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1
Ask HN: Is Georgia Tech's Online Master in CS Worth It?
309 points by soneca  6 hours ago   128 comments top 37
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vikascoder 4 hours ago 5 replies      
Current working professional and an OMSCS student here. It highly depends on the context. Biggest pros are:1. This is perhaps the cheapest Computer Science masters in the United States from a premier school. The degree is exactly the same as offered to the residential program and the credits acquired are all legit and transferable to other universities. I had friends who transferred from OMSCS to a regular school and skipped one full semester due to the credits earned.2. An OMSCS qualification holds way more water than if you do random MOOC qualifications on Coursera and others.3. The coursework is the same as the residential program. So if you dont believe in studying an MS at all, then this program is nothing special. Its a Masters in Computer Science. So It's pros and cons are the same as a regular MS.4. If you are international, then having an OMSCS degree is equivalent to having a Gatech MS degree. It is a superb add-on to your profile and also qualifies you as a graduate level tech specialist for future Visa processing.5. If you are international and looking to stay and work in your own country, then your mileage may vary depending on your circumstances. OMSCS provides no visa support and no career counselling. It does have an online portal for jobs but its more geared towards residents.6. Other than that, it forces you to think and study new areas of research while you work so its extremely enriching.7. The program is more or less extremely well run with regular assignments, proctored exams, 1-1 sessions with professors and what not.8. Some companies reimburse your tuition, so its virtually free (at least for me)

Cmon guys, a US Masters for 7000 USD? Are you kidding me? Its totally worth it. In fact I feel blessed that such a thing even exists. GaTech has been a trailblazer in this regards.

2
ordinaryperson 5 hours ago 1 reply      
At 5K, the price is right (my in-person master's was 22K, although my employers covered most of it) but be aware it's not the missing piece to catapult you into superstar developer earning 170K/year.

Honestly I think your time is better spent working on real projects. In my CS master's program I met many students with no real-world experience. One was a paralegal before school, and after he graduated he became...a paralegal with a CS master's. Experience > degrees, every time.

There's value in the program (algorithms and data structures being the most applicable), but just go in with your eyes open knowing that the degree is not a glass slipper that'll turn you into Cinderella overnight. Too many IMHO falsely believed my program was a jobs program and really struggled to find work in the field.

If you can do it at night while working FT, great but don't take 1-2 years off work. It sounds appealing to be done ASAP but you're unlikely to make up that 60-120K/year in lost wages. Unless you're fabulously wealthy.

Good luck.

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bkanber 5 hours ago 2 replies      
Worth it -- based on what metric?

My wife did an online master's degree (at a legit university that also had an online program). You have to be very good at self-pacing, diligence, and learning autonomously. You have to be so good at it, in fact, that the type of person who would succeed in an online master's program is the same type of person who would succeed in self-learning without the master's program.

So if your only goal is to learn, then I say no, it's not worth it.

However, you're in Brazil and not a lifelong programmer. Credentials may work against you if seeking a job in the US. Many US companies look at South America as the "nearshore" talent, much better in quality than devfarms in India, but also still cheaper and -- because of that -- slightly lower in quality than US talent.

In that case, spending $7k and completing the program and getting the degree may help you get a $7k higher salary in your first (or next) job. It may give US companies more confidence in your abilities, as you received a US graduate school education.

So from a financial perspective and the perspective of job opportunities inside the US as a foreigner, then I think it may be worth it. If you don't care about getting US jobs then still probably not worth it.

Best of luck!

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lemonghost 5 hours ago 2 replies      
I'm halfway through the OMSCS in the machine learning specialization. It has been a great experience so far and definitely worth it for me.

A couple of things to consider: As you mentioned, it is more focused on Computer Science than Software Engineering/Development. There are a couple of Software Engineering/Architecture/Testing courses but I haven't taken them so I can't comment on how relevant I think they are to my day job.

It's an incredible bargain... 7-8K for an MS (not an online MS) from a top 10 school in CS. That on it's own makes it worth it for me.

It's not easy and it's not like a typical Coursera/Udacity course. Depending on which courses you take it can be quite challenging (which is a good thing). You typically don't have much interaction with the Professors but there are a lot of TAs and other students to help you along the way.

Here's a reddit in case you haven't come across it that answers many questions:

https://www.reddit.com/r/OMSCS/

And here's an awesome course review site that a student built:

https://omscentral.com/reviews

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forrestbrazeal 5 hours ago 1 reply      
The answer is highly context dependent. If you think the degree will magically open up a lot of job opportunities for you, you might be kidding yourself. However, if you love to learn and don't mind putting in the long hours, it can be rewarding for its own sake.

(Source: current OMSCS student, hopefully graduating in December)

I made an "informed decision tree" awhile back that goes into much more detail about my thought process when signing up for this degree:

https://forrestbrazeal.com/2017/01/03/should-you-get-a-maste...

I also reviewed the OMSCS program in detail here: https://forrestbrazeal.com/2017/05/08/omscs-a-working-profes...

Hope that helps!

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throwawayaug15 4 hours ago 7 replies      
Logging in as a throwaway. The program only costs $5k but it was one of the most expensive things I've done in my life.

Got a job at Google directly because of this program (a few classes like CCA helped a lot with interviews). I'm aware of at least a couple dozen of us from OMS here.

The program cost me dearly. It cost me my relationship with the SO and it cost me my health (staying up late nights, lots of coffee).

* $5k cheap, it's nothing, the real way you pay for it is via your time.

* The teachers like the flexibility as much as we do. Many are top notch. I took two classes from professors that work at Google (Dr. Starner and Dr. Essa), one at Netflix (Dr. Lebanon), and a few others have their own startups.

* One of the classes was taught by Sebastian Thrun, with a TA at Google, but I think that's changed now.

* The lectures are good, but you have infinite ability to subsidize them with Udacity, Coursera etc.

* You learn squat by watching videos. The true learning happens at 2am when you are trying to implement something, and end up tinkering, debugging, etc. That's when things click.

* The hidden gem is Piazza and some of the amazing classmates that help you out. Lots of classmates that work in industry and can explain things a lot better. I.e: Actual data scientists and CTOs of Data Science companies taking the data science class. They were amazing and I owe my degree to them in part.

* Working full time and taking classes is not easy. Consider quitting and doing it peacefully.

* From within Google, I've heard from people that did the Stanford SCPD (I'm considering it) and also OMSCS. Lots of people that say the SCPD program wasn't worth the time and effort. No one yet that's said the same about the GT program.

I've heard from people that have done the program in-person, and they say the online lectures and materials are significantly better.

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crueoj 5 hours ago 0 replies      
As someone currently in the program and graduating this Spring, I have found this program to be incredibly rewarding. GT has done a fantastic job turning their on-campus courses into an online format. At first I was skeptical, but I have found this program extremely challenging and have learned a great deal. It has been fantastic in my career development as well, allowing me to land a job in ML before I have graduated.

The program does have its hiccups here and there. Some courses have been reported as being poorly organized, but this is certainly the minority. Also, you may not receive as much individual attention as you would in a on-campus program. This is aided by the fantastic community of students in the OMSCS program which provide a support system for each other through online forums/chat. If you are not much of a self-starter and need specific guidance, this program may not be for you.

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CoachRufus87 5 hours ago 1 reply      
Richard Schneeman (an engineer at Heroku) wrote a great blog post on this very topic; worth the read: https://schneems.com/2017/07/26/omscs-omg-is-an-online-maste...
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mindvirus 6 hours ago 1 reply      
I graduated from the program in December and I found it incredibly rewarding. There are a lot of great classes, and I learned a ton - in particular, the machine learning and reinforcement learning courses were top notch, as we're the systems programming ones.

One thing I'd warn though is that you'll get out of the program what you put into it - so it's really up to you to choose classes that will set up your career the way that you want it.

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learc83 4 hours ago 2 replies      
If you haven't been working as a software developer long and you don't have a background in CS, it's going to be difficult.

I'm about halfway through and many of the classes assume that you have the equivalent of an undergrad CS degree. It's not intended to replace an undergrad degree.

That doesn't mean you can't do it, but your going to spend a lot of time catching up. From what I've seen, the students without a CS degree, even those with significant industry experience, have had a much harder time with the more theoretical classes.

It's also a graduate program, and the classes are pretty rigorous compared to what I did in my undergrad CS degree.

Also keep in mind that admission is fairly competitive. And admission is only probationary. You have to complete 2 foundational classes with a B to be fully accepted.

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hnrodey 5 hours ago 1 reply      
What are some of the prereq's to be prepared to be successful with completing this degree? Asking as someone who graduated with a CS degree from almost ten years ago (wow, time flies). I've been programming/development pretty much that entire time but I think I have forgot most of the core math and core CS concepts that might be necessary in a CS masters degree.

It's hard for me to estimate how much prep I would need to do to come in to this program and feel comfortable with the tasks at hand.

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orsenthil 4 hours ago 0 replies      
I have been doing this for 2 years now. I enjoy this program. There are many students who are taking Gatech OMSCS and also taken MOOCs from Coursera, Udacity, and EDX. The defining characteristic of good students taking this course is, they are all self-learners, independent, and they want to learn Computer Science without giving up on the current full-time job. I have been keeping notes for the all the subjects that I have taken: http://www.coursedocs.org/gatech/index.html - Have a look at it to get a glimpse of the course work involved.

Cons: I've noticed some students who come to get their MS degree from a reputed institution because it is cheap. Due to coursework pressure, they take short-cuts, like doing group-work, discussing solutions when you are prohibited, plagiarizing in assignments, etc.

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el_benhameen 3 hours ago 0 replies      
I'm self-taught and have a job as a SWE. My BA is in an unrelated field. I'm considering the OMSCS because it would be the cheapest way to add credentials to my resume and because I'd rather not go back for a second bachelor's. (I don't mean to sound cynical--I'm interested in the subject matter, of course, but you can get all of that without going through a degree program.) Exchanging $7k for more legitimacy in the eyes of prospective employers is the main appeal of a formalized program. Does anyone have any experience with or thoughts on the signaling potential of the degree?
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mathattack 3 hours ago 1 reply      
Only a few data points as an outside observer, but...

1 - The people I've seen doing it are learning A LOT - more than another online program I've seen.

2 - They're also working A LOT - it intrudes on all aspects of their personal life. It's as much or more work than doing an in person CS degree.

3 - The folks I know don't have CS undergrads, which also makes it more difficult.

Net - it can be worth it if you missed CS as an undergrad, but you'll have to work. You need to ask if there are enough people in Brazil who value the credential (or implied skills) to make it worth the time. The time investment is more expensive than the $s. (It will be thousands of hours)

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rgrieselhuber 6 hours ago 0 replies      
As someone who hires machine learning / data science oriented engineers, I've looked at this curriculum pretty closely and think it looks like a great program.
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daok 1 hour ago 2 replies      
I have a question about the requirement to enter the program. It says is require to have 3 people to write a recommendation letters. I have finish my bachelor +10 years ago and I am not touch with any professors. Does providing managers are enough? On the website they put emphasis of not adding friends which I can understand, but I am curious about the serious about getting these letters.
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w8rbt 3 hours ago 0 replies      
I've completed the majority of the OMCS program. My specialization is 'Computing Systems'. I have a 4.0 GPA so far. I did not do CS as an undergraduate, but I've been programming since I was very young.

Here are my thoughts on what people need to succeed as an OMCS student:

 * Be able to program in C, C++, Python and Java at an intermediate level. And, know one of these very well. * Be able to use a debugger (GDB) and valgrind. * Be able to administer and configure Linux systems. * Understand data structures and examples (std::set in C++ is RB Tree backed, std::unordered_set is hash table backed) * Understand basic networking concepts and key technologies (TCP, UDP, IP, switching, routing, etc.). * Understand the x86 computer in general.
Finally, I think some of the classes are meant to weed students out. People may think that 'Intro to Graduate Operating Systems' would be an easy first course for CS beginners. It's not (unless they've changed it). It was primarily about writing multi-threaded clients, servers, caches and proxies in C, using shared memory (IPC, POSIX Shared Memory) and various other C/thread projects until you become a half-way decent C programmer. They deduct points for working code that has any errors (memory leaks, etc.) too. So don't be surprised if a seemingly easy OMCS course turns into... I had no idea. I'm going to have to drop this course. I saw that happen to several students.

I've done well so far, but I have the programming/logic background to do the work. If you don't, brush up on the skills listed above before enrolling.

Edit: The class projects are a lot of work. Be prepared to give-up your weekends and evenings. Even if you know the material and the language, it's a job to get through some of the projects.

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rrmm 3 hours ago 0 replies      
I have a regular old masters in CS from GT. It's probably worth it from a career standpoint (if nothing else it signals that you care about self-improvement and take active steps to doing it). I would expect you'd miss some of the 'grad school experience' (for better or worse) and networking opportunities. The actual content itself can probably be gotten for free from other courses on the web if you take a syllabus from a CS dept to get an overall program. That path wouldn't have the benefit of access to teachers and would require a lot of discipline.

I don't know how it would be looked at in Brazil or what the economic cost/benefit are in terms of your own income. I did know a few folks from the University of Sao Paulo that did grad and postdoc work while I was at GT though, so clearly some people are aware of GT in Brazil. That might be another avenue to get opinions from. I would be interested to hear how the costs compare to an institution that was local to you.

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fokinsean 5 hours ago 0 replies      
I've been entertaining the idea of going through this course as well. I graduated 2 years ago, BS in CS, and part of me misses being in school. Plus my employer has a decent tuition reimbursement program.

Would anyone who works full time and gone through this program care to share their thoughts?

Edit: Just found this great article from another comment

https://schneems.com/2017/07/26/omscs-omg-is-an-online-maste...

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mukhmustafa 3 hours ago 0 replies      
I joined the program in Fall 2016, and I am half way now. So far, i can say that the program is very useful for workers who are looking for a part-time degree, or for people who can't afford the on-campus program. However, the knowledge you gain and experience you get can't be compared to the on-campus program.
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josep2 4 hours ago 0 replies      
My background: B.A. In Math and Economics. Been working as a software engineer for 6 years now. I have been in the program for about 1.5 years. I've really enjoyed it and learned a ton. I've also been able to pay the full cost of tuition out of pocket. I agree with others in the thread that it depends on context.

I don't think it will have an immediate impact on my earnings or place in my company, but I think the long term value of having it far exceeds what I'm paying for it.

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maverick2 2 hours ago 0 replies      
I am a BA(Business Analyst) with mostly traditional Project Management duties. My bachelors was in CS, and I still love to delve into technical details of a solution. I do some data analytics for my product. But have been interested in more analytics driven roles and eventually find a Product Owner/Manager role.

Does anyone have insight if doing Georgia Tech's - Master of Science in Analytics will help me land such role?

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ncfausti 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Glad this was posted. I was admitted to Penn's MSE in CIS as well as OMSCS for the Fall. No funding for either. Penn is roughly $60k. I currently live in Philly. I'm curious to see what HN thinks would be the better option.
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cweagans 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Personally, I'd go for an undergrad CS degree first. uopeople.edu might be a good place to start. I'm currently working through that program, and I intend to continue to the GA Tech masters program when I'm done.
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decimalst_us 5 hours ago 1 reply      
As a secondary question, for those who did complete the program, what was the general time commitment per (semester or class) vs. how long you were in the program? I see that you must take 2 classes in the first year, but didn't see any other further requirements on speed of completion.

edit: Answered my own question - You can't have two consecutive semesters "off"[1]. I.e. the slowest possible pace would be 2 classes in the first year, then 1 class every other semester. So I suppose it would be:spring/summer 'xx: 6 credits, 24 remaining, spring 'xx + 1: 9 credits, fall 'xx +1 : 12 creditsetc.

[1] - per https://www.reddit.com/r/OMSCS/wiki/index

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cdnsteve 4 hours ago 1 reply      
Their SSL is currently broken and displaying warnings...https://www.omscs.gatech.edu/
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frgtpsswrdlame 5 hours ago 4 replies      
Don't you need an undergrad degree in computer science to be admitted?

http://www.omscs.gatech.edu/program-info/admission-criteria

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bitL 2 hours ago 0 replies      
How is the difficulty of courses when comparing to edX's MIT's Underactuated Robotics or Stanford's Roughgarden's Algorithms?
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soneca 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Just to let here my thanks for all thoughtful answers! (as I can't edit my question anymore). Lots of good insights and useful links in this thread.
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serg_chernata 4 hours ago 0 replies      
I applied and got rejected due to not having my BS from a regionally accredited school, though it's nationally accredited. Very confused because their page implies students from all over the world attend. Bummer.
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root_axis 4 hours ago 2 replies      
Anyone know of similar programs for undergrad? i.e. an online accredited CS bachelors from a real university.
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davidreiss 4 hours ago 2 replies      
> I believe this program is a good complementary source of knowledge to become a better software developer.

That's something you could learn on your own. But your knowledge of "technologies" are more valuable to employers than CS degree - especially if you have work experience.

The tech industry isn't like academia ( economics ) where you have to build up credentials. Work on projects that deal with web technologies or even better learn the back end ( databases ) or even the middle tier/server code if you are a front-end developer.

Becoming a full-stack ( front-end, middle-tier and especially back-end ) is going to be far more important to employers than if you know what undecidability is or computational theory.

Degrees are very important if you want to break into the industry ( especially top tier corporations ). But if you are already work in the industry, employers want to see the technologies you are competent in.

If your employer is willing to pay for it and you have free time, then go for it. Learning is always a good thing. But if you want to further your career, go learn SQL ( any flavor ) and RDBMs technologies - SQL Server, Postgres, etc ( any you want but I recommend SQL Server Developer Edition if you are beginner on Windows OS as it is very beginner friendly from installation to client tools ).

A full-stack web developer is rare and you could even sell yourself as an architect/management. That's a difference from being a $60K web developer and a $200K full stack developer/architect.

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nheskia 3 hours ago 2 replies      
just wondering, is the admission process similar to other graduate programs? do you need GRE scores? letters of recommendation? what has been people's experiences around these requirements?
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jinonoel 3 hours ago 1 reply      
Are there any equivalent online PhD programs that are any good?
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j_s 5 hours ago 0 replies      
It came up on yesterday's launch of Lambda School (YC S17), but not sure anyone there can provide any additional info.

https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=15015813

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0xa 2 hours ago 0 replies      
I'm speaking from my past experience as a hiring manager at a start up with outlier standards for performance and trajectory in software engineering and machine learning. I estimate I've screened tens of thousands of resumes and interviewed at least a thousand people in my career.

First and most important: your internships and work experience, and what you accomplished during those jobs. They should tell a story of increasing and accelerating personal growth, learning, challenge and passion. If you can share personal or class projects, even better.

After your experiences, your degrees will be considered based on the number of years each typically requires, with early graduation and multiple majors being notable.

 1. PhD, if you have one. A STEM PhD was particularly helpful for ML/Data science positions, but not required. 2. BS/BA (3-4 year degree) 3. MS/MEng (1-2 year degree)
Put another way, if you don't have a PhD, the MS/MEng program is a tiebreaker compared to your experience and undergrad credentials.

International students get a raw deal. The online masters will barely help you get a job or launch a career in the US. US universities appear to offer the chance to work for major US companies with a notable university (such as Georgia Tech) on your resume, only to feed their graduates into our broken immigration and work authorization system, H1-B indentured servitude and no replies from the countless companies that have an unspoken higher bar for those needing sponsorship.

To round out a few other contexts HN readers might experience:

If you are an international considering an on-campus MS/MEng, US universities are charging full price while giving you a credential of limited value and utility. Apply the same comments above but at a much higher price than GA Techs OMSCS.

If you are completing/just completed a less notable undergrad degree, paying for a masters program at an elite CS school (like GA Tech) is usually a bad deal. If it not a requirement for the positions you seek, it won't help your career chances much.

If you have an undergrad degree and your employer will pay/cover your MS/MEng at night/personal time (and that is your passion), awesome and go for it! It will be a lot of work and lost sleep to get everything out of the experience, but a lifelong investment in your growth and experience.

If you are completing/just completed a notable undergrad degree (tier-1, internationally recognized program), you don't need the masters. Feel free to get one for your learning, sense of self and building research connections while you ponder getting a PhD. The hiring and salary benefit will be very small--you are already the candidate every company wants to meet. If you decide to get a PhD, that will open some new doors but take 5+ years to get there.

At my previous company, we made it our forte and team passion to get authorization for employees--given a global pool of candidates and a hiring bar to match. I'm really proud of our effort here given the broken and unfair system. Sadly, many companies do not share this value or cannot justify the time, effort and expense, or cannot scale such a program to a larger number of employees across a less selective bar.

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Ask HN: Where does one find true entry level development jobs?
23 points by mcgrath_sh  3 hours ago   33 comments top 13
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tchaffee 3 hours ago 1 reply      
> every "junior" job there wants 5+ years of experience.

That sentence is the important clue you need. If you are still a junior programmer after 5+ years experience, there is probably something wrong. You should mostly ignore the job requirements in terms of the years of experience they want.

There are even plenty of inside jokes around this. Jobs asking for 10 years javascript experience a couple of years after javascript was released!

Either they are looking for a senior programmer and are hoping to pay junior programmer rates (possible) or they are just putting their list of ideal requirements (more likely).

Sometimes the requirements aren't even written by IT staff, HR writes the requirements, and HR doesn't have a clue about IT.

Unfortunately, this means that it's very difficult to filter for "true" entry level jobs.

Applying to jobs is mostly a numbers game. Unless the job makes it clear that you need to be a senior developer, or a team lead, then just apply. Before traveling to an interview, see if you can set up an initial phone interview. If the interviewer doesn't do a great job of screening you, ask questions yourself to try to understand your responsibilities better. Will you be working under a senior programmer? That's a good sign that they aren't looking for someone who can work 100% independently and that they are willing to mentor you.

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williamdclt 3 hours ago 1 reply      
That's probably not the answer you want, but do not hesitate to apply to jobs that ask for 0-5 years of experience, it's very often a nice to have and not a requirement. Worst case scenario is, they don't contact you (which will not happen either if you don't contact them ;) )

Your choice of COBOL is both strange (it's an old language that's not used for any new stuff) and potentially playing against you. Company looking for COBOL devs are often banks or big companies having huge critical systems that they're afraid to update to a more recent language. Thus, they may be looking for someone with some experience, considering how critical those softwares are. But that doesn't mean you shouldn't apply, I may totally be wrong or you may find something anyway!

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CoachRufus87 2 hours ago 1 reply      
The public sector. I got my first dev job at the local state university. They pay less than the private sector, thus making it harder for them to find solid talent. Put in a few years, and then jump ship once you've accumulated the requisite experience to no-longer be entry-level.
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khedoros1 1 hour ago 0 replies      
In 2008, I went to SCALE, which is a Southern Californian Linux/Open Software expo. I met someone from a large company that pays finding fees to people that bring in new talent; he was there hoping to make a couple bucks.

From that, I've got two suggestions. First, go to expos, meet-ups, etc. They sometimes have mini job fairs, or at least people that know about some open positions. Second, find someone that will advocate for you to be hired (greed and friendship are both good motives for that).

5
john_moscow 3 hours ago 2 replies      
Just a curiosity question: why COBOL? Since it's not mainstream anymore, this makes the process of finding a job way more complicated. As a person who has never programmed in it I'm simply curious what makes it worth all the extra trouble?
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lief79 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Not sure when the next one will be, but AFShttp://www.afsvision.com/Careers/Career-Opportunities sporadically holds a Cobol training academy, where they pay individuals to learn Cobol for a few weeks, and generally hire a majority of them.

The exton, PA location is also close to Lancaster PA, so rural living is an option. I only use webservices with that group, so our corporate recruiter would probably have a better idea of what's available.

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seiferteric 3 hours ago 0 replies      
My experience is probably not typical, but I had an EE degree and more of a self taught programming background. When I graduated in 2009 the job market was pretty bad but took a job doing support for a telecom company. Within a few months I found a lot of what they were doing could be automated so I started writing scripts. Very quickly this became my full time job. I later leveraged that to get a more "normal" software dev position at another company, although sometimes I miss that job because I don't think I have ever written software since then that felt as directly impactful (saving many hours and $) lol. Also, COBOL is a very unusual language to be perusing in this day in age, but you might find something in sustaining type roles at big corps and government. I would think they would actually be quite eager to find new hires that were actually interested in maintaining old COBOL but I don't know.
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Nelkins 2 hours ago 1 reply      
I have no formal academic credential in CS. I got my first job as a programmer off of Craigslist, and I recommend taking a look to everyone who is having trouble finding an entry level position. People/companies advertising there typically don't care too much about pedigree (this should not surprise, given the branding of Craigslist), and also usually aren't looking for rocket scientists.

I agree with the advice others have given re: years of experience: it's rarely a hard requirement.

Take a look at this list of software jobs for NYC[1]. I see three or four entry level positions just on the first page.

[1] https://newyork.craigslist.org/search/sof

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c0nfused 3 hours ago 0 replies      
In my, outside of the valley experience, getting jobs is usually about talking to someone you know who know some one who knows someone. The sites where you spam your resume unannounced into a hiring inbox are not generally a high percent choice.

Do you have any local connections? The local development shops usually know a guy who knows a guy who has a start up who is hiring a few people. Typically, if you can find your way into a few local conferences, maker spaces, or gatherings generally there are a few companies who are hiring someone.

In a university setting, you are looking for professors who have some money to throw around of a one off project or know someone else who does. Think internships here. Typically colleges have a jobs/employment office specifically designed to find you jobs/coops/internships they are an excellent resource.

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jldugger 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Universities usually have plenty of student developer jobs, if you know how / when to look.
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johan_larson 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Is there a college near you? They often have career fairs where employers are looking to hire entry-level employees. It may take some digging to find these fairs, because they often aren't advertised off-campus.
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tboyd47 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Usually around colleges and in large cities.
13
salehk 3 hours ago 0 replies      
networking events. (meetups & hackathons)
3
AWS IAM Down
4 points by thrawn  58 minutes ago   5 comments top 4
1
devhead 39 minutes ago 0 replies      
Their APIs for IAM appear to be up and running, at least basic ones i felt like testing.

Main status page is still green as usual during an issue: https://status.aws.amazon.com/

The only notice we've seen was in the personal health dashboard after about thirty minutes of looking into it on our end.

This will likely be resolved soon, might have been a console update pushed up with an issue.

2
thrawn 19 minutes ago 0 replies      
us-east-1/global iam

12:36 PM PDT We continue to investigate increased error rates and latencies when accessing the IAM Management Console and IAM APIs. Creation and listing of new IAM users, groups and roles are experiencing increased error rates, latencies and propagation times. Authentication for existing IAM users, groups and roles is not affected.

3
plandis 33 minutes ago 1 reply      
Looks like the event was limited to the Virginia region.
4
CoffeeDregs 45 minutes ago 0 replies      
Wow. The status page is even up to date... They're often seriously delayed...
4
Ask HN: How much runway did you have when you started your startup?
13 points by HD134606c  2 hours ago   11 comments top 6
1
joshontheweb 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Infinite. I did contract work part-time while I worked on the business. This was a blessing and a curse. It made sure that I didn't fail due to lack of money but also probably made things take longer than they should have.
2
jboggan 1 hour ago 1 reply      
First time: 3 months

Second time: 5 months

I am coming up to the end of my personal runway on this current venture but I raised some money from friends and family and I'm able to pay myself a little bit now! Meanwhile I know people who are sitting on 4,5,6 years of runway and are still just talking about doing it. Whatever it is, if it excites you and you can convince others of that, go do it today!

I'd suggest about 6 months of runway to be safe, but we aren't doing this to be safe are we?

3
AndrewKemendo 1 hour ago 1 reply      
About three months of savings between myself and my co-founder.
4
nickfogle 2 hours ago 0 replies      
3 months and whatever I could drum up contracting part/time
5
timavr 37 minutes ago 0 replies      
-2 months
6
contingencies 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Years.
5
Ask HN: Potentially Moving to SF / SV with a Family
22 points by awaythrow101  3 hours ago   34 comments top 19
1
apohn 2 minutes ago 0 replies      
Since TripleByte also has companies in NYC, I'll provide a datapoint if you are considering NYC instead of the bay area. Our (my spouse and mine) goals around financial independence are similar to yours. We left the NYC area.

Before I say anything else, one of the major benefits of both NYC and the Bay Area is that you have a lot of opportunites to climb the career ladder. If that's what you want, you'll have a lot of opportunity to increase your salary beyond the range you've stated.

For that salary range I wouldn't recommend the greater NYC area unless there is a significant bonus and you know you'll get it. Housing becomes cheaper once you get away from NYC. But home prices are still high and property taxes are shocking in New Jersey, varying widely from town to town. At one point I was evaluating NYC/NJ vs the Bay Area, and concluded the property taxes and various fees (e.g. HOA) made NJ almost as unappealing as the Bay Area. The housing stock isn't great either.

Everybody says NJ has decent public transit to NYC. That's only if you can afford a home near a NJ Transit or PATH stop and your work is near a train station. Otherwise you might be driving to an NJ Transit (and pay $200/month for parking), NJ Transit to Path Train/NYC MTA, then walk. Plus, all those are very crowded at peak times. Somebody I worked with had car->bus->train->train to get to work.

In NYC it's easy to get trapped in cycle of climbing the job ladder (maybe taking jobs you hate) just so you can feel like you can accumulate savings and an emergency fund. I was amazed by how many tech people I met who worked in banking who hated their jobs and worked way more than they wanted to because of the pay, the diversity of almost everything in the NYC area, and access to great Shawarma!

2
divyekapoor 2 hours ago 2 replies      
School district homes in SV (3b 2b 1300sqft+) are in the 1.5M range or higher near the top employers in the Peninsula. If you're ok accepting a 40min+ commute, the cost reduces to about 900K Townhome + HOA in a good school district.

A family of 4 in the bay area with household income at $105350 is low income (http://www.mercurynews.com/2017/04/22/in-costly-bay-area-eve...). At 150K you'll be living in rented accommodations with $3K - $3500 in rent per month.

If you consider that your wife will start working, please be aware that daycare starts at about $1.5K++ per month (it might be advantageous for your wife to be a stay at home mom below a certain salary level).

I would recommend targeting a 200K+ total household income for this to work for you.

3
sjg007 18 minutes ago 0 replies      
I would interview at Facebook as well. You can live across the bridge in the East Bay where it is cheaper and some have good schools. But with such a big population boom and concerned parents, schools in general will get better even in bad areas since everything is gentrifying. Interview at Google as well but if you do you should try to live in Mountain View since that commute really sucks.

And since your daughter is young you can afford to spend a few years finding the right place. Like I said, commuting sucks. If you pick an SF startup but you are in San Jose, expect a 1hr minimum train ride each way that will be very crowded. Traffic is also bad. Some places have rent control which is nice.

Really think hard on startups you think will be acquired or IPO. You really need the lottery ticket of options to be able to fund a downpayment in the housing lottery. It's almost impossible to pick the right early stage startup.. YC is a good filter but also go find the ones with the super smart people. The type that succeed no matter what. Or find a startup with veteran or ex-industry types. This is where networking in crucial.

It will be a shock. Then again the Bay area is beautiful with great things to do but my guess is you'll be working all the time!!! :)

4
toomuchtodo 2 hours ago 4 replies      
You will be accepting a decline in quality of life to move to SF for work (increase in salary is not congruent with your increased expenses), and must decide if its worth it.

I'd suggest looking for full stack remote jobs where you'll make $100k-130k/year while remaining in Ohio (if thats where you want to live). Leaving a support system/family behind if you have a child (and considering another child) is not trivial.

Work remote, live better, visit SF once or twice a year for conferences to network and mingle.

5
pascalxus 1 hour ago 2 replies      
SV / SF is no place for a family. Most of it is high crime and quite seedy. You'll pay significantly more for housing. Only the 80% of SF which is rent controlled is affordable (as an outsider, you'll never get this). At market rate, For 6K/month you might be able to rent a tiny 2 bedroom apartment with no parking. You'll never be able to save up for a condo and you can forget about a house. Most of us, are trying to get out of SV/SF. I wouldn't recommend you come here unless you'r facing homelessness or absolute destitute.

If you do come, I recommend, you ask for 170K minimum. Even then, you should make plans to leave within a few years.

6
pesfandiar 1 hour ago 1 reply      
I also have an infant daughter, and don't even imagine moving to SV. Other comments have talked enough about the finances, but the main factor for me would be the work-life balance.

From what I hear in online communities, SV sounds extremely anti-family. Companies that can hire new grads that will conveniently work overtime for pizza and beer will not really value a 9-5 family man like yourself. Add to that the stress and time-sink of long commutes, and that's all time that you could be spending with your young family.

7
tannhauser23 1 hour ago 0 replies      
I have a family (spouse and two kids), work in SF, and live in the peninsula. Quite honestly, I don't know if I can make it work in the long term. The cost of housing is astronomical - any family home in the peninsula is a million at least, and more likely in the $1.3-1.5 million range. Things are cheaper in the east bay, but I still have to go to the near-end of the BART lines to find a townhome in the $800k range. If I go out there, I probably can't ever take a job in the peninsula because the commute will be too hellish.

Even with a developer salary I'm not able to save anything. Housing + childcare/preschool eats everything up. In a few years when the kids are in public k it's possible that I'll have some financial leeway again.

Spending few years here is worth it because this was a career change and I'm able to learn a ton in the bay area. But unless my salary increases dramatically in a few years, I'll likely move to another area.

For you, I'd wait until you have a few offers in hand, then calculate out how much it would cost for you to live here.

8
ytNumbers 3 hours ago 1 reply      
This subject could be easier to address than you might imagine. Moving away from your wife's family is a big sacrifice for her. Is there any advantage to this move besides money?
9
awaythrow102 2 hours ago 0 replies      
> could expect around $130k - $150k

I make that working remotely from Michigan for a company on the east coast. Costs and stress in SF will likely be substantial. I know, I went to college in the bay area.

> Renting seems in the $3K+ range for a two bedroom

Thats like half your monthly paycheck, no? Doesnt sound safe.

Unless your wife also got an offer making a comparable amount there is no way it would be worth it. I say this as someone that loves visiting Northern CA.

You should switch to remote and leverage your skills to make at least 120k. Enjoy the good life in the Midwest and travel.

10
chaostheory 1 hour ago 0 replies      
One important thing: just because you work in SF (or Oakland) it doesn't mean you need to live there. Check out all the cities with BART access. I've known some developers to live as far away as Concord and even Livermore for the cost of living. Of course, the catch is that the commute is guaranteed to be terrible. But really unless you live and work in the same city (which is a luxury here), that's the case for everyone here.
11
moocow01 2 hours ago 0 replies      
If savings is your goal I wouldn't do it...

Just the difference in your housing costs (about 30k after taxes) wipe out your salary increase. On top of that it sounds like you'd be losing a 2nd income as well by moving so it looks like a net loss. On top of that other things in the area are going to be some what more costly.

12
vl 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Also: removing wife and kids from extended family and work is a sure way to the family troubles.
13
josephpmay 2 hours ago 1 reply      
It's definitely possible to live a middle-class lifestyle with a $150k/year salary in SV, although you'll likely have to give up some comforts you may be used to (and also remember taxes are much higher in CA). Would your wife consider working once you move? $180-200k of household income is much more livable.

The biggest thing you might want to consider that you may not be thinking about is the lifestyle difference. The weather is mild year-long here, which means not having to deal with Ohio winters. If you like outdoorsey stuff, hiking/camping/etc are huge here, and it's a day's drive to ski resorts. You'll need to own a car here, but depending on where you live you may be able to take public transport to work, and towns are very biking-accessible.

14
donnfelker 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Moving to SF/SV sounds fun, until you look at the quality of life. If you're hellbent on going this route, IMO you should possibly consider the NYC route and live in NJ. Your prices will be high as well, but the quality of life is much better. You can easily commute into NYC via train and then get back to NJ and have some ability to have a "normal life" without being in the city.

That said, there are other options. Look at WeWorkRemotely.com and RemoteOk.io for remote jobs. Get a good job, work remotely and have a good quality of life.

I almost went down the SF/SV route many times. Each time I ran the pros/cons and SF/SV has the worse return on life value for a family, IMO than almost anywhere. I've worked remotely for nearly 9 years and love this life. No commuting. Just my .02.

15
throwaway14159 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Did this calculation a few years back, and living in the Bay Area on one salary (possibly plus a non-engineer salary) looked financially impossible. I'd definitely recommend taking a trip out there and looking carefully at what your life would be like there. Among other things, note that living in a house there is impossible until/unless you win the IPO lottery.
16
x0x0 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Holy crap you're gonna be broke. Don't do it.

Expect to pay $3k-ish in the cheapest areas in the peninsula for an older 2 bedroom apartment. Now take all your expenses (eating out, gym, etc) and multiply by 2-3. Oh, and food is at least twice as expensive as in the Midwest (reference: when I fly home to see parents, I occasionally grocery shop for them.) My grocery bill is $700-$800/mo for 2 adults, plus $300/mo of munchery. (That said, I lift hard so I eat a lot of food. Still.)

I really need to emphasize that $3k is for a crappy apartment thrown up in the 80s for bottom dollar.

For comparison, friends rent a (small, crappy) detached 2 bedroom house with a 20x20 ft yard in Mountain View for $4700/mo.

If you want to be in eg Palo Alto Unified, expect to pay $5k-ish for a 3 bedroom. Also, a friend who moved here with a freshman daughter said she hates the school and hates how competitive all the students are.

Sales tax is 9% btw. And don't forget our high state income taxes.

And if you ever managed to buy a home (which you won't be able to do), you'll spend near $1m and pay roughly $1-$1.2k/mo in property taxes. For forever. That makes saving enough money to retire extremely hard.

btw I help manage apartments here; leave your email below if you have questions and I'm happy to answer anything directly.

17
whipoodle 2 hours ago 0 replies      
I wouldn't do it if I were you. Working at these companies is nowhere near as cool as it is marketed to sound. They're just jobs. Your cost of living will probably go up 3-4x and your salary won't even double.
18
BadassFractal 2 hours ago 1 reply      
Single income with a kid in the Bay is not going to be luxurious, you'll want to prep for some cuts in lifestyle if you were used to nice things. That 150k gets decimated by taxes real quick, + the 4k for a 2 bedroom which will have to be further away from most of the "sexier" spots where it will cost a lot more, hence more commuting.

E.g. you're taking home 90k after taxes, minus 50k for housing, that leaves 40k for you + wife + kid. Yes, you're not going to be starving, but you won't be living large either.

Can you consider a remote gig with a SV company? You would stay in Ohio, get a big bump to your current income stream, the wife and kids would not have to move anywhere etc. You'll just have to fly into to the Bay once in a while to spend time with the team, otherwise you'll be fine.

19
dsfyu404ed 2 hours ago 0 replies      
The additional money would not buy you an equivalent quality of life. It's that simple

In addition to the increase in money not being enough to buy you an equivalent quality of life you will be living in a completely different culture. This will wear on not only you but your wife. You really don't want to be turning your life upside down and ditching your connections/support network at this point in your life.

SV, NYC, and similar are places where you go to make money. They are not places you go to settle down.

6
Ask HN: What are some good books you have read lately?
31 points by pentae  10 hours ago   38 comments top 24
1
incan1275 1 minute ago 0 replies      
Currently halfway through: Emperor of all Maladies, by Siddhartha Mukherjee. Amazing portrait and biography of cancer. It outlines the history of cancer, chemotherapy, surgeries and the drugs use to treat so many patients who gave their lives for cancer science.

The author is a good writer, but occasionally delves into minute historical details that I sometimes don't care for. Still, it's very enlightening.

2
ideonexus 3 hours ago 0 replies      
I just finished Tolstoy's War and Peace. I think it deserves both the hype as a masterpiece and the jokes as a sprawling verbose epic. He's like Jane Goodall observing and deconstructing human beings at all social levels from the serfs and peasants to the Russian aristocracy and Napoleon himself. His characters are so real and their motives so transparent in the way he describes them, and they are this microcosm living individual lives inside the macrocosm of the French invasion of Russia. Throughout all of it are the rambling philosophical speculations of the author that are filled with brilliant insights but always seem fuzzy on making any strong points.

What I loved most about the book was how it conveys the complexity of life and the absurdity of historical analysis and the focus on "Great Men" against such complexity, which he compares to physicists trying to understand macro-phenomenon without taking into account the micro-phenomenon that add up to the macro effect. The whole books is an illustration of this through the many lives it follows in the major historical events taking place around them.

3
moh_maya 2 hours ago 0 replies      
I've sort of finished reading Clayton Christensen's book "How will you measure your life?" [1]

Using a series of personal anecdotes, stories, observations from sociological & psychological research, the book assisted me in developing a perspective & framework to understand what my priorities are & perhaps could / should be, helping me get a better sense of what I could / should do with my time. I found it very useful, given where I am in life.

While I normally plough through books, this was one book where I found myself iterating(?) through the book. I'd read a few chapters, put the book away, come back after a few days, read from the start, perhaps ending at a further chapter, and then back to start.

To add, I found his observations about hygiene factors (salary, well laid out work environment, etc) vs factors that can motivate you (good team, ambitious objectives, etc) very very "aha" and insightful. I'm building a team, and I now consider these at every major decision..

[1] https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/13425570-how-will-you-me...

4
toptalkedbooks 3 hours ago 0 replies      
I don't want to spam you. I really think the list can help you. You can find books which talked by hundreds people in HN, Stack Overflow and Reddit.You can checkout it here: http://toptalkedbooks.com/
5
auganov 6 hours ago 2 replies      
The classic Clean Code by Robert C. Martin <- probably won't learn much new, but worth it, just to let the concepts reenter your consciousness.

The Secret War Against the Jews by John Loftus <- Changed the way I think about inner workings of the government. But at the same time, many claims are hard to verify.

The life changing magic of cleaning up by Marie Kondo <- not life changing but decent and a quick, 2-3 day read.

Nassim Taleb books, pretty sure everyone on here read it or plans to so, don't need my description.

Halfway through The Undoing Project by Michael Lewis at the moment, it's pretty good, a joint biography of Kahneman and Tversky (of the "Thinking, Fast and Slow", which I guess is another HN classic).

6
framebit 4 hours ago 0 replies      
I'm about 70% of the way through Charlatan by Pope Brock, a non-fiction book that tells the astonishing story of a dangerous medical quack in the depression era who transcends medical quackery to infiltrate entertainment, politics, and more. https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/1851568.Charlatan

I found it through the excellent Reply All episode on the same subject. https://gimletmedia.com/episode/86-man-of-the-people/ The episode is great, but it naturally has to leave out a lot of details and subplots that really come to life in the book. I would gladly read anything else written by Pope Brock. I think his writing is amazing.

7
shishy 3 hours ago 1 reply      
The Righteous Mind: Why Good People are Divided by Politics and Religion by Jonathan Haidt

I cannot recommend this book enough -- I'm halfway through it and it's a very accessible overview of work done in moral development psychology that (for me) shed light on how people come to believe the things they do so strongly. It's increasingly relevant today, and was a bit of an eye-opener for me.

Has anyone else checked it out? Curious to get your thoughts -- I'm not done yet and once I finish, I'm doing to dug through the primary sources he cites.

8
hitekker 56 minutes ago 0 replies      
"Debt" by John Graber is a book of big ideas.

Not always accurate in the details, and somewhat biased in its conclusions. Nonetheless it made me rethink the underpinnings of our financial system.

9
unmole 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Sapiens by Yuval Noah Harari is the best book I've read in a while. It's like Guns, Germs and Steel but better argued and far greater in scope.

The Selfish Gene by Richard Dawkins was a great read too. A bit of a slog in some places but otherwise brilliant and insightful.

10
jaypaulynice 3 hours ago 0 replies      
"As A Man Thinketh" James Allen...About to read "Man's Search For Meaning" next
11
JCSato 4 hours ago 1 reply      
Glen Cook's The Black Company. Really moody, terse writing style; very refreshing contrast to your typical fantasy novel.
12
omosubi 8 hours ago 0 replies      
"A Supposedly Fun Thing I'll Never Do Again" by David Foster Wallace. This is a book of magazine articles he wrote for various publications on a range of topics. His powers of observation are unlike any other. the articles are hilarious, sad, thought provoking, and insightful all at once.
13
tc7 2 hours ago 0 replies      
The Bone Clocks, by David Mitchell. An amazing writer. The best mix of beautifully detailed characters and ambitious scope that I've read.
14
bobosha 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Hitmakers by Derek Thompson. an easy breezy read choc-a-bloc with anecdotes of what makes something click.
15
ardivekar 2 hours ago 1 reply      
Just finished with Terry Pratchett's Night Watch. So good.
16
AJRF 9 hours ago 2 replies      
I really enjoyed Devil in the White City. So much happened during the World Fair its absolutely astounding. It would have been mind boggiling to attend and glimpse so many aspects of the future at once
17
aloukissas 4 hours ago 0 replies      
- Angel by Jason Calacanis (fantastic info + entertaining)

- Venture Deals 3rd Ed by Brad Feld & Jason Mendelson (must read for startup founders raising)

18
Treyno 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Atlas Shrugged - Ayn RandWill be reading The Fountainhead shortly afterwards!
19
m0ck 7 hours ago 0 replies      
I'm reading "Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality" by Eliezer Yudkowsky right now. Never thought I would be interested in fanfic, but this is just brilliant, give it a chance. You can get a free ebook on hpmor.com, or create your own paperback version with https://github.com/ianstormtaylor/hpmor (it cannot be sold, due to copyright issues)
20
playing_colours 9 hours ago 1 reply      
"The Power Broker" by Robert Caro, great bio of Robert Moses, a man who had a tremendous influence on how NYC looks now, it's a great study of power, politics, and the history of NYC.
21
brudgers 6 hours ago 1 reply      
Child of God Cormac McCarthy.
22
urahara 8 hours ago 0 replies      
"Hopscotch" by Julio Cortzar. It's a novel published in 60s. Fantastic language and atmosphere, strongly recommended.
23
searine 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Re-reading Anathem by Neal Stephenson, because it's so god damn good.

The Mandibles recently. It was okay. The economic ideas were interesting, but the story dragged.

The Accusation by Bandi was good if you like North Korea stuff.

The Rise and Fall of D.O.D.O - Was decent for a Stephenson novel, but definitely niche sci-fi/fantasy.

The Glass Bead Game by Herman Hesse. Didn't like it. Really didn't like the ending.

24
misalyogeshwar1 8 hours ago 0 replies      
reading "Antifragile". It's Good. Give it a try
7
Ask HN: Tools to stop people dying due to mudslides?
3 points by Boothroid  3 hours ago   1 comment top
1
whb07 33 minutes ago 0 replies      
How do you stop hurricanes?

Couple solutions:-level the mountain flat with enough explosives-don't live by mountains-underground cities, mudslides affect those at the surface

I'm sure there's others like collecting all the rain that causes mud slides.

8
DuckDuckGo and Bing are down
4 points by enzanki_ars  3 hours ago   6 comments top 4
1
normanjoyner 2 hours ago 0 replies      
It appears they are routing around issues at bing and yahoo: https://twitter.com/duckduckgo/status/897501100412030976
2
Powerofmene 3 hours ago 1 reply      
I have been using DDG off and on all morning, as recently as 2 minutes ago. It was fine all morning but it was very, very slow. Apparently its heavy and steadily increasing use is causing issues for the site.
3
j4n4 2 hours ago 0 replies      
It was every search engine except google. Hmm.
4
Cozumel 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Both fine here (UK)
9
Ask HN: Favorite blogs?
5 points by js7745  3 hours ago   8 comments top 5
1
mtmail 3 hours ago 1 reply      
OP runs an iOS app founderchronicles.com "Easily find and follow your favorite startup blogs"

Last week OP got called out for copying blog content without consent from the authors. Multiple users said it's copyright infringement https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=14957047

I take it with a grain of salt to see OP asking others for favorite blogs.

2
dchuk 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Shameless plug continues: https://engineered.at

Startup/Tech/Engineering blog aggregator with an HN-style interface. I'm working on a few features this week:

1) Feeds index so you can browse them

2) User Profiles

3) Automated post tagging with tag browsing (going to be a bigger initiative but excited for this one)

3
mtmail 3 hours ago 0 replies      
More a collection of stories, not from a single author:

- http://thedailywtf.com/

- https://clientsfromhell.net/

4
js7745 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Scott Adams' blog is also great: http://blog.dilbert.com/
5
mrjc627 3 hours ago 0 replies      
avc's and james altucher's are always solid
10
Ask HN: Employment contract falls short of offer letter terms
5 points by password03  4 hours ago   11 comments top 7
1
codegeek 4 hours ago 0 replies      
"my gut is starting to feel like it's telling me something"

Listen to your gut. If you see red flags, most likely there are tons. Either they are giving you a written contract/offer with the terms agreed verbally or they are not. There is no middle ground. There is no confusion. Be very clear about that.

About notice period, I cannot add anything being an American because we are used to "at will" employment where a 4 week notice is actually considered long. But good luck with that.

2
jenscow 1 hour ago 0 replies      
The fact that you feel the need to ask "is this a red flag?" on HN is the red flag.

I was on a 1 month notice, and they let me go after 6 months for "performance" reasons. No mention of any performance issues in my 2 reviews prior, during my 3 month probation period. It was just after I completed the project I started on so I was just a cheap contractor (in hindsight, there where other signals).

To me, a 1 month notice shows their intentions and if they want you for the long term then they shouldn't be worried about how easily they can get rid of you.

By the way, in the UK they don't need to give a specific reason to fire you in the 1st 2 years, as long as they pay your notice and holidays.

All their other promises aren't worth the paper they're written on, and the fact the contract explicitly retracts any other promise enforces this.

3
Spoom 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Two guesses:

1. One part of the company isn't talking to the other. One person wrote the offer letter and another wrote the contract, or the contract is "standard" and hasn't been updated for your particular case.

2. The company is intentionally trying to get you to accept less now with vague, nonbinding promises to make up the difference later.

I would guess that the first is probably more accurate. Keep pushing to get the offer letter terms into your contract. You'll find out soon enough if they refuse.

This lack of communication might be a red flag on its own, of course.

4
switch007 4 hours ago 0 replies      
Listen to your gut. It's not very common (in my experience/circles) to take employment contracts seriously, and that gets abused. ("Oh yeah it says that but we won't act on it...")

IMHO the prevailing attitude in the UK is that the contract is a mere formality.

> My notice period, shall I want to leave is static at 3 months. I don't like this.

That is quite rare in my experience. I wouldn't be happy with that, personally.

P.S. I'm slightly biased in that I find overall contracts quite egregious these days (maybe on a global scale we in the UK used to have it good?): assigning of all IP past/present to employer, no other paid employment at all without their permission, submitting to their medical examinations/sharing of medical data, 10s of legalise terms that make it easy to fire you, e.g. to the effect of "you will give all your exclusive attention to the company", "never speak ill of the company"...

5
CalChris 4 hours ago 0 replies      
4 years with a cliff is very standard (at least here in SV). 3 years seems like a recruiter mistake.
6
richardknop 3 hours ago 1 reply      
That seems quite dodgy and definitely a red flag. 3 months notice period is quite rare. You should push for more standard 1 month.
7
JSeymourATL 3 hours ago 0 replies      
> they seem to be fobbing me off, telling me that the offer letter is binding...

Reply: Wonderful, then it shouldn't be too much trouble updating the contract accordingly. Surely Mr. Employer, you would want to make sure all the corresponding details are correct with the intended offer.

11
Ask HN: If you were better at programming, what program would you write?
20 points by acidus  16 hours ago   9 comments top 8
1
neilsimp1 6 hours ago 1 reply      
It's rarely me not being good enough that's the problem. If I had more time, that would allow me to write the programs I'd want to write.
2
twoquestions 3 hours ago 0 replies      
As neilsimp1 mentioned, it's not about not being good enough, as that's fixable with sufficient time.

To answer your question, I'd write a fantasy economic sim game like a sequel to Patrician III or something, except with wizards and weird races and stuff. A big bit of the game would be negotiating with customers for custom goods and services.

Exactly how much money would it cost to for a casting of Bull's Strength before a mercenary engagement? What are the obligations a wizard has in the event their town gets attacked? When is the Teleport spell economically viable vs just taking a boat? How do you negotiate with beings very alien to you?

Classic pet project that I've wanted to do for years, just never had the time/concentration to do it.

3
SKYRHO_ 1 hour ago 0 replies      
If(I){were better at programming I would write a program that would teach me how to program better}
4
bobosha 2 hours ago 0 replies      
A daemon app that saves my slack messages to gmail or even local text files, so I can find older messages. I know this is not difficult, but wish I had some bandwidth to work on this...
5
shakna 9 hours ago 0 replies      
The "hard" programs I've come up with over the years very rarely have anything to do with programming skill.

A content-first web browser (think Reader-Mode for every page), depends on: a) Learning the differences between the HTTP|HTML|CSS|JS specs, and what browsers actually implement, and b) heuristically lifting out the content.

b) is a programming problem, not easy to solve well, but there's been a lot of work in that area to lean on.

a) is a documentation/people problem. Not my area of expertise, but definitely the harder problem of the two.

6
quickthrower2 12 hours ago 0 replies      
A Bitcoin trading bot that makes me a tonne of money
7
acidus 16 hours ago 0 replies      
8
andreasgonewild 14 hours ago 0 replies      
This: https://github.com/andreas-gone-wild/snackis

But then I grew tired of waiting and just did it already :)

12
Ask HN: Does coding give you brain fog?
57 points by shaydoc  4 hours ago   52 comments top 31
1
bantic 3 hours ago 4 replies      
Not exactly brain fog but I often find myself in extreme left-brained mode after a challenging day of coding. If I meet friends after work I am a horrible conversationalist for up to an hour while my brain slowly (and reluctantly) stops actively churning on coding problems.

Related to the right-to-left thinking mode changes, sometimes the words that I am using at become eerily meaningless or unfamiliar. I've spent a few moments asking myself "is that really the way 'else' is spelled?". I recently learned this phenomenon is called semantic satiation [1].

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Semantic_satiation

2
malux85 4 hours ago 3 replies      
I used to get this - it turned out that I was not breathing enough, which caused my blood pressure to go up. I would get so focused on a problem my breathing would slowly become more shallow.

Now I have a water bottle on my desk and I slowly sip it all day, it forces me to get up every 1-2 hours to use the bathroom and fill the bottle back up -- and I deliberately use the bathroom 1 floor down to force me to go up and down the stairs

3
er1c_ 3 hours ago 2 replies      
I've had the spaced out feeling after work as a recurring problem for over a decade. Most days I am OK enough, but others the only thing I want to do is go home and stare at a wall as all cognitive abilities are exhausted.

I run 10 miles a week and bike long distances, make all of my own meals, and have been working with various doctors for years. Nothing seems to help 'fix' the issue altogether.

4
grandalf 2 hours ago 0 replies      
I get a bit awkward socially after a focused stretch of coding. Some days I'll go 4-6 hours only speaking to one person (a barista) briefly to order some coffee.

The next conversation I have after the coding stretch usually finds me struggling to make my mouth say the thoughts in my head, and then once it does, the sentence structure I use includes more nested clauses than usual.

But even after a 12 hour day of coding I rarely feel fatigued when it comes to learning something new about a technical area I'm studying, though admittedly I don't always spend my spare time working on those things.

I generally get very focused and periodically hours will go by and I won't realize what time it is, only to realize that it's hours later than I had thought. This is a double-edged sword. The flow state is amazing, but sometimes I wonder what happened to the day, even though it was a pleasant day.

I'm about half introvert, half extravert, but for me the most fatiguing thing is being in meetings that seem to last too long relative to their yield. I end up drained and need to recharge for a bit afterwords alone before I'm ready to do anything.

5
justacat 3 hours ago 0 replies      
I've had a tendency of entering prolonged periods of focus throughout my life, and at this point I can feel my brain almost optimize to the task at hand, there is a type of shift.

For example, I played and performed music seriously for a period of time (no singing), and it was pointed out by a close friend that any performance that lasted more than an hour and my verbal center would basically crash. It would take at least 30 minutes or even hours before my brain would be able to start talking like a normal person again. Prior to this point in time I had purchased a pocket dictionary which I carried around, seemingly to combat this issue.

At present, when I have been working on something particularly engaging at work my wife notices because my ability to communicate does suffer.

It is interesting that you noted 3 days, just because I recently heard a researcher talking about how getting away for 3 days can have a cognitive benefit: https://www.rei.com/blog/camp/the-nature-fix-the-three-day-e...

As was mentioned, getting checked out by a doctor does sound like a prudent step.

6
allhailkatt 3 hours ago 0 replies      
I do, but I also have fibromyalgia, which makes me an atrocious point of comparison. But that does mean I've gotten a lot of experience working around physical and ergonomics engineering.

Intense mental work can drop your blood sugar and oxygen content in your blood, as mentioned by others. Start checking your health and engineer health back in for better coding.

Walking to another floor's bathroom, stepping away from your desk to walk around the building, getting a sit-stand desk, regularly stretching... there's a bunch. Get a tracker, and start experimenting. The same thing for nutrition.

If you haven't, work on deep breathing exercises and consider getting a pulse tracker so you can find a pattern. This is any other data pattern, the effects are just very close to home. If you feel like you should be coding, consider if your life was a resource management game and at what point you would expend resources to get better productivity from your base unit (aka. you).

Good luck!

7
cjensen 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Please get checked out by a doctor. Anytime you have really weird symptoms, it's best to be sure it isn't something serious.

Short answer: No, I've never had anything like that.

After concentrating for an extended period, I'm slightly out of it when switching to talking to someone. But it clears up quickly and has never been anything so bad that "I wouldn't drive."

8
drhurdle 3 hours ago 0 replies      
A lot of people here are saying take breaks and go for walks. I've felt what you described and something that I have just recently started doing that has helped 1000x over is meditation.

Check out the Calm app[1]. Its helped for me because I had no idea where to start. I have no affiliation with them and am sure there are alternatives out there, this just happened to be the first I had tried. I've just started using it the past few weeks and use it at least a couple of times during the work day, and I try and take a walk at least once a day during work as well. Its really helped with everything you listed above.

[1] https://www.calm.com/

9
hacker_9 4 hours ago 0 replies      
I get this if I spend too much time programming. You just need to get up and take breaks, for example after every task you complete. Go do stretching or read a book, let your mind unwind, then get back to it after 20 mins. Not all offices allow for this so if yours doesn't consider changing job, for your own health.
10
magic_beans 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Coding just burns me out. By the time I get home, I can't bear to even look at my laptop. I have a very hard time doing coding side projects because I'm just to burnt out too code outside of work.
11
pmarreck 3 hours ago 2 replies      
You need to set reminders to take a break once an hour, walk around, stare off into the distance for 5 minutes. This article is from 2012 but mentioned 5 of them: http://www.techrepublic.com/blog/five-apps/five-free-apps-to...

I also noticed this was a side benefit of having a good test suite- if your test is valid, thorough, and passing, then you don't have to remember as much mental-model (because it's encoded in the suite), which would normally discourage you from getting up at all

12
robodale 2 hours ago 0 replies      
I'm under a tight/looming development deadline during the day and remodeling the lower level of my house at night. I find after prolonged mental strain during the day, I find it hard to do basic math with fractions to do simple cuts of wood (5-3/8 minus 2-1/4)...uhhh...
13
brett-za 1 hour ago 0 replies      
Yes, exactly this! Sometimes on my drive home I think it's not such a good idea to be behind the wheel.

It's usually a combination of long days of coding and stress that causes my brain fog. The same factors cause me to regularly wake up at 3a.m. with my mind too busy to go back to sleep.

14
kyriakos 3 hours ago 0 replies      
I usually get this after a stressful day but not to the extend of what you are describing, it lasts for ten minutes or so until I change environment. Do you consume a lot of caffeine while working? Maybe you should check that. Taking breaks every half an hour is always a good thing, never be stuck on the office chair for too long, it causes problems even if there's no underlying health problem. You don't need to run a marathon either as far as exercise is concerned,if you have the chance get down and do 15 - 20 push ups a couple of times a day, it's amazing how much difference it makes. Taking a walk also helps clear your mind, I feel really relaxed after walking my dog for 30 mins.
15
corford 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Could just be simple brain exhaustion from prolonged concentration (I occasionally feel something similar, usually after back to back heavy coding days and I'm running low on sleep).

Like others are saying, a few things that might help: stay hydrated (water, not coffee/soda etc.), get a good night's sleep ahead of intensive coding days, don't eat crap food at your desk and don't stay in the "zone" for 6+ hours without getting off your chair at least once and doing something different for 30-45 mins (ideally involving fresh air, outside of the building).

16
whataretensors 4 hours ago 0 replies      
No, but it could be that you are stretching your skills(good!). Exercise to make sure it's not a physical thing, and be sure to take regular time off to recover.

If you are working on challenging stuff all day, it's probably a really good thing.

17
ozovehe 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Yes.I'm sprawling on a bench now after hours of coding, I should be on my way home.The top of my head feels like pepper was poured on it. I can't really endure a conversation at the moment.I believe it's a combination of sleep deprivation and hours of intense mental exercise.Listening to music helps
18
vitomd 2 hours ago 0 replies      
My main problem was eye fatigue. I use Flux (justgetflux.com/) set at 4300K even during the day, and it helped a lot.
19
jmhain 3 hours ago 0 replies      
I experience something very similar. It turned out to be at least in part from eye strain induced headaches ("computer vision syndrome"). I started paying more attention to ocular health, including following the recommendation of a comment here [0] and lowering screen brightness. It does seem to be helping.

[0] https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=12582810

20
ErikAugust 3 hours ago 0 replies      
My first couple years as a professional developer were amazing - 7-12 hours a day of coding to keep up. Every single day I left the office totally spent mentally.

I would often dream about coding, or solving a problem that I was stuck on.

I did not however, get headaches or neck aches. In fact, I found being spent mentally to be somewhat of a pleasurable state!

21
Agentlien 3 hours ago 0 replies      
I experience these symptoms from work days during prolonged periods of high stress. I don't usually get it from programming during less stressful times and I've had just the same issues during a month when I somehow ended up with a bunch of non-programming tasks.
22
harrygeez 3 hours ago 0 replies      
You're straining your brain over extended periods, of course it happens. Your brain is a living part of you and it too needs to rest. I get that semi-often partly exacerbated by bad sleeping habits (it's not good obviously) and I what I find helpful is to take breaks and drink more water. Sounds obvious but yea.
23
freekh 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Oh yeah! My friend used to tease me every day after work when we worked together. "How's it hanging up there in the code fog" he would always say when I was grasping for words :) I never really noticed though: so no headaches or anything like that...
24
emerged 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Could be that you over eat or under eat while working. Or are snacking on something you have a food allergy to. Could be that you're not getting enough exercise. Could be an environmental factor like mold. I've had all of these issues at one time or another resulting in brain fog.
25
donquichotte 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Have you tried cutting caffeine? I've had similar symptoms and cut coffee two weeks ago after drinking > 5 cups/day for years. Not sure if it's placebo but it looks like my brain fog is gone.
26
Kinnard 4 hours ago 2 replies      
Do you take brakes and walk around? Do you exercise (I mean RUN) while not programming?
27
y-haminator 2 hours ago 0 replies      
I always get brain fog while at work or school, and it always dissipates when I go home.I haven't found a direct cause yet.
28
jacquesm 3 hours ago 1 reply      
Possibly eye trouble, bad air in the place where you work or a latent health issue.

I used to get incredible headaches after long bouts of coding, it took me a long time before I realized I needed glasses.

29
jkenney 3 hours ago 0 replies      
I have only rarely have felt this from programming (at work or not).

But as a competitive chess player, I do usually experience it at the end of (especially) weekend tournaments, where there is generally 3 consecutive days of 8-10 hours of intense concentration. The fog is gone after a good sleep and day of rest.

30
carapace 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Check your light, seating & posture, chronic muscle tensions, and most of all diet. Thinking burns calories, your brain gets something like a fifth of all the oxygen you take in...
31
hosh 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Sometimes.

If I am marathoning, though, I use a pomodoro timer and meditate or do something similar to tai chi in between coding sessions. If it isn't that intense, I tend to self-regulate in microdoses using techniques from meditation and an art like tai chi.

I only require multiple days of recovery when I burn out, often resulting from sustained interpersonal conflicts. I have noticed that has been improving since applying techniques from Crucial Conversations.

13
Ask HN: How do you deal with piracy?
81 points by ttoinou  2 days ago   117 comments top 27
1
iamben 2 days ago 3 replies      
A while back a friend of mine told me he installed a 'clean my Mac' application, thought it was decent and went looking for a crack. So the story went - the top link was one to their own website with full instructions on how to crack the app - something like - www.appname.com/how-to-crack-appname/, or whatever.

On the page was complete and detailed instructions on how to crack it yourself using a hex editor or decompiler (or whatever!). Except, he said as you read down, the way the author explained it really highlighted how much effort he put into making it, and at the bottom copy saying something like "we hope this was useful and avoids you using a crack which might damage your machine, we also hope you realise the effort that goes into making software and will consider paying just $xx dollars which goes towards feeding my family and making more software".

Friend was so impressed he just got out his card and bought it.

TL;DR - They embraced the piracy / understood those that won't pay never will, those that may can be persuaded, so made something educational and thoughtful out of it.

Hope you figure it out!

2
vortico 2 days ago 3 replies      
My company deals with piracy in the following technical way, and it works well enough for potential buyers to stay buyers.

I release software binaries often, say every two weeks, and the software self-updates with permission from the user. The main application software is free, while the plugins (the real meat of the software) are purchased individually. When the application updates, the plugins also update. I use the semantic versioning, so releases look like 67.0, 67.1, 68.0, etc. Since the barrier to upgrade the application is virtual nothing (free, click of a button), almost everyone updates. If you're a paid customer, your plugins will also be updated, but if you aren't, now none of your plugins work. If you want to release your set of plugins to the world, pirates will have to match the versions of those plugins to the versions of their application, and if there are other plugins in the internet, they will also have to match. This requires lots of coordination from pirates, which has not happened yet. If an individual begins regularly releasing updated versions of the software, I can simply ban their user account which was used to purchase the plugins.

I imagine this can't work for your purposes since you have a single, standalone, polished application, but hopefully this could help others.

3
warrenm 2 days ago 2 replies      
First - if they wouldn't have paid anyway, you haven't "lost" anything (you've actually gained something)

Second, your pricing must be turning off those who would [possibly] pay, but opt for the cracked edition due to cost

Third, focus on support: you can download, install, and run OpenNMS, for example, totally 100% for free. But if you want support beyond the mailing list, you pay for it.

4
jzelinskie 2 days ago 1 reply      
How you address this depends greatly on your software and who it's marketed towards. Piracy can be a hint that you haven't come up with the best business strategy for that market.

Often what's best is to meet the market where it is--would you rather have more people using and aware of your software or only small amount of people people that know about your software and pay for it? The answer in many scenarios is to have more people using it regardless of whether they pay you because they can convert others into future sales and grow your market.

Software and its markets vary greatly, so it's hard to give a strategy that works for all software, but I've seen one model be fairly successful over time: basically using a subset of users to subsidize the rest of users. Find out who's deriving the most value from your product and get them to pay you, rather than trying to scrape an equal amount from everyone. This can be done many different ways, but are most commonly done with feature gating or providing external services. The idea is that if your software is more available, more people have the opportunity of deriving value from it and ultimately end up paying you.

5
dsr_ 2 days ago 5 replies      
The Coast Guard is your ally, along with the Navy. Talk to your insurance company; they have lots of experience (or else you picked the wrong one.)

Oh, are you equating copyright violation with major theft, murder and associated felonies so heinous that there is actually a separate body of international law to address it? Please don't do that.

Unless you are already a market leader, copyright violation is largely equivalent to an unpaid, unauthorized marketing issue. Your problem is to convert those non-paying users into paying users.

Policy:

1. Make it so inconvenient to use your software without paying for it that they decide to pay you. This is the "stick" option: you hit them with a stick until they either go away or pay.

2. Make it so easy and useful to pay for your software that they decide to pay you. This is the "carrot" option: you dangle something good in front of them until they willingly walk towards it.

Every method falls into one of those two policy groups. Think about which policy you want to use before you start making changes.

If you decide to make your software open source, you are likely to stop making money at it by selling it. However, you can still make money by consulting -- you are the world's foremost expert on this software, after all.

6
paule89 1 day ago 0 replies      
Game Dev Tycoon had a nice anti piracy measure. They themselves uploaded a cracked version of the game.In the end you went bankrupt as game developer, because people pirated your games. So the game was broken for those that did not buy it. Also it kindly asked you to just buy the game.
7
tu6 2 days ago 1 reply      
Don't worry about users who crack or pirate software. This is not the target demographic you will have much luck with turning into paying customers. Fixate on your actually software. If kids in third world countries are your primary users its time to build something new. That's a signal you don't want to ignore.
8
hacker_9 2 days ago 0 replies      
Best article I read on this subject is "Piracy and the four currencies" [0]. It's an objective way of looking at why people are pirating your software in the first place, and by understanding why you can make adjustments to persuade future users to download via the proper channels instead.

[0] http://www.gamasutra.com/blogs/LarsDoucet/20120222/91144/Pir...

9
noncoml 1 day ago 0 replies      
I understand that you only have in mind the best of the people who use the infested cracks, but my suggestion is to let it be.

If you give the crack yourself, as suggested by another reader, the buyers of your software might feel cheated.

Now if you insist on trying to help the users who cannot afford your software, then do what MS did in the 90s. Allow 123-4567890 to be entered as a product key and leak that to the crack websites :)

PS: my teen self says thank you MS

10
1388 2 days ago 2 replies      
Old methods (90s):- turn to the law (DCMA)- prevent people from modifying code

New methods:- change to a SaaS model- change the backend to an API, users order API key- ping home from your software code or every keystroke like in Windows.- free product, offer training + ads

11
balls187 2 days ago 1 reply      
> My paying customers are professional in the industry I work on. Most of my pirates might very well be "amateurs" in the sense that they don't make money with theirs activity and I'm fine with it.

> theses users don't come to my product page for getting updates for example, so I think it's a loss for me because I can't reach them and talk to them. I feel like I won't ever be able to convert them to paying customers.

It sounds like you'd like to have these customers as actual customers and if it's your thesis that those who pirate the software aren't professional consider licensing.

1. Have a low-cost, or "pay what you want" license model, for non-comercial use.

2. Have a free-for-students license. Only for education use.

3. Offer upgrade pricing spiffs to convert from the free/low tier to the pro-tier.

4. Consider a subscription approach. I would never pay the full price for Photoshop/Lightroom, but the Adobe Creative Cloud for Photographers is $9.99 a month, which is the right price for my needs.

12
milankragujevic 2 days ago 1 reply      
If your software is useful, and if you're a small company / one man show, I will pay for it, even if I barely have any money, or if I have lots of money. But the key for me is not having a really useless and stupid and intrusive anti-piracy mechanism, as that usually makes me go away from that software. Example of that are games like Kerbal Space Program that are useful, fun, and have no anti-piracy mechanism. I paid for it. And the other example is pretty much any huge game like GTA V, that I bought my brother as a gift but it often stops working and has to be reinstalled because it detects some tampering or something like that, it's from Steam BTW.

I'd also recommend that you DON'T offload processing to a server, as that will prevent people with spotty Internet (like me) or those in special circumstances / behind firewalls from using it properly, and also has data security issues.

13
ttoinou 1 day ago 0 replies      
Thanks for all your answers !

I'm definitely going to do soon the "How to Crack MyProduct Without Virus !" page and I'll think about changing the trial and the features it gives.

A good long term solution would be to develop a SaaS business around the product and if I find a way to mix that business model with open source that would be even better (my product could be faster being GPL).

14
akerro 2 days ago 1 reply      
>The thing is, theses users don't come to my product page for getting updates for example, so I think it's a loss for me because I can't reach them and talk to them.

You assume that they would buy in in the first place. I would not spend a penny on 95% stuff I pirated. Most of the stuff was a one time thing, like game was too boring (I would request a refund), game had too high requrements, so I couldn't even start an episode, music was not interesting after literally one song from whole discography etc.

> in the FAQ and try to not show it if I detect the software is not cracked ?

Things have FAQ? I've never seen them.

>What if I distribute the pirated version myself

I remember this coll guy https://www.reddit.com/r/pcmasterrace/comments/2mjxde/develo...

>I have faith that some of my pirate users can become my clients one day

I've pirated more than 1k of PC games, my steam account has 97 tites right now, and there is also GOG.

Try to make your stuff easy to reach, steam, gog, https://itch.io/app, try to build hype around your game, it's easy now no reddit in /r/gaming show some cool/funny scene from the game, make announcement on /r/linux_gaming that game is available from first day, etc.

15
frankzander 1 day ago 0 replies      
I think that most of the "pirates" would never buy your software. It's in my opinion a misconception to think that the users would buy the product if they couldn't work with the non licensed copy. The reason for that can be multifaceted. Some a lazy to search for free alternatives, others have no money or the software isn't worthy enough for them. I wouldn't try to convince them or putting many efforts into preventing copying. I would of course do some hints into the software to show them where to buy the full package. See it as the not beloved but some way effective marketing ;)
16
Ace17 1 day ago 0 replies      
The term "piracy" would describe a lot better "the act of developing/releasing malware/ransomware" - at least, it would involve the notion of "attacking".

Maybe the time has come to slowly shift the meaning...

17
ju-st 2 days ago 0 replies      
A piece of software I sell is so complicated to set up/configure and missing any documentation so you have no chance to successfully use it without my guidance and support.

The configuration is a one-time thing, the daily use is simple, so this is no problem for usability. And the software is a niche application with very few potential and real customers.

18
dumpstrdivr 1 day ago 0 replies      
Pricing and packaging consideration perhaps. Todays E-stuffs were just so E (no physical thingy). How bout making people agreed that buying your software are not only benefit you but maybe also benefit a cause, support a movement etc. Also gives them anything interesting rather than just the product.Maybe gives em plush dolls or gadget too as bonus rather than just e-mail containing serial numbers.

Example:Piracy gives me access to all features.Paying it gives me a cute bunny doll mascot from the vendor :D

19
xiaoma 1 day ago 0 replies      
I avoid dangerous Somalian shipping lanes.

If you mean the co-opted meaning of the word that the RIAA/MPAA managed to acclimate Americans to a few generations ago, I'd use either a SAAS model or a subscription/membership model where customers get more and more value over time instead of just a one-off product.

20
ivm 1 day ago 0 replies      
I just don't care about the cracked versions. Some people don't have spare money to buy our apps, some don't want to spend their money on apps at all. It's up to them. Maybe one day they'll be able to support the development.
21
jasonkester 1 day ago 0 replies      
The simplest solution I'm aware of is Software as a Service.

I run a few SaaS products and make a fairly good living. People can use my software as much as they like, provided they pay, and provided it's running on one of my machines.

So long as they never get their hands on a copy of the thing, there's nothing for them to copy.

22
anfractuosity 2 days ago 1 reply      
Could you 'watermark' the program for each user (although that wouldn't be trivial), and mention noticeably that the software is watermarked.

Not sure if that would really dissuade anyone leaking/cracking it though, but it may possibly help determine potentially where the leak/crack came from.

There are probably many reasons why watermarking isn't worthwhile though, as you'd then need to have an 'online' system for generating new versions, rather than simply hosting a single file.

23
Kpourdeilami 2 days ago 1 reply      
Can you track the country in which the users are pirating your software from? If say 90% of the people pirating your software are in countries that don't have access to credit cards, then it'll be impossible to convert them to paid users
24
Cozumel 2 days ago 1 reply      
Piracy is a huge issue, one way around it, although too late for you now, is to only sell an online hosted version of your software, they can't crack what they don't have access too.

Have you got a forum to engage your customers with directly? Most times (and this is a huge generalisation) but these consumers aren't 'evil', they just either have no money or don't know any better.

If you can engage with them and get them to like you it'll make them more disinclined to pirate you, you could also give away a 'lite' version, there's no need to pirate your software if they get it for free, then concentrate on adding more features to the regular priced one for them to upgrade too eventually.

There's no real technical solution to piracy, it's always going to be a human issue so needs to be looked at from that perspective.

25
nicky0 1 day ago 0 replies      
My app has an info infinitely renewable trial but many still use the cracked version.
26
JamesBaxter 2 days ago 7 replies      
Many people I know have always pirated software and TV and said once there was a reasonable way to get it legally they would pay for it. I haven't seen this be the case. I don't think you can convert pirates.

It is possible however to convert legal users to pirates by having systems that annoy people who have legally purchased. I don't know how you strike the balance.

I hate the entitlement of people who pirate stuff, if it's not legally available in your area that's a shame but it doesn't give you a right to it.

27
nxc18 2 days ago 2 replies      
But piracy is good right? Death to DRM!

If someone doesn't want to pay they should be able to get the content for free, then they can decide if you deserve to be paid.

---

That content above seems to be very popular sentiment on HN and other techy places. I don't understand that since all you hurt are people like the author of this post.

The tech community needs to get its act together and decide to support intellectual property rights because as tech people that's all we have.

And don't think this only applies to proprietary software. MIT, GPL, Apache, etc are all licenses and are all capable of just as much abuse as your traditional EULA.

14
No Job
5 points by dabmancer  10 hours ago   10 comments top 10
1
aminejp 56 minutes ago 0 replies      
You probably should add and highlight real life project you have done. If you have not produced anything meaningful, you should take the chance to start while you have time. Another option is to put yourself in freelancing platforms like upwork, this will allow you to make money and get real life projects done that you could then use as references on your CV.Best of luck
2
jstewartmobile 9 hours ago 0 replies      
Someone once said (I'm thinking it was either Taleb or Gatto, but I'm not sure) that a great many intellectual breakthroughs came from people who were underemployed. Bayes was a reverend. Einstein was a patent clerk. Many of the greats of the enlightenment were either nobility (Newton) or independently wealthy (Franklin).

If you want to do something meaningful with computers, you've probably got a better crack at it as a fireman (you'll spend most of your time just waiting around thanks to sprinkler systems) than as a tech support guy (who will be too drained from the dumpster fire we call our industry to do any productive work at the end of the day).

3
RUG3Y 4 hours ago 0 replies      
My advice: Look for help with your resume. Polish it up. Don't lie, but word things the way you need to word them to get your resume looked at. Also, look at smaller companies and less tech-oriented cities, if you're not already. If you look outside of SV, you'll find tons of little companies that would take ANY Python developer they could get their hands on, for a pretty good wage. (I'm just using Python as an example here). Finally, don't give up - my resume went through two revisions and I submitted about 150 applications during my last job search.
4
richardknop 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Where are you based? Location is imho the biggest factor in our industry. In places like SF/NY/LND it's very easy to find jobs in software but in some rural areas you would have a very hard time. Are you willing to relocate or looking just in your current location?
5
j_s 5 hours ago 0 replies      
Maybe you should have linked your resume or at least included some means of contacting you. A general geographic region would be helpful too. Without any of that info this post turns into more of a piece of performance art.

In case you don't know, the 'email' portion of the HN profile is not shown to other users.

Check out this newly-formed community of 1100+ 'CS Career Hackers' willing to help each other get a (better) job: https://discord.gg/rGwhXJv

6
thiagooffm 7 hours ago 0 replies      
Maybe you should change your attitude and think that this is an insult.

If you don't have experience, you need to find a way to prove that you hold the skill that you do. You'll be competing against other candidates, try to figure out how their CVs look like and try to be like them. Complaining won't solve anything.

7
maxwin 9 hours ago 0 replies      
Where are you based? US? It is strange to hear that there are people getting 200k+ and then there are some who can't find one.
8
auganov 6 hours ago 0 replies      
Sounds like you're really not at peace with where you are. Please take good care of yourself and be careful of black and white thinking.

On a practical note, in situations like yours, trying to get hired by meeting people personally and establishing rapport beforehand is your best bet.

9
newman8r 9 hours ago 0 replies      
you might want to look at a book like "cracking the coding interview" or similar to identify the gaps in your skillset. If you're comfortable with everything in a book like that you shouldn't be having trouble finding work.
10
SirLJ 6 hours ago 0 replies      
Let me give you another idea while you are looking for a job, why not spend some time and look into the stock market, this is the only place you can make a real FY money, it is not going to be easy, but you have the skills and the time and who knows, you might find you edge...
15
Ask HN: What tech stack can be used for building chatbot framework like api.ai?
18 points by worldexplorer  1 day ago   6 comments top 6
2
vorpalhex 1 day ago 0 replies      
Any tech stack will work. That being said, I'd optimize for something that has enough power for NLP, but still makes it easy to work with sometimes unreliable chat services. Javascript and Python are both common options, Go and Elixir would be newer more experimental choices.

There is nothing about a chatbot like framework that precludes any given technology.

3
wtd 1 day ago 0 replies      
There are quite a few good options out there. I've used two and they were both good. If you want to use the same bot for multiple platforms (Facebook, Slack, embedding on a page), I suggest Microsoft's Botbuilder Framework. The only caveat is that the ability to connect to multiple platforms requires you connect to Microsoft's (free) bot framework service.

The Bot Framework SDK comes in several flavors and is fairly robust: https://dev.botframework.com/

Sample code: https://github.com/Microsoft/BotBuilder-Samples

4
leoharsha2 1 day ago 0 replies      
You can use any stack you want. But people mostly prefer node because of api.ai's documentation in node and online help from forum,stackoverflow questions of api.ai using node.js
5
gii2 1 day ago 0 replies      
Microsoft BOT Framework (dev.botframework.com)+ LUIS - Language Understanding Intelligent Service - (luis.ai)
6
thorin 1 day ago 0 replies      
Meteor.js would probably be the easiest start.
16
Ask HN: Monetizing newsletter with 2M and 1M members
69 points by dangelov  4 days ago   83 comments top 26
1
tixocloud 4 days ago 1 reply      
Based on what you shared, I'd recommend knowing/learning more about your membership base if you haven't done so already. Your membership list and their feedback is probably the best source for getting monetization ideas that actually work.

1. Figure out how many of the 2M and 1M members are actually engaged (reading emails as opposed to just opted-in).

2. From the engaged audience, who are they and what keeps them interested in the newsletter? What do their lives look like and is there any value that you can bring?

By knowing who your audience is and what they potentially need, you can deliver more personalized content. You could also think about promoting content from partners that go beyond straightforward ads (i.e. discounts, exclusive offers, developer bundles, Amazon AWS credits, affiliate links, etc.)

2
rayalez 3 days ago 1 reply      
The first thing that comes to mind is sending them affiliate links to Amazon/Audible, that's pretty straightforward.

You could also find authors who are looking to promote their books, and charge them for adding their ad to emails.

Also I'm sure there are plenty of software/info-product companies and startups looking for audience in this niche.

If you can segment books by niche, it should be even more awesome and profitable. Send programming books and courses to programmers(a lot of them have affiliate programs), business books to business people, etc.

If it's not a secret, can you share with us what you did to build this list? The more details the better, it would be incredibly useful!

3
vram22 4 days ago 1 reply      
Might want to check out Peter Cooper's work on newsletters - e.g. a podcast he was interviewed on (about how he started and grew his newsletter business) was interesting and may give some ideas. Don't have the link right now but if you use relevant keywords in a search, you should find it.
4
pski007 9 hours ago 0 replies      
Shoot me a PM. I run an email service provider and work actively with clients on monetizing clients email lists.
5
amrrs 3 days ago 2 replies      
1.Have you tried setting up a Paetron account?

2.'If you enjoy our content, support us via PayPal'

3. And once in a month or bimonthly sharing your expenses and asking for support.

4. Contacting relevant youtubers for traffic or brand campaign where you can embed their videos along with the newsletter.

5. Finally, Checking with Book Publication to add relevant new releases as Sponsored.

7
tobltobs 4 days ago 1 reply      
I am not sure if "not opting out" is a good indicator for "being a newsletter member". Be careful with trying to monetize this. You could damage your email delivery rate and thereby your core business while trying to squeeze those additional pennies.
8
msrpotus 4 days ago 3 replies      
It might take some work but you'll definitely be able to get advertisers. The first step would be audience surveys to find out who your readers are and what they are interested in, and then you can go out and find advertisers who want to reach those folks.

However, if you're already doing books, what about Amazon affiliates or even, depending on the topic of these books, selling related products? If someone is interested in finance, business, or home improvement, for example, there's a lot of items they might buy beyond books. You can recommend them and make some money off each sale.

9
gargarplex 4 days ago 1 reply      
I wrote a book. If you have people who are interested in technology I would be interested in promoting it to your list.
10
erainey 3 days ago 1 reply      
It seems like you've got everything needed for a thriving marketplace without the market.

Why is your content all free? Have you tried to directly monetize the content? Why not have the first x,xxx downloads free, then monetize the content and split revenue with the author & publisher? Or have a graduated cost based on popularity, similar to what pinboard did? Something like this may have the side benefit of creating a sense of urgency and anticipation for your newsletter.

11
michaelthiessen 4 days ago 0 replies      
Why not ask your members?

You have the attention and trust of a LOT of people. Figure out what they need, what problems they have.

12
csallen 4 days ago 2 replies      
How many weekly emails are you sending, and how much money are you spending to send them?

In your shoes, I might attempt to break the newsletters up further into more easily monetizable niches. You can track which links are clicked by different subscribers, segment them, and then start sending slightly different emails. Or just straight up create new mailing lists and ask your readers to subscribe to those occasionally.

Just spitballing here.

P.S. You might consider asking on the Indie Hackers forum, too: https://www.indiehackers.com/forum. Lots of people there have monetized various apps and mailing lists.

13
robhunter 4 days ago 1 reply      
I think this was largely the business model for BookBub - take a look at them
14
kichik 4 days ago 1 reply      
Have you considered using Amazon affiliate links to make it easy for your users to buy the books? They get an easy way to buy the recommended book, and you get a cut of the purchase.
15
iRobbery 4 days ago 1 reply      
If i would have signed up for a mailing by a bookstore, i'd only really care about specific recommendations for me. Just a single title, based on set preferences/previous purchases and not too often.

Bit like parties as Netflix do if they release some new series they strongly think you'd like. It feels more like a 'reminder' then an ad, but its an ad of course.

16
hayksaakian 4 days ago 1 reply      
You should promote interesting blog content to your list, and get them to go to your website to learn more.

I'm looking at https://www.reddit.com/r/books/ and it looks like there's so many different things that 'book people' are interested in.

17
andy_ppp 3 days ago 1 reply      
The content you are sending them "new featured books" sounds like it's going to be not hugely interesting for most people. Maybe try to create really engaging content around the original means of signing up (was it book specific) and you'll probably find sponsors around that relevant content.

What do you think?

18
hackerews 3 days ago 1 reply      
If community is at all important to your members, you can set up a hiohmy community for them (https://www.hiohmy.com).

It's free but you could place it behind your own paywall.

19
sogen 3 days ago 0 replies      
Forget about free content and free books , 2 focus on reaching book authors and publishers, 1 segment lists3 profitContact me for marketing campaign ideas
20
sixQuarks 4 days ago 1 reply      
wait, how did you get 2 million subscribers in the first place? And what does "haven't opted out" mean? Did you buy this list?
21
NicoJuicy 3 days ago 1 reply      
Also, minimize your cost. What do you use to send your emails? Eg. Sendy is pretty cheap
22
notadoc 4 days ago 1 reply      
That's an enormous email list, how did you get such a big member list together in the first place?
23
mcnnowak 4 days ago 1 reply      
Maybe sneak an Amazon Affiliate link to some book that isn't on your site.
24
jraby3 3 days ago 0 replies      
For a newsletter that size I'd try an Israeli startup named PowerInbox.
25
pryelluw 4 days ago 1 reply      
Is it a standard newsletter format or a drip?
26
ajohnclark 4 days ago 1 reply      
liveintent or powerinbox maybe?
17
Ask HN: What free resources did you use to learn how to program ML/AI?
402 points by acalderaro  3 days ago   51 comments top 32
1
alexcnwy 2 days ago 1 reply      
Firstly, while I think it's beneficial to learn multiple languages (python, R, matlab, julia), I'd suggest picking one to avoid overwhelming yourself and freaking out. I'd suggest python because there are great tools and lots of learning resources out there, plus most of the cutting edge neural networks action is in python.

Then for overall curriculum, I'd suggest:

1. start with basic machine learning (not neural networks) and in particular, read through the scikit-learn docs and watch a few tutorials on youtube. spend some time getting familiar with jupyter notebooks and pandas and tackle some real-world problems (kaggle is great or google around for datasets that excite you). Make sure you can solve regression, classification and clustering problems and understand how to measure the accuracy of your solution (understand things like precision, recall, mse, overfitting, train/test/validation splits)

2. Once you're comfortable with traditional machine learning, get stuck into neural networks by doing the fast.ai course. It's seriously good and will give you confidence in building near cutting-edge solutions to problems

3. Pick a specific problem area and watch a stanford course on it (e.g. cs231n for computer vision or cs224n for NLP)

4. Start reading papers. I recommend Mendeley to keep notes and organize them. The stanford courses will mention papers. Read those papers and the papers they cite.

5. Start trying out your own ideas and implementations.

While you do the above, supplement with:

* Talking Machines and O'Reilly Data Show podcasts

* Follow people like Richard Socher, Andrej Karpathy and other top researchers on Twitter

Good luck and enjoy!

2
petrbela 2 days ago 0 replies      
ML/AI:

* https://www.udacity.com/course/intro-to-artificial-intellige...

* https://www.udacity.com/course/machine-learning--ud262

Deep Learning:

* Jeremy Howard's incredibly practical DL course http://course.fast.ai/

* Andrew Ng's new deep learning specialization (5 courses in total) on Coursera https://www.deeplearning.ai/

* Free online "book" http://neuralnetworksanddeeplearning.com/

* The first official deep learning book by Goodfellow, Bengio, Courville is also available online for free http://www.deeplearningbook.org/

3
lefnire 3 days ago 0 replies      
* Course: fast.ai (http://course.fast.ai). Practical, to the point, theory + code.

* Book: Hands-On Machine Learning w/ Scikit-Learn & TensorFlow (http://amzn.to/2vPG3Ur). Theory & code, starting from "shallow" learning (eg Linear Regression) on sckikit-learn, pandas, numpy; and moves to deep learning with TF.

* Podcast: Machine Learning Guide (http://ocdevel.com/podcasts/machine-learning). Commute/exercise backdrop to solidify theory. Provides curriculum & resources.

4
larrydag 3 days ago 0 replies      
Two good ebooks. Go well with R.

Introduction to Statistical Learning http://www-bcf.usc.edu/~gareth/ISL/

Elements of Statistical Learning https://web.stanford.edu/~hastie/ElemStatLearn/

5
e_ameisen 2 days ago 0 replies      
Online courses recommended in this thread are great resources to get your feet wet. If you want to actually be able to build ML powered applications, or contribute to an MLE team, we've written a blog post which is a distillation of conversations with over 50 top teams (big and small) in the Bay Area. Hope you find it helpful!

https://blog.insightdatascience.com/preparing-for-the-transi...

Disclaimer: I work for Insight

7
superasn 3 days ago 0 replies      
Andrew Ng's tutorials[1] on Coursera are very good.

If you're into python programming then tutorials by sentdex[2] are also pretty good and cover things like scikit, tensorflow, etc (more practical less theory)

[1] https://www.coursera.org/learn/machine-learning[2] https://pythonprogramming.net/data-analysis-tutorials/

8
orthoganol 3 days ago 0 replies      
"Learn AI the Hard Way". It's actually just reading a bunch of papers and trying to implement them, and anytime you don't understand something spend as much time as needed until you get it.
10
mikekchar 2 days ago 0 replies      
This doesn't actually answer the question, but I always think that people who want to study neural nets should read Marvin Minsky's Perceptrons. It's an academic work. It's short. It's incredibly well written and easy to understand. It shaped the history of neural net research for decades (err... stopped it, unfortunately :-) ). You should be able to find it at any university library.

Although this recommendation doesn't really fit the requirements of the poster, I think it is easy to reach first for modern, repackaged explanations and ignore the scientific literature. I think there is a great danger in that. Sometimes I think people are a bit scared to look at primary sources, so this is a great place to start if you are curious.

11
melonkernel 1 day ago 0 replies      
1. Udacity: Machine Learning

2. Deep Learning Summer School Montreal 2016 https://sites.google.com/site/deeplearningsummerschool2016/h...

2. selfdrivingcars.mit.edu + youtube playlist "MIT 6.S094: Deep Learning for Self-Driving Cars" (https://youtu.be/1L0TKZQcUtA?list=PLrAXtmErZgOeiKm4sgNOknGvN...)

3. Coursera: Machine Learning with Andrew Ng

4. Standford Cs231n (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g-PvXUjD6qg&list=PLlJy-eBtNF...)

5. Deep Learning School 2016 (https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLrAXtmErZgOfMuxkACrYn...)

6. Udacity: Deep Learning (https://www.udacity.com/course/deep-learning--ud730)

I created a blog (http://ai.bskog.com) to have as a notepad and study backlog. There I keep track of what free courses I am currently taking and which one I will take next.

p.s.

Although video courses are good. Everyday life makes it sometimes difficult to listen to videos on youtube while for instance doing chores around the house or working out, because you often need to a. see the slides/code examples, and b. put it into practice right away... therefore, podcasts are good to give you a flow of information.

Linear Digression, Data skeptic and (thanks to this thread i now discovered Machine Learning Guide)

Don't be discouraged if there is stuff you do not understand or feel like: i can never remember these terms or that algorithm. Just be immersed in the information and stuff will fall into place. And later when you hear about that thing again it will make more sense. I tend to use a breadth first approach to learning, where i get exposed to everything before digging into details thus getting an overview of what i need to learn and where to start.

12
mindviews 2 days ago 0 replies      
A study group meetup (Every Tuesday evening in Austin, TX): https://www.meetup.com/cppmsg_ai/

Just Q&A - no presentations. Study from whatever books (http://amlbook.com/ and http://www.deeplearningbook.org/ are popular in our group) or courses (Andrew Ng's are also popular) you like throughout the week and then show up with any questions you have. We've been meeting for a couple of months now and new folks are always welcome no matter where you are in your studies!

13
Frogolocalypse 2 days ago 0 replies      
? I've always thought that ML/AI for me was about learning the languages that could express my idea of how it could work. In order to do that myself, I started reading about algorithm types.

http://machinelearningmastery.com/a-tour-of-machine-learning...

There was one particular study piece that I remember reading that I believe was written in the late 70's early 80's, but I can't remember its name. It was a HTML unformatted uni course-work document that the guy who wrote it said he'd just keep changing it as required. Really wish I could remember his name.

I have a slightly different bent on what is discussed here, because my particular implementation reflects what I think is important. There are an infinite number of variations. It depends on what you think you think it might be good for.

14
jwatte 2 days ago 0 replies      
I did the "early years" of both statistics and tiny neural networks/perceptrons in college a long time ago. It also helps that I use math at work (anything from simulated 3D physics to DSP.)

Since then, I've used Wikipedia and Mathworld when work had needed it. Regression, random forest, simulated annealing, clustering, boosting and gradient ascent are all on the statistics/ML spectrum.

But the best resource was running NVIDIA DIGITS, training some of the stock models, and really looking deeply at the visualizations available. You could do this on your own computer, or these days, rent some spot GPU instance on ECC for cheap.

I highly recommend going through the DIGITS tutorials if you want a crash course in deep learning, and make sure to visualize all the steps! Try a few different network topologies and different depths to get a feel for how it works.

15
modeless 2 days ago 0 replies      
Geoff Hinton's Coursera course was what got me into it. It's not for the faint of heart. I might recommend Andrej Karpathy's cs231n as a more up to date source today.
16
deepnotderp 3 days ago 0 replies      
For deep learning, and ConvNets in particular, cs231n can't be beat.
18
sn9 2 days ago 0 replies      
For the math: MIT OCW Scholar and maybe Klein's Coding the Matrix.

For AI specifically, MOOCS on Coursera, edx, and Udacity will give you plenty of options. The ones by big names like Thrun, Norvig, and Ng are great places to start.

It really helps to already be comfortable with algorithms. Princeton's MOOCs on Algorithms by Bob Sedgewick on Coursera would be a great place to start.

19
jhealy 2 days ago 0 replies      
This is only the tip of the iceberg, but I found this introduction to naive bayes classification assumed little prior knowledge and successfully helped me build a basic classifier: https://monkeylearn.com/blog/practical-explanation-naive-bay...
20
mongodude 2 days ago 0 replies      
Think Bayes and Python Data Science Handbook are a good starting point. Below is the list of free books to learn ML/AI

http://blog.paralleldots.com/data-scientist/list-must-read-b...

21
Dowwie 1 day ago 0 replies      
There are too many resources from which to choose. It would be thoughtful of anyone to share AI learning pathways, like a syllabus, using those resources.
22
baron816 2 days ago 2 replies      
If you were to spend a year or so going through many of the resources presented here, and probably knew your stuff pretty well (or at least as well as you could after a year), would anyone actually give you a job?
24
jongold 3 days ago 0 replies      
Fast.ai is absolutely wonderful
25
Toast_ 2 days ago 0 replies      
The free Azure ML tutorials are pretty cool.

https://gallery.cortanaintelligence.com/

26
yodaarjun 2 days ago 0 replies      
For Deep Learning, deeplearning.ai has launched a free course on Coursera, which you may want to check out.
27
m15i 3 days ago 0 replies      
www.fast.ai
28
icc97 2 days ago 0 replies      
So who else has signed up for the deeplearning.ai course then? (I just did)
29
sprobertson 3 days ago 1 reply      
arxiv.org to learn the models, SemanticScholar to find connections between papers, GitHub search to find other people's implementations
30
frik 2 days ago 1 reply      
Are there good Deep Learning tutorials or blog posts with code (github) in Java, NodeJS, PHP, Lua, Swift or Go ?
31
jey 3 days ago 0 replies      
persistence
32
palerdot 3 days ago 5 replies      
If you are into watching programming videos, I would recommend Siraj Raval Youtube channel - https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCWN3xxRkmTPmbKwht9FuE5A

It is quirky, funny and above all very short and crisp and gives you a quick overview of things. Most of his videos are related to AI/ML.

18
Ask HN: Should I buy Bitcoins or is it too late?
8 points by nkkollaw  20 hours ago   11 comments top 6
1
nxsynonym 7 hours ago 0 replies      
Whenever there is a big spike in BTC prices there is a wave of people who catch a case of FOMO.

Like I've said in other threads similar to this - don't invest now just to make a quick buck. You're seeing a temporary price rise and think it will keep going so you want it.

My advice is to buy in only if you actually believe BTC has a future. Play the long game. If you're expecting to buy in now, wait two weeks, and re-sell it for 10x profit you will be disappointed.

Crypto markets are highly volatile. Just take a look at any price graph over the past year for BTC or ETH. Yes the prices have gone up, but it has been a roller coaster week to week.

Only invest what you would spend on a lottery ticket. Chances are you will not become an overnight millionaire. The people who have made huge returns on crypto got in at the earliest stages and held their coins until recently. If you don't have the patience to wait it out, don't bother.

But to answer your question - no it is not too late. Is it too late to start investing in a 401k? Or too late to buy facebook stock? Crypto is a gamble, not a get-rich-quick-scheme. Treat it with caution and back crypto techs you believe in.

2
spoonie 12 hours ago 0 replies      
What you are feeling is called Fear Of Missing Out. It's how you throw caution and logic to the wind and lose money.
3
itamarst 20 hours ago 2 replies      
Tulips. Buy tulips.

(This is not intended as investment advice. Please talk to your financial adviser before doing anything.)

4
patatino 13 hours ago 1 reply      
I bought 3 bitcoins at 3000$ but I don't think of it as an investment, just a lottery ticket. I have them stored in a hardware wallet and just hope one day they will be worth one million each.
5
savethefuture 20 hours ago 2 replies      
Buy small increments over a period of time when there are dips, or wait for a massive crash. But it is never too late.

There are also other coin markets that are on the beginning of upward slops.https://coinmarketcap.com/

6
baron816 19 hours ago 0 replies      
There is no way to know the answer to that question.
19
Ask HN: How will I know when I'm ready for contract work?
10 points by rnprince  1 day ago   15 comments top 8
1
rnprince 3 hours ago 0 replies      
Hey everyone, thank you for these replies! All of them were helpful. I came up with these takeaways:

- Frame your services as creating solutions to business problems, rather than trying to sell developer skills. This explains the value in terms that a client understands, and more simply, it lets non-technical clients know what you do in a way that AWS, Go, JavaScript, PostgreSQL cant.

- Focus on getting clients. This is a bigger barrier to entry than how good you are at creating software. Dont expect to do well just because you are good at making things.

- Youre probably qualified to do this if you've been a developer for a few years.

With this information, I'm going to follow the plan I already had, but with more confidence and focus since I feel more like I'm on the right track. I'm going to launch a few nice side projects with moderate levels of complexity to solidify my skills and figure out how long things take (important for estimates), and then I'll try getting clients using those projects to showcase what I'm capable of doing.

Thanks again everyone!

2
brudgers 22 hours ago 0 replies      
After I got my bachelors and moved in with my girlfriend I figured I would make a living freelancing. I had a few contacts from having done moonlighting and part time contracting work while in school. First thing I do is I call this guy I know out Arizona. We'd work together when he was doing some contract work before his current stable gig. Two days later he called me back with a great project that was kicking off "next week". That was May of 1995, it still hasn't kicked off so far as I know.

I took a regular job three weeks later. We'd talked, it was still "a week or two out." Eventually over the years, my Rolodex expanded to where I could take another stab at it when an economic down cycle made my job evaporate and I was kind of more or less able make it work.

You're ready to start when you have a signed contract and the retainer check has cleared. Software contracting is no different from any other type of contracting. 80% of it is sales. The other 80% is doing the work. Nobody who hasn't already asked you to do a project for them is likely to care on the day you open the doors and hang out a shingle.The three most important things are:

 1. Get the job. 2. Get the job. 3. Get the job.
Good luck.

3
BjoernKW 7 hours ago 0 replies      
You're ready right now. If you keep waiting for the right time to come or the perfect conditions to fall into place you'll quite likely never start but keep asking yourself that question.

So, start by talking to potential clients and try selling your services. At the very least this will provide you with invaluable information as to which skills you might need to improve or acquire.

4
taprun 22 hours ago 2 replies      
The biggest secret to contracting is that your technical skills aren't nearly as important as your ability to sell. I'd rather be a great salesman and a mediocre developer than the other way around.
5
richardknop 9 hours ago 0 replies      
I started contracting after about 3 years of perm work. And have been contracting since then. So you are probably ready.

Contracting is mostly about delivering business value. Solving business problems is what you get hired as a contractor for, tech is usually not that important as most companies that hire contractors don't have a good understanding of tech anyways. So they'll be happy to let you recommend the technical solution that solves their business problem.

6
bartvk 1 day ago 0 replies      
I'd say when you've saved up, say, 6 months of living costs.
7
icedchai 1 day ago 1 reply      
If you can fog a mirror, you're ready.
8
softwarefounder 22 hours ago 0 replies      
When you land a contract.
20
Ask HN: What are your favorite podcasts?
65 points by sanjeezy27  3 days ago   60 comments top 44
1
j_s 3 hours ago 0 replies      
This shows up at least monthly; maybe eventually I will get around to writing up the recommendations but for now you're on your own:

Ask HN: What are your favorite podcasts? (62 comments 20170721) https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=14819798

Podcasts to make you smarter (49 comments 20170711) https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=14737772

Ask HN: What Podcasts are you listening right now and why? (77 comments 20170623) https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=14616998

Ask HN: What podcasts are you listening to? (62 comments 20170611) https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=14529759

2
taprun 2 days ago 2 replies      
In Our Time (BBC)

The host and a panel of professors talk about subjects ranging from ancient history to nuclear physics.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b006qykl

4
technimad 3 days ago 1 reply      
No Agenda Show. Media deconstruction, no advertising, listener supported. http://noagendashow.comOr use the excellent web based player https://noagendaplayer.com
5
Helloworldboy 2 days ago 0 replies      
Joe Rogan Podcast check it out!

The Joe Rogan Experience

TRAIN BY DAY JOE ROGAN PODCAST BY NIGHT, ALL DAY!

6
kull 2 days ago 1 reply      
Marketplace - amazing host, fun and informative to get a daily update what's up in the economy, politics , tech

This week in startups - I am big fan of Jason and his work

Startup for the rest of us - no ads , pure useful content

Montley Fool Monday - great weekly update about the market , a lot of talk about tech

7
vinchuco 3 days ago 0 replies      
8
jurgenwerk 2 days ago 1 reply      
9
dbish 15 hours ago 0 replies      
VR: voices of VR, Rev VR

Startups/Business: How I built this, a16z, masters of scale, startup, indie hackers

Other: talking machines (NLP/ML), Mogul (more of a mini-series then a real podcast), Acquisitions Inc (DnD)

10
texteller 1 day ago 0 replies      
One My most favorite & motivational Jocko Podcast:

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCkqcY4CAuBFNFho6JgygCnA

11
JSeymourATL 1 day ago 0 replies      
Several good mentions here already--

Worth considering, Dave Asprey's Bulletproof Radio > https://blog.bulletproof.com/bulletproof-radio-episodes-dire...

12
oddlyaromatic 2 days ago 0 replies      
Song Exploder, Coding Blocks, Strangers (really good series of long conversations with Trump voters began not so long ago, but haven't check in on it for a while), Judge John Hodgman, Front End Happy Hour, Bullseye, Jordan Jesse Go!, More Perfect, 99% Invisible, Hidden Brain, Oh No Ross and Carrie. In general lots of NPR stuff and the following networks: Maximum Fun, Earwolf, Radiotopia.
13
kostarelo 3 days ago 1 reply      
"You are not so smart" http://youarenotsosmart.com
14
nbaksalyar 2 days ago 1 reply      
Radical Personal Finance - a non-traditional view on the topic of personal finance, with a goal of providing listeners with the knowledge they need to build financial freedom "in 10 years or less":

https://radicalpersonalfinance.com/archive/

Crypto-Gram - a monthly security-themed digest podcast (it is actually an audio version of the identically titled Bruce Schneier's newsletter):

http://crypto-gram.libsyn.com/

And, of course, "Hardcore History". It's just teriffic, Dan Carlin has a talent in painting live historical pictures using just words.

http://www.dancarlin.com/product-category/hardcore-history/

15
kennethologist 2 days ago 0 replies      
Few of my favorites in no particular order.

Grant Cardone's podcasts mainly: https://grantcardonetv.com/podcasts/

Masters of Scalehttps://mastersofscale.com/

Techcrunch Equityhttps://techcrunch.com/tag/equity-podcast/

How I Built Thishttp://www.npr.org/podcasts/510313/how-i-built-this

16
7952 2 days ago 0 replies      
Omega Tau - Interviews with tech and science people talking about their area of interest. Lots of episodes on aviation, and space exploration in particular. It has a good level of technical depth. Highly recommended!
17
retroafroman 2 days ago 0 replies      
https://soundcloud.com/bodega-sushi/

Only podcast I listen to, the Bodega Boys, to guys from the Bronx that started out as amateur comedians on Twitter and ended up with a TV show: https://www.viceland.com/en_us/video/thursday-august-10-2017...

18
drakenot 2 days ago 0 replies      
Accidental Tech Podcast - A tech podcast with a strong focus on Apple. Commentary by Siracusa makes this one worth it.

Film Sack - Film reviews of bad, strange or unique movies. They only do movies that are currently available via streaming sites and encourage their listeners to watch the movie before the episode.

Judge John Hodgeman - Two people, usually a couple, call in to the show with a disagreement. John Hodgeman will listen to both sides and cast his judgement. Both sides agree to abide by whatever he says.

19
gehwartzen 2 days ago 0 replies      
Both 'Hardcore History' and 'Common Sense' by Dan Carlin are near the top of my list. Hardcore History especially on long trips :)
21
dyeje 2 days ago 0 replies      
99% Invisible - Really great mix of interesting topics you wouldn't normally think about.
22
amrrs 1 day ago 0 replies      
* Freakanomics (Pop Eco)

* Youarenotsosmart (Pop Psych)

* Revisionist History (Malcolm Gladwell)

* Partially Derivative (Data Science Stuff)

23
bbrks 2 days ago 0 replies      
Stuff you should knowNo such thing as a fish - random trivia/comedyThe infinite monkey cage - scientific trivia/comedy Sawbones - Medical history/trivia Go time - golang communityIRL - Internet cultured topics by mozilla
24
aryamaan 1 day ago 0 replies      
On this note, what applications do you guys use for listening and discovering podcasts?
25
art0rz 2 days ago 1 reply      
Hardcore History!
26
darafsheh 3 days ago 1 reply      
I started with Gimlet Media StartUp podcasts. Start from season 1. It's great!
27
pcurve 2 days ago 0 replies      
The Daily by NYT is good daily listening before hitting bed, though Barbaro tries a little too hard developing his style.

Planet Money is well produced and entertaining.

28
ljsocal 3 days ago 0 replies      
The Daily NY TimesAxe filesThe art of manufacturing Containers
29
riku_iki 2 days ago 1 reply      
I recently started listening to some fiction podcasts, and they are amazing!

Limetown, Message, Black tapes.

30
shiny 1 day ago 0 replies      
Aside from the standard Rogan / Harris / Ferriss...

The Bike Shed

Developer on Fire

Travel Like a Boss

Invest Like a Boss

Tangentially Speaking

The James Altucher Show

Digital Communion

31
676339784 2 days ago 0 replies      
Chapo Trap House
32
dezb 2 days ago 0 replies      
Heres a few examples of Podcasts Ive done recently:

 + https://soundcloud.com/dez_blanchfield/ibm-fast-track-your-data-2017-podcast-series-talking-with-lillian-pierson + https://soundcloud.com/dez_blanchfield/conversations-with-dez-podcast-series-talking-about-cloud-ascend-from-engility-with-kevin-jackson + https://soundcloud.com/dez_blanchfield/conversations-with-dez-podcast-series-talking-about-behavioural-economics-with-guy-shone + https://soundcloud.com/dez_blanchfield/conversations-with-dez-podcast-series-talking-about-cloud-on-mainframe-with-steven-dickens + https://soundcloud.com/dez_blanchfield/conversations-with-dez-podcast-series-talking-gdpr-with-ian-moyse + https://soundcloud.com/dez_blanchfield/conversations-with-dez-podcast-series-talking-social-selling-with-ian-moyse + https://soundcloud.com/dez_blanchfield/conversations-with-dez-podcast-series-talking-with-joe-speed + https://soundcloud.com/dez_blanchfield/ibm-interconnect-2017-podcast-series-talking-with-david-mathison + https://soundcloud.com/dez_blanchfield/ibm-interconnect-2017-podcast-series-talking-with-jeff-spicer + https://soundcloud.com/dez_blanchfield/ibm-interconnect-2017-podcast-series-talking-with-dr-bob-hayes + https://soundcloud.com/dez_blanchfield/ibm-interconnect-2017-podcast-series-talking-with-steve-ardire + https://soundcloud.com/dez_blanchfield/ibm-interconnect-2017-podcast-series-talking-with-kevin-jackson
I also now have 10x of the top 10x publisher platforms now syndicating me:

 1. iTunes 2. GooglePlay 3. SoundCloud 4. aCast 5. MixCloud 6. iVoox 7. ListenNotes 8. Stitcher 9. PlayerFM X. Ustream + http://bit.ly/dezsoundcloud + https://itunes.apple.com/gb/podcast/conversations-with-dez-blanchfield/id1223831564 + https://play.google.com/music/m/Ic4aqobisb6om245wujxsxmgyoa?t=Conversations_with_Dez_Blanchfield + http://www.acast.com/dezblanchfield + http://www.mixcloud.com/dez_blanchfield/ + http://www.stitcher.com/podcast/dez-blanchfield/talking-with-2/ + http://cxoguide.com/conversations-with-dez-blanchfield/ + https://player.fm/series/conversations-with-dez-blanchfield + http://www.ivoox.com/en/Dez-Blanchfield-Talking-With_sb.html + https://www.listennotes.com/channels/1929359/conversations-with-dez-blanchfield/

33
swrobel 2 days ago 1 reply      
1) Marketplace (regular, morning, mid-day and tech)

2) Planet Money

3) The Daily

4) 50 Things that made the modern world

5) The inquiry

6) Crimetown

7) Criminal

8) Pessimists archive (should be called Luddites archive)

9) More Perfect

10) Science Vs

34
l33tbro 2 days ago 1 reply      
I've really enjoyed 'Waking Up' with Sam Harris lately. Some fascinating and eclectic conversations.
35
rmason 3 days ago 0 replies      
I'm currently going through the entire JAMStack radio archive.
36
t0mislav 3 days ago 0 replies      
99 percent invisible
37
Huhty 2 days ago 0 replies      
The Top - Nathan Latka

Everyone Hates Marketers - Louis Grenier

How I Built This - NPR

38
type0 2 days ago 0 replies      
Open Source Security Podcast

Late Night Linux

Chemistry World Podcast

39
vowelless 2 days ago 0 replies      
Security now

The vergecast

Accidental tech

Ben Shapiro

Sometimes chapo trap house

Sometimes Sam Harris

40
johnwaynedoe 2 days ago 0 replies      
-99% Invisible

-Hardcore History

-The History of Rome

-True Crime Guys

-Reply All

-Criminal

-Myths and Legends

-Crimetown

-Internet History Podcast

41
throwaway413 2 days ago 0 replies      
Mixergy
42
b3b0p 2 days ago 0 replies      
I've got a few I look forward to every single week (or so). I listen for pleasure and to get my mind off work. With that said, here are my favorite weekly podcasts (I've included descriptions from their website or my own if none was provided):

[0a] Giant Bombcast and [0b] Giant Beastcast (Note I'm a premium member)

The Giant Bomb staff discuss the latest video game news and new releases, taste-test questionable beverages, and get wildly off-topic in this weekly podcast.

[1] Thirty, Twenty, Ten

A pop culture time machine that examines TV, movies, music and video games from the 80s, 90s and 2000s.

[2] Retronauts

The original classic gaming podcasts continues its endless quest to explore the history of video games, one game at a time.

[3] The Talking Simpson's (Note I still love The Simpson's)

Join your friends at the Laser Time Podcast Network for a chronological and cromulent exploration of the greatest show ever made!

[4] Game Informer

No description available: Weekly podcast about video games. Professionally produced and in depth and I highly recommend listening to the episodes where they discuss the origination and founding of Funcoland/Gamestop/Game Informer and the current episode about Game Freak the developers and creators of Pokmon.)

Honorable mentions:

[5] 8-4 Play

Bi-weekly podcast about Japan video games, culture, and everything Japan that's making the news. They also run a video game translation business and have ported many popular games.

[6] Laser Time

Laser Time is a show featuring folks in the video games industry, although not necessarily about video games.

[7] Game Dev Club

The Dev Game Club looks at older games and plays through them in a form similar to a book club!

[8] Player One

Join ex-game journalists Chris Johnston (ex-EGM), Phil Theobald (ex-GameNow), Greg Sewart (ex-EGM) and their buddy Mike Phillips as they talk about console/portable/PC games, babies, and the meaning of life.

[9a] Radio Free Nintendo and [9b] Famicast

No Description Available: Podcast about all things Nintendo, old and new. It's very well done and balanced. The Famicast comes out less often and is mostly Japanese focused.

[10] Genesis Gems (I was a Nintendo kid.)

Genesis Gems is a retro gaming podcast focused on the Sega Genesis console. Family friendly, fun, and goofy!

---

[0a] https://www.giantbomb.com/podcasts/bombcast/

[0b] https://www.giantbomb.com/podcasts/beastcast/

[1] http://www.lasertimepodcast.com/category/thirty-twenty-ten/

[2] https://retronauts.com/topic/podcast/

[3] http://www.lasertimepodcast.com/category/talking-simpsons/

[4] http://www.gameinformer.com/p/gishow.aspx

[5] http://8-4.jp/blog/?cat=8

[6] http://www.lasertimepodcast.com/category/lasertimepodcast/

[7] http://www.devgameclub.com

[8] http://www.playeronepodcast.com

[9a] http://www.nintendoworldreport.com/rfn

[9b] http://www.nintendoworldreport.com/famicast

[10] http://genesisgems.podomatic.com

---

I have others, but these are the podcasts I look forward too every time they pop up in my feed. If you can't tell, I like pop culture, video games, and listen for fun and to escape. That work life balance thing.

Edit: Formatting.

43
SirLJ 2 days ago 0 replies      
Boat radio
44
miguelrochefort 2 days ago 0 replies      
- Tim Ferris

- Sam Harris

- Joe Rogan

21
Ask HN: Best non-academic algorithms book?
3 points by aecorredor  22 hours ago   5 comments top 4
1
rudedogg 2 hours ago 0 replies      
I haven't read it but Grokking Algorithms is well reviewed.

https://www.manning.com/books/grokking-algorithms

2
elorm 19 hours ago 0 replies      
This is a bit vague, but here are some suggestions

Algorithms to live by Brian Christianhttps://www.amazon.ca/Algorithms-Live-Computer-Science-Decis...

Bad Choices: How Algorithms Can Help You Think Smarter and Live Happier by Ali Almossawihttps://www.amazon.ca/Bad-Choices-Algorithms-Smarter-Happier...

3
uuquuq 11 hours ago 1 reply      
What would you like the book to cover? The daily driver algorithms and ten thousand pieces of trivia that working programmers keep in their minds, i.e. a non-academic book for working programmers? Breadth-first search, topological sort, the dozen different ways of implementing a hash map, stuff with strings, etc?

Or a work of popular science? Describing the few big algorithms that receive a disproportionate amount of attention? FFT, RSA, backpropagation, divide-and-conquer matrix multiplication, quicksort, simplex, and the like?

4
WaltPurvis 18 hours ago 0 replies      
Data Structures and Algorithms with JavaScript (http://amzn.to/2vDDbHQ) is a really excellent book, even if you're not using JavaScript for anything (I wasn't when I first read it, and still found it immensely helpful).
22
Ask HN: What is your favourite way of unsubscribe from emails and why?
11 points by niksmac  1 day ago   22 comments top 12
1
saaaaaam 1 day ago 1 reply      
If there is a vey obvious link that immediately unsubscribes me then I will use it. By immediately I mean "when I click this link I am removed from all future mailings without having to do anything else and without a delay".

If it asks me to confirm my email address or asks any other action or uses deliberately confusing double negatives ("confirm which email lists you don't want to stop receiving") or asks me anything else before confirming my opt out then I will immediately return to gmail and click "report spam".

I run a fully opted in newsletter and very occasionally see "reported as spam" in my dashboard which I assume means this action still has some very minor negative action for the sender if they are using a third party provider (mailchimp etc) to manage their campaigns.

"unsubscribe" should mean unsubscribe not "present me a number of options to try and confuse people into staying".

I notice that with some campaigns when you hit "report spam" in gmail it asks if you would like to unsubscribe. I'm happy to do that if it's presented as an option - though I haven't seen it for a while.

2
sciencerobot 1 day ago 1 reply      
I have a gmail filter that sends all emails with the word 'unsubscribe' to a special folder. I check the unsubscribe folder about once a week to make sure I didn't miss anything important. It doesn't completely solve the problem of spammy emails but it causes them to not be a distraction when I'm trying to process emails written by actual humans.
3
lecarore 1 day ago 2 replies      
In gmail i have 200+ filters that archive content based on senders. Twitter, facebook and linkeding are all going directly to archived. I use the email+junk@gmail.com trick when on dodgy websites. Sometimes they refuse this kind of email though. I rarely bother to unsub with the link, making a filter is faster.As a web app dev, I did implement a one click usub, but some noob users clicked it by mistake. Because emailing is essential in my app (it's the entry point to the shop), I did a slightly more complicated unsub workflow to avoid mistakes.
4
wingerlang 1 day ago 0 replies      
I just press unsubscribe and I have never seen anyone doing something nefarious. I rarely get subscription emails from things I haven't signed up to to begin with.
5
scraft 1 day ago 0 replies      
I use some of the unsubscribe options when the sender seems reputable, in other cases I am worried to use it, as perhaps they are just sending out emails to get a confirmation that the account is valid so they can then spam it all the more.

Our emails go via a host which provides a CPANEL interface, and from there I have a rule for all inboxes which I add to (for deleting spam), on average, once a week. There are probably a few hundred entries on the rule, but overtime it has worked very well. It normally takes me a few moments to add a new entry to the rule list, just because I try to be very careful to ensure I won't delete any important emails.

6
chmaynard 1 day ago 2 replies      
Instead of trying to unsubscribe to unsolicited marketing emails, I simply mark them as Junk mail. I can do this with a single keystroke in my email reader (I'm using the Mail app on a Mac). All subsequent email from the same address goes into my Junk folder automatically.
7
jszymborski 1 day ago 0 replies      
I have a (couple of) catchall domain, and so give every form a randomly generated email that I store in my KeePass database along with the randomly generated password.

Then I just set-up a blackhole for the email once they begin getting spammy. It also helps me avoid phishing attempts, as an email from MyBank(TM) would only be addressed to a random email that only MyBank(TM) has any right knowing.

8
likespandas 17 hours ago 0 replies      
I'll click unsubscribe for some of my users (I manage about 6-10 mailboxes) if I feel that the sender isn't honoring my request or requires I sign in to complete the request then I black list the domain.
9
patatino 1 day ago 0 replies      
I always click the unsubscribe link. I get maybe one or two unwanted emails every week.
10
egberts1 1 day ago 0 replies      
Single mouse click, enough said.
11
dozzie 1 day ago 1 reply      
> What are your methods of unsubscribing?

My favourite is not to subscribe in the first place. My second favourite is toadd a position to sieve filter.

12
forgottenpass 1 day ago 0 replies      
After I left a public facing role I had to deal with stopping a lot of spam. Apparently everyone with something to sell thinks the fact my email address was published on the website meant I was actively trying to subscribe to their nonsense.

I found that a polite email to customer service and/or abuse contacts at the technically-this-side-of-legal spamhouses (constant contact, mailchimp, etc) is usually enough to get yourself on a sitewide blacklist.

23
Ask HN: What methods, tools etc. do you use to validate your business ideas?
109 points by kadfak  4 days ago   36 comments top 23
1
cercatrova 3 days ago 3 replies      
I get on the phone and call people even before building anything, especially with B2B products since their phone number is easier to find. Email works too but it's not immediate and it's easier for people to not reply than it is on the phone. I used a book called Talking to Humans (free) [1] that talks about how to validate ideas.

The main way to do so is to listen to the potential customer and not even mention your idea or that you are working on something. You must first understand their true problems, not your idea of what their problems might be, which many technical people especially do and rush into building a product that people may not even want. Ask them about their problems in their daily life and if you keep hearing the same thing over and over and it aligns with your idea, then build the product. Even if it doesn't, a repeatedly mentioned problem is still one that could have a good solution.

[1] www.talkingtohumans.com

2
tmoravec 4 days ago 1 reply      
The best validation is a deep understanding of the target group and their problems. Let me give you an example.

First, pick the target audience you are either part of, or familiar with. In my case, I chose new and aspiring managers.

Second, learn about their pains. Talk to them, see what they discuss on Reddit, Quora, and wherever else they gather. In my case, I see questions about communicating and dealing with difficult people and dealing with various corporate processes.

Third, figure out what they pay for. Some groups buy books. Some pay for SaaS. Some prefer webinars, screencasts or courses. The options are endless, but the focus should be on what the customers already buy, not what we can easily make. In my case, new managers often buy books.

Four, pick one pain and fix it. Now you don't really need validation in the conventional sense of the word because now you _know_ what the people want and you _know_ what they pay for. I picked the communication challenges new managers face because I have studied this topic extensively before.

Five, implement. In my case, I started writing a book, even though I have never written a book before. But I know there are people I can help, so there is a chance that I actually will. My progress so far (shameless plug, accept my apology and please remove it if you consider it inappropriate) https://www.thenewrole.com/

This process is a somewhat simplified version of what a marketing expert Amy Hoy talks about. I suggest you check her website https://stackingthebricks.com/ if you are considering starting a side business.

Hope this is useful! :-)

3
busterc 4 days ago 1 reply      
Perhaps against the grain, I sometimes like to build an MVP for myself before any significant validation; something I'll use even if others won't. Then if others don't use it, I will. It can be a good opportunity to experiment with certain technologies as well. One such example is a service I made http://EmailMeTweets.com

When I first made it public I submitted it to ProductHunt and tweeted at marketing folks, with large follower numbers on Twitter, to please try it and help promote it. There was traction but not nearly as much as fast as I had hoped. In fact, just the other day I created an Indiegogo campaign to gauge the interest in paying for the service. At this time, there are 3 contributors for $12 each. Without a big surge it obviously doesn't seem poised to stay alive... for the public. However, like I said, I'll continue to use the service privately, freely. So, it's validated and minimally viable for myself; unfortunately not for the public.

4
hayksaakian 4 days ago 0 replies      
I like to imagine that the product already exists, then attempt to sell it to a customer face to face / in person.

Let's say I'm doing some kind of SaaS for accountants. I would meet with dozens of accounts with a sales pitch for "x software". This will quickly help you figure out if what you're planning on building is actually valuable.

Anybody that takes you up on the sale gets to be an early tester.

5
swenn 4 days ago 0 replies      
A few days ago someone posted a side project marketing checklist to HN that has many great ideas:https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=14942902
6
jqbx_jason 4 days ago 0 replies      
Feedback from others is absolutely critical. I'm just one person and I usually have some sort of abnormal preference even if I don't know it.

So I'll implement a quick version of the idea that gets the point across to others and roll it out to generate feedback. People will likely utilize it in ways you didn't expect or point out flaws in concept or execution- this is good because even if it doesn't validate your idea it could point you towards developing something else.

This works for smaller features within a project as well. Just roll out a rough cut of it, get feedback, and refine. The product I'm working on (https://www.jqbx.fm) has a live chat feature so it's easy for me to roll out a feature to a subsection of users and ask them about it directly. But even if it's as basic as sitting behind someone at your laptop it's almost always worth your time.

7
danieltillett 2 days ago 0 replies      
One thing to really watch out for is if the product can be sold profitably or not. Especially in the SMB B2B market many technology products are in great demand, but the CAC is just too high for the product to be viable.

You can get sucked into to creating a product that your customers love, but which can only be sold at a loss once the cost of acquiring the customer is taken into account. After making something that nobody wants (to pay for anyway), this is probably the biggest mistake made by entrepreneurs.

8
jsloss 4 days ago 0 replies      
I'm a huge fan of the interview process Ash Maurya recommends in Running Lean. I'd add to that the understanding Jobs to Be done (Read: Competing Against Luck by Christiansen) for an interview process that really get's to the base progress a user/client is trying to make in a given circumstance.
9
alexayou 4 days ago 0 replies      
Small-scale test of the general idea. Not even an MVP - test the basic idea as an extreme rough draft. If people respond positively to the general theme, keep testing and building up for that responsive audience. If it's good enough, they'll keep engaging
10
jermaustin1 4 days ago 0 replies      
In my former life I was a product developer.

I liked to tell as many different people about my ideas and get their feedback for if it is dumb or not. In that list of people will at least be a couple who would be in the intended audience.

If the idea is at least positively received, I might make an MVP if it is easy enough, if it isn't, I'll probably abandon it.

If the MVP is stable enough, I'll probably point Facebook or Google Ads at it to drive traffic.

If any traction is gained, I look at the numbers to see if it is worth it to finish building it, or just leave it as it is running.

I'm not sure if the Google/Facebook Ads are still a good traffic driver, but they used to be.

11
xoail 4 days ago 0 replies      
There is only 1 metric I believe we all need to test during ideation. Will people use this? If so, why? This may involve various ways of answering that question. Things like, figuring out your target audience, asking around, taking surveys, asking people to sign-up for updates etc.

I happen to hate searching for such answers, and end up creating MVPs only to realize not enough people want to use it. But I think even before MVP, one must pursue getting some early adopters excited to try it (even if it is for free). For my next project I plan to be thorough (hopefully).

12
bitfork 4 days ago 0 replies      
If I get a idea for a project og business idea One of the first things I do is checking if where is existing business or similar and go through what they offer and what where price is or if they make any Next write down what they offer now compare your own idea and ask yourself how can I be different and why should customers choose me instead of the compitors
13
jv22222 4 days ago 1 reply      
If it's helpful, I wrote a blog post a while back that can help when deciding which idea to put deeper validation efforts into:

https://blog.nugget.one/upstart/your-ideas-dont-suck-your-fe...

14
Crepusculo 4 days ago 1 reply      
Amazon Mturk has been a good way for me to get the opinion of people on potential products.
15
matrix 4 days ago 0 replies      
Step 1: Create a "reverse" income statement to test whether the basic concept is financially viable.

Step 2: Talk to at least 10 potential customers to assess the idea. Make sure most are people who don't feel obligated to be nice to you.

17
galkk 4 days ago 0 replies      
Nothing can beat Excel for checking initial financial assumptions
18
polote 4 days ago 0 replies      
Discuss about your idea with people, if none of them tells you that they would use your product (without you asking if they will use it or not), then probably no one will ;)
19
amrrs 3 days ago 0 replies      
* Google Insights/Trends

* Google Adwords Keyword search tool

These two help in calculating demand of a service or product.

* If you've got contacts, Random Sampled Survey

20
SirLJ 4 days ago 0 replies      
Back testing with stock market data...
21
streetcat1 4 days ago 0 replies      
I look at big companies road map, and do what next thing, only better.
22
treestompz 4 days ago 0 replies      
My own intuition.
23
alttab 4 days ago 0 replies      
Customers.
24
Ask HN: What's the best book on leadership you know of?
3 points by ryanmccullagh  19 hours ago   4 comments top 4
1
tixocloud 5 hours ago 0 replies      
I have many but here are two that I have read recently and found valuable:

- The Essential Marcus Aurelius (https://www.amazon.com/Essential-Aurelius-Tarcher-Cornerston...)

- Leading by Alex Ferguson (https://www.amazon.ca/Leading-Alex-Ferguson/dp/1473621178)

I admire the fact that this man has been able to recreate success with different teams and all kinds of personalities for close to 3 decades.

2
baron816 19 hours ago 0 replies      
The best one I know of? I'm not sure I'm the one to ask, but I think the advice in 'Smarter, Faster, Better' by Charles Duhigg makes a lot of sense. The book is about much more than leadership, and he tries to a least be somewhat scientific about what he talks about. The gist of what he says about leadership is that the best thing a leader can do is set the example of listening to the people his team, and make sure everyone has an opportunity to share their ideas. Just setting that example will encourage the team to listen to each other and work hard to come up with ideas, share ideas, and try to extract ideas from everyone else.
3
4
ruairidhwm 5 hours ago 0 replies      
Serve to Lead
25
Ask HN: What is a good site to post remote/heavy travel programmer positions?
17 points by tluyben2  2 days ago   13 comments top 6
1
mtmail 2 days ago 0 replies      
https://wearehirable.com/ for adding yourself, https://remotive.io/ for searching job offers from my bookmarks. https://github.com/lukasz-madon/awesome-remote-job for a much longer list.
2
Mz 1 day ago 0 replies      
I have no idea how good any of these are, but it is a list of remote job boards I compiled at some point:

http://gigworks.blogspot.com/2017/01/remote-job-boards.html

5
aszantu 2 days ago 1 reply      
there is a subreddit for digital nomads
6
PaulHoule 2 days ago 1 reply      
Tell us about the job.
26
Ask HN: Advice on breaking into embedded programming?
16 points by psyc  2 days ago   3 comments top 3
1
itamarst 2 days ago 0 replies      
1. Try applying to an embedded programming job. Or a dozen, better yet.

2. Take an "adjacent" job. I.e. find company that has both embedded jobs and non-embedded jobs; apply for the latter. It's easier to transfer within a company, because they know you and say "oh, psyc is smart, he/she can learn this" as opposed to "who is this psyc person? they don't know embedded". So it's a good way to get into jobs you can't otherwise get.

2
atroyn 9 hours ago 0 replies      
Game programmers are generally quite well regarded in 'physical computing' disciplines, because there's so many moving parts and edge cases to take care of - just like hardware.

Do a couple of real embedded projects for yourself (not just Sketch on Arduino, but grab say an ARM dev board and hack something together) then start applying. Good embedded people are in relatively short supply.

3
danielvf 1 day ago 0 replies      
A local company that designs embedded hardware and software was looking for a developer last time I talked with them. Email me at com leancoder daniel (reverse and add punctuation).
27
Ask HN: What are your favorite web front-end ressources?
5 points by kvalium  1 day ago   8 comments top 5
1
LarryMade2 19 hours ago 0 replies      
Don't do much news sites, most are pushing the shiny new tech of the month - which changes just about as often.

Advice - don't try to learn it all at once, lots of technologies (CSS is truly brain damaging to logical back-end folk, take it easy)... also best to keep your HTML as simple as possible and style and script out from there.

for a book, I suggest Stylin' with CSS: A Designer's Guide by Charles Wyke-Smith Very good terse visual intro to CSS, will give you a good insight on what CSS is capable of, which is quite a lot.

Look for the basics on responsive layouts, those grids and templates are usually set up for non-developers and add a lot of cruft you can do without. - this looks good - https://developers.google.com/web/fundamentals/design-and-ui...

Javascript - if you don't want a lot of effects, you can do most effects with only a little javascript without resorting to JQuery (google to help you there) same with DOM work and AJAX - Google what you need and if you get some stackoverflow suggestions read though all the examples, sometimes the less popular ones are more sane.

Especially if you are looking to do public facing front-end work, read up whatever security tips for your backend (filtering/escaping input, preventing cross-site scripting, and database exploits, etc.).

Keep plugging along, you'll get there - Good luck

2
afarrell 21 hours ago 0 replies      
http://book.mixu.net/css/

The hardest thing about going from backend dev to frontend dev is understanding CSS and HTML layout. Without a clear mental model, the experience of trying to position things on a web page feels like really frustrating[1]. I cannot recommend more highly that you do the following:

- Read through http://book.mixu.net/css/ and take notes like you are in university. When you come to a point that seems ambiguous, copy-paste some of the example html/css into a file, modify it, and view it in the browser to check your understanding.

- Turn these notes into flashcards in a Spaced Repetition program like https://ankiweb.net/about. Try to write questions that ask why something turns out some way. Don't be surprised if many of the questions end up feeling like rote memorization. There is a reason why med students do a lot of rote memorization: they are trying to build a mental model of a very complex system.

After that if you have time and don't already have a project to work on, you might want to

- Build a bunch of things in just HTML/CSS. When you have a question about how to position something, try to predict what the answer is. If you can't, then look up resources and add another notecard to represent what you learned.

[1] http://i.imgur.com/Q3cUg29.gif

3
mtmail 1 day ago 2 replies      
I use http://devdocs.io/ and the old http://jqapi.com/ instead of books.

https://developer.mozilla.org/en-US/ and https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/scripting/javascript/refere... are up-to-date. Don't go to the old w3w-schools.org regardless how good their SEO ranking on Google is.

For packaging the industry is slowly moving from grunt and gulp to webpack. https://webpack.js.org/ And react/angularjs as frameworks of course.

http://javascriptweekly.com/ has decent newsletters (bottom of the page). There's little overlap between the Javascript and nodejs one.

4
swah 1 day ago 0 replies      
This free course was kinda great: http://learn.handlebarlabs.com/p/react-native-basics-build-a...

Its actually about React Native, but I still would like to link it :)

5
bartvk 1 day ago 2 replies      
28
Ask HN: How do you become a better solver of life's problems?
16 points by personlurking  2 days ago   6 comments top 2
1
shahbaby 1 day ago 1 reply      
The hard part is usually in the execution.

Problem solving usually involves experiencing discomfort.

The ability to push past discomfort is key to solving non-trivial problems. Like a muscle, this ability improves with practice.

The problem could be to lift a heavy weight or to solve a hard coding question. Either way, there is certainly much to be gained from having the right understanding and approach but successful execution is mostly the end result of having a long consistent history of smaller successful executions.

Sun Tzu: "Victorious warriors win first and then go to war, while defeated warriors go to war first and then seek to win. "

2
ak39 1 day ago 2 replies      
I agree with the list, but I'd say the sequence is backwards:

You're not solving anything if you're not executing. Start with execution based on some initial approach. When the discomfort reaches intolerable levels, find a better approach. You only develop insight (understanding) after a few cycles of modified approaches and changed executions. Understanding comes later.

Like "shahbaby" said, the toughest life problems to solve are the ones which require endurance of high amounts of discomfort.

Let's be tough as nails!

29
Ask HN: Where do Adult Websites advertise tech roles?
34 points by Fifer82  1 day ago   26 comments top 18
1
joshribakoff 1 day ago 1 reply      
Worked at one found through craigslist. I left after the first year because somehow they were making $5k a day yet always having money problems. It got so bad they didn't pay the power bill. That and finding used needles in the bathroom were the final straw. At one of the office parties they had a communal pile of ketamine on the table. Just a really toxic environment. The CEO would regularly come in and let us know we were doing great because he lounges in his pool all day and does nothing so "keep up the great work". People would write in all the time saying we ruined their lives and what's it going to take for us to remove the videos (we could not be bribed) I didn't really advance my career at all.
2
soci 1 day ago 0 replies      
Many adult websites operate as a company with a completely different commercial name. I guess this is for legal reasons. I found that finding what company operates each websites (or website network) is extremely difficult.

Some job boards do the work for you by automatically classifying companies by industry. e.g. try filtering by "adult" at JobFluent job board. e.g for Barcelona: https://www.jobfluent.com/jobs-barcelona/adult

However, the same problem applies the other way around. Getting to know what adult websites operate each company is also a problem on its own...

3
bjourne 23 hours ago 1 reply      
> it would free up half his monthly outgoings.

What does that mean? Half his fixed monthly costs are for buying porn?

5
nasalgoat 23 hours ago 0 replies      
I was headhunted for the job I had at an adult website hosting company. You can't go by domain name or anything, as the companies themselves all have very innocuous, bland corporate names to avoid attention.

I would say that there's no specific way to go about hunting for such jobs as they all use the same resources as any other internet companies to find employees, but they do lean more heavily on recruiters. Perhaps ask some recruiters to point you in that direction.

6
kbody 1 day ago 0 replies      
http://iq69.com/ is a great source for stuff related to Adult Websites, along with job & gig ads. But it's private so you have to be approved by the admins first.
7
stephenr 1 day ago 1 reply      
> My friend quipped if he was me, he would work for adult websites as it would free up half his monthly outgoings

What. How.. What?

What exactly is your friend spending half his money on that he wouldn't need to, if working for an adult website?

8
aduthrow12 1 day ago 0 replies      
I worked at a top 250 website building billing and payments software ($85mm+ annual revenue) on the back-end for pretty much the top cam site in the world.

Got hired through a recruiter actually.

9
jtreminio 1 day ago 1 reply      
gfy.com - Go Fuck Yourself

Word of warning: adult companies are super stingy with programmer salaries and you'll basically be competing against $10/hr offshore amateurs.

10
bartvk 1 day ago 1 reply      
I wonder what this would do to your career after such a job.
11
bennyp101 1 day ago 0 replies      
I would imagine that most don't want agencies involved, sending though people that don't fit or would then be offended if they weren't told it was for a porn company or whatever, so I would guess they have them directly on their sites, or twitter/whatever feeds?

I had a quick look on a couple of sites (legitimate research!) but only found a job listing page on pornhub, so actually maybe that's not it. Could it be one of those industries that you have to work in to get to know about more jobs? Seems unlikely, though.

Either way, you have also piqued my interest in this!

Edit: Whilst I was writing this it seems to have been answered!

12
Raphmedia 1 day ago 0 replies      
I see ads for MindGeek on the sidebar of Stack Overflow quite often.
13
et-al 1 day ago 0 replies      
One company from Montreal has posted in the monthly Who's Hiring thread.

(edit: guessing Mindgeek given the other comments)

14
burntrelish1273 17 hours ago 0 replies      
Seems like the perfect use-case for humans.txt
15
ryanlol 1 day ago 1 reply      
Start your own, you'll quickly be earning more money than the people working jobs in the industry.

Even smallish blogs doing affiliate marketing for the bigger porn sites can earn you an easy six figure income.

16
eonw 21 hours ago 0 replies      
the pay isn't particularly great in adult anymore, the parties aren't as fun either.

there used to be a couple agencies but they appear to have closed down over the years, just checked their websites.

if you really want to work in the space, just visit some of the links in their footers. you'll start finding out who the parent companies are and how to contact them.

17
bootcat 1 day ago 0 replies      
I have seen lots of roles from kink, on linkedin.
18
busterarm 1 day ago 0 replies      
Mindgeek is the big name in the space, if you're willing to relocate to Montreal.
30
Portainer.io Docker Management UI v1.14
9 points by ncresswell  2 days ago   7 comments top
1
anilgulecha 1 day ago 1 reply      
Should probably be a Show HN.
       cached 15 August 2017 20:05:02 GMT