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Ask HN: Experiences with cloud-based dev platforms?
47 points by beat  3 hours ago   30 comments top 11
mikegreen 3 hours ago 1 reply      
Disclaimer: I'm just a product/biz guy that codes on the side.

I started using CodeAnywhere earlier this year to manage a small PHP+mysql geospatial email system for an aviation charity I do the tech for...so wanted something cheap (its $120 a year?) and able to teach a non-tech how to go in and make a change (as I don't want them making edits in the github UI). I was also using my Chromebook a lot while traveling and using shared space, so I needed a decent dev environment without Chrome plugins/jankiness/slowness from a 4gb system.

They have Android and iOS apps that make changes when on the go a touch easier, though code on a Nexus is pretty rough on a plane :-)

So far, pretty good - initially they were making changes to how containers were created and destroyed, causing some changes in the syntax of how a container is defined thus causing mine to be troublesome. However, their support was pretty responsive and got it sorted out.

gomix.com as mentioned here already is pretty new but has been reliable for me so far. It is a fogcreek venture so I imagine it will mature pretty quickly.

greenspot 2 hours ago 3 replies      
I started with them. First Cloud9, then Nitrous and eventually, I ended with...

- A cheap VM on Digital Ocean close to my location

- tmux

- vim

I have never been so productive before and they give me more flexibility than any cloud dev service at a much cheaper price point. And now after two or three years, I am a tmux, vim, console pro. Everything else compared feels slow and limited.

torkalork 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Gomix (https://gomix.com) is my current favorite. It might not have as many bells and whistles as the others you listed, but it "just works" more of the time than any other platform I've tried.
benologist 3 hours ago 3 replies      
I'm a big fan of Cloud9. Since you can use Cloud9 on your own hardware pretty easily you're not forced to treat it as a part-time-IDE-for-X you can just use it for everything (it supports dozens of languages) and being online or locally hosted becomes just an irrelevant detail. I've used it for web and android projects.

I dislike the proprietary ones, I don't think proprietary developer tools should be supported anymore tbh, but they force you to use them only-for-x and that means you're looking at alternatives every other time too!

ivan_burazin 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Thanks for this great question! As the Founder of COdeanywhere I am also really keen on hearing the answers. Also feel free to ask me anything you guys like.


bear1728 3 hours ago 2 replies      
I've used https://cloud.sagemath.com/ with great success. Especially with writing Sage code, LaTeX, Python, Go, Javascript, and a bunch of others. It's especially nice since I can work on any of these collaboratively with others. Right now I'm using it with a small team writing a bunch of markdown files with math, which smc (sage math cloud) handles great.
angrymouse 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Of them all the one i used the most was Codio.

It used to have a minimal set of things you could install but moved to a clean Ubuntu box that you can pretty much muck about with and install what you like.

For Rails, it is perfectly suited and very easy to spin up an Ubuntu VM and play.

I used Cloud9 before hand and though this was a while ago, I had a demo of an Express thing with MongoDB and about 15 mins before said demo it started falling apart.

I believe the uptime is pretty great, just a lasting impression of failing just at the wrong time.

Codio seems to have pivoted however to be more about offering educational institutions the ability to create courses etc. so though powerful, that is what the developers are focused on now

Occasionally the version number of things lag behind in Codio and that is my biggest gripe. That and PHP boxes not having mod_rewrite enabled out the box, but that is just me

highd 3 hours ago 1 reply      
I'm a vim+screen+mosh(+Jupyter) guy, so my environment is "cloud-based" as-is (in that I'm mosh-ing to a dev server). I can see why some people might want more fully featured IDEs, but this works for me. As I get better and better at Vim it gets harder and harder to go away from the keybindings, as well.

I guess it depends on what you're looking for - i.e. some new kind of collaboration workflow or a nice GUI or some other IDE features.

beat 3 hours ago 1 reply      
For my personal interest, I'm developing an app on a Rails/Postgresql stack, and client software that talks to the app in Go. I'm interested in finding a cloud-based solution that supports both without a lot of DIY hand-rolling.
divbit 3 hours ago 0 replies      
(As long as you have fast internet) Codepen is so useful for making ui's... it massively smooths out the fiddling process and also convenient to share a ui with the debug / display mode or whatever it's called. I'm sure one could come up with a similar offline software for the creation aspect, but since it's hosted, it takes only two clicks to share a website demo, which seems like it would be hard to duplicate without cloud.
orasis 2 hours ago 0 replies      
I'm loving Cloud9 for JavaScript and Python dev. I love having a separate VM per project and nothing installed on my laptop.
Ask HN: If you targetting ES6 by default, how did you rationalize that choice?
45 points by tcrews  4 hours ago   46 comments top 22
hzoo 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Might be a good chance to suggest using our new preset: https://github.com/babel/babel-preset-env/.

TL;DR - automate your Babel config options based on targets.

babel-preset-env: A Babel preset that can automatically determine the Babel plugins and polyfills you need based on your supported environments.

It takes the data from compat-table [1] to generate a mapping [2] between a Babel plugin and the first version that a browser/env supports. We calculate the least common denominator of your targeted envs to determine the final set of plugins to compile with.

(Feel free to ask questions, I help maintain Babel and the preset). Just released a 1.0 a few weeks ago and looking for more help and usage! Looking into more help with removing unnecessary polyfills, and determining plugins based on performance via benchmarks of native/compiled.

And yes there is a lot of work that goes into making this work correctly (and in the foreseeable future with ES2015+). Would appreciate any help moving forward. And maybe we should just replace/recommend this preset instead of anything else to fight the fatigue..

[1]: https://kangax.github.io/compat-table/es6/[2]: https://github.com/babel/babel-preset-env/blob/master/data/p...

Klathmon 4 hours ago 1 reply      
* It makes the language much easier to work with

* Most people familiar with JS will pick up on them very easily

* It makes "patterns" like immutable data and some straightforward async code MUCH easier (object spread, async/await, etc...)

* node.js supports it (with a slight speed penalty, however it hasn't bottlenecked us yet so we aren't worrying about it yet)

* Most modern browsers support many of the features, and those that don't the polyfills and compilation is pretty much "drop in" with the rest of our build system.

* Dead code elimination has completely changed how we architect our projects for the better

* const gives us less bugs by preventing overwriting and scope confusion

* One of the main applications we are using it on only supports newer browsers that support ES6 natively anyway (due to needing certain browser APIs), so using the full extent of those browsers doesn't seem like it's going to cause any issues.

and finally...

* There doesn't seem to be any downside. We are only using stuff which is already in the spec, or close enough to being finalized that we are comfortable. If performance is an issue we can just not use it in performance critical code, and it's just nicer to work with.

I will say that it's not all daisies and roses though. We are worried what will happen if the module loading spec goes in another direction than we think it will, not to mention that interfacing with external ES6 libraries is either done through transpiled common-js code (which loses most of the benefits of ES6), or through "hacky" solutions like a "nonstandard" field in the package.json which lets something like webpack load the ES6 version (which we have no idea what features they are using, might need transpiled, might need fixed, etc...).

Like anything, it's a bit of a gamble. But I'm confident that we will save more time and have less bugs by using the new features than we will lose to fixing modules to be inline with the spec or dealing with incompatibility problems.

alangpierce 3 hours ago 1 reply      
I think the word "target" in the question is unclear, or at least has been misinterpreted. Many of the answers here seem to be about why you would write your source code in ES6, but at least to me, the "target" code is the code that actually ends up executing (whether on the server or in the user's browser or whatever).

I think it all depends on your context and use case. If you're running code on the server, there's no reason to compile down to ES5 if you know that your node version can run your code without modification. At my company, we write browser-based tools for scientists, so we have a bit more flexibility in asking users to use modern browsers. We still use babel and target ES5, but we may move off of it before normal consumer websites do.

randomfool 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Broken windows theory- ES6 code is more elegant to look at, which encourages people to write prettier code.

Working on a team of experienced non-browser devs, ES6 syntax allowed them to take the language seriously and actually try to do the right thing rather than 'commit atrocities of Javascript' (actual statement).

TheCoreh 4 hours ago 2 replies      
IMO, you should set up an analytics funnel to measure landing page conversion or (for web apps) usage metrics based on browser version.

Whenever the cost of supporting old, ES5-only browsers (measured by the amount of time spent debugging/adapting code * dev hourly rate) surpasses the income brought in by users on those browsers, it's probably time to make the switch.

For the web app case, you obviously don't want to just cut out access to those users (that would be pretty bad customer service! that can totally ruin your reputation), so you also need to factor in the costs of educating your users about the upgrade, giving them enough time and/or providing an alternative means of using your app. (ex: an Electron-based app installer)

Considering how good the polyfills and transpilers currently are (assuming you already have those set up) the maintenance costs of supporting ES5 are very low. It makes very little financial sense to not support it for existing applications ATM.

If you're just starting with an app, that is going to launch in one year or more (assuming you're focused on a general audience , instead of a specialized market like corporate where browsers are updated more slowly) then I'd probably already start without worrying about ES5 at all.

dpweb 2 hours ago 0 replies      
As someone who writes ALOT of vanilla JS and doesn't really get into the new fangled frameworks, tools, transpiling..

Two things: template strings and arrow functions. Async is life-changing, but lack of support - can't use it yet.. Greatest feature since XMLHttpRequest IMO.

Raphmedia 4 hours ago 0 replies      
The code that I write will still be used in 5 years.

I can write ES6, stick babel.js on it and my code will be both present-proof and future-proof.

tlrobinson 3 hours ago 1 reply      
By "targeting ES6" do you mean writing ES6 and transpiling to ES5, or actually shipping ES6 to browsers?
gtf21 4 hours ago 1 reply      
Presumably you mean in the browser, rather than node.js? When you can compile and use polyfills with babel and webpack, then why not?
charrondev 29 minutes ago 0 replies      
I'm working on something that will be solely an electron app, so I'm using typescript and targeting ES6. Besides the bundling, the resulting code looks very similar to the typescript code minus the types.
simlevesque 2 hours ago 1 reply      
My code runs on Node >6.9.1 so it's really a no-brainer. The synthax is clearly superior.
andrenotgiant 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Chrome Extensions! Writing Chrome Extensions is a great way to use all the latest and greatest javascript for a practical project.
benologist 2 hours ago 0 replies      
I limit myself to ES6 features supported by Node LTS on the server-side.

I limit myself to ES5 code on the client side for now and probably at least next year too.

By writing code that is compatible with the platform it runs on I'm able to avoid having a slow, lengthy or complex build process to reach that state.

SimeVidas 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Im about to start coding my site from scratch using ES6 module + async/await syntax. Im doing it because it will improve readability, which in turn will make the code more maintainable.
tannhaeuser 1 hour ago 0 replies      
I'll be waiting till async/await (ES7 maybe?) is available natively in browsers and node.js and its error handling story is cleaned up. Right now, in node.js if you're using streams2/3, it's quite the mess to recover gracefully already. Future of exception domains in node.js isn't clear to me either. Also, browsers aren't there yet either (eg. Fetch API error handling and aborting).
grandalf 3 hours ago 0 replies      
In a nutshell, the js community is doing a great job of moving the language forward, and there is a great deal of cost to be borne by using the oldest version of the language that all browsers support. Browser vendors (in general) are the laggards, but there is an easy enough way to work around them.

ES6 also nudges the code toward a bit more uniformity that can lead to better medium term maintainability.

modularfurnitur 4 hours ago 1 reply      
How would you rationalize not using ES6?
WorldMaker 3 hours ago 0 replies      
I'm going to use Typescript regardless of which flavor of ES/JS I expect to target, for type safety alone. Since I'm already using a build system, writing for the latest ES/JS spec supported by Typescript is entirely about convenience of the new specs themselves. I can use Typescript to downlevel as necessary for the expected runtime environments.
spankalee 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Recently I've been advocating a move to distributing uncompiled ES6 packages, and shipping ES6 to browsers that support it and compiling using a single simple preset (ES2015 except modules).

There are several big reasons:

1) ES5 "classes" cannot extend ES6 classes (it's not possible to emulate a super() call in ES5), so:

1a) All the extendable built-ins are basically ES6 classes. If you want to extend Array, Map, Set, HTMLElement, Error, etc. you really should use ES6, and deal with emulating extending those classes in the compilation step.

1b) Really useful patterns, like ES6 mixins ( http://justinfagnani.com/2015/12/21/real-mixins-with-javascr... ) don't work when ES5 and ES6 versions are mixed in a prototype chain. That is, an ES6 mixin, compiled to ES5, can't be applied to an ES6 superclass. So if you distribute ES5 you're forcing everything above you on the prototype chain to be ES5.

2) It's much easier to debug uncompiled code, and all major browsers (as of Firefox 51) and node support ES6 well. Shipping uncompiled ES6 is a dream to work with comparatively.

3) ES6 is a much better compilation target for things like async/await because of generators.

4) ES6 is easier to statically analyze, so tools like TernJS and TypeScript (which can do analysis of regular JS too) can give better completions, etc.

5) It makes the pipeline from source -> packaging -> depending -> building for deployment much simpler.

Packages shouldn't assume too much about their eventual environment. That used to mean not assuming that the environment had ES6 or things like Promises. But times change and now that all the current environments support ES6, packages shouldn't assume that environments _don't_ support it.

So packages shouldn't directly depend on polyfills that most current environments have (Promise, Object.assign, new Array methods, etc.). Instead they should target standard ES6 and let the app developer who knows what they're targeting choose the necessary polyfills and down compilation. There's really too much bloat from packages forcing the inclusion of multiple Promise polyfills, or versions of core-js.

Also, it used to be that compiling dependencies was a major pain. You'd likely have to write custom build rules that compile and stage each dependency - because each dependency might have different language features and polyfill they might use. Now the packagers like WebPack and Rollup are so good at finding all dependencies statically, and we have a new stable plateau of language features in ES6, that the packager can compile everything it needs.

Of course if you use features beyond ES6, then those should be compiled to ES6. This implies a rule of thumb to move forward: Once all major browsers and node LTS have a feature, start assuming that feature and don't compile it out. For example, once Firefox and node LTS get the exponentiation operator, start distributing ES2016 (see http://kangax.github.io/compat-table/es2016plus/ ).

ggregoire 3 hours ago 2 replies      
Am I the only one to not understand the question?
seanwilson 3 hours ago 0 replies      
I'm using Typescript. The amount of bugs it catches (e.g. undefined/null errors and unexpected string/number bugs being the biggest ones) makes it more than worth it.
angelmm 4 hours ago 1 reply      
Hello! I assume you are talking about we development.

As a developer, the new versions of EcmaScript include good features that make easier the development of our applications. Also, ES6 is not a beta, it's a new version of the language. We are talking about frontend, so the execution environment of our application is unknown. However, the benefits of using the new features are big.

For me, the most important one is the new methods on basic types. With old versions of EcmaScript, I needed to rely in third party libraries to add some functionalities to my project. With the new versions of ES, my code is more independent from external sources.

Also, Babel provides backward compatibility for old versions of the language. As I mentioned, we don't know the execution environment of our project, but the TC39, the committee behind the decisions of the new features, has thought in this. Adding backward compatibility is a requirement for new features in the language.

Ask HN: Books you read in 2016?
284 points by rwieruch  12 hours ago   250 comments top 154
alawrence 3 hours ago 2 replies      
The War of Art - Steven Pressfield (unsure how I felt about this one, but it's short so worth a read)

Deep Work - Cal Newport (recommended)

Stumbling on Happiness - Daniel Gilbert (recommended)

Succeed: How We Can Reach Our Goals - Heidi Grant-Halvorson (lots of great stuff in here, highly recommended)

The Autobiography of Malcolm X - Alex Haley (I really like biographies and Malcolm X was a pretty interesting person. recommended)

Making It in Real Estate: Starting Out as a Developer - John McNellis (meh)

Ready Player One - Ernest Cline (I'm not big on sci-fi, so this book surprised me with how good it was. recommended)

Man's Search for Meaning - Viktor Frankl (I'm not sure how much I got out of it, but worth it just for learning about Frankl's unique experiences and perspectives. recommended)

Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future (meh)

Masters of Doom: How Two Guys Created an Empire and Transformed Pop Culture - David Kushner (One of those books that makes you want to lock yourself in a room and program for hours. Carmack's dedication and intellect is especially awe-inspiring. recommended)

wpietri 5 hours ago 1 reply      
Matt Ruff's Lovecraft Country, which led me to the non-fiction book Sundown Towns by James W. Loewen. I'm reading the latter right now and blowing my mind.

My understanding of the American history of racism was basically that it was generally getting better over time. Slavery, Civil War, Jim Crow, and then the civil rights era. What this leaves out was that things got rapidly better after the civil war for a few decades, and then got substantially worse. And that it didn't get worse in the south; all over America white people drove out non-whites from their towns. They created "sundown towns", places where African-Americans weren't allowed after dark.

This is an era that goes unmentioned in most official local histories, and I never heard about it growing up white. That was the case even though it was happening all around the area I grew up. E.g., not far from where my family lived was a major vacation area built by and for well-off African-Americans because they were kept out of the white ones:


I had literally never heard of the place, let alone known its history, even though I know the name of almost every town an village nearby.

skizm 5 hours ago 5 replies      
I realize this is probably not what you meant when asking for book suggestions on HN, but since you didn't specify: If you're into 2D action / sci-fi / dystopian fiction (or to be honest, if you're into fantasy/sci-fi at all) check out the Red Rising trilogy by Pierce Brown.

I went in expecting nothing and almost abandoned half way through the first book as it seemed like a Hunger Games / Divergent rip off (and I didn't even like either of those particularly), but holy crap after about half way into the first book I was hooked. I powered through all three in a week and a half. The books are pure fun. Didn't make me think too much, and had plenty of action, politics, twists, broken friendships, violence, sex, rape, torture, etc. Not exactly YA I would say, but then again the material isn't exactly complicated either.

All in all, if you need a break from serious reads and enjoy sci-fi / fantasy, check this out. The books were absolutely written to be made into a movie trilogy at some point and I can't wait for it.

panarky 5 hours ago 1 reply      
"It Can't Happen Here", a novel by Sinclair Lewis.

It was written in 1935 during the rise of totalitarian regimes in Italy and Germany, but before WW2. The prevailing wisdom at the time was that the American democracy was immune to the disease of dictatorship.

The novel speculates how a populist figure could manipulate people through fear, racism, corporatism, local militias and bald-faced lies.

He wins the popular vote and turns the US into a totalitarian dystopia.

It's fascinating to get a glimpse into people's understanding of the world before WW2 broke out. I pictured a series of catastrophes that were surprises to most people. But it's clear from this book that the horrors were anticipated in advance.

jfmercer 5 hours ago 0 replies      
"The English and Their History" by Robert Tombs. This isn't simply another "here's what happened" history book. Rather, it focuses not simply on what happened and why it happened, but more so on the stories the English tell themselves about their own history and how that formed and continues to form their complex ethnic, national, and historical identity. For example, the Henry V that impressed itself on the English imagination was not so much the real, historical Henry V, but rather the hero of Shakespeare's "Henriad": Henry IV, Parts I and II, and Henry V. (Cf. the St. Crispin's Day speech: "We few, we happy few, we band of brothers," etc.) Dr. Tombs is the Professor of French at Cambridge. Ironically, after devoting a lifetime to studying the civilization on the opposite side of the Channel, he has written a masterpiece on the history of his own people.

If you're looking for a book on the British Empire, this isn't it. Of course, the Empire is an essential topic in the book; however, Tombs focus remains centered on Britain, and, more specifically, England itself. For example, when discussing the Seven Years War, Tombs emphasizes how events abroad affected domestic politics without going into great detail about the international events themselves.

I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in English history.

yblu 24 minutes ago 0 replies      
I read a few dozens each year. These are the top in my 2016 list.

* Zero to One: Notes on Startups, or How to Build the Future. If you can read only one book on startup this year, read this book.

* Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future.

* Running Lean: Iterate from Plan A to a Plan That Works.

* Alibaba's World: How a Remarkable Chinese Company is Changing the Face of Global Business.

* Start-up Nation: The Story of Israel's Economic Miracle.

* Disrupted: My Misadventure in the Start-Up Bubble. You will like or hate this book a lot, but it's surely an interesting read and perspective.

* Learned Optimism: How to Change Your Mind and Your Life. Good book that gives you a framework to become more optimistic.

* Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind.

* The Three-Body Problem Trilogy. Great, great sci-fi.

* Understanding ECMAScript 6. Best ES6 reference book.

* Node.js Design Patterns. Best Node book for intermediate/advanced developers.

* CSS Secrets: Better Solutions to Everyday Web Design Problems. Great, great book on advanced CSS tips & tricks.

* Mastering Selenium WebDriver. This is probably the only good book on Selenium among so many bad books on this topic.

* Grokking Algorithms: An illustrated guide for programmers and other curious people. This is a good book but might be too basic for many people. Recommended for those who wants to quickly refresh their algorithms knowledge.

Freak_NL 27 minutes ago 0 replies      
I've read all six novels of David Brin's Uplift trilogies this past year. If you enjoy sci-fi written with a sound grasp of ecological issues and an intriguing take on galactic society, have a look at these books.

Also, dolphins in space.

If you are unfamiliar with this author, you may remember him from his essay on a particular persistent trope in sci-fi writing linked on HN:


I enjoyed the Uplift series (written in the eighties and nineties) a lot, and was pleasantly surprised to learn of a short story bundle that came out just this year. It includes a novelette that takes place in the Uplift universe, wrapping up some loose ends.

The story bundle is named Insistence of Vision, named for the opening story. The name is indubitably a nod to John Varley's (sublime!) short story The Persistence of Vision (also the name of the story bundle it is collected in, recommended for any sci-fi fan). I always find short sci-fi stories refreshing in that they provide a chance to explore more radical ideas and settings that would be hard to facilitate in longer works. Brin is one of those authors who succeeds in titillating the reader's imagination with interesting what-ifs and extrapolations without feeling contrived. Recommended.

beat 5 hours ago 0 replies      
Two standouts:

The World Beyond Your Head: On Becoming an Individual in an Age of Distraction, by Matthew B. Crawford. This is Crawford's second book, and I recommend his first, Shop Class as Soulcraft, even more highly. This is modern philosophy, intense and grounded in the history and conventions of philosophy, but not unreadable if you're patient. Crawford started working at a Washington think tank, and bailed for a more honest life as a vintage motorcycle mechanic. He walked away from wealth and "success" in favor of ethics and peace. His focus is on the intellectual and moral value of working at a craft, using your hands and your mind in concert to create and maintain things of lasting value. When you work with the physical world, you must shape yourself to the physical world, as much as you bend the physical world to your will. In this book, he talks less about the value of work, and more about the structure of society. It has some fairly extensive critique of the Enlightenment philosophy that molded American government and ethics, and pretty brutal takedowns of many of our institutions today, which he considers wrongheaded and actively interfering with a good life. He'll make you think, for sure.

The second book is Drift into Failure: From Hunting Broken Components to Understanding Complex Systems, by Sidney Dekker. The subject is how we analyze failures in very complex systems (such as airplane crashes, bridge collapses, etc). Such systems are built extremely carefully and at great cost, with extensive engineering for safety and reliability, and regulatory oversight. Yet sometimes, they fail anyway. Analyzing such failures can take years and is never (honestly) reduceable to some single-sentence cause. Yet that's what we try to do. Dekker argues that the reductionist approach of the scientific method, our entire way of doing rigorous thinking, is inadequate for complex systems, because there are too many interactions. Scientific method depends on reducing variables, and sometimes, variables can't be reduced. Again, this is fascinating stuff that will really change how you think.

kirubakaran 4 hours ago 1 reply      
Here is my full bookshelf: http://www.kirubakaran.com/books-read.html

Books Read in 2016:

1. The Recursive Universe: Cosmic Complexity and the Limits of Scientific Knowledge- Poundstone, William

2. My Brain is Open: The Mathematical Journeys of Paul Erdos- Schechter, Bruce

3. One Summer: America, 1927- Bryson, Bill

4. The Three-Body Problem (Remembrance of Earths Past, #1)- Liu, Cixin

5. The Dip: A Little Book That Teaches You When to Quit- Godin, Seth

6. At Home: A Short History of Private Life- Bryson, Bill

7. Kings of Kings (Hardcore History, #56-58)- Carlin, Dan

8. Blueprint for Armageddon (Hardcore History #50-55)- Carlin, Dan

9. Pitch Anything: An Innovative Method for Presenting, Persuading, and Winning the Deal- Klaff, Oren

10. William Shakespeare: The World as Stage- Bryson, Bill

11. So Good They Can't Ignore You: Why Skills Trump Passion in the Quest for Work You Love- Newport, Cal

12. The War of Art: Break Through the Blocks & Win Your Inner Creative Battles- Pressfield, Steven

13. In a Sunburned Country- Bryson, Bill

14. Cannery Row- Steinbeck, John

15. Traction: A Startup Guide to Getting Customers- Weinberg, Gabriel

16. Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World- Newport, Cal

17. Starship Troopers- Heinlein, Robert A.

18. No Touch Monkey!: And Other Travel Lessons Learned Too Late- Halliday, Ayun

gedrap 11 hours ago 5 replies      
- Introductory Statistics with R by Dalgaard, Peter. A solid introduction to stats, don't be scared by R bit in the title - it contains plenty of maths/theory so that knowledge is widely applicable. Brilliant introductory for everyone who wants to do something stats related. It's amazing how much can be done with no fancy deep learning algorithms, just plain simple stats.

- Statistics Done Wrong by Alex Reinhart. Plenty of gotchas with real world examples from academia. Well written and easy to read.

- The Circle by Dave Eggers. This one was scary. About imaginary corporation (a blend of Facebook and Google and Amazon) and probably not too distant future. If you liked Black Mirrors, you will love this.

- Brave New World by Huxley, Aldous. Classic novel with interesting thoughts about engineered society, where every human is assigned class, purpose in the society and feature at birth.

- Hatching Twitter: A True Story of Money, Power, Friendship, and Betrayal by Bilton, Nick. Read this book in a weekend, really well written and well researched about the inception of Twitter.

- Superforecasting: The Art and Science of Prediction by Tetlock, Philip E. A study on people with above average ability to forecast feature events (mostly geo-political). Talks about measuring predictions and improving them.

- The Black Swan by Nassim Nicholas Taleb. Brilliant book about overlooking rare events which have dramatic consequences because 'it's unlikely to happen'.

shazam 18 minutes ago 0 replies      
When Breath Becomes Air - Paul Kalanithi (highly recommended, but come prepared)

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child - J. K. Rowling, Jack Thorne, John Tiffany (recommended for HP nostalgia)

Elon Musk - Ashlee Vance (recommended)

Shoe Dog - Phil Knight (highly recommended)

Outliers - Malcolm Gladwell (meh)

The Gene - Siddhartha Mukherjee (currently reading, recommended so far)

leandot 18 minutes ago 0 replies      
Tech: Relevant Search, Clojure for the Brave and True

Personal: The Subtle Art of not Giving a f*ck

Sci-Fi: Red Rising

Fantasy: Powder Mage, Age of Myth

And a plug, but on topic - book mentions on HN: http://hackernewsbooks.com

TheAceOfHearts 11 hours ago 3 replies      
I read almost all of Brandon Sanderson's novels. I'd heard of him before, but I was hesitant to jump into his huge universe. I'm really happy I did, though. In roughly 2 months I binged on all the Cosmere novels and Steelheart.

He's creating a truly magnificent universe with the Cosmere. As I understand it, he expects it to reach 32+ books total. It's all centered around Stormlight Archive, which is an ongoing 10 novel series.

The killer detail that helped win me over as a big fan was the fact that he communicates with his fans. He's a fast writer, but he still gives updates. After a few years of following GRRM, having an author that so openly speaks with his fans is a breath of fresh air. I think everyone is usually aware that estimates are never truly accurate, but at least it gives you an idea of what the author expects to accomplish. If he says he's hoping to get the next Stormlight Archive book by the end of next year, I know that doesn't mean it's definitely going to happen. But that's fine, at least he's being open and communicating with his followers.

Honestly, I think Stormlight Archive has blow away pretty much everything else I've read.

This year I discovered a genre called LitRPG [0] and picked up all the major books in the genre. It's very light reading, for when you just wanna go off on a brief adventure. I enjoy videogames but I tend to find myself too tired or busy to want to go into the grind myself, so this made for an entertaining proxy.

[0] http://www.theverge.com/2016/5/28/11801040/have-you-heard-ab...

espitia 7 hours ago 1 reply      
1. Hackers and Painters by Paul Graham2. Secrets of the Millionaire Mind by T. Harv Eker

3. Tribes by Seth Godin

4. Beyond Good and Evil by Friedrich Nietzsche

5. The Industries of the Future by Alex Ross

6. Bigger, Leaner, Stronger by Michael Matthews

7. The Science of Getting Rich: Financial Success Through Creative Thought by WALLACE D. WATTLES (The Barnes & Noble Library of Essential Reads)

8. Money: Master the Game by Tony Robbins

9. Principles by Ray Dalio

10. Como Ganar Amigas e Influir Sobre las Personas by Dale Carnegie

11. Without Their Permission by Alexis Ohanian

12. Tribe by Sebastian Junger

13. Sapiens A Brief History of Humanity by Yuval Noah Harari

14. This is Water by David Foster Wallace

15. How Not to Be Wrong. The Power of Mathematical Thinking by Jordan Ellenberg

16. Walt Disney By Neal Gabler

17. The Rational Optimist: How Prosperity Evolves by Matt Ridley

18. Contagious: Why Things Catch On by Jonah Berger

19. The Richest Man in Babylon by George S. Clason

20. A Guide to the Good Life: The Ancient Art of Stoic Joy by William B. Irvine

Out of all these, I would recommend only a few:

- Sapiens

- The Rational Optimist

- Walt Disney By Neal Gabler

- How Not to Be Wrong. The Power of Mathematical Thinking.

- A Guide to the Good Life: The Ancient Art of Stoic Joy

adt2bt 1 hour ago 0 replies      
I've read and listened to ~30 books this year, below are the ones I recommend.

Audiobooks (Audible):

Food: A Cultural Culinary History - The Great Courses (if you've ever searched for 'authentic' food, I strongly, strongly recommend this book. It was one of my favorite listening experiences of the year)

City of Thieves - David Benioff (Wonderful storytelling, I recommend the audio version just for the performance)

The Elephant Whisperer - Lawrence Anthony (Another example of great storytelling, highly recommended)

Little Princes - Conor Grennan (Conor does a good job of teleporting you to another world and capturing the inner spirit of being a child anywhere in the world)

The Inner Game of Tennis - Timothy Gallwey (A great paradigm for practice and improvement)


Man's Search for Meaning - Viktor Frankl (For some, this will be life changing. ~3 hour read is all)

Tools of Titans - Tim Ferriss (I've only read through one time, but I plan to use this as a sort of reference book. I agree true that you'll enjoy 50%, love 20% and never forget 10%, but what falls under each category is different for everyone)

The Three Body Problem - Liu Cixin (I haven't read any sci-fi in a few years, this was a great reentry to the genre for me)

The Food Lab - J Kenji Lopez-Alt (If you want to know the why as well as the how when you cook, this book is for you)

tartuffe78 7 hours ago 1 reply      
- "Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell" by Susanna Clarke.

I usually can't read a book after seeing the movie or show, but the BBC version was so good and I read reviews that they left out quite a bit. The book definitely had a lot more detail, and was even more entertaining.

- "Flash for Freedom" by George McDonald Fraser.

A part of series of historical fiction starring Harry Flashman, a cowardly degenerate who always ends up admired and revered by all around as a hero. This one is set amongst the 49ers, the Battle of Little Big Horn, and more.

- "Neverwhere" By Neil Gaiman.

Fantasy novel about a regular guy in London sucked into a magical "London below". I thought it was clever writing, and the audiobook read by the author was surprisingly good.

- "One Second After" by William R. Forstchen.

Post-apocalyptic novel about the effects of an EMP attack on the USA.

- "Alas, Babylon" by Pat Frank.

Another post-apocalyptics novel, about conventional nuclear attack on many sites in the USA.

- "Cibola Burn" by James S. A. Corey.

Part of the Expanse Series that has been made into a show on SyFy. These books aren't page turners for me, but overall they are entertaining enough.

arc_of_descent 11 hours ago 2 replies      
I started Jan 2016 jobless, I still am. hence the long reading list! Apart from these I've read lots on AngularJS, React, Redux, Python.

* The Short Drop (The Gibson Vaughn Series) - Matthew FitzSimmons

* The Girl on the Train - Paula Hawkins

* Origins: Fourteen Billion Years of Cosmic Evolution - Neil deGrasse Tyson

* Elon Musk: How the Billionaire CEO of SpaceX and Tesla is Shaping our Future - Ashlee Vance

* Death by Black Hole: And Other Cosmic Quandaries - Neil deGrasse Tyson

* The Future of the Mind: The Scientific Quest To Understand, Enhance and Empower the Mind - Michio Kaku

* An Innocent Client (Joe Dillard Series Book 1) - Scott Pratt

* WIRED - Douglas E. Richards

* Phantoms - Dean Koontz

* Breakthrough - Michael C. Grumley

* Knots And Crosses (Inspector Rebus) - Ian Rankin

* Founders at Work - Jessica Livingston

* The Tumor: A Non-Legal Thriller - John Grisham

* Kick the Drink... Easily! - Jason Vale

* Hide And Seek (Inspector Rebus) - Ian Rankin

* Tooth And Nail - Ian Rankin

* Nexus (The Nexus Trilogy Book 1) - Ramez Naam

* Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow - Yuval Noah Harari

* Biocentrism - Bob Berman

kakarot 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Masters of Doom may well be the only book I've finished this year. I'm currently reading a few novels and The Snowball (Buffet's bio) but it is a slow process because of the overwhelming amount of time I spend reading news, technical resources, comics, and short stories.

I cannot recommend Masters of Doom highly enough to anyone on this website. It's about the rise of Id games and the technological and cultural breakthroughs they made in the industry. Kushner expertly weaves a tale about video games, programming and entrepreneurship in a way that few can. His attention to detail is masterful -- not simply an overabundance of detail, but detail in all the places it belongs. I really felt like I was there with the two great Johns, just as invested in the future of Id as they were.

a3n 2 hours ago 0 replies      
(Some of the +below are O'Reilly DRM-free ebooks. Big fan.)


+Effective Computation in Physics. Probably the most practical full-environment treatment of Python I've seen. Write, test, package, distribute. Third party libs.

Effective Python, Brett Slatkin. Sort of an "N ways to improve your Python." Part of a series edited by Scott Meyers.

Getting my C mojo back:

I left C/C++ 15 years ago. C++ will likely stay left, but I miss C.

+Reading 21st Century C, Ben Klemens. The first half is the development environment, which is great, since there's some new stuff since I left, and lots of stuff I've forgotten or never knew.

Rereading Expert C Programming: Deep C Secrets by Van der Linden. The guy's a riot. It's dated but still relevant. The inside baseball stuff on problems seen while working in Sun's compiler group is fascinating.

Rereading C Interfaces and Implementations, Hanson. Hoping this will serve as my C version of Large Scale C++ Design by Lakos. Honestly though, the literate programming style of presentation is off-putting. Are we still talking about that?

jrgifford 8 hours ago 0 replies      
I read 54 books (might be 56, there's still time!) in 2016. Here's the ones I recommend:


- Owner's Share by Nathan Lowell

I forget who recommended I read the Solar Clipper series several years ago, but I have been following them for a long time and look forward to it. It's part of a series, so start with the first one (Quarter Share) and continue from there.

- Star Wars: Tarkin by James Luceno

Non fiction:

- Programming Beyond Practices by Gregory Brown.

- Thirteen: The Apollo Flight That Failed by Henry S.F. Cooper Jr.

For the rest of the books I read this year: https://www.goodreads.com/user_challenges/3965760

fsloth 6 hours ago 0 replies      
Quite a few... but the best one was "Grit" by Angela Duckworth. It could be categorized as a self help book since it deals with personal growth and persistence - but from the point of view highly regarded researcher in psychology.

I highly recommend this book since it's good on so many levels.

Unlike quackery books into self improvement, her book describes her research and journey into human achievement using the scientific method.

tsaprailis 11 hours ago 1 reply      
I had asked a question[0] regarding books a few months ago which ended up in the following list[1].From those so far I have read the following:

- Elon Musk: Inventing the Future - Ashlee VanceTotally worth to get insight into the Elon. Kinda changes the superhero/good guy image everyone has but you end up with more respect for him whatsoever.

- Thinking fast and slow - Daniel KahnemanAwesome book presenting modern psychology. You'll get insight into how humans work.

- Rework - Jason Fried, David Heinemeier HanssonNice, albeit small book regarding how the creators of rails manage their company. So very nice insight.

- The Hard Thing About Hard Things: Building a Business When There Are No Easy Answers - Ben HorowitzI started reading this but it was too business centric for me so I stopped, however if you're a business owner it might be worth it.

- Vagabonding: An Uncommon Guide to the Art of Long-Term World Travel - Rolf PottsThis is a nice/into book if you're interested into digital nomading, long term travel in general.

- The Black Swan - Nassim Nicholas TalebThis in my opinion is a superb book if you are interested in statistics/philosophy. He presents the chaotic structure of our world and why extreme events are more common than we think.Definitely suggested.

- The art of Learning - Josh WaitzkinThis is a book that presents the Author's (Chess and Tai Chi Chuan World champion) way of learning. Has some pretty useful insight.

[0]: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=12415621[1]: https://github.com/kostistsaprailis/non-tech-books-for-devel...

kj01a 6 hours ago 0 replies      
I finished The Lord of the Rings! It took me three years of reading it on and off, but once I finished it the movies became significantly less epic.

I also read:

The Martian, Andy Weir --Loved it, but not for everyone

Streams of Silver, R.A. Salavatore --A fun read, disappointing ending

A Clash of Kings, George R.R. Martin --Wonderful

Meditations, Marcus Aurelius --Also wonderful

The Art of Peace, Morihei Ueshiba & John Stevens --Platitudinous bullshit and an affront to O'Sensei

prashnts 10 hours ago 1 reply      
Not a long list, but I'd recommend these:

- The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat ~ Oliver Sacks, 1985. This book contains tales of some of the Sacks's patients. A very interesting read. [1]

- The Mind's Eye ~ Oliver Sacks, 2010. [2]

- Spy Catcher (Autobiography of a MI5 agent) ~ Peter Wright, 1987. [3]

- Applied Cryptography ~ Bruce Schneier, 1994. Approachable and succinate language of this book makes it easier to understand. [4]

[1] http://www.amazon.in/Man-Who-Mistook-his-Wife/dp/0330523627

[2] http://www.amazon.in/Minds-Eye-Oliver-Sacks/dp/0330508903/

[3] https://www.amazon.com/Spy-Catcher-Autobiography-Intelligenc...

[4] http://www.amazon.in/Applied-Cryptography-Protocols-Algorith...

gk1 5 hours ago 1 reply      
I've read 13, which is half my goal of 24, but it's still more than the year prior so I'm satisfied. The three that stand out to me (recency bias in full effect):

Crime and Punishment by Dostoevsky - I went back to Dostoevsky because I needed a break from business books... Something to distract me from work in the evenings. Dostoevsky's overly descriptive narrative does a great job of transporting my mind to 19th-century Russia and far, far from my work and other present-day concerns.

Essentialism by Greg McKeown, and Deep Work by Cal Newport - Pairing them together because they both reminded me the same important lessons: 1) Do fewer things and do them better, 2) Being overly busy is not a sign of success.

roninb 7 hours ago 1 reply      
I reread 1984 this year and it gave me trouble sleeping for a few weeks afterward. The writing is so perfectly concise that your mind adds visceral details that fill everything in for you. It makes the environment (political, physical, economic, etc.) and everything Winston goes through so much more real.
blabla_blublu 4 hours ago 1 reply      
Currently Reading : Goldfinch!

Best Book I read this year : Deep Work by Cal Newport and One World Education by Sal Khan.

Best fiction : Laughter in the Dark by Nabokov.

## Deep Work by Cal Newport

## The life changing magic of tidying up by Marie Kondo

## So good they cant ignore you by Cal Newport

## Serious men by Manu Joseph

## Strangers on a train

## One world education by Sal Khan (Highly recommend it)

There are several wonderful takeaways from the book which I will try to list :

- The current model of education is broken. The Prussian system was designed to isolate workers from thinkers and factory laborers from office bearers. In an era where we need lots of original and creative minds to solve problems, it just doesnt work.

- Conventional education system leads to a lot of gaps in learning, which are not addressed. For example, in spite of scoring 90% in math, you might have missed out on a key concept which will come back to haunt you later on.

- The system of homework is broken. It prioritizes quantity over quality and is meaningless.

- The testing system is just a snapshot of the students learning and does not says nothing about a students potential to learn a subject.

Sal goes on to propose a futuristic schooling system where students would use Khan Academy or an equivalent medium to progress at their own pace and use their classrooms for pursuing creative activities and enhancing his/her learning. Another interesting idea which he proposes is to dismantle age-wise segregation and group them based on the levels they are at in terms of progress made.

I think Sal Khan is a fantastic role model for kids and adults alike. A former hedge fund analyst turned educator is shaking up the fundamentals of our education system and tackling problems which are deeply rooted and slowly turning political as well. Heres to a bright Sal-led future for education!

Overall, I would give the book 4.5/5. Visionary. Excellent. Ambitious!

## The Invisible Hand

## Disgraced by Ayad Akthar

## Norwegian Wood by Haruki Murakami

## Laugher in the Dark by Vladimir Nabokov

jszymborski 4 hours ago 0 replies      
One of my favorites this year, particularly in non-fiction, is In Search of Stupidity by Merril R. Chapman [0]. It's an amazing look at the history of microcomputers and the ensuing software market with a particular eye on what made certain companies fail.

Chapman worked for sometime in sales and later product management at MicroPro (WordStar), Ashton-Tate, Novell, etc... so it has quite an "inside-look" feel and the subject matter sounds like it's treated fairly.

The narrative is quite the page-turner for a non-fiction book, but my only qualm with it is that Chapman can be pretty sophomoric and unnecessarily gratuitous in his lampooning and shaming of business leaders or strategies which flirts with undermining the otherwise really insightful analysis.

It's a little dated (Microsoft is still king and Apple the scrappy underdog), but I think it's an important context for anyone following tech today.

[0] https://www.amazon.com/Search-Stupidity-Twenty-Marketing-Dis...

transitorykris 1 hour ago 0 replies      

Norwegian Wood - Haruki Murakami (I love Murakamis novels, recommend starting with Hard Boiled Wonderland though)

Hear the Wind Sing and Pinball - Haruki Murakami

The Maltese Falcon - Dashiell Hammet (Surprising just how much San Francisco is in it)

The Postman Always Rings Twice - James Cain

Seveneves - Neal Stephenson (recommended)

Pattern Recognition - William Gibson

The Sun Also Rises - Hemingway (recommended, refreshing language)


Running Lean - Ash Muraya

Lean Customer Development - Alvarez

Talking to Humans - Giff Constable

Hooked - Nir Eyal (probably not need the book to get the thesis)

Sprint - Jake Knapp

Juno Beach - Mark Zuehlke

Anti-Education - Nietzsche

chrismaeda 25 minutes ago 0 replies      
I read a few PG Wodehouse books every year. Uncle Fred, Lord Emsworth, and Bertie Wooster are my spirit animals.
danial 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Books I read that I would recommend:

Deep Work - Cal Newport

The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business - Charles Duhigg

Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance - Angela Duckworth

Peak: Secrets from the New Science of Expertise - Anders Ericsson, Robert Pool

The War of Art - Steven Pressfield

Do the Work - Steven Pressfield

Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future - Ashlee Vance

Shoe Dog: A Memoir by the Creator of Nike - Phil Knight

The one that surprised me the most was the last one on that list. I don't usually read memoirs but this one was recommended by a few people so I picked it up and found the honesty with which he describes his mistakes refreshing and useful.

eogas 3 hours ago 0 replies      
I just finished The Phoenix Project recently, and I thought it was great. It is effectively a novel about a large software project which is being mismanaged and on the brink of failure, and the steps that the team (and related teams) took to save it from the grips of death. The point of the book seems to be to explain the types of situations that are improved by focusing on devops and agile development.

Personally, this book really hit home, as I had recently left a team/project much like the one described in the book, however I think anyone working on a software project at a decent sized company will be able to relate to many of the problems presented early in the book.

abronan 7 hours ago 0 replies      
I maintain a list of my readings triaged by topics: https://github.com/abronan/readings

This year was rough for me as I had to deal with severe symptoms of anxiety that eventually led to panic attacks. I tried to understand the phenomenon and tackle subjects such as anxiety, consciousness and perceptual experience. Three books are especially interesting in that regard:

- The Feeling of What Happens: Body and Emotion in the Making of Consciousness - Antonio Damasio - https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/125777.The_Feeling_of_Wh...

- Anxious: Using the Brain to Understand and Treat Fear and Anxiety - Joseph LeDoux - https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/23398722-anxious?ac=1&fr...

- Seeing Things As They Are: A Theory of Perception - John Searle: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/22104265-seeing-things-a...

The first two books are dealing with the neurophysiological aspects, with a focus on the brain and the specific areas involved with physical sensory experiences and/or consciousness. It explains how some areas of the brain are linked to fear and anxiety (fear conditioning, fight-or-flight response, etc.). Reading "The Feeling of What Happens" gives you all the necessary knowledge to fully understand the second book which is a tough read. The book "Anxious" also gives you a glimpse on different methods to treat and prevent symptoms of anxiety (Cognitive behavioral Therapy, SSRI, beta blockers, meditation, etc..). The last book is theoretical but comes as a good complement and gives you a broad understanding on the notion of perception (which is central to the first book).

Knowing which parts of the brain are involved with fear and anxiety and how everything fits together helps me controlling my emotions when physical symptoms of anxiety are appearing (the trigger to panic attacks).

dejv 5 hours ago 1 reply      
Out of 32 books I read this year I recommend:

Somehow tech/startup related:

- Spelunky, Derek Yu: book about creating the game of Spelunky + notes on game design

- Disrupted, Dan Lyons: book about "old" guy working in startup

- Hatching Twitter, Nick Bilton: book about Twitter

Non-startupy books:

- A Wild Sheep Chase, Haruki Murakami: modern Japanese novel

- The Hills of Chianti, Piero Antinori: story about wine company and notes on wine making, wine marketing and other stuff from one of the most notable wine company from Italy (700 years old, owned by one family whole history)

- The City and the Stars, Arthur C. Clark: scifi classic

bcbrown 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Language in Thought and Action, S.I. Hayakawa

How to Read a Book, Mortimer J. Adler




High Output Management, Andy Grove

Hell's Angels by Hunter S Thompson

Programming Pearls, Jon Bentley

Walden, Thoreau

Autobiography of Red, Anne Carson

Letters from a Stoic, Seneca

Three Body Problem, Cixin Liu

Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus, Wittgenstein

Tyranny of Words, Stuart Chase

Golden Mean, Annabel Lyon

Disrupted, Dan Lyons

Big Data, Nathan Marz

Practical OO Design in Ruby, Sandi Metz

Brave New World, Aldous Huxley

Duino Elegies and Sonnets to Orpheus, Rainier Maria Rilke

Anatomy of a City, Kate Ascher

Language and Thought by Chomsky

Hero of a Thousand Faces, Joseph Campbell

Language and Responsibility by Chomsky

Magic, Science, Religion by Malinowski

Meditiations by Marcus Aurelius

Oranges by John McPhee

The Dream of the Enlightement, Anthony Gottlieb

Nonexistant Knight/Cloven Viscount, two novellas by Calvino Italo

Deltoid Pumpkin Seed by John McPhee

Infrastructure by Brian Haynes

I'd recommend almost all of them, but especially the first two, and Autobiography of Red(poetry).

mayneack 4 hours ago 0 replies      

Non Fiction: White Trash: The 400-Year Untold History of Class in America


It sometimes reads like "A People's History of the United States", but the chapter about Andrew Jackson's election would seem like they were forcing the analogies to the 2016 election if not for the fact that it was published beforehand.

Fiction: American Godshttps://smile.amazon.com/American-Gods-Tenth-Anniversary-Nov...

I think lots of people will like this book, but certainly those who are into road trips across America.

drelihan 5 hours ago 2 replies      
Here are some of my favorites from the year ( ranked in how much they changed my thinking ):

- The Art of Being Unreasonable ( Eli Broad )- Alibaba ( Clark )- The Box ( Levinson )- King Icahn ( Stevens )- Expert C Programming ( Linden )- A Passion to Win ( Redstone )- Chaos Monkeys ( Martinez )- A Truck Full of Money ( Kidder )- The Hidden Wealth of Nations ( Zucman )- Dead Wake ( Larson )

razvanh 6 hours ago 1 reply      
I would recommend most of the books I read this year:

* Born a Crime by Noah Trevor

* Half of a Yellow Sun by Adichie, Chimamanda Ngozi

* Secondhand Time: The Last of the Soviets by Alexievich, Svetlana

* Ex-Formation by Hara, Kenya (best book I read this year)

* A Short History of Nearly Everything by Bryson, Bill

* Algorithms to Live By: The Computer Science of Human Decisions by Brian Christian (applying algorithm theory to daily life)

* Never Split the Difference: Negotiating As If Your Life Depended On It by Voss Chris (meh)

* Sprint: How to Solve Big Problems and Test New Ideas in Just Five Days by Knapp Jake (meh)

* All the Light We Cannot See by Doerr Anthony (loved it)

* The Remains of the Day by Ishiguro Kazuo (loved it)

jkchu 2 hours ago 0 replies      
The Power of Habit - Charles Duhigg (highly recommended)

Steve Jobs - Walter Isaacson (recommended)

Modern Romance - Aziz Ansari (audiobook recommended)

Boomerang - Michael Lewis (great if you have a light interest in macroeconomics)

Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future (recommended)

Outliers - Malcolm Gladwell (recommended)

Joyland - Stephen King (great, short read)

Creativity, Inc. - Ed Catmull (Parts on the history of Pixar were interesting)

calebm 3 hours ago 0 replies      
1. Nexus (Ramez Naam)

2. Infinite Jest (David Foster Wallace)

3. The Fellowship of the Ring (J. R. R. Tolkien)

4. The Sin of Certainty (Peter Enns)

5. The Bible Tells Me So (Peter Enns)

6. Thomas Traherne, Centuries of Meditations

7. Neverwhere (Neil Gaiman)

8. Elantris (Brandon Sanderson)

9. A Wild Sheep Chase (Haruki Murakami)

10. Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage (Haruki Murakami)

11. Freedom TM (Daniel Suarez)

12. Lightning (Dean Koontz)

13. Daemons (Daniel Suarez)

14. Foundation and Earth (Isaac Asimov)

15. Something Wicked This Way Comes (Ray Bradbury)

16. Fear and Loathing in Las Veges (Hunter S. Thompson)

17. Foundation's Edge (Isaac Asimov)

18. The Doors of Perception (Aldous Huxley)

19. Cryptonomicon (Neal Stephenson)

20. Tortilla Flat (John Steinbeck)

21. The Diamond Age (Neal Stephenson)

martinrue 11 hours ago 0 replies      
Art & Fear

Of all the books I've read, this one resonated with me the most. It discusses the process of art making, both the personal process of finding your work and learning how to get better, as well as the issues with being judged through your work. If you treat your projects/code more like art than science, I think this book will be an enjoyable and provoking read.

satyajitranjeev 5 hours ago 1 reply      
Things I completed:

1. Elon Musk: Inventing the Future

2. The Code Book - Simon Singh

3. Fermat's Enigma - Simon Singh

4. Deep Work - Cal Newport

5. Smarter Faster Better - Charles Duhigg

6. 1984

7. So good they can't ignore you - Cal Newport

8. Distributed Systems for fun and profit

9. Classic Shell Scripting

Things I partially read and hope to complete some time:

1. The music of Primes

2. Traction

3. Founders at work

4. Your Memory: How it works and how to improve it

Things I would recommend:Fermat's Enigma and The Code Book are very interesting reads if you are into Mathematics. They are both written very well and you don't need to know too much of Mathematics to understand it. On the other hand The Music of Primes started of very interesting and then got a bit too heavy for an evening read. If you can chug along I think it would be a good one too.

Of all the self help books I mentioned I think Duhiggs Smarter, faster better is the one that stands out. It is more of an analysis of various teams and people and how they got to work efficiently.

Founders at work is a long read but something that you can read a chapter independently and that's why it is under half read but definitely something to look at.

[EDIT: formatting]

vitomd 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Enchiridion - Epictetus : the best practical piece of stoic philosophy that I read (Marco Aurelio or Seneca are good too).

The Willpower Instinct: How Self-Control Works, Why It Matters, and What You Can Do to Get More of It - McGonigal, Kelly. Great book

The Feynman Lectures on Physics - Feynman, Richard - He is a great teacher, you will love physics even if you didnt like it.

Stumbling on Happiness - Gilbert, Daniel Todd - Great book about how our mind works

I had to survive - Roberto Canessa: He is a survivor from the the Andes tragedy, half of the book is about that and the other half about what happens next, he become one of the best paediatric cardiologists in the world.

quantazelle 4 hours ago 0 replies      
1. The Second Machine Age: Work, Progress, and Prosperity in a Time of Brilliant Technologies by Erik Brynjolfsson - A history of technological progress and predictions about the future. Obviously a lot of repetitive jobs will be automated, but Brynjolfsson posits a few interesting potential solutions for the future, such as Negative Income Tax.

2. Chaos Monkeys by Antonio Garcia Martinez - A first person memoir about an aqui-hire by Facebook / Twitter. Interesting to learn about the differences in corporate culture and how Ycombinator works behind the scenes.

3. Economics in One Lesson: by Henry Hazlitt - Explains classical economics in a way where I now can understand what politicians are talking about.

4. The Song Machine: Inside the Hit Factoryby John Seabrook - How pop music is made. It's surprising how assembly-line it actually is, and how many people work behind the scenes. Google "topline writer," for one.

5. Hatching Twitter by Nick Bilton - A third-person account of Twitter's origin and subsequent CEO-shuffling. Wow, I can see why the board would want to replace Jack and Ev--they are not management material, which is why it's perplexing that Jack is back (unless it's board politics, again).

6. Disrupted by Dan Lyons - a memoir by a 50-something writer (who now writes for HBO's Startup - he wrote White Hat / Black Hat - the one where Ross had the tequila bottle incident) trying to deal with the culture of a young goofy startup culture in Boston. Another corporate culture book that was interesting, and made me glad I don't have to deal with office politics. Lyons is kind of jerk who doesn't realize it, though.

7. Steve Jobs - by Walter Isaacson. However, it's missing a lot from the "NeXT" time, surprisingly. If you're interested in Chrisann Brennan's perspective, check out her The Bite in the Apple: A Memoir of My Life with Steve Jobs--though be forewarned it's pretty whiney and I really just skimmed over most of it. Her perspective on why he was attracted to Laurene Powell is interesting, though.

8. Elon Musk by Ashlee Vance - It's an authorized biography, so there's that, but it's still an interesting read.

Razengan 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Not many, sadly, but

The City of Ember by Jeanne DuPrau, and

The Icewind Dale trilogy / Legend of Drizzt series by R.A. Salvatore.

Ember was a very nice take on post-apocalyptic fiction; a Steampunk city surrounded by absolute darkness that still managed to retain a semblance of normal everyday life. Something about the setting felt very homely despite its inconveniences.

The Drizzt series is of course a guilty pleasure full of good old-school role-playing fantasy tropes. It does a nice job of providing my Dungeons & Dragons fix while I wait for a new video game.

jimsojim 12 hours ago 1 reply      
Deep work by Cal Newport, great book on how to develop intense focus to be creative/get more done. Highly recommended.

Race Against The Machine - a concise and informative discussion of the impact of technology on employment, income distribution and macro economics. Highly recommended as well.

monksy 1 hour ago 0 replies      
- Java Performance - The New THing- Michael Lewis - Mastering Docker - Akka In Action - Mastering Gradle - Functional Programming in Scala and Closure - How To Fail At Almost Everything and Still Win Big - Scott Adams (Highl Recommended) - The Charisma Myth
a3n 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Assholes, a Theory. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Assholes:_A_Theory

Helped me understand why I object to assholes, and the real damage an asshole does to a group.

The sections on asshole capitalism, aka entitlement capitalism, are fascinating and relevant.

H4CK3RM4N 8 hours ago 2 replies      
I've been reading through the Discworld series and I've really liked the commentary on various social structures throughout.
hdivider 11 hours ago 1 reply      
Getting to Yes: Negotiating Agreement Without Giving In by Roger Fisher and William Ury.

Once you realize virtually every conversation with a human is also a negotiation, the need to study it becomes clear.

highdesertmuse 18 minutes ago 0 replies      
Chaos Monkeys: Obscene Fortune and Random Failure in Silicon Valley by Martin
coldpie 7 hours ago 0 replies      
I finished up the Century Trilogy by Ken Follett. It turned out to be one of the best book series I've ever read. It follows fictional characters inserted into real history from the late 1800s to the late 1900s including both World Wars, the Russian revolution, the Cold War, the Kennedy Assassination, the separation and reunification of Germany, and more. I'm not a student of history, so I learned a lot about these events, and it's told from an individual, human perspective which I found very engaging. The characters in each book are often children of characters from the previous books, so you actually get to see the youthful characters from the first book age and pass on their stories, getting this sense of nostalgia for events from earlier in the story. Highly recommended.
swapnull 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Ready player one - Good bit of fun for a gamer/80s enthusist

Dark Tower 1: The Gunslinger - I had no idea what was going on, i just know i enjoyed it

American Gods - slow starting but great book

Leviathan wakes - book that the netflix series 'the expanse' is based on

A Song of ice and fire books 1 to 3

Protostome 8 hours ago 0 replies      
The three body problem trilogy .. the greatest science fiction of the last few years
vegancap 5 hours ago 0 replies      
Adam Smith's 'Wealth of Nations'. Very old, very heavy, but very eye opening. A must read for anyone interested in economics.
thisisforyou 5 hours ago 0 replies      
The Complete Fiction -Lovecraft, H.P.

Pilgrim at Tinker Creek -Dillard, Annie

The Fractalist: Memoir of a Scientific Maverick -Mandelbrot, Benot B.

Ancient Sorceries and Other Weird Stories -Blackwood, Algernon

Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience -Csikszentmihalyi, Mihaly

Death in Venice -Mann, Thomas

Whites -Rush, Norman

The Room -Selby Jr., Hubert

Book of Numbers -Cohen, Joshua

Maggot: Poems -Muldoon, Paul

The Peasant in Nineteenth-Century Russia -Vucinich, Wayne S.

The Mezzanine -Baker, Nicholson

The Museum of Unconditional Surrender -Ugrei, Dubravka

What Is Life? with Mind and Matter and Autobiographical Sketches -Schrdinger, Erwin

Dictionary of the Khazars -Pavi, Milorad

Honored Guest -Williams, Joy

Martyrs and Miracles -Trickey-Bapty, Carolyn

Noa Noa -Gauguin, Paul

Their Eyes Were Watching God -Hurston, Zora Neale

Ordeal by Hunger: The Story of the Donner Party -Stewart, George R.

Moby-Dick; or, The Whale -Melville, Herman

Eileen -Moshfegh, Ottessa

Haute Surveillance -Gransson, Johannes

Mazes and Labyrinths: Their History and Development -Matthews, W.H.

A Higher Form of Killing: The Secret History of Chemical and Biological Warfare -Harris, Robert

Our Lady of the Flowers -Genet, Jean

*The House of the Dead -Dostoyevsky, Fyodor

Current: Black Swan, Nassim Taleb

hanoz 6 hours ago 2 replies      
I haven't read a single book in 2016, something for which I hold Hacker News greatly to blame. I have read a good number of Hacker News book suggestion threads mind, and in turn a lot of Amazon reviews, usually up until the first unfavourable comment, which is typically enough to put me off completely. I can but look to Hacker News to make amends, so if anyone has any good advice for what I should do about this in 2017, I look forward to reading it.
jdpigeon 1 hour ago 0 replies      
It was the second year of my "read books like an adult" effort and there were some great ones:

Infinite Jest (David Foster Wallace)*

I was blown away by how completely delightful it was to read. I went in to it with a lot of trepidation about its length and esoteric fixation, but found myself completely immersed in the book in a way that I hadn't been since I was kid. I didn't pick up any hard and fast lessons from the book (indeed, its thesis is mostly that life is hard and the easy answers that are out there are toxic), but I definitely came away from it feeling like it was a bit more acceptable to share what I really thought and felt with others. Reading the book is like entering an intimate communion with DFW's mind and it reinforced in me the importance of inter-human connection in that way.

Every Love Story is a Ghost Story (D.T. Max)

DFW's biography, which I read after Infinite Jest. I highly recommend reading after IJ to get more background on where the books idea's came from. Two things I learned: 1. IJ basically took him ten years to write, 2: An incredible amount of it is drawn from personal issues and experiences, his struggles with addiction and loneliness were very real and he greatly downplayed them in his interviews.

The Invention of Nature (Andrea Wulf)

The best historical book I've ever read. Von Humbolt was one of the greatest scientists to ever live and I can't believe I'd ever heard of him before. The book itself does a great job of tying together the ideas of many great thinkers: Humboldt, Darwin, Thoreau, Muir, Goethe.

The Conquest of Happiness (Bertrand Russel)

Great little 'self-help' book from Russel. Perhaps a bit quaint in its datedness and Englishness, but a lot of the ideas still hold true. His thoughts on boredom were the high point of the book IMO.

The Hard Thing About Hard Things (Ben Horowitz)

The most 'make an adult of you'-feeling book I read this year. After attending an 'MBA bootcamp' style course, this book was the gritty, personal account that helped me tie all those lessons together. I got a job with a startup shortly afterwards and because I've never studied business (or worked in a real company before), I refer to the lessons in this book a lot.

My Struggle, first volume (Karl Ove Knausgaard)

Still reading this one and not entirely sure what to think. It's entertaining, heartfelt, and provides that sense of communion that good fiction needs. The book's purpose seems totally up in the air, however.

pmalynin 6 hours ago 0 replies      
One book that I've read recently that really stands out is Differential Geometry of Curves and Surfaces by Manfredo do Carmo. It's a bit outdated, and at times hard to read, but it has a lot gems that aren't well know (there is a bit at the beginning on estimating the length of a curve by counting the number of intersecting lines).

I'd recommend it if you're looking for some math reading.

catwell 6 hours ago 1 reply      
I finished Keynes, Hayek: The Clash that Defined Modern Economics (Nicholas Wapshott), started in 2015.

I read:

* Turn the Ship Around!: A True Story of Turning Followers into Leaders (David Marquet)

* Joy at Work: A Revolutionary Approach To Fun on the Job (Dennis Bakke)

* Ne vous rsignez pas ! (Bruno Le Maire - French politician)

* Dealers of Lightning: Xerox PARC and the Dawn of the Computer Age (Michael Hiltzik)

* Disrupted: My Misadventure in the Start-Up Bubble (Dan Lyons)

* Making Things Happen: Mastering Project Management (Scott Berkun)

* Basic Economics: A Common Sense Guide to the Economy (Thomas Sowell)

* The Success of Open Source (Steve Weber)

* Weapons of Math Destruction: How Big Data Increases Inequality and Threatens Democracy (Cathy O'Neil)

* Programming in Lua (fourth edition - I read every edition)

I started reading (and will probably finish by the end of the year) Overcomplicated: Technology at the Limits of Comprehension (Samuel Arbesman).

As for what I recommend, it depends what you are into, but I would say I really enjoyed Making Things Happen, which is a must if you have any kind of project management to do, and Basic Economics.

acidburn4 11 hours ago 0 replies      
The Teachings of Ramana Maharshi- Arthur Osborne

Design of Everyday Things- Don Norman

The Prince- Nicollo Machiavelli

Being Mortal- Atul Gawande

High Output Management- Andrew Grove

Elon Musk- Ashlee Vance

Red Plenty- Francis Spufford

The Old Man and the Sea- Ernest Hemingway

Sapiens- Yuval Noah Harari

The Four Agreements- Don Miguel Ruiz

The Inner Game of Tennis- W. Timothy Galleway

My Gita- Devdutt Pattanaik

One Hundred Years of Solitude- Gabriel Garcia Marquez

Istanbul- Orhan Pamuk

The Stranger- Albert Camus

laxatives 16 minutes ago 0 replies      
* Fiction *

The Alchemist -- reread one of my favorites of all time

Candidate -- reread

Infinite Jest -- takes 300 pages to "get" David Foster Wallace's style and 500 pages to enjoy it, but well worth the investment. Probably one of my favorites of all time now.

The Brothers Karamazov (in progress) -- Have been wanting to read more Russian Literature and apparently Infinite Jest borrows many plot points from Brothers Karamazov. I just started it a few days ago...

* Non-Fiction *

String Theory -- another book by David Foster Wallace containing a few essays on tennis. Even if you don't like his fiction, I doubt anyone would argue that the eponymous essay isn't great.

Open -- Andre Agassi's autobiography

Inner Game of Tennis -- reread

Winning Ugly -- Read this twice in 2016 (reread in progress). My mental game is volatile to say the least.

My System (in progress) -- Aron Nimzowitsch's Chess study

In a Sunburned Country -- Bill Bryson's description of his trip to Australia

Sailing Made Easy -- ASA 101/102

Coastal Cruising Made Easy -- ASA 103

Buying Your First Sailboat

Open Water Diver Manual -- PADI Open Water Certification

Enriched Air Diver Manual -- PADI Nitrox Certification

Adventures in Diving Manual (in progress) -- PADI Advanced Open Water Certification

Shadow Divers -- Diver's in the 90's discover a German U-Boat just dozens of miles off the coast of New Jersey

Triple Your Reading Speed -- It definitely works, but its only applicable to simple texts like popular fiction and maybe news articles/blogs. I guess it probably does still benefit denser stuff though.

The Origin of Conciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind -- This is quite possibly the work of a crank, but there's some interesting ideas that seem not impossible. A lot of his arguments are clearly cherry picked and loads of sentences like, "The statue had a big ear, obviously an example of bicameralism".

Piano Handbook (in progress) -- Been working on the exercises in this and started learning the piano as an adult, two years ago. Just two chapters of eighteen to go...

Jazz Piano (in progress) -- Will focus on this once the above text is done

The Wine Bible (in progress)

Porsche: Origin of Species (in progress)

Millionaire Next Door (in progress) -- In strong conflict with the ideas presented in the text above...

* Technical Non-Fiction *

Functional Programming in Scala

Pro Git

Learning from Data

Optimization Models; Califiore, El Ghaoui (in progress)

Technical Analysis of the Financial Markets (in progress) -- Not great. Very little motivation to finish this one...

Had the goal of 30 books, at least 8 of which had to be textbooks. Not quite there, but there's some really dense stuff this year, so I'm not too worried. I had no idea how little fiction I was reading; will need to adjust that next year.

StClaire 5 hours ago 0 replies      
01. The second machine age

02. The Firm: The secret history of McKinsey and it's influence on American business

03. The Simpsons and their mathematical secrets

04. League of denial

05. The Martian chronicles

06. The Sixth extinction

07. Lost stars

08. The Devil in the white city

09. China in ten words

10. The Fourth revolution

11. Red Mars

12. Iron Curtain: The Crushing of Eastern Europe

13. Grit: Passion, perseverance and the science of success

14. The Signal and the noise

15. The Third chimpanzee

16. The Willpower instinct

17. The Master algorithm

18. The Emperor of all maladies

19. 1491

And I'm reading Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee.

Honestly, I really enjoyed League of Denial about all the shady stuff the NFL did around CTE, Lost Stars which is an incredible Star Wars book, The Willpower Instinct, and 1491. Everything else was kind of take it or leave it. I doubt I'll read as many books next year

wyldfire 4 hours ago 1 reply      
I read pretty much just fiction: "Daemon", "Dark Matter", "Brave New World", "Armada", "Oryx and Crake" (in progress). They're all pretty great, I heard about several of these on HN.

"Armada" was a nice simple story very much along the lines of "Ready Player One." "Daemon" was surprising -- an interesting 'what if' regarding the evolution of AI.

nicholast 4 hours ago 1 reply      
Here are a few I enjoyed in 2016 by genre:

Business - Making Things Work by Yaneer Bar-Yam

Investing - Charlie Munger The Complete Investor by Tren Griffin

Essays - Michel de Montaigne Complete Essays ($.99 on Kindle!)

Physics - At Home in the Universe by Stuart Kauffman

Software - An Elementary Introduction to the Wolfram Language

Current Events - Superintelligence by Nick Bostrom

Fiction - The Orphan Master's Son by Adam Johnson

Music - Jerry on Jerry (audiobook is a recorded interview of Garcia!)

Biography - Benjamin Franklin An American Life by Walter Isaacson

Autobiography - A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole

All of these are highly recomended!

Jemaclus 7 hours ago 0 replies      
I keep an active list of books I've read, along with my reviews at my book review website, https://books.brianseitel.com. One of the benefits of this is that my favorite books automatically populate on the left. In 2016, I read over 60 books. My top 10 for 2016 (so far) are, in rough order of favorite-ness:

- "All the Birds in the Sky" by Charlie Jane Anders

- "The Shards of Heaven" and its sequel "The Gates of Hell" by Michael Livingston (fictional story set in Roman times)

- "The Last Breath" by Charlie Magee

- "The Guns of Empire" by Django Wexler (Book 4 of The Shadow Campaigns series, which I highly recommend)

- "The King's Traitor" by Jeff Wheeler (original take on Arthurian legend)

- "Uprooted" by Naomi Novik

- "End Game" by Lindsay Buroker (Book 8 of her sci-fi series, The Fallen Empire, which is a pretty fun series overall. Short and sweet adventures.)

- "Soulblade" by Lindsay Buroker (Book 8 of her fantasy series, Dragon Blood, which is another great series. All of Buroker's books are good, imo.)

- "Ghost Talkers" by Mary Robinette Kowal (It's WWII, ghosts are real... and they're spies.)

This year I also read books 1-3 of The Expanse, and I think they would also be in this list, except I haven't reviewed them yet. I'm currently reading Book 4, with the recently published book, Babylon's Ashes, in the queue. I fully expect these to make it into the top 10.

Obviously, I enjoy sci-fi / fantasy the most, but across a wide range of sub-genres. For non-sci-fi, my top read was "I Will Teach You To Be Rich" by Ramit Sethi, which really changed the way I organize my finances.

samuell 5 hours ago 0 replies      
Completed books I really really liked - Best first:

- Jeff Hawkings "On Intelligence" (My review: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1561177903 )

- Cal Newport "So Good They Can't Ignore You"

- Cal Newport "Deep work" (My review: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1777252642 )

highdesertmuse 18 minutes ago 0 replies      
Chaos Monkeys --By Martin
chimprich 10 hours ago 0 replies      
* The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer by Siddhartha Mukherjee. The prose was a bit purple for me but fascinating book about the progress of cancer treatment including recent advances. Second half of the book is more interesting in my opinion so don't give up if you find the history of cancer a little do dry.

* Tuf Voyaging by George RR Martin. I thought this was a stupid premise (guy travels the universe in a huge ship with cat companions?) but a friend strongly recommended it and I found it stupidly readable and very entertaining.

* Do No Harm: Stories of Life, Death and Brain Surgery by Henry Marsh. Deeply interesting and humane book about the work of an eminent brain surgeon.

* The Better Angels of Our Nature: The Decline of Violence In History And Its Causes by Steven Pinker. Strong persuasive central thesis even if though I didn't agree with all his arguments. Very wide-ranging book with many ideas from philosophy and history.

* Spillover: Animal Infections and the Next Human Pandemic by David Quammen. Informative and scary book about zoonotic diseases. Like a non-fiction cross between the detective, horror and sci-fi genres.

* The Long Walk to Freedom by Nelson Mandela. Read this because I felt I should rather than out of pure interest, but it was a good decision: fascinating biography and startling how intelligent and occasionally ruthless Mandela was.

Dowwie 10 hours ago 2 replies      
2 Highlights:

- "Legends of the Fall by Jim Harrison

- "The Shadow of the Wind" by Carlos Ruiz Zafn

These are beautifully written books-- true art. I read intellectually stimulating, non-fiction material every moment of my life. Fiction counterbalances that frenzied information consumption.

I also read 2/3 of SevenEves by Neal Stephenson. Although the first 2/3 were good, I can't recommend the book due to the last 1/3. Those who read the book will know what I'm talking about.

skadamou 4 hours ago 1 reply      
For my birthday this year some friends got me The Dictators Handbook by Bruce Bueno de Mesquita and Marxs Capital Illustrated by David Smith. Ive always been at least tangentially interested in political/economic theory and these two books offered an easily accessible new perspective on their respective subjects I hadnt gotten before. The Dictators Handbook I found to be particularly insightful.
rdeboo 6 hours ago 1 reply      
I set myself a goal to read 20 books; I succeeded.Here's the ones I recommend most:

Kim Zetter - Countdown to Zero (on Stuxnet virus and how it was smuggled into the nuclear facility; very interesting)

Gary Kasparov - Winter is Coming (we should consider Russia a dictatorship by now; though until recently, western politicians treated it as a democratic partner country)

Mark Goodman - Future crimes (wide spanning book on crime in the age of the internet)

Philip E. Tetlock - Superforecasting (how amateurs can consistently beat domain professionals in forecasting all kind of stuff)

Venkat Subramaniam - Programming Concurrency on the JVM (good overview of your options (diy with locking / akka / clojure & STM))

hackerkid 7 hours ago 0 replies      
- Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind by Yuval Noah Harari

- Shoe Dog: A Memoir by the Creator of Nike by Phil Knight

- Rework by Jason Fried

- Rocket Boys by Homer Hickam

- Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption by Laura Hillenbrand

- The Martian by Andy Weir

- Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman by Richard Feynman

lloeki 7 hours ago 1 reply      
Fiction, mostly:

- Reamde, by Neal Stephenson. What a let down, very formulaic.

- Vortex, by Robert Charles Wilson (sequel to Spin and Axis). Spin is a must-read, Vortex was quite pleasant and brings a satisfying closure to the series.

- Permanence, by Karl Schroeder (re-read). Lots of awesome tidbits (property, rights, AR, anthropocentrism) scattered through an entertaining semi-hard sci-fi space opera.

- La Zone du Dehors, by Alain Damasio. A spiritual sequel to 1984.

- Fahrenheit 451, by Ray Bradbury (finally!)

- The Affinities, by Robert Charles Wilson

- La Horde du Contrevent, by Alain Damasio (in progress). A fantastic, ontologic, poetic story about the wind.

As well as a couple non-fiction:

- Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman! This is made of pure awesomesauce and perfectly captures the kind of spirit at the root of hackerdom.

- Pale Blue Dot, by Carl Sagan (in progress). Humbling.

- Steve Jobs, by Walter Isaacson. Surprised me in many ways.

WereBooks 2 hours ago 0 replies      
SO many! But some notables were Lincoln Farish's 'Vampire of Rome' and Ernest Cline's 'Ready Player One'
lunchladydoris 11 hours ago 1 reply      
- The Prize, by Daniel Yergin (https://www.amazon.co.uk/Prize-Epic-Quest-Money-Power/dp/184...)

It's a history of oil over the last 150 years. Sounds boring. It's not. It's one of the best books I've ever read.

This book has made me realize that the history of the world over the last century and that of oil are almost one and the same.

impostervt 5 hours ago 0 replies      
After reading through what people have posted so far, I wonder if we should do a "Recommend one, and only one, book that you read this year".
kgabis 9 hours ago 0 replies      
I really enjoyed reading "The Disaster Artist" by Greg Sestero and Tom Bissell. It's about making of the movie "The Room" and it's writer/director/producer/leading actor Tommy Wiseau. It's one of the funniest books I've ever read (about one of the funniest movies I've ever watched) and I would highly recommend reading it to anyone who's curious how this movie came to exist or is just looking for a good laugh.

Other than that I found "1177 B.C.: The Year Civilization Collapsed" by Eric Cline a very interesting read, especially when it comes to methods described to figure out what happened over 3000 years ago. Contrary to it's title it's not very sensationalistic and it doesn't appear to make any claims it cannot back with some sort of evidence (and it tries to present both sides of the argument if something is uncertain).

highdesertmuse 14 minutes ago 0 replies      
Chaos Monkeys
aorth 6 hours ago 0 replies      
The Bridge on the Drina, by Ivo Andri. It's about a beautiful bridge over the river of a town near the BosniaSerbia border, and tell the story of the people and politics of the region over several hundred years starting in 1300s or so until 1914. Fantastic introduction to the history and culture of the region.


johnnydoe9 5 hours ago 0 replies      
1. The Harry Potter series

2. Nerd Do Well by Simon Pegg

3. Elon Musk by Ashlee Vance

4. The Movie Doctors by Mark Kermode and Simon Mayo

5. It's Only A Movie by Mark Kermdode

6. Dark Night by Paul Dini

7. Dark Days by Randy Blythe

8. David Fincher Interviews by Laurence Knapp Graphic Novels - Scott Pilgrim Series, New 52 Batman series and Batman/TMNT crossover.

If anyone can recommend more stuff I'd be interested in based on this stuff please go ahead I want to read more this coming year.

scandox 7 hours ago 1 reply      
This is mine:

- Summae Technologiae by Stanislaw Lem

- The Futurological Congress by Stanislaw Lem (reread)

- Hangsaman by Shirley Jackson

- The Lottery and Other Stories by Shirley Jackson

- The Sirens of Titan by Kurt Vonnegut

- Embassytown by China Mieville

- The Vegetarian by Han Kang

- Perchance to Dream (stories) by Charles Beaumont

- Highrise by J.G. Ballard

- In a Glass Darkly and Other Stories by Sheridan Le Fanu

- The Hacker Crackdown by Bruce Sterling (checkout my openly annotatable edition https://hc.selectedintelligence.com)

- All We Shall Know by Donal Ryan

- New American Stories edited by Ben Marcus

- This is The Way by Gavin Corbett

It's been a very fictional year. I guess I wasn't enjoying reality enough to read about it.

impostervt 7 hours ago 0 replies      
"The Autobiography of Malcom X"

What a crazy life he led.

"Napoleon: A Life" - Andrew Roberts

A gigantic book that still felt rushed because of how much he did during his life.

"Babylon: Mesopotamia and the Birth of Civilization" Kriwaczek, Paul

Interesting introduction but I was hoping for more of a focus on a specific period of time. Instead if covers several thousand years of history.

"Buddhism Without Belief" - Stephen Bachelor


"The Book of Magic: From Antiquity to the Enlightenment" - Copenhaver, Brian

"The Philosophy Book" - Will Buckingham

Great into to the history of Philosophy

"The Vindication of Man" by John C Wright

Great, great series.

cdnsteve 8 hours ago 2 replies      
Are you reading paper books, PDFs on laptops, ebooks on tablets? How do you read?
mullsork 11 hours ago 0 replies      
These are the ones I read this year that I really loved:

Genghis Khan https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/93426.Genghis_Khan_and_t...

Mistakes were made (but not by me) https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/522525.Mistakes_Were_Mad...

Sapiens - a brief history of humankind https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/23692271-sapiens

A little history of the world https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/61505.A_Little_History_o...

That last one I just finished and look forward to re-reading real soon. It's written by a German and from a European point of view.

A few other good ones but not top of my list of recommendations:

The church of fear - https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17201748-the-church-of-f...

A brief history of time - https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/3869.A_Brief_History_of_...

Looks who's back - https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17289087-look-who-s-back

n3on_net 10 hours ago 1 reply      
Here is my list of 2016:

- The Elegant Universe: Superstrings, Hidden Dimensions and the Quest for the Ultimate Theory

- The 48 Laws Of Power

- Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything

- Crossing the Chasm

- The Richest Man in Babylon

- Confessions of an Economic Hit Man

- Europe: A History

- The Penguin History of Europe

- The Everything Store: Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon

- Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind

Every of the books was awesome. The only thing is that I haven't finished Europe: A History from Norman and read The Penguin History of Europe instead because the Norman book was just too long for me. But It has way more details.

I switch between business-related books and non-business related (it can be everything from philosophy to language history to hardcore science) but I don't read fiction (The Richest Man in Babylon is fictional, but still the focus is on self-development).

Hope you could see some titles that might interest you.

kranner 7 hours ago 0 replies      
- Tetris: The Games People Play by Box Brown

- Tibet, Tibet by Patrick French

- Maya: A Novel by CW Huntington, Jr

- The Science of Enlightenment by Shinzen Young

- Flask Web Development by Miguel Grinberg

- Buddha's Diet by Tara Cottrell

- A Feast of Vultures by Josy Joseph

- Genghis Khan: Life, Death and Resurrection by John Man

- Chasing the Scream by Johann Hari

- Cuckold by Kiran Nagarkar

- Goliath by Tom Gauld

- This Will Never Happen Again by David Cain

- Cure by Jo Marchant

- If Its Monday It Must Be Madurai: A Conducted Tour of India by Srinath Perur

- Deep Work by Cal Newport

- Enduring Love by Ian McEwan

- The Soul of an Octopus by Sy Montgomery

- The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt

- The Rosie Effect by Graeme Simsion

and a few others that aren't worth recommending; all the above are.

p0nce 4 hours ago 0 replies      
My favourite book this year: Thinking Fast and Slow. Well worth the hype.
rwieruch 12 hours ago 0 replies      
I just started to read more and more, that's why some classics are in my list:

- The Power of Habit - http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/12609433-the-power-of-hab...

- The Greatest Salesman in the World http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/356896.The_Greatest_Sales...

- Originals http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/25614523-originals

- The One Thing http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/16256798-the-one-thing

philh 6 hours ago 0 replies      
I've spent the whole year reading Albion's Seed, a history of four major British migrations to America - each came from a different part of Britain, and went to a different part of America, creating four separate cultures in what became the United States.

Also the entire Chronicles of Thomas Covenant (currently midway through the final book).

pointnova 10 hours ago 0 replies      
These books were my favorites this year:

- Alibaba - The house that Jack Ma built by Duncan Clark https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/25817524-alibaba

- Shoe Dog - A memoir by the creator of NIKE by Phil Knight https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/27220736-shoe-dog

- Originals - How non-conformists move the world by Adam Grant https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/25614523-originals

viraptor 9 hours ago 0 replies      
The view from the cheap seats by Neil Gaiman http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/24331386-the-view-from-th... - lots of good content about books, music, comic books history, etc. There's over 80 other books mentioned inside and it makes you want to read all of them.

Dracula by Bram Stoker - because it was mentioned in the previous one and it's amazing how many elements we borrowed / changed / rewritten in the new works compared to the original.

gravypod 10 hours ago 0 replies      
I haven't finished these yet but I'm a college student so it's par for the course for me to be last minute.

 Structure and Interpretation of Computer Programs [0] The Moon is a Harsh Mistress [1]
Both are fantasitc. SICP on a technical level and The Moon is a Harsh Mistress on a fiction level.

[0] - https://mitpress.mit.edu/sicp/full-text/book/book.html

[1] - https://www.amazon.com/Moon-Harsh-Mistress-Robert-Heinlein-e...

nkzednan 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Mostly read fiction. Some of my top books I read this year are:

- Devotion of Suspect X by Keigo Higashino (as well as his other detective novels)

- Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Zafon

- The Martian

- Dark Forest (and the Three Body Problem)

- Shantaram

- Age of Myth by Michael Sullivan

- Futuristic Violence and Fancy Suits

guiomie 5 hours ago 0 replies      
Too Big to Fail: really interesting, but for some reason reading this book stressed me.

The Spy Who Came in from the Cold: Easy to read and entertaining. I actually had to spend a good 10 minutes going thru the plot to understand what happened, felt great to get it.

(Unfinished) Barbarian Days: a book on surfing

arethuza 11 hours ago 0 replies      
"The Silent Deep: The Royal Navy Submarine Service Since 1945" - I was worried that this would be rather dry, but I found it rather engrossing - from the accounts of the various espionage escapades during the Cold War, to the political machinations around the creation of the nuclear fleet (with a surprisingly large input from Hyman Rickover, who was quite a character) to a contemporary account of the "Perisher" command course. Imagine being on an incredibly stressful training course where if you fail you are immediately removed from the environment and not allowed to work in that area ever again!


kizz246 32 minutes ago 0 replies      
Most Highly Recommended:

Cosmos- !!!

The Measure of Reality- How quantification has completely changed the face of society. Very interesting stuff. This has probably been my favourite read this year.

Nightfall- Interesting ideas of the role of religion in society and mass hysteria

Speaker for the Dead- Really fascinating book. I love sci-fi where there is an alien species that humans have trouble understanding for whatever reason

Books I unrecommend:

Heretics of Dune - Ugh. Tedious. I actually couldn't finish it. Didn't start Chapterhouse either.

Information Doesn't Want to be Free - Pretty basic. How many footnotes do you really need before you just include them in the text?

Was on maternity leave this year so there are quite a few. Those marked * are also recommended.

Guns Germs and Steel - Jared Diamond *

The Vital Question - Nick Lane *

The Bell Jar - Sylvia Plath *

Convergent Series - Larry Niven *

Cosmos - Carl Sagan *

World of Ptaavs - Larry Niven

The Integral Trees - Larry Niven

The Girl on the Train - Paula Hawkins

The Girl with Seven Names - Hyeongseo Lee *

Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: An Inquiry Into Values - Robert M Pirsig *

The Thrilling Adventures Of Lovelace And Babbage (Comic) - Sydney Padua

The Great Book of Amber: The Complete Amber Chronicles, 1-10 - Roger Zelazny

The Measure of Reality: Quantification in Western Europe, 1250 - 1600 - Alfred W. Crosby *

Rendezvous with Rama - Arthur C Clark *

The Time Dweller - Michael Moorcock

Journey to the Center of the Earth - Jules Verne

Ender's Game - Orson Scott Card *

Speaker for the Dead - Orson Scott Card *

Tim Gunn's Fashion Bible - Tim Gunn *

The Gods Themselves - Isaac Asimon *

The Hugo Winners vol. 3 - Various

Between Planets - Robert A. Heinlen

The Martian - Andy Weir *

Perelandra - C S Lewis

Heretics of Dune - Frank Herbert (Unfinished, couldn't do it.)

Nightfall - Isaac Asimov *

Foundation's Edge - Isaac Asimov *

Foundation and Earth - Isaac Asimov *

Stranger in a Strange Land - Robert Heinlen *

Information Doesn't Want to be Free - Corey Doctorow

Currently Reading

Engines of Creation: The Coming Era Of Nanotechnology - K. Eric Drexler *

Planets for Sale - A.E. van Vogt

For Whom the Bell Tolls - Ernest Hemingway

Tender is the Night - F. Scott Fitzgerald

uhtred 2 hours ago 0 replies      
11/22/63, Stephen King

War is a Racket, Smedley Butler

The God Delusion, Richard Dawkins

Mans Search for Meaning, Viktor Frankl

Foundation, Isaac Asimov

mugsie 7 hours ago 0 replies      
My top fiction books this year:

* City and the Stars - Arthur C. Clarke

* The Master Magician - Charlie N. Holmberg

* The Algebraist - Iain M. Banks

* Hunters of Dune - Brian Herbert (in progress)

Non Fiction Pick:

* Command and Control - Eric Schlosser

orthur_b 7 hours ago 0 replies      
- Modern Romance: An Investigation by Aziz Ansari

- The Defining Decade: Why Your Twenties Matter by Meg Jay

- The Like Switch: An Ex-FBI Agents Guide to Influencing, Attracting, and Winning People Over by Jack Schafer

- Deep Survival: Who Lives, Who Dies, and Why by Laurence Gonzales

- The Passion Trap: How to Right an Unbalanced Relationship by Dean C. Delis Cassandra Phillips

- The Joy of x: A Guided Tour of Math, from One to Infinity by Steven Strogatz

- Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes

- The Minds of Billy Milligan by Daniel Keyes

mrbill 10 hours ago 0 replies      
- A Square Meal: A Culinary History of the Great Depression

Will most likely end up being the best nonfiction book I've read all year.


- Limbus, Inc. - Book III (I liked I and II better tho)

- Sleeping Giants (Themis Files) - a sleeper recommendation by a coworker that I KNOW will end up as a movie.

- Underground Airlines (Modern day, but the Civil War never happened)

- The Nightmare Stacks (A Laundry Files Novel)

- Lovecraft Country

I read a LOT more than what's listed here, but these are the noteworthy ones. I read a book every couple of days. Lots of military monster-hunting fiction, zombie apocalypse pulp, manly adventure novels, self-help stuff, etc.

cpach 8 hours ago 0 replies      

Becoming Steve Jobs / Rick Tetzeli & Brent Schlender

Remote: Office Not Required / David Heinemeier Hansson & Jason Fried


Rum Punch / Elmore Leonard

Morris_Worm 11 hours ago 0 replies      
Dark Matter by Blake Crouch Be prepared to have your mind blown to hell up. No you don't have to be a geek or hold a doctorate in quantum mechanics to enjoy this book. This is something that you will find impossible to put down or stop thinking about long after you have turned the last page.


mattherman 7 hours ago 0 replies      
I've spent most of 2016 chipping away at the Wheel of Time series by Robert Jordan. Almost done!
n2dasun 3 hours ago 2 replies      
Is there a good way (besides commenting) to save posts like these to find later?
pinewurst 2 hours ago 0 replies      
The Art of Charlie Chan Hock Chye - Sonny Lew
virjog 7 hours ago 0 replies      
Tools of Titans by Tim Ferriss

Ask GaryVee by Gary Vaynerchuk

Deep Work by Cal Newport

Give and Take by Adam Grant

Smarter, Faster, Better by Charles Duhigg

misiti3780 5 hours ago 1 reply      
I read 47 books so far:

* Oxygen (Lane)

* The Vital Question (Lane)

* Mitochondria and the meaning of life (Lane)

* Life Ascending (Lane)

* Shoe Dog (Knight)

* Heat (Buford)

* Thinking Fast And Slow (Daniel K, 3rd time reading it)

* Fluent Forever (Wyner)

* Dark Money (Mayer)

* Elon Musk (Vance)

* The Black Swan (Taleb, 5th time reading it)

huuuuza 6 hours ago 0 replies      
Let's Explore Diabetes with Owls - David Sedaris, My Life as a Quant - Emmanuel Derman, Plato at the Googleplex - Rebecca Goldstein, What I Talk About When I Talk About Running - Haruki Murakami
olalonde 6 hours ago 0 replies      
"A Random Walk Down Wall Street" by Burton G. Malkiel. I would recommend it as an introduction to personal finance (or to amateur traders who believe they can beat the market).
nitins 4 hours ago 0 replies      
- Lord of the Rings- Peace Is Every Step- The Hobbit- A BRIEF HISTORY OF TIME- The Andromeda Strain- The Power of Now
mutor 10 hours ago 0 replies      
One book which I'd like to mention here is:

p53: The Gene that Cracked the Cancer Code by Sue Armstrong. Its a well written book on a very complex topic. [1]

[1] https://www.amazon.com/p53-Gene-that-Cracked-Cancer/dp/14729...

agentultra 5 hours ago 0 replies      
The Hidden Keys by Andr Alexis

The Nightmare Stacks by Charles Stross

The Jungle Books by Rudyard Kipling

The Prince by Machiavelli

William S Borroughs: A Life by Barry Miles

Programming in the 1990s by Edward Cohen

On Numbers and Games (again) by John H. Conway

adentranter 8 hours ago 4 replies      
An add-on to this question if people dont mind.

What medium are you reading these books on?

Physical, ebooks, pdf, kindle?

johnwheeler 5 hours ago 0 replies      
1. Dan Lyons: Disrupted

2. Stephen King: Joyland

3. Ray Kroc: Grinding it Out

4. Antonio Garcia Martinez: Chaos Monkeys

5. Jonah Berger: Contagious

6. Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi: Finding Flow

7. Calum Chase: Surviving A.I.

8. Dan Ariely: Payoff

yomritoyj 7 hours ago 0 replies      
Moschovakis, "Notes on Set Theory". Fast paced introduction to axiomatic set theory without too many prerequisites. The 'NAND to Tetris' of mathematics if you will.
patrickbolle 7 hours ago 0 replies      
Zen Mind, Beginners MindThe Dharma Bums - kerouacDesolation Angels - kerouacWake Up - Kerouac Mindfulness in plain english10% HappierBig Sur - kerouac

... Yeah I'm on a Buddhism and Kerouac kick right now

gallerdude 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Annihilation - by Jeff Vandermeer was a big treat.

I like ambient music, and I'd call this an ambient book.

vadyalex 11 hours ago 0 replies      
I am glad to announce that I am almost finished my reading challenge this year, here is the list -> https://www.goodreads.com/user/year_in_books/2016/5288302
riledhel 5 hours ago 1 reply      
I'm impressed by how little fiction you guys read. Not even the classics are listed here (minus some exceptions)
f_allwein 12 hours ago 0 replies      
Apollo: The Epic Journey to the Moon, 1963-1972by David West Reynolds. Good account of one of humanity's greatest technological achievements. http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/16072775-apollo
zitterbewegung 5 hours ago 0 replies      
I would recommend Batman The Killing Joke. A great Batman comic but the best comic that features The Joker.
giaour 5 hours ago 0 replies      
I adored Between the World and Me by Ta-Nahisi Coates and Kazuo Ishiguro's The Buried Giant.
textread 6 hours ago 0 replies      
* "The slight edge" by Jeff Olson: ~ 3 hr audiobook,Counterintuitive idea: Small decisions matter the most
Fr0ntBack 10 hours ago 0 replies      
Progress - Jonah NorbergAbout why the world is really getting better.https://oneworld-publications.com/progress-hb.html
mrhektor 10 hours ago 0 replies      
Science and the City by Laurie Winkless was a fun read. Some parts of it are a bit hype-y, and some parts are a bit obvious, but overall it's a great read to find out the mechanics behind things we take for granted
sidcool 8 hours ago 0 replies      
I now I am late on reading this one, but Pragmatic Programmer.

Then there was The Kite RunnerAlso, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle MaintanenceThen Becoming a Technical Leader by Gerald

I wish I had read more.

Raphmedia 6 hours ago 0 replies      
Finally got around to read hitchhiker's guide to the galaxy.

My favourite books of the year were Brian Jacques Redwall series.

khorchanov 10 hours ago 0 replies      
Quran, a very superior all in one book, I have never seen a book as expressive as this one, I invite anyone just to "try" it ;)

Freakonomics, is a good one about economy from a new angle of view

heyAaronHatch 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Atlas Shrugged


Fahrenheit 451

Brave New World

Born to Run by Bruce Springsteen


mec31 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Hillbilly Elegy, J. D. Vance.
nathell 11 hours ago 0 replies      
Probably the single most important thing I've read in years: Marshall B. Rosenberg, Nonviolent Communication: A Language of Life.


Irvin Yalom, Love's Executioner

Gavin Extence, The Universe vs. Alex Woods

garymoon 5 hours ago 0 replies      
Tolkien's: - Lord of the Rings - The Hobbit
tonyblundell 8 hours ago 0 replies      
Lots, I guess highlights would be...

Pavane by Keith Roberts

The Spire by William Golding

Running Man by Stephen King

Catch 22 by Joseph Heller

Homage to Catalonia by George Orwell

throwaway1892 8 hours ago 1 reply      
North and The King's Game by Jean Raspail. Very good fiction books.
perseusprime11 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Fiction: Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency by Douglas Adams. This was fun and unexpected time travel novel.

Non Fiction: Siddhartha by Herman Hesse. This was a great read that resets you and puts things in perspective.

Kyro38 11 hours ago 0 replies      
The best for me would be :

- Sapiens ~ Yuval Noah Harari

- Mindset ~ Carol Dweck

- Why we do what we do ~ Edward L. Deci

- Capital in the XXIst century ~ Thomas Piketty

unstatusthequo 6 hours ago 1 reply      
Atlas Shrugged
globalgoat 10 hours ago 0 replies      
favourites by category:- fitness:Becoming a supple leopard- fiction:Seveneves- non fiction:Neurotribes: The Legacy of Autism and How to Think Smarter About People Who Think Differently
baboun 11 hours ago 0 replies      
A bunch and mostly Why Grow Up. To be followed by Kant's Groundwork.
thraway2016 5 hours ago 0 replies      
The Culture of Critique
swah 8 hours ago 0 replies      
Antifragile - N. Taleb

Trust me I'm lying - Ryan Holiday

ggregoire 3 hours ago 0 replies      
I'm not a big reader:

- Elon Musk bio

- Deep Work

- Manna

apocalypstyx 3 hours ago 0 replies      

Inherent Vice --- Thomas Pynchon

The Great and Secret Show --- Clive Barker

Jurassic Park --- Michael Crichton

The Mothman Prophecies --- John A. Keel (1)

The Wind in the Willows --- Kenneth Grahame

Ender's Game --- Orson Scott Card

All Quiet on the Western Front --- Erich Maria Remarque

The Drought --- J. G. Ballard

The Dead Father's Club --- Matt Harris

Children of Men --- P. D. James

The Islanders --- Pascal Garnier

Silence of the Lambs --- Thomas Harris

Inherit the Wind --- Jerome Lawrence & Robert E. Lee

The Butt --- Will Self

Inside Outside --- Philip Jose Farmer

The Panda Theory --- Pascal Garnier

Fanshaw --- Nathaniel Hawthorne

The Scarlet Letter --- Nathaniel Hawthorne

This Census-Taker --- China Mieville

The House of the Seven Gables --- Nathaniel Hawthorne

The A26 --- Pascal Garnier

The Blithedale Romance --- Nathaniel Hawthorne

The Weird --- Edited by Jeff VanderMeer & Ann VanderMeer (2)

Front Seat Passenger --- Pascal Garnier


The Wealth of Networks --- Yochai Benkler

Field Notes from A Catastrophe --- Elizabeth Kolbert

What Ever Happened to Modernism? --- Gabriel Josipovici

Escape Velocity --- Mark Dery

What We See When We Read --- Peter Mendelsund

(1) Author described as non-fiction, publisher hedged bets and labelled in as such, supposedly.

(2) If only this book could be picked by Subterranean or Centipede press so it'd be a better printed and bound book than Tor ever seems to want to do.

I always recommend Ballard, even when not wanted. Relevant quote:

 A story by J. G. Ballard, as you know, calls for people who don't think. One begins with characters who regard the physical universe as a mysterious and arbitrary place, and who would not dream of trying to understand its actual laws. Furthermore, in order to be the protagonist of a J.G. Ballard novel, or anything more than a very minor character therein, you must have cut yourself off from the entire body of scientific education. In this way, when the world disaster be it wind or water comes upon you, you are under absolutely no obligation to do anything about it but sit and worship it. Even more further, some force has acted to remove from the face of the world all people who might impose good sense or rational behavior on you, so that the disaster proceeds unchecked and unopposed except by the almost inevitable thumb-rule engineer type who for his individual comfort builds a huge pyramid (without huge footings) to resist high winds, or trains a herd of alligators and renegade divers to help him out in dealing with deep water. Algis Budrys, Galaxy magazine (December 1966)
I'd recommend Pascal Garnier for anyone who likes sickly dark humor + surrealism + noir + a kind of Ballardian-air. Also Pynchon. Hawthorne might be the stand-out this year, in the sense of his works' subtle, implicit ability to question the authorial mode, the nature of the text itself, and the instability of it.

In non-fiction I'd recommend Dery's Escape Velocity; It's from the 90s but still deals too presciently with many of the issues around the near-religification of modern electronic technology. And Josipovici if you lean toward depressive jolts of existential anxiety (it deals mostly with the arts, but I think there's a broader life applicability).

mindcrime 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Books I finished in 2016. There are others that are still "in progress", but I'll skip those for now.

- Towers of Midnight (Wheel of Time, #13)- Robert Jordan

- Artificial Intelligence: What Everyone Needs to Know - Jerry Kaplan

- The Gathering Storm (Wheel of Time, #12) - Robert Jordan

- Ashley Bell - Dean Koontz

- Spooky Action at a Distance: The Phenomenon That Reimagines Space and Timeand What It Means for Black Holes, the Big Bang, and Theories of Everything - George Musser

- What Is Relativity?: An Intuitive Introduction to Einstein's Ideas, and Why They Matter - Jeffrey O. Bennett

- Code: The Hidden Language of Computer Hardware and Software - Charles Petzold

- The Seven Pillars of Statistical Wisdom - Stephen M. Stigler

- Deliver Us from Evil (A. Shaw, #2) - David Baldacci

- Total Control - David Baldacci

- Second Foundation (Foundation #3) - Isaac Asimov

- Foundation and Empire (Foundation #2) - Isaac Asimov

- End of Watch (Bill Hodges Trilogy, #3) - Stephen King

- Foundation (Foundation #1) - Isaac Asimov

- Everything and More: A Compact History of Infinity - David Foster Wallace

- The Meaning of Science - Tim Lewens

- Reality Check: The Irreverent Guide to Outsmarting, Outmanaging, and Outmarketing Your Competition - Guy Kawasaki

- The Last Mile (Amos Decker, #2)- David Baldacci

- Disrupted: My Misadventure in the Start-Up Bubble - Dan Lyons

- Management Strategies for the Cloud Revolution: How Cloud Computing Is Transforming Business and Why You Can't Afford to Be Left Behind - Charles Babcock

- It's Not the Big That Eat the Small...It's the Fast That Eat the Slow: How to Use Speed as a Competitive Tool in Business - Jason Jennings

- Predictive Analytics: The Power to Predict Who Will Click, Buy, Lie, or Die - Eric Siegel

- Mastering the Complex Sale: How to Compete and Win When the Stakes Are High! - Jeff Thull

- The Bazaar of Bad Dreams - Stephen King

What would I recommend out of this batch? Pretty much all of the fiction titles, and out of the non-fiction, I'd call out these as particularly recommended:

Mastering The Complex Sale, by Jeff Thull

Code, by Charles Petzold


It's Not the Big That Eat the Small...It's the Fast That Eat the Slow by Jason Jennings.

The one I'd call out as "not recommended" is

The Seven Pillars of Statistical Wisdom by Stephen M. Stigler. I guess it has it's place, but it didn't turn out to be as enlightening as I'd hoped it would be.

coldshower 10 hours ago 0 replies      
I just finished recommending 1491 by Charles Mann in a previous thread, and I'll do so again here: http://amzn.to/2hKn6Ly

Surprising how innovative and densely populated the people of ancient americas were back then.

sdegutis 5 hours ago 0 replies      
The Diary of St. Faustina, also titled "Divine Mercy in My Soul". Even though I owned it for a few years, I didn't really pick it up until just this year. I know only a small percent of us here are religious, but for those of you who are, well let me just say that I recently told my wife and children that this book is so important and helpful and good, that it ranks #2 (right after the Bible).

What's nice about it is that it's broken up into very small paragraphs, many of them unrelated to the ones surrounding it. So it's easy to read it for 30 seconds and still get value out of it, when you're a busy person like me (whether due to profession or family or both).

engi_nerd 5 hours ago 0 replies      
This year involved a career change, so much of my reading was oriented around my shift from flight test engineering to software engineering.

Non-fiction (technical):

* Code Complete, 2nd Edition by Steve McConnell. I can't say enough good things about this. I have kept referring to it in the months since I read it for the first time.

* Computation Structures by Stephen A. Ward. I have read most of this one; it's a good reference for understanding computers at various levels of abstraction.

* Simulation and its Discontents by Sherry Turkle

* Scientific Computation: Python Hacking for Math Junkies by Bruce E. Shapiro. Good for getting back into Python after a few years away.

* Accelerating MATLAB Performance by Yair Altman. Altman has an exhaustive knowledge of MATLAB and this book is a must for anyone doing serious work in MATLAB.

* Doing Data Science: Straight Talk from the Frontline by Cathy O'Neil


* The Fall of the Roman Empire: A New History of Rome and the Barbarians, by Peter Heather. Very well researched and written narrative examining how the Empire fared in the 3rd-5th centuries. Has a different perspective than the usual "Barbarian invasions ended the empire".

* One Summer: America, 1927 by Bill Bryson. I love everything Bryson writes. This is no exception.

* Rocket Ranch: The Nuts and Bolts of the Apollo Moon Program at Kennedy Space Center by Jonathan H. Ward. Also read Countdown to a Moon Launch: Preparing Apollo for Its Historic Journey by the same author. Ward writes the most amazing technical histories. It's quite obvious that he spent massive amounts of time piecing together exactly how things at Kennedy worked during the Apollo years. It's full of amazing little details like which firing rooms were used for which mission, how the entire Saturn V stack was rap-tested (literally having people lie on their backs on a work-platform and synchronously press against the rocket with their legs to try to get it to resonate), and so much more. If you are an Apollo program enthusiast you must read these two books.


* Kelly: More than my Share of it All by Clarence L. "Kelly" Johnson. The man was a far better engineer than writer. A much better look at Kelly's business life was put together by his protege, Ben Rich (with Leo Janos), in "Skunkworks: A Personal Memoir of My Years at Lockheed".

* Fighter Pilot, by Robin Olds. Autobiography of one of the brashest, best aces of World War II and Vietnam.

* American Patriot: The Life and Wars of Colonel Bud Day, by Robert Coram. Not as well-written as Coram's biography of John Boyd. Or maybe Boyd just appeals more to my fighter-jet engineering side.

* Chickenhawk by Robert Mason. Amazing account of what it was like to be a combat rotary-wing pilot in Vietnam.

Other Non-Fiction

* The M1 Garand Owner's Guide by Scott A. Duff. Worth it for Garand owners.

* Atlas Obscura: A Guide To the World's Hidden Wonders by Joshua Foer. The print book is beautiful and ever fascinating.

* This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs The Climate, by Naomi Klein. Like a lot of popular non-fiction, this could have been an excellent long-form article instead.


* The Mandibles: A Family, 20292047 by Lionel Shriver. A book with a high concept story and poor execution.

* The Man In The High Castle by Philip K. Dick. Not my first time reading it, but just as enjoyable on this go-around.

* QB VII by Leon Uris. Fiction, but based on some of Uris's own experiences as the defendant in a libel suit. A solid read.

* Noble House, by James Clavell. The only book in his Asian series I hadn't read. Amazing, as are all the rest.

* The Tao Trilogy by Wesley Chu. Eh. First book was decent, it got tedious after that. Only finished it all because I was on a business trip with poor internet access.

* The Power of the Dog, by Don Winslow. I also read the follow-up, The Cartel. Winslow researched these books for years and they are powerful indictments of the War on Drugs. They're also good fiction, but many of the characters have real-world analogues. I spent quite a bit of time during/after reading these looking up the real-world history of the drug wars since 1975.

a_bonobo 11 hours ago 1 reply      
Some of my favorites this year:


- Jude The Obscure, Thomas Hardy. The way Hardy 'smuggles' Jude's viewpoint into the narrative is so ridiculously well crafted, a pleasure to read.

- Legend Of The Galactic Heroes - a big anime from the 80s which was based on Japanese soft SF novels, which are now finally being translated. Worth a read if you're into space operas and large scale politics, I'm happy that the age of ebooks allows for such 'niche' interests to get translated.


- Secondhand Time: The Last Of The Soviets, Svetlana Alexievitch. It's her 'usual' style, a selection of interviews with a 'chorus' of shorter interviews, this time about the fall of the Soviet Union. Lots of interesting stuff from people whose world was replaced with another world overnight.

- The Pursuit of Glory: Europe 1648-1815, Tim Blanning. This is actually an entry in the long row of Penguin History of Europe, but I haven't read the others. It examines certain aspects of change in Europe (starting with how transport networks moved from mud roads to proper streets and culminating in how the nation state was invented)

- Vanished Kingdoms: The History of Half-Forgotten Europe, Norman Davies. As the title says, a collection of essays on small kingdoms and countries which have only existed for a short time, some for which no current country claims 'ancestry'. It's always important to remind yourself what a random patchwork current European borders are.

- Eckermann's Conversations with Goethe. This is a collection of notes on young Eckermann's conversations with the aging Goethe. Goethe is famous for always challenging himself, always trying to create, make and be involved until his last day, it's absolutely inspirational. Before this book I didn't understand why he's such an icon for Germans (and I read a few biographies), but I get it now, he lived the 'man is his own marble' saying.

Computer stuff:

- Introduction to Machine Learning with Python, Mueller and Guido. This is essentially a more detailed version of the scikit-learn documentation with more elaborate exercises (even though some of it overlaps), highly readable. The scikit-learn documentation itself is among the best python package documentation out there and is something you can read 'cover to cover'.

- Write Great Code - I've only started to read this one, it's very much about the basics of what a computer does when you're running high level code, so you can adjust your coding style. So far it's very useful.


- Discovering Statistics Using R, Field/Miles/Field. A very opinionated, highly amusing (the constant humor may annoy some), huge waltz through statistics and how to use the methods and interpret their output in R.

chrisherd 5 hours ago 0 replies      
Originals - Adam Grant: Concise and clear, originals change the world but they arent the people we think they are.

When breath becomes air - Paul Kalanithi: Haunting, beautiful, moving and perfect. Life is surprising and we cant legislate for the things that are thrust upon us.

Shoe dog - Phil Knight: How a gang of misfits can changed the world. Favourite entreprenurial journey I've ever consumed.

Sapiens - Yuval Harari: Wow, nothing else to say.

The Future of the Proffesions - Richard & Daniel Susskind: This is a tough read, it was a slog, but it was worth it. The world is changing before our eyes. Professions will die, not just entry level labour intensive jobs.

Contagious - Jonah Berger: If you own a business you want things to go viral, Jonah enlightens you to the possibilities of how.

Platform Scale - Sangeet Paul Choudary: Excellent and rigorously supported. An infusion of practicality and academia. A look behind the curtain of the collaborative economy.

The Third Wave - Steve Case: The low hanging fruits have been picked, now what? The internet of things is coming, but what does that mean.

The Sharing Economy - Arun Sundararajan: Im a believer in the sharing/collaborative economy but im worried, the way people are being treated is deplorable. A projection of whats to come.

Grit - Angela Duckworth: Why do some people succeed and others dont? Why did the child prodigy fail? Why do some people drop out of school and others thrive? Favourite book of the year.

Black Box Thinking - Matthew Syed: Cognitive dissonance, why do we think the way we do. Why cant we change our minds even when we are wrong?

Clay Water Brick - Jessica Jackley: Want to learn what it takes to change the world?

Behind the Cloud - Marc Benioff: Marc Benioff is a genius.

Postcapitalism - Paul Mason: Does capitalism work? This seems even more pertinent following recent political upheaval. First Brexit now Trump, this gravitas of what this book conveyed wasnt really certain until those moments occurred. The world is changing, brought forth by massive economic migration and the erosion of borders. Can we stay the same or must we evolve to survive?

Zero to One - Peter Thiel: Classic.

Presence - Amy Cuddy: I was going to omit this from the list on account of the fact some of the science of the book being flawed. I couldnt, I loved it. It spoke to me about my own issues facing impostor syndrome.

Delivering Happiness - Tony Hsieh: Tony is my mentor, he just doesnt know it, yet.

Peers Inc. - Robin Chase: Could zipcar have been uber if the technology existed? It doesnt matter, but reading this I felt like I was learning about a secret nobody knew about. Chase was ahead of her time, probably too far, but the book is gold.

Things a Little Bird Told me - Biz Stone: Sometimes billion dollar ideas are about luck arising from failure.

Business For Punks - James Watt: Do things your way or fail trying to please other people. Business for punks is brash, unapologetic and sure of itself. It doesnt make any excuses, instead it forces it down your throat. In the same way Brewdog is a business like no other so is this book. Its irreverent and certain. Its the best business book i read this year, without queston.

OrphanX - Gregg Hurwitz: out Bourning Bourne, out Bonding Bond and out Reachering Reacher.

anotherevan 7 hours ago 0 replies      
In science fiction:

The Wayfarers books The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet and A Closed and Common Orbit were quite good. Fantastic world building and characters, although the plots seem to meander about with not too much purpose.


Recently ploughed through The Expanse series.


Dark Matter was a good read if you like parallel universes.


The Rho Agenda series was a surprisingly good read.


Quantum Night was something a bit different from Robert Sawyer.


Farmer in the Sky is one of those books I re-read every few years.


And Barsk: The Elephants Graveyard would probably have to be rated my favourite for the year.



Not really a horror fan, but stumbled into the I Am Not a Serial Killer series by accident a few years ago and love it. Read the forth and fifth in the series this year. If youre more a psychological thriller than horror fan, give it a go anyway. (Shame about the awful movie adaptation.)



Fool Me Once upholds Harlan Cobens usual good quality reads.


Memory Man and its sequel were good reads. Must chase up more by this author some time.


The Wrong Side of Goodbye by Michael Connelly


According to my goodreads list Ive ready sixty books this year (so far). Although looking back through them while compiling this list, some of them were short stories. It will be interesting to see what my page count is when I do my yearly reading stats in a couple of weeks.

guiambros 5 hours ago 1 reply      
Last year I gave myself a Zuckerberg-style goal to read a book every two weeks. It started well, but some months were harder than others (usually when the book wasn't very good, so I would switch to podcasts for a few weeks, before getting back on track).

Here's an unordered list of the best:


- "Work Rules!" - about Google's culture and values

- "Search Inside Yourself" - about mindfulness, meditation, and the impact on your life.

- "What got you here won't get you there" - Liked a lot more than I expected.

- "Re-read Innovator's Dilemma" - a great classic; never gets old.

- "How will you measure your life" - from the same author. Also excellent.

- "The Best Service is No Service" - good overview on why Amazon's customer service is so good

- "Crucial Conversations" - half is common sense; half is good tips to practice everyday.


- "Fluent Python" - was afraid it'd be too basic, but not really. Enjoyed it a lot.

- "Think Complexity" - about algorithm complexity, data structures, etc. Great read.

- "Python Data Science Handbook" - meh.

- "Fundamentals of Deep Learning" - good intro. Helped me solidify some concepts from Andrew Ng's ML course

- "Deep Learning" - by Goodfellow and Bengio. Just started, but really liking it.

[STARTUPS] (all excellent; in order)

- "The Hard Things about Hard Things"

- "Zero to One"

- "The Founder's Dilemmas"

- "The Launch Pad"


- Trilogy: "Off to be a wizard / An Unwelcome Quest / Spell or High Water"

- "Infinite Jest" - tried but failed to finish. May try again later.

- "Ready Player One" - nice, but repetitive after a while. Good read before the movie comes out.


- "What If?" - xkcd FTW

- "How to Read a Book" - good concepts, but should be a 10 pages blog post, not a book

- "Spark" - Science of the Exercise and the Brain - Long, but good

- "Sugar Shock" - still reading; hopefully will help me cut my sweet cravings


- "The New New Thing" - about Jim Clark's life, one of the very first entrepreneurs

- "Machines of Loving Grace" - about the research and the rise of AI

- "Hackers: Heroes of the Computer Revolution"

- "The Second Coming of Steve Jobs" - About Pixar's story. Liked more than Isaacson's biography

- "The Innovators" - great summary of computer industry, from the 1800's till today

- "Ghost in the Wires" - Kevin Mitnick's story. Had started years ago, but finally finished it

- "Idea Man" - about Paul Allen's story. Quite an impressive man.

Ask HN: How long did it take to release your side project in 2016?
22 points by umut  5 hours ago   29 comments top 14
mrcabada 8 minutes ago 0 replies      
I haven't launched completely, but it's been around 5 months since I started it. I'm building a visual-programming environment to build chatbots with pure drand and drop. Still lots of stuff to do, but I launched a successful beta.

You can see it in action: https://talkbot.io

Website took 2 days to build, the idea, webapp and server took around 5 months.

I haven't charged a penny to my clients, because it's still in beta, but I'm on my way on making it no-beta soon and start monetizing.

Unexpected: Got featured in some blogs and it rained clients and e-mails, too demanding for one-person project. I wasn't ready, nor my product, marketing was going to happen later.

P.S. I'm the only coder and designer, should've been faster with more people on the "team".

ezekg 5 hours ago 3 replies      
I haven't launched, so I hope this is okay. I'm 7/mo into developing a side project called https://keygen.sh, and am finally wrapping things up to launch a beta in early January. I have a few hundred people on my mailing list, so that's a plus.

Challenges I've faced:

- Getting carried away with automation: emails after certain events, marketing to users who don't convert, billing features; all of these are things I should have done post-launch.

- Writing tests. I've literally delayed the launch of the product a whole month because I didn't feel my test coverage was good enough. I should have launched the beta and then started writing tests.

- Too many features. "Hey, x) would be a cool feature!", "Oh man, y) would be super useful to my users." Yeah, I've written and then removed so many features that I'm a little ashamed.

- Wanting to adhere strictly to the JSON API spec. I shouldn't have spent so much time making sure that it followed the spec, because in the end, it doesn't.

After reevaluating things, all I need to do is finish writing documentation so that I can roll out the beta.

Huhty 49 minutes ago 0 replies      
We're actually launching our new SaaS for bloggers in January 2017 called the Blog Enhancement Suite, but we've spent most of 2016 working on it.

It basically allows you to plug in a community to your blog using a widget that will use the core of our community voting platform Snapzu (that launched in 2013). There are other widgets out there that bloggers can use, such as Twitter Timeline, Pinterest, Instagram, etc, but all of them are redundant, showing duplicate stuff that's already on the blog, and don't really add anything for engagement and revenue like we plan on doing.

Biggest Challenges:

1. Getting the word out (mostly for feedback at this point), so that we can continue improving our landing page so that people understand it better and see the value proposition.

2. A/B testing to figure out what works and what doesn't. This is tough because of the small sample sizes (because of challenge #1 just above) and because it requires a lot of re-writing copy/text.

Unexpected encounters:

Explainer video (still in production) is taking way longer than we thought it would, approx 3 months now.

Happy to answer any questions. Links if you want to see our service in action:

http://www.snapzu.com (platform)

http://www.blogenhancement.com (SaaS for bloggers)

aeharding 41 minutes ago 1 reply      
9 months: January to September. It took 2 weeks after launch to get the first paying customer.

The product is a SaaS progressive web app for budgeting. It's $12/year for the premium version.

The main challenges were adding the last few features, making it production ready, and polish. The 80-20 rule really applied here (it took 20% of time to get 80% of the way), and that's only for the MVP! I still work on the app almost every day. :)

I'd say the hardest part now that I have many customers is not breaking anything for those existing customers.



fundamental 3 hours ago 2 replies      
For my first side project which has resulted in paying customers the whole process took quite a while. From the idea to first sale the whole process was roughly 30 months (May 2014 -> Nov 2016). There were a few false starts and most of the work was done over the last few months, but I'm glad it's made it to a real release.

What is it?It's a crowd funded user interface rewrite for an open source musical synthesizer: http://zynaddsubfx.sourceforge.net/zyn-fusion.html


- Bug testing and regression testing a large/complex user interface was difficult as it tends to be a largely manual process

- Maintaining a multi platform codebase added a lot of extra complexity and it certainly made distribution more difficult

- Identifying what the users precisely needed was difficult as time could be spent on a number of different facets of the project

- Polishing up pieces of the application after it was functionally complete took much much longer than originally predicted

- Marketing/Estimating-the-market: Initial surveys indicated a large number of users would be willing to pay to support a replacement UI and a few hundred were on a dedicated mailing list for it. Conversion rates were much lower than expected with both the general audience and those subscribed to the sub-project specific mailing list.

jasonkester 2 hours ago 0 replies      
I had the idea for the feature that would eventually turn into Unwaffle [1] back in July. It was initially just going to be an internal tool to track trial user actions for S3stat so that I could detect trends to predict who would convert on their own and who would need intervention.

But it quickly became apparent how useful it would be as a product, so I built it that way from day one, with its own domain and API for collecting data. The idea was to build the pieces I needed to do my thing, and if it didn't work amazingly well, to shoot it in the head and move on.


 - Idea in July - Prototype in August - Decided to move forward in September - Public site live in September - Fully functional by around October - Some minor promotion in November - Just went live with real customers in December
No paying users yet (and no means of processing payment). With luck, and assuming the first round of trials go smoothly, it should get a proper "Launch" in January.

Naturally, feedback is always welcome.

[1] https://unwaffle.com

gurkendoktor 1 hour ago 1 reply      
One of my perpetual problems with releasing software is that I hate writing for humans. Marketing blurbs, blogs, emails to the right people. It all sounds so easy when native speakers write or talk about it, but I'm so shy about this stuff that I'm never looking forward to finishing a project.

Is there a low-cost service that will proof-read everything you do (not for grammar accuracy, but also tone)? The easiest fix might be to live in the UK for a bit.

WereBooks 3 hours ago 0 replies      
We're still working on getting our 501c3, so that was unexpected. I knew there would be a lot of legal work and IRS work, but the sheer volume of it still staggers me.

The rest of the work on our site (werebooks.org) is coming along pretty well, I think. There has been a lot of work done to get the load times down (especially for mobiles in other countries), lots of tuning. We have a long way to go yet, but it's nothing like the prototype we tossed up early 2016.

Our biggest effort in 2017 is going to be adding content. Lots and lots of content.

So, to answer question 1 - from idea to 1,000 full book reads a week (we don't charge, so no paying customers) took about 8 months. I don't know that I'd consider it "done" any time soon, so many I'm speaking out of turn.

Challenges and unexpected potholes have been almost entirely of a legal nature.

pesfandiar 2 hours ago 0 replies      
I had an idea of a static JavaScript practice website with little to no maintenance required. It took me about a month of part-time work from idea to having the website up. I took a month or so to add more content to it.

It was never meant to make any money, so maybe your definition of side project is more specific than mine. I got about tens of clicks on the affiliate links and made a grand total of $0.00.

The website is at https://javascript.onl/ and I wrote a high-level blog post about how I did it at http://www.pesfandiar.com/blog/2016/05/12/javascript-online-...

Stanleyc23 2 hours ago 0 replies      
I started playing with computer vision toolkits like OpenCV in the late summer, took a couple months to play with different tutorials, then it took another couple months to launch a simple iOS game with face and mouth detecting. As an MVP, I avoided any features that might turn into a time sink and didn't even include in-app purchases.

Working with the libraries was unexpectedly easy since I looked at a lot of sample code and tutorials.

The challenges are to come when I have to dig deeper into combining different image processing techniques to boost my particular tracking needs. Additionally, I'll have to learn about 3D graphics from scratch if I want to make the game more immersive and dynamic. Lastly if I want to add stuff like an in-game economy, that will take time away from experimenting on the computer vision stuff.

Check it out and send me feedback! https://appsto.re/us/hhcxfb.i

soared 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Less than a day.

I had been thinking about it for weeks/months and knew exactly how it would work. Having mentally worked out all the problems simplified the creation so much. While putting things off is usually bad, sometimes continuously thinking about it solves problems before they come up. The only challenges I had were with learning new tools and not execution.

Wrote a hn post (on an alt acc) and sent a few emails and it had a couple nice traffic spikes and news/blog articles. I haven't touched it since though. I won't link it because I don't want my name attached to it.

aminozuur 3 hours ago 1 reply      
3 months to build a new video chat platform.The first release was very naked, live video chats worked, but there was no text chat on the side.Since then, we've fixed a lot of connection bugs, added Twitter login, and had to scale to a new server with 15 times capacity.

It's called Harf, would love to hear anyones opinion: http://harf.io

panorama 2 hours ago 0 replies      
We started working on customer development in May part-time (full-time starting July). It wasn't until mid-September that we actually knew what we wanted to create, and that's when we bought our domain. From there it took til early November to get our first paying customer.
crispytx 1 hour ago 0 replies      
1 month per project, but nobody uses either - they were just for fun.
Ask HN: What is the best low-risk, passive way to invest 150,000 euros?
13 points by valueprop  6 hours ago   14 comments top 10
Someone 5 hours ago 1 reply      
Define 'best'. What are your goals? For example, if you want to maximize expected ROI over decades, the answer will be different from the one when you want to maximize worst-case ROI over a year.

Also, "For USA citizens" isn't disjunct from "For those living in Europe", and "Europe" is quite diverse (even if one reads it as 'in the EU', tax laws may affect what's 'best')

Also, avoiding the euro may, depending on what you want to do with the funds, add exchange rate risks, with their pros and cons (higher variability of ROI). If you want to spend the money in what now is an euro country, I don't think there is a way to take exchange rate risks (either because of investing in other currencies or because of not knowing a possible euro exchange rate)

And I think option B should be disqualified as it doesn't meet your requirement of 'passive' (you know that, based on the remark 'too much hassle')

aminozuur 40 minutes ago 0 replies      
You can invest in US index funds such as the S&P500 as a European. Many people do. DeGiro is a good broker.
bsvalley 3 hours ago 1 reply      
Short answer to your question, the best option is your Option B.
DarkLinkXXXX 3 hours ago 1 reply      
I have to agree with Brian Bain on this one: Perhaps energy is a good place for you to look. Many solar companies should offer great returns for years to come and many oil and gas companies will likely be great buys this year as prices decline more.
saltvedt 6 hours ago 1 reply      
We have index funds in Europe...
orasis 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Can someone explain why index funds are not an option?
forgetsusername 6 hours ago 0 replies      
Option A...I guess.

Seems quite bond heavy though. If you have a choice, 60/40 stocks/bonds (preferably global, equal-weighted vs cap weighted for the stocks to take advantage of the higher growth of small and mid caps).

Let me say something about Option B: Being a landlord is not passive. There are many young people here, some who have made some good money, that buy and rent property. If they describe it as easy it's because they likely haven't owned the property long enough to have to pay for big maintenance projects, or long enough to have had bad tenants.

Investments are an efficient machine, and they don't produce easy money. The long-term real returns on real estate are steady and low. TINSTAAFL. Any advantages come from being able to leverage a down payment with a mortgage, which may or may not be possible for a rental property.

BjoernKW 5 hours ago 0 replies      
miguelrochefort 6 hours ago 0 replies      
Index funds.
GFK_of_xmaspast 5 hours ago 0 replies      
Are there no professional investment advisors in Europe.
Ask HN: We're 2 senior Dev/Designer team. How can we get our first clients?
6 points by parque  6 hours ago   1 comment top
aman-pro 5 hours ago 0 replies      
Go out and talk to your prospective clients. I Can't stress this enough. Talking to your prospective clients is the best way to learn more about them and how they made decisions of which freelancer to choose.

When you meet, make sure that you look like an expert in what you do. :) This alone got me quite some clients.

Ask HN: Fraud is a business model, Do we fix it?
2 points by masonwashere  3 hours ago   2 comments top 2
taprun 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Adjust the laws so that the following formula is true:

perceived_chance_of_getting_caught * perceived_penalty > perceived_benefits

CalChris 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Fraud is not a business model.
Ask HN: What's the state of the job market in data science and machine learning?
189 points by TXV  23 hours ago   116 comments top 27
rm999 22 hours ago 12 replies      
Speaking for NYC, but I imagine silicon valley is similar.

The supply-demand dynamics have changed a lot in the last couple years. I'd roughly break it out into two groups: people with work experience + strong software development skills, and those without. The first group is in higher demand than ever, and tend to add a lot of value to companies that really need it.

The second group has gotten extremely crowded, especially from STEM graduates - usually with a masters or phd - who have completed MOOCs or bootcamps. Supply keeps growing while demand is flat or shrinking (especially as executives get burned by "data scientists" who don't know how to help them build things of value). There's a huge crunch here; a lot of people I know in this group have been searching for jobs for months, eventually settling for a low quality job or giving up entirely :(

hardtke 22 hours ago 5 replies      
I hire machine learning engineers and data scientists. In my opinion there is a great shortage of truly qualified machine learning engineers. A lot of people are entering the market with a general knowledge of machine learning tools. These people should be considered analysts or product data scientists. When it comes to people that can build machine learning systems that work at scale, they are very rarely available for hire and often are the subject of bidding wars by multiple companies. The key difference is whether the candidate truly understands the mathematical and statistical basis of machine learning, has the programming skills to execute their ideas, and is able to write code that can be used in large scale production systems and can be leveraged by others.
PLenz 22 hours ago 0 replies      
I've been working in DS role for a few years now in NYC - and I definately feel the role is more valued on the east coast over SV. SV has a focus on consumer facing applications that are in many ways fancy CRUD. DS roles have thier place but aren't the core of the business. East coast has a b2b / infobroker focus where DS is the product. Media (especially adtech), finance, government consulting are over on this coast.

I think you also need to not confuse the growing ease of machine learning tools with the role becoming more accessible. There is a wide gap between tooling and knowledge to use those tools appropriately and creatively.

And may I never write another HN comment on my cell phone again.

aub3bhat 22 hours ago 1 reply      
Stack overflow salary calculator shows a significant 50% premium over Developer salaries, all other things remaining the same. [1] Even though in my opinion the tool is flawed and actually significantly underestimates (stackoverflow underpays) salaries in SV/NYC. It is still a good indicator.

The major issue is that Data Scientist is a very fuzzy term with it being applied to everyone from undergraduates with Stats degree and to those with PhDs and papers at KDD/ICML/NIPS/CVPR.

However rather than doing a Frontend or Mobile developer coding bootcamp, a data science bootcamp is likely to lead to more transferable skills in case you wish to get an MBA etc.

[1] http://stackoverflow.com/company/salary/calculator?p=7&e=1&s...

caminante 22 hours ago 2 replies      
Currently, Gartner analysts place ML at the "peak" of its Hype Cycle for Emerging Tech [0] with a runway of 2-5 years for mainstream adoption.

[0] http://www.gartner.com/newsroom/id/3412017

stared 22 hours ago 1 reply      
I have only anecdotal experience (I live in Warsaw, but do contracts mostly for Poland, UK and US).

General data science is in need. I can get contracts easily, I know that people looking for competent people need to wait; especially as it is a skill much harder to pick than, say, front-end web dev (unless someone starts from a highly quantitive background like physics, modelling in biology, etc). My general impression are:

- ML (especially practical one, like logistic regression and random forest) is often integral parts of many data analyses (or at least a plus),

- there are not as many jobs solely focused on ML; and if so, often they require some specialistic expertise,

- and even less only for deep learning (also, for DL there is relatively high threshold for having skills at "hireable" level).

Some of my tips on how to learn data science: http://p.migdal.pl/2016/03/15/data-science-intro-for-math-ph... (on purpose I put the emphasis on general data exploration/analysis before machine learning).

vtange 22 hours ago 0 replies      
The startup I work at really favors their data scientists, though I am not one of them (I'm a frontend guy). The CEO and CTO pretty much keeps a personal eye on those guys' work.

Right now however the theme I've heard from the higher ups has been profitability, and this applies to all tech companies in general. Easy capital is gone and now companies are in the spotlight for not making profits.

So at least from my company's perspective, it's not that data science is saturated, it's that we're trying to not break the bank and hire too much.

TYPE_FASTER 22 hours ago 1 reply      
In my limited experience, there's a difference between a data scientist who can process data given data and a set of questions about it, and a data scientist who can figure out what data you need, and the questions that need to be answered.

I think making the transition from the first role to the second role comes with experience, both with the toolsets, and thinking about the problem as a whole.

simonhughes22 19 hours ago 4 replies      
I am the Chief Data Scientist of Dice.com. If you are interested in working as a junior Data Scientist, and are smart and hard working, please apply here: http://careeropportunities.dhigroupinc.com/. The position is a telecommute role. We will absolutely consider people with no data science experience, so long as they demonstrate an aptitude for data science \ machine learning and can code.
user5994461 22 hours ago 0 replies      
Like about everything on HN... You're either in the Silicon Valley or it doesn't apply to you.

In my opinion, you could start by defining what is a data science, a quant, or a machine learning job. Because that's not clearly defined. It means different jobs to a lot of people, jobs that are all hard to learn and absolutely NOT interchangeable.

vogt 16 hours ago 0 replies      
I'm a designer but work for a data science company (LMI specifically). All of our data work is done in D, which I never even knew existed until I started working here.

I can't speak to anything regarding ML, but for whatever it's worth in our segment of the market we have seen a lot of competition emerge in a big way the last few years. Former academic-type firms who specialized in bespoke economy analysis reports are starting to build software around all of the data that is out there since it's never been easier to collect and normalize it. I think it's a stretch to say the market is approaching saturation for us, though.

platz 22 hours ago 1 reply      
I considered a graduate program in data science, but compared to average programmer salaries, it doesn't seem like data science pays all that much (excluding data science jobs for PHD's in silicon valley). It's more interesting that programming, but seems like a much tighter market with no discernible demand driving salaries up.
apohn 5 hours ago 0 replies      
Background: I currently lead a Data Science team at a big non-tech company. Previous to this I worked at a software company that had a Data Science team in their customer facing consulting group.

I'm going to speak primarily about applied data science. This means a data scientist who is solving a business need by doing ad-hoc analysis or building a reusable solution (e.g a R+Shiny dashboard) to a business problems.

Jobs: There are plenty of jobs out there, but you have to be careful. Many "Data Science" jobs are really BI, Business Analyst, or Sales Engineer types of jobs where some VP got it in their head that they need a Data Scientist. These jobs are great for people who are okay with Technology and Data Science being 10% of their job - and many people are like that. They don't care about engineering, coding, or tech and statistics beyond the minimum to do their jobs. But if you really want a job that involves solid tech and stats/ML skills you will be unsatisfied at these types of jobs.

Right now there are plenty of hard business problems that people want to turn into Data Science problems because they think it'll give them a competitive edge or something to market and show off. This results in more data science job openings. However, they are not really data science problems. As somebody else said, people will eventually realize they are not getting the value they need with data scientists doing these types of jobs. Then they'll replace that person with an MBA with some DS coursework (e.g. MBA who can use KNIME or SAS Enterprise Miner) or eliminate the position.

People: I interview people and I know people at other organizations who interview candidates for Data Science roles. MOOCs and many degree programs (including 2 year MS degrees) are pushing out people who have a very superficial overview of data science. Basically they teach them about every ML algorithm in the known universe and the functions to call them them in R/Python/SAS. The end result is a mediocre coder or non-coder who boils everything down to a confusion matrix or root mean squared error. But they cannot actually think through a business problem or see why a low error doesn't equal a good model (see http://www.tylervigen.com/spurious-correlations)

Finding good people is hard and you have to be flexible to realize great people can come from different backgrounds.

wjn0 22 hours ago 2 replies      
I'm an undergrad at a big university known for CS in Canada. The CS program here has several possible 'focuses'; 4 of 9 are related to ML/AI directly (computer vision, NLP, AI, scientific computing). 2 others require AI/ML/NN courses.

The bias might stem from the fact that we have some huge names in AI doing research here, but the data points seem clear (we say undergraduate education is slow to catch on, right?): the topic as a whole isn't overrated.

However, there seems to be a lack of understanding by people working in tech of the differences (in uses, theory, implementation) between ML, AI, NN, DL, etc. This might stem from a lack of understanding of the foundations of these topics (ex: statistics, vector calculus) or simply because we can abstract a lot of this away (ex: TensorFlow).

plafl 21 hours ago 0 replies      
I can speak for Spain, although I sometimes get calls from other European countries. Relative to the pathetic Spanish work market data science/machine learning is doing great. I think right now there is too much hype, which is going to stay for a few years. After that I suppose it won't be a hot thing but I don't think it's going to disappear. I hope I'm mistaken and we are really seeing some AI revolution, but after all my job is putting the trust on the data, and past data says fads come and go. If that happens I will keep with me the math, the statistics, any development skills I can learn meanwhile and of course the challenge of someday achieving true AI.
numinary1 16 hours ago 0 replies      
If you're seeking work: If you want to be in demand, be the machine learning person for __________ , electric energy revenue protection, or healthcare payer fraud detection, investing, or supply chain. Pick a specialty.

If you're hiring: Get the above out of your pathetic small minds and start hiring the smartest people you can find. Look for successes in any industry. Your business isn't that unique. The best people can learn it much faster than you did.

androck1 17 hours ago 1 reply      
Is there a market for competent developers without professional/academic experience in data science or machine learning? Perhaps just a MOOC or some Kaggle projects?
nl 16 hours ago 1 reply      
I'm in Australia.

I'm hiring 6 people in a range of roles between "pure" data scientists to more data engineer/SWE roles. The exact mix depends on who we can get.

The ability to find good people is the biggest constraint on the work we do.

Our current team ranges from applied mathematicians (as in they are Math professors) to people with traditional SWE backgrounds. Basically we are a long long way from saturated.

DrNuke 22 hours ago 0 replies      
Worth a serious effort if you are going to use it originally in your own niche / industry, otherwise statistics will still help you more in any given market. So just learn statistics very very well and then ask again.
hamilyon2 11 hours ago 0 replies      
There is certainly a big market for both data analysts and system builders here in Moscow. Most want a person with credentials, e.g. Yandex school of data analisys.Field is rather on fire with big companies investing a lot of money in it
pknerd 13 hours ago 0 replies      
Off Topic: What will you advice to someone who writes code in Python(scraping, mining) and have a done of ML by wathing Udacity courses, how can I polish myself to get into position for a job?
manbilla 14 hours ago 0 replies      
I am currently an MIS graduate student with 3 years of SAP functional experience. After this boring stint and hearing the hype around Data Science, I decided to give it a try (Decent statistics and engineering skills but no coding expertise. I also finished MOOCs and am currently working on some small projects during the holidays). Considering average pay as a prominent factor, what is a better option - Learning extra SAP skills (HANA etc) and try for a job in SAP or diving into Data Science completely and try to start as an entry level Data Analyst.
praveer13 14 hours ago 0 replies      
This thread is really depressing as someone currently going through a bootcamp. (dataquest) Is it more realistic to aspire for data engineering/analyst roles?
riqwant 18 hours ago 0 replies      
People with acquired skills are plenty and not really up to scratch most of the time. So people who have these "acquired" skills have a high likely hood of being scrapped at the CV stage.

If you're serious about machine learning - build a blog or online repository of quality work and use that to get a job instead

lowglow 20 hours ago 1 reply      
We hire applied ML/AI specialists. For me it's not just an understanding of mathematical concepts, but also being able to apply new ideas to new problems.

This depends quite a bit on critical thinking, a good fundamental ability to analyze a problem and understand its parameters, then manage the logical operations required to deliver the feature and solve the problem.

As for why I think it's on HN every day: I also like to think of an innovation pipeline happening something like this:

 [---------explore------|----------exploit-----------] ,->developers -> engineers/scientists -> data scientists->--, /----------<----------------<--------------------<----------/
We're now in some sort of refinement cycle of innovation, where the current medium has been saturated on some level and there is a lot of push to mine value from the discoveries.

whenwillitstop 22 hours ago 1 reply      
I am curious about this as well. I think the difference between machine learning and software engineering is that companies may only need a few dozen machine learning engineers. They may need thousands of software engineers. There may be increasing demand, but the demand will never reach the demand of software engineering. Except at the premium ultra competitive level, where a data scientist who is globally known can have a massive impact on the companies bottom line. But we arent talking about those types of jobs.

I also believe that most traditional companies do have data scientists, but they havent really start incorporating machine learning into their products, they are analyzing information about their customers, but their products are not reliant on using data. Once that becomes more common, things will pick up.

payne92 22 hours ago 0 replies      
Machine learning PhDs >>> everything else.
Ask HN: What was your top thread in HN 2016?
43 points by tuyguntn  1 day ago   15 comments top 8
jetti 1 day ago 1 reply      
https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=13167156 I was asking if a one man development company micro ISV) is still viable in this day and age
jstimpfle 1 day ago 1 reply      
https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=11939851 (Alan Kay has agreed to do an AMA today)
rwieruch 1 day ago 0 replies      
It was quite recently and I am still overwhelmed by the reaction:

- The Road to learn React - https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=13170837

zubairq 10 hours ago 0 replies      
https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=12817468 The Eve release from Chris Granger was definitely the top for me!
jasonkester 10 hours ago 0 replies      

I wrote that as a single draft in 20 minutes and threw it live. I didn't (and still don't) consider it to be one of my better pieces of writing, but it must have resonated with people because it immediately pinned itself to the number one slot here and stayed there for an entire day.

So yeah, that was fun.

montbonnot 1 day ago 0 replies      

It was a fun distraction on a Friday...

jamesmp98 1 day ago 1 reply      
Ask HN: Current book for advanced postgresql?
9 points by tmaly  17 hours ago   2 comments top
swuecho 16 hours ago 1 reply      
once you get the basics. the official manual is pretty good.


I did not find a very good book on advanced level.

Ask HN: Vim/Emacs users, how do you deal with non-qwerty layouts?
2 points by pvinis  7 hours ago   4 comments top 3
lnalx 2 hours ago 0 replies      
I currently use azerty layout and learned vim on it. There is no big changes compared to qwerty at least for letters.

Qwerty is more reliable for development with more ease to reach special characters.

informatimago 5 hours ago 1 reply      
All the operating systems, since 1984, have let the user configure his keyboard layout. Therefore since 1984, on all the computers I've used, I've used the US-QWERTY keyboard layout.

Ie. this is a non-problem, solved since 1984.

wprapido 5 hours ago 0 replies      
you can change keyboard language in any OS. as of keycap labels, i couldn't care less about what they are like. developers touch type anyway. it's a non-issue, really
Ask HN: What are some good educational books about our space program?
4 points by hacked_news  11 hours ago   1 comment top
msl 11 hours ago 0 replies      
While I can not from the top of my head think of all that many actual books, I would recommend considering a couple of tv series: From the to Earth the Moon [1] and Moon Machines [2]. The former is based on a book [3], but I have not read it.

There is a lot of information available on the American space programs all over the internet, but if you would like to read about their Soviet counterparts, give Rockets and People [4] a go.

Finally, to get an idea of what it is like to live in outer space nowadays, Chris Hadfield's autobiography An Astronaut's Guide to Life on Earth [5] is a good read.

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/From_the_Earth_to_the_Moon_(mi...

[2] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moon_Machines

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

[4] https://www.nasa.gov/connect/ebooks/rockets_people_vol1_deta...

[5] https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18170143-an-astronaut-s-...

Ask HN: HRs and Management are asking me to Not raise a concern anymore
5 points by mild_confusion  4 hours ago   4 comments top 2
codeonfire 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Maybe things are different in India, but why did you think HR is going to help you? HR is absolutely worthless to non-management employees. Its a totally corrupt profession. My policy is if I absolutely have to talk to HR and can't solve it another way I will just quit instead.
tcrews 4 hours ago 1 reply      
Is the yearly increase substantial?

Do you still think the yearly insurance price is competitive with other offerings in the market?

Is the insurance price being adjusted for inflation only?

If so, is your salary adjusted for inflation?

Do you like working there?

Ask HN: Would you use Python as the main lang in a potentially large project?
14 points by chuckus  20 hours ago   11 comments top 7
bjourne 15 hours ago 2 replies      
> Python as the main language in a potentially large-scale project

This is the flaw in your thinking, the word Potentially. Good engineering means you worry about actual problems and not potential problems (within reason ofc). Your actual problem is that you haven't written the web application, so you do that first. For doing that, Python is an excellent choice.

"But what about web-scale?" Well, chances are your product will fail for some reason and never become successful therefore thinking about scaling problems now is a waste of time. In my experience, scaling problems comes much later than most people think. I've worked on an interactive site in Django that served 60k visitors per day without problems. It was the database that gave us the most performance problems not Python.

itamarst 7 hours ago 0 replies      
Scaling is highly dependent on what you're building. For many web applications the app server isn't really the bottleneck, it's the database; switching to JVM won't help with that.

For other applications Python is way too slow... although PyPy helps a lot.

As for things like static typing and maintainability, it's certainly possible to do with Python. You also have the power to write horrible unmaintainable code. Unit testing tends to be much more more important in Python. And you can add static typing to Python these days, via external tooling.

Some ideas and tools for building long-term maintainable Python, originally written as guide for Java developers: https://codewithoutrules.com/2016/10/30/python-for-java-deve...

solomatov 17 hours ago 1 reply      
The main advantage of Python for you is that you know the language and the libraries, and when you start something new, it's critical that you work on the project, not on learning a new technology.

The main advantage of JVM and CLR for large scale development is support for static types. But, Python has a standard for type annotations (https://www.python.org/dev/peps/pep-0484/) which allow you to have all the language services which are available for static languages (refactoring, completion, etc) available for the Python. Not all libraries have these annotations, but you can provide it yourself, or separate code with annotations from code without annotations.

You should also take into account that JVM, and CLR have much better runtime performance than Python, almost on par with C++, so you should think about this if it's important for your app to use resources as efficiently as possible, but typically it's not as important for SaaS projects.

was_boring 16 hours ago 0 replies      
What is large scale? Does it just mean lines of code? I'm in charge of a Python app that has about 75,000 lines (not including comments, blank lines, imports, generated code or tests), and been doing it for 4 years.

Would I recommend python for something the size I do now? No. I would recommend any other language that has strongly enforces types and compile time checks (like Java). They add an extra layer of safety on unit tests. I have dreams of rewrites that are in C# or Java.

Just today I fixed 2 bugs because of unexpected types being used.

iurisilvio 7 hours ago 0 replies      
Yes. Use what you already know and make your project fast.

Today, after some large projects, I miss strong typing but not enough to change everything. You need more tests, but I can live with it.

We integrated with a large retailer in a complex project with only two developers and I think Python was the reason to it. Too many open source things already done and fast iterations.

CC_ing 20 hours ago 1 reply      
I've the same problem, but instead of python is ruby(with rails) vs python/node.js(that perform a better than ruby)
sontek 15 hours ago 0 replies      
Ask HN: How would you invest $500K?
36 points by bsvalley  2 days ago   54 comments top 29
garethsprice 1 day ago 0 replies      
1. Pay off any debts I had.

2. Keep 6 months reserves in cash (maybe 12 depending on my view of the current political outlook)

2. If I had plans to staying put for at least 3-5 years, a down payment for a modest home in a good neighborhood, possibly a fixer, something I could rent out in a few years if I moved. I am young(ish) and have good earning potential so am confident that taking out a mortgage at current historically low rates and investing the rest in the stock market will provide higher returns in the long run than paying a house off immediately.

4. Put the rest in low-fee index funds.

If you don't already have a burning passion to pursue something that this money enables you to do and you have other sources of income already, don't go looking for a hole to throw your money down.

Unless it's money you can afford to lose, your investments should be "boring banking stuff".

auganov 1 day ago 0 replies      
I hate to be dismissive but if it's your entire equity and you want low-risk just settle for the "boring" stuff. And get on with your life. You don't want to keep thinking about that money. You won't beat the market. If you can beat the market then go do that professionally (and still invest in the boring stuff personally!!).
ThrustVectoring 1 day ago 0 replies      
Honestly, you should probably ask what you want to accomplish with the invested money before deciding how to invest it. Are you planning on mitigating variance in income/employment? Then you're much more adverse to variance and illiquidity. Are you planning on setting yourself up for financial independence? Then you can probably handle risk much better and something like an equity index fund would work well. Want to make sure your child can go to college? Something like https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guaranteed_Education_Tuition_P... would be an excellent choice. Want to generally make the world a better place? Investing may have superior alternatives, such as donating to an anti-malaria charity.
sfrailsdev 1 day ago 2 replies      
I'd start with 10k inflation adjusted personal Series I savings bonds from the US treasury, which pay quote a bit more then any available CD in terms of APY, and have a 3 months interest penalty for 5 years after purchase. I'd probably wait until after april 30th, since the fixed rate interest rate on them is currently zero but will hopefully go up. You don't pay state or local taxes but you do pay federal taxes.

That leaves 490k. I'd put 100k into wealthfront, so they will use individual stocks instead of etfs for tax loss harvesting.

I'd take 90k and invest it in AA or A rated municipal bonds, if you are in a state where gains are tax free, creating the beginnings of a bond ladder. We expect the fed to raise interests rates 3 times next year so I'd probably split this 15k for the first raise, 25k for the second raise and 50k for the third raise.

if I have a 401k I'd invest the maximum 18k in 2016 and contribute the 18k in 2016, making purchases immediately after interest rates go up in dividend stock etfs, reit etfs, broad market etfs, and a small cap etf. Likewise 5500 each ear for an ira, or possibly a roth IRA, depending on current income levels.

I'd save 153k in a savings account like synchrony bank with 1.04 apy interest. Part of that should be a year's expenses, the rest used to purchase stock in solid companies if the market crashes. I'd want to adjust this after a market crash year.

Then I'd split 300k into 100k for a broad based index etf, 50k in a small cap etf, 25k in a midcap etf, 75k in a large cap etf, 25 k in a bond etf. I'd spend 5k on individual stocks using a robinhood account, so I could get a feel for the market. The remaining 20k would be for taxes on any dividends, idly playing the market so I wouldn't touch the bigger investments, and an emergency fund, again placed in a synchrony or equivalent savings account.

davismwfl 1 day ago 2 replies      
Honestly, I'd leverage it to purchase real estate split between some rentals and rehabs when the right opportunity came up. For me the passive income of rentals and being able to leverage the $500k into far more is just to attractive. If you just put $500k into the market or business ideas, your level of risk varies more and the payoff is far into the future if ever. People are scared of real estate still some because of the last bust, but the reality is it is the single greatest generator of sustained wealth. Even people that make their money in other places like a startup, eventually find out that leveraging liquidity to enter the real estate market pays back in huge ways.

Real estate isn't risk free, but even in down cycles you don't lose all your value, e.g. a $200k house doesn't become worth $0. The key wealth generator (not get rich quick scheme) in the history of the US and most Countries is real estate (land/property etc). This means finding and buying in the right areas and not being afraid to cross state lines etc. Leveraging the $500k in California won't get you really far, but doing it most other places will let you really do quite well and you can have passive income coming in within a few months.

Also, done right, you'll still have a significant amount of the money to invest into other things like the stock market to diversify yourself.

aproductguy 1 day ago 1 reply      
How you invest depends on what your goals are. You need to define the "why" before you can move on to the "how".
maxander 1 day ago 0 replies      
There's really only two dominant choices here; "boring banking stuff," e.g. a well-diversified hedge fund, or cutting-edge financial engineering that you'll have to earn (or hire) a specialized PhD to implement. Anything in between and you're just playing out of your league; your cleverness won't win against the army of brilliant quants that have devoted their lives to this sort of junk.
nodesocket 1 day ago 1 reply      
I've never tried it, but take a look at the investment strategy called the trident portfolio. It claims a consistent 11% CAGR (compound annual growth rate) for the last 40 years. Trident consists of the following:

 1/3 VBR 1/3 GLD 1/3 TLT
You'll have to rebalance to keep the ratios all 1/3 approximately once a year. There is a great response on Quora by Milos Baljozovic that I highly recommend related to the trident strategy.


Honestly, you'll probably be ok just buying a standard ETF such as SPY or QQQ (more volatile), waiting 5 to 10 years without doing anything and cash it in.

greydius 1 day ago 0 replies      
I'd buy as much property as I could in the middle of nowhere and build a cabin.
cdevs 1 day ago 0 replies      
Take my aviato money and start my own incubator.
id122015 23 hours ago 0 replies      
I think you'd rather want an answer that you'd be able to follow. If someone told you about their experience with stocks or with business and you didn't have that experience how much useful would that be to you ?

I'd invest it by buying some books about investing first.

zw123456 1 day ago 0 replies      
Another option to consider is something like Betterment.com or Wealthfront. These are automated investment services and allow you to tune your investments based on your goals. I use one of them and it has worked out well for me.
Raed667 8 hours ago 0 replies      
1- Find a 3rd world paradise beach

2- Buy a place there

3- Spend it for the rest of your life

sharemywin 2 days ago 1 reply      
I have my 401k in a "cash option" right now. pretty worried trump gets us into a trade war and huge global market crash. just not sure on timing. of course if he gets a tax decrease through congress it could back fire on me.
keefe 1 day ago 1 reply      
I would probably buy a house in the outskirts of seattle or denver for maybe 250K - tons of houses around 3beds, minimum 1500 square feet, if you expand the search. Then, start a private repo doing an MVP based on my open source project, then try to find a product manager type to bootstrap a startup, somebody hungry who would live in the 3rd bedroom and go full throttle for half a year or so, then if that fails when I'm down to say 100-150K, I put that money into TBills and get a job if I can't find revenue or funding.
AznHisoka 1 day ago 0 replies      
I would write a crawler that crawls amazon and stores number of reviews for major consumer brands like Fitbit and GoPro. then go long on those that have a spike in reviews before earnings. and go short on those that have declined
atsaloli 1 day ago 0 replies      
I would invest in my business. Quit consulting (which pays bills day to day) and focus on expanding our training catalog (I love training and we are really good at it). Expand Sales and Marketing activities.
sharemywin 2 days ago 0 replies      
Some depends on age and planned retirement age. 55 or greater. I'd pay off house. pull out 25-50k each year I got closer to retirement and let the rest ride in stock market.

under 55, I'd keep 400k in stock market.

tmnvix 1 day ago 0 replies      
I would buy myself a lot of time and then give some serious thought as to how to spend that time productively.
mozumder 1 day ago 0 replies      
The answer depends on whether this is "play money" or "my entire life's savings"....
jotato 1 day ago 1 reply      
Pay off my house, and put the remaining ~200K into buying a rental
sharemywin 2 days ago 0 replies      
here's a neat article on playing a stock market dip with options.


johnsmith21006 1 day ago 0 replies      
Or Domain Names
wcummings 1 day ago 0 replies      
Index funds
bbcbasic 1 day ago 0 replies      
Probably chuck it at real estate.

Maybe bet a bit on raising interest rates as a hedge.

fiftyacorn 2 days ago 0 replies      
Some in cash , then a Vanguard LifeStrategy fund matched to your age
sayelt 1 day ago 0 replies      
Buy Bitcoin and HODL.
steve1011 1 day ago 0 replies      
Gold and silver.
johnsmith21006 1 day ago 0 replies      
Ask HN: Recommendation for an API / self-hosted software for user preferences
5 points by namenotgiven  19 hours ago   3 comments top
mindcrime 19 hours ago 2 replies      
Maybe Apache UserGrid?


OpenBSD Desktop in about 30 Minutes
40 points by hidden_forest  2 days ago   10 comments top 6
finid 2 days ago 0 replies      
I haven't used OpenBSD in a long time, so this is worth a go.
iyn 1 day ago 1 reply      
Can somebody comment on how good/bad is the driver support in the BSD land? I'm interested specifically in wireless and graphics.
vectorEQ 1 day ago 0 replies      
just started playing with OpenBSD. really nice project. Thanks for posting this, interesting to play around with for sure and get oriented a bit in BSD land!
ullarah 1 day ago 3 replies      
Any reason why you chose Lumina over many of the other ones? Just curious.
KiDD 1 day ago 0 replies      
All my servers run FreeBSD so why not!
Zelmor 1 day ago 0 replies      
Sure, but why?
Ask HN: How are the Apple AirPods?
10 points by ArlenBales  20 hours ago   6 comments top 5
schappim 18 hours ago 0 replies      
I have the Bose Quiet comfort i20s (for air travel), QC35s (for development mode), the PowerBeats 3 (I wanted to say for working our, but in reality it was to experiment with the W1 chip that's also found in the AirPods), and now AirPods.

The AirPods are by far my favourite.

The newer EarPod design (the ones that aren't the oblate spheroids) fit my ears really well, and so do the AirPods.

I find them much more comfortable than the PowerBeats (which uses the same W1 chip).

The pairing felt much better with the AirPods.

Re: Expectations

They surpassed my expectations. iCloud syncing of bluetooth pairing information is nice. Being able to hear the sound in my environment is also good when exercising.

Invoking Siri is so much faster using the EarPods an it is with the Apple Watch.

You can also double tap the side to answer calls (which I didn't hear about in any of the reviews).

We use SIP phones at work, and I've found an app called Groundwire (https://itunes.apple.com/au/app/groundwire-business-caliber/...) that integrates with call kit.

Re: Having them fall out.

I have not been able to get them to fall out, even when trying.

photoGrant 20 hours ago 0 replies      
I like them. They're cool. They're not as effortless as they pegged themselves to be. Sometimes I hear that digital 'noise' that happens with wireless audio... And they hurt in my ears after half an hour. Something I feel I'll get used to.

All in all, a worthy purchase, a few :O moments, and the ability to wrestle with my dog and forget they're in, but still be listening to music... Pretty fun moments.

LaymanLab 5 hours ago 0 replies      
I'm also curious about these. Seems annoying to have another device to charge (and potentially leave behind somewhere and lose). IMO Apple is again trying to solving a problem that we don't really have. I get that that's what [arguably] drives innovation and new product segments, but there seems like a limited "unmet need" here.
rootme 5 hours ago 1 reply      
The problem is the milliseconds of delay from Airpod to Airpod, apple can't figure out how to fix that.
IanDrake 19 hours ago 0 replies      
I don't have these, but I do have a cheap pair of wireless around-the-neck kind. Even those work well.

But the main thing that no one but apple seems to get is the "recharge story". It's obnoxious to have to plug these things into a micro USB.

The Apple Watch and AirPods are how everyone should be doing recharging - a cradle that stores your device while it charges it.

Ask HN: Hardware specs for development (minimum, normal, ideal)?
4 points by RyM21  1 day ago   5 comments top 5
diaz 11 hours ago 0 replies      
I'm using an i7 + 16GB ram with a docker instance with some postgres inside, scala development using intellij and using the sbt compiler to run it on the command line and pretty regularly it chokes and sometimes I have to restart the computer when the jvm gets crazy and starts forking itself and eventually I'm of of RAM and everything is dead slow... But I'm pretty sure those are some just bugs. Anyway, excluding those spikes, I can't work on our codebase with just 8GB, I tried, it needed to be updated. For the cpu I'm not sure if it matters or not. For disk space I never look into it and don't even know what I have, but pretty sure that doesn't matter in my case. What really matters seems to be disk accesses so the fastest disk is recommended, SSDs, etc.
peller 1 day ago 0 replies      
It depends.

If you're doing development in a dynamic language, just about anything half-modern is more than sufficient. Faster clock speeds matter more than the number of cores (ie, prefer a 3.5GHz dual-core to a 3GHz quad-core).

If you're compiling large code bases, the more cores/cache you can get, the better. (You won't find "the best" in a laptop.)

A lot of AI development requires GPU hardware. Again, you're looking at a desktop workstation for the best results.

RAM - I say get as much as you can afford. (You can always set up a tmpfs for maximum awesomeness when doing IO-bound operations.)

As for SSDs, the measure you care about is random 4k writes at low queue depths (QD <= 4, typically measured in IOPS as opposed to MB/s).

Also consider the importance of human interface devices. If you're not 100% happy with the keyboard, mouse and screen, it's not worth your trouble. Those things have a far greater impact on your productivity than you might realize.

nickjj 1 day ago 0 replies      
Depends on what you're developing.

A few months ago I bought and modified a Chromebook[1] to run Linux natively and it works great for non-compiled language development.

Here's what you get for $350:

- 1.7 GHz Celeron 3215U (or an i3 for $45 more)

- 4GB of RAM

- 13.3" 1920x1080 IPS display (165 PPI)

- 128GB SSD (or a 256GB model for $50 more with room to grow)

- Full size SD card

- 2.9 pounds

Full review and write up can be found below:

[1]: https://nickjanetakis.com/blog/transform-a-toshiba-chromeboo...

codegeek 1 day ago 0 replies      
Almost every modern laptop is good enough for development in terms of CPU and RAM. It just comes down to what you prefer. For example, macbook Pro is solid in terms of hardware and performance. But then so is Dell XPS or Thinkpads.

But if you do need minimums, I will say 8-12 GB RAM at the least (I like 16 GB) and CPU is anyone's guess.

For me, a few things like fan noise (which is almost none in my macbook pro), size of screen (I don't like large screens like 15 inch or more), keyboard and trackpad behavior etc are what matter most.

informatimago 1 day ago 0 replies      
There's no minimum: you can use pencil and paper, use the force, Luke.There's no maximum: there are AI debugging systems that can debug at the cost currently of $8 a bug on AWS. So if you have a massive cluster, you can put it to work toward your programming goals.

Otherwise, just get a MacBook Pro, a high end MacMini or an iMac; you will be able to develop for all the major platforms (even Microsoft Visual Studio is being ported to macOS!).

Ask HN: How do you manage your event tracking and analytics?
4 points by dabeeeenster  1 day ago   5 comments top 5
rwieruch 1 day ago 0 replies      
We used Mixpanel [0] in our frontend some time ago. But there was no real business strategy behind it. That's why it got abandoned eventually.

Now we experiment with Keen.io [1] to track events for different/new features in our tool. We started to track events from our backend, but for user behaviour we would use it to track events from the frontend as well.

[0] - https://mixpanel.com/

[1] - https://keen.io/

tedmiston 1 day ago 0 replies      
Depending on your particular use case and integrations (especially how many you use), there are two alternative hubs that come to mind: Astronomer [1] and mParticle [2]. Astronomer is more focused on building a router for any type of data and enterprise-level use cases. I have not used mParticle personally, but founders from Segment and mParticle gave thorough answers on how they differ on this Quora question [3].

Disclosure: I've done dev work for Astronomer.

[1]: http://www.astronomer.io

[2]: https://www.mparticle.com/

[3]: https://www.quora.com/What-are-the-key-differences-between-S...

jackgolding 21 hours ago 0 replies      
Snowplow and GA. Used KissMetrics, not a fan.

I'm interested in how people use a combination of server side and client side tracking. Everything in my jurisdiction is front end.

iamdave 1 day ago 0 replies      
It's not for everyone price wise, but we use NewRelic and I absolutely love it.
Starting Entrepreneurs Anonymous
17 points by blizkreeg  2 days ago   13 comments top 7
Mz 1 day ago 1 reply      
At first glance, this existing site: https://startupsanonymous.com/ looks incredibly depressing.

Over the years, I have participated in various kinds of support groups for various things. They are often incredibly depressing and are often drama fests where it is difficult to really talk about solutions. Social pecking order and "respecting" the pain of people who can't get their act together becomes far more important than actually being useful to people who desire to move forward. This means anyone with real answers is shouted down by the folks saying it cannot be done.

So, I will suggest you put some thought into how you intend to keep the focus on problem solving. It is all too easy for "support" groups to just become places to vent and not places to get real solutions.

I am semi interested, but I am not going to give you my city and I am not sure I am a good fit for your group. But I would be happy to exchange a few emails. (And I have posted this HN discussion on my blog.)


jf22 1 day ago 0 replies      
Its better to have a good mastermind group instead of a large community. Masterminds allow you to really dig into your issues and get to know people on a personal level. The moral support from your mastermind buddies is worth so much more than what a forum or slack member could give you.

I used to be part of a couple of communities like this and while they are amazing a mastermind is a thousand times better.



santa_boy 1 day ago 0 replies      
I respect your idea and understand where you are coming from. However, I think being genuine and "non-anonymous" is very important for someone at this stage. I can imagine the fear-factor while bootstrapping but on aggregate I feel people are supportive to those who try and the honest dialogue is way more practical with a real virtual person. Just my experience.
blizkreeg 2 days ago 0 replies      
Link to Typeform for whoever is interested and relates to this: https://blizkreeg.typeform.com/to/A79l8I
sharemywin 2 days ago 2 replies      
I just wish I could use karma I've earned to ask questions and get answers. surveys etc. I doubt there enough people in my city for an actual physical group.
supernormal 2 days ago 0 replies      
Thanks for starting this. It's a hard balance many of us are tackling, mostly by ourselves. Looking forward to see what comes out of it.
poirier 2 days ago 1 reply      
Ask HN: How is the status of remote working in Europe?
27 points by bontoJR  2 days ago   34 comments top 9
wayn3 2 days ago 1 reply      
Absolute shit. Its easier to get a contract from a US firm working from europe than it is to actually work remote in europe for a european company.

Besides, the pay is shit. European companies think 40k is a great salary for an engineer. Better rates to be had in murica. much better. 3-4x+ better.

tjansen 2 days ago 0 replies      
(Germany) In smaller companies it's certainly possible to arrange it - not sure how common it is. In larger companies, this is very unusual and usually not even considered, except for contractors.

There are a million of workplace laws and regulations that are hard to apply for someone who's working from home. E.g. I have heard from people working at home that their desk and chair needed to be inspected to make sure it is compliant (ergonomics etc).

pyb 2 days ago 1 reply      
In the UK, I've noticed remote working has become more and more common, particularly in the last 2 or 3 years.Not only are there more distributed companies, but commutes in the London area are quite long as people have to live far out.

So yes, it's happening. I say this as someone who generally prefers to work onsite...

a-saleh 2 days ago 0 replies      
(Czech republic) - in my peer-group, fully remote work is rare, but not unheard-off (for past two years I have worked with colleague who was fully remote, even though he lives in the same country, and we are about to hire another one. Both of them were hired as senior engineers)

What is really common, is reasonably generous attitude towards working from home. Few of my colleagues have arrangement with my manager that they can work from home indefinitely and basically come to office only when they feel like it, because of ~1h long commute from one part of the city to the other. Company policy is 1xWFH/week.

gt2 2 days ago 0 replies      
I know several people working remotely for European companies. They do complain that the pay is less, but that's probably not related to being remote.
mrcold 2 days ago 8 replies      
In Europe software companies are more like factories. You punch in, work like a slave all day, then punch out. The socialist mindset created retarded managers. So anything deviating from the standard factory setup is seen as depravity. Europeans don't understand technology. For them software development is like manual labor. Get some monkeys, throw them some peanuts and use a whip to make them do stuff.

Overall, remote working in Europe is mostly done for US companies. EU companies are usually mentally disabled.

Zelmor 2 days ago 0 replies      
Linux software tester reporting in from Eastern EU. I am fully remote and would not have it any other way. My client company (I'm a subcontractor) is located in the same county so it's not like I work overboard. This is pretty standard for some companies, and completely alien to others. Look for the former ones and ask during interviews.
Heraclite 2 days ago 0 replies      
Unfortunately we're not there yet.It's doable if you negociate it with your local small-midsized company.
tetek 2 days ago 0 replies      
Not sure what are you asking.Could you be more precise?
Ask HN: What do you use to take notes?
61 points by somecallitblues  2 days ago   124 comments top 74
vidarh 2 days ago 3 replies      
Paper in big binder.

I've tried for very long to find a good electronic solution. Up to and including writing my own wiki with various extensions customised to my diting style, and hunting around for every note taking app under the sun.

The problem, I find, is that nothing beats the flexibility of being able to take out multiple sheets of paper and move them around, annotate them, put them back in. It creates a flexibility in workflow no tool I've tried have managed to match.

The physical presence of the paper also makes it much easier to avoid forgetting a page exists.

I'm not happy with it, but I keep coming back to it after each desperate attempt at making something else work better.

throwanem 2 days ago 1 reply      
Somebody's going to mention org-mode and it may as well be me. HTML export with syntax highlighting is a nice thing to have, and images linked to the document work like they should. Having code blocks be executable is a bonus, especially for showing technically minded clients or higher-ups exactly how their intentions were translated into reality.

Evernote it is not: The sharing story is pretty BYOB, in that what you get out is an HTML (or whatever other format) document, and sharing it, whether readonly or not, is on you. There's document publishing functionality, but it requires some setup and an upstream host that can take files via FTP/SFTP/etc. Same goes for syncing, if that's something you want; Dropbox works for me, and there are many alternatives.

Your use case sounds like it would require some tooling around org-mode to achieve. If you want something that does what you need straight out of the box, it probably won't make you happy. But you asked what we use to take notes, and for me that's org-mode; the things it does well are many, some of them unique in my experience, and that makes it worth my while to invest effort in adding the occasional capability I want which doesn't exist by default.

(And for meetings where people are touchy about laptops, or realtime capture on a call, I have a clipboard and a paper tablet. But it's ephemeral; anything needing kept goes straight into an org file at the earliest opportunity.)

davidhunter 2 days ago 2 replies      
Workflowy. It's the lowest-friction tool I have used for notes and ideas. Using tags, it can be used as a great hierarchical project/task management system.

I still use Evernote for quick storage and access of images, pdfs and long-form notes as the search is great. However, their tag/notebook organisation system has annoying redundencies and is clunky in places. I would love to bin it but can't find a suitable alternative. Bear is promising but not quite there. Apple notes doesn't allow linking between notes.

ooqr 2 days ago 3 replies      
To answer the question in the title, much as I love computers, nothing beats the flexibility and carefree nature of paper. I can draw diagrams, block out pseudocode, etc.

I've thought about maybe a Surface would be nice for that, but haven't really tried it.

I think you'll have best luck with multiple tools like you're doing now.

louisstow 2 days ago 1 reply      
Disclaimer: I'm the creator but I use Wall of Text: http://walloftext.co

It's an infinite blank space of text in 2D. Also see the beta: https://beta.walloftext.co

jnbiche 2 days ago 3 replies      
I use Google Keep. It's simple and has an acceptable Android app and web interface. It also accomodates image notes.

I don't think you'll find a notes application that has code highlighting, but perhaps I'm wrong...

TobbenTM 2 days ago 6 replies      
I've been a fan of the concept of Quiver (http://happenapps.com/#quiver) for a long time, but unable to use it daily as it is Mac only.

I love the idea of having different notebooks, being able to easily merge text, code, mathematics and images into one note, and make 'cookbooks' out of them.

Someone make it for Windows please.

diggan 2 days ago 0 replies      
Tried many different ways, usually falling back to using pen and paper. However, it limited me in the way that I couldn't search and sometimes I forgot my notebook, leading to me not finding what I wanted.

So in the end I wrote my own static wiki generator (QuickWiki: https://github.com/VictorBjelkholm/quickwiki). It basically takes a folder full of markdown files, automatic links to other pages and generates a static website (that looks something like this: https://victorbjelkholm.github.io/quickwiki/home/ )

circlefavshape 2 days ago 0 replies      
I have an action point from a meeting I'll borrow a scrap of paper and a pen off someone else, do it as soon as I'm out of the meeting, then bin it.

Apart from that I haven't taken a note for the last 3 or 4 years. I had stacks of unsearchable notebooks with near-unintelligible scrawl in them, and rather than improving/indexing my note-taking I just gave up on it, reasoning that if I had gotten away with bad note-taking for 15 years then I could probably get away with none at all.

Turned out I was right. Without having notes as a crutch I end up concentrating harder on understanding and remembering on what people are saying. YMMV but it works well for me

belvoran 2 days ago 0 replies      
PAPER!!! I have tried lots of electronic things, and programs. And there is still one unbeatable: paper. With pen, pencils, and fountain pens.

Bullet journal is also worth checking,however I don't feel like we love each other.

throwaway4737 2 days ago 0 replies      
Vimwiki + your fav' git hosting with markdown/html-pages support.

Git + Vimwiki setup:


nickjj 2 days ago 2 replies      
Google Keep matches most of your requirements and it's what I use personally.

It makes it really easy to tag, organize, share and with the archive feature you can get todo list functionality.

Vinkekatten 2 days ago 1 reply      
Meetings and information I will need to reference: One Note backed up to a network drive. It's got a nice integration with Outlook meetings, lets me start a note with info about time, date, subject of meeting, location of meeting and participants present. I also keep a password-protected file with non critical passwords here, but don't tell anyone.

Day-to-day sketches and TODO's and little note lists: I keep a spiral note book next to my keyboard. I'm a leftie so it's upside down. I use the blue Pilot Drawing pens in various thicknesses. They dry instantly, so no ink smudges. Nice.

In addition to these I keep a day-to-day diary in .txt documents on my computer, I just open them in Sublime text or vim and make a new one every month. I try to just write four or five lines about what I've done every day as well as what I need to do tomorrow.

mcshicks 2 days ago 0 replies      
For formal meetings I use pen and paper. For some specific activities I do where I can't take notes during the activity I use a voice recorder to take notes immediately afterwords. If I'm sitting at my computer (like on a phone call) I use org-capture. If I'm out and about and I just need to jot something down I use the google inbox reminder on my phone. I did have a livescribe (a pen that records audio while writing, synchronized to the place in your paper notes), it was really neat, especially if I was both conducting a meeting and taking action items. The downside was it was a little awkward to tell people every time the meeting ran that you were recording it. But it did that job well. I have used One Note for a while, it's pretty neat but the lack of a clean way to archive notes like org mode has was really a show stopper for me. For me at least having a couple of different ways works best. The small hand held voice recorder is surprisingly handy. The pain is transcribing them although recently I simply copy the files to my computer and link to them in org-mode. For group meetings I also liked used to use a white board and the camera on my phone, although I don't have need for this myself anymore. I would really recommend not getting stuck on one technique for all situations, but use different things that work better in different situations. The key is having one system to put it all together, and for me at least that's org mode.
t27 2 days ago 1 reply      
I've started using Laverna(http://Laverna.cc) recently. Its a note management app built completely in Javascript and is serverless(except for storage, which is via your own dropbox), so I can host it on github pages/ AWS S3.

It has a convenient Markdown editor with live previews, sorting notes by notebooks, and has web and mobile versions. The notes are stored in dropbox and your browser's local storage, also they have imports and exports for backup.

Also its completely opensource and I can be sure that theres no snooping on my notes.

ohstopitu 2 days ago 0 replies      
When I used to use Windows, I used OneNote[0] a lot! (I had over 20 notebooks with multiple sections and pages in each section).

I loved it!

However, recently I've moved to linux for my daily computing needs and I have yet to find something to fill a void.

I'm using notion.so[1] for most notes and paper for hand written stuff.

It's sad that in 2016, there's no nexus type tablet running android (with updates) that has pen support :/

[0] - https://www.onenote.com/

[1] - https://www.notion.so/

jason_slack 2 days ago 0 replies      
Good old pen and paper!

I keep a paper based day planner and a notebook with my ideas, thoughts, etc in it. Recently I have been also trying to keep track using an iPad Pro and Apple Pencil using an app called Nebo. I'm not ready to switch yet. (And for that matter I have never been able to switch in 40 years).

Paper to me is long lasting. I can start something in a notebook, shelve it and then pick it up again. No need to update the OS or the app I used to create it (if it still exists).

swingbridge 2 days ago 0 replies      
I'm quite a techno geek but when it comes to notes I've never given up good old paper and pen.
samuell 2 days ago 0 replies      
In addition to a simple binder with blank papers and a good pen for when I'm in "thinking mode", I have actually been happy with the following solution, for text note-taking on the computer (which I use almost daily as a journal, for meetings etc etc):

Simple markdown files, with a script to create a new date-stamped document for each day [1], opens it in vim, and then commits the change and pushes to a bitbucket private repo for backup, after I close vim [2].

It also includes a script for converting all documents to a nice epub ebook, for offline reading, browsing, searching etc in calibre e-reader.

Some benefits that made me go this direction, instead of, say evernote or the like:

- Offline storage

- Syncable via git (I'm keeping a backup in a private bitbucket repo)

- Easily convert to any format via pandoc

- Can edit effortlessly in my terminal-based environment (bash, tmux, vim)

- Really automateable

- ...

[1] https://github.com/samuell/mdnote

[2] https://github.com/samuell/mdnote/blob/master/edit.sh

gumby 2 days ago 0 replies      
This sounds absurd, but hear me out: I start with paper, and then type them in.

I've tried almost everything to automate paper->computer (typing rather than writing, Livescribe pen, iPad pro + apple pencil, many many devices that are now dead) and none have been as good as just a decent (not super special) pen and a notepad. I prefer an engineering pad or quadrille or in a pinch dot-grid, but really anything works as long as you don't lose it.

The trick I learned was every day or so to move them into the computer, which I do by typing them in (and simply taking a photo of drawings). I usually type in Emacs or right into Evernote. I try to do it every evening as one of my last tasks, as part of reviewing my day & looking at the next day. If it's a multi-day sketch-it-out effort I wait until the few days are over. Dictation has become good enough that I can actually read aloud the relevant parts of a bunch of sheets of paper (in the order I care about) and then quickly fix them up. This is actually the only use case for dictation I've found on my computer.

The benefits: First of all, typing them over forces you to review them, organize them slightly, and skip over the irrelevant stuff. This is really important after a design effort since you throw away what you think are truly dead paths, and all your cross-out go away. If I need one, this typing is often the base of my design document. Second: I've seen meeting notes I've taken that don't justify being typed in. In which case, why did I even go to that meeting?

Interestingly, when I was a kid my mum told me she used this technique both in school and in work, which I dismissed as a ludicrous waste of time. Only decades later when I evolved the same approach did I remember her advice.

brute 2 days ago 0 replies      
Zim - A Desktop Wiki


Mostly because it just creates a bunch of .txt files, which are easy to handle (sync, backup, read via ssh, ...), and by placing them in subdirs you get a hierarchy.It is mostly for text, but it supports links, links between notes, links to files, pictures, code, lists, checkboxes, latex, gnuplot, ... and if you really need something you can create your own tool.

zhte415 1 day ago 0 replies      
Pen, paper. Hopefully there's an agenda, for a conference or meeting, so take notes on that.

Take photo with phone. Send to whoever else needs to know, e.g. meeting minutes.

My notepad is A4 paper cut in half (yeah, A5, but company only stocks A4) with a big bull-clip in the top. When notes are no longer needed, just shred them.

jordz 2 days ago 0 replies      
I tend to switch between Field Notes and Moleskine books, I use a Japenese Kuru Toga pencil (mechanical pencil that sharpens itself while you write) and a Uni JetStream Prime 0.7mm.

On the digital side I use OneNote.

If anyone is interested, this guys instagram says it all: https://www.instagram.com/desk_of_jules/

gotrythis 2 days ago 0 replies      
For those who use paper, I strongly recommend the LiveScribe pen. It records what you write and the audio. Then you can click text and it plays what was being said when the text you clicked on was written. Makes for fast, stress free note taking.
yabatopia 2 days ago 0 replies      
Like others already mentioned, Quiver (http://happenapps.com/#quiver), but it is Mac-only. Your a Mac-user, but I don't know how often you work with clients using another platform. That could be a problem.

For Windows and Linux, there's Cherrytree (http://www.giuspen.com/cherrytree/). I'm not using it myself, it's just something that I found when looking for Evernote alternatives. It has syntax highlighting and can handle images.

Good luck with finding a solution.

SnacksOnAPlane 2 days ago 0 replies      
SimpleNote for most things. Workflowy for more structured things. And I have a Huawei Watch that runs Audio Recorder so I can take little notes to myself when I don't have time or hands to write something down.
bogle 2 days ago 0 replies      
[Turtl](https://turtlapp.com/) has been my Evernote replacement for a few months now. I like having everything encrypted and I love writing in Markdown.
blakesterz 2 days ago 0 replies      
Has anyone tried Bear yet?


I just recently started using it, finding it rather nice, though it still feels rather 'beta'.

bjoernm 1 day ago 0 replies      
We're building Nuclino (https://www.nuclino.com/), which is inspired by Notational Velocity / nvALT.You can upload images via drag and drop and embed code blocks. Syntax highlighting for the code blocks is on the roadmap.You can either share individual pages with a client (via a public URL) or invite someone to share several pages and collaborate on them in real-time.
dadelantado 2 days ago 0 replies      
Simplenote!! Works on everything: Desktop app, browser, android or iphone
vidarh 2 days ago 0 replies      
I'd like to mention Ideaflip, btw: http://ideaflip.com

It's intended for collaboration rather than specifically for note-taking, but it looks like it addresses some of my issues with respect to flexibility for note-taking. I'm not convinced they've got the pricing and market fit perfect yet, but it looks quite interesting.

(Disclaimer: I'm having some conversations with the founder, but we've not done business)

We2soRae 2 days ago 0 replies      
I use https://www.notebooksapp.com/. It works with plain files, txt, markdown and WYSIWYG (HTML). It also allows you to write your own stylesheet and JS. So I have a custom template (CSS) and I write almost everything in WYSIWYG (ie HTML). Works really well for code too, as I get syntax highlighting.

Other apps I have tried and used over the years:

- http://www.mweb.im/ (markdown)- https://ulyssesapp.com/ (markdown)- http://lightpaper.42squares.in/ (markdown)- http://alternoteapp.com/ (Evernote GUI)- Many, many others

Notebooks really stands out because it has a great iOS app, syncs via Dropbox (plain files), and handles TXT/MD/HTML + Custom CSS&JS.

The Mac app is not great, but it's adequate. I frequently talk to the author and they are rewriting it to be more "Mac friendly", but that's a bit away (1 year maybe?).

For the longest time, I tried to stay true to Markdown, but as I get older, I just want things to be easier, and to look nicer, and I now prefer writing everything in WYSIWYG. Since I have custom styles, I can stick to standard structure (ie H1, p, ul, ..), which is in spirit close to Markdown (ie structure only). And I can still customize when I want complicated things (I wrote a couple special classes for some use cases).

Plus, it works with the filesystem, so you get folders, which I personally prefer to all this tagging BS. It makes it easier to have everything in one place: work stuff and personal stuff, and to keep it all neat and tidy. Also, because it's files, it's always available offline (iOS app too).

The iOS app is like a small file manager, so I also keep pictures, PDFs, and some other docs. So I always have all my important stuff on hand, no matter where I am.

Overall, I think it's a great app, which still has room to grow (better GUI on desktop, encryption, ...)

molx 2 days ago 0 replies      
Sublime Text. I find taking notes for me to be more about slowing my thought process down in order to zero in on issues I'm thinking through. At work we use Teamwork to organize our projects, so usually if there's something I'm working on for a client or a coworker, I'll transcribe parts of my notes into our teamwork project. Teamwork also lets you add tasks, notes, files, links, etc. We can one off people to each project, so that they can review anything we've added for their review.
rwieruch 2 days ago 0 replies      
In the order from brainstorming to real project it's:

- piece of paper and pen

- Clear https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/clear-tasks-reminders-to-do/... (not only as Todo App, but also to make outlines for topics)

- Sublime Editor + Markdown + (private) GitHub repository

jagermo 2 days ago 0 replies      
I have horrible handwriting. It is really bad.

But OneNote and ten-finger-typing makes up for that. If I need to share it, I can easily copy it in to an email, everyone can receive these without needing another account.

You might want to look into http://www.codefoster.com/codeinonenote/, a code highlighter for OneNote

eskimobloood 2 days ago 0 replies      

Quiver[1]: suports markdown and syncs via Dropbox

Mindful[2]: chrome extension


toban 2 days ago 0 replies      
I've ended up going from applications like Evernote to a simple Dropbox folder with markdown files for my personal notes. For me, the main draws are easy access from terminal and using my own text editor. And of course code blocks with syntax highlighting (and LaTeX with MathJax). I haven't played around with sharing, but it's easy to render an HTML page.
Chris2048 2 days ago 0 replies      
While I use zimWiki for personal notes, there are some things it lacks, like interactivity.

I started a blog, using Nikola. Not perfect, but it can support markdown, rst, ipy etc, plus pretty much anything else the web can.

Not exactly a TODO list, but for publishable things, it's pretty flexible if the thought isn't private.

vinhnx 1 day ago 0 replies      
In the past, I used Evernote but recently switch to Quiver and Unclutter.

I also have a real notebook in my desk to sketch diagram and flow, I find it very effective.

kek918 2 days ago 0 replies      
I use Todoist for notes that are potential tasks. Some times the line can be blurry so I have to regularly clean my Todoist tasks.

For the rest I use Google Keep which I've found to be quite handy. Nice UI and it's available everywhere. I've already sold my soul to Google so why not let them get my notes as well.

hatsunearu 2 days ago 1 reply      
Xournal on my x86 tablet running Ubuntu.

Love having the xournal files go to my personal server that I can browse through with my laptop or desktop later on, anywhere, anytime, without having to bring around binders and notebooks.

I also like that you can erase and move blocks of ink around.

DominikSerafin 2 days ago 0 replies      
The good old physical post it notes work best for me if I need to note something quickly.

If there's something that I need to copy/paste later then I just have "Clipboard.txt" on my desktop. Not prettiest but it's fastest and easiest.

If I need to plan something bigger then I use Trello.

pmontra 2 days ago 0 replies      
Paper during meetings with customers. A5 or even A6. Faster than anything else. Big bonus for drawing diagrams quickly.

The default notes app on my Samsung until I changed phone, Private Notepad now. This is for short random notes.

Several markdown files on my laptop especially for work related stuff.

Kiro 2 days ago 2 replies      
Evernote. My Evernote is the only valuable digital asset I have. Everything else is exchangeable.
brennen 2 days ago 0 replies      
0. Leuchtturm (or Moleskine if I can't get a Leuchtturm) notebook, blank pages, the middle size.

1. vimwiki in a tmux session in an XMonad scratch buffer. Pandoc for occasional PDF output.

2. Some screenshot / screencast gif scripts around byzanz and scrot.

rvpolyak 1 day ago 0 replies      
I use pen and paper. Well actually write everything in a sketch book and keep an index of themes on the cover and number all the pages so if I need to refer back I find the theme and page number.
vincent91 2 days ago 0 replies      
I use Google Keep for short notes and TOTOs. It's handy and you can access on any device.
goerz 2 days ago 0 replies      
[GoodNotes](http://www.goodnotesapp.com) on an iPad Pro (12.9 inch) and Apple Pencil. Haven't touched paper since getting it.
kybernetyk 2 days ago 0 replies      
Short lived notes? Anything that can take text input. vim, text edit, stickies (the mac app), pen & paper, whatever is on hand.

Long term notes? Evernote - though I'm not happy with them. Just haven't found a replacement yet.

petetnt 2 days ago 0 replies      
Dropbox Paper currently: syncs automatically with everyone who I want to share the notes with, saves automatically, has an advanced and simple to use editor, keeps track of changes, has comments and so on.
dplgk 2 days ago 1 reply      
Quiver is like Evernote if Evernote didn't suck. All it's missing is encryption. http://happenapps.com
HackyGeeky 2 days ago 0 replies      
One Note : I'm an "avoid mouse" person & one note is the only application that provides all the features.Plus sharing is a breeze - especially in a company.
feistypharit 2 days ago 0 replies      
I use the note station app by synology. Granted, you need a synology NAS to use it, but it works offline, mobile, and desktop. And all your data lives on your own device.
thecolorblue 2 days ago 0 replies      
OneNote on a surface. I sprung for the office suite which includes a different version of OneNote with a better UI and more features. It is worth it if you take a lot of notes.
amerkhalid 2 days ago 0 replies      
Paper. I tried laptops, ultrabooks, iPad, cellphones, for note taking but nothing beats paper so far.

But I ordered Surface Pro 4 this week. So going to try OneNote on SP4 soon.

galfarragem 2 days ago 0 replies      
collyw 2 days ago 0 replies      
Pen and notepad. Way faster than farting about typing on a tocuh screen or desktop and drawing diagrams is orders of magnitude faster and easier.
fumar 2 days ago 0 replies      
OneNote. I use it on all my devices, work laptop (ThinkPad), Surface Pro 3, and Galaxy Note 5. I prefer to take notes using a stylus.
srikz 2 days ago 0 replies      
OneNote on a Surface (for handwritten notes) and Google Keep for quick notes and reminders on phone. OneNote is quite slow to sync on Phones
slantaclaus 2 days ago 1 reply      
I used to use Apple notes but lost so much data I try not to anymore. Evernote is my main notepad these days but I still use apple notes...
jenhsun 2 days ago 0 replies      
As a Mac User, I use nvALT for my notes and monosnap for screenshots and image uploads plus sharing. ToDo List I use Any.Do for a while.
kNawade 2 days ago 0 replies      
Atom and Markdown. You can even see real time previews with "Markdown preview plus" plugin, upload it to git if need be.
aembleton 2 days ago 0 replies      
Visual Studio Code and type out notes as Markdown.

This gives me some formatting as I go without being distracting.

Usually though I find a pen and paper works best.

88e282102ae2e5b 2 days ago 1 reply      
I use Jupyter notebooks and write in markdown.
_hao 2 days ago 0 replies      
I use OneNote and I'm very happy with it.
kirankn 2 days ago 0 replies      
Came to know about Remarkable (getremarkable.com) which ships next Aug. Sounds interesting for paper lovers.
ymgch 2 days ago 0 replies      
Simplenote. Use it everyday.
rihegher 2 days ago 0 replies      
flat txt file + Gedit for view and edition + Cloudstation for sync with NAS and other computers or mobiles.
grigjd3 2 days ago 0 replies      
Honestly, I keep a spiral notebook.
pouta 2 days ago 0 replies      
infinity book it's available on Amazon. Imagine whiteboard + notebook.
antonis82 2 days ago 0 replies      
plain text file + dropbox for accessing on multiple devices
Zelmor 1 day ago 0 replies      
guilhas 1 day ago 0 replies      
Zim wiki
Heliosmaster 2 days ago 0 replies      
At the age of 38, am I too late to change career to front end dev work?
37 points by suaveybloke  2 days ago   35 comments top 23
adpoe 2 days ago 1 reply      
It's never too late. What matters most is that you are good at the work and can produce results.

For me, I went back to school about 5 years after a liberal arts undergrad to get a BS in computer science, and it has worked out. I was about 27, but there were numerous men and women in my classes in their late 30's and early 40's, all making the switch to CS to keep their skills sharp and better support their families. Some had been lawyers, accountants, and other white collar jobs--and they decided to make the change anyway.

So, yes, it's common, and employers understand that people are coming to programming from many different paths/backgrounds these days. (At least the ones who aren't snobbish.)

Most importantly: use what you perceive as your weaknesses as your strengths. You know a ton about accounting. Use that!

Doing programming work that overlaps with your previous career will probably yield the highest immediate pay, since you have domain knowledge in that area already. (And why waste it?)

That would be my angle to get into programming: find a company that programs accounting systems/financial software of some sort and offer your skills. Their end-users are accountants who have the same problems/frustrations as you. Why not discuss with them and help solve those problems directly? Offer them what they don't have yet, and only you do.

spiderman168 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Everything people say is correct, you can reinvent yourself. I hit 40 this year and was looking to make a career move but depending on your home situation may not be feasible. If I were to start again in a different field it would mean a dramatic pay cut to start at the bottom. There was no way to make a lateral move in a new field at the same pay I was making, so in the end I had no choice but to stay in my same field even though my passion was somewhere else. I do agree it's not too late but remember you'd be starting at the bottom again and do you have the time and patience to make it back to where you are now
finid 2 days ago 1 reply      
At 38 you're still too young to worry about stuff like this. I'd say that's the perfect age to make the switch, and with your background, you'll be asking the right questions when you're taking classes or learning on your own.

You'll actually find that you'll be picking up stuff faster than younger people just starting out.

Since your interest is frontend dev, your main challenge would be wading through the sea of frameworks and tools.

saluki 2 days ago 1 reply      
I made the switch from civil engineer to full stack developer in my thirties.

I knew some HTML, CSS and PHP and had been setting up websites for family and friends. I started freelancing in addition to my day job. Moved to creating PHP web applications and taking on more and more advanced work.

I slowly picked up larger projects, better clients until I got to the point where I was freelancing full time. Now I have a few clients that keep me busy working remotely. I have had a few contract positions 3 to 6 months at a time but mainly it's been freelance since I made the switch.

It's lots of work, you're constantly learning and trying new things. If you enjoy that and have a knack for programming go for it.

I have interviewed with some local companies I wouldn't say I was passed over for younger employees, mainly just not a good fit not enough experience. I can see where some companies would prefer younger candidates.

I would say GO FOR IT but maybe learn/get back in the game by freelancing/keeping your day job. Unless you can afford to quit your day job during the transition.

I would also recommend learning full stack instead of just focussing on front end, it's becoming more blended anyway. Front end is moving toward React, Angular, and Vue.js and is as complex more tightly coupled to the backend.

Also I would focus on learning Laravel (PHP) or Rails (Ruby) I think these are higher paying with more job openings/interesting projects.

Laravel has a great ecosystem, check out LaraCasts.com.

Rails is great as well.

Good Luck with the transition.

bobbytherobot 2 days ago 0 replies      
If you want to do front-end, don't worry about those coming out of uni/college. Front-end is a specialization that very few places teach.

There is a huge range for front-end. You have people doing basically cut-up for marketing sites to people building front-ends that can scale up.

My four big buckets I look for from a Front-End are:

* Technical, can you make it work

* Maintainable, can someone else keep it running and update it

* Scalability, can you scale the solution up to millions of people (to be honest, most front-end don't need to worry about this)

* "Precog", can you anticipate the issues that arise from users and their wide range of browsers + OS + hardware

mamcx 2 days ago 1 reply      
Do you have a solid business career in accountancy, and wanna switch to grunt js work?

Is excellent if wanna do development, but why not apply your experience instead? Also in all this 10 years you have build some contacts to get your foot in.

I know that accounting and crud apps are not "sexy" and boring.

But you know what is worse and more boring?

Using js!

Jah, sorry, I can't resist.

But honestly most "front-end" work is not amazing at all.

Maybe building visualizations, charts and stuff like that. But pages and apps in front-end is alike build forms, but harder, more complicated and with less performance than native code.


I'm in the process of build a point-of-sale app, and I will envy to have you background instead, or have a partner with that skills.

So, I'm telling you:

You have valuable skills that are higher than Js. Js/html/css is just a tool (that pay, because the front-end work have become more crazy and requiere more effort triying to be somethings is not made for), but in itself not become yet-another-front-end-dev when you already have a better position to offer.

kisna72 2 days ago 1 reply      
I would highly highly recommend you to find problems you have seen in accountancy world that you can solve with programming. You could get both of both world, satisfaction of work you want to do while benefiting from your industry experience. No programmer (not in accountancy world) here knows about the issues and inefficiencies about it than you do, and you probably have a bunch of contacts you can test your ideas on. That way you keep your advantages of being in the accountancy world, while solving the issues they have by using programming which is what you want to do.

whatever you do, good luck.

davelnewton 2 days ago 0 replies      
Never too late, but you'll need to prove yourself. That's hard since you don't have a work history or things to talk about.

You'll be competing with younger folks for entry-level positions. I'd consider a portfolio of code or personal projects on Github/etc. that show your style, coding and otherwise.

davismwfl 2 days ago 0 replies      
It all depends on you. I hear a lot of people in the tech industry that are 40+ complain about the difficulty in getting a job, finding a team etc. But the reality is I am in that category and yes, startups can be a bit harder cause in general the older we are the more likely we have a life, kids and obligations outside of work. And yes, there are a lot of interview techniques are lacking in finding quality people and focus on the wrong things, but that isn't everywhere and it isn't honestly new.

Can you make the switch? It just totally depends on you. You will need to be aggressive in looking for work, you'll have to demonstrate you are qualified and you'll need to show people samples of work. The samples can be personal sites, little things you built, open source you contributed to whatever. You would be essentially a junior web dev, so your expectations of pay and position should be in line with that, if you accept those things and can do the work, absolutely you can make the switch.

id122015 23 hours ago 0 replies      
Like other said, the answer is no. But think twice!You might have the most lucky career. I dream of a job like accountancy where you do the same thing every day. In IT you solve a new problem every day, and I don't know about deadlines but ask them.

The way I see it might not be how you see it. Your question reminds me about the joke with the writer who said he wants to become a doctor after retirement. - The conclusion of the joke was that to start a new career takes time.

angelomichel_nl 2 days ago 0 replies      
I can assure you, you are not too late, at least if you are living in the Netherlands. :-)

What you do need is a passion or interest in this field. Age and/or work experience in other fields brings allot of advantages towards employees, something every 'totally new to working' all have yet to find out.

Frontend nowadays is very awesome, it is my day to day job as well (31 yr old), and I really enjoy it.

dnautics 1 day ago 1 reply      
On hiring:

I'm currently 35 and spent many years in biochemistry, and did a lot of coding on my own personal time (and am doing contract work currently). One of the frustrations is that going through the hiring process, I get a lot of accolades from the interviewers, and seem to do well to extraordinary on coding challenges - but there's something that I'm not "matching right". In several cases, I've been told that they were seeking "senior devs" even though I've been referred via an agency that should have filtered out all but "junior dev" positions.

I suggest getting insight into the "unwritten rules" of hiring, which is what I'm going to start to ask about. There is a myth that the valley (or indeed the world) is a meritocracy, but in reality, you have to 'figure out the game'. Good luck!

iampoul 2 days ago 0 replies      
I wouldn't say its too late, you might have a rough start with learning and everything, but there is a lot of new technologies you can specialize in and come out on top if you invest enough time into it. Keep in mind there will be uni/college folks starting at the same time as you, regardless when you start. It's just about getting things done and get started. :)
taternuts 2 days ago 0 replies      
No. In fact, a guy on my team is a 45/46 year old guy who had been in management his whole life while dabbling with programming and decided to switch careers to being a front-end dev. He's certainly not the best dev we have, but he also shoulders a lot of managerial weight so that we don't have to and I enjoy having him on the team.
j45 2 days ago 0 replies      
Never too late. It's something you can do by simply getting to work learning and building stuff yourself. A front end dev is only a sliver over the full-stack developer you were before in PHP in having to deal with back end stuff, etc.
iampoul 2 days ago 0 replies      
This just popped up on HN, might be worth a read. :)


otaviokz 2 days ago 0 replies      
Ara you joking mate? As long as you are/get good enough (I don't mean Facebbok/Google/etc good, just able to develop usable stuff) in a relevant field, you'll find good jobs and good pay in IT in most developed countries. Not sure of how the pay compares to accountancy, but if really want to change career....

I've coded my first "Hello World" at 26yo and now at 36 I'm working as an iOS contractor and making 6 digit figures (in ) and couldn't be more thankful to past me!

carsongross 2 days ago 0 replies      
Mentally you probably have the tools if you have done accounting, but it will be difficult socially unless you look the part.

It is not something I would pursue on a whim: the grass is always greener and I assure you front end is a complete shit show, as sexy as it seems right now.

gaspoweredcat 1 day ago 0 replies      
nope, most any programming language can be learned in a relatively short time, it requires only one thing dedication, as long as you care enough about doing it theres no upper age limit.

as for not being able to compete that is up to you, as long as you have solid skills and can prove it you your age wont matter.

tyingq 2 days ago 0 replies      
You'll find less friction if you look for IT jobs at non-tech companies. Places like manufacturing, airlines, retail sales, and so forth. Ageism seems less prevalent in these places.
BillSaysThis 2 days ago 0 replies      
I was older and so far working well for me ;)
dba7dba 2 days ago 0 replies      
Few random thoughts as I've gone (and am still going) through same experience.

1. Zed Shaw of the "Learn Python the Hard Way" said programmers are dime a dozen. What's really valuable is a programmer who has experience from another domain such as history, engineering, medicine etc (and accounting in your case). I cannot recall exactly where he said it but I remember reading it and chuckling to myself.

2. Are you sure you want front-end dev work? Why not back-end? Exactly what skills are in demand?I recommend you watch this video on state of tools available in web dev including front-end, back-end, and DevOps as of 2016.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sBzRwzY7G-k

I should warn that the shelf life of front-web dev skills seems to be much shorter than IT. In fact here's a list of tech skills, ordered with longest to shortest shelf life IMHO. Not sure about DevOps but my feeling is it has longer shelf life than programming...

IT > DevOps > Back-end > Front-end

Going into IT years ago, I knew I needed to keep learning new stuff to stay relevant. I slacked off a bit (due to family situation) and paid the price. With dev work, you need to spend even more time to learn new stuff to stay relevant. Often, you will have to spend your personal time to do so.

3. You should keep your day job as you try to break into coding. You don't want financial pressure to stress you out. And that means you will have to squeeze out every available hour of your life and devote it to studying/practicing. That means no weekend activities, no TV/video-game at night, etc. The less you do such things, the faster you can switch into dev career.

4. Do you have the environment that will allow you do real productive studying/coding/studying? If you have kids, can you avoid school pickup/dropoff? Will you have big chunks of time daily to devote to coding practice? Personally I need at minimum 30min - 1hr before my brain switches on and gets productive.

Basically your family around you have to pretend as if you had 2 full time jobs or you were studying for Bar exam or in med school. And they should expect what 6 months to a year of this.

Do you have a desk where you can set up 2 x 24" monitors and your laptop with a comfortable chair? Or maybe a standup desk?

5. Get github and own web server (DigitalOcean, Linode or Amazon AWS) going and start posting your work. Curate what you post on Github. I use bitbucket for personal projects and use github only to post what's reasonably presentable.You probably don't have contacts in the industry. And that means finding a job almost exclusively based on job postings. And because of your lack of prior experience in the industry, you will often get passed over for others who do. So your secret and only weapon would be examples of your work that is easily accessible to recruiter/hiring-manager. Especially for dev work as there's no certifications to get like in Windows or Linux world.

Setting up github/bitbucket means learning Git. Not really coding but you will need to know it for a dev work nonetheless.

Setting up website on Linux to host your code is another non-coding task but still valuable skill to have.

6. Your first job as a dev may not be that dream job. What I've learned is that jobs posted on jobsites almost always have more negatives than positives. If it was really a desirable job with good environment, someone would've referred their friend/ex-coworker. So set your expectation accordingly for your first dev work. You can either turn it into a better job or move on to a better job/company. Whether the position is discouraging or not, once you get in, kick as_. That will open more doors, either more responsibility, or a different company or even freelance work.



I started down the path of switching from IT to dev because I wanted freedom of remote work, freelance, start a product/website to make income on the side, etc. None of that has come to fruition except for remote work but no regrets. I no longer have to open boxes of laptops, stick on inventory tag and add it to inventory excel list, get interrupted with help requests every 10 min, or worry about where to keep spare packing material (because manager wants tidy work space but not providing adequate storage space) to have available for overnighting that laptop to replace a broken laptop of a remote worker.

Well there I go, spent another hour doing something else other than practicing coding.

ccatarino 2 days ago 1 reply      
Ask HN: Any interest in a decentralized notes app?
5 points by mobitar  1 day ago   4 comments top 2
id122015 23 hours ago 0 replies      
What I'm interested in: I'll either build it myself when I'll have time, or you can share the idea. A notes server that I can install myself, not relying on external servers. And if can keep the content encrypted, it would be even better.
miguelrochefort 1 day ago 2 replies      
I can think of 100 different decentralized [insert use case] ideas. Does that mean we'll need 100 different server and client implementations? I hope not.

Your specific note-taking use case is not special enough to justify investing in your solution. If you introduced a general-purpose platform to build decentralized apps, you would have more of my attention.

Please note that this comes from someone who dismisses any solution that don't aim to solve everything.

Ask HN: Reasonable approach to outsourcing MVP app?
6 points by fratlas  1 day ago   8 comments top 3
147 15 hours ago 0 replies      

What would success look like for you with this project? Since you mentioned that you're trying to create an MVP, success to me at this stage means that you've successfully validated your idea and are ready to start scaling.

Are you bootstrapping a SaaS app? Looking to get initial traction to show investors?

Your needs are going to vary wildly depending on what your business goals are. And for me, these questions are vital before starting a project.

Next year I plan on doing consulting work. My email is in my profile if you'd like chat more or have any questions.

remyp 1 day ago 0 replies      
There are agencies/dev shops that -- assuming they like your idea -- will take a piece of equity and charge a bit less.

Go with one of these shops so incentives are aligned and they truly care about building your product rather than just billing hours. I know (but don't work for) a couple and am happy to provide a referral, feel free to send me an email.

As for cost, I find Gigster's pricing examples to be pretty accurate: https://gigster.com/pricing

williamtaormina 1 day ago 1 reply      
Hey Fratlas, what are you trying to build? Outsourcing can be a tricky thing... I've seen it go wrong more times than right.
Ask HN: Do SMBs still care about their websites?
86 points by rodolphoarruda  2 days ago   58 comments top 17
pc86 2 days ago 0 replies      
Context: I own a CrossFit gym with my wife which happens to be the largest (both in physical size and active membership) in an ~80-100 mile radius. I also have a full-time job developing applications for enterprise and government clients and I used to be a full-time freelancer focusing on custom websites and custom WordPress plugins.

Our website is invaluable. We have all our ad landing pages there so it's a constant source of warm local leads. I think it's grown in importance since we tightened the integration with Facebook and Instagram. We don't really do much search/display advertising, it's all social proof, boosted posts, ads to get people to our events, "people whose friends have liked our page," etc.

If the website's importance is 10/10 I'd put Facebook at an 8 and Instagram at a 5. I'd take simple website + solid FB ad strategy over flashy website + leaky bucket ad strategy 100% of the time.

tyingq 2 days ago 5 replies      
I've seen this. Google's changes to search over the years have made it increasingly difficult for an SMB website to show up in organic searches. Google seems to be biased towards big national brands in a way that they weren't in the past. That, of course, led to more bidding for AdWords, which drove the pricing up there.

So, SMB owners then try to find some other way to get a presence, many of which make it difficult to use your own website. Facebook, for example, is setup in a way where your FB biz page is highlighted, but the url to your actual site is obscured and buried.

Aside from your examples of Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter...I've also seen SMB's move their ecommerce sales to Etsy, eBay, Amazon, and the like.

dpcan 2 days ago 1 reply      
Not in my case, our website is VERY important.

I opened an escape room business in Idaho about 3 months ago, and we have a website, facebook page, google (+,mybusiness,etc), twitter, and instagram account.

Our website is so important because it's how we connect people to our booking system, and for ranking in Google and we link our Adwords account to it as well.

Then we send people to our website first and on our business cards, promo materials, signs, and more, because it has our FAQ, email contact form, photos, the format we want, Book Now link, the message we want at the top, details about our services, and more.

I couldn't imagine just trying to manage all this with just a Facebook page or Google stuff. People would be very confused.

If I said, just got to our Facebook page, you'd be surprised at how many people say they aren't on Facebook. If I say go to our Google+ page they don't even know what I'm talking about. People call all the time to book because they say "I don't do the Internet thing" (not kidding)

Asking people for reviews is easiest through Facebook. I don't even know how to tell people to review me on Google. Not many folks here appear to be on Yelp it seems. But having a "Review us on..." section of our website will be nice when I add it, and then again, I can just send people to the site.

Lastly, the website is where I can put company specific information like our downloadable flyer, rules and regulations, orientation info, faq, specific details about each of our rooms, some player stats, and official info about our promotions.

So yes, a website for a small business is extremely important in my opinion.

That being said, I have heard of people just going to a Facebook Page, but I believe these are people who don't see the value in connecting EVERY aspect of the web to maximize their online exposure, and don't see the benefits they could reap if they use all these tools together effectively.

afloatboat 2 days ago 1 reply      
I've seen and have encouraged small business to move their web presence to Facebook and Google Local Business.

We've built a solid amount of websites for small businesses, and in most cases they don't care about maintenance. So in the end they spent a solid amount on a website and hosting, don't change anything for four years and build a new site. Having gained nothing in between.

Having a Facebook page doesn't cost you anything, and on the plus side, if you maintain it you will get free exposure by appearing alongside organic posts on users' timelines. You'll have to work for your likes, but it's your responsibiliy to provide fresh and interesting content. The more users engage with your posts, the more visibility you will get as well.

Twitter seems to be mainly for support and quick updates when you have service problems and Instagram is nice if you have something more in the graphics or design sector. In my country it's also mostly used by geeks and doesn't work if you want to reach a general crowd.

However, as a customer it all depends on what I'm looking for. Want a new tap for the kitchen sink? I'm not going to look for that on Facebook, you'd best have a website with some examples and pricing. If I want to go to a restaurant I only care about their contact information and the menu. If I can find that on Facebook or the Google sidebar, I'm happy.

anexprogrammer 2 days ago 1 reply      
For most non tech SMBs a website was a necessary evil, like all advertising. Then they get caught up in an SEO scam or two and talking of promotion or online advertising is like suggesting tax fraud.

Google could have dreamed up an Adwords Lite for SMBs and stop defaulting to broad match. If done well it could have made Adwords worthwhile for those who can't just hire an adwords consultant and spend 4 figures. I know several SMBs who would never touch Adwords again. The two I know who use adwords well both have someone pretty technical around. One of those does more on Etsy than their site.

As @tyingq says Google's updates have mostly promoted brands and large businesses. Now add the freshness updates and they're hurting all the mainly static small sites. Facebook did much the same when they hugely cut the views pages can achieve. FB went from hugely helpful to almost a waste of time for many.

It's little wonder so many aren't seeing the point.

rodolphoarruda 2 days ago 2 replies      
I do. It is happening everywhere in Brazil. Small companies see no reason in keeping a stand alone website with very low visit figures whereas their fanpages, profiles in massive social networks leverage engaged visitors. I can see many companies not renewing their domain names registrations simply because it does not matter to have a domain name. Custom branded email address? Pointless, since all comms are made inside the social network.
mathattack 2 days ago 1 reply      
Only a few samples, but:

- Restaurants seem to keep them up. They need to post menus, and links to OpenTable and other reservation sites.

- K-12 Schools keep their own sites

- Other small businesses (martial arts schools, dry cleaners, etc) seem to be leaving their old sites on standby. Big drop in forum activity.

wattt 2 days ago 2 replies      
I have seen this happen a few times. Sometimes businesses switch to turnkey/template sites, but if all they need is an address in Google Maps it isn't necessary a lot of the time.

Conversely, as a web developer, I have stopped working with this segment completely. Non-tech organizations of 1-2 people are way more hassle to deal with than larger organizations.

swingbridge 2 days ago 0 replies      
In my, completely unscientific but likely not that all inaccurate, observation SMBs are pushing hard on Facebook. Twitter is dead and people don't waste their money adversiting there. Google is still there but it's become such a mess that the difficultly of getting high rankings combined with the much less precise targeting (compared to say Facebook) has made it a lot less attractive recently.
ryandrake 2 days ago 6 replies      
Sorry, it would be nice if someone could explain what "SMB" means. To me, it's a network file sharing protocol, and a basic Google search confirms this as the top definition.
samuellb 2 days ago 1 reply      
I know a small company that shut down it's Facebook page while keeping it's website (an old one, from 2005). Probably because it's not selling directly to it's end-customers, so the web site is focused on contact info (for store chains etc) + static web pages with product information. B2B doesn't seem to use Facebook very much at all.
jagermo 2 days ago 0 replies      
It probably depends if you use your website to generate income.

I currently work for a small business that sells dedicated lines, MPLS etc. They invest heavily in their website and use it to generate leads for the sales team.

Myself, on the other hand, I switched from a Wordpress powered blog to a simple, html "About me" website, mainly because I didn't use it and didn't want to keep up with the maintenance.

I can understand if smaller companies, that need nothing more than a business card on the web, use Facebook or some other hosted service for their presence.

GFischer 1 day ago 0 replies      
During an "Entrepreneurship" class, some classmates started investigating about SMBs web presence.. and yes, a LOT of SMBs find their Facebook page to be a lot more valuable than their website, often forgoing the website.

It's been a lot worse for them since Facebook started asking for money in order to promote posts, but the ease of use and features of Facebook coupled with an audience beat a website hands down.

Companies included home cooking / office meals, small design and deco items sales, nail polish and beauty supplies, even a general hardware store.

I do think a website is important, but a Facebook page even more so.

Another huge channel here is WhatsApp.

curun1r 2 days ago 0 replies      
I used to work for an online booking company that supplied its SMBs with a business profile page, Facebook widget, website widget and reputation management. Almost universally, they all felt that their website was very important and spent an inordinate amount of money on it...some well into the 6-figures, which was much more than they spent on our service. However, also almost universally, they'd get almost no bookings through the website widgets. Customers overwhelmingly preferred dealing with them through Facebook and our business profile page. Also, our business profile pages showed up much higher in Google for non-name searches.

I'm sure there are some SMBs that really do have a need for a website and it really is important to them, but for the verticals that we dealt with, there was a huge perception gap between the perceived and actual value of the website and a profound misunderstanding of the preferences of their customers. The question of whether SMBs still care about their websites is, to me, less interesting than the question of whether SMBs should care about their websites.

tezza 2 days ago 0 replies      
Yup I've witnessed the same migraion... food stalls like The Poutinerie are facebook / twitter only.

I would've expected a website 5 years ago, but they seem fine.

Google "The Poutinerie" and their 'website' comes up top billing ( London based peep )

tomashertus 2 days ago 2 replies      
I had actually spent a lot of time researching this particular use case - creating and maintaining website as B2C SMB and their way of promoting themselves to customers. I came to the conclusion that if you are mortar-and-brick business, focused on local people, the current web is actually totally broken for you and the only feasible solution for ads are location based ad systems.

In this particular case I distinguished between businesses which are location based and businesses which are able to sell their goods and services on the Internet. For those who are able to sell on Internet, there is plenty of options for e-commerce solution etc, but for local businesses it doesn't make economically sense to maintain website.

During my research I talked with 50 local small-business owners in SF and each one of them had website. They all agreed that it is luxurious expense and half of them had problem to maintain the site and only 10/50 were able to update their website at least once a month. What was kind of shocking for me to find out was that around 60% of these people was paying $50+/month for shitty website and almost nobody was willing to spend more money on their website.

When asking about social media(Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter, WhatsApp) - 95% had profiles there and were actually having them more updated than their business websites. Unfortunately, majority of the owners were pretty skeptic about the advertisement there and never tried, for example, targeted FB ads. Most of them never heard about this option.

Here is couple of findings:

- When asking, why do they have a website, some of them replied that it is must have in eyes of the customer - you don't exist if you don't have website, right?

- When asking what's their monthly number of visitors on their websites, 60% didn't know.

- When asking about the most used communication channel, almost everyone said phone. One barber was actually running WhatsApp group and worked pretty well for him.

- When asking how much they will be investing into a website - the majority said that they will not increase their costs for web and ads.

From my point of view, web is actually total nonsense for local businesses, it's unnecessary expense and the owners could do much better if they orient on social media and local advertisement. The real problem for them is that they are not willing to maintain 10 social network accounts and constantly update them, because they need to run their real business as well.

One funny thing I found out was that 10 out of 50 said that old-fashioned promotional flyer into mailbox still works best for them and has the biggest response and they will spent more money on that. Kinda surprise for me in SF in the beginning of 2016.

sharemywin 2 days ago 0 replies      
curious about things like thumbtack and homeadvisor for small service businesses.

I've heard of business using those as alternatives to their own websites. To me I'd much rather own my own website site, but I think I'm in the minority.

Ask HN: Advise on CV, etc?
6 points by kryptonic  1 day ago   14 comments top 8
blowski 1 day ago 1 reply      
I'm happy to have a read (no cash necessary). Contact details are on my profile page.
hunglee2 1 day ago 0 replies      
Hey man, I can help. I've been a recruiter for tech for 10 years and now run Workshape.io, a job discovery platform for software developers. Reach out to me on email hung at workshape.io.
pranavpiyush 15 hours ago 0 replies      
Happy to help pro bono. pranav [at] pranavpiyush [dot] com
suaveybloke 1 day ago 0 replies      
I would be happy to take a look at your CV if you're still looking for a critic. No payment necessary!
gentleteblor 1 day ago 0 replies      
I'm happy to take a look as well (no payment needed). Email in profile.
JSeymourATL 1 day ago 1 reply      
How visible are you in the marketplace? Can you be found on Github? Linkedin?
tapan_k 1 day ago 1 reply      
I can take take a look. (Thanks for the $10 offer, but no thanks).
miguelrochefort 1 day ago 0 replies      
I'll do it for $10.

Contact information in profile.

       cached 22 December 2016 21:05:01 GMT