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Ask HN: UK Startups and VATMOSS
2 points by graystevens  1 hour ago   2 comments top 2
polimorfico 1 hour ago 0 replies      
I built Quaderno (https://quaderno.io) to deal with the VATMOSS nightmare. Let me know if you have any questions. Happy to help.
dawson 1 hour ago 0 replies      
> My SaaS will be B2B

VAT MOSS only applies to B2C sales.

Ask HN: What book is considered the bible of your field/industry?
54 points by machtesh  7 hours ago   15 comments top 13
benji-york 6 minutes ago 0 replies      
The Sound Reinforcement Handbook Gary Davis and Ralph Jones
claroscuro 5 hours ago 0 replies      
The C Programming Language -- Brian Kernighan and Dennis Ritchie.

Comprehensive, concise, and beautifully written.


azeirah 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Godel Escher Bach is fairly bible-ish if you ask me

Another set of books I consider to be "one" bible are Edward Tufte's (1) The Visual Display of Quantitative Information, (2) Envisioning Information, (3) Visual Explanations and (4) Beautiful Evidence.

myexploit2700 7 hours ago 1 reply      
Security Engineering - A guide to building dependable distributed systems http://www.cl.cam.ac.uk/~rja14/book.html

It is hilarious and informative! Described in more detail here: https://hackernoon.com/how-to-become-a-hacker-e0530a355cad

deltux 1 hour ago 0 replies      
The Elements of Statistical Learning, by Hastie, Tibshirani and Friedman, for everything on Machine Learning and Statistics. Available for free online:https://statweb.stanford.edu/~tibs/ElemStatLearn/
VenkiPhy6 4 hours ago 0 replies      
The Art of electronics by Hill & Horowitz for electronics


Arcten 5 hours ago 0 replies      
Mountaineering: Freedom of the Hills is the de facto reference book for most serious mountaineers
justinucd 7 hours ago 1 reply      
Don Norman - The Design of Everyday Things
mrskitch 7 hours ago 0 replies      
Not the Bible in its typical sense, but Crockfords "JavaScript: The Good Parts". It's like the Bible in that I seem to learn something new on every read through, and it's fairly quick to do so
chauhankiran 4 hours ago 0 replies      
In Security ( or more precisely in Cryptography ) - Applied Cryptography by Bruce Schneier


dTal 2 hours ago 0 replies      
For work:

Principles of Digital Audio, by Ken Pohlmann

For play:

Handbook of Model Rocketry, by G. Harry Stine.

(p.s. if anyone has any suggestions for the field of imaging, I'd love to hear them as I don't know of a good imaging "bible".)

chrstphrknwtn 3 hours ago 0 replies      
The Elements of Typographic Style by Robert Bringhurst


nkrs 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Physical Chemistry by Peter Atkins
Ask HN: What are some things you should know before starting a SaaS?
3 points by nkkollaw  2 hours ago   2 comments top 2
tarikozket 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Most of the SaaS companies pretend that their website generates 99% of their revenue. Don't believe to them.

70% of the money will come from the enterprise/offline sales you do and the rest will come from your website.

saluki 37 minutes ago 0 replies      
There are lots of SaaS tips/advice in the StartUpsForTheRest of us podcasts.


Ask HN: KISS company website: Wordpress, Square Space or roll my own?
24 points by leonroy  12 hours ago   27 comments top 21
rwieruch 11 hours ago 1 reply      
If you want to outsource it, I can agree that the easiest way is to provide a simple interface for the other party. That's where a CMS like Wordpress would make sense.

On the other hand, if you want to have more control in the long term, I can recommend to use Hugo [0] as a static website generator.

They have plenty of themes [1] to choose from. You can still adjust it with basic knowledge in HTML/CSS. Afterwards you can chose where to host it. You can use Github Pages [2] for free or pay for a service like DigitalOcean [3]. I wrote a technical cheatsheet [4] on how to setup your own website with these ingredients.

- [0] https://gohugo.io/

- [1] http://themes.gohugo.io/

- [2] https://pages.github.com/

- [3] https://www.digitalocean.com/

- [4] http://www.robinwieruch.de/own-website-in-five-days/

toddmorey 11 hours ago 1 reply      
For a SaaS company like yours, I would do a site that's static content served from a CDN (generated by something like jekyll and friends). Obviously a site deployed that way is largely fail-proof and fast, but there's another (and larger) benefit people don't often mention:

Having your site content live in the git repo instead of a database is amazing. In fact, this is the approach taken by most documentation sites these days. It makes it so much easier and faster to make changes, updates, and experiment. I use Netlify as a static host; they have features to make any commit, pull request, or branch into a hosted preview. It's an awesome way to work.

(For less technical editors, you can plug them into the process with something like NetlifyCMS, a clever open source project from the same folks that basically is a CMS interface running on git / github.)

javipas 1 hour ago 2 replies      
I'm surprised to see so much answers leading to use a Static Website Generator. WordPress certainly can be problematic, but I think that there are clear advantages in both cases. You've got to make tradeoffs in both too.

I've been hearing a lot about Hugo lately, but my main concern as a blog editor with static website generators is the fact that they are great for, well, static content. If you want to update your site with new content and features (posts, pages, sections, widgets, comments, web statistics) WordPress make that easier.

On static websites generators at least the ones I tried a couple of years ago, octopress/pelican/jekyll these systems are great if you want to just have a good/superfast landing page and a few other pages laying around. Once you want to add new pages and posts you had to recompile everything again, something that wasn't a good idea with sites that grow dinamically through time with hundreds or thousands of posts (like my blog, for example).

Please let me know if Hugo (and others) solves the "recompilation" issue to rebuild the site each time, I'm probably wrong or not updated here. In your case it seems that static website generator could be a good fit though.

Squarespace is really nice too, btw. Good attention to design and detail, not so versatile as WordPress.

aussieguy1234 1 hour ago 1 reply      
Use WordPress for your website with a custom theme. There's really not that much to it and your going to get tons of features basically for free.

However use other things for your SaaS platform, WordPress is too slow for that kind of thing. Instead go with something lightweight like Slim Framework.

alxwu 6 hours ago 0 replies      
I recommend using jekyll or hugo for your site using either netlify or forestry.io for the CMS and hosting. This is the future, and it can be hard to convince the non tech savvy, but I think you know the benefits. I'm willing to help if you run into any questions with setup. You can find me here: http://templatestud.io/.

P.S. This is from working with Joomla, Drupal, and Wordpress sites in the past. Static sites are the way to go.

codegeek 11 hours ago 0 replies      
From a purely technical perspective, WordPress is so meh. But from a business and "time to market" perspective, it is not a bad choice. You can quickly put up a landing page, career page etc on a decent VPS and get going. WordPress also will give you tons of SEO and content marketing options out of the box.

One example. ConvertKit is killing it these days, right ? See their marketing website. It is WordPress.

wheelerwj 10 hours ago 0 replies      
i've spent a CONSIDERABLE amount of time looking into this lately for a few projects. at this point, id definitely recommend wordpress + oneclick install on digital ocean for a company site. its so fast and easy, its really hassle free. which is the single most important thing when launching. time is already in short supply, so you want to (have to) invest it wisely. is a better "about us" page going to give you more return then product refinement or sales? absolutely not.

this is one of the few times that the right thing is also the easy thing.

surfin 6 hours ago 0 replies      
What are your requirements in terms of editing / updating (e.g. adding new blogs) content once your site is live? If you expect non-technical person being able to author the content, you may consider headless CMS like Kentico Cloud (https://kenticocloud.com/) or Contentful (https://www.contentful.com/) to store and manage your content and then pull it to your template via technology of your choice. Eventually, you could feed that content to static web page generators like Hugo and serve only generated pages.
timdorr 11 hours ago 0 replies      
What segment of the telephony market are you targeting? Are you going after a smaller number of large companies, or as many small deals as you can get?

Basically, how important is human involvement in your sales process?

If it's really important, focusing on your website at all is probably a waste of your time. Just choose whatever involves the least amount of work (probably SquareSpace or Launchrock) and crank something out quick.

Revisit it later when the website is actually interfering with your sales.

uniacid 9 hours ago 0 replies      
If you are fine with PHP there is also the option of OctoberCMS built on top of the Laravel framework, have to say I really enjoy it so far.




snowwrestler 9 hours ago 0 replies      
A host who specializes in Wordpress can take a lot of the sting out managing it (patching, caching, security, etc). I'm in the process of moving a bunch of WP sites off of dedicated hosting for this exact reason.

So far the best options look like WPEngine, Wordpress.com, or Pantheon.

I've also worked with Squarespace and would caution that developers can find it to be frustrating--requires a lot of hovering and clicking to configure pages and post content. Not really a fan now--too much of a pain.

flaviocopes 5 hours ago 0 replies      
I would leverage your existing knowledge but avoid WordPress, and instead use Grav (https://getgrav.org). It's open source and much more flexible than WordPress, plus it does not require a database (it's a flat-file CMS) and it's very easy to build a site with it.

You don't have to have WordPress as the go-to resource for everything, but also you don't really have to roll your own CMS every time you build up a site, which is quite a time consuming task.

Grav offers a light experience to a CMS, and you can decide if you want to just work with markdown files, or rely on the Admin panel for easier editing.

(Disclosure: I'm a dev team member).

mabynogy 12 hours ago 0 replies      
Static and markdown is the simplest I know.
rewrew 11 hours ago 0 replies      
I wish I had some brilliant non-WP insight to share with you but once you deal with WordPress' security issues (not minor but conquerable), its ubiquity and flexibility make it a great solution for most smaller-scale (content-wise) projects -- the fact that you can turn to anyone from the local college kid to a major agency and hand them your site and they're going to be able to execute, or you can take it back and do it yourself at a moment's notice, it's just hard to beat that.
kayman 11 hours ago 0 replies      
If only you'll be editing the site, as a dev, I always like to roll my own. Simple HTML/JS/CSS.Feel like I have more control, less learning and I enjoy it.But that's the dev bias.

If you want other non technical people to edit or make changes, choose a CMS.

Your goal is to get your message out there asap so you can solve problems.

End of day, the customer doesn't care, only you do. You can always change it later.

kaushalmodi 11 hours ago 0 replies      
A really good static site generator: [Hugo](gohugo.io).
lucasmullens 11 hours ago 0 replies      
I would be surprised if you could only find companies that can design Wordpress pages and not Ghost/Jekyll pages.
chrisgoman 12 hours ago 0 replies      
If you are just throwing something together, static S3 pages with Cloudflare in front?
jusob 11 hours ago 0 replies      
if you want to outsource, WordPress is the best choice. Make sure you use different domains for WordPress and your app. Sucuri (recently bought) provided a good managed WAF & security monitor for WordPress.
dbancajas 11 hours ago 0 replies      
github pages. redirect your domain name. easy.
douche 11 hours ago 0 replies      
We use a lot of Handelbars-based static html/js sites with no backend hosted on Azure, for landing pages and per-product micro-sites. It's very simple, and seems to work well.
Ask HN: Thinking about a year off from work to travel. Am I making a mistake?
27 points by cheetos  15 hours ago   33 comments top 24
psyc 14 minutes ago 0 replies      
If you care about money, the potential for regret is quite high. I barely care about money beyond survival, but I still feel a bit of regret about all the time and money I've spent both on traveling and repeated attempts to start companies. I'm at an age where I'd have a million in the bank if I'd relentlessly prioritized career and compensation. No matter how much I value other pursuits, it can still be difficult not to think about that from time to time.

At present, I do wish I had spent more time on trying to make products. I do not really see what traveling got me, other than a way to impress certain people. To me, experiences are fleeting, and memories might just as well be daydreams. I can have those for free.

MortenK 16 minutes ago 0 replies      
How about just travelling a month's time first, before deciding on a year? Go to south America, SE Asia or something, check it out and relax. It'll cost a month extra of rent, but it doesn't sound like the financials is a problem. And if you decide you want to travel more, you just return after the first month, get your affairs sorted and off you go again :-)
aliston 12 hours ago 1 reply      
Sorry to be the wet blanket, but I actually don't think it is necessarily a no-brainer as others have said. If you do it, do it with purpose. Traveling will not fix your problems. It won't help you progress your career. It won't even necessarily expand your mind or help you learn new things.

It will, however, with near 100% certainty reduce your bank account balance, and will potentially put you in a jam down the line unless you have something to show for it at the end.

I spent a year traveling in South America in 2010. I was aimless. It was one of the best experiences of my life. However, if I'm really being honest with myself, it cost me a career trajectory that probably would have meant retirement type money by now.

I depleted my savings, my knowledge became obsolete surprisingly quickly, and it was a slog to get back into the groove when I got back. I can't say I regret it, but I definitely would have done it differently in retrospect.

tomcam 10 hours ago 0 replies      
You gave us the answer already!

> 1. part of me feels like I am pushing myself to travel not because I am truly excited about it..

> 2. I also have plenty of side projects I've been itching to work on.

> 3. I rent a very affordable place that I really like in a very high COL city

You aren't crazy about travel. You're burned out on your job, but NOT on your side projects. You have a nice place in a nice city.

To me it's very clear. Quit. Stay home. Veg out until you feel ready to play at your side projects. Play with your side projects when you feel like it. You have all the makings of an awesome "staycation", if people are still using that word. Like you, I enjoy working on my own stuff and I've made a great living at it. Even if you don't, you're looking at some low bandwidth time off. Feel free to contact me to chat. I've been in your place.

dennybritz 14 hours ago 1 reply      
This has been said before by another commenter, but I'll say it again because I think it really is true: Most likely you will never regret taking the year off, but in a few years you probably WILL regret never taking that year off.

> I am worried that I will seem less attractive to future employers when I return

That's not my experience at all. Me and many people I now have huge gaps in their work history, either from travel or startups, and it hasn't hurt anyone.

Also, it's not a black and white decision. Start taking time off and go travel. If you decide it's not for you after a few months just go back early.

NotSammyHagar 6 hours ago 0 replies      
If I was interviewing someone who took a year off, I'd want to know why they did that, and also I'd like to see that they have done something to get started again practicing so you are fairly ready to do some work. So it would be helpful to have some kind of good way to describe what you were looking for during your year, because peopel will want to ask you. I agree with others who say it would be an idiot company that would avoid people who take time off.
botswana99 13 hours ago 1 reply      
I did a 6 month round the world trip with my wife in my early thirties. It was great.We blew our house down payment. But eventually saved again and have two kids. Never hurt my career. In fact helped it when I went from writing code to managing teams of engineers.

Dude, life is a long. Work will always be there

msencenb 11 hours ago 0 replies      
I spent a year traveling from September 2013 to September 2014. It was the best year of my life. The trip itself was fun, but more importantly I gave myself permission to simply sit, think, and have idle time. Traveling gives you a sense of perspective you can't get from sitting at home.

If you are a decent software engineer I wouldn't worry about employment. Mid way through my year of travel I received a job offer, and negotiated that my start date would not be for another six months.

Also, this does not have to be an all or nothing decision. Why not sublease your place for two to three months, spend that time traveling, and then re evaluate at that point?

saberswag 10 hours ago 0 replies      
I'm currently 3 months into my year "off". I waited till my lease ended, sold everything I owned besides one large box of things I put in my parent's garage. I quit my job on good terms, they offered to have me work remotely but I refused because I wanted to have an open path. For me, travel was a priority to check off my list before I turned 30 in two years. I always made excuses or life gave me things I could not say no to so it was constantly pushed off.

Moved to Australia, not only because I've always wanted to visit, but also use it as a hub to Asia Pacific. I have one side project I am working on. Also by random came across a cool part time job for a start up in Melbourne. It wasn't part of my plan to be employed but again I have an open plan. The new gig is adding to my professional and personal growth. Also, have plenty of time to live, work on my side project, and also work on my personal goals. I'm not worried about my career. As others have said, if you have the skill set you'll be fine. but your new road may lead you to something better.

If your gut is telling you travel is something you need to do right now, don't have your mind talk you out of it. Do it and if it doesn't work out you can always go back home.

ankurdhama 8 hours ago 0 replies      
If your year off is a red flag to an employer than this red flag is a red flag for you about the employer.If an employer tell you that they can't take you coz of your year off, ask them "Oh you must have some reason that was validated using some scientific study, would you mind sharing that study with me"?
yladiz 12 hours ago 0 replies      
I think that, regardless of where you go, going somewhere new or somewhere where you don't know many people for a semi-long/long amount of time is extremely helpful. You learn a lot about yourself, your motivations, your priorities.

Some of your worries I wouldn't worry about so much -- if you want to keep some of your things, you can put them in storage or give them to a friend you trust, if you know someone with some spare room. Ditto for the place, if you want to keep it you could most likely sublease it to a friend or someone else for the amount of time you'll be gone and get it back when you return. I wouldn't worry about future career prospects; when you're interviewed, of course you'll be asked about it, but you can spin it in many positive ways. One year of salary loss is probably the only important issue in your third paragraph, so I would be careful and conservative with your calculations. And the feeling that you're doing it because you can rather than being truly excited about it is a real one, and is maybe partly due to the length of time you're considering, but it is something you really should consider if you are planning to have a family (especially with kids) in the future.

If you're worried about the length of time (although you didn't mention this directly in your post, it was one of the reservations I had and a feeling that crept into me as I started a 6 month journey traveling to a few different countries) you could most likely feasibly travel for 2-3 months to somewhere new, while keeping your apartment. Then if you want to travel for longer, you can figure out what to do from there.

On a more philosophical note: don't live to work, work to live. Your career is not in jeopardy for traveling for a period of time, the only thing that you're going to be missing out on is an income during that time. Your career will be there when you get back, and so will your friends, family -- plus you'll have a lot of interesting stories to tell.

sytelus 7 hours ago 0 replies      
It's absolutely not a problem. In fact, I am willing to bet this will be positive thing in your resume. You have no kids and mortgage and have savings and you are below 30. Time like this doesn't last for long. Go for it!
siquick 12 hours ago 0 replies      
Did the same thing in 2011 which culminated in moving to Australia from the UK (I'm now a permanent resident), and then did another 6 months of travelling last year after burning out at my previous job.

You will never regret this trip and you'll learn way more than you think you will that will help you in your career. If you're really worried about your career then spend some of the time working on new skills.

You'll also have ups and downs but learning to manage these times will help you so much in your life.

regret_min 15 hours ago 2 replies      
There is an idea known as the "Regret Minimization Principal". It seems particularly applicable here.

You have two options: travel or not travel.

Looking back, which choice might you regret least? Choose that one.

davidg11 7 hours ago 0 replies      
This should not penalize you at all for jobs, if anything the opposite.

I've been a hiring manager and I love people who do things like this. Shows independence and initiative.

stuaxo 13 hours ago 0 replies      
Definitely do it.

It's good to do something while you travel, as it gives a focus.

I spent time away learning graphics (ordinarily I do back-end). It was really good and at it meant when I came back I could put what I'd been up to on the gap in my CV.

TBH the my original plan wasnt nessacarily to come back, but it turned out to be a year.

(edit) of course you don't need to do something tech related when travelling anything will do

bcbrown 15 hours ago 0 replies      
I took a year off to travel in my late 20s. Five years later, it hasn't been an impediment in my career. My timing was in part because I was about to move out anyway, and hadn't yet bought much furniture, because I had roomates.

It doesn't sound like you really want to travel for a year. I'd suggest taking a month off to reflect and decide what you want before you commit yourself.

cylinder 12 hours ago 0 replies      
I would recommend you sublease your place (or not) and take a month or two break. That's a long time to travel. You could go sit on a Greek island and contemplate a lot while the sun restores you. Then you can decide whether you really want to give up your place and keep traveling.
mod 15 hours ago 0 replies      
Write down the worst-case scenario. Write down some other bad scenarios.

Write down the good scenarios.

Evaluate them, and keep in mind the worst-case.

It's probably not very bad. I hope you go.

Mz 15 hours ago 0 replies      
This is not really a decision you need to make now. Take a week or two to rest, ponder where you might go and do some tentative planning. If you start to get jazzed about a particular destination, hey, start making it happen. If not, start job hunting.

This is not a situation where you need to make some big, final decision today.

mattbgates 13 hours ago 0 replies      
Two types of regrets you will have in your life: things you did and things you didn't do.

Which regrets do you prefer?

lemonsqueeze 11 hours ago 0 replies      
I took a year "off".

Worked on some side projects, saw different places.

Picked up light weight contract work (think... like 15 hours/month of website/app maintenance for $1500/month)

akulbe 14 hours ago 1 reply      
bsvalley 15 hours ago 0 replies      
Are you a developer? If so, at your age and in today's market - it's called a career suicide :)

It's gonna be tough to pass the recruitment process in a year from now for so many reasons. The competition is stronger than ever and will increase over time. Everyone applies for dev jobs today. Add-up a lack of practice, being outdated and wanting to take a year off. All these are red flags for recruiters (not even interviewers). Personally, it will feel even worse when you'll start re-applying if you're burnt out today. Dev interviews are ridiculously annoying now and require a few months of practice.

If I were you I'd do that if you have a strong plan coming back and not simply applying to jobs. Or, if you're planning on building products while traveling, you won't carry that one year gap in your resume.

Ask HN: Is it better to build intranet apps with desktop technologies?
16 points by curiousgeek  10 hours ago   15 comments top 6
fian 4 hours ago 0 replies      
If your application needs to do some heavy lifting on the client machines, then yes desktop technologies will be better. Web browsers are sand boxed for security and can be too limited for some purposes.

Desktop applications can avoid security problems inherent in web apps that are run through a general purpose browser.

The commonly cited tradeoff with desktop apps is they are harder to deploy and update. I don't believe this is necessarily true. You can tell a desktop application to periodically check for updates and notify the user to restart before allowing further writes to any central data stores. If fact many already do this. Problems arise when the OS prevents updates from being applied by non-admin users and you are deploying within a locked down corporate environment.

Java SE/Swing is a good platform for writing cross platform desktop applications. I work on an engineering simulation tool with a complex UI written in Swing. With Nimbus Look and Feel it looks and works the same across Windows, Linux and OS X without changes. Some people (devs) complain that is doesn't look native - none of my users care though.

The few times I have ventured into web development I have been horrified by the amount of work required to get web apps to look and work the same across different browsers. JQuery and Bootstrap deal with a lot of the pain but web dev still feels very hacked-together compared to desktop development to me.

IslaDeEncanta 9 hours ago 1 reply      
My rule nowadays is to go with a web application unless you have a good reason not to. The difference between the work done for deployment is enormous, and it's enough to justify avoiding desktop applications 90% of the time.
guitarbill 8 hours ago 0 replies      
Web apps are great for most intranet apps. Especially if you already have a single sign on solution. Deployment and maintenance are easier, as is replacing the thing when it becomes obsolete. With a desktop app, once it's out there, it's out there with all the headaches that brings. Otherwise, hard to make a recommendation without any specifics.
flukus 9 hours ago 2 replies      
It's a good idea to use desktop technologies if the app is complex, for most corporate intranets a few web pages is probably good enough.

As for the stack, c# and winforms is a good bet, particularly if you need to target older versions of windows. If you need a bit more performance or cross platform support then c++ and qt would be better. You could go c++ and win32, but MS dropped the ball on creating a nice api.

Deployments are another area MS dropped the ball, click once is sort of ok if you are using visual studio, but either way chocolatey is better. You may want something better for release management, in which case look into octopus deploy. These suggestions apply to electron apps as well.

Basically, had windows XP come with a better programming APIs (more like qt/gtk) and a better deployment model then web apps would have never been a thing. OSS has made windows a viable desktop.

hiram112 9 hours ago 0 replies      
I don't think so anymore, though I would have said yes even a few years ago.

I see most of the companies I work with moving towards AWS or Azure with all the scaling support and APIs that really make web apps easier to work with.

Instead of dealing with dozens of IT rules as to what can be installed on the various corporate images (which now include Macs), it's easier to just point users at a URL and make sure whatever single sign on they've got is integrated.

Another point: desktop apps are just as complicated as web apps these days, especially when dealing with Mac, Unix, Windows compatibility along with mobile. It seems like nobody has really done a good job of replacing VB6, Delphi, etc, and I haven't touched (as a Java developer) Swing or JavaFX in years.

Atami 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Thanks for your answers!
Ask HN: What SaaS do you or your business use?
12 points by nullundefined  14 hours ago   1 comment top
dangrossman 13 hours ago 0 replies      
You can use something like https://stackshare.io/ or https://builtwith.com/ to discover what tools other businesses like yours are using. Is there something valuable in lists of SaaS websites from nonspecific HN users?
Ask HN: How do you code while dealing with personal problems?
15 points by heyheyhey  18 hours ago   15 comments top 14
twobyfour 13 hours ago 0 replies      
In short, compartmentalization. Ymmv, but here's what works for me:

1) first, grab a real pen(cil) and paper (even if it's scrap), sit down somewhere comfortable, and take some time to write down what's bothering you. How it makes you feel, and why, and what you want to do about it, and everything that's been running through your mind about it. Until you have no more to say. This helps your mind feel like you have given the problem the attention it deserves.

2) write down 2-3 finite, specific tasks that are important for you to get done today, and that you know that on an ordinary day you can complete all of in just half a day. This is a point of focus for your workday. Even if you accomplish nothing else, completing these tasks should be considered a victory on a bad day.

3) take a walk or meditate for 15 minutes to clear your head and refocus. Don't beat yourself up if your mind wanders or even returns to what's bothering you, but if you can empty your head, do. The purpose of this time is to create a mental break between the thinking about this problem and thinking about work.

4) don't force yourself to start coding. Do force yourself to open up your text editor to the place you need to be to get the first of your 2-3 tasks done.

5) if, at this point, you're still unable to code, take a mental health day or two. Focus on taking care of yourself, because you'll be more productive tomorrow if you heal yourself today.

o2l 2 hours ago 0 replies      
I am going through the same right now. The problems are of the kind which won't be fixed overnight, but I realise that it is important to make your peace with it, even if you are not able to solve it right now.

I am going to take a small break now to mindfully approach all the problems and think of what I can do to solve them today. If there's nothing I can do today, I can at least know that I did whatever I could for now and can move on from the thoughts temporarily.

Listening to music which you usually listen to while programming can put you back in the zone, if the problem is not too serious or not too distracting.

tboyd47 18 hours ago 0 replies      
Try to find something easier to work on until it passes.

At my company, I switched over to our new stack (all ReactJS) at the end of last year and then had a whole bunch of personal/family drama hit me right after. It was so overwhelming I had to ask my supervisor to move me back to our old (Ruby) stack. I'm grateful he did. Not having to suddenly learn 10 new technologies at once gave me back the mental space I needed to deal with the other stuff.

joshrotenberg 18 hours ago 0 replies      
Take the day off. Your mental health is likely much more important than any of the work you'll do over the next day or two.
NotSammyHagar 6 hours ago 0 replies      
Try to figure out how you can talk about this issue with someone. When my mom died I couldn't do much (it wasn't as important b/c i was in management 1/2 ;-)), and I eventually left the company, looking for something new. Maybe see a therapist, or find someone to talk about it with. I have no idea what happened, maybe you got a dui, maybe you broke up, maybe you witnessed a tragedy. In any case, talk it out with someone. Good luck, life goes on. Even if you made some bad choice that affected someone else, you could try to help improve the world as partial compensation.
imauld 4 hours ago 1 reply      
Nothing wrong with taking a mental health day off of work. Especially if it's bothering you so much you can't concentrate.
dmitripopov 3 hours ago 0 replies      
It's a natural thing. Handle your personal issues first. But make sure you do not suffer from Anxiety Disorder - you need help in this case.
shortsightedsid 16 hours ago 0 replies      
Your personal problems (and health and family) should always come first before work. Any reasonable manager should be able to recognize that and help you out. Worst case take a day or two off to solve your problem. Long run - day or two won't make a difference.
edimaudo 14 hours ago 0 replies      
Here are some options you can take.- If you work for someone, then talk to your manager about your issue and see if you can get a lighter work load- Another option is to take some time off in order to address the issue
w4tson 14 hours ago 0 replies      
Try going for a run. You get some alone time, the exercise does you good and the endorphins released afterwards can ease the problem

I find myself more energized getting straight to work after a run.

Hope you work it out

crypto5 17 hours ago 0 replies      
You can use coding as a kind of meditation to clear your mind from negative emotions.
jf22 14 hours ago 0 replies      
It is ok if you aren't 100% productive sometimes.
bbcbasic 7 hours ago 0 replies      
Been in that boat. Got nothing done for a couple of days. Fortunately I was at the company a while and could get away with it as I wasn't being micromanaged. In heinsight a couple of days leave might have been wiser. If they try to make you feel guilty for taking it, increment the red flag counter :-)
rcoder26 18 hours ago 0 replies      
When u code ... U just code ...Imagine if you coding a critical software a bug left due to your personal problems can cause many other ...
Ask HN: How should I study algorithms and datastructures?
14 points by PixZxZxA  16 hours ago   6 comments top 5
veddox 16 hours ago 0 replies      
Short answer: code them ;-)

Long answer:

The Algorithms and Data Structures course is one of the foundational courses of a CS degree. Even if you think you don't need to be able to implement the algorithms you learn in your work later on, it is important to have some idea of which algorithms exist for a given task.

Also, and perhaps even more importantly, understanding how these algorithms work really hones your problem solving skills. You learn how to abstract the information given to you as part of a problem into an appropriate data structure, and what kind of operations you can carry out with which data structures. You learn how to cope with several different layers of abstraction and develop an intuition for programming approaches that are fast and/or light on memory. Basically, the ADS course doesn't teach you how to be a programmer, but how to think like one.

As for studying for this course: there's nothing like doing it yourself. Chances are, you already have to do so anyway as part of your course work. Take the programming tasks seriously and really do try to do it yourself. (Get friends to help you by all means, but don't let them do the work for you.)

I would advise you not to slack either: based on your information and the ADS course at my uni, I'm guessing that you're still at the very beginning of your degree. It isn't going to get easier in terms of workload, and the algorithms you learn about later on in the course are a lot more complicated than those at the beginning. But if you've made the effort to understand the first bunch of algorithms, you'll be in good shape to understand the latter ones too. So yes, it is hard work, but you can do it :-)

marvy 10 hours ago 1 reply      
Two days to understand the ESSENCE?? I understand that there are a lot of details, and those can take a lot of time to master, but the essence should be really quick. To wit:

1. Merge sort. Given two sorted sequences, they can be merged in linear time. Given an algorithm that does so, we can sort a list in O(n log n) time, as follows: split the list into two equal halves, merge sort each half, and then merge the result. (The base case is that sorting lists of length 1 is really easy.)

2. Insertion sort. Let's say you want to sort in increasing order. To make things concrete, let's say your given list is

[3, 1, 4, -1, 5, 9, 2, 6, -5, -3]

You start by walking through the list: 3, 1, ... WAIT. That's not right, 1 should come before 3. Let's drag it to the front of the list where it belongs. We now have:

[1, 3, 4, -1, 5, 9, 2, 6, -5, -3]

Now we again walk through the list: 1, 3, 4, -1 ... WAIT. What's -1 doing here, let's drag it to the front of the line:

[-1, 1, 3, 4, 5, 9, 2, 6, -5, -3]

Again: -1, 1, 3, 4, 5, 9, 2, ... WAIT. What's 2 doing here, we need to drag it forward, but not all the way to the front:

[-1, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 9, 6, -5, -3]

And so on. Is this what you meant by essence?

kerneldeveloper 10 hours ago 0 replies      
I must recommend two books, both of them are awesome. One is Algorithm by Sedgewick and the other is The Algorithm Design Manual by Steven S. Skiena. You can read the first book and then the other. If you want some challenges and practice, try LeetCode and HackerRank. By the way, it'd be better to keep a discrete math book at hand, it would help you if you encounter some mathematical proof problems. I would recommend Discrete Mathematics and Its Applications by Kenneth H. Rosen for reference.
kiloreux 16 hours ago 0 replies      
I would first ask. Do you really need this in your day to day life? I know a lot of companies use this for hiring, but you can still get a job without them.

However if you still want to study them, there are plenty of resources online, like this youtube channel[1].

Taking 2 days to understand insertion sort is fine but you just need to practice learning more often and use the things you learn more often. Even if it's on toy projects.


vskarine 16 hours ago 0 replies      
not the fastest but IMHO most practical way is through http://www.usaco.org/ training program @ http://train.usaco.org/usacogate, it's free and it will teach you to code and use most data structures and algorithms you'd ever encounter
Ask HN: I got laid off, how should I use my time to work on my startup idea?
13 points by tuxxy  16 hours ago   6 comments top 6
jacquesm 15 hours ago 0 replies      
To be blunt: forget it, go find another job and then run your start-up alongside your new job, if and when it takes off jump ship otherwise be happy you're not broke.

It's silly to burn up that little bit of $ that you will receive on an outside chance like this.

rl3 15 hours ago 0 replies      
Generally speaking, your chance of failure is probably around 99%. Starting a startup is essentially buying a lotto ticket.

Like jacquesm says, finding a new job and running your startup on the side is the safer bet. If that's viable, then I'd suggest you find a new employer that has a contract friendly to side projects.

As an aside, there should really be a list of companies that are friendly in this regard. GitHub was recently in the news for allowing employees to work on personal projects using company resources, which is awesome.[0]

[0] https://qz.com/937038/github-now-lets-its-workers-keep-the-i...

zerni 13 hours ago 0 replies      
Just give yourself a month and don't write a single line of code.

Go meet your customers in the first week. Ask lots of whys. Do more structured IN PERSON interviews in the second week. Look at how it has been solved in the past and what competitors do. Draw up a rough solution (e.g. landing page) in week 4 and test it out in person as well as drive some traffic to it from online communities (reddit and FB groups do get you some traffic to have an idea about conversion rates).

GV has some good articles around cust dev interviews on their medium.

You probably have higher chances finding angel money for a well validated idea in the market than a product you built for 3 months full time without knowing exactly what to build.

david927 15 hours ago 0 replies      
It all depends on your background, where your product is, etc. In your place, I would start reading. Any answer here would parrot what has been written a thousand times before.

You should know that getting even a small angel investment, for many, is quite tough -- and it takes time. If I were you, I would consider instead just focusing that time on getting the product far enough along that people either can use it or get excited about it. Get to know startups in your area and make yourself known in that community. Just chasing investment without an MVP that has clear growth is usually a waste of time.

NotSammyHagar 6 hours ago 0 replies      
Good ideas below, like meeting your customers and learning their problems before coding, also getting a job first and working on this on the side. If you got severance, or you can afford to not work for a while, take a few weeks off and enjoy life if you can. I sometimes have burning ideas and I like to explore them, but I think working in a real job while you do this new thing on the side is the most practical.
Mz 15 hours ago 0 replies      
Not an answer to your question, but a resource that might interest you:


Ask HN: How does Facebook manage object schemas in TAO?
4 points by perfmode  10 hours ago   1 comment top
tenken 7 hours ago 0 replies      
They have thousands of object types.

I don't know what format they serialize to; native object, XML, json...

But here is an example tool that can do migrations via XML serialized data for Java. As an intermediary step in the XML serialization they create a document of XML that simply contains a version attribute alongside the schema. A similar approach would work for other serialization formats (json, native, etc).



I'll bet they use something like Across internally:https://grisha.org/blog/2013/06/06/avro/

Ask HN: Are there any open-source alternatives to AWS Lambda
5 points by tombert  10 hours ago   6 comments top 4
siscia 2 hours ago 0 replies      
I worked on https://github.com/siscia/effe which is basically a templare where you Write Your function in go.

You compile it down to a single executable and then you do whatever you want with it.

I can't provide the autodeploy part though...

marcc 6 hours ago 0 replies      
A couple of choices are fission from platform9 and kubeless from bitnami.

Alternatively you could try IBM OpenWhisk or Azure Functions, both of which are open source.

flukus 10 hours ago 1 reply      
What are the features of AWS that you need? For example, do you really need an enormous amount of elasticity? If not then a single powerful server that people can ssh to might be fine. How long are you waiting for various jobs to finish?
QuinnyPig 10 hours ago 0 replies      
I've heard a bit about iron.io, but couldn't tell you anything about them past that.
Ask HN: What's the Hacker News of hardware?
108 points by EXueBRJ9d  2 days ago   46 comments top 24
androng 2 days ago 3 replies      
I was wondering the same question because I have an EE degree and am annoyed there is no website that spews interesting content for my profession. Maybe Planet Analog or EEVBlog forum? It's very hard to find great tutorials.

I would argue that this website covers both hardware/software in the natural proportion of hardware:software developers. If I had to guess then that would be 1:30.

Why is it 1:30? Because hardware developers have way more at stake than their software counterparts. One injection mold costs $8000, one PCB assembly run costs $12000, one PCB costs $900 and one week, one wafer costs $400,000 and six months. So there are just a lot less hardware developers than there are firmware/software ones.

Look at the distribution of posts on the HN two front pages 9 Software optimization (compilers, language features)9 Business/ IP6 Other5 Cutting Edge software like AI4 Information Security /Privacy 4 Show HN or similar (a product or dev tool)4 Historical Computers3 Non-Technology news3 Design2 Other Technology news1 Ask HN

Only 17/50 of those are actually pure software posts. (Software optimization, Cutting Edge software like AIDesign) The rest would likely be on a hardware website too.

Software changes much faster than hardware. Software can be acted on by individuals and posted on HN by individuals, not just companies/universities with $1m research labs. But when new hardware comes out that is intellectually interesting, like IBMs quantum computer, or an ESP8266, or Google's Tensor Computer Units, you'll bet you can find it on HN.

Animats 2 days ago 0 replies      
Check out "bbs.elecfans.com". 4 million posts in "Engineer Workplace".

Articles include the problems of being obsolete at age 30, and a comment that Huawei is "cleaning up" the staff over 34. There's an online course on how to become an embedded systems developer by writing your own RTOS, and what questions Huawei asks in interviews. Somebody wants help with their square wave generator, which is producing a poor waveform. Somebody else wants to know how to drive a 12V brushless DC motor 300mA 2000 RPM. Nobody posted a useful answer, which is disappointing.

All in Mandarin, of course, but that's what Google Translate is for.

ktta 2 days ago 1 reply      
I would say subscribe to a couple subreddits. The level of discussion is not as to the point as I find HN tends to have (which is a good thing in my opinion), but there are quite a few different ones with varying levels of discussion and acceptance. So I wouldn't expect the HN version of hardware there, but something different.

To start you off, I subscribe to the following:







Note that there subreddits related to a specific product where discussion focuses on that specific hardware. They tend to by hobbyist, but that's as close as you can get.



richardxia 2 days ago 2 replies      
Not exactly like HN, but http://hackaday.com focuses on small hardware projects and news.
Animats 2 days ago 0 replies      
sci.electronics.design on Usenet is quite helpful. I've been able to get help there with obscure problems in switching power supply design.

Because all the clueless people have dropped Usenet, it's mostly people who know what they're doing. comp.lang.* groups remain useful.

r/electronics is rather lame. Current top articles:

* Join fellow redditors in delivering happiness to one another around the globe! (AD)

* Interesting7805 at the heart of a Super Famicom (SNES).

* Organization Tip: Old Cassette Cases w/ Labels to Keep Parts Sorted!

* Modded Gopro clone sees through Blu-Ray player

* NJ based Components Distributor with NO minimum order quantity (AD)

Not too helpful.

Electronics people usually get Electronic Design magazine. Mechanical engineering people get Machine Design. (Those are free. New Equipment Digest arrives whether you asked for it or not.)

morganvachon 2 days ago 0 replies      
http://anandtech.com is where I get most of my retail hardware news in the PC and portable space.

https://hackaday.com/ is good for hardware hacking, though it leans heavily towards Arduino and Raspberry Pi platforms. Most articles that aren't about one of those platforms tend to be about retro-computing, 3D printing, repurposing hardware, and similar topics.

https://phoronix.com is great for Linux-specific hardware reviews, and is worth a subscription; Michael Larabel is one of the hardest working people on the Linux news scene.

watchdogtimer 2 days ago 0 replies      
I like http://www.cnx-software.com (which, despite the name, is more about hardware than software) and http://www.linuxgizmos.com.
analog31 2 days ago 0 replies      
I've found that at the forums for Raspberry Pi and other hobbyist gadgets, folks will go off on a tangent about hardware news, often enough to make it interesting.

A strange difference is that for me, software news is much more actionable than hardware. Somebody has to turn a new hardware development into something like a breakout board, often with support software such as drivers, before I can really do anything with it. The stuff that I can support myself, such as peripheral IC's and analog components, doesn't evolve as quickly.

I suppose one could say that software also requires support software (such as Python wrappers) before I can use it, but that seems to happen more quickly.

labdsf 2 days ago 2 replies      
HN is not limited to software. Hardware news are posted here sometimes and no rules prohibit it.
SAI_Peregrinus 2 days ago 1 reply      
I feel like the IEEE should have a forum on their site. Currently the closest thing outside of Spectrum and their various journals is probably their Facebook page, which is just a Facebook page.
jasminz 1 day ago 0 replies      
Personally, I visit hackaday.com almost daily. It contains a bit of hardware news along with a bunch of interesting projects (called hackaday.io). Main focus of the website is modding of HW and SW though
pokemongoaway 2 days ago 0 replies      
Good question! We need one! HardOCP used to have some things... And the very first high-end/professional HW benchmarking websites were inspiring.

I think if we could get a couple engineers from each HW manufacturer from different departments to help put together articles, then I think one as entertaining as HN could be built. People just don't hash out HW specs like they used to - and we need a resurgence via an injection of top-skilled onslaught articles written by the actual innovations of today. I'm happy to help coerce them to participate in such an adventure - if some of you will help me :)

nickpsecurity 2 days ago 0 replies      
Im curious to know what you find out on that. One resource you might enjoy is Jack Ganssle's Embedded Muse. Go through back issues. He and his readers have all kinds of neat tips from tools to firmware tricks. I remember one there and today on Schneier blog was talking about noticing specific analog problems through sound from the waves they leaked. They didnt have equipment onhand so tuned an AM radio or something to it. Most isnt that exciting but those gems slip in there.
dpc59 2 days ago 0 replies      
Maybe you should aim for something more precise, such as forums about microchips, or keyboards, or soundsystems (there has to be great ressources about those, I have friends who build their own to throw big raves), etc.. I started getting into microbiology and chemistry as I started brewing beer (I'm just here because my roommate is a webdev and I'm interested in entrepreneurship, I can't remember how to code a loop in python and couldn't tell you the difference between AC and DC), and there's nothing great specifically about those sciences. However there are great forums (facebook groups and subreddits in particular, with a good mod team they can be great platforms) for brewing (both professional and home-scale), growing mushrooms, theory behind drug synthesis/purification, and probably a lot more stuff I barely know about.
Negative1 2 days ago 0 replies      
I would say https://hackaday.com. It doesn't match the format exactly (i.e. story voting w/ aggregated scores for weighting to front page) but it is in the spirit of HackerNews.
MrQuincle 2 days ago 0 replies      
Forum, but quality quite okay and if new hardware arrives it gets discussed.


asmithmd1 2 days ago 0 replies      
Certainly not popular as HN but it does have some community:


yuhong 2 days ago 1 reply      
This reminds me of https://www.reddit.com/r/Ram/ and the idea of a DRAM subreddit that deals with DRAM like DDR3 and DDR4, hopefully with DRAM experts.
ramshanker 2 days ago 0 replies      
Almost all major hardware news are submitted on this Hacker News as well.
deepnotderp 2 days ago 0 replies      
eetimes and semiengineering as well as r/hardware (although it's a lot less technical) can be interesting
labdsf 2 days ago 1 reply      
https://lobste.rs/ is similar to HN, but has tags, so you can limit your scope to hardware: https://lobste.rs/t/hardware
mej10 2 days ago 0 replies      
There isn't as much of a pop culture around hardware, hence less news.
arca_vorago 2 days ago 0 replies      
Ask HN: What do you wish you had purchased when you still had student discounts?
7 points by anderspitman  17 hours ago   5 comments top 5
mattbgates 10 hours ago 0 replies      
If anything, I wish I had refinanced my student loans. I remember paying 6% or 7% for them in interest every month. It took me 2 years and I was sending both of my paychecks towards them every month, living on very little money. Plenty of companies will happily buy your debt and give you below 5% rate if you have decent credit.

I certainly did take advantage of an Apple discount though, at the time, it was way better than it is today. It was 2009 when I bought a Macbook. They gave me a printer, an iPod Touch, and $100 in Apple credit which I applied towards the computer. I think I also opened a credit account with them which took off 10% more from the total price.

Sold the printer for $100, sold the iPod for $250.

So a $1500 laptop ended up costing me $1200ish with tax.

I think they have since changed all that and give you a $100 discount.

madamelic 16 hours ago 0 replies      
Get the GitHub Student Pack, if you haven't already.

It isn't a lot but free is free.


iSloth 16 hours ago 0 replies      
Doesn't really count as I did get one, but Apple used to give a decent discount and the three year warranty was also heavily discounted.
DrNuke 17 hours ago 0 replies      
CAD and CAE packages like SolidWorks, Ansys and so on, maybe?
BorisMelnik 16 hours ago 0 replies      
MS Office

edit: and Adobe stuff like Photoshop and Illustrator

Ask HN: Is YC still doing open office hours?
4 points by dimasf  18 hours ago   4 comments top
offerquant 17 hours ago 2 replies      
I love coding, and I am 40. Can I still become a developer and is it worth it?
26 points by fthiella  1 day ago   20 comments top 15
1ba9115454 19 minutes ago 0 replies      
You're biggest issue will be getting selected for an interview.

If I'm recruiting it's generally for a specific full stack developer. i.e. Ruby on Rails. Personally I would see your background as an advantage but I'll still need to be able to see that you can hit the ground running.

So ideally you'll need a project on your CV targeted at the recruiters development stack. Perhaps an open source project or a side project, or freelance on upwork.

You're age is an advantage, don't forget that. We grow wiser every year.

saluki 21 hours ago 1 reply      
Don't abandon the idea. Keep earning your primary income as you currently are as a Sys Admin and coding where you can in your day job.

If you enjoy developing pick a framework (Rails or Laravel) and start building apps. Learn all you can. Work toward obtaining a remote developer position or working on contract projects to learn more/get a better taste of what the work is like. If you enjoy it and are successful work toward transitioning to it full time.

Another option is to create your own app/business and be your own boss if you're interested in that. Then you don't have to worry about being hired or ageism.

Inspiration: @DHH Startup School Talkhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0CDXJ6bMkMY

StartUpsForTheRestOfUs Podcasthttp://www.startupsfortherestofus.com/archives

Good luck, don't give up on your dream.

NotSammyHagar 6 hours ago 0 replies      
Yes, you can. I expect it will be a little bit hard to get that first job, but once you have experience it will get easier and easier to get better jobs. You need to practice practice practice coding. The best way is just to code some things that are interesting, then work your way up to doing some practice problems.

Interviewing varies widely among companies. Some places only want to hire people that are experts in some tech they are using (say a js package), others want to hire people that are generalists, or have worked on mostly frontend - ui, or backend (not ui). Some places want people who can learn anything. There's no uniform thing.

Most companies in the US would not consider you for a senior coder, unless you were very very advanced in some aspect of cs. Since you don't have much experience, you could look for an introdutory role. I don't know about signapore, but in the us because of the huge demand its generally easy to find a starting programming job. You could also look for a job that takes advantage of your dev ops/admin background while have some easy programming required, but you'd want to make sure it was really a job that had programming.

Good luck! I'm 50+ and have many years of experience and have no shortage of jobs. Just program, try for an hour a day if you are still working in your admin job, and in a few months you'll be much more fluent.

scandox 1 day ago 1 reply      
A few observations:

1. Your age is NOT an issue

2. Many professional developers do not have Mastery in any specific language. That may be sad, but it is a fact.

3. The biggest difference between what you've done to date and being full time is finishing. By that I mean having the stamina, interest or sheer bloody-mindedness to finish medium to large software projects. Starting is fun, scripting is fun, algorithms are fun...slogging through hundreds of modules, building interface after interface, implementing api after api, creating tests for everything can become very much like ... hard work ...

19kuba22 1 day ago 0 replies      
I don't think your age is an issue, but moving to SG could be as it will be harder to get a job in a position you don't have a lot of experience in. :/

I think it'd be better to gain some experience in your home country first, but I understand it might not be possible.

I think your best bet would be to look for a DevOps position which would provide you with more opportunities for coding while valuing your sysadmin skillset.

mattbgates 1 day ago 0 replies      
I began programming when I was about 12... lost interest at 20, and eventually got back into it at 26. I missed it and that world had changed so much since I was 12. However, I was able to pick it up quickly and I am a web developer for a living. Definitely never thought I was going to be a web developer as I sat in college, studying psychology. In my 30s now and working for a public relations news corporation.

You really never know where you are going to end up and anything is possible, no matter what age you are. It is always worth it and will always be worth it. Since I started, I have built two semi-popular websites at http://www.confessionsoftheprofessions.com and https://mypost.io/ and after those, began developing real web apps that I charge for. I just started my own business that specializes in apps for memory and communication. We have a few apps in beta testing, about 4 of them ready to go out with 4 more side projects in design and development stages.

Most companies want to see your experience. Just make sure you have a portfolio and a little documentation regarding work you have done. Have references available upon request and get a LinkedIn and have them write recommendations for you and return the favor. I remember I used to be willing to give all these PEOPLE references, but after they see your work and know it is yours, they usually need not see any more than that.

It can be scary, moving to another country. But believe in yourself, know that this is another path in life and an adventure you are going to take, and make the best of your situation. You have a lot of knowledge and based on that knowledge, it seems like you are always willing to learn more and go beyond. There are tons of position to be filled that go unfulfilled, even if it may seem the market is saturated with developers. You are in demand as long as you make yourself in demand. If you get tired working for the boss, work for yourself. In this day and age, more than ever, WE have the power to do that.

Regret doing it. That is a much better regret than the regret for not doing it.

eberkund 1 day ago 1 reply      
Like another commenter said, there are a huge number of of web programming jobs out there. That being said it sounds like your skills are somewhat out of date with current technologies. I doubt you will find many jobs openings for Perl developers, jQuery is also being rapidly replaced with MVVM type front end frameworks.

That being said, I see some similarity in your position to the one I was in a few years back. I had just finished a degree in computer engineering and I wanted to start a career as a software developer. I had some background developing basic sites with PHP/HTML/CSS/jQuery but I found that employers were looking for more. I ended up studying a few modern frameworks for a few months and found a job much more easily after that. I'm sure that will be the case for you. Just research the job market and find out what skills are demand and what skills you are lacking, it is probably a lot less work to catch up than you might think. Good luck!

thepratt 1 day ago 0 replies      
I can't speak on behalf of the culture in Singapore, but a lot of more corporate countries (e.g. Australia) will want specific experience relating to the role and will bias their decision on X years in the industry - some of your knowledge and personal projects will translate but i doubt you'll have the foundations a lot of juniors will have received during their time. I don't know your specific circumstances but from personal opinion i wouldn't hire you as a senior without having experience tutoring junior developers, debugging others' code, understanding drawbacks of certain architecture decisions and (possibly) being a slow starter.

In terms of age, most newer companies (mine included - London) don't associate title to time served or your actual age, but your abilities. We've hired a junior who was then 29 and made a switch from being an accountant. He had the gist of how things worked and his personal projects looked promising. He completed the coding exercise in a language he was not familiar which demonstrated well his ability to problem solve; guidance was needed but he was were we'd expect a junior with no comp sci background to be. I myself am the youngest in our team by quite a margin (mid-20s) and am the Technical Lead - age isn't a worry. Just be prepared to be outdone/tutored by people young enough to be your children; at previous companies I've met people that have fought me on every aspect bc of that fact even though i was brought in to advise and fix their architecture issues.

csomar 16 hours ago 0 replies      
This is a question that goes back to you: What do you want?

You might have also missed an important part: Do you need to put food over the table?

There is always a market for 40+y.o junior software developers. It probably is not as rewarding as you might need it to be.

Relevant: If you are a thick skinned guy with lots of deduction and perseverance; there is a market for SaaS/Products which require little marketing and sales. Can earn you a decent income. No location dependance and no boss (though customers can be as much annoying)

wingerlang 1 day ago 1 reply      
This whole thread is full of YES sayers, however this field is also full of people talking about age discrimination where 30+ is being pushed out. I'd think this would be moreso apparent in a junior role.

I'm all for age being of no importance as I'm about to hit 30 in a few years. But it's worth mentioning (maybe).

cascala 1 day ago 0 replies      
Being a software developer is a unique profession, since many software developers never received much formal training. For instance, many mathematicians, physicists, (non computer science) engineers write software for a living. Compare that with structural engineers, lawyers or medical doctors: it is very different.

Because of that, I firmly believe many people can work as a software developer and contribute meaningfully to a company's bottom line.

State your ambition and let the results of your work do the rest.

jasim 1 day ago 0 replies      
There is a huge number of web programming jobs out there, and so would be easy to get into.

Figure out a back-end language and web framework you like - I'd recommend Python+Django or Ruby+Rails - and build a web app in it - if you spend a few months and put in a few hundred commits and build a large enough application, you're good to participate in a team and start adding good value. That by very definition should land you a full-time programming position.

joelhooks 1 day ago 0 replies      
Your age is an advantage, assuming you've been a working professional of some sort.

The mechanics of learning to code simply takes determination and hard work. In my experience, the vocabulary is the first major hurdle.

By the time you're 50 you'll have a decade of experience

dylanhassinger 1 day ago 0 replies      
you might aim for a DevOps role. It's a hot skillset that combines sysadmin with programming, it would jive well with your background. learn everything you can about modern databases, scaling/containers and security
dozzie 1 day ago 0 replies      
A friend of mine was changing his profession to programming and he was aroundthe same age as you (though he was in HR previously, so he was retraining fromscratch with part time studies). It's perfectly OK to be junior at 40.

Then, you say you are/were an administrator. I say that this is a very, veryconvenient position to do programming. (1) You have tasks that warrant writinga program; (2) you will be part of your own audience, so you know when yourprogram is good enough and what the heck should it actually do; (3) you'renominally not a programmer, so nobody will expect you to adjust your toolboxto the company's vision. Language choice will be your decision, so if you deemErlang to be much better for something, you write Erlang, not C# or Java justbecause the rest of the company uses that.

I am such a sysadmin myself (was? my title now is "programmer/Linux systemengineer"), so I speak from experience. Most of my day is spent on writingcode for managing systems, not on administration itself, though I do some ofthat, too. And there's a lot of tools that would be helluva useful forsysadmins (or for me, at least), but they are not written yet and I don'texpect regular programmers to write them.

Ask HN: What are the best AI conferences in 2017 outside US?
4 points by mfalcon  13 hours ago   2 comments top
michalpt 12 hours ago 1 reply      
If you are heading to Central Europe, Prague to be more specific, I would recommend Machine Learning Prague 2017: http://www.mlprague.com/. Some pretty interesting names such as Lars Backstrom (Facebook), Yufeng Guo (Google) and Pierre Baldi (University of California) should show up.
Ask HN: Your approach to security on the Mac
11 points by some1else  22 hours ago   5 comments top 2
bnycum 21 hours ago 0 replies      
If you haven't read through this before, it's worth a read.


sayelt 21 hours ago 1 reply      
What security are you talking about?

Proprietary software gives you zero security against its owner/developer.

FLOSS is the only way we can have real security.

Ask HN: How to split equity for full-time and part-time co-founders?
3 points by vinalia  19 hours ago   4 comments top 3
NotSammyHagar 6 hours ago 0 replies      
I have thought about this kind of problem. I have some ideas that I'd like to share with my friends, but I've been some effort into thinking about the market and how to make money from implementing ideas. What would be the strategy for dividing up ownership with several people who would be helping me? I really struggle with this. I am always hearing ideas are a dime a dozen, but if an idea is my baby, I need to figure out how to get past this and share it. I know I would need help to build anything of consequence.
philipDS 18 hours ago 1 reply      
IMHO if your product and company works, you're in it for a long time. That means your co-founder should keep their motivation long-term as well.

If your first sale happens within the next few months, I would keep a 50/50 split just because they will put in a lot of effort in the future. Alternatively, you could start your vesting now and and the other founder could start vesting as soon as he joins full-time. Not sure if this is legally possible.

Another option would be to count the difference in time you spent on it and translate that into equity and ask your co-founder to give you that (like 45% vs 55% equity split). I wouldn't go more than 5%, since I prefer to keep things even. Again, you've got a long road ahead of you, so make sure both of you feel comfortable with the split and with future obligations as well.

hanniabu 18 hours ago 0 replies      
Similar to what Phillip said, you can do an even split, with the vesting time proportional to time put in.
Ask HN: Is it ok to talk to your co-workers about your side project?
9 points by caltrain  15 hours ago   6 comments top 6
DamnYuppie 15 hours ago 0 replies      
Honestly it depends on your employment agreement. If your side project is making money I would not discuss it with anyone at work.

If your employer decides, now or in the future, to take a substantial interest in what you are doing it can cause you no end of headaches. Also please note that it only takes one or two individuals within an organization to stir up trouble. The founder/ceo may not be that interested but if one party along the line decides it is best for that work to cease it will be a HUGE pita.

Kevin_S 15 hours ago 0 replies      
Not worth it in my opinion. Giving off the impression that you want to leave your job (even if you don't) is a bad look. Find literally anyone else to talk about it with.
Insanity 15 hours ago 0 replies      
I have coworkers with whom we do share information about sideprojects. These are oss tools however and as far as I know we all see it as something done for fun and not monitary gain.

I don't see any issue with it. But of course a lot depends on your sideproject and the environment in which you work

Mz 14 hours ago 0 replies      
This depends on a great many factors, including how well you know when/about what to shut up, what your specific co-workers are like, the nature of the project, and where you work.
akulbe 14 hours ago 0 replies      
Assume the worst, that they will share every last detail with {any,every}one. Can you live with that? will it jeopardize your side income at all?

Proceed accordingly.

Jemaclus 14 hours ago 0 replies      
I would avoid it. Better safe than sorry.
Has Founder become a job title?
7 points by secretsinger  16 hours ago   3 comments top 3
Alex3917 15 hours ago 0 replies      
> Is it literally, someone who was involved in founding a company or does it refer to a degree of commitment, risk, or other intangible asset.

There isn't really any specific moment when a company goes from un-founded to founded. Often this happens over a period of several years.

So while colloquially we say that a founder was there when the company was founded, in practice that's really a proxy for someone having done a substantial amount of work that was compensated in equity before the company was derisked. So e.g. if you own 40% of the company by the time the company raises a seed round then you're clearly a founder, regardless of whether or not your signature is on the articles of incorporation.

whitepoplar 11 hours ago 0 replies      
Founder isn't a job title, it's simply a fact. CEO, CTO, etc.--those are job titles. Empirically, it seems like people who over-emphasize their role as "founder" don't make good founders.
andrew-lucker 16 hours ago 0 replies      
Determining who are "founders" used to be as simple as looking at the articles of incorporation. Now we have language barriers and only grammar nazis would defend the original definition?
Ask HN: Productivity tips/sources/literature?
18 points by HugoDaniel  1 day ago   7 comments top 4
Mz 14 hours ago 0 replies      
1. Get enough sleep.

2. Exercise and eat right.

3. Set goals. People with goals vastly outperform those without.

4. Track your progress. This will involve determining the right metrics. "What gets measured gets done."

5. Look for more efficient ways to do things.

6. Read the book "The 7 habits of highly effective people."

7. Learn some time management techniques.

8. Read up on how to plan things backwards: Start with where you want to be and figure out the step before that and the step before that, etc. Otherwise, you may be "climbing a ladder leaned against the wrong wall."

elorm 1 day ago 1 reply      
The only resource I'd recommend is Learning How To Learn by Barbara Oakley


It also has a companion book.(Book came first anyway). It's well researched and has many tricks on boosting productivity e.g Pomodoro technique.

atsaloli 1 day ago 1 reply      
Check out recent discussion of Max Kanat-Alexander's blog post on increasing developer productivity: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=14071716 (and of course the blog post itself, http://www.codesimplicity.com/post/effective-engineering-pro...)

P.S. See also Max's earlier blog post Measuring Developer Productivity: http://www.codesimplicity.com/post/measuring-developer-produ...

toepitt 1 day ago 0 replies      
I'm working on a project that improves general productivity (not just developer productivity) with common methods, based on science studies. The methods aren't popular yet.

The biggest insight is that it's far more important to work on big, important problems.

Ask HN: What is the preferred platform for dev blog?
14 points by deepsy  1 day ago   8 comments top 5
tucaz 8 hours ago 0 replies      
I'd say you want whatever can get you to start writing NOW.

If your goal is content, then you should worry about being consistent with content.

The platform will only matter later in the future.

I'd go with WordPress.com and that's it. From 0 to 60 in a second.

Most people will spend time playing with platforms and tech and forget the most important part which is writing.

rwieruch 21 hours ago 0 replies      
I can recommend to use Hugo [0] as static website generator. They have plenty of themes [1] to choose from. You can still adjust it with basic knowledge in HTML/CSS. Afterwards you can chose where to host it. You can use Github Pages [2] for free or pay for a service like DigitalOcean [3]. I wrote a technical cheatsheet [4] on how to setup your own website with these ingredients.

- [0] https://gohugo.io/

- [1] http://themes.gohugo.io/

- [2] https://pages.github.com/

- [3] https://www.digitalocean.com/

- [4] http://www.robinwieruch.de/own-website-in-five-days/

diggs 1 day ago 1 reply      
I recommend using a static site generator and hosting on S3. It's the cheapest way to do it and will survive a hacker news storm. It's also easily managed in version control and zero maintenance. For extra points you could add a CDN in front of it but it's probably not worth it.

I'm a big golang user so I recommend Hugo for the site generator.

crispytx 1 day ago 0 replies      
You could roll your own blog; that's what I'm doing. I wasn't really satisfied with Medium or WordPress, so I just decided to write my own simple blogging software. Writing the blogging software is probably going to be easier than writing the actual blog posts for the blog.
billconan 1 day ago 0 replies      
I recommend medium.com, it has content discovery feature to help your posts reach out to others.
Ask HN: Learn in weekend, what resources you suggest?
59 points by chauhankiran  3 days ago   27 comments top 14
scriptkiddy 2 days ago 0 replies      
If you're interested in Python and Web Development, the Django tutorial is one of the best written tutorials I've ever seen: https://www.djangoproject.com/start/

If you're interested in systems programming and want to try something new, I can recommend learning Nim: https://nim-lang.org/learn.html

If you're into PL implementation, you can't go wrong with: http://buildyourownlisp.com/ or http://www.craftinginterpreters.com/ or http://aosabook.org/en/500L/a-python-interpreter-written-in-...

If you want to try your hand at front-end web development, VueJs is pretty great: https://vuejs.org/

deepaksurti 1 day ago 0 replies      
If you are interested in graphics programming, learning ray tracing in a weekend series is a great resource. [1][2][3]

[1] https://www.amazon.com/Ray-Tracing-Weekend-Minibooks-Book-eb...[2]https://www.amazon.com/Ray-Tracing-Next-Week-Minibooks-ebook...[3]https://www.amazon.com/Ray-Tracing-Rest-Your-Minibooks-ebook...

itamarst 2 days ago 1 reply      
I'd suggest learning more about how to learn better, so that you can learn more on the job. Then you can spend your weekend doing something other than coding. Some useful books:

"How Learning Works" (I review it here: https://codewithoutrules.com/2016/03/19/how-learning-works/)

"Peak" https://www.amazon.com/Peak-Secrets-New-Science-Expertise/dp...

Gar Klein's books, in particular "The Power of Intuition" https://www.amazon.com/Power-Intuition-Feelings-Better-Decis...

bouillabaisse 2 days ago 1 reply      
Depending on your experience in C, the text editor in C tutorial [0] that was posted here recently may be good for you. There is good discussion in that post of other similarly sized projects as well.

[0] https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=14046446

7402 19 hours ago 0 replies      
Whatever you want to learn, you might also want to buy a paper book on the subject, e.g., one of the O'Reilly books. Interacting with paper is a qualitatively different experience from interacting with a screen, and you may find (as I do) that it is effective to switch from one to the other as your mood and location varies.
Meph504 2 days ago 0 replies      
I don't know your experience level or career goals, but I find that focusing on skills you may need to know later, that may not be a part of your job/skill set now well worth the effort.

With that in mind, focusing on all the soft skills, topics like public Speaking, interacting with coworkers and clients, leadership, and time estimating. https://www.mindtools.com has a lot of info on everything but time estimates, and I can't honestly give you any credible sources on improving that.

That and design patterns.

mozillas 1 day ago 1 reply      
I'm a designer, but one of the most useful things I learned, after Python, is RegEx. I use it all the time in Sublime Text for "Find and Replace". Saves me a lot of time.

I also think it can be learned in a weekend. At least up to a certain degree.

Here are some resources http://stackoverflow.com/a/2759417

evbots 20 hours ago 0 replies      
https://coursefriend.com/ is my side project that helps people find courses for stuff they want to learn. Let me know what you think
smalltowngirl 2 days ago 1 reply      
If you want to learn Python: https://pythonspot.com

Just tutorials: https://hn.algolia.com/?query=tutorial&sort=byPopularity&pre...

Online courses databases: Edx, Coursera, Udemy, Skillshare and Youtube.

garysieling 2 days ago 0 replies      
There are a ton of great conference videos available, depending on your interest -


These work well for weekend learning, because they tend to stand on their own.

nimmer 1 day ago 0 replies      
You can learn a lot about compilers and C while learning Nim - https://nim-lang.org
karthik248 2 days ago 1 reply      
Learning to use tools such a editors(Vim), IDEs can always come in handy. You can get through the basics and learn along as you use.

EDIT: If you're looking for something along the lines of technologies or framework or something else, refer other comments.

ludicast 3 days ago 0 replies      
I'd advise you to checkout codescho ol. They have tracks that cover a topic in about a weekend, often in an entertaining way.

I don't belong to them now but I really enjoyed them in the past

lomereiter 3 days ago 2 replies      
Well, I'm also a full time developer but I learn new things on my job almost every day.

Your question is way too broad. If you mean tech topics, it's perhaps time to find another job; if any topics at all, just follow your interests.

Ask HN: How do you test if a market exists for your product?
11 points by jamesroseman  1 day ago   5 comments top 5
tylery 1 day ago 0 replies      
Here's one startup in a similar space: http://www.brightidea.com/
davidg11 1 day ago 0 replies      
Talk to some university students or programmers at local tech companies and see if they'd be open to participating if their organization sponsored the event but it was not compulsory. Try to get honest feedback on what things would draw them in, i.e. awards, recognition etc.
subsidd 1 day ago 0 replies      
If I were you, I'd -

1. Check if people are doing it already, if yes then how well and how you can differentiate/ carve out a niche.2. Cold email startups, small organisations.3. Meet college authorities4. Call anyone and everyone you think can be a prospective beneficiary.

technobabble 1 day ago 0 replies      
A quick and easy way is to create a landing page for your events. Create an email account, track amount of times the page has been visited, and see what/if people respond.
z3t4 1 day ago 0 replies      
start locally. spam flyers at the local companies. have a first round. dont expect much engagement. go from there and keep improving. when you have a good working concept you can go state or national and do it professionally.
Ask HN: How to get a developer job anywhere in Europe
23 points by lonesword  3 days ago   24 comments top 10
afarrell 2 days ago 1 reply      
As someone coming from the US, my strategy was:

1) Put some effort into a side project, in my case a SaltStack tutorial that I'd wanted to do for a while.

2) Go to a conference (PyCaribbean) and meet people.

3) Reach out to recruiters in the cities I was targeting.

4) Reach out to recruiters who had emailed me in the past 2 years and to ask if they had any contacts in Europe.

#2 and #3 seem to have been the most valuable. If you want to move to Ireland, Michael Diver is communicative, ethical, and responsive.

Also, some logistical tips:

- Use https://calendly.com/ to schedule phone interviews across timezones without off-by-one errors or a lot of back-and-forth.

- When interviewing over skype, have a phone line or page on https://appear.in/ room at the ready.

- If you decide to stay in a hostel rather than hotel or airbnb, it is worth asking what type of mattress they have. http://rainymood.com/ and an external battery charger are a necessity if you want to do this.

I'd be happy to help more if you give me a bit more detail on what type of company you're interested in working for. If you're open to living in London, I really like the place I'm working and would be happy to introduce you. Our interview process looks a bit like https://gocardless.com/blog/redesigning-the-devops-interview... My email is in my profile, so feel free to get in touch.

jakobegger 18 hours ago 1 reply      
Immigration laws are very country specific. I'm Austrian, so let me tell you about the situation in Austria:

1) You don't need a degree from Europe, but you do need a degree. There are multiple types of work Visas, but typically you need a degree from a program that takes at least three years.

2) Currently software developers are officially "scarce" in Austria, so they made it easier to get a work permit. You will need to have all your documents (eg. your diploma) translated to German by an official translator, but apart from that it should be easy.

4) Your work permit will be tied to a specific company in the first year. After one year, you can apply for an "unlimited" work permit.

5) The biggest hurdle is going to be finding a company that wants to hire you. If you don't care where you work, in Europe, I suggest to also look at smaller companies, and look at companies that are outside the big cities. For example, here in Linz (small city in Austria), there are currently dozens if not hundreds of open positions for software developers. Every tech company I know here in Linz is trying to hire people, but we just don't have enough developers that live here, and nobody wants to move here.

6) For jobs in Austria, have a look at http://karriere.at

7) Applying from India shouldn't be an issue, but make sure that you have a proper setup for Skype. Many Austrians will have a hard time understanding English with Indian accent, and echos / noise / etc won't help.

drakonka 1 day ago 1 reply      
Does India have working holiday arrangements with the EU? As a Ukrainian living in Australia without a degree, to move to Europe I got my Australian citizenship so that I could then get a working holiday visa. In the meantime I freelanced and contracted in Australia to save up money. The working holiday visa allowed me to move to my chosen European country for a year and look for work while there - much easier than trying to get a company to relocate you remotely. I ended up applying for jobs through listings on various company sites after moving and started work about 2 months after the move with a largeish company (which then assisted with applying for a proper longer-term employment visa when the time came).
mb_72 1 day ago 0 replies      
Estonia has made it much easier for selected local start-ups to hire from outside the EU:http://www.startupestonia.ee/visa/estonian-startups

Might be worth checking with a selection of these companies to see if they have something for you. Good luck!

jfaucett 2 days ago 1 reply      
I'm a migrant to Germany as a software engineer and I can tell you its probably going to be really hard if you don't at least study in Germany or are a student in your home country (I was a student when I came). You don't necessarily need to stay and get the degree but its much easier for companies to give you an internship and then hire you if you go this route. Otherwise, its a total pain in the anus for the company to hire you over a EU citizen. I've experienced both ends of this now and its basically just not worth it from a company's perspective to hire someone outside the EU unless they are a super talent and/or the company has the resources/hr to deal with all the paperwork crap.

So to answer, "In other words, can I get a work visa anywhere in Europe without having an offer in hand?" Theoretically yes, practically - highly unlikely.

Maybe its better in other EU countries but I wouldn't know.

To #2: just flying in and hoping you'll land something even with a very solid portfolio is a bad idea, since its highly unlikely any company is going to go through the hoops so you can work for them and time will be against you since the process takes a while.

I'd say if you can suck it up you should go the student route since its the path of least resistance and all you need is to be enrolled, you don't have to finish. Then get an internship since thats easy enough and make a good impression, then that company will want to do the legwork to hire you. This whole process might take about 2 years but at the end of the day you'll be set.

atroyn 2 days ago 3 replies      
Answering for Germany, Berlin/Munich in particular.

1. You'll need a bachelor's degree in your field, but you won't need a masters. That said, getting a masters may give you a leg up. Postgrad education in Germany is free even for international students, the standar is high, and it gives you the opportunity to get your German up to an acceptable level. Additionally, you will have 12 months following graduation to find a full-time job. If you're looking to work for a bigger Germany company like Siemens, BMW etc., I'd seriously consider the masters.

2. Research job openings before you go. Tailor your CV. Two places to look are AngelList, and also http://berlinstartupjobs.com/ Applying online has always worked for me, but you may also want to go to some meetups while you're there. Berlin Tech Meetup https://www.meetup.com/b-tech/ is one of the largest.

3. Develop your portfolio. I had plenty of Indian colleagues at several of the companies I worked at.

Try RemoteOK as well.

thisone 2 days ago 0 replies      
Re 2, if that becomes your plan make sure you research immigration law in the country you choose first. It's not always legal to just move to a new country and start applying for jobs.

A history of breaking immigration rules won't help your eventual visa application.

mobiplayer 2 days ago 0 replies      
You might want to find other Indian engineers working for companies in Europe. Maybe LinkedIn helps with that. Once you found a few, message them asking for how they did it.
bluecollar 1 day ago 2 replies      
1. No, that's impossible. This is why companies outsource to India instead of move Indians to Europe. If you want to work inside Europe you'll have to go through the long process of becoming European.

2. No, if you start living somewhere illegally you'll be deported. The first step is to visit Embassies.

mindhash 2 days ago 0 replies      
Landing.jobs check this out..I got a few responses here..Once from sky scanner
Ask HN: What's with the black bar at the top?
16 points by OedipusRex  2 days ago   2 comments top 2
detaro 2 days ago 0 replies      
gets added when someone relevant has died. Today: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=14118290
wmf 2 days ago 0 replies      
The death of Bob Taylor.
Ask HN: What are your impressions of the HoloLens so far?
101 points by rmccoy6435  5 days ago   114 comments top 31
Analemma_ 4 days ago 2 replies      
Some bullet points I wrote when I tried it:

- The display technology is very nice. I was very impressed by how good the object permanence was: when you put an object somewhere, there is no lag or jitter when you move your head and it stays anchored to the spot. The holograms are reasonably bright and opaque.

- Also, when you pin an object somewhere, it stays there even when you walk around the room. It even stays if you pin it in like the middle of the room where there are no obvious reference points or anchors to use.

- The field of view is neither great nor terrible. It's usable but more would of course be better.

- The major downside is the interaction: "air-clicking" is not great and the gestures to trigger various actions aren't very reliable. It really needs hand controllers like the Vive has.

- The unit itself is comfortable, much more so than the Vive. There was an annoying lens-flare-like glare below the field of view. Not sure if that was my unit not set up correctly or a problem common to all of them.

Overall I'm quite impressed, although I probably wouldn't buy one even if I had $3,000 to burn. V2 will probably be the one to get, if they expand the FOV.

doublerebel 4 days ago 6 replies      
I've been making apps on it since mid last year. It's an amazing device, the image stability and quality is very good and in a well-designed app the small FOV becomes an afterthought.

Clicking/selecting objects with gaze is often an antipattern. Much better to use alternate input.

Analytics is kind of a mess.

Everybody recommends unity but performance will suffer. I wrote my own framework instead. Most of the open-source code is bad, if you have figured out how to make apps it's a competitive advantage. MS wrote literally thousands of new APIs for UWP and mixed reality so many many features are barely documented with no real world examples.

It's a totally new paradigm in UX. Most designers fall back to poor decisions like using small buttons or overly detailed models.

Feel free to ask anything specific I'll do my best to answer.

Gaessaki 4 days ago 4 replies      
I've been doing development on it for a bank for about two months now.

Things I like:

-Let's you have an infinite number of virtual monitors with applications such as word, outlook, browsers etc.-Developing for it is really easy with tools like Unity-Battery life is not too shabby, rarely have to take it off to charge while I'm doing something-Great demo piece

Things to work on:

-Field of view isn't terrible, but could still use improvement-Price point precludes a lot of consumer applications-Feels like you're always wearing sunglasses indoors. This takes away from the augmented reality bit as it can be pretty hard to interact with the real world sometimes (e.g. hard to read my real monitor when I have it on)-Gets kind of uncomfortable on your nose after a while, though that may depend on your face morphology-Interacting with voice commands in an office setting can be awkward/amusing-My colleagues think I'm never working

neom 4 days ago 0 replies      
Been using HoloLens for about a year now, it's awesome, probably my fav bit of tech I've tried since the first iPhone. It's kinda exactly as you'd expect, a pretty decent but not mind blowing projected holographic interface augmented into reality. FOV is very mediocre, and you have to put that aside to enjoy the device, but if you're willing to look past the FOV, you really get a sense for where this will go. As others have said, the gestures are super annoying. It also doesn't really fit well and hope they refine the actual way the device sizes to your head. We do software for cities, so as you can imagine there are very many places you can take AR and city planning. FWIW: I think there is a lof of VC cash deployed into this space, but I also think it's a paradigm-shifting technology and is one of the few things I feel the hype around is justified. As a side note, I went to college for digital imaging technology and started a started a studio out of college with a buddy (13 years ago) - we took advantage of the transition from analog to digital filmmaking and ended up winning three Emmys and building a 10MM rev business. If I wasn't doing what I was doing, I'd be focusing on that shift here, there will be a lot of opportunity for very forefront startup VR studios. Here is a video of me messing around with a hololens at office last year: http://john.je/iDpX
yodon 4 days ago 4 replies      
HoloLens is cool but most of the HoloLens applications you write will be consumed on the $299 software-compatible Mixed Reality headsets that ship later this year (it's amazing how few people are paying attention to this announcement - Microsoft uses Mixed Reality as its branding but these are basically high end VR headsets with integrated tracking for a third the price of Rift and Vive devices)[0][1]

From an application developer's perspective, the only difference between HoloLens coding and Mixed Reality coding is that when constructing 3D scenes your HoloLens app should have a transparent background so the person can see their room through the viewport because that's what they're buying the expensive headset for and in Mixed Reality you should have an opaque background because it's VR not AR.

The really big thing though is that $299 is roughly what you'd otherwise pay for a pair of big monitors. Full on virtual desktop support with floating windows for these devices is being shipped to every Windows 10 machine starting this week via Windows Update with the intent being you don't need old-school monitors just work in the headset, or with your monitors, or however you want.

Windows now has (or will shortly depending on your Windows Update timing) a built-in developer mode simulator for application testing of Mixed Reality code without a physical headset. The simulator is still a little buggy and incompletely undocumented (remember to shut it off when you're not using it) but it's pretty incredible and more than enough to start building and testing applications.

[0] https://www.engadget.com/2017/04/12/acer-microsoft-vr-mixed-...

[1] https://developer.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/mixed-reality

rtfs 4 days ago 1 reply      
I was recently at a Microsoft Training Centre, where we also had a chance to test the Hololens. All in all, it's crap. It is pretty heavy, so I can't imagine wearing it for more than 10 min. The latency was ok, but still somewhat disturbing. The gesture recognition was bad. I, and later on also the Microsoft guy, had to tap twice several times to trigger an action. The shown floor shop example was a bad choice. Speed at the shop floor is key, for workers and for other functions, and this is what the Hololens didn't have. During the show off they had to restart the Hololens - a clear fail I would say, but judge for yourself.
toolbox 4 days ago 1 reply      
Last year I was able to play with one for a couple of hours. The most impressive and exciting part for me was that it wasn't bad. I don't know about others, but I had expected an unpolished feel, and to be continuing to say "oh this will be great when they ______". The latency is much lower (comparable to modern VR) than I expected; the occlusion of virtual objects by real ones works surprisingly well, even with weird shapes; even the gesture recognition worked well. My overall takeaway was that it was much further along than expected. It was genuinely fun to play with, and I felt able to walk around my office while wearing it. Obviously the FOV is an issue to be worked on, but overall I was just impressed. I wish I still had one I could play with.
epmaybe 4 days ago 0 replies      
I've used it over a period of a few months.

Pros: Very intuitive controls after maybe 5 minutes of using it.Building in voice commands is easy in Unity, can't speak for other platforms. AR has more practical applications (but VR is more mature).Microsoft listens, and will try and add features that people ask for. The forums were very helpful for someone a year out of programming to come back and learn.Spatial mapping was really cool. I didn't think something could be that accurate in the space of a few minutes.

Cons:Controls can be a steep learning curve for older individuals (based on my experience).Development setup was hard when I started, but has gotten much better from what I hear.Trying to show what you're doing in the hololens live was very hard. Had to build that in, but I think now they've cleaned that up as well through Unity.I think the previous con points out that this is a very new platform, and things are going to change. Keep that in mind, and don't get too mad if things break.It's not super powerful, so you'll have to move to directx if you want to pull every inch of performance out of it. Shaders are your friend (I'm a newbie when it comes to game dev, so this was a lot of learning for me).

I know that people mentioned that FoV is bad, or could be improved, but honestly I didn't have a problem with it. With AR, and how you can still see the world around you, it wasn't a hindrance for users that would demo. That being said, I wouldn't oppose an improvement!

Animats 4 days ago 0 replies      
As hardware, it's a nice job. It's self-contained and wireless. The form factor is tolerable. Compare the HTC Vibe, which is as clunky as the VR headsets of the 1990s and still needs cables. The HoloLens has much better balance, too; the VR headsets are far too front-heavy. None of this gear is really compatible with wearing glasses, though.

It's surprisingly good at "drawing dark". It can't, really, so it just puts a neutral density filter in front of the real world to dim out the background. This, plus some trickery with drawing intensity, allows overlays on the real world. At least the indoor real world; the grey filter is fixed, and the display will be overwhelmed in sunlight.

The field of view is too small for an immersive illusion. The resolution is too low for the "infinite number of monitors" some people want. It's useful for putting an overlay on what you're working on, which suggests industrial and training applications.

It's not clear there's a mass market for this. Certainly not at the current price point. If it became cheap enough to sell to the Pokemon Go crowd, it might work for that.

A useful metric is, "Is it good enough for Hyperreality?"[1] As yet, it's not. But it could get there.Watch that video. What hyperreality needs is 1) really good lock to the real world, 2) adequate but not extreme resolution, 3) wearability, 4) wide field of view, 5) useable under most real-world lighting conditions, and 6) affordablity. The Hololens has 1 under good conditions, has 2, arguably has 3, lacks 4, 5, and 6. Not there yet.

[1] https://vimeo.com/166807261

king_magic 4 days ago 1 reply      
There are a lot of very impressive things about the device, but for me, the dealbreaker is the FOV. It's distractingly small. I haven't done development on it though (just tried it out).
ncrmro 4 days ago 0 replies      
I was at a talk with someone who demoed building an application from scratch in about an hour using the unity hololens vr toolkit(?).

And I was able to try on on at a meetup.

Considering all the whole thing is self contained and is handling the rendering on the device is amazing. With some of the dev tools you can see it building models of everything and one in the room in real time.

I played the Conquer game which was fun to watch the characters hide behind chairs and stuff. And the maps sort of build them selfs to the room and worked even with lots of people in the meetup.

Getting the hand gestures take's a second but are pretty intuitive with "clicking" stuff sort of pinching your index and thumb together.

The field of view is actually only the glasses under the visor. The visor I believe is more to help with improve contrast and block a bit of light.

znebby 4 days ago 0 replies      
I'm quite biased on the whole AR thing, as I worked at Meta for almost three years, but I think that the HoloLens is a fantastic piece of technology, and that Augmented Reality Head Mounted Displays will be the next big computing revolution.

Currently I'm working on a large HoloLens project for the aircraft industry. But the amount of possibilities I can think of with a HoloLens (or similar device) is limitless.

The HoloLens has amazing tracking and latency. In a couple more years, when HoloLens and/or competitors release a device with a large field of view, HoloLens-like tracking/latency, and leap motion-like hand recognition, it's going to be very exciting.

yread 4 days ago 0 replies      
There have already been some developers asking for feedback and other discussions on https://www.reddit.com/r/HoloLens/
PrimalPlasma 4 days ago 0 replies      
It's a revolutionary device. I was blown away during a demo. When the public sees it they are going to go apeshit.
HoloHerald 4 days ago 1 reply      
We received our unit in August of last year and have documented our experiences with it using our YouTube channel: The Holo Herald. Some quick things that we noticed:

-While the FOV is less than ideal it is not experience breaking

-The device is more comfortable than most headgear technology out today(there is also adjusters such as a nose piece and headband that make it more comfortable for a long duration)

-It is intuitive. This device can and will be easily picked up by many people. We found older people who could barely stand trying to operate a smartphone throw it on and almost instantly understand it. There is just something about this device that makes people feel like they can handle it without too much work. And the fact is that they can, it is very simple to use and the hand gestures may be the main reason for it.

-While the hand gestures may not be the most reliable it does come with a clicker that remedies this quite satisfactory. To give this Vive-esque controllers would completely ruin the experience and what Microsoft was trying to accomplish.

-The UI and operation are unobtrusive which means that while it doesn't have much productivity use right now, it will in the future.

If you would like to get a better idea of what the HoloLens does and can do we urge you to find our YouTube channel. We try and deliver our content in a non-technical way as to explain how an end user really see's it without all the tech jargon getting in the way.

corbinpage 4 days ago 0 replies      
The demo will blow your mind. My biggest takeaway was that AR probably has more potential in the long-term than VR. VR is immersive sure, but you quickly run into physical boundaries or your mind becomes out of sync with your body. AR has all the benefits of VR but layered on top of your physical environment, enriching it and providing a reference point.

To speculate, I'd say VR will find its killer app in gaming/entertainment (similar to TV), and AR will become the next great I/O interface between humans and computers (similar to phones/tablets).

pmontra 4 days ago 0 replies      
I tested one in November.

Very narrow field of vision: I had to fish for objects turning on myself and looking up and down. Not good for AR.

No black, obviously. They can't block light from going through rendered objects. This in turn makes colors somewhat ghostly.

Very stable. Once I get an object I can walk around it and it stays there like a real one.

"Clicking" on an object is hard, but maybe it was hard with a mouse when I used it for the first time.

psyc 3 days ago 0 replies      
I worked on HoloLens software at MS, so I was more or less using one all day every day. We all just sort of pushed them to the backs of our heads while we were coding. Anyway, my impression is it's fucking amazing.
ylem 4 days ago 0 replies      
I had a high school student working with me last summer who did some development on it (no previous experience with unity/c#). His goal was to visualize crystal structures. My main comment is that the FOV is small and the question of what makes for a good user experience is still open. I wish I had more time to play with it.
andrewstuart 4 days ago 4 replies      
I'd be impressed if someone could give me a grab bag of real world use cases for the mass market. I'm just super not convinced that this isn't a Kinect sitting on your face.

And Lego/Minecraft on the tabletop.... no thanks I don't want games set in my lounge room, that's an incredibly boring place to set a game in.

NotQuantum 4 days ago 0 replies      
I've had the opportunity to develop with two HoloLens. From a consumer standpoint, it's a wash. You're spending $3,000 device on a device that can't do more than pin UW apps to your walls. There are no killer apps yet.

From a developer standpoint, it's terrible. Unity only just now supports UWP apps and only just, many many libraries just don't work. We are making a collaborative 3D app that needs access to the entire screen and a lot of system level resources. The only nice thing is that the anchor system is an operating system level abstraction.

TL;DR: After using one regularly for a few months, I'd say pas on this device, it's a barely usable AR platform with poor battery life and poor FOV, and it's absolutely unusable AR gaming platform.

kirillzubovsky 3 days ago 0 replies      
My initial review was here - https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=5w3MwzG3IiQ - where I was really impressed with great industrial design and very promising features.

After playing with it for a while though, I have to conclude it's not yet a consumer product and probably won't be for many years. Maybe it will find a Place in the enterprise.

rm_dash_rf 4 days ago 0 replies      
Customers love it. It a huge wow factor when you bring it into a place.

Positive:Voice Commands,No Computer needed,Unity is great - development is easy

Negatives:Field of view is just weird,Not as intuitive as it could be,Cannot sell it - dev only

JCharante 4 days ago 0 replies      
I've tried the development hololens from the March 30, 2016 batch several times.

My observations:

Getting it to recognize my air clicks is the bane of my existence.Object permanence works very well.

Before I used it, I thought people were hyperbolic when mentioning the narrow AR FOV. It really limits the experience.

Moving objects around is very annoying when it doesn't seem to recognize half my gestures. However when it does recognize my gestures it's fairly straight forward to move objects on each of the three axis.

Peers make fun of you for wearing something cumbersome.

miheermunjal 4 days ago 0 replies      
Have done significant work for it (source: work in consulting) and its feeling like a new paradigm much more than VR or anything else. Biggest thing is the "layer on the virtual world" onto what you are looking at.

I would say info isn't that sparse (as it used to be). Search the Holographic Academy, watch their youtube channel, and subscribe to the Windows MR blog/newsletter.

Have demos of stuff I built, feel free to DM if you want to see.

lewisgodowski 4 days ago 1 reply      
Have only used ours a few times since we got it. I like the display tech and image stability. I dislike the incredibly narrow FOV, imprecise and cumbersome gestures, and how difficult it is to get a comfortable fit on my head. I wouldn't pursue the first generation unless they make tons of progress on FOV and fitting.
iplaw 4 days ago 1 reply      
Underwhelming, to say the least. I've had the opportunity to use HoloLens on many occasions, interacting with many different types of applications, and in many different environments. The extremely limited FOV cripples user experience and usability. There is no feeling of immersion whatsoever.

It's a fun proof of concept, but not much more.

moron4hire 4 days ago 0 replies      
Almost completely useless as an actual device for doing real work, but much more in line with what future such devices will be like. In contrast, the HTC Vive is useful, usable, and a much more pleasant experience all around, but also kind of a dead end in terms of design.

Get a Vive now, wait 2 years before getting an AR device.

lbtuda 4 days ago 0 replies      
The AR experience is great, but the hardware in the HoloLens is a bit slow, only 2 GB of RAM. If You develop bigger apps you will notice some lag, ie separation of white lines into red, green and blue when you move your head. But overall an nice Gadget.
vezycash 4 days ago 1 reply      
Is there any reason why HoloLens can't be both VR & AR?

If I want to watch a movie in a public area for instance, I'd love a VR mode to tune out everything else.

iLoch 4 days ago 0 replies      
I've spoken about this before on here. We developed on HoloLens for a couple months. Working on the HoloLens app was actually my first foray into 3D development, and also required converting ThreeJS JSON into Unity models which was a mess.

The user experience--------------

HoloLens is mesmerizing. I'm not big into VR or anything, and will often make the arguement that VR hype will die out and is a fad. But there's something very different about what Microsoft is doing. The ability to incorporate reality as a first class citizen in your 3D applications (or vice versa) is groundbreaking. People often complain about the FOV when they first try it out, and I had the same complaint, but your brain is able to compensate once it gets used to it, and then you stop noticing it. That's something you don't get from a short trial of it at a tech demo. The user inputs are indeed very clumsy still. We'll need vast improvements in this area before HoloLens can feel immersive. But the amazing thing is that this first pass isn't that bad. It can track your hands and it's a computer that sits on your head. I mean, come on! I'm only 22 and even I think that's amazing.

The developer experience------------------------

One of the major short comings of HoloLens development is its dependency on Unity. C# isn't the problem. I love C# and use it daily now for web development. The problem is Unity uses .NET 2.0, and good luck finding C# libraries that are compatible. So for every new thing you want to do, you're going to have to find a "Unity compatible" C# library, which is very annoying.

Unity will work for what you need most of the time, but it turns out if you want to try something custom (like your own gestures) then you're out of luck, because the Unity APIs are limited in that way.

I suppose I'm mostly just not a fan of Unity's component model. Constantly switching between adjusting settings in the IDE and coding feels like a bad way of developing.

Okay, so maybe you want to try something a little lower level. Microsoft offers a C++ API as well, and for the most part this is what you want if you need to harness the limited power of the HoloLens. I haven't played around with all of the APIs, but I know of one in particular that left a bad taste in my mouth (this applies to Unity too) -- the spatial anchor API. For those of you who are unfamiliar, the spatial anchor API is the only way to acquire a durable and persistent reference to a real world location. This is done (I think) with sensor data (orientation, lighting, and images captured by the 4 on board spatial mapping cameras.) This is really an incredible feat of engineering, however it produces a binary which is around 15MB. Far too large to store in a database at scale. I'd like to see MS open up raw access to those sensors so middleware developers can try their hand at improving this aspect of HoloLens.

If C++ isn't your thing, there's a library called HoloJS. You guessed it, it's a JS runtime for HoloLens with access to native libs. I actually started my own variation on this (called HolographicJS) before Microsoft released theirs, but I'm happy they've taken over.

The future----------

So what does this all mean for a device that seemly has its share of problems to overcome? Well, after trying it I'm fairly confident that MR as Microsoft calls it, is here to stay. The ability to mix reality with virtual reality, and augment that with a layer of environmental understanding is really incredible. I think we're just scratching the surface of the possiblities.

HoloLens is the first in a new field of devices that I believe will come to replace all forms of computers we currently use: phones, laptops, desktops, tablets, etc. Even things like IOT devices. Why spend time building your own interfaces when you can just augment the users'?

If v2 had better FOV and improved input tracking, I'd consider it a major success. But if it also included improved spatial mapping and a reliable GPS, that could bring us into a whole new world, quite literally.

The way I see it, the first company to solve outdoor use of an MR device, and solve what I'm calling the "universal spatial map" problem, will run the world of tomorrow.

Imagine every machine being capable of interfacing with you without the need for a screen or separate device. Imagine walking down the street, gesturing to a restaurant and placing an order before you even get inside.

Further down the line. What if we could transfer consciousness out of a dying car crash survivor into a computer. What if that person could then be virtually transferred back to the scene of the accident, to be greeted by those who are augmented.

Anyway, that's all crazy futurism; but the point is that reality starts with what is being done with HoloLens, and I think it's an incredible thing to be a part of.

To me, HoloLens feels like the Apple II.

Ask HN: Has Facebook turned off email notifications?
13 points by seasonalgrit  1 day ago   4 comments top 4
Rondom 1 day ago 0 replies      
The last email notification I got was yesterday. Apart from that I got a reminder about friends' birthdays today.

I notice that messages notifications for private message sent to me not longer include the content of the message. Instead I get the following"You'll need to use Messenger to see and respond to *'s message. With Messenger, you can text and make voice and video calls for free."

tyldum 1 day ago 0 replies      
The email alerts have never worked reliably for me. For messages they arrive a week later, if at all. And I regularly get emails telling me I have 50+ notifications, but there is actually just a few.It's been totally unreliable and random since I joined many years ago.
jondwillis 1 day ago 0 replies      
I have been logged out of Facebook for a few weeks, and started receiving emails (trying to entice me to come back) that I hadn't previously. The latest one was April 15, 3:12 PM PST.
maneesh 1 day ago 0 replies      
I think so
       cached 18 April 2017 12:05:01 GMT