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Ask HN: Why no stable binary kernel interface for drivers?
21 points by 708145_  8 hours ago   16 comments top 5
rtb 6 hours ago 0 replies      
This is addressed in the docs, at "stable_api_nonsense.txt": https://github.com/torvalds/linux/blob/master/Documentation/...

(You might disagree with that doc, but if so you should address its arguments directly.)

Someone 7 hours ago 2 replies      
As http://lkml.iu.edu/hypermail/linux/kernel/1604.0/03993.html states, you can get binary stability for in the order of five years from the likes of Red Hat and SuSe.

I don't know where you can get binary stability for decades, but it wouldn't surprise me if some military applications guaranteed that.

Since there's nothing stopping suppliers from selling it, there apparently isn't that much demand for it.

mixmastamyk 6 hours ago 1 reply      
I use a Ubuntu desktop daily as a development workstation and have for a decade at least. Never really had a problem, though it slows down Virtual Box installation once or twice a year. shrugs
microcolonel 6 hours ago 1 reply      
Maintaining the drivers together with the rest of the system allows subsystem maintainers to make broad improvements to the functioning of drivers, and encourages vendors to upstream them as free software.

If you want a stable kernel driver ABI, then you're going to have to maintain your own wrapper which will retain all of the anachronisms that have been excised from the upstream kernel.

You are perfectly at liberty to do this for yourself, just don't expect kernel maintainers to willingly make their own lives harder, reduce the quality of running kernels, and reduce the enthusiasm for releasing and upstreaming high quality drivers.

As an alternative to a stable ABI, you can just go with a single LTS release, and you can expect binary compatibility on the order of four years.

catdog 5 hours ago 0 replies      
> The (proprietary) driver issue is a big pain for people who want to use Linux for desktop as a workstation e.g. development. I would say that it is the biggest obstacle for adaption of Linux desktop.

Simply don't buy Nvidia. Apart from that there shouldn't be a lot of hardware requiring blobs on the desktop.

Ask HN: Do you respect DNT in your personal websites? How?
67 points by r3bl  12 hours ago   52 comments top 21
usernam 11 hours ago 1 reply      
DNT is flawed. As an user, I have no way to verify that DNT is honored. As such, I assume nobody respects DNT and proceed accordingly by taking my own tracking countermeasures.

You can also assume DNT is pretty much ignored. For instance, if I set DNT and I visit a website adhering with those EU cookie regulations, while I'm still being shown that cookies are being used to track me and that by using the website I agree (never mind that 3rd party cookies are already being sent)? I already stated that I do not want to be tracked.

Oh, but maybe you would assume setting the DNT preference in the browser does something meaningful, such as disabling 3rd party cookies, disabling beacons, ServiceWorkers and cache lifetime?

Nope. There is no point in honoring DNT: you are either tracking or not tracking your users depending on which resources you're including on your website. If you don't want to track your users, do not include 3rd party resources. If you do include 3rd party resources, then it's it's up to the 3rd-party to honor DNT.

Sir_Cmpwn 10 hours ago 1 reply      
I don't track people in the first place on my websites, but third party content is a good point. I generally will self host all of my assets, but occasionally embed a YouTube video or something. I should probably put it behind a click-to-enable thing. I removed Disqus comments from my blog a while ago, too, because a platform for flamewars isn't worth tracking visitors over.
sriku 11 hours ago 0 replies      
This is a great question. I have to admit that the only effort I've taken thus far is to minimize reliance of external parties. For example, on my utility site, I don't use google/fb auth but have used Persona and recently rolled my own auth ... and I keep very minimal summary analytics only.

Somehow I feel that the burden of starting a website today is kind of crazy - analytics, comments (and the implied spam filtering), social media sharing integration, onsite feedback, social logins, T&C, privacy policies, cookie legalities, DNT, ... all apart from the content we actually want to put there, even if only as individuals.

mikekchar 11 hours ago 3 replies      
This is a bit of a lame answer, but generally I put any potentially tracking content in javascript. I make sure my blog renders correctly without javascript. Finally, I put a warning saying that if the user does not wish to be tracked, then they should disable javascript for the site.

I can't really see any other obvious way to deal with it, unfortunately.

defanor 11 hours ago 2 replies      
One option (which I'm using) is pretty simple: do not embed external content. When I need to refer to a youtube-hosted video, I simply put a link. It's not even because of DNT, but in an attempt to make lightweight and accessible websites.
soneil 11 hours ago 1 reply      
Obviously not my own site, but an example I found which I thought handled this well;


If you click the play icon under the product shot, and you have DNT enabled, you'll get a modal:

"This embedded content is from a site (www.youtube.com) that does not comply with the Do Not Track (DNT) setting now enabled on your browser.

Clicking through to the embedded content will allow you to be tracked by www.youtube.com."

As much as I'm not a fan of modals, I can't think of anywhere else that's even pretended to care about this.

dinosaurs 12 hours ago 3 replies      
I had to look this up - DNT stands for "Do Not Track". More here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Do_Not_Track_legislation
bArray 10 hours ago 0 replies      
I think you would have to go as far as re-hosting a lot of "high-end" content (such as YouTube), otherwise the JavaScript will surely be run as part of the media providing system. If you try running YouTube with no script, you won't get very far. I don't think re-hosting is technically legal though, which may be your first problem. You could try contacting the content creator to ask to duplicate their material, but more than likely this will be denied if they have ads on their video. To be completely honest, from looking at Facebook videos that have been re-uploaded from various sources, I think "fair use" is just a case of adding some text and emoji at the top and bottom of the video - so there's that.

A way you could (in theory) get around this is by having the user view some virtual web browser, so that Google still gets all that lovely advertiser time but your server is the one making all the requests to their service. One issue is if your site gets more than a few hits a minute, your server will probably either kill over or start providing a terrible user experience if it wasn't like that in the first place.

If you really want to respect DNT and don't want to affect user experience (too much), I would have some JavaScript reveal code for the embedded content - with a warning that the once they have clicked the button you can no longer respect their DNT request. A DNT request could translate from `/index.html` to `/index.html.dnt.html` for example, if you pre-process your pages to be statically served.

scrollaway 10 hours ago 0 replies      
I wrote a tiny middleware for Django which sets the DNT variable on the request/response: https://github.com/HearthSim/HSReplay.net/blob/master/hsrepl...

If dnt is set, Google Analytics isn't served: https://github.com/HearthSim/HSReplay.net/blob/8c1f2eb8cfda6...

I completely agree that DNT is flawed but it doesn't cost me much to respect it and the people who set DNT most likely block Google Analytics in one of their extensions anyway. I would rather they see nothing has been blocked.

I also include a link to the EFF's Privacy Badger in our privacy policy, alongside mentioning our DNT policy: https://www.eff.org/privacybadger

jasonkostempski 11 hours ago 1 reply      
No one, on either end, should waste any time encouraging such a useless thing. I hate that my browser even has the option. No one wants to be tracked weather they say it or not, and that should always be considered when building websites.
interfixus 8 hours ago 0 replies      
I do not embed. I do not use external resources. And I fight an often rearguard battle with my customers to let me act likewise on their behalf. No third party fonts, js, css, or images. No Youtube, and most definitely no Google Analytics.
akerro 11 hours ago 1 reply      
I don't use GA, instead I have Piwik that's configured with to respect DNT.
amiller2571 8 hours ago 0 replies      
I don't think you would have to re-host everything. One could place a placeholder (image maybe) instead of the embedded content that says "Click to activate third party resource. Caution, it may not respect DNT". Than if they click, swap it out with the youtube video or whatever. Gives them the choice to choose what they want to do.
lettergram 11 hours ago 1 reply      
I honor it on my websites as best I can, and am in the process of even rolling my own analytics to avoid using any third-party.

Long story short, there's no way to enforce DNT from an end user perspective.

From a web developer perspective, even if you roll everything yourself, its difficult to actually track down everything that you could be accidentally sharing. For example are you using a CDN? Does your host track this data, and share it? Do you use a third part API somewhere in a library you decided to use? So on, and so forth.

jacmoe 10 hours ago 1 reply      
I have removed my Google Analytics tracking code from my sites, and have abandoned Disqus in favour of a self-hosted commenting solution.

Since I am not setting any cookies, I have also removed the EU Cookie Policy script (which, ironically, uses a cookie...)

I can do this, because I am writing my own content management system.

I probably should add a "You are not being tracked by this website" 'thingie' ?

I wrote a blog post about it, though..

thefreeman 11 hours ago 1 reply      
I don't think your question really makes sense. The request to load the embedded YouTube video will contain the same Do Not Track headers as the requests loading your own site. It is up to the site owner to respect them (in this case YouTube). It's not your responsibility to try to re-host content from other sources in order to comply with the DNT request.
SimeVidas 11 hours ago 0 replies      
But how do you even know which origins are trackers, as a site owner? I know that social networks like Facebook and Twitter are, but what about GitHub? I guess, one way to find out is by viewing your site in Firefox w/ Tracking Protection enabled, and checking if any requests were blocked.
mfukar 8 hours ago 0 replies      
I don't track people (any longer) and I don't check their DNT preference. Shame is not an incentive for me - or any website code - to do so.

We should have moved away from privacy-theater by now.

pmlnr 11 hours ago 1 reply      
My personal website is without js and cookies - no tracking. Stats from server log.
inopinatus 11 hours ago 0 replies      
The existing sandbox iframe attribute is inadequate. I would like a mechanism to ensures private mode for the content in an iframe, even if private mode is not otherwise enabled.
ptr_void 11 hours ago 0 replies      
Just descriptive links + no js/other dependency for me.
Ask HN: What if we built new cities with a strictly limited footprint?
4 points by baron816  5 hours ago   2 comments top 2
issa 4 hours ago 0 replies      
As a life long science fiction reader, I feel the "arcology" concept has been imagined for a long time in many different ways. I think the idea is inevitable, although probably more Caves of Steel than Trantor. And hopefully not Judge Dredd.
Best modern language to learn object oriented programming
2 points by ds2643  7 hours ago   6 comments top 5
solomatov 1 hour ago 0 replies      
C# or Java. Most of the best OOP books are written for these languages.
Lordarminius 1 hour ago 0 replies      

Use David Black's The Well grounded Rubyist or the PickAxe Book

panic 7 hours ago 0 replies      
Ruby and Objective-C both have a strong Smalltalk lineage. You typically use the C part of Objective-C to perform basic operations like arithmetic and function calling -- if you know C already, it may be a more comfortable starting point, but it doesn't show off the power you get when every value is an object (and you can do things like add new numeric types while the system is running: http://lists.squeakfoundation.org/pipermail/squeak-dev/1998-...).
pryelluw 6 hours ago 1 reply      
Have you tried F#? Its multi-paradigm and might make some thingd clearer. You can later move to C# and onto others. :)
AlexAMEEE 6 hours ago 0 replies      
I wrote many lines about Scala but then I lost the motivation to finish it.

So I'll just write, Scala.

Ask HN: People who completed a bootcamp 3+ years ago: what are you doing now?
307 points by anm89  3 days ago   323 comments top 92
mabbo 3 days ago 16 replies      
Note some selection bias may exist in the answers.

If you did a tech bootcamp three years ago and it went fantastically, you're probably reading HN today and will see and reply to this. The more success you had, the more likely you're a developer today!

If it went terribly, you might still be working at Starbucks and don't read HN very often.

postnihilism 3 days ago 1 reply      
I went to Hack Reactor in 2014 and have kept in touch with many members of my cohort. Just about everyone has been and continues to be employed as a developer. A few have started companies. Three members of our 30 person cohort joined Google, including me.

I was a philosophy major who took some CS courses in college, programmed as a hobby and was working as a product manager. The bootcamp was a great way to build an understanding of the production software development process. It also allowed me to build a strong skillset within one tech stack (MEAN).

The bootcamp was absolutely not an end to my cs/engineering education. When I started at Google the learning curve was steep and I have been constantly taking at least one coursera/udacity/edx course for years as well as company internal classes. Hack Reactor wasn't an end all solution but it gave me a great lay of the land and was instrumental to landing a job of the quality that I did.

scyclow 2 days ago 2 replies      
Disclaimer: My post-bootcamp experience (Chicago 2014) was probably very different from what I'm seeing today (New York 2017). Every meetup I go to seems flooded with bootcamp grads, and it appears the market is oversaturated with bootcamp grads. Overall, it seems like it's much harder to get that first engineering job

I graduated from Dev Bootcamp Chicago in 2014. Before starting, I was a financial analyst for three years, and had been teaching myself some rudimentary python for about a year.

It took me about two months to get my first job at a start up, where I stayed for a year and pretty much made what I was making as an analyst. After that I moved to New York, where it took me a month to find a (better) job at another start up. Now I'm at a third start up as a senior engineer, which also took me about a month to find.

The program was fun, I met some great people (some of whom I'm still good friends with), I think it helped me get a foot in the door in the industry, and I picked up a lot of good conceptual knowledge and soft skills related to building software.

However, the the technical skills I learned from the curriculum ended up being almost completely irrelevant the second I graduated. They focused primarily on back-end development, with a Ruby/Rails/SQL/jQuery stack. Since then, I've focused mainly on front-end, and worked almost entirely with Angular/React/Node/Mongo. Now I'm am starting to dip my toes into Scala and PureScript and have no intention of ever using Ruby again.

My cohort mates saw mixed (but mostly positive results). All the people who were clearly talented got jobs immediately after graduating. It was more difficult for those who had no prior coding experience, or had trouble picking up the material.

huntermeyer 3 days ago 4 replies      
In 2013 I attended Epicodus in Portland, OR. At the time, it was a 17-week Ruby on Rails bootcamp.

I moved back to my home state of Florida following graduation.

Within two months I landed a Junior Rails Developer position at Listen360 - a badass company in Georgia. I relocated and have been with the company for over three years now.

In that time I've developed JrDevJobs.com, a job board for junior devs. Built several side-projects, and taken on contract work at a growing rate.

Bootcamps aren't for everyone, and they don't guarantee success. They are a spring-board and structure for those who are committed and able to learn the trade.

Software development is hard as hell. It challenges your abilities in every way: decision making, risk assessment, empathy, time management, and your ability to handle stress. But for those that love it know the rewards to be worth the struggle.

I'd like to say my bootcamp prepared me for the job I have, but I also know that I was going to become an engineer regardless. I saw the bootcamp as a way to get there faster than learning on my own.

I've toured and given speeches at several bootcamps across the country. I've seen patterns amongst the students: there are those that think they're "done" once they graduate, and those that think they're just getting started once they graduate. The latter tend to outperform the former. Full disclosure, this is totally anecdotal.

I think bootcamps are great for those who love to learn, are always challenging themselves, have a competitive nature, and love technology.

goorley 2 days ago 0 replies      
I finished Byte Academy (New York) June of 2016, so only one year out. Before attending the bootcamp I was a petroleum engineer running an international drilling project management company. I really wanted to work in tech, so I left and moved to NYC and began the bootcamp. For the past year I've been constantly interviewing and have been offered 0 jobs. The bootcamp has been a terrible resource for careers (the main thing I was hoping for by attending a bootcamp, because I was transitioning from oil and gas to technology with no network in the industry), and although I've make it very deep in the process with many companies, I can't seem to get a break. I was hoping to use my project management background coupled with what I learned at the bootcamp to hop right in contributing, but nobody has shared my view. After a year of trying to break in with full force, I'm probably going to have to go back to my previous line of work. Zero people that graduated from the bootcamp I attended found a developer job in 2016, and I'm pretty sure the same for 2017 - and though some smart people passed through, most had to go back to their previous line of work. I see so many success stories posted above, and I can only look to my choice of bootcamp that crushed my dream of working in tech.
lando2319 2 days ago 2 replies      
Bootcamps have a lot of haters who want to nitpick the details, it makes me glad I didn't think about it too much when I signed up, I just thought, "hey I want to code, they teach coding... I'm in"

first bootcamp (web dev) 5 years ago, second one (mobile dev) 3 years ago. Unlike most in my CoHort, I had no interest in a dev job, I wanted to provide contract work and perhaps join a startup for equity.

> What are you doing now?

CTO at a startup

> Do you feel that the bootcamp prepared you for the jobs you got?

It got me started, which is what I needed, so yes, but it took lots of work beyond the bootcamp.

> Do you think most of your cohort are still working as developers?

I'd estimate over half

IMO Bootcamps are great, you get a nice headstart with learning, you meet cool people, it's unaccredited so any job prospects are going to be obtained with your own blood sweat and tears anyways.

JohnDotAwesome 2 days ago 10 replies      
Is anyone surprised by the amount bootcamp folks in this thread who are now in "Senior" roles after only a few years? I'm not trying to diminish their accomplishment; Their accomplishment is astounding. But are bootcamps really that effective?

I remember interviewing a ton of bootcamp grads from a couple of schools in Austin, TX and being largely unimpressed. You know that feeling after you interview someone where you're just _not sure yet_? Maybe you liked talking to the person; Maybe they did great on the coding exercises, but you're just not sure. I've since learned that when I'm not sure, that means no.

morgtheborg 2 days ago 0 replies      
I took on a position as the sole web dev as my first position, with promises that a senior dev would be onboarded within 3 months.

Instead, the company paid for me to pair program with experts in different areas (security, devops, general full stack) whenever I felt out of my depth; the first 6 months it meant I spent eight hours pair programming a week with the focus being on my learning rather than feature pushing. I found the people I wanted to learn from either from my past instructors at my bootcamp who really impressed me or from AirPair.

3.5 years later I'm .5 years from vesting 4% at a company that's closing its A rounds now. I work with people I love, I learn new things routinely, I regularly get technical level ups through pair programming or classes paid for by the company, and it's pretty awesome.

I renegotiated my compensation probably every 6 months. I'm quick to give pushback if I'm out of my depth or feel like I'm being treated poorly. It's a startup so it's been a learning experience for everyone.

I'm pretty damn happy how it all ended up.

planxty 3 days ago 0 replies      
I graduated from General Assembly in the summer of 2015. That is less than 3 years, but I can tell you that my outcome was very positive. I am now a full stack developer team lead in a quickly growing web application company, and I was certainly empowered by the training I received. Self study is great, but I was able to leverage the kick in the pants I received from my teachers.

As for my colleagues, I believe most are employed, but I will offer that you only get what you put into that kind of intensive training. It's only meaningful and effective if you really care. The folks who might have been enticed by a cool job in a growth sector don't do as well as those who code simply because it's a compulsive habit and joy.

I'll submit that there are myriad things you can't absorb in a brief program, that's life. If I was rich I would live to go to college again. But I would also say that I've met plenty of CS grads of traditional 4 year programs that don't have the same drive or problem solving skills as that I've seen come from bootcamp students.

Worth it, especially if you're a grown up with the passion to push yourself and the maturity to follow through.

Hype is all nonsense.

savanaly 3 days ago 2 replies      
I did App Academy in New York two-three years ago (10-week bootcamp). I'm now a front-end dev and work from home making about 80k per year. I believe most of my cohort are in the same situation (App Academy appears to be above average for boot camps from what I've heard about other boot camps, but not by much). Although most of my cohort probably stayed working in New York or moved to SF and so make more money but don't get the luxury of working from home.

The boot camp served its purpose in preparing me for the job. Namely, serving as a commitment device to force myself to study the initial couple hundred of hours one needs to be able to do entry level programming from scratch. Plus having them provide a curriculum and teachers was nice too, I guess, but secondary to the commitment factor. Having graduated from that was also probably not a detriment to have on my resume and I keep it on there since I have no other programming related education.

I suspect my experience is not unusual-- that the boot camp's value is in being a catalyst that unlocks someone's ability to be a programmer and teach themself most of the skills they need, rather than in being an information-imparting institution.

seniorghost 2 days ago 0 replies      
I did Hack Reactor in 2013. My background prior to that included a year of college CS and a couple of years doing recreational coding challenges like Project Euler problems. I had been dreaming of a professionalizing my coding skills and getting a tech job, and Hack Reactor did that perfectly for me. I had several offers upon graduation and took one at a startup I was really passionate about. While there, I was able to work on and later lead a variety of projects, including a complete rewrite of our frontend and a large-scale database migration.

I'm now in the middle of my second job search after 3 great years there. I'm generally interviewing for "Senior Backend"-type roles that expect 3-5 years of experience. However, I have seen some prejudice against bootcamp graduates, and tend not to reveal that I went to one unless pressed. Otherwise, it's easy to be pigeonholed as unqualified to work on the backend. Interviews have gone well and I've made it to most of the onsites, with two offers already.

I don't keep up with most of my cohort but the ones I know are still engineers and generally seeing career success, though a few people have struggled. However, I think the market was much easier for bootcamp-level grads in 2013 than it is today. I don't recommend bootcamps as strongly anymore, especially for people with very little previous coding experience.

brookside 2 days ago 1 reply      
I attended a bootcamp Winter 2013-2014, after making a last minute decision not to attend grad school for something unrelated.

My choice was almost entirely pragmatic, and was heavily influenced by the book So Good They Can't Ignore You[0] by Deep Work author and Georgetown CS professor Cal Newport.

As for the bootcamp experience - I have trouble focusing for long classes, and would have benefited from a couple or more months of pre-study. (Classmates who did the best during the course had the most prior knowledge.)

However, the camp was a great launching point. I did work my ass off, staying up all night to work on individual and group projects in the lobby of the Ace hotel. If anything, the bootcamp helped solidify my own internal identify shift.

3.5 years later, I'm happy with my choice. I'm currently working remote for a startup and teaching evening intro to coding classes (yeah, at a bootcamp, so take my account with however many grains of salt). I really like teaching, and enjoy the intellectual challenge, salary and freedom provided by my day job.

Most of my classmates who I am in touch with are working as developers and seem to be doing alright also.

[0] https://www.amazon.com/Good-They-Cant-Ignore-You/dp/14555091...

pharrlax 3 days ago 0 replies      
Graduated coding bootcamp 2.5 years ago. Currently on my 2nd developer job, making 750% of my pre-bootcamp salary. Most of my classmates continued on to do development professionally. Most commonly focused on Node and frontend JS frameworks, i.e. Angular 1 and React.

A handful tried and failed to get development jobs, and went back to their old career, or pivoted more or less laterally to a tech-adjacent field that pays less than development. I can tell you that 100% of the people who failed to get development jobs were people who, during the bootcamp, visibly put in the bare minimum of effort to skate by.

jypepin 2 days ago 1 reply      
I attended DevBootcamp October-December 2012. I was the third cohort of this Bootcamp, and I believe it was one of the first, I think I'm part of the rare ones who reached 4 years of full time work experience after a bootcamp - which is the length of a CS degree.

I've written a blog post about it here: http://jonathanfromgrowth.com/2017/03/14/From-Devbootcamp-to...

> What are you doing now?Senior engineer at Uber

> Do you feel that the bootcamp prepared you for the jobs you got?Definitely. My first job was at a small YC startup doing Rails (that's what I learned) and that first year there taught me a lot and was a perfect continuation of the bootcamp.

> Do you think most of your cohort are still working as developers?Yes

beefsack 3 days ago 2 replies      
Many people may have had negative experiences but I feel very few of those would post here, for a variety of reasons.
santaclaus 3 days ago 0 replies      
I know a few folks who did a six month bootcamp almost exactly three years ago. At present they are: two front end devs, three back end devs, two 'enterprise' (aka Java) devs, a dev evangelist, a devops, a stay at home dad, a currently job hunting, and an agile consultant.
leesec 2 days ago 2 replies      
Went to a bootcamp in Detroit 7~ months ago, had a job offer before I finished the bootcamp, started immediately as a Java E-commerce Developer, and am happily working there still. Of the 8 or so people I kept in contact with, all had jobs within 2-3 months.

For me, it was a bit less about the technical knowledge ( I think I could have self taught most content, albeit a bit slower) and more about the networking and the structure that forced me to dedicate 8-12 hrs/day. The bootcamp was constantly directing me towards jobs and hosting employers. In fact, my current company came in and spoke at lunch one day and that's how I met them and got my job.

For people saying it's too expensive, I think that's absurd, at least in my case. My bootcamp was 6500, and it paid for itself with my signing bonus + first month of work.

I am still skeptical the model is sustainable, but seems to be working for now.

kolatts 2 days ago 2 replies      
I'm in my second job as a .NET dev after boot camp. My salary has nearly tripled since when I attended the boot camp. The technical skills I learned at boot camp were a great start, but I'd say the biggest change is just how slow work gets done at an enterprise. Most of the work I've done since has not used the newer tech (Angular, ORMs) I learned at the bootcamp, but I've been a rather successful advocate for them.

Needless to say I am pretty happy about my choice, the ROI manifested in the first year. I'm not so certain the rest of my class did as well, as many of them struggled with the material and most of them did not understand our final team project. I would also have not gotten very far if I stopped learning independently and pushing myself after bootcamp.

kk5678 2 days ago 0 replies      
I went to a bootcamp 2.5 years ago. Before that I was working in tech and doing a bit of python for my job. I also took an evening course in front-end development at a different bootcamp school before applying. After the course I stayed at the school as a teaching assistant for three more months, and had several job offers within weeks of finishing that. I started working for a startup and am still there now. Looking into other options now.

Most of my cohort had some kind of experience in tech before, or had taken a community college class or a few CS classes in college or something. A few that didn't struggled a lot after - one just gave up and went back to his old career, one has been getting odd contracting jobs but nothing stable for the past two years. I'd say that it's definitely not the easy way to suddenly become and engineer, I would definitely recommend spending at least 6 months doing some self-study or taking courses before deciding to take the leap. Bootcamps are also much more expensive now than when I attended, so that's even more reason to make sure this is what you really want to do.

The rest of my cohort is still employed as software engineers, as far as I know. Some have been with the same company, others have switched around a lot. Everyone seems pretty happy when I see them at reunions. A few started their own companies.

CellularArrest 2 days ago 1 reply      
I graduated from The Iron Yard in Charleston about a year ago.

I had a couple of interviews the week following graduation which didn't turn into anything. Since then I've been continually applying to jobs and trying to put a decent portfolio together. I can't seem to land an interview anywhere.

Realistically, I'm aware my lack of a degree and long list of irrelevant jobs are likely getting my resume tossed into the trash. I assumed at the very least that I'd be able to land a QA job that I could try to pivot towards development later.

It can be a bit difficult to stay motivated to code/practice/study/apply while also working a 40 hour week at a soul sucking job. I find myself pining for an entry level job so I can at least combine my desire to continue to code with a job. At this point it's the only reason I keep going.

EternalData 2 days ago 1 reply      
As others have noted, this is a bit of the "bomber problem".

If in WW2, you would've noted that all of the planes that came back had tons of bullets headed to the underside, you might be tempted to reinforce that particular part.

But you're actually looking at the planes who survived -- not the ones who crashed.

You can put that to the "reading HN today" and "not reading HN today" crowds.

throwaway4569 2 days ago 0 replies      
Did Front-End nanodegree at Udacity 1.5 years ago. It's an online self-paced program. Dropped out of college and worked part-time while staying at home. Took me 5 months to finish(with only have written my first line of code 2 months prior) and got a job the week I graduated. So from scratch only 7 months of study to land a job. Low paying (San Diego) but so much better than fast food

I feel the program prepared me well for the day to day things I do and projects I've been able to work on.

Currently working on my algorithms and data structures. Feels like it's time to move on. Been taking courses online to finish my undergrad degree but don't see the value in it at this point.

Considering moving to the Bay Area or remote work.

I'd definitely recommend an online program if you're disciplined. Worked out great for me personally. An in person bootcamp would help getting past sticking points a lot faster, but all of this can be learned online for free like others have pointed out.

Have seen others who took the program be successful in their careers

ravenstine 2 days ago 0 replies      
I graduated from Dev Bootcamp in San Francisco about 3.5 years ago.

Admittedly, I didn't really need to "learn how to learn" as many claim they did. That's fine for them, but I was already going in with that mindset. What I got was mainly an environment where I could study and hack on things with other people wanting to do the same, without all the distractions of everyday life. I could have done similar things without dropping thousands for tuition and a living situation, but I still may not have been exposed to more current technologies. If I had tried to study programming on my own for the same amount of time, I might have still been writing Python 2.4 scripts in Notepad to do boring things with spreadsheets. I would have wasted so much time and avoided diving into Rails, Sublime Text, JavaScript, etc. I was pretty smart before going to bootcamp(I could at least do script kiddie crap) but very inept in many ways.

What mattered after DBC wasn't so much the technologies I learned but my willingness to come up with difficult ideas and say to myself "Sure, I'm gonna learn X (language|framework) to get this thing done". I had too much of an "I'm not that smart" mentality beforehand. I never would have dreamed that I would ever spend a month and a half sitting in Panera Bread with a friend hammering out a streaming video app to show to employers. And it worked! Poorly, mind you. It was pretty awful, but also glorious it allowed you to build a shared playlist and watch YouTube videos with multiple people, all synchronized, with chat, a vote-skip button, and even a way to draw over videos. It did work, and we both got hired in another few months from writing it. Granted, my first employer was pretty crappy, but now I've ended up working 2 years somewhere that I've been very happy.

From what I can tell, those in my cohort who applied themselves actually made it after graduation. Those who couldn't shake the "knowledge on a silver platter" mentality didn't fare as well. Simple as that. There are so many opportunities in our field that it seems that even in 2017 someone with the drive and even average talent can make it.

EDIT: I forgot to mention where I work! I work at KPCC, a public radio station in Pasadena.

Tommyixi 2 days ago 0 replies      
I graduated 3 years ago from a San Francisco bootcamp and got what I wanted out of the program. My trajectory since then has been:

Full Stack Software Developer -> Database Administrator -> Graduate School in Biostatistics + Statistical Programmer.

I really don't know how else I would've landed on this track (considering my bachelor's degree) but I quite enjoy the diversity of my education and just generally am a person who likes to learn things.

Mz 2 days ago 0 replies      
People who completed a bootcamp 3+ years ago: what are you doing now?

I completed a Certificate in GIS at UC-Riverside's GIS Summer School, an 8 week bootcamp style program. IIRC, this was in 2002.

I currently do freelance writing and run a bunch of blogs. I have never had a job in GIS. I am currently homeless. On the upside, this month is the last payment on my student loan for the course.

I wasn't going to reply. I figure this isn't really the kind of thing you want to hear and trying to convey a meaningful reply would tend to run long and would also run the risk of the usual accusations that I am trying to make a spectacle of myself for attempting to participate in conversation.

But I saw some back and forth in the comments dissing the idea that Starbuck's baristas would post here. Yeah, I wish I was as successful as a Starbuck's barista. That would be a step up. Yet, when taken at face value, I absolutely fit the question as asked. I did complete a tech bootcamp 3+ years ago (not a programming one, but a tech one). Also: My loser self absolutely reads HN regularly. So there.

So, I am not going to bother to try to give the whole story or whatever. Let's just sum this up with:

Pro tip: Don't be born with a life threatening genetic disorder. Also, there are plenty of people here who are not currently wildly successful and well paid programmers. But some of them will refrain from admitting that in questions like this one for various reasons.

trustyhank 2 days ago 0 replies      
I completed my bootcamp exactly 3 years ago (python), currently I am a Systems Engineer at a competitive start up in NYC, before that I was a Backend Software Dev at a fast growing start up in Seattle. There was some luck involved but overall my career change couldnt have gone better.

I think my bootcamp prepared me about as well as anyone could reasonably ask, 8 weeks included 1) decent introduction to algos + data structures, 2) overview of django / flask / pyramid, 3) introduction to machine learning + data science with python, 4) 2 portfolio projects, 5) overview of relational databases, 6) intro devops (i.e. deploy python app to aws). Probably missing a few things, but this was most of it.

That said I had done a significant amount of self directed learning prior to the bootcamp, 2-3 CS courses on EDX + a lot of tinkering. I think I eventually would have arrived at the same skill set without a bootcamp, but it was undoubtedly the right decision to go.

I cant account for everyone, but I believe most of my bootcamp cohorts are working as devs (at least, I run into them at conferences / see their updates on FB / etc). It took me about 10 weeks to find a job, the people with no prior coding experience took a bit longer.

Am happy to answer any more questions you may have.

michelleclsun 3 days ago 1 reply      
I went to Hackbright in 2012 and in 2013 started a kids coding education company First Code Academy (firstcodeacademy.com) in Asia, covering Hong Kong, Singapore and Taiwan today. We have taught over 4000 students since 2013 and growing strong :)

Hackbright paved the foundation for me to start my own company. Couldn't be more grateful for that!

ens 2 days ago 0 replies      
I graduated from General Assembly's bootcamp in the fall of 2013 (1.5 years out of college). Found an internship 3 weeks after I hired via the developer Meet & Greet GA hosted, and was hired full time at a startup a month into the internship. I'm still with the same company almost 3.5 years later in an engineering team lead role. Like some other commenters said, at GA I learned how to learn. I graduated the program still knowing very little about programming to be honest and I was lucky I got hired at an early stage company that asked a lot of me and forced me to learn quickly. I never would have gotten the job I got without GA because at the time I learned better with the accountability and structure of a classroom setting. In terms of skills, I haven't touched Ruby since GA and I knew basic JS, but GA was critical in teaching me how to be comfortable working through problems I have no idea how to solve.

Of my cohort of 15, I think over half are developers, a few are in other product roles at startups, and 1 or 2 went back to their previous jobs.

foo-man-chu 2 days ago 0 replies      
I graduated CodeFellows in Seattle 2.5 years ago.

I've been gainfully employed as a software dev since about 6 weeks after graduation, fist as an "associate engineer" then promoted to a regular engineer.

My bootcamp focused on Node/Mongo/Angular, but after I got my first job most of the work needed to be done in Rails. The bootcamp did not directly prepare me to work with Ruby, but it taught me how teach myself new skills and be okay with being in over my head. I was able to get up to speed after a couple months. I have gotten comfortable working with a lot of cool technologies since then - including Docker/Kubernetes, Kafka, and various tools for running distributed systems. Now I mostly work on the front-end of the product with React/Redux.

I feel comfortable working with much more complicated code than I did 2 years ago, and I keep getting good performance reviews.

I can say that going through the bootcamp definitely put me into the right mindset to be successful as a software developer. Often I was given vague answers left to figure something out for myself, which is pretty spot on to my current work.

From what I gather through Linkden and Slack, the top 2/3 of my cohort is in a similar situation, with the rest still getting Jr. level jobs and a couple who gave up altogether on the software thing.

AlanSE 2 days ago 0 replies      
Checking in - Iron Yard python/django graduate from summer 2015. I had struggled professionally for years before that, and I was hired as a Software Engineer at a startup within 2 weeks of finishing the code school. Today I'm a Software Engineer but at a larger corporation. My job is perfect. I love what I'm doing. I love python, open source, web development.

There needs to be balance to the discussion of code school. I'm kind of saddened to read comments that are either hostile against them, or cheerleaders who ignore the struggles that some students/grads face. Yes, lots of people from my cohort continued to struggle after the program. For a smaller number of them, doing the code school left them worse off. We can't forget about that because industry (and alumni in particular) has a moral obligation to an oversight role to some extent. Same as for conventional universities. Nevertheless, it was a career inflection point for me, and this would have never happened without the code school.

seansmith1020 2 days ago 0 replies      
Today is actually the three year anniversary of me starting a bootcamp (Galvanize). So I'm about 2.5 years out. Everything is going great, work at a startup. Contribute just as much as our other developers with a CS background, have received three raises. Galvanize taught me the exact right tools and processes to start making meaningful contributions on day one.

I surely don't know as much technically in many areas, but having well rounded developers (have a business/analyst background) can really be a huge benefit to a dev team.

I'd say I have a much more product oriented role. Working closely with our business team, product manager, customers, etc... to guide the product/platform moving forward. Occasionally on trickier technical issues I'll need to consult with someone with a CS degree for 10-15 minutes for a bit of guidance, but by no means do I need any hand holding.

It was a great decision and it's worked out very well.

toomanyrichies 2 days ago 1 reply      
+1 for being mindful of cognitive biases. For that very reason, I'm almost hesitant to post my experience. The only reason I do so anyway is because HN's comment crowd is more mindful than average about their own biases and those of others.

I graduated from Dev Bootcamp's Chicago location in August 2013, and after almost 4 months of (quite stressful) job searching, I got 2 offers on the same day- a job offer at a technology consultancy and an apprenticeship offer from an ad-tech startup. Both companies were kind enough to let me pursue both offers (I did the apprenticeship first followed by the consulting role). And after consulting for almost 3 years in both San Francisco and New York, I recently accepted an engineering position at a unicorn in NYC. I'm glad I experience both consulting and startup life, because now I know the startup world is where I belong.

Starting my dev career as a consultant resulted in me becoming a "jack of all trades" to some extent, which has its pros and cons. DBC taught me Rails and Javascript, I spent my apprenticeship coding in Java and JS, and I spent my consulting career coding in Java, Objective-C and Rails again for a bit.

I'm glad I got such a broad exposure to different tech stacks, but I definitely missed out on "diving deep" into one specific tech stack. It's reasonable to believe I'd be much more qualified for a senior developer position at my current job if I had worked in a Rails-only environment for the last few years, although without a time machine it's impossible to be sure.

I enrolled at bootcamp at a time when DBC was by far the most well-known school of the bunch. The Dan Rather Reports clip had just come out, and it was a pretty glowing profile. If I were to do it all over again, I would consider Dev Bootcamp or Hack Reactor, as the latter focuses on JS frameworks, which seems applicable to a broader number of job opportunities than the Rails ecosystem (although Rails is certainly useful as well).

throwzy1234 2 days ago 5 replies      
As a dev I've always suspected programming was easy, but never really thought it was this easy. Literally anyone can pick it up in a few weeks. That's surprisingly depressing.
speaktochris 3 days ago 0 replies      
Attended a local bootcamp-like program in my area. Afterwards started working at a local startup as a jr dev. The pay increase wasn't as astronomical as they hype at the time suggested but I knew it was expanding my opportunities way more than my previous gig.

The startup then got acquired and I got experience working with a larger company. Left that after a while and now have my dream job as a Developer Advocate! Literally the job I have wanted ever since I got into programming and attended my first hackathon. Can't believe where I am now.

To answer your other questions:

1) Did the bootcamp prepare me for the job? Yes, but only in that it taught me Rails and I could begin working at this startup that did mostly Rails. The startup took a chance on me, I think that's what really prepared me to succeed.

2) What about my cohort?During the program me and some other devs worked on projects outside of the class. We attended community events, hackathons, and worked on OSS with local devs. All of those that participated in stuff like that with me all went on to have successful careers. Those that didn't? I think they're still taking classes or interviewing for jobs.

travisjungroth 3 days ago 1 reply      
I'm going to speak for my girlfriend who went to a bootcamp about two years ago. She says it didn't really prepare her (she did that on her own through self study) but it did open up doors. She's a data engineer at Airbnb.
nearlynameless 3 days ago 2 replies      
I went to Dev Bootcamp in 2012. I was self taught beforehand, and had done a little bit of contracting work.

They focused pretty heavily on soft skills, like communication and pairing, and also somewhat on generic software construction ideas, on thinking through a problem and breaking it down into its component pieces. The curriculum used JS and Rails, although I didnt feel that I had much more than a surface familiarity of either by the end of the cohort.

I think that, in general, if a bootcamp has a decent focus on software construction and doesn't totally fall down on teaching you the technical stuff, youll probably be prepared to work, at least, as a junior dev. But, you can't just rely on a bootcamp. You really have to spend a lot of time (like, a ton of time) learning on your own, writing code and reading code others have written.

Since then, Ive been working steadily as a mostly front-end and sometimes full-stack developer.

My cohort was a little weird, people went on to do other stuff, like start their own bootcamps. But, I believe most of the people who wanted to be devs are still doing just that!

yeahbaby 3 days ago 3 replies      
I went to a code bootcamp 3 years ago. Now I make over 6 figures doing java in a LCOL state.

The code place I went to did a really good job preparing me for the actual work. I am a senior level contractor and actually get to work on interesting stuff.

I know over 10 people off the top of my head who also went to code bootcamps and are all making over 70k in LCOL locations. They are thriving and not hack's in the least.

ericdykstra 2 days ago 0 replies      
Hey! I graduated from Dev Bootcamp in Spring of 2013 as part of the 3rd cohort of that year (when they switched from classes to cohorts), which I think puts me in the first ~150 or so of people who did a "bootcamp."

> What are you doing now?

I'm a programmer working for a startup company in Tokyo.

> Do you feel that the bootcamp prepared you for the jobs you got?

The primary focus when I went was learning how to "think like a programmer" and learn while building. This let me contribute at least marginally at my first job as I gained more experience through just building more.

It seems like the focus has shifted, though, from what I've seen. I don't think I would choose to do it now, given the current messaging.

> Do you think most of your cohort are still working as developers?

I haven't checked everyone individually, but at least 50%, maybe more.

w1zeman1p 3 days ago 1 reply      
I went through App Academy in 2013, I'm a Developer for a small startup in SF applying some of the skills learned at the bootcamp. I feel like its pretty good prep for super entry level work. Most of my cohort is still employed as software engineers or has been promoted to director / CTO level positions.
escribmac 2 days ago 0 replies      
I attended Fullstack Academy in NYC, completed in February of this year. I had some CS fundamentals under my belt from college before I attended. I'm currently employed as a developer and I feel like my education has properly equipped me for the Junior Dev role. Many people in this thread are saying that they must continue learning after the bootcamp - I'd be really surprised if any CS major decided to stop learning about programming after completing college. I'm extremely happy with the quality of education I received at my school, but I can't speak to other programs.
lukedavis 3 days ago 2 replies      
I did Hack Reactor in 2014 and work at Google now as a software engineer (it's currently 2017).
jnmandal 2 days ago 0 replies      
I did Dev Bootcamp and graduated in early 2015 -- have been employed ever since. Unfortunately I think the program has changed for the worse during the past year or so. They had been acquired by Kaplan around the time I started. About a year ago, it seems to have become a lot more focused on the bottom line: they are charging more, offering less, and have removed some of the soft touches that made it a great program.

Most folks from my era of the program are still in touch and we're all very supportive of each other from a professional/networking standpoint.

handbanana 3 days ago 3 replies      
Finished bootcamp mid 2014, currently a Software Developer (full stack) making 105k base (110k total package) with some great benefits (and no state income tax).

I had zero background before the bootcamp, and the bootcamp itself was pretty shocking.

The biggest part of the bootcamp was having it on my resume - giving my limited knowledge "legitimacy".

EDIT: My starting salary was mid 40s after I finished bootcamp. And I felt like I knew nothing for a good 6 months - luckily many employers are happy to take chances on you if you're willing to learn and have common sense.

I'd advocate something like freecodecamp to others looking at bootcamps that can't afford the "good" ones (hackreactor etc)

jcotillo 2 days ago 0 replies      
Hai guysss; I'm a queer latina full-stack dev in SF and I went to Ironhack spring of 2015. I attended their second cohort in Miami (they're one of the first bootcamps in Europe, not so known here) and I been happily coding ever since. The biggest value that bootcamps offer is an opportunity to learn new skills at whatever point you are in life. This to me meant an entry point into software after a short career as a financial analyst -- despite the fact that I carry around student debt for two B.A.s from a top American uni. What other channels are out there for highly motivated individuals from non-traditional backgrounds? I def couldn't afford to go back to uni for a CS degree. Anyways, I got a job right out of Ironhack, took a break to backpack in Asia and moved across the country and now started a full-stack dev position at a company I'm psyched about in SF. NOTE-- being a dev is CONSTANT learning. I been taking classes online ever since I finished Ironhack to keep myself competitive and fill in gaps of knowledge. This is sometimes everyone does even if they got a traditional CS degree (right?).

And oh yeah, most of my peeps from Ironhack are still coding too.

philpee2 3 days ago 0 replies      
I attended App Academy nearly 3 years ago. I'm currently a software engineer at Airbnb. I haven't kept in touch with everyone from my cohort, but I know some of them are working at Lyft, Uber, Google, Slack, and 23andMe.
rajangdavis 3 days ago 0 replies      
I graduated from the Web Development Immersive at the end of 2014 from General Assembly.

I was able to take what I learned and apply it to a CRM that I had worked with for years prior to going to General Assembly. I was able to develop services around this CRM that my former employer still uses and I was recognized by the company that provides the CRM for my contributions within their CRM's community.

Right now, I am on my own, still trying to figure out where to go next. I think the biggest takeaway I got from the program was to keep learning; it's part of why I keep coming back to hacker news.

nemacol 2 days ago 0 replies      
I have been a sys admin for ~5.5 years (in IT for 7). I took a MEAN stack boot camp Jan2015 - Mar2015. I am still a sys admin.

If I had to do it over again I would still take the class.

I know that is not 3+ years ago.

Even though I am not a developer I read hacker news because the article selection is usually of a high quality and the comment sections are full of reasonable conversations. People trying to find answers or make a point instead of flame wars. Usually.

alkjdf 2 days ago 0 replies      
App Academy 2013 (SF)

What are you doing now?SWE at Google

Do you feel that the bootcamp prepared you for the jobs you got?Yes! I had some background coming in and I learned a ton about the web, how to break down problems, and how to be productive.

Do you think most of your cohort are still working as developers?

I think so, but I haven't stayed in touch with all of them. I definitely think the market for juniors has gotten more saturated and I was very lucky to get in when I did.

magoon 2 days ago 0 replies      
Not an attendee. However, a client hired several older people who rejuvenated their careers with coding bootcamps and I find them to be extremely competent developers. Recommend.
bootcamper18 2 days ago 0 replies      
Bootcamp grad from 2014 in Boston. Struggled for 2-3 months to get a job (probably did 40 interviews), got 3 offers in different states ranging from 30k-50k/yr. I took the 50k job and moved to a LCOL area but had a good tech market.

Before that I was 9 credits short of a degree and I was working in account management at a tiny start up in California. I chose the bootcamp in Boston because I didn't have any money saved up to live anywhere but with my mother. I was 30, swallowed my pride and moved home for 6 months. In hindsight that was one of the smartest decisions I made.

> What are you doing now?

Now I'm a senior software engineer at PayPal. I also finished my degree.

> Do you feel that the bootcamp prepared you for the jobs you got?

I went from couch to employable in 3 months so yes. I worked 60hrs a week on my craft for 2 more years though - now I'm one of the top contributors across teams.

> Do you think most of your cohort are still working as developers?

I think so but I have been really bad at keeping in touch. Our cohort was unfortunately competitive with each other so friendships and bonding was not easy to come by.

timbuckley 3 days ago 0 replies      
I graduated from App Academy NYC in January 2014.

I'm in my 2nd post-bootcamp developer job at a small-ish company, making double my previous salary before a/A. I love what I do and attending the bootcamp was the hardest and most rewarding thing I've done in my professional life.

I keep in touch with some friends of the bootcamp (my cohort and others), and they have gone to work at various companies like Spotify, Google, Thoughtbot, Bloomberg, Capital One, Vimeo, Tumlbr, WeWork, and lots of smaller companies.

llamataboot 2 days ago 0 replies      
I completed a bootcamp about 3.5 years ago. I've been programming full-time with stellar reviews since then. I would say probably about 30% of my cohort are full-time programmers, but that's just a wild guess. I know some of them went into other things.

I've seen quite a few people graduating from bootcamps now that have struggled more to land that first job. It seems like the jr dev market is starting to get a bit saturated.

throwthisawayt 2 days ago 0 replies      
I finished AppAcademy about 2.5 years ago. It took me about 4 months to find a job and I've been working as a full stack engineer since. I mostly work in Java & Typescript (Angular) now.

My trajectory has been pretty solid - we had several people join when I started and I've been at the top of my cohort. I've been promoted and given a raise while my company went through layoffs and perform well even compared to the CS grads from Stanford & Berkeley who joined at the same time.

I expect to be promoted to the senior title in 1-2 years, but I will probably job hop somewhere else in the next year so I can get exposed to tougher cs areas (distributed systems, scaling, information retrieval, etc)

My close friends at the bootcamp work at companies like Pivotal Labs, Pinterest, Yammer, etc. it's definitely a biased sample but I've seen many people do well. Many fail as well, but that's expected.

mathattack 3 days ago 1 reply      
I know a few physicists who did a data science bootcamp ~3 years ago. I was very unimpressed with the boot camp itself, but they've become solid data scientists.
mrborgen 2 days ago 0 replies      

I did a bootcamp 2.5 years ago (Founders and Coders on London). Today I'm a co-founder of Scrimba (https://scrimba.com/), which is a new interactive video format for communicating code.

I'm mostly doing non-technical work at the moment, though some technical as well.

After I graduated I worked a little over a year as a front-end developer at Xeneta (a Norwegian-based startup).

I could not have gotten a job as a professional developer if I didn't do the bootcamp. Or it would have taken me MUCH MUCH more time. So I'm super happy with my experience. Also, most people in my cohort who graduated also work as developers now.

I've been writing a lot about how my process from non-technical to technical was. Feel free to check it out here:


bacontacos 3 days ago 2 replies      
Graduated from Hack Reactor in 2014. I'm a Senior Software Engineer at a large company now.

I was prepared enough to not totally screw things up at my first job. I was an expert in Javascript and reasonably knowledgeable at data structures and how to implement basic web stuff.

I'm now more focused on back end things...AWS, infrastructure, services, etc.

As far as I know, most of my cohort is still working at good jobs.

kolatts 2 days ago 0 replies      
I'm in my second job as a .NET dev after boot camp. My salary has nearly tripled since when I attended the boot camp. The technical skills I learned at boot camp were a great start, but I'd say the biggest change is just how slow work gets done at an enterprise. Most of the work I've done since has not used the newer tech (Angular, ORMs) I learned at the bootcamp, but I've been a rather successful advocate for them.

Needless to say I am pretty happy about my choice, the ROI manifested in the first year. I'm not so certain the rest of my class did as well, as many of them struggled with the material and most of them did not understand our final team project. I would also have not gotten very far if I stopped learning independently and pushing myself after bootcamp.

veza 2 days ago 0 replies      
Disclaimer: East-European hustle version (self-directed and free)

Not really a bootcamp but a combination of udacity, lynda, online books/tutorials.

My Background: tennis coach, basic arithmetic, PC power user.

 May 2013 - Start learning HTML->CSS->jQuery(Codeacademy+other)->Python(Udacity:Intro to CS+Web Dev) ->Javascript(Eloquent JS)->PHP&MySQL(Lynda) (+countless others in between) - Went for PHP as I started looking for jobs and there were almost no Python options. Apr 2014 - First Job - for a friend of mine who has an online tennis shop - Opencart (mainly front-end templating, some jQuery - mostly plugins usage) Jul 2014- Second Job - a web shop (10 people) - still have this one but doing totally different stuff - Wordpress theme customizing (still mostly front-end and jQuery, some php) Sep 2014 - First 'big' project: 2 person, Codeigniter+Postgres - Built the whole front-end (learned that css on a big website is hard and you need some architecture) - Ended up doing some CRUD stuff on the admin side too May 2015 - d3.js project - a landing page with lots of custom graphs and a custom map (started the project with 0 knowledge of d3 - finished quite well) - Interestingly enough I was already 'the javascript' guy at the shop so this was assigned to me Jul 2015- Tryout with a remote team in my area working for an american startup - Flask, microservices, aws, data analysis - cool stuff - they needed me on the back-end - got rejected, - the lead said I was too inexperienced and that he didn't have time too train me. Aug 2015- Built a custom Wordpress theme for a website Sept 2015- Python job - for a US based startup - a LOT of scripts, mainly web scraping, data mining, data cleaning - a LOT of sql for all that data Sept 2016- Started working on a new front-end for the same US based startup - React, Webpack, ES6, NPM, Babel, Flux... head-blown, die...

mmartinson 2 days ago 0 replies      
I did a bootcamp fall 2014 in Vancouver. I got a couple decent job offers the week I finished, took one of them with a startup, and have been working there since. I had no professional experience before, but took 8 months off before the bootcamp to prepare and was probably the most prepared student in the cohort.

Looking at where my peers are now, I would say that about 50% have turned it into a good career, and the others either changed course or quit.

The curriculum gave me a pretty solid start, though it leaned heavily on libraries and getting things done. Starting my job I felt productive in a very narrow sense, and needed pretty direct supervision for about 6 months before I was at a place to work mostly autonomously.

spectrum1234 2 days ago 0 replies      
I started a bootcamp 2.5 years ago. Then I spent 2 years trying to go straight into Product Management. No one would hire me without development experience so I worked as a technical project manager and my own startup.

Finally I decided to get a web developer job. It has been 8 days, we are using React and Redux, and its fantastic. But the senior developer left the team and now with 4 of us left I've realized I am the most knowledgeable developer on the team. This is in SF but not with a tech company. Luckily there is no stress and the hours are great.

For some reason coding on my own projects was only okay but coding for a job is amazing. The day flies by and I get really deep into my work.

dvdhnt 3 days ago 0 replies      
I went to The Iron Yard, their very first offering in Atlanta, back in 2014. My cohort was focused on full-stack development; it started with Ruby, Sinatra, and finally Rails.

I graduated that summer and immediately began doing contract work with a couple fellow graduates. By the end of 2014, I had moved my family to Chattanooga to work for a startup in the eSports space. It was a Rails shop and they had grand plans but the senior developer left and our CEO decided I could take the lead. To be blunt, I wasn't ready, obviously, and knew it. I wanted to be a part of a team and have room to make mistakes (plus be mentored); you can'd do that when you're the only developer then lead developer. So, by spring of 2015, I joined a wellness startup (awesome team) in town and have remained there ever since.

In the beginning, all I did was write tests. I started to contribute to features on both the front and back ends. Now, I own entire features, make design decisions (re: database, code, and the stack), implement CI/CD, review code, and randomly build things in other tech (like an iOS app for testing Firebase Cloud Messaging integration). There's no way I could have done much, if any, of this fresh out of bootcamp.

Bootcamp got my toes wet and taught me, beyond introductory full-stack concepts, both how to read documentation and to accept that programming is hard. Those two lessons are what really helped me to become a professional developer. My team accepted me because I was still passionate even after learning so much so fast. They also were confident that when presented with a problem I would either have a solution, know how to go find one, or be smart enough to ask for direction (that last one took more time to develop than the others).

To be fair, I was an intelligence analyst by trade prior to bootcamp, so I definitely had previously developed skills useful to programming. However, as others have said, bootcamp was/is a springboard that provides structure to the process.

As for my peers from the cohort, I think MAYBE half are still developers and a few own companies.

tnolet 2 days ago 4 replies      
A sincere question: Do people ever NOT graduate from these types of bootcamps? I'm asking as IT Manager / Engineering Manager person. When it's on someone's CV, I never know how t value it.
maxxxxx 2 days ago 0 replies      
I am surprised how well most seem to do. It makes me wonder if even as a senior engineer who maybe isn't up to date with the latest cool stuff doing a bootcamp is a way to refresh the career.
lbrindze 2 days ago 1 reply      
Fwiw I never went to a boot camp (nor have an engineering degree of any kind).

I was lucky enough to have a few opportunities where I was paid to learn. Got my first big boy developer job at a startup in Santa Monica in oct 2014 after working as a scuba instructor. Now I work very part time from a boat sailing around the sea of Cortez. I can only do this because my resume is solid enough that picking up short term freelance work is not impossible.

If you want to learn something (or do something for that matter) I think passion is the first and most important ingredient. If you want it bad enough the opportunities will manifest themselves.

adamgoodapp 2 days ago 0 replies      
Graduated from General Assembly in London 4 years ago. Now working for a Robotics company as a software developer.

Bootcamps are great in teaching you the foundation of software engineering (mainly in a web development role).The biggest learning experience I received was learning how to learn.

During my time I have needed to venture into lower level programming and having more CS knowledge really is a big plus.

I feel like bootcamps could spend some more time teaching general Computer science topics, however you can pick the experience up during your career.

rednerrus 2 days ago 0 replies      
I graduated from python developer bootcamp in 2015 (not three years ago) and I'm an operations engineer at a medium-sized startup. The other people in my class that were technically competent and worked hard are all working today. A couple of front-end developers, a dev manager, and two other Devopsish engineers.

Bootcamp gave me the basics. I took them and busted my ass to build on those skills. It took about two months before I got my first job.

suddensleep 2 days ago 0 replies      
I'll speak up from the (seemingly underrepresented) data science side here, despite not making the 3+ years ago cutoff.

I attended a data science bootcamp almost two years ago now. It was 12 weeks long and ran 9-5 each day with a mixture of lectures and pair programming exercises in the morning, and time set aside in the afternoon for working on projects. My cohort was very diverse; there were kids just out of grad school, teachers, actuaries, data/business analysts, and even practicing software developers all taking the same course. I came into the bootcamp with a fair amount of background knowledge (Bachelors/Masters degrees in Math as well as a ~10 year history of teaching myself various computer science concepts and languages), and I have to say that this served me quite well. I didn't struggle to learn Python (the language of choice for this program) or grapple with what gradient descent was really doing, because these were already parts of the way that I understood the field. Instead, I used my 12 weeks to learn about Git/Github, get really good at actually working from the command line, learn about different "big data" techniques and database structures, and pursue a passion project.

That being said, throughout the bootcamp I was keenly aware of the fact that no one was going to "fail out". There were students that needed more direct guidance than others when difficult topics were broached, and there were students whose presentations revealed that their project hadn't worked as well as they'd hoped (this includes some of my own projects). On the one hand, it was good to have a community of people (students and instructors alike) who embraced these failures and helped you learn from them. On the other hand, it instilled some level of self-doubt: "Maybe I am wasting a solid amount of my life savings on an experience that will only teach me how bad I am at this." Or even, "I feel like I did well with this project, and I have some validation from my peers and mentors, but what would a future boss think of this work?"

As a practicing data scientist now, I feel like the bootcamp prepared me to both know how to ask the types of questions data scientists ask, and to know where to look for the answers I need. As far as I know, everyone in my cohort is employed as a data scientist now, save a couple individuals with visa issues (and these few are still actively working on personal projects). Those with prior exposure to the field were certainly able to get better jobs, and quicker.

Ninja edit: italics

MrDrone 2 days ago 0 replies      
I completed a Front End Dev apprenticeship/boot camp with Bloc.io. I'm now the manager of support training at Zapier. While I think the technical skills it provided me with helped me out in my current role I don't think it would've prepared me to be an actual developer.
jacques_chester 3 days ago 0 replies      
Where I work we have a fair contingent of bootcamp alumni who joined in the past 3 years, some of whom have now moved into engineering and product management.

They tend to have started with strong backgrounds in something else. People who would excel in a lot of fields, in no small part because they continue to learn.

timwaagh 2 days ago 2 replies      
i find the reactions so intersting. a financial analyst no less who does a three month course to become a programmer. product managers who do the same. senior developer in a year.

in my country these people make so much more than programmers that they would never consider such steps. and senior generally means 5-10 years of experience.

maybe i need to find my way to the us after all. it sounds like 'opposite town'. not really because i need the money, but if i could to tell these suits 'i'm a software engineer, maybe if you do some course you could get as much as i do'. maybe i could die sniggering...

run28 3 days ago 0 replies      
I went to General Assembly in 2013, quite possibly the worst bootcamp. Now I'm a lead engineer at a startup with top tier pay. The bootcamp helped a little but it was more about working my ass off and finding any way possible to get that first programming job.
maddcastles 2 days ago 1 reply      
I graduated from General Assembly in NY 2 years ago. I worked as a junior dev on Long Island for 6 months. Then I hopped across the pond to Berlin, Germany to teach at a Bootcamp whilst I travel Europe. It's been a dream so far :)
zumu 3 days ago 0 replies      
Most of the people I bootcamped with do not religiously read HN, but of those who do, most of us have solid jobs.

This is obviously an anecdote, but I think it's logical those who had bad experiences and did not end up developers most likely do not read HN.

stickperson 3 days ago 0 replies      
Since most people responding here have some sort of technical job, what sort of stuff are you working on? All of the bootcamps I'm aware of focus on web development. Do you still do strictly web stuff? Frontend or backend? Anything else?
bootcamp1 3 days ago 0 replies      
A lot of people who attend programming bootcamps seem to be coming from other backgrounds or relatively new to programming.

Interested to hear the experience from anyone who was already a developer and took a bootcamp. Was it was worth it?

cagataygurturk 2 days ago 1 reply      
Why the most of bootcamp grads go to frontend jobs? Is it easier?
werber 2 days ago 0 replies      
I'm just about 3 years out of a boot camp and have since transitioned into a UI Dev role which suits me much better than being a straight dev.
spasiu 3 days ago 0 replies      
I graduated over two years ago from makersquare. I was a Dev for those two years, now I'm moving into developer experience work. I'm very happy with my career.
eggie5 3 days ago 0 replies      
probably a lot of selection bias on these responses.
kmakm 2 days ago 0 replies      
I didn't do one, but my friend did and is now a Google SWE!
cdt_hiker 2 days ago 1 reply      
I went through a boootcamp several years ago. Before joining I had done a small amount of dev work (mostly trying to debug simple js errors) for an existing employer and researched bootcamps all over the country before deciding on one. Since then I've worked at several companies and have been in charge of hiring a couple people, both jr and sr to myself, and in the process have interviewed a number of other bootcamp grads. My general thoughts:

-Bootcamps are insanely overpriced for what you are getting. Most seem to have a decent student to instructor ratio but almost always the instructors are recent graduates and lack the technical skills in a lot of areas. They could help out on general syntax errors but lacked debugging skills that most devs outside of extreme entry level posses. In the past two years the cost has continued to rise almost exponentially and the trend of hiring former students seems to have continued.

-I'm sure this varies by bootcamp but they seem to paint too wide of a brush. In ten weeks they will touch on both front and back end and give the attendee the illusion that they are "fullstack devs". This is great because you have a nice shinny Quara clone to show off at the end but in reality most people will walk away with little understanding of either. I would rather bootcamps focused on one area (probably client side) and briefly touch on the other end. For my bootcamp I specifically said up front I was interested in the backend and was assured that they tailor the curriculum to the student. In reality it's more a one size fits all.

-Students can't problem solve for themselves. A lot of students (and I include myself in this) couldn't handle issues that could be solved with a basic google search. Some people figure this out fairly early, others carry it on into their careers, but it seems to be especially prevalent with bootcamp grads.

-Students walk away with unreal expectations. Having friends and family that have gone through bootcamps in both large and small markets the salary and employment numbers don't seem grounded in reality. I'm sure this depends on the market but it seems like a lot of people end up taking short term low paying jobs straight out of bootcamp and while some of them find other dev jobs a not insignificant amount don't. Also a lot of people end up being pressured into taking tech but not dev related jobs by their bootcamp, presumably so they can collect a placement fee. The bootcamp I went to is fairly well regarded (you have probably heard of it) and I've never been contacted by them about my employment status, and I know a fair number of people either went back to their old careers or are marginally employed in the tech field (yet they still claim a high placement rate).

-I'm SURE this depends on the bootcamp but mine seemed to openly play favorites. At first it was great because of extra attention but after a number of staff openly ridiculed a guy on the spectrum I became extremely disheartened. A bootcamp should be about education, not a popularity contest.

After my bootcamp I didn't feel ready to be employed and opted out of the opportunity to meet perspective employers. This was met by numerous "talks" by the staff trying to convince me to attend, presumably so the bootcamp would get a cut of any offer I took. In the end I spent a fair bit of time consulting in my previous industry before finally feeling ready and taking a job as a developer (although the job search in a new market was brutal). Since then things have been great and I'm extremely happy with where I ended up, but I'm still disillusioned with the bootcamp model. Part of that is at due to my experience and partially due to interacting with bootcamp devs both in interviews and with employees at my current company.

We are starting to look at hiring two new people at the company, one is for a non dev role who might have to deal with some basic html and css, I'll probably hire out of a bootcamp for this position. The other will be for a full dev position. I'm hoping to poach within the company on this one (from somebody with no experience but who has the interest) but if not I'm going to give self taught or CS grads priority.

If you are looking to change careers and just want to work in tech. A bootcamp is probably a way to get your foot in the door. If you really love programming go back to school (I wish I had, cs masters are pretty cheap) or really work on your own, network like crazy (buy as many beers or coffee for as many devs as possible) and build something really cool. Most people won't notice it on your resume but one or two out of a hundred will and that is all that matters.

christinahuang 3 days ago 2 replies      
what are your thoughts on all-women coding bootcamps (ie hackbright in sf and grace hopper in nyc)?
divmain 2 days ago 0 replies      
I attended Code Fellows in October-December of 2013. I had held a handful of tech-heavy positions prior to that time, but had never worked as a software engineer/developer.

I originally saw three primary benefits to attending bootcamp, and I think they're still relevant:

1. It gave me some credibility. Before bootcamp, I had worked with children overseas for a couple of years, and as a care provider the year before that. I had considerable tech experience further back, but nothing related to software development. My resume would have been easy to discard without some way to get connected with employers.

2. It enhanced my motivation. I was paying a lot of money out of pocket, so it placed pressure on me to follow through. I also enjoy working with people, and the classroom setting exceeded self-study in a number of ways.

3. It provided people I could go to when I was stuck. This only happened a half dozen times over the course of the program, but any one of these times might've derailed my interest or motivation.

Overall, my experience was very positive and I was offered a position at Formidable Labs (now just Formidable) before graduating.

It has gone rather well since then. I started as a junior engineer on their Walmart project and progressed to a senior position on my team within the year. A few months in, I received a ~30% raise.

From there, I joined the Walmart Core Web team. That involved building foundational libraries, components, and patterns for the rest of the web teams, as well as a lot of broad architectural work. After a couple of months on that team and some significant successes, I took on additional responsibility, which coincided with another ~35% raise.

Since then, I've worked on Formidable projects for Microsoft and Starbucks, in senior and lead roles. Starting Monday, I'm joining the Edge browser team at Microsoft as a program manager.

Its hard to know what I should attribute my success to - I definitely went into bootcamp with the intention to make the most of every opportunity that came my way, and I continued in that mindset afterwards. I jumped at every chance to learn something new, and spent considerable amounts of time outside of work learning and doing OSS. A few of my projects [0][1][2] got relatively popular (others, not so much [3][4]). All of these were side projects that I pursued independantly, and I think that increased my desireability as a team member. A lot of it was probably timing and luck too!

It's worth noting, however, that my experience was atypical and not in line with the rest of my cohort. I know at least a handful that struggled to find positions.

[0] github.com/divmain/GitSavvy[1] github.com/FormidableLabs/rapscallion[2] github.com/FormidableLabs/freactal[3] interlockjs.com[4] github.com/divmain/recollect

rytor718 2 days ago 0 replies      
Attended a bootcamp (General Assembly) in 2014. Very positive outcome for me I got a job offer the week I graduated, but like others have mentioned, a significant number of others had a harder time getting their first gig. Some gave up and I don't blame them. I'm in San Francisco where competition and opportunity are very high.

Bootcamps have their flaws, but are definitely filling a need in the tech sector. There's too many dev jobs and not enough devs so while there's some saturation leaking from bootcamps, it's not because there aren't enough jobs; it's just very competitive and companies generally do poorly at recruiting. Bootcamps are trying to fill a void, but they're not all equal.

For anyone thinking of attending a camp: look for camps that offer scholarships to attend. They're hungry for students for a lot of reasons but also it's indicative of a camp that really wants to offer you something and they've managed to get the big companies to pay the way for you. Yes that's how many of those scholarships work. The bootcamp networks with big companies like Google who offer sponsorship for a set amount of students (usually minority students). Whatever you think of the camp, that's a good sign they're trying to expand their offerings and those camps will usually do a great job of helping you succeed.

Second, look at the more established camps. If you're a woman, Hack Bright and Grace Hopper and the like are premiere camps. Their programs are amazing. If you can get to one, consider those your best options for getting a quality education. For others, App Academy has a well earned reputation; Hack Reactor is competitive; General Assembly is well established and has vast resources for students. I'd say Dev Bootcamp but as someone else mentioned, they've changed somewhat over the years and I'm not sure where the quality lies there. I work with a lot of bootcamp grads from different camps for the past few years and I continue to mentor at these camps so this is my firsthand experience with them.

Finally, be ready to study ...not necessarily all day everyday (people have families to attend to) but definitely for a solid 8-10 hours to get the most of it (and try to take 1 or 2 days off; the brain needs a break to absorb all the things you learn and it will be tempting to keep going without breaks).

In all cases, you're going to be surrounded by other students and developers of varying experience daily ...this is the greatest benefit you reap from bootcamps. You have people you can go to hourly! Ask anyone who is self taught how valuable it is to have this sort of access to getting your questions answered all day every day. You're also going to be at a place that constantly networks with companies on your behalf. Regardless of how good the camp is at placing grads, the fact is they're already in the door and it's a leg up for you to have them do a lot of foot work to connect you. That brings me to networking: bootcamps are a great place to do it. There will be guest speakers and events to attend every week and professionals on site whose daily job is to talk to companies so that you know what they want to hear.

Whatever you think of bootcamps, they're always a hotbed for networking and learning. If you go into it with goals, a learning mindset and dedicate your mental resources for the 12 - 24 weeks you're there, you'll do well.

I must emphasize to make sure you set your goals before hand and chase them tenaciously. I think one of the best I things I did was have a mental timeline and SEVERAL acceptable outcomes that I'd be satisfied with. For example, my endgame was to get a job as a developer within 3 months of graduating. During that time I'd attend weekly workshops and network; and I set a schedule to study algorithms and build an app everyday in any language (the idea was repetition, make hacking second nature while studying algorithms was more about digging deep). I would have accepted working as a contractor, creating my own business or being employed as a junior dev and my study schedule made all of those equally likely outcomes. I focused on improving myself, establishing my own network and at the end of 3 months I'd be prepared to either strike out on my own or have a job. Two of those were in my control, and that was important. Nothing can be promised in a bootcamp no matter where you go so it's important to set realistic expectations and to hold yourself accountable for the outcome.

It's a lot of hardwork, but I found it enjoyable, productive, efficient and just flat out fun (really enjoyed late nights with other poor students and all the creative ways we found to grow together) and I highly recommend it.

gothrowaway 2 days ago 5 replies      
I got paid to learn to program. 45k a yr to start off with. Then 70k a few months later.

You don't need to pay a school to learn to code.

The sad truth is, there are recruiters who will throw out your resume if you associate with bootcamps. Why? Because the quality of the programmers they generate is low.

Code camps run like mills. From stories I've heard, they pay instructors as contractors below market rate (20-50k, long long hours) and throw them away with no severance.

That's not even to speak about those who forked over $16,000 you'll never hear of here because they're too embarrassed and afraid they'll get jumped.

Worse, try mentioning anything critical on Bootcamps and they'll create sock puppet accounts to downvote you, harass you and so on.

If you don't believe me, go on /r/cscareerquestions or quora threads mentioning bootcamps. They'll have coursereport.com shilling and trying to keep you from the reality:

You can learn to code on GitHub for free.

You can host repositories on GitHub for free.

You can download Atom (https://atom.io/) and Visual Studio Code (https://code.visualstudio.com/) for free.

You can download Linux for free (https://www.ubuntu.com/download/desktop).

You can watch MIT/Stanford/etc. Data Structures and Algorithm courses online for free: https://github.com/prakhar1989/awesome-courses

Free Programming Books: https://github.com/EbookFoundation/free-programming-books/bl...

Free development services: https://github.com/ripienaar/free-for-dev

And you do not need any college or bootcamp to work at Amazon, Microsoft, or Google.

Seriously, just grab a copy of Cracking the Code Interview.

cosmocrackers 3 days ago 1 reply      
I graduated a python/django bootcamp in Aug 2014, became a Software Engineer right afterwards, and I'm now a Engineering Manager at a startup in San Francisco. I believe just under half of 21 are writing code in some developer type role. Definitely there were others there who were only looking to gain technical understanding for more Product/Marketing/PM type roles.

If you do your prep work and are ready to dedicate 100% to the bootcamp and all that it entails, you will certainly be successful and find the job you want. If you are not fully prepared for the commitment it takes, you will likely not fulfill your expectations.

You get out of it what you put into it.

gothrowaway 2 days ago 2 replies      
See the above? This is what codecamps do to innocent people. They prey on the weak, act authoritative, and take advantage of their hopes of getting jobs.

You should demand your money back, every penny.

> I can only look to my choice of bootcamp

Bootcamps are not gatekeepers. They portray themselves as such to take your money.

There's no such thing as an elite bootcamp. It's a lie to pray on your navet of the industry. It's just ruby and javascript. It's web development. Nothing magic. Nothing elite here. You could teach it in a community college setting for 2k a semester.

But every town needs electricians, plumbers, doctors, etc. It's just frankly, we're pouring out more junior programmers desperate for jobs than there are positions to fill. Every time a cohort finishes, it's 30 more people on top of the thousands of others seeking a handful of positions.

They end up creating junior level programmers, and cherrypicking success stories from people who have already coded before.

> that crushed my dream of working in tech.

Nothing's stopping you from:

- installing Linux (https://www.ubuntu.com/download/desktop)

- downloading Atom (https://atom.io)

Using these resources:

- https://github.com/prakhar1989/awesome-courses

- https://github.com/EbookFoundation/free-programming-books/bl...

- https://github.com/ripienaar/free-for-dev

Maybe you would be a good programmer if you continued studying, maybe it's not your path.

I don't know you, but don't be fooled into thinking that any institution or person is a gatekeeper from you coding and getting a job in it. These code camps want you to believe that so they can justify their existence.

gothrowaway 2 days ago 2 replies      
You signed up just to give a review? How did you find this article?
gothrowaway 2 days ago 2 replies      
songzme 2 days ago 1 reply      
Thanks for asking this question, I've been meaning to write a blog post but I haven't gotten the chance. Although I didn't attend a bootcamp, I've been teaching coding since I started learning coding (Junior year of university): http://dailybruin.com/2011/11/03/computer_science_student_so...

For what its worth, I feel empowered by your question to write and here is my story (unfiltered, so please be understanding):

My first internship (senior year) was with facebook. During that internship, I committed myself to teaching my best friend (B) how to code. He was a musician who could not find an internship with his econ degree and was worried for his future. He reached out for help, and when your best friend reaches out for help you make it work with your schedule. So everyday I went home after my internship to teach him, and on the weekends we went to hackathons and worked on projects together. I listened to his frustrations, adjusted my expectations from a beginner, and worked with him to help him become a better coder in hopes that some day he would be at the same level as I am. (His family also lived around the area at the time so I got to live with his family rent free and his mom cooked delicious food for us, so I felt that I got the better end of the bargain).

(After my internship)Right before I graduated from college, I met a wonderful girl(A) and we started going out. I moved to the bay area and she followed after graduation and moved in with me into our cozy one bedroom shared apartment in the heart of SF. Unfortunately, she felt intimidated and it was hard for her to settle in as someone with no technical background. It seemed as if all conversations would end up technical and leave her isolated. It was incredibly frustrating for me to hear someone feel that way so I made it my mission to talk about my work in a way that a 5 year old could understand. I refrained myself from using technical terms and I tried to create analogies to everyday life for the problems I encounter at work (I did not tell anybody this, it was more of a personal mission).

I'd like to think I had an impact on (A), but who knows? Over a couple of weeks since living with me, A decided to apply for App Academy and was accepted! She continued with her job for a few months until her cohort started, then quit and immersed herself with Rails and JavaScript (their curriculum is not something you can keep up with part time). Although we lived together, she was so exhausted after her day that I had no glimpse into her curriculum. She received all the help she needed from her classmates and all she wanted after a long day was just some relaxation and Netflix. Once in a while, I participated in their social activities and I met other students of her cohort. They were just like A and I: ambitious, hopeful, and eager to learn the things we believe will help us achieve our goals. As far as I know, everyone at A's cohort did great; A landed a job at Cisco, receiving a salary almost 3 times what she was making as a support staff at Academy of Arts University (AAU).

I saved and bought a house in the bay. My friend (B) and my girlfriend (A) moved in with me. I felt lucky to be able to afford a house in the bay area and I wanted to make sure the people I care about has the same luxury. B saved and bought his own house. A saved and bought her own house. I associated their success for my own and I thought I was invincible. I thought I had a gift for teaching and inspiring people so I committed myself to teaching another friend whom I used to know in high school. He worked hard and in 3 months got hired as a front end developer at American Express. I thought his success validated my teaching abilities but this was a short-lived euphoria: A broke up with me because I was distracted and did not fulfill my role as her partner. B moved into his new home and the commute deterred us from hanging out. I was alone.

In the midst of my solitude, my mom successfully convinced me to buy a 3 unit property in Oakland. I didn't care much for it because I have a blinding trust towards my parents. I focused on my own personal growth and landed a job at Google on the analytics team. I worked with an incredible team (some of the brightest people I've worked with) but unfortunately my heart was not in the right place. In the 13 months I was with Google, I probably submitted less than 50 changelists (merge requests). Out of respect for a great team and a great company, I quit.

The past 2 months has been the most fun I have ever experienced. The 2 properties that I invested in produced enough income monthly for me to be financially secure. Without a financial burden, I was able to consolidate everything I had ever learned about teaching coding and come up with my own original curriculum. The realization is profound. Currently I have 4 students (a recently divorced mom who had been a housewife for the past decade, a high school student, a army veteran looking for new opportunities, and a former software test engineer who felt discouraged with her technical growth), and from their diverse background I have learned a few things that I would like to share.

Learning coding in a class of 40 with a 3 month curriculum is not only a bad way to learn, but it amplifies the problem we have with our education system today: Everybody learns at a different pace, understands things at different times, and thus it is wrong to expect everybody to follow the same curriculum with the same timeline. This traditional way of learning prevents students from building a strong foundation, which is essential for their technical growth. It is much more efficient to create a system for people to learn at their own pace than to impose a syllabus with dates for getting things done.

Programming is a team sport, so it is important to realize from the beginning that your code could have a profound impact on somebody else's code. From my personal experience, most technical backlog comes from engineers being ignorant about the potential impact of the code they write. When my students join our team, we teach them the basics and get them going on our Github open source projects right away (submitting and reviewing pull requests): https://github.com/llipio/algorithms

Programming is a team sport, so it is important that when a new engineer graduates from the basics, he/she is put into an ongoing project that multiple people at their level have working on together as a team. Our projects (web and mobile) are all in production with real users to emulate a real working environment. You can checkout our app by searching for (llip) on the app store or visit https://llip.io.

Every Saturday, our team (in full force) attends our local Free Code Camp meetup and helps any beginner learning how to code with their questions and unblock them on their journey.

I'm still figuring things out, so if you want to grab coffee I'd love to share ideas. My email is song@zheng.club

Thanks for reading!

tu7001 2 days ago 0 replies      
I didn't read the comments, but the question is: People who completed boot camp 3+ y ago, and don't have a CS degree, what r u doing now?
adrice727 3 days ago 0 replies      
I attended Hack Reactor in 2014. I'm currently an engineer at small PaaS company.

I don't think I was job-ready upon graduation, or at least I didn't feel that way at the time. I spent a few months helping out s bootstrapped startup while looking for a job and learned a lot from working closely with the CTO. I stayed on with the startup while working a contract gig and eventually left both for my first full-time gig.

Ask HN: Does anybody else feel overwhelmed while reading HN?
187 points by yeswecatan  2 days ago   140 comments top 60
patio11 2 days ago 5 replies      
Attempting to be as accomplished/skilled as the union of people you read on the Internet is a fool's errand. You have to accept you'll never know everything and that, for almost all things, there will be someone -- or a lot of someones -- much better than you.

Pretend you were working at a company with a hundred engineers. Do you understand how easy it is for every single one of them to simultaneously feel like you do? The React mavens feel like they're just knocking together JS and wonder when they'll be allowed to do real engineering. The backend specialists wonder why they don't understand networking or servers better. The DevOps folks envy folks who build things. The American office wonders why they can't speak foreign languages; the German office marvels that anyone can learn Japanese; the Japanese office worries their English isn't up to the global standard.

There's nothing wrong in specialization -- it's how we stay sane. A very workable and easy to understand formula early in your career is specialize in two things; you don't have to be better at X and better at Y than everyone you meet, you have to be "better at X than anyone who is better at Y" and "better at Y than anyone who is better at X." This is very, very achievable, regardless of how highly competent your local set of peers is.

Also, unsolicted advice as a sidenote, but life is too short to spend overly much time in negative work environments. Assuming the negativity isn't coming from you, changing environments to one of the (numerous!) places where happy people do good work might be an improvement.

inputcoffee 2 days ago 12 replies      
Oh, you will feel much better once you have mastered:

1. Programming chips in binary, machine code, and C. You need a variety of chips. Try to learn at least 5 from each manufacturer.

2. Learn at least 37 Javascript frameworks, as evenly divided between front-end and server side as you can. (Good news: angular 1 and 2 count as 2 frameworks).

3. Learn Scala, Rust, Haskell, C, C#, Java. (Python and Ruby go without saying).

4. Learn R, machine learning, statistics (prob and regressions), linear algebra and multi-variate calculus.

5. Learn growth hacking (edit:) and lean startup, human centered design, and design thinking.

6. Learn accounting, finance (go through Markowitz, to Black Scholes, Fama, CAPM, and factor models. Read the original papers only and implement everything yourself, in 2 languages).

Now you are ready to read HN.

groby_b 2 days ago 2 replies      
Here's the dirty secret: You'll always feel that way.

I'm in this for 30+ years now. (Yikes!). My resume is somewhat nice. I've got a deep store of knowledge and experiences. A large group of people considers me somebody you ask for advice.

And yet, every day, I still learn something new.

Sometimes because it's a new paper cycling about. Sometimes an HN article. Sometimes because some other senior person shares from their wealth of experience. And quite often because a junior does something in an unexpected way - knowledge comes from every corner.

I still feel like I have no idea what I'm doing. I'll probably feel that way for the rest of my life. All my colleagues do.

So, don't worry. There's always somebody who's better than you, and that's great, because you can learn from them.

dasil003 2 days ago 0 replies      
I've been a professional web developer for 18 years now. I was very much on the bleeding edge of web standards, and jumping on Rails in 2005, I did everything from managing my own servers through backend, front-end and design in Photoshop. At the time the web was still a very greenfield type of place that was uncolonized by the top talent in either software engineering or in design, as a result it was possible to be one of the best web generalists with a little bit of aptitude and a lot of interest.

Fast forward ten years and every discipline of web development now goes very deep. It's still worth it to have a broad skillset, but it's no longer practical to be upper echelon across the board in web development. This generally leads to a feeling of overwhelm and regret that I can't learn all the things I possibly might want to learn, but on the bright side the playground is bigger than ever.

My advice is don't spend too much time thinking about the big picture, instead pick one practical project at a time and spend 95% of your time making it the best you can. Even if you only read HN a couple times a month, that's all you need for basic awareness of the landscape. By giving yourself heads-down time you can replace some of the overwhelm with a feeling of accomplishment, and you'll be growing your skills to boot.

abakker 2 days ago 3 replies      
What you are feeling is the exact opposite of hubris. It is good that you feel overwhelmed by looking at the universe of possible technologies and the pace of change within them. It sounds to me like you need to make peace with that, and then decide for yourself where you want to build expertise. You can extreme depth, extreme breadth, or something in between. According to IDC, worldwide IT spending is going to be around $2.5trillion this year. Its a big world with tons of products, disciplines, people, and very little of it is totally static. In fact, large swaths of IT probably get very little mention on HN.

To reiterate though, pick your battles, follow your interests/employment possibilities, and make peace with the fact that you can't know everything.

cubano 2 days ago 0 replies      
Everyone is overwhelmed by envy-stoking social media. Humanity simply did not evolve to process information from the whole world instantly.

Up to a short time ago, most humans never ventured farther then 5 miles from their birthplaces in their entire lives. Before printing presses, books, and finally newspapers, all news was word of mouth...a very limited bandwidth indeed.

Even newspapers really were nothing but mostly gossip and had very limited work-related information for almost everyone, so feeling totally overwhelmed by the avalanche of targeted career knowledge is not only ok but actually totally appropriate.

hunterjrj 2 days ago 1 reply      
I think that the structure of the commenting system here at HN might contribute to this feeling.

Usernames are de-emphasized and there is no indication of karma/reputation. A trick of perception can lead one to read this forum as if the same handful of broadly knowledgeable people are participating in every discussion.

The reality is, I believe, quite the opposite. There are hundreds of us here, and we all have depth of knowledge in vastly different areas. There are developers, DBAs, sysadmins, doctors, lawyers, writers... I think once I saw someone mention that they were a welder.

Keep that in mind when reading the comments here.

bingo_cannon 2 days ago 3 replies      
I was overwhelmed at first. Every time a Show HN would pop up, I was amazed at how individuals could deliver on so much alone. So I accepted these things:

- There will always be people who are better than you, in any field. I see it as a positive and a great learning opportunity.

- There will never be time to learn everything you want to learn.

The question I try to answer is: Am I doing the best I can at the moment? Of course, this can also lead to complacency.

agibsonccc 1 day ago 0 replies      
Specialization actually isn't a bad thing. I'm the CTO of an AI company dealing with some very complex problems. I've even written an oreilly book on deep learning. I tell you this for perspective.

I can't design for crap. I don't understand the thought process and don't even want to put cycles in to trying. It's not time well spent.

I'm also an enterprise founder. I don't mind wearing a suit selling to folks who have obscene requirements with 6 month to year long sales cycles.I don't understand B2C companies at all. I could never run one. The idea of catering to hundreds of millions of people with none of them paying you while relying on VC to scale blows my mind. I feel similar about small business.

I like the idea of a smaller number of big name customers with large requirements. I also understand how they work: They are for profit organizations trying to make money or cut costs. I see consumers (despite doing a ton of data) as a blob of irrational behavior I don't want to deal with.

I also can't do marketing. I can kind of write when needed but my main focus is on technical content or specialized pitches.

Being on HN is very similar to being a founder, you see everything and wonder how the people around you do what they do.Don't worry about it! You hired them for a reason.

Hope that helps!

mothers 2 days ago 0 replies      
HN in a way can be considered a monolith with thousands of years of combined cumulative experience in every domain and in every technology.

Of course, you, by comparison will seem lackluster. Realizing that a single person on here may be lacking in specific expertise may give you solace.

beckler 2 days ago 0 replies      
As much as I love HN, it does make me feel extremely inadequate as a developer sometimes.

I often dream about building some project that would provide me passive income to no longer have to work a 9-to-5. It's not that I lack the skills to execute on it, but as a father and a husband, I struggle to find time to commit to such ideas while balancing time with my family. The only time I attempted to build my own product, I ended up getting fired from my daytime job because of performance reasons. It only discouraged me from attempting to pursue anything further.

I've learned that I just can't compare myself to others here, because it just makes me horribly depressed.

smacktoward 2 days ago 3 replies      

 Fill your bowl to the brim and it will spill. Keep sharpening your knife and it will blunt. Chase after money and security and your heart will never unclench. Care about people's approval and you will be their prisoner. Do your work, then step back. The only path to serenity.
-- Tao Te Ching, Stephen Mitchell translation (http://acc6.its.brooklyn.cuny.edu/~phalsall/texts/taote-v3.h...)

alexashka 2 days ago 0 replies      
You'd benefit from clarifying what it is that you really want.

More money, better work environment, be better at computer science, etc etc.

These are all different things and require a different approach. The sooner you figure out which one you value more, and understand that you'll have to neglect some other things in order to succeed in that area, the better you'll feel.

For example you didn't mention any education - if you want to not feel like a fraud, you'll have to educate yourself on all the things a common 4 year program teaches you. There is no way around it.

You may score a nice paying job in something like web-dev or mobile where there's a lot of demand, but you'll be blindly stitching other people's code together for a long time if you continue down that route.

The solution is to take some time to go fill in the fundamentals.

The more solid your fundamentals, the smarter and more interesting the projects you can be involved in, but you'll have to sacrifice time and money to get there.

Clarifying your real intention is important.

As for not feeling overwhelmed - by being good at your area of expertise. If you know you're better than most people at one specific thing that's in demand, you don't need to worry that someone else is kicking ass in augmented reality, big data or whatever hype phrase of the year is :)

crispyambulance 2 days ago 0 replies      
There is quite a bit of braggadocio going on here too.

What may sound super bad-ass might just be a 20 year old intern riffing like a BOSS!

rpeden 2 days ago 0 replies      
I sometimes feel the same way while reading HN.

I can usually cure it by going to a Sharepoint developers' meetup, or something similar. Running into people who there who are doing consulting work and doing very, very well for themselves while working significantly less that 40 hours a week and using almost none of the cool stuff that gets mentioned on HN.

I suppose the lesson there might be to avoid a game of one-upmanship with alpha nerds. And I don't say 'alpha nerds' in a derogatory sense. It's just that on HN, you're going to encounter lots of people who will run circles around you in one domain or another. And some people love being the absolute expert in their particular technical domain.

That's okay. Good for them, actually! Everyone should do what makes them happy. You might find you're actually happier in a role that is more concerned with the business problems you're solving than with needing to be an expert in everything you see mentioned on HN. Your technical skills will be important, but not as important as your ability to use those skills to help a business 1) save money, 2) make more money, or 3) both.

gdulli 2 days ago 0 replies      
You have to accept a lot of it is noise, or effectively noise.

Some of it is wrong, some of it will never be relevant to you, some of it could relevant to you but not knowing it will never hurt you. Some of it could possibly be relevant but will be obsolete or out of date by the time you get around to using it. Some of it is nonsubstantive self-promotion. Just focus on some area you want to improve on at a given time and do it. Read what you want to read and have time to read and ignore the rest.

Just because someone puts up a nice-looking blog post with some information doesn't mean they're right, or better than you. Not that it matters if they're better than you. You could be in the top 10% and that still leaves hundreds of thousands who are better than you.

That's assuming there's some pure linear scale of developer quality anyway, which there isn't. People are fingerprints, not points on a linear scale.

skadamat 2 days ago 0 replies      
I strongly recommend reading the following book - https://www.amazon.com/Good-They-Cant-Ignore-You/dp/14555091...

It's a fantastic book by a now tenured CS professor that provides a good framework for how to think about your career / career satisfaction. He encourages working backwards from the lifestyle you want to the skills you need to master to where you are right now. His framework provides a lot of clarity and helps you ignore the roller coaster of announcements, updates, and new "things" you FEEL like you need to stay on top of.

You can also just read some of his blog posts - calnewport.com/blog - if you don't feel like buying the book. Or check out some of his interviews, etc.

rroriz 2 days ago 0 replies      
Read about the T-Shaped profile mentioned on the Valve's Employee Handbook[1]. It's a nice concept on how to know when to learn something new and when to learn more about something that you already know.

And calm down: HN users are really heterogeneous. Trying to be like everyone here is impossible. Even you find someone with the same profile as you, it is a nice thing to know that there is something new to learn. A bigger problem is when you don't have anything new to learn.


Edit: And answering your question: I feel overwhelmed when I learn somenthing new here, and there is already another article telling me that what I learned is obsolete.

RandomOpinion 2 days ago 0 replies      
> Anyway, back to the original question. Does anybody else come on here and feel overwhelmed?

No, or at least not much. Most people have a specialization or two, whether it be front-end, back-end, mobile, application, embedded, games, etc., which limits the scope of what you really need to care deeply about.

Beyond that, it's a matter of your own personal curiosity and desire to expand your abilities; my reaction to most articles is "hmm, that's interesting; I'll remember that in case I ever need it" with just a scant few meriting a "I need to dive into that because I also want to have that knowledge / skill."

apohn 2 days ago 0 replies      
Reading HN is extremely overwhelming. I'm in the data science field. So I read yet another Deep Learning article on HN and wonder how long it is till I'm unemployed and bankrupt because I barely know anything about deep learning and have no opportunities at all to use it at my job.

Then I remember the following.

1). I'm employed, my manager is happy with the work I do, and I make enough money to pay my bills, have savings, and live in a decent place in a safe neighborhood.

2). I don't have to be better than everybody else at my workplace. I just need to find an area where I can contribute.

3). When I apply to other jobs I get some positive responses. I know people who would be happy to recommend and hire me if they can.

4). I've met more than a few people who can talk about data science like they can solve any business problem under the sun, but cannot actually do much of anything except talk.

5). There is plenty of stuff I read on HN that is clearly wrong or exaggerated.

I think the key is to focus on what you need today to stay employed and have a realistic assessment of your weaknesses and where you want to go. Then figure out what you need to get there and slowly work towards that that. I don't need to know Rust, Go, and Vue.js because they have nothing to do with my job or where I want my work direction to go. If they day comes when I do need to learn that stuff, I'll learn it.

darksim905 2 days ago 0 replies      
I'm a Sysadmin on the east coast & I feel completely wrecked every time I read the comments here. The level of brain power & swell here is beyond me. Some of you can be a little brash, though. I wonder if it's just you guys are all on a different level, cognitively, are taking drugs, or what. But the precision at which some of you respond to comments, clarify things and/or just rip apart content, is fascinating.
MajorWalrus 2 days ago 0 replies      
I experienced much the same thing when I first discovered HN. What helped me was the realization that there's a difference between being aware of something and being an expert in it.

I've found that it's not often that I need to be as intimately acquainted with a subject as those who are feature on HN appear to be. In fact, just knowing about something has been enough for me to intelligently answer an interview questions, converse with a senior engineer, or make the right decision on a project. And usually that's because what's most important is being curious and asking questions - e.g. admitting to myself that I'm not an expert.

Now, instead of being a testament to my ignorance and personal failings, HN is portal that let's me feed my curiosity.

You may want to do some research on the impostor syndrome. It's been my experience that anyone who's any good at anything is convinced they'll never "catch up."

jhgjklj 1 day ago 0 replies      
I too feel this way. But somehow all my superiors in my work has so much confidence about how much they know about the project and can even project themselves as know what they are taking kind.I am sure they do not know as much as they think, because they are very confident in my area of work more than i ever will be.

 The irony is the more i know the lesser confident i get and i reflect it in meetings. I dont know how to avoid it. I am really looking for a mental framework on how to not look like a complete idiot in meetings although what i say is totally factual.

yodsanklai 2 days ago 2 replies      
A few comments come to mind.

Yes, there's so much to learn that you'll never have time for it, even if specializing in a small area. It reminds me of a Chomsky interview. He said that he has so many books left to read in his office alone that a lifetime wouldn't be enough. You're in good company.

It may sound obvious but don't forget that HN isn't one person. The guy that knows about particle physics is usually not the one that tell you about the latest type theory research. Don't compare yourself with a collective mind.

Besides, I'm sure there are people less bright than you in all positions you can imagine. Retrospectively, I realize that there are a lot of things I didn't even try for fear of failing or because I thought I wasn't smart enough. It's only a few years later that I realized I missed so many opportunities.

alexandru88 1 day ago 0 replies      
I also feel overwhelmed while reading HN. Being surrounded by so many great and smart people, I feel like I know nothing and like my entire career until now was a waste of time and resources. I am also becoming addicted to HN. I left Twitter behind and now HN is my primary source of information. I am reading HN anywhere: in subway when I commute to work, in car while I stay in traffic jam, before I got to sleep, at work, etc. Thank you all for making HN such a wonderful place.
wonderwonder 2 days ago 0 replies      
I used to feel this way and when I had time set aside to learn I would just sit there and waste almost all of my time figuring out what to study because there was so much. I would waste all my time doing this and not really learning very much because the breadth of stuff to learn was overwhelming.

Eventually I just forced myself to choose one thing and focus on it. When I get to the point where I feel competent in it, whether that's a day or 3 months, then I allow myself to move onto something else.

Don't get stuck in your head. Just choose something and commit, no one knows everything, the posts are by hundreds of people, each with skills in different areas. Know one knows it all.

Mz 2 days ago 0 replies      
No, I don't feel overwhelmed. I am just happy to know of a place where it is possible to find meaty discussion that is reasonably civil.

I think this is a perspective problem. You need to stop comparing yourself to everyone in all things. That isn't what I come here for. I just come here to gratify my intellect and enrich my life. You don't need to compare to people here. You need to compare yourself to people you are in actual competition with at work or compare yourself to the work standards you are expected to meet. Don't come here and do that. It will only lead to misery.

LarryMade2 1 day ago 0 replies      
Keep in mind:

- Most solutions posted here probably won't just work for your problem, you have to work it into your needs - concentrate on what works for you not necessarily whats new.

- Many really cool things took someone years to develop, you are just reading a lot of different people's long-term accomplishments not a small group. And most of those people were sticking to things that worked instead of chasing the shiniest technology.

- Theres more than one way to do anything, just because they may be currently more successful doesn't mean you can't find new solutions, don't forget to try your own thing.

omginternets 2 days ago 0 replies      
Take a break.

Try cutting the cord for a few days. It's refreshing.

slake 1 day ago 0 replies      
That's one way to look at it. The other way is to gaze in wonderment to how much there is in the world to learn. And learn just for the sake of it. The day I look at the world and don't find enough interesting stuff for me to learn about is the day I'd really be afraid.

Your work situation can be remedied. Lots of companies require good engineers who're willing to learn stuff rather than pre-know stuff.

trelliscoded 2 days ago 0 replies      
I feel this way about frontend technologies that people talk about, but I concluded a long time ago that trying to keep up with the latest churn in that space is pointless. I have a few technologies which are stable and work well for what I need, so I focus on keeping up with that. Every time I've tried to chase the latest and greatest frontend fad it usually turned out it was an immature reinvention of a wheel someone else already built better.
dhf17 1 day ago 0 replies      
I've felt this way too in the past but gradually realized that's it OK not to know everything. Specialize in one area, make it your 'home base', and then test the waters of other tech from there. Once you find something new that you like you can gradually chip away at it and expand your skill set. I've got several things on my radar right now, but still put my specialty first. With this state of mind, I don't feel overwhelmed, but still have lots to look forward to.
thefalcon 2 days ago 0 replies      
I simply accept and take advantage of the fact that HN is filled with many people much smarter, much more accomplished, much more driven, much more successful than me. I've never felt overwhelmed by it - that seems like it would take a personal choice to put yourself in competition with the best of HN, which seems a little silly to me (especially if the end result is not something productive).
SubiculumCode 2 days ago 0 replies      
I am a cognitive neuroscience post-doc. In my work I have to be an expert or at least competent in: cognitive theory relevant to my specialty, brain science relevant to my specialty, neuroimaging methodology, non-trivial statistical methods, as well as a competent paper writer, grant writer storyteller, and talk giver, I regularly need to write bash and python scripts, administer and operate a linux compute cluster. I also need to be a good dad and husband, and that takes practice.I read HN and am impressed with all the expertise and competence and also feel overwhelmed. I'd like to try some ML on my imaging data, but I'm stretched too thin already. Maybe someday. Or I'll partner up with someone. I have the urge to do it all, but I'm not smart enough and I don't have superpowers to manipulate time. I'm aging. Time is running out. Oh my god.


Take a walk.

Do what you can.

It is ok.

vijucat 2 days ago 0 replies      
Absolutely. It's much worse if, instead of HN, you follow a niche area like machine learning because the pace of progress is so fast plus each paper / project that gets released is so dense. It took me a couple of weekends just to set up an old box with Linux and the proper drivers for a GPU, learn python virtualenvs, etc; Meanwhile, it's absolutely discouraging to look at reddit.com/r/machinelearning and see the flurry of productive activity.

I think a sense of resignation is actually useful here. Just resign yourself to the fact that you'll never be as good as them and that it will take you 10 years to be able to just follow instructions under a Google or Facebook AI scientist (, say). And continue to trod on like the tortoise in the tortoise vs. hare story :-)

mdjt 2 days ago 0 replies      
"During that time I've become an integral part of my team and have constantly been learning."First off, this sounds like you know a lot more than you give yourself credit for!

Second, think about what kind of site HN is. This is a site whose DAU are mostly highly educated (either formal or otherwise) from very diverse backgrounds in tech, machine learning, etc., etc.. It should come as no surprise that for any given topic there will be a ton of high quality and interesting points of view.

As for the statement 2): "will basically feel the same as I do now." To be completely honest, you probably will. Every new opportunity in life presents you with a chance to learn and while learning most people often realize how little they actually know. But that is why you are learning in the first place!

rblion 2 days ago 0 replies      
Yes and no.

Yes that I realize I have a lot to learn and I should keep removing distractions/bad habits and toxic people/situations out of my life. Yes that I realize there are Ivy Leaguers in here and also people who work at the world's largest companies.

No also because there is also a fair amount of hubris here. There are also a lot of people who miss the forest for the trees. There is still a lot of room for innovation in certain markets and the means of fulfilling human needs are ever evolving even if the needs themselves are still the same.

I take breaks from time to time. Also I've recently deactivated my facebook and unfollowed a lot of people on Twitter/Quora/Instagram. Feels great.

stinkytaco 2 days ago 0 replies      
I can see how this would happen, so I doubt you are alone. There's so much stuff and s o little time to consume it. My browser tabs and pocket account seem to grow and grow and I seem to spend as much time organizing and moving information as I do actually consuming it. I have trained myself as I've gotten older to just let some of it go. Not everything has to be seen.

I think this is one of the (probably many) reasons feed readers failed and chat came to beat email: the feeling of something incomplete. I had to force myself to ignore unread counts to stop myself from going crazy, but Twitter, HN, Reddit, etc. did away with outward signs that there were things unread, and that's a good start.

127001brewer 2 days ago 0 replies      
No, because you can't expect to learn and use every new technology - sometimes, it's better to know "proven but boring" than "new but broken"!

I appreciate more the insightful conversations than view a link to the latest JavaScript framework.

mino 1 day ago 1 reply      
Just have a look at:http://n-gate.com/hackernews/


lmm 2 days ago 0 replies      
In my case, no. I don't know everything, but I know enough; I'm good at what I do. I'm confident I'm contributing.

Sounds like you need to change jobs, if you're at the point of acknowledging that your work environment is negative.

h1d 1 day ago 0 replies      
You'll realize everyone is only good at 1 thing. Taking everyone against you certainly makes you feel overwhelmed but after you realize 4 years is nothing and you are financially stable, you'll feel better.
acomjean 2 days ago 0 replies      
Yeah there is a lot out there. I've been doing this for a while and tech changes all the time. Don't worry about not being an expert at everything, enjoy that there a lot to learn.

I don't worry too much about it, as long as what I'm building works and can be maintained I'm happy.

The good news about tech changing all the time is if you wait there will be some new language or framework so you didn't waste your time learning something obsolete !

"An expert is someone who knows more and more about less and less till they know everything about nothing" - from a Murphy's laws on technology poster..

3pt14159 2 days ago 1 reply      
You don't get good by worrying. You get good by loving to learn. I went to college at ten years old to learn to program. I had a job when I was 14 working on invoicing software for telephone companies. At 18 I went to university to learn engineering (structural). I lasted 8 months in industry after graduating because of how bored I was not learning. It's not a bug its a feature that there is so much to learn in CS. Embrace it. You're able to pay the rent in under a year and the sky is the limit to how much you can learn.
gorbachev 2 days ago 0 replies      
The greatest thing about a resource like Hacker News is that you get exposed to a lot of ideas. It's up to you to figure out which one of these ideas you're going to explore more.

Nobody explores all of them.

Figure out what's interesting to you and then go deep on that. Keep an eye on the stuff that's not interesting to you just to develop contextual knowledge, then when/if your interests/responsibilities change and you do need to go deeper on stuff you didn't need before, you can get started more easily.

DoofusOfDeath 2 days ago 0 replies      
I'm guessing there's a few factors at play that lead to your perception:

(1) HN covers a lot of areas of software development; more than any one person can really be expected to know. But each reader is ignorant regarding how big a fraction of the covered technologies are well-understood by the other readers.

(2) HN stories often involve technologies related to web-development, containers, or virtualization. Those technology areas spawn inordinate numbers of tools, frameworks, etc. This exacerbates issue (1).

mayanxoni 11 hours ago 0 replies      
Yes, I do feel overwhelmed while reading Hacker News, 'cause it is the only community where I feel free from getting absurd ads. :)
b3kart 2 days ago 0 replies      
Try doing DL research these days -- just skimming through new papers takes most of your day. :-)

The thing that helped me the most was to realize that you _have_ to specialize, at least to some extent. It's impossible to know and do everything, no matter how much you would like to.

Pick "your thing", and worry about staying up-to-date on it. Everything else skim through just to understand what's going on. How broad "your thing" should be depends on how much time you're willing to spend.

tomschlick 2 days ago 1 reply      
Tech in general is a fast moving target.

Don't try to master everything all at once. Just learn what you need, or what interests you and then on to the next thing. There is no "done".

xiphias 2 days ago 0 replies      
Have you been learning from your team?Although HN is nice to find about interesting things, there's nothing that can give me more experience than focusing on my team's goals. Focusing on execution is the most important and most translatable skillset you can have besides interviewing.
robteix 2 days ago 0 replies      
The old adage of not comparing your life to somebody else's highlight reel is valid for HN as well.

You'll never master everything. No one does. Take it easy. You say you've become an integral part of your team and that you're constantly learning. You seem to be on the right path.

OJFord 2 days ago 0 replies      
Even if you assume every comment you read is written with good authority, bear in mind that each time you read a comment on a different topic it is in all likelihood written by someone else; the two authors couldn't have written each others' comments.
bsvalley 2 days ago 0 replies      
Life is all about learning new things. Feeling overwhelmed is part of our life. You should break it down into small chucks and start learning one thing at a time. Just learn one new thing everyday, you'll endup knowing a lot in a year from now.
lhuser123 23 hours ago 0 replies      
And I just found out there's so much smart people here. Seriously.
JanhLinxProject 1 day ago 0 replies      
Yes it may feel overwhelming at times, but the trick is to be focused and selective what you read.
aaronhoffman 2 days ago 0 replies      
There is a lot out there, you don't need to be an expert in every new thing.

Strive to be a helpful, open, honest team member, with a thorough understanding of core patterns and practices. (e.g. SOLID principles)

sigi45 2 days ago 0 replies      
4 Years is not much.

HN starts to fall in pattern as a lot of stuff you do. There are those new cool hip stuff, papers, a few deep inside blogposts and it repeats itself.

Enjoy HN as long as it holds :)

psyc 2 days ago 0 replies      
Find comfort in the fact that broad mastery takes a very long time, but there is always room for apprentices and journeyfolk.
Jimmie_Rustle 2 days ago 0 replies      
Danihan 2 days ago 1 reply      
I feel underwhelmed...
Ask HN: How do you find hiring managers to talk to when job hunting?
10 points by wildlingjill  1 day ago   6 comments top 6
richardknop 4 hours ago 0 replies      
You need to build up your network. Go to meet ups, get involved in open source projects, make sure to keep your online presence up to date (linked in, github).

If you're quite new, it will take some time to build a strong network of people in the industry that can refer you to current job openings.

When looking for actual jobs to apply for, I'd recommend sticking to recruiters at least at the beginning of your career. There are some good recruiters out there that will help you get jobs to advance your career.

So just send your CV to some local recruiting agencies, search for jobs online (LinkedIn, stack overflow careers and other job sites) and submit your CV there. This should generate a lot of leads, you should get some emails and calls from recruiters. Take it form there.

Later in your career when you will have built a strong network you will often be sent leads for good jobs by people from your network (ex colleagues etc).

gamechangr 23 hours ago 0 replies      
" I'd love to be able to find more people to talk to..."

The age old problem. Every future employee would like to beat the paper system, while employers want a process that let's them not waste so much time talking with unqualified people.

You really need to attend MeetUps. Hiring managers need to get a recommendation from someone to take you seriously. The fact that you're "self-taught" is against you as well, so getting a few developers to Vouch for you is critical.

Go to Meetups. The rest will take care of itself.

natekupp 1 day ago 0 replies      
Have you considered just applying through the jobs pages of the larger tech companies? Apple, Google, Facebook, LinkedIn are all on the peninsula and more accessible than startups in SF.
techman9 1 day ago 0 replies      
I have a friend who goes through a list of most common first names and tries emailing them all @<companyname> for companies he's interested in working at. There's bound to be at least one person with Michael or John or Robert or Mary who works at the company and is hiring, right?

(While I really do have a friend that does this it should go without saying that I'm just sharing this story because I find it humorous, and this is in general, probably a terrible idea.)

bsvalley 13 hours ago 0 replies      
Here is the "how to find a job?" answer for you:

1. Build a network in the bay area

2. Ask details about their employers, work, teams, projects, etc.

3. Apply through referral

FullMtlAlcoholc 12 hours ago 0 replies      
Easy. Find the xompany you want to work for, do a little sleuthing for the org structure via LinkedIn, the company's about us page, calling the company and asking for the hiring manager, etc. Once you have a name, use a chrome plug in like Nymeria and/or rapportive to find their email address or contactt them via LinkedIn.

As a web dev, basic social engineering should become an essential part of your toolkit.

Ask HN: What are we doing about Facebook, Google, and the closed internet?
594 points by vkb  3 days ago   411 comments top 92
doke01 3 days ago 11 replies      
Make your website of record your website. Make social media platforms and others (e.g. Google) secondary to that. Don't let Google and Facebook control how you build your website. I am amazed at companies that take their websites and subjugate them to their Facebook page. You may gain social attention but you are handing over control. Never, ever, ever say to contact me go to facebook.com/xxxx or my email address is xxx@gmail.com. Your site is yoursite.com and your email is youremail.com. Your login to the sites you build are email addresses, not tied to social media providers. The closed internet providers are enhancements to your sites. They do not take the place of your site. If you follow this philosophy, you are supporting the open internet. Own your .com. Don't let others own you by taking that from you.
aaronpk 3 days ago 5 replies      
I am a member of the W3C Social Web Working Group (https://www.w3.org/wiki/Socialwg), and have been organizing IndieWebCamp (https://indieweb.org/) conferences in this space for the last 7 years. We've been making a lot of progress:

* https://www.w3.org/TR/webmention/ - cross-site commenting

* https://www.w3.org/TR/micropub/ - API for apps to create posts on various servers

* https://www.w3.org/TR/websub/ - realtime subscriptions to feeds

* More: https://indieweb.org/specs

We focus on making sure there are a plurality of implementations and approaches rather than trying to build a single software solution to solve everything.

Try commenting on my copy of this post on my website by sending me a webmention! https://aaronparecki.com/2017/06/08/9/indieweb

delegate 3 days ago 6 replies      
There is no going back, this 'battle' was lost a long time ago.

We've tried so hard to make technology ubiquitous and accessible to everyone. We thought that that was a good idea at the time, except we didn't really understand it entirely.

The consequence of ubiquitous technology is that the majority now has access to powerful tools to 'express' themselves while being subjected to constant brainwashing into behaving in predictable ways - purchasing, thinking, liking, voting, etc.

By 'expressing' themselves, they contribute to a cacophony of content, which makes it very hard to discern truth from fabrication, leading to confusion, apathy and insecurity, exactly the sweet spots that advertisers of all kinds target.

A small minority profits greatly from this system, while the users themselves are rewarded with a 'virtual self' which is slowly taking over their 'real' self, making even the idea of losing it scary. This mental trap is very powerful - just look at the number of 'zombies' on the streets - people interacting with their phones there and then, disregarding others and their personal safety..

The remaining 5% who are aware of these issues get to share all the alternative technological solutions and monetary scraps left over from the big fishes.

So I don't think there's anything to 'do' about it - just be aware of it and try to stay away from large crowds.

I respect and applaud the efforts of so many who try to build distributed and anonymous systems, but I'm very bearish about any of them becoming 'mainstream' for the reasons described above plus this one: most people don't care about these things.

Those who control these systems are some of the most powerful people in the world. In time, they will get older and more conservative. Soon they will venture into politics on a global scale.

Considering the alternatives, maybe that's not the worst thing after all.

bhhaskin 3 days ago 5 replies      
I think the solution is pretty simple. Keep building things. Make person websites and build communities. Don't host everything on major hosting providers like Google or Amazon. Don't rely on Facebook or Google for login or integrations. They only have so much power because we let them. It's more often than not the easier solution. Use tools like GPG, IRC, Email and encourage your friends and family to do the same.

The internet hasn't changed, we have, and the only way to take the internet back is if we change ourselves back.

sam_goody 2 days ago 0 replies      
Use Firefox.Develop on Firefox, and then adjust for Chrome if needed. Encourage friends to use FF.Google tracks every domain you visit and how long you visit it even with all the adblockers in the world (under the pretext that you might be searching for the domain instead of going there). You have no idea how much data they are collecting on every minute of your use (the local license in my non-U.S. version has some weird clauses, don't know about the U.S.) and all that info is damaging. FF is now faster than Chrome on every metric, so you don't lose anything for yourself or your users when they switch (though it is wise to make a new profile if you have a old version)If they are not targeted as the main platform, they will be gone. By keeping another browser alive, Google cannot force all of their crazy ideas and dreams in the guise of forwarding the internet.Develop for FF, encourage its use, and that definitely will help you and the free internet.
jgaa 2 days ago 3 replies      
Me?I don't use Facebook. I consider Google evil and harmful and avoid them. On my phone I run my own apps, and apps from F-Droid - I don't even register with Google. I have a shit-list of companies I will never work for (Oracle, Microsoft, Apple, Google, Amazon and every Government entity anywhere in the world). I browse the net from VM's with specific purposes (one for HN). I use Tor for most browsing, including reading news. If I have to provide data somewhere, I make sure it's incorrect. I host my own content on my own servers, or on rented VM's (not AWS). I host my personal home-page on a VM hosted by a pro freedom of speech NGO, that will go to great measures to keep it on-line, no matter what.I hosted my own content long before Facebook was even a sexist rating site for stolen pictures of pretty girls. I will host it long after Facebook is history and mostly forgotten :)The internet is only closed for those who choose convenience before freedom.
Arathorn 3 days ago 0 replies      
Building matrix.org as a decentralised & e2e encrypted comms alternative.

The filter bubble problem is particularly relevant for us because it's critical for an open network to let users filter out abusive content (whether that's spam, stuff they find offensive, or just a topic they don't care about)... but doing that in a way which doesn't result in creating a profiling db or creating bubbles and echo chambers. The problem is one of letting users curate their own filters (including blending in others' filters), whilst keeping the data as privacy protecting as possible. It's a fun problem, but on our medium-term radar.

sillysaurus3 3 days ago 5 replies      
What I'm getting from this thread is that we're sort of fucked. The only way to stop Facebook and Google was to become them before they had a chance to. That way you'd presumably be more benevolent. Maybe that's true for Facebook, but it's still hard to imagine for Google.

I think the bigger problem is cross-generational power. YC itself is somewhat terrifying in this regard, but that's a different topic. In regards to Google and FB, even if we like Google now, we probably won't like the Google 60 years from now. But what is there to do?

Google stopped Microsoft by making Microsoft irrelevant, in the "Microsoft is Dead" sense: Nobody is afraid of them anymore. But people fear Google and FB. Imagine a Microsoft competitor to your startup vs a Google or FB competitor.

This could be a lack of imagination, but it's very difficult to imagine some new company making Google or FB irrelevant in the same way they made their predecessors irrelevant. Think of oil fields. At one point, before oil fields were monopolized, I've heard the ecosystem seemed pretty similar to Silicon Valley circa 2008. Everybody seemed to be able to get a slice of the action, and while it took determination and luck to get involved, it was possible.

Now the oil industry is on lockdown. Imagine asking "What are we doing about Exxon Mobil?" or Walmart. You can't do a damn thing, and there's no shame in admitting that.

As defeatist as it is, we may want to start thinking about ways of riding out the next 40 years in a productive fashion. It's more beneficial to say: Ok, Facebook, Google, and the closed internet are here to stay. Now what?

For example, if you're really set on doing something about it, one of the most effective things you could do is try to join the companies and shape them yourself.

vdnkh 3 days ago 2 replies      
I believe it's more effective to focus on a "small business" approach to decentralizing the web, where we focus on smaller companies providing services, rather than a "tin foil" approach where we encrypt and decentralize everything into tiny islands. I work for a video player company and while we aren't a platform like Youtube, we indirectly compete with them for ad dollars (along with Facebook). Something like 90% of ad dollars go towards them already. Most publishers do not like them. I think it's a lot easier to decentralize the internet by having the websites that 99% of users visit powered by smaller internet businesses rather than AmaGooFaceSoft.
gobengo 3 days ago 0 replies      
* W3C Social Web Working Group - https://www.w3.org/wiki/Socialwg

* ActivityStreams 2.0 - https://www.w3.org/TR/activitystreams-core/

* ActivityPub - https://www.w3.org/TR/activitypub/

* https://distbin.com - My implementation of the above. Who wants to federate?

mbrock 3 days ago 2 replies      
I'm a resident in a "neighborhood activist collective" and I made a self-hosted web site for the house. Now it's expanding into a web app that's a tool for the organization (planning, etc). It's also being set up for similar houses in the same city, and we plan to make it into a kind of federated small-scale "social network" built around our own principles and premises.

Another aspect of the project comes from a "house terminal" that I set up here, basically an offline Raspberry Pi running GNU/Linux and a custom chat/guestbook program that runs as a "kiosk". This terminal will morph into a kind of in-house only access to the federated network with real time communications etc.

pascalxus 3 days ago 2 replies      
I've seen a lot of good comments on this page, but we really need to start looking at the problem from a customer's point of view.

Why should the end user care about this problem?

Have you heard your non-entreprenuer/engineer friends or others online complain about this problem?

If the answer to above two questions is Negative, then the problem/pain point simply is not large enough to fix.

And, as a potential success case to model our strategy off of, we should be looking towards DuckDuckGo, they've written some good material on how to do it.

rglover 3 days ago 1 reply      
Keep a personal website (avoid Medium, et. al.)

The internet is only closed if we keep acting like it is. The protocol is the same. Go build stuff.


Tharkun 3 days ago 3 replies      
My biggest gripe with the "modern internet" is e-mail. MS and Google dominate the e-mail scene, and they are making it ever more unpleasant to run your own mailserver. They will frequently blackhole mails, without bounces, warnings or any recourse.

I'm not sure what can be done about that, but it's certainly becoming an up hill battle.

ianopolous 3 days ago 2 replies      
I'm betting on (and contributing to) IPFS [1]. Some friends and I are working on Peergos [2], which is built on top of IPFS to replace dropbox, email and facebook with a P2P secure and private alternative.

[1] https://ipfs.io

[2] https://peergos.org

daveid 3 days ago 0 replies      
Mastodon is a federated, open-source social network based on open web protocols


macawfish 3 days ago 1 reply      
We need local bookmarking and indexing tools that can become primary to search. You have no idea how many times I end up searching the same thing over and over again. I'm using the search engine as a bookmarking tool. If there were more streamlined, humane, well designed local bookmarking tools, that wouldn't be an issue.

As a matter of fact, the fact that the browser by default sends everything I type into that bar up to some 3rd party, whether I've pressed enter or not, is pretty scandalous. It's not necessary.

I want local copies of pages that are important to me, for offline viewing, and I want to be able to bookmark specific parts of them in annotated, searchable, useful ways. I want to be able to share these. I want to be able to upvote and downvote their relevance as I use them again and again. I want human readable formats for storing these things. I want them on my filesystem, but not in a bunch of jumbled, strangely named files hidden deep somewhere on the computer. And I want to be able to share them peer to peer.

Remember the good old days, when people had WWW hyperlink indices? It's 2017 and centralized search/social platforms have all but destroyed the artform of digital curation. It is an artform that deep learning will clumsily fumble again and again. This website is a perfect example of how powerful human curation can be. The articles are curated and annotated collectively by human beings. The protocols and the web standards are more or less masterfully designed. We have unlimited programming languages.

I want to subscribe to notable peoples public web-bibliographies. I want them available in formats that are interoperable with my web browsers bookmarking and annotation tools.

amatus 3 days ago 1 reply      
I'm working on GNUnet[1]. It needs a lot of help.

[1] https://gnunet.org

tunesmith 3 days ago 1 reply      
I think the general incentive we've been seeing is the incentive towards faster and thoughtless opinion-sharing. Reactive (in the bad way) behavior is incentivized, and thoughtful behavior is discouraged, because by then people have moved on to the next thing.

So I'd generally like to see more effort put into making it easier for people to engage in more thoughtful ways.

This can also be applied to advertising. I'm trying to avoid chips, but if they're in front of me I'll eat a handful. So then the internet thinks, "This guy wants more chips!" So if advertising were more about my long-term values rather than my short-term behavior, then it'd be more valuable.

Anyway, it's pretty hard on social media to share deeper analysis and arguments and thoughts. I get that medium was sort of an effort in this direction, counter to twitter, but that's really just blogging with some extra algorithms thrown in. Need something else.

gwicks56 3 days ago 2 replies      
Be interested in what HN thinks of Maidsafe, Storj etc. Basically decentralised versions of the internet or the cloud based around blockchain technology.

Storj for example is an order of magnitude cheaper than AWS, uses peoples spare hard drive space, encrypts everything and back it up using peer to peer tech.

I am currently pretty comfortable as an Android dev, but I am wondering if I should start learning everything I can about blockchain tech in order to help on projects such as these?

VvR-Ox 2 days ago 1 reply      
Thank you for starting this interesting debate.

I have a slice of hope still that we (the whole community, dev's just like users who need to use services) can "make the world a better place".

The proble I currently see is that:1. We are too few ATM2. Facebook, Google, Apple,... already nested into the minds of many people, even the one's who claim to "think different"3. There has to be something:- big- useful- attractive- free of costs

to use instead of their sh*tty services and you somehow need to convince "Jenna to take here FB profile and also their friends with her to the new place in town".

The same goes for other services like WhatsApp, searching with G., buying on A. etc.

How will we be strong enough (against companies with billions of $$ and the brightest minds in tech cause they wanna earn 120k/yr) to put something up that can not only withstand them but convince all the zombies?

How will you get those zombies moving? The most of the ppl. not even reads news anymore and if they do they just believe what they see & hear. There is no discussion, if someone is pissed she/he is right. There is no science for someone who doesn't even know the value of a scientific method. We are royally screwed and there has to be A BIG UNITING OF ALL ACTIVISTS under one flag.

If we go on like this with every hackin' Joe trying to construct his own facebook clone then we will just die like the rest.

warmfuzzykitten 3 days ago 1 reply      
Most of this thread seems to interpret "we" as referring to people who think Facebook and Google are problems. If the "we" refers to internet users as a whole, then the answer is clearly that we like Facebook and Google very much and are using them more and more because they are best for doing what we actually want to do - talk to our far-flung friends and find answers to questions.
austenallred 3 days ago 1 reply      
Honestly? I'm not doing a damn thing. Forgive me for this, but the internet has been a walled garden for some time now, and the vast majority of humans just don't care. I haven't seen anything that's going to change that. The Internet requires a login, and your privacy being dead is a foregone conclusion.

It's easy to trash Facebook, but clearly it provides an insane amount of utility, and people aren't willing to stop using it because of others saying that en masse that is bad for a hypothetical Internet they never really took part in anyway.

IMO the focus should be getting the government to keep its hands off of it. That's not only more possible, but infinitely more important than not letting Facebook try to show us the right ads.

doublerebel 3 days ago 2 replies      
I'm working on a project to separate data from presentation. Too much data is overly wrapped with presentation (e.g. HTML) so we are forced into using a certain display method (popular commercial web browser).

A related problem is that human readable data is often unnecessarily encoded into binary machine data. If we weren't wasting so much space on presentation, we could have just served the human-readable data.

In this future I think it will be considered ridiculous that you had to load an entire webpage full of unrelated images and icons just to read an article or weather report.

This concept will be huge for AR. In AR extra unnecessary information and uncontrollable presentation is beyond annoying, it actually makes users angry and uncomfortable.

Look out for Optik.io .

mundo 3 days ago 4 replies      
Here's a thought I've been turning over for a little while now.

It occurs to me that all extant social media apps have, at a high level, exactly the same requirements:

1. Allow users to upload some data to cloud storage2. Make that data discoverable to certain other users3. Show everyone ads

Whether FB, Twitter, etc were to be dislodged by another app that is essentially the same app is not terribly interesting. So let's look at which of these reqs are amenable to change:

a. "ads" - No one actually wants them, so get rid of themb. "Cloud storage" - Lots of people would rather own their data, so switch this to "the user's own server."

That sounds pretty compelling. I don't hate FB, but I'd sure rather switch to something that allows me to own my own data, and share pics of the kids with Nana without having to run them through Facegoog's billion-dollar snooping engine. However, there are two big hurdles:

i. Most people don't have a server on which to host itii. Most people won't pay for it, so someone would have to write it and make it really easy to use, for free

...and by a lucky cooincidence, both of those objections have the same answer: Amazon. Most people don't have a server? Amazon will rent you one. Who would develop a self-hosted FB clone for free? Amazon, to get people to rent servers.

Just a thought...

thejohnhenry 3 days ago 0 replies      
One harsh truth that must be swallowed before we (the Hacker News community) makes progress on this problem:

We live in the land of Startups. All good technology innovation we're used to over the last 20 years has come from the Startup/VC world, when the internet was fresh and nobody knew what would work. Over the coming decades, we'll need vehicles for technology innovation that go beyond the "take over the world & prayer" model, assuming that silicon valley's vehicle of ultragrowth monoliths will eventually align with civic values. They won't.

To illustrate this, let's say you want to improve some problem with Facebook/Google/etc. To even begin, you need $50 million and a minimum of 3-5 years building a userbase. By then, you have payroll, growth obligations, & investor pressure & are forced to monetize, usually in a way that compromises longer-term values.

We can solve this with smarter internet infrastructure. If you could share social graphs between applications, for instance, you eliminate an incredible amount of overhead in developing and experimenting with new social applications. There's a number of great initiatives trying versions of this (IPFS, Urbit, Blockstack -- I'm tracking a number of popular ones over at http://decentralize.tech).

The community needs more organization and more funding around these problems, especially in the field of developing new business models that work for software that don't involve selling out user priorities to global ad networks. I'm in San Francisco and working on this problem full-time if anyone wants to meet up and discuss solutions; Email's in profile.

a1exyz 3 days ago 1 reply      
I believe that the internet is powerful because it connects us to people rather than content. My dream is for our portal into the internet (currently google or Facebook) to become a search engine for people. I am interested in x. This person is the top authority on x. Here is a chat window. You can ask it questions that his/her bot will answer at first (to save this person from being spammed). However, eventually if you ask the right person, he/she will be interested enough to join in the conversation.

What am I doing about this? Nothing yet, but I have been thinking about this recently.

beefman 3 days ago 1 reply      
It's too late. The culture of free exchange that existed on the usenet, over e-mail, and on the early web died circa 2013.

It's tempting to blame Google and Facebook, and they definitely converted a lot of public value into private value. But I suspect it's mainly down to self-selection bias of internet early-adopters. I call the present state of affairs "eternal October".

elihu 2 days ago 0 replies      
We need better tools, so that ordinary people can setup their own blogs, websites, email servers, forums, and whatever else they want without being an expert on systems administration or security. They should be able to deploy a system and be confident that it will keep working without intervention for decades. We're not there now, largely because of security vulnerabilities.

We need it to be easier to write secure applications. We need to eradicate undefined behavior from our software stacks. Rust is a good step in this direction. We need well-thought-out APIs that are hard to misuse.

I think we also need a better search engine, and tools to filter news. Tools that detect clickbait, overzealous advertisements, and other forms of low-quality content and push them to the bottom of the rankings, and also punish sites that link to low-quality content.

We need email to be more user-friendly than it is; maybe we need a new protocol that's simpler and consistent with how email (and Facebook/linkedIn mail) is used in 2017. Setting up an email server should be easy, and the settings should be secure by default.

We need tools to identify credible information sources, possibly by analyzing if a given information source is vouched for by someone we already trust. Flooding comment sections and forums with fake comments is an easy way to manipulate the public and create an illusion of consensus or a made-up controversy, but it's a little harder to be fooled if you have automated tools to filter out people that aren't connected to anyone you know by some kind of chain of recommendations.

teekert 2 days ago 0 replies      
I play with IPFS, use Linux, use Mastodon, use Nextcloud in my basement with davdroid. I use FB only in the browser I don't use in (both on mobile and laptop I reserve Chrome for these things). I avoid where possible Whatsapp and use Signal. I have a mailserver with a local (Dutch) company with my own domain. I publish anything on my self hosted Drupal instances. Is it more time consuming and more difficult? Yes! But also more fun. I like the term slow computing: https://www.americamagazine.org/content/all-things/slow-comp...
stretchwithme 2 days ago 0 replies      
Just because there are closed houses in the US doesn't mean I can't travel from coast to coast. Or build my own house with whatever rules I want.

If, instead, I had no freedom to build a house at all or the rules were dictated to me by others, I would be less free. And poorer.

turblety 3 days ago 4 replies      
The UK government is working on it's own Internet [1]. It's going to really take off and be the next big thing!! No encryption too, so it's nice and safe from all those terrorists. Can't wait!!

[1] http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/gadgets-and-tech/new...

mikegerwitz 2 days ago 0 replies      
Talk to others. More importantly, learn _how_ to talk to others. Know your audience. Learn what examples turn people on and off---what gets their attention vs. what sounds like a parent lecturing to their child. You don't want to put people on the defensive. Learn how to relate it to them. Learn how to make them _understand_ the problem and why it's important---otherwise they won't care, or if they do, it'll be short-lived.

Speak at events/conferences. Speaking generally to a broad audience with broad information and hard-hitting references not only gets the message out, but also makes it more difficult to make someone feel targeted, like you might one-on-one or in a small group.

I target two groups: technical people who can actually do something about it and teach others (but might not care or be aware of the issues), and average users and groups who might know or not care. Talking to your family and friends (and spouse) helps gain great insight on what people are thinking without quickly ending the conversation if it makes them uncomfortable. As does HN. ;)

Talk to groups you _know_ will be hostile to you. Learn common rebuttals. Learn how to respond to them. And harden yourself with relentless attacks on your facts and opinions.

Offering practical alternatives is difficult. Even if you can, people want to socialize where others socialize---I'm not going to get my friends all on GNU Social or Mastodon (or the fediverse in general) for example. Work security and privacy into their current practices the best you can understanding that compromise is _essential_. Maybe they can transition further in the long-term as they get used to certain ideas.

I encounter similar issues (and get a lot of practice with it) with free software activism---getting people to care about and understand software freedom is far more of a difficult battle than getting someone to care and understand about privacy and security issues.

For those looking for some resources to get them started:


And this is an _excellent_ resource:


SeaDude 3 days ago 1 reply      
Have you ever warwalked or wardrove your neighborhood? What is the # of AP's / mile? Think of all that NAT not being used.

Where are the specs for the Outernet Protocol: a NAT to NAT DNS system that doesnt rely on gatekeepers/ISP access. Use the 198.162.xxx.xxx addresses on all of our existing routers for neighborhood scale networking. Build trust by proximity by allowing only known neighbors to connect. Could be very interesting. Especially when Joe mirrors Wikipedia and Samantha mirrors Archive.org and Jan has a realtime mirror of some good Reddit feeds.

Automate the mirroring the internet. Scrape every last bit, in real time, without the ads and crap. Make it available to those trusted folks in your proximity.

NotUsingLinux 2 days ago 0 replies      
Most comments here are quite pessimistic.

Matrix.org is a start.

On a much much broader scale the Web 3.0 will be build on Blockchains, the so called Fat protocols will surpass the Web 2.0 or eventually merge.


Ethereum will build up a considerable part of the ecosystem, with Dapps like status.im


dmschulman 3 days ago 0 replies      
Would any solution be tangible for the type of user who is attracted to Favebook? That is, would there be any solution which a non-technical user would flock to? Would it meet their needs and abilities in a meaningful way?
svilen_dobrev 2 days ago 0 replies      
Maybe should try on another level alltogether.Here something from 6y ago. (i even posted it here then but with near-zero attention).

A (personal) system that keeps your own notions (and versions of) and crosslinks them to each another, with translators to/from other persons/entity notions (and subsets - think i/o facades/faces).

Like the tags u put on your images. And how u would explain them to somebody else. And take some of their images (i.e. of same event) with their tags. And tag them yourself. maybe in time.


it's rough sketch, may live on top of any p2p technology.Back then noone could be bothered about "why would i put another layer around myself". Now maybe the awareness is better, i don't know. (contacts in profile or that site)have fun

nolanl 3 days ago 0 replies      
I contribute to Mastodon, an open-source federated social network based on the OStatus set of W3C standards. Most of my work has been on making the web frontend faster, trying to add the kind of fit-and-finish that proprietary apps like Twitter and Facebook have.
lalalander 2 days ago 1 reply      
I am of the opinion that Facebook and Google will continue to be relevant simply because of the perceived value in working for these companies. There was a recent top news on HN about a programmer who self-learned and applied to Google. The line "Feeling more confident, he set his sights high. He began to wonder if he might be able to work at Google" made me realise that as long as people look up to Google as a pinnacle of software engineering (or if pinnacle is too much of a hyperbole, at least I admit that Google has high software engineering standards), there will always be an influx of good engineering talent to these companies. I feel that one way to combat their grip on the Internet would be to change the mindsets of these programmers, and to change the narrative that all good engineers should work at Google et all. Without a constant stream of programmers willing to work for these companies, the quality of their offerings should decrease, hopefully to a point where the average Joe would start to look for alternatives.
dontchooseanick 1 day ago 0 replies      
That's extreme for most but :

1. I don't talk to Google and Facebook - I mean, really, litteraly http://sling.migniot.com/index.html?filter=no_.*sh

2. A decade without Google Search and DuckDuckgo instead - sometimes I have to use !g at work

3. I have rooted phones without a Google account - but I know no single other person who does it

And the corrolaries :

- I get a lot less ads for free

- I have to talk again to Google from time to time, for captcha purposes

- I have real-life friends who call me - like in "phone-call", they know I have no Fb, no Insta', no Pinter', no Google, no Snap'

- From Google and Fb's standpoints I'm like a blackhole: I don't leave intentional traces, opinions, preferences but I'm as traceable as a dead pixel on a uniform background.

I left this comment because I feel like a Unicorn : I do this nearly as a hobby and to prove that "It's still possible" - but it takes a BC in computer science and constant fighting :

Nobody does that

spenrose 3 days ago 0 replies      
I argue that "the Internet" has become a category error:


There is just civilization, which the Internet used to be meaningfully separate from but is no longer.

mythrwy 3 days ago 0 replies      
Maybe Google and Facebook shouldn't be lumped together.

Google (however big they are) provides a lot of value to my world at least. Just for search alone. Sure, there are other search engines but none nearly as good. Making it easy to find relevant information is of huge benefit and really does "change the world". I consider this enhancing.

Facebook is like the owner of a seedy bar. Preying on people's need to socialize and serving rotgut. Profiting from degradation rather than enhancement. (IMOP).

People should stop drinking rotgut. That's the way to stop Facebook. Rotgut is cheap anyway. You can even make your own in the basement. But if you want to stop Google you need to build a better search engine. Best of luck with that (seriously, I'd use it, no loyalty but so far Google has some truly useful products).

NoGravitas 2 days ago 0 replies      
A little late to the party on this but:

1. I have quit Facebook, minimizing Twitter use, and am using Mastodon[0] for my social networking fix. My existing Facebook friends aren't on it, but the people I'm "meeting" are very nice. Will be blogging about it soon.

2. I am re-launching my long-idle blog, but this time supporting indieweb[1] standards for identity. This way, I have a central identity on the web across social networking sites, that I control.

[0]: https://joinmastodon.org/[1]: https://indieweb.org/

lallysingh 3 days ago 2 replies      
Should we add github to that list?
unityByFreedom 3 days ago 0 replies      
Is this some sort of attempt to claim Facebook and Google are somehow worse than Ajit Pai's FCC?

I'm specifically objecting to the phrase "closed internet". It sounds like the opposite of net neutrality, but in reality, any privacy options within Facebook and Google have been user-driven.

The focus should be on removing Pai. Regarding Facebook and Google, you can simply choose to not use them if you wish.

You only have one choice for broadband, and Pai wants to extend ISPs' monopolies. Let's not let that happen without a fight.

jewbacca 3 days ago 1 reply      
At least Google and Twitter have data takeout.

I recently discovered that, on Reddit, anything beyond your more recent 1000 posts/comments/upvotes is totally irrecoverable to you, even via scraping.

shea256 3 days ago 0 replies      
In my view a big way to fix these problems is to allow for multiple clients to compete on the same underlying social network protocols. Semi-decentralized (federated) social networks like Mastodon have done great work here. Even better would be completely decentralized equivalents of Twitter, Facebook, etc. There are several impressive projects working on enabling these decentralized apps. One such project is IPFS. Another is one I'm working on called Blockstack.
pascalxus 3 days ago 1 reply      
Walled Gardens - Do consumers really feel that it's a big enough problem? As for filter bubbles, a consumer need only visit another news site, right?

I hope I'm wrong about this.

fusion_cow 2 days ago 0 replies      
We're running a nonprofit online conversation service, Lyra. It's a space for online conversation which respects language and attention, provides powerful tools to control audiences and news feeds, and doesn't take investment or ad revenue. We're already sustainable!


lifebeyondfife 2 days ago 0 replies      
Echo Chamber Club exists to inform people with progressive views, alternative viewpoints on stories they wouldn't normally encounter within their own social media circle.


jeeshan 3 days ago 0 replies      
To foresee the perils of a closed internet, look at healthcare.

Instead of using open standards, most of our medical data is trapped in proprietary vendor systems that are at best antiquated.

Patients are unable to move their data easily, doctors and hospitals have to pay huge sums to access their own data. The vendors extract massive rents but were all left in the dark and our health suffers

bounded 3 days ago 6 replies      
What would it take for a new social network to take users off facebook in 2017?
c_r_w 3 days ago 1 reply      
Seems like the first thing we need is organization. Even if the effort is spent on diversified efforts, having an organization of like-minded people agreeing on overall objectives and prioritizing would probably be the starting point. Is that organization SocialWG? Something else? I have no idea, but I would be open to participate.
hedora 2 days ago 0 replies      
I use this to block surveillance, and bypass the big content aggregators. Think of it as full-text reader view for RSS feeds that don't support such things:


Increasingly, I get my news from non-profits that do original research, or technolgists that are the primary source of the stories I read. They don't use advertising to fund their work, which eliminates the moral dilemmas around stealing content vs supporting our corporate surveillance state.

Also, RSS is the opposite of a walled garden.

Raphmedia 3 days ago 0 replies      
> What projects or companies are you working on to combat filter bubbles, walled gardens, emotional manipulation,

I walled it myself by making a small social network for close friends.

Sure, it's probably a big bubble but at least I don't emotionally manipulate my friends by showing them ads or changing the order of their posts.

marcosdumay 2 days ago 0 replies      
I was writing an email extension for private communication, and easier sharing and organization of things... But then there was an epidemics of first instance judges blocking private messaging systems on my country.

I'm currently waiting for our supreme court to decide if judges have that power before I spend more time on it (or not). Maybe I'll have my answer next week.

1 - https://sealgram.com/blog/yep-im-rewriting-email.html

dkarapetyan 3 days ago 0 replies      
In some sense open and federated information networks go against the grain. Popularity of Facebook is a pretty strong indicator that all the things techies worry about are irrelevant to the general public.

Most walled gardens are built for convenience of consumption whereas most federated networks seem to assume a more active and informed participant. The kinds of features you'd build for one group are at odds with what you'd build for the other one.

Then again Brave seems to be tackling the problem from the right angle. I hope their model takes off and people start incorporating similar ideas into other open networks that respects the network participants instead of just treating them as passive consumers.

EGreg 2 days ago 0 replies      
Here is what I have been doing:


A wordpress-like open source platform that communities can install and have their own facebook.

A platform that allows developers to release apps that communties can install. Or turn their existing app into one.

An auth protocol that works with everything else out there and lets people manage their identities across the web, and link up with their friends from their private address books.

And more.

quelsolaar 3 days ago 0 replies      
Im re-engineering the internet (http://unravel.org). There are many more who are trying. If enough of us try, someone will sucseed.
daraosn 3 days ago 1 reply      
Brendan Eich, the inventor of Javascript and co-founder of Mozilla, launched this recently:https://www.basicattentiontoken.org/index.html

It's a token for advertisement that rewards the user, to be used at Brave browser:https://brave.comhttps://github.com/brave

pdfernhout 3 days ago 0 replies      
I've been working towards a distributed social semantic desktop in my spare time. My latest experiment along those lines: https://github.com/pdfernhout/Twirlip7

Related concept video from a few years ago:"Twirlip Civic Sensemaking Project Overview"https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_mRy4sGK7xk

Wish I had more time to work on it.

zitterbewegung 3 days ago 0 replies      
I'm working on a manifesto and a set of blog posts to influence people that use closed internet services to think differently about it. What I believe we need to do to fight this is to make people care about who we give our data to and have organizations share their machine learning models so that we can have a more secure and open web. One of the ways we can do this is to allow people to execute machine learning models so that everyone can restrict it to the data that they own
realcr 2 days ago 0 replies      
I'm working on freedomlayer.org.It is a research project for finding out solutions to various questions:

- Distributed and secure routing, specifically in mesh networks.

- Creation of scalable economy of digital goods (Storage, computation power and networking) between computers.

I believe that these will provide a foundation to build things like distributed email.

Currently freedomlayer contains mostly research documents, though I plan to implement some of it in the near future.

adamnemecek 3 days ago 1 reply      
I actually think that in the long run internet will become more open and here's why.

Why do both Facebook and Google exist? They exist to manage servers. Why do we need servers? Because your personal computer/phone might not be able to handle all that much traffic and might not have dem five nines. How much traffic does it need to handle? What if your phone could handle all the traffic the entirety of humanity could generate? The need for these companies would go away.

pvnick 3 days ago 0 replies      
By slowly withdrawing from the internet entirely. Cancelled my facebook and twitter accounts; the variety of websites I visit has dwindled to just a handful; I use a blackberry and will likely go to a flip-phone when I can find a decent cheap one (recommendations welcome). I read more books now.

"filter bubbles, walled gardens, emotional manipulation" are things I no longer think about

amelius 2 days ago 0 replies      
In my view, algorithms that deal with user data (our social data) should be designed by universities and perhaps government agencies, like in the old days of the internet.

The role that big companies can play (we still need them) is supply hardware, and perhaps subordinate software libraries, also like in the old days.

motiw 2 days ago 0 replies      
I am experimenting with a new approach to preventing manipulation and biases in feeds. We use an algorithm to randomly crowdsource people to rate articles on their topical relevance and usefulness. Results at postwaves are still preliminary but encouraging.
p1k 3 days ago 0 replies      
It's not much but I work on decentralized comment software in my sparetime.

[0] https://pik.github.io/Interlocutor/blog/

[1] https://github.com/pik/Interlocutor

krausejj 2 days ago 0 replies      
Keep using email and open messaging formats, ideally tied to an ID you own. How many people actually have their own website? Probably a minority. Everyone has an email address. If this gets subsumed by FB Messenger, Slack, and Snap, we lose the open web.
amelius 2 days ago 0 replies      
I think the developer community should distance itself more from big companies that act badly.

One way to do this could be for open source authors to introduce a section in the README file expressing the wish that the software will not be used in ways the user is not aware of, such as user-tracking.

Kiro 2 days ago 1 reply      
You're hosting your stuff on Github so you are part of the problem. Fix that before you start talking.
perfunctory 2 days ago 0 replies      
I ignore facebook entirely, use duckduckgo for search, and pay for journalism.
jamesmishra 3 days ago 1 reply      
The rest of the Internet didn't disappear. If anything, Facebook and Google are tools to drive traffic to your own corner of the Internet.

I don't really believe social media filter bubbles exist, relative to the bubbles of the past. Even the most isolated Facebook user is more enlightened than my parents were during their childhoods in India.

Emotional manipulation was probably worse when the United States only had 3 TV networks. Before that, "yellow journalism" helped lead the US into the Spanish-American war. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yellow_journalism#Spanish.E2.8...

Of course, we should still work to do better than the status quo, but I enjoy being able to develop a following on social media and/or purchase ads for whatever distributed Internet ideal I want to create.

grizzles 3 days ago 0 replies      
The UI bit is really important. To do it well would be to make a pixel perfect open source clone of Facebook that works over a distributed protocol like scuttlebot. theacebook.org is the closest ui attempt that I've seen.
awinter-py 2 days ago 0 replies      
for better or for worse, advertising (or some kind of information) is necessary for running a business.

Web ads are working less well than in the past, but they still work. The companies that have a high-visibility 'start page' (news orgs in 1990, yahoo in 1997, G & FB today) are going to have a lot of power.

Create a compelling start page, get 30% of the world to use it once a day, and your problem will have been solved.

throw2bit 3 days ago 1 reply      
First world country problems. In India, we dont really care. And China ofcourse. So half of the world dont care and I dont think India and China has any penetration or audience for these services.
s73ver 3 days ago 3 replies      
With regards to advertising, what are you doing to offer a realistic alternative to getting content creators paid online? Paywalls work, but people hate them (go into the comments of any article from the WSJ or such on here). The automatic tipping things offer very little friction, but hardly anyone uses them. So what's your answer?
pmoriarty 2 days ago 0 replies      
Don't work at these companies. Don't give them your business. Spread the word about their unethical practices.
z3t4 2 days ago 1 reply      
I'm making a decentralized app that makes it easier to tell your friends what you had for dinner, then posting it on Facebook.
foxhop 3 days ago 0 replies      
I'm blogging on my own domain whenever I get the chance.

Also bootstrapping https://www.remarkbox.com

bluetwo 3 days ago 0 replies      
These are problems but they ignore the bigger threats. Once ISPs get into selling your history and other reports and net neutrality is killed, we are all toast.
slyzmud 3 days ago 0 replies      
I think there is something even worse than walled gardens and those are the closed platforms apple, Google and Amazon are creating.

One thing is creating websites where they control the content users can see. But the web is still "open", even if facebook bans my content I can still create another website and share it with everybody (probably nobody will ever see it, but that's another problem). The real problem is the new tendency of app stores (Apple Store, Google play, Alexa skills...) If Google/Facebook/Amazon decide to block my content, I have no way to reach other users.

asselinpaul 3 days ago 0 replies      
https://status.im/ is doing something interesting in this space too.
american-desi 3 days ago 0 replies      
Why isn't there an open sourced version of google and facebook similar to what ubuntu is to os x and windows alternatives.
dcow 3 days ago 0 replies      
hxn 3 days ago 3 replies      
Would it help if more people would have a personal website?

Or would that just put the power into the hands of whoever runs the DNS system

metaphorm 2 days ago 0 replies      
Take the like/+1/retweet/etc. buttons off your website.
toomim 3 days ago 0 replies      
I'm convinced of something surprising -- that walled gardens are actually the result of limitations in ... HTTP! And to prove it, I've implemented a replacement for HTTP called Statebus that adds power to HTTP and breaks down walled gardens: https://stateb.us Check it out!

Statebus makes web programming wayyyy easier, and opens up the insides of websites -- you can go to any page, hit a hotkey, and edit the code live to add a feature, or incorporate state from a different site, or re-use the state or code from somewhere else, just as easily as you use your own site's state and code! Because it puts the insides of sites onto the web protocol itself. In Statebus, every piece of state has a URL! And you can synchronize with it as easily as <a href="state://..."> today!

This breaks up walled gardens like Facebook! Today, we have monopolies at the level of websites, because each different website is implemented with a different proprietary stack of web gunk -- MVC server frameworks, reactive view frameworks, networking frameworks, babel, webpack, and -- YUCK! Statebus replaces all this gunk with the web protocol itself -- the statebus protocol -- which opens the state, and itself automatically synchronizes all this state together!

Statebus transforms HTTP from State Transfer to Synchronization:

 HTTP: Hypertext *Transfer* Protocol REST: REpresentational State *Transfer* Statebus: State *Synchronization* Protocol
It turns out that all web frameworks are really just state synchronization libraries, and we only need them because HTTP doesn't know how to synchronize! By adding synchronization to the web protocol itself, we eliminate the need for all these frameworks, and put all the internal state of a website onto the web protocol itself, making it open for other websites to use!

Statebus makes websites wayyy easier to program, and this means that the easiest way to program websites is now the most open way. This changes the economics of the web, and is going to break up the walled garden monopolies that have arisen around websites -- just like the web itself broke up the AOL walled garden in 1995!

Remember AOL? It provided a lot of the same features as the web -- shopping, chat rooms, forums -- but then was outcompeted by the open web around 1995! Why? Because programmers found it was easier to put their content online with HTTP and HTML than by convincing CEO Steve Case to add their content to AOL's garden! In the same way, Statebus is going to make it easier to build social content than by going through Facebook's walled garden! The future will be a diverse, realtime, synchronous symphony of social state!

You can find technical docs here: https://github.com/invisible-college/statebus/And a demo video here: https://stateb.us

jgon 3 days ago 1 reply      
The biggest thing you can, in my humble opinion, is to make choices predicated on a long term view instead of what is most convenient for you, in the next five minutes. It doesn't require you to code up some sort of amazing app, or dedicate your free time to open source, although both of those are great.

I liken it to the attitude people are starting to take with regard to other aspects of their lives, such as food and materialism. When I go to the store I know that I can save a few dollars by buying the absolute bargain basement produce, flown in from south america, taken from high intensity factory farms, or packaged up and made mostly out of HFCS. Or I could see what I can buy from local producers and from farms that prioritize ethically raising animals. It means my eggs cost 3 bucks more, and I can't have kiwi fruits in February. But wanting kiwi fruits right this minute, even though it is February in a northern latitude is the exact sort of attitude I am speaking of.

So how can you put this into practice? Well a few people have already made similar suggestions so some of this will be duplicating their suggestions, but I still think it is worth saying.

1) Use your own email. I personally like Fastmail. For $50CAD/year I get a great service. I know that I am paying for a service and am not the product. They are doing good work with the open email protocols that exist, and working to produce new open standards for the future.

2) Use Firefox. Do we really want to give a dominant majority marketshare in the browser market to a browser made by a company that makes 90% of its money through advertising to you? This isn't even some sort of rant about google being "evil", it's just a common sense decision. It wasn't a good idea back in the day to give dominant marketshare to a company who incentives were aligned against the web and towards desktop single platform applications, and it won't be a good idea to give that sort of power to company that is beholden to shareholders and makes it money through tracking and gathering data on users.

3) Delete your facebook account. I don't have a fallback here, but honestly I don't think you need one. Between messenging apps, smartphones, email and other communication tools, you will be able to stay in touch with people you care about. Facebook is not irreplaceable and I say that as someone who was in University when Facebook blew up. I am still happily communicating with all of those people.

4) In general, think about your purchasing decisions and who they empower and what the long term gain is. Shopping at the new walmart in your town may save you money for a year or two until they have devastated the local economy and have no incentive to keep prices low. Even if they do, your local area is made worse by the unemployment they cause, and the underemployment they provide. Same thing with Amazon. Are you saving yourself a dollar today to wonder where the retail jobs that helped underpin your community went in a few years? Are you doing all your searches through google when you could maybe do them through Duck Duck Go, or Bing, or just anything that slightly breaks the monopoly that Google has on search?

All of this is stuff that Richard Stallman has been saying for years, and people keep being surprised that he is "correct", but it's usually pretty easy to see that he is just taking a longer term view of things, and understanding that just because an organization acts decently when they are not in a position of power doesn't mean anything about how they will act once they are on top.

In summary, try to think longer term about your decisions, instead of prioritizing immediate convenience, and paltry economic savings, especially when we, as privileged engineers and developers, have the ability and monetary flexibility to do so.

intended 2 days ago 0 replies      
Heres a question - what are the kids using?
a_imho 2 days ago 0 replies      
Install a content blocker in disagreement?
bellajbadr 2 days ago 0 replies      
we are developing alternatives based on decentrlized and fair platforms like the blockchain
Ask HN: Do you have a business idea? Why haven't you tried it?
56 points by codazoda  2 days ago   58 comments top 26
dhfhduk 1 day ago 0 replies      
Here's what I've started to see as my problems:

I'm very good at identifying needs, in the sense of "here's a fundamental problem, and here's some ways of addressing that problem."

However, I'm not very good at identifying ways of turning that into a profitable enterprise. Often when I think of problems and solutions, it's because others are neglecting something, and aren't even aware of the problem, so there's no motivation to pay for any solutions. That is, you'd be selling something that people don't want because they aren't even aware of the looming problem or risk they have. Later on, sure, when things fall apart, everyone wants the solution I had in mind, but at that point it's obvious and there's too much competition.

My other problem I run into I get too absorbed in my own interests and am not really motivated enough by the profitability of something, even when I know I should be more motivated by it. So here's two ideas, A and B. I'm very interested in A and see it as important, but maybe not so profitable. B is less interesting and maybe less important but more profitable. I subconsciously tend to gravitate toward A, to the thing that I see as interesting and important, but that might not garner a lot of recognition or compensation in the short-term.

I think so far I've been kind of unstrategic about where to go in life, and people have just seen me as smart and valuable enough to have around to solve problems. That's gotten me fairly far, but I've reached a point where maybe I need to be more entrepreneurial.

I've also seen enough things in my life to know that there's a ton of unpredictable social dynamics that go into these ventures, and I'm kind of burned out. Fads, corruption, etc.

What's stopping me? I think it's mostly burnout and disillusionment.

danieltillett 1 day ago 4 replies      
Having other business ideas that are successful that take up nearly all my time. My other good ideas just sit around gathering dust.

I have a ludicrous dream that I can find talented people and give them the ideas and money and let them go off and build something great, but I know the world doesnt work like this. People would rather work on their own crappy ideas with no money than work on someone else's good idea backed with money.

miguelrochefort 2 days ago 3 replies      
I have thousands of ideas. I very rarely encounter ideas I haven't had before. Most ideas (including startups ideas) seem trivial to me.

Once you have thousands of ideas, you realize you can't pick just one. Then you realize they all have things in common. Then you notice a trend, general principles that apply to all of these ideas. Ultimately, you find one idea that makes the previous thousand ideas obsolete. You become obsessed with the idea, try to tell everyone about it, try to figure out where to start.

Nobody understands the idea. People actually reject it. They feel threatened. You start having doubts, you start questioning everything. You look for the meaning of life. You challenge axioms.

Ten years later, you're still thinking about this idea every day. Yet, you achieved nothing. Why?

I don't know why.

tluyben2 1 day ago 1 reply      
I used to have many of those and did many of them; I noticed I always need a partner who does the business side while I do the tech. I sometimes can do both, but generally it interferes too much. Usually now it is more a social thing where I find someone with the good idea and enough business skills to complement me and then go ahead. That is not getting easier; seems many people now simply outsource the mvp, fail, think it was the idea and move on. Not enough prep, drive and engagement of the fou nder(s).
mamcx 1 day ago 1 reply      
Many ideas.

- What's stopping you?


Or have a partner that is capable of survive without money from some time.

chemcoder 1 day ago 1 reply      
I have an idea in healthcare sector in India. For that i personally made a field study and went to 30 potential. I had made a decent presentation of the basic 3 features and went as a direct walk ins . Half of them were not only willing to use my "product" (which wasnt built yet) but also write a cheque for it. They were bargaining on price at that instant

This was 3 months back. I already run a growing fmcg business . It has drained me of time and resources. I cant find time to give it for this project. I am decent in marketing and especially cold calls and walk ins so i am confident to get things done. But existing commitments and ventures are making it hard for starting the project.

richardknop 17 hours ago 0 replies      
I have had several ideas over the years. I only tried to implement one of them.

What's stopping me from trying more is that last time I tried I wasted a lot of time not working for somebody else and getting paid plus a lot of my own money for infrastructure costs and contractors to develop mobile apps for my product. In the end it didn't work out and I am worried next time I'd try I'd just burn a lot of cash again.

So happy working for somebody else now and making a good salary.

ssono 1 day ago 1 reply      
For the past year, I've obsessed over ideas about education and credentials. I'm confident that the problems I'm interested in exist and are important.I would love the opportunity to test, refine and create my ideas. However, I am 18 and lack the skills and connections to do much more than pitch ideas to my friends or strangers on the internet.
geekodour 1 day ago 2 replies      
I am 21, I have a lot of proper ideas, most for side projects, and 2-3 for real business idea which are still not very great. I think, to start building an idea we atleast should be really good at something(code/design/lead/other) and then I can do my part of the work and the others needed eventually. I am a college student, and I am just recently starting to learn about how software is being deployed at production and about how things fit together.As I am not good with the lead part, so I think should get better with the tech part and then I start.
tpae 2 days ago 1 reply      
Are you talking about https://www.launchrock.com/ ? I already use it to validate my ideas and run campaigns before I build it.
sh87 1 day ago 0 replies      
I have ideas. They seems to crop up out of nowhere. 'Why does this have to be so hard', 'Why's does this have to be this way in 2017?', etc. are some common themes among them. Well whether there's a business in there or not is a game at a different level. But i dont think ideas drive businesses. Customers do. And what drives customers towards businesses ? Their problems and pains and concerns and hopes and anger and annoyances that they can get addressed for a 'fee'. But thats just one variable in the equation, then there's regulations to meet, money to throw away at a bunch of things just to get set up, and there's competition. Put all of this together and suddenly jumping to the next idea is easier, sexier, lucrative and sensible than making a business out of it. So yeah, just ideas so far. On to the next one...
davidgh 1 day ago 0 replies      
I have never struggled to come up with ideas. Every problem to me seems to be an opportunity.

Add to that - I love building things that solve real problems. As such - for years I allowed myself to become a mini-factory of widgets built upon my ideas. It is a great way to learn new things and keep skills sharp. It often isn't a great way to make money or build a business.

When you have lots of ideas, the skills to start building things around those ideas and you enjoy doing it - it can open you up to a serious problem: all too often you end up with a product that you spent a lot of time on (it might even be a really good product) and you realize you don't have any clue how to take it to market.

Taking products to market is hard. It feels like anything that solves a real problem should take itself to market. It rarely happens that way.

If your goal is to make cool products to learn, build a portfolio, etc. then this doesn't matter. Keep doing it and maybe you get lucky and one of your products takes off on its own.

But if your goal is to start a business - I have learned that it is very productive to spend a lot of time before I build identifying how I will get the product out there.

This isn't said to discourage anyone. It's said to help you know which products to spend your time on.

The exercise is simple - pretend that you just finished your idea and it is now a product on your screen. It's beautiful and has all the awesome features and really works well. What now? If your ideas are limited to "Product Hunt", "AdWords" and "viral" there's a red flag.

When I sit back and think - I realize the many of the ideas I am most capable to take to market (due to my own network, industry, relationship with potential customers, etc.) are often the ideas I'm least excited about. These ideas usually overlap with what I do all day every day so don't seem fresh and exciting to me. They aren't as fun. They feel like work.

To be sure, taking a product to market successfully is absolutely possible. A lot of your engineering skills (repurposed) will help you in this effort to track, measure, analyze and experiment. You'll learn a ton as you do so. Just make sure that through careful consideration you are prepared to give proper respect to the challenge of product distribution, or change your expectations of outcome.

I have also found that not being greedy and secretive helps a lot. Talk openly about your ideas and be willing to bring others into projects if you see they have things to offer that you don't. The participation of others can make a massive difference in the outcome.

thinkingemote 1 day ago 1 reply      
Do you think many here are employees who are stopped beacuse of their employment contracts stating that anything they produce are the employer's property?
msnower 1 day ago 0 replies      
People are often scared of testing their business ideas. Having this awesome idea of something that "might" work is a lot more pleasant than learning if it actually does. Most ideas fail right out of the gate - even the ideas of people who've had previous success. When I, or one my friends is excited enough to work on an idea, then the actual execution of the test is the easy part.
graystevens 1 day ago 0 replies      

I have various ideas, one of which I am actively working on now, but with a full-time job and a young family, my time is rather precious.

Luckily I have a very understanding and supportive partner, who is happy for me to crack on with work in the evenings. Once my primary idea is released, I plan on scaling it up to a true business, rather than a side project. This will mean those other ideas may take a while to come to fruition!

niyikiza 1 day ago 1 reply      
I live in a foreign land. It can be really difficult to launch a business if you're not a native. I have the tech skills I need for my idea, and I have taught myself some bits of the business side ( I happen to be a people person) but still looks like I would need a local partner.
ptr_void 1 day ago 0 replies      
For reasons that are appropriate, I will not be taken seriously. The idea is only 1/3 software centric and can't be properly tested with prototype/at smaller scale. Also, no money. It's not that complex and I'm sure someone with the right circumstances will make the connection eventually.
helen842000 1 day ago 0 replies      
I have hundreds of ideas for businesses. Not all of them need to be built by me. It's the long lists of ones I say no to that allow me to test the few that interest me.
yetihehe 1 day ago 0 replies      
Simple: lack of money, risk that it may not work, having good job which I'm invested in emotionally (I'm THE developer in my company, if I quit, several people will lose jobs).

I've started to make a prototype of my idea, but it will take some time before I finish it.

exabrial 1 day ago 0 replies      
Because "credit score meet".com would probably irritate a few critics


tmaly 1 day ago 0 replies      
I am focused on one idea only right now. I just launched a new version of my side project.

For all other ideas, I write them down in a journal just for this purpose.

Ideas are cheap, its the execution and focus that takes the effort in my opinion

paulcole 2 days ago 0 replies      
I do have an idea but I'm lazy and don't like putting in work.
Liron 2 days ago 2 replies      
What's a "buy button for testing ideas"?
iDemonix 2 days ago 1 reply      
No but I'm deep in to learning Laravel for the purpose of making an MVP for an idea I can't seem to come up with.
nnn1234 1 day ago 0 replies      
Let the world work for you.

My approximation for a solution is Crowdraising

qrbLPHiKpiux 2 days ago 2 replies      
Ask HN: How can I promote my open-source project?
20 points by bsears  1 day ago   10 comments top 7
Mz 7 hours ago 0 replies      
Your description needs work:

ServiceBot is a platform for a business to sell their services and automate the administrative tasks such as billing and invoicing.

This really gives me no idea what on earth you do. What problem do you solve? What value do you add?

You don't want to say something like "This tablet has an 8 inch screen." You want to say stuff like "This tablet fits handily in your pocket while having a larger than average screen size and is easily readable in full daylight." Your current description is the "8 inch screen" type description. It is not informative and it is not compelling.

You need to find a way to convey to people what you do for them. Time saved. Money earned. Problems solved. Convenience. Portability. Reduced headaches.

coreyp_1 1 day ago 1 reply      
Perhaps provide an example (screenshots/video) of your project in action. Otherwise, people will not see how your project can impact them, and they don't understand how to use it, regardless of how much explanatory text that you give.

This is the very problem that I'm facing on my project (http://bedefiant.io). Because i don't have a working example yet, it is hard to communicate my vision of how you can use my project. Of course, my project is still under development (I'm working on developing the minimally demonstrable features now), but the situation is the same for both: If you want people to use your software, then you have to show them why they need it and how you can solve their problems.

owebmaster 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Your project looks good and I'm in need of something similar. I'm going to give a look at it and see if it have a fit. Nice job :) (and now you are promoting your project).
itamarst 15 hours ago 1 reply      
The open sourceness of it seems irrelevant to your target audience: businesses. So the question isn't how to promote open-source project, it's how do you promote the business benefits to the right people. Where do your customers hang out?
soared 23 hours ago 0 replies      
IMO what a lot of open source projects are missing is marketers. Developers build things, marketers market them. Its hard for one person to do the other because they aren't educated in it or have the necessary skills.

Honestly the best answer is to find someone to help market it. Since you're asking "How do I do marketing?" the answer probably won't be in an HN comment.. its in a 4 year degree or years of experience.

But apart from that, define your target market and reach them where they congregate. If you want to reach freelance developers, go to whatever website they congregate at and talk to them there.

This reddit thread [1] has lots of reading and some decent ideas. Maybe try writing a marketing plan.

[1] https://www.reddit.com/r/startups/comments/4p0mke/10_highly_...

coreyp_1 23 hours ago 0 replies      
I can't edit my previous comment. I was looking at the github page on my phone, and neither the URL nor the huge picture that says "Demo" was visible. I still think that a video explanation would be more effective in driving the understanding, but I can also now see (now that I'm on a computer, that is) that you have done work to show off your product.
treyhuffine 9 hours ago 0 replies      
What channels have you tried already? Reddit or other mediums can be helpful to get people looking at it.
Ask HN: How do you efficiently create/manage process checklists?
5 points by vinnyglennon  13 hours ago   1 comment top
koantify 13 hours ago 0 replies      
We've released a new app, Koantify Checklists[0]. It's a voice responsive app (i.e., Siri-like) for creating, maintaining, using, and sharing checklists.

You create and maintain checklists within this app (or you can use our web-based editor).

When you perform your task, the app steps you through it by voice or text, and responds to your voice commands (it tries to provide optional "hands-free" operation as much as possible).When you complete your checklist, the app optionally emails you (or a list of people) a detailed record of completion of the checklist, showing steps you completed, skipped, or possibly had to repeat.

For organizations, it's easy to export/import checklists. You can distribute by email, via iCloud, or you can download checklists from web links. Our goal is to provide easy sharing of important checklists for tasks you want to standardize on.For training in your organization, use of a checklist provides important reminders on how things should be done.

Feedback, comments, suggestions are all most welcome.

[0] https://itunes.apple.com/US/app/id1158001939?mt=8

Ask HN: Has the Touch Bar improved your productivity as a developer?
8 points by jjallen  10 hours ago   6 comments top 4
itamarst 6 hours ago 0 replies      
A few more buttons or a little more screen space won't make you more productive.

The way to be more productive is to work on figuring out underlying problems, coming up with better solutions, using languages or frameworks that automate away repetition (e.g. garbage collection vs. manual memory management).

The ROI on the Touch Bar is probably negative to miniscule. Better to spend that money on a good book that will teach you some useful skills. More on productivity here: https://codewithoutrules.com/2016/08/25/the-01x-programmer/

mranon99 3 hours ago 0 replies      
It has not increased productivity as a developer at all, if anything it has slightly reduced it because sometimes I'm unsure if I managed to hit the ESC key or not. The most frequent buttons I use on it are volume control and screen-saver. Everything else is a wasted space. The one major issue I have with it is that it provides no physical feedback as compared with physical keys, perhaps if it had haptic feedback I would dislike it slightly less.
nicolasd 7 hours ago 1 reply      
For VIM: I am using CAPS Lock now as ESC key, because there is no physical ESC Key with the touch bar anymore.

Generally: I configured my touch bar to match the old keyboard function keys layout & they never change, no matter if I switch the program. I just don't want to change my behaviour + can't deal with the fact that I can't quickly change volume/brightness + hit play/pause/forward/backwards keys.

mikaelf 5 hours ago 0 replies      
I got a Macbook with the Touch Bar, mostly for the Touch ID. It's super convenient!
Ask HN: What's the most beautiful code written in Python you have ever seen?
15 points by pedrodelfino  1 day ago   6 comments top 6
RUG3Y 1 hour ago 0 replies      
I've said this in other threads recently - The Flask source code is really awesome and reading helped me learn Python better.
sharmi 18 hours ago 0 replies      
This was back in 2005-2006. I was working with a guy who loves to code. His favorite way to spend the weekend was to figure out ways to make our services more robust and optimized. He had one major disadvantage.

His forgetfulness was legendary. He could barely remember what happened in the morning or what code he wrote. He made this his strength by writing the cleanest and well-structured code I have ever seen. So, not only him, but anyone, without any prior knowledge, can jump into the code at any point in time and immediately understand the flow and be productive. Obviously, it helps that the code was in Python, but being in python by itself does not a great code make.

navbaker 1 day ago 0 replies      
I once programmed a complete chess board in four lines of code:

>import chess

>import chess.svg

>board = chess.Board()


I'm pretty sure I'm a genius.

svisser 1 day ago 0 replies      
tcbawo 1 day ago 0 replies      
I've enjoyed reading a lot of Peter Norvig's python code. There is his Lisp implemention (http://norvig.com/lispy.html). He also created a spell checker that was an informative and interesting read.
teapot01 1 day ago 0 replies      
Go to python repl

> import this

Ask HN: Integrity of BIOS update?
8 points by rxlim  1 day ago   6 comments top 3
ZephyrP 7 hours ago 1 reply      
I explored this issue many years ago and, at least at the time, it was my understanding that for many motherboards it's simply not possible to introduce unsigned code through software alone.
peter_d_sherman 1 day ago 1 reply      
In theory, you could probably call Gigabyte and ask them to mail you the BIOS update on disk or CD or something (you know, the old fashioned way), and/or you might be able to tell them that you feel insecure with plain http, and maybe they'd change it for you...

But what you're saying points to a larger problem. How do you know that anything you download from any vendor (and that includes such hallowed things in the industry as Apple/Ubuntu/Red Hat/Microsoft/Google updates), is really secure?

The only way to get true security for anything is to build your own processor, build your own PC, write your own operating system, build your own network card, and then hope that there aren't any bugs...

Historically, things that were once thought to be secure -- have been proven over and over again not to be. Case in point: Windows NT -- it had labels all over the box, to the effect, "It's secure, it's secure". Well, fast forward 17 years or so. Numerous incidents and issues have historically proven those assertions to be in error... don't take my word for it... look at the history... Google "Windows NT security vulnerabilities" and you can also add the word "historical" in there, if you want.

That, and I'm pretty sure as a novice computer historian, that history repeats itself, although chances are that your BIOS might be perfectly safe even if you do download it with http (although, make no mistake about it, you are taking a chance, so "chance-taker beware", as the old saying goes...)

Computer security is a tough business, because on the one hand there's too little security, and on the other is outright paranoia... what's the correct balance between those two extremes? I sure as heck don't know...

Anyway... good luck with your BIOS update...

whyagaindavid 21 hours ago 0 replies      
Download the file in Starbucks + 5 other locations. Check sha1sum. Though not useful in this situation, but better buy reputed server mobo.
Tell HN: Angellist jobs terrible user experience
5 points by forgottenacc57  8 hours ago   2 comments top 2
wayn3 8 hours ago 0 replies      
it is, sometimes, hilarious how entitled we can get.

a site full of jobs that allow you to use your favourite technology, work remotely, with hip startups doing cool things, but god forbid you have to upload a resume.

imagine one of the less fortunate get annoyed by the idea of "writing a resume". the horror.

jpeg_hero 8 hours ago 0 replies      
Sorry getting a six figures job isn't easier for you.

Professionalism, it's what you are paid for.

Ask HN: What about a GitHub profile tells you a developer is quality or not?
57 points by good_vibes  1 day ago   50 comments top 21
ageitgey 1 day ago 2 replies      
I think it's a pretty bad idea to try to judge a developer from their github profile.

For the vast, vast majority of developers (no matter skill level), their github profiles are somewhere between "non-existent" to "a collection of weirdo stuff I played around with for a few minutes five years ago that doesn't reflect my professional output or interests at all". It just doesn't have much correlation to anything.

I've got several things on github, but even then it's not really representative of anything. If you look at my profile you'll see that it's a mess of random projects and toys in random languages. But it doesn't reflect how I spend most of my time.

There are a few niche cases where a github profile might matter - like if you are a consultant that specifically works supporting a OSS project and you want to show evidence of that to potential clients. But otherwise, don't worry about it.

patio11 1 day ago 3 replies      
I would never take negative signal from a GitHub profile, because for many, many developers, that will not be a meaningfully sized or representative example of their professional output. There exist many employers where you can do excellent work for many, many years and never OSS a single line of it.

I also think that the developer community far overestimates how much "have a good Github" is worth in terms of creating career equity, both because the people who you attempt to influence via it are largely not developers and, to the extent they are developers, are unlikely to spend hours looking at your Github profile trying to extract signal from it. You can probably get superior results for far less effort by writing ~3 good technical blog posts. (Do what makes you happy, naturally, but to the extent that getting well-paying exciting jobs generally makes people happy I'd recommend almost everyone treat having a small number of technical blog posts like exercise, in the "simply too useful not to do" bucket.)

boulos 23 hours ago 1 reply      
I'm amused by all the "nothing" responses.

At Google, a candidate was referred to our team but had chosen to do all his interview questions in Python. This left me unable to discern "Can this candidate write code in C that actually understands memory handling and pointers?". Luckily, he had a GitHub repo for his work on a FUSE layer he had written that demonstrated that not only could he write in C, he also had reasonable commit hygiene (good commit messages, reasonable granularity, etc.).

I would never begrudge someone for having an empty GitHub profile (mine is unimpressive), but I've definitely both decided for and against candidates given the extra data it provides.

ericclemmons 1 day ago 2 replies      
As a hiring manager, I used to want to see a profile that competed with my own (at the time).

Now I've learned that (1) burnout is real, (2) work CAN be intellectually stimulating enough to not create that OSS desire, and (3) eventually your job ends at 5 and life takes over.

With that said, I WISH more developers opened issues on the projects they've used.

All too often I've seen people drop one dependency for another due to an edge-case.

Even a simple issue explaining the problem, providing a test case or sample code would be great as an indicator to how a developer approaches problems and seeks help.

orthoganol 1 day ago 1 reply      
I think Github is a tremendous resource, but while Github profiles can give a positive signal, they are not sufficient for negative filtering.

Many, especially older developers it seems, only begrudgingly have a profile for tickbox judgments encountered during job seeking. The best developer I ever worked with just didn't care about bothering with a Github profile, and the worst guy I ever interviewed had an expansive profile, including a repo with 80+ stars that was trivial and terribly coded, and our team's conclusion was that he got his bootcamp associates to star it.

At the end of the day it's a private company seeking a profit, and it's a little ridiculous that it's become defacto mandatory for proving you are a good developer, in the same (somewhat annoying and unfortunate) way that FaceBook has become defacto mandatory for proving you lead a social life.

Insanity 1 day ago 0 replies      
I don't judge as a developer's quality based on their github profile. What a github profile does give me, is credibility to the claim that they are passionate about software.

When during an interview someone says they are passionate about software engineering and they have a github profile that reflects this, it gives me a reason to believe this person. But, I take the attitude that 'absence of evidence is not evidence of absence'. When another person makes the same claim but with an empty github profile, I don't assume this person is lying. You can usually tell if someone is passionate or not by the way they talk abot their previous projects as well.

That being said, a well-used github profile is not a reason to hire someone and neither is an empty one a reason not to. Some of the best people in the field that I have had the chance to work with had zero, or close to zero, github contributions.


From the other side (the 'looking for a job' one), when interviewing with a company I worked for some years ago - they did ask me for a link to my github profile and some open source code I did. But the company made most of their software open source and they believed strongly in OSS. I believe this was done not to judge a person for the quality of the work, but rather to get an idea if the person also liked OSS.

pyrophane 1 day ago 1 reply      
Im an experienced developer who doesn't really have much on my github profile. One or two contributions to open source projects that I've used and a handfull of issues created or commented on. Most of my code is private. I'm not sure what, if anything, someone would take away from that, other than I'm not that active in the open source community.
jttam 1 day ago 1 reply      
* Do they have their own projects or do they contribute to others?

* How interesting are those projects generically and in the context of what I would need this developer to do?

* Are these projects actually used by anyone? Are there pull requests, etc?

* Does the developer actively keep working on existing projects or move around? I.E., are these learning vs hobby vs commercial?

* How is their readme? Does it exist? Is it sufficiently complete to convey meaning?

* How is the code organized? Is it reasonably laid out? Do they make use of third party packages and tools? Does it seem like they are re-inventing the wheel?

* Does the code work?

* Is the language chosen the right language for the job? Are they using idioms of that language or more generic ways of expressing loops, vsriables, etc.?

* How extensible is their design? Does it feel krufty or is it a pleasure to read?

* Is the code novel? Are they re-inventing the wheel or are they actually fulfilling a need?

* Are their projects wide and varied in scope and tools?

Those are a few things off the top of my head. Not an exhaustive list.

kasey_junk 1 day ago 0 replies      
bsvalley 13 hours ago 0 replies      
It depends on the size of the company.

- big companies: it's all about eliminating fake Resumes. they only use your web presence as a background check since they already have their own hiring process in place to evaluate a candidate (whiteboarding crap). In other words, they ain't care

- small companies: they will dig deeper since they don't get many Resumes on their desk. In this case, it will be about code quality, complexity, comments, design, etc. think of it as a coding assignment. It's much faster to pretend that the assignment was a project you've already worked on in the past. The evaluation criteria are the same as a coding assignment.

nunez 23 hours ago 0 replies      
Nothing. IMO, the only thing that a Github profile itself tells me is how often they spend time interacting with Github and writing code.

The code within their Github repositories, on the other hand, can say a lot. But I won't spend too much time perusing it; I'll probably look at their resume, see "Oh, they can write Ruby and Golang and have a Github account", view their Github repositories, see their code, say "Okay, they can write ruby and golang" or "Oh no, they can't" and move on.

thinkxl 1 day ago 0 replies      
I know experienced developers that have few or none activity in GitHub at all. So, it depends.

You could find developers that:

1. write good code and are active in the community

2. write good code and are not active in the community

3. write ok code and are active in the community

4. write ok code and are not active in the community

5., 6., etc., (... you get the idea)

So, with number 2, you could see an empty GitHub profile and perceive it as low quality, but that's the wrong perception. See `pyrophane` comment as example.

Obviously on a hiring process a GitHub profile with activity is a great plus, but, again, it depends.

treyhuffine 9 hours ago 0 replies      
Unfortunately, the signals for hiring you get from GitHub aren't great. It could help more junior developers to show off some things that they've built if their initial resume doesn't have the experience people are looking for.
ioblomov 1 day ago 2 replies      
Here's one take, in order of increasing quality:

1. Participates somehow in popular open-source projects, by posting bugs or updating wiki entries.

2. Opened merged PRs for popular projects that fix bugs or add test coverage.

3. Opened merged PRs that add new functionality.

4. Is one of the maintainers of a popular OS project.

5. Created a popular OS project.

BadassFractal 1 day ago 0 replies      
Have hired and let go of big time OSS developers before, with hundreds of packages they had written or maintained. Ultimately there was no correlation between their impressive Github resume and their ability to work as part of a team delivering product to customers, focusing on what matters to the business.

It seems to me that working on distributed OSS projects with strangers on Github or working on personal projects in one's spare time is a very different experience from how most software development shops are run, so there's only so much overlap there between the skillsets.

It does show you that the person knows how to write some code with no clear scope or deadlines, but that's a pretty low bar for most places.

bjourne 1 day ago 1 reply      
Haven't githubs new interface made it almost impossible to investigate what a developer has written? For example, on my profile page I have 32 repos. But 29 of them are forks of other projects which I haven't added anything to.
daenz 23 hours ago 1 reply      
I've been told I have a "good" github profile. What I've found is that it doesn't go very far in interviews.
nimchimpsky 1 day ago 0 replies      
I've never known a developer with an impressive github profile.

I've worked at startups, and banks.

Thats 20 different people at least ... and all pretty good imo.

duncan_bayne 1 day ago 0 replies      

The presence of a high-quality, well-rounded set of projects in GitHub is mostly indicative of the fact that the candidate in question has the spare time to work on Free Software. That's a lifestyle thing, and not relevant to the hiring decision.

bikamonki 1 day ago 0 replies      
killin_dan 23 hours ago 0 replies      
Something other than github. Especially self-hosted gitlab or similar.
Looking for an open source project which needs some documentation
6 points by strokeroxy  1 day ago   8 comments top 5
cobralibre 1 day ago 0 replies      
I had a lot of fun building a small app with Ratpack several months ago, but its online manual is full of TODOs. If you're comfortable with Groovy or Java, I'm sure they would welcome your contributions.


Philomath 1 day ago 1 reply      
I am working on an opensource project that parses news websites and blogs to create ebooks. The idea is anyone can create a parser for a new website so that others can download ebooks from that source.

The project isn't finished but we do need some help with documentation so that people will know how to create parsers.

If you are interested, I can explain more and reach you out personally.

doug1001 1 day ago 0 replies      
no idea there was such an academic specialisation (at least not with any substantial focus on software documentation)

we try to hire folks having this domain interest and ideally with academic qualification such as the OP describes, but never had any success--always been a priority, i suppose we just gave up after a while.

(some limited success cross-training black-box testers, but that's not a group we want to cannibalize because those stars are hard to come by as it is)

oyebenny 1 day ago 0 replies      
Froxlor! It needs some bad!
osbh 1 day ago 1 reply      
Ask HN: Should I even bother trying to sell to universities?
5 points by westoncb  1 day ago   5 comments top 3
impendia 5 hours ago 1 reply      
Whom at universities do you wish to sell to? Who do you see using this?

I work as a math professor at a state university, and overall universities don't seem like good places to work as programmers. Most of the programming-ish work seems to consist of making big pieces of software (PeopleSoft, Blackboard, etc.) work. I don't know how much actual programming this involves; I'd be a bit surprised if there was a market for your product there, but I could be wrong.

Perhaps you instead envisioned working with individual CS professors or departments? There your prospects are probably better; if you persuade someone there that your software is worth buying, they might well be willing to buy at a couple thousand dollars. They have their own (smaller) pots of money which they control and would not need to fool around with much bureaucracy to buy.

The disadvantage is that it would be hard to get your foot in the door. Contact information for professors is easy to find, which means that people are constantly contacting them with all sorts of unsolicited requests, and their fingers are used to finding the `D' key quite rapidly. If you somehow got a couple of individual, influential CS professors to use and love their product, they might recommend it to their peers. This could be difficult though ... for example, in six years of working as a math professor I have not yet purchased any software, although I could if I wanted to.

There are smart people in academia, doing interesting and worthwhile things -- but I expect that it would be an exasperating market to sell to. Good luck if you try!

gtmtg 13 hours ago 1 reply      
Can we have more details on (3)? Sounds like something I'd use for sure from the video/high level description...
ud0 18 hours ago 0 replies      
Awesome stuff
Ask HN: Hard disk data recovery after dropped laptop
4 points by SirLJ  1 day ago   7 comments top 4
Cozumel 1 day ago 1 reply      
Unless it's data you absolutely don't have anywhere else and can't replace it, then personally I wouldn't bother. Let it be a lesson to your son. ALWAYS BACK UP YOUR DATA.

It's a lesson that'll serve him well for the rest of his life.

anhthang 19 hours ago 0 replies      
My friend usually using https://www.easeus.com/datarecoverywizardpro/ to get data back
webtechgal 1 day ago 1 reply      
Try this - might work, and all the best:


axellgun 20 hours ago 0 replies      
un plug the harddisk from your laptop than put in to other laptop or use Personal computer tu detect your harddisk is still health or not. if your harddisk still detected by other laptop or pc maybe you still can backup your data to other storage. plug as removable device and don't boot the system from your harddisk. use hard disk docking station to connect your harddisk.


Ask HN: Why should I not start a VPN business?
4 points by iDemonix  1 day ago   9 comments top 5
teddyuk 8 hours ago 0 replies      
I thought about it but the thing is that anything like this is probably going to be used for undesirable things by undesirable people and although my moral compass isn't exactly strong I didn't really want to be involved in that.
bloodbeard 1 day ago 1 reply      
I wouldn't sign up for a VPN based out of the UK. Frankly, May scares the shit out of me - her ideas about regulating communications comes across as more than slightly fascist.*

* My head of state is He-Who-Must-Be-Impeached; so I'm getting more familiar with fascism on a day-to-day basis. (I won't even use an email provider located in the US due to the way the government over here behaves).

BjoernKW 14 hours ago 0 replies      
Unfortunately, the proposed encryption ban is still very much alive. If that proposal becomes a law any kind of useful VPN service will be illegal.

If May and her three Brexit stooges have their way with the UK you might rather want to provide relocation and off-shoring services ...

techjuice 1 day ago 1 reply      
You can start your VPN business, but you may run into issues and cause your customers to conduct chargebacks, refunds or sue for not being able to reliably offer services. If blocking/disrupting/unauthorized decryption of their encrypted traffic occurs in the future you should inform your customers of this issue so none of them are unaware.

Now if it becomes illegal in the UK to offer any encryption services, require backdoors or lower grade encryption you may need to migrate your residence and business to another country to legally continue business operations.

IanDrake 1 day ago 1 reply      
There's no shortage of vpn services. How would you get customers? Next to legal issues, that would be my primary concern.
Ask HN: Best resources to teach a 6-year old to program
5 points by bioinformatics  2 days ago   4 comments top 4
fiftyacorn 6 hours ago 0 replies      
I helped my wife do some lesson plans on computing covering algorithms and collections. It was starting from practical then working out a methodology using games. It worked really well at all levels my wife has used it. I keep meaning to write this up - but never get the time. Although now my son is 5 i might try it with him on a wet afternoon
danielvf 1 day ago 0 replies      
The opencomputers mod for MineCraft can be a lot of fun.

I also tend to do a lot with my kids by just opening the chrome dev tools and play away with JavaScript and mucking up some random web page.

pedrodelfino 1 day ago 0 replies      
This is a great one: https://scratch.mit.edu
olivercreashe 1 day ago 0 replies      
Give him an issue of Byte magazine and tell him to copy all 30 pages of machine language to the computer using the keyboard.Better yet, tel him that at the end of all the typing, there will be a game to play!


Ask HN: What are interviews like in non-software engineering professions?
16 points by sage76  2 days ago   6 comments top 5
delazeur 2 days ago 0 replies      
I am a chemical engineer currently working in a consulting niche (air emissions control and regional air quality management). My interviews have very consistently been designed to test my writing and public speaking skills, which are admittedly crucial in my job, rather than specific engineering knowledge. At this point, my resume contains reasonably strong evidence that I possess such knowledge, but that wasn't the case when I was starting out and the interviews weren't really any different. The closest things to technical questions I can remember being asked are of the form: "Imagine a piece of equipment you are responsible for isn't working. What are some steps you would take to identify and solve the problem?"

I have also occasionally interviewed for non-SWE positions at tech companies (usually data scientist or regulatory compliance positions, both of which are closely related to my current field), and I have found the interviews to be similarly light on technical material, but with much less emphasis on speaking and writing skills.

Not having been through any SWE interviews myself, that's about as much as I can say in comparison. My loose impression is that SWE interviews are relatively heavy on logic puzzles and mini coding problems, but that's all I know. I am happy to answer more specific questions about my experience, of course.

avmich 1 day ago 0 replies      
A young rocketry startup once offered to an applicant a challenge to show skills with hardware. This kit - https://www.sainsmart.com/sainsmart-balancing-robot-kit-v2.h... - was required to assemble and in general to make working in a week and bring back the results. The kit was given by the company.
bsvalley 1 day ago 1 reply      
Reading at the comments, it tells me how easy, fast and cheap it would be for a machine to crack a software job interview with TODAY's technology. It tells me software dev jobs are the first inline when AI will take over.
angrydev 1 day ago 0 replies      
I've often wondered if non-SWP interviews involve homework... I hate this aspect of interviewing for positions.
rurban 1 day ago 0 replies      
Less stupid technical questions, because there are much less cheaters and you can trust the given educational background.

I worked as architect, mech. engineer and various other engineering sectors. There are some technical questions of course but nothing like whiteboarding binary search or tree traversal.

Ask HN: Non-lethal weapon to defend one's home?
6 points by mrb  1 day ago   21 comments top 11
mchannon 1 day ago 0 replies      
Burglars generally want two things- get your stuff and get out.

I suggest if they've taken it as far as breaking into your house, and you can't scare them away (maybe something that _sounds_ like a shotgun getting cocked), you let them get away.

(Burglary implies you're not home- this is more robbery and home invasion at this point).

Losing a $3000 laptop is substantially cheaper than a $30,000 hospital bill and ambulance ride after you get lacerated from the knife they're carrying. If you're having trouble with the math, consider that you lose the $3000 laptop in both cases.

That's also assuming you're not more seriously injured or killed by trying to impede them. What multiple of $3000 is your life worth to you?

dragonwriter 1 day ago 0 replies      
There is no such thing as a non-lethal weapon, only a less lethal one, and in almost any situation where use of a weapon of any kind is justified in self defense, you want the most effective not the least lethal one.

That said, the appropriate choice (including whether a weapon is a sensible choice) really depends on the detailed circumstances that you are addressing (living situation, local crime characteristics, and any personal circumstances that modify the threat profile from the generic one applicable to the locality.)

elorm 17 hours ago 0 replies      
If you have the patience to raise one, I'd suggest you go in for a Caucasian Ovcharka. Preferably raise a puppy so they can get used to your children and family. I wouldn't call them non lethal but they'd certainly give pause to anything short of an armed robber.

Second choice will be a pitbull.

Also I've known a signpost with the following words to be very deterrent if deterrence is also an option : "Please do not walk on this property unescorted. Pet Cobra on property. Insert picture of large realistic cobra" How many people are willing to rob a house with snakes?

And finally on weapons, i know a guy with a homemade flashlight casing taser. Not sure it's even up to 5000 volts but he claims its come handy in an altercation with an intruder before.

dontJudge 1 day ago 1 reply      
Shotgun with non-lethal loads.There's a large variety of ammo they make for shotguns.

The nice thing about a shotgun is a large amount of energy is transfered into the person. Unlike a hardball bullet from a rifle that may go straight through like a hot knife through butter. There are special rounds for rifles designed to fragment and dump all the energy into the person (but these are lethal).

rahelzer 1 day ago 1 reply      
A couple of German Shepherds.
lj3 1 day ago 0 replies      
A baseball bat. Keep in mind this is a last resort if you have no other option and you're cornered. A better option is to call the cops and wedge something under your very solid, hard to break bedroom door. If your bedroom door is hollow core, you should upgrade.

The equation changes if you have a family or other people in the house that are looking to you for protection.

mlwarren 22 hours ago 0 replies      
Bear mace and a taser probably. Spray the mace and back out of the area (read: run), if they continue to pursue you shoot the taser at them.
pravula 1 day ago 1 reply      
What's the budget and goal? Do you want to capture them or scare them away?
Nomentatus 1 day ago 0 replies      
You can buy a bang grenade on Amazon, but I prefer a rope, so I can get out any window.
koolba 1 day ago 2 replies      
Why can't you get a firearm and just aim for the assailants legs?
olivercreashe 1 day ago 0 replies      
Your body, without clothes, stared at by the aformentioned potential burglars. They'll know you're loony and will stop bothering you.
Got 1.5% raise after a year at job. Now what?
13 points by tony2016  2 days ago   16 comments top 12
jotux 1 day ago 1 reply      
I'm on job #3 since graduating from college 10 years ago. The average raise amount I've gotten each year staying at a job has been 3.7%. The average bump in pay I've gotten changing jobs has been 15%. This is despite receiving an excellent performance rating every year, for 10 years, at each of the jobs. The reality of the job market today, especially at big public companies, is that the framework in which they operate does not allow them to give large awards to good performing employees.

Usually the only way to increase your pay is to get another job or threaten to leave your job if you don't get a raise. Threatening to leave is generally a one-shot deal and will probably paint a permanent target on your back.

My sad advice to maximize earnings is to stay at a job for 2-4 years then move on for a 15-20% pay raise.

rubyfan 2 days ago 0 replies      
Step 1. Start quietly looking for another job that pays 20% more than you currently make. You'll likely find something.

Step 2. Take the new job.

Rationale for not making a stink with your current employer or negotiating with them once you have an offer:

1. right now you likely feel some combination of under appreciated, used, taken advantage of, etc. and that feeling likely won't change as time goes on. You are likely not wrong for feeling that (even if you suck and are lucky to not be fired). The compensation system didn't meet your expectations and there is really no way to remedy that.

2. Current company will likely not match a 20% bump and if they do it will further the aforementioned feeling of being taken advantage of.

It's time to move on.

richardknop 17 hours ago 0 replies      
Find a new job. Biggest raises I ever got were when I quit and looked for a new job.

My second job after graduation actually meant almost 100% pay raise. After that it slowed down but I still usually get extra 10-20% every time I switch jobs.

jasonkester 1 day ago 0 replies      
You get raises in this industry by changing companies. Nobody will ever give you more than a few percentage points as part of a standard end-of-year review.

It sounds like you might not have known this before, so at least now you do. It doesn't help to complain about it to your manager. They know what they are doing. And they'll know why you left when you do.

If you are better now than you were when you started, then it might be time to start interviewing. Take a new gig that pays more. Repeat every couple years until your market value is where it needs to be.

It's a sad state of affairs, but in absence of any way to change it, the best thing to do is act accordingly.

btian 2 days ago 1 reply      
Not sure if I understand your situation. You're both not happy with your salary and you won't be able to get a job in another company that pays better.

I would be pretty happy if I were in your situation.

freehunter 2 days ago 0 replies      
I've taken similar pay cuts in the past. It does suck. The answer almost always is to let your boss know (very gently) that you expected more. If they say no, start looking (casually) for a new job. If you can find one that pays more, either take it or show your boss the offer letter and ask for a better raise. If you can't find one that pays better, then yeah, you're getting the best you can. Either increase your skills and build your resume until you can find one that pays better, or just figure out if money is the ultimate goal or if there's something less tangible at the company that makes you happy.

I stayed with a company after they gave me a 0.25% raise in a year. I stayed because I loved the company. As soon as that was not true, I started looking for a place with a similar benefit package but a higher salary, and I found one. Talk to your boss very casually. Don't demand more money, but let them know you expected more and ask what you could do to earn a better raise in the future. If there is nothing you individually can do that will impact your future earnings potential at the company, that company is just a short-term step on your long-term career roadmap. Enjoy it while it lasts, and keep one ear to the ground for better opportunities in the future.

BryanBigs 1 day ago 0 replies      
I say this a bit tongue in cheek because a large Corp doesn't think like this, but did you add more value to the firm in the past year than the first six months? If not, why would you expect to get a raise above inflation? At smaller firms if I had the work record to back it up raises were actually negiotable. Bigger firms not so much.I once worked for a big bank. Before I started outsiders told me 2 "law's" that ended up true. 1) Get paid as much as you can up front because your pay will never change year to year by more than 4%. Starting salary is an anchor with very thick chain.2) The severence package is awesome than so old timers won't leave voluntarily. Made for a really unhappy workforce. Good times.
vfulco 1 day ago 0 replies      
Universal law of employment: Unless you are a 10x developer, to get a decent raise, you've got to switch companies. They'll squeeze you for every ounce of work otherwise.
sharemywin 2 days ago 0 replies      
Somebody up the food chain had xyz budget for raises. They made a spreadsheet with 3 column last years salaries, 2% of that salary and new pay. hten they started tweaking it. Well, I can't lose jim and he's in the top 1/3 pay band he deserves 2.5 where's coming from? Peter going to fall below the 20% pay band range so I need to give him 3% so he doesn't fall out of the range. Shit, Tony's in the top band and he's doing pretty good so will give him 1.5% that'll offset bigger raises for jim and peter.
wayn3 1 day ago 0 replies      
You have no BATNA, nobody is going to give you "what youre worth" (they literally do exactly that)
fhrow4484 2 days ago 0 replies      
Know the Numbers!

it's hard to find an answer to question 1, as those who know the answer don't want to make it public, but my guess is it's "whatever they feel like" depending on many factors. Those factors can be out of your control or not (budget issues, crappy project where your skills didn't shine, or you preferred taking it more easy because of your life choices)

If you salary is above average and you won't find companies with better salaries, then you're probably one of the highest paid in town, you should feel good about this. But if you know other companies around who pays better, then one course of action is to apply to those in hope of a better salary. If you have friends in those companies, try gathering information about their past year raise and their salaries. Try gathering information about friends in your current company too, but not close co-workers, as they might feel uncomfortable discussing this. Instead, since you're in a big company, ask people in a team far away from you, you don't need the exact number, but at least an approximate that you can use in your talk with your manager. Try to find the policy at your company, if they say somewhere (could be in your offer letter) the yearly raise is between 0 and X%

Regarding question 2: yes you want to make it clear that you want a bigger raise, but you don't want to appear greedy. You can mention cost of living in your town, the raises that your friends in your company got, or it's even better to mention the raises your friends got at the other companies, this will give a cue to your manager that you know you could get a better deal somewhere else. Don't say "I want more money", but instead show that there's a sound reasoning about why you want more money : The cost of housing is going up significantly, you want to start putting money aside for a future down-payment, inflation rate is X%, etc. Since you did a good job you think the You today is a better asset to your company that You last year, because you now have expertise in X, Y, Z, and delivered A, B, C ... , so you'd expect a raise that reflect this, accounting for inflation of course. Assuming you know the policy about raise between 0 and X%, and let's say last year you only got X/3% , you could say that you've made a lot of progress this year, try to make your manager acknowledge your accomplishments, and once he does, say that as an above-average you expect at least X/2% given the annual raise policy is between 0 and X%. Since inflation was pretty strong this year, you'd expect even more to catch up.

Finally, you might find useful advice on how to approach these kind of situation, better written, in the book "Getting to Yes"

watter 1 day ago 0 replies      
Find a new job!
Ask HN: How can you do shared contact management efficiently?
4 points by katrik14  1 day ago   2 comments top
olivercreashe 1 day ago 1 reply      
There is a very interesting and recent development that can help you woth this. I forget the name, but i think it's something called a telephone.
Ask HN: Do you use social media?
19 points by irixusr  3 days ago   27 comments top 22
parvatzar 21 hours ago 0 replies      
FB - Been on and off and after some introspection left it for good since all I see was people posting their wedding and honeymooning photos and also none of them were really 'friends'. With the people I consider friends I prefer to just pick up the phone and converse.

LIinkedIn: Visit now and then to check out jobs and rather have to some extent used as a FB replacement (though in a better sense) to be in touch with people and network mostly to know about their professions or their higher education so as to get an idea of what kind of work or courses they do. Just helps formulate an opinion and build a career path sometimes.

Twitter: Just for news updates and its mostly fun seeing politicians and celebreties wage war of words and then news channels debating and analyzing who trolled whom and what it could have meant. Just to relax after a long day.

Quora: if that qualifies as social media, find it useful to get a general opinion on any random topic. Been spending some time here, though been reducing it to focus on the real world

bsvalley 3 days ago 1 reply      
I signed up on FB in 2005 and linkedin in 2003. This was when social started to get some serious momentum. I was on myspace before FB. 10-13 years later I do not use any of them. Why? FB seems more appropriate for teenagers or young adults. I grew up since then and have other hobbies. Linkedin is like a Resume, totally worthless (in my case) besides searching for a new job every 3 to 5 years.

Twitter? I opened an account a while back and didn't see any differences between FB status update and 140 character.

jachee 3 days ago 1 reply      
Doesn't HN itself qualify as a social medium?
satori99 3 days ago 0 replies      
I have never had a FB account. The very idea of having my personal data, keyed by my real name, and managed by an opaque advertising company has always seemed like a shitty proposition to me.

However I do use reddit daily.

xiaoma 3 days ago 0 replies      
HN is social media. Anyone who answers you here is a social media user. Try asking acquaintances offline and you might find some who aren't.
codazoda 2 days ago 0 replies      
I have a Facebook account but only use it once a month or so.

I'm trying to pump a motorcycle Instagram account right now, so I'm active there multiple times a day using a Chrome extension I wrote for the purpose.

Magis for Google Chrome gets you more followers and increases user engagement by giving you a few keyboard shortcuts that make you fast. One button likes and a quick keyboard combination for comments.


5706906c06c 3 days ago 0 replies      
Facebook - I mainly use it to post pictures of my kids and random thoughts that get a couple of likes to satisfy my appetite for someone else's approval. Come to think of it, posting pictures of my kids seems like a bad idea. I visit is occasionally, but don't really engage in other's political post rhetoric, opinions, etc.

Twitter - I use it professionally and religiously to acquire new follower, follow people in my industry and to keep track of the latest trends, etc. I also randomly reach out to people in the same line of work to solicit feedback.

LinkedIn - more of the same, but I don't put that much effort behind it. I just made sure there is a consistent tone of message between LinkedIn and my Twitter handle regarding my professional persona, etc.

Also, why do you ask?

sotojuan 3 days ago 0 replies      
> Do you have a Facebook account?

> How about a "professional" social media network?

Have never needed either past college. None of my current friends use it or spend time on it, don't really talk to people I went to high school or college with, and I use iMessage for family. I see no benefit.

For professional social networks, I just never made an account and have no desire to do it. Maybe one day, but maybe not.

For me it's not about wasting time (I waste time on HN, Lobsters, and GameFAQs), just lack of interest and utility.

macinjosh 3 days ago 1 reply      
I gave up twitter/facebook/instagram at the end of 2016 mostly because all the political news and discussion was becoming too much. I don't miss it.

I think I still have a LinkedIn account but never use it. I have never found professional social networking tools useful. I think thats mostly because I don't really need to do a lot of networking as a data engineer. If my job had more of a 'social imperative' (e.g. sales, leadership, marketing, or freelance) I probably would use it.

drakonka 3 days ago 1 reply      
I have a FB account and use it mostly to post pictures of my cat to my friends and talk to the breeders of my cat as needed. I also have a much more active Twitter account and use it to post pictures of my cat to anyone who will listen. Then I've got two not too active Instagram accounts that I only post to sporadically - one for my fitness/workout posts and the other to post pictures of my cat.
drdeadringer 2 days ago 0 replies      
My main use is reddit, followed by Hacker News and then Twitter.

I hard-deleted my Facebook account ~5 years ago; it had become a time-suck, downer, and an obligation more than something fun. I don't miss it, though I am aware that there are a few things I'm missing.

andriussev 2 days ago 0 replies      
While I do have an account on most of the social media portals - Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Reddit - I am mostly a lurker and a very rare contributor (Instagram is a small exception).

I do like seeing what other people are up to but I am not sure I have a lot of interesting things to contribute myself :|

csnewb 2 days ago 0 replies      
I use Facebook to chat with friends and organize social events but do not post personal content. LinkedIn is truly awful, my feed is flooded with recruiters complaining about candidates or posting cringy motivational stories.
johngruber 3 days ago 0 replies      
No for both of them. I closed Linkedin few years back and now I receive some emails through my website; much better quality.

Recently I closed Facebook as well as I was spending too much time there involuntarily, and I've been really productive since then. Every day I miss it less and less. Take into account that I used before and after Whatsapp as the primary means of communication among my friends and family.

partisan 3 days ago 0 replies      
I don't use my FB account. I think I am averaging a login every 5 years.

I use LinkedIn for professional networking but very sparingly.

I started using Mastodon recently and participate there but maybe a few times a week.

I am on a few programming Slacks and fairly active there. That seems to hit the sweet spot for an old IRC user like myself.

atmosx 2 days ago 0 replies      
Only twitter, less than 30m per day. I'm also planning to use flickr to keep family photos.

I don't have a facebook account.

Professional social network like... LinkedIn?

codegeek 3 days ago 0 replies      
facebook: Was fun way back in 2004 when it required a .edu email. Lately, not so much as it has just become a photo-fest of who is doing what and where.

linkedin: I used it well for a while to connect with existing co-workers. I still login once in a while to see my network. Ever since I started running my own thing, recruiter emails have dropped even though not entirely.

twitter: Have one but who wants to see my tweets. No one apparently. I am convinced that twitter is only for celebrities or for updates if you are a company/organization.

AznHisoka 3 days ago 0 replies      
I use Twitter once in awhile, but I tend to use apps like Nuzzel, and CrowdTangle to get "curated" news from my friends/followers
tjalfi 3 days ago 0 replies      
I have never had a Facebook account.

I signed up for LinkedIn 2 years ago.

Goodreads is the only social network that I enjoy participating in.

Ro93 3 days ago 0 replies      
Facebook is my life
SeaDude 3 days ago 0 replies      
homosaphien 3 days ago 0 replies      
only HN and reddit, FB is toxic IMO
Ask HN: What podcasts are you listening to?
68 points by st3fan  1 day ago   60 comments top 50
sanjeetsuhag 1 day ago 3 replies      
1. Undone (by Gimlet Media) : A one season show about less known historical happenings.

2. The Daily (by NYTimes) : A daily show covering whats most important in the world on that day.

3. NPR Politics Podcast (by NPR) : Covers the political headlines of the US. Theyre all really smart people who really know the ins and outs of politics.

4. FiveThirtyEight Politics Podcast (by ESPN) : Mostly news about politics , but from a more data driven approach. Really funny too.

5. Pod Save America (by Crooked Media) : Hilarious talk show from a group of former Obama administration speechwriters. Obviously left and democratic leaning, but absolutely hilarious.

6. Pod Save The World (by Crooked Media) : A more serious show about American Foreign Policy.

7. Civics 101 (by NHPR) - The name says it all, but I want every American citizen to be locked in a chamber and forced to listen to this. Absolutely essential to understanding the basics of how the US government works.

8. The New Yorker Politics Podcast (by WNYC Studios/The New Yorker) : Really well rounded show, a recent episode on Mattis is a must listen.

petercooper 1 day ago 0 replies      
Just my "must listens" to keep it simple:

 - Planet Money - My Dad Wrote a Porno (NSFW, obviously, but wickedly funny) - Startup - Radiolab - Entreprogrammers (original, not the spinoffs) - The Daily (only when they aren't doing US politics)
No developer podcasts have engaged me enough for them to be must-listens every week though there are lots of good ones such as The Changelog and Developer Tea that I dip into time to time. The typical 1-2 hour interview format does not work for me at all, I need tight editing and some pace and structure around stories.

Philomath 1 day ago 0 replies      
You might get some interesting feedback from: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=9836023

I know its an old post, but I guess you can still listen to most of this stuff.

If you are interested in more recent (but less popular posts) check this out:




matthewvincent 1 day ago 0 replies      
Surprised no one has mentioned The Tim Ferris Show. That's my #1 right now. He's got a really eclectic but also well thought out guest list and I learn something useful every episode. His recent episode with Nick Szabo was the crash course on cryptocurrency that I always wanted. Highly recommended.
WesleyLivesay 1 day ago 0 replies      
My Pocketcasts List:


 All Javascript Podcasts from DevChat.tv Tools Day

 Hardcore History History of the Crusades History of the Papacy Revolutions The British History Podcast The Civil War: A History Podcast The History of Byzantium The History of Egypt The History of England The History if Islam Maritime history Podcast When Diplomacy Fails
Video Games:

 Gamers with Job Conference Call Crucible Radio (Destiny) Giant Bombcast Idle Weekend Rebel FM The Dive LoL Podcast The Giant Beastcast The Magic Hour The Bungie Podcast Three Moves Ahead Waypoint Radio Wild Weasel

 Shift+F1 The Steve Austin Show
I'm sure you can draw some conclusions about my hobbies/interests.

buzzdenver 14 hours ago 0 replies      
Ones I haven't seen anyone mention:

Infinite Monkey Cage (sciencey and funny)Judge John Hodgman (funny)Marketplace with Kai Ryssdal (financial)The Skeptics Guide to the Universe (science)

Ones not mentioned enough:On The Media (media/politics)Reply All (internet culture)

b3b0p 12 hours ago 0 replies      
I like to listen to podcasts mostly related to outside hobbies and interests to keep my mind, ideas, and thoughts fresh.

Here are my favorites:

- 8-4 Play (bi-weekly)

- Giant Bombcast (Premium) (weekly)

- Giant Beastcast (Premium) (weekly)

- ThirtyTwentyTen (weekly)

- Talking Simpson's (weekly)

- NPR Pop Culture Happy Hour (weekly)

- Slash Filmcast (weekly)

- Axe of the Blood God (weekly; Video Game Japanese RPG podcast by USGamer columnists)

I also pay for Giant Bomb premium (it's cheap) and gives you premium video's and ad free podcasts and supports the site. I also like the hosts and have been following them for years.

ClassyJacket 1 day ago 0 replies      
Talking Machines. It's definitely a bit over my head, but it's a really good podcast about Machine Learning, with heaps of interviews and pretty in depth conversations.
doe88 1 day ago 0 replies      
Trying not to repeat too much popular podcasts everybody already mentioned, I would add:

 - Fresh Air (NPR) [various subjects] - Intercepted with Jeremy Scahill [The Intercept fame] - Profile (BBC) [profile peoples, mainly Uk] - Sporting Witness (BBC) [sport related] - Recode Media with Peter Kafka [interview media people] - Reliable Sources with Brian Stelter [about media, political] - State of the Union with Jake Tapper [political] - The Axe Files with David Axelrod [interview politics] - The Forward by Lance Armstrong [mostly NOT sport] - Twenty Thousand Hertz [about sounds] - Larry Wilmore: Black on the Air [new] - The Bill Simmons Podcast [mainly sports] - Inside The Times [nyt related] - The Internet Podcast History [about Internet golden age] - War College (Reuters) [military stuffs] - Grammar Girl - Whistlestop [politics, history] - BackStory with the American History [history]

joshuamcginnis 1 day ago 1 reply      

 * "Train by day, Joe Rogan podcast by night; all day!" * StarTalk Radio Show by Neil deGrasse Tyson * Adam & Dr. Drew Show * NPR Up First * How Stuff Works * Darn Carlin's Hardcore History * Michael Blanks' Apartment Investing Podcast * Reasonable Doubt with Mark Garagos and Adam Carolla * Weekly Infusion

zitterbewegung 1 day ago 0 replies      
Talking Machines : A podcast where they outline new developments in Machine Learning and interview people in the field. Has a good balance of summarizing the important points without leaving out technical details.


smagch 1 day ago 0 replies      
Longform Podcast entertains me with a variety of guests, who is typically a writer, a editor, or a journalist, invited for each episodes. With dialogues about their work and career, it gives a glimpse of a life of those who work in the media industry. The podcast is a oral history of media workers, and it often gives valuable insights to just listen to interviews and see interviewees as they are.

Facing challenges like fake news, Google AMP, FaceBook InstantArticle, and the like, some of you may be interested.


majewsky 10 hours ago 0 replies      
I wonder if we could automate this "Ask HN" in a similar manner as "Who's hiring? ($MONTH $YEAR)". It seems to be popping up with about the same regularity.
H4CK3RM4N 1 day ago 0 replies      
I haven't seen anyone mention Exponent yet. It's basically Stratechery, the podcast.
tazard 1 day ago 0 replies      
Primarily security related podcasts.

1. Defensive Security2. Branding Down Security3. Risky Business4. SANS Internet Storm Center5. Southern Fried Security

Some non security related ones...Hardcore History, Common Sense, and on a much lighter note, The Comedy Button

cmac2992 1 day ago 1 reply      
The weeds. It's a podcast about public policy and politics. Very technical which I like.

FiveThirtyEight politics for politics.

Voices of vr. Excellent podcast about VR news often with interviews the developers working on the cutting edge.

tnecniv 1 day ago 0 replies      
I don't listen to tech podcasts. Since it's E3 time of year, I've got a bunch of Giant Bombcasts slated for next week. I'm also listening to Kevin Smith do commentary on Frasier episodes...
sndean 1 day ago 0 replies      

 - Radio Lab - Malcolm Gladwell's Revisionist History - Linear Digressions - Hidden Brain - FiveThirtyEight's Hot Takedown - FiveThirtyEight's Politics - Freakonomics - Planet Money - 99% Invisible - Neil Tyson's StarTalk - NYT's The Daily - Talk Python To Me - The Changelog - Hello Internet
There's a few other Machine Learning/Data Science-ish "podcasts", some other NPR ones, and This American Life.

I didn't realize that I spend so much time on this.

lostmsu 4 hours ago 0 replies      
None. I find reading much more efficient.
geekfactor 9 hours ago 0 replies      
Thought I'd add my own pod to this great list. I certainly listen to it :)

This Week in Machine Learning & AI

stiva 1 day ago 0 replies      
I am a political scientist by education, working in a planetarium.

- Downloadable Content, the Penny Arcade Podcast

- The West Wing Weekly

- GovLove (from ELGL, about local government)

- Pod Save America

- Main Engine Cut Off (about launch vehicles)

- Are We There Yet? (general news about space exploration)

- Orbital Path with Michelle Thaler (recent space/astrophysics news)

- Skytalk with Dave Heller and Derrick Pitts (astronomy news)

johns 1 day ago 0 replies      
Breaker for iOS does a good job of recommending episodes and podcasts based on your likes and friends. I recommend it.
brd 1 day ago 0 replies      
-a16z podcast is my #1 podcast these days

-Tim Ferris Show is a little hit or miss but has some excellent content

-Linear Digressions is a fun little podcast to stay caught up on ML trends

-How I Built This is a more general audience oriented podcast that talks about how companies got started

arkitaip 1 day ago 0 replies      
Eridrus 1 day ago 0 replies      
I've been enjoying 1A from NPR lately.

I haven't really found any tech podcasts I like yet, they mostly talk about things at a very surface level, which doesn't teach me a lot.

alexgandy 1 day ago 0 replies      
True Crime- Last Podcast on the Left- Criminal- Crimetown

Random Info- Radiolab- 99% Invisible

Interviews- WTF w/ Marc Maron- Joe Rogan (depending on the guest)- The Nerdist (depending on the guest)

thearn4 1 day ago 0 replies      
In no specific order:

My brother my brother and me

Hardcore history

Science friday

Software engineering daily

Data skeptic

Linear digressions

Math mutation

Omega tau

I've listened to a ton more, but I tend to get tired of some and move onto others. I used to love radiolab and this american life, but find them kind of annoying now.

altern8tif 1 day ago 0 replies      
Masters of Scale with Reid Hoffman (https://mastersofscale.com/)
nkzednan 11 hours ago 0 replies      
At the top of my list would be:

- Opening Arguments

- Invisibilia

- StartUp- 99% Invisible

- RadioLab

- RadioLab Presents: More Perfect

- Freakonomics Radio


- Hidden Brain

- Vox's The Weeds

- How I Built This

- Myths and Legends

MegaDeKay 1 day ago 0 replies      
I have a long drive to and from work during which I like to stop thinking about work. So...

- The Splendid Table: Because food is important.

- Retronauts: Retrogaming in all its glory.

pmurT 23 hours ago 0 replies      
You Bet Your Garden by Mike McGrath. Feels good to hear something completely unrelated to tech
imwally 1 day ago 0 replies      
_0ffh 1 day ago 0 replies      
For people who like to read genre fiction, I'd recommend The Geek's Guide to the Galaxy.
codycraven 1 day ago 0 replies      
My favorites:- Go Time- Coding Blocks- The Changelog- JavaScript Jabber
bjornlouser 1 day ago 0 replies      
pasbesoin 1 day ago 0 replies      
I can recommend:

The People's Pharmacy -- A pharmacologist and a medical anthropologist host an hour long show each week, usually on one medical topic (sometimes, a melange). Their guests are top notch experts, e.g. head of whatever cardiological at the Cleveland Clinic (one of the top cardiovascular centers in the U.S.). They also cover topics/changes sometimes years before they filter into "general knowledge" and reporting. Such as the problems with statins. Or, lately, how "Lyme Disease" is not always a simple diagnosis nor treatment and also the symptomology and sometimes diagnosis is really capturing a variety of infections by a variety of pathogens -- ticks carry many, and individual responses vary.

On the Media -- an hour long show each week. Much of it is "meta", about what is appearing in the media, and what isn't, and why. Helping listeners know and understand "why they are saying that" and "why aren't they talking about this other thing -- hey, there's this other thing!"

I've not been so attentive to it of late, but there's also WBEZ's "Worldview". Extended interviews with experts about world topics. You'll often get information and perspective you won't find anywhere in the mainstream media.

P.S. If you're on Android, the AntennaPod app is a nice, open source podcast app.

xref 20 hours ago 0 replies      
- hardcore history

- revolutions

- Hannibal and the Punic wars

- Arab spring: a history

- The Ancient World

- The history of Byzantium

smoyer 1 day ago 0 replies      
Mine is kind of an odd mix (most is strictly for entertainment:

- Criminal

- Eaten by a Grue

- Freakonomics Radio

- Geek's Guide to the Galaxy

- Liar City

- S-Town (just one season)

- Seeking Wisdom

- Serial

- Startup School

- Startups for the Rest of Us

- Tank Riot

- Techzilla

- The Dollop

- The Memory Palace

- The Truth

- Thimbleweed Park

- This American Life

- This Week in Tech

- ycombinator

AndrewOMartin 1 day ago 0 replies      
Hello to Jason Isaacs.
samirillian 1 day ago 0 replies      
- brain of Britain (halfway between Jeopardy and trivial pursuit)- econtalk: where else can you hear about someone who hypothesized that sweatshops were good and then proved himself wrong?- changelog- the Bernie Sanders show- on being- waking up with Sam Harris. Strongly disagree with Harris programmatically, but damn if he's not a good philosopher. "What is technology doing to us" is very good. But his islamophobic rants can be difficult to stomach.
wand3r 1 day ago 0 replies      
How I built this

Foundation (Kevin Rose's podcast)

nunez 1 day ago 0 replies      
At the moment, nothing. I'm in a "mostly music" kind of mood.
r00tbeer 1 day ago 0 replies      
Here's my playlist. First the good ones that are actively in my queue (in general order of recommendation):

- The Memory Palace: http://thememorypalace.us/ (these are stunningly good historical stories)

- On the Media: http://www.wnyc.org/shows/otm/

- Reply All: https://gimletmedia.com/reply-all/ (this is the one I expected to see on every list at hackernews, and don't)

- The Gist: http://www.slate.com/articles/podcasts/gist.html

- The Daily: https://www.nytimes.com/column/the-daily

- 99% Invisible: http://99percentinvisible.org/

- Economist Radio: https://radio.economist.com/

- New Yorker Radio Hour: http://www.wnyc.org/shows/tnyradiohour/

- Planet Money: http://www.npr.org/sections/money/ (not the juggernaut of content they once were)

- This American Life: https://www.thisamericanlife.org/

Shorter series (or just defunct or really rarely updated) that I can recommend to this crowd:

- Zachtronics Podcast: http://www.zachtronics.com/podcast/

- Revisionist History: http://revisionisthistory.com/ (should be starting a new season soon)

- Mystery Show: https://gimletmedia.com/mystery-show/

- A Life Well Wasted: http://alifewellwasted.com/ (great videogamey series)

- Containers: https://www.flexport.com/blog/alexis-madrigal-containers-pod...

- S-Town: https://stownpodcast.org/

Listening at 1.8x for most of these shows forces me to pay attention, and let's me consume more content. The exception is for The Memory Palace which deserves to be heard exactly as Nate makes it (1x).

JabavuAdams 1 day ago 1 reply      
None. I don't listen to podcasts. Not really sure why. I do watch talks etc. on YouTube.
miguelrochefort 1 day ago 0 replies      
Let's say I pick one of these recommendations. What happens next? Where do I start?

Should I listen to all episodes in chronological order? Should I only listen to new episodes? Should I cherry pick episodes based on their description?

breckenedge 1 day ago 0 replies      
The Bikeshed


World Cafe

Mountain Stage

Snap Judgement

miguelrochefort 1 day ago 1 reply      
I don't know about other people, but I'm constantly overwhelmed by podcast recommendation threads. People recommend podcasts that each have hundreds of episodes. I certainly won't listen to all of them just to catch up.

What I want is a list of must-listen episodes and short series. Does such a thing exist?

travmatt 1 day ago 1 reply      
Joe Rogan Experience

The Good Fight

Rational Security


Risky Business

Waking Up with Sam Harris

Conversations with Tyler


The Ezra Klein Show

The Weeds

The Tim Ferriss Show

Software Engineering Daily

Deep State Radio

monk_e_boy 1 day ago 0 replies      
Ask HN: What are the most used productivity tools in your tech job?
17 points by calpas  3 days ago   18 comments top 12
itamarst 3 days ago 0 replies      
Figuring out goals, identifying underlying problems, coming up with efficient solutions, focusing on the critical path...

A so-called "productivity tool" will save you 15 minutes a day. Asking questions and thinking will save you weeks of work.

More on productivity here: https://codewithoutrules.com/2016/08/25/the-01x-programmer/

tmaly 3 days ago 0 replies      
I have a Do Not Disturb button on my phone that allows the phone to ring once then it goes directly to voicemail.

That is probably my number one productivity tool.

The next most important tool is moving everyone to an established process where all requests/bugs/tasks have to come through a single channel. In this case, the channel is Jira for me. Before this, things could come from many different channels. Having things all in one place ensures things do not fall through the cracks. It gives you the ability to see a big picture view of what is going on.

For smaller teams, it might not make sense to use something big like Jira, but none the less, having a process in place really helps.

TurboHaskal 2 days ago 0 replies      
If you are asking for things that increase my productivity:

- Computing power of course.

- magit: I cannot imagine using git without it. This and org-mode are still the reasons why I use Emacs.

- IntelliJ: My younger, stupid self always felt proud of using spartan tools (spartan, as in "emacs is too bloated and the only thing I need are ed or mg and how dare you using a mouse"). Fortunately I grew up and abandoned all sort of tribalistic or elitist thoughts. IDEs are an invaluable tool and I feel sorry for the suckers that are still trapped on the "programmers that use IDEs are inherently stupid" narrative.

- TOAD SQL & Winmerge: I don't work with Windows anymore but miss these two daily. Let me know if you know of tools that are similar for macOS / Linux.

- cwm: I rarely use it anymore as I don't boot my OpenBSD box as much as I'd like but it has this thing where you press M-/ (I think?) so you can query windows by name. It's really useful. So are groups.

- Ctrl-up & Ctrl-down in macOS. Win+tab in Windows.

- Windowmaker's Dockapps. I miss those.

- ACME: You don't know what you're talking about when you say "UNIX as IDE" if you haven't tried this.

- vi keybindings.

- A internal wiki: 1/4 of my time is spent writing or reading it.

kusmi 2 days ago 0 replies      
Five years into emacs and I'm only now getting into org-mode. I have about 6k lines of bash code which tangles into a series of startup scripts I use to bring a fresh boot system into production (that includes everything from db config, to raid setup). There is a block of code on top that holds all the configuration details which instructs which blocks to tangle, and to which destination. And since it's org mode, all the code is annotated and exports to HTML and PDF format documentation. The best part, in my project folder where I used to keep these things, now sits one org file.
roryisok 3 days ago 1 reply      
Visual Studio 2015, Vscode, git, SQL Management Studio, Remote Desktop and Vivaldi
yen223 3 days ago 1 reply      
Regex, because most of our work involves manipulating text.
bsvalley 3 days ago 1 reply      
Our coffee machine
wikiwatchme 2 days ago 0 replies      
Sublime Text, iTerm2, DBeaver, MacDown, TaskWarrior
ameister14 3 days ago 0 replies      
Basecamp and Slack are probably the most used.
richardknop 3 days ago 0 replies      
Command line, git, github, atom, chrome console.
parvatzar 3 days ago 1 reply      
Winmerge , notepad++, JIRA,ServiceNow
mod 1 day ago 0 replies      
tmux, vim
       cached 12 June 2017 04:05:01 GMT