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Ask HN: What are the most popular libraries with the crappiest documentation?
35 points by shivam_mani  2 hours ago   42 comments top 22
sudo_bangbang 0 minutes ago 0 replies      
Jasminehttps://jasmine.github.io/2.0/introduction.htmlDocumentation could be structured in a much better way making it the things you need easier to find.I always end up searching the whole page
anotheryou 1 hour ago 1 reply      
Android when you go one level deeper than the most high-level api. It's easy to record a file with AudioRecord(), but getting the audio stream to handle some analysis yourself is way harder. I'm not the best android programmer and had to read the C code underneath to get to the stuff below the "MediaRecorder".

Oh and Android design standards and best practices... Nobody tells you which stuff is outdated and that you need to use compatibility stuff by default to keep things working on more devices etc... Also no technical description on how to implement Material Design at all and some quirky problems are really common (e.g. negative margin on a button, easy in html/css, but impossible that way in Android).

edit: my new favourite android fuck-up though is having the icons for horizontal and vertical layouts swapped: http://i.imgur.com/xJ1ODI3.png"vertical" = child elements are underneath each other.

guidovranken 1 hour ago 2 replies      
OpenSSL is rather inscrutable. They've actually been doing great work on the code and I'd say it's pretty secure now. But the documentation is still a mess. I recently had to resort to inferring the correct way to do something with OpenSSL by looking at how OpenSSL itself deals with that particular task + extensive testing, because documentation on certain operations appeared to be absent. No bueno.
GlennS 45 minutes ago 1 reply      

They've clearly gone to quite some effort to document it thoroughly. Yet whenever I have to read any of it my brain rebels and my eyes just slide off.

I think it may be a case of just too much jargon.

It's probably also because Maven problems are not the fun kind of problems, but rather the irritating kind. Whenever I'm trying to figure out how to make it do something it's because Maven has gotten in the way of the thing I actually want to be doing.

probably_wrong 1 hour ago 0 replies      
The TensorFlow tutorials are terrible for a library this popular. Two specific instances that bit me this week:

* The RNN tutorial is just a code dump, with barely any comments. And since it implements some state-of-the-art network, it has several optimizations that are guaranteed to drive a beginner crazy.

* Their seq2seq tutorial doesn't run anymore due to API changes. Their official reply (for months now) is "we are writing a new tutorial, so wait until we are done".

I fought (and lost) for switching libraries based on how bad the tutorials are, which is literally the opposite of what you'd want a tutorial to achieve. You can't get worse than that.

hprotagonist 8 minutes ago 1 reply      
OpenCV, particularly the python bindings. Return values are not specified or only alluded to, a complete function listing is normally absent. You kind of have to piece it together from the (Only slightly better) c++ docs and the awfully written "tutorials".
Fannon 1 hour ago 2 replies      
Maybe it's just me, but I never got around liking the jQuery documentation. Its not bad - but visually too heavy, not easy to navigate and the example code is often not very consistent. Counterexample: The lodash documentation.

Sidenote: A very nice project that aggregates many API documentations and puts them into a coherent style and nice UX is http://devdocs.io/

willvarfar 28 minutes ago 1 reply      
This is not quite in the spirit of the question, but I want to vent anyway ;): I was working in LLVM a few months ago and it suffered from the most curiously amateur illegibility problem: every morning (which is the middle of the night in the US), the documentation was deleted and regenerated, which took several hours and meant that during my work day the docs were offline! Had they not thought to generate the docs in a new folder and swap a symlink when done? :)

I'm sure the docs were great, but I didn't get much chance to peruse them :)

baby 14 minutes ago 0 replies      
I remember having enormous difficulties developing an audio app with HTML5. I don't know if they made more progress but almost nothing was documented.
di4na 1 hour ago 2 replies      
All the AWS stuff.
synthmeat 35 minutes ago 1 reply      

Magic methods with aliases sprinkled everywhere. Configuration parameters passed here or there, no one knows where. Initialization in a million ways, through using 3rd party frameworks (like express).

And for all that, there's few small pages of documentation, very badly formatted.

ikari_pl 1 hour ago 0 replies      
The contents of this comment might be very outdated, but still... I remember working with the Dojo and Dijit JS libraries around 8 years ago. They were really great, high quality code, very well structured and designed... Except the documentation wasn't always clear, the examples online were for the older versions of the libraries (not fully compatible), and my favorite and biggest pain even the examples on Dijit page often didn't work. The code didn't work when you used it and the interactive demos threw an error as well. So getting it right was a matter of trial and error.And still I think the libraries as they were, were great.
rsln-s 1 hour ago 0 replies      
A lot scientific libraries have virtually non-existent documentation (often just a bunch of html generated by Doxygen). NetworKit is one example, but it applies to way too many of them. Caffe is another example mentioned below
mamazaco 37 minutes ago 7 replies      
On the flip side, does anyone you examples of projects with perfect documentation?
lucb1e 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Visual Basic for Applications.
bitwize 26 minutes ago 0 replies      
Pick a JavaScript library. Odds are its documentation is going to be frustratingly inadequate. Some (e.g., Ramda) are quite nice. Many are crap.
moron4hire 36 minutes ago 1 reply      
WebRTC is very poorly documented, especially considering how well most of the other Web APIs are documented. There are lots of tutorials with example in the wild that are now outdated. The rare bit of up-to-date documentation only show the most basic usage. And nobody has any idea how to trap, handle, and recover from errors.

Samesies for every wireless communication protocol I've used. ZWave, Zigbee, Bluetooth. Anything written by electrical engineers tends to be completely inadequate for software.

I find Ember and Angular's documentation to be infuriating. Ember is so incomplete, and Angular is so infantile. React in comparison is so well documented, but then there isn't a lot to document.

rm_-rf_slash 43 minutes ago 0 replies      
OpenCV could definitely use some work. If Stack Overflow didn't exist I don't know how anyone could go from the OpenCV documention to a project without a steep uphill climb.
curiousgal 1 hour ago 0 replies      
douche 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Maybe not the most popular, but the Microsoft UCWA documentation is atrocious. Really, anything surrounding Lync/Skype for Business - so much of it is undocumented, and what is documented is often incorrect.
nmca 1 hour ago 0 replies      
devnonymous 1 hour ago 0 replies      
The chances that you'd get responses to your question would be higher if you explained why you're asking the question.

Also, I doubt there are any popular libraries with ^crappy^ documentation. why even use such a strongly negative word?... Disagree that it is strongly negative? Well I think your question is crappy.

Ask HN: How to become ramen profitable
23 points by smithmayowa  15 hours ago   13 comments top 5
a3n 14 hours ago 2 replies      
Never been there, never done that, but it seems one of the things you could be doing is to put up the most interesting ideas you have on sites, just to gain the operational experience and to see what it takes to transfer an idea, any idea, into served bits.

Sidenote: as for "ramen profitable," for anyone in the situation where they're eating ramen or similar to survive, don't. Ramen's expensive and not great for you.

Buy dry black beans and vegetables. Soak the beans over night (rinse a few times during the process), then boil the beans the next day as you cut up carrots, peppers and onions. Saute the peppers, onions, garlic and similar, wash and cut up the carrots, saute with the rest just to have some place to put them. Other vegetables too if you like.

Pre-heat the oven to 300 F.

Rinse the beans once more, dump everything in a big oven pot (which you bought with the money you saved from not eating ramen and going under-nourished). Add about two cups of water, half cup of wine that can be drunk, or quarter cup of apple cider vinegar if you don't have wine. Or neither. Whatever spices you have.

Cook in oven about 3 to 4 hours. This will feed you for days. 16 oz black beans costs $1 here; the above bean stew costs in total $5 US or less. And there's actual nutrition in there, as opposed to ramen.

mattbgates 14 hours ago 0 replies      
Sounds like what most of us want. I would like to be at the point where if my job laid me off... I can still pay my mortgage and bills and not have to worry.

I would love to develop that saas web app that many people use and it is enough for me that I could even quit my day job. And sure enough, I'm working on it too.

The solution is this: Find a common problem people have. Solve it. Charge for it. Market it. Sell it. Prosper.

If the solution already exists and someone is charging for it, than find a way to make it better (and possibly cheaper though this is not always necessary).

How I usually do this is: I have a problem. I want to solve it. If I have a problem, it is more than likely that others have the same problem too. It is almost unlikely that NO ONE but me has that same problem.

For example, I wanted a place where I could easily create a web page on the Internet, set my own URL, change the way the page looks, and share it with others. The result was a free web app I developed called MyPost ( https://mypost.io ). I shared it on here and on Twitter a few times... and now the world is using it daily. I've seen it being used in places as far as Russia and the Philippines. I had gotten the idea from another web app that .. was basically lacking a lot of what I wanted to do. So I created my own.

As far as doing your own research... sign up for a website like: http://oppsdaily.com/

Don't tackle every problem, but seek to get in touch or turn it into your own. OR just use to get ideas about problems people have.

You can also navigate to websites like ProductHunt and get ideas... sure, products already exist, but there is nothing wrong with re-creating them, making them better, etc. After all.. not everyone drives a Chevy. There is Ford, Toyota, Audi, Acura, etc. Not everyone uses T-Mobile. There is Sprint, Verizon, AT&T, etc.

It is illegal to copy a product outright where it looks EXACTLY the same. It is not illegal to make a clone of another web app. Good luck. Always be working on something.. you'll get to where you want to be eventually.

timfrietas 13 hours ago 0 replies      
Getting a job is out of it as there are no much tech opportunities where I live, and I have pretty much lucked out severally on the freelancing side of things.

Remote work is still popular and if you freelanced enough, don't you have some good references or success stories to tell?

I'm sorry i cannot answer your core question, but I would not discount the ability to continue working as a freelancer until you figure out what the right answer is.

owebmaster 13 hours ago 0 replies      
Local news / content with ads. Easy day-by-day work, big rewards in the long term.
salesguy222 11 hours ago 1 reply      
Daytrading with some strategy can make you about $200 a month, on a risk of $2,000 in capital.

That's ramen profitable in Chiang Mai, Belgrade, Albania... USA if you live in a car.

What are new applications that can be built on ethereum Bitcoin and blockchains
57 points by noloblo  9 hours ago   46 comments top 15
RexetBlell 7 hours ago 2 replies      
I think it makes a lot of sense to build a DNS system using contacts. Names can be auctioned off and given automatically to the highest bidder. It is also possible to set up a contract where you could trustlessly sell names. "Send $200 to an address and you will get the name". There is an auction like this in progress already, and you can participate now if you like http://ens.domains

You could do even more interesting things trustlessly. For example say, you own a valuable domain. You could borrow money and use the domain as collateral. If you do pay back, or stop making monthly payments the domain is automatically and trustlessly transferred to the lender. Or it can be put up for a trustless public auction with the proceeds going to lender to repay the loan and the rest to you, the ex-owner of the domain who failed to pay back his loan.

yithump 6 hours ago 1 reply      
Democratic Autonomous Organizations -- which are corporations whose law is created not by human organizations; the law for ricardian contracts is instead defined by a relationship between trustless consensus and formally verifiable logic.

See the og tao here: http://chriseth.github.io/browser-solidity/?gist=192371538cf...

and read about the $50 million tao debacle on wiki:https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_DAO_(organization)

more about ricardian contracts on ethereum here: http://iang.org/papers/intersection_ricardian_smart.html

strictnein 6 hours ago 0 replies      
Distributed ledgers [0], if you're a Fortune 500 [1] [2]

[0] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Distributed_ledger

[1] http://news.sap.com/sapphire-now-sap-cloud-platform-blockcha...

[2] http://www-935.ibm.com/industries/retail/supply-chain/

The Linux Foundation's related project:


Turn your brain's marketing parser on before attempting to read any of this stuff.

afeezaziz 5 hours ago 1 reply      
We are working on electricity trade using blockchain, enabling renewable energy generator to trade with neighbours in local grid.
elhalyn 6 hours ago 1 reply      
Get rid of ticket scalping.

If tickets get passed on from the buyer you pay a extra fee ( which increases with each hop ).On ticket return, a pool will be created where you can bid on -> sold tickets above the original price are going to be splitpaid to the venue and the artist / ...

ashnyc 7 hours ago 1 reply      
How about a simple clock in clock out system for payroll. here is a directory of dapps https://dapps.ethercasts.com/
laktek 7 hours ago 1 reply      
Some obvious ones:

- Cloud commodity (storage, computing - think of decentralized AWS)

- Identity & reputation systems (think of global credit rating & KYC)

- One to one services cutting the middleman (consultation, tutoring, renting)

- Autonomous agents self negotiating contracts (common example is your car paying for its parking)

DarrenMills 8 hours ago 1 reply      
Check out the top coins here: https://coinmarketcap.com

From there you can click on any coin and get a link back to each project's website. Exploring those should cover a good chunk of the use-cases that are popular right now.

That's a good start.

Thobr 3 hours ago 0 replies      
You can multisignature contracts with advanced options for payment or you can gamble on predictions on future for example, both in trustless and decentralized way
fratlas 8 hours ago 0 replies      
Google golem dapps, very interesting use case.
endgame 8 hours ago 1 reply      
Spelling and grammar checkers.
bluebluetimes 6 hours ago 1 reply      
Trust less Decentralized exchange

Open alternative to Uber, lyft and Airbnb

daxfohl 6 hours ago 0 replies      
far more accurate click trackers
pazimzadeh 5 hours ago 1 reply      
Ask HN: My company has been acquired and I'm kicked out. What should I do now?
258 points by throwaway487  2 days ago   189 comments top 110
atemerev 2 days ago 9 replies      
Well, my latest startup failure left me with around $50k personal debt, some legal pursuits, expired residence visa in the country I lived in, and a 3 months old baby daughter to care and provide for. And right, no job and no upcoming interviews.

I am sorry for a probably uninvited comparison I am not implying that my situation is harder, and I know that burnout is a serious shit. It takes months to recover.

Some things to consider:

1) Even if you feel like a failure, you are not. You are a success. Our feelings are not a reliable indicator of personal value, especially after burning out.

2) Try to do something where you can feel small improvements every few days, with enough runway before productivity plateau. Running, meditation, skateboarding, playing guitar, rock climbing whatever looks the most interesting to you, and looks easy enough (it's important). Regularly feeling improvements in any activity is the best therapy I know.

jacquesm 2 days ago 0 replies      
Hey there throwaway,

First of all, this is really not all that bad: you got paid, and you have a years worth of $ in the bank.

Good. Now, the first thing to do is to make sure that you get into a mode where you extend your runway, turn that 12 months into 13 months and so on. Doing nothing for 3 months is enough to recharge your batteries a little bit.

Figure out what your monthly expenses are and then try to find something - anything, really - that pays you just a bit more than that so that you can remain floating while you work out what to do next.

Please do not consider yourself a failure in any way, I've run the same company for almost two decades before getting back a little over what I put in initially. I don't consider that a failure either (maybe I should ;) ), and you managed to do this in a substantially shorter time.

Sooner or later a new real opportunity will come by: use all the lessons you learned and your new perspective on life to make the call on what is worth your time and if and when that happens you can roll the dice once more. But don't get seduced by risking that head-start that you now have over most other people on something with a low chance of success.

Then you might end up losing all the time you put in.

If you're like me - and I really hope you are not - and you're continuously tempted to spend your money in unwise ways then I suggest you buy some real estate in a place where the market is reasonably fluid or, if you already own a house, to simply dump it (or at least a sizable fraction of it) in your mortgage. That way it will last long, will have an immediate ROI (if it is your own house) and you avoid the temptation to spend it piecemeal until there is nothing left.

Best of luck!

existencebox 2 days ago 1 reply      

I'm about your same age. I have a carreer which, arrogantly, everyone I know considers "pretty damn good"

I've shipped a fraction of what you have in terms of end to end solutions, let alone piloting the ship as a founder would have to. I've learned skill sets deep in narrow areas, but this has left me wanting for broad exposure and heterogenous understanding.

Your experiences and _successes_ (you SHIPPED, even if it failed after N years, and that's not even including a fucking _sale_; how many engineers get even close to that far?) give you skill sets that I couldn't easily replicate from my entire peer network. Do not sell yourself short. Even if you HAD failed, and spectacularly (and both times!) that's still a remarkable amount of firsthand experience that, outside of any pathological decisions on your part I don't know about, may not say anything negative at all about your choices and decisions. (and even if it did, experience is experience, you make mistakes and learn from them, and are so much more valuable after. Did you see the HN lashback to the eng. getting punished for deleting prod? and that's a pretty damn overt failure.)

I can ramble on as the above well demonstrates, largely because I have a deep wellspring of reasons why you're being silly. Please don't take this to be a statement meant in insult, I'm sitting here amazed at your accomplishments as I'm reading, get to your conclusion, and go "wait what why huge failure no stop that".

Actionably, maybe go work for a bigCo/midstage/something more grounded for a few years. Keep yourself stable and sane, see what exists in the world and what other people have done. I hope it will help you see the perspective I have, which paints your accomplishments in a very favorable light. (more importantly, don't take my advice literally, I'm saying broadly, do something to keep yourself afloat, employable, and to give yourself time to unwind and just _do shit_ as you want. Some amount of stability and freedom has done volumes in my own life for regaining mental strength in periods of conflict.) And do this in the knowledge and confidence that this engineer would consider himself lucky to work with and learn from someone who has "failed" as much as you have :)

andreshb 2 days ago 1 reply      
You made money to live for a year, that's great!

Things you can do for 6-9 months (save at least 3 months as emergency fund) before you decide your next step and could possibly lead to either a new startup or new job:

- Entrepreneur in Residence or Mentor to an accelerator (not sure where you are)

- Mentor or Advisor to local seed stage startups

- Advisor to local angel group or fund to help in technical due diligence and general advise

- All of the above but in different countries (Happy to help in Latin America)

Your experience can help founders tremendously, as a former serial entrepreneur and an investor now I find that my experience in what NOT to do is very valuable to founders. In the process you might find a company you can join or your next idea, or perhaps find the investment side of things interesting and start a career there.

Here are some options that your experience brings:

- VP of Product / Product Manager at post-A companies: A PM is like a running a mini company, they need to know marketing, engineering, product and a bit of finance to make a product team work well.

- Founder Again: You have more money left than what most founders start out with, as an investor I like backing founders with failures in the past.

- Venture Partner / EIR: Depending on where you are there's usually funds / accelerators that can use people with technical background and startup experience to help portfolio companies and perhaps even bring some additional dealflow.

markbnj 2 days ago 0 replies      
I went through something quite similar twenty years ago. I had co-founded a software company starting in the back-end programming role and evolving into "President" and later "CTO" after we were funded. I put those in quotes because I had no clue at all what I was doing. A few years down the road we sold out for a bit under the preferences and I was out of a job. The past few years had not really qualified me to be anything other than an entrepreneur. My engineering skills had grown rusty. There was no way I would pass a development interview.

After about nine months I was hired as a senior VP in a mid-sized public corp and spent almost a year there. I hated it. I came out of that place determined to get back to doing the sort of software engineering work I knew I was suited for and could make a decent living at. I sharpened my skills. I wrote some side projects. I focused on small startups and consultancies, and over a period of about five years rebuilt myself a career doing what I love. I probably won't ever do another startup at this point, but I consider myself fortunate to have found my niche.

koliber 2 days ago 0 replies      

What a ride you've been on!

I read your post and two things jumped out that I would like to address.

#1: You are exhausted

Rightly so! Building a company, keeping it alive, and selling it is exhausting in the best of circumstances. You do need a break. But please, don't do "nothing". Don't go back to work. Don't start another company just yet. But don't sit on a couch with a beer in your hand either.

Travel, exercise, pick up a new sport or hobby, perhaps learn how to play chess well. Keep your mind and body occupied in a productive and positive way. The exhaustion and built up tension will go away.

#2: You're not good at anything and feel like a failure

How wrong you are! You are not a failure. You have super-valuable skills, but just don't know how to name them and sell them.

You attempted two experiments that did not pan out. You provided jobs for people. You even managed to have a small albeit fruitful exit in your second venture. Wow!

Sorry to hear it did not pan out the way you've hoped. That happens more often than not.

Your skills: management & leadership, plus whatever hard skills you have.

Your future:

If you are feeling restless and want a job now, look for positions in companies that match your skills. Middle management in big firms. Upper management in small firms. Something that fits with your area of expertise and something you enjoy doing. It may be sales, marketing, or tech. Your experience in leadership and management that you acquired while running your firms, coupled with any amount of hard skills is a very marketable skill.

On the other hand, if you have already founded two companies, my crystal ball tells me you will go on to start a third. Don't do it now to fill a void. Do it when your gut tells you its time and your mind proposes a viable idea. This may be after six months of learning judo, or after a two year stint at a big corporation. Entrepreneurship is a trait, and it seems you have it in you.

Best of luck!

chatmasta 2 days ago 1 reply      
- Take a break

- Experiment with new technologies

You're burned out right now so you're not seeing the big picture. Or rather, you think you're seeing the big picture, which is that you're fucked. But you're really not. You're in a great place and I'm sure your next company will be a success.

Take some time off to reorient yourself, then when you come back to the computer, don't work on anything specific. Just chill and play with new technologies. One day you'll have an epiphany, see an obvious market void, and then your motivation to build a product will come roaring back.

Whatever you do, don't get a job... cmon man that sounds entirely out of line with everything you told us about yourself. That would be a huge waste. Keep plugging away. You'll have success soon.

eldavido 2 days ago 2 replies      
If you're used to working at startup speed, just take a job. It'll seem easy, people will work way fewer hours, and at lower intensity, than you're used to, and you'll catch up to them skill-wise in a few years. Don't beat yourself up too much.

Source: was in same position 5 years ago. Email in sig if you want to grab a drink.

harel 2 days ago 0 replies      
You founded 2 startups. You're already 2 steps ahead of those who founded zero. You have knowledge of the full life cycle of a company. You allegedly failed but failure (like success) is subjective and you did gain knowledge you would not have had you "succeeded". Again that puts you a few steps ahead of others. You can go at it again - do another venture. Or you can join someone else's idea (which you believe in) and do it together. You can consult other startups with who are just starting out. You can take the time to perfect one of the skills you acquired. Hopefully in the area that you found most attractive and interesting. You are in a good position. You did not fail.
chegra 2 days ago 0 replies      
I was in a situation like this at some point. I wrote the following blog post from a now deleted blog:

"You only need one

Flash back to early 2008, it was the end of my first interview after deciding to move on from my first start up, www.virtualstocktrading.com. I was fairly demoralized from what I had perceived as the failure of my first start-up(looking back I was actually ramen noodles profitable-- I wasnt aware of the terminology at the time) so much so that I express my disappointment in how it turned out in the interview. The interviewer said to me You only need one to succeed, and a smile crept across my face at a time when smiles rarely came naturally.

I smiled because this is exactly something I would have said if it wasnt my start-up, and the statement is true. That statement is why I'm here trying again at my third attempt at creating a start-up, timeline-x.com [The second was pock.it, shout out to Odi, Tom and Mike]. My hope is one of these start-ups will shoot the moon.

The statement provided some much needed perspective; that in fact, I hadn't fail, only made my first try. I mentally glance over stuff I had learnt, the code base I had built and the contacts I had made. No VirtualStockTrading.com wasn't a failure it was a setup for the rest start-ups to come[Used some of my code in pock.it].

Hope if these words meet you in despair, they would do the same for you as it did me: You only need one!"

tompetry 2 days ago 0 replies      
I am beginning year 4 as a co-founder of a startup. I know how tough it can be, and how it can feel when you don't accomplish what you set out to.

People seem to be keep saying that you shouldn't get down on yourself. While true in the long term, it's perfectly normal to feel down sometimes. You've been through a lot. It's OK to feel fear and anxiety, and even question yourself at times. So long as you realize that it's temporary. Because you will bounce back. The fear and anxiety make it so, because it motives us. You are tough and determined, or you wouldn't have lasted anywhere close to this point. Respect!

Another thing to consider is.. what is your end goal? Is it to constantly be challenged? Is it loving to start from scratch and build something with a small team? If so, take a break, and try again. You aren't even 30. If your end goal is a slower pace and more financial stability, because you think long term that is what you will want, take a role at an established company. Your experience and determination as an entrepreneur will be sought after. And you can always do side projects.

Lastly, keep in mind why you took the risks in the first place. If you didn't try, you wouldn't have been happy. It's ok to feel what you feel. Take some time to rest and re-charge. You'll be back :)

habosa 2 days ago 1 reply      
I can't give you any career advice, but given that you have a little money in the bank I'll tell you what I'd do: take a vacation.

There are so few times in the average career where there's any opportunity to take a long (months) break from work. Most people in our industry jump from job to job with maybe a week or two in between.

Go somewhere youve never been and hang out. Maybe the next move will become obvious to you with that kind of space.

adreamingsoul 2 days ago 0 replies      
Burnout and depression, are tough. I'm currently going through both and find myself asking similar questions.

As far as what to do with life "now", that is the greatest problem that you will spend a lifetime trying to solve.

while (life = true) { echo "what now?" }

## My Own Advice ##For me, getting back to basics is my current pursuit (currently only a dream). I think our generation is generally accepting of the idea to live sustainable and detached from the economic machine.

It's ok to not know what the next steps are, take that as a sign that you need to slow down, reflect, and heal.

You are more experienced than you give credit for, but it's tough to see the entire picture when you are looking through a magnifying glass.

Find a mentor, counselor, or therapist to talk with. Heck, even a friend who has been through something like this would be good for you. Basically, get those thoughts out in the open so that you can hear yourself talk. Just by talking you will validate how you feel, what you think, and ultimately take steps towards feeling better.

Meditation helps. Recently I've developed for the first time in my life anxiety attacks that leave me with chest wall pain. I attribute this to recent events in my family, work, and trying to meet society's expectations. But, I have found that meditation has helped me bring some peace to my life. Gardening, sitting by a fire, playing with my dog, woodworking, listening to music, these are just a few of many things you can do find peace in your mind.

Too bad we couldn't grab lunch or coffee. I would enjoy hearing your story.

xiaoma 2 days ago 0 replies      
I had a somewhat similar situation at a similar age though the industry and specifics were different. I moved to Yunnan province in China, taught myself to draw with a pencil and paper. Then bought a Wacom Bamboo tablet and a copy of Adobe Flash and started learning how to make digital art and web games. After that, I moved to California learned how to code at a professional level and worked at some tech companies in the bay area.

I don't think that it's been a net financial win (yet), but I really think it was worth it to experience other parts of life that I'd been ignoring when I had my nose to the grindstone and had tunnel-vision induced by that business. If anything, it would have been better to branched out sooner!

If you truly feel like a failure, try moving abroad for a few months. Meet and talk with people you never would have in your own country. See how they see life. Listen to their stories and their goals. You might be surprised to find that you're not the failure you thought. You might also discover opportunities to take advantage of your skills that you had never considered before.

blrgeek 2 days ago 0 replies      
Was in a very similar position a few years ago after two startups and 7years with zero returns.

More actionably, dev+fin+products = pm in a fintech company or bank. Or fin+products = evangelist for fintech api startupOr dev+fin = dev at fintech Or dev+prod = product manager anywhere.Or fin+startup = coo for an ops heavy startup at series b+Check out pmarca archive on careers for support.

I spent my next 4 yrs at two of the big 4 sw companies as a product manager. Best choice ever, huge pay, lots of resources. got lots of shit done at a much faster pace than they are used to. Not stressful compared to startup life. Helped me get a new network, new perspectives, new resources.

Four years to the month, I quit, and now doing a startup again ,and this time it's going much better so far :)

So it ain't the end of the world, just a blip on your journey to eventually building something big.

Will it be your third or fourth or seventh startup that makes it big? Who knows?

The key is to survive that long and make each startup better and you sound like the kind of person who will.

May the force be with you!

rhubarbquid 2 days ago 0 replies      
You've probably built up a decent skillset that would be valuable to a growing startup, if you're interested in working for someone else for a change. Don't be discouraged that you're not an "expert" in any one field... being able to wear a lot of hats is a good thing for startups and small companies. If, for example, you joined a company as an engineer, your experience in other areas like product design will help you work with and understand the product designers there.

Joining a larger company than the one's you've founded might help round out your skills, too.

Most tech startups fail... yours failing doesn't make you a failure. Your other option is to take what you've learned along the way and try again. I've you've previously founded solo, it may be worth thinking about trying again with a partner or two, if there are some candidates to do that with that you've met along the way. They can help with skills and experience you don't have, and can help keep you motivated when you're feeling down.

csoare 2 days ago 0 replies      
You should apply for jobs at startups -- get in touch with your fellow founders. You have a unique skill-set & mindset which I'm pretty sure will be valued by the right company & team.

As you've noted, doing nothing will only make the bad feelings get worse - it's best to start getting in touch and talking with people, it's the best way to decompress IMO.

AnimalMuppet 2 days ago 0 replies      
Take time to mourn. If you haven't been doing that in the last three months, do it now.

Take time to rest. If you haven't been doing that in the last three months, (try to) do it now. This means stopping worrying about your future for a bit. Give yourself a month to have fun and be lazy, without feeling guilty about it. (That is, try to do so. If you find that you can't, well, you can't.)

And then it's time to figure out the next step.

By the way, something like 90% of startups fail. You had two out of two startups fail. This shouldn't surprise you. It's the most likely outcome.

tluyben2 2 days ago 1 reply      
To get over a similar experience, I moved from a city in an expensive country to a village in a cheap country. The money I got would last me many more years than it would have otherwise, so I had time to relax, get over things and order my thoughts. Worked well for me.
paulsutter 2 days ago 1 reply      
You've learned a ton, don't get down on yourself. You've learned more than you realize. Email me if you want to brainstorm new company ideas.

It's difficult to fit into a regular job after being a founder. Go ahead and do it, if that feels right to you. But I'm guessing that's not the case.

audiometry 2 days ago 0 replies      
Step away from all the rational arguments about whether your company's results were/were-not successful.

There is a possibility that the real problem is that you are suffering from serious anxiety or depression. When you are in that state, it is impossible to objectively analyze your situation. It is also impossible to reason your way into calculating the best next step.

Solutions run the gamut from learning mindfulness to seeing a psychiatrist.

In my experience, once those tools give you clarity, you free yourself from the immense amounts of unhelpful internal dialogue your own mind can generate. THEN you are in a much better place to assess your situation and make appropriate decisions.

As an arm-chair amateur counselor, the way to write and talk about yourself makes me suspect you've slid way down the 'depression funnel.' Getting out of that requires deliberate and determined work on your part. The other life stuff (job, etc) must be put to the side for a while. Get yourself sorted, then you'll be able to handle the life stuff.

(I say all this from experience, having suffered regular bouts of depression and anxiety for a long time (much of that time, unfortunately, was un-diagnosed!))

kfrzcode 2 days ago 0 replies      
Failing has been replaced with learning in my lexicon.

Every day you're alive, present, and able to love is a success. Take your win and look around you. You have more wealth than than 99.50% of the world's population if you can make $40k USD a year and have no debt.

Take a trip to nature. Computers have taken over too many of our lives, and it's worth putting away the screen for an extended amount of time to listen to the planet.

philprx 2 days ago 0 replies      
1. Use a bit of time to get out of burn out, but not too much. That is, really get out, like 7 to 10 days hiking and camping or so. But not 3 more month out.

2. Post consulting position, like creating your own consulting web site and some posts to advertise it, to start generating interest, and when in contact just measure each opportunity and see if you should come back from your camping holidays or defer 10 days and jump on it when you're back. See this as paid market discovery. Choose the field of consulting you LOVE and would like to become proficient in, don't offer something you already know and don't like.

3. Meet friends, trusted people, and discuss ideas, a bit on your situation but don't dwell on it, you could sound more depressed than really needed. See if some of these people show interest in what motivates you.

4. Don't hesitate to do one hour to one day projects that go nowhere except testing new technology or concepts. You might discover something great.

5. Get out to exercise a bit daily: walking in nature is excellent. Freshens the mind, replenish your energy tank.

rhizome 2 days ago 1 reply      
You're taking a highly dramatic read on your situation, I'd say overly so. Even though you may have been "kicked out," you still got paid, and you apparently had enough skills to get to that point.

Start applying for a bunch of jobs and see what positions feel most comfortable. Also consider psychotherapy to deal with what looks like ruminations and generally poor self-esteem.

GFischer 15 hours ago 0 replies      
Have you thought about getting some counseling or therapy? CBT Therapists are pretty good at working on the kind of mental exhaustion and feelings you mention. There probably are some wherever you are. My S.O. felt she was a failure and therapy helped her immensely.

They do suggest a lot of things that are being mentioned here :) (like atemerev's 2nd suggestion)

ericd 2 days ago 0 replies      
Given your experience as a founder, you could probably be a good COO at a small but growing startup, taking some of the load off of the CEO. First, I'd let yourself decompress for a bit, though, and give yourself permission to really do whatever you feel like doing for a couple months, without thinking too much about the future.
powera 2 days ago 0 replies      
First: ignore the people who say this is a successful start up. By your account it wasn't.

If your company had enough publicity, you might want to say it was a success publicly and join FaceGoogSoft. Otherwise, take another three months off (outside of SF/Silicon Valley) and look for options to try again.

annnnd 2 days ago 0 replies      
Actually, your experience sounds great! In general, it is much easier to find people with narrow interests. While it might seem to you that you are not employable, this is just an illusion - there are many developers, but few with experience "from development to product design to finance". This makes you a great fit for virtually any smaller company which doesn't have a separate person for each role - startups, new businesses,...

TL;DR: You didn't fail. You learned.

As for burnout - been there. If it's any consolation, it will go away once you find something new that will keep you motivated.

solresol 2 days ago 0 replies      
It's not easy finding a job after being a founder.

My experience is that years of {mediocre data scientist and AI}, {mediocre project manager}, {mediocre product manager}, {mediocre software developer}, {mediocre book-keeping and financial management experience} and {mediocre salesperson} doesn't line up very well with any job description that any company hires for. Sometimes product manager is the closest fit. I think in 6 months I've had two interviews in my own country, plus a few more overseas, none of which have led to anything. I've not quite -- but nearly -- given up searching.

In the meantime, I'm still finding I can pitch ideas to people about software that they could use in their business (or sell to other people) and hack together things quickly enough to keep some money ticking over. It's not ideal, because I'm spending more time doing sales than doing development.

It occasionally gets surreal, where I've been rejected for a role from a big corporate where I would be looking after a solution that I had sold and implemented for them -- but because I don't have big name employers on my resume, HR wouldn't put my name forward for it.

There are also freelancer networks where you can keep your skills (not just coding skills, but other business skills as well) ticking over while you figure out what's next.

It seems like most people can end up being happy in a lot of roles, it's mostly about the people you are spending time with. So a good place to start is to think about what sorts of organisations you want to be with, or who you want to be with rather than what you want to do.

A nice book which might help is "Book yourself Solid" by Michael Port. It's mostly about how to run a services & consulting business, but he has some early chapters going through exercises that make you think about what you want to do.

Perhaps the world needs a company who specialises in hiring ex-founders on the grounds that the market doesn't do a good job valuing them at the moment.

magacloud 2 days ago 0 replies      
I sympathise with you on the current situation. But, congratulations and Bravo for being an entrepreneur and very few people get an opportunity to make a difference and create jobs.

I'm just trying to give my perspective, I'm sure there are good days ahead and lets keep up the spirit.

Here in india, we refer our life as "Maya" - everything is imaginary. It is important to do our duty and the result is not in our hands!

As a parent of two, and founder of couple of ventures, I see entrepreneurship is a role that we play just like how we play our roles to parents and our kids. Also its a journey that we take and no destination.

All the best.

apinstein 2 days ago 0 replies      
I've been in similar situations myself a few times. Getting to "closure" with a project that didn't have anywhere close to the desired outcome can be a big let down.

While it's appropriate and even helpful to have some perspective (you are in a good financial position, you hopefully are in good health, you are still very young), your disappointment and pain is still real. You need to process the disappointment.

After I took the time to just do nothing, here are some of the things that helped me get excited about something new. I think it's important to shake up your routine - you cannot just wallow in past thinking. You have to tell yourself to turn the past experiences into wisdom you have forever instead of constantly thinking of them as proof of failure.

Travel. New places are exciting. Maybe do something 100% guided so you don't have to do any planning. This can help bootstrap things.

Do new things. I find it feels good to be early on the learning curve of something new. Lots of feedback of progress, and it's fun. New sport, new programming language, etc. Even if it's entirely purposeless.

Do you have any lists of ideas you want to pursue from the past? Or maybe go read lists of ideas for startups that others have posted.

Volunteer at local startup events, or offer your expertise for free to other founders. You would be surprised how meaningful your experiences will be for others. You are in a great position to help them.

Hopefully some of these things get you excited about the future.

Good luck!

bluetwo 2 days ago 0 replies      
My take is this:

- You learned you didn't have enough rounded knowledge to run a company. You probably recognize this.

- Don't forget that you now have a bunch of experience others don't have, in getting something off the ground, being in charge, and turning the reigns over to someone else at a profit.

- Maybe your next venture needs to be in a position where you'll get to learn to fill in the gaps of what you don't know and also get to leverage what you have learned. I would look for a partnership in an area outside your comfort zone where you don't have to know everything. Be a VP in a small growing company. Let someone else be #1 this time.

nathan_f77 2 days ago 1 reply      
If you have 1 year of living expenses, you could probably make that last 3-5 years in Thailand. I really enjoy living in Chiang Mai. My wife and I have just started a 1 year ED visa for hand to hand combat [1], and the first few lessons have been very good. The lessons are 2 hours, and it's twice a week. Start with a few 60 day tourist visas first, and you can extend those to 90 days. I've enjoyed exploring Southeast Asia over the last few years.

If you want to get unstuck and do something, then I would recommend picking up a new technology and building something fun. Maybe mobile development with React Native. Just get a few little things on the app stores and see where it leads you. I've just spent the last 3 or 4 months learning React Native while developing a little game, and this one idea has branched out into lots of different app ideas, even startup ideas and SaaS services. Diving in and building something (anything) is a great way to find new problems to solve. Living somewhere with a low cost of living gives you a lot of room to breathe and find your next ideas.

[1] https://hand2handcombat.com/

sonink 2 days ago 0 replies      
There is a lot of good advice here on perspective and going ahead one step at a time.

The only thing I would like to add to it is that you will feel better in due course even if you dont do anything much. Time will fix burnout by itself, and your pessimism will lift.

Try not being anxious about not wanting to do anything. Knowing that it will fix itself should help - maybe make this time enjoyable even. Let the world go by and have faith that your time will come.

klistwan 2 days ago 0 replies      
I recently went through a similar situation (decided to leave my startup after 4 years of growing it). I wrote about my decision on Medium (https://medium.com/@klistwan/why-im-quitting-my-4-year-old-s...), and took about 4 months off to travel and decompress. I spent quite a bit of it reading, reflecting, trying new things, etc. Feel free to send me an email or PM on twitter if you want to ask more questions! :-)
rickdale 2 days ago 0 replies      
In both of the companies I've founded, I had to wear too many hats. As a result, I have not excelled in any particular skill, rather I've gained medium level of experience in variety of skills from development to product design to finance.

You gotta be nicer to yourself. Honestly, in my mind its impressive having exceelled in all of those areas. And you found 2 startups and the second one was a success, although not in your eyes, which you gotta stop saying and start understanding or asking what success really is.

porlune 2 days ago 1 reply      
It may not make a difference hearing this - but you don't sound like a failure to me. You sound like you're tired and in need of more rest.

29 is young, you still have a lot of bounce left. Take the time you were planning to take to relax and actually relax.

Actively ignore these negative feelings, they do nothing to help you in the way you are experiencing them (in other words, try to see tragedy as opportunity).

I like to remember the simple advice: don't beat yourself up, there are plenty of other people that will do that for you. I also like to remember that "if you don't find time for rest and relaxation, then illness will find time for you." I think I heard that while playing Civ6.

Please also know you are not alone, I often feel like a huge failure too. Somethings I have done recently that have helped me improve my attitude: 1. I got off social media. 2. I started reading and writing fiction again. 3. I started going out more for just the purpose of leaving my programming cave.

I hope this finds you well.


mkephart33 1 day ago 0 replies      
No risk, no reward. Keep building and hustling. More importantly, never ever let anyone else make you feel bad about yourself for going after your goals. Those are simply the weak people who are jealous they didn't have the courage to do the same.

And yes, I've had to pick myself back up after similar circumstances. Some quick advice, start reading up on your favorite tech leaders or significant people throughout history, you'll find that none of them got it right the first few times, but, every single one of them kept pushing forward.

davidbanham 2 days ago 0 replies      
Hello! I've been in a very similar position. Both the lackluster acquisition and the failure.

I really feel it when you say you feel like you're the jack of all trades but master of none. I had the exact same anxiety about my skillset and it was really tough to figure out how I was employable.

The good news is your mix of skills are actually highly sought after. The ability to understand all facets of the business _including_ the hard technical stuff is actually fairly rare.

The work I do now sometimes looks like management consulting, sometimes looks like contract software development.

I help companies build out prototypes quickly. I help them transition their dev teams to new paradigms (microservices, etc). I help them review their codebases and see how they're stacking up against best practice. I advise nontechnical founders on how to hire technical staff and how to think about technical strategy in "CTO as a service" engagements.

There is demand out there for what you've got to offer. When you're ready, start networking again and focus on selling yourself. You'll find more buyers than you expect.

Baobei 2 days ago 0 replies      
I think travelling could be a good idea. Asia is very affordable for long stints. We have an open couch for other entrepreneurs and you are welcome here in HK for a couple weeks if you need. Well done asking for help. I think you would get even more if you used your account next time. People understand. Because we've been there. :)
rb808 2 days ago 0 replies      
Backpacking around SE Asia/Europe/South America sounds like a great choice. Live cheap, relax and forget your worries for a few months.
fecak 2 days ago 0 replies      
If your looking to talk this through live with someone and bounce ideas about career and such, I do coaching for lots of job seekers (also resume writing, bios, etc.) and have worked with a number of HN'ers over the past few years. Much of my coaching is just asking the right questions to help clients arrive at their own conclusions.

If interested, my contact info is in my profile.

Quarrelsome 2 days ago 0 replies      
Go contracting. I can tell you from personal experience of the same situation that going "code monkey" is so freaking chill after having to worry about everything in a startup. In the interview process stress your understanding of the whole life cycle as we always love to hire people that can see the big picture, that'll easily make up for any rust on your skills.

If you're not ready to jump back into work just yet then just pursue an interest for a while. If you have a three month old daughter then go baby groups but social interaction is really what we're looking for here as well as some associated interest.

OliverJones 2 days ago 0 replies      
It's happened to me. It sucks.

There's tons of good advice here. Most of it's about stuff you should DO. Yeah, DO some of that stuff.

Don't forget to BE for a while.

What does BEing look like? I don't know you so I can't guess what it looks like for you. For me it looked like hanging out at a good public library and a nearby coffee shop reading all kinds of pointless stuff.

Then it looked like working as a cook's helper at a local feeding program for people down on their luck.

Did I mention? it sucks to lose your company. It's no fun to acknowledge how bad it sucks and play the shoulda woulda coulda game with yourself. But it's OK to do those things.

akrymski 2 days ago 0 replies      
Begin by taking a vacation - you deserve it, and it'll clear your head.

When I've sold my first startup I specifically wanted to get out on day 1 so I can go ahead and start another. This isn't for everyone - you have to decide how much entrepreneurial itch you have, and how much cash you have to back you up (you can move somewhere cheaper). The good news is that it will be easier to raise money next time round, so if you start anything, it sounds like you want to raise asap to be able to pay yourself a salary. If you feel like the risk is too great for you - get a job as a PM in a growing startup.

vonnik 2 days ago 0 replies      
You've gained "medium level experience" in a few skill sets that are quite rare. When you combine them, you probably have something exceptional and unique. Think about the intersections of your rare skills, and how one shapes the way you think about the other. Just an idea!
roadman 2 days ago 0 replies      
It seems you could excel at one thing if you could choose between the three. Pick one up, get a medium job and then excel. You're no failure, don't worry about that. And yeah, maybe get some perspective working in another country? Not sure what you mean by mentally exhausted (differences between individuals I guess) but your three months inactivity should have reduced that stress. You can't be doing 'no thing' even though you don't work. Take it easy, learn some new stuff, quit habits increasing stress. That kind of things should help I guess.
chris__butters 2 days ago 0 replies      
Your options are massively open now and with the financial situation you're in you don't have to rush - learning an instrument is a great way to relax and give you focus too - I've played guitar for nearly 15 years and don't know where I'd be without it.

Just bear in mind that you can't escape this but can go for a role without the responsibilities or stress while most roles call for a specialisation in a certain area there are still roles where you can be a generalist.

Regroup, re-establish and reward yourself for what you've already done.

cj 2 days ago 1 reply      
Idea: Find super-early stage startups you're interested in to advise (can sometimes even lead to a job). I've failed at 2 companies, and doing well at my current. Even if you're not a wild success, a lot a startups appreciate even someone to talk to on a regular basis which can be rewarding on both ends. Although you'll be able to offer more than that (things that are extremely obvious to people who've been through 3 companies, whether successfully or not, have a lot of real-world experience and insight to offer).
bufordtwain 2 days ago 0 replies      
Think about your time at your previous two startups and try to identify the roles/work that you enjoyed the most. Try to find a new position where your day would be spent doing mostly that type of work. For example, if you really enjoyed hands-on development, then focus on finding a development job. Make sure you are clear in the interview what it is you want to be doing all day. Within reason, hold out for a position at a company that seems like a very good fit for you. At your next job, when they ask you to do things that you know you won't enjoy say "no" if possible.
eksurfus 2 days ago 0 replies      
I've run a bootstrapped startup that's seen a lot of iterations in the last nine years. We started in the midwest, then transitioned two years ago to the valley when we were accepted to an accelerator. I deeply understand the opportunities and pitfalls of wearing a lot of hats. Because we have been continuously profitable, however, its been an excellent, stable learning opportunity. If you are potentially interested in joining a small team and either exploring (a) a leadership role based on your experience or (b) owning, driving and gaining expertise in a particular business area to gain specialty, I'm interested to connect (email in profile).
zubat 2 days ago 0 replies      
Get yourself into a classroom again. It doesn't have to be an ambitious course. It's a familiar structure and you've been out of it long enough that it'll seem refreshing. While you do that go hit the gym if you aren't, yet. (Or if you want to do it on a budget, get a set of resistance bands.) Set lots of simple goals with structure and regularity. Journal your progress. This will get you back into the thick of things without the nasty obligations of the workplace - by the holidays you might have a good plan together.
d0m 2 days ago 0 replies      
2 quick things:

1- It's great that you've learned a wide range of skills.. this is extremely powerful (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/T-shaped_skills). If you're not sure what to do next, I'd look for the "vertical bar" and focus on that. Maybe it could be design or tech, whatever.

2- You invested a lot of time in learning how to build and run a startup.. very few people possess those skills, so maybe start a new project learning from what previously went wrong and see where that leads you.

mholmes680 1 day ago 0 replies      
Everyone else said the same thing as each other, so i'll try a different tact: For long term success, you need to figure out what YOU want. Whats your ideal, practical situation where you will be happy. Manager; Take a break, lay low for a few years more; start another company; get out of tech; start a family? Whats the IDEAL scenario for you. From there, you can develop a system instead of a goal.
tadruj 2 days ago 0 replies      
I suggest signing up for Recurse Center retreat in NYC and learning something new that excites you. Like crypto, AI, AR or VR.

They are not a school, they're a retreat where expert coders and beginners meet and work on self-directed cool stuff. Amazing community and brilliant founders. You only need to provide a place to stay for yourself.

I did that. It was a good.

Besides learning a new language which enabled me to launch my next start-up a month after Recurse Center program was done, I also met few amazing people and programmers that I consider good friends now.

kyu 2 days ago 0 replies      
Have you thought about doing some freelance work with other start ups? Maybe get a feel for different industries to see which one peaks your interest? Could be a great way to network and learn other industries!
wmil 1 day ago 0 replies      
Buy a copy of the book "Starting Strength" and hit the gym each morning. The early results will boost your self esteem and getting to the gym is an easy 'win' on days when you're struggling with your career.

Right now you're number one risk is falling into a melancholy funk. Strength training will help avoid that.

gerdesj 2 days ago 0 replies      
Take a glance down through the advice given so far, from "email me" to something involving firearms which sounds dangerous.

Now take a deep breath. For starters, you are not a failure - two companies before age 29 is pretty impressive.

You will probably never be happy as someone else's employee for long but that might be an idea for now - get the CV (resume) dusted down anyway.

For me, having two other partners has worked out rather well - two against one, as required. That does mean that you need two other people who you trust completely.

I suspect that you will do OK.

mahyarm 2 days ago 1 reply      
You have the skillset of a team lead or a manager. Possibly a director ;)
adderollen 2 days ago 0 replies      
I'm kind of in the same place as you are! However, I have less experience than you have. I've tried to take some time off, think through what I really want to do, and then try to get a job which takes me there. Thinking of joining a new early stage startup, but I think I need a break from the pre-seed chaos and join something that is rather post Series A at least.

Drink some beer, that is good for you!

leroy_masochist 2 days ago 0 replies      
Recommendations as follows:

1) Find a tolerable way to generate cash flow before you need it. Taking a few months off is probably a good idea, but taking 11 months off if you have a year's worth of savings will cause you stress down the road. I'd look at platforms like Toptal and Catalant, where you can find quality clients who pay well. And, many/most of the projects on those platforms are of the 15-20 hrs/week variety (ie that's the max they would want you to work), so you'd have time to figure out next moves.

2) Regardless of your level of physical fitness, get more physically fit. I'm not saying don't go to Costa Rica or Mykonos for a couple weeks and live a little...definitely do that (family obligations permitting). But generally speaking, anecdotal observation of MANY friends who have been through similar situations suggests that people tend to neglect physical fitness in these kinds of situations (especially if you were working out in a company facility). One advantage of having time off isn't just the volume of time itself, but the predictability of your free time. Now is your opportunity to get into (or further into) BJJ or Crossfit or yoga or whatever -- you will build a lot more camaraderie with the crew wherever you end up training if you go there consistently at the same time.

3) Somewhat related to exercise - find fun things to be disciplined about. Make a reading list and hold yourself to it. Devote an hour a day to learning a new language (computer or human). Not only will you learn more stuff but it's really helpful for your overall motivation levels to reset your orientation around "I have to do this thing at this time" to fun activities rather than drudgery.

4) Invest time in your relationship with your significant other/kids/dating life (as applicable). Most people -- whether it's your wife of 10 years or the guy you met at Starbucks yesterday -- appreciate a dinner cooked from $20 of groceries to a $200 dinner at a Michelin starred restaurant. If you have a significant other, they've probably dealt with numerous cases of "hey sorry I'm really stressed I just want to come home, smoke some pot, eat some takeout, watch Game of Thrones and pass out". If this was the norm for you with your previous job, time to break out of that pattern.

aargh_aargh 2 days ago 0 replies      
It seems like HN is trying to tell you something:


timwaagh 2 days ago 0 replies      
sounds like you did very well. i see so many people who are posting 'you don't sound like a failure to me'. i think saying something like that is basically an insult. im the same age you are and look how many companies i founded: lol. you have some money. you have a good amount of experience. so perhaps just start looking for a job as a PO or something higher up. VP, CIO, maybe. whatever is available. you sound like the person who is not satisfied with just doing dev work. and i completely agree, it is not really that great. mostly get something that pays well and has good career prospects. I'm pretty sure people will hire a guy who has your experience. i dont think a year's worth of money is enough to retire quite yet, so you will need a job eventually and i think the sooner the better because burning through savings is no fun. i'd invest the savings in something with a decent yield (stocks, property). having your capital as cash on a bank seems a bit of a waste.
tmaly 1 day ago 0 replies      
If you can, I suggest you take a little time to travel if it is possible for you. Go to some countries with very low costs if saving money is a concern.

Try some new foods, exercise, write a journal of everything you learned. Just try to decompress for a few weeks.

Then you can start fresh with some good energy and direction.

arunaugustine 2 days ago 0 replies      
Making a rough outline, _any_ outline of a series of steps over a period of time that you would take, to fix your biggest concern (source of income after one year) will take your sub-conscious problem-solver/worrier off the case. This will give you more presence of mind in the present moment. Which in-turn will help you to dig deep, really listen to your heart about the next journey in life you really want to undertake.

Perhaps, begin again.

syedkarim 11 hours ago 0 replies      
I'll hire you. Email is in my profile.
s73ver 2 days ago 0 replies      
If you haven't done so, spend a couple weeks on a beach (or something else relaxing). Second, you've got that breadth of knowledge, but now you want some depth. Pick something, even if that means you throw a dart at a wall, and try getting a job doing that. Not a startup job, but a regular, 9-5, normal company job. Odds are, that will let you kinda focus on something. If that doesn't work out, go back to the dartboard, and try again.
a3n 2 days ago 0 replies      
A: You started from zero and gained medium skills. If you do another one, maybe you'll start from medium and gain excellent.

Or, B: Nomad for awhile.

imron 2 days ago 0 replies      
Take a year off and go and study Chinese in China.

When you come back, you'll still have 6+ months runway and a completely different perspective on things.

moron4hire 2 days ago 0 replies      
Maybe a change of scenery would help? Or discovering new things in your current neighborhood. I've always found discovery to be the best way to get out of a funk. Sometimes, the hardest thing is just putting the shoes on and stepping out the door. But if you can get that done, just walk down the block to a corner you've never been to and see where it takes you.
madeel 1 day ago 0 replies      
Think the best you can be, in your eyes NOT the world. Life becomes simpler that way.

- Rent a place in a new neighbourhood- Go to gym- Take longer naps- Laugh without reason

plehoux 2 days ago 0 replies      
Experiment, create and take on fun/small projects just for the fun of it. You like music, experiment with music. You like games, code small demos/prototypes. You like science/data visualization, do that. Find the joy, don't be too serious.

In 2010 I barely knew how to code, was a bit depressed. I started doing small JS/C experiments/art projects for a few months... changed me forever.

ljf 1 day ago 0 replies      
At your next start-up (which I am sure you will start in time) try this: https://medium.com/flow/lazy-leadership-8ba19e34f959#.afzawx...
cdnsteve 1 day ago 0 replies      
The good thing about running your own business is you get experience in number of careers all at once.

What parts of your job did you enjoy the most?

- Engineering/Early innovation?

- Management

- Product

- Sales/Marketing?

What parts did you enjoy the least and stress out about, other than being a business owner?

Take that and run with it.

lordnacho 2 days ago 0 replies      
Network. You're in a similar to me when I left my previous firm. What you don't realise when you're going full throttle is how many people want to talk to you.

Catch up with old friends. Catch up with new friends. Get perspective. You have breathing room with a year's income in the bank.

srameshc 2 days ago 0 replies      
Count on your strengths. You see yourself in a disaster. But many will still see that A Success. You succssfully raised series A and your company is acquired. A lot worse could have happened, but you came out well. You are a lot successful than you think you are and it's time you count your success. Elevate your success to the next level.Good Luck.
rport 2 days ago 0 replies      
#Interesting. Time for a lot more reflection I'd suggest! When you wear a lot of hats you have to be clear on the role, responsibility and kpi's for each hat do that one day you can train someone to take over the role. #KeepLearning #DontGiveUp
pfarnsworth 2 days ago 0 replies      
You have money in the bank from the deal. That's better than 80% of the startups out there. You are not a failure. Take a break, go on vacation and rejuvenate your love for technology. Don't make any plans and see where things are after your break. You're young with a certain level of success, enjoy yourself!
Spooky23 2 days ago 0 replies      
Don't undercut yourself. The fact that you had a >$0 exit is a victory of sorts.

I guarantee you know a hell of a lot more about those things that you think you have shallow knowledge of. You also had the perspective of someone who did everything without the luxury of heading home and not worrying about it.

MrDosu 2 days ago 0 replies      
I was in a similar situation and it was a godsend.

Go explore the world, hike, find love. Afterwards you won't believe what kind of energy you will have. It will be like the start of career 'i can do anything' level!

CodeWriter23 2 days ago 0 replies      
Get a copy of Richard Bach's "Illusions". Go for a hike somewhere beautiful, then read it in a day. Might sound like a load of crap but doing that changed my life and got my head out of the future and my heart into the present. (((((BIG HUG)))))
maxxxxx 2 days ago 0 replies      
Use your money and take off for a few months. It's much easier to get perspective when you are not exhausted. In my view you have gained a lot of valuable experience that will be useful for more startups of your won or some other company.
droithomme 2 days ago 0 replies      
This is very common in the industry, common enough to be predictable. Congratulations on your buy out. Take some well earned time off. Maybe do a bit of traveling. During this time you might come up with your next big idea, or be in the space to do so.
bitwize 2 days ago 0 replies      
Resume your hustle of course. Either start your next company or find a job at a place you like. This is a setback in a life that's not in full swing yet. Go get it!
corobo 2 days ago 0 replies      
> I had to wear too many hats

As you've got experience of many hats were there any hats in particular that you did enjoy? You're at a great junction for specialisation right now.

ankurdhama 2 days ago 0 replies      
> I've decided to apply for some jobs but I'm not sure which position I may fit in

Well if you are not sure then there is only one way to figure it out - apply and see what you find interesting.

feelix 2 days ago 0 replies      
This is an awesome opportunity (aside from the disappointment) to go traveling, and reset, develop as an individual, and get re-inspired for whatever you do next in life.
theprop 2 days ago 0 replies      
Laugh! Cry! Celebrate! Don't worry!

Don't worry at all...you're a HUGE success in terms of having something you built get acquired and still be alive and having created two things that even went anywhere! Keep expenses low & not to worry!

If not doing something is driving you nuts, start doing something...could be quite menial work, but something to get your mind focused on anything...and then thinking a bit about the next project / chapter. Could be learning something new, sports, another new skill, anything...

In terms of another company/project, I think it's important to find a great partner/partners or at least folks to brainstorm on.

ztratar 2 days ago 1 reply      
If you want to talk about this personally with a professional, use https://getboost.io
abhishekash 2 days ago 0 replies      
At just 29 with such entrepreneurial experience is an awesome feat plus money in the bank for an year is a blessing from my point of view.

What you really need is just plain vanilla positive intent and outlook and you would sail past this crossroad.

What i would do is :Go for a road trip or travel somewhere may be Nepal for a fortnight. Get energized and come back with lots of positive energy. Skill wise don't bother much. All great entrepreneurs have felt this way at some point in their life but now are multi-billionaire because of their tenacity

fleitz 8 hours ago 0 replies      
Start eating right, start sleep hygiene, start exercising (I would recommend lifting & yoga).

Go do social things and start building a friend group, your local art scene likely has tonnes of people in a similar situation, sans cash.

You exited with enough money to live for a year, most people call this a sabbatical and dream of having one before retirement, let alone at 29.

I would also recommend stretching this money more than a year by going backpacking in Asia / India.

Your feeling of failure is just that, a feeling, yoga / meditation will let you come to terms with this, you may also want to do counseling.

I just landed a seed round and I'm taking the next week off to go to Alaska for solstice experience 24/7 sunlight, swim in the arctic, regroup and figure out how to move forward most efficient manner with my cofounder.

dwills1 2 days ago 0 replies      
All of the advice to throw a dart or work for a big company is bunk. What product/service area do you love? Find a niche in a corner of that service/product area that needs something, and then provide it. "Choose a job you love and you will never work a day in your life" has a corollary which is "You will succeed doing what you love to do - it might not make you a millionaire overnight, but you will be happy". If in the end the only thing that makes you happy is money, you've got much bigger problems.
philip1209 2 days ago 1 reply      
If common stock is worth anything - you may want to talk to a personal lawyer about whether you qualify for double-trigger acceleration. This could be a good thing.
stela 1 day ago 0 replies      
Hii can you help me for a fb account to hack a facebook plzz its really important and urgent !!!!
bradgnar 2 days ago 0 replies      
If you've got that range of skills you'd probably be a really good product owner/manager at a big company. There's always that avenue.
manoj_venkat92 2 days ago 0 replies      
You from India? Looks like your startup is one of the fallouts that are happening in Indian startup ecosystem.
passive 2 days ago 0 replies      
Fix people's problems.

Whatever level of expertise you have in any area, there is someone you should be able to find quickly who can benefit from it.

owens99 1 day ago 0 replies      
we are a super small team approaching series A. would love to see if you like what we are doing and if there's a good fit for you to join us. your experience would be invaluable as a senior leader. twitter in my profile. check us out and contact me if interested
sigi45 2 days ago 0 replies      
How about just apply to different jobs, talk to the companies? Its not that complicated.
zok 2 days ago 0 replies      
Stay fresh. Opportunity is always always there what changes is who is involved. GL at home.
cuongt 2 days ago 0 replies      
Failure is the price of success:


cyberviewer 2 days ago 0 replies      
Start trading cryptocurrencies.Learn about fintech and blockchainProfit

Good luck

nicostouch 2 days ago 0 replies      
Invest in digibyte. It's the future.
niftylettuce 2 days ago 0 replies      
Toss me an email niftylettuce@gmail.com
cientifico 2 days ago 0 replies      
Just leave the comfort zone.
make3 2 days ago 0 replies      
... What do you want to do?
probinso 2 days ago 0 replies      
Go to school for biology
saganus 2 days ago 0 replies      
As someone who is feeling like I'm starting to climb out of a multi-year burnout episode, I can tell you that you are definitely not a failure, even though it definitely does feel like it.

I believe I know exactly how you feel because up until about a few days ago, I also considered myself a failure, for similar reasons.

It's hard to compare apples to oranges of course, but in my case and just to give a bit of background, I quit my job while being part of team that created a very successful product for a Fortune 500 company ("failure" #1), my girlfriend left me 3 months after that, after 6+ years of relationship ("failure" #2), I felt my startup wasn't working and I felt trapped so I also left my startup, which didn't even had more than 3 customers ("failure" #3), meanwhile I pretty much lost all my savings ("failure" #4).

So, to sum up: no girlfriend, no money, no job, no startup... no nothing. Just 3 or 4 friends that endured while at my darkest moments.

After feeling like I failed at everything important in my life I felt lost. Like trying to sail the open sea during a cloudy night without navigation instruments, and not even knowing where was I supposed to port. I even felt so lost that I sometimes wasn't sure if I had a boat at all, or if there even was any sea left to navigate.

I know this is pretty "clich" advice, but I can tell you that the feeling will go away at some point. It might take you yearS, but it will come. You just have to let all the experiences that you lived through settle down, so you can start seeing a path (or paths) in your life again.

Do not underestimate the amount of information you just got slammed with, that you haven't had the chance to process. And I don't mean only knowledge or skills, I mean emotionally.

Going through something as intense as having a company, and then (and this I can only imagine) having to sell it under such conditions, sets your brain and emotions into overdrive, just to be able to figure out what's going on, let alone to actually make anything out of it.

Don't push it. Just let it rest and things will start to get sorted in time. Of course, you still need to keep an eye open to avoid falling into a deep(er) depression, but other than that, I believe you just need to ride the wave. That's just part of the trip. And a necessary one at that.

In my case, I felt so disconnected to everyone else, because in my mind I was that guy that just can't make anything work, you know? "hey, look, he can't even keep a healthy relationship". "wow, that guy is such a failure, I mean, he just quit his job for some stupid dream! what a loser!", "incredible how stupid can some people be, right? I mean, who in his right mind would invest his life savings into such an stupid idea!?", and so on and so forth.

However, what you are not seeing (and will soon enough), is that after you process that boatload of experience, you will feel like king of the world. You might still be in the gutter (hopefully not, but it is possible), but you will feel like you at least were able to fought some of your most powerful inner demons and came out of it alive. Maybe you didn't beat the hell out of every demon, but you certainly punched more than one very hard and fast. And that feels fucking great once you realize what you just did.

You just got what I believe would be equivalent to a Master's degree. And I don't say that to be dismissive to people with actual degrees, but after the amount of stuff you had to do, what you had to prove to yourself and others, what you had to build (even without the slightest clue of how), I definitely consider it as a GREAT achievement, regardless of the "tangible" outcome (i.e. money, sales, etc).

Building things ex-nihilo is one of the hardest things I've experienced, but it also gives you such a perspective on the world that, even though I have no money, my personal relationships got strained and in some cases even broken, I have no job and I'm still in the process of getting job interviews, while at the same time having no money (and even a bit of debt), no savings, and pretty much nothing to show for what I did the last 4 years... I'd still do it again.

And I believe that after the dust settles, you will believe you'd do it all over again too (and you just might!).

So just hang in there. Trust me, this will pass and you will be much MUCH stronger and wise thanks to it.

I can even adventure to say that you will look back at this and remember it as one of your best experiences in your life. Not necessarily the most pleasant though, but one of the best nonetheless.


metaphorm 1 day ago 0 replies      
ah, don't sweat it dude. you're not a huge failure. you've already done much more than most people have attempted at your age and the real truth is that most companies go out of business. as long as you treated people fairly and behaved professionally then you should be proud of yourself.

what kind of work do you enjoy most? you've tried a few different roles now. focus in on the one that feels best. you have a CS background so maybe you want to get back into software development as a programmer.

SirLJ 2 days ago 3 replies      
Ask HN: Why not to use passwordless login?
17 points by ivanpashenko  22 hours ago   27 comments top 16
cpburns2009 17 hours ago 2 replies      
Why would I want to go through the hassle of requesting a new non-password to be sent to my email, wait to receive my non-password, and then log in using that non-password every single time I want to log in? I will happily let my web-browser remember my password, or store it in a password manager if it needs to be secured.
BjoernKW 19 hours ago 1 reply      
Plenty, both in terms of security and UX:

1.) It's less secure (unless the email is encrypted, which in most cases it is not).

2.) If you use GMail with several accounts and POP3 you'll have to wait until GMail sees fit to fetch the email.

3.) Password managers provide both a superior UX and superior security. So, by all means at least provide a password-based login as an alternative (which admittedly defeats the purpose for the operator to have a less complex authentication system to worry about).

marssaxman 14 hours ago 0 replies      
That's just the "forgot password" system, minus the convenient option of entering a password instead of waiting... and waiting... and waiting... and checking your spam folder... and waiting some more... for the email with the auth code to arrive. Not actually an advantage, in my eyes.
pavel_lishin 19 hours ago 1 reply      
As a consumer of services, it's not more convenient for me than clicking the Lastpass (or your password manager of choice) icon and filling in the login form.

Plus, I imagine some people may have multiple email accounts, and would have to hunt through them to figure out which one they used to sign up with.

(Similar to my problem with StackOverflow; I can never remember which identity provider I used to sign up with them, and end up just clicking on all of them in order until one lets me in. For all I know, I might have multiple accounts.)

mattbgates 15 hours ago 0 replies      
While passwords are still my preferred method, I was trying to think about ways to incorporate a passwordless system.

I like the method that Slack has.. while they offer the old method of logging in with a password, their other method is to send your email a link and then once that link is clicked, they set a cookie indefinitely.

The other way is once a user registers for an account, they get an email to login, but before they can login, they have to enter in their phone number, so then from then on out, every time they enter in their email, they will get sent a text message and simply have to enter in a code.

It is still not technically passwordless, but it certainly is a unique method to have people login.

No matter how far we come though, the username and password seem to still be our best method of knowing WHO YOU ARE and verifying the account belongs to you.

Scaevolus 17 hours ago 1 reply      
I think OAuth logins are a nice compromise. "Login with Google / Facebook / ..." with one click works well!

Unfortunately, some sites use it to just get your email address, and still require you to make a password for them, which defeats the purpose and decreases user trust in the benefits of going through the flow.

cuu508 18 hours ago 1 reply      
> Type your email -- receive the code -- fill in the code

Many services actually do support this. It's under "Forgot Password..." link when signing in ;-)

antaviana 18 hours ago 0 replies      
Email deliverabilty is not necessarily 100%. Also there can be latencies here and there that can lead to user frustration (for example greylist strategies).

One alternative for password-less is to use Google Authenticator code as the password (i.e. send the QR code once by email and from then on use the Google Authenticator code), but I'm not sure if the the low entropy (1/1000000th chance of guessing the right password) would be enough for brute force attacks.

tmnvix 16 hours ago 0 replies      
Greylisting[0] would still be a problem. Signup is exactly the situation where this would be both most likely and most inconvenient.

[0] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greylisting

nkkollaw 17 hours ago 0 replies      
I would think, because that's a nightmare versus both social login and my browser remembering both username and password..?

That's way too many steps, and takes too long since many times email takes a while to get fetchedspecially on mobile.

lwlml 22 hours ago 0 replies      
It is a cultural problem. I think the "younger" users don't use e-mail as much as they do other forms of "Internet" e.g. Facebook for authentication. Otherwise, I'm loathe to give out my e-mail address because of spamming and data-collection.
ngrilly 15 hours ago 0 replies      
The main issue with passwords is that non-technical users tend to reuse the same password, which is a serious security risk. This is, in my opinion, the best reason to use a passwordless login. A better solution would be, when the user create his/her account or reset his/her password, to generate a random password, instead of letting the user choose a password. I'm curious about this approach. As anyone tried something similar?
stephenr 18 hours ago 0 replies      
why would they? It's less secure, and less usable.
theandrewbailey 15 hours ago 0 replies      
It's exchanging one authentication factor (something you know) with another (something you have), while negatively impacting UX (by adding email UX issues) and not adding meaningful security.
Tomte 16 hours ago 0 replies      
I liked the way The Magazine worked: they sent you a link which set a cookie.
assafmo 17 hours ago 0 replies      
I think passwordless is better. webtask.io does this and it's awesome.
Ask HN: How can one learn to build API gateways?
84 points by argentum47  2 days ago   11 comments top 6
PaulRobinson 1 day ago 0 replies      
The honest answer to the question "How can one learn to build API gateways?" is unfortunately "Go and build some API gateways and reflect on what you learned at each step perhaps teaching others as you go". This isn't specific to API gateways - it's the way to learn anything effectively.

Your use cases, edge cases, opportunities and pitfalls will be different from mine. Write them up, share them online (including here), so others more like you can learn when doing paper research, much like the research you've done now.

Realise that next time you might need to do it differently. Name the reasons why those needs differ. Write that up. Share.

It's still a youngish field that we're still trying to get right. If the existing books and blogs aren't doing it for you, it's time to figure out why and contribute back.

cyberferret 2 days ago 1 reply      
Not on a technical slant, but here is a good, pragmatic API design guide by Vinay Sahni that I came across a couple of years back [0]. It gave me a ton of good ideas on how to design the API for our SaaS app.

[0] - http://www.vinaysahni.com/best-practices-for-a-pragmatic-res...

awinder 1 day ago 0 replies      
Why do you want to build this over one of the many choices out there:

 https://getkong.org/ https://lyft.github.io/envoy/ https://aws.amazon.com/api-gateway/ https://cloud.google.com/endpoints/ https://www.ca.com/us/products/ca-api-gateway.html https://www.3scale.net/technical-overview/
There's a lot of options out there across the spectrum so just curious what your end goals are

huhtenberg 2 days ago 1 reply      
Writing a book on this subject would be a fairly pointless exercise as it will age very quickly. You would be better off looking for "how we did xyz" type of blog posts from notable sources.

There are also academic-style papers from Amazon's team on creating high-reliability systems and such. These are worth a read too.

blazespin 2 days ago 0 replies      
Checkout apache nifi
mordant 2 days ago 1 reply      
Ask HN: How much 'slower' do ads make the internet?
15 points by ajc-sorin  1 day ago   8 comments top 6
nitwit005 1 day ago 1 reply      
Do you have a set of sites you frequent on your phone that have ads, but will otherwise function without Javascript? Try using those sites with and without Javascript disabled.

It's a bit depressing how much it drags some pages down.

mfav 1 day ago 0 replies      
Opera actually has this ability built-in. It lets you A/B test websites (with/without ads) by going to the URL "speedtest".
viraptor 1 day ago 0 replies      
The loading speed? You can install an ad blocker and enable/disable it. Then force-reload the page. You can also use the developer tools (for example in Chrome) to see the precise timing waterfall.
jmg1138 1 day ago 0 replies      
Could try using a browser add-on like noscript and then only whitelist the website's local scripts, to get an idea of how much faster it loads without the ad network tracking scripts.
em_te 1 day ago 0 replies      
You'll also need to average out the speed of your website accessed from different geographical locations.
Rockvole 1 day ago 0 replies      
You can try Pi-Hole which stops the ad and tracking DNS requests from getting through.
Ask HN: Tech-cofounder feeling lost/burned-out. What to do?
85 points by starlord  1 day ago   57 comments top 26
d--b 1 day ago 6 replies      
I agree with the others about vacation. It'd go a little further though: you should take a _true_ vacation, as in no phone, no internet, no nothing. What you gain from this is:

1. full recharge

2. peace of mind knowing that your company can survive without you

3. it will help you think ahead: you will realize that your immediate work is not the most important of your tasks. You need to focus on the future of your product rather than on operational issues.

3. less guilt about taking vacation

4. your employees / cofounder will feel empowered that you let them in charge for a little while

5. your employees will feel less guilty taking vacations themselves

On the other hand, the drawbacks of taking a full week off are:

6. 1 week of funding 'lost' - yes, but you will realize that you will quickly make up for the time you took off.

7. possible failures: yes, although you have 3 guys in your staff, they should be able to dig into issues, probably not as fast as you can, but, hey, you won't be debugging forever... So they've got to learn as well.

8. annoyed customers: yes, well, your product is not perfect yet, so that's the way it's going to be for that week.

In fact, I think what's important to realize is that if you find yourself in this situation, it means that your company made some mistakes somewhere. You guys made some trade-offs in favor of quality or time to market and at the expense of personal happiness. And now it's payback time. That "overwork" debt the company took is no longer sustainable.

I think the ability to go hands off is way underrated. It is a true skill that you need to develop. For your own sake, but also for the sake of your company.

robmcvey 1 day ago 0 replies      
Short term: Take a break. Delegate. List the things that are painful/stressful and avoid on the days you're not feeling it. Limit email to twice a day. Don't use IRC/Chat if you can, it's too demanding on your attention. Take the vacation, leave the smartphone at home and let your mind rest.

Long term: Focus on moving to a point where you can take a step back. It's easy when you're a founder to become control-obsessed, which leads you feeling like you, and only you can fix XYZ. This is a precarious position to be in, and certainly isn't scalable. Think of this as the "what if I get hit by a bus" plan. All your efforts should be on proccesses, documenting and some key hires so that the company can run without you. Both for yours and the companies sake. After all, you need the option to retire/sell one day - the company MUST be able to run without you.

sandGorgon 21 hours ago 1 reply      
Went through the same. 3 years of no money and salary before we raised . It was worse for us, because we were doing fintech at a time when it was considered stupid and everyone who was doing Uber-of-X were raising incredible amounts of funding from the same coworking space.

You should definitely take a holiday - but here's my viewpoint. People don't burn out by working hard. In fact, people start getting depressed when they are not burning with purpose.

Burning out is a deeper symptom - I know because I had it and I realized what it was. It could be a combination of fear and frustration at what you are doing.

I have an alternate suggestion - talk to other cofounders. Nothing cheers you up as seeing other miserable people (it's true!). Gives you perspective and a country to belong to. I have come to realize that some startup meetups are actually therapy camps - I don't know of the US ones, but there are a couple in India.

One of the most interesting statements I heard while attending YC was "One of the reasons founders quit is because they think others had it easier". Emphasis on "easier".

Not sure who said it (I think mwseibel), but it was at least true in my case. It just made me work harder. Even if my startup had not survived, it was still worth it.

pavlov 1 day ago 1 reply      
A vacation tainted by work can be worse than not going. If you really must work on your vacation, decide those days beforehand and ensure that you're of touch for the remaining days.

I once took a "dream trip" to Iceland with extended family, but made the mistake of not properly signing off from work. We saw all the natural wonders of the island and everyone had a great time... Except me. My primary memory of the trip is sitting in a hostel kitchen with my laptop while everyone else is out playing in a park. That's when I understood that I'm going to miss out on my children's lives completely if I keep going like this.

jacquesm 1 day ago 0 replies      
Well, you can continue but then you'll just crash harder. Talk with your co-founders (assuming you have any), explain the situation and tell them you really need time off. It's a very good test of how solid your co-founder relations are, if they understand and let you take a break your company will likely succeed because you are capable of dealing with crisis in a constructive way. If they force you to stay or if it results in a fight then most likely in the long run the company will not do well because it does not know how to deal with unforeseen events.

Whatever happens: you take that break. Otherwise the price only gets higher.

Companies can become millstones around your neck, if the company is now selling to a few thousand users and you are able to draw a small salary a break should be possible. After all, if something else that is serious (say a car accident) would happen to you then they would have to cope with that as well. This is fortunately something a lot more controllable than that.

FWIW any company with more than 3 people should be able to continue to function for at least a couple of months without major change if one of the principal players has to bow out. Life happens.

As for the recovery: try to do as little as possible, and if you do decide to do something make sure it is as physical as you can stand. That's the fastest way to recovery.

Best of luck to you.

Angostura 1 day ago 0 replies      
Take a proper holiday and give your team the space they need to show you that you're not a single point of failure. Give them a phobne number that is only to be called in dire emergency. Turn off data and Wifi on your phone.
hluska 21 hours ago 0 replies      
For me, the experience of founding a company is quite similar to giving myself bipolar depression. I tend to go from soaring heights to terrible lows almost daily. So yeah, I'd agree that starting something new is about managing feeling completely screwed all the time.

Managing is the key word here. First, you need to keep reminding yourself that this shit is hard and feeling totally screwed is part of it. It's why they pay you the theoretical by bucks. Second, you need to find somewhere to put the bad. Ever done any rock climbing, long distance running or serious weight training? If no, it's time to start. Find a healthy hobby.

While we're on the topic of managing, you've got to learn to delegate.

And finally, take the vacation and don't work at all!

raamdev 21 hours ago 1 reply      
This was posted on HN a month ago; lots of thoughtful comments here: Recovering from Burnout and Depression [1].

1. https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=14320392

arethuza 1 day ago 0 replies      
I would discuss this with your co-founders - highly likely that they are in the same situation. Agree a schedule where you can all get breaks while remaining in touch to handle emergencies - I'd suggest a couple of phone calls a day (first thing in morning and in evening) rather than email/slack/whatever.

Personally, I found that when I was in a similar situation years ago going on a vacation where you do something helps a lot. My wife arranged a vacation and signed me up for a few dinghy sailing courses - which I hadn't done before and they were brilliant.

Communitivity 18 hours ago 1 reply      
That sounds horrible. I can only echo the advice given here. Carve out time for yourself, exercise, and balance your life. A balanced life is the key to avoiding burnout (this after 25 years of specializing in tiger teams and rapid prototyping).

Also, there is a startup opportunity here for someone. A specialty of concierge medicine around concierge psychology for startup founders, CTOs, and CEOs. Not sure whether it would be profitable, but given that it would likely save company productivity and in some cases make the difference between failing or not, I'd think it would be very profitable. I do not have the chops or desire to execute on it though. Feel free to use the idea if you want to run with it. If you do and want to compensate me then remember that nine nines (99.9999999%) of success is execution, not the idea. If you succeed, and still want to compensate me, and I'm at the point where I can use it, then give me attribution and free access to the service for life and we'll be 100% good.

ben_jones 22 hours ago 1 reply      
I feel a personal attachment to this question because I could have written it two years ago down to how much money we raised and how successful we were at the time. I see the right advice in this thread but I want to highlight from my own experience.

* Reach out honestly to family, friends, and coworkers, today. If there is some idea of pride or ego holding you back and influencing you to keep it to yourself and deal with it "like a man" kick that shit to the curb now. What you are trying to accomplish on a personal level for yourself, your family, or your team, is much more important then that.

* Personal resources like happiness, hope, drive, passion, etc, are finite but they have much deeper reserves then we could ever imagine. If like me you frequently feel like you've "lost" any of the above, know that you do in fact have much more, and, like mentioned above, you can find help from others especially in this regard.

* Talk to others with similar experiences. HN is a good start but it is not the end of this conversation. There are many smart and well meaning people here. But only so many have been through what you have and small details such as where you are dealing with these problems, where in life you are at this moment, and what your life has been like, do matter and you should seek people who can relate as well as the many who don't.

I'd be happy to share some of my personal failings in this regard if you want to reach out. I don't imagine I have all the answers or even ones relevant to you personally, but who knows.


Louisepsyc_ist 20 hours ago 0 replies      
If you continue and don't change anything,you will have a break down from stress,overwork, constant problem solving, not looking after yourself

You need to - totally relax

try music https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8yd7An4Ztes&feature=player_e...


meditation Detachment from overthinkinghttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LSE8iJC51BYhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1vx8iUvfyCY

For kids BUT My FavThe hot air balloon ride https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vlv6Y1tq1sQ

yoga, tai chi, swimming pool lengths, run or walk, play with your pet, volunteer

- no work on Vacation & plan next Vacation now

- employ extra help/work experience/volunteer

- delegate

- in your normal routine include sleep, exercise, good food, good company/ social events, plan future fun things, read positive articles/books, learn something new, go out into nature, cook a delicious meal for someone you like/love

- listen to Mindfulness podcasts about being in the present moment/ focus only on what you are doingSOUNDTRACKS http://marc.ucla.edu/body.cfm?id=107 (weekly podcasts) http://marc.ucla.edu/body.cfm?id=22&oTopID=22

- find some Apps like http://smilingmind.com.au/

Email me if you want some more infosmith.louise@optusnet.com.au

Cheers Louise

Louise Smith PSYCHOLOGIST (Assoc MAPS) (QCT), B. A. (Hons) (Psych) (Japanese & Music), Dip. T. Prim. & Spec. Ed. (Hearing Impaired)

taway_1212 1 day ago 2 replies      
I've read a blog of a solo game developer recently, who's been developing a game for 2-3 for years full time. His conclusions regarding breaks and burn-out is that it works best for him to take a week-long vacation every 2-3 months. Without it, he noticed decreased concentration and motivation. I think it may be solid advice for anyone doing challenging work.
bigato 19 hours ago 1 reply      
Consider the possibility that you may have your personality built in a certain way that led you to structure your business to depend on you? Maybe deep down you kind of like it to be this way, only that now it's being increasingly too much and you can't shoulder it all? I know that I have been guilty of that kind of attitude in my personal life. Maybe you could benefit from talking to a psychologist? If only so that you could get some leads on what literature you could study to explore this. It is very enlightening and freeing when you start to understand the reasons behind your personality.

And yeah, I deducted all of this from your username :-p

wruza 23 hours ago 0 replies      
I have no answer, but few questions. If you offload your stress to someone while on vacation or short breaks, will that solve one-man problem? Or will it become two-man, one of them having no big interest? If you take a day off per week, does your service lose 1/7 of its quality, or is that day a complete show stopper?

Can stress points be determined, classificated and resolved to processes (some classes refused)? Will clients appreciate that? Is there economic in creating departments that will take problems as a whole, not as distinct persons? Do you have non-key features? How much do these cost to you?

throwaway421 1 day ago 3 replies      
I'm in a similar position but if I leave the company will die with 100% certainty. My cofounder has no idea and the company is doing well and growing but it is a living nightmare. So many uncertainties and we're in a problematic market where there are a lot of room for errors with dire consequences.

I'll give up a lot of potential money if I leave but I don't care. The biggest problem is that my cofounder would never forgive me. I can't even imagine his reaction.

snarfy 1 day ago 0 replies      
> Now I spend a lot of time guiding them to deal with the issues that keep cropping up every now and then.

Pick the best guy and start relying on him more. You really do need to delegate. It's not only for your own health but for the health of the company as well. Your 'hit by a truck' factor is approaching 1. If you get hit by a truck, the company is probably done for.

jankotek 1 day ago 0 replies      
Check your health, exercise routine, sleep... Talk to doctor. Often it is not a burnout, but bad lifestyle.
Louisepsyc_ist 20 hours ago 0 replies      
If you continue and don't change anything,you will have a break down from stress,overwork, constant problem solving, not looking after yourself

You need to - totally relax

try music https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8yd7An4Ztes&feature=player_e...


meditation Detachment from overthinkinghttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LSE8iJC51BYhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1vx8iUvfyCY

For kids BUT My FavThe hot air balloon ride https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vlv6Y1tq1sQ

- yoga, tai chi, martial arts,swimming pool lengths, run or walk, play with your pet, volunteer

- no work on Vacation & plan next Vacation now

- employ extra help/work experience/volunteer

- delegate

- in your normal routine include sleep, exercise, good food, good company/ social events, plan future fun things, read positive articles/books, learn something new, go out into nature, cook a delicious meal for someone you like/love

- listen to Mindfulness podcasts about being in the present moment/ focus only on what you are doingSOUNDTRACKS http://marc.ucla.edu/body.cfm?id=107 (weekly podcasts) http://marc.ucla.edu/body.cfm?id=22&oTopID=22

- find some Apps like http://smilingmind.com.au/

Email me if you want some more infosmith.louise@optusnet.com.au

Cheers Louise

Louise Smith PSYCHOLOGIST (Assoc MAPS) (QCT), B. A. (Hons) (Psych) (Japanese & Music), Dip. T. Prim. & Spec. Ed. (Hearing Impaired)

amorphid 21 hours ago 0 replies      
How about this? Go on your vacation, don't work at all, and if things don't melt down, you can relax a little bit!
cheez 1 day ago 2 replies      
Vacations don't help. They are periodic relief from everyday stress that you feel guilty about. Vacations should be a treat, NOT a relaxation.

To relax every day:

1. Work out. I get up between 3-4am and (edit: low intensity) work out. 7 days/week. Improves my mood _every single day_.

2. Find something that relaxes you and do it every week. Golf? Do it. Massage? Do it. Sex? You get the idea.

The point is that the only person who can help you get what you want from this world is you. No silver bullet exists.

joe_momma 23 hours ago 0 replies      
Try reading: A Technique for Producing Ideas by James Webb Young
thedutchman 23 hours ago 0 replies      
Create a 'do not disturb' time in your office so you can focus on work. End work after your office hours.
Louisepsyc_ist 20 hours ago 0 replies      
LOTS of good ideas in total here !
senko 21 hours ago 0 replies      
Here's what I would do:

VACATION - Do not cancel it, and do not work while on vacation. You need rest, and working a few days a week is not rest, it's work. Do not feel guilty. Your startup needs it as much as you. And above all, your number one priority is to your health - mental and physical.

It's a false dichotomy, though. The startup will survive a couple of weeks without you. At most, it won't grow as much (or at all) - big deal. If you're afraid your tech team will burn the house down, don't let them touch production. In a fast-moving startups there's always tech debt piling up. While you're recuperating, let them clean up things, fix issues, write tests, etc - improve the state of things - without pushing anything to production. It's still useful, important work, and it will temporarily remove you from the critical path.

Do not bring equipment on which you'd be able to work while on vacation. If you do get a panicked phone call, you'll feel terrible about not jumping in and fixing things, if you can. It's easier if you just are not in a position to do that all. If you can, leave your phone (or bring a dumbphone instead).

When you do return to work, start by introspecting why you're feeling burn out. Sure there's ton of work and user base or revenue is not growing as fast as you'd hope, but there might be some other reason: maybe you had a nice clean architecture and now it gets all trampled over by several people just rushing to build things? Maybe the people are not as productive a you hoped? Maybe they're not as passionate as you and you feel like you have to force them to work? Maybe they're not responsible/pedantic enough and you feel like you have to clean up after them all the time?

Or maybe your biz/other cofounders just expect you to conjure the solutions quickly, don't understand it takes time to build something that'll actually work (mostly)?

All of these fears and frustrations are normal, but they should not be buried, instead they should be addressed. First, identify the actual point that frustrates you most. If it's something you're not 100% aligned with your cofounders, talk with them. And talk some more, until they understand your frustration, you understand them, and you devise something that'll avoid it. Don't stop talking until that is fixed. Don't bury it.

If the frustration is due to (your interaction with, or performance of) your dev team: first, make sure evefyone's on the same page regarding what's important (ie. tell them explicitly). If you feel they're slow, tell them. If you feel they write buggy code, tell them. It's way better for them to be told explicitly than to have an angry, frustrated, burned out boss (and they can ense these things from a mile off, trust me9.

Then, try to document best practices. Read this for an example https://sivers.org/delegate (and if you need reading suggestion for the vacation, read everything else Derek wrote). Use every problem as an example of how it could be done better. You can start by enumerating and documenting things that could or will go wrong or need special attention while you're not away. Think of it now, document it now, and you'll avoid frantic phone calls while you're on a vacation.

Fix yourself first (vacation), your startup after that (delegation, expectation).

Good luck!

cnocito 1 day ago 3 replies      
Agree with everything said about taking your break, but I think you also should set your expectations properly. 2 years without a vacation when starting a business is not so much, it's actually pretty standard I think. So are 80 hour weeks and everybody else in th company making money except for you. I don't know any successful entrepreneurs that are not complete workaholics.
Ask HN: What video game elements do you wish you could use to motivate you IRL?
5 points by jaredcollett  15 hours ago   12 comments top 8
drakonka 3 hours ago 0 replies      
I am making a snail simulation and have toyed with the idea of making a personal feature available to myself only which would let me use my real money to take care of my snails, buy supplies, etc because the currency in the simulation is already the same as my daily real world currency. Only obviously instead of really buying snail jars and race entries or breeding rights the money you spend would go into a savings account.

I thought about this when my cat was very sick. I would (and did) spend any amount on veterinarians, surgeries, medicines, and special food to make him better and take care of him. I figured, what if that kind of emotional connection could be transferred to virtual pets on a much, much smaller scale? I'm already pretty attached to my snails, and on a personal level it might work.

This is a really half-baked idea - for example, the amount of real life money I can spend would not be the amount of money in my actual bank account, but the amount of money I have in the world itself (since other users can't be at an advantage or disadvantage when using purely virtual currency against my real life currency). Also, snails are not expensive - I wouldn't exactly be dropping large chunks of cash into savings buying snail jars.

Anyway...it was just a random thought I had about gamifying my saving habits a bit.

Arkdy 7 hours ago 0 replies      
Habitica already exists which tries to use video game leveling and such to help you develop better habits.

And I've been thinking about something similar that's specifically focused on budgeting. The premise is this:

1. Your bank account is represented as a treasure cave with piles of gold instead of stacks of cash.

2. Saving involves moving gold from the floor to treasure chests. This means that breaking into your savings would mean breaking into a virtual treasure chest, which would have a similar emotional weight to smashing a physical piggy bank.*

3. You have a virtual pet guarding it and recording your spending habits takes the form of talking to your pet at the end of the day.

* An alternate version is if saving means feeding a pet until it grows big enough to send it out into the world. This means that saving is more rewarding since you see a creature grow up, but I'm not sure how to make taking from your savings not be as harsh as killing a friend.

If this is directly integrated into an official bank's online banking then it creates a form of lock-in wherein switching banks also means abandoning your pet.

cdnsteve 14 hours ago 1 reply      
Cutting my grass is like dungeon grinding. It's painful and the gear I want never seems to drop, ever. I'm starting to think up using opencv with a raspberry pi attached because this is where autonomous vehicles should be. Low speed, replacing mind numbing tasks nobody wants to do... It's like honey I shrunk the kids but one level up.

Runs off to start coding

Arkdy 7 hours ago 0 replies      
A pet peeve of mine is that there are a bunch of punishments around driving, but almost no rewards for being a safe/model driver.

The only thing I can think of is those insurance companies that offer trackers that rate your driving, and maybe Waze might want to look into a leader-board or something, but I'm worried about the government somehow using Waze data to give me speeding tickets.

timfrietas 13 hours ago 0 replies      
I'd gladly accept small amounts of cryptocurrency to take pictures of stuff IRL to help train ML/CV algorithms or populate Google Maps.

I was in a Lyft and the drivers use Waze which has the option for them to take a picture of the address if they don't have one yet. But they're not well incentivized to do it.

Just pair this idea with a Pokemon Go/Ingress mechanic or game where I get a tiny bit of Ether or ${cryptocurrency} you've ICO'ed on and I would be more interested.

Mechanical Turk pays shit money, but if your fake money could grow into much more value over time and I am rewarded for being an early adopter then I am potentially more interested.

s2th4d 14 hours ago 1 reply      
Gotta go all the way back to Super Mario Bros. Power ups, extra lives, quick lightning mode, and shooting fireballs at your enemies.
wdiamond 14 hours ago 1 reply      
IRL you can't link objective complete to rewards automatically, it requires human eval. which is too expensive.
DanBC 14 hours ago 1 reply      
What I'd really like is to pay a small amount of money for something like "Flo", but with messages I design.

See the video here: http://www.health.org.uk/flo

Uber driver arrested, my 76yo dad left on the street at 1am
24 points by cft  1 day ago   23 comments top 8
gt565k 1 day ago 1 reply      
Why not call another Uber or Lyft?

"Their response: trip refund. Any way to publicize this incident?"

Sorry, but you sound like the kind of person that would start acting like your spine broke from a minor bumper to bumper accident, and try to sue for all kinds of crazy things.

Call 'em as I see 'em!

Mz 1 day ago 1 reply      
You could write a gripping, detailed blog post, post it to HN, hope it makes the front page. It worked for Susan Fowler (though I don't know if she posted her own writing here -- probably didn't -- and that is no doubt a very flippant, somewhat inaccurate framing of what happened with her blog post, which likely got a lot more traffic than just from HN).

If you do choose to publicize this, be aware that a lot of people will want an extremely good justification for why his family wasn't there for him to begin with before they will care what Uber did or did not do. Wanting publicity can be a case of "be careful what you wish for."

josephcs 1 day ago 1 reply      
I totally understand your concern. But, what did you expect Uber to do instead? A driver driving with a suspended license was the driver's fault. Not Uber's (if it was recently suspended). Not yours, but Uber/anybody could expect that you checked if the license of the driver was valid before starting the trip, but that's pretty uncommon.

If your father was sick and if he's 76 and has cancer, you could have as well accompanied him, right? Or had someone accompany him. Even if you publicise, there's a higher chance that it would be seen as you being careless.

hluska 1 day ago 1 reply      
I think that the part about your father is an unfortunate event that ended well. Therefore, with all due respect, I don't think that's a story.

On the other hand, the media is frothy about Uber, and when the media covets a subject, editorial discretion often changes a little.

Consequently, you might have a story about Uber drivers driving around with suspended licenses. If you found a few journalists with a history of being hypercritical of Uber, you could pitch a pretty solid "what if" story.

For example, how do cab companies deal with suspended licenses? Do they have a greater (or lesser) burden to keep their drivers properly licensed?

Or, what happens if an Uber driver with a suspended license causes an accident that leads to injuries? Where is liability? What is an injured party to do? Is there any way that the Uber passenger could have liability?

The short answer is:

If you really want to publicize this you likely can because the media is frothy about Uber now. If an Uber executive had bad gas, you could find a reporter who would salivate for the coverage.

To publicize it:

1.) Zero in on a good story. The media does not want to be your personal hit squad.

2.) Research two or three reporters with a history of negative coverage about Uber.

3.) Write a personalized pitch to each reporter. Reference past articles that he/she has written. Don't use the word exclusive unless you know what that means. (Hint - if you send a pitch to three journalists, it isn't exclusive.)

4.) Be prepared for this to get way the fuck out of control.

bsvalley 1 day ago 0 replies      
When Uber isn't in the news for sexual harassment or for conflict of interests with companies like Google, it usually fights against cities, countries and governments. Their CEO is on a forced 3 months leave he has been kicked out.

It sad to say but your incident is invisible.

twobyfour 1 day ago 0 replies      
I have zero love for Uber, but it seems to me that this one is on the cops more than Uber.
hourislate 1 day ago 0 replies      
You mean the police just left your sick old dad on the side of the street? Heartless Bastards.....You think they would have called him a cab.
_RPM 1 day ago 1 reply      
What do you expect?
Domain name registrar scams have increased from China
7 points by dashwin  17 hours ago   4 comments top 2
joelrunyon 15 hours ago 1 reply      
These have been everywhere for a while. If you file a trademark, they'll send these to you too.

Rule of thumb is to ignore them and only register domains directly with a trustworthy registrar(not links you click on in an email).

tobltobs 15 hours ago 0 replies      
This 'scam' is really old and I am not sure if this is scammy enough to bother the FBI with that.
Ask HN: Is it normal for your team to have root access to your workstation?
12 points by SaguaroSun  1 day ago   20 comments top 13
smt88 1 day ago 1 reply      
Not clear to me why anyone is logging in directly as the root account, but let's leave that aside for a minute.

Tracing activity back to a user or machine is a common way to find out how a mistake or security breach happened. If your manager uses your workstation, can you be blamed for something he screws up?

Also, a device with a camera + speakers costs less than $200. A webcam costs $20. Speakers are built in to almost every machine. If your company doesn't have enough money (or sense) to equip everyone with conference-capable equipment, that's not a well-run company.

hluska 1 day ago 0 replies      
This might just be ruffling feathers, but if you work remote why does your team lead need your machine's webcam?

That said, since this is company equipment, the more rational part of me says, "Put up with it."

But from a security/auditing perspective, this 'policy' is an absolute minefield, particularly because it sounds like each individual developer has to set up this account on his/her own box.

What happens when someone is fired? Does every developer have to change the password and disable the old account? What happens if one developer is off sick that day? Will the company keep that hole open until that developer comes back? Or will they kill off all of the sick developer's SSH keys?

Crap, it's hard enough to provide proper access control and monitoring when everyone has a unique credential. I can't even begin to imagine what that kind of policy would look like.

eip 1 day ago 1 reply      
>because it's the only one with a webcam and speakers

Lol. I would probably look for another job. Like at a real company.

ThrustVectoring 1 day ago 0 replies      
Oh jesus christ no, it's not (and shouldn't be) normal. Work activities should be able to be reliably traced back to the individuals that did them.
12s12m 1 day ago 0 replies      
In a typical enterprise, devs usually don't have root access. The IT staff have root privileges. However, IT staff does not equate to your boss. I wouldn't personally be ok with something of this kind. However, I don't put any personal data on my company's laptop.
tbirrell 1 day ago 1 reply      
I've worked at places where my supervisor had root access both ssh and a user account, and we also allowed each other to ssh in for various reasons. No one has ever been allowed on my workstation as me, though. Hard line.
peternicky 1 day ago 0 replies      
I don't think this is "normal" in any sense, however, as other have commented, if this is company equipment, there is usually little you can do outside of leaving the company.

In my limited experience working in and as a member of enterprise IT environments, the people specializing in "security" typically seek to reduce as much as possible, what a user is able to do on the machine. Unless you can document why you need extra privileges and have management that will support you, it is a waste of time to ruffle feathers.

assafmo 19 hours ago 0 replies      
I think it's ok only if he cannot send email from your account.

There was an Ask HN a few weeks ago about a guy that someone sent an email resignation letter from him to his boss...

corobo 1 day ago 0 replies      
If you're working remotely how does having access to your webcam and speakers help the manager in any way?

Edit: Here's me just now realising you're probably referring to a completely different desktop in an office that has the webcam and speakers.. I'm gonna head to bed now :)

thisone 1 day ago 0 replies      
why was he complaining to you, that your company workstation, I assume that he has in front of him if he's trying to use webcam and speakers (sigh), wasn't responding to some stupidly shared root account?

Along with just about everything else you've said, that's also not your problem.

hunterjrj 1 day ago 1 reply      
You don't specify whether you own this equipment or not. Is it company-owned?
Grazester 1 day ago 0 replies      
At my old company the entire of IT had a tech account that gave you basically root access to all the computers.

I used an OS in a VM for all the things I could have.

wizzerking 1 day ago 0 replies      
agree with you. No one except you for sudo purposes should have root access. Lead should have an account setup on machine for him to access
Ask HN: How do you decide which features/bugs/etc to prioritize?
12 points by jlangenauer  2 days ago   9 comments top 8
20years 1 day ago 1 reply      
Following is how I usually prioritize in order.

1. Fix unexpected security issues that may be found

2. Implement features that will result in more new users signing up and paying

3. Implement features that will result in existing users paying more than they already are

4. Implement features that will lower churn

5. Implement features that will save the company money such as more automation to reduce manual work

2 to 4 requires you to engage with your customers and get good at filtering out a lot of noise on what some customers may want but the majority may not. Usually if it's going to make the majority of your customers money or save the majority of them money, it's something they will pay more for.

jimminy 12 hours ago 0 replies      
The technique I personally use, as a full-stack developer, is if I can get features planned out into weekly chunks, segment days to backend vs frontend work, and move forward.

Monday is backend, Tuesday is frontend integration, Wednesday is front-end adjustments, Thursday and Friday are refactoring and further integration days.

Also I batch my issues, so if I'm planning to work on something that day, I'll look for other issues that may be in the same code area. Then I'll work on all of them throughout the day, as I can with primary focus on the issue I started with.

Refactoring happens any time you look at the code if you can see a need.

12s12m 1 day ago 0 replies      
This is a huge problem that will derail your product if you are not careful. My general advice is: "Think about a specific person" for which you are building you are product. And build features that make that single person as happy as possible.
danieltillett 1 day ago 0 replies      
The answer is easy - rank the activities by money made or saved. The really hard problem is the ranking as you don't normally have the perfect information that allows you to calculate the exact dollar value of any change.

More usefully I use two rules.

1. Fix all bugs now. The software should do what it claims to do. If I can't fix a bug (rare) then stop claiming the software does whatever the bug prevents working as a feature.

2. Once 1 is taken care of then work on those things that will bring in the greatest long term value first. I have to say that I mostly do this by feel as I have no good way to get accurate information out of my customers - they often don't know what they want until they see it.

seekingcharlie 1 day ago 0 replies      
1. What is the engineering effort involved in doing X?

2. How many users does it impact / benefit?

3. What is it's estimated impact on core metrics (Activation/Engagement/Monetization)?

taprun 23 hours ago 0 replies      

If you're dishonest, things that will attract buyer's attention the most for the least amount of effort.

If you're honest, things that will both attract buyer's attention the most and provide the most value for the least amount of effort.

As described here:https://taprun.com/articles/product-managers-visual-guide-to...

tmaly 1 day ago 0 replies      
I just launched a new version of my side project last week. So I have this exact same situation. I have to make decisions of what to prioritize.

Here is how I have done it. First I have been asking as many people as I can to try the site and provide their opinion. Indiehackers.com has been super helpful in this regard. Then I try to fix all of the issues that affect the basic functioning of the system. Can people create an account without issue. Can they sign in without issue. Can they create a new food dish without issue.

So tackle all the basics, what is core to the system. After this, try to work on any features that will provide more value to the users, things that will get them to use the system more.

After I finish these, then I move on to the new features.

EJTH 20 hours ago 0 replies      
I don't my PM does.
Ask HN: How to get a job when you suck at coding?
60 points by anon23422  3 days ago   60 comments top 27
nickh9000 3 days ago 2 replies      
Seems like you are taking your interview rejections to heart.

Don't do that.

Most companies go with the mode don't hire unless the candidate is a great fit, because they don't want to bear the cost of a mistake. I have failed a decent number of interviews, some on technical ground, some on personal ground. I still think I am not a bad programmer, despite the failed interviews.

Like you I also have doubts about my abilities despite 12 years of work history in the Valley. Impostor syndrome.

Realize that most people are not as smart as Zuckerberg, and that they don't have to be. Don't use geniuses as a measuring stick of yourself.

The most important question is whether you like coding. If you do, pursue it. Whatever deficiencies you have, you will mend as you get more experienced.

gt2 3 days ago 1 reply      
Build a small, real world project, and compare along the way to other good examples of the project. As small as Tic-Tac-Toe or a (nice) todo list app.

As you build it you will learn a) best practices and b) what "good" code looks like.

Your code will begin to merge with the style of the good during this project and will rub off on the next project you choose. Eventually you can do a green field project where there is no good example code of. Still, there will be examples of the building blocks, and how you architect other kinds of building blocks together, so you can then learn how to properly architect a project. Now you will be better than a huge amount of programmers because a) you care and b) you have built a few real world projects.

Speak to your strengths in the interviews, reference successful projects and what you did on them. Remove any absolutely terrible code from your GitHub etc. If that means starting from scratch, that's fine, because none is better than terrible, and most people agree a GitHub is not a prerequisite for most jobs. That being said, casual hack projects and attempts on your GitHub is not bad. It means you are interested.

Besides practical projects, be sure you have "completed your education" of classic comp sci topics -- just because you graduated from uni doesn't mean you know all of the classical topics and common interview questions. We all need refreshers. Try to focus on the parts that apply to real world projects, sure, but be sure to have the fundamentals down.

Good luck and stay hungry to find good solutions and take those hacker rank style challenges one a time. You will be great eventually, and able to get a good job soon.

expertentipp 3 days ago 2 replies      
I worked with people even less skilled. Java/.NET folks "programming" through clicking around and drag and dropping things in Eclipse/Visual Studio. Test folks with no idea on how to do any automation or even how to setup/configure a freaking Jenkins ("manual" testers).

HackerRank/Codility is a very narrow specialization of computer science - dynamic programming. Pity that such narrow domain has become the benchmark in evaluating the skillset of a software professional.

danjoc 3 days ago 1 reply      
I've worked with plenty of people who suck at coding. Being good at coding doesn't seem to be a prerequisite.
xxSparkleSxx 3 days ago 3 replies      
Are there any other areas you are passionate about? Particular industries that you may have more knowledge than the average coder? Having inside knowledge of an industry can help make-up for lack-luster coding skills.

For example, I work in bioinformatics and the coding problems I face day-to-day are by no means insanely difficult. If you have a decent grasp of biology, many people would love to employ you as a bioinformatician (pay is low however).

haxiomic 3 days ago 0 replies      
How are your people skills? It makes a big difference to have a project manager who's got a decent understanding of the tech. I work with a great PM who didn't make it through the interview as a developer but was asked to join as a PM.

But aside from that avenue, It sounds like you may have been burned by interviewing for coding roles too early. In my experience CS degrees are great for computing fundamentals, but not so great for the real-life project experience that they'll be looking for. Building a few reasonable sized projects from start to finish is where you'll start to get the hang of design patterns, data structures and pretty code. You have to work through building a bunch of crummy projects at first before you start to realize where you can improve for the next ones, and where design patterns will start to make sense.

One thing to be aware of is sometimes the interviewer is totally into tech stack X and if you're not into tech stack X you're going to have a bad time, no matter how good you are, so don't take it too personally (but I know that's hard!).

Good luck!

rahilb 2 days ago 0 replies      
This is my experience after working at quite a few large companies over the last 4 years since uni.

You should optimise for passing the pub test not the programming test, and you probably don't want to work at a place that hands out codility tests.

Here's some anecdotes from my hiring experience:

My team and I once rejected a lad because we thought he would get bored after a couple of weeks. He got 100% in his codility, flawless technical interviews etc... He was too good for us and our trivial domain (this was a FTSE100, our services were consumed by 90% of the companies teams, in a very buzzwordy area).

Same company: two candidates, the first was technically better than the second. However no one who spoke to the first said they would be keen to go for a pint with him. The second was an absolute mensch so he got the job. He even said in the interview that he thought it was going terribly...

Once I interviewed two Devs on the same day, HR sent the offer to the wrong one and he accepted. Our team didn't know until he turned up on Monday morning.

Before my current gig I interviewed for a contract at a startup. The product was simple: just applying tech to a sector that is all man power based at the moment. This was the hardest technical interview I've ever had to give. I was asked to write the longest common subsequence algorithm. I did not write one line of code: eventually it turned into me watching the interviewer write the code. I was sure it was a disaster. The guy said he loved me, and wanted me to do the 'pairing' test again... All because of the pub test. I declined.

The interview for my current gig was a 30 minute chat on Skype. A team mate told me it was between me and another, but he was boring.

alexashka 3 days ago 1 reply      
You don't need to know a a whole lot to do corporate dev. You just need to be agreeable and friendly.

Keep applying.

One more thing - it'd help to include how long you've been out of school, how many interviews you've been on, where, etc.

Right now you're in crybaby mode, masked as 'give me advice'. What you're really asking for is some sympathy from strangers.

Software dev is one of the easiest fields to get a job - try being a psychology graduate. Wipe them tears, figure out what information you actually need to get a job, ask, learn, apply, work hard.

stillworks 3 days ago 0 replies      
So, do you want a job ? Or want to get better at coding ? The two are not often essentially linked.
tobltobs 3 days ago 1 reply      
> It does what it needs to do, but there were no smart decisions behind the back end. I never had to use design patterns nor data structures. I just pieced it together.

If you have shipped this or finished this project for a customer then this is more worth imho then being good in those coding tests. For most tasks it isn't necessary to to make smart decisions. Just piecing stuff together so that a job gets done and/or a customer is satisfied is better then trying to be cutting edge.

19eightyfour 2 days ago 0 replies      
Just to encourage you, and everyone else who feels this way sometimes, including myself, is the following. It's also true.

Sometimes the best performers start out as the ones who naturally are weak at the skill.

Take swimmers. How many top medalists came up from being kids with bad asthma?

So you do have some amount of control over your performance long term. Some amount of that is determined by the reaction you choose to hardship.

Another divergent point is, sometimes top performers don't get recognition in all arenas... So if an interview fails you, by all means see it as an opportunity to improve yourself ( one of many such opportunities, for sure ), but don't go imagining interviews are perfect.


caboteria 3 days ago 0 replies      
Software development involves many disciplines besides coding. You've already had some experience with automated test development, so maybe consider SQA. If you can read code and describe what it does in a natural language you might want to be a tech writer. If all else fails you can go over to the dark side and be a manager. It's not as much fun as coding but can be more lucrative.
sngz 2 days ago 0 replies      
reading the comments in this thread makes me wonder where all these jobs that hire you for skills and interviews other than pure coding are.
thephyber 3 days ago 0 replies      
> Is there any hope for me, or should I look elsewhere?

That's subjective and is up to you. I don't see any reason anything you've mentioned necessarily disqualifies you from a programming job.

It seems like you are taking the rejection from the VP to heart. Consider something else -- they decided to interview you knowing that Python was in the req and wasn't on your resume. Either the VP is disappointed at HR wasting his time or he was willing to give you a chance. If it was the latter, what could you have done to impress him / show some competency in the required field? Could you have offered to study the language and do an interview homework assignment? Could you have played up your current programming skills? Did you have enough time to learn the basics of the language before the interview?

> I spent a year working on an ecommerce site ... I never had to use design patterns nor data structures. I just pieced it together.

You built a project! Focus on the positive. Even better if you did it by yourself and on your own initiative (not as part of a class project). Unless you installed turn-key software, it certainly did require data structures (arrays, queues, hash tables / associative arrays / dicts) and algorithms (sorting, database lookups). Most basic web work only uses a very few vanilla ones. Unless you've already optimized it, you can probably find a way to do multiple things in parallel or batch some DB queries and then highlight that. Web sites frequently can benefit from memoization or caching. There are TONS of tricks for serving web pages faster[1].

There's a world of security-related topics surrounding ecommerce / web sites (XSS, SQLi, clickjacking, etc). There's also web fundamentals that I question interviewees (http protocol, auth, sessions, cookies).

> I passed all the shown test cases, the final results showed that I got the following scores 13%/95%/0%

Would you feel more or less competent if that 0% score was a bug on their end? Consider both forks of the decision tree. Consider the likelihood of each. Do something about it. Try to tweak your submission and iterate. Or focus on a different tool. Try "code golf" on HackerRank or try math problems on Project Euler.

[1] https://developers.google.com/web/fundamentals/performance/c...

echlebek 3 days ago 1 reply      
You probably do suck at coding, but that's actually OK. Lots of people suck at coding, even people who have been professional software developers for years.

It's hard to get that first job, but just keep trying. With a bit of luck you'll end up in a position where some people with more experience can mentor you. This will be a bit painful at times because you'll fail a lot, but you'll learn rapidly.

Do learn Python, it's a really accessible language and highly valuable in the marketplace. Just keep at it. If you have a degree in CS all of the knowledge is in place to succeed.

batoure 3 days ago 3 replies      
Time to start thinking about your job hunt as a search optimization problem.

When I first got started in my career I created 10 email addresses and used them to make 10 accounts on Dice.com I made 10 very different versions of my resume and started tracking the types of companies I got responses from. If I had an interview I would take notes about the style of the interview at that company and I tweaked the resumes to try to get more responses from the types of companies I enjoyed interviewing with.

Code problems are rough, I've built some cool stuff in my day but the anxiety of a quick solve on something I have never seen before breaks my brain. How can I have a 4am miracle at 11am infront of a whiteboard.

I have a strategy that has helped me land several jobs I really enjoyed.

Be up front, tell the company ahead of time your sense is that you consistently fail to demonstrate your skills with these types of problems some companies might tell you to fuck off and that will be it. But some companies might find a different way to get what they want out of you.

Additionally do as many in person interviews as possible for parts of the field you aren't interested in. In 2015 I started doing a search and felt rusty, so I made a dev ops oriented resume and interviewed for like 30 dev ops jobs. I didn't want to work in Dev Ops I'm a data guy. But it's amazing how getting comfortable going in for an interview will make you better at the interviews you want to land.

Also as someone who has been a hiring manager I have observed a funny problem that people with CS degrees have. Most early career CS people are really boring there is very little character to who they are. They are essentially a product of the curriculum that taught them.

Go build some opinions on something thats not part of a bandwagon trend then find ways to bring it up in your interview. It will help you be more memorable.

I'm a Data Scientist but I love interrogating app developers about how they feel about authentication methods like JWT and I talk about the parts of Angular that impressed me and finally helped me break through into Javascript. I don't use those things as answers to questions I just bring them up as part of conversation during the interview. It demonstrates that you have depth and can contribute beyond being a ticket monkey.

When you said you knew X and the VP asked you if you y, z he didn't need you to know those things he just wanted to see if you were a one trick pony

if you had said "I'm not familiar with y and z but I am really fascinated by v and w which I have studied on my own time can you tell me how y and z compare to v and w"

No matter how he responds you just go "Wow it would be really cool to get to work with you guys and see how you integrate y and z that sounds super interesting"

If a VP wont let that dialogue happen and they just want to power trip and interrogate you remember: the biggest mistake people make at car dealerships is forgetting that they can get up and walk out.

Its your job hunt take back the power.

tmaly 2 days ago 0 replies      
Try approaching the process a little differently. Sell yourself as someone who solves business problems, not someone that can just code in language X.

patio11 had a good post on this


nerdsaresingle 3 days ago 0 replies      
Never do real world project and waste your time. You want a job? Go do leetcode for three months. Interview 3 companies, do leetcode, interview 3 companies and repeat.
WhiteSource1 3 days ago 0 replies      
What kind of companies are you looking at? (And where are you located?). Don't look at the super sexy startups but consider enterprise crudware? A lot of times they have important problems - code that "just works" - but don't need the latest tech and have teams to handle different testing methodologies.
maxxxxx 3 days ago 0 replies      
Seems you need to push yourself to do advanced things in your projects even if it's not strictly necessary. I always try something new even though there is no real need. I do that mainly because it naturally interests me, not because of career considerations.

So, maybe you are just not passionate about programming? Realizing this is not a bad thing.

1dundundun 2 days ago 0 replies      
Consider becoming a technical project manager. Among other things, a big part of your teams role would be to translate stuff the engineers are doing to other non technical people, departments or sometimes customers.
jakozaur 3 days ago 0 replies      
Practice this coding tests. Some basic ones will also make you a better engineer in everyday life.

See Codility lessons: https://codility.com/programmers/

run28 3 days ago 0 replies      
If you know you want to be in this field, work on marketable skills. I suck at coding as well and just worked on gaining marketable skills over the years.

I'm able to get a job most anywhere these days.

ttoinou 3 days ago 0 replies      
Create your own job. Find a niche and try to build a niche product. This require some kind of domain knowledge though
usuallybaffled 3 days ago 1 reply      
Contribute to open source projects.
thephyber 3 days ago 0 replies      
don't take rejections personally. They aren't rejecting you. They are rejecting you-for-this-position-at-this-time. And they may reject you even if you pass all of their paper requirements if they aren't sure you are a "superstar" because there is implied risk in hiring someone that doesn't fit "perfectly" and isn't ready to commit code to production on the first afternoon.

Remember that interviewing is both a negotiation and is highly subjective. If you do well, but aren't a great fit for the open req, you may find a new req is created for you. Follow up with HR if you get rejected for a position to see if there are any other positions that might be a good fit. Ask HR if they have any constructive criticism from the interviews.

Some interviewers will suck. Walk it off. I've been berated and given backhanded compliments by interviewers. You need to evaluate what you did in the interview and what you could have done better. Sometimes your effort will simply not make a difference -- you will need to learn to accept that. A mentor in the industry and your college employment office should be able to help you hone these skills and develop some new soft skills (the things that employers look for but don't show up as line items on resumes). Sometimes you just need confidence and you can get that by practice. Nobody likes rejections, but at least they come with practice.

Ask your interviewer what you could have done better. You may not get a satisfactory answer (interviewers and companies may create liabilities or violate policies by answering those kinds of questions), but it can't hurt to ask. I will spend a little more time than most interviewers to try and coax out anecdotes which show initiative and grit. These don't necessarily have to be coding related -- they are attributes of people, not only of coders. If those anecdotes aren't prepared by the interviewer, I politely suggest that those things are great to open with.

Programming is largely about learning on the job and less about memorizing APIs. I want someone who truly wants to work at the same company (is at least somewhat passionate about what we do), wants to row in mostly the same direction (or at least get to the same destination), who is humble enough to want to improve their skills, and who takes the initiative to fix issues before they become problems.

If you can improve your next interview by learning from a previous mistake, do it. Certainly brush up on data structures and algos before you interview. This will require knowing which one to use in a given scenario.If you interview for a Python position, know how the language compares+contrasts to languages you know. Spend at least a little time rewriting code into Python. Open the REPL and play around. Look at Rosetta Code[1] to compare a chunk of code in a language you know and your target language. Do some "code golf" (see HackerRank section) in the new language.

When you code on websites like HackerRank, make sure you iterate. Just because you completed a task doesn't mean that's an optimal way to solve it. Revisit tasks you have solved and try to optimize them. Try to find out how others have optimized them.

[1] http://rosettacode.org/wiki/Rosetta_Code

richardknop 3 days ago 0 replies      
>>> 1) I have a bunch of projects, but they're terribly boring and have ugly looking code. For example, I spent a year working on an ecommerce site. It does what it needs to do, but there were no smart decisions behind the back end. I never had to use design patterns nor data structures. I just pieced it together.

This is not optimal. At the very least having knowledge of usual data structures and some common design patterns is kind of a requirement to get any decent development job. But I think you might actually know more about data structures/patterns than you think.

When working on the ecommerce site, you must have had come across some of these. Let's say the site was written in a high level language. For sure you have used/seen classes, array (or some higher level wrapper like lists in Python or slices in Go), hash maps. When fetching products to be displayed in the "storefront" part of the site, you might have used array/list/slice to store these.

I assume the ecommerce site used database to store data. So perhaps there was singleton pattern used to get a database connection (although this one is not the best example). What about dependency injection? How was configuration passed to objects?

Did some classes inherit from other classes? Did you see interfaces? E.g. a classic example is a payment method interface and then specific implementations for different payment methods (card, direct debit). If there are interfaces it's quite likely you will find a factory to get instance of a specific object implementing the interface?

Have you done any frontend work in JavaScript? If yes, you must be familiar with event listeners. There's a good example of observer pattern for you (queue where you register listeners for specific events) which is very important for event driven programming.

>>> 2) I have a lot of trouble with "HackerRank" style problems. I just finished one, an hour ago, called Codility. Even though I passed all the shown test cases, the final results showed that I got the following scores 13%/95%/0%. The 0% was a debugging problem that required a max of 2 line changes. I have absolutely no clue how I got a 0% there.

Try more of these courses, with practice you will get better. It's very likely you have missed something very obvious with the problem where you got 0% although you thought you got it right. Perhaps you haven't tried it with all example input values?


Anyways, I would start by taking small steps. Whatever job you currently have, try to become a better programmer by using new or better techniques while in your 9-5 job. Perhaps refactor some old part of codebase and use more effective data structures to make the code more efficient. Use objects and composition to make the code easier to read and understand. When working on a new feature, write unit tests alongside the code.

Also, when it comes to interviewing, you will also get better at it with experience. I have had quite a lot interviews in my career and I can definitely say I was pretty bad at interviewing 7 years ago. Today I am noticeably better and do very well in most interviews and whiteboard exercises.

Do an online exercise or two, study up on data structures and patterns, maybe create some small project to keep some fresh programming footprint in memory. Then go try more interviews, you'll do much better.

ASK HN: Can a person's finger impression or fingerprint be genetically modified?
2 points by febin  20 hours ago   6 comments top 6
lsiebert 13 hours ago 0 replies      
No it's set before birth. A future person's finger print could perhaps be modified, but it seems like we don't know all the genetic components behind fingerprints, and there are probably environmental factors as well.


tabeth 7 hours ago 0 replies      
Your fingerprint can't be "genetically modified," but I'm surprised at the amount of false information here. Burning your fingers or deep cuts will give you a new fingerprint (usually "none") [1]. AFAIK you can't change your fingerprint to a specific new one, though.

[1] (NSFW) http://www.cse.msu.edu/~rossarun/pubs/FengJainRoss_AlteredFi...

smt88 20 hours ago 0 replies      
You mean like... after they're born? Or by modifying the sperm and/or egg producing the person?

Edit: Doesn't matter. The answer is no. Fingerprints aren't determined by genes[1].

1. http://www.nytimes.com/2009/10/06/science/06qna.html

mattbgates 15 hours ago 0 replies      
The only way I believe that they can be modified is by literally burning them off or if you get a deep scar or cut, that can permanently alter the way they are. As far as "genetic modification" goes, likely not.
ParameterOne 14 hours ago 0 replies      
Personally, I think anything is possible.
Ask HN: Where can I find open course materials on Quantum Computing?
22 points by aviggiano  2 days ago   2 comments top 2
drdre2001 2 days ago 0 replies      
Linear Algebra is very important for Quantum Computing. You have a masters in engineering, so you shouldn't have any problems with the math. I suggest you review the basics of Linear Algebra if you haven't applied that knowledge in a while.

John Preskill's lecture notes are invaluable. They start from the basics of Quantum Computing, to Quantum Theory, all the way to advanced concepts such as Topological Quantum Computation:http://www.theory.caltech.edu/people/preskill/ph229/

You can also look over the Quantum Computation course that is hosted at OCW. The instructor for this course was Peter Shor who invented the seminal "Shor's Algorithm":https://ocw.mit.edu/courses/mathematics/18-435j-quantum-comp...

These will be enough to get you started, but it is good apply your knowledge by implementing the quantum algorithms that you have learned.There is a huge list of simulators you can use:https://www.quantiki.org/wiki/list-qc-simulators

I know you want references to open courses, but reading papers shouldn't hurt either. I don't know how much experience you have with Quantum Mechanics, but this paper:https://arxiv.org/abs/0708.0261 explains Quantum Computing very well by referring to concepts in Classical Computing. You should read this first if you are not familiar with Quantum Mechanics.

Let me know if you have any questions and good luck!

2_listerine_pls 1 day ago 0 replies      
Ask HN: What books can teach me engineering management skills?
43 points by Eiriksmal  3 days ago   18 comments top 13
yoloswagins 3 days ago 1 reply      
Managing engineers is a new career, that is separate from being an Engineer. Many engineering skills don't transfer to management, even when you think they do.

As a manager, one of the most important things you can do is schedule regular 1 on 1's with the people who report to you. Both "The Manager's Path"[1] and "Behind Closed Doors"[2] stresses this.

In about 4 months, it'll be helpful to review PG's essay, Maker's Schedule, Manager's Schedule[3]Right now, you'll be coding most of your time, but you'll soon have more and more meetings. MSMS names the feeling of frustration around meetings, and describes how to handle so many meetings.

[1] https://www.amazon.com/Managers-Path-Leaders-Navigating-Grow...

[2] https://www.amazon.com/Behind-Closed-Doors-Management-Progra...

[3] http://www.paulgraham.com/makersschedule.html

petervandijck 3 days ago 1 reply      
High Output Management, by Andy Grove. It's not specific to engineering management, but still rocks.

Second, First Break All The Rules. Again, not about engineering, but better than most all other books.

And then also of course Mythical MM and PeopleWare. Those are specific to managing engineering projects/people.

throwmeaway32 2 days ago 1 reply      
You shouldn't really be getting 'promoted' from engineer to engineer management. I know it always happens but it shouldn't, being a good engineer does not mean they'll be a good people manager.

If you're just starting this new job (and it is a new job) and you're considering 'maximizing the teams impact' it assumes that you'll in be a good manager and be able to run a team at any efficiency at all. Which is putting the cart before the horse.

You need to start from the basics of people management, just start reading everything and anything you can regarding people management, definitely including non-tech people management.

You WILL make mistakes, you will grow massively and you'll find yourself dealing with problems you might not want to; such as a dev team member missing meetings, or you trusting a team member to deliver something and they tell you 5 mins before the deadline that it won't get done (despite them saying it was all going well), or someone asking why they aren't getting promoted as they've been there for years (but you know they aren't quite cutting it). Or someone wanting vacation during a deadline period. Or in yearly pay reviews you have to choose who gets what and you know that that actually affects their lives....all these things can weigh emotionally on you. Or you needing to recommend that someone gets fired. Or how do your organise a morale event for your team which is inclusive as possible given everyone on your team but also people actually like and increases morale/celebrates your team.

Listen to your team, accept that you're learning, use data to guide your process decisions, be open and honest to your team, learn how to communicate up and down, find a mentor. Decisions you make now affect people as well as code.

It's fun and enjoyable, if not a tad stressful (just think that your job is now debugging people rather than code...and people have wayyyyyyy more race conditions....).


vram22 14 hours ago 0 replies      
My 2c (as a developer who has done some engineering / project management earlier, in companies):

The informal technique of Management By Wandering Around (MBWA) can help. I've used it in projects that I handled. It is known to have been used at HP (Hewlett-Packard), and has been written about in books on management (I read it in one such book, and applied it some), but since it is a somewhat obvious thing (at least in hindsight), it's likely to have been known much before.

The basic idea of MBWA is: instead of only relying on formal reports such as weekly status reports and such, to track / monitor how things are going, and to be able to take corrective action, walk casually, now and then, around the work area of the team (whether cubicles or individual offices for team members, the same concept applies), and chat with them (not all at the same time, maybe one or two at a time), and/or be there a while at their desk and watch what they are doing, for a bit. You can learn a lot about good and bad or potentially not so good things that are going on, with the team's (individual's) work, some of which might not surface via the regular / formal reporting mechanisms.

Worth a try, IMO, and can also be fun, since you get to interact with your team members in more casual settings. In fact, if you observe a team member doing something not quite right, or something that can be improved, telling them about it informally in such a setting, can be taken by the team member in a better spirit, than if given as a lecture or reprimand in a formal one-one-one or team meeting.


>and/or be there a while at their desk and watch what they are doing, for a bit.

Of course, you have to do this in the right way. It should not come across as though you are watching over their shoulder as they do their work - anyone would feel uneasy with that. Can do things like talk with them, ask "how is it going?", "having any issues?", ask pertinent questions about some piece of code or some output or test or design point, etc., and offer suggestions for fixes or improvements as appropriate (both on the specific point and any small process or technique that can help avoid such issue in future - good examples (for junior devs) would be the kind of things that are discussed in books like Code Complete.



Also relevant:


wincen 3 days ago 0 replies      
Peopleware by Tom DeMarco and Timothy Lister

The book is old, from IBM's heyday but most of the principles have remained unchanged.

One thing you'll find different is that they recommended offices for everyone so that each person could work in a quiet environment where they could focus as opposed to today's open area. I'd argue the open area has it's merits but everyone wears headphones so the current trend may not be all that great. Promoting a team that communicates is the goal, having an open space is merely one way to try and implement that.

jbms 2 days ago 0 replies      
The Essential Drucker: The Best of Sixty Years of Peter Drucker's Essential Writings on Management


garethsprice 3 days ago 0 replies      
Just read this, highly recommend it: http://shop.oreilly.com/product/0636920056843.do

"The Manager's Path:A Guide for Tech Leaders Navigating Growth and Change"

It's the book I wish I'd had when I was in your position 4-5 years ago.

xq3000 3 days ago 0 replies      
Pragmatic Programmers have a few titles on that: Behind Closed Doors, Manage It!, and Ship It!. They are all pretty good.
blooberr 1 day ago 1 reply      
Anything specific you want to accomplish for maximum team impact?

For example, are there metrics you're trying to hit, or are you trying to ship as many projects on time?

kevindeasis 2 days ago 0 replies      
I'm reading some of the books here in the comments. Last two weeks I finished the books:

The Phoenix project

The goal

High output management

These were insanely good. I actually bought some of these to my three siblings.

I'd recommend these books because these books opened my eyes on how management can really help if done right

lwlml 3 days ago 1 reply      
Kim, Behr and Stafford's "The Phoenix Project" isn't half-a-bad start. Follow it up with everything referenced.
steverb 2 days ago 0 replies      
Lots of great suggestions. I'd add Leading Snowflakes: http://leadingsnowflakes.com/
jennyp 2 days ago 0 replies      
rands has some good stuff on management, I liked this one in particular on 1:1s http://randsinrepose.com/archives/the-update-the-vent-and-th...
Why is there no open source Financial Stock APIs?
62 points by rammy1234  3 days ago   39 comments top 11
erikig 16 hours ago 0 replies      
Even though not quite open source - I'd also recommend checking out https://www.quantopian.com and their Pipeline API - https://www.quantopian.com/help#pipeline-title. The data and the algorithms are only as good as what you can do with them and Quantopian is on to something IMHO.
joshheyse 3 days ago 1 reply      
Most financial market data comes with strict licensing models. To get data from NYSE, NADAQ, CME or most other exchanges you must sign the agreements. Selling this data to vendors, news networks or end consumers is a large portion of the exchange's revenue.

The more granular or quickly you want the data, the more it will cost. In addition to paying for the initial data, you are not allowed to redistribute the data, in real-time or historically, with out paying royalties to the original data providers per user.

This creates a complicated accountanting system for data delivered to end users of the data.

Aggregate market data vendors (Factset, Bloomberg, Activ) pay for the initial data and then pay per user/query/etc...

Some data becomes available for unlimited distribution based on licensing, usually this data is time delayed and not allowed to be queried for historical analysis. You'll often see things on Yahoo or Google Finance that say "market data delayed by 10 min".

One of the most common sources of this delayed data is yahoo and there are open APIs for querying it. Usually in Python or a statistically language like R.

Interactive Brokers has an API you can add to your brokerage account for programmatic access across multiple exchanges. Which provides market data and order entry.

If I miss understood you, and you are interested in a open API standard for financial data there are several FIX, ITCH and OUCH are some. But they are almost always forked per exchange and sometimes even per product.

tl;dr It's not the API or infrastructure that costs, it's the data itself.

hluska 3 days ago 1 reply      
I have never used this service so don't consider this an endorsement, however Alpha Vantage seems to fit your requirements (other than being open source, which I don't particularly understand anyways).


Their site says:

We have one shared aspiration: democratizing access to institution-grade financial analytics. Alpha Vantage is one of our deliverables towards this purpose. It provides free JSON APIs for stock market data, augmented by a comprehensive set of technical indicators.

chrisnager 2 days ago 4 replies      
You might find this useful: https://iextrading.com/developer/docs/

I work on the team at the Investors Exchange that built this API. We think financial data should be more accessible.

moomin 3 days ago 2 replies      
Grief, you any idea how much time I've spent _at banks_ trying to knock information into shape? There are _no_ good sources of this information. You take a feed from NYSE and I guarantee you'll find errors _on NYSE information_. The more complex the product, the more data points, the worse it gets.

And I've only talked about static data. If you want to actually trade, it gets much, much, harder.

davelnewton 3 days ago 1 reply      

Ultimately it's due to that APIs used to generate wealth generally cost money.

rl3 3 days ago 0 replies      
What fun would the markets be without ensuring there's always an information asymmetry at play?

Besides, nothing excites me more than looking through a bunch of third-party data provider websites that look like they were made in 2002, half of which don't even list their pricesbut instead rely on sales teams to bilk the customer out of whatever they can pay.

Of course, that isn't to say you can't get your data directly from the exchange:


The only caveat is that you might need someone versed in Microsoft or Oracle enterprise licensing hell to actually decipher what's going on there.

ptype 2 days ago 0 replies      
Quandl has some free data and an API: https://www.quandl.com/
SirLJ 3 days ago 0 replies      
what kind of API we are talking about, my broker does have a trading API, which I am using every day, also IB they have an API as well...
rammy1234 3 days ago 1 reply      
Is Trading a private affair. Lets say if I want to develop an open source API , How should I go about?
rammy1234 3 days ago 2 replies      
How do firms like Fidelity , AmeriTrade get their information in real time ?
Ask HN: Are auto-playing videos now the norm?
14 points by gt565k  17 hours ago   9 comments top 8
justboxing 13 hours ago 0 replies      
> Forbes, TheHill, LinkedIn, and various other sites now just auto-play videos following right in facebook's footsteps.

Yes. And I believe these companies are trying out the Facebook recipe for Advertizing -- which leads to monetization and profits -- success.

It's been widely reported (you can search HN archivesa and you'll see) that Facebook counts as little as 3 seconds of any video play time as a "View". And it takes the average user about that much time to scroll down or up, at which point the currently playing ad stops playing, and the next one in the viewport is now playing on autoplay. So a single user could potentially be scrolling up and down his/her page / feed, and contribute 10 to 20 Video views.

Scale that to it's millions of users, and Facebook now presents the video views as "Reach" and can charge advertisers a lot more.

From an end user perspective, it's annoying, but from the publisher point of view, it's in the interest of all these sites to auto-play their videos, and count a few seconds as "Views" and tout their reach eventually leading to increased ad sales...

ahussain 16 hours ago 0 replies      
I've seen autoplaying videos that have muted audio. Those don't feel as invasive as the autoplaying audio.
no_protocol 16 hours ago 1 reply      
> I can't be alone here to think that these sites will be losing a lot of viewers due to auto-playing videos?

Don't forget that the vast, vast majority of computer users are not like you or anyone that posts on this site. They probably respond differently to these types of videos.

Raphmedia 16 hours ago 0 replies      
Studies show that autoplaying videos will increase the amount of videos that are being played by 100%!
mgreenly 13 hours ago 0 replies      
I started using the AutoMute extension to automatically mute newly opened tabs and very rarely notice auto play videos. I guess I don't find the video as distracting as the audio.
crispytx 17 hours ago 0 replies      
I hope not. It's annoying.
gue5t 16 hours ago 0 replies      
User-hostile behavior by for-profit websites is the norm; any particular offense is just the fad of the day.
MichaelBurge 16 hours ago 0 replies      
An ad blocker will take care of that problem. Disabling media is a good first step, and you might want to disable Javascript too.
Ask HN: How do you host your side projects?
17 points by jmstfv  2 days ago   22 comments top 11
lappet 3 hours ago 0 replies      
I host https://samosasnearme.com/ on Amazon S3 and Lambda. It comes out to 50 cents a month for Route 53 and around $12 a year for the domain. Traffic is pretty low, around 100 visits monthly.
mattbgates 2 days ago 1 reply      
I use DreamHost and usually the process goes something like this:

(If interested, affiliate link w/free domain offer: https://www.dreamhost.com/r.cgi?1405127/signup|confessions)

1. Think of a great idea for a side project.2. Purchase domain at GoDaddy with [usually] 35% discount.3. Host website at DreamHost.4. Design and code website / side project.5. Test it and ensure it works to at least 90% of the time.6. Put it on DreamCompute (Cloud hosting provided by DreamHost) where it is a faster and independent server.

I usually code in PHP and Javascript. I use DreamObjects from DreamHost which is basically AWS which is technically a very stable CDN ... I believe I've had 99.9%, maybe even 100% uptime.

On my busiest website hosted on DreamCompute ( http://www.confessionsoftheprofessions.com) : I normally receive about 1,000 visitors daily. Sometimes it spikes depending on whats trending or if something goes viral. For a few weeks, I was getting 10,000-20,000 visitors a day and the website handled very well... it didn't go down at all.

On my average website hosted on Shared Hosting ( https://mypost.io ): I normally receive about 100 visitors daily. Occasionally things go viral and I'll get 300-500 visitors a day in blocks.

As for my other side projects.. they aren't really public or traffic is too low to mention. And I normally MySQL databases for everything.

jetti 1 day ago 0 replies      
For the project I'm seriously putting effort into I use Hostgator, MySql, Wordpress and Amazon S3. It is a desktop application so I don't need any fancy hosting.

For another project that I did in Elm and threw some ads up I use Namecheap hosting (with no database).

Finally, for consulting and for my upcoming project (Blog engine in Elixir with no dependencies on Phoenix, just Plug) I'm probably going to be using Digital Ocean droplet with a self-hosted PostgreSQL, though I may end up doing either Amazon Container service with RDS or Google's Kubernetes Service with RDS or Google's version of RDS.

I also use DO for deployments with the contracting work I'm working on to show clients progress.

indescions_2017 2 days ago 0 replies      
Quick demos and POCs work well on Github Pages.

More dynamic apps can be hosted on Google Compute Engine's free tier. Single core Xeon vCPU with 600Mb RAM. Enough to run Ubuntu 16.04, Caddy, and a pipeline of concurrent golang micro-services in parallel for maybe a few simultaneous users per second ;)

Use Firebase or Cloud Datastore free tiers for real-time data persistence.

You'll get warnings about load, asking you to upgrade to a medium instance in the control panel. But it suffices for an MVP and to gauge interest. And it's effortless to scale when all you have is golang binaries, systemctl service scripts and API keys. No Docker Required!

To get even more minimal, try architecting a serverless solution. Best of luck!


emilburzo 2 days ago 0 replies      
For low traffic ones I host them about 1 meter away :)

On my "server" -- actually a desktop PC used headlessly (specs for anyone wondering: i7-4790, 32GB RAM, 2TB raid with 2xWD Re drives, 20 min APC UPS, 100/100 connection)

Projects are separated using LXC containers or Docker, KVM/QEMU wasted too much memory.

For anything that gains a lot of traffic or is a bit more critical -- luckily(?) only one at the moment -- same setup but on online.net dedicated servers.

Stack is all over the place, from Java to Python to Go, from Postgres to MongoDB to flat files, you get the idea.

magacloud 1 day ago 0 replies      
We have so many people who use MEAN based stack and run it on Linode or DigitalOcean. This is not only from our online surveys, but from interactions at local meetup events.
savethefuture 2 days ago 1 reply      
I host on Digital Ocean, self setup vps.

Tech stack: go, php, c, python, sqlite, mysql, nginx, redis, aws s3

Traffic: couple 10 thousand maybe

marktangotango 2 days ago 0 replies      
AWS t2.micro, three year reserve (about $5 a month). I use Apache, mod lua, redis, and SQLite. Near zero traffic, side project attracted no users.
leandot 2 days ago 0 replies      
Kimsufi, cheap, good dashboards, and so far surprisingly reliable.
RUG3Y 1 day ago 0 replies      
surge.sh is perfect for static front-end things. Heroku and Digital Ocean for everything else.
bobbington 1 day ago 0 replies      
Vultr is at $2.50 a month for 512mb ram which is plenty for a side project. As for your tech stack you'd use Linux of course but as for programming language it's your preference.

I think my current favorite stack would be node + mongo + vue for a side project. Sure people hate mongo for big projects, but it's just so stinking convenient.

Ask HN: What do you use to manage your passwords?
4 points by hackathonguy  1 day ago   8 comments top 7
nozzlegear 14 hours ago 0 replies      
I've used KeePass synced through OneDrive for a few years now. Getting a password out used to be pretty tedious as my master password is on the longer side, but I've found a couple apps that let me quickly sign in with my fingerprint which has significantly improved my outlook on this setup.

If anyone wants to try them, those apps are Keepass2Android Password Safe [1] for Android, and KeePassReader [2] for Windows 10 (also lets you sign in by looking at your camera). I have no affiliation with them beyond being a happy user.

[1]: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=keepass2androi...

[2]: https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/store/p/keepassreader/9nblgg...

wingerlang 17 hours ago 0 replies      
I avoided password managers as long as possible but I tried 1Password for some reason and now I cannot dream of not having it around.
rmurri 20 hours ago 0 replies      
Enpass is pretty nice. Simple, good mobile support, cross platform, and inexpensive.


ooqr 23 hours ago 0 replies      
Chrome and macOS keychains are pretty nice without requiring extras.
nabaraz 1 day ago 1 reply      
I use keypass from my flash drive. The database file is synced to my server through my batch process. I plug in my flash drive, enter my master password and i then have access to my database.
lsiunsuex 1 day ago 0 replies      
I like 1password. Was using it on iPhone for 2 ish years and finally signed up for the monthly billing this weekend and installed the desktop version. No complaints so far.
MichaelBurge 17 hours ago 0 replies      
Ask HN: How do you communicate technical ideas from devs to non-devs, vice versa
16 points by TbobbyZ  2 days ago   11 comments top 8
twunde 2 days ago 0 replies      
First off, you're absolutely correct in trying to nail down the requirements before choosing. It sounds like there are a couple related problems that you're trying to solve. 1) You find the database design difficult to understand, 2) you're trying to understand and get sign off on functional requirements and 3) you're trying to write up a design for a technical solution. For 1) see if you can get an ER diagram so you can see the relationships. You may find that additionally you need to document sections of the db schema because you don't understand what certain tables represent. This can be done in a wiki or in the code or both. 2) Can be done using user stories or tickets, but for complex work it's best to write up a business requirements document containing the functional requirements (what needs to be done, not how to do it). There are templates and examples readily available, just adjust for the level of detail you need. This is what your boss should be signing off on. 3) You can probably avoid creating technical specs at the moment. Their target audience are developers and these specify the solution design. Unless you have a real need to choose one solution over another, it's often best to let the developer working on the problem to choose their own solution.

As an aside, you mean pseudo code not sudo code. Sudo is a linix/unix command

watwut 2 days ago 0 replies      
I would try to shift the communication from technical (how it is done) to non-technical (what it is supposed to do). But, dont ask "what is it supposed to do" in general. Ask more concrete specific questions.

I think that the discipline you are looking for is "analysis". it does not matter all that much which specific form document takes - requirements matrix, use cases, user stories, mockups, ... . Important is that it is stored on one place only, easy to update and updated often.

tixocloud 1 day ago 0 replies      
I was a software engineer who became a strategy consultant and part of my role is to communicate ideas back and forth between business and technical audiences.

Short answer: Lots of dialogue, feedback, listening and visual communication (i.e. whiteboard)

Long answer: It's more complicated because the person impacting you is your boss. Ask if he can involve you in the design process next time and let him know that if he can, you'll be able to understand things more efficiently and there's less risk of doing it wrong. When designing, share ideas but avoid directly saying he is wrong. Ask thoughtful questions like what is the business trying to do and what are they trying to solve? What will they eventually do with the database/system?

chatmasta 2 days ago 1 reply      
It sounds like your boss might be micromanaging. He should not be responsible for defining your data model; he hired you to worry about that. The only thing he should be concerned with is the business requirements, for example, which queries have business value? What queries might we want to make in the future?

It's good he's thinking about the data model, but he's introducing meaningless friction in your relationship by effectively requiring this additional communications step. You could spend that time coding.

In this example, your contract with him is to deliver a data model that optimizes for business requirements, minimizes cost, and maximizes speed. All those variables affect the data model, since you obviously need to consider tradeoffs when designing schemas or creating indices. You have the expertise to make decisions about these tradeoffs. Your boss only has expertise on the business requirements. So why would he try to optimize the data model himself if he is only considering a subset of the variables? He needs to trust you for your expertise and remember why he hired you, IMO.

ParameterOne 2 days ago 1 reply      
Get your boss a free copy of Visual Use Case. He can write requirements, user stories, list actors, etc and it will automagically spit out UML chart that you can use to visualize the flow when you code. You can get an upgrade to TopTeam Analyst and that will also give you swim lane diagrams plus manage end-to-end Requirements Traceability for Business Applications, Products and Medical systemsmore. Here is the free version:


Here is a video about the product you can share with him:


cdevs 2 days ago 0 replies      
This seems very odd for someone to define a backend portion like this and ask you to build on top of it. The way I would approach this situation is list examples and situations where it makes your job harder and have reasons why a different approach would be better. If telling them that they will be stuck with these issues after you've moved on in a few years and they are ok with that then that's how it goes, nothing else can be done.
nandorsky 2 days ago 1 reply      
When you say 'requirements' what exactly is he handing over? I've built out a front-end interactive prototype using just HTML, CSS and a little bit of javascript when facing this issue. This forces my end-user to have something to touch/feel before coding out the back-end. It saves me time and it also forces the end user to start to really think through how their idea will work in the real world.
whistlerbrk 2 days ago 0 replies      
I think you need to focus on doing this visually, that is have him/her design the UI, agree on it, and distill that down to internal requirements which you can estimate out. It doesn't seem necessary to be sharing the implementation details with them.
Ask HN: Do Coursera or Udacity certifications help for getting a job?
8 points by alexandru88  1 day ago   4 comments top 3
speakfrankly 1 day ago 1 reply      
any employer of worth would rather take a candidate that takes pride in their own self education and development rather than expecting the employer to foot the bill for career development. If a candidate can show they have learnt and can apply that knowledge, irrespective of how they gained that knowledge (whether it is a university degree, IT training or coursera) I personally try and do a coursera every few months to keep up with my own personal development program.
erikig 16 hours ago 0 replies      
They do in my case.

I've been interviewing junior fintech dev candidates in the South Florida area and I've found that the candidates that have Udemy, Udacity or Coursera certificates are a better fit for our start up and showed a lot more initiative at tasks than those who didn't.

matbram 1 day ago 0 replies      
I was wondering this as well. I doubt they carry any weight to be honest.

If you want a program that will give you certifications, you may have a better chance of going with Udacity(https://www.udacity.com/) instead.

Hope this helps.

Ask HN: Does anybody else feel overwhelmed while reading HN?
207 points by yeswecatan  7 days ago   147 comments top 61
patio11 7 days ago 7 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 7 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 7 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 7 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 7 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 7 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.

agibsonccc 6 days 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!

hunterjrj 7 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 7 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.

smacktoward 7 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...)

mothers 7 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 7 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.

alexashka 7 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 7 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 7 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 7 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 7 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 7 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.

darksim905 7 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.
RandomOpinion 7 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."

Mz 7 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.

apohn 7 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.

MajorWalrus 7 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."

yodsanklai 7 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.

wonderwonder 7 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.

jhgjklj 7 days 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.

alexandru88 6 days 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.
omginternets 7 days ago 0 replies      
Take a break.

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

trelliscoded 7 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.
thefalcon 7 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 7 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 7 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 7 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!

LarryMade2 6 days 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.

rblion 7 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 7 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 7 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.

lmm 7 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.

dhf17 6 days 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.
acomjean 7 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..

fav_collector 3 days ago 0 replies      
The only people who comment on the technical posts are the experts in that domain/topic. Most readers just read silently and don't have the knowledge/context to comment
slake 6 days 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.

3pt14159 7 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 7 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 7 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).

b3kart 7 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 7 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".

mino 6 days ago 1 reply      
Just have a look at:http://n-gate.com/hackernews/


xiphias 7 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 7 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.

h1d 6 days 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.
OJFord 7 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 7 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.
mayanxoni 5 days 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. :)
aaronhoffman 7 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 7 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 7 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.
JanhLinxProject 6 days ago 0 replies      
Yes it may feel overwhelming at times, but the trick is to be focused and selective what you read.
lhuser123 6 days ago 0 replies      
And I just found out there's so much smart people here. Seriously.
Danihan 7 days ago 1 reply      
I feel underwhelmed...
Jimmie_Rustle 7 days ago 0 replies      
Ask HN: Where to find co-developers for side projects?
33 points by Liberator  21 hours ago   43 comments top 17
Frizi 21 hours ago 1 reply      
If you need a frontend developer to realize your idea, become one or change the idea. There are many people who like to code just for fun, but they have plenty of ideas already. In the end time is the most limiting factor for many of us. You have to pick what are you using that time for very carefully.
nfriedly 21 hours ago 2 replies      
This might not be the answer you're looking for, but if you don't already have someone in mind, then you should probably build you side project on your own.

Also, basic html and css is all it takes to build a webpage. (Well, technically you don't even need the CSS...)

JavaScript is definately not required. Responsive CSS is a bit nicer to have to make the website mobile-friendly, but this is all you really need:

 <meta name="viewport" content="width=device-width, initial-scale=1.0"> <style type="text/css"> * {max-width: 100%} </style>
Build with what you know or want to learn, and if someone comes along, great, and if not you should be just fine.

original_idear 20 hours ago 2 replies      
"I'm doing it only for fun and to learn new things."


"I don't want to spend whole summer learning javascript and responsive design, because it would feel more like a chore to me"


0x4f3759df 21 hours ago 1 reply      
At your college. Put up a flyer or reach out to some computer minded organization. You're not actually going to get an angular / react dev (they cost $$$$), best you can hope for is someone with no skills who wants to be an 'angular / react' dev.
sophacles 20 hours ago 0 replies      
I can think of a couple routes to this:

* find various organizations devoted to this. Even the small town I live in has a "design society", a python users group, a generic "coder group" and so on. Often groups like this have hack times - just get together, work on your own stuff, but have other people with different skillsets there too to help, co-learn or whatever!

* Find local hackathons - these are a bit more intense but many of them are not primarily contests etc, but just a short-term version of the above

* Find your local (hacker|maker)space.

* Put out an ad in the Craigslist gigs (computer).

If these resources don't exist for you, consider starting them!

Story-time: I was perusing the local Craigslist and came across a person who had put up a tutoring gig - she wanted someone to teach her flask in a structured way. I replied that I'd be willing to share my experience and co-learn, but not really structured and because of my obligations and conflicts of interest I couldn't take payment. Instead I suggested we do the co-learing and experience sharing as a Python Users Group. The one that previously existed in our town had been defunct for several years at that point, and I wanted to see it happen so people didn't need to offer money for learning resources. Long story short - that pug has been around for 5 years now and is still going strong. I'm only involved as an attendee once a month or so, and the other person who founded it coordinates the hack sessions, but new folks have stepped up and filled in the rest of the roles!

Good luck with your adventure - if you have to go the "start a thing" route: warning it's a lot of work, but rewarding. If that happens and you could use advice/experience feel free to reach out:


Cerium 21 hours ago 0 replies      
Forums and IRC channels specific to the domain you would like to work in. I have not done any myself, but I see people teaming up to make domain specific applications quite often.

For example, I am part of a tea channel on IRC. There are two people who have teamed up to make a tea journal app for Android.

austincheney 20 hours ago 1 reply      
I am trying to write a new programming language. Language design is new to me and would really love a co-developer. If anybody is interested the language is at https://github.com/prettydiff/simple and the design is still at the very beginning.

Basic design goals:

less is more, holy war elimination, strong/strict references, no syntax overloading, blocks by reference, single paradigm, sub-types by assignment/extension instead of by generics, lexical scope instead of classes/inheritance

trinifar 21 hours ago 2 replies      
It sounds like you are looking for a friend to code with. Try your local area.

Otherwise everyone has their own projects.

No one will read what you wrote above and think "Wow, he sounds like a good leader with a solid plan."

I could go on and on with suggestions.

hamstercat 20 hours ago 1 reply      
Find local hackathons in your city. In mine I can find some on http://meetup.com. That way you get together with strangers, work on something for a day or a weekend or whatever, and there's no pressure after that. You'll get to learn new things and make connections at the same time.

EDIT: thanks for the correction, it's meetup.com not meetings.com

johndevor 21 hours ago 0 replies      
My tip to you would be to raise your goals. Learning JavaScript should not be a chore if your goals are high enough.
Twisell 20 hours ago 0 replies      
Actually it would be nice to have a competence exchange website where volunteers could register and find matches. But instead of dating, this could be for developing.

Because the limitation of the "just do it yourself on your own" approach is that when looking for specific solutions I often stubble on a dozen of half-backed, dubiously maintained, side projects. And I can't keep from wondering what great things theses solos developers could have done had they worked together form the start.

Also a good example come to my mind, you might want to ask OpenStreetMap.org developers how did they gather and start what is a "recent" and huge FOSS success story with a large community behind it.

eeZah7Ux 20 hours ago 1 reply      
It would be very nice to have a platform where people can propose/ask for FLOSS projects and subscribe to them as potential contributor / tester / user. It could allow searching by keyword/tag/topic and voting.
forkLding 21 hours ago 1 reply      
Created a fb group for this scenario: https://www.facebook.com/groups/665825200225224/
caser 21 hours ago 0 replies      
Hackathons and meet ups might be a good place to start.
sharemywin 21 hours ago 1 reply      
Maybe you can talk about what your looking to create.

Or, maybe build it as an API and people find it useful and build front ends for it.

andrewmcwatters 20 hours ago 0 replies      
This is really low effort. If you think this is a chore maybe you just shouldn't do it. You sound like an ideas guy who doesn't want to do work. You also sound like you basically want other people to work on your side project. Maybe you should start something first. People are more willing to help those who help themselves.
Google is trying to patent video compression use of Asymmetric Numeral Systems
36 points by eln1  4 days ago   3 comments top 3
bhhaskin 2 days ago 0 replies      
Patents were originally created to protect inventers with little capital from large companies with more capital pushing them out of the market before they could become established. It's really sad how far the paten system has come.
eln1 2 days ago 0 replies      
NTDF9 3 days ago 0 replies      
Hooli in the making?
Ask HN: What sites do you use to find Tech Jobs?
28 points by hues  4 days ago   10 comments top 9
askafriend 2 days ago 0 replies      
This is roughly how a job search for me would go if I were to do it right now:

I would probably go directly to the companies I'm interested in once I've done a ton of research into the companies and their trajectories/teams. There'd probably only be a handful of companies that I'd be interested in joining. Luckily I'm in the Bay Area so there's a lot of great ones that wouldn't require me to move.

I could get my foot in the door at most companies just based on my resume (nothing insane - a consistent trajectory with good performance at a string of top companies/startups helps). But after that, I'd be royally screwed by the interview process if I didn't prepare thoroughly for the algorithms puzzles for a solid month or two. LeetCode (online coding practice) and Cracking The Code Interview (book) are popular review material for exactly this so I'd review those after work and on the weekends. Even after preparation there's still an unnecessarily big element of luck built into the standard tech interview process. With luck and preparation hopefully a couple of the companies from my shortlist work out and that would be that.

davewasthere 1 day ago 0 replies      
In Australia, I think there's probably just the one main website (seek). Although Indeed look like a close-ish second.

I can't say I'm experienced at job searching techniques. I get most of my work through personal referrals. But I'm pretty free with advice and like helping small businesses get their basic IT stuff sorted. It's not really my day-to-day Software Dev role, but I enjoy it. And it's surprising how often it results in decent projects down the line. (although that's never the intent)

probinso 4 days ago 0 replies      
YouTube. Watch conference talks. Apply to represented companies.

Meetups for same reason as above.

Also Craigslist has surprising yield, despite lack in diversity.

chad_strategic 2 days ago 0 replies      

I'm not saying the jobs will be good. But you will get recruiters calling.

I like to play a game with dice.com. I will leave my profile stagnant for a few months. Then I will log on and then add an extra period some one in the resume. Then the next day, the phone will start ringing with recruiters thinking I'm looking for a new job.

itburnslikeice 3 days ago 0 replies      
LinkedIn is probably the most direct. I don't like stack overflow although you get contacted for available jobs, no recruiter spends more than 10secs to watch you profile and see if you remotely match the position. 8 out of 10 that contacted me were about positions that were simply bad the requirements were an total mess ( like that doesn't happen everywhere, but whatever ) and lets just don't get started on the startup culture of every company with an profile on that site.
haskellandchill 3 days ago 0 replies      
I mostly don't find tech jobs. I'm quite lucky to have one otherwise I'd be screwed. Sites I've tried that have most return are hired.com and underdog.io but you need more than 3 years experience to be accepted to a round most likely.
rammy1234 3 days ago 0 replies      
websites are door which is wide open for many and you get lost in the pile of resumes if you apply through them. You need to standout somehow. show your work in some blog and add it to linkedIn profile and connect with people for reference and still you need to prove your worth.
richardknop 4 days ago 1 reply      
StackOverflow, LinkedIn, HN, Google.
navyad 4 days ago 0 replies      
Ask HN: Alternatives to Yubikey?
156 points by eekthecat  4 days ago   83 comments top 26
j_s 4 days ago 2 replies      
This came up last week on the OpenPGP discussion; here's a re-post -- no one else has mentioned the sc4-hsm yet. https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=14495213

Open source (-ish?) Yubikey alternatives

https://sc4.us/hsm/ $75 | https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=12053181

https://trezor.io/ $99 | https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=10795087 (not much on HN)

https://www.floss-shop.de/en/security-privacy/smartcards/13/... 16.40 (OpenPGP Smart Card v2.1; 4096-bit keys)

https://www.fidesmo.com/fidesmo/about/privacy-card/ 15 (NFC only; recommended by the terminated SIGILANCE OpenPGP Smart Card project; 2048-bit keys)

tptacek 4 days ago 3 replies      
It's worth considering: almost nobody who uses Yubikeys loves them, but they are by a wide margin the tokens experts recommend most.
cafogleman 4 days ago 4 replies      
I recommend the OnlyKey: https://www.amazon.com/OnlyKey-Color-Password-Manager-Obsole...

The device uses strong encryption (where legal), and goes beyond U2F to include password management, certificate storage, OTP/Google Auth, and plausible deniability. The hardware is teensy-based, and the firmware is open source. The devs have released fairly regular updates, and even encourage hacking on it to meet custom needs.

captainmuon 4 days ago 2 replies      
While we're at it, is there one that:

- Lets me store certificates and PGP keys

- Has two factor authentication (U2F)

- Has open hard and software (source-available)

Basically, a USB pen drive that allows U2F, and is can be made read only (either by a switch or only writable over a special interface). I don't really need tamper-resistance, pre-generated keys, smart cards or any other advanced features.

dsl 4 days ago 4 replies      
NitroKey (https://www.nitrokey.com/) is the non-crappy version of YubiKey.
graystevens 4 days ago 0 replies      
Here are a list that someone has collated - http://www.dongleauth.info/dongles/

The alternative to Yubikey that I am aware of is NitroKey, but can't say I am aware of how they match up, feature for feature

lisper 4 days ago 1 reply      

It's fully open-source, but the only standard application currently supported is U2F.

Disclosure: this is my product.

debatem1 4 days ago 0 replies      
I've given up on yubikey at this point. I love the form factor, but it was easier in the end to build a different second factor infrastructure than it was to deal with the company.

I've been toying with the idea of building an open source replacement and fabbing it with a shuttle service but ultimately the cost is really too high to justify.

2bluesc 4 days ago 1 reply      
What was you issue with support?

I've had 2 Yubikeys replaced at their cost after published security exploits highlighted shortcomings. Also haven't had one fail on me yet. Would be curious to learn what your experience was.

rbjorklin 4 days ago 1 reply      
The DIY open source alternative: https://u2fzero.com/
chipz 4 days ago 0 replies      
Slightly out of topic, is it possible to create one with similar function to yubikey with USB flash drive?
erik998 3 days ago 0 replies      
Not exactly Yubikey but USB Armory has some close features:


The following example security application ideas illustrate the flexibility of the USB Armory concept:

 mass storage device with advanced features such as automatic encryption, virus scanning, host authentication and data self-destruct OpenSSH client and agent for untrusted hosts (e.g Internet kiosks) router for end-to-end VPN tunnelling Tor bridge [see this, for example] password manager with integrated web server electronic wallet [the Electrum Bitcoin wallet works out of the box on the USB Armory. It has been tested with X11 forwarding from Linux as well as Windows hosts.] authentication token portable penetration testing platform low level USB security testing

chx 4 days ago 0 replies      
For me, the ideal solution would be a cross platform password manager software which stores your encrypted vault ... somewhere -- I hate the "cloud" word but let's use it -- and then has a small display which the password manager on your phone can read and decrypt the vault with it. It's just a few hundred (thousand at most) bits that you need to carry across, not a big deal. For desktop / laptop / charging, it needs to be USB pluggable. Physical form factor approximately like https://www.adafruit.com/product/2690 this or http://www.ebay.com/itm/Mini-4GB-LCD-Screen-Display-MP3-Musi... this.

The problem currently is a) most sites want passwords b) I do not want to mess with cables c) NFC is not ubiquitous.

scott00 3 days ago 0 replies      
The Feitian ePass: https://www.amazon.com/Feitian-ePass-NFC-FIDO-Security/dp/B0...

Can't vouch for it (either product or support), but it exists.

lazylester 4 days ago 0 replies      
I too had poor experience with support and also weak documentation, but I pushed through it and I'm very happy with the product now that it's integrated with my app. They seem to practically 'own' the space and I have some confidence in the longevity of the product.
kdmoyers 4 days ago 0 replies      
There's also this thinghttps://www.protectimus.com/protectimus-slim-miniA little different because it does not plug in, but very convenient. It seems like the usb key solutions are likely to get left plugged into the port, and so get stolen along with the laptop. The protectimus idea is to keep the key on you at all times.
weinzierl 4 days ago 1 reply      
Nitrokey (formerly CryptoStick)


AFAIK they are used at Mozilla. The Firmware is Open Source. Downside is that not all their dongles support U2F.

markgamache1 4 days ago 1 reply      
Sounds like an opportunity for someone to make consulting money. I have found their docs lacking, but never tried support. Once I muddled through and figured out what I needed, I have been very happy.

That said, I have looked for alternatives and found none.

I am most disappointed in the mediocre coverage of their RDP drivers. I need to use all the features over RDP. Some work and some don't.

makmanalp 4 days ago 0 replies      
Can some folks also speak to the audit consensus on some of these? It seems with many of the newer / open source solutions, few of the end products actually got audited by a competent external security firm / researcher, right?
prohor 4 days ago 0 replies      
I just wonder - if the same key is used for enabling password manager and 2FA ... is it still 2FA? I mean, having the token you get both access to password and second factor to a service.
cmurf 4 days ago 1 reply      
I'm annoyed that Lastpass still doesn't support U2F, and I don't really understand the delay at this point.
jvagner 4 days ago 1 reply      
Out of curiosity... is Google Authenticator dead? The iOS app hasn't been updated in quite a while (Feb 22, 2016).
bockafer 4 days ago 0 replies      
I've had good experiences with Yubikeys thus far. I still have two of the Symantec VIP tokens from years ago that I've never had issues with. I recently bought a Neo to test out NFC (NFC support on the HTC 10 seems deplorable for smart card reading btw). I also purchased a few 4c tokens and so far they've worked great although I haven't been using them for very long.

The gotchas I've encountered while using them on OSX:

 - The pins for PIV and OpenPGP are separate as these are separate modules on the card. - You can't use the PIV or NEO GUI managers and gpg at the same time. You might have to unplug and plug the token back in when switching back and forth between GUI/cmdline Yubico tools and gpg. - Forgetting to change my environment to use gpg-agent instead of ssh-agent. - Typing in my local password instead of the PIV pin when logging into OSX while I have a token with PIV enabled plugged in.
The "setup" instructions that are referenced in the packaging and on parts of the site are for basic use of OTP. Real documentation is here: https://www.yubico.com/support/knowledge-base/categories/gui...

For people asking about backing up material on OpenPGP modules: these are write only. Generate your material locally with gpg instead of generating them on the smart card itself and use the keytocard command to copy the keys to the card. You can backup your keyring prior to moving keys and restore it before copying keys to each card or ctrl c out of gpg without saving the keyring references for the material that was moved to the smart card.

I used bits and pieces from a few guides to get the setup I wanted as this was my first experience with smart cards and advanced use of pgp:







Overview of my process (on an air gapped machine):

 - Configure gpg.conf. - Generate master, subkey, and revocation material on an encrypted USB drive for offline backup of materia along with revocation certificates. - Backup original .gnupg directory to another folder on the encrypted USB drive. - Copy .gnupg directory to second encrypted USB drive for offsite backup. - For each smart card I wanted the same material on: -- Change default user and admin pins. -- keytocard subkeys for (S)ign, (E)ncrypt, (A)uthenticate (without saving keyring). -- Require local touch for all material ( Yubico specific: https://developers.yubico.com/PGP/Card_edit.html ). -- move on to next card. -- save keyring after running keytocard on the last card so the subkey material no longer exists in the local keyring, only references to it (this might not be necessary, I need to test). - Generate a copy of the keyring without master key to use on daily machine(s). Might also only need to have the master material minus the key in the keyring as noted above. I haven't tested how - Copy new keyring to another USB drive for transferring to daily machine(s). - Configure gpg-agent.conf and gpg.conf on daily machine.
Resetting the applet if you messed up or want to start fresh:



user5994461 4 days ago 1 reply      
SecurID has been the gold standard for more than a decade.

Not to dismiss YubiKey but companies that can afford 2 factor and take security seriously already have SecurID for a long time.

Ask HN: At what point in mobile app development is QA asked to test?
5 points by brayhite  2 days ago   4 comments top 2
wingerlang 2 days ago 0 replies      
We do testing when a ticket is moved to "testing" column in JIRA. Then another sweep once all features is ready.
gls2ro 2 days ago 1 reply      
Here is my opinion related to your situation: you probably already have a mindset about testing as being reactive (meaning is starts after something is built). It might help on the long term (with efforts done on short term) to change this and involve the testing team as soon as possible in your development effort. As they time will pass by this will reduce the number of bugs, the need for retesting and regression and thus in the end maybe more time for the testers.

Aside from this big change, here are more practical advices:

The Testing Team _can start_ as soon as they can execute the mobile app (either through a simulator/emulator or directly on the device).

In order to minimze the effort of the testing team here are some things that I think might help:

1. The purpose of the testing team should be: a) covering all functionalities and b) discover as much bugs as possible.

2. To be able to implement the first point, then the testing team should define a series of risks they want to cover. This can be done quick and efficient if they have two types of knowledge:

 (a) about what the application does (and here I think they can maximize what they learned from other platforms) and (b) about the types of bugs specific to the platform they are testing. 
With these in mind they can write a list of risks of what might go wrong in the app, even before starting the testing using the knowledge they have about the product features.

With this list and with an app ready to be installed on the device they can and should start testing.

I hould say two more things:

1) Optimising the testing effort by limiting different variables related to the testing process (ie. start as late as possible, doing it with few people ...) should be a decision always balanced by risks. I'm not saying you should not do it. But I am saying that when taking a decision one should assess what is there that one can risk in terms of probability and impact.

2) Testing is an activity that can be done also by development. So you can - and should based on many best practices - write unit testing as much as possible. Writing unit testing by development team lets the testing team focus more on exploration of functionalities and putting themselves in the shoes of the end-user and thus discovering what might go wrong from that perspective.

3) When constrained by time pressure one strategic focus of the testing team should be to cover more with less effort. It can be they should use more tools, learn more best practices, increase some skills that buy time (example: how fast they can type) or buy faster machines or decrease the amount of documentation written.

Hope this helps in some ways.

edit: formatting

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