboots, and the ever present "thousand language stare". Oh yeah, pressure -- lots of pressure. And time, time, time. Metric shitloads of time. Time, man. You gotta do your fucking time.
[0] https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=11341567

2
jkingsbery 3 days ago 2 replies      
As others have said, if you're asking about the title specifically, it depends on the company. I was one of those "Senior" developers when I was in my mid twenties at a start-up, whereas for my current company it's actually pretty hard to get the title "Senior Software Development Engineer."

My experience is generally the people I recognize as having deserved the title don't _simply_ just code. Not only do they write code that works and delivers the feature in a timely manner, they make it so the next 3 features to come out in that area can be done quickly by junior developers. Not only do they code, but they make everyone around them better coders. Not only do they code, but they also think strategically about what the team needs to keep going two years from now. Not only do they deliver the project, they get everyone excited about delivering the project.

I once read someone say "there's a difference between having ten years of experience, and having the same year of experience ten times." Time is a factor, but it's also whether you've exposed yourself broadly and deeply to new technologies, approaches and experiences so that when you are in a new situation (technical or otherwise), you have patterns for how to deal (or the self awareness to know that you don't know how to deal). So, part of it is time, but part of it is spending that time wisely.

3
lmilcin 3 days ago 0 replies      
I think that people emphasize knowledge too much. I think knowledge is a by-product of making senior developer.

Senior developer is about wisdom as opposed to knowledge. Juniors may learn things quickly, but what distinguishes senior is that you can trust them to do the right thing which is not always technical problem.

I like to compare this to asking children a question that they don't know the answer to. Some children will feel they have to come up with some answer and some will say that they don't know.

Junior developers too frequently feel pressured to produce a result and they don't see how saying that they don't know something is making them closer to producing anything. Senior developers know from their experience that this is just as important to know when you don't know something as it is important to know things. They will not feel too bad about not knowing something because they know the alternative is even worse.

4
astdb 3 days ago 2 replies      
One aspect that would separate a 'senior' engineer from the rest would be initiative, leadership and mentoring ability. These are the engineers who go the extra mile to ensure that the team gets stuff done, and assistance and guidance is provided where required. A senior developer isn't just someone who knows a lot of stuff, but has a time-honed wisdom as well, which they can parlay into their leadership and mentoring duties.
5
TurboHaskal 3 days ago 4 replies      
When you are valuable and ask for a raise but they cannot give the amount expected because it's already Q4 so they give you the senior title instead.

It can happen even with two years of experience.

6
captn3m0 3 days ago 1 reply      
>The final stage of programmer evolution is the Finder. These folks are considered experts in their chosen domain (and are prudent about others). Writing Finder job descriptions is an exercise in futility. As my boss put it: I cant tell you the specifics of what youll be doing here because your first task will be to figure that out. A Finder will be able to anticipate problems before they happen, usually because theyve been in that situation before.

From https://rkoutnik.com/2016/04/21/implementers-solvers-and-fin..., which is a really great read.

7
peterkelly 3 days ago 2 replies      
It's a pretty arbitrary term, but based on what you've said, especially "I don't fancy the new and shiny. I just get things done fast and done properly", would be enough for me to label you a senior programmer.

Our industry is way too obsessed with fashion... sooner or later you realise that most of the "new" stuff is largely existing ideas re-hashed in a slightly different form. Senior programmers realise this and can pattern match to understand the role of various new technologies, and learn the details if and when necessary.

How do you get there? You already are, you just don't realise it yet.

8
edw519 3 days ago 3 replies      
Whatever it takes to best satisfy your customer. That's it.

No, I'm not being snarky, so hear me out...

I've met and worked with many developers over the years and lots of them have become very good with technology and user domains, but still have struggled to "crack the digital ceiling". These are brilliant people who have achieved serious things, but are still not recognized by the big decision makers as "senior", whatever that means.

Then there are a select few who always get the big gigs, big money, and big reputations. Why? Because they best satisfy their customers. There are lots of non-technical skills that help them, but I think the biggest is their ability to separate the signal from the noise and zero in of the most important things to work on and to get them done. It's almost like they have "satisfiability radar". And this rarely requires any special technical or people skills. All they really have to learn is a good grasp of the technology, a deep understanding of the customer's domain and business, and the ability to get things done through others. And how did they develop them? By good old fashioned grunt work, whether digging into the bowels of the system or getting up off their butts and relentlessly going around finding out whatever they needed to know.

Once you've figured out the best thing(s) to work on to best satisfy your customers, got them onto the decision makers' radar, and found a way to get them done one way or the other, you are no longer a dev or even a senior dev. You're now a digital rainmaker, the most senior dev of all.

9
jobvandervoort 3 days ago 2 replies      
At GitLab we have a formal definition for senior engineers [0] (where we accept merge requests, of course).

1. Technical Skills a. Great programmers: are able to write modular, well-tested, and maintainable code b. Know a domain really well and radiate that knowledge

2. Leadership a. Begins to show architectural perspective b. Leads the design for medium to large projects with feedback from other engineers

3. Code quality a. Leaves code in substantially beter shape than before b. Fixes bugs/regressions quickly c. Monitors overall code quality/build failures d. Creates test plans

4. Communication a. Provides thorough and timely code feedback for peers b. Able to communicate clearly on technical topics c. Keeps issues up-to-date with progress d. Helps guide other merge requests to completion e. Helps with recruiting

[0]: https://about.gitlab.com/jobs/developer/#senior-developers

10
scotty79 3 days ago 0 replies      
I became a "senior" when my financial expectation were higher than the maximum salary of non-senior developer at a company that tried to hire me.

They were forced to offer me position of senior developer and no other company after that dared to offer me lower position.

11
Steeeve 3 days ago 2 replies      
My personal definitions:

Junior: Can do it with guidance and/or clear and non-transitional specs

Developer: Takes the ball and runs with it. Can walk a customer through requirements gathering and make recommendations. Will help guide junior developers.

Senior Developer: Can architect a system well. Can communicate equally well between executives, salespeople, management, and end users. Can and will mentor lower level developers. Can explain concepts on the fly to lower level developers and walk them through the development process in terms they understand. Takes initiative at learning new technologies.

12
gibb0n 3 days ago 0 replies      
1) When you drop everything you are doing to mentor other developers

2) When you get asked by the business to do something you question what they are asking and the motivation, and then determine the best course of action based on their motivation rather than delivering the specific task they asked.

That's it really, it's nothing to do with your coding ability but more to do with your mentoring ability and problem solving skills. This is what is valuable to your colleagues and the business. Any answer related to coding ability is missing the point, it's important, but after a few years most people are the same programming level - it's just some people can help at the team or business level which is what makes you senior.

13
intellectronica 3 days ago 0 replies      
A "senior" is a someone who provides about 10X in value and earns about 2X in salary :)

More seriously, except for very big and very hierarchical orgs where tenure is overly important, people will tend to give you the senior title when your work is indispensable. To be indispensable you don't need to know by heart this technology or the other - you need to identify what are the things that bring the most value and work hard at delivering them.

14
jakecarpenter 3 days ago 2 replies      
To me, it is about what they are able to create independently, and the value of the end product.

Senior people have made the right mistakes, wasted weeks of time, and know what to avoid, what to embrace, and what to ignore. A senior dev can understand the requirements and figure out what is important and deliver something without a lot of external input.

15
robotnoises 3 days ago 2 replies      
Fun story, I just found out yesterday during my annual performance review than I am a Senior Software Engineer. No, not a promotion, but rather I have always been one. It was simply an HR mistake that my title did not reflect it and no one realized that I didn't know.

So to answer the original question: it is impossible to know.

16
amcrouch 3 days ago 0 replies      
To me the senior title should be applied depending on the way you approach your role and not how you code.

As others have mentioned as a senior you can be left to implement changes without guidance, you will clean up issues as you come across them instead of leaving it to others, you suggest improvements, you make time to mentor and guide more junior members of the team, you know how to relate to muggles and you act like a team captain.

Knowing lots of different hosting environments and languages comes with experience. The approach you take to your role show's your all rounded skill set.

17
mmirza984 3 days ago 1 reply      
Well usually companies have their own view on seniority, and it could include how many years you have been there, but for what its worth for me a senior developer is a person who has experience with all stages of application development, which should imply that she/he can: - design and understand client/server architecture, - write code using best practices that is clean and maintainable, - knows database design and programming - understands design patterns and knows how to not abuse them, - knows how to deploy application and has experience with CI. - knows how to write proper unit test.

To sum it up I will use .NET as an example, in my eyes when someone says I am a senior .NET developer I assume that she/he has: - used UMLs, - knows how to write proper OOP and understands SOLID, - can use MS SQL and some kind of ORM, - uses some of the testing frameworks (e.g. NUnit), - knows how to deploy application whether on IIS, or install it with ClickOnce for example. - know how to handle source versioning (TFS or whatever is your poison)

I probably missed a few things, but that's about it for me. If a senor doesn't have these skills I assume first that she/he has great knowledge of company business which would make her/him a valuable asset, or that she/he got lucky, or it's a crappy company :)

18
wmu 2 days ago 0 replies      
I like this joke: A junior programmer thinks he knows everything. An intermediate programmer thinks he knows nothing. A senior programmer hates computers.

> But I feel like I'm always a step behind the rest.

Don't look at things in this way, low self-esteem is the worst you can get. There are always people better than us, but their skills and knowledge weren't conjured up. Even extremely talented people need time to learn. And if you don't feel like learning new things may make you better, why to feel guilty? If you're not a Java programmer, why to feel bad because you don't know Spring or other details perfectly? You wrote you do things fast and correctly. So you're better than, say, 90% developers who work slow and produce crap. :)

19
philbo 3 days ago 0 replies      
This is kind of tangential, but a couple of jobs ago I decided to actively purge all job titles from my CV/resum. Officially, I'm currently a senior and have been in the past, but there have also been jobs in between where there was no "Senior" prefix in the title.

My main problem with thinking about developer roles in this way is that there's obviously no standard for what constitutes seniority. It varies between and sometimes within organisations. Advertising it, glorifying it, striving to achieve it, all take the focus away from far more interesting things that you can say about yourself and aim for.

Are you working on interesting projects? Are you learning new stuff? Are you being challenged technically? Are the other people on your team good developers? Do you enjoy what you do?

Seniority as an end in itself seems like a hollow objective to me. And making a big deal about it in a recruitment context takes the focus away from more meaningful topics.

20
jkot 3 days ago 1 reply      
In my experience:

- you are technically competent

- can handle design aspects of full stack (backend, persistence, frontend)

- have enough credibility and confidence to say NO to business people

- you can lead a small team of developers (2 to 5 people)

21
source99 3 days ago 0 replies      
Check out this recent thread: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=12557149
22
kasey_junk 3 days ago 0 replies      
None of those things sound like things I correlate with being a senior developer. Knowing any particular set of skills isn't what I look for anyway.

To me the things that make a senior developer are:1) you give them a project, even an ambiguous or large ones, and expect it will work out fine.2) they have been around enough different situations that they likely aren't going to be thrown for a loop by new challenges.3) they mentor their fellow less senior developers.

To get there you need 2 things:1) bare time, you just have to put in the time2) variety of projects - if all you have is a bunch of time on the same problem you are unlikely to have developed the breadth of knowledge you need.

23
aburry 3 days ago 0 replies      
I would say it is about sphere of influence. Are you inward looking and focused on developing your own competencies? Junior. Are you mentoring people on your team? Intermediate. Are you providing direction for the company or the industry at large? Senior.
24
SpendBig 3 days ago 0 replies      
Being a senior developer is not just having a great skillset. You need to be able to manage your work in a way the business values it. You need to interact with all sorts of people in the company you work for and help other teammembers rwaching the same level as you.

Our senior developer is always thinking about the business value when estimates are made vs quality. He even does not do alot of softwae development, but is always asked to help out other developers, system engineers and even management to give advice.

To be able to do that in a professional way, your vision plus skillset makes you a senior imo. Not just the years of experience and amount of skills you have.

25
z3t4 3 days ago 1 reply      
I would consider you a senior programmer? Mainly because you know that you do not know much. While a junior or intermediate programmer think they know everything.There are of course more to it, like when you are stuck on something; you ask the senior programmer, that will probably have solved it ten times in the past. Or if you want to know what the best method is to do this, you ask the senior programmer, that have done it hundreds of times and thus found out the optimal way, with all edge cases included. So I would say it's mostly about experience, and then expertise.Also, a senior programmer should have gone though at least two paradigm shifts.
26
supercoder 3 days ago 0 replies      
When someone gives you the title.
27
BurningFrog 3 days ago 0 replies      
It's mostly just a title on a business card and/or org chart.

Some times it's given to people instead of money.

Don't worry about the title. Worry about getting good at what you do, and an asset to your team and organization.

28
dvcrn 3 days ago 1 reply      
I'm also agreeing with leadership and mentoring. Be able to make unbiased technical decisions, troubleshoot systems / apps and get up to speed on new projets independently fairly fast. Have confidence in what you do and don't ask about everything.

A solid general code understanding is also needed in my opinion. This includes things like using documentation over googling everything. If I pair with a senior and he types "golang how to do x" on every problem, I probably wouldn't consider him senior. (Not saying googling is bad. Just don't be a copy-paste-from-stackoverflow engineer)

With that, I also hate the term "senior engineer". I got friends with 3 years of work experience that are now "senior" because a company hired them under a senior position (basically more salary) and the companies after that just did the same because "well he already is a senior, right"? This also generates a strong in-balance inside the team with a hierarchy that shouldn't be there. I am usually advocating for getting rid of job titles and calling everyone just "Software Engineer"

I am now 6-7 years into my career and don't consider myself senior. When people in interviews ask me what my career goal is, I usually mention I want to be able to consider myself senior as the next step.

29
fowlerpower 3 days ago 0 replies      
I think a senior engineer has to know a few things.

They have to have the basics we all need as engineers simply to pass the interview process. The data structures and algorithms, Big O and be able to walk through systems they have worked on in the past and the trade offs they made and why.

Then on top of the basics I look for a few more things. Usually the understanding of multi threading, multi process, asynchronous programming is very different between junior and senior folks. I dive into distributed systems and see if they have any exposure. I dive into multi paradigms and how deep their knowledge is in their respective toolset they have listed on their resume.

I don't necessarily think you need to know multi threading in and out, or distributed systems in and out, or your tool set in and out. You certainly need to know one or two of those though. You need to have some body of work you can speak very well to, this is a huge indicator of seniority. Mentorship and all the other things that go with that help differentiate as well between junior and senior.

I don't think there is a hard rule anywhere. Different folks will look for different things and at least where I work those things I listed are very important differentiators.

30
gambiting 3 days ago 1 reply      
I work at a major games company. For us, a "senior" is someone who can, on their own, design, implement, document and maintain a feature. An "intermediate" is someone who can do the above but with mentor help from a senior.

Above that, it depends what you want to do. If you fancy managing people, you can be a team/tech lead, or if you don't, then there is the title of "expert"(only a handful of programmers who worked here 10+ years have those).

31
ta998877 3 days ago 0 replies      
This is by far the best article I've ever read on the subject. http://www.kitchensoap.com/2012/10/25/on-being-a-senior-engi...
32
ilaksh 3 days ago 0 replies      
When they have to pay you more than the junior devs. Note that isn't necessarily because of skills or knowledge.
33
christouphair 2 days ago 0 replies      
Assess the new and shiny technologies and learn the ones that seem promising.

1 year later new and shiny will become the standard, there will be thousand of beginners and you'll be one of the few "senior" developers on that technology.

Of course you'll already be learning the new and shiny that will become the standard 1 year later.

34
mping 3 days ago 0 replies      
Depends if its senior with a specific technology (ex: senior rails programmer) or generally senior programmer.

I consider senior someone who:- knows how to mentor juniors- knows his way around tech, even if he never used a particular product- most important, can communicate effectively with stakeholders and devs.

The best "senior" is the one who nags everyone to get stuff moving forward. Doesnt mind getting his hands dirty and going by people's desks to make sure the team delivers.

You may need to brush up your marketing skills in order to promote yourself as senior. Don't get impressed by people that know stuff.

35
ghuntley 3 days ago 0 replies      
Leadership and mentoring. When they can write great documentation (without prompting) and http://softwareleadweekly.com/ becomes their favourite weekly read. When they come to you with improvements outside of the technical domain on how to improve shop and even better when it's just a side chat about what they have already improved and what went well, what didn't and what they learned (self-awareness). When they stop treating promotions like mechanical checkboxes.
36
chx 3 days ago 0 replies      
Sr can tell to jr: I have already made the mistake you are about to make.
37
aisofteng 2 days ago 0 replies      
Based on my experience at about five different successful companies, a senior engineer is not someone who has a title declaring them as such but is a person you go to when considering something completely new that needs to be created from scratch because you know he could do it if asked to, do it in a way that will leave something another team can pick up if necessary, and do it well.
38
stevesun21 3 days ago 0 replies      
I think a lot of programmers stucked into programming language/framework trap keep learn new lanaguages and new frameworks to make yourself believe you have more exp, but this just make your skill more like learn drive different brand cars. Even myself in this trap for really long time.

The true power to make you senior is how you train your brain to think and abstract. This will boost your capability of design rather than just coding

39
jwaldrip 3 days ago 0 replies      
A senior developer doesn't say things like "I don't know how", they simply figure it out and do it. A true senior developer is fearless, but also pragmatic.
40
k__ 3 days ago 0 replies      
In Germany this isn't a thing, but when applying for a few jobs in the UK most employers considered me senior after that interview. Still didn't get the jobs, because I failed their programming tests.

Since I started programming my work-behaviour changed from asking people all the time when I don't know what's happening to reading their code.

I think developers are considered senior if they can work on their own.

Like, if you get all the engineering practices of designing, implementing and maintenance done without much help.

41
jjn2009 3 days ago 0 replies      
I read some where the definition to be as a software engineer who's primary role is to reduce risk. This sounds like a solid benchmark to me since this usually entails that although you may not have a lot of knowledge about the latest JavaScript framework but instead have deep cs fundamentals knowledge which would allow you to mitigate software risks in most environments.
42
vassilevsky 3 days ago 1 reply      
When you learn Erlang.
43
partycoder 3 days ago 0 replies      
Engineer seniority has a lot of variance.Some do it based on years of experience, ranging from 5 to 10 years and that would differ from company to company.

In my understanding, a senior engineer is an engineer that can contribute without the need for technical supervision.

Now, not requiring supervision is different to leadership. A senior engineer is often an individual contributor, not necessarily a team technical leader.

44
Prad 3 days ago 0 replies      
Senior developer is just very difficult to define. You could define it based on the amount of time worked at a certain job, your skills, your ability to mentor. The definition could be different for various businesses and their employees.
45
noonespecial 3 days ago 0 replies      
Skill is knowing how to operate Amazon, "senior" is knowing when you probably shouldn't.
46
_Codemonkeyism 3 days ago 0 replies      
As a CTO or team lead senior programmers to me were those who understood the business and the businesss side of things and could make trade offs (beside the technical experience).

Another aspect that seperates seniors is their ability to talk and present to senior or top management.

47
sakopov 3 days ago 0 replies      
In my experience a senior developer is someone with 10+ years of experience in architecture and development and a pretty vast amount of accumulated knowledge. There are exceptions of course, but this seems to be fairly standard in my market in the Midwest.
48
Nursie 3 days ago 0 replies      
When you have to talk to a customer.

Seriously, I worked for a place where thay was the rule.

Titles are somewhat meaningless. Apparently I'm a consultant these days...

49
chrisseaton 3 days ago 0 replies      
My very first developer job after graduating was a 'senior member of technical staff' so who really knows.
50
DracheZahn 2 days ago 0 replies      
When you salary demand exceeds the threshold of a standard programmer.
51
ohgh1ieD 3 days ago 0 replies      
I guess ... Once you realise that you don't want to be a senior or a developer at all.
52
sigi45 3 days ago 0 replies      
You have seen a few projects and different teams. A few years of practical experience is necessary.
53
squozzer 3 days ago 0 replies      
Senior = most senior dev in the building.AKA Designated Survivor.
54
pastorelli 2 days ago 0 replies      
When you can build and operate a multiple-cloud system using only assembly and gwbasic...
55
known 3 days ago 0 replies      
Depends on % of code you reuse.
56
balabaster 3 days ago 0 replies      
You will never have enough time to learn everything and be all things to everyone. Get this idea out of your head right now or you will never find happiness.

Senior is the difference between keeping your eye on the big picture and helping to move your team forward to the objective in a timely manner to achieve the business objectives that drive the company forward. It's the ability to step up and lead your team when called for. It's the ability to make decisions balanced between what's technically right in the short and longer term without losing sight of the end goal.

Never forget that you're not paid to deliver software just to deliver amazing software. The software you deliver is a tool, a means to an end. That may be to cut costs, it may be to increase profits, it may be the lifeblood that your company's stock price hangs on.

A junior developer may be amazing with the tools provided and may have some good architectural sense. They may need some, or a lot of hand holding. A junior developer generally has their head in the code most of the time and may but probably shouldn't be expected to understand or care about the objectives of the business as a whole. You give them a feature to develop and can largely expect that they will need all of the dependencies to hand. They may have a good handle on debugging and unit, integration and functional testing or this may be something they need to learn. This is OK.

An intermediate developer can be given objectives regarding code and architecture and left to their own devices and trusted to deliver on their objectives in a timely manner. By this time, you should expect to at least understand the business objectives and be able to think critically about the code they're providing in order to meet those objectives. I would expect an intermediate developer to have enough of a clue about architecture that handed a feature requirement and some architectural direction for how to integrate it, they could architect it competently and integrate it and know where to go to ensure any dependencies are satisfied. They will have a good handle on debugging and at least unit and integration testing. They may have a good handle on functional testing and debugging production code.

A senior developer is someone in my mind who who can be trusted with the business objectives, can chase down architectural advice, from an architect or UX input or whatever else they need to get the job done; they can communicate effectively with stakeholders and the business; they can be expected to dig in and fill any gaps that would prevent delivery or cause problems in production. They can delegate pieces appropriately and deliver what is expected in the allotted time frame. They may be someone that can step up as team lead/team manager, or lead from the back and be the glue that gives the team cohesion. They can be expected to have the discipline to take care of things properly when nobody is watching. They can be expected to help debug production issues and be among the first to muck in when the shit hits the fan to help resolve production issues.

So you see, the difference between junior, intermediate and senior doesn't have an awful lot to do with code or tools. You will expected to either be or become a master of your tools whether junior, intermediate or senior. You will be expected to do this on the fly, on the job, regardless of everything else that is going on around you. This is part of being in this industry. You will be expected to keep up with the codebase and dig in and understand it at whatever level you're at. These are all prerequisites for your job as a developer, they are not a prerequisite for your title. There's a big difference.

If you want to make the jump from junior to senior quickly, here's my advice: Find the most gnarly difficult problems your company is having and dig in and help solve them consistently. When you've put yourself through the wringer; when you've suffered the late nights, the stress, the anguish about whether or not you've got what it takes to do this job. Do this until you get to a point where you think you've seen every last problem that could possibly occur, and despite that, something else hits you out of left field and knocks you clean off your feet. Do this until when this happens, you just get back up and keep going. When you get knocked down and get back up when everyone else would say fuck it, when you can be trusted to make shit happen when everyone else would say fuck it - this is when you can call yourself a senior developer.

"Out of the 39 000 men and women that make up the United States Coast Guard there are only 280 rescue swimmers. This is because we are the Coast Guard's elite. We are the best of the best. When storms shut down entire ports, we go out. When hurricanes ground the United States Navy, we go out. And when the holy Lord himself reaches down from heaven and destroys his good work with winds that rip houses off the ground, We. Go. Out." - Ben Randall, The Guardian

Live by example.

57
navyad 3 days ago 2 replies      
sometimes these title can be dangerous.
58
anonymoose321 3 days ago 0 replies      
After 60?
9
Ask HN: What software engineering related podcasts are you listening to?
81 points by tsaprailis  2 days ago   26 comments top 19
1
OJFord 2 days ago 1 reply      
The Bike Shed [0] is great, I think it started as a ThoughtBot podcast, but one of the two regular hosts - Sean Griffin [1] - has since left for Shopify.

I think it's great because although dominated by Ruby (Griffin is a committer on Rails, and I gather it's ThoughtBot's main language) the discussion is typically applicable to other languages, or focuses on a human element. I don't think I've ever written a line of Ruby, and I enjoy it.

There's also some Haskell discussion and more recently a lot of Rust - Griffin having created the Diesel ORM [2].

The format's great though, and as a consequence never sounds like a contrived dialogue - it typically starts as a "what have you been working on this week", and that recent real experience turns into a more general discussion around whatever it was.

I can't really recommend it enough, I only found it fairly recently, and went back through to listen to the entire catalogue of episodes.

- 0: https://thebikeshed.fm

- 1: https://githib.com/sgrif

- 2: https://github.com/diesel-rs/diesel

2
rgreasons 2 days ago 1 reply      
Not all of these are "software engineering," but many of them often tie to the soft skills side of things or general development rigor.

Regular listens - shows to which I subscribe, in rough order of how excited I am to see them show up in my podcast app:

Not So Standard Deviations [0]

Immutable [1]

ShopTalk [2]

Talk Python to Me [3]

The Versioning Show [4]

Data Skeptic [5]

Occasional listens - not subscribed but regularly check for interesting guests:

Data Stories [6]

Partially Derivative [7]

I tried Software Engineering Daily last year and wasn't a big fan - based on the following here I'll have to give it another shot.

0 - https://soundcloud.com/nssd-podcast

1 - https://spec.fm/podcasts/immutable

2 - http://shoptalkshow.com/

3 - https://talkpython.fm/

4 - https://www.sitepoint.com/tag/versioning-show-episodes/

5 - http://dataskeptic.com/

6 - https://datastori.es/

7 - http://partiallyderivative.com/

3
csixty4 2 days ago 0 replies      
I'll start by plugging my own podcast, "The Holistic Developer" (http://theholisticdeveloper.podbean.com/). It hasn't been coming out very regularly since my son was born but I do my best to put out ~5 minute episodes every couple weeks.

Developer Tea is along the same lines, straddling between technical topics & career development.

Soft Skills Engineering is entirely focused on, well, soft skills.

Leader.team is just getting started but they seem to be a good resource for technical leads & managers.

JavaScript Jabber has great interviews.

and it's not a technical podcast, but Creating Disney Magic (Lessons in Leadership, Management, and Customer Service) with Lee Cockerell is a must-listen for me every week.

4
no_protocol 2 days ago 0 replies      
From my "awesome podcasts" list related to your criteria:

- Vimcasts

I have tried several tech-related podcasts, but gave up on most within a couple episodes.

One common format is a host who brings on a new guest for an hour-long interview each episode. My main gripe with these is they're too long for the amount of substance they contain.

I ended up basically scrolling the archives of these shows to pick out only the guests I was already interested in, because the random ones just weren't worth the listening time.

The podcasts I keep coming back to are concise, edited episodes of 30 minutes or less. Most of these aren't directly related to the types you're looking for, though. I'd love to know of more.

5
brudgers 2 days ago 0 replies      

 StackExchange Hanselminutes SE-radio SEI podcast Cognicast Software Engineering Daily
Software Engineering Daily seems to dominate my playlist. I guess that shouldn't be a surprise.

Last year, I listened through a lot of the Changelog's back catalog. But I sort of maxxed out on it because my interest is more toward the infrastructure than the front end development tools.

6
billhathaway 2 days ago 0 replies      
GoTime[0] is a Go oriented podcast that is high quality and has a new guest each week. They also touch on a lot of general topics about SWE that are relevant to a broader audience.

[0] https://changelog.com/gotime/

7
seltzered_ 2 days ago 1 reply      
Check out the back-episodes of "this developers life" - while not too technical it dived into some human aspects of being a developer: http://thisdeveloperslife.com
8
definiv 2 days ago 0 replies      
Software Engineering Daily does a good job of exploring both technical and human issues. The Changelog is a great podcast for the open source community.
9
williamgb 2 days ago 0 replies      
Software Engineering Radio[0] is a useful resource for in-depth discussions on software and development practices.

Developer on Fire[1] tends to feature more personal interviews with software developers.

Software Engineering Daily[2] produces episodes at a similar rate to the previous podcast but discussion tends to be product-oriented.

Coder Radio[3] can be good fun sometimes. The hosts can sometimes be a bit over the top.

[0] http://www.se-radio.net/[1] http://developeronfire.com/[2] http://softwareengineeringdaily.com/[3] http://www.jupiterbroadcasting.com/show/coderradio/

10
gerosa 1 day ago 0 replies      
I'm a huge fan of Security Now podcast: https://www.grc.com/securitynow.htm. It's not a software engineering podcast per se but it gives detailed explanations of security breaches found in software. So I recommend y'all check it out.
11
alexpeattie 2 days ago 0 replies      
It's much more niche-specific than most of the other suggestions, but I've been enjoying This Week in Machine Learning & AI (https://twimlai.com/). It feels like the field of ML is moving so quickly these days, and I think Sam Charrington does a good job of making new research accessible without dumbing things down too much (which I find most media outlets tend to do).
12
charlesism 2 days ago 0 replies      
Edge Cases "A weekly podcast about (mostly Apple-related) software development by Andrew Pontious and Wolf Rentzsch."

http://edgecasesshow.com

My favorite podcast because the hosts (a) are highly talented developers (b) did careful research for each episode (c) chose common Apple programming challenges as the topic for each episode.

Sadly, it died last year, and I've found nothing out there to fill its void.

13
mandeepj 2 days ago 0 replies      
I listen to DNR's latest shows as soon as I can.

https://www.DotNetRocks.com

14
mmozuras 1 day ago 0 replies      
I wrote a post you might find interesting about Podcasts I Listen To: http://codingfearlessly.com/podcasts-i-listen-to
15
gravypod 2 days ago 2 replies      
This is a bit off topic but are there any funny software engineering podcasts?

Edit: funny replaced with off topic

16
brickmort 2 days ago 0 replies      
"New Rustacean" is great for anybody learning Rust. The episodes are very short (10-20 mins) and are surprisingly comprehensive, considering you're not looking at any code: http://www.newrustacean.com/
17
kipdotcom 2 days ago 0 replies      
A few of my favorite:1. SE Radio2. Software Engineering Daily3. Full Stack Radio
18
geoffroy 2 days ago 1 reply      
The Changelog
19
contingencies 2 days ago 0 replies      
Get this... none. I'm not being snarky, I'm saying I choose not to spend time filtering audio opine on untargeted areas of the profession and consider than a desirable optimization.
10
Can you explain the ICANN transfer?
111 points by Claudus  2 days ago   31 comments top 11
1
kijeda 2 days ago 3 replies      
In operational practice, very little will change. The staff who perform the IANA function of managing the DNS Root Zone etc. will continue to do the same job, although those staff will now work in a separate subsidiary of ICANN. One operational change will be NTIA, an agency of the Department of Commerce, will no longer be required to authorize every change to the root zone in advance.

In addition, ICANN the organization will have new accountability measures that will allow the community to challenge decisions it makes. It provides new powers like spilling its Board under certain circumstances.

One of the main drivers to change the current setup is NTIA's role above is seen as undue US government influence in what should be a purely technical operation by many. Over the years some have advocated fundamentally altering how ICANN works (like moving it to the UN) because of the US Government's influence. By transferring the primary oversight role to the multi-stakeholder community (users, business, non-profits, etc.) who have always really driven ICANN's decisions anyway, it is hoped that that criticism will go away and pressure to fundamentally alter how it works will dissipate.

2
jnmandal 2 days ago 0 replies      
This transition has been in motion for over a decade now. NTIA (part of Department of Commerce) has some good material on it here: http://www.ntia.doc.gov/blog/2016/what-theyre-saying-why-its...

I think a lot of politicians (ahem Ted Cruz) are trying to frame the transition in a shadowy way to discredit the current administration, but its simply a procedural thing thats been in the works for a long while.

3
sp332 2 days ago 0 replies      
Ars Technica has a pretty thorough overview. http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2016/09/y2k-2-0-is-the-us...

ICANN has a list of squashed conspiracy theories. https://www.icann.org/iana-stewardship-questions

4
textmode 2 days ago 2 replies      
There is no "transfer" of anything. Anyone can edit the root.zone file. I use my own curated version. Great for blocking ads, etc.

But for many years no one did this, except very rarely. And the honors were left to some folks in the US, IANA/ICANN. Do not be fooled by the acronyms and the fabricated processes and formalities on the official websites. IANA was essentially one person. Bless the hearts of those who worked to create the early internet but these "organizations" derive their "authority" from nowhere. The internet is an abstraction, a term to describe different networks that cooperate.

The generally static nature of the root.zone file changed recently. It has doubled, maybe tripled in size and is now filled with TLDs such as .loans and .cologne. As well as trademarks such as .google, .microsoft, etc. These can also capture traffic from users who type strings into address bars that are not FQDNs.

ICANN charged $85K+ just to bid on these beauties; they made some very easy money. Most of them are worthless. Exit time for ICANN. :)

Now that it is filled with garbage, and perhaps anticipating some finger-pointing, it is time to acknowledge that the root.zone belongs to everyone and is managed by all countries of the world, not only the US.

The "transfer". More fabricated formalities.

The truth is that anyone can exercise control over the root.zone file, and anyone can serve it. Whether you choose to follow them or not is up to you. (Most users just let default DNS settings decide this for them.)

Similar to the early IANA, one person can do this job. I maintain and serve my own root.zone. I am the only user but there could just as well be hundreds of users. This could grow to thousands which could grow to millions which could grow to hundreds of millions which could grow to...

This is what happened with the DNS. It started out small and grew big. Believe it or not it is still not that big. I could fit all domain names in existence on consumer-sized storage media.

Thus concludes an opinion. Mildly informed.

5
dealthcider 2 days ago 0 replies      
Admittedly, there is a bit of a lie by omission in the statements of ICANN. By agreeing to hand the institution over to an international stage, we are agreeing to censor access to small websites or alternate-view websites that don't conform to the standards or views of the corporation in charge of the new ICANN. In effect, we would be blocking access to small websites, limiting freedom of speech over the internet, and possibly in the future having internet access begin to mirror the same level of restrictions that television has.

Then, the international corporation would decide what websites you can access, and if the website you want to have a look at doesn't adhere to the corporation's view, it will simply become inaccessible.

There is also the question of political relevance; that is, why the urgency? Why require that this be passed during the Obama administration just before an election, and without congressional input?

To stop this? See this petition.

https://wh.gov/iMbbvWhich routes to:https://petitions.whitehouse.gov//petition/stop-icann-handov...

ALSO, an interesting side note:

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-09-29/4-states-sue-block-...

6
zerognowl 13 hours ago 0 replies      
Does anyone know if jurisdiction has anything to do with this? I'm no lawyer, but I have a small inkling this has to do with International Law and the global nature of The Internet. Personally I try to route around ICANN with things like https://www.opennicproject.org/ and things like https://github.com/cjdelisle/cjdns
7
Claudus 2 days ago 1 reply      
I guess my concern, and as a simple question:

Right now domains like wikileaks.org and thepiratebay.se exist. Will they continue to exist in the same manner going forward? Or, in a few years, will attacks on these domains be made, and their domains seized?

I'm really concerned about this, above all.

8
miraj 2 days ago 1 reply      
usually this is my 1st stop to understand current topics re: ICANN etc. ::

Milton Mueller at Internet Governance Project (1).

his latest blog post may shed some light (2).

1. http://www.internetgovernance.org

2. http://www.internetgovernance.org/2016/09/28/its-over-yestoi...

9
erichocean 2 days ago 3 replies      
> "The US government has never, and has never had the ability to, set the direction of the (ICANN) communitys policy development work based on First Amendment ideas," ICANN said in a statement. "Yet that is exactly what Senator Cruz is suggesting. The US government has no decreased role. Other governments have no increased role. There is simply no change to governmental involvement in policy development work in ICANN."[0]

This is the primary issue I have with every single one of ICANN's rebuttals[1]: nothing will change (so they say), and yet, here we are, making a change.

Okay, then, here's a stupid question: why is a change being made? Ted Cruz may be an ass, but that doesn't make ICANN's position correct.

If nothing will change, they guess what? No change is necessary. If it ain't broke, don't fix it.

If something will change, then ICANN should be entirely up front about what that change exactly is. Instead, we get a bunch of denials that nothing will change, the US has no current role anyway, yadda yadda yadda, but serious you guys, we have to change this right now.

We're talking about managing the DNS system here, that's not an "insignificant" thing, as other commenters have suggested.

Yes, existing ASes can already block specific domains today. Fine. But ICANN could easily become a Title IX-type situation, where ASes are forced to block specific domain names in order to remain part of the global Internet system.[2]

It's true it doesn't police ASes that direction today, under the existing ICANN governance model, but there's (to my knowledge) no reason why that couldn't be true today (under US control), and I see no reason why adding "more stakeholders" will make the situation any less likely in the future. If anything, it makes it more likely: look at the UN. Certainly ICANN itself doesn't think it's any less likely, but here's what they don't say: with this change, it'll be extremely hard for US citizens to fix if it does come about. That's not "insignificant" to me.

[0] http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2016/09/y2k-2-0-is-the-us...

[1] https://www.icann.org/iana-stewardship-questions

[2] For instance, consider how the US Justice Dept. is using "Dear Colleague" letters in 2016 to force schools to adopt a less-rigorous sexual assault policy or face loss of federal funding. ICANN could apply similar pressure to ASes in the future (not funding, but zone updates or whatever).

10
pastProlog 2 days ago 2 replies      
> What exactly is wrong with the current setup?

What exactly was wrong with the 1998 setup? ISI and Jon Postel were managing fine back then.

I also don't recall a "US control over ICANN" that could be "relinquished" being part of the original ICANN proposal. I don't think that would have gone over well with the European operators at the IETF meetings. If it had been they probably would have stuck with the CCITT's x.25 networks, Minitel and such.

11
erichocean 2 days ago 1 reply      
Agreed, the blackout on HN regarding the ICANN transfer is very, very strange.
11
Ash HN: How do you handle looking at the screen for long hours?
7 points by theSage  20 hours ago   12 comments top 8
1
setra 20 hours ago 0 replies      
Generally I don't finding using a computer for very long periods to be much of a problem. Granted I am still young. I found that sometimes typing for long periods made my hands hurt. I have done a few modifications to make my experience nicer:

- Mechanical keyboard, cherry MX blues- Dvorak keyboard layout- Tiling window manager- Dark color themes for night

Thats about it.

2
qwrusz 19 hours ago 1 reply      
I found adjusting lighting around the screens helpful. I can't comment on any heath-related pros or cons as this is not scientific.

Specifically, adjusting ambient lighting near my desk that is brighter/darker than the displays.

I work at night a lot and try to keep a couple lamps on - not work in a dark room. Likewise, I work near a window during the day but added a pull-down perforated window screen to allow sun in but dull (~25%) of the bright sunlight.

My eyes looked off screen more than I realized and adjusting ambient lighting feels like it reduced eye strain and reduced time to return to focus.

3
id122015 10 hours ago 0 replies      
I'm using an app that blocks my screen at the interval I set. But it has the option to skip that break with a single click. When I'm focused on reading something important I dont even rember if it was me the person who skipped absolutely all breaks for 8 hours. But when I watch a video, that app must be disabled.

I think the best option is not software but hardware. For example when I need to wake up early in the morning, I put my alarm clock 3 meteres away from my bed, so the other ME doesnt turn it off.

4
nicholas73 2 hours ago 0 replies      
I get less eye strain when I wear contact lens instead of glasses.
5
tedmiston 15 hours ago 0 replies      
In addition to f.lux and Night Shift as others have mentioned, I'm using a Mac menu bar app called Awareness [1] that reminds you to take breaks regularly.

The Pomodoro style timing of 20+5 never really worked for me. I found a lot of my light tasks need 510 minutes while for serious dev tasks, 45 minutes of work is a better period of time to dig in deeply and get something done. Then I'll take a longer break of 1020 minutes to balance that out. If I'm really in the zone at the 45-minute mark, I'll go ahead a plunge through a second 45-minute period without stopping.

[1]: http://iamfutureproof.com/tools/awareness/

6
f_allwein 20 hours ago 0 replies      
One side benefit of the pomodoro technique (focus for 25 minutes, then take a break for 5 minutes) is that it gives you a good excuse to get up and look away from the screen.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pomodoro_Technique

7
rufius 20 hours ago 1 reply      
For eye strain specifically - f.lux on all computers, Night Shift on my iPhone, and anti-glare coated glasses. Combine that with getting up every 20 minutes to walk for a few minutes.

Additionally, I use some good quality eye drops like Systane Balance which help lubricate my eyes when I wake up and before bed.

A new thing I've been trying to do for multiple reasons is write out my designs on pen/paper before sitting down at the computer. This has helped with eye strain and also helped me better clarify my ideas instead of sitting at my computer and "wandering" through the problem space in my IDE.

8
tedmiston 15 hours ago 0 replies      
Just curious to hear if anyone has considered something like Philips Hue bulbs to adjust light temperature and intensity with fine-grained control around their desk / office (for example, as a complement to f.lux).
12
Ask HN: What printer do you use?
11 points by paloaltokid  1 day ago   19 comments top 16
1
teh_klev 1 day ago 2 replies      
* Brother HL-5140 b/w laser printer. Purchased new in November 2004 and has been a trouble free workhorse the whole time I've owned it.

According to the printer's status sheet it's printed 7298 pages so far and jammed just nine times.

The printer is still running on its original fuser and drum units and it's on its second toner cartridge. I think it cost me GBP150.00.

It's connected directly to my Windows 10 workstation via USB and is "shared". Fairly certain I could get some sort of WiFi arrangement rigged up, but this PC is rarely switched off.

* Canon MG5500

Got this as a freebie. I use it now and again as a scanner and to print high quality Hubble pics onto high quality printer paper. It's set up over WiFi which was ridiculously easy to do. It even scans over WiFi which gave me a certain sense of wow that's clever even though it shouldn't have :)

In parting, I'd say that the economics of a half decent laser printer are a bit of a no-brainer if its mostly b/w printing you do.

[edit] Forgot to mention that both printers happily talk to Fedora.

2
dangrossman 1 day ago 1 reply      
Cost to print 5,000 B&W pages on my HP inkjet: $300 ($12 per 200-page generic ink refill).

Cost to print 5,000 B&W pages on my Brother laser: $25 ($12.50 per 2600-page generic toner).

Inkjets make no sense if you can put up the extra $50-100 up front for a laser printer. B&W is at least 10x cheaper, color is at least 5x cheaper, per page.

I have a Brother HL-2270DW for B&W printing, and an HP M251nw for color. Both are wireless, easy to set up.

Bonuses: Print 5 reams of paper before you need to swap a toner cartridge, instead of 3+ ink cartridges per ream. If you don't print anything for a few weeks, you won't need to throw out a dried out cartridge to use the printer again.

3
alexdrans 1 day ago 0 replies      
I don't print that often, and very, very rarely do I need to print in colour if so, so I have the Samsung ML-1660. A few years old, but the line of products I would definitely recommend. There are colour versions too.
4
stryk 1 day ago 0 replies      
I bought a Canon imageCLASS D530 in mid-2014 for $68 new, incl. shipping (and it's a bit of a beast). B&W laser, color scanning, it's wired but no problem for me. The "starter" toner cart that came with it is just now starting to die, but if you take them out and give them a good shaking you can usually get another 100+ pages out of them. Canon-brand toner carts are stupid expensive, but third-party ones are everywhere, and they're $25 or under. I'm unsure which brand to go with, as this is the first time I've needed one, but I'm leaning towards Newegg's house brand (Rosewill, $18). It's either that or an "Arthur Imaging" branded one on Amazon for $25 (great reviews, that is if you take those seriously anymore)
5
theGREENsuit 11 hours ago 0 replies      
HP Officejet 4630. It doesn't get a lot of use, so I'm using an IFTTT recipe to print a test page on the first of each month. Trying to avoid having the ink dry out. I've printed maybe 20 pages over the past 10 months.
6
stephancoral 1 day ago 0 replies      
HP M252dw has been the most reliable home option for me. I run a small press and have printed tens of thousands of pages in a span of about six months and all it needed was new ink. Colors look great, text is crisp. You can print to it via email which is really handy
7
danielvf 1 day ago 0 replies      
I have an old HP 4050N LaserJet. It was old when I got, and I've had it ten years. It is a fantastic printer! Runs for years on a single toner cartridge. Prints fast, always works.
8
a3n 1 day ago 0 replies      
Depending on how sensitive your documents are, you can just upload them to Staples, they print it, and you pick it up.

I have an inkjet at home, hardly use it.

When I want something to look nice, down to the ink on the paper, I use Staples.

9
ljsocal 19 hours ago 0 replies      
HP LaserJet All in one purchased in 2014. For my $, laser is the way to go. They are economical on a cost per page basis and they last a long time. I purchase a Canon laser printer but returned it after spending two hours attempting (unsuccessfully) to get it set up to print.
10
codegeek 1 day ago 0 replies      
I bought a Canon imageCLASS MF227dw and it has been awesome. Laser printer,wireless,scans multiple pages to PDF and a lot more.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00MWDYDOC/

11
c22 1 day ago 0 replies      
I'm using an HP m401dn for about a year and a half that I am very satisfied with. Laptops running Linux and android phones have been able to print to it with no configuration. And while I admit to not doing a huge amount of printing I have yet to buy more toner for it.
12
NumberCruncher 21 hours ago 0 replies      
Canon MX895 all in one inkjet with WiFi. I only print contracts I have to sign so it's OK but cost per page seems to be too high for everyday usage.
13
hooliews 1 day ago 0 replies      
Got a Xerox Phaser 3020. Wireless Setup is a little wonky, but it has worked so far for the year I've had it and the print quality is good.
14
seanwilson 19 hours ago 0 replies      
None! Can you not change things so you don't need to print anymore?
15
kazinator 1 day ago 0 replies      
Brother HL-3170CDW color LED printer. Bought within the last year.
16
qaq 1 day ago 0 replies      
Canon MF8500C aftermarket cartridges are dirt cheap
13
How do you find customers with problems to fix in software?
17 points by cs02rm0  1 day ago   10 comments top 4
1
k__ 1 day ago 0 replies      
I'm in the same place right now.

Working as employee and cotractor for about 10 years now.

I have the feeling all business lectures focus on what to do AFTER you got this kind of thing sorted out, before you are pretty much on your own.

I will go to a trade fair next week, maybe I'll find something there...

2
anonymous_ta38 1 day ago 1 reply      
Identify a specific and urgent business need from your previous jobs. A real pain point for the managers.

I used to work in the gaming industry. I have 2 problems which they consider "difficult" but i know are solvable.

Its the "getting shit done" which is harder for me. All the small implementation details pile up ;(

Are you into web dev, desktop or backend ?

3
yazr 1 day ago 3 replies      
Bootstrapping in B2B is very hard. Decisions take years, endless customization and integration, and its someone's day-job to negotiate you down on price.

VCs like this because with enough funding and persistence, you get a sticky high margin product.

How about B2C ?What is your technical skill set ?

4
HeyLaughingBoy 1 day ago 1 reply      
An alternative is to find a domain that you find interesting and then research it to find problems people have. Look up Amy Hoy's Sales Safari technique.

Once you've done that, products that people will actually pay for become easier to see.

14
Ask HN: Latest startup trends which news sites covers that?
3 points by frik  23 hours ago   4 comments top 4
1
vuyani 20 hours ago 0 replies      
"...latest startup trends"

I dont imagine startups start their ideas based on trends, unless you mean technology trends. But in any case. This information would be very hard to come by as most people/companies dont announce what they plan to build until they have an MVP.

The only thing I can suggest is to follow a bunch of hackathons, hopefully ones that are not limited to sponsorship tech or industry. And try workout the trends from there.

side note: this could be a nice little machine learning project :)

2
DrNuke 12 hours ago 0 replies      
http://www.techcrunch.com seems the best to me for trends and informed content from startups
3
eecks 18 hours ago 0 replies      
One of my yet to be started side projects is an automated tech news aggregator. So far I have just bought the domain.
4
hmmmngbird 16 hours ago 0 replies      
https://www.producthunt.com

Im not sure how timely they are, but you can survey some popular themes among app ideas.

15
Ask HN: Best USB mini-projector for power users?
5 points by vfulco  1 day ago   1 comment top
1
tedmiston 15 hours ago 0 replies      
I've been seeking a similar recommendation for a while, not for a particular work need but just to have beside my monitors. I didn't have much luck finding one that was < $400 but output at a great brightness level. All of the cheaper ones seemed to be really dim.
16
I need feedback
9 points by RomanProofy  1 day ago   5 comments top 5
1
troymc 1 day ago 0 replies      
There are some grammar errors on the homepage, e.g.

* "Convert your leads to customers using more effective way"

* "Protect servers repute"

* "Get rids of the duplicate emails to contain only unique addresses"

* "We offers 100 free checks while the great service"

2
bbcbasic 19 hours ago 0 replies      
I don't get the use case.

If I have a file to upload with 10000 emails say, then either they have opted in via an auto-responder and therefore those emails are already validated, or I have purchased a list off someone, which is potentially a bit shady but I should just get them validated again with a double opt in.

Where does this service fit into that?

3
S4M 6 hours ago 0 replies      
I don't think I will need it any time soon, but I am impressed by the design of your web page.
4
ncouture 1 day ago 0 replies      
From a quick glance there is nothing throwing me off, which is rare in my case.

Make your special offer more targeted to avoid showing it to the same person N*pages_visited_all_the_way_down.

5
eecks 1 day ago 0 replies      
One issue I see is there is no mention of security/privacy? Do you store the emails input?
17
Ask HN: What is your favorite Google chrome extension?
66 points by ne01  2 days ago   102 comments top 63
1
2
captn3m0 2 days ago 0 replies      
- Markdown Here - Lets me write emails in markdown (http://markdown-here.com/)

- HTTPS Everywhere - by EFF, works alongside the HSTS preload list to improve HTTPS coverage (https://www.eff.org/https-everywhere)

- Privacy Badger - By EFF again. Blocks scripts. (https://www.eff.org/privacybadger)

- Send to kindle - Sends articles directly to my kindle (https://www.amazon.com/gp/sendtokindle/chrome)

- iReader - Quick and easy readability extension that lets you read badly formatted extensions. (https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/ireader/ppelffpjgk...)

5
mod 2 days ago 0 replies      
One I didn't see mentioned already: I use something called EditThisCookie.

I'm sure it has many features, but I just use it to quickly delete cookies for one site, primarily on my development sites.

I use it a couple of times a day, probably.

Most common use case: I switch rails projects, and being on the same localhost:port address, it tries to use my other cookies and causes problems. I delete them in 2 seconds.

6
joelg 2 days ago 4 replies      
Papier - replace your new tab page with a markdown scratchpad. Dead-simple, local, and beautiful.

https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/papier/hhjeaokafpl...

Visual History - augment back/forward with tree-like hierarchy navigation (disclaimer; made this one)

https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/visual-history/nkc...

7
arnvald 2 days ago 3 replies      
Vimium - I can't imagine using my browser without it anymore. I use it to:

* move around the page

* click on links

* opening new page from browsing history

* refresh page

Basically the only time I need to use mouse or trackpad are pages that have incorrectly marked links (they just add some on-click behaviour without marking element as link)

8
harman28 2 days ago 0 replies      
- Session Buddy (https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/session-buddy/edac...) - What you need to recommend to all your friends who have 50 tabs open and a fear of losing them.

- Pocket (https://getpocket.com/chrome/) - To read something later.

- Pushbullet (https://www.pushbullet.com) - Less wonderful since they make Universal Clipboard a premium feature, but still the most graceful way to get content across from phone to laptop and back.

- Better History (http://better-history.com/) - Because let's face it, Chrome history sucks.

- Any.do (https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/anydo-extension/kd...) - I've stopped using the app on my phone for most part, but this extension is still easier to use than adding things to your calendar.

9
spenvo 2 days ago 0 replies      
Kiwi Conversations - checks for HN, Reddit conversations based on the URL you're on (manual research mode by default, but auto-check is available) - also checks Product Hunt and Google News. https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/kiwi-conversations...
10
pentium10 2 days ago 0 replies      
Lazarus: Form Recovery - Autosaves everything you type so you can easily recover from form-killing timeouts, crashes and network errors. https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/lazarus-form-recov...
11
garygaspar 2 days ago 1 reply      
Completely new screenshot tool =>

Marker - https://getmarker.io .

This Chrome extension allows you to capture a screenshot, annotate it and create a GitHub issue, a JIRA issue or a Trello Card without leaving your page

It's pretty powerful for bug reporting.

Disclosure: I'm the founder :)

12
henry_flower 2 days ago 2 replies      
I generally try not to use any, because for some reason I can't force myself to trust an extension w/o looking into its code--the process that eats too much time.

So I have only 5 of them installed.

From chrome web store:

* blank ntp (shows a blank page, rather than the chrome default)

* ublock origin (duh)

Not from the web store (I "trust" them, for I wrote them):

* copy_anchor_text

* dereferrer

* hn-dweller

14
citeguised 2 days ago 0 replies      
BKMRKS - Simple New-Tab-Page for displaying Chrome-Bookmarkshttps://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/bkmrks/fdlkakjjmff...

Full Page Screen Capturehttps://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/full-page-screen-c...

15
lucd 2 days ago 0 replies      
Switchy OmegaProxy switcher with autoswitch ability (according to url) https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/proxy-switchyomega...

ScreencastifyVideo capture from desktop/tab/webcamhttps://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/screencastify-scre...

The Great SuspenderAutomatically suspends unused tabs to free up system resourceshttps://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/the-great-suspende...

Open ScreenshotCan capture an entire page, even if bigger than screenhttps://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/open-screenshot/ak...

16
no_protocol 2 days ago 1 reply      
uBlock Origin

Without it, the web is a totally different place.

17
hs86 2 days ago 0 replies      
Tabs Outliner: https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/tabs-outliner/eggk...

Something like Tree Style Tab but TO shows a single tree for your entire browsing session instead of just the current window. Its cloud backup allows me to sync my tree hierarchy across my devices.

18
hawski 2 days ago 2 replies      
All my extensions are like a handicapped version of Firefox feature or extension.

Dynamite [1] - right click on anything than Dynamite / Hide element or selection and it removes a DOM element that was under cursor. Sometimes you have to to this several times to remove something. Firefox has Nuke Anything Enhanced [2]. It allows me to:

- get behind obnoxious popups with no visible close button

- get through dumb subscribe-wall

- remove annoying floating navigation bars (really handy if you like to resize browser windows like me)

The Great Suspender [3] - it unloads tabs unused for specified time and allows to reload them on click. I forgot which one I used on Firefox.

FooTab [4] - blocks loading of tabs on startup - it would be great if The Great Suspender would do this (Firefox do this by default).

I use uBlock Origin and HTTPS Everywhere, but that's just baseline.

[1] https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/dynamite/djoedchmh...

[2] https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/nuke-anything...

[3] https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/the-great-suspende...

[4] https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/footab/anbodogikfb...

20
bartligthart 2 days ago 1 reply      
I like the Momentum extension.

Each time you open a new tab you see a nice picture.

https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/momentum/laookkfkn...

21
sigvef 2 days ago 1 reply      
Shameless plug: Zombocam. It adds filters and effects to any webcam stream on any page! We just launched: https://www.zombocam.com
22
dutts303 2 days ago 1 reply      
http://www.nomorvom.co.uk is indispensable if you order takeaway from just-eat. it adds UK food hygiene scores to the search results.

Full disclosure: I wrote it, but it is open source and totally free.

24
xeniak 2 days ago 0 replies      
Auto Copy: Automatically copy selected text to the clipboard. Has options for copying as plain text; including the URL in the copied text; etc.

https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/auto-copy/bijpdibk...

Tab Snooze: Close unnecessary tabs and make them magically reappear when you need them.

https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/tab-snooze/pdiebia...

25
tsriram 1 day ago 0 replies      
PocketReact Dev Tools

Twitter Web Night Mode - https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/twitter-web-night-...(Disclaimer - I built this )

26
guitarbill 2 days ago 1 reply      
h264ify - force youtube to use h264 instead of the VP8/VP9 codecs. Unlike h264, which can benefit from hardware decoding, VP8/VP9 are completely done by the CPU, so they eat battery like crazy on laptops.
27
ivan_ah 2 days ago 0 replies      
Video Speed Controller: https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/video-speed-contro...

After installing this, you can adjust the playback speed by 0.1 increments on any HTML5 video element. Works great for lectures and talks. I often watch some videos at 1.5x, 2x, and sometimes even 3x for exceptionally slow speakers.

29
afarnoosh 2 days ago 0 replies      
SurfingKeys - "...keyboard-based navigation and control of the web in the spirit of the VIM editor."

https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/surfingkeys/gfblio...https://github.com/brookhong/Surfingkeys

30
vsax 2 days ago 0 replies      
https://www.opentest.co/ - for recording videos, audio

http://www.gettoby.com/ - for saving bookmarks easily.

http://www.unwander.com - for saving places from Trip Advisor, Yelp etc directly to a Trello type board.

31
rkeene2 2 days ago 0 replies      
CACKey ;-)

Trying out Falcon, keeping the exclusion list updated has been slighty more work than originally estimated.

Proxy Switcher, to access some sites though an SSH proxy automatically

32
wingerlang 2 days ago 1 reply      
Google dictionary - double tap anything and it shows definition or translation.

"Click to remove element" - Remove any html element.

"Fix fixed" - remove sticky headers

And various adblockers I guess.

33
Eduard 2 days ago 1 reply      
Postman and its Http interceptor. fiddle with http requests, manipulate which headers are sent. even intercept Http requests and change values on the flight
34
cdvonstinkpot 2 days ago 0 replies      
The iGive button [1], it automatically donates $ to the charity of my choosing when I shop online.

[1] https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/igive-button/igcjd...

35
DYZT 2 days ago 0 replies      
BriefTube - It's a chrome extension that provides TLDR; for long videos. It works well on Youtube, Coursera, Edx etc.

https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/brieftube-instant-...

note: I'm the proud developer of BriefTube.

36
andyjohnson0 2 days ago 0 replies      
Strict Workflow [1].

Allows my monkey brain to actually get some code written when I'm connected to the chasm of infinite distraction that is the internet.

[1] https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/strict-workflow/cg...

37
alexmorenodev 2 days ago 0 replies      
Livestyle: https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/emmet-livestyle/di...

A little buggy, but saves a lot of time while developing a new site.

38
messWasTaken 2 days ago 0 replies      
Boomerang for gmail: Allows you to schedule messages to be sent or returned at a later date. https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/boomerang-for-gmai...
39
jesperht 2 days ago 0 replies      
Tabby Cat - beautiful cat illustrations/animations each time you open a tab: https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/tabby-cat/mefhakmg...
40
aorth 2 days ago 1 reply      
UTM Stripper removes tracking tokens from URL query parameters before sending network request. Uses an internal 307 redirect before requesting the resource.

https://github.com/jparise/chrome-utm-stripper

41
parkhmp7 2 days ago 0 replies      
Liner - Highlight and save your favorite texthttps://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/the-only-webpdf-hi...
42
ohadron 2 days ago 0 replies      
43
ladino 2 days ago 0 replies      
44
aurora72 2 days ago 0 replies      
When angular.js first came out, a chrome extension was released which displayed popular hacker quotes like "ship it" " when new tabs were opened. What was the name of that extension? I can't remember that after I sold my Mac mini, but that was my favorite.
46
_some_guy 2 days ago 1 reply      
Anyone could recommend any good gestures extensions? That's the only thing keeping me on the Firefox right now. I tried a bunch of the most popular ones, but rocker gestures (prev/next tab) almost never works as intended :(
47
agnivade 2 days ago 0 replies      
Along with all the excellent options posted here, just wanted to recommend - "Ink for Google". It gives a material design look and feel for all google related sites.

Its Pretty good. Especially on youtube.

48
viraptor 2 days ago 0 replies      
HackerTagger - Lets you tag people on HN if they're interesting in some way. I've also got tags for anyone who mentioned they're founder of X, for future context in comments.
50
kungfudoi 2 days ago 0 replies      
HTTPS Everywhere, Privacy Badger, uBlock Origin
51
cezary 2 days ago 0 replies      
uBlock Origin, TabAttack and The Great Suspender.

Another is one I wrote and use to read articles without seeing paywalls. It got pulled off the chrome web store as it started to pick up users, but you can still install and run it in developer mode: https://github.com/cezary/bypass

52
rasz_pl 2 days ago 1 reply      
-ContentBlockHelper (instead of uBlock/Ghostery)

-Tampermonkey

53
du_bing 2 days ago 0 replies      
SwithyOmega: to break the Great Firewall

Lightshot: to capture some part of the page as png

Google Transalte: to understand others

Adblock Pro: to block ads cruelly

54
RexM 2 days ago 1 reply      
Georgify - alternate CSS for hacker news.
55
joesmo 2 days ago 0 replies      
Quick Javascript Switcher (turn off JS by default and only enable for the few sites needed).
56
mattnumbe 2 days ago 0 replies      
AdBlock is a given but I really like rikaikun which translates Japanese kanji on hover.
57
tajen 2 days ago 0 replies      
Awesome Screenshot Minus What does everyone else use to make nice screenshots?
58
duiker101 2 days ago 0 replies      
Papaly.com it's a bookmark dashboard it's very fast and comfortable.
59
waqasaday 2 days ago 0 replies      
Adblock
60
jbverschoor 2 days ago 0 replies      
adblock plus

adblock for youtube

the great suspender

quick javascript switcher

61
Oras 2 days ago 0 replies      
- AdBlocker

- Pocket

- Any.Do

- ProductHunt

- FlickrTab

62
hoers 2 days ago 0 replies      
- uBlock (of course)

- Vimium

- YouTube Ratings Preview

- Remove Google Redirection

- TrackMeNot (sends random queries to search engines)

- uMatrix

- HTTP Headers

- Vanilla Cookie Manager

- Project Naphta (on the fly OCR for images)

63
abrootzi 2 days ago 0 replies      
I use Brieftube to skim through long youtube/coursera videos or to pinpoint to a specific memorable frame in a video I once watched (e.g. obama laughing at bernie at white house gathering). Brieftube runs fast, and creates a nice table of contents which also allows easy searching in the sub titles

(currently, extension seems to work only for videos accompanied with english subtitles)

https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/brieftube-instant-...

18
Ask HN: How to quantify that a team is overworked
14 points by ccostes  2 days ago   8 comments top 5
1
spoonie 2 days ago 1 reply      
If you're into it, do an Agile/XP planning & estimation workflow. You can show that you are being requested to do 30 points of work per week but only achieving 20 points.
2
petervandijck 2 days ago 1 reply      
Some relevant numbers could be:

- size of backlog

- overtime

- time new requests spend in queue

- cost of delays to the business

3
brudgers 1 day ago 0 replies      
One simple way to measure it is with a feedback loop.

For example if the company starts paying all developers time and a half for hours beyond forty per week then it is practical to measure the amount that the developers work in dollars/pounds/pesos and compare that measurement to the dollars/pounds/pesos hiring another developer would require.

4
svisser 1 day ago 0 replies      
- Determine who you need to convince on this matter

- Find out what metrics they care about (time lost, money lost, potentially employees lost, clients lost).

- Formulate your proposal in a way that emphasises how those metrics will improve by hiring more developers.

5
FullMtlAlcoholc 2 days ago 0 replies      
My team for essentially solved this problem by using a time tracker. I highly recommend trying out toggl
19
Ask HN: What's the easiest way to get freelance work?
7 points by sarreph  17 hours ago   4 comments top 4
1
saluki 14 hours ago 0 replies      
The best work is going to be through contacts and your network.

Upwork is competitive and rates are low.

First try your contacts/network, you might not think you have connections but I expect someone you already know either needs or knows someone needing your services. So email/call everyone you know.

While you are waiting to hear back from your network you can try going door to door to local small businesses who would benefit from your services and try to build a relationship/offer your services in person.

Sometimes it takes a while for projects to get off the ground so try to find one or price one that is 2x your rent and get 50% up front payment.

Make sure you deliver on time/quality work so you can build your reputation and build your client base.

Good luck with your freelancing and startup.

2
gregjor 15 hours ago 0 replies      
Reputation, contacts, marketing. There's no easy way. For piecework you can use sites such as UpWork but be prepared for heavy competition and third-world rates.
3
eswat 17 hours ago 0 replies      
I was going to say that the easiest way is through your existing clients/connections

But these dont necessarily mean professional connections. What about your friends? Or if you are part of any hobby groups then what about people you know through them? Theres strength in weak ties; the people you know may no people that do require your services.

Go to some tech or networking events with the goal of quickly discovering problems that you can potentially solve. If youve ran into someone at an event you know you can help then dive deeper into the ways you can help them.

4
trcollinson 13 hours ago 0 replies      
There are no really easy ways to get freelance work but there are some ways to get it quickly enough. I have a fairly good size network and I still use the following method with great success.

First, find a niche that is needed quite a bit in your area and which you can do. This might be marketing and commerce websites (custom wordpress templates? But don't say that, say marketing and commerce solutions). Maybe you specialize in media presentations for companies (custom landing pages with media and some tie to revenue). In my case I chose DevOps, as there are a lot of companies with aging infrastructure who want to go to the cloud. Whatever you do, do not call yourself a "Wordpress developers" or "Facebook specialists". If you want to make money quickly in freelance, tie yourself to revenue generation right now.

Second, start writing. Write a 1200 word, well edited article that reads like something you would find in a real magazine. Don't make it sales-y. Give deep information that helps your target market and makes you sound like an expert. My first had to do with how DevOps saves organizations money as they move from their own infrastructure to cloud infrasturcture in 5 essential areas.

Third, tomorrow is Monday. Pick 10 - 15 businesses you would like to go and visit tomorrow in your area that you think need your services. Look on linked in and find out who the decision makers are. Write a small personalized letter to these people and print them out. Introduce yourself, explain what you can do for them and how you are helping other businesses in your area with the same problems they obviously have. Do not mention price. Just mention why they need you to make more money for their business.

Fourth, print out the article you wrote above. It's your "free gift" but also shows how much of an expert you are. Get it printed on something nice. Make sure it has a byline with your name. You are now marketing yourself.

Finally, show up in person to the 10-15 businesses on Monday. Ask for the decision marker. Wait for them if they are busy. Talk to them in person if you can. Explain who you are, why you can help their business, and then ask them if you can help them with "X" thing for their business right now. "X" thing is your specialty. This is the hard sales part. Just do it. I have no good advise on how to make closing the deal any easier other than try to remember how hungry you will be if you don't close the deal.

If you can't get with the decision maker for some reason, or if they aren't interested in talking too much, leave them your letter and your article and move on to the next company. Follow up 2 days later to see if they read your letter and your article and then pitch them again on your sale point.

Do this every day. If you meet 50 companies in a week, you will have more freelance work than you will know what to do with IF you pick a niche people need.

20
Ask HN: How to teach basic programming
5 points by ejanus  1 day ago   6 comments top 3
1
psyklic 1 day ago 1 reply      
I taught Processing (a Java library w/ its own IDE) to some middle- and high-school students for a week, and everyone had lots of fun from day one. It is extremely visual and has lots of great documentation + easy examples online. All I did was show them the basics, then every now and then went up to the board to introduce a new fun thing. We had some really, really great final projects. Everything from intricate interactive/animated scenes to complete games.

Something else I loved was that many students got to apply their math knowledge naturally and in a fun way, e.g. shooting bullets at angles, rotating turrets, following parabolic paths, and even a ray caster. (As an added bonus, Processing uses a very similar IDE to Arduino.)

I happened to teach another group of kids Arduino, which was fun but frustrating to some. Our final project of the week was very complicated, and only a few students finished it. I also unfortunately had many students fry parts and boards, which was frustrating when I gave so many reminders how to avoid it. (Though, young students are not exactly careful about double-checking their wiring.)

My recommendation to you for middle schoolers (ages 11-14) is to use Lego Mindstorms. Largely, the middle schoolers in my class were not patient/meticulous enough yet to effectively wire, write software, and most importantly debug when something goes wrong. (After all, it could be the software, wiring, OR a bad part.)

2
Cozumel 1 day ago 1 reply      
Maybe get them started with Rasbperry Pi? https://www.raspberrypi.org/resources/ You can teach them Python with it and even make projects using the components they're familiar with along with Python, and display the results on a webpage?
3
joeclark77 1 day ago 1 reply      
What's "junior craft school"? What age group are we talking about?

In teaching programming, I've found that often the hardest thing to learn is how to break down problems logically, not how to write code. For example, if I assign students to write a function that takes an average (mean) of a series of numbers, very few will fail because of syntax errors. Many more will fail because they've never thought about how to take an average!

Therefore, my latest thinking is that the first few programming lessons should be about basic mathematical problem solving. How to compute an average. How to estimate a square root. That sort of thing in a "math" class is assumed given. To a mathematician, the square root of two is "the square root of two" and no computation is necessary. I want to convey to my students that computers have to be taught a process, not an answer.

I'll find out next semester if that's a better approach. I hope you find it helpful or at least interesting.

21
Ask HN: What do you use for remote access?
56 points by elwebmaster  6 days ago   56 comments top 27
1
viraptor 5 days ago 2 replies      
Zerotier - https://www.zerotier.com/

Create a network with automatic IPv6 addresses and start the management access service (likely ssh) on the zt0 interface. then it "just works", regardless of NAT in between.

This is a completely userland solution however. You probably don't want to put real service traffic on it if you care about throughput. It's perfect for management however. (or just test it, maybe you can saturate your link anyway)

This works either by using the public servers for discovery, or you can set up your own dedicated endpoint(s). Either way, the traffic takes the direct route through the NATs, or within the local netowrk if possible.

2
Jimidy 5 days ago 1 reply      
For VNC-style full desktop access, Teamviewer just works...it runs on Windows and Linux, is very fast, and (usually) doesn't need any special firewall/NAT rules set up. I believe on Windows at least, it can be used to establish a VPN as well.

Might be overkill if you just need to reach one particular service (e.g. HTTP(S)) though, in which case you could consider setting up a reverse proxy (e.g. using nginx) on a DMZ'd server?

3
stuxnet79 5 days ago 3 replies      
I tunnel everything through ssh (both local and remote port forwarding) and in some cases for the exact use-case you have mentioned (web server running on a raspberry pi that is behind a NAT). It works for me.

I've never set up a VPN and I'm not too knowledgable about them. Should I set one up? I don't know. Toyed with the idea a few weeks ago up until I read this post on StackOverflow (http://serverfault.com/questions/653211/ssh-tunneling-is-fas...) - TLDR (VPNs are slow)

4
mbreese 5 days ago 0 replies      
The easiest to setup should be port-forwarding on the router. If you trust putting your server on the internet, then that's the way to go.

But it really depends on the use-case. HTTP from behind NAT - that's easy, just port-forward. If you're talking about SSH access, then you have a few more options that you might want to explore (port forward, or tunneling to an external host). If you're talking more than one host behind the NAT, then you have another set of possible solutions (reverse-proxy HTTP servers, SSH gateways, etc...).

Care to give us more information?

5
stevekemp 5 days ago 2 replies      
IPv6. This allows my hosts to be accessible to the internet, even though they're behind routers/NAT devices.
6
tbronchain 5 days ago 0 replies      
I was using a combination of a VPN and NAT rules to do so.Basically, machine A (the machine behind the firewall I want to connect to) would connect to machine B (a VPS or AWS instance - free tier micro instances are awesome for that matter!) using a VPN connection (pptp or openvpn or l2tp or whatever - pptp has the advantage of being super easy to setup and working out of the box on most linux distros. Not the most secured though, but to run SSH on it, it's good enough). I had a script to periodically check (every 1 minute or so) if the VPN connection was up and if not, try to reconnect.Then, I had some iptables NAT forwarding rules on machine B (let's call it gateway) to send all TCP traffic on a defined port to the machine A, port 22, using the VPN interface.

It had the advantage of being quite easy to setup for me as I'm quite used to setup VPNs and NAT forwarding rules (for having living in China, bypassing firewalls is almost an everyday routine exercise :)Also, it worked perfectly well and the performances were reasonable. I could access my server at home, in Beijing, behind a NAT, a dynamic IP and the country's firewall, from anywhere in the world. I was happy!

There are surely other (better?) ways to do it though, and the autossh/reverse tunnels option looks very interesting.

7
xarope 5 days ago 0 replies      
Use case is important, to determine what resources+tools you have access to/can deploy.

However, assuming this device/VM runs "unix", and to K.I.S.S., use reverse SSH tunnelling. Once an SSH tunnel is established on your side, you can do whatever you want... e.g. tunnel VNC through for GUI.

You can of course add more layers of security e.g. non-standard SSH port, dedicated VM/server for the SSH entry point, refresh SSH keys regularly etc.

8
JoachimSchipper 5 days ago 1 reply      
The semi-standard solution is a VPN, e.g. OpenVPN or IPsec, to an external server.
9
notacoward 5 days ago 0 replies      
When I'm on the road, I use tinc from the server in my home office out to a bastion server I have in the cloud. Separate keys and passphrases, no ssh-agent to keep the passphrases around for anyone who gets their hands on my laptop. Super simple to set up, and hasn't failed me once in several years. I guess you could argue that tinc isn't the most secure option, but I'm not too concerned about somebody managing to be in the middle of that path. The bastion's the thing that has to be most hardened against attack.
10
theCodeStig 5 days ago 0 replies      
All you need is SSH and SSH config. There are a lot of tutorials out there, but I find many of them are based on older versions of SSH which lack a bit more sugar around proxying.

Essentially you will add a directive to SSH config for the NAT host, and the host that you want to access. In the directive for the host to access, you will specify that you're proxying through the NAT host.

You can then leave out all of the port forwarding options when connecting to the target host, SSH will pick that up from the config file.

11
ahhyes 4 days ago 0 replies      
I use GateOne (https://github.com/liftoff/GateOne) running on a vps (served with https and htaccess). Sometimes all I have is web access (even SSH is blocked) and so I can login to anything from here. Works great on any device too.
12
guan 5 days ago 0 replies      
I usually use sshuttle. It requires you to be able to SSH into a box with Python thats behind the NAT, which is usually the router or something already exposed through port forwarding. On the client, it then uses iptables or pf to tunnel TCP and UDP through an SSH tunnel. No complicated network setup is required and it is easy to set up limited subnets for tunneling, for example.
13
joefarish 5 days ago 0 replies      
A very "low-tech" solution but Chrome Remote Desktop is very easy to setup and works well if you want to use an Android Phone/Tablet to connect to the device/VM.

https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/chrome-remote-desk...

14
gamedna 5 days ago 0 replies      
probably tmi but any / all of the following: - SSH (direct or tunnels)- VNC (usually over ssh or VPN)- RDP (usually over ssh or VPN)- VPN (openvpn or ipsec)- MicroTik Router at home with site-to-site VPN to my DC and Office- Mobile Hotspot (always a must when traveling)- Last resort: Dial direct with 56.6kbps modem to DC when there is an internet uplink failure or DDoS attack.
15
jimmaswell 5 days ago 1 reply      
SSH for Linux or TeamViewer for Windows, there's also Hamachi for Linux which worked when I needed to use it once
16
santa_boy 5 days ago 0 replies      
I access through http/https using [Wetty](https://github.com/krishnasrinivas/wetty) within a electron shell and it works perfectly!
17
notatoad 5 days ago 1 reply      
18
vacri 5 days ago 0 replies      
OpenVPN on the bastion host, and ssh over the VPN. If you don't control the bastion, then you need something that 'phones out' (could use a reverse ssh session for small scale stuff)
20
andrewchambers 5 days ago 1 reply      
ngrok
21
perakojotgenije 5 days ago 0 replies      
SSHreach.me - https://sshreach.me/
22
whisk3rs 5 days ago 1 reply      
tor hidden services. slow, but secure!
23
ilaksh 5 days ago 0 replies      
In the past I have used ssh port forwarding, LogMeIn Hamachi, and tinc. All seem to work ok.
24
mynameislegion 5 days ago 1 reply      
Port forwarding, reverse SSH tunnel or Tor onion service. All three for more reliability.
25
codemac 5 days ago 0 replies      
I use tinc + mosh/ssh, and it's wonderful. I highly recommend it.
26
nzjrs 5 days ago 0 replies      
Zerotier one
27
NetStrikeForce 5 days ago 0 replies      
Glad you're asking!

I built Wormhole Network https://wormhole.network with the idea of making remote access very easy and as secure as possible.

Disclosure: This is SaaS and I've built it.

Wormhole builds an overlay network where you can run any L3 protocol really. By default we provide DHCP for IPv4 within the 100.64.0.0/24 (yes, just a /24 by default as it suits most users, it can be customised or even disabled under request). We have chosen this address space to increase the chances of non-overlapping with your own networks.

The advantage of running an overlay network like Wormhole are:

- No need to open ports anywhere or do any inbound NAT or PAT. All traffic is outgoing. By default UDP, but the protocol would fall back to 443/TCP if needed.

- The above means it works pretty much anywhere with an Internet connection that lets you browse the web.

- Your devices' IP addresses inside Wormhole could be always the same, regardless of where they are. Think of migrating your servers to a new hosting? Keep the same IP. Do you team mates move frequently, work from home at times or even from their favourite coffee place? No problems, they'll keep the same IP address.

- Full access between devices inside the network. It works like a real LAN. No need to open ports to reach out to your development server nor leave any other services reachable from the internet. You could lock down all inbound access from Internet to your servers and still reach them through Wormhole.

- All traffic is encrypted. Note: We don't roll our own crypto. We rely on SoftEther's (see below).

- No need to configure a VPN with your cloud/hosting provider, provision VPN hardware nor anything like that.

- Multiplatorm Linux, Windows and macOS.

- It all runs on free, open source software: SoftEther https://www.softether.org so you can audit the software (and it's not ours, people are using it all over the world for VPN)

The architecture is based on central servers that route the traffic among the peers in your network, hence why full connectivity can be accomplished always with only outbound connections. It is important to choose in which server you want to create your connection, so the latency is as low as possible.

Learn more about us in our documentation section: https://wormhole.network/docs/

We currently have a few hundred users and are looking into making the product better by listening to your feedback. We have a free tier without time or traffic limits, available in three regions (US East, Netherlands and Singapore); it just has user limits. No credit card needed to use it.

I'll be extremely happy to receive criticism, suggestions and any other feedback in general here or directed to pedro /at/ wormhole.network

22
Ask HN: What are the best practises for using SSH keys?
305 points by TheCustardKing  7 days ago   110 comments top 25
1
dsl 7 days ago 3 replies      
From my experince as an attacker --

 - Is it better to use a different passphrase on each key, or does using the same one not matter much? - How much less secure is it to not use a passphrase on a key? - Should you use a different key per user account, per server, or per use-case (i.e. personal or work)?
None of these things really matter that much. Make sure you use full disk encryption and never stand up from your machine without locking it, and make sure you keep your local machine patched. If I get code execution on your machine, I am going to use whatever keys are loaded in your ssh-agent to pivot, hijack your existing open sessions, or modify your ssh client to dump the keys I need.

 - Does increasing the amount of bits in a key really have an effect on the security of the key, or does it not make much difference in a real-world use?
Key length is a protection against the future, and against state level actors. Right now, key length doesn't matter much to me because I'm more focused on just stealing your keys from you regardless of length.

2
daurnimator 7 days ago 4 replies      
I consider best practice to be using a hardware token.

My favoured solution is to use a yubikey via gpg: with this method you use your gpg subkey as an ssh key.The yubikey 4 supports RSA 4096 bit keys, if you need NFC then the Yubikey Neo supports max RSA 2048 bit keys.

3
regularfry 7 days ago 1 reply      
The first rule: never share a private keys between physical devices. Apart from reducing the opportunities for it to go walkies in transit, or accidentally get left on a USB stick, it allows you to revoke a single credential if you lose (control over) that device.

From that, we get:

 - you're not sharing passphrases between keys, you're sharing them between devices, and whether that's safe depends how likely it is that a compromised passphrase on one device can be transferred by an attacker to another. - Similarly, whether a blank passphrase is a good idea or not depends on what other measures are protecting access to that private key. - If a private key ever turns up on the wrong machine, you *know* the key and both source and destination machines have been compromised.

4
facetube 7 days ago 1 reply      
If you have a lot of machines, SSH certificates are supported in OpenSSH 5.6+ and are awesome: https://www.digitalocean.com/community/tutorials/how-to-crea.... They allow for centralized management of authentication/authorization without having to touch each machine (beyond an initial trust relationship setup).
5
mlonkibjuyhv 7 days ago 3 replies      
This is probably the wrong forum, but I have a question or two that I see as related.

I have setup a VPS, disabled passwords, and setup a key with a passphrase to gain access. At this point my greatest worry is losing this private key, as that means I can't access the server.

What is a reasonable way to backup my private key?

Encode it as something similar to a QR-code, print it, and store it in a hole in the wall? Copy it to an USB-stick and hide that somewhere safe?

Alternatively, I have access to more than one computer, so I could also authorize a couple of other keys to access the server. So I would transfer the public key to the authorized machine, and add them to the authorizedkeys from there?

How to deal with the possibility of death? Do I trust someone with my keys and passphrases?

6
zimbatm 7 days ago 5 replies      
If you use fail2ban make sure to pin the right key to the right host. Otherwise ssh will try all the keys and get you banned from your own host. The easiest way is to use the ~/.ssh/config:

 Host myhost IdentityFile ~/.ssh/myhost

7
mynameislegion 7 days ago 0 replies      
The classical document about this:

http://lackof.org/taggart/hacking/ssh/

8
daenney 7 days ago 0 replies      
> - How much less secure is it to not use a passphrase on a key?

This is a question of layers. If you don't have a passphrase on your key, what stops someone from gaining access to it? Just your account password? If they steal your device, is there some form of storage encryption involved?

> - Should you use a different key per user account, per server, or per use-case (i.e. personal or work)?

I have different keys for different purposes per client device. This is mostly because sometimes I need to login to places that are ancient enough I need to use a weaker key than I would like to use in other places or vice-versa, there's places I can only login with ed25519 keys.

Though having different keys per purpose isn't necessary it allows me to keep certain identities separate. I have a different one for GitHub for example, mainly because GitHub exposes my public key and therefor allows for clever tricks like tying the key to an established identity should I use that key to authenticate in other places.

I would also recommend configuring SSH so that it doesn't send over any/all keys by default. Take a look at the IdentitiesOnly option in ssh_config.

9
Normal_gaussian 7 days ago 1 reply      
- Is it better to use a different passphrase on each key, or does using the same one not matter much?

Yep in an ideal world, though I suspect in practice it doesn't matter much.

- How much less secure is it to not use a passphrase on a key?

You are relying completely on the security of your disk, against either physical or cyber. Use a passphrase, use an agent to manage it.

- Should you use a different key per user account, per server, or per use-case (i.e. personal or work)?

Per client device. This is the device that can be compromised and cause invalidation to be required, so this is the one which should be seperate. For convenience you can maintain all your devices public keys concatenated together and hand them out like that - comment each with hostname and date created for ease of identification.

- Does increasing the amount of bits in a key really have an effect on the security of the key, or does it not make much difference in a real-world use?

Up to a point. RSA in 8 bits is trivial. Go for a highish key length, different key types have different recommended lengths. Note some machines dont support higher lengths.

- How/Where should private keys be stored on a device using them?

In $home/.ssh

Permissions should be set for only you to read with no writing. Even better if your home drive is encrypted as it is only vulnerable whilst you are logged in.

- What are some of the pros and cons from a security standpoint, and how may doing different things affect the usability of a key?

If you hop machines a lot key per client can be problematic. In this case a portable secure drive is useful. Of course one leak can be fatal here.

Try not to fall back on passwords, they have nothing like the same security.

Most usability issues are caused by the people running the servers not reacting in a timely fashion to key updates.

10
asdfaoeu 7 days ago 1 reply      
Some general advice based on most requirements.

- Is it better to use a different passphrase on each key, or does using the same one not matter much?

If they are being used on different device then different passphrases makes sense otherwise no.

- How much less secure is it to not use a passphrase on a key?

10? Not sure you can really quantify an answer. I'd recommend a passphrase if you aren't already using disk encryption with that it's probably less of a concern however with agents there's not much issue with not having one.

- Should you use a different key per user account, per server, or per use-case (i.e. personal or work)?

Use a different key per client device but you don't need a different key for logging into different servers unless you care about people correlating those users.

- Does increasing the amount of bits in a key really have an effect on the security of the key, or does it not make much difference in a real-world use?

Use more than 2048bit for RSA/DSA beyond that it doesn't matter.

- How/Where should private keys be stored on a device using them?

~/.ssh on some local filesystem.

11
po1nter 7 days ago 1 reply      
> - Is it better to use a different passphrase on each key, or does using the same one not matter much?

It is better to use a different passphrase for each key but it is also less convenient unless you're using a password manager (personally, I'm using KeePass)

> - How much less secure is it to not use a passphrase on a key?

That depends on the security of the computer where the keys are. I remember a Firefox vulnerability where one site exploiting it was looking for ssh keys on the local file system. So I'd say that a passphrase is very important.

> - Should you use a different key per user account, per server, or per use-case (i.e. personal or work)?

Personally I'm using a key per account per host.

> - Does increasing the amount of bits in a key really have an effect on the security of the key, or does it not make much difference in a real-world use?

Yes up until 2048 where the returns of increasing the amount of bits will start diminishing.[1]

 [1]: https://www.gnupg.org/faq/gnupg-faq.html#no_default_of_rsa4096

12
zimbatm 7 days ago 1 reply      
> How much less secure is it to not use a passphrase on a key?

It's better to think about specific attack scenarios. If your keys get exfiltrated because of some local exploit (like a browser vulnerability, a malware download or physical access) then the attacker has access to your servers.

13
steventhedev 7 days ago 0 replies      
It depends heavily on your threat model. Just about any key is an improvement over using passwords to authenticate. If you want protection from state-level actors, you need to be really careful and consistent.

Regarding key types:

- DSA keys (ssh-dss) suffer from several issues (fewer bits, bad RNGs in Debian, other issues), and modern versions of OpenSSH deprecate it.

- RSA is pretty standard, and generally speaking is fairly secure for key lengths >=2048. RSA-2048 is the default for ssh-keygen, and is compatible with just about everything.

- ECDSA is largely considered compromised because the constants NIST chose for the cryptosystem weren't well documented how they got them, and the assumption is that the NSA chose them to provide a "backdoor" (so it would provide the same security for a general attacker, but significantly easier for them). This was confirmed as being theoretically possible, and there is of course concern that the NSA could potentially leak those constants, instantly breaking the security of this cryptosystem.

- ED25519 is more or less the same as ECDSA, but was put together by DJB. The big advantage here is speed. EC crypto is much faster to sign, slightly slower to verify, and equivalent security can be achieved with fewer key bits.

- Notes for the future: both RSA and ED25519 become insecure against quantum computing (integer factorization and discrete log are both in BQP).

Generally, use RSA if you work with older servers that only support it, or ED25519 if you like shiny things. Otherwise it's a bit of a tossup.

Regarding using separate keys:

- I follow the philosophy that a private key should never leave the host it was generated on. If you aren't sharing keys between machines, you remove the risk that you'll accidentally share it publicly.

- Beyond that, I'd recommend at a minimum having separate work/personal keys. Keeping separate keys for each user/host you want to log into is a tad excessive, but can be useful for key revocation/rotation.

Regarding passphrases on keys:

- Yes. FDE is sometimes trivial to bypass, and you want to be protected in case someone sets your ~/.ssh folder to be synced to dropbox/samba/etc. You can use an agent to keep the decrypted keys in memory, but I'd avoid using agent forwarding.

Regarding bastion hosts:

- You didn't ask about this, but it is essential for a "best practice" setup.

- Bastion hosts are small VPS hosts that basically run sshd and have a static IP. You disallow any ssh traffic except from your bastion hosts to your servers.

- You'll want to have at least 2 bastion hosts with different hosting services, in case one isn't available.

- Run sshd on your bastion host on a port other than 22. Not for security, but for reducing log volume.

- Run fail2ban on your bastion host, even if you've disabled password authn. Again, not for security, but for reducing log volume.

- Set up fail2ban to alert when a new IP successfully logs in.

Other stuff:

- SSH can use certificates for authentication, and this can make the key distribution problem much easier to solve. I have a script that makes this easier.

- Push for everyone in your organization to use SSH keys, and only SSH keys.

- Defense in depth. All it takes is skipping one step and you expose yourself. Assume that something that was exposed has been compromised. An attacker only needs to succeed once.

tl;dr - the defaults are fine and password protect your keys.

14
jijojv 7 days ago 0 replies      
From a pragmatic end-user perspective.

1) Disable passwords and only allow keys even for root with PermitRootLogin without-password

2) public-key authentication has somewhat unexpected side effect of preventing MITM per this security consulting firm http://www.gremwell.com/ssh-mitm-public-key-authentication

15
mixmastamyk 7 days ago 0 replies      
I upgraded to ed209 the other day as well.

Two questions came up, how many iterations to use via "-a ", and should I add the private key to my home folder repo in version control? I don't want to lose it in a disk crash, but don't want to give it to bithub either.

16
jamiesonbecker 7 days ago 0 replies      
> Is it better to use a different passphrase on each key, or does using the same one not matter much?

Using a passphrase is highly recommended except for server-to-server accounts, which should be locked down (and specify the specific command that server can execute in the authorized_keys file - Userify[1] supports this).

You should definitely use a different passphrase for keys stored on separate computers, and it's not a bad idea to use a different passphrase for separate keys stored on the same computer, especially if they have different servers they can access. However, practically speaking, if your computer was compromised (ie keylogger etc) then it's game over anyway.

> Does increasing the amount of bits in a key really have an effect on the security of the key, or does it not make much difference in a real-world use?

Yes, it does make a difference, depending on what you mean by "real-world". Anyone less than a state-level actor will probably be unable to cost-effectively attack even a 1024 bit key, but that won't be true for long. We suggest 2048 bit keys if you are using RSA, with 4096 if you prefer extra security and don't mind slight latency during a connection, or ED25519 for keys on systems that support it. Generally the defaults are pretty good. We have a HOWTO for different OS's here: https://userify.com/docs/generating-ssh-keys-on-ec2/

> How much less secure is it to not use a passphrase on a key?

From the server's perspective, it's EXACTLY the same, but from the client (your laptop's) side, it's completely different. While it's possible that your laptop could still contain your decrypted key in its key manager's RAM or suspended state (ie unencrypted swap file etc), the use of a passphrase even on (actually, ESPECIALLY on) a non-full-disk encrypted system will raise the level of effort to access your key to near-impossibility levels, especially from non-state actors, whereas a key that has NO passphrase is a piece of cake. Use a passphrase EVEN WITH full disk encryption (for example, the evil maid attack)

> Should you use a different key per user account, per server, or per use-case (i.e. personal or work)?

If you're using a different key and storing them on different computers, you should probably use a different passphrase on each key. The passphrase (or even if one exists) is not visible to remote servers (or Userify[1] - we provide a free-text field that becomes your authorized_keys on remote servers.)

You don't need to use a different key per user account, although you can. You also should not use a different key per server.. that will turn into a management nightmare. It's perfectly ok to use one key everywhere, but you should probably use a different key on your laptop and desktop, or if the keys have different levels of access (Userify[1] can automate that for you too).

> How/Where should private keys be stored on a device using them?

Ideally on a device using full-disk encryption, including swap and laptop suspend space, to prevent access to a decrypted key in RAM (you are using a passphrase, right?). However, FDE does not protect you from other compromises on your system (i.e., another user that gains escalation to root and installs a key logger), and does not protect against a compromise of your BIOS (i.e., Intel UEFI) or boot process (evil maid attack again).

> What are some of the pros and cons from a security standpoint, and how may doing different things affect the usability of a key?

Keys are safer than certificates because there are less moving parts and no outside requirements for your internal CA or dependency on a CA that might go down. Keys can be a management nightmare at scale, but there is software to manage them (ie Userify[1], ManageEngine[2], BeyondTrust[3], ssh universal key manager[4], keybox[5] (free/open source), etc). If you are doing a small project with few team members, you can also do management with Chef, Puppet, etc, or just by hand.

In terms of usability, a real key solution that manages keys across entire groups of servers with a few clicks can be really helpful... you can do all of the regular SSH things like tunneling (replace stun/sslwrap, etc), proxying all of your other traffic (SOCKS5), keep SSH connection alive (autossh etc), smart ban based on failed attempts (fail2ban, deny hosts), forward encrypted X11 or VNC connections, forward SSH itself (tunnel SSH within itself), and so much more.

We're going to start blogging about all the awesome things you can do with SSH soon, since it's really an amazing and deep protocol.

1. Userify https://userify.com Free cloud and on-premises versions available; full disclosure: I work there

2. ManageEngine: https://www.manageengine.com/

3. BeyondTrust: https://www.beyondtrust.com/

4. SSH Universal Key Manager: http://www.ssh.com/ (no TLS?)

5. Keybox http://sshkeybox.com/

17
Tharkun 7 days ago 0 replies      
If you use multiple identities, and want to reduce the odds of accidentally using the wrong one, then having different passwords is a good idea.
18
benkaiser 7 days ago 0 replies      
Relevant xkcd: https://xkcd.com/538/
19
gupi 7 days ago 1 reply      
I would also recommend using two-factor authentication (see services like Duo or Twilio's Authy) along with password-protected keys.
20
xaduha 7 days ago 1 reply      
https://github.com/philipWendland/IsoApplet + some blank java cards + card reader. Something about Yubico rubs me the wrong way.
21
anonymousDan 7 days ago 1 reply      
What about for the host key of the server (assuming ssh2)?
22
sztwiorok 7 days ago 0 replies      
Most important is - keep it safe

Passphrase is strongly advised

23
yellowapple 7 days ago 0 replies      

 Is it better to use a different passphrase on each key, or does using the same one not matter much?
If the keys are for the same thing (i.e. your personal `id_rsa` and `id_ed25519`), then I'd personally be comfortable with the same passphrase. Different passphrases should be used for different purposes (e.g. you shouldn't use your personal passphrase on work-specific keys).

 How much less secure is it to not use a passphrase on a key?
Depends on the situation. I personally err on the side of caution and use a passphrase on all keys unless it's not physically possible.

If you expect to be moving your SSH keys across machines (e.g. to use your same personal key on both your laptop and your desktop), then they should absolutely be passphrase-protected, even if they're only transferred via encrypted media.

 Should you use a different key per user account, per server, or per use-case (i.e. personal or work)?
There's not really a right or wrong answer to this besides "don't reuse the same key everywhere". I personally maintain one key (really two: one RSA, one ED25519) for all of my personal devices, and maintain a strict policy of full-disk encryption on such devices. I've occasionally maintained separate work keys so that I'm not ever in a position where I need to make my personal keys available to an employer.

Meanwhile, for situations where a server needs to connect to another machine via SSH, each such server gets its own key. That way, if a server is compromised or decommissioned, I can revoke access by key.

 Does increasing the amount of bits in a key really have an effect on the security of the key, or does it not make much difference in a real-world use?
It makes a significant difference. More bits exponentially more attempts required to brute-force it.

 How/Where should private keys be stored on a device using them?
Depends on the device.

A reasonable balance between security and practicality is for any portable media (including portable devices, like laptops/tablets/phones) to be encrypted (in addition to the key itself being passphrase-protected). Better security would be to extend this to non-portable media and machines as well (but this is painful to enforce on servers unless you have physical access).

The directory in which keys are stored should only be accessible to the OS user actually using those keys (so, for example, `~/.ssh` should have permissions `drwx------` when viewing with `ls -la`).

Basically, server SSH keys should be treated like you'd treat your SSL/TLS keys.

 What are some of the pros and cons from a security standpoint
...of?

 and how may doing different things affect the usability of a key?
Pretty much everything involves security v. convenience tradeoffs. Generally, the more secure, the less convenient, and vice versa. While absolute security is ideal, a lack of convenience makes it more difficult to effectively enforce (e.g. as part of a company-wide security policy) unless you're willing to put in the work to build up an effective workflow around it.

24
sztwiorok 7 days ago 1 reply      
I agree with following comment.i was wrong. Thanks asdfaoeu for it.
25
gregorygraf 7 days ago 0 replies      
i can recommend this link:

Upgrade your SSH keys!https://blog.g3rt.nl/upgrade-your-ssh-keys.html?_utm_source=...

23
Ask HN: No mechanical escape key in new Macbook Pros?
20 points by mattnedrich  3 days ago   59 comments top 11
1
weinzierl 3 days ago 6 replies      
I'm in the market for the new MacBok Pro and the OLED row makes me excited, but as a Vim user the lack of an physical escape key would be problem for me.

I have Caps Lock mapped to Ctrl and I'm glad that MacOS provides this option out of the box, but Caps Lock as Esc is not an option for me. I hope there will be an out of the box way to map Escape to something sensible.I'd trade ~ for Esc anytime, as long as ~ and ` are accessible via the OLED strip.

2
gamedna 3 days ago 2 replies      
Back when the iPad was released, I ran a 6 month experiment to see if I could live as a developer using only the iPad and the cloud. My initial findings were quite positive, and the first few weeks were exciting and new.

As time progressed, task switching and copy/paste were obvious shortcomings due to limitations with iOS, but the experience was mostly bearable but not awful.

Towards the end it became unbearable as the escape key was so engrossed with all things unix/linux that i gave up a month early.

If the escape key is actually vanishing, I am completely confused. macOS is a unix derivative and apple has a boatload of developers. Why would they want to alienate us?

3
stevep001 2 days ago 1 reply      
I ended up with a ThinkPad X1 Carbon gen 2 -- it has a five row physical keyboard, with the top row as a virtual keyboard.

It was constantly registering touches on the top row when I didn't want them. With a laptop, I commonly rest my hand on the keyboard and touch -- but don't depress -- keys.

Today it's only used in a desktop configuration with an external keyboard.

I'm not the only one who felt this way -- see, for example, this Ars review of the gen 3, which said of the gen 2 keyboard:

"...the keyboard shed its top row of function keys, replacing them with a software-controlled touchable strip, and used a peculiar arrangement for buttons including home, insert, backspace, and delete. The result wasn't better; it was awkward."

http://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2015/02/thinkpad-x1-carbon-re...

4
busterarm 3 days ago 4 replies      
I've been using an external keyboard (Realforce 87U at work. A 104 w/ Cherry Blues at home).

Other than the coffee-shop crowd, how many of you would say you're exclusively a laptop-keyboard user? Not a dig, just wondering.

If Apple offered an iPad Pro, running OSX with USB ports (or a thunderbolt port usb hub) for a physical keyboard, I would switch over in a heartbeat.

5
1_2__3 3 days ago 3 replies      
It's really hard not to see this as just a continuous and perpetual dumbing-down by Apple of all its products, to the point of uselessness for essentially anyone who isn't an 80 year old grandmother who's never used a computer before and needs to use skype.
6
snowwrestler 3 days ago 1 reply      
Apple could easily persist an ESC virtual button in the same spot. Or provide a user setting to do so.
7
taurath 3 days ago 1 reply      
I think they'll just replace the tilde key with the escape key if the photo is a new MBP.

I press escape OFTEN, but tildes rarely. For the most part its to get into consoles in games or other dev functions - I could see myself losing it and not being too sad.

8
a-no-n 3 days ago 0 replies      
If there's no hackable non-Retina-like model with user-upgradable to 16 GiB of memory and dual SSDs, the MacBook Pro (13-inch, Mid 2012) MD101LL/A will be the last MBP I buy. Overpriced, soldered-on memory is BS.
9
meidan 3 days ago 1 reply      
I use VIM. I will not be upgrading to the newest apple products. I think I'll phase them out instead.
10
sboselli 3 days ago 2 replies      
What about the up and down arrows? There's only key there in your first image..
11
stuaxo 3 days ago 0 replies      
Hm, how long until there are Linux drivers for this ?
25
Ask HN: How to decide who should be CEO?
6 points by ryanmccullagh  2 days ago   13 comments top 4
1
csa 1 day ago 0 replies      
In broad terms, the CEO typically does fundraising and marketing. Realistically, both people will be working on many aspects of the business -- it's not always prudent to silo duties early in a business.

Based on other replies, equity and control may be issues that concern you. Spolsky's post on this matter is widely cited as a response to this question. There are also quite a few posts that dispute his thesis. These are relatively easy to google. This is one example:

https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=2493356

Here is a list:

https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=4941933

Note that there can be issues that 50/50 doesn't appear cover cleanly -- supplying cash, full time versus part time, building, selling, contacts/network, etc.

Some would say that all of these other things, if they lead to something other than 50/50, may suggest the business is doomed from the start. While I will remain neutral on that question in this reply, it's certainly a good thought exercise.

Most of all, I wonder if you would choose to marry your potential cofounder. If your response is not "hell yeah!", you may want to reconsider. You will effectively be married to this person for quite a while, and any weaknesses in your relationship will be amplified.

Best of luck!

(Edit: answered the original question)

2
alain94040 2 days ago 0 replies      
The CEO should be the one who is pushing the other. The one who goes the extra mile to do all the millions of little, insignificant things that a startup requires.

source: long experience with co-founder teams

3
hoodoof 2 days ago 1 reply      
If the two of you cannot easily answer this question then your journey is going to be a troubled one.
4
ohstopitu 2 days ago 1 reply      
I don't have an answer to the question...but a follow up question.

If you are a 1 person startup (and don't want to be a CEO), how would you decide on the CEO as and when that may be? (say you decide you want to be a CTO / COO)

26
Ask HN: Should I include final year projects in CV out of college?
9 points by zump  2 days ago   8 comments top 7
1
drrob 2 days ago 1 reply      
Prior to having any "real world" experience on there I'd say yes: bung it on. Once you've clocked up some actual solid work experience I'd remove it though.
2
JamesBarney 2 days ago 0 replies      
CVs have two purposes.

The first is to get past H.R. gatekeepers to get you to an interviewer. This involved having the right years of experiences, keywords, school, gpa, etc...

The second is to have interesting things to talk about with an interviewer. Putting your school project on your resume won't heart the 1st one. But if it's and interesting project and you would look good talking about it. Then heck yeah put it on your resume.

After 4 years though if it's not a really awesome project you might want to remove it. It could be perceived like you haven't accomplished anything noteworthy recently.

3
iends 1 day ago 0 replies      
Depends on how good it is and if it's relevant to the job you are applying for. I think I left mine on until my 2nd or 3rd job.
4
brudgers 2 days ago 0 replies      
I think it depends a great deal on the local culture and the industry segment and the particular company: for example an employment listing with emphasis on academic attainment, a government position, or a culture where multi-page CV's are expected.

Going further, it's worth doing a minimum amount of research for any position you want and to CV/resume tune for it.

Good luck.

5
msh 2 days ago 0 replies      
Absolutely, after 2 years you would properly not have that many work projects.

Especially if it can be related to the job you are applying for.

6
debacle 2 days ago 0 replies      
Is it worth discussing during an interview or relevant work experience? If not, then no.
7
Prad 2 days ago 0 replies      
I personally wouldn't have school projects if you have been out for two years. I'd have personal projects you have worked on in your spare time. I think these are much more interesting to see.
27
Ask HN: Where to learn advanced concepts in Functional Programming
8 points by jaybosamiya  3 days ago   6 comments top 3
1
bbcbasic 3 days ago 0 replies      
The best way to learn monads is to ignore the IO one for now, and learn what >>= and return does for each "pure" one individually. E.g. Maybe, List, Either etc. With enough examples understand you will understand the pattern. At various points you may want to check you understand what the type system is doing in the implementation.
2
dozzie 3 days ago 1 reply      
Write.

All those concepts don't matter if you don't have where to apply them, and ifyou do have use for them, you'll learn them soon enough. It was quite visiblewith a nice paradigm of aspect-oriented programming dozen years ago(from imperative programming field); it looked like a good idea, but there wasnowhere to put that into use sensibly, and AOP eventually died.

28
Ask HN: What's the best way to learn about the blockchain?
259 points by m52go  8 days ago   74 comments top 37
1
lhnz 8 days ago 5 replies      
Building the minimum viable block chain: https://www.igvita.com/2014/05/05/minimum-viable-block-chain...

That's where I would start.

2
shp0ngle 8 days ago 4 replies      
Everything in Bitcoinlandia is fairly superficial, since everyone is trying to sell Bitcoin and make himself rich. So it's like reading multi-level-marketing books.

That being said. What's actually kind of good (with actual technical specifications) is Bitcoin wiki, even when it's slightly outdated; then official bitcoin website; and sometimes bitcoin stack exchange website (but that can become outdated too).

I don't think Blockchain can be disconnected from Bitcoin, and if you do, it's very general and not that specific.

3
justinpobrien 8 days ago 1 reply      
Highly recommend the Princeton book and Coursera course as a starting point.

And if you want a compiled list of resources for learning:https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B6CKmAqa1_nzRGVicnlHY1BaaUk...

4
daveguy 8 days ago 2 replies      
I assume you have read the the original Nakamoto paper on bitcoin. I will put it here for reference purposes. It is a seminal paper on blockchain and fairly accessible.

https://bitcoin.org/bitcoin.pdf

5
zmanian 8 days ago 1 reply      
I highly recommend the Princeton book and associated video lectures as a place to get started. It does a great job of framing things in the context of the wider fields of cryptography and distribute systems research.

http://bitcoinbook.cs.princeton.edu/

6
daniel-cussen 8 days ago 1 reply      
My understanding of how the blockchain works:

Someone tells a joke based on a prompt. This would be your Genesis block. Then everyone else competes to tell the funniest joke based on only that and the new prompts from the audience.

Repeat until you have an ongoing, hilarious comedy routine that cannot be edited after the fact without being found out because that would ruin the whole routine. It just wouldn't be as funny.

7
fode 8 days ago 0 replies      
This has been a great resource for me, especially Andreas's video at the end:

Inserting metadata into the blockchain.https://medium.com/@bkawk/inserting-metadata-into-the-blockc...

Andreas M. Antonopoulos: "Consensus Algorithms, Blockchain Technology and Bitcoin" [UCL]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sE7998qfjgk

8
wslh 8 days ago 0 replies      
I think a good unorthodox start is skimming/looking at Q&A sorted by votes on [1] and [2]. A good book but oriented towards bitcoin is [3]. My company also made an spreadsheet comparing different blockchain approaches [4] to have a high level understanding (e.g. blocks speed, security vulnerabilities)

I work in the field and the most difficult thing is to separate the noise from the signal. On talks with financial institutions and the government, they say they want to use the blockchain but when you ask about how many nodes they are planning to run they came up with one, or doesn't understand the question. Also, there are a lot of use cases that are not realistic because they depend on oracles or there is no way to enforce the smart contract in the real world.

[1] http://bitcoin.stackexchange.com/questions?sort=votes

[2] http://ethereum.stackexchange.com/questions?sort=votes

[3] https://www.amazon.com/Mastering-Bitcoin-Unlocking-Digital-C...

[4] https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1DQ770nGnHfJOoRSqTLmI...

9
fitzwatermellow 8 days ago 0 replies      
Stanford CS 251: Cryptocurrencies, blockchains, and smart contracts

https://crypto.stanford.edu/cs251/syllabus.html

10
gregoryrueda 8 days ago 0 replies      
21 has some fun tutorials.https://21.co/learn/

The intro to bitcoin concepts is great place to learn about blockchain.

https://21.co/learn/introduction-to-bitcoin-concepts/#introd...

11
elorant 8 days ago 1 reply      
I would suggest the book Mastering Bitcoin from OReilly. I dont have extensive experience on the issue but what really worked for me is that the book provides code examples (in Python and C++) that help get a better grasp of the technology.
12
umutisik 8 days ago 1 reply      
Probably too basic for original poster but this post by Michael Nielsen helped me with the basics of the bitcoin protocol. http://www.michaelnielsen.org/ddi/how-the-bitcoin-protocol-a...
13
jloughry 8 days ago 0 replies      
Set up a full node at home and run it for a while. Turn on logging and watch the messages there.

You'll need (at present) about 80 GB of disk space to hold the blockchain. The full node client will download it for you or you can torrent a recent snapshot of the blockchain and then synchronise from there (quicker).

The software you can obtain from here:

https://bitcoin.org/en/full-node

Or you can use git to pull the source code from GitHub and compile it yourself. I've done both, and found the developers on GitHub friendly and responsive to pull requests, even helpful to a newbie submitting a first pull request.

Beware that running a full node will try to eat all your upstream bandwidth. It takes a few days for the Bitcoin network to notice the existence of your new full node, but the number of connections will grow (others asking you for pieces of the blockchain, as well as transaction verifications). You can learn a lot about the Bitcoin ecology this way.

14
aerovistae 8 days ago 1 reply      
This book is insidiously useful. I went from not getting it at all to getting it more or less completely. Includes code interacting with the blockchain in a wide variety of ways.

http://chimera.labs.oreilly.com/books/1234000001802

15
bachback 3 days ago 0 replies      
1) Read the original blockchain article: http://szabo.best.vwh.net/securetitle.html

2) Longest lecture Nick Szabo, inventor of blockchains, ever gave was in the money museum in Zurich: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tWuN2R2DC6c

3) Study the original source code (bitcoin version 0.0.1).

4) https://github.com/bitcoinbook/bitcoinbook

16
scott_ci 8 days ago 1 reply      
I've found that getting a wallet and sending some Bitcoin is a great first step. This course introduces Bitcoin and also surveys an array of other decentralized, blockchain projects: https://www.pluralsight.com/courses/bitcoin-decentralized-te... (caveats: self-promotion, pay-walled, but the free trial allows you to watch 95% of it).

Bear in mind that the word "blockchain" is an evolving word; almost every definition I've read differs. Some see it as barely different than a distributed database that doesn't allow deletions. Many others see it as paradigm shifting.

17
anatoly 8 days ago 0 replies      
I liked this for a technical introduction:http://www.michaelnielsen.org/ddi/how-the-bitcoin-protocol-a...
18
blockchain 7 days ago 0 replies      
Read the original Bitcoin paper, it should take no more than two hours even if you're not technical; http://genius.com/Satoshi-nakamoto-bitcoin-a-peer-to-peer-el..., once you understand what a blockchain does you'll probably want to know more about smart contracts http://about.smartcontract.com/#defining-a-smart-contract, since their decentralized data/transaction storage capabilities enable the decentralized computation which has the capacity to replace 90%+ of computable contracts (http://www3.weforum.org/docs/WEF_GAC15_Technological_Tipping...) which are currently in silos, much like what we had with various data before the internet
19
bitcointutoring 8 days ago 1 reply      
Hi m52go,

I have a blockchain/bitcoin tutoring service at www.blockchaintutoring.com. I did a Show HN but didn't get a single comment :(

I'm a programmer myself, but my target market is not the typical HN user. I'm looking to teach more business types and people in the law profession, for example. I'm preparing a small course plan to help people get from 0 to knowledgeable. The course will certainly be a bit technical, but I would not cover for example the pros and cons of the blocksize debate unless someone asks for that information.

I invite you to contact me, either through my website's contact form or the email address there provided. We can chat, and then if you ever choose to use the service, it's going to be at a discount for HN users. Your questions will definitely help me tailor my offering.

20
jeffrestore 8 days ago 0 replies      
Capability-based Financial Instruments:http://www.erights.org/elib/capability/ode/index.html

Although this paper does not directly address the blockchain, I believe it and the thesis below are at the root of the concept. (If you want to go down the rabbit hole, check out the references page of the above paper). Fair warning, the above paper is from 1999/2000 so obviously much has changed, but still worth reading.

Robust Composition: Towards a Unified Approach to Access Control and Concurrency Control by Mark Samuel Miller:

http://www.erights.org/talks/thesis/

21
Razengan 8 days ago 2 replies      
Newb question: Why do people refer to it (these?) as "the" blockchain?
22
izqui 8 days ago 0 replies      
If you are interested in the technical implementation of it, I did a very basic version of a Blockchain in Go a while ago.

https://github.com/izqui/blockchain

23
hendzen 8 days ago 0 replies      
Honestly your best bet is to read everything Gregory Maxwell has ever written.
25
udayj 7 days ago 0 replies      
Annotated Bitcoin paper (which also talks about Blockchain) - http://genius.com/2683791Digital Currency MOOC http://digitalcurrency.unic.ac.cy/free-introductory-mooc/
26
benev 8 days ago 0 replies      
I wrote a piece for Linux Voice on how bitcoin works a couple of years ago. It's obviously focused on this particular blockchain, not the principal in general and it's a couple of years old now. I tried to give a good overview for techincal people : https://www.linuxvoice.com/bitcoin/
27
ftlio 8 days ago 0 replies      
http://www.righto.com/2014/02/bitcoins-hard-way-using-raw-bi...

^ Following along with this helped me a lot. Bitcoin is a rather large onion, but, as others are saying, implementing parts of it is the only way to go.

28
brudgers 8 days ago 0 replies      
I found the various interviews on Software Engineering Daily informative. There's probably more than revealed by a naive search, but it's a start:

http://softwareengineeringdaily.com/?s=blockchain

29
adamqureshi 8 days ago 0 replies      
I was working on this service. Teaching blockchain bootcamp courses online. I found a few instructors. Just need go figure out the MVP. Are you in NYC? Check the landing pagehttp://studioblockchain.com/
31
Everhusk 8 days ago 0 replies      
If you enjoy more of a hands on approach, try getting a miner setup for some new coin. You'll learn a ton in the process.
32
kobeya 8 days ago 0 replies      
33
brighton36 8 days ago 1 reply      
Blockchains are just databases rebranded to be something interesting when cryptography is applied. There's no magic to keeping transactions in 'folders'. Database journaling, and message signing has been performed since the 80's (or older)
34
ttam 8 days ago 0 replies      
as others have mentioned, the princeton course videos + _homework exercises_ are a great entry point. also read satoshi's paper and then other resources
35
kapauldo 7 days ago 0 replies      
Read the Greek guys open source book.
36
Nano2rad 8 days ago 0 replies      
Learn elliptic curves.
37
7 hours ago 7 hours ago 1 reply      
29
Ask HN: How (un)secure are the passwords saved at my browser?
31 points by soneca  5 days ago   10 comments top 5
1
Arcsech 5 days ago 0 replies      
Yes, browser password storage is really poorly secured. For what it's worth, a Chrome staffer explained on this very site[0] their reasoning, but that doesn't really sit too well with me - in my opinion, browsers should either go all way the way and integrate a full KeePass/1Password style password storage or remove the feature altogether.

Firefox appears to be a bit better by letting you set a master password that's used to encrypt passwords[1], although without digging into the behavior I can't say exactly how much that helps.

[0]: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=6166731[1]: http://kb.mozillazine.org/Master_password

2
zerognowl 5 days ago 1 reply      
Lastpass is zero-knowledge but subject to any number of attacks on the client. As the old adage goes: If you can't attack the crypto, attack the client! My personal setup is an always updated version of KeePass. I gave up using 1Password when I realized the loopback is cleartexted when autofilling passwords, and a host of other vulns like the .opvault format not used as the default, and too many other vulns to count. The master password is also a single point of failure and once you get that, you get everything. A chain is only as strong as its weakest link and all that. With KeePass even if they have the master password, they also need a second key / keyfile, and a machine ID so a copy of the KDBX file is useless to an attacker (unless they can emulate your machine UUID).

You can read more about that 1pass vuln here: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=11212002

3
wkd 5 days ago 0 replies      
What advice I give in terms of computer security I see more like being sanitary similar to washing your hands, it will not make you free of germs but it will greatly reduce the chance of getting an serious infection. The thing you should realize is that your data will never be perfectly secure. You could take your data offline and store it on an encrypted hard-drive in a waterproof safe on the bottom of the ocean and there could still be ways to access it. You need to find a middle ground where you feel safe enough not to worry about serious infections but aren't afraid of germs to the level it affects your every day life.

Most browsers store their passwords in plain-text, this means there's applications that can fetch all your stored passwords from all browsers and send them to an undisclosed location in seconds given user level privileges on the machine.

By upgrading to lastpass you have reduced that attack surface by using a secure passphrase and encrypted data-store but you have increased your attack surface to anything accessing lastpass servers and application bugs.

With all these attack vectors one might think that it's better to just not save passwords and just remember them, while this is true in theory in practice it's impossible to remember a sufficiently unique password for each website you are registered to which leads to password reuse which is another much greater attack vector where your leaked passwords from one site can be reused on other sites.

In general I would advice you to use a password manager that generates and encrypts passwords (Lastpass is one of them), use a secure passphrase and don't reuse passwords. Password reuse will likely make you less secure than writing your passwords on a post-it by your computer (don't do that either)

I would also consider looking into using proper 2-factor authentication for sensitive login (document storage, email, password manager) but I don't want to bore people with the details there so I'll defer you to do some independent research

TLDR

* Store passwords encrypted (Lastpass is fine)

* Don't reuse passwords on different sites

4
oxguy3 5 days ago 0 replies      
Yeah it's pretty easier to get to your saved passwords in Chrome -- they're at chrome://settings/passwords. They're not encrypted or anything (depending on your OS, you might have to enter your password to reveal the passwords at that link, but that's just to stop unsophisticated snoops -- there's nothing blocking access to the plaintext passwords on your hard drive). I'm not sure precisely how LastPass is accessing them (I use 1Password) but I'm not really surprised. Chrome's password store is for convenience, not security. If you want security, use 1Password or LastPass or something.
5
jasonhansel 5 days ago 1 reply      
Passwords stored by the browser can't be encrypted. Unlike with, say, LastPass, the browser doesn't have any "master password" to encrypt data with. Moreover, the passwords can't be stored as hashes (like in /etc/passwd), since websites require users to provide passwords in plain text.

Granted, if you use full-disk encryption, this concern is much less serious.

30
Ask HN: How much do you make in London?
126 points by ldneng  5 days ago   170 comments top 71
1
gringofyx 5 days ago 2 replies      
Reading some of the amounts listed is a bit depressing, I thought that the increased cost of living in London would justify salaries and rates much higher than the average.

By contrast I know from personal experience you can earn the same or better than what's listed here outside of London and enjoy the lower cost of living.

2
throwawaylon3 5 days ago 2 replies      
Senior Software Engineer (and manager) at Google, ~15 years experience. 100k GBP salary, plus 20% bonus and stock vesting. Gross 200k+ GBP.
3
ldn_throwaway 18 hours ago 0 replies      
1.5 years experience, full-stack web developer at a startup (Ruby, some Go), earning 25k in Central London. I'm broke and it sucks. I've tried interviewing other places but haven't found anywhere offering above 30k.
4
LondonTA77 5 days ago 2 replies      
ASIC design, 7 years here now. 45k + bonus + pension + healthcare. Without the bonus it isn't anywhere near what you'd get in a bank, explains why so many of my university mates took their EE degrees into finance. Probably partly due to the lack of hardware jobs in the capital. I've always found the name 'Silicon Roundabout' very ironic.
5
frowaway_lon 5 days ago 3 replies      
This is a bit depressing. In 2010 I retired from full-time post as Investment Bank, front office senior dev on 100K with 30-50% bonus, 20 years experience. C++, Java, Sybase, finance tech and domain knowledge, and colleagues in hot areas were getting way more than that. My impression that rates are dropping seems to be confirmed.
6
strongai 5 days ago 0 replies      
Senior technical author. I freelanced from 2004-2013. My very first London contract in 2004 was at 350 a day. Nowadays, it's crazy bad - anything from 200 to 400, maybe 450 if your domain knowledge is spot on. And Google - I'm looking at you - contract rates of 20-25 an hour have been bandied around in conversations with recruiters. So, no real market uplift in more than 10 years, which is why I'm now a permie (not in London) on 55K basic plus 20% bonus, no stock.
7
throwawayberlin 5 days ago 1 reply      
Degree in Graphic Design, 8 years industry experience, started with Flash / ActionScript and moved to JavaScript about 5 years ago.

Freelance Flash animation / dev for big digital agencies and ad companies (5 years ago) - 250 p/h, with 3 years experience.

Tech Lead - Digital Agency in Shoreditch (1.5 years ago) doing Node / Ember / Angular / DevOps - 45k, however I chose a lower salary for more leave and flexible working hours.

Freelancing JavaScript dev (Node, Angular etc), digital agencies - aprox 300-350 p/h

Now I work in Berlin in a dev role doing Node / React / Redux. 57k. My living expenses are 1/2 what they were in London, and I live in a central Berlin 1 bedroom apartment rather than shared housing.

8
bugahdug 5 days ago 1 reply      
PHP Developer in the Southwest of UK (Devon, Cornwall, Somerset etc) 25k, no bonus - and that's about average. Living here isn't the cheapest either, 600pcm for a 2 bed flat, over 1,000 a year for water.

Really need to move towards the midlands (Bristol, Birmingham, Leicester, Staffordshire - cheaper rent, cheaper water, higher pay)

I've been a Dev for 7+ years.

9
contingencies 5 days ago 0 replies      
Hadn't worked in the western workforce in 7 years. Turned up in London in 2009, got 40k, kicked ass, had 60k within 3 months, up from there. These days I honestly wouldn't live in London for under 100k. I think the thing to do is contract work, live out of London (even in mainland Europe) if at all possible.
10
barpet 5 days ago 1 reply      
Those people @ 55 - 60k (EUROS) should really ask themselves if it's worth working in London.
11
londontosser 5 days ago 0 replies      
Yet another throwaway acct. 20+ years large-scale ops and security, last five with one of the "big five" tech companies. 100K base plus stock worth 150-200K/year depending on which way the market wind was blowing on vesting dates.

Currently doing my own startup and cyber-security consulting for 750-900/day.

12
TamDenholm 5 days ago 1 reply      
Contractor, PHP/Full stack, 11 years exp, 350 - 400 a day in London. Not risen much in 5-6 years which is why i started doing other things like business consultancy.
13
ShinyCyril 5 days ago 1 reply      
While we're on the subject of tech jobs in London... does anyone work with FPGAs?
14
infinii 3 days ago 0 replies      
This thread has me thinking whether all those claims that financial compensation isn't that important in job satisfaction is true or not. How often do we see threads asking about non-financial benefits.
15
lozette 5 days ago 1 reply      
Developer (currently at a startup) 62k, no stock but I do have a pension/healthcare.

17 years experience, initially as a general web developer, then front end, now more back end. Currently Ruby on Rails but I can turn my hand to almost anything.

Not a manager, not a senior developer, not a tech lead. No desire to be.

I work quite short hours (9.30-5) and that's what's most important to me.

16
ThrowAwayLondon 5 days ago 3 replies      
(throwaway account for obvious reasons)

Web Developer in London for a dating company - 75000 pa (with bonuses it's around 110000 pa)

17
throwmeaway9 5 days ago 0 replies      
Contract Senior Developer, stack is usually SPA (Angular/React) with "modern" .NET.

Current gig 475pd, to be honest I had better leads but the client offered the same day of interview and I started the following day.

I have 6 years experience and no degree.

Guy next to me does the same job for 53k.

Edit: media type of industry. Work normal hours, usually 9-5:30.

18
londonite 5 days ago 1 reply      
Throwaway for obvious reasons.

No degree. Around 10 years experience in Network Security.

- BigCo

- Permanent position

- Cloud stuff

- 66k plus bonus et al which pumps it up to around 88k

19
thrwwyldn777 5 days ago 2 replies      
"Lead Developer" with a startup, 55k (I refused options in preference of salary).

I have a PhD (4 years programming), and ~4 years professional experience as well.

Previous roles:Fresh Graduate: "Developer" 28k + 3k bonus.Fresh PhD Graduate: "Senior Developer" 40k.

20
asldfkweiorz 5 days ago 1 reply      
Throwaway.Data Scientist, Insurance, FT, 39k a year, approx 3 years experience.
21
throwaway_27Sep 5 days ago 0 replies      
Currently Senior Dev at a startup: 50k + 3.5% equity.Previous Hedge Fund: 95k + 25-50% bonus.Investment Bank: 80k + 25% bonus

Experience: 20 years as a dev.Skills: full stack dev .net, angular, iOS etc.

22
novapost 4 days ago 0 replies      
Senior Systems Specialist,32k pa. This is in the North East of England. Job actually involves anything from traditional system/network admin to web development and almost everything inbetween, supplier management, procurement. Probably under paid for the roles covered but thankfully not in a major city.
23
ijuhoor33 5 days ago 0 replies      
Senior iOS, contract, last year: 575 per day in a medium sized companySwitched to a smaller company as Team Lead for 500 per day
24
Throwaway33333 5 days ago 1 reply      
650 / day, almost all remote doing Hadoop and Redshift Consulting and POVs. Coding for 15 years, in Big Data for the past 5.
25
1_player 5 days ago 1 reply      
Contractor 100% remote, full stack, 10y experience, currently 40/h, will increase to 50 before the end of the year.
26
gooseherald 5 days ago 2 replies      
Contractor, currently 650/day. Hoping to increase that to 850/day by end of year. Experience > 15 yrs in web dev, though maybe only last 5 applies now (I don't do PHP 3 or perl any more).

Edit: long term so no "off" days & 150k ish per year depending how many holidays I take.

27
bowchickabowwow 5 days ago 0 replies      
I have a computer science degree and around 9 years experience doing full-stack web development(Ruby, PHP, Python, JavaScript). A year ago I was making 55k + around 5k worth of perks as permanent employee. Now I'm doing freelance roles for 350-400 pd.
28
mrsomeone7 5 days ago 0 replies      
Developer contractor, nearly 20 yr exp., now mainly .NET, works out at just over 1 a minute :-)
29
throwawayPayLdn 5 days ago 1 reply      
Just switched roles so can give two:

Small Investment Bank - 61k + ~30% Bonus (3-5years experience) Java / Angular - Back Office Developer - Permanent

Small Hedge Fund - 65k + 50%+ Bonus (expected/promised) - .Net / WPF (5years experience although not in .Net) - Permanent

30
throw9383 5 days ago 1 reply      
For comparison, in Devon. Full stack senior developer, 20 years experience, full time - 42K.
31
wastedhours 5 days ago 2 replies      
Are we only talking programmer side?

Digital marketing, education sector, 4 years experience: 39k + healthcare

32
spoonie 5 days ago 0 replies      
"Intermediate" dev using Ruby-On-Rails mostly with a bit of Python, JS, and Go: 41k for the first year and 45k for the second.EDIT: no stock, and only benefit was WFH 1 day/week, and 1% matched retirement savings plan.
33
throawaylondon3 5 days ago 1 reply      
Senior front end developer. 4 years experience. Now a contractor on my first project at 350/day in a big company. Expecting this to rise to 400/450 for the next gig. A few months ago I was full time at a startup on 52K.
34
jakub_g 5 days ago 2 replies      
Semi-related question: How do you calculate taxes in UK? Is the base of the tax the salary offered by companies in job offers? I mean, with say 60k job offer, do I pay tax from 60k? (with the last 17k being taxed at 40%)?
35
throwaway78978 5 days ago 0 replies      
Senior Web Dev 550/day 7 years experience no degree.

Startup salaries topped out at 80k (ignoring non-liquid stock) so went contracting. You need the stomach for it, but it pays a lot better for similar work.

36
J-dawg 5 days ago 0 replies      
Front end developer, large IT consultancy, 35k, no bonus. Feeling underpaid.
37
ldnthraway 5 days ago 0 replies      
Finance, QA, permie, 5 yrs exp., 56k + ~10k bonus.

I've been longing to go contracting in the last few months, but judging by the sentiment on this thread, it doesn't look like it's a wise choice.

38
santiagobasulto 5 days ago 1 reply      
This is kind of offtopic, but "There's recently been a lot of discussion about how much people are making in different areas of the US". Where can I find that post? Thanks
39
noelwelsh 5 days ago 1 reply      
I don't work in London but I know many people who do. The experience Scala developers I know who work contracts get 500-700pd outside of banks, and 600-900pd in the banks.
40
throwaway782 5 days ago 1 reply      
Snr Cloud / Infra. 650 day remote working (desk in London but physically in the office 1-2 days a month), 1 yr contract - but renewable. Annualised, 156K
41
p0la 5 days ago 0 replies      
Front-Office Quant Research in French bank, 4 years experience, 70k fix + 35k bonus. Definitely lower that what you would get in a US or UK bank.
42
throwbay654321a 5 days ago 0 replies      
70k + stock + 1% matched pension. Senior software engineer. PhD and 4 years professional experience. Work 9:30 to 6. Ruby on Rails.

Throwaway account

43
acta_non_verba 5 days ago 0 replies      
Startup, full time employee, called Senior but I only have one year of commercial experience, 47,500. ~10% annual bonus & Stock Options.
44
ukthrowaway123 5 days ago 0 replies      
Lead a team of 6 in one devision of a medium sized org. Web services + api. ~10 years exp.85k plus 30% bonus (expected), no stock.
45
londondev998 5 days ago 0 replies      
Senior developer with a front-end focus at a startup with some corporate backing, 7 years of experience, ~80k plus benefits.
46
ThroAwayLondon2 5 days ago 0 replies      
Established privately held (profitable) company, full-time tech-lead, Telecoms + Web + Backend, 10 years experience - 50k.
47
throwmesalary 5 days ago 0 replies      
At a major retail company, here are our published ranges:Engineer 40-65KSenior Engineer 60-80KPrincipal 75-95k
48
surprised_dev 5 days ago 0 replies      
7 years of experience, mostly PHP and Python. Started at 44 after 2 years 51k. Now got offer for 80k~ as devops.
49
nicolasMLV 5 days ago 0 replies      
In 2013 I declined an offer (first job, graduate): software dev in bigco (IT Provider travel industry), 38K
50
ldnthrowaway 5 days ago 0 replies      
Startup, Software Engineer (JavaScript), 2.5 years experience (Grad May '14), 38k, 12% bonus.
51
ThrowAwayBlah 4 days ago 0 replies      
Contract PM in Investment Banking IT, 20+ years experience, 800/day.
52
user1728596 5 days ago 0 replies      
Software Developer - 13 years experience

One of the big tech companies

70k Base20k Bonus+ ~20k / year stock vesting

53
omurphyevans 5 days ago 0 replies      
Senior Infrastructure specialist, big bank, 14 years, 450 a day, annualises to about 110k
54
thawlondon 5 days ago 0 replies      
52k, some stock, healthcare. Senior dev in a video game company. ~8 year experience
55
thrwaynow 5 days ago 0 replies      
Contractor, 700/day, investment bank, back office role

10 years C++, specialised in low latency

56
throwaway723895 5 days ago 0 replies      
Full stack (mostly PHP) contractor, 15 years experience, 100% remote, 400/day
57
wissam124 5 days ago 1 reply      
Quant risk analyst for a commodities trading house

Base 67kBonus anywhere between 15 to 50%

58
throwawaythrowa 5 days ago 0 replies      
Senior developer in the Civil Service, 8 years experience, 60k/year
59
jalev 5 days ago 0 replies      
45k pa working as a DevOps for one of the console companies for 2 years.
60
datthrowawaytho 5 days ago 0 replies      
Mid senior Android Developer in social network 55k +12% bonus no stock
61
anonforpay 5 days ago 0 replies      
Software engineer (front-end) 8 years experience

77k basic 10k bonus plus stocks

62
aprdm 4 days ago 0 replies      
Used to make 32k at startup. 3 years of experience .
63
le_ticket 5 days ago 0 replies      
working for an engineering consultancy at a very senior technical level, overseeing big data projects, and doing some business development. 80k p/a plus benefits
64
Thisisrandom8 5 days ago 0 replies      
Im not in London still in(uk), 1.5years IT Security,18k :(
65
qqqqqqqqqqq 4 days ago 0 replies      
yikes!

28k in London, full stack dev with 2 years experience... react + redux, node, express, elasticsearch, rabbitmq, postgres, mongo etc.

66
throw31337 5 days ago 0 replies      
Full time senior Java/Scala/JS @ 48K :/
67
middleman90 5 days ago 1 reply      
6 years experience. software developer 450 per day
68
uuidlondon 5 days ago 1 reply      
Throwaway. 79k + stock option + benefits
69
z4n 5 days ago 1 reply      
lead developer, no degree, gaming: 75k base + 30k bonus.Mostly c++, some objectiveC and java
70
idfsifdsjio 5 days ago 0 replies      
throwaway account

Front office large investment bank. Java. Perm. 15 years in banking, 20 years in programming

110k - no significant bonus.

71
dan_b 5 days ago 1 reply      
May I suggest something more anonymous like a google spreadsheet? Or a HN poll?
       cached 3 October 2016 04:05:01 GMT