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Ask HN: Is S3 down?
1702 points by iamdeedubs  3 hours ago   665 comments top 272
cyberferret 2 minutes ago 1 reply      
Well, at least our decision to split services has paid off. All of our web app infrastructure is on AWS, which is currently down, but our status page [0] is on Digital Ocean, so at least our customers can go see that we are down!

A pyrrhic victory... ;)

[0] - http://status.hrpartner.io

gamache 2 hours ago 6 replies      
A piece of hard-earned advice: us-east-1 is the worst place to set up AWS services. You're signing up for the oldest hardware and the most frequent outages.

For legacy customers, it's hard to move regions, but in general, if you have the chance to choose a region other than us-east-1, do that. I had the chance to transition to us-west-2 about 18 months ago and in that time, there have been at least three us-east-1 outages that haven't affected me, counting today's S3 outage.

EDIT: ha, joke's on me. I'm starting to see S3 failures as they affect our CDN. Lovely :/

alexleclair 3 hours ago 14 replies      
Yup, same here. It has been a few minutes already. Wanna bet the green checkmark[1] will stay green until the incident is resolved?

[1] https://status.aws.amazon.com/

dang 1 hour ago 0 replies      
All: I hate to ask this, but HN's poor little single-core server process is getting hammered and steam is coming out its ears. If you don't plan to post anything, would you mind logging out? Then we can serve you from cache. Cached pages are updated frequently so you won't miss anything. And please do log back in later.

(Yes it sucks and yes we're working on fixing it. We hate slow software too!)

johngalt 1 hour ago 11 replies      
Sysadmin: I can forgive outages, but falsely reporting 'up' when you're obviously down is a heinous transgression.

Somewhere a sysadmin is having to explain to a mildly technical manager that AWS services are down and affecting business critical services. That manager will be chewing out the tech because the status site shows everything is green. Dishonest metrics are worse than bad metrics for this exact reason.

Any sysadmin who wasn't born yesterday knows that service metrics are gamed relentlessly by providers. Bluntly there aren't many of us, and we talk. Message to all providers: sysadmins losing confidence in your outage reporting has a larger impact than you think. Because we will be the ones called to the carpet to explain why <services> are down when <provider> is lying about being up.

jliptzin 1 hour ago 1 reply      
Thank god I checked HN. I was driving myself crazy last half hour debugging a change to S3 uploads that I JUST pushed to production. Reminds me of the time my dad had an electrician come to work on something minor in his house. Suddenly power went out to the whole house, electrician couldn't figure out why for hours. Finally they realized this was the big east coast blackout!
geerlingguy 1 hour ago 1 reply      
From Amazon: https://twitter.com/awscloud/status/836656664635846656

 The dashboard not changing color is related to S3 issue. See the banner at the top of the dashboard for updates.
So it's not just a joke... S3 being down actually breaks its own status page!

maxerickson 2 hours ago 0 replies      


I've been fuzzing S3 parameters last couple hours...

And now it's down.

ethanpil 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Corporate language is entertaining while we all pull out our hair.

"We are investigating increased error rates for Amazon S3" translates to "We are trying to figure out why our mission critical system for half the internet is completely down for most (including some of our biggest) customers."

chrisan 3 hours ago 1 reply      
Down for us as well. We have cloudfront in front of some of our s3 buckets and it is responding with

 CloudFront is currently experiencing problems with requesting objects from Amazon S3.
Can I also say I am constantly disappointed by AWS's status page: https://status.aws.amazon.com/ it seems whenever there is an issue this takes a while to update. Sometimes all you see is a green checkmark with a tiny icon saying a note about some issue. Why not make it orange or something. Surely they must have some kind of external monitor on these things that could be integrated here?

edit: Since posting my comment they added a banner of

"Increased Error Rates

We are investigating increased error rates for Amazon S3 requests in the US-EAST-1 Region."

However S3 still shows green and "Service is operating normally"

gmisra 1 hour ago 2 replies      
FYI to S3 customers, per the SLA, most of us are eligible for a 10% credit for this billing period. But the burden is on the customer to provide incident logs and file a support ticket requesting said credit (it must be really challenging to programmatically identify outage coverage across customers /s)


greenhathacker 3 hours ago 0 replies      
"I felt a great disturbance in the Force, as if millions of voices suddenly cried out in terror, and were suddenly silenced. I fear something terrible has happened."
lobster_johnson 2 hours ago 6 replies      
It's interesting to note the cascading effects. For example, I was immediately hit by three problems:

* Slack file sharing no longer works, hangs forever (no way to hide the permanently rolling progress bar except quitting)

* Github.com file uploads (e.g. dropping files into a Github issue) don't work.

* Imgur.com is completely down.

* Docker Hub seems to be unavailable. Can't pull/push images.

jrs235 3 hours ago 1 reply      
They don't show it on the status dashboard at https://status.aws.amazon.com/ (at least at the time I originally posted this comment).

But if you go to your personal health dashboard (https://phd.aws.amazon.com/phd/home#/dashboard/open-issues) they report an S3 operational issue event there.

Edit: Mine is reporting region us-east-1

Edit 2: And now the event disappeared from my personal health dashboard too. But we are still experiencing issues. WTH.

fletom 2 hours ago 13 replies      
what's truly incredible is that S3 has been offline for half an hour two hours now and Amazon still has the audacity to put five shiny green checkmarks next to S3 on their service page.

they just now put up a box at the top saying "We are investigating increased error rates for Amazon S3 requests in the US-EAST-1 Region."

increased error rates? really?

Amazon, everything is on fire. you are not fooling anyone

edit: in the future, please subscribe to @MyFootballNow for timely AWS service status updates https://pbs.twimg.com/media/C5xdm9_WMAAY7y_.jpg:large

samaysharma 5 minutes ago 0 replies      
From https://status.aws.amazon.com/: "Update at 12:52 AM PST: We are seeing recovery for S3 object retrievals, listing and deletions. We continue to work on recovery for adding new objects to S3 and expect to start seeing improved error rates within the hour."

(I think the AM means PM)

STRML 2 hours ago 1 reply      
It's not just us-east-1! They're being extremely dishonest with the green checkmarks. We can't even load the s3 console for other regions. I would post a screenshot, but Imgur is hosed by this too.
rrggrr 2 hours ago 3 replies      
Its unreal watching key web services fall like dominoes. Its too bad the concept of "too big to fail" applies only to large banks and countries.
bandrami 2 hours ago 0 replies      
And they've just broken four-9's uptime (53 minutes). They must be pretty busy, since they still haven't bothered to acknowledge a problem publicly...
Animats 3 minutes ago 0 replies      
AWS is claiming that Simple Storage (US Standard) is starting to come back up as of 12:54 PM PST.
mabramo 2 hours ago 1 reply      
Thanks for sharing. I overheard someone on my team say that a production user is having problems with our service. The team checked AWS status, but only took notice of the green checkmarks.

Through some dumb luck (and desire to procrastinate a bit), I opened HN and, subsequently, the AWS status page and actually read the US-EAST-1 notification.

HN saves the day.

rnhmjoj 2 hours ago 2 replies      
Wow, S3 is a much bigger single point of failure than I have imagined. Travis CI, Trello, Docker Hub, ...I can't even install packages because the binary cache of NixOS is down. Love living in the cloud.
benwilber0 2 hours ago 3 replies      
Notice how Amazon.com itself is unaffected. They're a lot smarter than us.
140am 3 hours ago 2 replies      

"Increased API Error Rates - 9:52 AM PST We are investigating increased error rates in the US-EAST-1""S3 operational issue - us-east-1"

AndyKelley 2 hours ago 11 replies      
This seems like an appropriate time as any... Anyone want to list some competitors to S3? Bonus if it also provides a way to host a static website.
ethanpil 3 hours ago 1 reply      
What kills me is that their status page still shows nothing is wrong.


dfischer 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Wow this is a fun one. I almost pooped my pants when I saw all of our elastic beanstalk architecture disappear. It's so relieving to see it's not our fault and the internet feels our pain. We're in this together boys!

I'm curious how much $ this will lose today for the economy. :)

bdcravens 17 minutes ago 2 replies      
I was listening to sessions from AWS Re:invent last night. What jumped out at me was the claim of 11 9's for S3. How many of those 9's have they blown through with this outage?
mijustin 2 hours ago 5 replies      
Started a list of "things to do when S3 is down."


What else should I add?

DenisM 1 hour ago 2 replies      
Now might be a good time to ponder a lasting solution. Clearly, we cannot trust AWS, or any other single provider, to stay up. What is the shortest, quickest to implement, path to actual high availability?

You would have to host your own software which can also fail, but then at least you could do something about it. For example, you could avoid changing things during critical times of your own business (e.g. a tradeshow), which is something no standard provider could do. You could also dial down consistency for the sake of availability, e.g. keep a lot of copies around even if some of them are often stale - more often than not this would work well enough for images.

remx 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Post about S3 not being a CDN hosted on an S3-powered blog:


The irony

redm 1 hour ago 0 replies      
It looks like the S3 outage is spreading to other systems or the root cause of the S3 problem is affecting different services. There are at least 20 services listed now. [1]

[1]: http://status.aws.amazon.com/

homakov 2 hours ago 1 reply      
Was just pentesting it, and have some minor result. If you are using S3 browser uploads, make sure parameters you supply to Presign do not contain \n or it can lead to format injection https://s3.amazonaws.com/doc/s3-developer-guide/RESTAuthenti...

Many aws SDK libs don't remove \n for you.

(I hope it wasn't me who broke it lol)

flavor8 1 hour ago 0 replies      
> Update at 11:35 AM PST: We have now repaired the ability to update the service health dashboard. The service updates are below. We continue to experience high error rates with S3 in US-EAST-1, which is impacting various AWS services. We are working hard at repairing S3, believe we understand root cause, and are working on implementing what we believe will remediate the issue.

"Believe" is not inspiring.

oshoma 51 minutes ago 0 replies      
The status page shows a lot of yellow and red now.

From http://status.aws.amazon.com/ Update at 11:35 AM PST: We have now repaired the ability to update the service health dashboard. The service updates are below. We continue to experience high error rates with S3 in US-EAST-1, which is impacting various AWS services. We are working hard at repairing S3, believe we understand root cause, and are working on implementing what we believe will remediate the issue.

obeattie 2 hours ago 2 replies      
Best thing about incidents like these: post-mortems for systems of this scale are absolutely fascinating. Hopefully they publish one.
Animats 1 hour ago 4 replies      
Amazon outage just reported on NBC News.[1]

AMZN stock down $3.45 (0.41%).

[1] http://www.nbcchicago.com/news/national-international/Amazon...

jpwgarrison 50 minutes ago 0 replies      
I am having trouble sending attachments in the Signal app - seems unlikely, but could this be related?

[edit- looks like they do have a pretty heavy reliance on S3, per https://github.com/WhisperSystems/Signal-Server/blob/master/... and various other sources.]

rawrmaan 3 hours ago 2 replies      
Incredible how much stuff this affected for me. Opbeat is not loading and I can't even deploy because CircleCI seems to depend on S3 for something and my build is "Queued". This seems so dangerous...
bandrami 2 hours ago 1 reply      
That sound you hear is every legacy hosting company firing up its marketing machine
uranian 4 minutes ago 0 replies      
Heroku seems to suffer from this too
c4urself 3 hours ago 0 replies      
It is, of course the checkmark will stay green throughout this as Amazon doesn't care about actually letting its customers know they have a problem.
Fej 14 minutes ago 0 replies      
Okay, it's been a few hours and this is starting to get ridiculous. When was the last time that we had a core infrastructure outage this major, that lasted for this long?
valine 1 hour ago 1 reply      
Apple's iCloud is having issues too, probably stemming from AWS. Ironically Apple's status page has been updated to reflect the issue while Amazon's page still shows all green. https://www.apple.com/support/systemstatus/
frik 50 minutes ago 0 replies      

 Increased Error Rates Update at 11:35 AM PST: We have now repaired the ability to update the service health dashboard. The service updates are below. We continue to experience high error rates with S3 in US-EAST-1, which is impacting various AWS services. We are working hard at repairing S3, believe we understand root cause, and are working on implementing what we believe will remediate the issue.
Amazon hosted their status page on their failing service, ouch. Now they fixed the status page, after more than one hour.

 The dashboard not changing color is related to S3 issue. See the banner at the top of the dashboard for updates.

AzzieElbab 3 minutes ago 0 replies      
Netflix is up. Enjoy
leesalminen 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Now at the top of Drudge http://drudgereport.com/
agotterer 3 hours ago 4 replies      
Not sure if its related or not (I'll just assume it is), but dockerhub is down as well. Haven't been able to push or pull for the last 15 minutes, some other folks complaining of the same thing.
gaia 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Sometimes refreshing the console gives this error instead of showing ZERO buckets https://pbs.twimg.com/media/C5xZVGKUYAAXYGj.jpg:large
caravel 2 hours ago 4 replies      
But wait. Isn't S3 "the cloud". Everyone promised the cloud would never go down, ever. It has infinite uptime and reliability.

Well good thing I have my backups on [some service that happens to also use S3 as a backend].

soheil 40 minutes ago 0 replies      
It doesn't look that bad, think about it S3 is such a critical part of almost any web application, it is treated like a realtime micro-service. So looks like most of the Internet in the U.S. is affected but nevertheless no one is dead yet and the world has not ended. So even if hypothetically let's say China attacked us using cyber-warfare it wouldn't be so bad after all... This was kind of like a test.
talawahdotnet 3 hours ago 1 reply      
Yup it looks so. My console says I have zero buckets, my Lambdas are timing out and https://aws.amazon.com/ returns a big:

"500 The server encountered an error processing your request." message

robineyre 1 hour ago 1 reply      
Hi all. I came across this forum on Google. I have the same error - and it's all a bit beyond me. I'm not a techie or coder but set up Amazon S3 several months ago to backup my websites and it generally works fine - and has saved my bacon on a couple of occasions. (Also back up in Google Drive.)

As someone who's really only a yellow belt (assuming you're all black belts!), just so I understand ('cos I'm cacking myself!) ...

I'm seeing the same issue. Does this mean there's a problem with Amazon? I can't access either of my S3 accounts even if I change the region, and I'm concerned it may be something I've done wrong, and deleted the whole lot. It was working yesterday!!!

Would be massively grateful for a heads up. Thanks in advance.

huac 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Canvas (the educational software platform) is down, and my friends/students are in bad shape now. 'sso.canvaslms.com' returns 504, assume from this S3 outage.
malchow 2 hours ago 0 replies      
<% if(service.isUp || true) { renderGreenButton() } %>
mmaunder 35 minutes ago 0 replies      
So much has broken thanks to this. Web apps, slack uploads, parts of Freshdesk etc. I don't love you right now AWS.


vegasje 2 hours ago 2 replies      
We're in US-West-2 and our ELBs are dropping 5XXs like there's no tomorrow. This is definitely cascading.
vpeters25 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Apologizes for the "me too" post:

It appears to be impacting gotomeeting, I get this error when trying to start a 12pm meeting here:

CloudFront is currently experiencing problems with requesting objects from Amazon S3.

Edit: ironically, my missed 12pm meeting was an Azure training session.

Globz 46 minutes ago 0 replies      
My Atom keep crashing and the log says it can't resolve :


is there a part of this hosted on S3? I cannot open Atom anymore, it keep crashing on the check for updates screen...

mmansoor78 51 minutes ago 0 replies      
Per AWS :

For S3, we believe we understand root cause and are working hard at repairing. Future updates across all services will be on dashboard.


cdnsteve 45 minutes ago 0 replies      
Look like the dashboard has been updated to no longer use S3:AWS is having a major meltdown right now


kevindong 2 hours ago 2 replies      
It really is amazing how many web services are dependent on S3. For instance, the Heroku dashboard is currently down for me. Along with all of my services that are on Heroku.
joatmon-snoo 1 hour ago 0 replies      
According to the personal health dashboard, they've root-caused the S3 outage and are working to restore.

In the meantime, EC2, ELB, RDS, Lambda, and autoscaling have all been confirmed to be experiencing issues.

rabidonrails 1 hour ago 1 reply      

Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (N. Virginia)Increased Error Rates less 11:38 AM PST We can confirm increased error rates for the EC2 and EBS APIs and failures for launches of new EC2 instances in the US-EAST-1 Region. We are also experiencing degraded performance of some EBS Volumes in the Region.

Amazon Elastic Load Balancing (N. Virginia)Increased Error Rates more

Amazon Relational Database Service (N. Virginia)Increased Error Rates more

Amazon Simple Storage Service (US Standard)Increased Error Rates more

Auto Scaling (N. Virginia)Increased Error Rates more

AWS Lambda (N. Virginia)Increased Error Rates more

etse 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Anyone want to share their real experience with their reliability of Google Cloud Storage.
verelo 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Years ago when we launched our product i decided to use the US-WEST-2 region as our primary region and to build fail over to US-EAST-1 (Anyone here remember the outage of 2011? Yeah, that was why).

There is something to be said about not being located in the region where everything gets launched first, and where most the customers are not [imo all the benefits of the product, processes and people, but less risk].

Good luck to everyone impacted by this...crappy day.

dangle 1 hour ago 0 replies      
AWS is updating twitter here. No red icons on the status page IS an AWS issue:


mixedbit 58 minutes ago 0 replies      
'Increased Error Rates' is a bit harsh, couldn't they call it 'Sub-prime Success Rates'?
booleandilemma 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Thank you, HN, for giving me the answer the AWS Service Health Dashboard could not.
ganesharul 2 hours ago 2 replies      
Sendgrid, Twilio, Quora is also down. Is this related to S3. Entire world depends on AWS
scrollaway 3 hours ago 2 replies      
Down in US-East-1 as of 17:40 GMT. Amazon SES also down in US-East-1 as of a few minutes later.

Hearing reports of EBS down as well.

the_arun 18 minutes ago 0 replies      
Quora is down too. Getting 504. Gateway Timeout.

Is it related to S3??

ayemeng 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Funny, status page is incorrect because of S3


fernandopj 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Update[1]: AWS Status dashboard now showing icons other than green. https://status.aws.amazon.com/

[1] https://twitter.com/awscloud/status/836662601090134017

robxu9 1 hour ago 0 replies      
New update:

"Update at 11:35 AM PST: We have now repaired the ability to update the service health dashboard. The service updates are below. We continue to experience high error rates with S3 in US-EAST-1, which is impacting various AWS services. We are working hard at repairing S3, believe we understand root cause, and are working on implementing what we believe will remediate the issue."

rajangdavis 38 minutes ago 2 replies      
Hate to ask, but does anybody now of an alternative storage solution? Also, anyone have any alternative to Heroku for now?
BlackjackCF 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Yes. Have heard confirmation from Amazon that this outage is affecting us-east-1.
samat 1 hour ago 0 replies      
One of a really rare times when it's good to be in Europe (s3 works here).
tudorconstantin 1 hour ago 0 replies      
"We have now repaired the ability to update the service health dashboard. " - full of yellow red icons now indeed https://status.aws.amazon.com/
l0c0b0x 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Google DNS was (for the first time that I've noticed) spotty about 30 minutes ago. Something big is happening: http://map.norsecorp.com/#/
koolba 1 hour ago 0 replies      
I bet the outage is related to the new color coded CloudWatch metrics: https://twitter.com/awscloud/status/836630468778864640

As part of the release they wanted to make sure everybody gets a chance to see "red" metrics.

vanpupi 23 minutes ago 0 replies      
Post your opinion on http://wp.me/p7HKNy-5h
machinarium 1 hour ago 1 reply      
Omg I wish I googled this earlier. Wasted hours debugging :(
thomassharoon 38 minutes ago 1 reply      
Is S3 down outside of Us-East too? I can't seem to create a bucket in US-West or EU
khamoud 2 hours ago 0 replies      
I think this explains why the docker registry is down as well.


axg 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Amazon: The dashboard not changing color is related to S3 issue. See the banner at the top of the dashboard for updates.


newsat13 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Yup, same here. For a moment, I was worried that the UI showed 0 buckets. Gave me a heart attack.
nlightcho 1 hour ago 0 replies      

At least now we can see all the network failures in full RGB.

rrecuero 1 hour ago 1 reply      
Is anybody else having trouble loading http://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js? It is probably hosted on S3 I assume
linsomniac 3 hours ago 0 replies      
We got timeouts to our bucket address from every location we tried starting at 10:37 Mountain time (GMT-7). Slack uploads started failing, imgur isn't working, and the landing page for the AWS console is showing a 500 error in the image flipper in the middle of the page. The Amazon status page has been all green, but there is a forum post about people having problems at https://forums.aws.amazon.com/thread.jspa?threadID=250319&ts...

In the last couple of minutes that forum post has gone from not existing to 175 views and 9 posts.

mpetrovich 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Update: AWS dashboard has been fixed and is now showing outages https://status.aws.amazon.com/
eggie5 1 hour ago 0 replies      
all of your jokes about the dashboard not turning red b/c the icon is hosted on US EAST are true:

Amazon Web ServicesVerified account @awscloud 8m8 minutes agoMore The dashboard not changing color is related to S3 issue. See the banner at the top of the dashboard for updates.

fjabre 1 hour ago 0 replies      
I never understood why so many devs flocked to AWS. I actually find their abstraction of services gets in the way and slows down my dev instead of making it easier like so many devs claim it does. I prefer Linode.
jotaen 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Does anyone have trouble with the Cloud Console? The JS assets for the CloudFront dashboards seem broken, so unfortunately its not possible to change the behaviours of the Distributions (e.g. to point them to another bucket)
ryanmarr 2 hours ago 1 reply      
My ELBS and EB related instances are also down. I can't even get to Elastic Beanstalk or Load Balancers in the web console. Anyone else having this issue?
kardashev 56 minutes ago 0 replies      
You'll remember me when the west wind moves

Upon the fields of barley

You'll forget the sun in his jealous sky

As we walk in fields of green

dyeje 2 hours ago 1 reply      
Experiencing issues with Elastic Beanstalk and Cloudfront as well.
knaik94 2 hours ago 0 replies      
"Were continuing to work to remediate the availability issues for Amazon S3 in US-EAST-1. AWS services and customer applications depending on S3 will continue to experience high error rates as we are actively working to remediate the errors in Amazon S3." Last Update 1:54pmEST

It shows up in the event log now too.

devenrl 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Sorry, my simplistic mind is only thinking this right now:


janlukacs 2 hours ago 0 replies      
We're down too with www.paymoapp.com - pretty frustrated that the status page shows everything is up and running.
gcoguiec 1 hour ago 0 replies      
> We have now repaired the ability to update the service health dashboard.

It seems their status page is hosted ... as a S3 static website.

contingencies 1 hour ago 0 replies      
What a shame they took down MegaUpload! Clearly we need greater competition in the wholly-owned-infrastructure, file-hosting-as-a-service space.
manmal 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Our static site hosted on eu-central-1 is still up: http://www.creativepragmatics.com.s3-website.eu-central-1.am...
zedpm 1 hour ago 1 reply      
Can anyone comment on mitigating issues like this with S3 Cross-region replication? I'm reading up on it now while one of my services is dead in the water.
tzaman 2 hours ago 0 replies      
It appears Docker Hub is hosted on S3 as well, none of the official images can be pulled.
c4urself 1 hour ago 0 replies      
> We have now repaired the ability to update the service health dashboard-- AWS Status

Well that explains all the green checkmarks /s

zitterbewegung 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Can't access my website which is hosted on s3 (http://joshuajherman.com).
rebornix 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Alexa smart home component stopped working, if you try to reinstall the Alexa app on your phone, you'll find that you can't even login anymore.
learc83 2 hours ago 2 replies      
One of my heroku apps is down, and I cant' log into the heroku dashboard to check it out. I'm guessing this is related.
vinayan3 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Yes it's down for me. I can't access files stored on S3. Also, the service I run is hung trying to store files on S3.
FussBudget86 58 minutes ago 0 replies      
You think this is bad? Just look at what's happening in Sweden...
Svenskunganka 1 hour ago 1 reply      
This can't be only the US-EAST-1 region. I'm a european resident and most things are down for me too.
socialentp 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Same here. I can log in to the new S3 console UI, but all of my buckets/resources are missing. Same error as you in the old UI. Also unable to connect through the AWS CLI (says, "An error occurred (AccessDenied) when calling the ListBuckets operation: Access Denied"). Fun.
Exuma 2 hours ago 1 reply      
Great, all my billing services on Heroku are turned off. Why do they need S3 access for me to access my web dynos?

I'd rather my app load but appear broken so I can show my own status rather than just shutting down every single app...

xtus 1 hour ago 0 replies      
After few requests timed out, started to dig a bit.The CNAME for a bucket endpoint was pointing to s3-1-w.amazonaws.com with a TTL of at least an other 5600 secods.Doing a full trace was giving back a new s3-3-w.amazonaws.comThe IP related to s3-1-w was/is timing out, all cool instead for the s3-3-w.
LeonM 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Just posted on their Twitter:

"The dashboard not changing color is related to S3 issue. See the banner at the top of the dashboard for updates."

ruchit47 2 hours ago 0 replies      
I have in the middle of thoughts of moving out of AWS and having a dedicated provider as our billing has increased a lot with the scale. The only thing which was holding me was the uptime confidence. Now I feel it's not a bad idea.
bas 1 hour ago 0 replies      
"Amazon CloudFront: Service is operating normally"

This is bullshit if you're using an S3 origin in your distribution.

leesalminen 3 hours ago 0 replies      
FreshDesk makes extensive use of S3 and it's been unbearably slow to load for the past hour or so. All on S3 requests.
samgranieri 3 hours ago 0 replies      
I'm running into timeouts trying to download elixir packages, and I'm willing to bet this is the cause
krlkv 2 hours ago 0 replies      
S3 is down? Official Twitter feed is also "unaware" https://twitter.com/awscloud
KurtMueller 1 hour ago 0 replies      
You can always check by going to www.isitdownrightnow.com/

Oh wait. The site sits on S3. Never mind.

simplehuman 59 minutes ago 0 replies      
It's still down. All morning! So much business lost.
spacecadets 2 hours ago 0 replies      
There goes my Trello to do list. Now I'm lost. Oh well.
nicpottier 1 hour ago 0 replies      
SES seems to be down for us as well in Virginia. Of course nothing on the status page.
garindra 2 hours ago 0 replies      
DockerHub is down as well. DockerHub was down in Oct 2015 because S3 was down in US-EAST. They should have known to cache images in multiple S3 regions since then.
linsomniac 2 hours ago 0 replies      
The AWS status page is still showing all green but how has a header saying they are investigating increased error rates. https://status.aws.amazon.com/
ttttytjj 1 hour ago 0 replies      
It's fixed... I mean the status page https://status.aws.amazon.com/
BrandonM 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Additionally, Zendesk is apparently failing to process new tickets, so our users can't report the errors they're encountering.
ryanmarr 2 hours ago 0 replies      
My EB instances and Load Balancers are also down. I can't even get to load balancers in ec2 web console or to elastic beanstalk in web console. It's been almost an hour now.
willcodeforfoo 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Uh-oh. Same here... and tried taking a screenshot of pinging s3.amazonaws.com and Slack upload hung.
myth_drannon 1 hour ago 1 reply      
Looks like SoundCloud is hosting the tracks on S3 , can't program without my music...
vanpupi 25 minutes ago 1 reply      
Any opinions you can post on http://wp.me/p7HKNy-5h as well
jontro 3 hours ago 0 replies      
I get this in my aws console.

Increased API Error Rates

09:52 AM PST We are investigating increased error rates in the US-EAST-1 Region.

Event dataEventS3 operational issueStatusOpenRegion/AZus-east-1Start timeFebruary 28, 2017 at 6:51:57 PM UTC+1End time-Event categoryIssue

manshoor 1 hour ago 0 replies      
finally status are updated https://goo.gl/wCINaC
ignaces 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Heroku apps are also down because of this!
tbeutel 3 hours ago 0 replies      
I'm getting this using s3cmd:

$ s3cmd ls WARNING: Retrying failed request: / ([Errno 60] Operation timed out)WARNING: Waiting 3 sec...WARNING: Retrying failed request: / ([Errno 60] Operation timed out)WARNING: Waiting 6 sec...

philliphaydon 2 hours ago 0 replies      
I'm confused, just logged into work account, and site, and some contract stuff I do. All use S3 / Cloudfront... no errors...
JBerryMedX 2 hours ago 0 replies      
My company's ELBs in us-east-1 are experiencing massive amounts of latency causing the instances to be marked unhealthy.
jsperson 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Just finished reading The Everything Store... I bet a "?" email went out.
jhaile 3 hours ago 0 replies      
All of our S3 assets are unavailable. Cloudfront is accessible but returning a 504 status with the message: "CloudFront is currently experiencing problems with requesting objects from Amazon S3."
maccard 2 hours ago 0 replies      
My fire tv stick is totally unusable too. Seems I can't access any applications (even Lodi or Netflix)
pmalynin 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Down from the outside;The internal access (from within EC2) APIs still work.
andrewfong 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Yeah, we host on S3 (US-East-1 I think) with Cloudfront for caching / SSL. Some of our requests get through but it's been intermittent. Lots of 504 Gateway Time-Outs when retrieving CSS, JS.
dgelks 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Getting the same error on the GUI but the aws cli and sdk seem to be working fine (our site is still up too)
notheguyouthink 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Same here, i mistakingly went to the dashboard first too. Silly me.
bkanber 2 hours ago 0 replies      
I'm having issues with CloudWatch and related monitoring services; eg auto-scaling groups are unable to scale up or down.
meddlepal 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Totally fucked.
aabajian 29 minutes ago 1 reply      
Leap day bug?
JustinAiken 1 hour ago 0 replies      
For our app, both S3 and SES have been completely down in us-east-1 for hours now.
oneeyedpigeon 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Finally! The status page admits something's up.
jefe_ 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Getting Issues with Citrix Sharefile api (which I've suspected to run in S3). Seems to only be impacting writes in preliminary assessment.
travelton 2 hours ago 1 reply      
I can't get to my Amazon Orders page. "There's a problem displaying some of your orders right now."
bkruse 2 hours ago 1 reply      
This is one of the times that I am glad to be running my own distributed object storage. I'm sure it's not as robust as Amazon, but......
alfg 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Yeah, same here on US-WEST-2. Unable to use the S3 Console, but I can still upload/get content via the API it seems.
happyrock 2 hours ago 1 reply      
Anyone doing a region failover? Any issues so far? We are making plans to flip to us-west-1
k__ 2 hours ago 0 replies      
1. Announce security vulnerability

2. People push updates as fast as possible to fix security

3. No tests, so everything blows up

mystcb 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Been unreliability informed about 1 hour ETA for a fix. fingers crossed
Globz 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Yes Trello is down and they are using S3 :(
zerotolerance 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Do the engineering thing and build fault tolerant systems. Maybe adopt features that have been around since 2015:


ajmarsh 1 hour ago 0 replies      
via AWS twitter account "The dashboard not changing color is related to S3 issue.See the banner at the top of the dashboard for updates."
edcoffin 1 hour ago 0 replies      
If you've ever felt the AWS health dashboard was dubious before now...
dageshi 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Huh, I wonder if that's why Origin (EA's Steam competitor) cloud sync just stopped working
magic_beans 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Dashboard has been updated, finally!
awsoutage 2 hours ago 0 replies      
adamveld12 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Where is that "Show HN" that will let me check if a site is affected by an S3 outtage?
edgartaor 1 hour ago 0 replies      
QUESTION. There could be data lost from this failure?
headcanon 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Still down for us. S3 seems to be the only thing affected - our mobile apps work fine (EC2 and RDS backend)
kyleblarson 3 hours ago 1 reply      
Any specific regions? us-west-2 seems fine to me. [edit] now I can't see any of my buckets in the web interface.
nicpottier 1 hour ago 0 replies      
SES seems to be down for us as well.
nicpottier 1 hour ago 0 replies      
SES seems to be downf or us as well.
indytechcook 3 hours ago 1 reply      
My EC2 Servers are also not provisioning.
rbirkby 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Can anyone get Alexa to play music? Is this related?
cwe 3 hours ago 1 reply      
Dropbox using this? Can't seem to sync
dorianm 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Heroku API/Dashboard is down, Bugsnag is down, etc.
dorianm 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Heroku API/Dashboard is down, Bugsnag is down, etc.
chiph 1 hour ago 0 replies      
I'm seeing problems with Kindle downloads.
Exuma 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Yep, currently have over 20,000 people on site seeing no images. Wonderful
balls187 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Thanks for posting this. I've passed this information through my network.

Slack image uploads are hanging.

djb_hackernews 3 hours ago 2 replies      
Anyone else seeing ELB/ALB issues?
pfela 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Their status page images are hosted on S3, so will be a while for the green checkmarks to update
murphy52 1 hour ago 1 reply      
TierPoint, a large hosting service, is reporting a massive DDOS attack on their infrastructure.
hyperanthony 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Experiencing issues with S3 and ELB for over an hour now.
ondrae 2 hours ago 1 reply      
We're on AWS GovCloud and our S3 is all good. GovCloud is its own region.
j_shi 2 hours ago 2 replies      
Is there a list of all apps/services that rely on S3?
oaktowner 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Apparently app updates on iOS are failing right now, too. Could be related?
kolemcrae 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Yup. Every single image on my site is hosted there.... eek! :|
framebit 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Wow, amazing to watch stuff go down as this problem ripples out!
tech4all 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Yes serious API problems started about 15 minutes ago. Around noon central.
aytekin 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Never depend your business on a single provider.
tomharrisonjr 2 hours ago 0 replies      
We're seeing queries using Athena against S3 fail in us-east-1
magic_beans 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Definitely experiencing non-loading for dependencies hosted on S3 at the moment...
orn 2 hours ago 0 replies      
I'm trying to reach S3 hosted website, no luck
austinkurpuis 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Same here. Also having trouble publishing to S3 via CLI and API.
nickstefan12 2 hours ago 0 replies      
bets as to the cause? internal DDoS against their dynamo clusters backing s3? DNS issues between amazon's services?
mwambua 3 hours ago 1 reply      
Not sure if it's related... but I'm having issues with Amazon Cloud-drive.
booleanbetrayal 3 hours ago 0 replies      
S3 and Elastic Beanstalk (S3 dependencies) ... no issues with RDS at the moment
amcrouch 3 hours ago 0 replies      
It appears to be down. My website runs on S3 and my monitors are going nuts!
murphy52 1 hour ago 0 replies      
We host with TierPoint and they are reporting a massive DDOS attack
exodos 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Yah getting the same error in multiple regions as of 1:12 EST
SubiculumCode 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Mr. Robot live shoot? :)

slack file services down too

chx 2 hours ago 0 replies      
hex.pm and docker hub are both failing, a lot of projects can't CI because of these. The house of cards we built.
soheil 1 hour ago 0 replies      
wow even services like Intercom are affected, I can't see who is on my website right now.
afshinmeh 2 hours ago 1 reply      
yeah, looks like Travis CI is down, too: https://www.traviscistatus.com
gtrubetskoy 2 hours ago 0 replies      
they're down to 3 nines

edit: for the year, it only takes 52.57 minutes

Trisell 2 hours ago 1 reply      
US-West(Oregon) just went down as well.
ianopolous 2 hours ago 0 replies      
I'm seeing the same error on eu-west as well.
DocK 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Even Kindle books aren't able to be served; download attempts hang.
twiss 3 hours ago 0 replies      
S3 Ireland (eu-west-1) seems to be doing fine at first sight.
grimmdude 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Making an already troublesome day worse. Yeehaw
kopy 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Looks like they store the statuses on S3
Rapzid 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Upload failing for me from Sacramento --> us-east-1
sz4kerto 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Dropbox is down as well. This is going to be gud.
jacobevelyn 3 hours ago 0 replies      
We're getting errors indicative of an S3 outage too.
thepumpkin1979 1 hour ago 0 replies      
is it just us-east-1? could it be prevented by using a different region?
nodefortytwo 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Not seeing any errors from eu-west-1
SubiculumCode 1 hour ago 0 replies      
news.ycombinator.com seems really slow right now. s3 dependencies?
stevefram 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Yes, affecting elb in us-east-1 right now. web services are down and unable to bring up the elb screen in the aws console.
4wmturner 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Is cli working for anyone else? I can't use the console UI, but aws s3 ls and get commands seem to be working fine.
jflowers45 2 hours ago 0 replies      
trello and giphy both seemed affected
mrep 1 hour ago 1 reply      
quite ironic that 'isitdown.com' is also down
Rockastansky 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Anybody else seeing 500 errors with AWS Cognito for us-east-1?

They are consistent for me.

davidcollantes 2 hours ago 1 reply      
Azure is also down. Related?
bseabra 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Same here. We are seeing issues.
_callcc 3 hours ago 0 replies      
SES also down.
josephlord 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Looks like it. Brief panic caused here.
rhelsing 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Is this only affecting US-EAST-1?
qaq 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Cmon but the cloud is magic and very reliable let's move everything to the cloud
Rockastansky 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Is anyone else also seeing 500 errors for cognito on us-east-1?
rhelsing 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Having issues as well.. big issues..
Beacon11 2 hours ago 1 reply      
Works for me, in us-west-2.
AtheistOfFail 1 hour ago 0 replies      
We have a red error, finally!

Source: https://status.aws.amazon.com/

After two hours, they have finally updated their dashboard.

ahmetcetin 2 hours ago 0 replies      
The same here still
ARolek 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Same here. US East (N. Virginia)
Eyes 2 hours ago 1 reply      
My website is not down.
sweddle 2 hours ago 0 replies      
yeah still all green in AWS status.... maybe their red and yellow icons are kept on S3. :-)))
65827 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Dead as a doornail for me
Raphmedia 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Same here in US EAST
danielmorozoff 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Yea seeing the same thing
jgacook 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Yup - dead in the water
baconomatic 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Seeing it here as well.
ahmetcetin 2 hours ago 0 replies      
The same here
xvolter 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Seeing the same here
prab97 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Quora is down too.
jsanroman 2 hours ago 0 replies      
It's down :(
eggie5 2 hours ago 2 replies      
is this affecting dockerhub for anyone?
TheVip 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Same problem bro...
0xCMP 3 hours ago 0 replies      
SES is also down
jahrichie 2 hours ago 0 replies      
same here, east us seems non-responsive
dhairya 2 hours ago 0 replies      
region-west2 is also down
mtdewulf 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Yep, same here.
methurston 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Down for me.
aarondf 2 hours ago 0 replies      
dbg31415 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Yes, appears to be.
thadjo 2 hours ago 1 reply      
heroku API is down for me
kangman 3 hours ago 0 replies      
any one get more info from AWS?
cryreduce 3 hours ago 0 replies      
in the s3 web interface requests to S3 backend end with 503 Service Unavailable
davidsawyer 3 hours ago 0 replies      
kangman 3 hours ago 2 replies      
what's the SLA for s3?
the_arun 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Same here
GabeIsman 3 hours ago 0 replies      
eggie5 2 hours ago 0 replies      
yes, confirmed.
simook 2 hours ago 0 replies      
yes it is.
b01t 2 hours ago 0 replies      
renzy 2 hours ago 0 replies      
getting the same...
fletom 1 hour ago 2 replies      
are you openly admitting that the AWS service status page runs on AWS? because that is far more embarrassing than this downtime ever could be
soheil 2 hours ago 6 replies      
I try not to put all my eggs in one basket, that's why for images I use imgur. They have a great API and it's 100% free. There is a handy ruby gem [1] which takes a user uploaded image and sticks it on imgur and returns its URL with dimensions etc. On top of that you don't have to pay for traffic to those assets.

[1] https://github.com/soheil/imgur

Taek 2 hours ago 6 replies      
Mass outage like this is exactly one of the things we are looking to avoid by building a decentralized storage grid with Sia.

Sia are immune to situations like this because data is stored redundantly across dozens of servers around the world that are all running on different, unique configurations. Furthermore, there's no single central point of control on the Sia network.

Sia is still under heavy development, but it's future featureset and specifications should be able to fully replace the S3 service (including CDN capabilities).


Ask HN: How would you turn Twitter around?
159 points by bsvalley  5 hours ago   302 comments top 144
nikcub 2 hours ago 2 replies      
1. cut costs by a lot. they shouldn't be spending $2B per year

2. allow the apps to be used without a login - with the default view showing 'what is on now'. almost every member of my family has attempted to use twitter at some point and just been confused.

3. reformat all the explore pages into ordinary twitter streams

4. acquire nuzzel. their view of 'whats on now' is better than twitter's view

5. drop the video passion-project nonsense. you don't need to own content to use twitter alongside it. strike deals with the content providers instead where tweets are shown alongside (this is already being done) and become a partner to content owners and distributors rather than a competitor

6. improve the core product for users. group messaging, longer tweets, only show replies from people who are authenticated or two degrees away from you by default, etc. etc. (and pro accounts, if you wish)

7. let people pay to get a checkmark, and then let users pay to flair tweets they like

8. better tools for businesses who provide support on twitter. let them pay to use it as a platform and properly authenticate their customers on twitter

9. ditto above but for marketing

dotBen 3 hours ago 11 replies      
Refocus the company to be the Netflix of live TV, focusing on the delivery of live sports and news broadcasts while enabling fans/viewers to discuss in real time.

It's a greenfield space no one else is really jumping upon yet. Focus may have turned to on-demand TV, but people still want to watch sports live, and Twitter already has acquired some of those deals as the sport franchises get more comfortable with online distribution. Trump's tweets, the presidential debates broadcast on Twitter and the fact people turn to Twitter during breaking news make it a logical extension to move into news and possibly finance too.

Twitter's modern-day utility seems very low outside of news/sports/politics and the average joe has moved their engagement to more visual platforms like Instagram and Snapchat where it is much easier to create and consume more personal content and updates.

Twitter would also be able to focus their monetization and advertising efforts around a much tighter content and audience niche. Plus consumers are used to paying for some of this premium content, making monetization of a freemium model even easier.

JumpCrisscross 44 minutes ago 1 reply      
I'd tear it apart until all that's left is a profitable, maintainable core. Like Craigslist.

Twitter's payroll (to say nothing of its stock-based compensation expense) is bloated. Slashing staff isn't a popular play. This is a textbook private equity deal.

Twitter's habit of ringing in the year with $500MM losses could be single-handedly cut with a 2/3rd staffing reduction (which costs lots in payroll and $800MM in stock-based compensation expense). How much of Twitter's $2bn in revenue would evaporate post-cuts. Over half? Still leaves $750MM of pre-tax income before R&D ($800MM in the FYE 2015). Cut that R&D budget in half, say you lose a further 25% of revenues, and you still have $160MM before taxes yielding $100MM of net income. That's worth $1bn to $2.5bn.

If you can grow that to $500MM over 4 or 5 years, you could sell it for ~20x. Discount back at 10% or 20% and you have an optimistic valuation of $4 to $7bn.

Twitter's trading at just under $12bn. I suppose I'd bid $3.50 per share and be willing to entertain someone talking just under $10 a share.

lhnz 3 hours ago 5 replies      
I would try to eat journalism.

I would create a system where subscription to News on Twitter helps to automate payment for individual articles.

 1. The lede or quote gets pulled into the tweet. 2. http://t.co becomes a payment-debiting gateway (402 Payment Required).
Basically, you would monetise the audience on behalf of the publishers who would be able to make their paywalls more porous.

Almost everybody would benefit from this arrangement:

 - Users would no longer need to buy multiple newspaper subscriptions. - Journalists would be better positioned to ask for revenue share. - Publishers could gain a larger paying market without needing to coax user's through the account creation and subscription signup hoops.
Edit: If anyone in Twitter wants to do this, please hire me - I'd be super interested to work on it. Wouldn't even need to be the CEO. ;)

jraines 3 hours ago 7 replies      
- Get rid of modals for everything. Especially: when clicking on a tweet to view replies, open a new page with better threading of replies, pagination, and no reordering (or optional "quality" reordering). Twitter is a forum on speed; take some good ideas from forums. Right now it's a forum on speed and acid.

- Have more options for blocking, including "block this person and everyone who follows them or followed them within last N days"

- Fix trending topic spam. Seriously, how is this so bad? Free advice: for every trending topic a tweet mentions over 1 in a single tweet, the probability that it's spam asymptotically approaches 1.

- Allow an unambiguous, never "played with", chronological timeline. Have a separate view that's your ML playground. The "In case you missed it" and "tweets you might like" features are good but I don't want them randomly appearing in my timeline.

- Allow alternate clients, even if you have to charge a fee.

- Similarly, create a separate free developer-focused API but clearly identify all tweets posted via that as "bot" and allow people to never see tweets posted by a bot, or tweets posted by a bot @ them. Tweets posted from the "alternative client" paid API would not be subject to this marking.

- Identify "sleeper cell" bots -- accounts inactive for a long time that suddenly become active, usually around a single topic, concurrent with many similar bots, and aggressively ban them.

- Do more and better things with Lists. Don't just show me 3 people to follow (usually clearly just based on the last person I looked at). Show me algorithmically curated suggested lists, popular lists, allow me to sort those by # of members, easily find lists that user X belongs to, etc., mark lists as low quality/harassment vehicles. Surface good content shared by my interest lists somewhere other than the timeline.

- My personal #1: give me the likestream of the people I follow. This is easily more interesting than their actual tweets, at least to me. Something like a quarter of my usage these days is visiting individual accounts "Likes" pages. At least use this data in the aforementioned algorithmic curation of Lists/suggested follows.

AliAdams 3 hours ago 6 replies      
My greatest problem with twitter is that those whose who have something worth saying tend to talk an awful lot less than those with nothing to say.

I want twitter to be a feed of thoughts an opinions from people I respect, or important updates from companies I'm interested in.

I see a secondary value from twitter by people contributing to a conversation around an event, be that a sports game, a site outage, a traffic jam or an unfolding natural disaster.

Filtering out / systemically discouragingly a lot of the countless low-value/self promotional posts alongside a better hashtag (channel) view would be a great start.

ProfessorLayton 1 hour ago 0 replies      
1. Remove senior management. They do not know what they're doing.

2. Experiment and find the right point between monetizing users and those that get the most value out of Twitter. Right now users' eyeballs are being bled dry, and getting their experience ruined with tons of ads, and timeline shuffling. It feels like those with tons of followers are getting a free ride at the expense of everyone else.

3. Introduce meaningful timeline features such as: 3a. Ability to follow #hashtags/topics instead of just people and companies. Curated "Moments" are a weak substitute. 3b. Follow geographical areas of interest (e.g. Top Tweets in Oakland, SOMA etc.) 3c. Ability to explore Twitter geographically. Again, I feel this is a huge and untapped. Heard something crazy happen over your neighborhood? Pull up an map and explore what people are saying around there.

4. Actually do something about trolls (Perhaps a reputation system?)

5. Clamp down on bots. Why is it even possible to follow 300k or a few million people?

6. Slim down the workforce, by a lot, unfortunately. I don't think a sustainable Twitter can ever be a large as it is today.

7. Bigger focus on live TV + discussion

8. Fix search: Its awful and nearly useless unless you put in a ton of effort in "advanced search". Top results are often times just the same retweets and news articles over and over again.

I could keep going...

jamesk_au 2 hours ago 2 replies      
This analysis from Ben Thompson (Stratechery[1]) just yesterday would be a great place to start:

"Imagine a Twitter app that, instead of a generic Moment that is little more than Twitters version of a thousand re-blogs, let you replay your Twitter stream from any particular moment in time. Miss the Oscars gaffe? Not only can you watch the video, you can read the reactions as they happen, from the people you actually care enough to follow. Or maybe see the reactions through someone elses eyes: choose any other user on Twitter, and see what they saw as the gaffe happened.

What is so powerful about this seemingly simple feature is that it would commoditize live in a way that is only possibly digitally, and that would uniquely benefit the company: now the experience of live (except for the shock value) would be available at any time, from any perspective, and only on Twitter. That such a feature does not exist indeed, that the companys stated goal is to become more like old media, instead of uniquely leveraging digital is as good an explanation for why the company has foundered as any."

[1] https://stratechery.com/2017/twitter-live-and-luck/

david-cako 5 minutes ago 0 replies      
Making the UX not shit is a great start.

Twitter is really an unpleasant site to use for following discussions of any sort. When I click a thread-view for a post, I want to see a clear tree-view of all of the posts and replies like any other sane website, not the current flat-layout bullshit wherein you have no clue what the chronology of anything is, or who is responding to what.

There are a lot of good ideas in this thread for how twitter can refocus and monetize itself, but I think before all that you need to make it a site that more people enjoy using beyond its original use case of "waiting at the airport -- hmu".

OliverJones 54 minutes ago 1 reply      
Imposing a modest signal cost should improve the signal - to - noise ratio substantially.

Charge for reach. Ask accounts with more than 50K followers to either pay for all followers to receive tweets, or limit distribution to 50K followers, randomly chosen.

It's the accounts with many followers that get the most benefit from the platform.

And, a twitter crack could, in present circumstances, cause global political instability. The accounts with > 50K followers, if compromised, are the accounts that could cause this sort of problem. Why shouldn't the users of those accounts shoulder at least some of the cost of securing the service and making it fast?

Another possibiity: the Bloomberg Terminal biz model. Charge consumers of twitter for timeliness, and delay messages to unpaid consumers and general feeds. Allow originators of messages to purchase timeliness for their own messages, even to unpaid consumers.

mindcrash 3 hours ago 4 replies      
* Remove Jack from CEO position

* Let Evan return as CEO (merge with Medium)

... this will restore Twitter management to the situation around 2010, then ...

* Reform or cancel the Trust & Safety council

* Restore open API access and app ecosystem

* Remove side wide censorship tools, add self censorship tools (a la Gab)

* Reverse the timeline changes

* Stop pandering to far left ideologues

Something like that?

Grue3 3 hours ago 4 replies      
1. Remove post length limit.2. Limit the number of tweets per day instead.3. You can pay to remove the above limit.

This solves the problem of timeline being unreadable once you subscribe to enough people. Ain't nobody got time to read all that crap. Once everyone is rate-limited, everyone can easily digest their timeline. Without length limit, tweets become more thoughtful.

4. Fix the UI. Make it easy to view replies. Make it easy to view embedded images. Make it lean and fast. That would give Twitter advantage over similarly bloated services.

5. Anti-trolling measures. This one is really obvious! There should be no indication that you're blocked by another person, they just don't see you anymore. If the blocked person doesn't know they're blocked, they don't get the satisfaction of being blocked, and they don't know when they need to create another account to annoy you. This should be the basic rule when you implement a blocking feature.

6. Open up API. This one is obvious.

miles_matthias 4 hours ago 1 reply      
Focus on engagement. Twitter's value is LIVE, but they've never leveraged push notifications and text messages in a way that makes sure you never miss out when important/relevant conversations are happening, so how are you supposed to know when there's interesting content to engage with?

Right now you can turn on notifications for a user's tweets, but that gives you push notifications for all of their tweets which is super annoying. Also, 99% of users don't know that exists.

Their recent move to make trending topics and search more visible in the iPhone app is a step in the right direction but they're a long ways off.

FOMO and live is how they're different from Facebook. I can always go back to Facebook at any time and they'll show me what I missed and I can still engage with it. With Twitter, the discussion has come and gone and I'm left out if I don't know it's happening.

kneel 3 hours ago 3 replies      
I consider myself pretty tech oriented but I've never understood twitter, this is probably just my own stupidity but I've tried several times and it never makes sense.

I mostly just see replies to other conversations and I don't understand the context. Scrolling through the timeline I can't parse structure, it just seems chaotic.

Barely anyone I know uses twitter. It just seems to be a way to follow celebrities and politicians, I don't really care what they have to say.

I'm probably missing something here.

divbit 4 hours ago 2 replies      
I want to watch the superbowl from twitter: https://www.nytimes.com/2016/08/15/technology/with-nfl-deal-... I have no idea how to watch the superbowl and I tried several apps. I had cable tv for like 1 year of highschool, and haven't felt any reason to purchase for myself since, but some things, like the superbowl / Olympics / World Cup etc. would be really great to be able to watch - no I'm not going to deal with cable / buying a TV just for 1-3 events yearly.
chintan 3 hours ago 2 replies      
Make it a protocol. again. http://www.paulgraham.com/twitter.html
ProAm 3 hours ago 2 replies      
Layoff everyone except for the bare minimum to keep the company operational (~100-200 people), take it private and print money for 10 years then let it naturally sunset itself.
thehardsphere 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Focus on the core business and aggressively eliminate any and all costs not directly associated with it. It's ridiculous that they're one of the most popular websites on Earth that makes ~$2bn/year, yet they manage to piss it all away on things that don't noticably improve their service.

What Twitter really needs is to be bought up by some Wall Street type who can look at their books and do just that, and not much more.

sumitgt 2 hours ago 1 reply      
Turn the entire business model 180 degrees. This might be very radical, but hear me out.

1) Creating a twitter profile (with tweeting privileges) costs $5. Profiles without tweeting privileges are free.

2) Once you have 10000 followers, you need to pay additional $$ per year. This fees increases exponentially as you gain more followers. Eg. Famous people pay a lot. Unless this $ is paid, the follower count caps up and the follow button disappears from the profile.

3) Stop considering no of active user profiles as a metric entirely.

4) Regular non-famous people can create profiles (that do not have option for others to follow), but can follow famous paying users for free.

5) If a normal non-famous person wants to chime into the conversation, they pay a one-time fee of $5 to become a paid user. Now they can tweet and have followers. If they ever get too famous, they might have to pay again to unlock ability to have 10000+ followers.

This way you try to charge the users who actually have the money to spend. Let's admit, people with high follower counts like politicians do gain a lot from twitter, and would probably pay for un-mediated access to the population.

This also fixes the problem of junk / troll accounts.

dzink 30 minutes ago 0 replies      
As a user I struggle to stay engaged with twitter - the moment I try to read, I am flooded with irrelevant content, yet the platform is the best place for niche interest information and fast niche information. The Signal-to-Noise ratio is too low. Here is how I would fix engagement and revenue:

1. Consider twitter a user's portfolio of interest channels and let us tab between our chosen channels immediately (multi-select box at the top where I can pick VCs, medicine, Design, Oscars, whatever - and it blends my feed for me)

2. Encourage floods of content and monetise curators filtering for quality - I can pay for subscription a feed of world news from WSJ, NYT, and other paid sources, and my subscription fee is distributed to them based on consumption. The best content wins and the quality editorials get rewarded for earning loyalty, not writing clickbait.

3. Enable paid advertising-free feeds.

4. Enable premium, niche feed advertising that is hyper relevant (If I have a spine medicine feed, an ad from Stryder would be very appropriate, but one from herbal remedies providers would be irrelevant). Building the curation mechanisms would draw top engineering talent in machine learning too.

5. Allow co-watching experiences during media events.

6. Allow me to filter out topics I want to avoid (and by doing that, you get more engagement and better ad targeting capabilities)

7. Open your developer ecosystem again and this time pay attention to what works and provide guarantees that you won't kill developer efforts. Those developers build bots for Facebook now and help their user engagement instead of yours.

The gist of it is: make your revenue model reward and improve quality. The moment you let advertisers lead you by the nose and dictate for obstructive anti-user product decisions, you will permanently lose your market to Facebook and others. I lead a hyper-niche collaboration network so happy to do a longer brainstorming session with Twitter people.

grandalf 2 hours ago 2 replies      
I think Twitter is already pretty great. My suggestions are below:

- Twitter is a platform, open it up to allow any clients first class access.

- Stop political censorship immediately. It's fine to prevent scams and bot-nets, but do not stifle political speech.

- Lower burn rate. Cancel all of the product-oriented projects that are expensive, simply focus on building the infrastructure to make Twitter's platform as inexpensive as possible to maintain. I'd estimate 10% of Twitter's employees are actually needed.

- Be very cautious about ads. Do not compare yourself to Facebook for ad revenue generation. This is a long-term decision that will require adequate funding to undertake.

pjc50 43 minutes ago 0 replies      
Have this conversation on Twitter. Listen to the users!


USERS: we love twitter but it has problems

TWITTER: great we'll fix them

USERS: do you want to know what they are

TWITTER: absolutely not

(18k likes, 14k RTs)

USERS: could you at least look at addressing the pervasive harassment of women

TWITTER [twirling like Maria von Trapp]: M O M E N T S


USERS: you're alienating the people who actually use your product

TWITTER: likes are now florps

USERS: what

TWITTER: timeline goes sideways

Oxitendwe 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Well, for one I would stop banning and restricting people for expressing their opinions. Your phone company wouldn't disconnect your service for leaving nasty messages on someone's mailbox, so Twitter shouldn't ban people for writing nasty messages to people. It's not their responsibility and I think society suffers from their judgement of what is allowed and what isn't - how can you promote understanding and bring people closer together when one side of the argument is being silenced and marginalized? People who break laws should be dealt with by the legal system. People that do not shouldn't have to worry about their ability to communicate with people being curtailed.

If you think this sort of thing doesn't happen, read this: http://blog.dilbert.com/post/157826468646/nothing-to-see-her... , or http://blog.dilbert.com/post/157201503761/freedom-of-speech-... . He's had problems with this for months, because of his political blogging, and this is just one example. If it can happen to the guy who made Dilbert, it can happen to anyone.

naravara 1 hour ago 0 replies      
There are several options. I guess Twitter could go with one or all of them.

As a backend service it would be nice if they focused on making your Twitter account into a sort of internet drivers license to identify you anywhere and everywhere online through a sort of trust chain. I never want to have to sign up for an account again unless it pertains to my finances. I so desperately wish I could manage all my various subscriptions and accounts for random services from a central place that is highly secure and easy to access. I should be able to sign-on seamlessly, unsubscribe effortlessly, and never have to remember a username or password. This would also allow a central place for me to set privacy preferences so we can dictate exactly what the downstream services should and shouldnt be able to see.If Twitter can just let me two-factor authorize with a token+pin and have this let me into just about any account online (aside from maybe my main email and financial accounts in the interests of not having all the eggs in one basket) thats a service people would indispensible. (So much so that maybe ICANN should just work on something like it as a public utility?)

On the more user-facing end, Twitters niche has always been people who are keen on promoting themselves and making announcements (new paper published, new product announced, press releases, etc.), so maybe they should just fill into what Facebook was before it became a NewsFeed. They could give you an About Me page and a status-bar. This basically is what Twitter is now, but they lack the focus to design it around that stuff as a central purpose for the service. They focus more on the Status Bar than the About Me, this would really just a difference in design language and emphasis. Make it into an RSS feed for people.

Or, as a third option. . . they could just make Twitter into an RSS reader. Maybe even add Wordpress/Medium style pages for long-form writing and feed that all through the same feed paradigm.

xtweeeteer 53 minutes ago 0 replies      
Lot of great ideas. The problem I see is execution (I'm an ex-employee). Primitive versions of most of the ideas suggested in these comments are tried and given up because they didnt really show huge difference in growth or other engagement numbers - This is partly because one of the below:1) primitive implementation/design is very bad compared to the original idea.2) There is huge reward in Twitter for starting new projects. But no one follows through to make sure project is well maintained/supported.3) Cross team coordination is not good
colinplamondon 3 hours ago 0 replies      
- Focus and elevate video content. Entire TV episodes are sometimes made public on Twitter - there's no way to surface this. When The Expanse has a new episode, it should go into a tab that's YouTube on Twitter.

- Pay video creators out the ass to get them to dual-publish from YouTube, and create auto-sync features that let them publish in both locations. Build in live-streaming functionality to compete with Twitch.

- "Async realtime". When watching a show, make it possible to replay Homeland tweets from the time you start. If you watch an Apple Keynote later, make the realtime tweets replay, and make it possible to add your own.

- Allow different engagement models. If someone has a whiff of abuse in their feed, make it trivial for them to see only verified + low risk users. The moment someone sends an @message to someone they've never conversed with with a single abusive word, crank the risk on them. If someone wants to engage with the firehose, make that the default.

- Make it easy to "import" feeds. I've had at least 3 friends ask me who to follow, and then we spend 15 minutes scrolling through my follow list, they manually look them up. When a new user registers on Twitter, I should be able to pick 3 people I'm most interested in following, and it should then recommend the people they like the most.

- It should be one-click to "super follow" someone, and get all their follows into my feed. Make it trivial to get an awesome, active feed. And trivial to reduce noise when I'm not interested in something.

bbulkow 28 minutes ago 0 replies      
Twitter does need to continue engineering. It needs to do exactly one thing: re-order the timeline so that coming to Twitter becomes fun and engaging again. Right now, when I open Twitter ( mobile or desktop ), I have a huge flurry of random things I don't really want to read, or don't want to read now.

Re-ordering the timeline promises the solution - but it doesn't work yet.

I would think you need "auto-group", which FB, Google, and others have tried and failed at.

But in any case - twitter is the place I feel like I have to go, but don't want to go, and I think I'm not the only one.

dylanhassinger 5 hours ago 3 replies      
Get rid of the multimedia content types

Revert it back to pure text, which can include any type of url

Make the tweets always load chronologically

Make the interface faster loading and less JavaScripty

open up the API

basically, turn it back into #OldTwitter from 2010

nevi-me 35 minutes ago 1 reply      
Make advertising more accessible/cheaper. I have a Facebook page where I can spend ZAR210 a day and get value. Twitter costs way more for less perceived value. Opening up advertising to more small projects like ours brings in more revenue I think.
collinglass 2 hours ago 1 reply      
One thing for sure, I would remove posting privileges from the API.

Yes it is a bold move. It has a great platform ecosystem but the amount of automation you can do is what removes the value from the platform. For example, followers mean nothing anymore and auto-DMs from people I recently followed is an Ah-NO moment.

Instagram and LinkedIn have kept POSTing out of their API for the most part. One reason (of the many) they are thriving is because people know it's all handmade engagement.

johan_larson 3 hours ago 0 replies      

I'm guessing Twitter has about as many users as it can ever hope to have, which means it's no longer about growth, it's about profits. That means it's time to cut costs, largely in engineering. You need a far smaller team to run a service and make incremental improvements than you need to grow a service aggressively.

Sir_Cmpwn 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Fire almost everyone. Cease innovation and roll several things back. Open the API up more. Limit spending to what you can afford and coast forever. Growth is overrated.
nodesocket 23 minutes ago 0 replies      
If I had the nuclear option I'd create a new account type, Twitter Business. Twitter Business has special features directly linked with their advertising core. A twitter Business handle costs $9.99 a month and includes "premium" business features such as engagement analytics, brand tracking, etc.
itomato 4 hours ago 0 replies      
- Keep it as a pure and simple timeline. Don't show me tweets I may have missed. Make me chase them down.

- No character penalty for URLs

- Let people play with the data and metadata, exposing fake accounts is good for all

- Encourage bots to be bots

- Stump the chumps. Make this type of charade harder to pull off: @rea1DonaldTrump vs. @realDonaldTrump

rdl 1 hour ago 0 replies      
1) Focus on capturing value from "Twitter as realtime newsfeed" -- creating products for non-Twitter-posting-users to see what's going on at a longer timescale. This could be first party, or through partnerships with publishers.

2) All those Twitter developer/publisher services which Twitter recently sold were IMO the real value at Twitter, Inc. Unfortunately, Twitter has burned developers too many times to be trusted. I would have made them independent rather than selling, though.

3) Rather than randomly banning users, focus on better filtering tools, and tools to coalesce spam/multiple replies/etc. If you make a popular tweet, or are the target of an attack, there should be a single "click more" link, rather than hundreds of separate notifications.

EdSharkey 28 minutes ago 0 replies      
Open up a cloud services arm that uses the Twitter infrastructure to host long-running business processes with broadcast-ability. Offer twitter feed integrations, human workflow steps, workbaskets/inboxes, and external partner API calls.

Low latency seems to be Twitter's thing, cash in on that and make some speedy low latency workflow thing.

redler 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Is Twitter involved at all in the annotation web standard [1]? There was a post and some discussion on HN a few days ago about it [2]. Seems like Twitter would be a natural fit to become a major player or popularizer of annotations and annotation infrastructure. Notwithstanding the decentralized nature of the standard, it would probably evolve to have a few major structural providers. If it takes off, one could imagine a future with billions of tweets and tweet threads anchored to source material of every kind -- adding optional value to the material, and driving traffic and value to and through Twitter.

[1] https://www.w3.org/blog/news/archives/6156[2] https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=13729525

arielm 2 hours ago 0 replies      
In short - highlight what Twitter is really good at, which is delivering bits of fleeting information and working in commerce.

The long version - ads are great, but they cause a misalignment between the service users are happy with and the services necessary to monetize. In addition (not instead), id bring payments into the platform so goods can be discovered and purchased directly through the feed without the user having to leave the platform.

This would require quite a few changes throughout, but when they all come together I believe it'll bring the platform much closer to a Facebook-like status, where users spend more time on the platform as opposed to it being a "starting point" to finding interesting links.

ncantelmo 3 hours ago 0 replies      
There are two sides to this: usability and revenue.

On the usability side, there's lots of room for improvement in terms of fostering meaningful discussion, which in turn would lead to stronger social ties between users. Addressing that issue would probably have to start with an effort to improve discoverability of accounts that engage thoughtfully with other users. So people who reply to tweets that earn hearts might show up in suggestions more often, etc.

I'd also work to discourage endless ICYMI repostings of big multimedia tweets and go back to a chronological timeline. If there's too much noise in a chronological timeline, that means too much clickbait/link spam is being posted, and that's the real issue.

From a revenue perspective, there are a bunch of options worth looking at: a Patreon model to encourage people with great insight to tweet more; more accessible paid analytics, baked right into the app that could help non-business users improve the quality of what they send out; an in-app store for subscribing to third-party add-ons.

Basically, at some point it's worth realizing that plenty of mobile users will spend some money for an improved experience. The constant focus on ad-based revenue makes money, but ultimately incentivizes the company to do things that make the overall product experience worse.

stevefeinstein 52 minutes ago 0 replies      
I would work with the US post office, and any other countries postal service to turn the service into a public utility run by the people for the people under the same idea that the post office delivered physical messages, it would be in the public interest to deliver electronic messages as well. Stop trying to be profitable, not all useful things need to make money. Some things are worth funding because they are of public benefit.
donpark 3 hours ago 2 replies      
I tweeted this few months ago:

1) Add golden heart2) Sell golden hearts to users.3) Reward some golden hearts daily to users, perhaps based on tiered ranking.4) Allow advertisers to gift golden hearts to users.5) 'Promote' tweets with golden hearts and display them in Moments.

In short, allow peer promotion. Red hearts are currently being wasted as weak social signals and nods. This change blurs the line between ads and peer-promotion.

npezolano 44 minutes ago 0 replies      
Sell to Bloomberg, the integration just seems natural. Twitter is already used for financial news and real time financial trading of events. Bloomberg has a huge financial data and news business. Bloomberg would then be the sole provider of twitter data and the revenue from that alone could keep the product afloat.
ChicagoDave 44 minutes ago 0 replies      
I'd make accounts 3-tier:

1. anonymous, free, limited use (300 tweets per month)2. consumer, verified identity, paid, $10/month (1500 tweets per month)3. commercial, verified identities, paid, $25/month per user (3000 tweets/month)4. commercial, verified identities, paid, $100/month per user (unlimited tweets)

pycal 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Systematically delete accounts which might contribute bad press and lower ad revenue.

Add a feature that allows users to censor their feeds / remove @replies from "trolls".

Decrease engineering staff, increase outbound sales people.

Establish syndication rights with NFL.

DanBC 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Fix the abuse problem. Lilly Allen recently had some horrific trolling on her page about her stillborn child.


pratyushag2 59 minutes ago 0 replies      
Twitter should own the utility of being a messaging forum for the public. This means a communication layer that can be easily used by many different services for different purposes. From there on, it should open up this message level integration as easily embrddable feature for websites and to app developers. Monetization potential will increase with engagement and engagement to a forum using twitter should be made as easy as text messages.

Cut costs and cut it by a lot!

portman 3 hours ago 1 reply      
Charge Donald Trump, Kim Kardashian, and anyone else who has 1MM+ followers. Charge them per tweet. They are the true economic beneficiaries of Twitter.

(Like any software company, offer lower pricing to charities.)

Use that cash to get rid of ads (they are not working) and invest in more tools for publishers (who are now paying).

ilamont 1 hour ago 0 replies      
1. Give people control over things that matter to them, whether it be length of tweets, ability to enable/disable certain features, or see Twitter in preferred modes (pure reverse chron, ad-free, image-free, no politics, only sports, etc.).

2. Charge fees for this stuff

3. Make it easy to buy anything via Twitter

4. Get rid of the bots and AI-obvious trolling/threats/TOS violations. I find it astounding that despite years of promises to do something the situation seems to be getting worse.

5. Get a new fully-focused leader who can execute on these and other issues without distraction of a second company, and can also bring down headcount. This probably requires a reorg and a new board.

hkmurakami 30 minutes ago 0 replies      
I'd first take it private with PE money (a la Dell), cut workforce/costs, then go from there. Fresh start without Wall Street pressure.
zellyn 3 hours ago 0 replies      
I agree with what Adrian Colyer wrote at https://blog.acolyer.org/2017/02/14/reducing-controversy-by-...


Dear Twitter,

You have it in your power to truly differentiate your platform and make the world a better place by implementing controversial topic and filter bubble detection (per the paper we looked at yesterday), together with letting users see their polarity score (per todays paper) and making controversy reducing / filter-busting follower recommendations (also per todays paper). This would be something new and unique in the world of mass media consumption, and could help to make Twitter great again.

How about it?

Regards, Adrian.

dpweb 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Many things come to mind.

I love Twitter, but it becomes less of a platform for personal expression and more of a machine operated tool for propagandists and spam garbage when you just widely allow botnets. For instance, do a little digging into some of the accts that constantly retweet Trump (Dems are no better). Maybe they tie back to alt-right blog-nets - not humans - which also managed to hijack the search engines to some extent. That ain't personal expression.

If they can't generate some new excitement, the BUMMER is, messaging is the future. I'll argue FB and everyone else will be known as messaging platforms - not a face book or social news feed.

tekromancr 41 minutes ago 0 replies      
Paid API Access. Provide a way for businesses to build tools on top of Twitter, while also removing the fears that Twitter will kill your business if they decide to build a competing feature.
overcast 1 hour ago 0 replies      
1. Looking at their financials, they could become profitable by just removing half of their staff. I would start there before anything else.

2. Fix the mess of UI. I still don't understand how to engage in conversations to this day. Convoluted modal boxes, overlaying other screens, that then expand out to more replies, and so on and so forth. It's WAY too confusing.

phn 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Embrace the use of lists and its workflow (think tweetdeck). Side by side lists. I insist on side by side because you don't want one particular list stopping content from other lists to catch your eye.

Implement smart/personalized lists by interest and suggest them to users, suggest new people to add to existing lists and/or tweets that may be relevant to that list. A bit like spotify playlists and smart radios, but oriented to tweets.

Basically, make it easier for people to find tweets and users they want to follow, segmented by interest.

Display relevant non-intrusive ads based on the interests on that list. They should take the hint from reddit regarding what "non-intrusive" means. Adding something like Reddit Gold wouldn't be a bad idea either.

Apart from that, a nice interface to follow live events and their tweets would be awesome.

hellogoodbyeeee 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Are corporate accounts free or do they cost? I've always thought that they should charge every big corp that is using their platform as a marketing / customer service tool.

Does CNN pay Twitter every time they read someone's tweet on the air? I'm not talking about a "newsworthy" tweet (for example one from a politician's account), but CNN occasionally says, "Let's see what a random person on the internet thinks about this development." Then they prominently focus on a couple tweets. I think CNN (or who ever) should pay for that content.

tyre 1 hour ago 0 replies      
A few ideas:

# Mass Monetization

1) Integrate payments and one-click purchasing, take a cut.

2) Host specific pages for live-stream events (not within tweets) like sports games. Target the remaining pieces of cable TV: Live sports, ESPN, Awards Shows, Olympics, Talk shows (e.g. Daily show, Colbert Report, etc.)

# Large Account Monetization

1) Charge for additional features, e.g. private/protected accounts, verification, having more than XXX followers.

2) Build tools specifically for managing a) large accounts and b) brands/customer service. Charge them for it!

# Data Monetization

1) Build API access for alternative clients that is free for a certain number of users (~10k) then charges on a per-install basis.

2) Partner with marketing platforms (e.g. Salesforce) to build marketing funnels from Twitter into CRM or marketing platform.

ijafri 3 hours ago 1 reply      
I have no clue why they stopped developing it any further, in old days you would eagerly wait for a new feature, every couple of month. That's also true back then it didn't even have image upload.

I'd expect it be something between Facebook and twitter itself. Nope never google+.

It needs a fresh look hmm! By fresh I meant the design as the aesthetics of web Facebook messenger a modern, miminial, fresh look. That Facebook lacks.

I'd want to it be bit less minimal but not as much bloated as Facebook hence I suggestrd earlier something between the Facebook and twitter itself.

It's stalled and boring, and at this point it looks like a driveless train that could hit the dead end pretty soon.

jacquesm 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Turn back the clock to when Twitter was mostly a protocol and less of a web application. Re-enable the API's that have been disabled, open up easier access to the firehose.

Essentially making Twitter 'too big to fail'.

Tell shareholders that they're in for the long haul and that they can write off any chances for quick bucks.

Most probably - unfortunately - cut deeply into the employee base because there is no way Twitter could sustain the company size they are at today based on the product that they have.

niftich 2 hours ago 0 replies      
1. Take it private

2. Focus app and website around two concepts: 'Now' and 'Here' -- temporally local, and spatially local.

'Now' would surface what's happening in the world now: major entertainment events, major political events, intermingling global, culturally-similar, and local. Show a stylized zoomable map to show what's happening around the world, so one can narrow or widen the locality of the world's pulse.

'Here' would invert this, showing everything that happened hyperlocal, surfacing recent popular and random tweets from where you are now.

Bonus for some visual eye candy that shows, perhaps as a Venn diagram, when 'Here' and 'Now' get closer and closer together to where if you're at a sports event, they're one and the same.

3. Keep everything chronological. For a network like this, 'Fear of Missing Out' is a feature, not a bug -- the anxiety should be palpable. For 'Now', sell ad slots for exact rotating times, like TV. This will drive demand for high-quality, high-cost brand advertising, instead of low-value mundane stuff. For 'Here', sell the ad slot to local businesses.

4. Open the API but charge a fee for access.

5. Use ML, identity, hashtags, and context to classify tweets into a limited number of categories/tags: breaking news, humor, insight, commentary, chatter, feedback. Expose these as a user-controllable filter on top of any existing view.

6. Disable most notifications. Make users want to return to the app without being nagged.

7. Only allow replies and DMs from people you follow and verified accounts.

blazespin 5 minutes ago 0 replies      
Duplicate facebook (private feeds) and sell adds like facebook. Facebook is just going to keep growing their pages and take over twitter anyways, so they don't have a choice.
usrusr 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Cut back all monetization projects that don't produce a ROI already, hire out the technical talent as a consultancy specializing on Twitter-scale scalability problems and keep the pipes running as the mother of all reference projects. It would be like hiring Noah to design your yacht.
tschellenbach 3 hours ago 1 reply      
Twitter in it's current form mainly appeals to power users. For every day users it's simply too much work to get value from Twitter. To fix that they will have to make some choices that will upset existing users though:

1. Move the chronological feed to the background, the feed should be sorted by relevancy not time. (If you're a power user you can click to the raw chronological feed.)

2. Right now you can only follow users and not interests. This makes it extremely hard for new users to get a sensible feed of content. If a mainstream user signs up for Twitter they are only going to spend a minute or so to set things up. Twitter needs to immediately add value for those users.

3. Use a machine learning approach to learn what a user is interested in based on email clicks. (Quora does a great job at that.)

4. Redesign all apps and simply. A good example is their settings screen. Another is the crazy behaviour that you have to put a . in front of your tweet. Get rid of all those power user features and settings and simplify.

5. Remove abusive bots and clearly mark bots as bots. Twitter is spending millions to facilitate people engaging in follow spam and other forms of spam.

6. Build up a dedicated team to make sure Twitter works for high profile users. (IE, do notifications and messages work if i have >10m followers). They need a team on top of that to keep those users happy.

7. Some general tips: https://getstream.io/blog/13-tips-for-a-highly-engaging-news...

riemannzeta 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Twitter is the web interface for mobile messaging. The network effects have carried it so far. "Turning around" is going to mean saying no to all of the shiny new things both on mobile and on the web that have little to do with its core value. That means no live video, no original content, nothing but messaging on the web. Focus, focus, focus.

With that focus, I believe Twitter can return to growth in its user base. There is more that could be done to make the experience more engaging, for example, without interfering with the core experience. By mixing some suggested tweets into my feed using machine learning, Twitter could increase engagement. The new user experience would flow better with good use of machine learning.

In terms of monetization, it's about the data. Twitter APIs should be recognized as best-in-class, and access should be sold on a subscription basis on a graduated scale based on frequency of access.

There is a natural scale to core Twitter, and it might not be much bigger than it is right now. Sometimes we have to be content with what we've got -- which in Twitter's case is nothing to sneeze at. They shouldn't be going all "New Coke" getting into video and media in my opinion.

LordHumungous 1 hour ago 1 reply      
Allow users to pay to "boost" tweets and expand their exposure. I.e. you can pay $5 in boost credits to increase the reach of the tweet promoting your website or whatever. (Or maybe much more if you are a corporate account- not sure how the pricing model should work). The boosts should be invisible to other users.

Basically, monetize the one thing that every wants to do on twitter, which is go viral.

erickhill 3 hours ago 0 replies      
1) Offer a premium Ad Free model2) Create a Reddit Gold type of economy to open up "premium features" ... e.g. Unfollow Tools and/or deeper analytics - this would tie into the Ad Free model3) Allow for the creation of Groups. 4) Make Video more of a top-tier content experience, not some side-bar hand-wavy experiment (at the same level as Moments). The next Twitch could be Twitter-based. The community is already there. (note: expensive, but potentially very lucrative CPMs)
alistproducer2 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Pivot to a NSFW platform. It already is but most people don't know that side of it. I'm pretty sure porn is the only reason tumblr's still breathing so it might work.
Uhhrrr 54 minutes ago 0 replies      
Pseudo-federate it into separate sites with differing levels of moderation: minors, special snowflakes, normal people, and anything-goes free speech fans.

Also, stop messing with my timeline.

charlesbarbier 9 minutes ago 0 replies      
Go upper market.
joshwcomeau 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Other than some small optimizations (When I reply to my own tweets, it should be visible without a page refresh), I would change nothing.

Granted, I am answering a different question: from the CEOs perspective, they _need_ to do something because they aren't growing fast enough.

But as a user, Twitter is more enjoyable when it's niche. I have a circle of developers that share their projects and thoughts on software dev, and it's delightful.

Someone else said that it's a great resource for the medical community, I know that the hiphop scene is big on twitter, there's whatever the hell Weird Twitter is...

Twitter makes more sense as a series of specialized clusters based around specific communities, not as a Facebook where it's everything for everyone.

moomin 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Don't know if it's even possible, but I'd start by having a good hard look at the engagement stats. Twitter runs on those stats same way the police departments in The Wire do. And, as a consequence, they've been loath to do anything that dips those stats.

Trolls, harassers and other bad actors all show up as _positives_ in Twitter's stats. Most of the UI features you hate probably cause upticks as well.

In practice, making a better Twitter might be a worse business plan than continuing to flame out, so this is unlikely to happen.

gre 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Twitter should buy the Sutro Baths, renovate them, and charge admission.
tyingq 1 hour ago 1 reply      
Maybe too late for these specific examples, but figure out how to use their existing tech to take over new markets as they pop up. They currently have all their eggs in one, low margin product.

They should have been able to release, for example, competitive offerings against Disqus, Signal, and Slack.

xemdetia 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Aggressively use twitter to eat Yahoo Finance. There is a type of consumer that cares about twitter only in context to market/happenings and they have one of the best feeds for it. I don't want it to look like twitter, it should just be a totally separate product that takes advantage of being a primary user of twitter's data without being external. Make it a freemium service where the premium is looking at data more than a week old for $/year.
maxdemarzi 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Take Twitter and add a sprinkle of Groupon. Let brands sell direct via a Tweet. I click buy, boom I paid for it. For what exactly? Anything you can buy on Amazon, discount movie tickets, buy one get one free burger at mcdonalds, pre-order video games, etc. SELL STUFF. Add limits, like only 500 of x, or tweet will self destruct in x seconds. Imagine Black Friday/Cyber Monday on Twitter...
nitinics 2 hours ago 1 reply      
1. Customer Service - Provide enterprise solutions for customer service and charge $$$ per transaction. The live nature of this would prove a lot of value for feedback mechanisms for enterprise when they go through their change management.

2. Live Interaction with Events, Games, Television, Radio etc. e.g. Polls, QnA, Sentiment etc.

3. Open Access to Developers to build Apps on real-time content.

4. Enable fact-check score methodologies on every tweets. Don't completely wipe out the trolls. As weird as it may sound - trolls make twitter interesting.

5. The Ultimate messaging platform that replaces SMS/Texts with an identity that is not numbers.

d--b 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Make people pay to tweet. something like the cost of a text message. That will cut the garbage down a lot. It will reduce the costs by easing the infrastructure. Increase quality of information by reducing the number of bots/trolls/twitstorms and so on. Plus it will bring in some money in.
codingdave 3 hours ago 0 replies      
I'm not sure anyone outside of twitter has enough information to really answer this. After all, they DO have revenue. So without knowing the intricate details of their expenses, it is difficult to know whether the problem lies in business strategy or just financial operations. Because the first step would be to be sure they really are running their operations in a financially effective manner. It is possible that a re-tooling of their internal operations would result in profitability.

If that turns out to not be the case, then the strategy would depend on how far from profitability they are -- are we talking about minor tweaks to the business model? Or a major overhaul of entire company?

In short, how would I turn it around? I'd step in and do a large analytic effort on the status quo, and then react to the result.

jasonkostempski 2 hours ago 0 replies      
I think Twitter could only be improved by removing all the garbage they've added since it's inception. It was perfect on day 1 except for scaling issues. If they didn't get greedy and just took the money for access to the real-time stream of data and maybe some advanced analytics, a few people could be making a ton of money instead of a ton of people making no money.
dzonga 2 hours ago 1 reply      
Btw I made an app[0] last year as my first iOS app which centers conversations around Live events using hashtags.

Based on comments on this thread, with some UX improvements the app could meet a lot your requirements. Will gladly accept feedback, and willing to iterate.

[0]: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/event-is/id1141185734?mt=8

dejawu 1 hour ago 1 reply      
Ooh, I like this question.

1. Trim the fat. Reduce the number of employees dramatically. Obviously not a graceful change but I feel there should not be that as many people working there as there are now.

2. Focus on engagement, not growth. Twitter may not be growing in the way that the market wants, but the users that it does have are incredibly devoted to the platform. If I were to leave Twitter there's nowhere else I could go. If I leave Tinder or Snapchat there are many other platforms that can fill almost the same niche. Twitter needs to capitalize on that.

3. Make brands pay to have a page. In other words, if you're not an individual, you must pay to create an account. Savvy companies have realized that being on Twitter is a key part of a solid social media campaign. To not be on Twitter is to miss out on a huge opportunity to reach a very devoted audience, and you can't reach that audience anywhere else (#2). Some brands are already doing this well (e.g. Wendy's.) If the choice comes to paying for the opportunity to market on Twitter, and not market at all, companies will gladly pay. On the plus side, this could let Twitter reduce the interstitial ads on the timeline.

Everyone hates ads, but the way that brands have engaged with individuals on Twitter really humanizes them and makes people form more real relationships with them. It also forces brands to be more accountable and aware.

4. Bring back Vine. A huge part of Twitter's staying power is the unique culture it has created (#2). Staying power is what gives Twitter its greatest value to advertisers (#3).

5. Ramp up engagement on Periscope. Periscope being a part of Twitter makes a lot of sense because Twitter is all about stuff happening live. It's a great platform but I think it also needs a desktop client (with OBS support, the way Twitch does) to allow the caliber of content creation to go up.

6. Re-open APIs. Twitter has sown a bad seed with the dev community by making its API very restricted. Tweets make up a very interesting dataset on which other people could build very unique things on top of. Twitter should encourage this, not stifle it. "Look what cool things we can do with Twitter" will only serve to strengthen the image of Twitter as a unique, irreplaceable platform.


These are the main issues I see as an everyday user of Twitter. Things like live sports/TV are good ways to grow but these are all secondary to Twitter strengthening its core platform for longevity and meaningful sustainability.

CephalopodMD 2 hours ago 1 reply      
A sane, open, paid API:

I would pay serious money to use their historical data. It's a goldmine for machine learning research, finance, market research, news, politics, etc. I'm sure anybody could find a legitimate use for that much data from a social network.

Instead, I have to hack together a way to constantly collect tweets from within the past 2 weeks or use 3rd parties to access their data in any sane way.

Sell me your data! I want to buy your data!

_harry 3 hours ago 0 replies      
- fix abuse & troll problem

- clarify community guidelines

- threaded replies

- upvotes

- groups public/private

- add channels

- follow anything, focus on live

- then I'd buy Reddit & Imgur.

shp0ngle 4 hours ago 1 reply      
Put more effort to engineering.

Facebook isn't great because of how it looks, but because they have React, hiphop (or what's the name now), things like that; and that allows them to scale and build and iterate more quickly.

Twitter had Bootstrap and that was great investment IMO... now the Bootstrap guys all left. Why?

aembleton 3 hours ago 0 replies      
- Remove advertising

- Charge for longer tweets in the following way

 - 200 chars -> $10/year - 500 chars -> $10/month or $100/year - 1000 chars -> $100/month or $1000/year

petergatsby 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Stop rewarding the most hyperbolic, sensational content by propagating it the furthest, fastest. Turn tweets into "ice-berg tips"; user taps on tweet to see more, nuanced info.
robbyking 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Change the culture in-house. I've only known a couple people who've worked at Twitter, but both hated it and said they felt constant pressure to participate in extracurricular activities like after hours movies and games.

You're never going to be innovative if your employees dread coming to work.

ronreiter 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Make Twitter both more social and more publisher oriented.

1) Twitter's ability to have a good experience around discussions around a group of friends like Facebook is

2) Twitter can be a huge publishing platform

Entangled 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Put one ad at the top. Serve one billion a day.

You can't just turn a business around from your core competency, which in the case of Twitter is short bursts of emotions. You can't turn it into a Medium or Facebook, you'll fail miserably.

ajamesm 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Listen to what users are overwhelmingly saying: actually fix harassment/spam/bots. Fix the opaque, unaccountable useless support processes.

Twitter is fine for what it is, and all it needs to do is stay consistent, not suck, not burn money, not force opportunities

yoodenvranx 2 hours ago 0 replies      
I would sell hats for the user avatar. It worked in TF2 and it also works in CSGO, Pokemon and LOL. The typical Twitter and Instagram user is so full of vanity that tons of people would invest tons of money into getting that one very rare hat on their profile pic.
dkrich 2 hours ago 0 replies      
I don't think it can be turned around in the sense that it can be made into a profitable business.

I think of Twitter the same way I think of highways. It fulfills a huge market demand that the market isn't willing to pay for itself, so has to be subsidized in other ways.

rrggrr 2 hours ago 0 replies      
1. Let users charge for more rapid access to tweets and share revenue (eg. instant tweet access versus delayed access).

2. Let users pay to DM certain accounts.

3. Mesh-networked solution.

4. Launch 'labs' version as sandbox for developers and users to experiment with (eg. encrypted tweeting, blockchain embedded messaging, proxied messages, etc.)

5. Twitter comms OS embedded on hardware.

daveid 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Twitter as a company needs to think about how to be profitable. Twitter as a way for people to talk to each other and broadcast important events needs to be neither commercial nor centralized [1]

[1]: https://hackernoon.com/the-power-to-build-communities-a-resp...

lcnmrn 1 hour ago 0 replies      
I already did, I built an entire new network from scratch, eg. https://sublevel.net/
metaphorm 3 hours ago 1 reply      
new economic model: users pay on the basis of how many followers they have. the first 1000 followers are free. pricing begins for accounts with over 1000 followers. the more followers you have the more you pay.

this places the payment model in alignment with who the actual beneficiaries of twitter are. it's a mass broadcast advertising/propaganda platform. let the propagandists pay for it.

jondubois 3 hours ago 0 replies      
I would cut Selling/General/Admin expenses. It's costing them $1.2 billion per year which is about half of their total revenue and this cost has kept growing over the years.

I would cut back on research (or at least bring it in-house) - $713 million is too much. If they paid each of their researchers 200K per year, they could hire 3500 of them which is insane.

jecjec 18 minutes ago 0 replies      
stop banning the best accounts.
austincheney 2 hours ago 1 reply      
Allow private tweet capabilities and charge for it. This is really all you can do. Twitter is largely a broadcast system and echo chamber, which perfectly explains the type of people who gravitate to it most directly.
accountface 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Open up the API again and let third parties integrate live-streaming features. If you have thousands of people already watching and livetweeting a new Netflix release, facilitate that and make it easier. Imagine if everyone could watch the Superbowl while live-tweeting it in the same interface... you'd likely broaden user adoption
wheaties 1 hour ago 1 reply      
Go the Yammer route: they already have messaging down. Might as well make "rooms" that you can tweet "in."
amorphid 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Open up the platform to third parties again, and creating a binding agreement to keep it open.
kevwil 3 hours ago 0 replies      
1) Go private. Twitter is a simple product that will be increasingly difficult to monetize to appease the stockholders. Being public will either mutate it into a video-ad nightmare or end up being shut down or sold.

2) Keep the timeline simple.

3) Better custom timelines, searches, and notifications.

4) Stop trying to copy Facebook, Whatsapp, Snapchat, etc. and just be the best Twitter possible.

unstatusthequo 4 hours ago 2 replies      
Charge $0.01 per tweet and this also suggest people be more succinct and thoughtful in their posts to make the service a little better
GiorgioG 1 hour ago 0 replies      
1. Fire all the CXO level people. All of them.

2. Fire all the rent-seekers.

3. The 5 people that are left, keep the lights on.

4. Profit!

budu3 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Developers, developers, developers. I would open up the apps store and the API -- embrace developers once again. The media companies trajectory that they're currently on seems like that which Yahoo was on, and it did help Yahoo much.
yrryeruy 3 hours ago 0 replies      
make it so that when you click on an image in a tweet, it gets bigger not smaller
imlina 2 hours ago 0 replies      
- Slot in Ads that are 140 characters or less.- Merge Medium and Twitter. Everyone can be a news reporter/editor
fjordan 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Pitch it to Amazon as a proper monitor for their AWS Cloud.
heygrady 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Release a new text-based product that sits in the area between Medium, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Shift focus away from likes and followers and towards the content. Make a bold announcement about how it will combat fake news.
leroy_masochist 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Get rid of Quote Tweet. Its primary current use case is to facilitate pointless "gotcha" games. I'd say it contributes more to the current poisonous atmosphere more than any other feature.
benaadams 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Show what advertising offers/reach etc prior to asking for payment details.
isanganak 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Sell it to enterprises as a collaboration tool, charge based on number of users, kinda like #slack.
MichaelMoser123 3 hours ago 2 replies      
I would add a feature that is similar to goole+ circles: allow the user to view the tweets of a subset of sources. I think it makes sense for twitter: one circle for each interest/ point of view.
Mendenhall 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Be politically neutral.
vezycash 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Twitter's money issues can be solved by adsensing popluar / celebrity accounts.
skylan_q 3 hours ago 0 replies      
They started a great slaughter of #FrogTwitter twitterers.


This is the price they now pay.

Also, Twitter isn't so much a business as it's a hybrid speech platform/media outlet and moneyed interests shape it as they please to promote the agenda they want.

uladzislau 3 hours ago 0 replies      
The twist - one of Twitter executives asking this on HN...
lngnmn 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Sell it to Trump.
kevwil 3 hours ago 0 replies      
- Go private. Twitter is a simple product and will be increasingly difficult to monetize enough to satisfy shareholders' desire for ever-increasing profits.

- Keep it simple. Stop trying to be Facebook and Snapchat and Youtube all at once.

- Better AI / search to enable/improve things like custom timelines and notifications.

- Optional paid accounts with appropriate benefits. Keep the cost low and don't penalize unpaid accounts.

Mikeb85 3 hours ago 1 reply      
Get rid of censorship. They had a good idea with live streaming video and whatnot, but they're beat to everything by Instagram and Snapchat.

As it stands now, I deleted Twitter simply because it's nothing but corporate accounts, overly aggressive SJWs posturing over every damn thing, and the only content I actually cared about was reposted from Instagram (apart from a few people I know who live streamed, but have since switched platforms). So now I only use Instagram.

z3t4 1 hour ago 0 replies      
they have the chicken. just lay some eggs. i would probably make a micro payment system.
andrewfromx 3 hours ago 0 replies      
relaunch it. have a countdown to the end of Twitter 2007-2017 and let everyone know it's starting all over again. Rush to get your username. The new twitter will be just like it was in 2008 but stable and working but get back to what made it great in the first place.
danm07 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Get rid of all the fake users.
gdulli 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Get rid of the algorithmic timeline, while-you-were-away, etc.
gtsteve 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Nice try, Jack Dorsey.
rootedbox 43 minutes ago 0 replies      
asking for a friend
misterbowfinger 3 hours ago 0 replies      
I'm surprised Twitter didn't become the newer, better Reddit.
joeclark77 3 hours ago 0 replies      
I agree they need to go back to the chronological ordering of tweets. It would also be nice to have a couple levels of tweeting, like "conversational message" versus "I really mean it this time", so followers could filter by importance. I've unfollowed several great people because they just kept tweeting nonsense comments throughout the day in between a couple of really interesting posts.
daliwali 3 hours ago 1 reply      
They can continue doing what they're doing already:

- Suspending accounts for no reason at all.

- Shadow banning users by hiding their replies (they refer to certain users as "low quality").

- Aggressive censorship of alternative opinions.

anizan 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Remove duplicate tweets from search.
smacktoward 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Take a page from mobile gaming and let people buy extra characters.

The act of whittling down a tweet to fit inside the (increasingly ridiculous) 140-character limit is the exact kind of tedious, repetitive thing a game designer would instantly recognize as a "grind":


And free-to-play mobile games have demonstrated that lots of people, when presented with a grind, are very willing to pay real money to skip past it. So: give Twitter users the option to buy extra characters, usable whenever they're needed, at some price point low enough to be attractive as an impulse buy. A penny per character, say, or 40 characters for a quarter, or 120 for 99 cents. The marginal cost to Twitter of shipping 141 characters over the wire instead of 140 is essentially nothing, so whatever you charge would be almost 100% pure profit.

A user with a bag of such extra characters in hand would now have the ability, if they wanted to, to skip editing down every tweet and just post on the fly. Which could be a real time-saver, if you're one of the media-type power users who spend all day on Twitter! And how much it costs you depends entirely on how often you want the luxury of not having to edit yourself. If you only need it occasionally, it's cheap; if you're compulsively logorrheic, well... consider it a tax on the burden you're placing on your followers' attention.

But wouldn't it ruin Twitter, you ask, if people weren't forced to be terse? I don't see how. When people use the extra space wisely, it makes their life easier, costs you nothing and generates revenue that can subsidize freeloaders like you. When people abuse the extra space, you can always unfollow them -- and when the abusers notice their follower counts crashing, they'll be encouraged to rein themselves in. Nobody logs on to Twitter in the morning with the objective of losing followers. The system would correct itself.

So: Twitter makes money, power users enjoy using it more, regular users get their freight paid for by the whales, everyone has access to longer-form expression with a mechanism already in place to still encourage brevity. It's a win all around.

Bamberg 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Limit restrictions on free speech as much as possible.
ChrisPodlaski 2 hours ago 0 replies      
create a calendar app with native video... you're welcome
jkaljundi 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Ologn 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Allow me to publicly follow someone while privately ignoring them.

Allow me to easily and permanently get rid of "In case you missed it" thing and read my feed on a strictly timeline basis.

I get a lot of junk in my feed that I don't want to see, and thus I don't go to it much.

Facebook is not as bad, but they've gotten worse. Two of my friends "like" some newspaper and then I start seeing the latest stories from that newspaper in my feed all the time.

I want to go to these feeds once a day and read what those who publish once a day or less who are my friends (Facebook) or friends/colleagues (Twitter) say, in timeline order. Any deviation from that lessens my desire to read it. Some of my friends publish to Facebook several times a day and I usually don't even want to read that, never mind the other junk that both put in my feed.

pklausler 3 hours ago 0 replies      
anotheryou 2 hours ago 0 replies      
go away from the chronological view
perseusprime11 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Sell Twitter to Microsoft
branchless 2 hours ago 0 replies      
I'd change the way we issue money. I'd issue it without interest allowing companies to be free from the tiresome burden of continuous growth.
redthrowaway 2 hours ago 0 replies      
1. Lay off most of the workforce. There is absolutely no justification for them to have as many employees as they do.

2. Start charging people based on how many followers they have. Twitter isn't worth much for the average consumer, but it's hugely valuable for people with massive reach. Charge them for it.

People are giving lots of product suggestions, but the product itself isn't the biggest issue. Twitter spends too much and makes too little. Patch the holes in the boat before you try to row faster.

monochromatic 3 hours ago 1 reply      
I'd stop using it to suppress political speech that I disagree with.


xatan_dank 3 hours ago 0 replies      
I wouldn't become the CEO of Twitter. If I were, I would resign. I think the business model of these "free services but you pay with your data and advertisements" is despicable. I would much rather spend my time creating and popularizing FOSS protocols for communication if I am to work in this area.

I think Twitter has always been a completely ridiculous service and it's a poster child for this misguided iteration of Internet companies. If we just get enough users, we HAVE to make a profit! Turns out that isn't the case. The only thing I've seen Twitter accomplish is poisoning our collective consciousness with false information and a bad model of reality provided by an unsustainable system.

CM30 3 hours ago 2 replies      
Well, for starters I would:

1. Focus on making the company profitable by cutting down on staff and resources. Seriously, Twitter doesn't need thousands of employees, a large HQ and all that other fancy stuff. I think a team of about 30 people could probably run it fine.

2. Get developers on board again. Open up API access, stop shutting down/blocking projects, etc. Make people feel like they could start a business on Twitter's platform, without the rug being pulled out down the line.

3. Get rid of the Trust and Safety Council. It's currently a bunch of left wingers that don't care much for freedom of speech, which groups like the ACLU suspiciously absent.

4. Improve moderation. Kick out terrorists and nutcases on the 'left', stop looking for every excuse to ban right wing users and generally treat everyone with respect all around.

5. Try and make the Android app more usable. Because at the moment, it's really awkward to use and gets rather slow at times.

6. Stop using verification and unverification as a punishment. Really, it's like Twitter is being as confusing as possible here.

7. Have the timeline set to how it used to be. Remove the 'show best tweets first' crap from any accounts unfortunate enough to still have it enabled.

8. Make things like URLs not count towards the character limit. I think Gab already does this, and it's very useful.

dumbfounder 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Bring back the app ecosystem and this time make a blood oath to protect the apps instead of destroying them all. If apps want to monetize they need to use Twitter's methods of monetization and share the data they generate back to Twitter. Make the rules mutually beneficial, sign that blood oath (an actual public, binding contract), and people will come back and build cool things again.
I miss Delphi
144 points by jlebrech  12 hours ago   138 comments top 31
codr4life 5 hours ago 5 replies      
I did professional development in Delphi for 13 years, writing and maintaining a sprawling 700k line reservation system. I don't miss it much. It was a great learning experience to have to fill in all the gaps in the standard libraries by twisting and turning Pascals rigid rules into something semi-useful; writing foreign function interfaces to WinSock to get around the limitations in the provided toy socket implementation; finding ways to convince the over-engineered pixie-dusty data-layer to issue effective SQL; and trying to keep up with Borland's, nay Inprise's, wait Embarcadero's, ever changing priorities and price hikes.

I don't even find the GUI-builder that amazing. It's very easy to use, and up to a certain scale it's very convenient; but it encourages and rewards coupling the implementation to the interface at every turn, making any attempt to do the right thing an uphill struggle.

One of the most painful memories I have from software, the stuff that haunts me in my dreams; is writing stored procedures for Delphi's favorite database, Interbase. Whenever you did something wrong, it would give you an error saying 'Error at BLR offset 283729' or similar, offset being the offset in the compiled code where the error supposedly happened; thereby forcing an inhuman level of discipline when making changes. I had to write and maintain thousands of lines of that bullshit; since by the time we dug that deep into the performance of the BDE, the entire application was fused to it on UI level. Switching meant going through every single stupid form in the application and carefully translating event logic, bindings and properties to pure SQL.

Thank you Borland, but no thank you; I'm out.

Svip 9 hours ago 6 replies      
I work with Delphi professionally. And we maintain a code base of about 150,000 lines of Pascal and about 300,000 lines of T-SQL (written to work in both Sybase and Microsoft SQL).

Delphi may be easy, but it's not simple. Once you get into the meat of things, Delphi's ecosystem truly becomes a limitation.

Delphi's main drawback is its lack of library availability. If you are in the marked for modern technology, using Delphi is a major hindrance. And if you do find something, it's usually not of the same quality as the alternatives for other languages.

I have nothing against Pascal, per say, but I do feel that I am being deliberately terse for the sake of the compiler, rather than for clarity. Indeed, having to declare all variables at the beginning of a method doesn't necessarily make it more clear, sometimes the reverse.

Even a popular tool like Indy for Delphi doesn't correctly implement the HTTP protocol, and therefore doesn't respond as you'd expect on malformed headers, so you have to handle those calls yourselves.

Delphi was leading the pack in the 1990s, but has since fallen behind greatly.

I've written a web server - and maintain a web server - in Delphi, and it's not something I would wish on anyone else.

mtkd 9 hours ago 5 replies      
If anyone using Delphi to build big apps in early 90s was told that to do the same function in 25 years time they would need HTML, CSS, JS, Ruby or PHP or similar, some SQL, some Rust or Go and probably a few DSLs - it would take months longer to build - require multiple servers - and would need more test code than app code to get it 98% as stable - you wouldn't have believed a word of it.

Every single time I have to use a grid control online I shake my head.

I strongly suspect the generation after this will rediscover the power of desktop apps and some of the dev tools that were around at that time. Web interfaces just don't work efficiently for some roles - especially in enterprise environments.

cwbrandsma 1 hour ago 0 replies      
There is an inherent "HOLY SH*T" moment that happens to all desktop developers when they transition to Web. You are used to one type of interaction when doing native that is pretty simple and straight forward.

The real killer is the move to asynchronous development for everything. In Delphi (and C# desktop), most calls can be made synchronously be default, and simply. No so in the web (yes, you can do synchronous web calls...but you shouldn't). And that is ignoring the whole statically-type-and-compiled language to JavaScript issue. And then dealing with a huge array of libraries, patterns, and best practices that are completely unknown.

Then comes out "why can't this be simple like what I was used to?" Actually, what you were doing wasn't simple at all, you were just used to it. You understood the complexity, so it seems simple. Web development also becomes simple once you understand it. But first you have to be willing to learn again.

Mister_Snuggles 5 hours ago 3 replies      
While I don't necessarily want a Delphi-like thing for Web development, I do want a Delphi-like thing for developing GUI desktop applications.

So far I've tried out a few things, but for some reason they don't "feel" the same as Delphi did. Maybe it's because I'm older and have moved on to different tools, or maybe it's because I haven't made the time to properly invest in these.

Anyways, here's what I've played with:

- NetBeans - Has a form builder, I'm comfortable with Java, it's cross-platform enough. I'm not sure why I've never used it for my personal GUI apps, even though I've built a bunch of little things to use for work.

- SharpDevelop - Looks great, checks all the boxes for doing GUI development, but I'm not comfortable enough with C# or VB.NET to use it effectively.

- Lazarus - Currently playing with this now. Feels a lot like Delphi (as it should!). I'm disappointed in how much Object Pascal/Delphi I've forgotten though. It brings back a lot of good memories though.

BatFastard 9 minutes ago 0 replies      
If you haven't written apps in Delphi, you can't appreciate how easy it was to write interactive GUIs.

It was a freaking miracle, and I wonder how we have managed to lose SO much ground.

dvh 11 hours ago 4 replies      

 - empty form will have 24+16 lines of code in 2 files - you will have to pay 3000 per seat per 6 months to make a website - it only works on windows - hello world have full access to all user's data - you paid 3000 and it still cannot reliably add main icon to your app (XE6) - you cannot increment build number from command line - no job posting in last 12 months - nobody is using it

TimJYoung 3 hours ago 2 replies      
I hope that isn't considered too much self-promotion, but it's on topic.

You can have what you want with our product, Elevate Web Builder. It creates single-page web applications in a Delphi-like IDE:


(examples at the bottom)

We're releasing version 2.06 shortly, and it has much-improved designer drawing performance and design-time/run-time layout performance. The layout performance improvements greatly improve the initial load performance.

The Delphi RAD model of development is actually perfect for single-page web applications because you're inherently only writing one layer of the application, the UI.

mamcx 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Because web development is broken by design.

Or more exactly, web development was turned (badly) into app development.

pengo 1 hour ago 0 replies      
I started developing in Delphi after Delphi 1 came out, have worked in Java and C++ along the way, but I've been largely a LAMP stack web developer for the last ten years. I've looked at the code output from various Delphi web builders; it's not pretty, not inherently responsive, not accessibility compliant.

I still use Object Pascal in Lazarus for writing widgets and utilities. It cross-compiles to Linux, MacOS and Windows and lets me do things that would be difficult or impossible with a web app. But these get about 1% of my attention.

Joeboy 9 hours ago 0 replies      
I guess this is rather tangential, but I recently returned to professional web development and I'm finding a shocking amount of the work is either rewriting websites according to the whims of SEO consultants, or updating things to new releases when the old versions stop getting security updates. Neither of which are really issues for Delphi projects.
meredydd 4 hours ago 2 replies      
I'd love to hear what you think of Anvil (https://anvil.works) - it sounds like exactly what you're asking for.

It's a very Delphi-like (or VB-like) tool for building web apps: Drag and drop for visual layout, then write code with a simple object model behind it. (It's 2017, so Python rather than Pascal - but more similar than it is different. Also built-in git repo, a built-in database, code completion, integration with services like Google Drive/auth/mail, etc.) I'm a cofounder, so I'm interested to know whether it scratches your itch.

gregmac 3 hours ago 1 reply      
In short: because the web is inherently stateless and it's much harder to deal with than stateful UIs.

I last used Delphi back around the turn of the century, so I'm remembering it as a drag-and-drop Windows UI framework/builder. ASP.NET WebForms is the most similar thing I've used (and it's been at least 5 or 6 years since I last really used it). I would not recommend investing a lot of time in it.

WebForms is great when you are starting. It is drag-and-drop, with 'controls' like text boxes, drop-downs, check boxes, grids, labels and pictures, and there are a ton of 3rd party control toolkits.

WebForms abstracts away the stateless nature of the web, and attempts to make it look like it's stateless. The trouble is it's a leaky abstraction, and at some point it's unavoidable that you will have to deal with it either indirectly or directly.

Indirectly, you deal with slow load times as a crazy amount of 'state' storage is required to maintain the abstraction. I dealt with an app at one point that had a grid with many text box controls in it, where the 'state' information was well over 1MB -- which gets sent as part of every request to the server.

As your app gets more complicated, you start running into more direct problems. In my experience, as soon as you're build any type of interaction that's not something built-in (can be done by clicking in the IDE), you start fighting with the framework. The lifecycle is necessarily complicated in order to support the stateful abstraction, and you must understand it very deeply to know where to put your code. The lifecycle is a series of events that happen between initializing, loading posted data, rendering output, etc.

At some point you realize the framework is getting in your way more than it is helping, and switch to just developing for stateless directly (which basically means MVC, or a stateful single-page app + stateless REST API).

oneweekwonder 10 hours ago 1 reply      
Me to! I'm still of the opinion Lazarus apps looks the best cross-platform, compared to QT, GTK, wxWidgets.

I wonder if there is work out there for objects pascal. Because I would like to apply.

But for now... twoottwoot* hybrid train, here we come :'(

Entangled 4 hours ago 1 reply      
I miss Visual FoxPro. I have never been more productive in my whole life. Of course compared to today's languages that's an abomination to say, but the tools, the data browser and the sql embedded in the language made it shine on its own merits.
pjmlp 10 hours ago 1 reply      
Me too, that is why I try to stick with native development with Java, .NET (all its variants), Android, iOS stacks whenever possible.
chadcmulligan 10 hours ago 4 replies      
There's this http://www.unigui.com make all your web apps in Delphi :-), they've been in beta for a long time but seems to work.
realharo 10 hours ago 2 replies      
Simple is subjective. I find the React way of making web UIs, where you just write a `render` function, way simpler than manually mutating existing UI widgets to match the data every time it changes. Or some weird manual data binding via model wrappers.

Maybe it's a tiny bit more code in the very beginning, but it becomes worth it very soon (as soon as you get past hello world pretty much).

That being said, we could always have better tooling, even for this paradigm.

anotherevan 7 hours ago 0 replies      
Twenty years ago, I wrote an application for the taxation office to help businesses calculate payroll tax. It was written in Delphi for maximum portability, because it had to run on Windows 3.1x, 95 and NT and was distributed to 16,000 businesses on 3.5" diskettes. Talk about old school.
paulajohnson 8 hours ago 1 reply      
The problem with Delphi and its relatives is that they are walled gardens. As long as you are working on the kind of application envisaged by the designers (roughly, CRUD with a SQL backend) everything is easy. As soon as you step outside that domain your foot disappears into a sucking quagmire.
kriro 9 hours ago 0 replies      
I only wrote a couple of non-GUI toy programs in Pascal "back in the day" and did some disassembling for fun because someone told me it won't look like C disassemblies (they were right!) but tbh, Delphi from what I remember (only saw it used, never used it) isn't wow-ing me more than current state of the art GUI-builders (like say Storyboards for the Apple ecosystem) so I suppose it's mostly nostalgia? Not sure comparing it to web development is fair but (all those wicket corner cases aside) I actually like the simplicity of web layouting as well. With a decent reset or bootstrap or whatever (and maybe flexbox) I think pure HTML+CSS is very direct and can be prototyped rather quickly via "textfile change and see".
stijnsanders 1 hour ago 0 replies      
I do my web dev in Delphi: http://yoy.be/xxm/
TurboHaskal 11 hours ago 2 replies      
What I miss is Pascal.

Delphi and other drag & drop RAD tools are easy, not simple.

_pdp_ 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Back in 98/99 I wrote an app on Delphi for my dad to run his business. He is still using it today (on a modern OS) although he reports bugs that I no longer can fix.
petra 10 hours ago 0 replies      
Want simple development ? go for low-code environments, that simplify a lot and use gui tools where possible(models, workflows, forms,etc). There are plenty tools of those sort, and at least the best of them(mendix/outsystems) may scale pretty well in complexity of applications created in them.
Fredej 9 hours ago 1 reply      
We're maybe 50-100 Delphi developers and most of us can't wait to jump to C#.

To each his own :)

jarjoura 10 hours ago 1 reply      
Delphi had its place in 2001 along with NeXT's WebObjects. Products of their time for sure.

However, the developer inspectors alone inside of Chrome and Safari are 100x more powerful than any of those old UI tools of the past.

swearfu 5 hours ago 3 replies      
I miss C++ Builder
partycoder 10 hours ago 3 replies      
You have major open source libraries like GTK, wxWidgets, Qt.Also .NET, Java which offer multiple ways of doing forms that are tied to the target platform.In addition, RealBasic (now Xojo) and... Delphi.

After Borland, other companies continued working with Delphi, namely, Embarcadero: https://www.embarcadero.com/products/delphi

Now, the prices can be a bit prohibitive. I would try one of the open source ones.

eweise 5 hours ago 0 replies      
I miss Powerbuilder
Which sites are down because of S3 outage?
8 points by johnnyballgame  1 hour ago   11 comments top 11
amingilani 9 minutes ago 0 replies      
Docker Registry
amingilani 16 minutes ago 0 replies      
tlack 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Seems like my Wolfram databins are all down. Disappointing.
johnnyballgame 1 hour ago 0 replies      
SmugMug,Trello,Voluum,Basecamp, BackPack, CampfireiCloud Backup,Buffer,
vortico 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Getting 503 errors and/or timeouts on s.imgur.com
falloutx 46 minutes ago 0 replies      
IFTTT.com is down.
mattszaszko 1 hour ago 0 replies      
The Intercom bubble is also down on websites. Their dashboard works fine though.
stagbeetle 1 hour ago 0 replies      
starptech 1 hour ago 0 replies      
travis-ci.org free builds
justhere_hi 1 hour ago 0 replies      
justhere_ 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Ask HN: What Do CTOs and Product Managers Read?
7 points by ssreeniv  5 hours ago   2 comments top 2
bsvalley 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Just curious, what is the link between a CTO and a product manager? A CTO would be looking at the latest technology while a PM would look at the latest competitor in the field.
jamey-aha 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Roadmap.com is a community for product managers that offers up a lot of conversation around new products and in depth Q&A around innovating product.
Ask HN: What are your favorite tech podcasts?
122 points by podcastguy  1 day ago   49 comments top 30
zedeks48K 9 hours ago 0 replies      
Some of my favorites:

- The Ruby Rogues - https://devchat.tv/ruby-rogues

- Complete Developer Podcast - http://completedeveloperpodcast.com

- Coding Blocks - http://www.codingblocks.net/category/podcast

- The Bike Shed - http://bikeshed.fm

- The Changelog - https://changelog.com/podcast

- Hanselminutes - http://hanselminutes.com

- Developer on Fire - http://developeronfire.com

- Software Engineering Daily - https://softwareengineeringdaily.com

joelennon 13 hours ago 0 replies      
I launched a development focused podcast directory (https://programmingpodcasts.com) last week. It features over 200 podcasts in the categories you mention.

Some I listen to regularly include:

- Full Stack Radio - http://www.fullstackradio.com

- SERadio - http://www.se-radio.net

- The Changelog - https://changelog.com

- Ruby Rogues - https://devchat.tv/ruby-rogues

- The Laravel Podcast - http://www.laravelpodcast.com

- Bread Time - https://breadtime.simplecast.fm

mr_anich 21 hours ago 0 replies      
The Stanford eCorner[0]. I particularly like the Entrepreneurial Thought Leaders series[1].

Startups For the Rest of Us[2]


[0] http://ecorner.stanford.edu/podcasts

[1] http://ecorner.stanford.edu/podcasts/etl

[2] http://www.startupsfortherestofus.com/

[3] http://entreprogrammers.com/

Maultasche 22 hours ago 1 reply      
The Security Now podcast from the Twit network is really good. I've really learned a lot about security issues and encryption from that podcast.

Other good podcasts I listen to:- .NET Rocks- Coding Blocks- Hanselminutes- Javascript Jabber- Programming Throwdown

tradersam 22 hours ago 2 replies      
Accidental Tech Podcast[0].


[0]: http://atp.fm/

[1]: https://www.relay.fm/cortex

tiggilyboo 21 hours ago 0 replies      
Software Engineering Radio - http://www.se-radio.net
diimdeep 15 hours ago 0 replies      
RR, Ruby Rogues - https://devchat.tv/ruby-rogues This was the one must fun and favorite, until panel split to https://www.greaterthancode.com

They had around 15 episodes where they discussed books with their authors, for example:

- RR Book Club: Smalltalk Best Practice Patterns with Kent Beck

- RR Book Club: Understanding Computation with Tom Stuart

- RR Book Club: Patterns of Enterprise Application Architecture with Martin Fowler

- RR Book Club: Refactoring Ruby with Martin Fowler

Another cool thing was picks at the end of each episode https://github.com/ryanburgess/ruby-rogues-picks

Software Engineering Radio - http://www.se-radio.net

FLOSS weekly - https://twit.tv/shows/floss-weekly

The Amp Hour - http://theamphour.com

jedikv 12 hours ago 0 replies      
Along with the other great suggestions:

- Daily Tech News Show: http://www.dailytechnewsshow.com/

- Tech's Message (UK focused): http://www.natelanxon.com/podcast/

- PacketPushers Network: http://packetpushers.net/series/weekly-show/

- BBC's Click Podcast: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p002w6r2/episodes/downloads

praneshp 21 hours ago 0 replies      
Might find some useful answers at https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=9836023
Dowwie 8 hours ago 0 replies      
csallen 20 hours ago 1 reply      
- Software Engineering Daily (hosted by Jeff Meyerson)

- The Indie Hackers Podcast (hosted by me!)

jlgaddis 21 hours ago 0 replies      
Not startup-y, but tech podcasts...

I like the SANS Internet Storm Center daily podcast because it's short, to the point, and gives just enough detail that I can use to follow up on if I need/want to. I listen to some BSD Now episodes that sound interesting. I previously liked TechSNAP but had to quit listening after they recently changed hosts.

ddavidn 21 hours ago 0 replies      
Futurecommerce [0]

ShopTalk [1]

Recode Replay [2]

The Changelog (as you mentioned) [3]

Giant Robots Smashing Into Other Giant Robots [4]

Those are a few that I listen to regularly. I have too many podcasts (but I have a feeling I'll pick up some more from this thread...)

[0] http://futurecommerce.fm/

[1] http://shoptalkshow.com/

[2] http://www.recode.net/recode-replay-podcast

[3] https://changelog.com/podcast

[4] http://giantrobots.fm/

Edit: [4]

exolymph 16 hours ago 0 replies      
Exponent tech business analysis: http://exponent.fm/

Release Notes the business side of being an indie dev: https://releasenotes.tv/

theaustinseven 22 hours ago 1 reply      
I personally haven't found any quite as good as the Bike Shed(http://bikeshed.fm/). It does often focus on Ruby, but overall the types of problems they cover are not limited to Ruby in scope. I mainly like it because I get to hear some developers significantly more experienced than myself talk about how they solved certain problems.
nice_byte 19 hours ago 0 replies      
I like the WAN show: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aQ1DxElRebg

They don't really cover programming/engineering topics, but it's fun to listen to.

decasteve 17 hours ago 0 replies      
rajathagasthya 21 hours ago 2 replies      
Sorry for hijacking. Is there a podcast which talks about big, distributed systems and their architecture? I'd be really interested in that.
nunez 19 hours ago 0 replies      
Loving Software Engineering Daily. Jeff makes all of the music. Check out 'The Prion' on Spotify or SoundCloud.
chadwittman 19 hours ago 0 replies      
Grabbing coffee w/ AI researchers [0]

[0] http:ai-guild.com

(Self Promo)

LVB 19 hours ago 1 reply      
For the Python-interested, both "Talk Python To Me" and "Python Bytes" are very good.
kzisme 23 hours ago 0 replies      
Late Nights With Trav And Los - It's a Design/Coding podcast covering a wide range of topics.

I really like their perspective.

ebcode 18 hours ago 0 replies      
RoguelikeRadio -- if you're into that kind of thing.
perseusprime11 18 hours ago 0 replies      
How I built this is not a tech podcast but I think there is a lot of good lessons to learn.
ulermod 1 day ago 1 reply      
Hack To Start is inspiring sometimes
probinso 20 hours ago 0 replies      
Data Skeptic

Linear Digressions

Not So Standard Deviations

Partially Derivative

New Books in Mathematics

Talk Python


Ask an Astronomer

alex_g 23 hours ago 1 reply      

The Pitch


Data Stories


jellydonut 23 hours ago 1 reply      
front end happy hour

javascript jabber

.net rocks

software engineering daily

soft skills engineering

Tech stuff

lkirk 19 hours ago 0 replies      
Anything from Jupiter broadcasting, but specifically the Linux action show and bsd now


Ask HN: Hourly freelancers, what do you do when you can't figure something out?
130 points by aerovistae  1 day ago   67 comments top 29
kayman 1 day ago 2 replies      
In software development, when I can't figure something out, it's natural to feel "incompetent". After all, someone is paying you for your expertise and you can't figure it out. You dev instinct is to hide in the corner and avoid all contact until you figure it out.

But you have to put your business hat on.Communicate with the client from a business level - you've hit a snag and it's taking slightly longer than expected. The client will then ask: "How long will it take?"Because you can't figure it out, you have no idea. But the client wants a timeframe answer. I give the client usually a range of time like "give a day or two to figure it out" or "I'll let you know later on today".

Do not tell the client to go hire someone else if you value your relationship with the client. Find that "someone else" and pay them to figure it out if you can. Do not dump the "you go find another solution" on the client.

BoorishBears 1 day ago 1 reply      
I noticed no one mentioned what is, in my opinion, the biggest thing, and that's communicating to the client what's happening.

There's a fine line between saying "I'm stuck" and saying "I'm incompetent" so think carefully about how you say it.

And you're not incompetent for getting stuck, remember that.

It's all about making it clear they're still getting work out of what they're paying. And documenting what you tried and what's not working for the future doesn't hurt either.

It also lets them know when to pull the plug if costs are getting unmanageable (imagine how horrified a client would be finding out after budgeting 100 hours for a project that hours 10-100 have been spent on the issue they expected to take hours 10-20)

phaedrus 5 hours ago 0 replies      
Regarding the ADC issue specifically, when programming at the hardware level never discount the simple possibility that it's just that the microcontroller pin is fried (e.g. due to ESD). Also consider the opposite: the ADC is telling the truth, and there really is 0 volts. (In other words connect a multimeter or scope to the pin while changing applied voltage.)

There's also often mask/state/flag bits that can affect these things. Maybe the ADC is in differential mode whne you expected absolute, etc.

If I eliminated the easy possibilities and was stumped more than an hour, I'd go all the way back to a new/blank chip and whatever "My First ADC Demo" program Microchip supplied, possibly building it on a breadboard instead of the circuit board. If your real board can't start up without the rest of the project code, I would just frankenstein the breadboarded microcontroller on top of the soldered-in one. (E.g. connect ground and ADC lines only and see what the demo program reads there.)

Whether we're talking about mocks and unit tests for a web service, or hardware hacking, the process is the same: iteratively asking "How can I ensure I'm testing only one variable?"

akulbe 1 day ago 1 reply      
Most clients pay for you to solve a business problem for them. Assuming you're sticking within legal/ethical confines, the how of how you get from problem to resolution is immaterial to the client.

As others have said, find someone who can get the answers you need, and pay them. Even if your margin is reduced a bit, you're still doing what the client wants and needs - solving their business problem.

There is no shame in asking for help. Should a similar situation present itself in the future, I'd recommend being quicker about asking for help, when you reach the point where you need it. :)

doozy 1 day ago 5 replies      
Bill them for every single second of work. Perhaps it's because I come from a family of lawyers, but when that happens the customer simply receives a bill saying

Research: 40 hours.

re1ser 1 day ago 0 replies      
I've been freelancing for ~7 years now, and at this moment I can recall one month-long bug that took A LOT of time to fix.

I like to imagine there is a certain "buffer" of hours, let's say a day or two of work, which you can use/are reasonable to spend on fixing bugs and issues. If I fill this buffer, I stop charging particularly for the time used to fix that bug. Again, it depends on the client, situation and how well I'm treated.

6nf 1 day ago 1 reply      
You don't have to ask your employer to hire someone else, you can do that yourself. Find an expert and pay them to diagnose the problem. If you get the right person they'll probably be able to work it out in short order and it won't cost you a fortune.
coupdejarnac 1 day ago 1 reply      
This is an aside, but whenever choosing a microcontroller I always read the Errata. You'd be surprised that TI or Microchip or whoever ships silicon with blocks of functionality that just don't work.

If I were you in this situation, I'd get on the phone with Microchip's closest field engineer, and maybe they can point you in the right direction, especially if this is a known issue. Perhaps they can connect you with engineering support farther up the chain.

wslh 3 hours ago 0 replies      
If there is no answer to the issue and you are an expert in the field, I would continue to charge for this research phase. The rationale about this is because you came up with a complex issue and every expert in the filed should take a lot of time figuring out why this is happening.

If you think that you can't came up with a solution because you are not a real expert at all, I would ask and pay one expert about this to pass this phase.

My company deals with complex issues all the time and I think the customers should be charged by this expertise because if not we are carrying with all the risk.

cstejerean 1 day ago 2 replies      
When I used to do consulting, I never charged the client for me learning how to solve their problem. I always charged them for the time it took to actually solve the problem. So if I encountered something I didn't know how to do, or some problem I had no idea how to solve, I would learn or figure that out on my own time.

Some exceptions to this, for example if I am trying to unfuck something the client was responsible for, or they hired me specifically to solve this problem and I was clear up front that I would charge them for the time it took to figure out wtf was going on.

But let's say I decided to write a bit of Python code to solve a problem. And then I run into some obscure bug in one of the libraries I selected. If I can't figure that out quickly then I pause the project and switch to debugging the library and maybe even submitting a pull request, then I go back to the client project. Same if I need to learn some new library, or a new language, etc. If it's not the client's fault that I selected a library that had edge cases I wasn't aware of, why should they pay me to figure that out?

smdz 1 day ago 0 replies      
First, communicate to the client that it's taking so long (and why its taking so long). They will ask for an estimate, and you can defer the estimate for a day or two. I bill my clients for 5 minute chats too - but for this one I would not.

Second, put a hard limit on the billable hours for such a thing. 30 hours, 40 hours, whatever you decide. Now you are in a better position to tell your clients their bill-estimate, but not a time estimate. If the problem is too hard, you could spend 100 hours in the week to solve it and only bill 40 hours - Might feel like being undervalued, but does not let the "guilt" build up. This also forces you to find workarounds to the problem because you are losing money now.

Third, hire somebody else at your own expense even if there are zero or slightly negative margins. I've done this in domains that I am not an expert. The thing is, you should be the go-to-guy(or go-to-company) for your client. However, if it's a frequent issue while working or don't love the challenge - you might consider moving out of such a domain.

saluki 1 day ago 0 replies      
I would recommend hiring your own expert to get through humps like this. You're going to save your time, resolve an issue quickly, also you'll know how to do it next time, and you still bill your client for the work (probably less than you taking the time to figure it out). Just invoice them normally by the way, typically you don't have to advertise you hired outside help unless your contact specifies or restricts it.

I can't justify charing my clients for large chunks of time figuring something out. Everyone runs in to issues that can take some time figuring out. I will invoice for that. If it's something challenging they requested reach out to them and say this is taking more time than I expected, can you ok increasing this to 8 to 16 more hours?

Also taking a break from a problem and coming back to it after a walk, shower or even overnight often times the solution will be there when you start back on it.

Good luck tackling this issue.

20160226 1 day ago 1 reply      
I keep charging until I either figure it out or they fire me.
enobrev 1 day ago 0 replies      
I'll generally research the issue thoroughly and then discuss options with the client. Communication is the most important part.

For one thing, depending on the problem and the client, the client may very well know others in the industry (it is their industry, after all) who can provide some insight. Sure, I could potentially hire someone myself, and if the client doesn't know someone, then that may be an option, but the problem could literally be resolved by a couple 15 minute phone calls or emails.

Maybe the feature (or method, or software, or component) isn't that important. Maybe there are other approaches that aren't as complicated or better documented or are just merely more expensive. Maybe there's a support team or original developer / engineer who can be paid for assistance. Maybe we can kick the feature down the road and get everything else done while we decide whether the feature is necessary or while we find someone who can help. Maybe there's a training program somewhere in the world that can be visited or invited[1]. Or maybe the issue is core and we need outside help immediately. Figure out the best options available and how much they're likely to cost (temporally and monetarily), discuss them with the client, and then decide together.

The most important point, through and through: Research Options and Communicate. You're being paid for your expertise, which is to say for what you know and for what you're prepared to learn due to your experience (and schooling), and part of that expertise is the ability to say you need help.

It's far worse and terribly unprofessional to waste valuable time and money getting nowhere than risk losing the project.

1: Story time: A friend's company recently gave a full-time employee two weeks to try to figure out a CNC router she bought from China. The employee is on a salary and it's their slow-season, so she didn't lose too much in letting him try. Unfortunately he couldn't figure it out, and now she's hiring an expert from out of state to come spend four days training her team. That training cost half as much as the CNC, but once her team understands it, they're going to make many times that per month. If I spent that much time trying to figure out that CNC at my daily rate, I would have far surpassed the cost of the router and potential profits within the first couple days - which would have been incredibly wasteful for all concerned parties.

ccrush 19 hours ago 0 replies      
Always calculate the cost of engaging the manufacturer. Call them and ask them how much they charge for an engineer to help you. If you see yourself approaching what looks like it would have been cheaper to explain to someone and have them give you the result, take the plunge. Sometimes it is a manufacturing or design defect. Pay to learn, and ask the manufacturer for a refund if you really do find a defect. Don't ever tell the client you're unable to complete. Take a small loss, learn a small lesson, and deliver like a champ. They will think you did all the work, and with your new knowledge you will be able to deliver the same work for many clients in the future.
CodeWriter23 1 day ago 0 replies      
Well, I figure it out. The Holmes Methodology always yields the answer. Maybe step away for a day and come back with a fresh head for examining the "impossible" reasons. Like you've got the input unplugged or the connector is glitching.
StClaire 1 day ago 0 replies      
I'm in the same boat. The clients demanded that I work in Matlab so I worked in Matlab. When I work in Python or Node.js or Scala or R I don't have too many issues going from Unix to Windows or vice-versa. Matlab exploded, and it's not even a huge program. A few hundred lines!

Let them know what's going on. Did they pick the microchip? Then you aren't incompetent, you're fixing their issues.

Keep them in the loop. I like akulbes advice of subcontracting that problem out.

A hangup isn't incompetence. Having trouble with obstacles doesn't mean you're incompetent. It means you're pushing yourself. If you never push yourself you don't get better

salomon812 1 day ago 1 reply      
I have a fair bit of Microchip experience, things to consider:

- You must set the AD1PCFGH or ANSEL bits to enable ADC functionality on a pin.

- There's nothing stopping you from accidentally configuring the pin as a digital output (it might even be helpful for some applications to measure the actual output from a digital output). Check the value of the TRIS register for that pin (and ODC register if it has it)

- Often there is a "Configuring Analog Port" section in the I/O Port section of the chip's datasheet.

Good luck!

bigtunacan 1 day ago 0 replies      
If you are working on sufficiently complicated projects it is inevitable that something like this will eventually happen. The way I have handled this in the past is to hire a sub-contractor.

Communication is key, especially if there could potentially be delays. I'm up front with clients in that I will typically discuss this possibility before begin working together. My basic contract has some language in it as well that essentially is saying that they are responsible for any fees that may be incurred by sub-contractors at the same rate we have agreed on.

The gist of it (and it is clear to my clients from the start) is that I have the leeway to hire specialists as needed without their consent so long as I'm only billing out at the rate we have already agreed upon. If I'm unable to do this, then I will have a discussion with the client and they would need to sign a contract amendment at the agreed upon rate.

So in general I will hire the sub at a rate that is less than my rate and actually make some profit off of this. The sub contractors I work with know I do this and find this a fair arrangement as it is a sort of "finders fee". The reverse situation has happened with some of these exact same people where I was sub contracting to them on an area where I had more expertise.

einarvollset 1 day ago 0 replies      
This is one of the issues with charging hourly, or even daily. Charge by value or weekly.
bathMarm0t 1 day ago 0 replies      
Forums and example projects are your new best friends. Always boil down the problem to the stupidest, simplest version and work up from there. In your case, it's a bare sample application board (see XPLAINED series from Atmel and various other equivicancies from other vendors... yes they're "expensive" but spending 200 bucks to get a demonstration / samples that run through all the functionality on the board is well worth everyone's time. Remember that 200 bucks is less than half a day billing, so it really puts things in perspective). Any small link failing anywhere results in a binary 0 success rate. Embedded stuff is absolutely brutal that way (see how often you confound ~ with ! and throw your computer at the wall after hours of straining eyeballs). Work up from examples. Work up from forums.
kbouck 1 day ago 0 replies      
When I get stuck on problems like this for too long, I pause the troubleshooting effort and try to find other ways to be productive. This takes your immediate focus off the problem and lets your background mind work on it. Sleep on it. Then give a slow, thorough explanation of the problem to someone else who is unfamiliar. Doing so will often help you identify additional debugging steps you hadn't thought of, or to question assumptions you may have held onto unnecessarily.
donpark 1 day ago 0 replies      
You should inform your client of the situation then work together to resolve the problem. Best course of action might be to bring in another expert you know temporarily, possibly through subcontract if your client don't know who to hire.

Calling in another expert is not an admission of incompetence. It's just a matter of efficiency and expediency.

I'd not recommend doing what lawyers do. Best client-developer relationship is built-on trust. Follow your heart and you'll be rewarded over time.

asafira 1 day ago 0 replies      
How often does this happen? The truth is, it shouldn't be a surprise if occasionally/rarely you hit a road bump and can't easily get over it. Why not be up front about it, but also confident in your abilities, as evidenced by your work so far?

If this happens often, then I would probably recommend serious focus to get up-to-speed with the level of work your employer seems to expect.

snissn 1 day ago 1 reply      
Just one microcontroller? Could it just be a dead chip..?
arahaya 1 day ago 0 replies      
If there is a bug in a level that your not responsible for you should just tell your client that there is a bug in xxx and you don't have a solution to get around it. Then the client should decide whether to spend time and tackle the bug ore replace the hardware or kill that feature etc.Hesitating consultation is the worst thing you can do.
lwhalen 1 day ago 0 replies      
If you're billing hourly, you're doing it wrong. You should be billing in advance for the value of the project to the business. Then their costs are fixed, and you are incentivized to finish quicker, modulo however long it takes plus 'figuring it out' time. See: www.expensiveproblem.com/hbin
atsaloli 1 day ago 1 reply      
In a situation like this, I contact the manufacturer. You can do it! Don't give up.
tmaly 1 day ago 0 replies      
try the simplest possible setup. measure the signal, is it in a range the chip supports? Do you have a faulty chip? try a different chip. Do you have a bad supply voltage? Bad components?
Ask HN: What should I tell my cousin who wants to go to a coding boot camp?
71 points by everybodyknows  1 day ago   141 comments top 43
biznerd 1 day ago 3 replies      
I did one.

I HIGHLY suggest vetting the placement "statistics". For me, I just read 95% get a job, went to the open house, listened to a couple "rah rah" testimonials and did it. It was a big mistake.

A friend of mine from the class estimated that only 30-40% of us got actual dev jobs. The rest are either in customer service at a tech company, sales or testing (keep in mind this is people who dropped $15k+ to do the bootcamp), back in our old industry or in the case of one, working at Trader Joes.

I was under the impression that 95% get good jobs. If I had known only 30-40% did I would have never done the boot camp.

How did they manipulate the numbers? I never dug deep but here are my thoughts:

* to qualify as "actively looking" you can't have a job to support yourself. That's right you're supposed to not have an income while job searching, kinda hard when it can take more than six months. If you get a job, you get dropped from career support and your statistic gets placed in the "not actively looking" category

* "industry related jobs". If you go to a dev boot camp, you want to be a dev. You're paying $15k to do it. A customer service job at a tech startup is better than nothing but you don't have to pay $15k to do it. Likewise for sales.

As a positive point, all the females in our cohort got dev jobs, including the only one who actually failed the class. Startups are pretty aware of the gender discrepancy and actively looking to hire those with double x chromosomes. Not complaining about affirmative action, just wanted to give you as full picture as possible

cwp 1 day ago 0 replies      
I'd tell her to do some work on her own before signing up. The internet is jam packed with courses, guides, tutorials and references for all the skills needed for web dev, for free. Pick a tutorial and work through it. Then dream up a really simple projecttodo app, pet store, tick-tack-toe or whateverand build it from scratch, using the same stack.

Then with that under her belt, sign up for the boot camp. The advantages of this approach are:

 - she'll find out if this is something she really wants to do before plunking down thousands of dollars - with a bit of background knowledge, she'll be better able to absorb what's being taught at the bootcamp - she'll have a better idea of what she wants to specialize in and can select the right boot camp for her
Also, find the community she wants to join. There are a gazillion places where web devs hang out online and talk shop. While doing her prep work she should seek out the places appropriate to the stack she's chosen and lurk. Stay engaged through the bootcamp and during her job search afterward.

Finally, pay attention to open source. Not a lot of professions do their work out in the open like that, so take the opportunity to see how the sausage is made! Find the open source projects that these communities contribute to, and watch them do it. Follow the discussions on mailing lists, Github issues and pull requests. Look at the code and try to understand the criticism arguments. Ask questions. People are shockingly willing to help newbies who are trying to understand.

The bottom line is, there is real value in getting an expert to teach her how to code, but the more work she puts in herself, before, during and after the bootcamp the more she'll get out of it. If she's looking to pay $15K and get a high-paying job in exchange, she'll just waste the money.

et-al 1 day ago 0 replies      
Which one?

Key things are:

- you get out what you put in. attending a boot camp is not a guarantee you'll land well-paying job. you have to demonstrate to a new employer you've mastered the skills to help their company

- depending on the bootcamp, it will take 8-10 hours a day. your social life aside from the days off will be shot. and the days off are spent doing laundry and playing catch-up on life

- don't neglect your fitness. since you're inside 8-10 hours a day, go to a gym and sweat for balance. otherwise you might suffer from burnout

- save up for at least 3 months of joblessness after the bootcamp while you look for work

- ask the bootcamp if they do interview prep. while it's cheating the system in some ways, it's extremely helpful for people who haven't been through the interview process. if you don't think well on your feet, or suffer test anxiety, this may be an issue

- lastly, if she hasn't done any programming at all, it'd be prudent to sign up for a local junior college course, or udemy to see if she actually likes doing it. i have a friend who talks all day about joining a coding school, took a python course, and realized it's not for him. it's better than accumulating more educational debt

ramses0 1 day ago 1 reply      
Before going through a dev-bootcamp, I recommend (especially if you're a coder already) to get her through Learn Python The Hard Way.


Best case it'll take less than a month (2 exercises per day, 52 exercises), is basically free, and if she's happy with everything at the end of it, she'll be FAR more prepared to jump feet-first into a dev bootcamp.

I compare learning to program to learning a language. 99hrs of having French slapped across your face won't make you a native French speaker, it's a long road to proficiency and mastery. Neither will 99hrs of Programming make you a native "Programmer".

However I'd pick someone who went through that 99hr drill over most people who hadn't even started.

mikekchar 1 day ago 0 replies      
We've hired a few people from bootcamps. I admit that I was a bit skeptical going in, but I am very happy with everyone we have hired from that direction.

There is nothing in CS that you can't learn on your own and/or on the job. You do not need a school to teach you. Having said that, you need to want to learn this stuff and it is a long road. Decades after I graduated, I'm still learning new things (especially math -- since I sucked at it in school). So my first piece of advice: Realise that after a boot camp you will not know enough, nor have enough experience to really be qualified to do the job. Anybody who picks you up is taking a chance that you will grow into the job. Attitude is by far your biggest selling point.

If you go in with a hunger for learning and infectious enthusiasm, you will be a benefit to your team, even while being under qualified. If you go in thinking, "I don't really know if I want to do this, but it seems like an easy job that pays well", just stop now. I really can't stress that enough. Don't pay thousands of dollars to go to a boot camp to see if you want to do this stuff. Like I said, you can boot your own camp trivially. Computer + Internet + passion for learning will get you there. A good boot camp can really help you focus and point you to efficient ways of learning, but it can't give you the drive you need to succeed. My second piece of advice is to experiment first.

Finally, all of the people we have hired from bootcamps have had experience in other industries. Let me put it bluntly: They know how to show up to work every day and put in a full day's work. They know how to show up to meetings on time and pay attention. They know how to deal with difficult political situations. They know how to avoid being hung over on a weekday. Finally, they have experience being in a job that they hate and they have spent considerable amount of time and effort understanding what they want from a career.

My final advice: Don't graduate from school and go straight to a boot camp, unless you know for sure that you missed the boat and are desperate to be a programmer. Get some experience in the job world. Save some money. Think critically about what you want from your career. Then if you still want to make the jump, go ahead. Like I said, computers and the internet are everywhere these days, so it's not going to stop you from learning on your own.

yahyaheee 1 day ago 1 reply      
If she wants to be a software engineer, tell her to teach herself. I think the reason why many of the graduates don't get jobs is because Tech is really hard, and almost all of it you have to figure out yourself to be a good engineer. A lot of the boot camp attendees are the type that need to be taught, it actually looks better if you teach yourself. It shows your independence and drive, which are very hirable qualities in Tech. That said a good mentor can go a long way too (there are plenty of those for free as well) :)
ravenstine 1 day ago 0 replies      
Dev Bootcamp circa 2013 alumnus here.

I can't speak for how bootcamps are now, or the state in which DBC exists in 2017, but I can say that my cohort(s) were made up of lots of men and women and people ranging from border-line genius level to those with no programming experience. Those who came out and landed careers were the same individuals who had the drive and the passion, plain & simple. A person looking to be handed knowledge on a silver platter, eventually leading to a golden key to land a job, will be sadly mistaken no matter what kind of school they go to.

As others have said, it would be good for her to start learning to program on her own so she can see if she actually has any interest. It will sound cruel for me to say this but, if she hasn't already taken the initiative herself, the chances are low that she's cut out for it. Note that what I said just now is strictly my opinion. It certainly doesn't mean it's too late for her to begin now, but the drive is super important. This is coming from someone who went into a field knowing very little about it but expecting that passing the courses was going to land them a high-paying job. I switched to programming because I was forced to look in my heart and decide whether or not I was going to struggle to bestow bad art on to the world(as if there isn't too much already) for some short-lived glory. Plus I was already programming and already had the drive; I just needed reality and some good people to give me a good kick in the right direction for me.

Determining the legitimacy of a boot camp is difficult. I don't know that you really can. But what I got out of my boot camp was not so much an education but the space and the resources to accelerate my process into taking a full dive into web development, Agile, etc. On a technical level, there's almost nothing that a boot camp does that you can't get out of an online course. Heck, you could form your own "boot camp" with a Meetup group and spend maybe 1/100 the amount you'd spend on a boot camp tuition. A person has to go into a boot camp expecting a space, resources, and some leadership, rather than a concrete curriculum. At the end of the day, you can work for a company and not even include your education on your resume so long as the work that you have done stands out.

kwang88 1 day ago 1 reply      
My company has hired several coding boot camp alumni; some directly from bootcamps, some after a coding bootcamp + some years of work as a dev. We've had good results and most of the grads I know have had positive experiences.

It's important to note that coding bootcamps are not created remotely equally -- some have stringent application requirements, whereas many are essentially scams / chop shops. I strongly caution against the latter.

In particular, at least one bootcamp that I know of only charges tuition after you get a job as a software engineer, and charges a % of your first year's salary. It's a really great way to align incentives between the bootcamp, students, and employers and I'm a particular fan of this program.

fecak 1 day ago 0 replies      
My answer would depend on several factors.

Has she ever tried coding, and if so does she see herself enjoying it as something she'd be doing several hours a day?

What is her reason for an interest in programming? Is it an interest in tech, solving big problems with tech, money, something else?

Would she be OK knowing that the job search for a bootcamp grad with no prior coding experience may be rather challenging (many grads go to work for the bootcamp itself, which is mutually beneficial as it boost placement stats while also giving the grad a job)?

How is her financial situation? Can she absorb a hit?

Is she incredibly bright and dedicated to the point of potentially being able to enter the field based on n months of self-directed education for free (MOOCs, online tutorials, videos, books, etc)?

The question is a bit more complex than it seems.

aspencer8111 1 day ago 0 replies      
I wouldn't be discouraging here or 'looking for alternatives'. I'd be congratulating her on entering a field with a low supply and high demand for talent. This industry pays very well and we need more female developers. So why would this be a bad choice? (rhetorical question - actually this may be a horrible choice, but keep reading)

I completed an online coding bootcamp about 5 years ago and got a job almost immediately afterwards. I've since become a Lead Dev for a local SaaS company, a mentor at that same school I graduated from, and a part time curriculum contributor.

This level of skepticism towards coding bootcamps is fair. I've seen some horror stories. But here is the thing: All failures involving more than 2 parties are usually the fault of both parties. Here is what I mean:

I'm currently mentoring about 5 students. Out of those 5, 4 are doing incredibly well. They are picking up the concepts, putting them into practice, and showing true growth. 1 of them is struggling hard. What is the difference? Well, in my opinion the difference is motivation. The 1 that is struggling did well his first few months, but when it got hard, he just wanted to start applying for jobs with what little he had learned. He didn't want to put in the work to finish his education. He was solely focused on the $$$ and not the thrill of solving problems with code.

So how could she decide if she will actually enjoy learning to code vs become someone that is only excited b/c of the money? Easy - try the free/cheap stuff first:

1. Codecademy.com2. Codeschool.com3. Lynda.com4. Learn_____TheHardWay.com

The list goes on for a while. Tell her to sign up for one or two of the courses here and build something from start to finish. Nothing major. A todo list webapp, simple blog, or the like will do.

Then ask here: "Can you see yourself doing this 8 hours per day/5 days per week? If she can give you an honest 'yes', then offer her all the support you can give. If she hesitates, have her do more of the cheap/free stuff till it is clear. If it is a no, then it is a no.

Hope this helps. Sorry for the wall of text.

ben_jones 1 day ago 0 replies      
I just want to point out that anyone giving advice on this issue, as with anything else, will have their own personal biases. For example HN has a high percentage of startups and "bleeding edge" tech companies which may value skillsets and credentials differently then say a midwest enterprise software company. If your cousin needs advice gaining entry to midwest enterprise companies, it may be more valuable to pose this question locally or else risk giving the wrong advice to your cousin.
pfarnsworth 1 day ago 1 reply      
Someone I know graduated from Hackbright, the bootcamp for women that has a decent reputation but also fairly expensive. It's been a couple of years and she hasn't gotten a programming job, I don't even mention it anymore.

So your mileage might vary. I'm deeply skeptical of anyone from a bootcamp, to be honest. I think if you can really learn something and get your foot int the door with a small startup, then it opens the doors, but it's also hard without signficant amount of dedication.

t4blox 1 day ago 0 replies      
Why do you feel the need to stop her from going? She's not going to become a master at computers, but maybe it will spark an interest in the field. It seems like this is always the case with people either forcing coding onto people or trying to persuade people to not even touch a computer. Just let people do what they want.
OJFord 1 day ago 1 reply      
> Any alternative ideas?

From the comments so far, I think there's some confusion about what you mean by this.

Are you trying to dissuade her? Motivate her? You're neutral, but asking for suggestions of things she might do to satiate coding desires other than a 'boot camp'?

hoodoof 1 day ago 3 replies      
Why do you need alternative ideas? You could just let her go to what she wants to. We technology people seem to have this built in need to get people to try other things than what they want to do. It's a form of controlling behaviour.
whytaka 1 day ago 0 replies      
Try pyschools.com or codeschool.com and see how much she gets it on her own. I truly believe being a programmer is a third logical intuition another third resourcefulness, and lastly discipline. She has to be able to demonstrate them all and the websites I pointed to (especially the former) will certainly test her.
campythrowaway 1 day ago 1 reply      
She should not go in cold. She should work through "Learn Python the Hard Way" or Chris Pine's Learn to Program first, at least, before committing to something like this. I did a bootcamp some time ago. Everyone who came in completely cold failed the program. Standards now might be such that she survives the program, but she will be unhirable. If it's a finishing school after putting in much work on her own, then maybe it makes sense. Assume every number you see related to job placement to be fraudulent at some level. Getting a job coming out is likely to be difficult - the market is saturated with bootcamp grads. All that being said, if she finds out she really, really likes programming before starting the bootcamp, puts in months of work beforehand, and is willing to put in thousands of hours outside of work in the years that follow, then go for it.
StClaire 1 day ago 0 replies      
A friend of mine used to teach at one of those programs. He quit because he got sick of parroting placement numbers he knew were fraudulent.

The ones who got good jobs were good applicants. They would have gotten the Dev job anyway. The ones who weren't strong got swept under the rug.

Your cousin might do better taking a year of CS classes and working on outside projects

vmorgulis 22 hours ago 0 replies      
To try FreeCodeCamp first:


thisisforyou 1 day ago 0 replies      
Taking for granted most of the other answers here ('make sure she has tried and likes coding' et c.): Have her look up reviews of the program on https://www.coursereport.com/ and www.switchup.org. Have her visit local meetups and conferences, there will surely be students/grads there that she can talk to and can get eyewitness reports from. Have her ask around to disinterested third parties that have had contact with the program and see what their appraisal of the program is. Have her contact the program and see if they will provide contacts to grads that she can talk to (while they may be biased, a 'yes' is much better that a 'no'). (Full disclosure: I went to a bootcamp and got a good job very soon afterwards which I have had for a year. True, some programs are shady, but these seem to shut down quickly. A bit of research seems like all that needs to be done to make a decision and if it works for her there is no reason to worry.)
mceoin 1 day ago 0 replies      
(Foreword: I went through a bootcamp, had a positive experience).

The only reason not to go through a bootcamp, presuming it is reputable, is price sensitivity. They offer better value than a college degree (salary offer wise, both for technical and non-technical roles in tech industry), accelerate the pace of early-stage learning, and create healthy habits that are distinct to programming (e.g. tests, debugging, pseudo-code).

Long list of positive reasons here, as long as mindset going in isn't "I'm going to be a developer in 9 weeks" (true only on the loosest definition of the word).

smilesnd 1 day ago 0 replies      
Mattering your location and whats around I would advise meetups and/or hackerspaces. It would give your cousin a good feel for the local environment. As well she might meet some people that try the boot camp out. If she does do the boot camp I would advise her to do some self study before hand. These boot camps try to cram as much info they can into a short period of time. She would probably get more out of the boot camp if she tries to learn coding on her own first. There is a ton of free resources she can try before hand.
bokglobule 1 day ago 0 replies      
Actually I think this self-learning approach is a great example of what it takes to be a great developer regardless of background (or formal training).


She built one project each day for 180 days learning a bit more each day. She chronicled her mistakes and successes. HN had a post on it at the time and the majority of developers that responded were very supportive.

typetypetype 1 day ago 0 replies      
Tell her she should look at it as a way to beef up the "skills" part of her resume and also help her build a personal portfolio. She will not be handed a job upon finishing, but will have a better resume.
kapauldo 1 day ago 0 replies      
Boot camp is a good supplement to college, not an alternative, so tell her to work hard and have fun, and ask lots of questions.
atsaloli 1 day ago 1 reply      
Freecodecamp.com is free if price is an issue.
contingencies 1 day ago 0 replies      
Great idea. Communicating about systems and their properties is a key programming skill, which is more likely to be gained learning in a social environment such as a web dev boot camp than solo. Success will require long solo hours, but I don't think social learning is ever a bad idea... especially when changing careers.
jtcond13 1 day ago 0 replies      
I recommend John Guttag's Intro to Computation and Programming Using Python to people interested in starting to code, as the accompanying video lectures are available on MIT OCW and the book itself is enjoyable to read. That book (+ the Django tutorial) might be a good way to get started before doing a boot camp.

As others have pointed out, there are other ways to learn the material, but it may be that the 'career day' activities, etc. are worth the price of tuition.

watmough 1 day ago 0 replies      
Try looking at the consultancy end of tech. Typically, if they like your face and grades, they'll put you though an internal bootcamp, or send you somewhere, at no cost to you. Starting salary should be maybe $70k+ and up for a new grad.

This is a much better idea than dumping money into a bootcamp.

SN76477 1 day ago 0 replies      
Spend 80 hours on Lynda.com first. Then decide if coding is really where you want to be.
alistproducer2 21 hours ago 0 replies      
Why not just apply to a master's program? She can probably get a dev job while enrolled. At least then she'll get a better signaling artifact than a boot camp certificate and probably spend less doing it.
soneca 1 day ago 1 reply      
I would say: go for it! Why not? I don't actually get what's the doubt.
brianwawok 1 day ago 0 replies      
Read a coding book first, see if she has a nack?
joshmn 1 day ago 0 replies      
https://www.railstutorial.org/ it's free, self-paced, with great instruction and lots of lectures/discussion scattered throughout the internet.

support hartl :)

satysin 1 day ago 0 replies      
Spend 10 on a Udemy (or wherever) course and see how she likes that. If she picks things up and enjoys it then maybe the boot camp will be a good idea or maybe she finds she can do it herself or maybe she finds she hates it all.

For 10 you can't really complain whatever the outcome IMHO.

pcr0 1 day ago 0 replies      
I would advise trying free/cheap lessons first. E.g. freecodecamp, Lynda, udemy, CS50x, etc.
mping 1 day ago 0 replies      
Grit your teeth and don't give up. If the person is a she, just get a hard skin, don't let anything affect her resolve until she knows for sure if she wants to code or not.
jasonthevillain 1 day ago 0 replies      
Cool! I usually suggest people pick up a book and try learning enough to build something simple first so they get a feel for what's involved and whether they like it.
convolvatron 1 day ago 1 reply      
tell her to get a real job - that she can count on. sous chef. turbine maintenance mechanic. accountant.
throwme_1980 1 day ago 0 replies      
waste of money, invest in either getting a new gear(high-end laptop, licenses etc...) or a recognised qualification or a cert
j45 1 day ago 1 reply      
For beginners, it's critical to learn concepts of software development instead of the syntax memorization and regurgitation that seems popular to collect like scout badges. The fewer syntaxes one has to learn in the beginning, to do the most, the better. To keep a list to the minimum, I'd probably start with HTML, a bit of CSS, and then go to Javascript to teach web and then mobile development.

I am not a day to day js framework/backend guy.

vonklaus 1 day ago 0 replies      
I did one and had a bad experience; I still think they are worthwhile.

Much like colleges the rigor varies a lot BUT unlike colleges you're class will have a massive impact on your educatoion.

I studied a lot before I went in, it is highly recommended. Some other students struggled because they did not do much prep. Some students were annoyingly inquisitive and volunteered off-topic stuff frequently, eating into class time.

Have a capstone project or goal in mind when going in and try to do some pared down version for a final project(nearly all I have researched have several projects).

If you (op) can, help her get familiar w/ a dev environment. Explain things in depth and assume little. I was learning the absolute basics and someone introduced me to git, rails, terminal, scaffolding and ruby over a 10min convo. Obviously, it is great to dive in, but finding out what is important and how things work is important. Show her text editors, basic command line, git ect. Resources like hacker news, stack overflow, and maybe shell into an AWS instance.

I think they can be great, but they require a lot of prep, and a lot of research

OJFord 1 day ago 8 replies      
> As a positive point, all the females in our cohort got dev jobs, including the only one who actually failed the class. Startups are pretty aware of the gender discrepancy and actively looking to hire those with double x chromosomes. Not complaining about affirmative action, just wanted to give you as full picture as possible

You should be complaining! Especially given the rest of your story.

This kind of thing is such bull shit.

Before you down-vote me: a man passed and now works at Trader Joe's; a woman failed and got a software engineering role.

Reverse those genders, and if you're outraged, have a think about whether you should still be down-voting me.

Ask HN: Does the NSA profile HN readers?
18 points by irixusr  18 hours ago   16 comments top 6
nostrademons 17 hours ago 3 replies      
Probably. It's basically a certain bet that anything you post here, the NSA can read, given that anything you post here, the entire Internet can read.

But I think most people overestimate how interesting they are. Hacker News is one forum on the Internet among literally millions. There are millions of other people who are also social libertarians, and millions of people worried about eroding digital rights. These characteristics do not make you interesting. Hell, digital rights in general are not that interesting to people in Washington - for the most part, our legislators vote the way that whichever lobbyist who last had their ear wants them to, and the American public just gets caught in the crossfire.

The folks that the NSA cares about are those that advocate violent overthrow of governments, or who are a credible threat to U.S. interests abroad. Hacker News readers, by and large, are not a credible threat; we talk, but few of us will get off our butts and do. And so we're just not important enough for the NSA to care.

espeed 16 hours ago 1 reply      
Just like recruiters track interesting people, so does the NSA. If you are doing advanced R&D and discuss it on a public forum, the NSA and Big Corps will notice, and if the technology is of interest to them, they will probably contact you to discuss. Have you ever received a random call from a company or some unknown party that wants to learn more about one of the projects you are working on?

NB: I know of at least one instance where a Big Social Network company contacted someone less than 24 hours after the person wrote a long technical private message to a collaborator. This doesn't mean the Big Social Network was directly reading their private messages -- the BSN may have just been mining messages for keywords -- but the net effect is the same, they notice and will contact you if what you are working on piques their interest. Not all Big Corps mine private messages in this manner -- Google does not do this AFAIK, beyond the algo that displays Gmail ads.

brudgers 4 hours ago 0 replies      
[Is NSA targeting HN readers?]

I'd suspect that the NSA would drink from bigger hoses to develop more comprehensive models. Those hoses would probably capture HN readership alongside everything else and like everything the firehose data would be mined and if HN correlated to something then the firehose data might be filtered.

As for detailed profiles, HN might be a data point but Facebook, Google+, Linkedin, etc. probably provide a more comprehensive picture (including pictures). In terms of browsing behavior, the NSA operates at the tapping the internet backbone scale.


I suspect that a fair number of governmental and non-governmental agencies are interested in HN in terms of sentiment analysis and sentiment construction. Ignoring it would be unprofessional. Even amateurs will create sock puppet accounts to promote their business, personal, and political agendas. Small businesses from around the world will post material in their own interests. Mega-companies will post their blog updates here.

crb002 7 hours ago 0 replies      
NSA's recruiting is woefully inept. They want 20 somethings with no experience, then wonder why they can't get people with SMT solver skills etc. The future of security is provably correct software, not reactionary network analysis.
decasteve 6 hours ago 0 replies      
I worry more about being profiled for my donations to FSF, EFF, and the Tor Project.
nickpsecurity 16 hours ago 0 replies      
Not here. Almost definitely Schneier's blog since he had the Snowden files and visited Congress reps. The blog was overrun by trolls afterward that create side discussions distracting from privacy-enhancing tech regulars discussed there. Piles of noise to drown out the signal.
Ask HN: How to help a guy with no CS backgrnd learn enough to get a job in tech?
7 points by colobas  1 day ago   7 comments top 6
atsaloli 14 minutes ago 0 replies      
The "Learn Enough to be Dangerous" tutorials are excellent! e.g. https://www.learnenough.com/command-line-tutorial And the price is affordable (HTML version is free, can buy PDF).

Also freecodecamp.com has a nice structured program, also free.

ezekg 5 hours ago 0 replies      
Tell him to sign up for Treehouse[0] to start learning the basics of whatever subject he wants (app dev, web dev, etc.), and from there he'll find out if he actually likes it or not.

If he decides that he likes it and he's feeling driven, there are tons of resources[1] online for learning a lot of what he'll get with the CS degree, including video lectures from MIT[2] and Standford[3].

[0]: https://teamtreehouse.com[1]: https://github.com/open-source-society/computer-science[2]: https://www.youtube.com/user/MIT[3]: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL0F8848A0E4B65481

gtani 15 hours ago 1 reply      
Some of the coding bootcamps have pretty detailed curriculum including intermediate and capstone projects. If somebody puts up useful mini-app backends in Rails or Django and shows they can unit test, branch/merge in git, do basic config/admin on linux db/solr/elastic/web etc servers, that should be a pretty employable. Or data sciency: spider and assemble clean datasets.

Look at meetups, there's fair number intros to python, R, rails, go, C# etc sessions in any decently sized city.

This is asking a lot, it might take 18 months, or a lot longer than those bootcamps. That's ok, it's like learning Mandarin or violin or the first couple years of college applied math, just take small steps, the simplest things that could adequately work.

Lists of basic skills: Uncle Bob Martin's book,



meric 18 hours ago 0 replies      
Make sure he has access to a computer easy to learn program with and also a good internet connection so he can flip between different websites. I don't know the nature of the accident but don't forget the basics - the learning environment, the people he has access to.
colobas 1 day ago 0 replies      
Longer explanation of my friend's story: https://colobas.github.io/2017/02/27/help-me-help/
opendomain 23 hours ago 0 replies      
I would be willing to help

contact me HackerNews AT OpenDomain dot Org

Ask HN: What is so great about Bloomberg Terminal?
358 points by sreenadh  2 days ago   210 comments top 56
hazard 2 days ago 8 replies      
It brings together a vast variety of otherwise extremely hard to find information. The keyboard is specialized because it literally reduces the number of keystrokes required to quickly access financial information. This is a business where seconds matter - even when you have humans talking to other humans to negotiate trades.

Literally almost every piece of useful financial information is available via bloomberg. And I don't mean relatively basic info like "What's the current yield the Apple 3.85% of 2043?" or "What's the current CDS spread for Citibank?" that you can easily google for but also stuff like "Which oil tankers are in for repair right now, and what are their capacities?" and similar info on power plants, international agriculture, equities, interest rates, etc.

Experienced bloomberg users have their most-used keystrokes in their muscle memory. Less experienced users can hit F1 twice and immediately be connected to a live bloomberg rep who will research your question for you (although it may take 20 minutes for them to figure it out).

Bloomberg Chat is also extremely important, as others have mentioned.

nostrademons 2 days ago 3 replies      
I think most of your questions can be answered by realizing that Bloomberg was founded in 1981, and they basically got a monopoly in financial data provision because there were no other options in 1981. That is why they have a custom monitor & keyboard: in the days before the IBM PC, everyone had a custom monitor & keyboard, because these things were not standardized. Bloomberg was a technologist & businessman before he was a politician; his business success gave him the money to run for office, his office doesn't force people to pay for Bloomberg.

The reason they're still a monopoly is because knowing how to navigate a Bloomberg is a critical skill for most finance professionals, and now that they have that skillset, they can be very productive moving around in it. A different (better?) UI would require they re-learn everything, which is not going to happen. And when financial professionals are making half a million a year, paying $24k/year for a terminal so that they can be productive isn't a bad investment.

(Source: have a couple friends at Bloomberg. One is in their UI department, and keeps having his proposals for better UIs shot down for business reasons. Also married a financial professional who had to use a Bloomberg in her days as a bond trader.)

charles-salvia 2 days ago 1 reply      
The best way to think about the Bloomberg terminal is a web browser that connects you to a private network. (Bloomberg actually is the largest known private network.) Once connected, you have access to thousands of "web apps" - which Bloomberg users call "functions". Instead of a URL, you use a short 2 to 5 letter mnemonic code for each function, such as "MSG" for email, or "TOP" for top news. These different functions provide all sorts of various functionality - most of them are of course related to financial information. Functions like "CDSW" are for analyzing credit default swaps, "SDLC" gives you supply chain data for different companies, other functions analyze or curate Twitter, others correlate news events with historical stock data, etc. There are also many non-financial functions as well that reflect the "social network" aspect of the Bloomberg terminal, such as "POSH" which is basically a high-end Craigs list, or "DINE" which is a high-end Yelp.

All-in-all, the Bloomberg Terminal is like a private Internet for financial professionals.

brentis 2 days ago 0 replies      
It's a good question. There are many reasons - and I don't think the speed of information is the real one. I almost left a single word response - "chat" - but think it is more complicated.

Another aspect is trust. If you are trading billions you want the information/trade data "currency" everyone else uses. I built backends converting MBS bid to yield and if it wasn't tuned to a 1/16 or better of Bloomberg, it wasn't usable.

Bloomberg also offers custom studies like "fear/greed" which may have some value.

TR/Thompson Reuters also has a competitive product for much less and you can't really go wrong with either for 99% of use cases.

There are also many stand alone news sources you could use. Benzinga comes to mind as one example.

Interesting note - Bloomberg is highly protective of their IP and has been know to write takedown notices of screenshots posted online.

// built 2 SaaS Fintech systems

lefstathiou 2 days ago 2 replies      
I think Bloomberg is a lot weaker than people realize (in terms of competitive position). It offers a lot of functionality as many threads have pointed out but at any given time, the marginal user utilizes 0.5% of what it does. I sat in fixed income origination for years and the only reason I used it was to find some obscure pricing details which are now available for free elsewhere and to quickly export interest rate curves. Our traders definitely found it mission critical but there were 3 of them and 40 of us. Now if you go to someone within equity-linked securities, they will use it for a variety of different reasons but my friends there admitted they used it for 2-4 discrete pieces of functionality.

I believe one of their great data advantages is access. Buy a terminal and you will now have access to niche email distribution lists that no website sees or crawls with important market data (like fixed income bwics).

I believe it is difficult to attack Bloomberg head on as others are trying (like money.net or Eikon) but relatively easy to build really rich ecosystems in niche places outside of Bloomberg. Have you heard of a company called Intex? Probably not. In the global structured products market they are a monopoly solution generating 100-200mm in top line with 100 employees and 3 sales people. Wildly profitable but try to start something like that without being in structured products for years and you're dead on arrival. No one will give you the data you need.

anonu 2 days ago 0 replies      
- the custom keyboard may have been a holdover from the early versions of Bloomberg, today its not as useful. I personally think the key response on it is terrible. So I actually just keep it plugged in for the fingerprint scanner.

- bbg is about quick access to data. Most of the data is publicly available. But if you serve it up super quick and consistently, people value that

- the chat application is what the vast majority of people pay for, IMHO. This gives you access to most other people in your industry or product group. This is how business is conducted. - bbg has an army of people backing their product.. from the bbg help to data cleaners. This ensures quality for the high price you're paying

matco11 2 days ago 1 reply      
Bloomberg (the company) became the de facto standard in the financial industry decades before Mike Bloomberg became a politician.

Mike Bloomberg started the company because while working at Merrill Lynch (in the 80ies) he thought the computer terminals banks used at the time to see stock and bond prices where ridiculous. He got funded by Merrill Lynch and disrupted the industry, overtaking rivals like Reuters (which well into the 90ies was usually considered the most trustworthy source for stock data)

You needed their special hardware only until the late nineties (the "Bloomberg box" - consider that up until around 96 or 97, only few employees would have internet access on their desktop, even inside "bulge bracket" investment banks): nowadays, you can get Blooomberg terminal on their workstation or on your own hardware. Likewise, you can run in on a dedicated connection, or on your normal internet line.

The key element of Bloomberg terminal is reliability: it feeds data you can usually trust and price feeds you can almost certainly trust. When you are checking prices changing several times a second across exchanges in different part of the world that's no easy feat). That's crucial when millions of dollars are at stake.

Second is the ability to access 80% of the data and information you would ever want to check wihout leaving the terminal.

Third ingredient is ease of use.

Fourth is incredible customer service.

Fifth is innovation: they continuously innovate, improve old features, add new features, introduce access to new data/information.

Once you remove the cost of the underlying live price feeds (from stock exchanges), The Bloomberg terminal is not that expensive for what it does. Bear in mind its customers are people that spend their day optimizing their financial decisions: if there was something cheaper working as well, they would go for it. If there was something working even better, they would go for it, probably even at a higher price point (because that's how the economics in the banking and investing world work).

Fun read:https://www.fastcompany.com/3051883/behind-the-brand/the-blo...

arx1422 2 days ago 2 replies      
Another point - Bloomberg by an large doesn't fail. This isn't some consumer "build fast, break things, and iterate" model. I can remember one time in my two decades using Bloomberg that something broke. For half a day this year the IB chat system went down. The world of finance practically ground to a halt. But that was the wild exception. Compared to most platforms Bloomberg may be a bit archaic but it is rock solid and thats way more important when you have billions on the line in realtime.
aysfrm11 2 days ago 2 replies      
I used the Bloomberg terminal until 2010 so things might have changed since then. The breadth of the data is unrivaled as far as I know, enough examples have been given in the comments. Concerning the data quality I do have to object though, in my area of expertise (mutual funds at the time) Bloomberg data was far from perfect and there were better quality data sources available. I dont doubt that they deliver reliable real time quotes from stock exchanges etc.

Excel integration was generally good, at the time I used the Terminal you had however to decide between two types of applications. The original Terminal which is linked to one PC, i.e. can only be accessed from one specific PC at work and not from home, or the 'Bloomberg anywhere' edition, which I believe was launched as some kind of remote application from a browser and could be used at any PC. The issue with the latter option was that it did not offer Excel integration.

I never liked the UI, some windows application with a lot of 'Terminal' baggage from the 1980's. I think they should re-build the whole thing as a browser based application, not replacing the old 'Terminal' application that current users are accustomed to but to on-board new users on a modern platform with a long term migration path to shut down the current application for good. Otherwise they might be replaced by a newcomer eventually...

https://www.money.net/ seems to be such a potential newcomer, especially considering the much more reasonable price point and the use of current technology.

rl3 2 days ago 1 reply      
315,000 subscribers paying north of $20,000 per year, as of 2013.[0] Whoa.

[0] https://qz.com/84961/this-is-how-much-a-bloomberg-terminal-c...

markatkinson 2 days ago 0 replies      
I used to work for Bloomberg. They bring together countless data feeds, analytical tools, some analysis and news into one central location. They pump a lot of money into these data capturing efforts. They hire hoards of data capturing grunts to trawl the web for renewable energy projects and heavens knows how many more to process financial statements.

I suppose at the end of the day even though they do all this I'm not 100% sure they do it very well. I don't use the terminal or claim to know how, but it seems to have have become an essential tool for many people in the finance industry.

Although after all that I know there is a joke going around that the main reason most people fork out for the terminal is for the chat functionality.

blunte 2 days ago 1 reply      
I asked the finance guys at the asset management firm I worked at last, and they said that the #1 value to them was in the chat. So many deals are arranged via the built-in chat system. News can be acquired from many places, but if you capture the communication (or create the platform, as BB did), then you capture your audience.

It's very hard to break out of that, because doing so means you're now excluded from some of the most useful and important information. Nobody wants to be first to leave, and convincing enough users to leave en masse to create or use an alternative seems impossible at this point.

seesomesense 2 days ago 0 replies      
"BMAP is the coolest.

Pulls up a global map with "near-realtime" locations of cargo ships, offshore oil derricks and wind farms, tropical depressions and hurricanes, uranium mines, all kinds of crazy stuff.

You can zoom in on the Panama Canal and see which oil tankers under whose flag are waiting in line to pass through, where they're going and how much oil they're carrying.

You can sort the world's ocean-going cargo vessels by commodity, to see where all the orange juice is."


seesomesense 2 days ago 0 replies      
Symphony was marketed by Goldman Sachs and Blackrock as a $15 Bloomberg killer, but still has not gained much traction. Bloomberg provides real-time data feeds, analysis tools, real-time secure communication with other traders, news and entertainment. When you are looking after AUMs of tens or hundreds of billions, $24,000 a year for a Bloomberg subscription is negligible.

"Potential users dont want to get onboard unless all the other people in their ecosystem are on the service. That dynamic obviously keeps most people from joining Symphony. Most everyone working in financial markets is already on Bloomberg, and it would take virtually everyone leaving at the same time to give Symphony critical mass.

I think Facebook is the best comparison, Ayzerov says. If Facebook had only one fourth of your friends, you wouldnt use it. The advantage of Bloomberg is that every financial person has it."

See http://www.institutionalinvestor.com/article/3572874/banking... for some of the obstacles that Symphony faces

princeb 2 days ago 1 reply      
it's everything:

- news articles

- squawk

- economic data releases

- historical and live market data

- asset pricing

- charts and analytics

- click trading

- trade execution and transaction cost analysis

- trade order management and post trade processing

- portfolio and risk management

- alerts

- chat

- mail

- Excel integration

- amazing stuff like DINE<GO>, FLY<GO>, and POSH<GO> (lol)

there's probably a ton more stuff that i don't use and don't know. bloomberg is a mile wide and a mile deep in some areas.

you can get any of these features individually from plenty of service providers in the market. some are less specialized and cheaper and some are more specialized and more expensive. if you don't want to manage fifty different contracts with different service providers bloomberg provides a one-stop shop.

bloomberg is more than just data now. it wants to be absolutely everything that a financial firm needs - front office, middle office, back office.

tezza 2 days ago 2 replies      
* Bloomberg Chat

* It is a well accepted reference. You will often see a screenshot of a bloomberg terminal as "proof" of something

arx1422 2 days ago 1 reply      
Bloomberg has a massive network effect which makes it difficult to displace. Particularly when you move away from exchange traded products like equities and into areas like corporate fixed income, interactions are still conducted via bilateral discussion (i.e., online chat and text price dissemination). To be in the game you need to be where everyone else is talking. There is an ecosystem of price scraping and trade processing in Bloomberg which facilitates the whole trade and portfolio management process. I can route orders via Bloomberg to any broker and monitor execution of my orders in real-time. No the costs are not cheap but it is a lot cheaper than hiring several members of an operations team which would be necessary if this was all done manually.

Bloomberg is also like an operating system. For example, there are electronic execution venues in many types of instruments which use the Bloomberg as their front-end. This is very valuable. When you are a trader, screen real estate is critical. You can have 6 30" monitors and it still isn't enough if your tools are fragmented across 50 platforms. The more you can keep things integrated into a few core tools the better.

You are also paying a ton for ultra-responsive service. When millions or billions are on the line you don't have time to mess around on a help-line. On a Bloomberg you have 24-7 ultra-responsive skilled help who are responsive in around 30 seconds.

There are other reasons but end of the day if you are a pro then 30k/year isn't cheap but its a lot cheaper than trying to hack around with amateur tools.

greenyoda 2 days ago 0 replies      
It's more than news. It also provides real-time financial data, access to trading, and a way to securely communicate with other traders.

You can find some background here on what it does:


nodesocket 2 days ago 1 reply      
UCF has a great tutorial video on the Bloomberg terminal. It is an hour and 7 minutes long, but watch it and you will see why it's the standard in finance. The data/news feed is great and UX is optimized for speed, dense display of information, and filtering.


HoyaSaxa 2 days ago 0 replies      
It is pretty simple: network effects.

Nearly every trader, sales person, and investment manager in finance has a bloomberg terminal which is guaranteed to own a lot of screen real estate on their monitors. If you need to get in touch with someone as quickly and efficiently as possible, bloomberg chat is the way to go. You are usually involved in multiple conversations at once so phones just don't cut it.

I traded two different products that were almost exclusively traded via IB (chat) or MSG (email like). There is nothing special about either of those communication channels, but market norms are incredibly powerful.

As others are mentioning, Bloomberg also centralizes a ton of different data, but this much easier to replicate than the network effects of the products above.

ry4n413 2 days ago 1 reply      
It's fast in terms of time takes from press release to screen, total news coverage is unrivaled (Reuters you could say maybe), forgot how many trillions of dollars they control all together. bonds they are the king, tradebook, their international financial data is a little rough, and their sales force is relentless. Try to sell me a god damn terminal every time. also they were ahead of pack regarding supply chain data, graph modeling, they are moving into Law.
uptown 2 days ago 0 replies      
I think it has very little to do with the end-user hardware, and everything to do with their data. Bloomberg is dominant in data quality. Really, whatever financial information you want, you can get, provided you're willing and able to pay the price.

Their data is faster and cleaner than most of their competition. Personally, I find their interface clunky by today's standards, but it's entrenched in the industry, so there's a non-trivial learning "cost" for anyone considering switching away, and even if they're able to adapt to a new interface, they're likely to find holes in the available data. Beyond their data, they connect the financial industry over Bloomberg chat, so it's got the network effect there. The hardware itself is not a huge factor IMO. Plenty of people use Bloomberg terminals, via Bloomberg Anywhere, logging in from their standard desktop with their normal Windows keyboards.

rodionos 2 days ago 0 replies      
The terminal is the 'last-mile' endpoint in a centralized system that delivers real-time data to subscribers with low latency and actually allows them to take action on data. Low latency is what sets it apart from closest competitors such as Reuters.

The ability to trade is perhaps no so important these days given the advent of algo trading/stat arb, but it serves to emphasize the point that there is more to the terminal than just viewing the data.

taude 2 days ago 0 replies      
It's like Emacs or VIM for financial market professionals.
brw12 1 day ago 0 replies      
Basically, there isn't just "news" as in stories -- there's tons of data that's annoying, hard or impossible to find without paying various parties for it and scraping it, which Bloomberg makes available in one place, sorted and sortable and searchable, and possible to import automatically into Excel. Eg., it's the most reliable source of dates, times, and data content for upcoming and past macroeconomic announcements and earnings announcements; you can fetch stock index components with their current weights in the basket; and you can graph all sorts of things against each other using their powerful graphing software.
mpta 2 days ago 0 replies      
There are some good answers here about why BBG has become the de facto information tool for folks who work in finance. Speaking as someone who works in finance -- there are, in my opinion, opportunities to dethrone BBG, but the most effective attack vectors will be more niche markets where information can be easily digitized, organized, and presented in a way that beats BBG's interface.

I work with municipal bonds - long story short, the muni market is a fixed income market with several legal and structural characteristics which add complexity over the corporate and government bond markets.

For example - generally municipal bonds are structured with serial maturities and a 10 year par call option, which means issuers are constantly refinancing, paying bonds down with cash, etc. This introduces complexity around even knowing what bonds an issuer still has outstanding. To someone who works with corporates, you'd just pull up the ticker and immediately see what's there - for our market, it takes a lot of manual effort to track the bonds, digitize old documents, and present that information in a logical interface.

(Similar to the SEC's EDGAR, there is an information repository for the municipal market called EMMA, which was introduced post-crisis - so it is fairly easy to pull recent disclosures, but very difficult to track older bonds/documents.)

On the investment banking side, we have one Bloomberg terminal for our entire floor, since the subscription is fairly expensive and we don't have as much need for the info as the traders do. If a company were to simply track information about municipal bonds, starting with the largest issuers, they could undercut Bloomberg in this market and make a good chunk of subscription revenue.

I have to imagine these opportunities exist elsewhere as well. I doubt that there are many folks who use BBG functions for more than the handful of markets in which they participate. I bet that there are markets where smaller companies could do just as good a job as BBG at gathering information for a lower cost.

A thought I just had while typing this comment - to me, BBG seems analogous to a cable TV bundle, where you pay for a ton of channels that you don't use. I wonder if competing against BBG in single markets would motivate them to introduce tiered/a la carte subscription models? The one feature keeping everyone on Bloomberg is chat (and to a certain extent, the actual trading platform) - in my case, if we could have that while only subscribing to a few functions, that would probably be enough for us and could save on subscription costs.

eej71 2 days ago 0 replies      
I think there are a few reasons that keeps them at the top of the heap vs. their nearest competitors (S&P CapIQ, Factset, Thompson/Reuters).

One if Mike Bloomberg himself. He is a rarity. He is a founder who is still very active in the company. He certainly doesn't need to go to work every day for the money. He is worth billions and is 75. I think he genuinely loves the work and he demands the same work ethic from those around him. I would imagine that when he is in the building, you can "feel" it in the air. That gravitas that was frequently on display when he was mayor of NYC is probably there every day whenever he holds court on a topic.

Second, I believe Bloomberg has grown organically. I think it's much easier to present a complete and consistent system when you've built most of it yourself. A company like TR has been built up through acquisitions and it at times shows in the product. Factset has adopted a similar strategy as of late.

Third, while the product at times has a distinctive UI/UX experience, it has always seemed super fast at least to my eyes. Less is true of their competitors.

robtani 1 day ago 0 replies      
The depth and breadth of financial data along with excellent integration with Excel is simply unmatched! I actually looked into alternatives a couple of times and each time didn't find anything even close! There're a lot of rivals though including Factset that have great products but nothing really comes close to Bloomberg especially if you have to work with FI instruments.
afeezaziz 2 days ago 0 replies      
Network effects especially for the chat function. Most of other functions are easily replicated by by Reuters Thompson, one of Bloomberg's competitors.
peterbonney 2 days ago 0 replies      
Point of clarification: Bloomberg does not require special hardware to use, though they do offer special hardware that integrates well with the software. At the time I left finance, I used a regular off-the-shelf PC with Dell monitors and a Das Keyboard, and it ran all the software I used on a daily basis (Bloomberg, Office, etc.).
unixhero 2 days ago 1 reply      
You are looking at this from a computer engineer's point of view (perhaps). However if you look at it from the world of finance, access to a data broker with up to date(seconds) information where you can also chat with major bank traders and hedge funds the package is very complete.

Data brokers. Not a regular thing in comp.sci, but very much so in the world of finance.

brainrain 2 days ago 2 replies      
Interesting read on Bloomberg vs Symphony (through an EU policy lens, but has a lot of details about BBG business model I hadn't read elsewhere) http://www.politico.eu/article/bloomberg-vs-the-banks/
jowalski 2 days ago 1 reply      
Well, the monopoly aspect has had a limiting effect on a few things I've been involved in, at least in government/quasi-government. Given that some data series I've used are only (? or most conveniently) available through the terminal, it has meant having only half-automated tools. You always still need to do a weekly walk down the hall to a terminal followed by a lengthy boot-up on an old box, entering of password, opening of spreadsheet. They tend to lock down those machines too.

While I guess there are APIs, I don't get the impression they're easy to just integrate into any old workflow if the terminal is down the hall or even on the other side of your desk. It's all linked to that terminal, no? Pretty annoying if you ask me, from a programmers standpoint. Not to mention another case of closed, proprietary tech in the financial sector.

lordnacho 2 days ago 1 reply      
Longtime user of Bloomberg here, both finance and coding experience.

You no longer need special hardware to use the terminal. In fact the special keys are just mappings to your F keys, and you'll know which one is which without the keyboard. They have a sticker strip if you really need it. BTW the keyboard is crap, the buttons aren't balanced meaning the keys kinda stick, making you type slower.

Data is the only reason you need this thing. It's truly comprehensive how many data sources are all accessible through a single syntax. I've traded single stocks, corporate bonds, CDS, ETFs, index options, equity options, commodity futures, government bonds, interest rate swaps, IR swaptions, FX, FX options, and so on. You can get a price chart for all of them just by typing in a code followed by "GP". Or you can get relevant news.

On the API side, it's pretty easy to pull the data you need from the terminal. There's .NET, python, java, etc libraries for you, with lots of examples. And just about every imaginable field is there.

Bloomberg Chat is useful in certain parts of the industry. You can have all your brokers set up with individual 1-on-1 chats, yet still blast out a quote request as in "USD 5Y, 100K dv01, please" and they will all see it without knowing how many people you're talking to. A lot of people are still trading in the stone age, and Bloomberg is certified for keeping records for this sort of thing. You might have heard about BBG Chat in the recent LIBOR trials.

There's also a whole pseudo-exchange functionality. Basically you can get approved to get prices from each broker, and then you can trade with them by sending them tickets via Bloomberg. I always thought that was crap, but some people like it, depends on their niche.

It's kinda ripe for disruption though. 24K is a lot for the basic package, and if you want to actually get the data, rather than just the interface into it, you have to pay the underlying provider. That gets pricy quite quickly. Also live data costs money, too, and it's not going to be fast. Unless you get the leased line (if you're in the City of London, it's not a problem), which is more money again. And not especially fast, since there's an extra hop. I'm not sure I buy the argument that finance professionals know how to use it, so bbg is entrenched. If you understand what you're looking for, you're not going to have a problem finding it on some other system. For a lot of things such as common stocks, Yahoo and Google are not going to have any less information.

I've never thought highly of bloomberg's customer service. At most they're useful for discovering functions that you don't know the shortcut for. When there's anything remotely complicated, they seem to do a huge internal goose chase and then eventually get back to you with "can't do it". Basically anything API related, the Help Help guys will not know what to do and end up waiting for a dev. Also the official account manager keeps changing and every time you get a new one they pester you to show you some obscure functionality.

kgwgk 2 days ago 0 replies      
You are not paying for the hardware, you're paying for the platform and data. The monitor is a regular monitor (and I think it's only marginally used). The keyboard has a few extra keys which are convenient but not absolutely required (you can also use Bloomberg on a laptop).
snowplay 2 days ago 2 replies      
An alternative to Bloomberg Terminal, on the research side, is Tiingo, an amazing financial data portal. They ask that if you use it, you pay a minimum of $7 per month, though that is not currently enforced.
cauterized 2 days ago 0 replies      
It's got a network-effect moat. The terminal isn't just a way to get information. It's a communication platform for members of the financial industry. And all the people they want to talk to are already there.
sz4kerto 2 days ago 0 replies      
Chat. In other words: whoever matters is accessible through it. It's an integrated platform for trading that also includes 'social', you can do every bit of your workflow there -- communication, sales, research, trade.
jzwinck 2 days ago 0 replies      
I worked there for quite a while. I'll try to address some of your specific questions directly.

> it's just a portal that gives the news

A portal? Bloomberg News has its very own reporters (and jourobots). They investigate and write original content. People usually don't buy the terminal (~2000 USD/month) only for that, but if they do, they can read everything directly in the terminal.

> What I don't get is why have a custom monitor, keyboard?

The monitor is, these days, only about branding. Ten to fifteen years ago, Bloomberg offered good-quality LCD screens with integrated mounting arms for 2 or 4, at a time when that was a pretty high-end setup. As LCD screens became cheap and ubiquitous, many users don't have the Bloomberg ones, but they still have the Bloomberg keyboard. It's useful because it has special labels for a few hotkeys, plus some of them have extras like fingerprint readers. If you lack the special keyboard you can press Alt+K on any keyboard and the terminal will show you a graphic of the special keys for reference.

But to really understand why they have a special keyboard, you need to look back a good long while. That's covered here: https://www.fastcompany.com/3051883/behind-the-brand/the-blo... - the gist is that a "Bloomberg terminal" used to be a real terminal, connected to a magic box on the customer premises (which served several terminals). There have been many, many iterations of the terminal hardware, from a dedicated proprietary box, to software running on Sparc workstations, to software running on Windows, with the keyboard becoming more like a PC keyboard around the turn of the century.

> is it a VPN

No. Traditionally, customers connect their terminals back to the Bloomberg service via leased lines (i.e. not the internet). But for many years now you have the option of using the internet, though not everyone wants that.

> The cost of the product is ridiculous.

The cost of the product is much less than what some customers would be willing to pay. Most customers pay about the same monthly fee, regardless of where they are in the world, regardless of their corporate income statement, etc. So yes, it seems expensive to people who wouldn't get that much out of it. Some schools get a discount.

> Is there a cheaper alternative that does not require specialised hardware?

Bloomberg does not require specialized hardware at all. You can install it on any Windows laptop, and you are more than welcome to do so. As for cheaper--yes, there are lots of things which are cheaper, but you will be hard-pressed to find any combination of those which is still cheaper and yet does most of what Bloomberg does (i.e. has similar quantity and quality of data, and applications built up).

> I know Bloomberg is a politician

He is now, but he was not when his company went from 0 users to 100,000 users.

thomasthomas 1 day ago 0 replies      
This podcast will shed some light on your query: http://fivethirtyeight.com/datalab/podcast-wall-streets-just...

Bloomberg just wants you to be locked into the ecosystem and never, ever leave. Its like the Hotel California of financial data. Robin Wigglesworth

anjc 2 days ago 2 replies      
It seems as if there's a lot of behind the scenes data aggregation and analytics, which is good. But surely somebody has created a cheap variation on the rest of it? I.e. software with keystrokes to quickly access open financial data? I mean there's nothing to stop someone doing that, getting custom keyboards made, and selling it for a tiny fraction of the price right?

I'd imagine that there are quite a lot of people who fancy trading as something of a hobby but who will never pay for Bloomberg.

mathattack 2 days ago 0 replies      
The most important thing is it's ubiquitous in Finance. If everyone has it, it's very hard for someone else to introduce a competitor that others don't have.

It's also got an interface that everyone is used to. Not a great interface, but one that everyone knows.

There are cheaper alternatives, as well as easier to use alternatives, and alternatives with better analytics. But in general they just layer above BBG, they don't replace it.

james1071 2 days ago 0 replies      
Things might be different now, but Bloomberg used to be unique in what it offered:fixed income price feeds, analytics, news feeds and messaging service for market participants.

Another killer feature was that there were addins to excel spreadsheets.

Now, there are probably competing products, but Bloomberg has a large user base who are very familiar with its product.

jamez1 1 day ago 0 replies      
Dealers need bbg, the social network in bbg chat drives some network effects, there's also a bit of tradition involved too. They tend to have less data issues than most but there's plenty still there.

Analysts and research roles aren't so beholden but bbg does data well while reuters does news well.

telecuda 2 days ago 0 replies      
My friends at Intrinio (https://intrinio.com/) here in St. Pete FL are responding to this question with a lower-cost, developer-friendly way to pull financial data into Excel, Google Sheets or your own application.
lawrencegs 2 days ago 1 reply      
Wow, great comments about Bloomberg. It makes me wonder, is there similar system for Cryptocoins traders?
juststeve 2 days ago 0 replies      
i think it's a locked down software system that provides near real time data on in various financial markets around the world. the reason why this is useful is alot of stock info you find online is 5 -15 minutes old.. which is kind of useless if you need to buy and sell in realtime.
d--b 2 days ago 0 replies      
I'm a quant developer and have had Bloomberg terminal for years. Bloomberg has a lot of different benefits.

1. It is a all-in-one news source. There are a lot of features that allow you to monitor the news from many different sources in real time.

2. It is a social network. The built-in chat and email service is _really_ basic. But, just about every one working in Finance is on it, with their contact details and resumes. As a trader, you can legally close financial transactions on the Bloomberg chat, as one would over the phone.

3. It is a data sharing platform. Banks and other market participants contribute to Bloomberg data by sending information that is normally not visible in the market. For instance FX volatilities are quoted by banks on bloomberg in real time. This information is only available in few places.

4. It is an API that allows its users to use its data for custom analytics.

5. It is an execution platform, where you can book trades, follow their values and risk when the market moves, etc.

6. It is open to 3rd parties: some banks and other data vendors have their own pages on bloomberg (which I never had access to).

7. It has many many other stuffs. There is a restaurant review system. There is a classified section. There are things to monitor the weather. It has videos, maps, it's just huge.

Now - that is what people are interested in.

And then there are the things that Bloomberg shoves down your throat. Like the keyboard.

Bloomberg _forces_ you to buy their keyboards, at a very heavy price. The justification is the fingerprint reader, but that's really just a scam, because they put a $10 fingerprint reader onto a $10 keyboard, and sell you the thing at $500 a piece. So you either need to buy the keyboard, or you need to buy the B-Unit, which is Bloomberg very 2-factor authentication device which I assume is also quite expensive.

There is also the additional price you pay for API access, or to be able to see very specialized data. You pay for your private circuit to their servers (yep, it usually doesn't go through the internet).

Also a few words on the UI: it is f-ing terrible. Hit Escape, and you will find yourself on the start page. It doesn't matter that you were in the middle of typing an email or pricing a product, it just restarts your terminal. Most of the features are accessed by obscure four letter codes, that one has to learn to go back to. There is a search feature but everything is mixed in, and so you have to be pretty lucky to find anything useful using that. After a while though, the fact that the UI is so bad makes you feel "part of the club", I think many people would hate it if it changed.

Marazan 2 days ago 0 replies      
It's not the terminal pet se, it's the information it is connected to.
tommynicholas 2 days ago 0 replies      
It's not mostly news, it's mostly finance data that only Bloomberg has aggregated. To get the data you have to buy the terminal.
pvitz 2 days ago 0 replies      
Does anyone here know how difficult it would be for BBL to change their GUI? I am using the terminal quite often, but I wish it would be more EIKON like.
ionwake 2 days ago 0 replies      
Is it possible to access the bloomberg terminal chat via some sort of api?
dustinkirkland 2 days ago 2 replies      

$ apt install wallstreet

$ wallstreet

I created that for Ubuntu, as a follow-on to:

$ apt install hollywood

$ hollywood

Purely for fun. Try it!

oriol16 2 days ago 1 reply      
If anybody is looking to disrupt the industry, I would be interested to partner in.
sentieo 1 day ago 1 reply      
By way of an introduction: My name is Alap Shah and I spent years as an analyst at Viking and Citadel using Bloomberg and CapIQ in my day-to-day workflow. 5 years ago, I left to begin building Sentieo, a modern financial platform underpinned by deep search that incorporates the latest in web technology.

My team of former buy-side analysts and engineers have built an advanced research platform with search technology and data analytics designed to significantly increase the speed and depth of your research process.

Sentieo aims to help accelerate fundamental investors' workflow by picking up where traditional financial platforms leave off:

Quickly search through public company documents: Sentieos Document Search is the fastest and most powerful way to search through millions of SEC filings, international filings, broker research, transcripts and presentations.

Effortlessly organize your research: Sentieo offers research management seamlessly integrated at its core. The Sentieo Notebook is where your investment ideas begin to take shape---analysts organize and develop their ideas while allowing Portfolio Managers to monitor and influence the ongoing development of an investment thesis.

The financial data terminal reimagined: Sentieo offers a modern take on the data terminal, with a sleek design that facilitates easy consumption of relevant financial metrics, statements, charts and more. In addition, the Excel plugin provides access to all of Sentieos datasets in Excel.

A visualization engine built for analysts: Plotter, our powerful visualization engine, allows you to create and track complex graphs for data series across any number of tickers, with customizable financial metrics for each ticker. In addition, Sentieos Mosaic tool adds a powerful additional piece to your data mosaic: alternative data on web traffic, search interest, and Twitter mentions. Seamlessly overlay that data against our financial datasets to quickly identify the opportunities where data has predictive power in forecasting unreported revenue and earnings growth. Our user interface presents all of this data in a manner thats easy to analyze.

Sentieo's power in your pocket: Our suite of mobile apps enables intuitive and fast access to the Sentieo platform while on the road (e.g. at investment conferences and 1-on-1s). Integrated note-taking allows for collaboration with others at your firm, with notes seamlessly syncing with our cloud servers once your mobile device regains wireless Internet access.

After years of development, we launched just over a year ago and already have 200+ hedge funds and sell-side shops subscribed to our equity research platform. Our team numbers nearly 100 strong across San Francisco, New York and New Delhi.

I'd be more than glad to walk you through Sentieo, its unique features, and our approach to being at the forefront of trends in:

Financial search technology

Research management systems (RMS)

How funds are using a host of new datasets to generate Alpha via web traffic, search volumes and twitter mentions

Predictive analytic tools that allow analysts to make better forecasts of business performance and to generate Alpha

Please feel free to visit our website is at www.sentieo.com to get a glimpse of how we are re-imagining the financial data terminal and re-defining how fintech can aid analysts in improving their workflow and generating investment insights.



Ask HN: How do you deal with loss of motivation?
323 points by rampipod  2 days ago   161 comments top 96
rsp1984 2 days ago 3 replies      
Of course now everybody here in the comments is jumping at the line

I need to find something with purpose,big money, and satisfaction.

and telling you that you should STFU and go back to your job and learn to be content with what you have. Please be reminded that that's just people on the internet though.

The thing is if you ask anything on the internet that sounds like "How can I be more successful / smarter / prettier than average" you'll attract a lot more haters than people that truly want to give advice.

However the reality is that being more successful, finding something that gives you purpose and satisfaction and even making big money are all natural and human desires and there's nothing wrong with that.

The only piece of advice I can humbly offer is that if you really, really want or need something then there's usually also enough motivation to work towards it. Now if you don't feel motivated to work towards your goals that could be a sign that either your goals aren't optimal or that you're actually happy with life as it is and don't feel so much need for change.

leoh 2 days ago 2 replies      
Something that has helped me a lot with motivation is figuring out how to calm down my nervous system, for example, with a good massage, a yoga class that encourages holding poses for longer periods of time (Iyengar-style), meditation, and reading offline. It's really easy to be "on" all the time, even when you are not feeling particularly motivated for example, being on the internet is often over-stimulating and leads me to feel a lot of fatigue and a lack of motivation. There is no one solution. I would be wary, however, of pushing myself into doing something just because it's impressive or exciting. Acting from a place of centeredness is always more fruitful. There is no one solution. Best of luck to you.
hueving 2 days ago 2 replies      
>I need to find something with purpose,big money, and satisfaction.

Consider giving up the big money requirement and your options will open up significantly. At companies like Google and Facebook where you get the good pay, there are very few roles that get to work on the super interesting problems so they are hard to get. Most likely you will end up working on data migration tools, front end interfaces for existing systems, account life cycle tooling, etc that may be interesting at first, but they aren't that satisfactory in the long run because you'll realize you're a very small cog that can be easily replaced.

If you give up big money and join a startup (even mid sized), your impact can be a lot more tangible and satisfying. Programming for government/industry research can also be pretty satisfying but the pay is much lower (e.g. I worked for an academic consortium on HPC networks and really felt like I was improving tooling for cutting edge science).

conceptme 2 days ago 4 replies      
"I need to find something with purpose,big money, and satisfaction."

I think you need to be more realistic, sorry but you sound a bit like a child, everybody is dumb and doing useless things except you the little snow flake who comes to save the world and will be a billionaire if only he was recognized.

webmaven 2 days ago 0 replies      
First, if work is not challenging, you can make it challenging. For example, challenge yourself to automate every aspect of your job. It will give you something interesting to work on, you will learn a lot (and not all of the lessons will be technical), and you will have some tangible accomplishments to point to (whether that is efficiency, uptime, cost savings, ...) during you next conversation about being given more responsibility and authority.

Second, as you noted you can find challenges outside of work (particularly with all the free time your automation has given you. |-D

You could try for getting into MIT or Stanford, but you could also simply take the courses you are interested in. Learning something new if a great motivator, I've found.

Then again, so is crushing your enemies, seeing their men flee before you, and hearing the lamentations of their women.

But I digress.

Another possible creative outlet & source of inspiration is participating in open source, up to and including starting your own project (which might be part of your automation platform, or something completely different).

Or get a non-tech hobby. Drawing, painting, knitting, dancing, a sport, volunteering at an animal shelter, gourmet cooking, write a novel, learn a new language etc. I personally find gardening to be a great way to recharge my mental and emotional batteries.

Good luck!

kabdib 2 days ago 0 replies      
I had a very long post about humility and emergent leadership that I mercifully just lost to an errant keystroke. I won't attempt to duplicate the deathless prose and deep, though humorous anecdotes from my work history that I dredged up as evidence. Lucky you.

Let's just say that the worst leaders I've worked under have had the certainty that they were Leaders, that they were somehow born to it, and that they were surrounded by idiots.

If you think you are surrounded by idiots, get out fast. This will work out well no matter the true situation:

1. If they are idiots, you'll be pushing a rope. You can't save them. Do your best elsewhere. Unless you're an investor, who the heck cares? Just another ship going down.

2. If they aren't idiots, but you only think they are, it will end badly, and it's best ended early.

The only way that a King of the Idiots gig ends well for you is when they pay you a pile of money to leave because they can't fire you because of bad press or something, and most people won't even be in a room with people who are at that level.

chpmrc 2 days ago 2 replies      
I'm surprised that none of the top comments mentioned "So good they can't ignore you" (Cal Newport). It's an enlightening book. Long story short: "follow your passion" is crappy advice, you start enjoying what you do once you become very good at it (the author calls it "accumulating career capital") and by deliberate practice (i.e. always challenging yourself so that you are always slightly outside your comfort zone but not too much or you'll feel discouraged). Once you have enough career capital you can spend it to apply the changes you need in your life. For example, to ask your employer to work remotely to travel the world or reduce your working hours to attend college etc. (be careful about the "control traps" though).

The obvious question is: how can I practice something I'm not passionate about? And the answer is the same you'd give someone who wants to be muscular but is not passionate about going to the gym: be more disciplined. But that's an entirely different beast.

The way I see it: you force yourself to do something you know has good results (you exercise 4 days a week so you are already doing that) -> You start improving and appreciating your efforts -> You create a "mission" out of your work -> You get so good you can call the shots on something important -> Rinse and repeat. Eventually I think what makes us happy is not the prize but the appreciation for the efforts that led to it.

cel1ne 2 days ago 1 reply      
Let me quote from the internet:

Fuck motivation. its a fickle and and unreliable little dickfuck and isnt worth your time.

Better to cultivate discipline than to rely on motivation. Force yourself to do things. Force yourself to get up out of bed and practice. Force yourself to work. Motivation is fleeting and its easy to rely on because it requires no concentrated effort to get. Motivation comes to you, and you dont have to chase after it.

Discipline is reliable, motivation is fleeting. The question isnt how to keep yourself motivated. Its how to train yourself to work without it.

dandersh 2 days ago 4 replies      
You're not motivated because you did not get what you wanted (leadership position) and you identify yourself as being superior to those whom are in your position (dumb, working on useless things).

Motivate yourself by either pulling up those around you or leave for what you really want to do.

smilesnd 2 days ago 1 reply      
Motivation is something I believe everyone struggles with from time to time. Some people don't even realize they lose it till it is to late. Others have so much to do they don't have time to be motivated.

Leadership position at companies are either earn through hard work at the company or proven track record at other companies. If you want leader position work your ass off for it. If everyone is dumb and not working on anything useful then it should be easy to move up the ladder.

Unless the job pulls you out of poverty, puts you in poverty, gets you out of a toxic environment, or takes you completely out of your comfort zone then it ain't going to be a life changing job. Doesn't sound like you went to Africa to save orphans.

Creating artificial challenges is to make you grow not really to motivate you. If you think just chasing a challenge will make you happy or motivated try it out. But maybe you need to find something that just makes you happy or excited. One guy I knew was making north of $200k a year working at the bank worked nights at a sushi restaurant. Sushi was his passion his motivation his happiness.

Typically you don't get a job with purpose, big money, and satisfaction right away. You get a job to pay the bills and learn. The next job is either to move up, move out, or you found something you passion about.

Right now sounds like you are finical stable, and if you got time to work out 4 times a week then you should have time to try new things. Try to find a hobby or something. Get as far out of your comfort zone as you can, and see what you like and love. Don't seek motivation let it find you.

Best of luck.

rdtsc 2 days ago 0 replies      
> Lately, I don't feel motivated about anything. Job is okay and I just switched about 8 months back.

I wonder why you mentioned "job" as your first driver for motivation and happiness. What about other parts of your life besides the job? Now I imagine since this is HN your probably only shared about that part, but I hope there is more to it - relationships with family, friends, significant other and so on. Hobbies (go to local meetups about your favorite technology), maybe other interests like sports. Someone mentioned other stuff like helping others: mentoring perhaps, a soup kitchen (I did that for a while, it really changes your perspective on a lot of things and challenges some assumptions).

> I need to find something with purpose,big money, and satisfaction.

That won't sit right with a lot of people. It is good you are honest though. But be prepared for people to focus on that. So you already make good money it seems but you feel you deserve big money? Why do you think you deserve to be in a leadership position and making big money?

> was hired for a position that has no decision making power at all. Everyone here seems dumb and working on a few useless things.

Now imagine if you made big money and still had no decision making power? What if you made less money but had decision making power? Which one would make you happier?

comeon3 2 days ago 0 replies      
> I wanted a leadership position at my company, but I was hired for a position that has no decision making power at all. Everyone here seems dumb and working on a few useless things.

> I need to find something with purpose,big money, and satisfaction.

> I have tried being altruistic,but I ended up on the receiving end. I now presume that everyone is selfish and will not think for a second they get better deal. Hunt or be hunted - Frank Underwood

I guess you believe that you where meant for something greater here in life and that people should treat you like the natural leader you are. Am I right?

I'll say that there is a very big risk that your have narcissistic tendencies and looking at your comments from an employer's perspective, I would be very, very worried.

dbrunton 2 days ago 2 replies      
Find someone to help.

Preferably, this will be someone at work. Either someone in your job who's as stuck as you are, someone in the next layer up who needs a boost, or someone in the next tier down who needs a hand. It will be your next big challenge, to recognize that someone else needs help, to determine what kind of help that is, and to offer what you can.

Your only measure of success is whether that person succeeds.

The three benefits to taking this approach are:

 1) it's easier to objectively measure whether what you're doing is working 2) you get to practice helping yourself, on someone else! 3) it will help you stop being an asshole, which is probably something you're doing
I hope you try it. It doesn't take very long, maybe just a few weeks, but don't hesitate to try it a few times.

Good luck!

ne01 2 days ago 2 replies      
In my opinion,

Complete lack of motivation is the result of mental congestion.

Start emptying your mind! Delete all good and bad memories! Don't worry about the past and don't be afraid of the future.

What you have right now is not what you really want! That's why you are not happy!

Just empty your mind and you'll find what you really want!

And we always have motivation for the things we TRULY want!

koonsolo 2 days ago 0 replies      
It did not really matter what we expected from life, but rather what life expected from us. We needed to stop asking about the meaning of life, and instead to think of ourselves as those who were being questioned by lifedaily and hourly. Our answer must consist, not in talk and meditation, but in right action and in right conduct. Life ultimately means taking the responsibility to find the right answer to its problems and to fulfill the tasks which it constantly sets for each individual.

Viktor E. Frankl, Man's Search for Meaning

toddmorey 2 days ago 0 replies      
I've thought about work and motivation a lot. A few quick points:

1. A friend of mine came up with a formula for motivation at work that you can say in one sentence. I love it because it's both simple and powerful: "People want to be a significant member of a winning team on an inspiring mission." You want to feel that you matter. You want to feel you have a chance at success. You wan't to feel your work makes a difference.

Trouble comes when any of those needs aren't met. It sounds like you don't feel that you are allowed to significantly contribute and it sounds like you don't feel your team is set up for success. I don't know if you would ever be inspired by the company's mission. In my experience, no amount of salary will ever compensate for the absence of any of the three above.

2. Even in a job that meets all three of those needs, motivation waxes and wanes. Work that matters is always challenging and you go through streaks and slumps. Here's something I've learned that's interesting and really freeing: Forget the insane amount of ink that's been dedicated to motivational coaching and repeat this: "You don't have to be motivated to start." You just don't. Set a timer for 30 minutes, set the existential stuff aside for a moment (it feels really good), and start. Just 30 minutes. This is powerful because you'll see the chicken and the egg of it all: Sometimes you are motivated to start. But sometimes starting in makes you motivated. (I'm amazed at how often I ignore the timer going off at the end and just keep working.)

Good luck with it! I hope you find your purpose and satisfaction. The big money is nice while you can get it, but it never serves as a replacement involvement in real, meaningful work.

hentrep 2 days ago 0 replies      
You alluded to this with mention of interest in a leadership position at work, but what are your near-term goals in life? Make a list, devise a strategy, and focus a portion of each day stepping toward those goals. Be careful and explicit in drafting these goals. For instance, "Become wealthy" isn't as clear and actionable as "Increase my income by $500 per month."

Are you focused too much on work? When is the last time you took a week or two off just to mentally reset? How is your social life? I was interested in a specific field a few years back, but I had zero friends or connections in said field. I started a meetup group around the topic, grew it to 1500 members in just over a year, learned a TON about the field in the process, and made invaluable and exclusive connections that would have been otherwise very difficult. It was a beautiful blend of social and professional advancement and I highly recommend something similar.

Last point: if you're considering grad school, be aware that this is much more accessible and palatable early in your career vs. late. If you have a shot at getting into an MIT or Stanford, why no give it a whirl? It isn't necessarily the degree that is of value, but the high-end network you'll obtain in the process.

Keep your head-up -- motivation will ebb and flow throughout your life. This is normal and a sign that change is in order.

WheelsAtLarge 2 days ago 0 replies      
What you are learning is that money does not buy you happiness. Clearly you accepted a job you really did not want for the security and the salary.

I can think of 3 options in your case. 1)keep your job and find fulfillment doing something else on the weekends and free time such as hitting a hobbie hard. 2)Keep your job and figure out how to get to the top. This option means you'll have to become a master at social skills. Learning more techie stuff will not help you. Top decision makers are NOT the most technology savvy but they are the best at managing people and getting the most out of the team.3) Start finding the job you want. It might be less money or not as safe but at least it's something you enjoy.

"I need to find something with purpose,big money, and satisfaction."

That's what we all want but you won't get it unless you are willing to take some big chances. So decide what to do and do it. You can't start at the top but you can get there and find all 3. You might fail but there's a possibility of hitting it big. If you go this route make sure you make a plan and decide now how to deal with adversity.

Good Luck!

failrate 2 days ago 2 replies      
For the depressive affect I consume St. John's Wort and L-Carnitine and I use a sun lamp.For the creative side, I ensure that I work at least 15 minutes a day on a creative project outside of work hours.At work, I strive to improve the overall quality of my environment.Remember that if you dress well and act confidently, people become remarkably deferential (i.e. even though your role may not technically have any decision-making power, if you are confident and reliable, people may start to look to you for your opinion on decisions, and so on).
cammil 2 days ago 0 replies      
You should only do things for love OR money, but not both.

Don't spread yourself thin serving two masters. Serving one, often brings the other, but both should not be your goal.

If you do things for love, and also seek out money, your art will suffer. If you do things for money, but try to do more of the things you like doing, you will fail to do the hard things that bring you financial success.

Pick one. Love or money. Commit to that.

throw_away_777 2 days ago 0 replies      
The easiest way to make big changes is to make a lot of small changes. Try to focus on small improvements you can make and work towards them. Don't get frustrated if progress is slower than you expect.
smdz 2 days ago 0 replies      
I'd been in similar position many years back. I couldn't leave the job because I promised myself I would complete at least 3 years in any co I join. The only reason was to prevent job-hopping that would ruin my resume. Fast forward, I am self-employed now.

First, my job was boring, unchallenging, zero-stress, lesser hours and paid pretty well. In those days I always questioned - "why would anybody leave such a job? won't that be stupid?". So I started learning other things - I delved into music, reading, blogging and stocks (which became my obsession and then analyzing data just became an obsession). I also spent that part of my life enjoying life. That period lasted for 3 years and then the company had restructuring, which turned my job into a challenging, high-stress job.

Retrospectively, I do think I wasted a lot of time back then. But had I not done that, I may not have pursued the path. I wasted money on unnecessary things - which I should not have.

> I need to find something with purpose,big money, and satisfaction.

Big money - Money can't make you happy. That is 100% true. But money can buy you freedom. Freedom can lead you on a path to satisfaction. Bottomline: Do worry about your finances, but don't get greedy.

> What shall I do?Chill, relax and explore (for a preplanned 6months/1year/2years). Your job is taking care of your finances. You may have worked too hard to find "now" as less harder. Such times don't last long. Don't push your brains to find a purpose for existence - its also depressing.

A famous quote says: The quieter you become, the more you can hear. The same stands true for your conscious mind

CodeWriter23 2 days ago 0 replies      
I've been driving for Lyft to cover cash flow gaps in between freelance gigs. Nothing like sitting on my ass in traffic having inane conversations with strangers many hours a day to increase my motivation.
sauronlord 2 days ago 2 replies      
What kind of helpless self pity is this crap?

"I wanted a leadership position at THEIR company..." (fixed that for you)

It's not YOUR company, but THEIRS.

Incorporate your own company (couple hundred bucks) and list yourself as "President" on your linkedin.

Put together a bullshit website about your consulting services.

Start acting like a leader in your own affairs.

Mind YOUR OWN business.


Money solves almost all problems. For the remaining issues time and good health covers everything. I challenge anyone to show a convincing argument to the contrary.

Better get to $300k/year asap and let the other chumps have their "leadership position"

johnfn 2 days ago 0 replies      
You could be mildly depressed. How is your sleep? How do you feel about other aspects of your life, like relationships?
mtw 2 days ago 0 replies      
I would look first in rest and recovery. Go on a sunny relaxing beach sornwhere. Cuba is a good destination since its cheap, different and has poor Internet connection. Rest for at lest 10 days.

Additionally also look in good sleep (a good 6/7 hours per day) and adequate exercise. Sometimes people do too much exercise or not enough, as well as good nutrition. If you are not sure what kind of nutrition you should follow, Mediterranean diet is a good bet.

Lack of social support is a third direction. You should have close friends and family. Invite them often at home for dinner, cook, what about an afternoon of board games. Whatever people say, humans thrive on social contact. A beer with a good friend is also good. Don't just overdo the alcohol.

The final step is the work. Like social support, lack of motivation can be found in lack of communication. Talk around and discuss what you are doing and why. Invite smart people in your professional contacts for coffee. Tell them about what you are doing, ask what are their problems and what interesting things they are doing. Do this 2 or three times per week. Soon you will see opportunities or motivation

Good luck !

FabHK 2 days ago 1 reply      
I suggesting looking at Cal Newport's So good they can't ignore you, and his blog.

The notion that you just need to find the right thing (passion/purpose) and then the big money and satisfaction (that you think you're entitled to) will roll in is misguided.

Exercising 4 days a week shows that there's sufficient motivation there.

At any rate, good luck!


dnautics 2 days ago 0 replies      
you're not motivated because you put a lot of effort into something and your brain had a huge expectation miss; in other words it trained itself that 'effort is pointless'. My suggestion is to do a lot of very small things (that you know will work) that ramp up small successes and retrain your brain to appreciate effort.

I'm currently going through what would probably tear many people apart - out of money (literally had no money last week since I sold the last of my bitcoin to stay afloat and it didn't hit my bank account quickly enough), applied to several jobs in SV, all turned down because "they're looking for someone more senior", tried to start a company, couldn't find funding, can't finish some biochemistry work that I've been doing because I can't pay for the equipment I need... The part time coding job I took on still hasn't paid me for january's work...

But I have a bunch of small projects that keep me going and while it is slightly harder to get up in the morning, I am still productive. (I just wrote a library that transpiles Julia into Verilog)

andy_ppp 2 days ago 0 replies      
I find everything in life to be full of cycles; I have my down times where I'm not feeling life and struggling to achieve the things I want and here is how I get out of this:

Will power is like a muscle, if you use it on some small things it makes you able to be more motivated in other areas. So for example getting up early and tidying your flat/room; going to bed at the right time; drinking less, stopping smoking, even doing 10 press ups. I always find I can build on that.

As for work I would build something cool that you always wanted; something for you. There are so many awesome ideas for something that I need or want it's almost distracting to think about. If you want something intellectually challenging try playing with Tensor Flow or Learning Elixir.

Maybe take on a website build project and build it in Elixir or some other language. When you realise how motivating doing things for yourself is, you might want to do it full time...

snarf21 2 days ago 0 replies      
First, you seem to have unrealistic expectations.

These things are usually a triangle in all jobs as they force competing goals.

Put labels on an isosceles triangle: Money, Purpose (work you can be proud of, changes the world) and Challenge (work that pushes you, is interesting or complex). Then decide were you would be the most happy. Lots of people leave high paying jobs to work on somewhere with purpose. Others work in a job that barely tolerate for the financial gain.

If you can't find anything that has the balance you want, then I'd suggest you temporarily choose a Money only focus and save as much as you can, then go start your own business so you can control the balance completely. You may find that your perspective changes quite a bit when you have to start making hard decisions.

tim333 2 days ago 0 replies      
>Work is just not challenging enough

I'm reminded of a story from Scott Adams

>A week after graduating college, I took my first flight in an airplane. I got in a conversation with a businessman in the seat next to me. He was CEO of a company that made aircraft screws. He told me that his career system involved a continuous search for a better job. No matter how much he liked his current job, he always interviewed for better ones. I assume he failed to get most of the jobs he interviewed for, but over time his system worked, and he became a CEO.

You could try that.


or see his book How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big)

golergka 2 days ago 0 replies      
First thing you should do when you find yourself in a hole is stop digging.

If you feel a loss of motivation, the worst thing you could do is feel guilty about it. Feel like you're somehow bad or inferior because everyone around you seems to have this drive to move forward and you don't.

It's completely OK to not feel particularly motivated. Your job is not your life; sometimes it's fine to just work 9 to 5 and put only the effort required, nothing extra. Spend your nice salary on things that you like. Excersize because you like it, not because you have to. Do something else with your time. Meet friends. Watch TV shows. Don't care about wasting your time, just enjoy wasting it.

And please, when you see the people with "TED speaker", "self-motivated", "energetic" image, take it with a grain of salt. This happens to everyone, it's OK.

thestepafter 2 days ago 1 reply      
Satisfaction isn't found in money. Focus on helping others and you will find true joy.
Broken_Hippo 1 day ago 0 replies      
"I need to find something with purpose, big money, and satisfaction".

You know, these are great concepts to work for, but make really crappy goals.

"Something with purpose" What sorts of things bring you purpose? Does it need to come from work or can work bring you the means to have purpose elsewhere?

"Big Money": Money only buys some happiness, and the biggest boost is simply getting enough money. What sorts of things can money get you that you don't have now - and how will those things improve your life? If you make decent money, are there ways you can stretch it further? Live in a modest home and so on? Will these things make up for any money you don't have?

"Satisfaction" - again, what brings this? Culture and work environment? Feeling needed? Is there a way to cultivate that where you are? Even more importantly, are there things you can do to make your next job fit this description?

Once you start answering questions like these and have clear, tangible goals it is easier to find the motivation to find them. In addition, I fully recommend making sure you have work-life balance. This includes hobbies and interests that aren't work-related. I also recommend speaking to the doctor once more to consider speaking to a mental health professional, since lack of motivation can be a sign of anxiety or depression.

silascb 23 hours ago 0 replies      
Find a job that you like, at a company whose values are in line with yours, and you'll find yourself feeling more fulfilled, challenged, and motivated to be something greater than what you were yesterday.

I used to change jobs about every 8 months to a year due to a lack of challenge I'd eventually find in every job I took on. I learned things very quickly, and as a result, found myself rather bored a few months in. I'd leave as soon as the lack of challenges and opportunities started to affect my happiness; I struggle with doing the same things every day for a long time. I can definitely do the same things every day, but I absolutely need additional tasks and duties beyond what's expected of me when I first arrive. It's the only thing that keeps me motivated - I need to be constantly learning and actively contributing to my company.

When I was 22, I found a non-profit I really loved with a mission I could really stand behind. The pay was crap, but after meeting everyone there, I decided that I could live a not-so-rich lifestyle if I meant that I could be happy on a daily basis doing work that I actually loved.

As time went on, my ability to learn fast opened up a lot of opportunities and after only two years I had exceeded my own salary expectations.

7 years later, I'm still at this job making more than I need to pay for my current lifestyle, and I'm the happiest I've been in my life.

Moral of the story is, find a job you love, a company that you can stand behind (essentially, your "work family) with a salary that can pay for your lifestyle you have now, not the lifestyle you want. Do this, and I honestly believe you will obtain the lifestyle you want through hard work and perseverance, made possible by happiness and motivation.

pipio21 2 days ago 0 replies      
You did not HAVE to accept anything unless you are not an adult.

You accepted good money. You chose it and pick your master(as the Bible says you can't have multiple masters). You want it all.

I chose the other thing, something that paid me way less than market value, but gave me total freedom and autonomy. Now I have it all but it started without money because the ability to take decisions was more important for me than money. Money comes when you make something so great you wont be able to do in a natural environment.

But you need to find this environment yourself. Technical Mentors, coaches, master minds. Now I can do things in a week that used to take me years because I know the people. A personal journey.

George Lucas (or Steve Jobs or Dyson) did the same with Starwars for example. It is easy when looking back and having success, but when you get bankrupt like George went for controlling the creative process it is not easy.

It was not easy for Dyson to be supported by his wife while iterating the vacuum cleaner.

You are not warrantied success but failure is warrantied. I chose my path because even if I had not made it, my life became an adventure worth it for me. Some people did pity me while doing it because they looked under their point of view but I was extremely happy.

We don't know you and even if we do you need to take a personal decision in your life and few people are prepared in life to give that kind of advice.

crispyambulance 2 days ago 0 replies      
It sounds like you're an early 20-something? If so, its perfectly normal to aimless and miserable in your 20's.

Perhaps try not to focus on yourself so much. I don't mean that in a bad way, I mean, if you spent some serious time helping others in meaningful and non-transactional ways, you'll feel better about your own situation.

Watch this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8CrOL-ydFMI

rubicon33 2 days ago 0 replies      
It sounds to me like the problem isn't that you lack motivation, it's that you lack anything to be motivated about.

Motivation tends to materialize in our soul in 2 ways:

1) We start something new, and interesting, that we've never seen or done before, and it excites us for a short period of time (days, weeks, even months) to pursue it. Eventually, the luster and novelty wears off, and we're left feeling a "lack of motivation".

2) NEED. True motivation, the kind that persists, comes from need. When you really need something, you'll find motivation. The problem is, from the sounds of it, you haven't convinced yourself that you truly need anything more than what you have.

Have you seen the movie Inception? Perhaps the biggest underlying narrative in that movie is that an idea can grow, and consume you, even change you. You need to form in your mind somehow, that things aren't good right now, and that you need to change for them to improve.

I could ramble on and give examples, but basically that's what I believe about motivation.

alexashka 2 days ago 0 replies      
One thing I don't see mentioned is human relationships.

Let me guess, you're not married and have no kids?

:) People who aren't good socially, oftentimes try to put all their eggs in one basket (I'm gonna be so good at my job, that it'll fix everything else).

Life doesn't work like that. The problem is not purpose/money. It's satisfaction - that's only going to come when you no longer feel like everyone else is dumb :)

They may not be as good at you at work-stuff - I bet they don't go posting on a forum asking for self-help advice though. So who's really winning?

Not you. You have high IQ, low EQ.

The only solution is to fix that EQ.

One more thing - if you get to manage people, you'll be terrible as you are currently. So really, if you work harder and achieve management, you'll realize your EQ sucks, if you don't achieve it and go and try to make some friends, you'll realize your EQ sucks.

Which's another way of saying life will fix your 'loss of motivation' one way or another :)

imh 2 days ago 0 replies      
You're asking the reverse of the question I'd be asking. Purpose, money, and satisfaction are so vague and general, you'll never find an answer from those premises alone. What do you care about? Music? Your family? Friends? The environment? Cooking? Poverty? Writing? Abstract mathematics? I hope at this point you have an idea of some things you enjoy or excite you, and you can work forwards from those. But with what you've given us, there's just not enough to work from. Aimlessly looking for purpose is kinda an oxymoron.

From the things you enjoy or excite you, start thinking about how to make that your day job. Or alternatively, start thinking about how to have a chill flexible day job that allows you to do those things more in your own time. Try things out that you already think are cool, and maybe something will stick. Then you can work towards that.

saganus 2 days ago 0 replies      
I know this is probably an obvious advice here on HN, but one of the things that I feel has given me sense of purpose (and in turn motivation thanks to that) was starting my own company.

Now, of course that might not be suitable for you right now for whatever reason, but it doesn't need to be a company for the suggestion to be valid; how about just putting yourself a challenge of making a game that's polished enough that you can share it here on HN for example, or to reach a certain number of downloads/users?

I believe that if you are ready to put on such big artificial challenge as you put it as getting into MIT/Stanford, then doing a baby-step shouldn't be that hard right? So why not start there and increase your motivation step by step?

My point is, if you have the skills and time (and motivation!) to start a challenge as hard (at least for me) as trying to get into a top-tier masters program, then you must surely have at least that much motivation to do something much smaller but with a higher chance of success and with much quicker results, which in turn should ideally motivate you more to keep going.

So to answer your question, how do you deal with loss of motivation? well, doing small things that add up seems to work wonders for me (and others as well I presume)

Just make a Tetris clone with a twist for example. After that, maybe add multiplayer to that same thing. And you can keep on going like that and at some point you are going to realize that this thing is now much bigger than you would have thought, and suddenly you have spent X amount of time on this project.... and I guess that's motivation.

(Also, it doesn't have to be a game obviously, but how about making some simple software to help one of your parents/family members/friends with something they might be struggling with? that could also be a source of motivation: helping others do things that might be very easily solvable with your skills)

aji 2 days ago 0 replies      
I'm certainly no expert in motivation, and can't give you advice on your specific goals, but I personally find that reframing long term goals into short term goals can be a big source of motivation. for example, don't focus on bench pressing your own weight, focus instead on getting to the gym 3x or 4x a week and working on your bench press. don't focus on finishing that personal project, focus instead on making a little progress on your personal project every day or every week. having long term goals is still valuable, but having short term goals to focus on can make it a lot easier to find motivation. it's easy to get demotivated on big goals, but if in a given day you meet every single one of your daily goals, then you've aced that day as far as your goals are concerned. and you'll ace the next day, and the next, etc.

having a job with big impact and big money is a sizable goal that you won't reach overnight. you might not even reach it in a year, or several years, who knows. it's a big goal that's easy to lose motivation on. but reframing it into daily goals, and focusing on taking one step at a time, could be a source of motivation. just my 2

d--b 2 days ago 0 replies      
I would get some vacation time, rest for a while, and think about what to do next. You don't have to be motivated 100% of the time in your life.
socrates1998 2 days ago 0 replies      
One of the hardest, hardest, hardest things in life is deciding what makes us happy.

People don't spend nearly enough time looking at themselves and really deeply trying to understand what they want out of life.

It's scary because you are supposed to "know" what you want.

Most people think it just shows up one day randomly.

No, it doesn't. You need to work as hard on yourself and your motivations as you do on everything else.

Read some books on motivation, do some meditating, start a project you are interested in, learn a new skill, learn a new sport, volunteer, read more books....just keep looking and looking until you figure it out.

Unfortunately, it can take a long time.

Part of it might be learning to be content and happy with what you have already.

Part of it might be your career.

Part of it might be your social/family life.

Whatever it is, you have to figure it out.

Taek 2 days ago 0 replies      
My motivation is derived from a massive discontent with my environment. Namely, a lack of digital privacy, a government that I feel has greatly overstepped its boundaries, the fact that I have signed over my life basically in full to Google (email, phone, search engine).

I don't know what would motivate me besides the idea that things could be a lot better than the way they are.

ebbv 2 days ago 0 replies      
With how unhappy you are in your job the lack of motivation is no mystery. You should find another job or found a startup or if you think it will be useful to what you want to do, sure get a degree.

I would caution though that usually when people say "Everyone here is stupid" it's usually not everyone else that's really the problem. This goes for my younger self as well.

kurosawa 2 days ago 0 replies      
Spend a good bit of time thinking about what the ideal way would be for you to spend 8+ hours a day (i.e. work), and how this would fit into your overall goals in life - beyond work/career.

Do this by testing out all of the above hypothesis, e.g. speak to people (through linkedin for example) that have done that MS from an ivy-league mid-career (or whenever): get lots of experience data to give weight to these potential next steps.

Ask lots of basic questions, why do you want money, what are you going to do with it. How much does reputation matter to you, and what does reputation mean.

From the little info above, it appears that good company, is something important: (a) people that are at your level (and you need to think about what that means exactly), (b) people with whom you want to do projects that make a difference (and again, what does this mean)

Could you have this out-with a work context?

theparanoid 2 days ago 0 replies      
If you get in to MIT/Stanford it'll be fun. I did a masters, when I had a dead-end job. It was exciting and opened doors.
swalsh 2 days ago 0 replies      
I was in a leadership position for several years before the company went under, and I took a position at a big .com. I understand the demotivation of going from a position of major decision making power, into a position with nearly none.

My coworkers won't "dumb" though, in fact at a minimum 3/4 of them were probably smarter than me. I spent a year learning what I could from them, but I didn't enjoy the job, and life felt too short to spend every evening dreading going into work the next morning. I decided to leave, and start my own company.

I'd lose the "I need big money, purpose and satisfaction", and just concentrate on 1 of the 3 (i'll give you a hint though... concentrating on big money will not solve your issue).

Gigablah 2 days ago 0 replies      
"Everyone here seems dumb and working on a few useless things."

You can start by working on your attitude.

Nosleep 2 days ago 0 replies      
This seems like to me (with little text) you need to build that fire back up.

If you are good at your job and they pay you well enough, just keep it. Keep doing well at your job. In your leisure time, start working on passion projects. Something that you have been thinking about for a long ago and/or understand well. If this passion project turns into something amazing that you can run-away with, profit from, and bring you more power to change, do it.

There are a million things to be motivate by. There are people with serious problems in the world, like dying from thirst.

Just find out what you what to achieve and find out if you are capable of doing it.

Watch the real news. Find out about how terrible things are. Ask yourself if there is any small thing that you can do.

digitalsin 2 days ago 0 replies      
Honestly with your viewpoint and attitude, you shouldn't yet be in a position to make life changing decisions at a company. It's not a bad thing, but I suspect you're young and eager but you're not really mature enough for the next step.

It will work out with time and experience. Patience is one of those things you gotta learn before you're ready for that next step.

If you're a developer, get involved in some open source projects and contribute. You'll find people better than you and you'll learn from that and hone your skills.

delbel 2 days ago 0 replies      
Its ok to feel unstatistifed some of the time, because it gives you the drive to be better or do better things with your time, and to find a way to challenge yourself to set higher goals. Its also ok to have loss of motivation some of the time, because it can make you more creative and let you step back and analyze different situations. But if you get stuck in a hole and need some advice, I'd say get rid of your comfort zone in life and take some risks and make life more exciting (for good or for worse) and just let things flow. Could be as easy as switching to cold showers, or selling everything and traveling in a van in the forest. That's why life is great, it's up to you!
Javascripterr 1 day ago 0 replies      
One of the best ways that work for me is to join Slack communities with fellow solopreneurs. It sort of replaces the in-person get together at shared offices
codingdave 2 days ago 0 replies      
> purpose,big money, and satisfaction.

Clearly, this is the heart of the matter. My recommendation is not to accomplish them all with the same thing. Big money is easiest to accomplish with a job, without worrying about purpose or satisfaction. But make sure it is one that leaves you enough hours outside of work to pursue your own interests, and that is where you fulfill your purpose. Get both of those done, and satisfaction should follow.

At the same time, keep your eye out for the dream job that does have everything. And if it ever does appear, chase it.

partycoder 2 days ago 0 replies      
People call it being burned out. Not every job is a fit or has to be a fit, just quit the job and keep looking.

Spend some time not only looking for good compensation but also balancing it with a good culture.

Startups are usually early technology adopters, and you may be giving more responsibility and autonomy than in a large company. You might enjoy it more there.

Most interviewers may ask you: "Do you have questions for me?". Ask them: "who are the most valued engineers in your company and why?"

If the most valued engineer is a warm body whose only purpose is to suggest places for lunch to their managers or some fake wine snob continue looking.

manibatra 2 days ago 0 replies      
The big difference that I have seen is after I started trying to work on things that made me happy. I have a list where I keep a track of things/thoughts/feelings that have really moved me, made me feel motivated and inspired and so on. There is also a list of all the things that have the opposite effect. I try and make sure that my short and long term plans are aligned with the positive stuff and at the same time eliminate the negatives. Going back to the list has been a constant source of motivation.
watwut 2 days ago 0 replies      
Consider it learning experience - for that leadership role you want. What it is that demotivated you, exactly? What you leaders could do to take better advantage of your skills and ambitions, to make you more productive and as result more happier? Is it just you being demotivated or other people too? How does it affects performance?

What will you do differently once you are leader to avoid similar demotivation of talent? Leadership is not just decision making, it is also dealing with issues like this. They won't tell you, so self awareness now will go long way later.

magiconair 2 days ago 0 replies      
If you have the luxury to pick your job then the most important thing IMO is that you find something which interests you since you will derive your motivation from that. Everything else is secondary.

If you're doing something that doesn't interest you then it doesn't matter how good the other benefits are since you constantly have to use energy to motivate yourself. Then you won't produce something you're proud of which helps neither you or the company.

buzzybee 2 days ago 0 replies      
Nothing happens if you don't make it happen. It's that simple, but this also means that you can't use the easy indicators for feedback. Everyone is waiting on the social approval, they got hired into a designed role that coddles and limits them, and so did you. That's why they and perhaps you look "dumb".

Go seek out a good conversation. About anything. What you should be doing now is finding ways to dream bigger.

jsemrau 2 days ago 0 replies      
I started a side project in 2013 to satisfy that constant urge to create. Year after year in part time growing the infrastructure, app ecosystem, and user base. Just completed launching a Twitter Event Recommendation Service Bot. The marketing and negotiation skills I learned in my side job helped me in my day job making me more successful in both.When I feel not motivated or tired, I play video-games specifically the Mass Effect series because it is Leadership training in a nutshell.
omarchowdhury 2 days ago 0 replies      
We have to assess what drives our motivation. There could be many factors. Forgetting those factors, may lead to a loss of motivation. Rekindling motivation is just remembering those factors, and then refining our action based on the present situation. Since you say you lost your motivation, that would imply you had possession of it before. But now you're trying to grasp for the previous motivation, when you just have generate it, anew.
clouddrover 2 days ago 0 replies      
> I wanted a leadership position at my company, but I was hired for a position that has no decision making power at all.

If you were hired then I'd say it isn't your company. A way forward may be to start your own company. Build your own enterprise instead of someone else's.

> Everyone here seems dumb and working on a few useless things.

I don't think that attitude shows leadership potential.

HortYuoh 2 days ago 0 replies      
Get married and have childern. Raising children makes you think of more important issues than big money. You people in CA have really lost it.
wickedlogic 2 days ago 0 replies      
Find people who are passionate about things you are not, then help them succeed in their startup/idea/community. Do it many people at a time. Perhaps one of those people will have a project you can accelerate, and that passion/interest will rub off... or inspire you on another topic.
always_learning 2 days ago 0 replies      
I'd advise you do some more charity work outside your normal job. That met give you lots of fulfillment. Spent your time outside work wisely. Like go to the gym, excercise, sport, eat healthily and hang out with people. That'll give you more fulfilment.

We can't get everything in life. Your idea of the "perfect job" is unrealistic.

uweschmitt 2 days ago 0 replies      
My order of priorities: satisfaction, purpose (both are tightly connected) and finally enough money to make a living (see https://80000hours.org/articles/money-and-happiness/).
JofArnold 2 days ago 0 replies      
> no decision making power at all.

From my personal experience, that's the thing that really drains me most and I gather it's a well-known cause of stress (i.e. lack of autonomy). Might be an area you want to reflect on more. I've quit a company in the past for this reason.

pier25 2 days ago 0 replies      
> I need to find something with purpose,big money, and satisfaction.

Do you?

If you did, you'd be motivated about that. But you aren't.

The problem is not really finding something outside, but changing something in yourself. It sounds like you think motivation comes from the outside.

nyxtom 2 days ago 0 replies      
Read more books, take a few days off and go on an actual vacation away from the computer.
jennytodavchych 2 days ago 0 replies      
Perfect is when your satisfaction come after done your goal! I mean, when you have your goals, you have motivation to done them and after you have satisfaction. By this plan you can become in leader. I hope you understood what I was trying to say)))))
mirekrusin 2 days ago 0 replies      
You can try to do your job 10x faster, this will get you recognised and promoted in no time.
JJseiko 2 days ago 0 replies      
One of the most thoughtful things I've read on the topic of work satisfaction. I may actually help: https://sivers.org/balance
chrisian 2 days ago 0 replies      
Finally finally finally, when you do expire, whatever you have done in your lifetime is what you have traded your life for. The cost of a big dream, small dream and no dream is the same cost. The sum of your entire life. Dream big.
franze 2 days ago 0 replies      
a) >Everyone here seems dumb and working on a few useless things.

Read: Barry Oshry - Seeing Systemshttps://www.goodreads.com/book/show/1241559.Seeing_Systems

b) >I was hired for a position that has no decision making power at all.Power isn't given, power is taken. Trust is earned. Leadership = Power * Trust

but if a) is your current view, you can forget b) especially the trust part.if a) is true, then change the company, best start your own.

m3kw9 2 days ago 0 replies      
If you can find someone to look up to and try to get to their level, that may be one motivation. Also think of somethings you want to change in this world and work towards it.
mrmrcoleman 2 days ago 0 replies      
Sounds tricky. I would recommended you look into Stoicism: Epictetus, Seneca, Marcus Aurelius, Boethius, etc.

I'm not saying you shouldn't keep seeking something, but the aforementioned might help you to decouple your happiness from it.

dodysw 2 days ago 0 replies      
Paddle harder. Motivation is like wave/wind on the sea. Easier to get around with it, but we still have to move on with life even without it, even if it's harder, slower, or more painful.
bsvalley 2 days ago 0 replies      
Do you think college is challenging? I think your current situation is challenging. So I'd say - go ahead and tackle the crap out of it. Work on a solution to pull yourself out.
joyeuse6701 2 days ago 0 replies      
Read four hour work week by Tim Ferris, I found the questions he asks in the book helped regain some motivation and excitement in life.
hunvreus 2 days ago 0 replies      
You will rarely get all things on your wish list. More often than not, you'll get one and work your way up on the others.

The way I've dealt with burnouts and demotivation has been to identify the actual root cause and then take a decision;

- Option 1; leave it be (and maybe whine about it).

- Option 2; give up & move on to something else.

- Option 3; bite the bullet and work my way out of it.

9 times out of 10, I pick option 3.

As an example, I've been dealing with business development for a while, but I'm naturally more interested in product development and R&D.

I got stuck on option 1 for a while and tried a couple time (unsuccessfully) to go for option 2.

And for the past 6 months I've been working on option 3.

It's not glamorous and it requires a good deal of patience, but the opportunity to get to a place where I can automate/document/delegate myself out of it has kept me motivated enough.

I'm writing a business playbook [1], created a few sales decks and refined techniques on clients and colleagues to the point that I can train others. I have automated, documented and understood enough [2] that I can finally bring in a BD person and hand over my responsibilities.

I recommend you have a hard look at what really makes you unhappy and list your options.

From the limited understanding of your current situation, I'd say;

- Deal with it. You stay where you are and find a way to be ok with not being passionate about your job.

- Give up. Find another occupation, either now or after a while once you acquired new skills.

- Work your way out of it. Find a way to change your role at your company. Maybe you can automate, document and delegate. Maybe you can make yourself valuable enough to another team to force a promotion or re-assignment.

Additionally, I don't think I would recommend you to go back to school. I'm a lot more likely to trust and respect somebody who went on to learn new things on their own, especially considering you can virtually learn anything online these days.

[1]: http://playbook.wiredcraft.com/business/

[2]: http://playbook.wiredcraft.com/article/tools-methodologies-p...

exabrial 2 days ago 0 replies      
Start playing music. (This is not a snarky comment, try it)
4n0n73u2 2 days ago 0 replies      
Leave the tunnel. Go hiking. Get married & make some children. Do anything that accounts to your satisfaction. Then, go back to work.
ak39 2 days ago 0 replies      
Talk to your superior and ask for projects you believe are challenging, will benefit the company and allow you to use your creative skills.

Talk to your boss.

joeguilmette 2 days ago 1 reply      
I take some time off and go scuba diving.
deepnotderp 2 days ago 0 replies      
L-carnitine for "sourceless" depression

Otherwise you need to rethink your career choices. Good luck man!

franze 2 days ago 0 replies      
in upper case letters: GO ON A LONG VACATION with as least planning as possible i.e. trip through south america, asia .... if you have family, take them with you!

gives you a new perspective, and perspective creates motivation

kilburn 2 days ago 0 replies      
> I wanted a leadership position at my company, but I was hired for a position that has no decision making power at all. Everyone here seems dumb and working on a few useless things.

This sentence alone signals that you are not ready to be a leader. Contrary to what you probably think right now, being a leader sucks in many ways:

- You should be empowering to those around you. This starts by being constructive instead of judgemental. Find out what are their strengths and weaknesses, and tell them how you think they can improve instead of poking at their weak spots. You should strive to always keep this attitude, even when under pressure and/or during bad personal times.

- You must be a good listener. Try to understand your team member's motivations and desires, and how they think/react to what's coming to them. Be prepared to accept that other people's thought processes are very different from yours, and your job is to understand them instead of trying to change them. Even if you possessed the absolute truth about everything, trying to shoehorn that truth into their minds wouldn't work. They need to see that truth by themselves, so you can only try to steer them towards finding it. In some cases the way to do that is by providing arguments. Other times arguments won't do it and you must show them. Later on, once you're actually seen by them as a leader you'll be able to appeal to trust. Don't overuse that though because you are not perfect and will make mistakes, which will erode your trust if you used that to impose your opinion onto others.

- You should be prepared to deal with the worse bullshit that's thrown to your team. You don't need to deal with all bullshit, but your team should be confident that you'll be first in line if/when shit hits the fan, and that you'll do your best to cover them.

- You should lower your expectations about others. You must demand the highest standards from yourself, but not from others. Do what you can to help them improve instead.

- Don't overreact when you get stabbed in the back (which will happen at some point). Attribute any bad situation to ignorance/stupidity before malice. Always try speaking with people first, and over time you'll develop a "sense" to discern bad actors from misunderstandings. In any case, being stabbed is an opportunity to improve that "sense", and is always a better situation than initiating work-warfare against a person who acted in good faith.

In case you haven't noticed, you don't need any "leadership position" to put all that to practice. You can start doing it right now, and I assure you that leadership will follow naturally. People will start turning to you when they need help. People will start wanting and valuing your opinion much more. This will make you feel important and purposeful, but it will also be stressful and demanding. Be up to the task and the pay will follow.

agjacobson 2 days ago 0 replies      
Management Summary

"I need to find something with purpose,big money, and satisfaction"

Hold yoga poses long.Take strong patent medicine herbs.Knitting.Volunteering at an animal shelter.Cold showers.Realistic goals on the bench press.Scuba diving.

The answer has become clear.

Go for the money.

bert2002 2 days ago 0 replies      
Fix and unfixable problem and get it done right.
tudorw 2 days ago 0 replies      
Monopoly, 2 out of 3 ain't bad...
z3t4 2 days ago 0 replies      
go out into the woods. live off the nature a few days. makes you apreciate a warm bed modern conforts
kfrzcode 2 days ago 0 replies      
Double down and grind.
firewalkwithme 2 days ago 0 replies      
I want to quit
mbarronj 2 days ago 0 replies      
I found a huge improvement in my life by changing how I thought about conversations. I'm in a position (and have been in the past) where I _could_ make large decisions by fiat. But I don't. I discuss them with stakeholders.

In those discussions, I _could_ tell everybody my opinion, and tell them to take it or leave it. That works about as well as it sounds like it does.

I have in the past tried to convince people of my argument, with evidence, rhetoric, emotional pleas, what have you. Those work to various extents, but not as good as I might want. I'm no rhetorician.

Recently, I had an epiphany. The way it came about largely mirrors the idea itself - I had a discussion _about_ discussions (or perhaps, debates). And with a colleague I discovered that my usual victory condition (winning someone over to my side of an argument) was the wrong victory condition. There's a backstory there, but I won't get into it.

What I discovered instead was that I should focus on making sure the most information and understanding was on the table, out in the open.

My victory condition changed from winning the argument, to making sure that I and everyone else involved knew all of the things possible to be known about it.

In the process, I typically find that my original opinion was flawed, the opposing opinion was flawed, and we overlooked lots of opportunities.

You might think that it's easy to get to this condition with brainstorming techniques or something of that nature. But It's not so simple - there are widely known shortcomings to simple brainstorming, and most of the workarounds involve systems to do exactly what I'm talking about on a larger group scale, without everybody knowing it.

What I've found is that I can foster that environment with my own conversation. And that people will reciprocate if its done well, with the viewpoint of the other person(s) in mind. Read "The Entrepreneurial Engineer" for more on that subject.

Why am I telling you this when you are asking what to do about finding purpose, money, satisfaction, and decision making power?

Because none of those things are given away. They are built up of actions you take that affect your world. And you need to definitely start with the smallest of actions. If your coworkers are "dumb" and doing "useless" things - it sounds like there are tremendous opportunities to either A) learn why they aren't dumb or useless (they are after all making "good money"). or B) change things to being less dumb and useless.

But I read another point in your post. Motivation.

Motivation is a tricky one. I probably know and have tried all the things any book or website would tell you about motivation and productivity, because i'm the least motivated or productive person you will ever meet (or at least, I used to feel that way).

I learned something else really important recently. Actually, I re-learned it, it was something I knew in High School, that got me through college, but the lesson kinda disappeared somehow, got sunk.

I get depressed so much more easily than I think I do.

I suffer from constant low grade depression. Perhaps Dysthymia is the right word? Anyway, depression isn't sadness (you can find many places telling you this on the web). Depression is that hollowed out non-feeling. Nothing really jabs the "go" button.

I did two things that dramatically affected my depression, and I will suggest them to you. You may have different composition, and could easily need something different. Talk to a professional (I always highly recommend therapy, and psychiatric if needed).

I stopped drinking alcohol completely (BIG effect) and I started taking 5htp, which is a mild anti-depressant and also non-prescription, so easy to get ahold of, and it steadies things out.

Anyway, I've noticed a huge improvement in my motivation and productivity right away. The old 4.0 engineering student returned, if you will.

So, perhaps really you are putting the cart before the horse here, and need to look inside rather than for external satisfaction of these higher-order needs? Worst case scenario, you will be better prepared to achieve your self-actualization. Which, I have to say, I am in NO position to guess at what it's nature might end up being.

yarou 2 days ago 0 replies      
Substituted phenethylamines for motivation.
Ask HN: Did you pay Marc Andreessen for advice and was it worth it?
107 points by wocg  1 day ago   72 comments top 18
anton_tarasenko 1 day ago 2 replies      
Previous thread (featuring Ben Horowitz on 21.co): https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=13485488

Two takeaways:

1. A response looks like this: https://monosnap.com/file/CbRNrj7TUUhaLolVTLYJhrPxUdsYOK

2. A16Z invested in 21.co when it still was a Bitcoin mining hardware startup: https://techcrunch.com/2015/05/18/what-is-21-co-really-doing...

EternalData 1 day ago 1 reply      
I think it's just a really interesting way to gate a contact form and get people to think twice about sending off an email. Lots of people have thought about how to avoid spam: finding a way to have to pay to get into an inbox might just be the ticket.
gravypod 1 day ago 8 replies      
I find it interesting that you can write RMS, the leader of the Free Software movement, and he'll respond to you within the day for no charge because he think's that's a morally important thing to do. You can in contrast write Marc Andreessen, one of the figure heads of the propriatary software and privacy violating movement of every bigger information companies, and he'll charge you for the pleasure.

Interesting dichotomy, at least to me.

saosebastiao 1 day ago 2 replies      
What are you asking his advice for?

I'm not a VC industry insider, but I've spent enough time in the industry as a peon analyst to see the industry for what it is. I've written before about how nearly all VC partners are ridiculously conservative bandwagoners (they only invest if someone else invests), with the sole (to my knowledge) exception being Marc Andreessen. There might be other exceptions out there, but the thing I always admired about him is his ability to fully commit to a business without any social proof. And I believe that this attribute is what makes him successful. If you are taking his advice on whether to invest in something, it's probably worth the $100.

Never worked with him personally, but I'm sure his business advice is gonna be pretty sound even if I don't know how it rates relative to other VCs. But I think the real point is that it is important to know what you're asking him about before anybody can tell you if it is a good idea. You wouldn't ask him about plumbing, right?

gwern 1 day ago 0 replies      
No one's mentioned getting a response so far, but I'm intrigued enough to give it a try. I've sent in a question about genetic engineering.

Some notes about the process:

1. 21.co's signup form mandates an image, but the tool they use for file uploads breaks on PNGs (!) silently without any visible warning to the user (!!), you can click on the 'save' button many times with nothing happening and without any kind of error or warning in the web console (!!!), in both Firefox and Chromium with Noscript & Adblock disabled. Apparently even using an entire specialized file upload service, the second-most common image format in existence is just too exotic and confusing to support.

2. you have to confirm by email before you can do anything, which adds on another 10-15m to the process (amusingly, they spam you on signup to set up a public paid inbox - and that email arrived first, but you can't do anything unconfirmed)

3. it's not $100, it's actually $110, because 21co tacks on a $10 'service fee' (even though it's for charity). It's unclear if I have to pay this $10 regardless of whether Andreessen ever responds. I hope not. In any case this strikes me as a huge fee for such a trivial service, and I really hope it's a 10% fee rather than a fixed $10 fee...

4. the site is surprisingly slow despite being so barebones

5. browsing the interface, despite the prominence of Bitcoin, I'm not clear whether I am even allowed to deposit Bitcoin and pay that way; in any case I opted to use a credit card because the profile image bug wasted so much of my time and I was losing my patience. The cash out page indicates that should I ever earn anything via 21.co, I would need to jump through even more hoops, presumably even if I only wanted Bitcoin and not bank deposits or anything. I thought briefly about setting up a paid inbox because it's a fun concept but between a 10% (or worse) fee and all this invasiveness, I'm not interested.

6. signup form doesn't work with Lastpass, which failed to capture the username/password; always annoying to manually copy over generated passwords.

So, I'm not impressed but we'll see how it works out...

On a side note, how do people regard the expectation of privacy with these public inbox emails? I see someone has screenshotted a Horowitz response; are these responses considered 'commissioned' in a sense, rather than private emails with an expectation of privacy/confidentiality, and so it's OK to copy-paste any response publicly on HN or elsewhere?

lorenzop 1 day ago 1 reply      
whatever you want to ask him: I'll answer it for $1
amenod 1 day ago 0 replies      
It seems to me this is just an advanced (and probably very efficient) quasi-captcha. Except it distinguishes those with a real need for his attention (that is, those who are willing and able to pay) from the others, instead of separating humans from bots.
josh_carterPDX 1 day ago 0 replies      
I made a donation, asked no questions, and thanked him for doing something different.

Good, bad, or indifferent I like the way Marc approached this given the amount of people clamoring to get access to him.

sixQuarks 1 day ago 1 reply      
I like this service, but where can I see a full list of people I can pay to contact? I tried finding a link on the site, but couldn't.
jph 1 day ago 2 replies      
Yes. I paid $100 because I want to encourage volunteering.

> To Marc Andreessen. From Joel Parker Henderson. Hi Marc, what are some of your favorite charity causes that could benefit from pro bono coding help? I work at [X] and we have many programmers who volunteer for social progressive causes; we love coding and we love to help. Thank you, Joel

bsvalley 1 day ago 2 replies      
Yeah and here is my question - how much of your own money did you give to this meaningful cause?
hrayr 1 day ago 1 reply      
He's making a tradeoff here. This is an ingenious way to filter the 'massive' noise-to-signal ratio on his inbox, but at the same time it makes some of the random but legitimate questions go away.
rgovind 1 day ago 0 replies      
I believe Quora and Facebook tried it in various forms though there you could reach out just about anybody. I assume 21.co will do same thing going forward.
jplasmeier 1 day ago 1 reply      
Someone should spend the money to ask him if he thinks the service is worth it, or if he would have used a similar service at any point in his career.
imode 1 day ago 1 reply      
shouldn't this be marked with "Ask HN:"?
kapauldo 20 hours ago 0 replies      
What advice could he have to offer? This is really stupid self aggrandizement. Get over yourself Marc.
artur_makly 1 day ago 0 replies      
maybe they are just testing their latest ai bot?
hashset 1 day ago 2 replies      
> "Was it worth it?"

The proceeds go to programs promoting underrepresented genders and ethnicities in tech, I'd say that yes it is quite "worth it".

Ask HN: Can I email people who use my app?
5 points by alacs543  1 day ago   9 comments top 4
saluki 1 day ago 0 replies      
When I sign up for an use an app I expect they will/could email me about the app.

If they were interested before, they would probably like to hear about new features and a free trial.

If you don't have a lot of users now, just add a reply with stop if you would not like to receive emails from us. Track these manually till you come up with an opt out email system.

Good luck converting some of the early signups to your app.

tradersam 1 day ago 1 reply      
Unless you had an options for your users to opt out of that kind of email, specifically telling you not to email them, giving an email address for a service assumes the service could email you for reasons pertaining to the product/service.
11thEarlOfMar 1 day ago 0 replies      
E-mail them. I've been e-mailed by an app developer in a similar situation. I used the app and he was not sure he could keep supporting it and wanted to know if his users would be willing to pay him. It was not an issue for me as it was a legitimate, app-related communication.
tnorthcutt 1 day ago 1 reply      
Email them
Ask HN: Freelancers,What are your biggest painpoints?
21 points by PrakashBhatta  1 day ago   10 comments top 5
jstewartmobile 1 day ago 0 replies      
Interruptions from calls, administrative overhead, self-employment tax, and health insurance costs.

If at all possible, bill out jobs instead of hours. If you absolutely have to bill per-unit-time, choose as large a unit as you can get away with. Per-hour may work for attorneys, but when you have to watch the clock on every little thing as a developer, everyone loses.

Unless you are old, do whatever you can do to minimize self-employment tax. It's currently over 15%, and it's for a retirement system most of us will never get a dime out of.

If you have trustworthy people you can lean on for things like advertising, accounting, sales, etc., hold on to them for dear life and pay them fairly. The more you are able to double-down on your strengths, the better.

sheraz 1 day ago 2 replies      
Keeping the pipeline full for when projects end or go on hiatus.

The dumbest mistake I've made has been this.

That slack time in between paying gigs can really kill financial momentum. Also, If I'm idle for more than two weeks that wastes not only money but also mental bandwidth. I go from thinking about work to thinking about how to get work, and that is stressful.

Always be networking. Always take meetings even if you are fully booked. Stay visible.

BjoernKW 1 day ago 1 reply      
About a year ago I conducted a small-scale survey on how freelancers approach marketing and sales and what their biggest problems in these areas (and in general) are:


wayn3 1 day ago 0 replies      
Getting access to jobs that are remote and do not require me to do any kind of UI nonsense. The cross section here can be fickle.
philippz 1 day ago 0 replies      
Germany here - bureaucracy.
Ask HN: What's a favorite short story of yours?
17 points by RKoutnik  2 days ago   19 comments top 18
alashley 2 hours ago 0 replies      
I like Who Moved my Cheese - Dr. Spencer Johnson


DrScump 1 day ago 1 reply      
Robert Arthur - "The Marvelous Stamps of El Dorado"

Frederick Forsyth - "The Shepherd"[0]

[0] A great live reading from Al Maitland (aired nationwide across Canada on CBC every Christmas):


willstepp 1 day ago 0 replies      
The Swimmer by John Cheever and The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas by Ursula LaGuin are my favorite short stories. So much depth and feeling packed into such tiny packages!
jelliclesfarm 15 hours ago 0 replies      
It's Monday but if I have think of a non sci-fi short story for a lovely Sunday, it will have to be anything from Eggs, Beans and Crumpets by P.G.Wodehouse for me.
blairbeckwith 1 day ago 0 replies      
"They're Made Out Of Meat" by Terry Bisson: http://www.terrybisson.com/page6/page6.html

"Scroogled" by Cory Doctorow: http://www.crimeflare.com/doctorow.html

StClaire 2 days ago 0 replies      
I like Salman Rushdie's "East-West," "9 June 2015 about people who never die from Alan Lightmans Einstein's Dreams, if you like ghost stories I recommend JS Le Fanu's "An Account of Some Strange Disturbances in Aungier Street."
JSeymourATL 1 day ago 0 replies      
The Complete Short Stories by Ernest Hemingway >http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/4625.The_Complete_Short_S...
andrei_says_ 1 day ago 0 replies      
Eight O'clock in the Morning by Ray Nelson which was the basis for the movie They Live.

Read it here: http://www.whale.to/b/eight_o.html

The Egg by Andy Weirhttp://www.galactanet.com/oneoff/theegg_mod.html

bottlerocket 1 day ago 0 replies      
mod 23 hours ago 0 replies      
saluki 1 day ago 0 replies      
Zen Shorts is one of my favoriteshttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zen_Shorts
tjalfi 2 days ago 0 replies      
bradcomp 1 day ago 0 replies      
I really like Different Kinds of Darkness by David Langford. http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/fiction/different-kinds-of...
wazanator 1 day ago 0 replies      
The Burning Chrome collection by William Gibson is always worth a read.


pcmaffey 15 hours ago 0 replies      

All of them.

But one of my favorites: A Biography of Tadeo Isidoro Cruz (1829-1874)

romanhn 1 day ago 0 replies      
The Last Question by Isaac Asimov is a classic one - http://multivax.com/last_question.html
gbarnes 1 day ago 0 replies      
The Euphio Question by Vonnegut is quite fun.
Ask HN: I quit my job. Need advice
22 points by rajeshmr  2 days ago   30 comments top 11
mindcrime 2 days ago 4 replies      
My advice (which I'm sure some others will disagree with) is this:

Don't look to your job for any kind of fulfillment or satisfaction, unless your job is your own company and you're doing something you're passionate about. Otherwise, be a complete mercenary and treat your job as nothing more than a way to keep the rent paid, the lights on, and food on the table. Then find ways to achieve fulfillment or whatever it is you're looking for, outside of work.

Maybe that means volunteering at a soup kitchen, maybe it means working on a startup as a side project, or maybe it means playing video games every hour you're not at work. Whatever, it's up to you. The point is, take control of finding whatever meaning it is you want to find in life, and don't let it be all commingled with your job.

Ultimately you may decide you don't even want a "normal job" at all. Maybe you will decide to freelance. Maybe you're meant to be an entrepreneur and run some kind of business, or possibly multiple businesses. Maybe you want to go all Tim Ferris "four hour work week" and move to Thailand or something. One thing that will help you maintain maximum flexibility is to avoid things like a mortgage payment, car payment, etc. If you already have those things then you'll have to deal with them, but if you don't, consider not buying a new car, or a house, etc. until you have things figured out. It'll be easier to up and move, or make other dramatic changes without those encumbrances.

Some people will say to choose startups over a big MNC, but I find that startups can be worse in many ways (again, unless it's your own startup). Work hours may be more demanding, there may be more stress, etc... OTOH, if you accept my position about being very mercenary towards work, you can often find a boring position at a stodgy large company, where you can "punch the clock" for pretty much exactly 40 hours a week, do relatively boring / undemanding work, get paid a decent salary, and - most importantly - reserve as much of your energy (mental, psychic, spiritual, or whatever you want to call it) for your own initiatives outside of work.

jason_slack 1 day ago 1 reply      
About 7 years ago, I had a technology job that was sucking the life out of me. I started to push back and they fired me. This was good because I could get unemployment.

I spent 6 months on unemployment looking for jobs that I would care about and something that would let me lead a less stressful life.

After the unemployment ran out I started working at a Starbucks.

This was a life saver.

It was fast paced. They were always changing some process. It taught me to be flexible and roll with whatever. I got to talk with customers everyday. I could be making coffee and look down the whole line of people, out the door, and know each and every drink to make. I worked hard, but it was fun.

A customer that I would see daily offered me a job after a year at Starbucks. I still have this job. It has allowed me to move to a happier state where I live on a lake and life isn't so faced paced.

dbrunton 1 day ago 1 reply      
Do something completely different, and start immediately. Maybe it's working in a coffee shop, maybe it's laboring on a farm, maybe it's teaching a pottery class or bagging groceries. But it's something that provides some amount of income, and it provides you a needed break from development.

I promise you'll think more clearly about it once you've done this. Don't plan your next step after this second one (the first being, y'know, quitting). After step two, step three will come to you.

fooledrand 12 hours ago 1 reply      
Won't you be serving notice period for 2 months?For the satisfaction you are looking for, it will come from deep knowledge of a specific topic.If you are say interested in Data Analytics look for companies in data analytics, read their job description and skill set they require.Approach them (works best if you know someone to refer you) demonstrate the skills you have through some project. The project need not be perfect but should reflect the maturity of its age.
taway_1212 2 days ago 2 replies      
I agree about your assesment of programming jobs. We are mostly replaceable cogs and means to an end. We're only getting paid so much because this job is so unpleasant and most people would rather make 2-3x less than learn to program and spend most of their life sitting in front of a screen going through code bases.

My personal answer to that was to start learning to draw. Getting from zero art skills to professional artist is a super-long journey (at least 5-10 years from what I'm reading), but at least it gives me hope.

JSeymourATL 1 day ago 1 reply      
> any guidance on how to design my career and work life...

You might find of interest this recent book on Designing Your Life by two Stanford professors-

Here's a podcast interview with the authors, to give you a flavor of what it's about > http://thedianerehmshow.org/shows/2016-10-03/using-design-th...

Also, NY Times review > https://www.nytimes.com/2016/09/18/fashion/design-thinking-s...

And - Goodreads reviews here > http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/26046333-designing-your-l...

alando46 2 days ago 1 reply      
Hey great job and congratulations on making the leap! Sometimes it can be hard and scary to know what the right path is, but usually the first step is making a change to get off of the wrong path. Step 1 complete!

I'd consider taking a short break from programming if I were you. Why not get a temporary job as a river guide or something outdoors? Maybe go on a long backpacking trip or do some other kind of adventure. After getting crushed by years of corporate culture, I'm sure your soul could use a little fun and adventure to reinvigorate and recharge itself! In my experience, (I'm a software engineer engineer) the perspective gained from taking a temporary break and trying something completely different (that maybe puts you a little out of your comfort zone) can drastically improve overall confidence/happiness/wellbeing much more than any minor resume addition. Take a moment to emotionally regroup before you charge back into career life!

Seek adventure!

rajeshmr 1 day ago 0 replies      
Thanks to all of you for taking your time off to advice. I really appreciate it. I hope things would turn out to be ok.

Please keep in touch.

everybodyknows 1 day ago 2 replies      
Python is a great language, but three months isn't much time to become proficient and find work. You'll need to hit it hard. One way to build your resume would be to find a Python-based project on github, and submit a bug fix. Good luck!
sharemywin 2 days ago 1 reply      
get into some online class now that you have the time.

start putting your resume out as soon as you can. start finding a away to cut expenses and build more runway next time.

maybe look into something closer and/or a startup which is more fires and chaos at 75% of the pay but has an easier line of sight to "changing the world"

ak39 13 hours ago 1 reply      
Job and other tips I learned the hard way (still making some mistakes):

Rule #1: Negotiate from a position of strength.

Fact #1: We tend to negotiate badly when we are desperate. Human nature.

Fact #2: Desperation is a state of mind. You can really be in dire circumstances but keep a calm mind. This can be learned. I know stoic folks who are cool as ice when negotiating at the precipice of existence! Super men! (This is where I fail many times.)

Fact #3: (Certainly my experience) When we quit one job summarily without alternative options already lined up, we are likely to create a desperate mindset. It creeps into our attitude and plants the seeds for exploitation. Avoid this as a rule no matter how shitty things get. Plan B first, then quit.

My advice to you is find another job but don't expect it to be better. Plan your Plan B while there.

Best of luck, bro/sis. Employers can be ruthless sometimes.

I would take some time during the next job seeking stage to do stuff I like. Travel? Perspective comes with distance.

Ask HN: How microservices works?
9 points by CCing  2 days ago   10 comments top 8
imauld 13 hours ago 0 replies      
Very good read that gives a pretty high level description of services:


rgovind 1 day ago 0 replies      
Lets say you have an ecommerce firm. When a user is browsing an item(diapers?), at a mimimum he/she expects to see images, description, reviews, cost, tax, delivery dates, promotions, related items. In addition to what you see on frontend, in the backend, there may be jobs run for analytics, revenue reconciliation, warehouse management optimization, carrier management, fraud checks, item data setup and a host of other activities. Each of these tasks has its own complex business logic and typically has its own team. Each team runs a service, possibly in the form of a REST API call. You can call them microservices.
brudgers 1 day ago 0 replies      
There are two related questions:

1. What is a micro-service?

2. How is a micro-service architecture implemented?

The first is subject to some debate, and it's not a debate I'm particularly interested in so I'll leave it as an exercise.

Micro-service architectures are generally implemented in two ways: push and pull. A collection of REST API's will tend to produce a push architecture of explicit requests and responses. A log to which all requests and responses are written with each individual service responsible for finding applicable messages is a way of implementing a pull architecture. Queues can play a role in either but are at an implementation detail at a lower level of abstraction.

Chat bots [1] can be seen as an example of a pull architecture with a log. Bots scan the continuous stream of messages and ignore what does not apply and act upon what does apply, typically they return results to the message stream. A chat bot might have a queue to manage requests and responses (input/output) or not, but that's an implementation detail not a high level architectural one at the level of a chat system.

A chat system will tend to grow by adding more bots rather than expanding existing bots and each bot will tend to have little or no knowledge of other bots. Each bot will be independent: one will run Jenkins another will make coffee.

The big point is that services are a way of organizing a system architecture and micro-services are one granularity at which the system may be decomposed. It's probably arguable that what constitutes a micro-service versus a service is relative to the size of the overall system. In practice, what is and isn't a micro-service has some correlation to the practicality of delegating responsibility to a team <= two pizzas.


[1]: A chat bot might be an example of something that is small enough to be 'micro'-- or deci, nano, atto, yocto etc. -- (or not).

z3t4 1 day ago 0 replies      
Here's a good talk that, while it mentions how Amazon use micro-services, it's very broad, and will probably leave you with more questions then answers:https://youtu.be/6K4ljFZWgW8?list=LL9RQYUX_WIjk8SAcyuarJEw(The Future of Software Engineering Mary Poppendieck)
dozzie 2 days ago 1 reply      
> how [microservices] comunicate between different apps/languages ? they use rest api or is better use something like zeromq/rabbitmq ?

Everything you mentioned, and then several other mechanisms. Whatever happensto be fashionable where they are being implemented.

> Sorry to post this here, but honestly I often hear about microservices but I don't really understand what they are.

A bunch of small applications running separately that talk to each other usingdifferent protocols (sometimes one of the RPC protocols, sometimes raw HTTPthat is today called REST, sometimes ZeroMQ or AMQP or some other ESB). Theidea has little more in it than this, though operationally there are stillsome things to figure out.

ceracm 1 day ago 0 replies      
Take a look at http://learnmicroservices.ioThat has links to numerous resources including some introductory articles.
z3t4 2 days ago 0 replies      
for example. a calculator as a service. where users can add substrct divide and multply. devision turns out to be most in demand and is thus turned into its own service with separare hardware and team.
z3t4 2 days ago 0 replies      
they can be compleatly isolated. and are often used as a scale out strategy. or an optimization where a botleneck is taken out from a monolith so it can scale independenly.
Ask HN: How do you follow new comments on a post?
3 points by tarr11  1 day ago   2 comments top 2
bsvalley 1 day ago 0 replies      
If you posted a message in the post, click on "threads". It shows all your messages. You can click on the title of the post in your message headline and it'll take you to the post.

If you haven't participated in the discussion then it's harder.

ezekg 1 day ago 0 replies      
I've been using http://hnreplies.com for email notifications and it seems to be working out well.
Ask HN: How did you learn DevOps as a developer?
7 points by ldn_throwaway  1 day ago   5 comments top 4
ryanmarsh 1 day ago 0 replies      
Simple, deploy and manage your own code by hand.

I know so much ridiculous but very practical "devops stuff" because I've been installing things configuring them and deploying to them by hand (running the commands or writing scripts) for a long time. It has come in handy so many times. Now that I think of it, it has paid off more than any other technical experience.

So now I can sit down behind any devops toolkit and very quickly get up and running or even debug it without having much experience with it.

Also managing your own code will help make you a better developer. So in short to learn devops: learn ops by doing it the old fashioned way. Then Ansible, Puppet, Cloud formation, etc... is easy.

rdeboo 1 day ago 0 replies      
My circumstances required me to; I worked as a software engineer for a startup without system administrators. So I just solved any issue I encountered while deploying / running production.

Ansible is great; easy to learn and powerful. I recommend the book "Ansible Up & Running".

Learn Linux thoroughly. I recommend the book "How Linux works". You want to know how you can do basic administration such as managing users, setting up syslog, registering system services (systemd/init.d) etc. Also, learn how ssh works, how you use keys, how ssh config file works, agent forwarding, etc. One of the last chapters/appendixes in the Ansible book goes into detail.

Learn about monitoring, for example using the book "The art of monitoring". Graphite + Grafana works great for me. There are many choices, don't get into the rabbit hole of trying to compare them all. Just set up end to end monitoring and alerting. We use Seyren for alerting which is simple and nice.

I also like the book "Site Reliability Engineering" by some Google engineers. Though this is more advanced stuff, for mature organizations that have the basics covered.

akulbe 1 day ago 0 replies      
I know this is the opposite of the question you asked, but I'm in this spot and I hoped my answer might be interesting.

I'm literally going the other direction. I've got a sysadmin background, with little coding experience. Getting put in a DevOps role is how I'm learning to code more than just bash scripts.

Chef stuff has me neck deep in Ruby. I'm wishing I'd have gotten into this 20 years ago.

atsaloli 1 day ago 1 reply      
For anybody wanting to learn DevOps today, "The DevOps Handbook" is the canonical text. https://www.amazon.com/DevOps-Handbook-World-Class-Reliabili...
Will selling WP themes be a thing to invest in in the future?
6 points by dudesgoods  2 days ago   6 comments top 5
imauld 13 hours ago 0 replies      
I don't think Wordpress will be going anywhere for quite some time however I also don't think it's market is expanding. I'm far from an expert on the matter but this is the impression I get from speaking with people here and in various development related Slack channels.
laktek 1 day ago 0 replies      
I would say reusable HTML components (think widgets like carousels, maps) which allows users to customize CSS would be a better investment than building themes.

disclaimer: I'm building a new CMS called Pragma (https://pragma.build) which would allow users to compose pages by assembling components.

philippz 1 day ago 0 replies      
Difficult. Perhaps if you specialize, e.g. optimize for speed as much as possible by hosting assets on a CDN such that the buyer doesn't have to think about it. Most wordpress themes feel very slow.

But what do you mean by invest? Learning? If you can only do HTML & CSS you should perhaps search for themes in a market with more money... e.g. Shopify, Shopware

Raed667 1 day ago 0 replies      
I think that we saw the peak of that with ThemeForest and those kind of markets but there will always be a market for something like WordPress.
tejasmanohar 1 day ago 1 reply      
Ask HN: Should I explicitly search for a co-founder?
3 points by ganadiniakshay  1 day ago   6 comments top 2
gt565k 1 day ago 1 reply      
You're focused on the wrong thing. Do you need investors right now? Do you even need a co-founder?

Focus on building the product and generating revenue. If you can prove your idea works and it can scale, it doesn't matter how many founders there are, or whether you spend 10 or 100 hours a week working on it.

No sane investor will turn down an opportunity, given that it generates revenue and it can scale well.

ig1 1 day ago 0 replies      
Firstly you have a mess you need to clear up, have you bought out your other co-founders to ensure you own 100% of the company ? - you'll struggle to find investors if you've got zombie cofounders who may claim to the company, you need to get the paperwork sorted out now.

Next understand why investors want you to have cofounders.

It's not some arbitrary standard, you simply won't have the cash to be able to hire a top tier sales, marketing person, etc. so bringing that talent onboard as cofounders is how you should be solving that problem. Find the best people you possibly can who cover the areas that you're weakest in. Find people who've experienced growing a similar company, they'll be invaluable to you.

Ask HN: What is 1 thing that can take a Junior's career to the next level?
52 points by hgailo  1 day ago   63 comments top 47
jjguy 1 day ago 3 replies      
Take the time to understand the whole system you work within, not just your little stovepipe.

That system may not be technical, but procedural. It will include other business functions. It may include your customers. In any system, there is a clear "start" and "end" that encompasses a complete process and reason for being.

You'll find that in most organizations, people stay in their little corner, do their little thing, not caring much about what happens to the left and right of them. That leads to inefficiencies and missed opportunities.

If you understand the larger system, you'll be able to see opportunities others are blind to. Point a couple out and -if you're both respectful and right - it won't take folks long to think "man, this guy really gets it!"

binarymax 1 day ago 1 reply      
As a frequent mentor of junior developers, having been one myself and managed dozens in my career, the answer is COMMUNICATION.

Technical skills will come naturally over time. But to improve your technical career, you will be working with people who are not technical. Learn how to describe technical changes and aspects in layperson terms. Practice presentation and documentation skills (perhaps even join a group like Toastmasters to improve). Learn to triage issues and set expectations through email and discussion in a rational and calm manner.

n0us 1 day ago 0 replies      
Not spending all day on HN.
dsschnau 1 day ago 0 replies      
I think the most important factor for my own professional growth has been working with people who know more 'stuff' than me. Every job I've had I've learned _tons_ from my coworkers. I wouldn't know frontend if I hadn't partered with a guy who was a CSS pro, I wouldn't be good with Azure if I didn't work with a guy who was already really good with Azure.

Obviously it takes a lot of legwork on your own part, but having the guidance helps a whole lot.

robertelder 1 day ago 0 replies      
I would say that getting the right internship will make a huge difference.

In 2009 before I went to university I was still living at home, splitting firewood in the middle of nowhere in New Brunswick, Canada to make a bit of extra money. This turned out to be an activity with an effective wage of about $10/hour.

In 2012 I was interning at NVIDIA in Santa Clara. Interns get lots of special treatment to indoctrinate you into the company, so I got to meet the CEO and he invited all the interns over to his house. Of course, he would probably never remember me, but I can't think of many other ways to move so quickly into a place where you could actually have some influence.

jknoepfler 1 day ago 2 replies      
There is no single thing. There's a grocery list. It starts with:

1. Finish shit on time.

Has a bunch of things that mean: 2...99...:Understand to the best of your ability what you finished, how it fits into your business, and what could be done better.

And ends with the most important rule:

100: Don't be an asshole

edit: 101: proofread what you write

hack_edu 1 day ago 0 replies      
In my experience, a familiarity with the command line along with the associated general systems/server exposure will elevate your career faster than anything. For those with such exposure already I'd recommend diving deeper and become an expert in the tools your existing team uses for systems, release, and deployment. These skills also open up new career paths you may opt for in the future.

While most of us are probably comfortable enough running make/grunt/gulp/etc, that comfort typically stops there. Knowing how to set up and manage your own systems will both make you more useful on your team and visible in the org. This is especially true for junior front-end folks.

shados 1 day ago 0 replies      
It's just time really.

The amount of time will vary depending on your background, degree, existing experience, and sure enough, luck. But it's just time.

In the current state of the industry, a senior is just "someone who's been around and did/saw some stuff".

It gets a lot trickier after that step. But for a junior, just keep doing what you do and try to do it better while learning/seeing as many things possible. Basically, just give it time.

erichurkman 1 day ago 0 replies      
1) Be helpful. Colleague beating her forehead against her desk debugging something? Go help. Account manager running into a bug? Go help. Sales team encountering pushback from a potential customer? Go help. You'll learn a ton.

2) Learn why you're building something. Not just the technical 'why', but also the business 'why'. Yes, you should understand why you're using RabbitMQ over Redis. You should also try to understand the business case that you're solving in as much depth as you can get. The stronger you align with what your business needs, the more valuable you become, and the harder problems you will be solving, an the more you'll have the opportunity to learn.

nunez 18 hours ago 0 replies      
Telling your manager that you want to be at the next level and what you want to bring to the table.


If that manager is good, they will bend over backwards to give you a plan, hook you up with the right people and ensure that you get that promo quickly.


Because it makes them look good. Amazing, even.

Understanding the mechanics of the business you work under and talking to people on the profit-side won't hurt, though.

chrisa 1 day ago 0 replies      
Find someone more senior; ask questions; listen.
kenning 1 day ago 1 reply      
Probably the upside down t-shaped graph of expertise, where you know a lot about one topic and a little about everything else. I believe this happens sort of naturally if you just work where you're needed because you'll get pigeonholed as the person who can do X whenever it needs to be done, then you can branch out when X is finished. I'm not sure because I'm still pretty junior myself.

You get a similar effect from repeatedly reading hn, because you'll read articles on topics you know about and then branch out when you're bored of it.

scoj 1 day ago 2 replies      
Ship a product. By doing that, you'll have to figure out SO much stuff from front to back. Doesn't even have to be your product, it could be moonlighting project. Just ship something from start to finish.
js8 1 day ago 0 replies      
Why there should be just one thing?

Anyway, assuming programming: https://github.com/braydie/HowToBeAProgrammer

jaypaulynice 1 day ago 0 replies      
Work in a startup and try to do a little bit of everything (code, devops, marketing, selling). Be really good at 2 of those at least and just hit the ground running.

You might not know how to do something, but ask to do it anyways and learn it on the go. Big corporations will not give you that kind of opportunity so you have to find a startup or create one yourself.

Code and blog a lot and put everything on GitHub and try to get people to star your projects and follow you. Learn to design, architect and structure your code for large systems.

itamarst 1 day ago 0 replies      
The ability to work independently. E.g.:

* Being able to design a small project from scratch and execute it to completion.

* Knowing when to ask for help and related time management skills: (https://codewithoutrules.com/2016/03/02/asking-for-help/).

ejcx 1 day ago 0 replies      
Written communication. Writing concise, direct, accurate, and easy to read emails/jiras/etc.

If you're a dev or not this holds true. Your boss and your bosses boss are busy. Help them understand what you do by writing your thoughts clearly.

The other is finishing. Work on things you can finish. Don't aim to rebuild Rome in an afternoon. Doing the dirty work to take something from 90% to 100% is HARD. Finishing things adds so much value and for some reason people are bad at it.

crisopolis 1 day ago 1 reply      
Not calling themselves Junior.
bichiliad 1 day ago 1 reply      
I think questions like this aren't really going to get you the answers you're looking for. There's no one-step fix to becoming a better employee, just like there's no one-step fix for anything. You've likely already heard the advice that will help you improve: be perseverant, work smart _and_ hard, stay organized, and be empathetic.
xs 1 day ago 0 replies      
Get a mentor. This takes a bit of luck to find a mentor (or great boss) but the rewards are massive. They'll teach you what's relevant to study/learn, they'll teach you what to focus on to get the most return, they'll be a back stop to technical questions, they'll be endless knowledge, they'll be a role model.
thwd 1 day ago 0 replies      
To master a lot of the most "hard core" programming concepts, dive into parsers and compilers. It will give you a perspective and generality that will permeate the rest of your career. It gives you arguably the most high-level perspective on all things related to programming and the paradigms therein.
neom 1 day ago 1 reply      
Learn how the business works.
jimmoores 1 day ago 0 replies      
Having the buck stop with you. With nowhere else to turn, you have to step up pretty fast. It forces you to own your decisions and not run to more senior people to help with your problems.
yotamoron 1 day ago 0 replies      
Figuring out 'what makes you itch':https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=khOaAHK7efc
DodgyEggplant 1 day ago 0 replies      
Interaction. It's what one does, and what the environment does and how the interaction goes. What ever you do in the wrong environment, will not help, and vice versa.
meesterdude 1 day ago 0 replies      
The "next level" is for you to define. For me, it was communication and design. For you it might be a new language or simply better test coverage.
Jdam 1 day ago 0 replies      
Switch jobs.
jp57 1 day ago 0 replies      
Stop looking for 'one thing', or One True Way.
austincheney 1 day ago 0 replies      
The things I have seen work:

* Solve the problems other developers are unwilling or incapable of solving.

* Create helpful (and portable) tools

* Learn analytics and increase your communication skills

* Be helpful

AdieuToLogic 1 day ago 0 replies      
Software is the manifestation of a solution to a problem. Define the problem which needs to be solved.
adamnemecek 1 day ago 0 replies      
Read a shitton of open source related to your area and try to apply it to your project.
drio 1 day ago 0 replies      
Understand what the ego is and how is trying to hold you down.
officialjunk 1 day ago 0 replies      
talk to your manager or find a mentor. what's needed to move up can vary based on where you work. for more general advice, or if you are self employed, there's a lot of other good comments here.
lefstathiou 1 day ago 0 replies      
xenadu02 1 day ago 1 reply      
100,000 hours of practice. The easiest way is to ship products. When you feel like you've somewhat mastered whatever you are currently doing look for opportunities to learn a new framework, language, platform, etc.
jp57 1 day ago 0 replies      
Stop looking for the 'one thing'
patothon 1 day ago 0 replies      
lots of work (classic craftmanship learning cycle (build 1000 potteries as fast a possible, get better each time))
grey-area 1 day ago 0 replies      
Work with people better than you.
karmajunkie 1 day ago 0 replies      
There's no one thing that's going to be the line which, after crossing, you can safely stop calling yourself junior. Indeed, I've worked with many "senior" developers who I would have considered junior outside their area(s) of expertise (and I myself fall into this category as well!)

When I'm conducting interviews and looking for hints that someone might be on the verge of "levelling up", I look for qualities that indicate someone has stopped following a preset path and is instead able to do their own pathfinding. That is, given a direction and a general set of guidelines, how deep are they able to go in order to solve this problem? If I tell you, "Hey, we want to add file uploads to this UI" in a Ruby project, do you:

A) immediately go searching for a gem to handle this?

B) Look for an AWS interface gem?

C) Look at S3's HTTP docs and write their own class for handling?

D) Stop and ask if we want to host the files ourselves or using a storage API of some sort?

Each of those may be the right answer. A is what I would expect a junior (and likely most others) to do, and its a defensible choice in that file uploads are likely not interesting enough to spend much time on. B) is what I would expect from someone who knows that storage to S3 is pretty easy in most libraries, and therefore it may not be worth the dependency of something like Carrierwave, electing instead to write a thin wrapper around the interface (and whether they use it directly in application code, or write the wrapper, is an excellent way to discern whether they're just below or just above the line between junior and mid-level). If they're coming from a different platform background though, they might just be unaware of something like Carrierwave/Dragonfly/etc. Option C indicates that they're probably pretty comfortable getting deep into a problem, though perhaps not always making the best choices about where to spend time (but you get a pass if this is an interview setting, its really hard to know as a candidate what the other side of the table is looking for.) Going with option D often indicates the confidence to push back on requirements and make sure you're writing the right code, not just what the ticket or client asks for.

The thing is, none of those in isolation is going to definitely indicate that someone is a junior or more advanced. They're all just pieces of evidence and have to be taken with other points of evidence to determine the answer to that question.

Other things I'd probably try to focus on if I were trying to level up:

* Know your tools. I don't care whether you use vi/vim, emacs, spacemacs, Sublime, atom, intellij or one of its brethren, or even textmateknow how to use it effectively to navigate your project and handle your top ten tasks like finding the implementation of a class or running your tests.

* Know your CLI. I don't care that you know every flag to every possible command in the terminal. but realize that an IDE is usually just a layer over a lot of CLI tools that you should be able to handle in their native environment.

* know how to read a stack trace effectively to find the root cause of an error quickly.

* get good with taking constructive criticism. Humility is an important attribute in any team member.

* Don't fall into the trap of thinking you know one tenth of what you believe you do. Don't think in absolutes, and don't argue with every potentially incorrect statement someone makes.

* ask questions more than make statements. Whether its "Can you help me understand why you do that this way?" or "Why is the customer asking for this feature?" it will serve you well throughout your career.

sairamkunala 1 day ago 0 replies      
Hard Work and Discipline
hboon 1 day ago 0 replies      
Find a mentor.
lgas 1 day ago 0 replies      
zuzuleinen 1 day ago 0 replies      
mdip 1 day ago 0 replies      
There are many things you can do, and not really "one" silver bullet, but I feel the most important are "soft-skills" and a hyper-focus on learning. You asked for one, but the two of them are so deeply connected, I feel they warrant being included together.

Communication/soft-skills has already been mentioned so I'll leave it with the simple "At the end of the day, regardless of how smart you are, if you cannot work well with others and you're not the sole employee/owner, your value is very limited".

The biggest problem I've found being a software developer is exposed by this phenomenon referred to as Imposter Syndrom[0]. In a lot of fields, there are good ways to measure yourself and your skills against others. In software development, it's a difficult thing to measure. You can become an "expert" in the core language you write in -- understanding the common patterns, standard libraries, and common features -- and no matter how much your abilities increase, what you know is far less than what you don't know.

Even today, with resources like StackOverflow, open-source material and source repositories with endless amounts of code available, learning corners of your specialty is hard. Your resource may be "out-of-date" (which happens within weeks, rather than months/years) or might be so specialized that there's just nothing out there[1]. Because of Imposter Syndrom, your developers are not quick to point out their weaknesses, but knowing the strengths/weaknesses of your coworkers helps you to be effective and to know who to tap when you get stuck. Unlike "that person in the forum", they have a vested interest in making you better -- you'll reduce their workload the more effective you become. Provided you're good at establishing relationships/friendships with others, they'll actively help you to become better and there's no better way to learn than one-on-one with someone who has the skills you lack. Knowing their weaknesses allows you to better focus your study on areas that the team has gaps (tip: offer up your own deficiencies and others will open up about theirs).

A lot also depends on what corner of software development you're focused on. If you're focused on web front-end development, you have a much easier time learning what you need to learn, and more jobs available to shine in, but you also have a huge amount of competition and a greater distance between Junior and Senior. In a highly specialized area -- mine was Skype for Business development -- you have fewer job options, almost no resources but a much smaller distance between Junior and Senior since simply having experience in one of the APIs already puts you near the middle. At first, I was tempted to say that being in the latter category is helpful, but having done it and reflecting on how painful it is when you run into a problem and have, literally, nobody to turn to for help[2], I can't say that I recommend it. Picking an area of focus that is somewhere in the middle might be a good idea. :o)

On learning, figure out what techniques are most effective for you. I don't do well in lectures, and I don't have the patience for video tutorials. I took a class about 20 years ago on effective book study (it was called "speed reading" at the time, but has nothing to do with these gimmicky techniques taught by apps, today). I learned how to skim/scan material and take effective notes while doing so, allowing me to consume huge books in hours, and "read" those books for information several times over a period of a week/month. I felt like I had a "super power" and exercised this ability to the tune of about 6-10 large volumes per year. When I need to learn something, I look for a good, thick, book on the subject, set a goal for completion and relentlessly pour myself into it. For programming, I know this requires me finding a personal, useful, project to build, an "instructional book" and a "reference book". Give me those three things and the language, framework or pattern in question will be cemented in a way that allows me to use it at a practical level.

[0] https://www.hanselman.com/blog/ImAPhonyAreYou.aspx

[1] My area of focus until very recently was developing software for Skype for Business using some of the (very excellent) APIs provided by Microsoft. Unfortunately, the number of people who are doing professional development in this software is small due to its target audience being enterprises. You just don't have a large number of hobbyists writing libraries on the weekends. The primary API I used to develop in, UCMA, had one half-chapter in one large book written in 2007, none of which is helpful to new developers due to it being wildly out of date. The documentation for this API is mostly "Undocumentation", and I've encountered very few APIs that have as many sharp edges, parts that don't work as you'd intuitively expect or simply don't work in any way resembling the documentation.

[2] I can't tell you how many times I've googled a problem and ran into solutions where the answer was provided by a person I worked with that I could have tapped on the shoulder. Or the two times I googled something, saw the answer (in one case, slightly disagreeing with the approach) only to discover that the person who wrote it ... was me. Just goes to show that anything in software that you've written six months ago might as well have been written by someone else.

Confusion 1 day ago 0 replies      
Think and talk about the functional problem instead of thinking and talking about a specific technical solution.

And the next level above that: think and talk about the business problem the proposed functionality is intended to address.

Making the distinction between requirements, functional design and technical design is very helpful, but in many places this has been obscured and rendered difficult by bureaucracy and process.

redwoolf 1 day ago 0 replies      
0xdeadbeefbabe 1 day ago 0 replies      
Less thinking about yourself.
Ask HN: Is anyone using OpenStack Solum in production?
10 points by webmaven  2 days ago   1 comment top
borplk 15 hours ago 0 replies      
I'm not a fan of OpenStack. Have had nothing but awful experiences with it.
Ask HN: If startups are good gamble, why isn't seed capital easily available?
8 points by brainless  2 days ago   4 comments top 4
Gustomaximus 15 hours ago 0 replies      
Your assumption is 1) You currently return an ROI to a company plus 2) motivation/interest makes you a good bet. 3) You alone make a complete business.

These dont have to combine in that way. Points;

1) there can be significant dead weight in larger salaried roles. Salary existing doesn't always equate positive ROI. And someone one can be very good employee in a structured enviroment and not in a more open startup enviroment.

2) motivation doesn't equate success, sometimes the opposite as people pursue the interesting vs the economically realistic.

3) As a salaried person you come as a team. You alone are likely to be missing required parts for a functioning business, kinda like buying tires and wondering why the car doesn't run.

erik998 2 days ago 0 replies      
I think it's not always a good gamble. Sometimes what they initially gamble on transforms into something they would not expect or consider as an investment. For the few success stories we hear, we never hear of the countless failures. The idea of most startups achieving some successful status is a faulty generalization. You are cherry picking the successful startups and generalizing based on survivorship bias.

This happens to all of us and it is hard to truly reflect on what makes a successful startup. If there was a recipe we would hear of many successes, frankly investments would stop elsewhere and just concentrate on startups, if that was the case.

Whenever I hear of crazy returns, I try to reflect on the fact that if it was common, why wouldn't those who make such crazy returns not just borrow more money and wash, rinse, repeat. I think there is a point were those making such returns realize the success was due to mere chance or some other combination of timing, investment, people that could not exist again. There is also a point where you have to wonder why those making such great returns do not keep trying to do the same. There must be a level where crazy profits/returns would allow some self sustaining regenerative business. I think that level does not exist. When investors do think such a level exists, they are usually being swindled.

brudgers 2 days ago 0 replies      
I think there are several connotations to 'startup' in play here. One connotation is that a 'startup' is the sort of company that is attractive to angel/venture capital another connotation is a 'startup' is more or less any new company.

The first connotation is a bit circular, but it has the feature that startups are companies that might have some plausible avenue to becoming a unicorn. Some sort of new software as a service (SSSAAS) might be a startup under this connotation but a new Chartered Accountancy firm most likely not (even if people in Topeka, Kansas will refer to the new Chartered Accountancy firm as a 'startup').

Angel/Seed/Venture capital doesn't make money by funding SSSAAS startups (in the second connotation) at random. It bets on the SSSAAS's that seem most likely to become unicorns. Angel/Seed/Venture capital looks at staff and track record and the business model: the one that is easiest to change is business model and another name for business model is idea because from the point of view of capital, a SSSAAS isn't a technology it is a business.

z3t4 2 days ago 0 replies      
it doest matter if you can make water into gold. investors are more picky then that. yet only 1/10 of their investment give returns.
Ask HN: Would it be feasible to send a Curiosity-like rover to an exoplanet?
3 points by vnglst  1 day ago   8 comments top 2
Davidbrcz 1 day ago 2 replies      

From a traveling point of view, sending a probe to Pluton (New Horizons) took us 10 years and the probe had a nice pull from Jupiter. The closest exoplanet is 6 700 times farer than Pluton.

From a communication point of view, the probe/rover would not be able to send us back any kind of signal. Even if we were able to communicate, a round-trip message would take 8 years.

And remember, we are not always successful when sending a probe/rover to Mars, which is the closest planet to Earth.

gadders 1 day ago 0 replies      
No, because if we sent one now by the time we got to year 40 we'd probably have the technology to send one to overtake it (only slightly facetious).
Ask HN: Can anyone explain space-time crystal for dummies?
4 points by rangeva  1 day ago   2 comments top
wayn3 1 day ago 1 reply      
A space-time crystal is a "microscopic" object that breaks the time symmetry. Time symmetry means "if you inverted time, the process would look the same". Imagine this is as if you were going back in time. Literally.

First, an analogy in macroscopic physics. Assume an Engine, like in your car. As each piston moves through time, it goes through 3 phases. Injection, Compression, Ignition.

If you inverted this process, going from ignition, to compression, to injection, your engine would not work. It would probably destroy itself, but it would at least not work. Therefore, your engine breaks time symmetry. Obviously. Most macroscopic processes are not time invariant.

On the microscopic scale, most quantum systems are believed to be time invariant. If you invert time on a hydrogen atom, nothing would change about it.

But a spacetime crystal is a system that exerts state transitions, like your engine does. If you were to "record" its behaviour and then play the recording backwards, you would observe a physical process that is impossible. Therefore, it is not time invariant.

Disclaimer: This explanation is, as requested, for "dummies". It is wildly inaccurate at best, but seeks to explain the problem without introducing any of the necessary physics.

Ask HN: Is a robocaller spoofing my number?
5 points by shortstuffsushi  2 days ago   3 comments top 3
smartician 56 minutes ago 0 replies      
A couple of years ago scammers spoofing local numbers were running rampant in my area. They seem to operate from Mexico, so there's very little that can be done about it apparently (which is a testament of how bad the current telecommunication infrastructure and legal framework really is).

Even the companies whose names were used for the scams were powerless: https://blog.westjet.com/make-it-stop/

I haven't gotten one of those calls in a while though. Either my number is no longer on their target list, or something else made them stop.

fredophile 5 hours ago 0 replies      
Someone is probably spamming phone calls using fake caller ID info that matches your number. I've had this happen with my number before. It's annoying but there isn't really anything you can do about it. Unfortunately it's ridiculously easy to fake caller ID information.
anaganisk 1 day ago 0 replies      
have you tried contacting your phone service provider? because even if spoofed the logs are generated, and are you sure its a normal call and is not placed through online means which use phone number as ID like whatsapp(example not necessarily the medium), maybe some one has created an account with your name, And is making an Online call?And also try reaching out to local law enforcement.
Ask HN: How to convince my team that microservices are not a good idea to us?
7 points by mxh_ht  2 days ago   11 comments top 10
lastofus 1 day ago 1 reply      
Instead of arguing against microservices, it would be better to ask the team to plan out solutions to the hard problems associated with microservices, namely the hard problems associated with distributed systems.

Things like:

* How will transactions across multiple services be handled, and as a followup, how will rollbacks happen when an error happens mid-transaction

* When all the data is distributed across multiple service DBs, how consistency be enforced? What happens when data is no longer consistent (e.g. data in one DB references data in another DB that is no longer there, or has been updated)?

* [basically, how will anything related to ACID be handled when you no longer have a single ACID DB?]

* How will errors be handled with various permutations of individual services being unavailable? If a single service going down brings down the site, has anything really been gained?

* How will distributed logging be done such that bugs can be tracked down in production. How will a given single request be tracked across services?

* How will automated tests be written when everything is now a network call instead of a function call? Mocking out all the things gets old fast and introduces its own set of problems relating to testing code that isn't the actual production code.

* How will API versioning be handled for each service, especially if different services are being built in silos by different developers?

If they have solutions for things like this, great! If not, perhaps they should before pushing forward.

deepaksurti 2 days ago 0 replies      
If you pitch it directly to the team who have (most likely) done their own homework about moving to micro services, that it is not a good decision, even though your point could be valid, may not be well taken as it can subconsciously be interpreted as you being non-consensus driven/jumping to conclusions.

Why not: 1. Draft an email with a subject 'Second opinion on moving to micro services 2. Let the email body be a very succinct description that a. you have done some research, b. you respect the team's decision but c. would like their opinion on your research. Also seek a time for a 30 minute presentation and 30 minute feedback/discussion. Don't send your document with the email, keep that for your presentation. That way you will be seen in positive light, as a team member with his own opinions but also a team player.

Also, have you asked them what was the data from their research that made them take the decision to move to micro services?

brudgers 1 day ago 0 replies      
You don't. You've had your say. People listened and the consensus was to continue pursuing micro-services. That's pretty much how teams work as teams.

Good luck.

jon-wood 2 days ago 0 replies      
I've made almost exactly this move from big ball of mud to micro services with a similar sized team.

Overall I think it was a net positive, but only because the velocity hit from working on the big legacy application is worse than the hit from working with smaller distributed services which all need managing. That's a very real overhead - you're now managing dependencies and deployment for n services rather than 1, and realistically the big application you're trying to move away from isn't going anywhere soon. We've got an API routing layer which purely exists to allow migrating individual endpoints to new services while allowing the legacy platform to continue serving everything else.

anaganisk 1 day ago 0 replies      
Since you say it's just four developer, why not have a coffee with 2 team members, individually and talk to them about what you think, I see you know your stuff so I don't need to help you there? You dont have to convince all of them of you can convince a part of your team, you can standup. You can atleast have a brainstorming session with a few "educated" ones on your side.
murukesh_s 1 day ago 0 replies      
One option would be to delay the migration and instead persuade the team to fic the flaws and improve quality.

Put a list of objectives the team want from the product. Prove that you can achieve that without using microservices.

exception_e 2 days ago 0 replies      
Maybe it's not a bad idea in the long run. I would have a meeting with the team and talk about "stages":

1) Start to split out monolith in separate packages ("services")

2) Use RabbitMQ to "talk" between the services / Simply have one package that is the REST portion and reference the other packages inside of it (which aren't REST... just libraries, basically)

3) Patch up design flaws

4) Slowly move towards true microservices

Step 2 would be deploying everything as monolith but at least it's split up.

This gradual approach may just work for your team!

sheepmullet 2 days ago 0 replies      
Do you have a lot of equity? Do the other developers?

Most likely the developers want to learn about microservices.

It's honestly one of the main reasons people join startups - to work with cool new tech/approaches.

If they wanted to take the low risk approach they would work at a big company.

If this is the case expect nothing but friction.

the_arun 2 days ago 0 replies      
What is the Target state you want to see(not how, what?)?
Sevii 2 days ago 0 replies      
Why don't you start with persuading one of the other developers to your side?
Ask HN: Who is switching away from MacBooks this year?
43 points by nunez  17 hours ago   78 comments top 39
akulbe 15 hours ago 1 reply      
I switched away from a 2016 MBP w/Touch Bar.Switched to a Dell XPS (9560).

For the curious, here are the specs and price:MBP: 2.9GHz i7, 16GB, 2TB NVMe, Radeon Pro 460 4GB GPU - $4299

XPS: 2.8GHz i7 (Kaby Lake), 32GB, 1TB NVMe, Nvidia GTX 1050 4GB @ 4K res - $2499

The big jump in price in the full spec iMac is the 2TB of storage. NVMe isn't cheap.

If they were both at 1TB storage, and more comparable spec for spec, the XPS makes for a more powerful machine. (and for me raw power is WAY more important than thin/light)

Why did I switch? Major GPU issues, a gimmicky touchbar with only TouchID as it's useful piece, crappy battery life, and the need for something reliable that wasn't going to flake at the drop of a hat.

Like I've commented elsewhere, it's hard not to get the impression that all Apple cares about is the iPhone.

They've been making thin and light the priority, at the expense of things that power users want.

Lest anyone assume I'm stomping off mad... I've been a hardcore Mac user for 14 years.

I am using Windows 10 on the XPS. I figured it would be a major source of pain, in terms of workflow, to switch back. The Windows Subsystem for Linux takes almost all of that pain away.

I still have my MBP, but it's sitting on the shelf. Once more updates come out, maybe I'll revisit. \_()_/

steffan 17 hours ago 6 replies      
I'll present a contrary view: I love my new MacBook Pro. It's thinner and lighter than my last one; relevant to me because I travel extensively.

I find that the battery lasts longer than my last MacBook Pro as well.

I've seen the Surface Pro, and I find it intriguing, but can't really picture wanting to purchase or use one.

peteretep 16 hours ago 2 replies      
Life's too short to not run OS X on my primary work machine.
dkarapetyan 17 hours ago 1 reply      
Have had a dell xps 13 (project sputnik) for a while now. Best portable laptop I've ever had. Mac doesn't even come close. Every time I have to use a Mac at work I wonder why can't these people wise up. All our infra is Ubuntu. What is the point of running OS X and dealing with all the cross-OS issues.
dkarl 16 hours ago 0 replies      
I'm pretty sure my coding productivity would be a little higher on Linux, but there's no way I'm going to give up the nice polished UI applications I get on OS X and the near-universal ability to shift seamlessly between desktop and mobile. I feel some kind of weird prepper compulsion to regularly think about how I would do the transition back to Linux, but I really don't relish the thought of going back to being my own personal integration engineer and sinking my time into disappointing "___ equivalent" Linux applications.
dano 3 hours ago 0 replies      
I'm a polyglot programmer and operating system user. Servers are mostly Linux, some real hardware, some virtual, doesn't matter. Desktops are Windows or Linux, laptops OSX or Windows.

On a day to day basis I use both a 2009 13" Mac Book pro and a 2015 Mac Book Pro. However, for the prior 4 years I used a Dell XPS Windows 7 laptop.

The primary primary reason for using the Mac on a day to day basis is system stability and responsiveness. The Mac just works. It always fires up. It is highly responsive to my needs which are Web, Terminal (server admin), and general office applications.

The Windows laptop, on the other hand, left me with little confidence from day to day. Most days it would operate fine, then one day it would blue screen or simply become unresponsive requiring a physical restart. Certainly all kinds of tweaks were done over time to fix one thing or another related to some application setting somewhere deep in the registry.

I've not tried Windows 10, but then it has no particular 10x value for me either.

Note that the 2009 MBP was upgraded in 2012 to an SSD. It is still a crispy fast system that beat the pants off of newer Dell laptops.

Just my $0.02.

jasone 16 hours ago 0 replies      
I had long been weary of juggling VMWare guests' RAM consumption on my MacBook Pro, but I held out for a modern system with more RAM (whether MacBook Pro or updated Mac Pro), until the most recent refresh. Two months ago, I purchased a Linux workstation with a modest 128 GiB RAM, and have barely touched my laptop since.

In 2005, I bought a quad-core Opteron workstation with 16 GiB RAM. That Apple wouldn't offer anything substantially more powerful in a laptop form factor a dozen years later boggles the mind. Granted, my use case may be atypical (lots of jemalloc portability development/testing), but between the anemic hardware options and the de-emphasis of developer products, I'm sufficiently disenfranchised at this point that even after working at Apple on the operating system (~10.1-10.4 range) and then using it ever since, I'm not personally interested anymore in what Apple does next.

brightball 16 hours ago 0 replies      
Switched to a beastly 17" Dell Precision 7710 running Fedora 25. It's not small, very powerful, carbon fiber, holds 2-3 drives including the primary NVMe and I can load up to 64GB of RAM.

The best part though...I can open up the bottom and replace parts anytime I want.

Need to switch to an Android phone next because iTunes doesn't play nice on Linux.

mamcx 2 hours ago 0 replies      
I don't want.

But here in Colombia, a good Apple machine cost DAMM TOO MUCH (ten months of 2x * basic income for a entry level Mac Pro), and each iteration is a bit worse than the previous.

I'm holding on my iMac, but most likely I will build a hackintosh.

eyeownyde 16 hours ago 0 replies      
The latest Razer Blade has worked out for me very well. Ubuntu / windows dual boot has made it convenient for work / play alike. I unloaded the nvidia drivers for similar battery in ubuntu vs windows.
Udo 16 hours ago 5 replies      
Turns out I'll be the contrarian voice in an overwhelmingly Apple-positive thread about switching away from the Mac:

OS X has been my primary productivity OS for more than ten years now, but I'm in the process of switching. I'll keep using my 2012 MBP until it physically falls apart, but make no mistake: this will be my last MacBook. Not sure what I'll replace it with when the time comes, performant laptops with a long battery life and 2TB+ storage are amazingly hard to come by these days.

My iPhone has a broken screen that can't be fixed without permanently losing the finger print scanner, so that's going to be my last iPhone as well.

On the desktop side, I'm using an iMac/PC dual setup (with Synergy), so I'm still dragging my heels a bit because honestly it hurts to let OS X go. Windows and I will never be friends, but there is no question that the PC platform is going to be the future for me.

To be clear, switching sucks royally for me, but staying would suck more. macOS hasn't deteriorated to the point where I want to leave it behind yet, although the writing is on the wall. But Apple's hardware philosophy and practice makes it so I'd really hate giving them even more money for yet another even more hilariously overpriced, closed-down, underperforming, outdated, unrepairable, not-upgradeable appliance that they think is going to be the future of computing.

aprdm 16 hours ago 2 replies      
It's hard to justify buying a new notebook in this day and age IMO. Since 2014 hardware has been about the same with the same price point for customer notebooks..

I had a macbook air 13 from my company and would probably have kept it to this date. Since my company took it back I am using some 13' toshiba with i3 and 4gb of ram running ubuntu.. haven't seen the need to upgrade.

notadoc 16 hours ago 0 replies      
I bought a 2015 MacBook Pro, I would highly recommend one. The 2014 MBP is still great too if you can find one, basically the same as the 2015 model.

I have negative interest in the touch bar or that awful keyboard.

owebmaster 9 hours ago 1 reply      
I made the switch 3 year ago to GNU/Linux. It is free and better for software development than OSX (same order of magnitude) or Windows (by a lot). Microsoft is investing high in marketing now, though.
Cofike 16 hours ago 0 replies      
I have yet to use a machine that is as much of a pleasure to use as my mbp. I came from linux and while it was able to get the job done, the third party support for a lot of apps was less than ideal. Having everything synced up to my iPhone (again coming from someone who's first smart phone was the original droid) is fantastic as well.
dcw303 15 hours ago 0 replies      
I recently got a Surface Pro after two cycles (~7 years) of MBP 15 inchers. I wanted something lightweight I could draw on, and did think about the iPad Pro with Pencil for a while, but in the end having the flexibility to install any app won out (currently I'm using Aseprite and Manga Studio).

I've been using both Mac and Windows OSes since the last millennium, so I'm not precious about either one. But I do personally prefer explorer over finder in most aspects.

Visual Studio is a beast, and it's absolutely ridiculous that MS now give away so many features for free in the community version.

I had no expectations for the type cover keyboard, but it turns out it is fantastically comfortable and productive.

I have no plans to get a new Mac, but my 2014 MBP is still proving useful to do remote iOS builds from Xamarin. I'll probably keep it around just for that but if I never have to open Xcode again it will be too soon.

sallyfour 16 hours ago 0 replies      
My 2013 MBPr is still fine. I'll probably get the new one late this year or the next though. Haven't been especially impressed with Windows laptops.

My SO has a XPS 13 and while the build is much better than any Windows laptop I've seen, I don't think it's worth switching.

Really my decision is between the smaller 12 inch vs the 13 inch.

jseliger 16 hours ago 0 replies      
I would guess a lot of people based on anecdotal comments on forums and not very many people based on sales data.
TACIXAT 16 hours ago 0 replies      
Switched to one actually. My System 76 was aging and work bought me a new MBP. It's nice. Definitely has the processing power to do everything that I would want to when I'm away from my desktop. Good battery. My desktop (Ubuntu) is still where I do most my work.
xbmcuser 16 hours ago 0 replies      
The price to power in most high end laptops is the same Apple is not priced very high compared to others. But with the new Amd processors that could change. And laptops with similar power and battery life at 2/3rd to half the price is going to change things.
jkmcf 16 hours ago 0 replies      
Apple will have to screw macOS up a lot for me to stop using it, especially if work keeps buying my MBP.

I just reclaimed my 2009 MBP after upgrading my wife's MBP. I'd never notice it wasn't current If it wasn't for running a little hot and the non-retina screen.

nunez 16 hours ago 0 replies      
I've thought about going back to the MacBook several times. It's a beautiful, and very light, machine. However, I really, really value having a tablet that I can write on that can also be a fully-fledged computer when it needs to be. Being able to reorient the monitor in portrait mode is amazing. Also, the Type Cover keyboard is amazing; leagues better than the chiclet keys on the MacBooks.

After Windows 10 got Ubuntu, there was no looking back.

I am still thinking about replacing my iPad Air for an iPad Pro, though. I love a small tablet I can write on, too.

imauld 12 hours ago 0 replies      
I have a Macbook Pro 2015 from my job and I'm really not fond of it. The machine itself is nice and I like the keyboard but I hate the OS. We do all our work inside Docker containers running Linux, all our infra runs on Linux but we work on OSX.

It's not the worst thing in the world but it just seems unnecessary when running the OS we target is just as simple.

nitai 14 hours ago 0 replies      
I already did some time ago. I got a surface pro and until you own one you don't know what you are missing. The form factor is simply awesome.

Then I also used to have a xps13 with Ubuntu. Great machine.

I've recently switched to a T460s with 20gb ram, 1tb SSD and i7. Comes with all the ports you need and want. It's light and fast. Used to run Ubuntu for a while full time. Recently switched to windows 10 and the WSL is a game changer. Reminds me of the good old Mac days.

mdlcc 16 hours ago 1 reply      
You dont need a new laptop. If you own a MacBook Pro Retina, 2013 (or beyond), then you have all the computing power you need. Why waste the money, why contribute to e-waste?
Mandatum 15 hours ago 1 reply      
Switched after the release. Now on a Thinkpad with 32GB of RAM for half the cost. Took a bit of adaption moving to Linux but I'm glad I did. Have had minimal downtime since switching to Ubuntu, can only recommend it for work if you're using a popular flavour and you've got popular hardware. Life's too short to spend time fixing driver issues and configs.. Unless that's your job. ;)
jgritty 17 hours ago 0 replies      
There's very little chance of that happening, but we aren't rushing in to buy a bunch of touchbar macbook pros to replace our existing machines either.
RikNieu 11 hours ago 0 replies      
I'm nearing the time when my machine needs to be replaced. I haven't had a MBP yet, and was set on getting one... until the latest release drama.

I still need to commit to a decision, but I'm eyeing the XSP13 lustfully now.

kevinherron 16 hours ago 0 replies      
I went from a 2012 15" Retina MBP to a SP4 for about a year. It was okay.

I'm now back on a 2016 15" TB MBP and happy to be "home" on macOS.

There's really nothing wrong with this machine. It might not be the giant leap forward from the 2015 model that people hoped for, but it's a perfectly fine machine to get work done with.

nether 16 hours ago 1 reply      
Not me. Still on a mid-2011 13-inch MacBook Air. I'll probably switch to whatever new MacBook is release this summer.
efrafa 16 hours ago 0 replies      
I have maxed MB Pro 15" late 2016 model and cant really imagine switching to anything else for development.
antoniuschan99 16 hours ago 0 replies      
Thought about switching to Surface Book and using Scoop as a colleague mentioned it to me, but decided to get the new MBP 2016 w/ Touchbar after using a Macbook Air 2012.

Touchbar is great, don't know why people are complaining.

mergy 17 hours ago 1 reply      
Seeing many folks that went to MacBook Pros last cycle but now going to Dell or Lenovo HW. I lean more towards Lenovo, but the recent Dell semi-unibody builds are very nice.
Fomite 16 hours ago 0 replies      
My MBP isn't quite in updating range yet, but I fully expect to buy the next model MBP after the current one.
factorialboy 16 hours ago 0 replies      
I will after my primary project ceases to be developing an iPhone app. Should be sometime this summer.
oaf357 16 hours ago 0 replies      
I just bought a new non-touchbar 15" MBP.
codewritinfool 16 hours ago 0 replies      
Not me. My Mid-2015 Retina is fantastic.
jpha9 17 hours ago 0 replies      
I couldn't stick with the Surface and ended up coming back to my mbp. I guess I drank the koolaid hard!
nathancahill 16 hours ago 0 replies      
Hail corporate
       cached 28 February 2017 21:05:02 GMT