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Ask HN: How should I teach code to kids?
105 points by holaboyperu  4 hours ago   65 comments top 43
amorphid 1 hour ago 1 reply      
I've never been a parent or teacher, and have not been responsible for raising children in any formal capacity. So, my question is...

Are the kids remotely interested in programming, and does it make sense to try teaching them if they show no interest? As a child, I remember pushed towards taking piano lessons and hating every second of it.

shurcooL 3 hours ago 0 replies      
I know of a game that incorporates programming lessons in a really cute way. I discovered it when I was around 15 and loved it so much, I wished I ran into it at an earlier age.

It's a 3rd person view where you control an astronaut on different missions. It has some RTS elements as there are various robots to control.

However, in addition to being able to directly control the robots (which is fun and accessible), you can write code that it'll execute and automate some simple tasks, like fetching resources, defending a base, etc. It's very high quality and well made, and incorporates step by step lessons, starting with basics of programming. Your creativity is the limit.

What I've found out recently is the game was eventually released as open source (it was originally commercial) and picked up by a community of people working on making it better, and it's suppported on modern systems.

It's called Colobot [0] and I highly suggest you try it out, see if you think the kids would find it interesting.

[0] https://colobot.info/

jampa 2 hours ago 1 reply      
Game modding

The first contact I had to actual programming was messing with Pawno scripts to make gameservers in San Andreas multiplayer when I was 12... Spent hours and hours programming with it. It started simple placing coordinates where the cars should spawn until I started to mess with more 'complicated' stuff like gates that open when player get near.

I would get some game that is popular among kids that age (minecraft?) and teach them to make simple modifications, if they like they will try to push themselfs to make harder and more complex stuff, the reward/work ratio is bigger than make a game from scratch on HTML, where there is a lot that needs to be done before getting to the "fun part".

hal9000xp 58 minutes ago 0 replies      
My father bought me a russian clone of ZX Spectrum 48k in 1994 (in post soviet states, ZX Spectrum was hugely popular during 90s just like in UK during 80s):


My father was not an engineer and had no idea what to do with it. I also was completely uneducated (I was 10 years old boy in 1994) and basically ignored school classes (or prefered to sleep there). So I also had no idea what it is.

He bought me games and bunch of books about programming on ZX Spectrum.

I just started writing code from these books and see the result on the screen. Then I started slightly modify code. Then I started writing my own little programs.

After 6 years, I managed to learn assembly language and even write my own version of Snake game:


I had no help whatsoever from my father, from school teachers or anyone else.

Then my father bought me Pentium I 166 Mhz with installed Windows 98.Unlike ZX Spectrum I couldn't see what's going on under the hood at all.I tried some available programming languages. Their IDEs were huge, bloated, complicated and confusing.I was so frustrated that I couldn't understand what's going on under the hood so I dropped programming for next 7 years.I returned to programming when I switched to Linux and started writing programs in C using Vim as editor (and I'm still stick to Vim!).

So here are my advices based on my story:

Buy them something similar to ZX Spectrum, a small, simple, programming friendly micro-computer where kids can start programming straight away. Give them some simple programming books. Kids will learn themselves!

I personally can't imagine how I would start programming on modern computer. Especially under Windows OS (such a messy unfriendly OS for beginning developers!).

I would definitely not teach kids web-development! It will create a mess in their heads!

red-indian 3 hours ago 4 replies      
I teach.

I have the kids learn Python between age 9 and 11 depending on when they are interested. We write games and learn the fundamentals of CS by following the curriculum of Rice's "Introduction to Interactive Programming in Python" class designed by Rixner and Warren. It has a Python interpreter and game library that compiles in-browser into javascript, which is a very helpful design for a first class, and for sharing their results with myself, their families, and each other.

Afterwards I encourage those who really enjoy it to learn Java, also using web sources primarily. I intercede when they are stuck but generally they help each other out.

Some of them used to use the Java to write Minecraft mods but that has become a bit more tricky.

There was one student who started to learn Java at age 7, but in general that's too young. If you push things too earlier they don't get a head start. They get burned out and don't want to have anything to do with it any more. You really need to be sensitive to what they are interested in and let them lead.

Most kids when they see others making their own games want to try their own hand at it themselves, so I have managed to create a self-perpetuating cycle.

Learning languages to make games makes sense. Pushing languages to force concepts will be resisted and is counterproductive.

The games approach is nice too because they rapidly learn trigonometry, basic physics, and linear algebra by age 10 or so, and are teaching themselves Calculus on Khan Academy by age 12, as well as researching optics, writing their own shaders and generally doing what most would consider college or graduate level mathematics. Their Java skills also often lead to writing for Android. Some selling their games and other software at a certain point, which helps their families.

It helps that on the reservation I have a great deal of autonomy in what I can do. I've worked in public outside schools before. None of this would be allowed there.

I don't really care for the idea of dumbed down toy languages that can't really be used for production software. Python and Java are well designed enough that they are understandable and usable from the age where they are able to do programming thought. Python is a simpler one to read and use and so we start with that. But Java is very similar and the lessons of Python directly transfer. Java ends up being much more useful for distributable and saleable software, though it is harder as a first language.

rickyc091 49 minutes ago 0 replies      
There's already a lot of good advice here, but I really wanted to emphasize Scratch (https://scratch.mit.edu/) as a first step. A 7 year old (2nd grader) and 9 year old (4th grader) should be able to navigate their way through Scratch.

Start off by following the tutorial on the right panel when you create a new project.

Once you're done with that, your cousins will probably be exploring on their own. Help their exploration by printing out some Scratch Cards (https://scratch.mit.edu/info/cards/).

After they go through those, check out the Harvard Scratch curriculum (http://scratched.gse.harvard.edu/guide/). There's full of exercises and activities in it.

By now you can tell if your cousins actually wants to learn to code. If they do, they'll be building things in Scratch on their own and remixing other people's examples.

I can go further as to next steps, but this should be plenty of material to get started :)

ThePhysicist 2 hours ago 0 replies      
In my (very limited) experience, building text adventures is a great way to teach kids programming:

* You don't need any complicated stuff for it, just printing to stdout and reading from stdin.

* Kids love making up stories and games

* When they understand the basics you can gradually increase the complexity: Add if/then/else conditions (do you wanna go left or right?), functions (e.g. to parse answers to questions), variables and simple arithmetic (treasures found, monsters fought, ...) and libraries (e.g. for adding randomness to the game).

And if they're hungry for even more afterwards, you can add some graphics programming into the mix. By then they should be motivated enough by their story that they actually want to learn something more complex and challenging.

I'd recommend a scripting language to get started, as it removes the need to compile code, which (IMHO) just adds unnecessary complexity.

Not sure if this is the best approach, I tried it once and it worked great though!

JoeDaDude 1 hour ago 0 replies      
But first, you must answer the question of why you want to teach coding to kids. If it is because they have asked you about coding, or are curious enough that they will be intrigued or interested in coding, or perhaps you are convinced it is a life skill they should learn, then proceed.

But if you want to teach coding to increase your own esteem in their eyes, or to validate your own life choices by making them follow yours, then step back a bit before proceeding. Get to know them - and yourself - well before embarking on this quest.

kaa2102 32 minutes ago 0 replies      
A friend's kid loves Minecraft. He specifically asked me to teach him how to code so that he could eventually host his own Minecraft server. I started with a couple different approaches including Kahn Academy kid-coding videos, basics and WYSIWYG HTML examples. The kid didn't really want to "code" as much as he wanted to see concrete outcomes. One of the outcomes was a blog or forum to interact with his Minecraft friends.

The moral of this story is that it helps to focus on the interest of the children you are teaching, identify desired outcomes that will excite them and deliver the outcomes while secretly teaching them coding and computer science basics. It's like hiding the dog's pill.

hywel 2 hours ago 2 replies      
Depends whether you want to teach code or computer science (and code).

I wrote a book to teach 7-11 year olds to code in Python and Scratch and teach them some computer science along the way - I read a few other books out there first, and there's a lot of "just copy out this code and things will happen", which is exactly what I tried to avoid in this book.

The reviews:http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/28232614-coding-unlocked#...

The book: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B013R4OFVA/ref=x_gr_w_bb?i...

evo_9 1 hour ago 0 replies      
I think this topic should have a permanent link at the top of HN; it seriously comes up so often we need to setup a sort of wiki page about this.
edent 4 hours ago 1 reply      
I've taught kids using https://www.codeclub.org.uk/ - they have a great Scratch based set of exercises. You sell it as "Design your own video games!!!!"

Also moves into HTML, Python, etc.

I had great fun teaching using their curriculum. They're rolling out worldwide and all their materials are CC licensed.

wuschel 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Have a look at CoderDojo [1]. I did an IT project with the first class (patient zero) of kids from this organization. It was a very rewarding experience to see how great their "hands on" pedagogic approach worked out. The project - a website with front end and backend, full stack - was a great success. Amazing bunch of kids.

CoderDojo in an NGO that has spread globally. I wholeheartedly recommend it.Just don't leave your notebook lying around, or some curious kid might take it apart.. (no joke)

[1] https://coderdojo.com/

ldenoue 1 hour ago 0 replies      
I taught my 8 years old girl using JavaScript and we made a simple game (numbers falling from the top of the screen and you have to click them to make a number: e.g. "3" and "4" because the number to make was "7").

It eventually became PopMath (which I reimplemented in ObjectiveC for the iPhone) but she understood the concept of loops, random number generation, collision with sides (so x coordinate had to be reversed) and event handling (function to get the user clicks).

I also did the same with my son when he was 9, with another game where the player would need to use arrow keys to navigate a maze.

Also in JavaScript because they can see the results right in the browser, can easily add graphics, and even sound effects.

I think simple games are a great teaching tool.

katzgrau 3 hours ago 0 replies      
For more in depth JavaScript exercises, I built this for some hour of code sessions at some pretty big high schools.

It's basically a UI for writing/sharing/leading code exercises.

It should obviously be using a database and have better security, but that wasn't a major priority for my original purpose.


patja 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Why specifically do you want them to design and build for the web? Seems like a tall order for 7 to 9 year olds.

A lot depends on how much time and interest they have. With some kids, you show them a few things and act as a resource to them and they are hooked and off to the races. With limited time (many kids are overscheduled), you need to adjust your approach accordingly.

I am a big advocate of Scratch as a first language. The payoff is very quick, "syntax errors" and fussiness over indents, capitalization, and punctuation are pretty much nonexistent, and there is a vibrant community with millions of examples to inspire and "remix".

There are a surprising number of online edutainment/learn to code services that flat out don't work for 7 - 9 year olds because the software developer threw up their hands at the prospect of complying with COPPA and just set their terms to be "must be 13 years or older". I think it is a bad start to setting a child's moral compass to tell them "just lie about your age to access this service".

_Codemonkeyism 50 minutes ago 0 replies      
I teach coding to managers with LOGO (Scratch). This works wonderful and people learn to really code (break down a problem into smaller ones etc.) not just copy&paste code or do some cargo cult programming. I still believe turtle graphics are the best to learn what coding is.

I imagine as LOGO was developed for kids, it should work :-)

jakub_g 1 hour ago 0 replies      
There was a similar thread on HN a few days ago and to get started and get them interested, someone suggested to open devtools and let the kids "hack" Google, like change colors etc. It's very simple but apparently makes kids excited and lets them have fun. Starting totally from scratch might be too intimidating.
wslh 3 hours ago 1 reply      
I found Scratch Jr. [1] and Alice 3D [2] great tools for teaching programming. I found Alice 3D more appealing for kids that the full Scratch online. Scratch Jr. for a 7 year old kid is a good way to start. A typical 9 year old is more capable of general programming (thinking in a straigthforward syntax like in Python).

For younger kids I only recommend Scratch Jr. since it is natural, has less friction, and doesn't require reading.

[1] https://www.scratchjr.org/

[2] https://www.alice.org/

uryga 2 hours ago 0 replies      
I learned the basics of programming with Processing[0] and it was great! Seriously. It's basically procedural (but not turtle) graphics with a very simple IDE. You can also do animations and interactive stuff (mouse/keyboard), that's fun too.The official one is in Java, but it's just procedural, little to no OO required. there's also Python/JavaScript versions, haven't tried them. Another bonus is, it's easily embedabble online. There's a built-in Java -> JavaScript converter, which lets you automagically run a Java sketch in a browser.

the rest of this is just me criticizing things I used and didn't like, so feel free to ignore

I tried reaching a friends' kid programming with Scratch and making any kind of more complex stuff was actually too hard because of the "simplifications" built into the language. Can't remember the details, but you had to use globals instead of passing parameters for something basic, like constructing objects.

[0] processing.org

getAidlab 3 hours ago 0 replies      
How about teaching them about health?

We've recently started to teach kids with the use of Aidlab (https://www.aidlab.com/developer) to show them some basics about heart, lungs or motion data. They are able to measure themselves, develop simple apps thanks to Unity engine, and make use of those data (ex. building games that use respiration level to control game character).

ekvintroj 49 minutes ago 0 replies      
Teach them how to think in an object oriented way (then you'll see how to teach them web-dev), but the most important thing, for me, is to teach concepts not tools/languages.
calcsam 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Carlos Bueno, an early engineer at Facebook, wrote this book "Lauren Ipsum" which talks about classic computer science problems (ie traveling salesman or halting problem) in a children's story format:


michaelbuckbee 2 hours ago 0 replies      
This is more a recommendation for kids slightly younger (4yo) - http://thefoos.com/

The game is pretty amazing in that it teaches pre-reading kids how to "code" by presenting it as a puzzle that you add pieces to. Really well done.

inglor 1 hour ago 0 replies      
I teach code to kids. From age 9 to age 16. What I've found that really works is accomplishments.

I'm a huge fan of exercises instead of frontal introduction. I've had success with the Khan Academy program ("introduction to programming") and then giving them simple web exercises.

zyang 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Have you seen the exact instruction challenge on youtube? I thought it was a great segue into technical thinking for young kids. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cDA3_5982h8
Soarez 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Best introduction to programming I've seen so far is a game called Human Resource Machine, good for all ages, available on Steam.


Cyph0n 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Nice video! How did you film the Lego stop-motion stuff? Some advice: make sure your voice is clear next time. The music was too loud in this video.

I agree with the other comments in that they need to be interested first. Well, how do you get them interested? That depends on their interests and hobbies. So what I would do is create a short video that ties one of their hobbies to programming, and try to discuss what they thought of the video. Once you get them hooked, they'll be ready to learn.

ge96 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Maybe try to use their own interests and relate the code to a kid's story. How are you going to make the little lamb move 5 steps?

Sample to move 1 step:

function move(steps) {

 $("#lamb").css({ 'right': steps + 'px', 'transition': 'all 1s' });




I don't know haha, do they even want to code in the first place.

Doesn't even consider requestAnimationFrame or proportional scale. Also I'm starting to realize jQuery is pretty big even the min version especially on slow networks.

ptrptr 2 hours ago 0 replies      
To teach them basic concept of coding you can always let them play Human Resource Machine, Android/iOS/Windows game created by World of Goo studio http://2dboy.com/
davedx 1 hour ago 0 replies      
I've been making a simple command line quiz with our 9 year old, using Elixir. It went pretty well so far.
mthoms 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Bitsbox was on Shark Tank yesterday. It's apparently founded by ex-Googlers.

It looks quite good, but does anyone here have any first hand experience with it? I'd love to hear an honest review.


guilhas 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Legos. I think the key concepts are building and creativity. After all they are kids.
milesf 2 hours ago 0 replies      
I've done it. The best way I found was to setup a Minecraft Server and let them manage it. Keeping it up and running touches on every skill you need.
avip 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Why would you do that? Have you asked them if they're interested?
rweichler 29 minutes ago 0 replies      
> building and designing for the web

please don't

gaius 3 hours ago 1 reply      
Don't. Kids that age should be playing outdoors.
rb808 3 hours ago 0 replies      
SFJulie 34 minutes ago 0 replies      
Teach them how to cook a recipe and then ... both how to delegate the cooking of a recipe, and to be an executant.

Basic skills in computing is understanding how things works in order to delegate your tasks to them.

It will be a skill working with human and computers alike.

simplehuman 30 minutes ago 0 replies      
tynker.com is good.
onion2k 4 hours ago 1 reply      
Ask them.
MK999 3 hours ago 0 replies      
javascript html5 videogame seems like an obvious choice
jraby3 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Ask HN: Best Intro to Accounting/QuickBooks?
15 points by kogir  1 hour ago   3 comments top
philiphodgen 1 hour ago 1 reply      
1. Wildly overpay someone now and save yourself some learning curve and errors. There is a reason we pay for tuition when we go to school.

2. Failing that, make your chart of accounts in Quickbooks be exactly equal to the tax return you are filing. If there is a line item on your tax return for "Rabbits" then make a "Rabbits" account in Quickbooks.

3. Only make accounts to match the expenses you have. Don't try to guess the future and pre-populate the chart of accounts.

4. Be willing to have 5% - 10% of your expenses fall into "Misc." It isn't worth being anal-retentive.

5. All of this advice is based on the assumption that you are tracking expenses for the purpose of preparing a tax return, not gratifying your inner MBA with all sorts of management-related financial reports.

Ask HN: What is a problem you face at work?
75 points by cdiamand  5 hours ago   86 comments top 24
gingerlime 3 hours ago 6 replies      
Finding the famous "Aha moment".

You probably heard the story on how facebook realized that once someone adds at least 7 friends, then they reach this "Aha moment", and from that point on, they're converted to longer-term users. And how afterwards Facebook optimized their onboarding experience to help new users find and add more friends...

That's the problem I'm facing with our startup. We have tons of data. We track events, conversions, page views, bounces, you name it. But we're still not sure what's our "Aha moment". A tool or service that would ingest our analytics (or do its own) and find a strong causal relationship between actions and conversions would be really amazing (ideally, without requiring a $gazilion+ enterprise license)

ChuckMcM 3 hours ago 1 reply      
Prepackaged and well documented IT setups for small business. We've things like "LegalZoom" which are contracts designed by lawyers that have instructions for adapting them to your needs. A site that keeps a set of IT "best practices" for different types of businesses, restaurant, nail salon, bookshop, coffee shop, etc. Want to provide your customers with free internet but don't want to be a source of spam, do <this>. Want to keep a backup of your critical data on tarsnap do <this>. Need to buy equipment for <x>, here is an annual review of the best equipment for that, and why.

Every business needs IT but not every business knows someone who can do it for them and they don't have a way to hire someone part time.

Pair this service with a set of vetted 'sysadmins' who will work part time to put these systems into a business and update them if needed. Uber for IT help :-)

bettyx1138 3 hours ago 3 replies      
Sitting in a cubicle with intense fluorescent light above and cut off from natural light all day feels like it's killing me. And, I can't get an ergonomic set up easily. I need a doctor note. I just want a fucking comfortable chair to sit in 40 hours/week.

Otherwise, I like my job.

Tharkun 3 hours ago 2 replies      
Extremely long sales cycles. In the order of 2-3 years. We write software for the cultural sector. Most of the sector relies on government funding of some sort, and we're often required to take part in tenders. Lots of annoying paperwork. Very slow and very opaque decision making. Tracking sales leads is hard like this. Making money is harder still. This problem worsens the year before and after an election.

Wearing another hat, I have the same problem in fintech. Slow decision making, long lead times and government meddling.

SQL2219 3 hours ago 2 replies      
I am so busy fighting fires and doing maintenance, that I don't have time to innovate. There are a few reasons for this: regulatory burden (healthcare), and the complexity of systems, especially integration between complex systems created by different vendors.
snovv_crash 3 hours ago 1 reply      
Our team's boss, who is the CEO, tries to do too many things, so the management of our team ends up being delegated back to us through "360 peer reviews" and vague directives which, when we do them, aren't necessarily what the boss wanted.

If you can quantify how good our contributions to the company are, that would be great. Also if you could clarify our boss's instructions/wishes.

collyw 4 hours ago 1 reply      
The owners of the company not listening to the technical people and buying crap software then asking us to make it work.
paskster 2 hours ago 4 replies      
I am looking for a "Daily Operations Management Software". Let me explain.

Problem I am facing:

We have a lot tasks that need to be done on a daily, biweekly, monthly or whatever Basis. For example: checking new profile images, curating user data, checking error messages, etc.

My current solution

I setup cronjobs manually that send reminder emails to certain employees in my company, that remind them to do this Task. I also have an Excel sheet with a list of all these tasks all. In an irregular basis I control if these tasks are done properly.

Proposed Software solution

I can create a task with a description and assign it to a user / email. I can also assign how often this task needs to be done and wich superviser should be informed, if the task got forgotten and how often the supervisor should control the results. The assigned user gets reminded about this task and has to check whether or not he completed it or whether something went wrong.

donretag 4 hours ago 1 reply      
The main problem I face is people, and software ain't gonna fix that. Software is the easy part.
cdiamand 4 hours ago 3 replies      
Here is an example of one I received a while back, but haven't included in the daily email because I was afraid it was a bit too niche.

"I work in sports photography.

A problem I face is that I spend a lot of time grouping and sorting players in uniform.

The software I want would read the jersey numbers and tag the image with the players shown in the picture. Then it would allow manual tagging for those with jersey numbers not visible.

I would pay for this software."

isaac_is_goat 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Way too many emails, emails from:

* Every spammy SAAS service we're integrated with.

* Background job server failures

* Airbreak and New Relic emails

* Emails spam from team@company.com

* Jira, Stash, Confluence emails

The list goes on and on...

Labels and filters can only do so much, and eventually you end up over-filtering and end up in the same problem you tried to solve - you never see the important stuff.

quantumhobbit 3 hours ago 4 replies      
Frankly video conferencing that doesn't suck would be huge.
arjie 2 hours ago 0 replies      
There are a bunch of projects we want to complete. Doing so requires me to inform a couple of other teams so that they can solve more fundamental problems so that we can finish our projects. Sometimes things change and I have to find and notify the right people, and tell them that there are now more of the fundamental problems or that there are now different ones.

I keep track of this dependency graph manually, and sometimes I make a mistake. Something that would prevent me from making a mistake and that would make managing this easier would be cool.

Mentally, it's a directed graph and you sort of flood-fill out of the node where the change is occurring. Just knowing which other things are affected would be enough.

Of course, if there's already something useful for this already, do let me know. This sort of sounds like something I should be able to do with project management tools but I haven't figured out how to do it yet.

7952 4 hours ago 3 replies      
There is never enough clean teaspoons to stir hot drinks.
ryanchants 2 hours ago 1 reply      
I'm a junior developer that is highly praised for my ability to deal with people and think big picture. I get good feedback on my coding, but that's not where I shine. In the last few months I've been in more and more meetings with people way more experienced than me. It's great for growth in the company, but cuts into my development time. I feel that's it's weakening me as a developer and will cause problems if I try to move companies.
Liron 3 hours ago 1 reply      
Reddit ads don't have a conversion tracking solution. Especially when you're running multiple campaigns for the same ad - there's no way to see which campaign a conversion came from.

So basically I'd like a fancier Reddit ad-buying tool.

rhizome 3 hours ago 0 replies      
These banal questions under the guise of "Ask HN" are getting out of hand.
ausrname1 2 hours ago 2 replies      
Sales. Specifically, sales as a service. Different months have different sales volumes needs. This month, for instance, our in-house sales team has closed 40% fewer deals than the trend line. It would be great to elastically extend the output of our sales teams on months like this AWS-style.
the-dude 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Was the Nugget controversy a setup? ( https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=13652612 )
jkmcf 2 hours ago 0 replies      
The questionable competence of our product team coupled with sales selling things we don't have.

We are a smallish startup, but we seem to have a lot of senior people whose value is unclear.

bsvalley 4 hours ago 2 replies      
The main problem I face at work is email spam.
curuinor 2 hours ago 1 reply      
We should have this monthly, like the jobs postings. Think of it as startup founding postings
Clubber 4 hours ago 1 reply      
This is a pretty clever idea to solicit ideas for software. Has it been effective?
bjornsing 3 hours ago 1 reply      
Ask HN: Junior devs, what frustrates you the most at the recruitment process?
28 points by alinalex  12 hours ago   29 comments top 8
guitarbill 4 hours ago 1 reply      
Requiring a CS degree and asking coding questions that boil down to if you've memorised BFS/DFS.

When we were hiring, I noticed people couldn't look past non-CS degree, and so we were effectively turning people with 3+ years of experience and great Github profiles/real world experience away. Because we "wanted the best".

Or having people fail shitty coding "challenges" because they couldn't remember breadth-first search of the top of their heads. Never mind that they knew where to look the algos up, or the role was pretty much full stack web developer.

hunglee2 11 hours ago 3 replies      
The main issue with 'seniority' labels is that they are contextual - dependent on the hierarchies already in place in the existing team. In simpler language, what is a 'junior' developer changes depending on who is already there. The main manifestation of this in the recruiting process is a misalignment of expectation between the candidate and the employer. And all kinds of bad things can happen from this: under / over sold jobs, job title 'inflation', incipient turf wars and so on.

It's not an easy problem to solve and we've wrestled with this on Workshape.io (matching platform for Software devs). The formula we've come up with is a 4 level hierarchy based not on experience or times served but on the role you play within the team.

Entry - you are competent, but need guidance / supervision / mentorship. Your code will be reviewed before deploy

Mid-level - you are competent but do not lead or manage

Senior - you are still hands on, but do lead and manage others

Lead - you may still be hands on but managing / leading / deciding are the most important things you do.

Its still our categorisation though and we know it's not perfect at all

paublyrne 12 hours ago 3 replies      
When I was a junior dev trying to get my first jobs, what was frustrating was the range of what 'junior dev' meant. Anything from knowing what JavaScript is to having 2+ years of experience with a JS framework, and having a Github full of interesting side projects.

The latter style job posts were very disheartening to read, and I sometimes wondered how I would ever get enough experience to get a job as junior dev!

jackgolding 5 hours ago 1 reply      
I'm a little bit more senior (4 years experience) than a new junior and not a developer per se (work in marketing tech) but my biggest gripe are the hurdles you have to do to reach the hiring manager (or how drawn out some of these processes are). Some of these I've experienced are:

1. Cover letters - I'd rather someone from HR screen my resume and give me a 3 minute call about why I wanted to apply for the job.

2. Take home exercises/psychometrics before having an in person interview

3. Interview with junior staff before an interview (good experience for the staff but I've found them to be a bit unsure of what to ask.)

4. Vetting from HR or recruiters that don't really know the topic but are just looking for keywords which indicate competence (i.e. "SQL","Reporting", "Project Manage","Agile") or want to know why you want to work at the company specifically when the careers website has poor information.

My ideal process would be (for a large company):Apply with Resume (ideally one-click apply) -> Short Chat with HR on phone -> In person interview with hiring manager -> Interview with senior manager (more on cultural fit and long term fit) or short take home (ability) -> Offer

greyostrich 6 hours ago 0 replies      
As someone who has been unemployed since graduation....

Getting no feedback, not even a rejection, after an onsite.

Trivia games

Getting rejected because of the lack of keywords on your resume. Example: I was interviewing for Walmart. Recruiter said I must've applied to the wrong position, since I had no Java framework keywords. This was for a new grad position.

Companys not asking any algo questions, not even STAR ones, and me still getting rejected.

Lots of lying by the recruiters that revolve around salary.

bsvalley 9 hours ago 2 replies      
In reality culture fit means "do I like you or not?". To get disqualified on culture fit, all you need is one single interviewer that will not feel %100 comfortable working with you. You can get discriminated on anything really, if you seem smarter than the interviewer, if the interviewer is having a bad day, your voice, the way you look, your laugh, etc. In other words, it's nearly impossible to figure out the exact reason why you'd get disqualified on "culture fit". It's in the interviewer's brain only. He or she will obviously never share the real reason why. Sometimes it's not even explainable on paper, it's just a personal feeling, you haven't connected with the candidate for no particular reason. So you can't write an official feedback based on culture fit. Interviewers will never share their personal tastes because it doesn't seem professional. That's why 'we' use algorithm questions :)

Speaking of "technical" questions - the good news is that there's absolutely no difference between Junior and Senior dev nowadays. Questions are identical so you can learn it once and re-apply for life. Everything you've learned in college is what will get you a job, even 10 years down the road so forget about your professional experience. Majority of interviewers have no skills interviewing candidates. They apply the same evaluation whether you're a tech lead or fresh out of school. If you happen to have 10 years of experience or at least one project on your Resume, they might fill up the blanks by asking you a few questions about your previous projects. But the goal is to jump straight into the basic CS questions (algo) because this leads to a YES or NO answer. That's what interviewers use to make a decision and let you go to the next round or not. You can't fail answering questions like "tell me about your project XYZ, what was difficult, how did you solve it". Though if you can't reverse a linked list because you forgot to google it prior to the interview, you will get disqualified right away since it gives the interviewer a solid feedback to write down that will never get challenged by the hiring manager.

To answer your question - what I just wrote is what frustrates me the most in the recruiting process in the Software world. I've been dealing with this thing for years... as an interviewer and interviewee. Things are getting worse in 2017 because I see 500 applicants per job. You get disqualified on questions like "do you use a new line for curly braces?". The trick is to not answer right away and to return the question back to the interviewer - "good question, what do YOU use?". Then just say "me too"... safe bet.

sotojuan 7 hours ago 0 replies      
If the company is not a startup or otherwise very young, then a lack of training or mentoring.

I'm expected to be a cheaper version of a mid/senior dev, perhaps just a bit slower.

throwaway_374 11 hours ago 1 reply      
Probably when you're interviewed by some mid-senior manager who isn't capable of writing any code and his sole purpose is to "keep you in line" so tries to assert a bullying authority from the outset.

Extremely typical in big corps. Makes me wonder what purpose they serve other than being glorified messengers between the board and real works.

Ask HN: Looking to freelancing as a source of income
4 points by TaizWeb  3 hours ago   3 comments top 3
meric 54 minutes ago 0 replies      
My previous company have several people full time through upwork. Where are you located? It can be enough income depending where you are. It should be easy to clear $50k USD per year.
bsvalley 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Definitely not upwork and all these freelancer websites. Most of the projects are unverified and fake.

Word of mouth is the key in the freelance world. The other key is to create your network before moving to an isolated and cheap place. In your case I have to say... oops

xmj 3 hours ago 0 replies      

None of that through Upwork and all of it through personal connections.

Ask HN: Non-technical readers of HN, why are you here?
285 points by romanhn  1 day ago   177 comments top 81
Dave_TRS 1 day ago 7 replies      
While I am not a programmer, I gravitate to Hacker News the community seems to value smart, clear, concise, rational arguments, and sees through the BS. Because the community is intellectually curious, it is happy to discuss any interesting article that contains a smart new idea or perspective, which extends far beyond programming.

Link Quality:Articles that are low quality and don't provide any new or noteworthy information are not upvoted by HN and as a result I don't need to take time and energy to sift through them. Almost every mainstream news site on the internet is half full of fluff, and the FB newsfeed is even worse. HN avoids this be having a community of smart people who care enough to vote, and also by not being captive to advertisers

Comments Quality:Concise, rational, well backed up comments get upvoted. If I don't have a pre-formed opinion of a particular article I can turn to the comments to find the smart people who know what they're talking about, and then the best rebuttals right below. If I stay on WSJ I don't see that.

Diversity:Not only does HN cover an incredibly diverse range of topics, but also a diversity of opinion in the comments. Most news sites are siloed by topic, and my FB feed is an echo chamber.

Procrastination Value:Something about HN makes it the ultimate place to go when you don't want to do something else. Your brain gets a jolt from hunting through the list and finding something new and interesting to read. And it updates constantly at a similar pace to meet my procrastination needs. Plus the articles are good so I feel like I actually learned something compared with the Buzzfeed articles I might have clicked if I went to FB.

stult 1 day ago 1 reply      
I honestly have no memory of how I first stumbled across HackerNews, though it was sometime in 2014. At first glance, it didn't make much of an impression on me, because of the obfuscating jargon in article titles and the dated site design. But I saw a couple interesting articles, then came back a couple days later and found a couple more, and slowly it became part of my morning routine. Eventually I started reading the comments and realized that this is what Reddit was like 8 years ago. Smart people who know what they're talking about and are contributing frequently to lively discussions on serious topics in science, tech, business, law, and occasionally higher brow cultural topics. Even when someone posts something off base, you can rely on the comments to be edifying.

Nominally, I'm a lawyer, so most of the content here is not targeted at me. I also occasionally code small projects at my job when it isn't worth coordinating with our IT vendor, so I'm not entirely untechnical, but that's a skill set I developed on the side for fun and only relatively recently. I do however work in tax law at a large accounting firm and deal with the R&D credit a lot, which means it is helpful for me to maintain at least superficial fluency in technical fields ranging from computer science to automobile engineering to pharmaceutical research and everywhere in between. Reading the material posted here helps me do that.

Just as a small example, I frequently have to interpret the information from client documentation with pretty much no context because the clients just dump a bunch of documents to us and don't want us wasting their SMEs' time. Usually someone randomly picking out 100 emails from their inbox, downloading whatever happens to be on their shared drives, mass exporting JIRA tickets, or some similar method for pushing a bunch of undifferentiated crap at me. When we are in exam or appeal, I have to find the documentation in those dumps that supports the tax credit claim, which means I have to understand the technical content as well as its legal significance.

Just browsing through comments here and seeing what real enterprise programmers think and talk about has been extremely helpful in helping me contextualize these often jargon-laden and obscure documents. Imagine as a non-technical person receiving a Word document titled "Memory Heap Fragmentation," which just contains a stack trace and some commented C++ code. You don't even know what a stack trace is, or memory heap fragmentation, or how to distinguish C++ comments from C++ code. Hell, you probably barely know what memory is. Reading here immerses me in a sea of that jargon, but in an unusually accessible and interesting way. I can read the Wikipedia entry for memory heap and my eyes will just glaze over after three lines. But here, I'll read a fascinating story about how someone encountered a bizarre bug stemming from a weird quirk of a malloc() call. I still have to google some of the topics, but the context makes them interesting enough to slog through the reference material.

I've also become slowly more technical in my own skill set and career trajectory as I've been browsing HN, and I owe a lot of that to what I've learned here. I've become an internal product manager for a software tool we are developing for our practice and I am often consulted on firm-wide software projects, despite being relatively junior in rank (i.e. not a partner or director). In those meetings, I can speak somewhat intelligently about whether we want to pursue an Oracle or Azure platform for a product because of the articles I've read here. I can comfortably poopoo a partner's obsession with IBM's Watson because of what I've seen experts saying here. And I can do that while understanding the legal, accounting, and business domain, which makes me a more appealing resource than a purely technical consultant. So I guess I should say thanks to all you brilliant HackerNews contributors for advancing my career far beyond what my personal merit deserves!

Disruptive_Dave 1 day ago 4 replies      
Non-coding marketing guy here. When I jumped into the "startup" world I did all the cliche things, joining HN being one of them. I also found myself surrounded by tech nerds and I needed to start understanding this foreign language they spoke. I skip over the technical articles on here, which actually makes the reading experience quite fulfilling. There's plenty here for non-techs, including relatively healthy conversations and debates. Also, I like to pick up tech jargon and randomly blurt words out during all-team meetings to give everyone a reason to laugh. "JSON" is my favorite term to use. Every now and then the devs will look over and ask me how I'd approach some problem and I'll string together something to the tune of: "Well, I'd first query the database to ensure we're stringing together the AngularJS properly, then I'd hardcode the server side to strengthen our architecture. Also, JSON."
tchock23 1 day ago 1 reply      
HN helps me converse with the contract developers I work with. I use it as a way to keep up with what is new in the development world to understand when/how to apply it to the projects I'm working on.

Admittedly, it is hard for me to keep up with the latest frameworks/tools/etc without the context of being a full-time developer, but I try. Some of the "hacker-oriented" articles on HN go over my head, but that's ok. I still enjoy learning about it.

I think it's important for non-technical founders to have a grasp of what is out there to be able to converse intelligently with developers. HN helps fill that gap for me (albeit imperfectly).

bookofjoe 1 day ago 3 replies      
I'm a board-certified anesthesiologist/research scientist (https://scholar.google.com/citations?user=5DdrMc8AAAAJ&hl=en), author (https://www.amazon.com/Quantations-Joseph-Stirt-ebook/dp/B00...), and blogger (www.bookofjoe.com). I don't know how I happened on Hacker News sometime last year, though it may have been after seeing Y Combinator or one of its principals mentioned somewhere. Sources and the past are more often than not misremembered, so I'm hesitant to go beyond that.

What keeps me coming back daily are the links to stories I would never see anywhere else. I'm a TechnoDolt (I coined the word) and haven't a clue about coding and software et al, but headlines like "Robots Rule at Swiss Factories as Strong Franc and Wages Bite (bloomberg.com)," "What makes the perfect office? (timharford.com)," "Your personal Facebook Live videos can legally end up on TV (thememo.com)," "The Beauty of Nature Seen Through Creepy Webcams (wired.com)," "German parents told to destroy Cayla dolls over hacking fears (bbc.com)," and "Map showing the homeland of every character in Homers Iliad (kottke.org)" 6 of the 30 links currently on the front page! get me right where I live intellectually.

startupdiscuss 1 day ago 4 replies      
Do you think there are non-technical and technical people, or do you think everyone has different levels of various skills?

What is a "non-technical" person? If you mean someone who literally doesn't code I would submit that the majority of the articles are not about programming.

herghost 1 day ago 0 replies      
I'd say I was "partially technical" I guess.

I work in security so have technical expertise in that space - the traditional 'hacker' - but I don't primarily sell myself as technical in business.

I'm here because I like the technical detail, I want to stay up to date with the technical detail, and I want to improve my skills in this area as a generalist.

I quite often find that the technical discussion here ends up either over my head or beyond my interest, but I'm more likely to find something insightful, useful, or just straight up interesting when existing around here than when existing in other 'lower' level forums.

What I really like is finding a 'gem' of a comment that might quite incidentally make the penny drop on something I've sort-of understood for a while.

And beyond that, I find the moderation and general community around here to be the least toxic I've seen of basically any other place on the internet.

jelliclesfarm 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Wow! That's a pretty interesting..i actually never thought of it like that...that 'hacking' only extends to engineering type..examples: farming is hacking ecology..yoga is hacking breath..procreation is hacking mortality etc. to me..a hacker studies a secure well established and seemingly stable system for loop holes, enters it, breaks it down, creates chaos and redesigns it. As I understand it now..it is not necessarily about problem solving in technical parlance. But being a non technical person, I see 'hacking' as a diff way to solve problems as I understand it from a colloquial point of reference.
malthaus 1 day ago 2 replies      
I've used to program professionally when i was younger (still do as a hobby) and use HN to keep up to date on tech topics. Been working for an investment firm until recently and it helps tremendously to understand underlying tech trends. HN can be skimmed quite quickly and the comments are usually insightful (although very biased).

Also curiosity; e.g. trying to understand how people can retroactively justify using that disgusting mess that is the Javascript syntax & ecosystem.

Graduated here from slashdot and digg back in the day as i became interested in startups.

Additionally; where else to potentially find that mythical rockstar developer with aligned interests as the now useless 'idea guy'. Sometimes makes me feel like a gold-digger hanging out in a banker-bar though...

graeme 1 day ago 2 replies      
I was starting a business in 2011, and a friend sent me a link to a Hacker News discussion on some self-employment issue I had been thinking about.

I was deeply hooked.

I now run a web business: https://lsathacks.com

Not a programmer, though I learned enough scripting to generate some of the html on the site, and to know what sort of things I can and can't ask a programmer to do.

Hacker news is an incredible resource for web entrepreneurship. I learned an incredible amount about running a business here, and was able to apply it successfully to what I was building.

There are also wonderful discussions on a variety of interesting topics here. I scan the front page every day and am able to pick out things relevant to my work, or that seem interesting.

Further, when I want to research a technical topic, I'll use the search function here. I've found great discussion of SASS tools and of books.

kumartanmay 1 day ago 0 replies      
I am one of those. I came across HN a year & a half back to know happenings in tech world, esp tech startups. Now I am hooked to it for genuine news and the discussions that happen are a goldmine of information.
el_don_almighty 1 day ago 1 reply      
When slashdot died, I had nowhere else to turn for a long time and wandered aimlessly for intellectual stimulation.

Eventually, Boing Boing linked to an article here and I suddenly found the collective hive of wisdom I needed.

HN is like having a million smart people finding cool stuff that I know I will like.

I want a diversity of topics that are tech related, but not specifically tech focused. I've learned more about business management, philosophy, medicine, and human life than any other source.

And when there is a call to arms, people are willing to step up and make a difference. The comments aren't trollish.

I love this place.

Don't screw it up

turc1656 1 day ago 2 replies      
Don't remember how found out about HN. But there are a number of reasons why I am here every day:

1) I may not be a Silicon Valley technocrat, but I do have a strong understanding of core computer science and programming. Part of why I'm here is to further that knowledge for use in both my personal and professional projects.

2) Links cover much more than just geeky technobabble. I enjoy reading a variety of topics from statistical discoveries from big data analysis to political thought pieces to websites designed purely for fun to links about new services. The range of topics is fairly robust and it excludes the stuff I don't care about (sports, celebrity gossip, etc.)

3) I care deeply about personal security and there are solid discussions here semi-regularly about that.

4) Opposing viewpoints. Many politically related comments here are on the liberal/democratic side of the fence. I'm more of a socially libertarian but fiscally conservative person. I like coming here to expose myself to different opinions and, more importantly, the thought processes behind them. I consistently evaluate those ideas to see if they have merit and whether or not they fit into my value system. In is my belief that if there is a well-reasoned argument that contradicts my own, this is one of the places I will find it. I also post my own thoughts here to see how they land with the crowd. More often than not, they resonate. If not, they at least don't get downvoted or piss anyone off. This tells me that when you are talking about intelligent, reasonable, normal people there is more common ground between the various ends of the political spectrum than I had imagined. Finding this common ground and gauging the reactions to politically related material is one of the most important functions of HN for me. It helps me grasp what's going on in other people's minds who aren't just blindly supporting a political party.

5) Comment quality is far above nearly all other sites. This is, almost without exception, the only place on the entire internet I post anything public. I don't use social media and almost never comment on any other forum or public article online.

6) The simplistic design. It's fast, straightforward, and bullshit free. No ads or third-party scripts.

Taylor_OD 1 day ago 0 replies      
I found hackernews when I was a technical recruiter and realized browsing articles here would allow me to be more credible with clients and developers. Now I run the career management / job training department at a coding bootcamp and hackernews feels like the only quality source of discussion about technical news. I also share a lot of articles from here, using buffer, to my linkedin and twitter page.
monsieurgaufre 1 day ago 1 reply      
Tl;DR To learn.

I'm someone with a social studies background but I've always been interested in technology and also its ramifications in society.

Also, comments on here are often more interesting than the article itself and go more in depth. I like to learn by myself so this helps a lot to understand the bigger picture on the technical side of things.

burmer 1 day ago 0 replies      
IANAE. I enjoy playing around around with databases and web design as a hobby, so I like the coverage there. I also like interesting articles about scientific discoveries, controversies, etc. Also, the commentariat on the whole is fairly civilized and actually enlightening sometimes. That's a rarity online, in my experience. Bonus points when people who created the project/product (sometimes a long time ago!) show up in the threads.
cylinder 22 hours ago 0 replies      
I wouldn't say I'm non-technical. I spent most of my childhood on computers in the 90s-early 200s. Jumped on AOL very early on, got into Warez, progs, all that fun stuff, then into early web development (MS Frontpage!), built a blog from scratch using ASP + text files (back when we called them eZines) in 2000, got into IRC, running piracy groups and scripting some pretty cool stuff in mIRC scripts, and then later on tinkering with building stuff in PHP and such. Unfortunately, IT and sofware were not considered good career paths around 2002-2003, at least to my immigrant parents, and I was steered the wrong way as far as picking a major. I'm still figuring out my career path, sadly, but I don't think I would have been a very good software engineer anyways. Nonetheless, I have a close affinity still to tech, software, startups and such so I've been coming here for a while. Actually, I feel nostalgic for the older days of the internet, when it was a lot less crowded, it was easier to get attention for something new, and there were less charlatans and hucksters trying to get funding for startups. Too much money flowed into the internet, and I don't think it's the "frontier" it used to be anymore. Not that you asked, but I think the full migration of "the press" onto the web has not necessarily been to the web's benefit either (take a look at Google results these days for anything that's not a product and you'll just find the same few online newspapers and blogs dominating).
shostack 22 hours ago 1 reply      
I'm a digital marketing guy who is probably nerdier than most engineers I know (for example, I can claim to have spent a portion of my youth playing D&D with the Gygax family in Lake Geneva, WI every weekend).

As I've developed in my career, I've gotten more and more technical. I used to actually do some basic web design back when I was younger and things were super simple, but since then have gone on to refresh my HTML/CSS/JS skills and go from there. I wanted to learn how to make an actual web app with a database, so I started learning RoR, then backtracked and learned more foundational Ruby before continuing.

I love reading the technical articles here because it has done wonders to teach me new concepts, point me towards new resources and in general grow that part of my brain.

HN is also great because I'm pretty deep on the ad tech and analytics side of things, and I love talking shop with people who have similar experience when those articles come up. It is also good to continually immerse myself in opposing viewpoints. I'm not in favor of all advertising by any means, but there can be some pretty solid dialogue around that here beyond the typical "all advertising is bad" mantra you come to expect from many technical people.

The signal-to-noise ratio is also relatively high compared to some other forums I'm on, and I've actually had some great business contacts come from simply commenting on posts here.

duiker101 1 day ago 1 reply      
I definitely have an engineering background but I think I can understand people that come here without one. In the end HN is really a place to talk about also a lot about many other topics.

I mean, just glancing at the front page now:

- What makes the perfect office?

- Your personal Facebook Live videos can legally end up on TV

- Lets not demonize driving, just stop subsidizing it

- Airbnb Acquires Luxury Retreats, Beating Out Expedia, Accor

- Humans evolved to tolerate smoke poisoning

aakriti1215 1 day ago 0 replies      
I'm also one of these people - I recently landed a job which required me to learn how to code. I work with the tech department at the startup, and so everyone around me reads HN. I've found that it's valuable for discussion (the articles and stories are often talked about over lunch or in meetings). Plus, I've been looking for a source for interesting news that I care about. While I don't read most of the techie articles about how to do stuff or the newest updates to software, I read all of the other stuff that pops up. I enjoy the community, asking and answering questions and I've found myself hooked on.
itsautomatisch 1 day ago 0 replies      
I am self-learning programming and find HN to be a good resource, even if a lot of it is over my head. There's also discussion here that doesn't exist on other websites about things I like, such as the BSDs and Lisps. It's also a good place to skim tech news because if it matters it's generally on the top page with a lot of comments.
Broken_Hippo 3 hours ago 0 replies      
I stumbled here somehow, then for some reason made a new account when I moved overseas. I stay because there is interesting stuff here.

I'm not very technical and do artwork, but seriously am interested in general tech trends.

kradeelav 1 day ago 1 reply      
For me, HN started off as an alternate news source to reddit; there's more signal to noise with every article on the front page. Even if it wasn't newsworthy per se, you could (and still can) count on a vast majority as free and surprisingly in-depth knowledge. An example - once their was an article on MIT's free online course; a specific lesson on Chinese Architecture was a godsend when I had been trying to expand my footprint in architecture theory.

I'm an illustrator / comic artist / graphic designer triad, if it counts. :)

creaghpatr 1 day ago 0 replies      
I've yet to find higher quality discussions covering a broad range of topics on the internet.

Also the uncluttered U/I...no distractions.

Helmet 1 day ago 0 replies      
I'm a "technical" reader, but I feel compelled to answer - I really wanted to get away from Reddit. Even on more serious sub-reddits, where you would expect some form of rational discussion, threads always devolved into puns or corny (and predictable and bad) jokes. That sort of stuff generally doesn't make it here, and it's all the better for it.
germinalphrase 1 day ago 0 replies      
I'm a k12 educator. I come to HN primarily because of the quality and depth of discussions. I also enjoy considering the intersection of technological progress and our built world. Even if I don't dig into the technical details as most commenters here would, I believe participating adds a level of depth to my knowledge that I wouldn't gain otherwise.
multjoy 22 hours ago 0 replies      
Because somewhere along the line, rather than going to the US and becoming some sort of dotcom millionaire back in the late nineties, I didn't.

Now I live vicariously through this site, dreaming of a nice office job with my own desk and a chair that isn't knackered...

Havoc 23 hours ago 0 replies      
Clever people. High quality content. Good signal-to-noise ratio (cringe). And another cringey phrase - thought leaders. I find that the thinking here is ahead of the curve in general not just tech.

Also, while I'm in finance I understand a lot of of the tech chatter. I've got some rudimentary coding ability. (I can code a functional genetic algo from scratch - it'll just take me 20x longer than one of you guys and be a very nasty solution).

Crucially that level of understanding is sufficient to scan the thread titles and work out which ones I care about. "upcoming LLVM 4.0 release" - it's something *nix related. Don't know what but I'm certain it's not for me. Next topic.

idlewords 1 day ago 0 replies      
Computer came like this; can't find close button
tingbadimalo 23 hours ago 0 replies      
I'm an MBA student at the University of Michigan. I have a background in Engineering and software so I can appreciate the discussion topics that HN gravitates towards.

To me HN is a great source of 'frontier information' AND associated perspectives that are generally fair but probably biased towards techno-optimism (not necessarily a bad thing).

The comment quality is a huge plus point compared to other communities. I think i could probably get the same news from a variety of sources but the opinions and time taken to create quality comments is staggering and keeps me coming back almost daily as a lurker.

alexandersingh 1 day ago 1 reply      
I always click through to the HN comments about an article before clicking through to the article itself in the knowledge that I'll get a rigorous, open-minded perspective on the topic.

Many times the criticism and debate I've read here has been better than the original source material itself.

rf1331 1 day ago 0 replies      
I'm a big fan of HN's moderation - stopping flamewars, rules against clickbait titles, ect
diegoperini 1 day ago 0 replies      
I am technical so some amount of bias may be involved here.

Comments in HN have depth that no other similar site reached. They are harsh but not too brutal, lengthy but not too much, detailed but not overkill, sometimes false but not in a way that can cause harm if taken too seriously. Authors are from all around the world but still there is a common language based on English (this sentence is nonsense if you don't get it but that's okay, i didn't harm you I hope). No edge is too sharp to hurt here. Aside from that, it really has a masturbatory side, almost like porn. Porn can be fun sometimes.

pforpineapple 1 day ago 0 replies      
To become one.

Since I started reading HN a couple years ago (yes, reading. I don't feel confident enough to comment) I learned so many things. Now I use code almost everyday in my day job as a UX designer. I work in tech, so it only makes sense I understand as much of it as possible.

Also, it's a hobby of mine to build things. Since I joined HN it's been quite a journey : got myself a RPi and played around with it, build a couple dynamic websites on my own server, taught myself Ruby on Rails (that's what the hackers use at my startup) and so on.

thanks guys !

Torn 1 day ago 0 replies      
I'd say I'm pretty technical (I do frontend / full-stack work in my dayjob), but as startupdiscuss said below, it's a spectrum. There are plenty of people that are better coders than me, that work lower-level in the stack or are more mathematically inclined.

The tech articles aren't the only reason I come back - there are a lot of useful insights here around startups, business practices and culture, as well as war stories from entrepreneurs. The more places I work the more I observe that engineering skills are great, but not the main hurdle for product or company success.

totalrobe 1 day ago 1 reply      
I'm a product manager working on enterprise software, but do not do code professionally (I do hobby projects). I keep up with new tech, frameworks and tools partly so when I get push back from development such as "we can't do that with our framework", I can point to an article or video or technology that might get them thinking outside the box.

Also, sometimes I wish had gone into a more technical role initially but now feel like I can't switch into an equivalent dev oriented role but at least I can still play around on the side.

shirleman 1 day ago 0 replies      
I work as a technical recruiter and have done tech related work since college (covering tech stocks, VC, working at a big data startup in ~6 different roles, and now). I think HN provides good and interesting articles about tech and the world beyond. I don't really ever muck about in the comments because I don't know enough to really make a contribution but I try to check it a few times a day, see if there is anything really stimulating.
8jef 21 hours ago 0 replies      
Hey. I'm not a coder, unless HTML, some CSS and a bit of PHP count for something. I'm here for all the extra stuff not related to code, unless the code stuff has some philosophical flair attached to it. I have no plan to get into the startup world, while I'm contemplating a few side project kind of ideas that I might never get into for lack of [put any reason here]. The hacking crowd has been an interest of me since I started to learn about SEO, roughly 15 years ago. One led me to the other. Besides HN, I read local medias from my country, as well as international news in English and French.

The big thing for me in HN world is the scientific bias of almost anything discussed here, coming from almost every science fields. I couldn't find that anywhere else, yet. And that, I understand.

losteverything 1 day ago 0 replies      

Ease of selecting and reading "stuff" (and not reading)

Subject matter. I have a degree in math and CPS back in the Herman Hollerith days and enjoy the subject matter.

mvp 22 hours ago 0 replies      
I alternate being a hacker and non-hacker.

When I'm in the hacker mode I read almost everything here. Then I go into non-hacker mode maybe for a few months or years when I come here to read non-programming related articles and discussions.

Whatever it is I just hang on to HN.

jgamman 21 hours ago 0 replies      
wow, just jumped into google mail and found a personal reply from Alexis to an email i sent in 2006 about (now called?) downvoting ring behaviour. @#$@#$ i'm so old now. came to HN after being early user of Reddit. not a programmer, ex-scientist and to echo some of the other comments, I mentally delete 90% of the programming articles (i prefer mathematica although that is not a popular choice here) but even at 10% or less, i always find something of interest. i guess i'm a classic hacker definition kinda guy.
sigmaprimus 1 day ago 0 replies      
I don't consider myself a non technical reader, just under educated reader but I would like to respond anyways. I found this site the same way most of my friends have, one of my friends (real friends not Fb friends) sent me a link regarding some cutting edge technology (I believe it was about biohacking) that we previously had a conversation about. There are a few reasons I keep coming back, I like the YC idea of supporting startups, the same reason I watch TV shows like the shark tank, dragons den etc., I like the fact I can sort the news by newest submissions and last and probably most importantly, with all the fake news and rumors, click bait and the like I value the moderated comments section just as you suggested in your question.
6stringmerc 1 day ago 0 replies      
As a Content Creator and active US Citizen, what happens in the Tech fields is of paramount concern both to my Artistic and Ethical sensibilities.

I'm here to learn new things, see multiple angles on various subjects, and take a pulse on how a cohort like HN thinks or behaves. Then I contrast my findings with a decidedly Non-Technical site like The AV Club, among other places, to get more data points / opinions to consider.

Lastly it's been my way to keep pushing myself to continue to re-learn Software Development. Resources and examples help. There's no replacement for actually practicing though, so time here is, again, also subject to categorization as idleness.

yeahnoyeah 1 day ago 0 replies      
I'd agree with previous commenters that there isn't really a technical / non-technical split - it's more of a continuum. I'm definitely on the technical side of that continuum with respect to the general population, but relative to a lot of people who browse this site I'm probably on the low end.

I started reading more HN while searching for a replacement for/supplement to Reddit (feel like average quality there has declined a good bit in recent years). I think the articles posted on HN are generally pretty interesting and informative, and in a lot of cases the comments and discussion here seems to be better in comparison to Reddit.

shubhamjain 1 day ago 1 reply      
An interesting thing I noted recently: Lots of people around me read HN, but with a varying degree of depth. Some programmers skim over the coding articles, some take interest in SaaS / marketing articles, and some only read science-related articles. And of course, everyone enjoys reading comments.

Although, discussion here can get awful technical but HN can cater to everyone's interest. Everything from 'why lawyering is an unsound career option' to 'why pugs are anatomical disasters' gets discussed. One of the many things I enjoy here is digging up old threads about obscure topics and I rarely get disappointed.

scndthe2nd 1 day ago 0 replies      
There always seems to be something cool going on here. Whenever I see that orange banner pop up on my newsblur, I know it's going to be something atleast 'huh' levels of interesting.
nhalls 1 day ago 0 replies      
I'm a marketer for a software company looking to stay up-date, while I don't read ever technical article (or even know what they refer to at times) I enjoy the curation and quality of what is offered.
pattisapu 1 day ago 1 reply      
The commenters here are extremely intelligent--and often witty and unpretentious as well--which is an unusual combination. Who wouldn't want to hang out with such people as much as possible? :-)
southpawflo 1 day ago 0 replies      
bartender here. studied biology in college, no formal CS/EE whatsoever. stumbled on paul graham's essays and that led me here. started reading slashdot back in 2003 and kinda gave up on it 3 or 4 years ago, to me HN is like slashdot 2.0 which is why I love it.

I'm not sure if I would consider myself a hacker, however I love seeing how things work and I do know just enough to be dangerous wrt all manner of topics that show up here

DrNuke 1 day ago 0 replies      
There are two kinds of tech converging here actually, so HN communities should be three imho: software eng as a field (marginally interesting to me), software eng for other industries (what drives me here), non technicals (hit and miss to me). The glue keeping these together, however, is mostly the YCombinator / SV cash-promise attraction imho.
vogt 1 day ago 0 replies      
I'm a UI designer and I hang out here to learn how programmers think so that I can improve my craft and relationships with developers in my work life.
nailer 1 day ago 0 replies      
I started on Startup news (which is what we used to call Hacker News before it had a name) 9.55 years ago.

I was a Unix person who was good at 'scripting' type stuff but didn't know anything about making apps with a UI (in fact it kind scared me).

A few years in I swapped being a Unix guy who knew Python to being a Python guy who knew Unix. Then I became a node.js person. Now I'm a founder at CertSimple.

sigmaprimus 1 day ago 0 replies      
I just tried to look up what brought me here but unfortunately my history doesn't go back that far, wouldn't it be nice if HN had a section in the account management section so we could see the articles we have viewed? Granted this would not help in answering this question as most people don't sign up on their first visit but I would still be a nice feature.
non_sequitur 1 day ago 0 replies      
i'm a tech lawyer and find intelligent discourse about tech/business/random related things interesting. it's also very helpful to get a 'how techie types view the world' perspective. i lurk and never comment b/c as you said, the audience is primarily for hackers and non-coder comments dont seem as welcome
magic_beans 1 day ago 1 reply      
I don't know if I quite count as "non-technical", but I'm definitely not an "engineering type". I'm a self-taught web developer and work primarily with JavaScript. The only algorithm I know is sorting. I am not a "hacker".

I'm here to learn what I don't know about "engineering" so I can be better at my job!

weston 1 day ago 0 replies      
Good question: I'm fascinated by startups and I came across HN and I've been reading this site since around 2010. I now work for Streak (YC S11) in support and I'm learning web dev on the side.

Also, even if a reader of HN isn't a hacker, there are tons of interesting articles about technology and other topics that are interesting as well.

nocoder 1 day ago 0 replies      
I heard about Hacker news on the Introduction to Recommender systems class on coursera where they talk about HN algo for ranking articles. I have a job as marketing guy but I am very interested in technology and analytics, trying to even learn programming so this is a great place
jseliger 1 day ago 0 replies      
Intellectual interest.
johncla99 1 day ago 0 replies      
I'm halfway there...not an engineer and my academic background is social sciences; but with a technical background occupationally. I'm here because it is an exceptionally diverse news source for all kinds of topics, technical and non-technical both.
pyed 1 day ago 0 replies      
I'm a self-taught programmer, I do programming only for fun and open source projects.
matco11 1 day ago 0 replies      
To become more technical. Even when you don't have a technical role (especially if you are in a tech biology company) it is valuable to be able speak the same language

And I find the more you are in a leadership role, the more it becomes important.

robbiemitchell 1 day ago 0 replies      
I don't write code for a living (beyond basic HTML/CSS/JS), but I work at tech startups and talk primarily with technical staff. My current startup is founded by some machine learning vets.

Intellectual curiosity, mainly.

nicky0 1 day ago 0 replies      
Maybe it's the posts about business, science, philosphy, economics and so on.
free2rhyme214 1 day ago 0 replies      
I'm working on building my third company and although I'm not an engineer, I love all things tech. I come back here every week so I can stay up to date on the engineering community.
kome 1 day ago 0 replies      
I am a bit geeky as well, so I enjoy the general discussions. HN is also an interesting place discover new interesting technologies.

Then I sort of like to cringe at the whole "start-up" culture. :)

algebraicgeo 1 day ago 0 replies      
I trawl HN like sites for links to info of fundamental importance in algorithms, math and whatever. What I am not looking for are the new languages, frameworks and such.
wears_sweaters1 1 day ago 0 replies      
I 'was' a technical person, so id gravitated here to learn. Ive since left that role but I still enjoy the higher level of commentary here. One can only Reddit so much.
jasonkester 1 day ago 0 replies      
You're mistaken. HN is a community of entrepreneurs building predominantly software businesses.

There are also lots of engineer folk here, but they arrived much later.

cm2012 1 day ago 1 reply      
I am an online marketing person. Plenty of growth related stuff here + otherwise intellectually interesting stuff. Only non applicable things is threads on python vs ruby, etc.
maximp 1 day ago 0 replies      
I'm an ops/business guy trying to become a technical person, and this is a great place to learn and understand how technical people think.
totalrobe 1 day ago 0 replies      
Reddit front page hasn't refreshed yet
geoka9 1 day ago 1 reply      
I like HN, but I still feel it was a mistake to call it that ("Hacker"). That's like calling yourself an expert, maestro, champion, etc. Sounds self-conceited and/or insecure.

And besides, it's more about figuring out how to make money than how things work. Nothing wrong with the former, it's just the name is a misnomer.

lutusp 1 day ago 1 reply      
Although I'm a programmer, I visit HN regularly because (frankly) the mean IQ here is higher than for most social media sites.

I posted to Reddit for many years (https://www.reddit.com/user/lutusp/?sort=top) but IMHO Reddit is in the midst of a major meltdown with respect to content quality -- in my view it has attracted too many users of doubtful intellectual abilities.

I find that HN has consistent high quality content, conveniently accessible, with an easy-to-use interface.

> HN's primary audience is "hackers", which generally extends to the engineering types.

I think that was once true, but a quick read of a given day's front page posts suggests a much wider audience, both among those who post articles and those who read.

nickpsecurity 1 day ago 1 reply      
Well, the word "hacker" in this context really means "thinker." I mentally substitute it as "Thinker News" when I reflect on what the site is about as that better describes a site full of IT and non-IT people delivering deep insights. Like you, I've learned from the many non-technical or just non-IT people that are here. I say "or" because there's many technical fields other than computers. I'm also curious how they discovered the site as it might hint at how to get more of them on here. I've met many people in other fields who would make good commmenters but not sure what entices such people to discussion forums like this.
elzo 8 hours ago 0 replies      
I just don't like porn.
mechanismic77 14 hours ago 0 replies      
I have no idea.
gist 1 day ago 0 replies      
I found this place when Fred Wilson mentioned HN on his blog many many years ago.

I come back partly because of the intermittent reinforcement of my comments being upvoted and trying to predict when they will be downvoted. Also obviously goes without saying that I learn things that I never knew and get turned onto companies that I never heard about. [1] And being exposed to to other points of view.

[1] For example when seeing the OP who posted this romanhn I wondered who he was, saw he worked at pagerduty and checked out that site. I had heard of it but didn't really remember what they did.

4ad 1 day ago 3 replies      
> HN's primary audience is "hackers"

Who told you that?? HN's primary audience is startup people, it was even called startup news in the beginning. It certainly has nothing to do with hackers (for any definition of hacker).

HN exists to support YC, that's all.

lexap 1 day ago 1 reply      
Is this a joke? Most articles on HN are not technical.
Stauche 1 day ago 0 replies      
Two of my closest friends work in Silicon Valley.

One is moderately successful. The other...well...lets just say if I mentioned his name every single person on here will know who he is - but I don't name drop :)

I'm not really a technical guy at all but my brain is really creative so my friends appreciate my opinion and advice for their work. And I'm a non-technical nerd so I love reading about tech and science!

throwcomment 1 day ago 0 replies      
Because is the site for dreaming about becoming a programming and has interesting posts about biology, astrophysics , aircraft and spacecraft , and whatever you want, games , nutrition... Also, some people with knowledge writes comments on the topics often. I like the zoology posts most, But im not technical in anything near all those fields, just like to read. Its a terrible site for your your productivity, better stay away.
Ask HN: Can Facebook (or Google, Apple, Amazon) Live Forever?
4 points by jmole  10 hours ago   4 comments top 3
tuyguntn 50 minutes ago 0 replies      
For me probably yes, unless "digital thing" will be superseded by another type of commodity. Look at Shell, Exxon (Standard Oil) and any other >100 years old company, some of them are still dominant, Facebook will be too (IMO).

How about Google? probably yes too

Amazon? again yes

Microsoft/Apple? They have enough R&D power to adapt new tech if anything comes out in hi-tech space, probably yes too

gokaygurcan 9 hours ago 1 reply      
They will adopt. As an example, Zuck explained this one of the previous F8 conf. I guess, FB was about sharing texts in the first place, then people started to communicate with images/pictures, they've adopted. Then it changed to gifs or videos, they've adopted. Then it's becoming VR/AR and these kind of things, and they're planning to adopt.

So, yes, in one way or another they'll live forever.

bsvalley 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Who ever dominates the AI space first, will dominate everyone else. If amazon cracks deep learning before google, they'll be able to move a billion times faster, instantly.

I'd say anything can happen within the last 10-20 years.

Ask HN: What are some books where the reader learns by building one project?
765 points by kyoob  2 days ago   222 comments top 105
rickr 2 days ago 7 replies      
Michael Hartl's Rails tutorial (https://www.railstutorial.org/) is a great example of this.

It'll run you through building a twitter clone and introduce you to git, heroku, a bit of CSS/HTML, and even goes into AJAX a bit.

I can't recommend it enough to people looking to get into rails.

zeptomu 2 days ago 2 replies      
TECS: "The Elements Of Computing Systems"https://mitpress.mit.edu/books/elements-computing-systems

In this book you build a (virtualized) computer. It is one of the best books I ever read.

munificent 2 days ago 2 replies      
What a delightful coincidence! I just posted the next chapter on my in-progress book "Crafting Interpreters" which walks you through implementing an interpreter (well, two actually) from scratch, a chapter at a time:


I really liked "Build Your Own Lisp" too. Fun book. :)

superquest 2 days ago 3 replies      
Miguel Grinberg's "Flask Web Development" [1] is an excellent introduction Python-based web development. You build a Twitter-clone. The book is an adaptation of the authors 18-part tutorial on the same topic [2].

[1] http://shop.oreilly.com/product/0636920031116.do

[2] https://blog.miguelgrinberg.com/post/the-flask-mega-tutorial...

skykooler 2 days ago 2 replies      
Linux From Scratch: http://www.linuxfromscratch.org/lfs/

Goes through building a Linux system from the ground up, and gives a pretty thorough overview of why everything is working the way that it is.

yannickt 2 days ago 1 reply      
"Physically Based Rendering" walks you through the theory behind, and the implementation of, a photo-realistic rendering system (not real-time).

An extremely thorough guide to ray tracing.


shrikrishna 2 days ago 2 replies      
Orchestrating Docker.

I don't know if it's one of the best, but it teaches Docker concepts with a single project, and as you progress through chapters, you will find different ways you can deploy applications using Docker containers.


iainmerrick 2 days ago 1 reply      
Aaron Reed has a terrific book, "Creating Interactive Fiction with Inform 7" (http://inform7.textories.com) that walks you through building a complete (and fairly sophisticated) text adventure.

Inform 7 is very much a niche programming language, but it's really interesting and unusual, well worth investigating if you want to broaden your horizons. Vaguely Prolog-like, but written in natural language.

DrPhish 2 days ago 2 replies      
If you are interested in assembly language concepts and don't mind something slightly archaic, I thoroughly enjoyed this book: https://www.amazon.com/Peter-Nortons-Assembly-Language-Book/...

It goes through lessons that build up to a pretty good interactive disk editor (DSKPATCH) written entirely in x86 assembly.

Its the book that got 12 year old me out of the BASIC ghetto.

plinkplonk 2 days ago 1 reply      
A Retargetable C Compiler: Design and Implementation


A most excellent grimoire.

nkassis 2 days ago 0 replies      
Not a book but Casey Muratori's Handmade Hero series is really interesting. It's a from scratch tutorial on building game in C on windows but delves into many interesting programming topic that would be useful outside game development.


r_singh 2 days ago 2 replies      
Eloquent Javascript - http://eloquentjavascript.net/

You build 5 projects through the book - a programming language, paint program, a dom game and a skill sharing website using node js.

thewhitetulip 2 days ago 1 reply      

You can learn how to build a todo list manager in Go.

This book is about building a webapp from scratch without using a framework.

jdc0589 2 days ago 0 replies      
so, this isn't exactly what you are after; but, I've always had a bunch of little exercises and projects that I just kind of go through in a new language/platform as a learning exercise.


1. given a large file, or set of files, write a program/routine to count the number of times an arbitrary sequence of characters appears. No regular expressions or other pattern matching helpers from a library/sdk, you have to do it all yourself. This one is pretty small, but there's lots of opportunity for optimization.

2. build a link shortener service with some analytics/tracking.

3. write a simple tokenizer for whatever syntax/language you feel like. JSON is a super easy one.

4. write a little website crawler. multithread it. implement rate limiting (something more advanced than random sleeps; e.g. token bucket, etc...).

5. make a couple easy data structures yourself. If the language/platform you are working in has the same structure in an SDK (or there's a good open source one), write yours to the same interface and then run it through their test suite. e.g. linked lists, queues, etc...

toss1941 2 days ago 1 reply      
I remember seeing a C++ (Borland) book that was entirely about building a flight simulator. Google is betraying my attempts to find it though, and i'm not sure who the actual publisher was. That was during the 90's when I was 14 or something so it was a bit above my head, but I remember almost buying it anyway.

Edit: It may have been this: https://www.amazon.com/Build-Your-Own-Flight-Sim/dp/15716902...

douche 2 days ago 2 replies      
Two decent ones for game development:


Walks through building a JRPG-style game with Lua. Pretty impressive for the price, especially with all the royalty-free assets that are included.


A little dated now, (although DirectX 9 isn't quite dead yet), but this one has some pretty interesting topics. Good chapter on procedural terrain generation, some basic pathfinding, minimaps and fog-of-war.

chromaton 2 days ago 4 replies      
The Build Your Own Metal Working Shop from Scrap series by David J. Gingery.
e19293001 1 day ago 0 replies      
> Each chapter builds on the last by adding something new to the same project

I bet this is what you are looking for:


This book taught me how to write a compiler.

Here is its description from its website:

* Comprehensive treatment of compiler construction.

* JavaCC and Yacc coverage optional.

* Entire book is Java oriented.

* Powerful software package available to students that tests and evaluates their compilers.

* Fully defines many projects so students can learn how to put the theory into practice.

* Includes supplements on theory so that the book can be used in a course that combines compiler construction with formal languages, automata theory, and computability theory.

If you already know C or C++ or Java then this book is for you. In my opinion, you can learn many computer science concepts and be able to apply to your field. The book will teach you how to write a grammar then write a parser from it then eventually be able to improve it as you go on reading and doing the exercises. It was a great moment when I feel comfortable writing recursive functions since grammars are composed of recursive functions. You'll also learn a nice way on how you can get your compiler to generate assembly code. Another feature of the book is the chapter on Finite Automata wherein you'll learn how to convert between regular expressions, regular grammars and finite automata and eventually write your own 'grep' which was for me is a mind-blowing experience. There are lots of other stuffs in this book that you could learn. Thank you Anthony J. Dos Reis for writing great books for people like me.

saeranv 1 day ago 0 replies      
This is a slightly different response from others, but I think fits the intent of the question: The Better Explained Guide to Calculus: https://betterexplained.com/calculus/

Kalid basically iterates the series around the concept of deriving the formula for the area/perimeter of a circle, and then builds up to deriving the surface area/volume of a sphere. The focus throughout is the building up of an intuition of calculus before leaping into formulas. Even with uni-level calculus, I did strengthen my intuition of what's going on by reading through his book.

It's pretty fun, and I actually spent some time visualizing the calculus of geometric solids afterward i.e http://www.trinco.io/blog/derivative-of-x3

jetti 2 days ago 1 reply      
Programming Phoenix Productive |> Reliable |> Fast. It goes through building a website that starts from the beginning and goes up to Phoenix Channels (websockets) for a real-time video streaming application that lets users comment on the video at specific times and it is broadcasted to all other users.
PaulKeeble 2 days ago 0 replies      
The classical Design Patterns book has a first chapter which takes you through the design of a text editor using the patterns provided in the book. If what you do is read the chapter and then the patterns referenced as you go and build the text editor based on their design you get exactly the sort of thing you are looking for. Its a different way of doing it than the entire book but arguably just in a different format for what is otherwise a reference book.


jimmies 2 days ago 0 replies      
Hacking the Xbox by Andrew 'bunnie' Huang. (http://hackingthexbox.com/) The book is free and can be downloaded online.

It goes from adding the LED to the XBox to tapping the security mechanism. Plus, the original Xbox is cheap nowadays too, so you won't have to shell out a lot of money doing it. Local craigslist should have plenty of them.

dbcurtis 1 day ago 0 replies      
Make: Analog Synthesizers

Build an old-school analog music synth. Very DIY friendly, and great for electronics n00bs. The book is build around a project call the Noise Toaster, but you learn all the analog synth basics along the way. Fun stuff. Old school, and it isn't a wall-sized rack of Moog modules, but hey, good humor.

corysama 2 days ago 0 replies      
Ray Tracing in One Weekend

Ray Tracing: The Next Week

Ray Tracing: The Rest of Your Life


joncalhoun 1 day ago 0 replies      
Web Development with Go (see https://www.usegolang.com) is based on starting with pretty minimal Go and web development experience and walking you through the process of building a complete web application.

I find this approach works well because you don't have to ask "why did he make that design decision" but instead I intentionally make common mistakes a beginner would make, wait until they become an issue, and then I demonstrate how we can fix that issue. As a result you really get to understand not only how to create a web app in Go but also why developers tend to follow different design patterns.

I said this in another comment, but it is based on Michael Hartl's Rails Tutorial. I think showing someone how to go from nothing to a full app is a great way to help them get into web development without the frustration that comes from piecing together blog posts/docs/trial&error.

If you are interested in Go I'd love to get your feedback :) and if it isn't obvious, I am the author of the book.

crasm 2 days ago 2 replies      
I haven't bought or started this yet, but this book on interpreters is on my todo list: https://interpreterbook.com/
detaro 2 days ago 0 replies      
Physically Based Rendering From Theory to Implementation doesn't necessarily have the reader build a project, but it explains its reference implementation very well, and you could go ahead and write your own in parallel based on it. http://www.pbrt.org/
larc 2 days ago 1 reply      
Test Driven Development with Python (http://www.obeythetestinggoat.com/) teaches you to use Django and TDD practices to create a basic list web app.
lugus35 2 days ago 0 replies      
Practical Common Lisphttp://www.gigamonkeys.com/book/

Filter spam, Parse binary files, catalog MP3s, stream MP3s over a network, and provide a Web interface for the MP3 catalog and server.

Hernanpm 2 days ago 4 replies      
quantumhobbit 2 days ago 0 replies      

There is an associated book. Great intro to the fundamentals of computer engineering.

khedoros1 2 days ago 0 replies      
I bought this a year or two ago: https://www.amazon.com/Tricks-Programming-Gurus-Advanced-Gra...

It's basically a set of tutorials that lead you through the steps of building a software 3D graphics rasterizer. It covers rasterizing, lighting, shading, shadows, textures, etc, and the math behind each set of concepts. It's built on late-90s C and DirectX, but the capabilities used are covered by just about any game programming library. The author builds kind of an abstraction library on top of the DirectX code, and that's pretty easy to rewrite in whichever language and toolset you're comfortable with.

sobinator 2 days ago 0 replies      
'The Art of Monitoring' by James Turnbull (https://www.artofmonitoring.com/)
arenaninja 2 days ago 1 reply      
Not exactly a book but gitlet.js: http://gitlet.maryrosecook.com/docs/gitlet.html

About how to build a subset of git's functionality in NodeJS

innocentoldguy 2 days ago 0 replies      
I liked Take Off With Elixir, by Rob Conery. It walks you through writing a program for a fictional aerospace start-up. It also comes with a 3-hour companion video, which is good too.


lanekelly 2 days ago 0 replies      
I used the older React+Webpack version of https://survivejs.com/ to learn React recently. You build a small Kanban/Trello webapp.
kevinclancy 2 days ago 1 reply      
Modern Compiler Implementation in ML by Andrew Appel
wazoox 2 days ago 1 reply      
Bill Hails implements Scheme in Perl, maybe interesting to compare the two books:http://www.billhails.net/Book/
yati 1 day ago 0 replies      
"Let's Build a Compiler"[1] by Jack Crenshaw is fantastic. It uses Pascal as the implementation language, but I used Rust, and while the book targets 68000 assembly, I compiled things to x86_64 assembly.

[1]: http://compilers.iecc.com/crenshaw/

nickhalfasleep 2 days ago 0 replies      

Radiosity: A Programmer's Perspective by Ian Ashdown is a full numerically accurate hemicube radiative transfer engine from start to finish. Now a free pdf.

blairbeckwith 2 days ago 0 replies      
Michael Hartl's Rails Tutorial (https://www.railstutorial.org/) leads you through Ruby, Rails, Git, and deployment to Heroku through two very small projects and one related larger project that takes up the bulk of the book.
parisidau 1 day ago 0 replies      
My book "Learning Swift" does this.

Swift 2 version: http://shop.oreilly.com/product/0636920045946.do

Swift 3 version: http://shop.oreilly.com/product/0636920053989.do

We build a note-taking app for iOS, macOS, and watchOS.

deletia 2 days ago 1 reply      
dugmartin 2 days ago 0 replies      
I always thought "Building X in Y" would be a great brand for a series of books. There was a dBase III book in the mid 80's that I loved that took you though building an invoicing system for a fictional company. It wasn't just about learning the language/runtime but rather took you though the author's thought process and outlined the pros and cons of different approaches and db schemas.
dom96 2 days ago 1 reply      
My Nim book[1] is sort of like this. Instead of working on a single project, most chapters have a little project (for example a chat CLI app or a Twitter-like website) which teaches you different things about Nim.

1 - https://manning.com/books/nim-in-action?a_aid=niminaction&a_...

drharby 2 days ago 0 replies      
C++ design Patterns and derivatives pricing by Mark Joshi

He kinda takes a "Defense of Duffers Drift" approach towards designing iterative versions of the same project, slowly introducing concepts such as factories and singleton.

sigmundritz 2 days ago 0 replies      
Richard Stevens' UNIX Network Programming books: http://amzn.to/2lmH8hy The 1st volume at least is going through a simple TCP/IP telnet server and enhancing it with features as you go (single connection, multiple connection, forking, multi-threaded server), etc.
ChrisKingWebDev 2 days ago 0 replies      
A bit late to the party, but I've been making by way though "Developing Games With Ruby" (https://leanpub.com/developing-games-with-ruby/read)

It's really good and the game is actually pretty fun.

dragthor 1 day ago 1 reply      
Big Nerd Ranch books - at least the Android one


Corvus 1 day ago 0 replies      
One of the most memorable experiences of my life was building a small 2D RPG named Dungeon Of Despair from the book "Game Scripting Mastery" https://books.google.ca/books/about/Game_Scripting_Mastery.h... by Alex Varanese.

The game teaches you to build a simple game for Win32 from scratch. The graphics would be pretty dated now, but the scripting system for enemy AI and quests is a Turing-complete programming language. I learned more from that book than from my compiler course in university.

mavelikara 2 days ago 1 reply      
Jekor's Haskell tutorial videos: Redo implementation in Haskell.


diminoten 2 days ago 4 replies      
I dunno why, but I was kind of hoping there would be non-CS answers for this too, like how to woodwork, or like tying flies.
cpcat 2 days ago 0 replies      
Ray Wenderlich's online tutorials on How to Make a Game Like Candy Crush https://www.raywenderlich.com/66877/how-to-make-a-game-like-...
vivekd 2 days ago 0 replies      
Automate the boring stuff - Al Sweigart.

This book teaches you python through a series of example projects. You can get it online or order a physical copy and help support the author here:


nether 2 days ago 1 reply      
Accelerated C++ involves working on a program to analyze student grades. The book itself is excellent, but the overarching project is very dry.
vmware513 2 days ago 0 replies      
For learning JavaScript and Ember.js: http://yoember.com
msangi 2 days ago 0 replies      
Crafting interpreters. It's still a work in progress, but the chapters published so far are very good.


sitkack 1 day ago 0 replies      
All the compiler construction and Scheme books from Nils Holm [0]


wyc 2 days ago 0 replies      
I remember The Unix Programming Environment by Kernighan and Pike as an excellent introduction to Unix shells and general Unix programming. IIRC, throughout the chapters, it has you build some kind of interactive command line music organizer, which really demonstrates how much you can get done with a few simple shell scripts.

Amazon link:


yisheng 2 days ago 0 replies      
I really liked The Elements of Computing Systems (nand2tetris). The reader gets to build a computer from nand gates up.
rokob 2 days ago 0 replies      
Erlang and OTP in Actionhttps://www.manning.com/books/erlang-and-otp-in-actionYou build an application with increasing complexity. There are some other applications that are built along the way to demonstrate some ideas in a smaller scope, but the overall structure of the book is designed around making one application better as you learn more about OTP.
dyukqu 2 days ago 1 reply      
For HTML & CSS: http://learn.shayhowe.com/html-css/ [0]This is the project you build as you learn: http://learn.shayhowe.com/practice/organizing-data-with-tabl...

[0] There's an e-book version too. Scroll the page down just a little bit.

jenkstom 2 days ago 0 replies      
Programming from the Ground Up teaches x86 assembler from first principles. All on a free OS (Linux using asm). There is a free version available online, but if you want to support the author you can buy it from amazon. https://www.amazon.com/Programming-Ground-Up-Jonathan-Bartle...
pjungwir 2 days ago 0 replies      
Code by Charles Petzold takes this approach to explaining how a computer works. By the end he has a working system with CPU, RAM, inputs, and outputs.
grimoald 2 days ago 0 replies      
OK, you don't build a complete project, but it's a similar approach:

Think Stats: Probability and Statistics for Programmershttp://greenteapress.com/thinkstats/

Here, you learn statistics by implementing statistics functions in Python along the way and use them to solve the questions in the book.

laser 1 day ago 0 replies      
This was on HN recently, but I really enjoyed Robin Wieruch's react tutorial in which you build a HN like app: https://github.com/rwieruch/the-road-to-learn-react
algebraicgeo 2 days ago 0 replies      
Are there such books for algorithms?
cestith 1 day ago 0 replies      
I already answered about "The Art of the Metaobject Protocol" but then two more language-implementation-centric books came to mind today.

1. "Writing Compilers and Interpreters" by Ronald Mak2. "Building an Optimizing Compiler" by Bob Morgan

Morgan's book is well sought after and out of print. It's one of the few books in the field for which the print edition prices keep climbing.

nedwin 2 days ago 1 reply      
KLF's The Manual is a guide to producing a number one hit.
akashaggarwal7 1 day ago 0 replies      
I believe this is how education systems should be like. You learn about stuff your subject while dealing with a project to do. Makes learning so much fun and better.
coleifer 2 days ago 0 replies      
I co-wrote a book on Flask that walks through the building and progressive refinement of a blog: https://www.packtpub.com/web-development/learning-flask-fram...
evilc0 2 days ago 0 replies      
Wondering why no one mentioned, LFS :)It's not directly about building something in a concrete programming language but it's about build your own linux system.http://www.linuxfromscratch.org
drproktor 2 days ago 0 replies      
MEAN Web Development - great book, really nice to kick start with the MEAN stack.


distantsounds 2 days ago 0 replies      
django's tutorial has you creating a polling website: https://docs.djangoproject.com/en/1.10/intro/tutorial01/
waterfowl 2 days ago 0 replies      
Discover Meteor is like this, involves building a reddit clone type thing called Microscope(a reduced version of an actual product Telescope).


cestith 2 days ago 1 reply      
"The Art of the Metaobject Protocol" leads you from a very thin layer on top of CLOS to a very rich layer of objects-oriented object implementations. It's a classic.
jonaldomo 2 days ago 1 reply      
Anything by Manning that ends with "In Action". I volunteer to be a technical reviewer if there is a new technology I want to learn (and get a free physical book!)
myth_drannon 2 days ago 0 replies      
Implementing Lisp in Python - http://fogus.me/fun/lithp/
rb808 2 days ago 0 replies      
Professional Java for Web Applications. If Java is your thing.
TeMPOraL 2 days ago 0 replies      
Maybe not best in the "build a project" genre, but about (Common) Lisp, you have Land of Lisp - in which you build several small games and sort of reuse some code between chapters, and Let Over Lambda, which does build its further code on top of earlier code, although it's more of an exercise in bending Lisp to your will than a well-defined project. I recommend both books; I found them very good.
bcoughlan 2 days ago 1 reply      
Not a book, but I loved this series about building a Pascal interpreter (currently 12 parts): https://ruslanspivak.com/lsbasi-part1/

It was always on my bucket list to learn to write programming languages, but it's very daunting - this made it easy to learn in bite-sized chunks.

paullth 2 days ago 0 replies      
Ben Rady's Serverless Single Page Apps is one I've enjoyed recently, maybe not something I'll use at work anytime soon though.


contingencies 1 day ago 0 replies      
More hardware oriented I would suggest some of the new Raspberry Pi or Arduino based electronics kits, which are similar to books in that they provide a prescriptive path in to comprehending new areas through the satisfying and hand-on exploration of a defined project. Programming is involved too.
sfifs 2 days ago 1 reply      
I learned C++ back in the 90s using a book called "Type and Learn C++" - it involved building a text editor.
peterarmstrong 1 day ago 0 replies      
I wrote Flexible Rails back in 2007 that did this:https://www.manning.com/books/flexible-rails

I wouldn't read the book now though, since Flex, but the approach worked well.

vvoyer 2 days ago 0 replies      
PHP and MySQL by example: you build an IMDB like website in a very progressive and beginner manner.


hariis 2 days ago 0 replies      
Anything for mobile app development?
__strisk 2 days ago 1 reply      
I remember liking http://www.tangowithdjango.com/ .

It goes over building a link aggregating service using Django.

However, I also remember it being free. Doesn't seem to be an option with the most recent release.

dump121 2 days ago 1 reply      
Any such book for distributed systems?
akaru 1 day ago 0 replies      
A mostly dead technology, but does teach some general programming in the way you're asking: https://www.amazon.com/d/0596805632
matthiaswh 1 day ago 0 replies      
Coincidentally I'm about halfway through writing a long Vue.js tutorial series where I build one project in this manner. Would love to hear more ideas about what people look for with this type of book.
almog 1 day ago 1 reply      
Any recommended book in this category about Postgres or Elasticsearch?
analog31 1 day ago 0 replies      
I've just gotten started working my way through "build your own general relativity." ;-)
tmaly 2 days ago 0 replies      
I had an interface electronics course back in the day that was like this.

Bandit Algorithms book is sort of like this. starts out simple and touches different methods

kornakiewicz 2 days ago 2 replies      
Missing Clojure example here. "Clojure for the brave and true" was a little disappointing.
FDominicus 1 day ago 0 replies      
Linux Application Development e.g
chris_st 1 day ago 0 replies      
shinta42 2 days ago 0 replies      
i love this topic, i hope to learn much soon
ryan-allen 1 day ago 0 replies      

Build your own legit Analog Synthesizer!!! Not software but it is an end to end project. Good little book.

jessedhillon 1 day ago 0 replies      
3D Game Engine Architecture by David H. Eberly:


Not only is this a fantastic introduction to the math and the data structures involved in computer graphics, the book also walks you through the construction of an in-software renderer!

Ask HN: Is Google App Engine a good option for new startups with limited funds?
21 points by vhn1  23 hours ago   13 comments top 9
blixt 22 hours ago 0 replies      
I've used App Engine a decent amount the past 8 years and I would say it's great for prototyping and quickly creating CRUD tools or simple services. But stop there, don't build a whole API that powers your app / service on top of App Engine. Having done exactly that, I feel that App Engine is being treated more and more like the unwanted step-child.

The more "adult" Cloud services are taking priority which is noticeable in the monitoring solutions and deploy tooling. I've seen bugs that you wouldn't expect in a production class service linger for months, requiring you to spend time working around them. And the CPU cost overhead of their heavily abstracted runtime is not dismissible if you compare running Docker instances in Kubernetes (Google Container Engine).

I really enjoy using GCP, the APIs and tools are much nicer than say AWS, and Google's offering has quickly caught up with competitors. I've just moved over to Docker instances which is ultimately cheaper, faster to deploy, more predictable, and more configurable.

ungzd 7 hours ago 0 replies      
At least not its datastore. It's extremely weird, hard to use correctly and nonstandard. You have to rewrite all of your data layer if you're going to move from it (or if Google will deprecate it, I think it will be quite soon).

I have very simple app there for personal use and I had lots of pain debugging it, and it still works on black magic. It's easy to rewrite that app from scratch because it's so small, but downloading data from datastore is extremely painful process involving browsing forums for third-party hacks. If you have more than few megabytes of data, I think you can't get it out at all.

Development tooling is also weird and glitchy.

shankspeaks 15 hours ago 0 replies      
It also depends on how comfortable your team is with managing your own infrastructure. If you're not strong on the DevOps side of things, then stick with a PaaS solution to get started (even if it's a bit more $$$), and look at cost efficiency later.

If you're comfy with running your own stack, then nothing really beats D/O, Vultr, Packet.Net (if you want bare-metal) to get started. With the number of self-hosted PaaS tools out there, you can easily replicate GAE on your own for a fraction of the cost, but you need to handle the Ops on your own.

It's ultimately about how fast you can get to market, and how well you deploy resources getting there. Frankly, there are times when paying a few hundred dollars per month to have the entire stack hosted and managed for you, is WAY cheaper and a better ROI than hiring people or adding to your dev workload.

In my experience, free credit programs are great, but only if you keep your tech portable enough to move over easily to someone else after they expire. A lot of these platforms offer APIs and services that are convenient, but they also create lock-ins that will force you to stick with a vendor who's cost-benefit drops after a certain point in time. At that stage, the decision you make will be between is it cheaper to refactor or to stick it out.

Hope this helps.

bkovacev 20 hours ago 2 replies      
I have used GAE a lot. They have improved tremendously over the last couple of years and have also extended their services. However, as noted on in the previous comments - support sucks.


- Easy to set up.

- Cheap to start (somewhat like Heroku). Especially the moment you start optimizing for performance it's easy to cut down on the funds needed each month.

- Scalable. Google takes care of it.

- As someone mentioned versioning. It works as easy as changing the YAML file.

- Deployments are fast and painless.

- Amazing cloud administration with beautiful and easy UI. Unified logs.

- Ease of integration with other Google products and APIs.


- Lack of proper support.

- Documentation is sometimes lacking.

- Lock-in. Oh man does it hurt if you want to move away from GAE.

- For python for example, you can only used C based python modules.

- HTTP request 30 seconds. 10mb limit. Datastore is I believe 1mb. Blobstore 50mb.

- Gets expensive the moment apps become bigger (somewhat like Heroku).

I'd definitely wager where your app will be in a month, 3 months, six months and a year and see if GAE is a viable option. Think of API integrations as well.

tyingq 21 hours ago 0 replies      
There's a lot to like with AppEngine, but the support is showstopper for anything you can't afford to be down.

Outbound emails, for example, mysteriously quit working for a month straight until someone there admitted that the anti-spam dial was tuned incorrectly. There was no error back to the users indicating the emails were being trashed. https://code.google.com/p/googleappengine/issues/detail?id=1...

You might check out the various lower cost plans that many providers offer to startups. Here's a few:





samblr 3 hours ago 0 replies      
On reducing cost on GAE while prototyping: https://goo.gl/BLutaI

GAE has flexible environment which has meant you can use stack of your choice which is unlike its previous versions.

mark_l_watson 22 hours ago 0 replies      
I have used AppEngine, off and on, for many years. The advantage is getting auto-scaling and robust data stores automatically. The disadvantage is some degree of technology lock-in and that you can host less expensively using a provider like OVH or DigitalOcean.

EDIT: another good thing about AppEngine is that the 'free tier' will let you run a low traffic site for free, or very inexpensively. IBM's Bluemix is another service with a generous free tier.

Toast_ 21 hours ago 1 reply      
MS bizspark may be worth looking into if you're short on funds.
jimmywanger 21 hours ago 0 replies      
I've used GAE (Google App Engine) a fair bit myself too.

I think that new startups are well served by GAE for a couple reasons, with some caveats.

Easy deploys - you just upload a war file and you're done. Also, the versioning works pretty well, so you can have multiple versions of your app live at the same time and switch on the fly.

Access to message queues - those are actually very useful. You can send stuff off to queues fairly trivially and it'll get processed as needed with retry and timeout options.

The scaling advantages are overstated for startups - if you need unlimited horizontal scaling, either your app is horribly inefficient or you're already making enough money to write a simple scaling infrastructure.

The caveats are that the datastore is really nice (pretty much megastore), but if you use it, you'll have a hard time migrating to another service provider.

As for limited funds, GAE is actually fairly expensive as it's PaaS versus IaaS, but if you're a startup and speed is of the essence, it'll let you get something out there in front of consumers very quickly for very low up-front and fixed costs.

Ask HN: How to start working in porn industry?
6 points by angry-hacker  3 hours ago   1 comment top
blacksqr 2 hours ago 0 replies      
There's a joke in here analogous to the "How do you get to Carnegie Hall?" classic.
Ask HN: What's your Git workflow for production systems?
27 points by whitepoplar  23 hours ago   8 comments top 6
atsaloli 18 hours ago 1 reply      
You may find GitLab's proposal of interest. https://about.gitlab.com/2016/07/27/the-11-rules-of-gitlab-f...
nameless912 22 hours ago 1 reply      
My git "workflow" (if you can call it that) is to explicitly ban git from production systems. If your prod machine requires Git to get code, you're probably doing something wrong. Config files are better gotten from an HTTP API, where you can audit access; actual code/program files are better grabbed from something like Artifactory or a network share.
prodigal_erik 13 hours ago 0 replies      
Master is the latest stable release. Topics are branched from master. A release branch is master plus topics that are ready to go live.

Releases are OS packages (.deb, .rpm, whatever) built from release branches. We don't deploy with git because we don't commit binaries, and git doesn't know how to deploy our OS dependencies and drain and restart our prod services.

sprobertson 13 hours ago 0 replies      
I like a branch per environment, usually staging and production with master as the development branch. To deploy you push to the environment branch and webhooks trigger the rest. I'm not sure how to enforce this part, but you always make sure tests pass on master, merge with staging and make sure they pass there, then merge with production.
segmondy 21 hours ago 0 replies      
In my opinion, your git workflow should be based on your release, application support & team structure.

If you have just 1 team, releasing 1 version, say a web application then your workflow will differ from 1 team, maintaining multiple versions of the same app, say a desktop version or say multiple teams working on one app say an enterprise backend. I look at how the application has to be released, how the team is structured, then figure out which workflow we will use.

Ask HN: Is Product Management a safer bet in 2017?
3 points by cofounderYC17  8 hours ago   3 comments top 3
rfc 1 hour ago 0 replies      
I don't mean for this comment to come off as condescending but if you think that all a PM does is "come up with features and an MVP" and have people build it, then I think you ought to really go talk to multiple PMs to get their perspective on what their job entails.

Coming up with features is just one of the 100s of different items a PM will do on a daily basis.

arms 5 hours ago 0 replies      
> Should we make the switch now?

You can, but until I see evidence that "We, the developers, will lose our jobs" any time soon, I'm going to continue doing what makes me happy, and that's coding.

wayn3 2 hours ago 0 replies      
sounds like you are working an assembly line. you should certainly switch jobs, but for different reasons.
Ask HN: Is it just me or is getting another job in tech hard?
18 points by JajaMan  23 hours ago   3 comments top 3
bsvalley 21 hours ago 0 replies      
It's not slowing down, the problem right now is that there are too many people applying at the same time. Look at the statistics on linkedin (I think you need a premium account though). It goes up to 500 applicants for one single engineer position at a big startup. Web, mobile or whatever... That's a lot! And it's only people applying through linkedin.

Not a good time to be out on the market right now. From what I've seen so far I'd put at least 2 to 3 months applying everywhere to get something.

davelnewton 23 hours ago 0 replies      
I'm not sure how this is answerable in a meaningful way.

I get just as many recruiter emails, or more, as I've been getting for years now. No slow-down that I've noticed, but I'm statistically meaningless.

PaulHoule 23 hours ago 0 replies      
Tell us more about your evidence.
Ask HN: This may be off-topic, but have you lost a lot of weight?
3 points by RikNieu  11 hours ago   2 comments top 2
wayn3 3 hours ago 0 replies      
the single most important thing you can do in your effort to lose weight is to rent a ral medicine book on endocrinology. not some bullshit. a real book that university students and practitioners refer to.

all you need to know about metabolism will be laid out in the first 30 pages. but read the whole thing. everything the media wants you to believe is the polar opposite of reality. read a real book. lose your weight. you need zero exercise to lose weight (it will help, obviously, but it is absolutely not required).

since you want to know about how to help other people with that information - explain it in plain terms.

specifically, you want to understand what adenosine triphosphate (ATP) is, does, and how macronutrients turn into it.

the other piece of information you really need is that 90%+ of your daily energy consumption goes towards thermogenesis (making sure your body stays warm), assuming an average lifestyle.

your body has a daily need for about 100g carbs. thats why you are absolutely addicted to them. because if you dont get them, you DIE (over time. you dont die immediately, theres plenty of storage in your muscles and liver and other places). intentionally dropping your carb intake below 100grams will make weightloss happen.

not eating carbs can be hard, until you understand that you can eat an almost infinite amount of chicken breast instead. for example. season it. eat it with a side of cancer sauce if you have to. the cancer sauce may not be the most healthy choice of food, but its less deadly than a heart attack at 35.

you can make a burger out of slices of protein bread, chicken breast, cucumber and some ketchup if you have. takes two minutes and wont taste worse than anything mcdonalds puts out.

anything else barely matters. this is your 80/20. If you want to have a decent exercise routine, head over to stronglifts.com and do that program. its free.

richardboegli 6 hours ago 0 replies      
Yes I have lost a lot of weight and I wrote a book about it.

My Weight Loss Story: 40kg in 40 Weeks Without Exercise (90lb in 9 months)


Ask HN: Ive been applying to a million jobs
266 points by oliv__  2 days ago   245 comments top 116
fecak 2 days ago 7 replies      
I write resumes and coach job seekers who have difficulty in finding work or navigating career issues (my HN profile has links). My background includes nearly 20 years in recruiting for east coast startups.

You have a few things going 'against' you in most cases. I haven't seen a resume yet, but based on your site and post:

1 - You're relatively junior (at 23).

2 - You now live in France and want either remote work or to come back to the US. (remote junior work isn't easy to get).

3 - You're applying to a million jobs, which likely means you are sending out rather anonymous letters instead of something even remotely targeted.

I encourage my clients to apply to less companies, but to make those applications more targeted. Write a cover letter (or just the body of an email) that demonstrates that you've actually read the job spec and maybe even a page of their website.

Saying things like "I learn fast" and "I'm a good communicator" don't get a recruiter's attention.

The good news is that you have some projects that will look good on a resume.

Your messaging should focus on your accomplishments and projects, and not on how hard you'll work or how much you love to code. When you stop talking like a junior dev dying for work, you'll start being treated that way.

My guess is that the problem is the resume or the messaging.

tnones 2 days ago 3 replies      

You've only graduated 2.5 years ago, so trying to push yourself as a Product Designer is probably out of your reach, and comes across as unrealistic. This is a senior-level role where experience is more important than ticking off skills. In combination with the breadth you listed this doesn't make you seem like a genius, it makes you seem like a generalist who lacks focus and probably has a touch of ADHD.

Personally your website also doesn't impress me, nor do any of the projects shown. They all have the same blank slate look of plain sans-serif fonts on white backgrounds with little or no colors and virtually no iconography. That might be good to sell consumer goods, but it doesn't demonstrate your skill and it contradicts that you're "passionate about all things visual". There are no illustrations, no flourishes, the artistry and aesthetics are absent.

In fact, what seems to be your "showpiece" for product design is IMO a self-sabotaging demo. Instead of showing off the creative process and focusing on the creative possibility space, it's a long-winded and visually dull story of navel gazing about details, interspersed with random code screenshots and programmer art. The end result, buried at the very bottom instead of pulled out at the start, is an ugly neon monospace table view with only an out of place Mario coin for graphics.

The golden rule is show, don't tell, and to not force people to do the heavy lifting for you. Also, drop phrases like wanting to work "at your cool startup", it screams try-hard. You don't want to join the startup because _it_ is cool, you want the startup to hire you because _you_ are cool.

Don't talk about writing witty copy or designing mesmerizing colors and dazzling typography, just make me laugh, mesmerize me, dazzle me.

nnq 2 days ago 2 replies      
Maybe it's that you're experience says DESIGNER all over the place, but you seem to look for a "DEVELOPER with some extra product-design attributes" type job.

This confuses the heck out of most recruiters, since they like to put people in "boxes with labels", like "product designer, "graphic designer", "frontend developer" etc. I mean, people can't even figure out "who should interview this guy?"... which leads to being unable to even schedule an interview... which leads to lazy people going "wtf, next" reactions...

Also avoid labeling yourself as "designer who can code"... at an older job I worked with projects started by a designer/coder and it was a horrible experience... maintaining code written by a designer with rudimentary coding skills (not even basic OOP, let alone basic OOD/SOLID skills, or at least notions of FP) is pure hell for a disciplined software developer.

Also adding ENTREPRENEUR there translates to "shit, this guy can leave the company and start his own business anytime".

I'm an "Expert Generalist" myself, but never label myself as such, it drives everyone away! (Not even after getting a job... it will make everyone around you feel stupid and insecure, because "hey, this guy knows everything, I only know X", and they'll not enjoy working with you...)

List your full experience, but label yourself as what you want your future job to be! This way recruiters, founders or engineers will know what to do with you...

azurelogic 2 days ago 7 replies      
Tossing CVs down an HR portal (to nowhere) isn't a way to find jobs. You find jobs by knowing people. I'm sure there are some developer/designer meetups in Paris. Find one (or many) and start going. That doesn't mean sit in the back silently. You need to network. This doesn't have to be cheesy. Make small talk. Get to know them and their interests. Maybe you'll have the same favorite CSS framework. Talk about that then. When people feel that you are easy to talk to and that you know what you're talking about, it becomes easier for them to feel good about introducing you as a candidate to their boss.

Why I am so confident in this answer? 1) I've gotten every one of my jobs through networking (either from meetups or from former coworkers and friends); 2) I run a meetup, and I've seen it happen; and 3) I've been in the position to recommend people to an employer, and I don't recommend people who might make me look bad.

d--b 2 days ago 1 reply      
I think you should chill a little. How are supposed to read your post? "I'm so good and nobody hires me, wtf?" I'm sorry to say so, but this makes you come across as the quintessential millennial entitled brat.

If I was recruiting right now, I would think: this guy will want to control everything he touches, and will be extremely negative whenever something doesn't suit him. And then he'll leave, shouting how crap everything is, you get the picture.

How about marketing yourself like so:

"I'm a young and passionate web designer, have been training myself on apps / webapps for the past 3 years. I'd like to think I'm ready to put my skills to use, so I'm looking for a group of great people who are putting together a product that I may be able to help design".

peterhartree 2 days ago 2 replies      
> I can't take this situation anymore and this is a cry from the heart.

> I am so frustrated right now, I don't understand why everything takes so long, this process is unbearable.

Meta advice: if I were you, I'd take a break for a few days and focus on getting your feelings about this back to a calmer, constructive, cheerful place.

If you're not sure how to do this, I'd say: start with vigorous exercise every day [1], do things you normally enjoy, and consider mindfulness meditation [2].

[1] http://7-min.com/ is a good quick fix.

[2] https://www.headspace.com/ is good and free for a beginner.

bsvalley 2 days ago 1 reply      
Best tips for you.

- Never mention where you're from or where you live. They'll figure it out when they'll give you a call (discrimination is bigger than you think). People hire similar profiles and take a lot of unfair shortcuts. If I'm not "franco-american", I'll have one extra information that could potentially make up my mind if I have 1000 Resume to look at. You're different than me, I will have to go outside of my comfort zone...

- Don't mention your age. It also gives people something to consume. A quick info that can make an early unjustified decision.

- Since you're applying for a Product Designer, make your personal website look like a portfolio of apps, not a Resume. Use a simple plain background and list your apps. Don't use text, make it easy for them to visualize what you've done in max 5s.

- Don't share your failures publicly, it will also give them more negative information about you.

- focus on building a network not on sending cold applications. You need a referral not a job.

rvdm 2 days ago 0 replies      
Hi Olivier,

These are just my thoughts and they are based on nothing tangible, other than that I own a tech company and hire developers and designers. I also come from a mixed engineering and design background and am probably from about the same area in Europe as you are and now live & work in California.

You're young and it's hard for someone your age to master multiple disciplines. I'd focus on presenting one discipline. If I were you I'd sharpen and highlight your development skills. Maybe you can present yourself as a design-driven front-end developer?

Recruiters often search by keywords. LinkedIn can help you experiment with what keywords get you the most attention. You could for example try learning React.js which is very popular right now, or further developing your iOS skills and change your LinkedIn title to React.js developer or Swift & iOS developer. Try different things and see what gets you more attention.

Some recruiters like seeing big names on resumes. Have you considered applying to, for example, big international ad agencies that have Paris offices? Companies like Grey, Ogilvy, BBDO might have local offices that need design sensitive front-end developers. I have no opinion about any of these companies, I just know they're big agencies that have offices all over the world. You might be able to transfer or those names might open some doors for you in the US.

Again, please take this with a grain of salt. These are just some quick thoughts.

xiaoma 2 days ago 0 replies      
On your site, you bill yourself as a "Product DesignerUI/UX DesignerDeveloperEntrepreneur".

Who exactly would that appeal to? In most cases, startups hire to get specific things done they can't do themselves. It's not really much of a plus if a candidate is "close" to the level where they could provide value in several ways. If someone is great at something, that provides value right away.

This doesn't mean combining skills is a bad thing. It means that if you're a designer and want to bring your other skills to the table, you should focus everything around what those skills can do for your design. E.g, make a whole page about your design work. Mention how you take copywriting or internationalizations concerns into making a design handle text flexibly. Talk about producing HTML/CSS/JS interaction designs to improve communication and productivity when working with developers.

This way of showing off your breadth, you'd actually be strengthening your hireability as a designer rather than weakening it.

Finally just showcase your one most impressive piece of work. If people like it, they'll check out links to the others but it will have no chance of getting lost in the crowd.

apolymath 2 days ago 9 replies      
I get hired all day, people bang down my door after im hired, and all I do is explain the tools I used each year. I never graduated high school, never went to college, never really built anything that I can show off. I just talk about the tools I use. thats it. www.markentingh.com
retrac98 2 days ago 0 replies      
Quality over quantity. Apply to a few jobs, apply directly, really get to know the company before you apply and show that in your application by completely tailoring each one to the job.

I'd also market yourself as a Software Engineer (or a better known job title) rather than a "Product Designer". In the right company, an engineering role will see you dip your toes into all aspects of the product development process, which seems to be what you're after.

Lastly, remember that you need to stand out at every step of the recruitment process, from the easily discarded stack of resumes, to the checking your social media/github profiles, to the interview and technical assessment.

unit91 2 days ago 0 replies      
I really want to help you here, but I'm not sure why I would hire you. As others have said, one of the first things that struck me was your age is irrelevant and your nationality only matters if you've made the case for yourself (citizen hire?, visa?, contract?).

More important, if you're hired for visuals I have to see that your style can be a good fit for my company. For most designers I'd hire, this usually means they have past (or hypothetical) work displayed ranging from cutesy bakeries to engine manufacturers, with your typical corporate sites mixed in. It's hard to see how your git log -like look and tables of data or pictures represent you well.

If you're hired as a programmer, your JS screenshot tells me "this guy is very junior". Some thoughts that popped into my head while reading through it: your profit function does a lot more than calculate profit. It also reconciles dates (moment.js is a good sign), and computes interest at a hard-coded 9% (red flag). I have no idea what the 10 and 20 magic numbers are in the if statement, or why it's so repetitive. You also declare today on line 55, then essentially do it again on lines 67 and 68 without a good reason (from what I can see). Moreover, from looking at your table of data, you're clearly calculating the fees elsewhere which tells me you may be cutting-and-pasting code to get your profit number. Your text input experiment is great for learning but not something you should show off. It strikes me as a first-day jQuery toy for self-teaching.

So where do you go from here? I'd get a new URL (olivierbreton.io, maybe), clean up the design, and post more sophisticated examples if possible. Tell us what tools and technologies you know and what you're learning now. Don't try to sound like you've got 15 years of experience. Target a junior role with phrases like "I'm eager to work hard and learn". Apply to junior-level jobs you'd actually like to have and know about the company you're applying to. Hope that helps, best of luck!

Bladtman 2 days ago 2 replies      
You might not like this, but here are my honest thoughts:You seem to be selling yourself as a web designer, but your website is terrible, and so are it's contents.

I realise this is subjective, so I won't try and justify my thoughts. Frankly I don't care enough to debate them anyway, so you can take it or leave it, as you please.

Your designs aren't minimalist, they're just minimal; empty, underdone.And even then your colour palettes are grating.Not to mention that o23.io, days and skyler look pretty identical.

Maybe the reality is that no-one wants to hire you, because you, or the works you use to advertise yourself, aren't quite as good as you might think.

snarfy 2 days ago 1 reply      
Stop being so honest and play the game. The game is getting an interview. That's all your resume is for.

Do you have a job, any job? A lot of places won't even consider you if you aren't already employed.

Do you have a list of buzzwords near the top of your resume? Many places receive so many resumes that automated filters are used to search through them, usually by buzzword.

If I were hiring you it would be for an entry level web developer position. If you like to see something happen when you click a button you are more of a developer than a designer.

Red flag - Misuse of css classes.

 <span class="star">*</span>
Classes are about the meaning, not the content. What if you want to use # instead of *? Do you change all the class names to "hashtag"? If I were interviewing you this is something I would ask about.

ddebernardy 2 days ago 0 replies      
You might be in the underqualified/overqualified abyss, where you're not experienced enough for the senior positions you'd like to apply to, and overexperienced or not specialized enough for the junior positions you're applying to in the meanwhile.

If that sounds about right, tone the CV a bit down a bit to get the latter, and try to go meet decision makers for the former in person (meet ups, etc.). (Fwiw it gets worse when you get older.)

Also, as highlighted in another comment, "entrepreneur" is a big no no in a lot of places: it reads like "just passing by to earn some cash and move on with my next venture". More generally, don't make your CV look like you're looking for something temporary until you find something better.

Good luck!

lexo 2 days ago 2 replies      
I take it you're applying to NYC startups without a US working visa. Even though you are willing to work remote it is an extra hassle to hire you instead of a local. Most startups won't go through the trouble if they can get comparable locals. So either indicate why you are unique and so much better than Americans or start looking for jobs in Europe.

Also, it helps to know people.

thehardsphere 2 days ago 0 replies      
> I've been "selling" myself as a Product Designer but I truly can't fit in such a narrow box

I know nothing about "Product Designer" but I do know quite a bit about not fitting in narrow boxes and how that can hurt your ability to find a job.

You need to figure out how to communicate your value proposition to HR-type people who make the initial decisions about what to do with your resume. These types of people have dozens to hundreds of resumes to go through, so they are probably not even going to look at your website and not going to spend the effort to figure out what a "Product Designer" is if they don't already know.

So, when you look at a job and apply to it, you should tailor your resume and pitch to whatever they say they're looking for, using their words even if they don't feel right to you. In my case, that meant calling myself a "Software Engineer" even though I don't think Software is an Engineering discipline and my educational background is in Chemistry.

You should also emphasize skills differently depending on who you apply to. Your list of things that you dream of is uninteresting to me, in that you put the least valuable (HTML/CSS) skills first and the most valuable skills (Python + Django, Node.js) last.

Also, don't list your experience the way you do on your site. You founded all of these apps that you list yourself as working for, right? Don't do that; it looks desperate and when I see it I wonder what you're trying to hide. If you worked for yourself the whole time, just say you did that and explain what you did; don't try to make them look like jobs that someone hired you for to do for them.

vmarsy 2 days ago 0 replies      
First, 23 yo is young, don't worry.

I'm not a designer expert but a few remarks :

On your website I can't find your resume, a simple pdf that I could skim through quickly, or even a linkedin link.

On each of your projects, I would put a bullet point or 2 about the key learnings/skills you got for each project. For software engineers it'd be useful to see something like: [App Foo] : platform for X and Y. Written in C++ using Unity Framework. That way, if I know any of these, I know I can ask you more questions about App Foo if I know about C++ or Unity. "iOS and Android", "get over 8000 users the first month, be top 10 of its category, get featured in top women's publications online" should show up somewhere too!

Similarly, I understand your minimalism effort but for each job position, I would add bullet points about your key experience, key skills, and more importantly key business impacts (and key customers if allowed)

You need to emphasize why companies should hire you, not why you want to be hired by company.

If you're willing to work in the US, be clear about it (is it only NYC?), also be clear about the fact that you are a US citizen or your work authorization status in the US.

monodeldiablo 2 days ago 0 replies      
Figure out what you want and craft your resume to reflect that.

Big companies, as an excellent (though curiously downvoted) commenter noted, love long lists of tools you've "mastered". This is because they employ recruiters who don't have the technical chops to evaluate nor appreciate the nuance of your past experience.

If you want to work at startups, you need to use a different tack. When I started only doing startups, I added more of my personality to my resume and applied only to jobs in niches I cared about. I also invested a modicum of time in my network, getting a colleague or friend or acquaintance to "introduce" or recommend me.

Most importantly, I've never gone through the front door. I consider the "Apply now" button to be a passive filter. I avoid it like the plague.

Instead, I chat future co-workers up at meetups, asking them about their work. I contact companies that aren't even advertising positions (every company that's not shrinking is always hiring). Most importantly, I research the company and email individuals I'd like to work with directly. Not my CV, mind you, but I send a small, respectful note and put my linkedin profile and github handle in my signature block.

I know some people find this approach annoying, but it puts your name and email in front of a real person, establishing a direct human connection. That's powerful. And, unlike recruiters or people tasked with handling the application queue, the person you email has little incentive to toss your email in the trash.

Remember, the goal is always to stand out from the crowd, show initiative, and demonstrate your creativity. Good luck.

sigi45 2 days ago 2 replies      
_Entrepreneur_ funny.

How about a little work experience in your field?

You basicly now a little bit Javascript, html/css, did some mobile apps and now a little bit of database stuff?

That's just not impressive at all.

You should start getting real. You are not special, you haven't done anything special for your age. Start somewhere, get job experience.

CryoLogic 2 days ago 0 replies      
Most of the posters here are being assholes, welcome to hn comments - the ego here is huge.

I have been in a similar situation, and here is my tip for you: recruiters are idiots. Seriously, most tech companies hire art history majors and such for recruiting high tech roles. It's not that they are bad people, but most recruiters are very bad at candidate selection.

Here's what I would do in your situation:

1. Find a job I really wanted (e.g. back-end python developer). 2. Strip out any non-python related material from your social media, websites, resume. 3. Build a hyper-focused buzzword dense resume.4. Apply and act like a bit of an idiot until you get a job. Play the junior dev who only knows some basic python for a year or two than you are golden when it comes to getting other jobs / moving around.

moon_priestess 2 days ago 0 replies      
> I love coding: for me HTML/CSS and code have never been anything more than tools to get whatever was on my mind into the real world.

This is a red flag for me. Working for someone as a programmer is often about getting what is in someone else's mind into the real world. To excel, you need to love the process of designing and developing software, not simply seeing the end result.

All of the best programmers I know love programming for the sake of programming. Conversely, some of the most dangerous and careless programmers I've met are the type to only be into it if they're making exactly what they want to make (and often if they can make said thing quickly).

I may be alone on this one so take my comment with a grain of salt!

fusiongyro 2 days ago 1 reply      
You kinda sound like a primadonna. It's an "inhumane effort" for you to even just apply for a regular job? How are you going to react when I give you a task that's actually unpleasant?
lhnz 2 days ago 0 replies      
I would probably hire somebody like you, but I think the norm for many companies and recruiters is to seek somebody that represents themselves as a specialist and won't want to input on the whole product and business. You're easier to manage if you will completely defer to them in their areas of expertise.

I have tried your approach before and I also received less interest. I've always gotten more attention when I've rewritten my resume to sideline my other mindsets and interests below the technical ones.

On the other hand, Jon Gold [http://jon.gold] seems to have been able to represent himself as a designer/developer hybrid, so maybe it's possible with enough raw talent. Or maybe there is something he knows which we don't. ;)

Edit: Looking at your portfolio, I think you could sell yourself as a 'Designer'. However, I think to do so you will need to create a more visually interesting portfolio.

gorbachev 2 days ago 0 replies      
When I was as young as you are and applying for jobs in the US (while living in Europe), I applied for jobs in about 250 companies. Eventually I got 10 interviews, and two job offers. It sure felt like a million applications. I spent roughly six months doing that.

But I targeted every single one. I sent a custom cover letter to every single application after researching the company, their clients and their work. I only applied for jobs in companies that were doing work that I liked / knew I could contribute positively, and I showed it in my cover letters.

It's tough. It's especially tough for young, jr. folks. Hang in there!

Talk to a trusted person who can give you good feedback on your resume and cover letters, and the whole process you're using to apply for jobs.

graham1776 2 days ago 0 replies      
The one thing I always tell anyone on the job hunt, which few ever seem to take me up on: Informational Interviews. These are informal "can I take you out to coffee?" talks with people in your industry to see what they are working on, what is happening with them, what is going on in the industry. Every job I have ever gotten is through informal meetings with people I have met through my network (whether its the current employer, your friends, parents, relatives, or other).

At the end of every one I ask: "Is there anyone else you think I should talk to?" and "Do you currently have any opportunities at your company for me?". Rinse repeat.I guarantee investing in 30 informational interviews will yield huge dividends vs. 30 career fairs, a personal pitch deck, starting a blog, dusting off your resume, or God Forbid: applying to a million jobs on online portals.


I wrote a free guide on this if anyone is interested, would love feedback.

Smushman 2 days ago 0 replies      
Several points I also want add:

1) Just, Wow. I am impressed at the amount of good advice here - HN'ers really do go all out to help.

2) Problem - too much advice is hard to sift through. To a carpenter, you will need a better hammer or to charge less; to a painter, the finish isn't smooth. Choose carefully; I doubt feelings will be hurt.

3) Finally - remember this is all an odds game. Your resume has to arrive, and subsequent interview has to complete all in concert with a need.

JD's (job descriptions) are supposed to improve these odds. But often JD's are only up for an HR requirement or other reasons. Some examples are:

- An H1B requirement

- Already have an applicant they want but they have to justify something

- Internal fill

- Tire kicking (happens in security roles - teams take their time filling these)

- Comparison people for the hiring process (they have a bead on one applicant, but they have to include 2 other applicants in on-site interviews for balance)

- Position is terminated before hire due to lack of funding/budget

- Situational changes (role is fluid and changing - you applied but the role itself was adjusted afterward)

These are just some of the reasons. Don't give up!

verelo 2 days ago 1 reply      
I'm not trying to be mean, but when i read:

"I'm passionate about all things visual" on your website*

...my brain instantly replied to me: "This website tells another story"

* http://imgur.com/a/TRtno

oliv__ 2 days ago 0 replies      
Wow. I certainly did not expect this to explode like it did.

I'd like to thank all of you who commented! Thank you for all the harsh comments and great advice you gave me. It all really helped; I'll try to make the best of it.

Thank you HN!

informatimago 2 days ago 0 replies      
1- you've not posted anonymously (link to your resume with I assume your real name). Therefore the effectiveness of the advice may be reduced.

2- my advice would be to remove "Franco-American". If you want to profit from your dual experience, say you're American on the CV you send in France. Say you're French on the Resumes you send in the USA. But it's not obvious that it would be an advantage (depends on the company), so you may just say that you're American in NY, and that you're French in Paris.

3- search jobs locally. If you want a job in NY, go there first. If you want a job in Paris, stay here.

shimon 2 days ago 0 replies      
It doesn't seem like anyone has mentioned location and work authorization yet. This can be an immediate red flag on your resume. Many companies just won't consider a non-US-based person, or someone who isn't already authorized to work in the US.

If you can do this honestly, remove any mention of France from your resume, and put in New York, NY instead. Or indicate that you're planning to move at a specific future date:

Olivier CestlavieNew York, NY (relocating from Paris in March 2017; Authorized to work in US since January 2015)

falsedan 2 days ago 0 replies      

 > I really feel like I can be incredibly useful to whoever hires me
Are you showing that? In your cover letters, are you driving home how hiring you will make the company achieve its goals, with specific, measurable facts to back that up?

 > I truly can't fit in such a narrow box
Your blurb here reads like you won't be happy working on one thing in a collaborative environment. Most companies want you to execute _their_ vision, so you'll have to show flexibility of thought and willingness to work on someone else's idea.

pvaldes 2 days ago 0 replies      
Maybe you could benefit of a faster message flow. Something like:

Hello. I'm Olivier Breton, a 23 y/o Franco-American Product Designer; UI/UX Designer, Developer and Entrepreneur.


@Olivier Breton (pause)

Lets put a nice line here for no reason

Hello. (pause)

My name is Olivier Breton. (pause, Yes, you said it before)

I'm a 23 year old Franco-American (pause)

Product DesignerUI/UX DesignerDeveloperEntrepreneur. (and now, avalanche of terms)

Visually each term must have clear boundaries. There is not need to fuse it. I read this line as: I'm a product, I'm a Designer-UI/UX and I'm a Desigdevelopreneur, whatever It means.

That sounds a little shy, and maybe also robotic IMHO.

thomk 2 days ago 0 replies      
Why is your age on your resume? That's unusual and it seems to be hurting you; everyone here on HN mentions it.
2061a48b32e8 2 days ago 1 reply      
I would urge you to consider that you are not the only one looking for a fit, and it sounds like your frustration comes from the lack of such a fit (i.e. a role that you feel plays to your qualities, and where the employer feels the same way).

Technical knowledge is great (essential, even) - IT is a meritocracy and all that - but don't forget that people need to work with you, and you with them.

It may be people have an issue mentally fitting you in the 'right' box (as others have suggested), and possibly, the same is true for you (you don't like the sound of their box).

So as has been suggested, don't only look for a role/job that motivates you, try and look for something that speaks to you personally, and where you feel there is a good chance of cultural fit.

And don't take the rejections personally - ultimately, the outcome will always be binary, and I doubt it is the experience of most people here to systematically get offers _when they are the ones looking_.

Opinions are good, and if you value your own opinions, stick to them, and look for somewhere that agrees with you on their value. If you don't find that, do question yourself.

No matter how frustrating this all is, it will lead to something, be it your dream gig, your foot on the right career ladder, or a complete change of direction.

Again, do not take this personally - from your side, you are (of course, and to your credit) doing your best - but you have no way of knowing that anyone else is, and hence, of knowing you are being assessed on your merits.

FWIW, I have had to move countries twice to find my first job, and am currently having difficulty finding the next one, with 10+ years of experience behind me. IT hiring has its own weird hiring patterns and peculiarities, and most likely, your break will be down to luck - and like much luck, you may need to create the conditions for it to happen...

sixhobbits 2 days ago 0 replies      
Some people have commented on the website already. I'm not a designer, but the first thing I think of when I see it is a Word Document made by a secretary who has been told to "spice it up" a bit, so she grabbed the M$Word 97 highlight tool with default settings and applied it at random.

As I said, not a designer. And I'm sure Microsoft picked that Yellow for its highlight tool for a reason. The yellow on white is probably Good for some reason. But I find it really unappealing and it has the same kind of connotations as the rainbow-coloured WordArt in an arch shape for me (e.g. http://www.softwaretrainingsolutions.com/HDO/guests/Word/Ima...)

krmmalik 2 days ago 1 reply      
You're like the dream person i'd love to have on my team. What im about to say is going to sound really odd and a little hocus pocus -- but i assure you -- it's meant as a re-assurance and not to demoralise you in any way. I went through something very similar to you about 4yrs ago. In the end i realised jobs are not for me. I was born to be an entrepreneur. A master of my own domain. I think the universe is trying to tell you that you're made for better things than a job that sticks you into a box.

I'd love to get to know you. I'd love to help you through the challenges you're currently facing and maybe if that leads somewhere we can talk about working together.

My website is http://krmmalik.com

Fzzr 2 days ago 0 replies      
I don't know anything about the hiring process for designers, so just speaking to the programming side here.

My first instinct was to look for a GitHub profile, both on the homepage of your site and alongside the various examples. The text field thing was interesting - why not put the code on GitHub, so it's easier for people to look through and try out? If it's already there, then make sure your GitHub profile is discoverable on your site, because I didn't find it despite looking for several minutes on multiple pages.

Also consider posting your LinkedIn profile on your website (or get one if you don't have one). I personally don't care about that, but recruiters definitely seem to.

In any case, my employer is actively hiring; I'll email you the job listings.

Good luck.

throwaway413 2 days ago 0 replies      
I'm 23 as well, co/founded a few startups now. I never tell people my age - ageism is a real thing and sets in the second they identify you as someone young enough to be "inexperienced" even if you are far from it. When I don't tell people my age, they generally assume I'm late 20's to early 30's, which allows me to command more seniority and respect from my coworkers.

Your youthfulness is your most valuable weapon. It also makes you a risk. There are two types of companies - those that will seek to mitigate that risk or not get involved altogether. And those that will recognize that with great risk comes great reward.

sparkling 2 days ago 1 reply      
You might want to clarify your immigration status. You mentioned that you have previously worked in the US.

- Does that man you have a valid visa that allows you to work in the US?

- Do you have permanent residency?

- Do you have full (dual-)citizenship?

If so, mention that on your resume. There are many companies, especially small startups, who simply do not have the resources to deal with visa/immigration issues - perhaps that is why you are not getting any replies. If you currently do not hold a visa, you might want to specifically seek out companies that offer visa sponsorship.

csorrell 2 days ago 0 replies      
What does your CV look like? You're getting a lot of feedback about your website, but I doubt this is what hiring companies are getting hung up on. Using a website to showcase some of your work is great, but your CV is what's going to make or break the deal. If your CV is written in a similar style, then I'd say that's your problem. Keep it short and professional; define your skill set by listing the tools you use and briefly describe where you've used them. Don't over design it, and keep the personal flair to a minimum.
jacquesm 2 days ago 0 replies      
Your best bet is to forget about writing applications but to get on the phone to the people that you've successfully worked with in the past and to ask them to refer you to one of their contacts in need of your skills. That's the fastest and most certain track to employment that I know of, it gets you to the head of the line without that pesky competition of 100 other guys and girls just as talented as you who are playing 'who can write the nicest resume' wars.

Best of luck!

magic_beans 1 day ago 0 replies      
I do pretty much the exact same thing as you and I am approximately the same age. Almost EVERY job I looked at in NYC precluded remote workers and non-citizens/non-greencard holders. Jobs in SF seemed to be a little more open to sponsorship. Maybe try looking there?

You'll need to look for jobs in Europe, or look specifically for jobs that will sponsor you. Your problem isn't your skill. It's your location.

ShirsenduK 2 days ago 0 replies      
Hii Olivier,

I am assuming I was in a similar place like you 8-10 years back. In retrospect, I have found that the following reasons affected my applications.

1. I was from an unknown college in an unknown place. Yahoo! or Microsoft wouldn't even look at my resume. Too much of unknown.

2. Startups wouldn't hire me as relocation is expensive and 8-10 years back the good startups were scrappy. Btw, aren't the best ones always scrappy? And you might have been applying to them as you want to work with the best.

3. I listed a lot of expertise which I had. But its hard to believe especially for HRs who get 100s of candidate everyday advertising they know everything only to be told by the interviewer that the candidate wasn't good. I am not doubting your skills but the problem is the noise. Most 23 year olds don't know how to read code.

How I overcame it and got a job.

1. I did my Masters so an MNC would hire me. I knew this hack/entry.

2. After getting into the MNC, I worked my ass off and kept applying to jobs focusing on the work I did at the MNC.

3. I got a job at an awesome startup!

And things started changing. Now I get replies to most of my applications.

And automated or copy paste resumes do work but HN crowd might not agree. But most of the industry is still very non HN.

Hope it helps. All the best and keep applying!

jensvdh 2 days ago 0 replies      
Stop applying to US Based jobs. Focus on France. If you don't already live here no company will sponsor you a H1-B visa because it's practically not doable. Not even the big Silicon Valley companies will do this if you don't live here.
mwpmaybe 2 days ago 0 replies      
Check out the "Who's hiring?" [0] thread and consider posting in the "Who wants to be hired?" [1] and "Freelancing" [2] threads (there's one every month).

I remember feeling like you do when I was young and thought I knew everything. As others have mentioned in this thread, starting your own company or building a freelance practice might be the best strategy. Quite frankly, if you're so great, you should work for yourself. If you're not, you probably (and unfortunately) need to "pay your dues" and put in two or three years as a junior developer (this is key) at an established company. I'm looking at your web site and can't easily figure out whether or not you've already done that, so that's not a good sign. You'll build skills, a network, salary and job title history, and most importantly, credibility.

Also, have you considered going to university? A lot of companies in the US won't hire you if you don't have an undergraduate degree (or 10+ years of corporate experience). I see "Foundation in Applied Arts" on your web site but it's not clear what if anything that translates to.

FWIW, I did the CS degree and dues-paying thing and most days wish I'd started a company instead.

0. https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=13541679

1. https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=13541681

2. https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=13541680

zomg 2 days ago 0 replies      
honestly, it seems like you're all over the place. pick a skill, be the best at it, and let the rest of your abilities support and reinforce that skill.

lots of young people talk about what they have done but don't realize that companies want to know what you can offer to them (read: results). if you're a "product designer" then you need to sell yourself as such (not "sell") and speak to the RESULTS of your designs. how have they been successful?

a hiring manager (like myself) is thinking, "how can i leverage what i see here to grow and build my business?" if you've launched a startup, speak to the design and how it impacted the financials and growth. no one cares you started a business (sorry!), i can do that it 15 minutes. making it successful is what gets attention. you want to work at a startup? how was YOUR startup successful?

lastly, i'd suggest you regroup on your website. i personally don't mind the design, but if you want to land at a startup, then you need to tailor your online portfolio to your audience (and desired position!), accordingly. you get one to chance to make a good first impression and i think you can do better there.

most importantly however, just keep at it. you have time on your side!

djrogers 2 days ago 0 replies      
Honestly feels like the OP is expecting this HN thread to be a series of commenters rushing to give sympathy and job offers - I'm pretty sure the frank, honest, and accurate feedback and criticism here came as a bit of a surprise.

But hey - if we didn't all feel like we could do everything when we were 23, then a lot of stuff throughout history ay never have gotten done ;-)

Svenskunganka 2 days ago 0 replies      
The thing I think is happening is that literally everyone and their grandmother is becoming a web (app) developer/designer. This might be a very unpopular opinion here on HN, but I think branching out to something else within software programming might be a good idea.

Maybe I'm wrong, but that's an impression about the web dev job market I've had for a while now, and I'd love to hear if others have the same or a different impression.

jacquelineo 2 days ago 0 replies      
https://github.com/jessicard/remote-jobs may be a useful link for you - a lot of remote companies are smaller web dev or design studios where you may find a home. Apologies if this is something you've already seen and good luck!
laythea 2 days ago 0 replies      
I'm sure your technical chops are great, and it is a big plus that you have projects to demonstrate, however I must admit, your post has the potential to comes across as a bit desperate.

I would suggest not listing your dreams such as "Mesmerizing Colors" in a CV (resume). Without wanting to be presumptive, if you were to list your dreams, would they really be limited to containing "business value" attracting attributes such that may be of interest to an employer/client? In addition, the absence of any such dreams may unnecessarily put off potential employers/candidates - in particular those who look for candidates with a more varied interest. I don't state that as an insult - just the way I read it.

In my opinion, in an interview/marketing campaign, a person should aim to come across as professional as possible as this is effectively your store front.

Saying all of that, best of luck in your search!

arc_of_descent 2 days ago 1 reply      
Make it very clear in your cover letter what role you are looking for. With roughly 3 years experience, a Product designer doesn't seem apt. (for the recruiter, although you may be a genius).

So something like "Web developer, with ambitions of growing towards a product manager/designer role".

Once you get an opening into a company, and its a good match, your talents will be recognizable instantly.

navd 2 days ago 0 replies      
To be honest I like most of your work and you remind me a bit of myself. The only difference seems to be I have a large focus on development. (frontend or backend, whatever code is code just the process is different)

My first job ~7 years ago I kind of fell into with a bit of luck and networking. However that experience helped me really propel my career.

I'm about the same age as you (24) have the following advice:

Don't put your age anywhere. Ageism exists. It'll benefit you a lot more to have a stunning resume / track record that gets you in the door and have a face to face talk with people who will hire you.

Get your programming chops up and try to pursue an engineering position. There are more jobs in engineering vs a design position. Plus you obviously know a bit about design and this'll translate nicely into aspects of engineering.

Good luck! And like others have said take a day off, have a couple beers, and continue when you feel a bit more optimistic.

antoniuschan99 2 days ago 0 replies      
I had some trouble a few years back when I was looking for a job after 2 years experience. I wasn't junior nor was I senior and I had spent a year and a half working on my 'startup' (so basically 3.5 years experience).

I didn't have any success finding remote interviews (less than 5), and had more interviews locally. However, it was my state of mind that prevented me from getting an offer. Not sure where your head is at, but with your resume and the job opportunities in the current days, the issue is more about you than the jobs itself.

Also, it seems like your designs would suit more French Fashion houses anyway. Seems like less of a feat to work at a French Fashion house (or design house) for a few years then branch off to New York than going straight back to New York (Remotely).

peteretep 2 days ago 1 reply      
I do this for a living. If you email me your resume, I'll get back to you with some advice in the next few days
juandazapata 2 days ago 0 replies      
You're just too young and lack experience. Just keep shipping cool stuff and keep growing your skillset/expertise. You'll get there.
b3lvedere 2 days ago 0 replies      
The best advice i can give you is to make multiple resumes. Adapt the resume for the job you are applying for.

And don't worry about the frustration. A lot of people had to apply a gazillion times for various things before they got one chance to show what they can.

brilliantcode 2 days ago 1 reply      
It really breaks my heart to see posts like this. I've been there but don't give up. If you are applying to that many jobs and not seeing any changes, there's a good chance that you have a problem that can be fixed.
Smushman 2 days ago 1 reply      
I want you to know you are not alone... I have been doing the same thing with the same results for the last 6 months.

I have applied to over 168 jobs (I used LinkedIn and it tracks them all). Of that I got about 25 recruiter interviews (level 0), about 15 Hiring Manager interviews (level 1) and about 10 second stage calls or on-site (level 2).

None have yet panned out or even look close...

It's hard out there right now - I do not know why precisely. I have many guesses.

But the important thing is to keep applying. Certainly, if you stop, nothing will happen further on its own. Knowing your not alone hopefully helps you do that.

In the future I hope we can do something smarter with this information.

gregshap 2 days ago 0 replies      
Does Franco-American mean you are a US Citizen? * If so then say it, or just take the Franco out of your bio

Are you committed to working in NYC?* Move now. Worst case save up a couple thousand dollars so you can make it a month. Live somewhere cheap and you can pull this off more easily than you would think.

Rather than feature the products/apps you built, write about the process you went through.* What challenges did you overcome? What UX assumptions did you start with that evolved through user feedback and testing.

Where is your github profile?* feature it

chlx 2 days ago 0 replies      
Are you "just" doing normal applications? or have you tried to spend a day or two looking at a specific product, and sending your thoughts/designs to the company?

Product Designer in NY, when you don't live in the US might be too narrow.

Just remember. It's always up to you. With your skills you can get a job any day. Which means, keep going for what you specifically wants, but just accept the consequences (takes time). If you can't accept the consequences, seek other jobs (e.g. other roles or cities). It's on you :-)

Complaining or feeling down adds nothing to your life. Easier said than done. I know!

So accept the process or hunt something else

akulbe 1 day ago 0 replies      
My apologies if this has been covered already. I know the job search is important, and I don't want to minimize that. I just want you to consider some things you may have stopped thinking about, in your discouragement.

Try to get good sleep. This will help you think more clearly.

Try to get regular exercise. This will also help you feel better, and think more clearly.

Read also. You cannot be looking for work constantly and not give yourself some kind of mental/emotional break.

As far as the job search is concerned, I'd recommend you talk to you people you know, where you are. Ask them if their companies are hiring. Generally, the likelihood of getting a job is better when you have a contact that already works there.

Go to meetups. Make contacts with others in your profession.

Freelance until you can get a regular job.

These are just some ideas. I know there are factors in your situation that none of us understand. I wish you luck. If you ever want to talk, my info is in my profile.

dbg31415 2 days ago 0 replies      
From what I can tell you have a few things going against you.

1) You haven't worked anywhere I've heard of. Means I don't know if you've got "new-hire issues" around showing up on time, writing professional emails, etc.

2) You seem suited for a UX Designer position, but you're aiming for a more senior product role. If I were you, I'd go for a UX Design job at an agency or company that people have heard of (or with clients people have heard of) so you can add those to your resume. (It's not bad to know some code to do UX Design, just like it's not bad to know some design if you want to be a developer -- but understand that most teams are split so people can specialize and thrive at what they are each good at. College is about learning broad topics, but for work you'll have an easier time finding a job if you pick something with high demand and specialize in it.)

3) You're looking for jobs in NYC when you are in Paris. General rule, you have to be where you want to find a job. Your search will be 10x harder at least doing it from another city.

4) I don't see any links to LinkedIn -- always nice when new-hires have recs posted so I can read what others say. Get a LinkedIn page and get some recs. There's nothing about your education even on your web page...

Good luck finding a job, it takes time and patience. If you aren't applying "right" you'll end up spinning your wheels going after things you won't land. In time you narrow down what you are good at, how to sell your skills... it does get easier.

divbit 2 days ago 0 replies      
Several of the comments here are pretty harsh about your works- to balance that out, I thought they were pretty cool, but then again I like retro / minimalistic things, and am not really a design expert.
amelius 2 days ago 0 replies      
> I've been "selling" myself as a Product Designer

You should ask a "product designer" crowd then. They can probably better tell you what is wrong with your applications than the programmer crowd.

hollaur 1 day ago 0 replies      
Your work is pretty great. I especially love your job board. I'd remove your age from your website to avoid ageism. And I'd start emailing people a lot. Send like 50 emails a week to people you don't know but ADD VALUE to them first. Here's a good post by Paul Jarvis: http://lifehacker.com/an-experienced-freelancers-guide-to-fi...
AngeloAnolin 1 day ago 0 replies      
First thing I saw that popped up on your website is your age. Not sure why, but I seem to think some (potential?) employers could take it against you. For example, being young, lots of people would think you're unprepared, inexperienced, or much worse, does not bring much to the table. On the other hand, some might think otherwise that when you apply for them and get hired, there's the potential that you might jump ship when the next better opportunity comes.

Others may think differently though - they could see you as someone they could probably use for tasks which you would find dry and not worthwhile, hence, even before you start, the odds are stacked against you.

Just my observation. Your credentials looks impressive though. But hiring managers rarely look deep into what your page tells.

evilduck 2 days ago 0 replies      
Maybe consider looking for cofounder roles. Calling yourself a Product Designer and then listing mobile development, SQL, node and python as skills doesn't really align for companies and recruiters. Nobody hires for "everything" and especially not someone billing themselves as a designer. Companies beyond 1 room start ups aren't letting their designers touch their database, and nobody expects the API developer to create design mock ups and copy of product pages. This screams "novice" or "doesn't play well with others".

Know your boundaries and pick a couple things you really are good at and sell yourself on those alone, be humble about the rest if asked and choose a better fitting title if you're not applying for a product design or product team position. If I need to hire a developer and I know the role includes provisioning servers and optimizing code to scale better, I'm going to send resumes titled "product designer" to the trash.

soneca 2 days ago 0 replies      
I mostly agree with nnq comments. And I think you should submit your resume to this site: https://www.topresume.com/

I am not anyway affiliated with them, and I know it sounds like a "bullshit service for just out of the college wannabe corporate executives who can't even write a decent resume based on common sense".

I used a jobs site (not even remember which) that included in the sign up this "free resume critique" service as an option. I did it expecting a whole bunch of mostly automated platitudes, but I was positively surprised with the comments they sent me a few days later.

It appears that a human being really read my resume with attention and send some very unobvious, constructive, practical feedback. It might be a little different for developers jobs, but I imagine you are applying to places where an HR person is reading your resume first. This company seems to know exactly what HR and their automated systems want.

That said, I have no way to prove if the tips they gave me are really good, but they sounded great to me. I think it is worthy to try their free offer.

xianshou 2 days ago 0 replies      
Have you gotten any face-to-face interviews, or even been in touch personally with any recruiters? The initial hurdle is often the highest because of the minuscule signal-to-noise ratio in job applications. If you have any friends working at companies you might like, or even friends who can refer you personally, make use of them. Due to the sheer volume of applicants for all manner of tech jobs, the harsh truth is this: submitting an online application without a personal connection, no matter the quality of your work, is essentially throwing your resume into the incinerator.

If you have absolutely no personal connections in tech that you can leverage, apply to Hired (https://hired.com/) or Triplebyte (https://triplebyte.com/) and prove your worth to them however you can. Once you're on the platform as a quality developer, the rest will handle itself.

amingilani 2 days ago 0 replies      
I can't tell why you were rejected, but I can offer you something to help bide the time: freelance work.

I was in a bit of a hole financially and getting a full time job would have killed my startup ambitions, so after failing to get any clients on sites like Upwork I applied to Toptal: https://www.toptal.com/#contract-just-respected-software-arc...

They screen their freelancers which means they've got fewer but higher quality workers. Your skills are similar to mine, so you should be fine to get in. Just don't give up, I failed the first time around but then I brushed up on my code solving abilities and got. Didn't take me a week to find my first client and I couldn't be happier with him or him with me.

I found an old HN discussion about Toptal after I got in, and realized it was mostly people screaming about not being able to get in, or considering themselves above solving code challenges. Just don't let that hold you back.


That aside, I do have tips on your job hunt!

Right before I got into toptal, I began having conversations about employment through the HN hiring posts, but I had a better process than (I suspect) most.

1. I copied all the posts from Who's Hiring into a spreadsheet2. through them all by hand and wrote a single paragraph about why I think I wanted to work for their company3. I extracted email addresses into another field4. I composed an email about how awesome I am5. I combined all of these through a Mail Merge and sent out 10 emails a day, keeping track of them through Streak's pipelines.

I recommend this project. After this, I know I applied to exactly 53 companies (felt like millions) and received no replies from 27, and was rejected by 21 because of visa issues.

Streak's Career Search Pipelines are awesome. :)

ezhome 2 days ago 0 replies      
Hi Olivier - I work in recruiting for ezhome.com and we have a 100% distributed engineering team (https://www.ezhome.com/careers/positions). I'm not sure if we have the right fit for you because we're looking for relatively sr. talent at the moment, but I still wanted to get in touch.

I second what fecak and others have said which is it's much, much better to be very specific about what you want and spend much more time on a few applications than generally put your info everywhere. You also need to be specific and tailored about your skills and the role you're looking for because it's hard for companies to know what to do with generalists.

And don't lose hope!

Rumudiez 2 days ago 0 replies      
From a critical point of view, it's funny that you seem to have made designerjobs.co entirely by yourself but are struggling to find a job.

From your brief website I have no clue what you did on any of those projects. I actually missed the list the first time I glanced at the page. What did you actually do? Project management? Make the coffee?

Anyone with a little experience can list a dozen projects they've contributed to, so recruiters and interviewers need to know that your contributions are meaningful.

Make it scan-friendly. Don't expect people to actually read your writing or devote time to researching you unless you have your own Wikipedia page (that you didn't make yourself).

fundingshovel 2 days ago 1 reply      
The title made me hope he had written a bot to literally to a million jobs.
Meph504 2 days ago 1 reply      
I would highly consider revising your js/time.js if you want to be consider for a javascript development position, there are some painful issues here.


please see


patgenzler 2 days ago 0 replies      
First, get your portfolio in order. Things you've built, along with clean and professional github repositories. Second, identify small companies that hire remote engineers. Weworkremotely.com, remoteok.io, etc. Note: small company, hires remote. Third, reach out to the founders or hiring managers directly and tell them exactly what you posted here minus the frustration part. Show them what you've built along with code. Finally, follow up with them relentlessly until you hear back from them. Good luck.
mikebelanger 2 days ago 2 replies      
Have you thought about Canada? In particular, Montreal has a vibrant tech scene, and they have a connection to French culture that might work in your favour. Canada needs lots of working-age people!
digitalengineer 2 days ago 0 replies      
If you are really desperate, you could try to A/B test the process. Optimize a site/profile for one application at a time. If they're looking for a front-end programmer, be that 100% and casually mention you also have experience in the other fields. Backend? Be that. Write the bio for that, show examples of that, quotes od clients regarding that... Right now you try to check all the boxes and you're getting compared to people who fit the job 100%. Just my 2 cents. By the way, your site feels rather un-personal and cold. How about adding at least a picture, a short bio, a bit of design and emotion?
danenania 2 days ago 0 replies      
How have you been finding companies to apply to? Honestly, you should have no trouble at all getting a job in NYC with your skills, so there must be a glitch happening somewhere in the process.

I'd suggest hired.com and angellist for a start. You could also make sure your LinkedIn is up-to-date and set your location to NYC to get on recruiters' radar.

Do you need visa sponsorship and relocation? Maybe that could be narrowing the pool a bit, but I think you should still have plenty of options. Don't get discouraged!

moron4hire 2 days ago 0 replies      
The problem is that 80% of jobs are filled internally or by referral, leaving the other 20% to be split up by recruiters and cold applications. So yes, if you're just filling out application forms, you're very unlikely to get a job. You need to go out to meetups and start networking with people already in the field. They will know about jobs before they are listed publicly and will also get to know you. It sounds really shitty, because it kind of is, but that is how it works.
the-dude 2 days ago 1 reply      
Your target audience ( recruiters ) may not like the style of your website.

Although I have no doubt that your are unique, you might consider it styling it a bit more close to the norm.

codeisawesome 2 days ago 0 replies      
Hey man, don't apply from a distance, and worst of all over web forms / email. Go talk to real people (meetups and conferences), give them free, useful advice from your expertise that you think might help their business (e.g. your website/api has such-and-such issues). If a company you like has open source repositories, attack the issue queue with PRs.

You'll be hired :) Take heart.

DrNuke 1 day ago 0 replies      
At 23 you do not usually get a tech job for what you can do right now but for what you love and will probably still love 10-20 years down the line. The point is: find yourself and a job will find you as a consequence, because your passion will make you stand out and fill the eyes of the hiring people.
SAI_Peregrinus 1 day ago 0 replies      
Your resume doesn't even have an objective section. That should traditinally be first. Describe what type of position you're looking for, and why you want to do that. Don't just list your experience, describe what you want for your future work.
fredgrott 2 days ago 0 replies      
something that I found out.. UI-Design-Kits are in high demand...yes the price is low $14 per unit but give the tricks of automation one can easily pump out about 15 products to get a good side income going..online stores that allow you to sell them are themeforest, materialup, etc..yes I am making some coin already
popara 2 days ago 0 replies      
And you are young (only two three years out of college). Any recruiter will see in you just a potential for junior hire. Maybe something that you are not aiming at.

Focus on figuring out what you want, not just that you have those skills, but where you are passionate to use them.

Put your photo on website.

Have fun, and nothing is wrong with you - maybe you are ugly duckling figuring out other species of water dwelling birds ;)

JSeymourATL 2 days ago 0 replies      
> I've been "selling" myself as a Product Designer...

Instead of selling, focus on creating WANT for potential buyers. On this subject, Oren Klaff is brilliant > http://artofvalue.com/learning-art-frame-control/

ovi256 2 days ago 0 replies      
If you're in Paris, go meet people from recruiting agencies like Mobiskill or Urban Linker. It's literally their job to know the market and find opportunities for you. In one or two emails you would be getting great advice about market positioning as well, as they know what's in demand and what's not.
coleifer 2 days ago 1 reply      
Last resort: the pity play. Some chivalrous HN startup guy will offer you something. Like 10% stake to build his vision...
siddg 2 days ago 0 replies      
If youre applying to a million jobs, reading this post might help you.


ebbv 2 days ago 0 replies      
I like your minimalist web site but if you are looking for designer positions you might want to make your web site a bit more along the lines of what the companies you're applying for consider good style.

If you are applying for developer positions you might want to highlight more of your developer skills.

NumberCruncher 2 days ago 0 replies      
@OP: do you really don't see the contradiction between the content and design of your site?
dtnewman 2 days ago 1 reply      
A lot of the other comments are focusing on the content and style of your website. Here's the thing: Most employers are never going to look at that. Unless you are showcasing something truly incredible, even the ones who are actually interested may take a quick glance and then move on.

What actually matters is your resume. That's the document that every single person is going to look at. Not everyone is going to read it over carefully, but everyone who is even remotely interested in you is going to look at it and for most of them, that's the document that matters most. I haven't seen your formatted resume, so I can't give you specific feedback, but maybe these tips will help others reading these comments:

* If you have fewer than 10 years of experience, keep it to one page (exceptions are academia and possibly roles in Europe). I know people with 40 years of experience who use one page. If they can squeeze it in, so can you.

* Keep the page clean and minimal. Black type on a white background with plenty of white space. It should look clean.

* No pictures or graphics. A lot of people will be turned off by this. Virtually no one will be turned off by black and white, text only.

* While we're at it, no funky fonts. Serif, sans-serif, it's not gonna matter much. But don't try to get cute.

* No typos or grammatical errors. 80% of people seem to have them. But this is a one page document and if you can't show that you can write one page without typos or other errors, what does that say about your attention to detail?

* Have someone proofread it anytime you make more than minor edits.

* I personally think that a statement of purpose line at the top can only hurt you by putting you in a box and rarely helps you. I've never looked at a well formatted resume and said "why doesn't this have a statement of purpose?". Just highlight your experience, contact info, etc and that's it.

* If you want, you can have one line at the bottom that talks about your hobbies that aren't directly relevant to your job. Sometimes your love of golf will be a good talking point for interviewers. But limit it to one line (or better yet, don't put hobbies in at all).

* PDF format! This means that it'll look the same on everyone's computer. I made this mistake in college when I sent out my resume as a word document. It looked great on my mac but I realized later than on Windows, the text went one line over the first page which looked terrible. That's when I started using PDFs and PDFs only for my resume (I format it using LaTeX but using Word or similar is fine as long as you save to PDF).

I've seen a lot of resumes for developers and you know what sticks out? A clean, well written resume with no typos. Because it's much rarer than you'd think. Most have typos. Some are too cluttered. Many list experience that I don't give a damn about. If you went to a college, then I don't really care about your high school experience. I also don't care about your babysitting experience if you are applying to be a developer. If you need to show work history then keep the irrelevant parts as short as possible.

But the main point is this: Well written resumes stand out because they are rarer than you would think. I used to think the opposite; that most people write good resumes and maybe you need to try something bold to stick out. But when I got to the other side of the table where I was looking over others' resumes, this turned out not to be the case. The resumes that tried to hard to stick out looked tacky to me. And finding a well written resume with consistent formatting, a nice layout and no errors seems to be rare, at least among junior hires.

OK, so now you've got a great resume. You send it to a thousand websites. Well, here's the bad news. No one is going to read it. I'm sorry, and it sucks, but it's the truth. But the good news is that today, there are many ways to contact hiring managers directly. You can message them via LinkedIn. You can go onto company websites and find email addresses. At small companies, those messages will often find their way to the CEO. You wanna really make sure it gets to the right person? Print it out and mail it in with a short cover letter. No one gets snail mail anymore so it's almost guaranteed they will have a look. Submitting a resume online for a large company is kind of like throwing your resume in the garbage and hoping someone will pick it up, unfortunately.

Finally, talk to recruiters. Email them out of the blue. These are the only people who are incentivized to scrutinize your resume more carefully. They will give you frank and honest feedback on your resume because that's what they do. As an employed developer you will get reached out to by recruiters all the time and will become annoyed by some of them (and possibly angry at some of the less ethical ones). But at your stage, you may need to reach out to them. And the good ones will actually help you. Their livings depend on getting your resume into the hands of people who hire.

Anyway, I'm sure there are those who disagree with some of my points above, but I think this is applicable to the majority of people, especially those early in their career.

Kinnard 2 days ago 0 replies      
You're clearly talented. Why do you need a job? Why not build your freelance practice?
creo 2 days ago 0 replies      
IMHO You're heading towards niche which is minimalistic and pure static design. This direction is mostly loved by small-gang startups that doesn't have enough resources to hire full time webdesigner. I might be plenty wrong.
roryisok 2 days ago 0 replies      
preface: take my advice, and everyone elses with a pinch of salt

The programmer in me appreciates the neatness and simplicity of your site, but recruiters are not programmers. they will see a "plain" website by someone selling themselves as a "designer".

My advice would be

1. re-target yourself as a Full Stack Developer. You have the skills for every level, from client UI right down to server and db stuff.

2. re-style your website. you don't have to give it a major overhaul, but maybe just try a few slight variations on that theme. use some fancy CSS3 effects. drop some shadows. use some transitions.

3. put a photo up there. a photo goes a long way

xophishox 2 days ago 0 replies      
It might just be your market? I got a job in 2 weeks after leaving my last position, and had quite literally 30+ offers on the table when i accepted this one.
Raphmedia 2 days ago 0 replies      
Move to Montral, plenty of jobs for franco-americans here!
inchevd 2 days ago 0 replies      
Consider coming to Berlin, tons of work opportunities here!
bobosha 2 days ago 0 replies      
Start attending some local meetups. Also it appears you are more startup friendly, so apply to startups. There are plenty of startups hiring people with your skills.
user5994461 2 days ago 0 replies      
Please post your anonymized resume online and we'll be able to advise you.

In my experienced, people rarely get rejected -millions- of time for no reason.

blunte 2 days ago 0 replies      
Human networking is the key to more reliable job finding. Go to meetups, make connections, let people get to know you and see how your mind works.
kapauldo 1 day ago 0 replies      
Im hiring, how can i get in touch with you?
mixmastamyk 2 days ago 1 reply      
Ok, this is a great question (I've faced the same problem as a generalist at times over my career), and I've loved almost every comment.

First, let's look at the situation we find ourselves in the tech industry. Everyone is interviewing, but "no one" is hiring.Companies are reporting they hire less than 1% of applicants(http://davidlynch.org/blog/2011/07/hiring-developers/).He probably wasn't the first to mention it butJoel Spolsky's post(s) about recruiting,where he talks about how one bad hire can seriously injure a company had a terrible effect;companies now look for any excuse not to hire you.The vast majority won't invest a nickel into training you either, you're supposed to hit the ground running.

While there's some truth to the point about bad hires,showing them the door quickly is one of the responsibilities of management.It happens---deal with it and move on.The reverse strategy however, avoiding a bad hire at all costs,(to the extent that you toss aside multiple good candidates in the process)is a recipe for disaster as well.Unless you've got nine months to wait for Mr/s. Perfecto to walk in.The result of which has been nothing short of the so-called "tech-shortage."

The point I'm getting at is that you need to remove all the barriers to getting hired.Spolsky does have one great post on the subject:(https://www.joelonsoftware.com/2000/06/03/strategy-letter-ii...)on how to remove the barriers that prevent people from choosing your product(in this case you). In short, you knock them down, one by one.

Regarding your website, I liked the starkness and the font, but am a geeky outlier.(I'm tired of the cookie-cutter websites that everyone agrees are professionally designed these days. The round photos are especially grating.)The only thing I didn't really like were the "@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@"'s,removing them made it feel less cluttered.

The point I'm trying to make though, is that your site is edgy and polarizingand does not help when you are looking to sell yourself, it cuts your audience by 50% or more.Just like in the old days you had to support IE6,you'll probably have to "dumb" the site down to be more accessible to currentdesign thought.

Next,if you want a job with the title "Product Designer," your last job must be of the title, "Product Designer",sad but true.This means you need to convince your current employer to let you move to anew career not the next one.You do this by being valuable, but not irreplaceable---document your work.Focus on one thing until you get hired.Front-end dev might be a better match given your interests,learn Angular and React to a passable degree.This will open the floodgates to many more jobs.

Finally, figure out how to work in the US without a visa if you can,that's a huge barrier.Don't mention being based in Paris unless framed as temporary.

There are probably more barriers, which you'll find mentioned through out this page,knock them down too.And now off to follow some of my own advice ;).

dharma1 2 days ago 0 replies      
Maybe try applying for front end/full stack dev jobs rather than product design, should be easier with your skill set
dvfurlong 2 days ago 0 replies      
Super niche balance of skills, but the kind we are looking for. Unfortunately in Amsterdam, not NYC/Paris.
gigatexal 2 days ago 0 replies      
How's your personal network? The best jobs are by knowing a guy (or girl) who knows a guy (or girl).
alanwells 2 days ago 0 replies      
Hi there, fellow designer here who also doesn't like to fit in the narrow box of most product design roles. I've been doing this generalist thing for 10 years, and I've found that it makes applying for jobs pretty challenging - most companies are looking to fill a specific role and won't value the breadth of your interests.

I think there are 3 ways that you can make this generalist path work without it being career suicide.

1) Start your own profitable small business. It's not easy but if you can get to the point of personal financial sustainability based on something you've built, then you can stop worrying about the fact that nobody wants to hire you. Words of caution here - if you go this route, you will spend most of your time doing things other than design work and coding. Also, don't consider "start a business" synonymous with "start a startup". Startups are a very particular kind of business, but they aren't the only kind, and they have an extremely high failure rate. If you go this route, I would strongly consider focusing on building a small, profitable business first before you attempt to build a hypergrowth startup backed by outside capital. For this path, seek inspiration from https://www.indiehackers.com/businesses

2) Commit to the freelance gig path and make it work. This is pretty similar to #1 except in this case you're doing work for hire instead of building a product that generates revenue. I've done this path before as well, and found that the most challenging thing was to get a consistent pipeline of client projects. I think this is easier than it has been before. If I were doing this today, I would focus on building a reputation and profile on one of the gig marketplaces (Gigster seems like the best of the bunch right now) and use that to help fill the pipeline of projects. If you go this route, your personal financial planning should include a buffer for weathering weeks or months without work, as the lumpiness of income from the freelance life is one of the most challenging parts for someone who is starting fresh and trying to build a client base.

3) Find a very early stage startup that is so small that they value generalists over specialists and is working in an area that you're excited about and has high potential for growth. When you find this company, take almost any job they will offer you, and start working hard. If the company grows, there will be opportunities to take on more responsibilities. Over time, if you can prove your abilities in design and coding with hands on projects inside the ocompany, there will probably be many ways to contribute in these areas. You typically won't find companies like this by skimming the headlines of recent funding announcements - those companies have already made it far enough that they are usually focused on hiring specialists. Your sweet spot here will be smaller, scrappier companies that haven't made it that far yet and need to get a lot done with very little. Searching AngelList for startups that have raised only seed funding or no outside capital and are OK with remote work would be a good start here.

sooheon 1 day ago 0 replies      
Just curious, did you pay for the Input font licensing?
imdsm 2 days ago 1 reply      
If I could afford it, I'd hire you.

Sorry I can't afford it.

scarface74 1 day ago 0 replies      
Have you been working with any recruiters?
smilesnd 2 days ago 0 replies      
"Currently looking for remote/NYC-based work at your cool startup."

This is the first red flag for me. What you should be looking for is a good team to join, a place you can grow, and etc. It is okay to state you can only work either remote or in NYC. I wouldn't say anything about a startup, unless you only want to work at a startup. Even then I wouldn't state wanting to work at a startup. It is like flirting with someone. You don't just tell them you like them. Describe yourself and your work ethics to make yourself sound like a great candidate for a startup.


"I'm a 23 year old Franco-American"

I would drop the age. It is unneeded information, and their is such a thing as age-discrimination. If you told me someone had 3 years of work experience I would be like "great". Then if you told me he was 23 I would be like "hmmm". It sucks but it is how it is.


"I'm passionate about all things visual and get a kick out of crafting thoughtful digital experiences that delight their users."

Why are you passionate about visual things? Why do you enjoy making digital experience for people? How do you accomplish this? This sentence that is suppose to describe you actually doesn't accomplish that.


"I favor clean, minimal design and like to design right from the browser: HTML and CSS are my best friends."

Does designing directly from the browser make you hardcore? Why do you favor clean, minimal design? Same as above this sentence doesn't accomplish anything.


Latest work section.

I would add some info to this section. Why you made it? Challenges you over came while doing it. What you learn, or what you experience while creating it. Right now it just looks like random projects someone throw together in a week.


Experience section.

This sections feels like you trying to hide your lack of experience. Either state how many months you worked at each place, or state why you weren't there for longer then a year. My rule of thumb is if you weren't there longer then 2 years then you drop in months. Either I was there for 19 months or I was there from Jan 2016 - May 2016. Also the job title doesn't tell me anything you actually did. Give at least a short description of your duties, or why you accepted the job. What tools or languages you used while there.


I dream of section

I would change the name of this section. I would assume you would dream of joining a team or working on this or that or something. I am not a frontend designer so I really don't know what requirements someone in this field actually needs. "Mesmerizing Colors and Beautiful Typography" seems like something you should show on your website, so it doesn't need to be listed. Ditto for "Witty Copy" which I had to google and still don't fully understand what it is.


These are just my thoughts from looking at your site. When I start looking for work I get a group of friends together and we hammer out my resume. They read it and any time they ask me a question I know that is a red flag. A resume is to inform someone of your ability and strength. Every word should have a purpose and leave the person reading it not questioning anything. Everything on the resume should be truthful, serve a purpose, and be prosaic.

Best of luck to you.

joeclark77 1 day ago 0 replies      
Have you considered learning a valuable skilled trade? There's plenty of opportunity in construction, welding, plumbing, electrical work, etc.

You could still make mobile apps as a hobby.

throwaway369741 2 days ago 0 replies      
I'm in exact position as of you. Though I am looking for Product Management position.

Small Context:- Apart from things you listed above, I have experience in Ethical hacking and data analytics as well. Built many products, some good , some bad. Helped many people (freely) to build their product and their internal engineering infrastructure for facilitating other developers to contribute smoothly.On Business side, I'm strong in crafting various monetization strategies and know that I'm pretty good at predicting the market trend and reflecting things in my product roadmap. So, I figured it our that best way to keep me motivated and contribute in a significant way WAS to get into product management. Be it as general product management or Technical one.I just don't have superficial knowledge, like know the interface of products and stuff... but literally enjoy to dwell into the core implementation of products/softwares which enables me to think from top of the stack to all the way to below underlying NAND registers. It's not like I had mastered every layer in between but I have enough enthusiasm to understand the WHY behind everything. This applies to both my technical and non-technical stuff.

BUT being said that, I have noticed that people generally don't believe in what we write on our resume/website. Because they feel that this guy is certainly bluffing. One thing I noticed though, whenever I meet someone in person, they instantly notice the difference. And they tend to seek knowledge from us. But again here my shyness kicks in I can't ask them for job directly. Can't even start a conversation, feels really odd. If you can try some offline aproach and are good with initiating conversation with people, you might find yourself better opportunities.

Why I failed in my startup?Answer - I specifically lack in Sales. I'm introvert. And my major failure is that I didn't hired or had resources to hire a proper sales team. Ideally, I'm fully aware and believe that founders should be a good salesman as well, but I'm now learning to do that.

My Advice for you-Brainstorm a little bit, imagine a situation where one founder gave you full liberty to help him for his product. Where will you will help him the most and at the same time will also enjoy for yourself. For me, it was Product management. I somehow feel the same for you BUT please spend some time to think on it. Once, your somewhat zeroed on your position, second step is to check the job descriptions of that position. Check 2 things there, 1) Does those job responsibilities excites you? 2) Do you have most of the "requirements" mention there. By requirements I want you to focus on the "skills / knowledge areas" mentioned there. If these 2 things resonate with you, you'll instantly know that where you fit the most. If somewhere things like "experience years" seems to be a hurdle, don't get discouraged. Still reach out to the recruiter and help them understand that you really know your shit and well experienced to handle the job swiftly.

Other Stuff-

Let me share one irony with you. While working on my startup, I gave chance to people just because they had enthusiasm and adaptability. They had literally zero knowledge in computer world. I on-boarded them, taught them programming right from some basic concepts of versioning to all the way to deploying and managing servers using docker or even VM based approach. Many of them got a job somewhere after working with me. But I feel pained about the same thing, I had not yet came across same people like me who believe in giving chances to people based on their enthusiasm and willingness. But I still believe that I need to find more of such people, who truly believe in a caliber of person. For them, a person is more important than the piece of paper.

NOTE: If some people are interested to atleast talk with me, please mail me at away8600@gmail.com

OP - If you feel, please get in touch with me at away8600@gmail.com ... We'll plan something. Since we both have nearly same attitude and way-of-life .... we'll try to figure out something concrete.

UK-AL 2 days ago 0 replies      
Unfortunately, companies like to put people in specific boxes.

They are not looking for people who can span the entire process, and change things globally.

Partly because that is threatening to high up's, and makes you harder to manage.

Ask HN: Why do so few software developers use software visualization tools?
15 points by nebucnaut  1 day ago   17 comments top 10
detaro 1 day ago 1 reply      
I don't because I don't know any software viz tools that seemed to provide me with a tangible benefit. Can you recommend some you find useful?
rustyhacker 1 day ago 1 reply      
My personal view on this matter is that people in our industry believe high quality code means it's easy to read/understand. So assuming that the code is of good quality, the IDEs refactoring tools should suffice for navigating and understanding the code.

Now I admit for large projects (~ >50k loc), visualisation could prove to be very useful for architects or new people joining the room. But most visualisations tools are very text oriented, because of the underlying language itself. So what you end up with is the name of the class/package/variable in a rectangle with lines drawn to another class. From where I stand, that's very easy for me to either quickly draw on paper or imagine it in my head. So the tools I've come across don't add much value.

Another point which is only speculation is that a number of users are not visual, and have a different way of processing data. They'd rather read/hear about the details and numbers to "understand" what is happening, rather than visualise them.

panic 1 day ago 0 replies      
Because the source code itself is already a visualization of the software. It's easier to navigate around the code directly, using grep or IDE features to discover where identifiers are used, than it is to go back and forth between the code and a separate simplified representation.
deepaksurti 1 day ago 0 replies      
Whenever I have had to work on an existing Common Lisp code base or even my own CL code that I come to after a time, I use dtrace.lisp [1], [2].

I just choose to trace the application package/s and not the 3rd party packages it uses, at least for the 1st run. Then I run any app feature that I want to explore. What I get is the truth, the pieces of code which have been executed to fulfill that feature. I then read the relevant source code shown by the tracer doing deep dive/high level reading as I deem fit. For complex features on a code base that is new to me, someone who gives me a high level overview helps, but even if not, the tracer helps me do it. I don't know but `dtrace` seems to be `detective trace`.

I haven't found yet more joyful experience of software visualization than a session with dtrace, especially when I combine it with live updating the app source code and see the change reflected.

Outside the lisp world where I can't do such tracing, well, I quirk!!!

[1] https://github.com/deadcode/Learning-CL--David-Touretzky/blo...[2] https://bitbucket.org/dmsurti/dtrace

grif-fin 1 day ago 0 replies      
I have the same question, and a speculative answer for it. Here it is, because none have been useful enough in long run.

I've concluded this by asking two question:

-Has no one made one? Not true at all. We have always more apps & software in general that you think.

-Is there any reasons for not knowing any good tools and not using them extensively other than they have not been useful in long run? No.

marssaxman 23 hours ago 0 replies      
I had never heard the term before; after looking it up on Wikipedia, I have never heard of any of the software packages listed. I don't know what I would do with such a tool. If I'd ever needed one, I imagine I'd already have gone looking for it, so I guess that these software visualization tools must be solving problems which don't really exist in my part of the industry. Maybe this is the sort of thing you need if you're trying to wrangle some giant mess of a business app with millions of lines of Java? I don't know, I've never gone near that world.
jzl 1 day ago 1 reply      
Very interesting question and one I've been thinking about recently. For now it seems to come down to "there are no good visualization tools", at least any that are commonly known, but I suspect this will be a huge growth area in coming years.

Would love to hear about any good ones.

billconan 1 day ago 0 replies      
The software visualization tool I know is this http://gource.io/

In my opinion, it's not that useful. Any visualization tools should help the users understand and interpret the information.

But with this tool, all you can learn from the visualization is that code bases grow....

If there is a visualization tool can generate diagrams of a large code base and help me understand the code, I will buy it.

bsvalley 1 day ago 1 reply      
Visualization tools are like daily standups and burndown charts. They only beneficit the management. It's just one extra task for developers that doesn't get the job done. I think they're pretty useful when you first jump into a new piece of code and want to have a quick overview. For people who work on the code everday, it becomes quickly obsolete.
k__ 1 day ago 0 replies      
I don't know about good tools for JavaScript.
Ask HN: Resume check and critique
10 points by jathu  1 day ago   15 comments top 4
jathu 1 day ago 2 replies      
I guess I'll kick this off. This is my current resume: http://jathu.me/resume/2016.pdf.

The results have been pretty good, I've gotten interviews from places like Google, Apple and Bridgewater Associates. I went as far as onsite for place like Bridgewater, however, I applied to all of these places without practicing my interviewing skills or any algo problems. So, as predicted I was pretty bad at the interviews and ultimately I didn't get an offer from any of them. In my defence, I didn't think I would have gotten an interview from any of those places that early, hence my lack of practice. So I'm holding off applying for now, so I can practice for a month.

I am primarily looking for a job in the finance sector and I know my current 2016 resume won't look very "professional" in the finance industry (with my face and all). I'm working on another version of my resume that is more conservative that I will be applying to finance firms with. I'll still be using my 2016 version for Silicon Valley companies.

EugeneFedotov 5 hours ago 0 replies      
I have been unable to find employment, minus a short contract, since graduation. I practically get rejected at every company. So any feedback is helpful.


synclair 1 day ago 3 replies      
Would really love some help with mine: http://synclairwang.com/assets/resume.pdf

I just started looking for jobs and haven't had much luck. I bought into the craze of coding bootcamps and although I learned a lot, I feel like it isn't enough to stand out. Would appreciate any tips and thinks to change/remove/add into the resume.

And in case anyone wants to give some input on my portfolio site as well: http://synclairwang.com

nkristoffersen 1 day ago 1 reply      
I am actually working on web app that walks you through building a solid resume based on my own UX opinions. Then at the end you can print out the pdf.This is my resume (rather outdated now) and my opinionated design. http://resume.kristoffersen.io

Thoughts on a resume builder web app? Want to see one exist?

Could science continue even if a civilisation breaks down?
4 points by Pica_soO  1 day ago   5 comments top 3
deftnerd 19 hours ago 1 reply      
You ask about science after civilization has broken down, but then also mention after democracy and peace are gone.

If you're thinking of a lawless Mad Max style apocalypse, most likely sciences will be regulated to discovering things that were already known but then lost to humanity. You could see it like the unrest after the Roman Empire fell (the Dark Ages) where lots of knowledge was lost and had to be learned again from scratch.

It is entirely possible that things will still be recognizable as a civilization even if democratic institutions are gone and even if a nation is at war.

There are pursuits of sciences under a monarchy and even authoritarian dictatorships. During time of conflict, science might focus on military technologies (which often have later civilian applications) or on technology to help pacify the population (agriculture, comfort goods, surveillance technologies).

nnn1234 18 hours ago 1 reply      
The Question I think is better dissected along demographic barriers and defining what you mean when you say Science.

If there is no one here to practice science, then the word loses its meaning.( tree falling in the woods analog)

If we take the lesser of your dystopia, Civilization exists its just not democractic nor peaceful, Here I give you the example of the Klingons (Star trek nerd that I am :) )

mrits 19 hours ago 0 replies      
We'd all be more productive without the internet to distract us.
Ask HN: 100% salary and 5-day week or 80% salary and 4-day week?
9 points by alando46  21 hours ago   16 comments top 12
LifeQuestioner 50 minutes ago 0 replies      
I Always go for a paycut and 80% salary. At 26, have never worked a full 5 day job. But I just prefer to have the extra day to actually do things I enjoy, or trying new things(i'm a learning new things addict) everything from language classes to yoga, to dance, to making it easier to go on longer holidays Friday-Monday, no hassle!
LeoSolaris 20 hours ago 1 reply      
I prefer three 10-12 hour days for 100% pay.

Purely answering the question... The pay, unless you bill by the hour. If you bill hourly and you can comfortably live on 80%, then you can aim for 4 days and flex if needed. It will give you time to work on side projects or just relax.

If you're salary, then the 4 day 'deal' is a Faustian bargain. You will be expected to be available for free on the fifth day, and you will rarely ever get it off. That's just the nature of business.

itamarst 8 hours ago 0 replies      
I'd go with 4 days. My last two jobs have been less than full time (originally 3.5 days a week, right now it's more like 4.5 days/week), and it's pretty great.

If anyone wants to do this the key is:

1. Have some money in the bank so you're nor desperate for a job.

2. Have in-demand skills.

3. Get some practice negotiating.

4. Ideally do this at place you already work, or with consulting client: much easier than negotiating shorter workweek with people who don't know you.

(If anyone is interested I'm writing a book on how programmers can get to a sane workweek: reasonable hours, remote work, or even a shorter workweek, though that's harder. Initial email course is at https://codewithoutrules.com/saneworkweek/ until the book is done.)

jp555 21 hours ago 1 reply      
Depends what kind of progressive income tax system you work in. At the end of the day for me, 80% salary wouldn't mean much less net income, but that extra free time would be amazing.
sotojuan 19 hours ago 0 replies      
80% salary assuming my significant other is working either in the same schedule or a 5-day a week now. If not, I'd still do it but I'll probably need to do some budgeting :-)

4 days of work and 3 days of rest is, IMO, the perfect balance. You get enough time to rest that you actually look forward to going back to work (if you enjoy it).

Most of us do a lot of chores on the weekend that we can't do in the weekday because they're only open 9-5. A 3 day weekend would give us more time to ourselves.

tedmiston 21 hours ago 0 replies      
Depends on the salary and whether it's truly a 4-day week or if it's really the same workload as a 5-day week.
nstart 18 hours ago 0 replies      
80% salary for 4 days work easily. The value I could find by having one day to do work that makes me feel 100% fulfilled trumps all.
patatino 12 hours ago 0 replies      
I changed to 90% work with 100% salary instead of a pay raise.
deangiberson 21 hours ago 0 replies      
What do you value more right now? Time or money?
psyc 18 hours ago 0 replies      
Definitely the latter.

However, I'd also take 50% and a 5-day week, if the team was guaranteed to be as pleasant to work on as the best team I've worked with.

bbcbasic 20 hours ago 0 replies      
I recently changed from 5 to 4 and took the pay cut. It's awesome and humane. Especially with young children keeping me busy at weekends. The assumption you stated doesn't apply to me though.
dy 21 hours ago 1 reply      
It really depends on if I believed that my fifth day would be mine or would the demands of the work bleed into that day? Similar to 20% time at Google - it's easy for your "real" work to take over that time if you don't defend it actively and it's unlikely that you'll be vigilant the whole time.

I think in knowledge work - trading off time for salary is generally not a great move because we're almost always "on the clock."

Ask HN: Freelancers what is your average monthly income?
38 points by Bashmaistora  1 day ago   17 comments top 6
troels 1 day ago 1 reply      
Freelance is a lot of different things to a lot of different people. I've done short jobs in the past, but don't really like that. Now I'm doing longer contracts, with full time engagement and I like it a lot more.

After doing a couple of startups in various positions (as employee and as founder), I decided to do some contract work for a while. I'm on my second contract now. The contracts I've been doing both started out as 2-3 month full time, but were then extended. I'm billing roughly x2.5 of my best salary as a perm. I've been raising my wage each time, and I suspect I can raise it another 20% from where I'm now. Possibly more.

So far I've been getting work through network. I've been working as a developer for a while now, so I have a well sized rolodex, but I've been talking to a lot of recruiters - some of which had interesting contracts, so I might be getting my next job that way.

I've been billing by the hour btw., but in both cases, my employer didn't really care how much time I chose to work. In fact - the more, the better, from their perspective. They are large, established companies, so they have deep pockets and my boss isn't paying out of his own salary. From my perspective, billing by the hour means I'm getting paid for overtime, which is a good thing.

josephjrobison 1 day ago 1 reply      
I only jumped ship when I had my full-time job and had 3 clients already on the side. I think the right time to do it is when you're too stressed out working full time and you already have clients. At least if you have 0 savings.

If you have 6 months savings, then you're good to go and can take more of a leap. At the same time, I would have at least one on the side so you're sure you like it.

Additionally, there's a ton of client management and communication issues I'm working on constantly optimizing. I wish I would have worked at an agency for at least a year to see how a professional, larger agency handles it so that I'm not learning from scratch essentially. If you're only in-house now and not client facing, there are some serious skills to learn and practice on that side.

Avg monthly income for awhile was about $7k, which nicely replaced my full time, then it's creeped up over the last 18 mos to about $14k gross/$12k net.

I do have a part time contractor now working for me 10 hours a week, which is probably the best thing I've done so far since starting consulting (freelancing).

If you haven't already, consume everything on doubleyourfreelancing.com to have the correct mindset, which is 30% of it.

rememberlenny 1 day ago 2 replies      
Not a freelancer now, but did a lot of contracting.

Key is to price using a WEEKLY RATE. Break your work into chunks of weeks.

Do not do hourly work.

If the client is looking for less than a week, then its possible to do a daily rate, at a higher average, but the moment you have to break up your tasks as hourly jobs or pay-per-task, you are creating the opportunity to absorb unexpected costs from the client.

wsc981 1 day ago 2 replies      
First of all, I am from The Netherlands. My feedback is based on the Dutch market.

- Average monthly income?

Hard to say what the average is, since last year I took a break for 7 months and needed another 2 months to find a new opportunity. But when I am working the average gross income would be somewhere above 10.000 EUR ex. VAT. I'm working 40 hours a week. I usually try to work for big clients for at least a year or so.

- If in the same spot would you do the move again?

Definitely. I wish I made the move years earlier (I started freelancing at 32 years old). I really appreciate the feeling of freedom and the idea that I am taking control of my own life to the biggest extent possible.

- How long did it take to get a regular stream of work?

Usually I can get work really, really quick - let's say just a couple of weeks. Last year was a bit problematic due to some issues with Dutch law, making potential clients more hesitant to hire freelancers. For mobile dev I am sure one can find many opportunities every single month and should never be long without work. For front-end work I imagine the situation is much the same.

- Any other advice or tips you could offer.

If you freelance, save some money for your future. I'd say ideally you tried to spread risk as much as possible. You could put some money in a tax deductible pension plan, some money in index funds and use some money to pay of your mortgage ASAP. Make sure you keep enough savings to survive at least a couple of months. If you manage to lower your costs of living, you will be able to survive much longer with the same amount of money.

If you don't want to bother yourself to look for jobs, you could just let recruiters contact you. I get most of my jobs through recruiters on LinkedIn and Monsterboard, because I can't really be bothered to search for myself. Of course, they will take a cut of your pay check, but as long as I am able to make over 10k a month gross, I'm still quite happy. Just make sure that on your profiles you mention you are a freelancer.

When you tell your rate, always start bidding a bit higher than your absolute minimum. So if the lowest pay you'd accept would be 65 EUR / hour (ex. VAT), start bidding at 80 EUR / hour.

Some companies that deal with recruiters have some sort of insurance that you will get paid, regardless if the client pays the recruiter or not. At least ComputerFutures and Progressive Recruitment make these promises and such an arrangement can be nice if you like a bit more security with regards to payment.

ArtDev 1 day ago 2 replies      
The secret sauce: large full-time contracts.

Don't undersell your hourly rate. It has to be quite high to afford health insurance, save for retirement and save enough to take a little vacation time.

Taxes are a massive problem if you self-employed. Auto-transfer your estimated taxes so you don't get in trouble at the end of the year.

roberthl 23 hours ago 0 replies      
Having a well developed professional network is essential to being a successful freelancer, actively marketing and prospecting new clients is extremely time consuming and can lead to low value work. The best opportunities will come from referrals and existing contacts.

When I started freelancing I had two projects lined up to begin immediately, and had already been working part-time with one client - this is a great way to ensure you start your freelance career on a good footing.

Big engagements for a few weeks at a time are the ideal way to be most effective to your client as a developer, but it also puts a lot of risk on that contract working out and having work after it ends. If you are able to manage your time between two or more clients you are setting up a more stable income stream, also consider retainers but bear in mind these can restrict your ability to take on more lucrative projects when they come up.

One other thing to consider is that freelancing can be seen as a negative on your resume if you look to move back to a full-time role, since some hiring managers interpret it as a lack of a team-player attitude or tantamount to unemployment.

My main motivation to be a freelancer was for flexibility to allow me to move country, I found it very challenging to find new work after my relocation without a professional network in the city I moved to. If I had remained in my original city I would have definitely continued freelancing indefinitely.

Ask HN: What's your primary development laptop?
5 points by euoi  1 day ago   20 comments top 14
drakonka 2 hours ago 0 replies      
My primary development laptop for hobby projects is a 2016 ThinkPad X1 Carbon running Fedora. It is used mostly for web dev and Python dev.

This would not be suitable for all aspects of my normal day job, but I refuse to set up at-home VPN access again anyway so it's a nonissue.

prodigal_erik 12 hours ago 0 replies      
3/4 of recent jobs gave me a macbook. Between jobs and away from my desktop, I use a refurbished HP junker. Laptops are disposable and too severely compromised to make good investments. Anything that can run emacs, git, offline docs, and shelling out to a real computer will do.
tedmiston 21 hours ago 1 reply      
Early 2013 rMBP 15"

It's still quite the workhorse and I'm happy with it. Besides needing a new battery after ~3 years, I'm not sold on the tradeoffs of upgrading to the touch bar model. If I could just buy this same machine again today, I would do that. My only complaint really is it'd be nice to have a matte screen but I don't think Apple even makes matte displays anymore.

jjaredsimpson 1 day ago 1 reply      
I'm not a gamer but I bought an Acer gaming laptop. It's ugly, but powerful, and it was on sale. I've gotten used to the lights and angular features. Only annoying thing I can't remove is the logo which is some aggressive looking face thing.

I'm happy with it but I get it that someone people just can't stand the aesthetics of gaming laptops. But they do have great perf metrics.

akulbe 13 hours ago 0 replies      
Was a 2016 15 MBP w/Touch Bar (max specs), and macOS. It's on the shelf now.

Now it's the new Dell XPS 15 (9560) (max specs), and Windows 10 - Fast Ring.

simplehuman 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Lenovo Carbon 3rd gen
pmontra 22 hours ago 0 replies      
HP Zbook 15 first generation. i7 4xxxMQ, 16 GB RAM, 1 TB SSD (upgrade of the original, 750 GB HD), Nvidia Quadro K1000M, Ubuntu 16.04, 1920x1080.
meric 12 hours ago 1 reply      
Macbook Retina 12 inch early 2016
sotojuan 18 hours ago 1 reply      
Early 2015 13" rMBP.

Have no complaintsworks perfectly.

ggregoire 17 hours ago 0 replies      
Macbook Air 11" from 2012
saluki 19 hours ago 0 replies      
MB air 13"

Full Stack DevLaravel/Rails

janus 1 day ago 0 replies      
A 2015 Retina Macbook Pro 13
improvemewrong 20 hours ago 0 replies      
Mid 2015 rMBP 15"

It's great.

cverna 23 hours ago 0 replies      
Asus zenbook :)
Ask HN: Why some stories rise while others go unnoticed?
5 points by franciscop  1 day ago   5 comments top 3
gus_massa 23 hours ago 1 reply      
In this case my ordered guess is: (more important first)

* It's a nice blog post that is easier to understand than a github repository. The repository has a good readme, but the blog post has more details.

* Brand recognition: twilio is more famous than you. This gives a little more confidence in the project. (Don't get offended, twilio is more famous than me too.)

* Bonus point for a tweet/photo of patio11.

* Sometimes the fanboys of a language can help. But I'm not sure if phyton is more popular than node.js here

* Luck. Sometimes it's just luck. HN has a system where the mods select an autoresubmit a post to try to reduce the luck factor.

tedmiston 20 hours ago 1 reply      
Plenty of articles get submitted multiple times and get minimal activity on some and spikes on others, even when the link is the same.

The odd part about that Google Spreadsheets and Python post today from Twilio is that underlying library, gspread, is several years old. Twilio is also not the first one to write about the topic.

Randomness and timeliness to current events definitely play a factor. Maybe there's a trend right now of going "back to the basics" with things like microframeworks when it comes to building out MVP side projects.

27182818284 1 day ago 0 replies      
There are a lot of factors. The time of day of the submission itself can make a difference.
Ask HN: How do you deal with distraction?
7 points by aml183  1 day ago   5 comments top 5
kenshi 19 hours ago 0 replies      
I generally use the Pomodoro technique (25 mins of focussed effort, 5 min break, repeat).

One thing I find useful to stay focussed, is when a distracting idea comes to mind is to simply write it down somewhere, so I can look into it later.

If other people are a distraction, you need to make some time where you cant be interrupted. Switch your phone to airplane mode.

Tell people you are working and not to disturb you at certain times, or just let them know you will get back to them later. If you aren't a jerk about communicating this, most people are pretty reasonable.

jakobegger 23 hours ago 0 replies      
In my opinion family and friends is the good kind of distraction, and I don't try to avoid them.

Browsing HN or Facebook or reading Twitter is the bad kind of distraction. I block news.ycombinator.com and some other websites on my computer (by editing the hosts file) to avoid the "let me just quickly check something" trap.

But I find that I get distracted most easily when doing boring pointless work. So I try my best to avoid that kind of work and make sure most of my work is intersting. When the work is interesting, I tend not to get distracted so easily.

justsorneguy 1 day ago 0 replies      
I don't, otherwise I wouldn't be posting comments on random online threads - I think you're asking the wrong people for this advice...
tedmiston 20 hours ago 0 replies      
Headphones (in the office) and having a dedicated office space when working remotely.
azuajef 1 day ago 0 replies      
Try to take a break from HN ;-)
Row equivalent matrix properties
2 points by yanman  19 hours ago   1 comment top
Ask HN: How do I improve my impromptu speaking?
5 points by treesaregreen  20 hours ago   7 comments top 6
f_allwein 19 hours ago 1 reply      
In general, Toastmasters is excellent for improving your speaking skills. Find a club near you, visit them and see if you like it: https://www.toastmasters.org

They also do a thing called table topics where at every meeting members are asked to stand up and speak on a random topic for two minutes. Sounds scary, but if you practice it regularly, you'll be surprised how quickly you improve.

taway_1212 9 hours ago 0 replies      
It depends if you want to be entertaining or informative/thoughtful.

For informative/thoughtful, you basically need to have coherent thoughts on a given subject before you speak. You can't just magically figure things out as you open your mouth, there isn't nearly enough time.

For entertaining effect, I guess it's more art than science. Try watching some good sitcoms and standup comedians perhaps?

curtisspope 19 hours ago 0 replies      
My 0.02 What you need to do is let go of being so deliberate. Speak to your audience and stop focusing on what may be judged coming out of your mouth. Simple but effective. if you want to be interesting, be interested - "Not sure who said it"
nnn1234 18 hours ago 0 replies      
I second Practice and reading whatever language you want to speak in. You could hack it by having a scenario specific list of quotes,phrases and oratorical devices in your sleeve to show off ( like a magician always has a deck of cards ready)I would suggest reading a whole lot and then going out and doing it
elmerfud 20 hours ago 0 replies      
Practice. That's really what you need to do. There are tricks you can learn to keep up speaking while you're formulating something decent to say, but more than anything it's practice. Go to open mic nights and practice also watch/listen to other people. You'll being to see how they do it and it will help you too.
meric 17 hours ago 0 replies      
Learn the original way. Just mumble through it, eventually you will get better.
Ask HN: Who are the Old Masters of programming?
8 points by heurist  1 day ago   5 comments top 5
runjake 1 day ago 0 replies      
In my mind, that spans decades, some perhaps fairly recent. I am over 4 decades old, so I can do that.

Here's an incomplete list in no particular order of some that immediately come to mind:

Brian Kernigan

Dennis Ritchie

Rob Pike

Steve Wozniak


Dave Cutler

Nolan Bushnell (Atari)

Jay Miner (Amiga)

Linus Torvalds

Burrell Smith (Apple)

Bill Atkinson (Apple)

Bud Tribble (Apple)

Avie Tevanian (Apple/NeXT)

Larry Wall (Perl)

Anders Hejlsberg (C#/Borland Pascal)

and even Jeff Raskin (Wikipedia him) and Charles Petzold for his early Windows API work. And DHH, even though he's a kid.

Those are the ones that are particularly notable to me personally.

davelnewton 1 day ago 0 replies      
Read the first Programmers at Work book. It doesn't cover huge technical details, but those are the old masters. I read it every 5-10 yrs or so.

Coders at Work is pretty fun too.

ksherlock 1 day ago 0 replies      
1. Mel

2. A blackjack program

3. http://www.pbm.com/~lindahl/mel.html

mod 1 day ago 0 replies      
Get "Masters of Doom" for a good read about some old masters.
max_ 1 day ago 0 replies      
Richard Stallman
Ask HN: Can't get a job because poor communication skills
18 points by rantaccount  1 day ago   26 comments top 15
LifeQuestioner 43 minutes ago 0 replies      
OP when you finally find your job they'll like you INSPITE of your social difficulties.

No-ones perfect, we all have faults!

Because sorry if people can't see that, not sure it would be a good environment for you.

daliwali 1 day ago 0 replies      
A lot of commenters are going to try to pick you apart, so instead of that I'm going to tell you an anecdote about what's wrong in this world.

I know a guy who literally could not program, he was hired as a HTML & CSS front-end guy. He was extremely arrogant and always tried to act like he knew what he was doing when it was clear he had no clue, any sort of attempt at teaching would be met with a smug "yeah I already knew how to do that" reply. He wasn't even good at HTML or CSS, either. But he really did know how to suck up to HR, his boss, the management, and getting others to help him do his job. From the outside it seemed like he was competent, but in fact he was skilled at playing people. It would be a win-win for everyone if he was a manager, so his co-workers never have to deal with his horrible, bug-ridden code. This is the type of guy that gets ahead in life while brilliant programmers who lack the over-socialization that is expected these days live on welfare, with parents, or on the streets.

hitsurume 1 day ago 0 replies      
I've been reading over this thread and it seems to me that you would be better off freelancing or being a consultant then actually working a steady job. Your attitude screams "just let me get the job done and don't bother me" which I personally think is ok, but doesn't fit the open office culture that most technology companies are doing.

Lastly, if you really do work faster / better then most developers you worked with then you "should" have came across a competent manager who knows your worth. In the companies i've worked for, managers has always made exceptions for people who produce great work and don't partake in the social schemes. I have friends that basically found a manager who knows their worth and have followed that manager to every new opportunity, essentially being a valuable tool in the managers toolbox.

zn44 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Many developers self identifies as autistic, i am sure you will encounter them on your interviews if you keep looking. They will understand. Stay calm and confident being angry, frustrated or nervous is most common reason i see people failing interviews.
smilesnd 23 hours ago 2 replies      
First off you can't self diagnosis yourself with a mental illness. Even experts in the field don't self diagnosis because you have to be objective. Someone that sees a pink elephant from time to time still has to ask someone else if they see it to. There might actually be a pink elephant wondering around.

Second you don't have to be a office social butterfly to have good communication skills. Communication skills is being able to portray information to someone so they can understand it. It is one of the most difficult thing for humans to do.

Thirdly even if you do have autism doesn't mean shit. I have a ton of friends that have been diagnosis with different kinds of autisms. They don't use it as a escape goat nor should any one.

Sorry you having difficulty fitting in with others and getting a job. You did it once so it is mostly likely you will do it again just keep grinding away.

bsvalley 1 day ago 1 reply      
Two questions for you - Is your autism medically "documented"? Are you applying in the US?

If both answers are YES then you have to mention it when you apply online in the disability section of the form. In the US it is required by law for companies to acknowledge disabilities. Or should I say, a company can easily get sued for discrimination. That could help you during the recruiting process, if your autism is recorded as a disability.

euroclydon 1 day ago 1 reply      
Clearly you're angry. Your writing is clear. Is your verbal communication lacking in some way? I'm not familiar with how autism affects verbal communication, but let's just way it does. Well, written communication is crucial for most remote jobs. Yeah, some people like to spend a bunch of time in a video chat, but most value async text-based communication like IM or email. Seems like you'd be fine in that environment.
throwaway848483 22 hours ago 0 replies      
Hello, here are a few tricks which helped me :There are a few ways which will probably help you improve your communication skills. You can try to use Avaz app from Ajit Narayanan, or at least listen to his ted talk. You can also try to pick up some (silent) violin and learn it on your own by playing it by ear (try to avoid using scores as much as possible, try to set-up a routine of around 30min a day, you should aim for "natural" and "fun" absolutely not forced). Something will click one day, it won't make you less autistic, but it will probably show you the way normal people think. Then you will probably get that as for you it's probably not fun being around certain other people which don't get you, the feeling is reciprocal and it's not fun for them being around people that don't get them.

Depending where you live in Europe around 80% of people are quite nice naturally, and will help you if you tell them you struggle or ask for help (but most won't usually understand or care about your autism problems). Avoid the other 20%, they are just exploiting you or making fun of you.

Regarding interviews, try researching a fitting environment. Interviews can usually be hacked quite easily with a little training. Basically you tell them the response they want to hear. If you don't know what to say to a question, either you say "I don't understand", or you grab the most important word of the question and tell them something vaguely connected to it. Obviously the more interview rounds there are, the more chance there is that someone won't like you and puts its veto. Don't attach too much importance to it.

Once you land a job, try to go about two times slower than you can. This way you won't burn out (and be in a bad mood), people won't actively try to prey on you (to get you to do their work), and you will have enough mental energy to naturally pick-up communication skills. (You just earn yourself 20 hours a week to work on improving your communication skills, and even your company will be happy about it trust me).

Also don't be afraid to take welfare. We are in a society which is designed to take advantage of people with autism. It's like taking candy from a baby. So at least take the money, and if you don't need it then give it to someone who does. Or you can keep the money and give some of your time to help some who needs it.

Taylor_OD 1 day ago 1 reply      
Do you bring it up proactively? I'm not a HR manager so I cant say how appropriate it is but If I was interviewing someone and they let me know they have autism and it affects their communication skills I would be much more understanding than when I'm interviewing someone who just seems to have poor communication skills for no obvious reason.

Remote work might also be a good option. A part from the anger your written communication doesnt seem affected. I also understand not loving getting cat gifs but if that's part of the office culture you have to make some attempt to assimilate.

tedmiston 20 hours ago 0 replies      
A couple things to think about with this are...

When companies give the reason for turning you down for a job, there's a lot of disincentive for them to give the honest precise real reason (if there is one). There are many ways to be accused of hiring discrimination, whether ageism, sexism, ableism, etc. Basically it's unsafe / unwise for an employer to tell the truth here because it can lead to negative consequences for them, even if their hiring processes are on the up and up.

Similar to when a VC turns down a startup for some reason like fit, I definitely would not take this feedback at face value. Also, culture fit is a generic catch-all bucket for basically anything the company wants besides technical skills, and it may not be well defined.

As you have mentioned, I've also seen less good developers take the roles that better devs should have because they fit into a company's culture more, however that was defined. You probably don't want to work for those kinds of companies. It seems like you're more interested in a culture that values focusing on hard technical work and I think you should seek that out more explicitly.

Keep some good side projects going, have a good reason for your gap time between positions ready for interviewers, and try some mock interviews to get authentic feedback. You can do a free practice interview on Interviewing.io, and I think Pramp is another similar service.

P.S. Don't forget that hiring in our industry is broken. Interviewing for a technical position is a separate skill from developing software. Interviews should focus on making sure a dev would be good at the tasks they'd actually do day-to-day, but often they don't. It's not ideal, but it's just something to keep in mind. Sometimes at smaller cos (startups) it's possible to get hired in other ways and circumvent the traditional interview process.

greengrass 23 hours ago 0 replies      
Your self-diagnosed autism is only part of your problem, your attitude is the bigger issue. You need to drastically reevaluate yourself and your expectations.

First, let me explain why I wouldn't hire you based on what you've written here. For starters, communication is a huge part of the job. Writing code is only one part - clarifying vague or contradictory requirements, helping coworkers, updating on progress, sharing lessons learned, etc are all equally important.

Hiring you also sounds like a huge risk and liability to the company. Every tech company tries to hire and retain women and minority employees and even a single accusation of a hostile work environment or a single incident can tank a company. If I hire you and one of your rude statements or misunderstood communications turns into a blog post on jezebel, I'm probably getting fired as well as putting the entire company at risk. Even if that doesn't happen, my A players are probably going to start looking for better opportunities if they're forced to deal with your toxic attitude in the workplace.

Autism isn't a super power. It's a handicap. You need to drastically check your ego and approach the world as it is rather than how you wish it was. You are very bad at something which is very important (communication).

Approach the the problem of "How can I communicate better?" in the same way you would approach any other challenge - read books, work with experts, ask for help, experiment and see what the results of trying different things is, etc. Change your perspective to accepting you are inferior at one aspect of your job and work to increase proficiency, instead of getting angry that the rest of the world doesn't share in your belief of your superiority.

mod 16 hours ago 0 replies      
Bad communication?

Fix your communication.

It's one of the most important traits of a good developer, and of a good employee.

You can practice communication like any other skill. You will be good at it. It won't take you very long.

Good luck!

usgroup 13 hours ago 0 replies      
I think if you're as awesome as you say then start every morning interview with :

"I've got issues communicating but have compensating super powers"

Then go onto give a scripted explanation of what they are , so that it's not impromptu and so that you're evaluated on your own terms.

As someone that's hired many people, I'd respond well to this.

bjourne 21 hours ago 0 replies      
I also have Aspergers (or I should say had, because the diagnosis doesn't exist anymore). And yes, it sucks. I really wish I had some answers for you. I've always tried to fit in to the best of my ability, but they always see through me. It is a paradox that you can be very smart in other ways but not smart enough to execute behavior to make you a respected member of a group.

Sadly, it is perhaps so that regular software development is not a good career path for autists anymore because of the shift from hard to soft skills that has happened in the last 15 years. Maybe other avenues are more suitable, like book writing, lecturing or something.

hluska 1 day ago 1 reply      
I'm going to toss this out in hopes that it will hope, though I fear that you may take my words wrong.

I understand that this is a rant, but I'm concerned about some of the words that you chose. Consider some of these phrases:

> And honestly, I don't even see why my autism is a problem. I've always seen my autism and quietness as my super power, and it drive me nuts that you people don't see that too.

> I was going to ask for help, but realistically that's pointless - I won't change in any significant way.

> Please just try to be more understanding. It genuinely upsets me because I'm a pretty good developer, yet I know people who are really quite terrible, but they can bullshit well so they're all doing better than me. And this is at your expense quite frankly. The dude writes terrible code, but he came across well, so obviously we hired him...

> Oh, and you can all fuck right off with your office culture. Stop wasting yours and my time sending each other cat.gif and joking about how the German IT guy is a secret Nazi. It's not remotely funny, I can't even explain how mad it makes me that I was let go for not participating in this madness.

When I read those (even knowing that this is a rant), I can't help but wonder if those attitudes come across while you're looking for work.

For example, I wonder how you would answer, "Why did you leave your last job?" Do you start to talk about the German IT guy who was a secret Nazi? Do you talk about how the team bonding was a waste of everyone's time? Does your disdain for culture come through?

Or, what happens if someone asks what your weaknesses are and how you plan to compensate for them? Do you say, "I'm autistic, but I won't ask for help because I won't change in any significant way"?

Do you understand my point here? Your communication skills may actually be fine, but perhaps your anger scares people away.

I'm not sure that you're really looking for advice, but I have a few pieces for you.

1.) Get your autism diagnosed and start looking into programs for autistic adults. This is absolutely critical.Here's the thing about autism. You understand certain things differently, but it's not like you have an inoperable stage four tumour. Autism doesn't mean that you can't change, it just means that you might have to work harder at things that come naturally to people who aren't on the spectrum. But, there's another side to that coin because people who aren't on the spectrum will have to work harder at things that come naturally to you.

Just because you get diagnosed, you don't necessarily have to fill (these are your own words) 'a retard quota'. However, a diagnosis will help you access some programs that will help make things easier for you.

One of my buddies is on the spectrum and he has an incredible amount of difficulty with sequences. This cat loves music though and wanted nothing more than to learn how to play guitar. But, everyone said, "no, it will be too hard for you because sequences are hard for you." Despite that though, my buddy learned how to play guitar and is currently playing with one hell of a good band.

2.) We all have struggles. You struggle with autism. I struggled with a terrible speech impediment. And others struggle with addictions, mental illness and a myriad of problems.

You'll be surprised by how compassionate people can be if you tell them that you struggle. Heck, my buddy the guitar player has learned to be pretty straight up with people when he doesn't understand what's going on. "Sorry, I'm not trying to be rude, but I have autism and I don't understand what's expected of me."

It was harder than hell for him to start doing that, but he's been incredibly surprised by the results. Random people will say that they don't understand what's expected of them either, but they just fake it. Employers compliment him on his courage and say that he is a transformational influence in their companies. Co-workers tell him that he has changed how they view people on the spectrum.

And, do you know what? All he had to do was tell the truth...

You will be okay. You're obviously very smart and you have tremendous capacity. If I were you, I'd work very hard on the bitterness and consider getting some help. But, you'll be fine.

And for the love of all that is holy, don't let others change your opinion on yourself. Few people understand autism, but that's their problem, not yours.

Be safe and if you need a friend, my email is in my profile.

Ask HN: What's your favorite blogging software? (as of Feb. 2017)
27 points by whitepoplar  3 days ago   35 comments top 20
brennen 2 days ago 2 replies      
While echoing the "pick a static site generator" advice in the rest of the thread, my actual personal favorite is still:

Write your own!

That's what I did somewhere around 2000 or 2001, some years before I could program my way out of a wet paper bag or had a technical career. I'll probably still be using a variant of the same system[0] long after I have fully obsolesced and retired to the proverbial van down by the river to wait quietly for death.

A simple toolchain that you understand and can maintain in its entirety turns out to be very useful for a long-term writing project, and blogging occupies a sweet spot where you can leverage common tools and libraries (for tasks like templating, lightweight markup, and publishing) without sacrificing much of your understanding of the system as a whole. You may not need much more than some blobs of Markdown and a Makefile.

[0]: https://github.com/brennen/wrt

pleasecalllater 2 days ago 2 replies      
I have written a script in Python. This generates all html/css/images from a bunch of markdown files, and I host them on Heroku (which gives quite nice deployment procedure with minimal effort, and costs almost nothing - $7 per month).

And due to my strange requirements, I couldn't use the widely used static page generators. I have a blog about programming, and sometimes I have some source files, data files, some programs - all used in a blog post, which is stored in a markdown file. I wanted to keep them in the same directory as the text file. I also wanted to publish only part of those files. To get there I implemented a couple of things like custom markdown tags, which are converted to proper links to the image files etc. The result is quite nice, I can shuffle the old blog posts to other directories, and the generated output is still the same. I can keep the images, data files next to the blog post, and they don't interfere with each other.

Previously I had all my blogs on Wordpress. That was terrible. Endless upgrades which sometimes destroyed my blog design. Security holes. Endless tries of hacking the page, or guessing the password.

Now I have no password, no hacking attempts (there is nothing to hack, and if someone does - I will redeploy the files from my computer). All posts are in git versioned files. I can edit them locally in Vim. Deployment is as simple as `git push heroku master`.

mod 3 days ago 1 reply      
I self-hosted ghost, as you mentioned. I'm happy with it.

I'm tired of WP and it getting hacked a couple of times per year--even on my barebones blog--and I wanted markdown posts. My girlfriend does a lot of the editing and it's gone smoothly.

Site is snappy & simple. I spent 5 or 6 hours coding the template for a new blog and it wasn't very difficult to get it working well in ghost.

Bashblog mentioned in another comment looks cool. https://github.com/cfenollosa/bashblog

BorisMelnik 2 days ago 1 reply      
WordPress is my choice, and it is probably the most popular blogging software in the world.

That said, it isn't blazing fast (although you can get it really fast) and tends to have some security holes.

Easy workarounds: cache the hell out of it, daily incremental backups, update all plugins and framework updates, keep a secure server in general, reduce footprints (wp-admin, rename db prefixes, etc) and simple stuff like not using bloated themes and plugins.

I love WordPress, I've been using it for 11 years now on my main money making website and as per my website speed checker it is faster than 90% of the websites out there.

I've only been hacked once, and that was when that huge XML-RPC attack came out, and that basically got everyone. I was "down" (I took myself down) for about 1 hour, and didn't lose any data.

This fits your exact needs: custom domain, free, can handle a lot of traffic, and is pleasurable to use.

If you want to learn programming sure, write a CMS. If you want to start a blog, install WordPress.

oblib 2 days ago 0 replies      
I also wrote my own last year. It was fun and a great way to learn some APIs I'd wanted to work with.

I used CouchDB/PouchDB, Mustache.js, JQuery, TinyMCE, and a few other open source tools. I wouldn't say it was necessarily "cheap" since I built it on a $20 a month DigitalOcean server but when considered as an investment in learning it was a huge bargain.

Personally, I like mine a lot better than WordPress. I think it's a lot easier to learn how to use and as far as "Looks Great", well, that's also something that I had to make happen so I went with using a Bootstrap template and while I didn't create anything award winning design wise with it I think it's at least pleasant to look at and usable, and it's easy to customize.

I took mine a step further and set it up to let users create accounts and publish their own stuff there, so you could actually use it to blog if you wanted to.

It's written almost entirely in Javascript so almost all the code is accessible. Check it out. If you want to set up your own I'll zip the code and give it to you with a GPL:


kejaed 3 days ago 0 replies      
I've self-hosted wordpress and it's fine, does the job, and there are a million and one free resources as well as paid ones out there. Can be a pain to maintain and there's always a risk of things going sideways with a bad plugin install or upgrade.

If you are OK with self hosting then you are probably going to be OK with Jekyll & hosting on GitHub Pages. That's free, you can use a custom domain, and it's fast. There are a lot of Jekyll themes out there to make it look good too.

rwieruch 2 days ago 0 replies      
I can recommend to use Hugo [0] as static website generator. They have plenty of themes [1] to choose from. You can still adjust it with basic knowledge in HTML/CSS. Afterwards you can chose where to host it. You can use Github Pages [2] for free or pay for a service like DigitalOcean [3]. I wrote a technical cheatsheet [4] on how to setup your own website with these ingredients.

- [0] https://gohugo.io/

- [1] http://themes.gohugo.io/

- [2] https://pages.github.com/

- [3] https://www.digitalocean.com/

- [4] http://www.robinwieruch.de/own-website-in-five-days/

thenomad 2 days ago 0 replies      
Right now? Hugo.

It fits all the boxes you're looking for except "Looks great". For that, you'll need a theme - but fortunately Hugo themes are pretty easy to implement given a base HTML theme, or you can use one of the Bootstrap 4-based Hugo themes, which work pretty well and look pretty decent.

IIRC this one works pretty well: http://themes.gohugo.io/bootstrap/

You'll not need a VPS - S3 or Google Cloud Storage will work fine. Having said that, a $5 nginx VPS will also happily handle a Hugo blog even if it's being hit with a Reddit front-page hug of death.

You WILL need to figure out your deployment process, which is a bit more irksome on Hugo than something like Wordpress. But it's not a huge deal.

diegoperini 2 days ago 0 replies      
Github Pages with Jekyll Bootstrap would be a good start, it supports custom domains (http only) after all. It will be quite easy to migrate to some CDN when you have moderate traffic.
DrNuke 2 days ago 0 replies      
Less is smart nowadays, the main hassle being the database with users & comments, it can really escalate quickly from a security point of view. That said, a minimal, self-hosted, firewalled, closed to users & comments wordpress would do the trick, even using a default theme with almost to none widgets. How do you funnel traffic then? Leverage and redirect to your blog from main and relevant socials / forums, let the giants bear the burden ehehe.
simplehuman 1 day ago 0 replies      
I use 3 Ghost blogs on a single VPS and love it. If you want to skip the hassle of setting things up (lets encrypt, backup, restore etc), you should check out cloudron.io. They have a self-hosted option that runs on pretty much any VPS provider out there.

Edit: also wanted to point out that Ghost is non-profit

hanniabu 2 days ago 0 replies      
I am currently creating a static CMS with free hosting, custom domain, nice GUI, has backups, and is open to plugin development. If you're interested in being notified when it's ready, send me a message(hanniabu at gmail). I'd also like to hear your feedback to improve.
edwinnathaniel 2 days ago 0 replies      
Blogspot (Blogger.com).

1) Supports custom domain

2) Free

3) Can handle traffic (I know a few companies are using blogger.com for their companies News/Blog

4) Any software would require you to figure out how their theme works :)

UI is a bit clunky but it fills my requirements => your #1 + #2 + no maintenance for me

cdnsteve 2 days ago 0 replies      
Github pages

- jekyll built in

- markdown supported

- custom domains

- no hosting fees or servers to manage or security updates to patch

- very fast and reliable hosting

- best for last, it's git, works from command line or within github's site GUI

lnalx 2 days ago 0 replies      
I switched from Ghost to Hugo[0], I love versioning. I host the overall on Github static pages.

[0] https://gohugo.io/

wazanator 2 days ago 0 replies      
Gitlab+Jekyll+LetsEncrypt+domain name has been working out great for me. Every part is free except for the domain name. It's easy to use but requires some HTML and CSS learning if you want to stand out.
atmosx 2 days ago 1 reply      
A static website generator (octopress, middleman, jekyl, hugo... anything goes) + S3 + CloudFront for LetsEncrypt support.

Then you need 1 extra step to automate the publishing/sync to s3 of the generate static pages...

desiredpersona 2 days ago 0 replies      
Jekyll + Forestry https://forestry.io if you need a CMS
returnbuyer 3 days ago 0 replies      
Static blogging software called bashblog using free hosting on Github
karimdag 3 days ago 1 reply      
WordPress. It's like the iPhone of the blogging software.
Ask HN: Should I create a new HN for Technology related to Geopolitics?
16 points by nvalleysilico  2 days ago   17 comments top 10
ideophobia 2 days ago 0 replies      
Seems almost bizarrely niche in my opinion. I wouldn't pursue a HN clone unless you already have a really good grasp on an existing audience looking for this exact type of stuff. If you believe this is information that we truly all should know, or at least be aware of, it would seem to me that you'd benefit from distributing it in places that people already visit, rather than some place no one has heard of yet.
DrNuke 2 days ago 2 replies      
People come and write here from all over the world because of the YComb / SV attraction, not because of HN as a site.
nnn1234 1 day ago 0 replies      
While I applaud you for thinking of ways to share knowledge, I would like you to consider incentive structures and presentation of value +truthiness

If your goal is to curate expertise and create an on going knowledge base I would suggest wiki styleOr GASP a magazine

If your goal is to crowdsource the info with up and down voting , I would dig deeper into the incentive structure and possibility of fostering a conspiracy theory community

DanBC 2 days ago 0 replies      
Why not just make an Imzy community or reddit subreddit?
throwaway2016a 2 days ago 0 replies      
This is what Reddit is for. Create or join a sub-reddit.
secfirstmd 2 days ago 0 replies      
Surveillance is already kind of covered here:https://tinfoil.press/

and here:


kapauldo 1 day ago 0 replies      
No, but channel that ambition into something people will pay you 10 to 100 bucks a month for.
jquast 2 days ago 1 reply      
no. I've never used an HN clone, has anyone? I've seen dozens come and go. It's never populated, never interesting, never remembered to check again.

Isn't this what sub-reddits are for? At least that's discoverable for a large user base..

thex10 2 days ago 0 replies      
I'd like a site like that, particularly if it welcomes a larger array of voices than are dominant here.
ckrnews 2 days ago 1 reply      
I would like an ML related HN clone, is there such a thing?
Ask HN: Is there any proven model that eliminates corruption?
6 points by DodgyEggplant  1 day ago   8 comments top 8
meric 1 hour ago 0 replies      
If you want to read an article from Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong about how to keep the country you are ruling free from corruption, I suggesting reading http://www.straitstimes.com/opinion/fight-against-corruption....
sdljfskdjhfkg 8 hours ago 0 replies      
No. There will always be corruption in any system. There will always be cheats in any system in which the people involved cannot get perfect information. Which is another way of saying that if people can lie, a certain percentage of people will lie. If you could arrange for everything to be transparent and for everyone to have access to all information then there would be no cheats because of the strong human instinct to punish them. But perfect information is impossible.
id122015 12 hours ago 0 replies      
Ethereum is interesting, usefull for issuing currency, voting and DAOs. But there is a big problem with it and I dont know if we should start using it or wait for the next blockchain project.
nnn1234 18 hours ago 0 replies      
Eliminate corruption might not be possible, but there is a solvable first approximation.If power was distributed enough and access was free enough, human survival instinct translated to greed would be channeled along a different path, which might be close enough to what you are hinting at here
tyingq 19 hours ago 0 replies      
I think the solution would likely depend on the specific system, group, etc.

For example, one idea to reduce the influence of lobbyists in the US would be to go back to secret ballots.

The lobbyist would have no way to confirm if their influence actually resulted in the vote they wanted.

Of course, that screws transparency for the people the elected official represents as well.

joefarish 22 hours ago 0 replies      
I'm not entirely sure what you are asking here but I heard of this prize recently and I think it is a great idea:

"Established by the Mo Ibrahim Foundation in 2007, the Ibrahim Prize celebrates excellence in African leadership. It is awarded to a former Executive Head of State or Government by an independent Prize Committee composed of eminent figures, including two Nobel Laureates."


Sunset 1 day ago 0 replies      
Religious zeal. Just brainwash your politicians into being extremely morally consistent.
coreyp_1 1 day ago 0 replies      
How do you define corruption?
       cached 18 February 2017 21:05:01 GMT