hacker news with inline top comments    .. more ..    26 Aug 2017 Ask
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Im Peter Roberts, immigration attorney who does work for YC and startups. AMA
262 points by proberts  20 hours ago   378 comments top 73
whack 20 hours ago 2 replies      
What advice do you have for someone who's on a H1B visa, wants to co-found a startup, incorporate it, work on it part-time until it receives VC funding, and continue working at their H1B "day job" in the interim?

My understanding is that the H1B visa does not allow you to do any work for anyone apart from your visa sponsor. If a co-founder were to spend his evenings working on his startup which has been incorporated, I'm not sure if that would conflict with the above regulation, and if so, how to work around this.

I'd be happy to contact you privately if you prefer that.

adamnemecek 19 hours ago 4 replies      
Just wanted to say that not enough people know about the Green Card Diversity Lottery https://www.dvlottery.state.gov.

The odds are kinda small and there are restrictions but I know at least three people who got their green card this way.

notfalse 2 hours ago 0 replies      
Hi Peter. I am a US permanent resident and will be moving and starting work in US soon. My wife is not a permanent resident or citizen of US. I'm aware that I can apply for an F2A visa for my wife, but she will have to wait outside the US for nearly 2 years.

Is there a way she can be in US, with me, while she waits for her permanent residency?

Things we had considered: a) she can stay in US and work with a US company (unlikely) b) she can stay in US and work remotely with her company outside US. c) she stays in US and takes up studying d) she stays in US and just waits.

Thanks for your advice.

charris0 19 hours ago 3 replies      
Hi Peter, thanks for sharing info on what I feel is quite an unknown subject to an outsider. I have a general question for you:

As a skilled software developer with a relevant UK university degree (3 years BSC) and work place experience, interested in working in the US - What is the ballpark range of costs and wait time involved in getting a visa to allow me to work for a US company.

What's the general procedure, - get offer from job, then -talk to immigration lawyer, or the other way around?


vira28 19 hours ago 1 reply      
Peter, I am in H1B visa working full time for my employer, but I am also a co-founder with equal equity (nothing on paper as on date) for a startup incorporated in Delaware.

Is it legal to be a co-founder (and own equity) in a startup other than the employer who sponsored my H1B? If yes, what I need to do? Thanks.

calvinbhai 18 hours ago 1 reply      
I've used up all 6 yrs on H1b (including recapture) and currently transitioning to F1, I'm exploring the O-1 visa. I'm an Indian citizen, born in India.

Question 1: Can I qualify for an O-1 visa if I'm part of a company as a co-founder/CXO that's been accepted in Y-Combinator or similar programs? (does that satisfy the "attained membership in associations that require outstanding achievements....."?)

Question 2: In the mean time, if I want to register a company in the US (for liability reasons) to release a free app in the app store, can I do it under my current visa status (change of status from H1 to F1) if there are no plans of monetizing the app in the near future?


tucif 20 hours ago 3 replies      
Are there legal ways to be hired as remote worker for a company that only has operations in the US and live/work from another country? Edit: As a Non-Us citizen.
cgb223 19 hours ago 1 reply      
If I'm aware that a member of my company is an illegal immigrant, what can I do to protect them and the company?
opdahl 5 hours ago 0 replies      
Hi Peter, thank you for doing this. I am in the process of starting my own company in Norway, and I am planning on applying for YC within next year. I am wondering, if we get accepted, what will be the best way for me to legally start a US company, and work for it in the US for three months? I've heard that H1B will not be possible since there would be employer - employee relationship, so what would be a good option? You did mention O1, but I am afraid I do not qualify since Inam straight out of university.

YC says that they accept 10+ non US companies for each batch, do you know what visa they use while in the US?

proberts 15 hours ago 0 replies      
I am going to sign off now but I'll be back on again this weekend to respond to any final questions and comments. As always, it's been a pleasure conversing with everyone. I always learn something. Thanks.
gyardley 17 hours ago 1 reply      
As a Canadian citizen married to an American - would voluntarily abandoning your permanent residency (say, to live in your home or a third country for a few years) make it more difficult to re-obtain permanent residency in the future?
proberts 18 hours ago 0 replies      
I'm going to take break now for an hour or so and then return. Thank you for all the great questions and comments!
gkuhlmann 19 hours ago 1 reply      
Hi Peter,

I'm in US on a TN visa and started a company (no revenue/no employees) to list apps on app store. When I went to renew my TN status, Immigration officer gave me a bit of a hard time saying I needed approval to open this business from Homeland Security. Is this true?

throwaway45599 20 hours ago 2 replies      
I have a criminal record in the UK. I was convicted approx 5 years ago for criminal damage, drunk and disorderly and resisting arrest. I was given a small fine in magistrates court.

I have otherwise a great record and have set up multiple companies employing approx 100 people here, including many awards and recognitions.

What are my chances of being able to move to the US?

gcdvl 17 hours ago 1 reply      
I won the green card diversity lottery and will finalize the process in about a month when I land in the USA. After that I'll be a permanent resident. I'll stay for a few months to set things up, leave for a few more months to sell some property and then move there permanently.

If things don't go very well and I decide to relinquish the green card and return, will I be subject to any kind of exit tax?

Also, I'm having a lot of trouble setting up an address to receive the physical card. A PO Box or mail aggregator is not acceptable and I can only change the address up to the point of entry. This is a major concern for me because I don't have anyone in the USA that could receive it on my behalf.

Is it possible to use "General delivery" near my arrival airport to get the card? I ask because up to 2 weeks ago I didn't even know about that concept so I'm still exploring that possibility.

Thank you for your time.

kilimci 18 hours ago 1 reply      
Hi Peter,

I'll finish my PhD in ECE around May 2018 and look for employment in the Bay Area. Do you think I should apply for NIW (I have over 300 citations and 10+ peer reviewed publications) or go through the process with H1B?

My wife and our son are on F2 visa right now. My wife is a computer engineer and was not allowed to work on F2 visa during my PhD. Can she work as an H1B dependent? Do you think it is worth to spend $10K to obtain NIW?

scollins 15 hours ago 0 replies      
Hi Peter,

Indian Citizen here. I have a startup incorporated via Stripe Atlas. If it reaches $1 Million in annual revenue, can I qualify for EB5 green card?

Or if I have around $500K in revenue and raise $250K from investors, does that help with EB5?

ryandamm 18 hours ago 0 replies      
Let me just say "thanks" for your help with our immigration needs!

Because Peter is probably too modest to self-promote, let me do it for him: working with him is great, it was completely friction-free and we got our employee's visa situation handled very, very quickly. Highly recommend.

coolsank 20 hours ago 1 reply      
Hi Peter!, first off, just wanted to say thanks for all the help you provide here! Its nothing short of amazing!

I'm currently on an H1B, but I'd like to set up an ecommerce store with a friend. I understand that itself may not have enough grounds to get an O1 visa. Is there any other workaround for this scenario?

bitlis 6 hours ago 0 replies      
I know that while on H1B, I can co-found a company as long as I can demonstrate a employer-employee relationship. But what can I do if I want to apply for green card under my company, if I only have enough qualifications for EB2? From what I understand, Labor Certification for EB2/EB3 will not go through if the applicant has significant shares of the sponsoring company.
auganov 16 hours ago 1 reply      
Consider the following scenario: a foreign (non-resident alien) founder gets funded in the US, standard C-Corp. The founder and the entire team are based in another country.The founder comes to the US once in a while for somewhat extended stays (~1month) to fundraise, do deals, etc. Regular B1/B2 visa. But expectedly, they will still do a bit of work in the meantime. Are they in violation of the B1/B2? If so, would being paid by a foreign subsidiary help it?
achoonacho 20 hours ago 1 reply      
Hi Peter,

If I want to enter the US under the TN visa, do I have to get a job offer that says its only for a period up to three years (the max TN term)? What should the job offer letter say about the period of employment, if anything at all?

vishakh82 19 hours ago 1 reply      
Hi Peter, has the been any uptick in RFEs and denials for H1 applications and transfers under the current administration? Have there been any other noticable changes for startup immigration under this regime?
yomansat 19 hours ago 1 reply      
Hi Peter, thanks for doing this.I'm on L1B, and I was surprised to receive 221(g) while renewing my visa.

I was told to wait for 2-6+ months for a response and crossed my existing visa that expires end of the year.

If my visa expires before hearing back, does that mean I lose my job in the US? It's a European company so they might offer me to transfer back to the UK.

Do I have any rights in such a situation? like ask for a reason for this, or perhaps a severance pay? can I still visit my spouse (in MA) on an ESTA given this is considered a visa rejection for now?

Thanks again.

dev_throw 18 hours ago 1 reply      
Would applying for a green card on a TN Visa be considered a violation of the non dual-intent of the visa and prevent me from renewing/applying for TN Visa at the border?

Context: naturalized Canadian citizen (Indian born) on a TN Visa working in the states.

From what I have read, green card applications are determined by country of birth, and for India are upwards of 3 years. So, I would like to know if an application for a green card would jeopardize future TN Visas at the border.

Thanks a lot for doing this AMA, Peter!

vonagam 17 hours ago 1 reply      
Hi, i'm looking in possibility of setting up subsidiary for US firm for which i'm currently working as contractor to qualify for L1 visa after next year of work.

I'm curious about last sentence in subsidiary definition:

"(parent) owns, directly or indirectly, less than half of the entity, but in fact controls the entity."

What are possible examples of control without ownership?What legal documents can be provided to prove such relationship?

jlos 20 hours ago 1 reply      
If NAFTA talks break down and the treaty is cancelled, what could happen to Canadian workers on TN visas?
peterburkimsher 16 hours ago 0 replies      
I went to Los Angeles and did a summer job at Axiotron in 2008. Then I tried to convert to a student visa when I moved to study at UCSB for an exchange programme.

My address changed, and I never got a letter asking for proof of funds. The USCIS didn't recognise the letter from my parents' bank.

I petitioned to reopen the application when I found out it was denied. I waited for months, and eventually was given 30 days to leave the country because I didn't have $25,000 cash in my own name (I was 19 years old. I still don't have that much money now). Thankfully I was already scheduled to leave 7 days later - the process had taken the entire year, so I finished my exchange programme.

I think that means the US kicked me out, and I can never get a visa to go back. I did travel there as a tourist once, over land from Canada just in case.

Is it worth ignoring any opportunity to work in Silicon Valley because of that bad experience? I'd rather work in New Zealand or Canada or (stay) in Taiwan anyway.

tocomple 19 hours ago 1 reply      
Hi Peter, I'm working in the US for a big tech company with an H1B1 visa (something like a lightweight version of the H1B, but exclusive for people of Chile and Singapore). My wife is a US citizen. I want to apply for a Green Card, but I'm not sure what's the path that I should follow. Is it more likely to get it through my marriage or through my employer? Is there any otherrelevant reason why should I choose one over the other?
kmonad 16 hours ago 0 replies      
Hi, post docs in the USA often hold J1 Visas. Afaik this means: no intention to immigrate, and no right to start a business. But life plans may change, and thus both these may become problems. What advice do you have for entrepreneurially minded researchers w/o the right to act on it?
j1f1h1bgc 19 hours ago 1 reply      
Hi Peter,I have heard they call you the James Bond of immigration. What do you think you this nickname and how did you get it?
kreeWall 20 hours ago 1 reply      
Hi Peter, thanks for doing this!

If a recent college grad is on OPT, and lets say they majored in actuarial science (STEM), are they allowed to make money selling crafts and art that aren't related to the major? I know there's a clause for jobs unrelated to your major, but I wasn't sure if this applied to selling art or having art showings. How does this work?


nickhalfasleep 19 hours ago 0 replies      
Thanks for answering questions. This is sort of an oddball question, but does the case of Xytex Corporation v. Schliemann in 1974 still hold much bearing these days on immigration and technology employment?

I was told by Mr. Perera, that it was one of the first cases in this field and he was always proud to have been involved in it.

jaydenwindle 16 hours ago 2 replies      
What advice would you have for someone who wants to immigrate from Canada to work in Silicon Valley but does not possess a post-secondary degree? Is there a particular visa that is well suited for tech workers without a post-secondary education?
xoail 20 hours ago 1 reply      
Hi Peter,

I am Indian citizen on H1-B with GC EB2 priority date of 4/2011 and approved I-140. I've been with same company ever since in US. Is there a way to make my GC processing go any faster? A lot of my friends are in similar situation and are eager to star a company. Many thanks!

amingilani 17 hours ago 1 reply      
I'm currently in the process of gaining recommendations for my EB2-NIW visa. Would you have any advice for the recommendation?

Also I made a web app to make it easier for people to write recommendation letters for me[1]. If anyone here has critique, I would greatly apprecate

HN PLEASE DON'T POST IT, I PLAN ON MAKING A SHOW HN NEXT WEEK. But you're welcome to recommend me and share the fact that you recommended me via email/twitter.

[1]: https://recommend.gilani.me

rootedbox 17 hours ago 1 reply      
I'm a US citizen in SF.. my girlfriend is Canadian. Is there any easy way for her to stay here long term minus marriage. She has a degree but not in a field where sponsoring is likely.
practicium 16 hours ago 0 replies      
Hi,I worked on a H1B from 2008 until 2009, then from 2013 until 2015 for a different company, all in all I have used very close to 3 years. 1- Can I reactivate my H1B at any moment to work for a company in the US for another 3 years ?2- On a H1B is it possible to work in the US for 1 week per month and the rest remotely from abroad? Does it have to be at least 2 weeks per month? 4 weeks per month?Thanks so much for doing this!
prspecialist 16 hours ago 2 replies      
Hi Peter, currently on my 3rd E-3 visa with the same employer as a 'Public Relations Specialist'. My employer is now starting the green card process. They are preparing the application, and have updated the job description to reflect my current responsibilities and minimum requirements.

My BA major is a field called "Performance Studies', which is an obscure interdisciplainry sub-field of Social Sciences and Humanities. My specific research is directly related to my job - experiential marketing in nonprofits, and my employer considers this a "related field" to Marketing, Communications or Public Relations major.

My issue is that my employer does not want to list "Performance Studies" as a required major in the minimum requirements, but my lawyer is recommending we do this to avoid a denial. What are my chances of approval if we list minimum requirement as "BA degree in Marketing, Communications, Public Relations, or related field" - with Performance Studies + my specific research as the 'related field'? I'm finding it hard to get advice from peers as most people I speak with applied for their GCs as engineers or mathmatics majors - your thoughts are much appreciated!

wireedin 17 hours ago 0 replies      
Hello Peter. First thank you for taking the time on addressing these very important questions. I am sure these are very emotional topics for many and we appreciate your help.

My question is: What is the process after submitting DS-260 and supporting documents on Immigrant Visa / Consular Processing. My interview should be scheduled in Tbilisi, Georgia for which I believe visas are current. I would appreciate if you could advice with approximate time frames for each step.

gvsi 18 hours ago 1 reply      
Hi, I received a full-time offer to work as a software engineer at a company in the Bay Area after my graduation in May 2018. They are willing to sponsor my H-1B, but I am also looking into other options in case I don't get it.

Now, I am an undergraduate student in the UK. I am also finalizing the contract with the same company for remote part-time work (20 hours/week) during my final academic year (around 9 months of work). I would be on the EU Payroll of the same company.

Could this remote part-time work count for a L-1 visa?


anocendi 20 hours ago 1 reply      
Hi Peter, thank you for doing this.

What are the steps towards citizenship after one got Green-Card via H1B -> Green-Card route under the current administration's laws? Are there any changes and new restrictions, etc.?

rafikicoln 20 hours ago 1 reply      
Thank you for doing this Peter! How does the H1B transfer work when switching jobs? How do I make sure that I can stay in the country while switching jobs and I don't have to wait 3 months to get an approval.


TomMarius 18 hours ago 1 reply      
Is it possible to obtain a permanent residence in the US while continuing to work for my own foreign company with no US office as a some kind of a sales representative?
kudakarkat 19 hours ago 1 reply      
Can a startup hire only H1B holders and no american citizens at all?
jfim 19 hours ago 1 reply      
Are there any drawbacks that you can think of with regards to having a green card instead of staying on H1B? The only thing I can think of is the fact that having the green card can potentially mean that there is potentially an exit tax to pay for high net worth individuals, assuming one wants to leave the US after more than eight years.

Also, if someone is on H1B and ends the visa (eg. break in employment), do future H1B applications have to go through the lottery again?


graeme 18 hours ago 1 reply      
How would you go about establishing us income for an E1 visa?

Background is I showed the consulate all my sales reports. I'm in a niche where almost all worldwide sales are in the us. So about 85% of my sales are from there.

They're not considering the documents. They want a report from an accountant or an auditor. I'm producing that, but given their extreme skepticism so far, I'm wondering if there's something else I should be doing.

quanglam2807 20 hours ago 1 reply      
Hi Peter,I am a Vietnamese student studying in the US with the F-1 visa. Recently, together with my American partner we opened a startup using Stripe Atlas.

The visa doesn't allow me to work in the US so I'll go back to Vietnam in the next four months to work on the product. But when I go back to school, what is the best way for me to work legally? I know I can apply for OPT but it would take me up to three months to get approved. Is there a better solution?

Chamuco1198 20 hours ago 1 reply      
Hello Peter: I'm a U.S. male citizen who married a Mexican single mom. The child is a U.S. citizen as well. We're in the process of getting my wife a green card. Because of my job in L.A., and because my wife's business interests are in Mexico, we have a commuter marriage. She intends to stay in Mexico until we're empty nesters. Will that be a problem in the interview when getting her green card?Thanks much
cltxp 17 hours ago 1 reply      
Two questions; thanks for the AMA!

- Does Premium Processing I-140 actually decrease the total time to green card for concurrently filed cases? (i.e. does USCIS really do work on 485 even before 140 is fully adjudicated?)

- How early would it be "safe" to quit job and start a tech startup after green card is issued for a software engineer at a bigco?

throthrothis 19 hours ago 4 replies      
Please all H1Bs of Indian nationality. Do not waste your time, age, money and family life waiting for H1B based GreenCard. Its a lost cause. Move to Canada, Australia or somewhere else. Live a good life rather than being indentured servants for US corporations for a good chunk of your productive age. I moved to Canada some years back and I am really happy about my decision.
anon1486 9 hours ago 0 replies      
Hi Peter,I'm a Iranian PHD student and got 2 offers from a big co and a startup. Both companies were very excited on having me on-board, but now both have decided to not move forward with my export license. This comes at a terrible time as I just got my opt and now need to find a new job. Can you shed some light on the requirements of export license and costs associated?
johmathe 18 hours ago 1 reply      
If someone has:- a full-time job in a foreign country (say, Germany) that sends him in the US on a 2 months mission,- a part-time job in the US (1 day per week), which let him work from Germany but also in the US under a part-time O1 visa (accepted).

How should that person enter the US for the 2 months trip? Under an VISA waiver B or O1 part-time?

Thank you so much for your time.

nb250 14 hours ago 0 replies      
I'm here on an H1B. My employment sponsored I-140 was approved over 180 days ago.I'd like to change jobs, and my prospective new employer has renewed/transferred my H1B (not approved yet, but I have the receipt).The I-140 application has not been transferred

However, the day I intended to resign my current work I got a notification of interview from the USCIS (to take place in the next month or so).

The interview I'm told may result in getting the greencard on that da, or they may need up to 5weeks for additional review.

What happens if I do follow through and change jobs in the days prior to the interview, does that have any affect?

squillful 20 hours ago 2 replies      
Hi Peter! A friend of mine has just started OPT and has founded a company. She plans on using the STEM extension too, which was a successful path for myself and some others, but the recent changes to the STEM extension seem to be considerably more limiting now. Do you have any guidance on options for founders considering the OPT and STEM extension route?

Many thanks in advance!

itissid 20 hours ago 1 reply      
Hi Peter, Thanks for doing this. 1. Since premium processing for many H1B categories is suspended are tech companies looking to wait out 2 or so months to wait for the USCIS approval to hire an H1B(assume in this case that person cannot work on the receipt of the H1B application)?2. What processing times are you seeing currently for H1B petitions?
phaefele 20 hours ago 1 reply      
Thanks for doing this Peter. I am currently thinking of accepting a US computer programming job (part in US, part in Canada) and am thinking of using a TN visa to travel back and forth (1 week per month in US, 3 weeks in Canada.) Do I need to be concerned about what might occur if Donald Trump et al decide to drop NAFTA?
zeusk 20 hours ago 1 reply      
Hi Peter!

I'm currently a student on F-1 visa. I had two questions re: immigration.

* If I apply to and get into YC, what would be needed on the visa/work authorization front? Will I have to apply for pre-OPT/CPT?

* When considering someone for post OPT, does USCIS check for 12 months including pre OPT and CPT or is it just 12 months of CPT?

47 19 hours ago 1 reply      
Hi, We are a Canadain Startup, but we also have a US corporation as well as we have as we have employees and warehouses in US.

Our System and Network Mamager is Canadian PR but I will like for him to work in US for time to time. He is a Russian Citizen. What kind of VISA we can apply for him to be to work in US?

pedro_hab 18 hours ago 1 reply      
I'm going to the US on a J-1 visa, I don't have a Bachelor's degree, though I have 2 years pursuing it.

It seemed unlikely I'd get a H1-b w/o the bachelors, what other options do I have?

I've thought on going back to Brazil for a year, then coming back on a L1 as a last resort.

paloaltokid 20 hours ago 2 replies      
Hello Peter! I am a US Permanent Resident since 1997. Should I be concerned about traveling internationally at the moment, US politics being what they are? Or is it safe to assume that if I leave the country for a short while, I'm not going to get turned away at the border?
cmsonger 20 hours ago 1 reply      
I have an employee who has been given access to the country on an L1A. We have filed priority for a renewal. USCIS has asked for more information on our request for his reapplication but we have not yet received the letter. His visa expires on the 30th of August.

Should he leave the country?

lauragomez1 19 hours ago 1 reply      
Hi Peter, I got a L1B visa a month ago, i.e. I'm an intracompany transferee and I want to know if I'd be authorised to work for other companies in the US in the future. If so, should I have to get a different kind of visa? What's the process like? Thanks!!
user-on1 20 hours ago 1 reply      
Thanks for doing this Peter.

I came across a rule like this.

On h1b one has to get income only from visa sponsor and not from any other source.

What is the logic behind this rule?How does this benefit anybody?How does this impact anybody?

Does this rule mean after office hours one cannot even write a blog and make additional income using adsense?

peterjlee 19 hours ago 1 reply      
Hi Peter, what effects do you think Trump's new policies on immigration will have on OPT/H1B engineers in Silicon Valley tech companies? My friends freaked out when he was first elected but so far they're saying not bad as they thought.
throwawayjon 19 hours ago 1 reply      
I first had my H1b approved several years back. I was with Company A for 2 years before I moved back to India to work at another company. I then came back to the US where I worked on H1b (same visa) for Company B for another 2.5 years. So I've used up around 4.5 years on my H1b that was first issued in 2007. I left the US and am now based in Canada.

I recently got another offer from Company C in the US. Does Company C need to apply for a new H1b, or can they simply transfer the current H1b I have? Note that my current H1b (that was sponsored by Company B) expired in May 2017, but I still have 1.5 years that I can use on it before the 6 year limit, as far as I understand. I hope my question makes sense.

ignawin 19 hours ago 1 reply      
Hi Peter, is there a way to transfer F1 to J1 visa, so that me as a SO of the F1 holder can get J2 (as a spouse) to be able to work in the US? More specifically - that would be the only reason for my SO to switch the visa type, which IMHO is not sufficient.
leff_f 18 hours ago 1 reply      
Hi Peter, can a sales representative for a Canadian company come to US to negotiate contracts/do sales (the work is done outside of US) with just B1/B2 visa? or a different type of visa required? Thanks!
ottoid 19 hours ago 1 reply      
If one were to want to immigrate as an investor from a country of birth such as Oman but bring funds in from Country of Nationality - such as India, how much would they need to bring in to qualify for the green card via investment?
MarkSweep 20 hours ago 2 replies      
Is there a firm near Mountain View you would recommend to consult about specific cases?

I am an American citizen considering marrying a foreign national who has a F-1 visa and would like to know more about the process of applying for permanent residency.

rc77 18 hours ago 1 reply      
Hi Peter, thanks for answering questions!

Could you please comment about changing employer after obtaining employment-based Green Card?

It's considered to be safe to work for current employer for at least 6 months after getting GC. However there is no such legal requirement and there's the AC21 Act. Also I've heard about 2-year period after getting GC: if applicant worked less than 2 years for sponsored employer, he/she should prove his intent to work permanently. After 2 years USCIS should prove lack of intent.

However it's still looks like a grey area.


kentosi 20 hours ago 1 reply      
Hi Peter,

I'm an Australian on an E3 that's been approved for the H1B. Do I need to go all the way to Sydney to get sticker on my passport? It's a long and costly flight ...

I was hoping to be able to do it at an embassy in Canada.

Thanks in advance!

Ask HN: What is your favorite CS paper?
753 points by lainon  1 day ago   246 comments top 118
joaobatalha 1 day ago 5 replies      
"Reflections on Trusting Trust" by Ken Thompson is one of my favorites.

Most papers by Jon Bentley (e.g. A Sample of Brilliance) are also great reads.

I'm a frequent contributor to Fermat's Library, which posts an annotated paper (CS, Math and Physics mainly) every week. If you are looking for interesting papers to read, I would strongly recommend checking it out - http://fermatslibrary.com/

- Reflections on Trusting Trust (Annotated Version) - http://fermatslibrary.com/s/reflections-on-trusting-trust

- A Sample of Brilliance (Annotated Version) - http://fermatslibrary.com/s/a-sample-of-brilliance

cs702 1 day ago 2 replies      
I would never call it my "all-time favorite" (no paper qualifies for that title in my book), but Satoshi Nakamoto's paper, "Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System" deserves a mention here, because it proposed the first-known solution to the double-spending problem in a masterless peer-to-peer network, with Byzantine fault tolerance (i.e., in a manner resistant to fraudulent nodes attempting to game the rules), via a clever application of proof-of-work:


Others in this thread have already mentioned papers or opinionated essays that quickly came to mind, including "Reflections on Trusting Trust" by Ken Thompson, "A Mathematical Theory of Communication" by Claude Shannon (incredibly well-written and easy-to-follow given the subject matter), and "Recursive Functions of Symbolic Expressions and Their Computation by Machine" by John McCarthy.

I would also mention "On Computable Numbers, with an Application to the Entscheidungsproblem" by Alan Turing, "On Formally Undecidable Propositions of Principia Mathematica And Related Systems" by Kurt Gdel, and "The Complexity of Theorem Proving Procedures" by Stephen Cook, but in my view these papers are 'unnecessarily' challenging or time-consuming to read, to the point that I think it's better to read textbooks (or popular works like "Gdel, Escher, and Bach" by Douglas Hofstadter) covering the same topics instead of the original papers. Still, these papers are foundational.

Finally, I think "The Mythical Man-Month" by Fred Brooks, and "Worse is Better" by Richard Gabriel merit inclusion here, given their influence.

This is by no means an exhaustive list. Many -- many -- other worthy papers will surely come to mind over the course of the day that I won't have a chance to mention here.

There are many other good recommendations elsewhere in this thread, including papers/essays I have not yet read :-)

nikhizzle 1 day ago 3 replies      
Without a doubt.

Time, Clocks, and the Ordering of Events in a Distributed System. Leslie Lamport.


My first introduction to time scales as a partial ordering. Very mind opening.

0xf8 1 day ago 2 replies      
"A Mathematical Theory of Communication" - Claude E. Shannon


thristian 1 day ago 2 replies      
Out Of The Tarpit, by Moseley and Marks


The first half of the paper is a spot-on critique of so many things that go wrong in the process of designing and implementing large-scale software systems. The second half, where the authors propose a solution, kind of goes off the rails a bit into impracticality... but they definitely point in a promising direction, even if nobody ever uses their concrete suggestions.

akkartik 1 day ago 1 reply      
Peter Naur, "Programming as theory building." (1985)

programming properly should be regarded as an activity by which the programmers form or achieve a certain kind of insight, a theory, of the matters at hand. This suggestion is in contrast to what appears to be a more common notion, that programming should be regarded as a production of a program and certain other texts.


KirinDave 1 day ago 7 replies      
I've been trying to get it frontpaged because, despite it's length, it's perhaps one of the most startling papers of this decade. Sadly, it seems like the HN voting gestalt hasn't decided to upvote a paper that's the CS equivalent of breaking the speed of light:

"Generic Top-down Discrimination for Sorting and Partitioning in Linear Time" ->


(if you're daunted by an 80 page paper as I am, there is also a talk on it: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sz9ZlZIRDAg)

It is possible, with some proper insight and approaches, to sort general datastructures in linear time on modern computing hardware. The speed limit of sort is O(n) with some extra constant cost (often accrued by allocation). It works by decomposing and generalizing something akin to radix sort, leveraging a composable pass of linear discriminators to do the work.

There's a followup paper using this to make a very efficient in-memory database that one could easily generalize under something like kademelia and with care I suspect could make something like a better spark core.


I keep submitting and talking about this but no one seems to pick up on it. This paper is crazy important and every runtime environment SHOULD be scrambling to get this entire approach well-integrated into their stdlib.

Unsurprisingly, Kmett has already implemented it in Haskell (it generalized neatly under the dual of the applicative+alternative functor): https://hackage.haskell.org/package/discrimination

flavio81 1 day ago 2 replies      
Automated Distributed Execution of LLVM code using SQLJIT Compilation

As collected by the SIGBOVIK group:



"Following the popularity of MapReduce, a whole ecosystemof Apache Incubator Projects has emerged that all solve thesame problem. Famous examples include Apache Hadoop,Apache Spark, Apache Pikachu, Apache Pig, German Sparkand Apache Hive [1]. However, these have proven to beunusable because they require the user to write code in Java.Another solution to distributed programming has beenproposed by Microsoft with their innovative Excel system. Inlarge companies, distributed execution can be achieved usingMicrosoft Excel by having hundreds of people all sitting ontheir own machine working with Excel spreadsheets. Thesehundreds of people e combined can easily do the work of asingle database server."

PS: This thread is great, i'm bookmarking because here there are good (serious) papers.

andars 1 day ago 0 replies      
I'll take a broad interpretation of 'CS' and throw out a couple of personal highlights.

C. Shannon, "A Symbolic Analysis of Relay and Switching Circuits" (1940): https://dspace.mit.edu/bitstream/handle/1721.1/11173/3454142...

Shannon's master's thesis, which introduces boolean algebra to the field of digital circuit design.

R.W. Hamming, "Error Detecting and Error Correcting Codes" (1950): https://ia801903.us.archive.org/1/items/bstj29-2-147/bstj29-...

In Hamming's own words: "Damn it, if the machine can detect an error, why can't it locate the position of the error and correct it?"

J.T. Kajiya, "The Rendering Equation" (1986):http://cseweb.ucsd.edu/~ravir/274/15/papers/p143-kajiya.pdf

Kajiya introduces the integral rendering equation, which is the basis for most current techniques of physically based rendering.

jasode 1 day ago 2 replies      
"The Limits of Correctness" (1985) by Bryan Cantwell Smith: https://www.student.cs.uwaterloo.ca/~cs492/11public_html/p18...

I know Thompson's "Reflections on Trust" and Shannon's "Communication" papers are more famous but I believe BCS's "Correctness" paper has more immediate relevance to a wider population of programmers.

For example, I don't believe Ethereum's creator, Vitalik Buterin, is familiar with it because if he was, he would have realized that "code is law" is not possible and therefore he would have predicted the DAO hack and subsequent fork/reversal to undo the code.

Seriously, if you read BCS's paper and generalize its lessons learned, you will see that the DAO hack and its reversal as inevitable.

gregors 1 day ago 2 replies      
"Reflections on Trusting Trust" - Ken Thompson


agentultra 1 day ago 1 reply      
Most of my favourites have already been listed but one I found particularly interesting was Von Neumann's Theory of Self-Reproducing Automata [0].

[0] http://cba.mit.edu/events/03.11.ASE/docs/VonNeumann.pdf

tksfz 1 day ago 0 replies      
Purely Functional Data Structures by Chris Okasaki - https://www.cs.cmu.edu/~rwh/theses/okasaki.pdf

Can programming be liberated from the von Neumann style? - John Backus's Turing lecture - http://dl.acm.org/citation.cfm?id=1283933

irfansharif 1 day ago 0 replies      
Diego Ongaro's Raft paper[1]. Perhaps this only speaks to my experience as a student but having surveyed some of the other papers in the domain (paxos[2] in its many variants: generalized paxos[3], fpaxos[4], epaxos[5], qleases[6]), I'm glad the author expended the effort he did in making Raft as understandable (relatively) as it is.

[1]: https://raft.github.io/raft.pdf

[2]: https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/research/wp-content/uploads/...

[3]: https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/research/wp-content/uploads/...

[4]: https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/research/wp-content/uploads/...

[5]: https://www.cs.cmu.edu/~dga/papers/epaxos-sosp2013.pdf

[6]: https://www.cs.cmu.edu/~dga/papers/leases-socc2014.pdf

chadash 1 day ago 2 replies      
It might be a cliche one to pick, but I really really really enjoy Alan Turing's "Computing Machinery and Intelligence"[1]. This paper straddles the line between CS and philosophy, but I think it's an important read for anyone in either field. And a bonus is that it's very well-written and readable.

[1] https://www.csee.umbc.edu/courses/471/papers/turing.pdf

emidln 1 day ago 0 replies      
A bit cliche for HN, but I really enjoyed RECURSIVE FUNCTIONS OF SYMBOLIC EXPRESSIONS AND THEIR COMPUTATION BY MACHINE (Part I) by John McCarthy[0]. It was accessible to someone whose background at the time was not CS and convinced me of the beauty of CS -- and lisp.

[0] - http://www-formal.stanford.edu/jmc/recursive.html

twoodfin 1 day ago 1 reply      
Cheating a little, but the collected Self papers are what I'd bring to a desert island:


archagon 16 hours ago 0 replies      
I haven't read a ton of academic research in general, but in trying to understand CRDTs and concurrency, gritzko's paper on "Causal Trees"[1] struck me as incredibly smart and clear in its thinking. Many of the other CRDT papers I read (even influential ones) were flawed in a number of respects: blurred lines between design and implementation, blatant mistakes and typos, hasty and unconvincing conclusions, an overabundance of newly-minted terms and acronyms, dense proofs lacking any concrete examples, unintuitive divisions between operation history and state mutation. The Causal Trees paper is also dense and also invents a bunch of new vocabulary, but the logic is completely consistent (to the point of being unified under a single metaphor) and clearly explained every step of the way. The data format is also very clever, and the paper spends a good amount of time following the practical consequences of those design decisions, e.g. the ease of displaying inline changes, or of generating a particular revision of the document.

Weirdly, the paper isn't much discussed alongside the usual contenders. (WOOT, Logoot, RGA, LSEQ, etc.)

[1]: https://ai2-s2-pdfs.s3.amazonaws.com/6534/c371ef78979d7ed84b...

brad0 1 day ago 1 reply      
Kademlia, a P2P distributed hash table. DHTs are very complex from the outside but very simple once you understand the building blocks.


zzzcpan 1 day ago 1 reply      
Worth mentioning Joe Armstrong's "Making reliable distributed systems in the presence of sodware errors" [1].

[1] http://erlang.org/download/armstrong_thesis_2003.pdf

btilly 1 day ago 0 replies      
As We May Thinkhttps://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/1945/07/as-we-m...

This paper, written during WW II (!) by someone who had around to 20 years of computing experience at that time (!!) introduced the world to the ideas like hypertext, and citation indexes. Google's PageRank algorithm can be seen as a recombining of ideas from this paper.

This is worth reading to see how much was understood how early.

CobrastanJorji 1 day ago 0 replies      
Yao's minimax principle. It's not a very exciting read or a very exciting conclusion compared to some of these other papers, but it's still interesting, and the conclusion has been practically useful to me a small handful of times.

It concerns randomized algorithms, which are algorithms that try to overcome worst case performance by randomizing their behavior, so that a malicious user can't know which input will be the worst case input this time.

The principle states that the expected cost of a randomized algorithm on a single input is no better or worse than the cost of a deterministic algorithm with random input.

Yao proves this is the case by constructing two zero sum games based around the algorithms' running times and then using game theory (specifically von Neumann's minimax theorem) to show that the two approaches are equivalent. It's a really neat approach!

dvirsky 1 day ago 1 reply      
The Anatomy of a Large-Scale Hypertextual Web Search Engine, by Brin and Page.

Not only for the historical value of changing the world, and for the fact that it's very interesting and readable; It has personal value to me: the first CS paper I've ever read and it inspired me and changed the course of my life, literally.

Also, it has some very amusingly naive (in hindsight) stuff in it, like: "Google does not have any optimizations such as query caching, subindices on common terms, and other common optimizations. We intend to speed up Google considerably through distribution and hardware, software, and algorithmic improvements. Our target is to be able to handle several hundred queries per second"


romaniv 1 day ago 0 replies      
I don't have a favorite research paper, but there is a long Ph.D. thesis I've recently read in its entirety and found a lot of interesting ideas:

Programming with Agents: http://alumni.media.mit.edu/~mt/thesis/mt-thesis-Contents.ht...

Here is a short paper with a clear description of an ingenious idea.

Engineered Robustness by Controlled Hallucination: http://web.mit.edu/jakebeal/www/Publications/NIAI-2008.pdf

I like the simplicity of it. Most CS researches seem to be afraid of describing things that are simple, even if those things are non-obviosu and valuable.

gens 1 day ago 0 replies      
"Communicating Sequential Processes" by Tony Hoare


I read it multiple times and still don't quite understand it all.

There are more great papers i read but this one comes back to mind more often then others.

vaibhavsagar 1 day ago 1 reply      
There are a ton of fantastic Haskell papers, but if I had to pick one this would be it. It reconciles the pure and lazy functional nature of Haskell with the strict and often messy demands of the real world:

State in Haskell. John Launchbury and Simon L. Peyton Jones


bra-ket 1 day ago 0 replies      
microbie 1 day ago 0 replies      
Dijkstra's shortest path algorithm in "A Note on Two Problems in Connexion with Graphs" http://www-m3.ma.tum.de/foswiki/pub/MN0506/WebHome/dijkstra....Pure, mathematical and a great impact on both how to prove and define algorithms as well as the problem itself.
filereaper 1 day ago 0 replies      
Some old ones:

Jeffrey Ullman & John Hopcroft: Formal languages and their relation to automata [0]

Ted Codd: A relational model of data for large shared data banks [1]

C.A.R Hoare: Communicating Sequential Processes [2]




1001101 1 day ago 0 replies      
New Directions in Cryptography - Diffie + Hellman


larkeith 1 day ago 2 replies      
The Night Watch by James Mickens is always a good read:


ChuckMcM 1 day ago 0 replies      
I've always enjoyed Finseth's Thesis on text editing, "A cookbook for an EMACS", which he turned into a book: https://www.finseth.com/craft/ and is available in epub form for free.
mayank 1 day ago 0 replies      
The Flajolet-Martin paper on counting unique items in an infinite stream with constant space [1]: a great, well-written introduction to streaming algorithms that triggered my first "aha" moment in the field. You never forget your first.

[1] http://algo.inria.fr/flajolet/Publications/FlMa85.pdf

wsxiaoys 1 day ago 1 reply      
Cheney on the MTAhttp://home.pipeline.com/~hbaker1/CheneyMTA.html

Full tail recursion scheme implementation by never "return" in C

atilimcetin 1 day ago 0 replies      
Not a single paper but Eric Veach's Ph.D. thesis 'Robust Monte Carlo Methods for Light Transport Simulation' - http://graphics.stanford.edu/papers/veach_thesis/
nrjames 1 day ago 1 reply      
Mine is "Image Quilting for Texture Synthesis and Transfer" by Efros and Freeman. It's simple enough to implement as a personal project and has some nice visual output. Plus, Wang tiles are cool and it's fun to learn more about them.


coherentpony 1 day ago 1 reply      
An Algorithm for the Machine Calculation of Complex Fourier Series

James W. Cooley and John W. Tukey

Mathematics of ComputationVol. 19, No. 90 (Apr., 1965), pp. 297-301


xixixao 1 day ago 1 reply      
Notation as a Tool of Thought, Kenneth E. Iverson


random_comment 1 day ago 0 replies      
Depixelizing Pixel Art


I think this paper is very cute and also technically interesting.

bluedino 1 day ago 0 replies      
"A Method for the Construction of Minimum-Redundancy Codes"


I'm not sure if it was the fact that I was just a kid when I read it, but it was just so obvious and simple but so complicated and amazing at the same time.

bootsz 1 day ago 0 replies      
taeric 1 day ago 0 replies      
"Dancing Links" by Knuth (http://www-cs-faculty.stanford.edu/~knuth/papers/dancing-col...) is still one of my favorites for my actually having understood it. :) I wish I had found it back in grade school. (Though I suspect I wouldn't have understood it, then.)
akkartik 1 day ago 0 replies      
Hofstadter, D. R. and Mitchell, M. (1995). "The Copycat project: A model of mental fluidity and analogy-making." Chapter 5 in D. R. Hofstadter, Fluid Concepts and Creative Analogies.


"Copycat is a model of analogy making and human cognition based on the concept of the parallel terraced scan, developed in 1988 by Douglas Hofstadter, Melanie Mitchell, and others at the Center for Research on Concepts and Cognition, Indiana University Bloomington. Copycat produces answers to such problems as "abc is to abd as ijk is to what?" (abc:abd :: ijk:?). Hofstadter and Mitchell consider analogy making as the core of high-level cognition, or high-level perception, as Hofstadter calls it, basic to recognition and categorization. High-level perception emerges from the spreading activity of many independent processes, called codelets, running in parallel, competing or cooperating. They create and destroy temporary perceptual constructs, probabilistically trying out variations to eventually produce an answer. The codelets rely on an associative network, slipnet, built on pre-programmed concepts and their associations (a long-term memory). The changing activation levels of the concepts make a conceptual overlap with neighboring concepts." -- https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Copycat_(software)


lawn 1 day ago 0 replies      
Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System


arde 1 day ago 1 reply      
All of the classic papers I can think of have already been mentioned, but even though it's too recent to pass judgment a new contender may well be "Deep Learning and Quantum Entanglement: Fundamental Connections with Implications to Network Design" - https://arxiv.org/abs/1704.01552
rahulmehta95 20 hours ago 0 replies      
Trading Group Theory for Randomness by Laci Babai (http://dl.acm.org/citation.cfm?id=22192) -- this beautiful paper introduced algorithmic group theory & interactive proofs (in the form of Arthur-Merlin games) to study the Graph Isomorphism problem, and introduced several groundbreaking new results. Perhaps a more approachable (and funny) version of this would be Babai's humorous essay detailing the flurry of work that broke out after his results introducing AM/MA...it's the closest thing I've seen to making theoretical CS exhilarating :P (http://www.cs.princeton.edu/courses/archive/spr09/cos522/Bab...)
otakucode 1 day ago 0 replies      
Admittedly a good portion of my appreciation is due to the title alone, but the paper and contents itself are very good as well:

'The Geometry of Innocent Flesh on the Bone: Return-into-libc without function calls' by Hovav Shacham


protomyth 1 day ago 0 replies      
I would say An Agent-Oriented Programming by Yoav Shoham. It certainly set my mind going and made me think about how programs could be organized. I still think, agents, systems of agents, and mobile agent code has a place in computing. Even though some form of RPC over HTTP won over mobile code, I look at the spinning up of VMs and cannot help but think that agents have a place. Combined with the tuple space stuff from Yale, I still see a powerful way to go forward.

1) 1990 http://cife.stanford.edu/node/599

2) 1993 http://faculty.cs.tamu.edu/ioerger/cs631-fall05/AOP.pdf

Phithagoras 1 day ago 0 replies      
Not exactly CS, but the Unreasonable Effectiveness of Mathematics in the Natural Sciences is one of my favourites.
beefman 1 day ago 0 replies      
Backus - A Functional Style and Its Algebra of Programs


mdhughes 1 day ago 0 replies      
mooneater 1 day ago 0 replies      
"On the criteria to be used in decomposing systems into modules" by David Parnas, 1972, the seminal paper where he brings forward the key ideas that would later be called cohesion and coupling.


Why it was important: you can't build big complex systems without these principles.

Some people say he was instrumental in stopping the Star Wars program, he argued it would be impossible to test outside of war (and therefore doomed).

mrlyc 1 day ago 0 replies      
My favourite is "Targeting Safety-Related Errors During Software Requirements Analysis" by Robyn Lutz at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. It's available at https://trs.jpl.nasa.gov/bitstream/handle/2014/35179/93-0749...

The article provides a safety checklist for use during the analysis of software requirements for spacecraft and other safety-critical, embedded systems.

p4bl0 1 day ago 0 replies      
It's not exactly a paper but I really liked "The Limits of Mathematics" by Chaitin. I wrote a blogpost about it a few years back (https://shebang.ws/the-limits-of-mathematics.html), I already submitted it to HN (https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=1725936).
kwisatzh 1 day ago 1 reply      
How to share a secret by Adi Shamir. Simple, elegant, short and highly impactful.
GeorgeTirebiter 1 day ago 0 replies      
"Hints for Computer System Design" by Butler Lampson


kwindla 1 day ago 0 replies      
Alexia Massalins 1992 PhD thesis describing the Synthesis Operating System.

Here's Valerie Auroras description of Synthesis:

... a completely lock-free operating system optimized using run-time code generation, written from scratch in assembly running on a homemade two-CPU SMP with a two-word compare-and-swap instructionyou know, nothing fancy.

Which (necessarily) undersells by a very large margin just how impressive, innovative, and interesting this thesis is.

If youre interested in operating systems, or compilers, or concurrency, or data structures, or real-time programming, or benchmarking, or optimization, you should read this thesis. Twenty-five years after it was published, it still provides a wealth of general inspiration and specific food for thought. Its also clearly and elegantly written. And, as a final bonus, its a snapshot from an era in which Sony made workstations and shipped its own, proprietary, version of Unix. Good times.

mathgenius 21 hours ago 0 replies      
"The Derivative of a Regular Type is its Type of One-Hole Contexts" - Conor McBride, http://strictlypositive.org/diff.pdf

This shows how you end up "differentiating" datatypes in the context of strict functional programming, in order to do things like "mutate" lists. It is essentially the same as what mathematicians call "combinatorial species".

ratsimihah 1 day ago 0 replies      
Deepmind's first paper on deep reinforcement learning.The beginning of a new era towards AGI : )

Human-level control through deep reinforcement learninghttp://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v518/n7540/full/nature1...

pradn 1 day ago 0 replies      
My favorite paper in computer systems is "Memory Resource Management in VMware ESX Server". It identifies a problem and devises several clever solutions to the problem. I love papers that make your go "AHA!".


Rickasaurus 1 day ago 0 replies      
"NP-complete Problems and Physical Reality" by Scott Aaronson. It relates NP-complete problems to examples in nature. Excellent paper and a fun read.


nonsince 1 day ago 0 replies      
Type Systems as Macros


It's not world-changing or even particularly novel, but it's such a simple concept explained very well that really changes how you see the typed/dynamic language divide, as well as language design in general.

uvatbc 1 day ago 0 replies      
One of my all time favorites has been the Jefferey Mogul paper on Receive Livelock: https://pdos.csail.mit.edu/6.828/2008/readings/mogul96usenix...

I read it first as a normal CS paper, but later started seeing it as a commentary on an extremely busy work life.

Right there in the first paragraph: "... receive livelock, in which the system spends all its time processing interrupts, to the exclusion of other tasks..."

Does this remind you of anything?

vsrinivas 1 day ago 0 replies      
From the perspective of - 'take a fresh look at something we take for granted' - "A Preliminary Architecture for a Basic Data-Flow Processor" (Dennis & Misunas 1975)

Focusing on the flow of data between operators and greedily executing a linear program is what an out-of-order processor is.

jhpriestley 1 day ago 1 reply      
The Scheme papers are great http://library.readscheme.org/page1.html

"On the Translation of Languages from Left to Right", by Knuth, I found much clearer and more illuminating than any of the secondary literature on LR(k) parsing.

acoravos 1 day ago 0 replies      
"The Moral Character of Cryptographic Work" by Phillip Rogaway

Background: http://web.cs.ucdavis.edu/~rogaway/papers/moral.html

Paper: web.cs.ucdavis.edu/~rogaway/papers/moral-fn.pdf

efferifick 1 day ago 2 replies      
Producing Wrong Data without Doing Anything Obviously Wrong.

Immediately useful for anyone measuring compiler transformations performance!

Jtsummers 1 day ago 1 reply      
Not a paper, and not strictly CS, but Mythical Man-Month by Brooks. It solidified the connection in my mind between systems engineering and software engineering. Other readings since then have extended and changed this understanding, but this is where my approach to software development started to mature.
jules 1 day ago 0 replies      
A play on regular expressions: https://sebfisch.github.io/haskell-regexp/regexp-play.pdf

This paper explains a beautiful algorithm for matching regular expressions with a Socratic dialogue.

baddox 1 day ago 0 replies      
Scott Aaronson's "Why Philosophers Should Care About Computational Complexity"


sova 1 day ago 0 replies      
"Collaborative creation of communal hierarchical taxonomies in social tagging systems"


wlesieutre 1 day ago 1 reply      
"Interactive Indirect Illumination Using Voxel Cone Tracing" by Crassin et al.

As an architectural lighting guy, seeing realtime global illumination look this good in a game engine was fantastic. Parts of the algorithm I can understand, parts go over my head still, but the results are amazing.

A big part of what I do at work is radiosity simulations in AGI32 which is of course more accurate (because it's trying to accurately simulate real world lighting results) but much much slower.


chowells 1 day ago 0 replies      
The Essence of the Iterator Pattern, by Gibbons and Oliveira.

This paper develops a precise model for internal iteration of a data structure, such that exactly the necessary information is exposed and no more.

It's a fantastic exploration of improving a well-known design space with justified removal of details. I keep its lessons in mind whenever I am facing code that seems to have a lot of incidental complexity.


coldcode 1 day ago 0 replies      
Royce 1970 of course: http://www.cs.umd.edu/class/spring2003/cmsc838p/Process/wate... wherein he did not introduce Waterfall, but for some reason the negative aspects of his article became the basis for Waterfall. The article for 1970 is surprisingly relevant although archaic in language. It's worth reading to the end. He wrote this describing leading teams in the 1960s do what I assume was actual "rocket" science.
tjr 1 day ago 1 reply      
Growing a Language
alok-g 1 day ago 0 replies      
Automated Theorem Proving, David Plaisted


codelord 1 day ago 0 replies      
ImageNet Classification with Deep Convolutional Neural Networkshttps://papers.nips.cc/paper/4824-imagenet-classification-wi...If not evident already, time will tell that this paper brought us to a new era.
jonbaer 1 day ago 0 replies      
Anything dealing w/ "reversible computing", makes you ask "what-if" ...



whataretensors 1 day ago 0 replies      
The original GAN paper was pretty big for me. https://arxiv.org/pdf/1406.2661.pdf
surement 1 day ago 0 replies      
The splay trees paper by Sleator and Tarjan (1985) https://www.cs.cmu.edu/~sleator/papers/self-adjusting.pdf

It's just such a cool result and the paper is very well written. Further, the dynamic optimality conjecture at the end is still an open problem.

lukego 1 day ago 0 replies      
megahz 22 hours ago 0 replies      
Smashing the stack for fun adn profit http://insecure.org/stf/smashstack.html
cjbprime 1 day ago 0 replies      
I'll go with an unconventional choice: Michael Kleber's _The Best Card Trick_: http://www.northeastern.edu/seigen/11Magic/Articles/Best%20C...
505 1 day ago 0 replies      
I see some of my favourites among other replies. I don't think I see these:



0xf8 1 day ago 0 replies      
The Applications of Probability to Cryptography - Alan M. Turing


kageneko 1 day ago 0 replies      
Oh man... I don't know. There's so many.

I'll need to go with

Gilbert, E., & Karahalios, K. (2009, April). Predicting tie strength with social media. In Proceedings of the SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (pp. 211-220). ACM.

In grad school, it was the paper that kept on giving. I think I cited it every semester for a paper or project. There's a lot of other papers and books that really inspired me, but this one was magic.

dansto 1 day ago 0 replies      
PCP theorem as explained by Bernard Chazelle , 2001https://www.cs.princeton.edu/~chazelle/pubs/bourbaki.pdf

Great writing style!

phamilton 1 day ago 0 replies      
The Dynamo Paper. http://www.allthingsdistributed.com/files/amazon-dynamo-sosp...

One of the best practical "How can this improve our business?" technical papers, and an excellent introduction to reading papers.

Vervious 1 day ago 0 replies      
Paxos made simple. It's a very beautiful paper.
djhworld 1 day ago 0 replies      
Not hardcore CS as some of the other papers on here, but I really enjoyed the BigTable paper https://static.googleusercontent.com/media/research.google.c...
haihaibye 1 day ago 0 replies      
Why it is Important that Software Projects Fail


donquichotte 1 day ago 0 replies      
Not CS, but control theory: "Guaranteed Margins for LQG Regulators" by John C. Doyle. The abstract is just three words: "There are none."


dkamm 21 hours ago 0 replies      
"On non-computable functions" - Tibor Rado.

Proof that the busy beaver function is not computable.


Hernanpm 1 day ago 0 replies      
I sill find this interesting, if you are familiar with Dijkstra Algorithm.

Finding the k Shortest Paths by D. Eppsteinhttps://www.ics.uci.edu/~eppstein/pubs/Epp-SJC-98.pdf

ddebernardy 1 day ago 0 replies      
Knuth vs Email:


It's not technically a CS paper, but well worth the (very short) read regardless.

totalZero 1 day ago 0 replies      
Intelligence without representation, by Rodney Brooks.


zachsnow 1 day ago 1 reply      
Olin Shivers's work on various control flow analyses, in particular the paper "CFA2: a context-free approach to control-flow analysis", is a really cool static analysis via abstract interpretation. Matt Might had a bunch of papers in a similar vein.
damontal 1 day ago 0 replies      
the report on the Therac-25. a good warning that bugs can have very real consequences.


hatred 1 day ago 0 replies      
The Byzantine Generals Problem by Lamport et al is a must read for anyone interested in distributed systems.

Some of the others that have already been mentioned on this thread:

- Time, Clocks, and the Ordering of Events in a Distributed System

- Paxos Made Simple

wwarner 1 day ago 0 replies      
di4na 1 day ago 0 replies      
"Programming with Abstract Data Types", B Liskov and S Zilles
notaharvardmba 1 day ago 1 reply      
Andrew Tridgell's PhD Thesis: https://www.samba.org/~tridge/phd_thesis.pdf

Which documents the invention of rsync, it's a good read.

morphle 1 day ago 0 replies      
Scalability of Collaborative Environmentshttps://sci-hub.ac/10.1109/C5.2006.32#
chajath 1 day ago 0 replies      
nayuki 1 day ago 0 replies      
"Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System" https://bitcoin.org/bitcoin.pdf
throwaway1e100 1 day ago 0 replies      
Real programmers don't use PascalThe rise of worse is better
AnimalMuppet 1 day ago 0 replies      
Why Pascal Is Not My Favorite Programming Language, by Brian Kernighan http://www.cs.virginia.edu/~cs655/readings/bwk-on-pascal.htm...

No Silver Bullet, by Fred Brooks http://worrydream.com/refs/Brooks-NoSilverBullet.pdf

The original STL documentation https://www.sgi.com/tech/stl/table_of_contents.html

gnaritas 1 day ago 0 replies      
Not a paper, but one of my favorite talks


Growing a Language by Guy Steele (co-inventory of Scheme). Brilliant speech about how to grow languages and why it's necessary. Languages that can be grown by the programmer, like Lisp or Smalltalk are better than languages that fixed like most others, this is why.

Frogolocalypse 22 hours ago 0 replies      
The bitcoin whitepaper.


johnny_1010 1 day ago 0 replies      
CommunicatingSequential ProcessesC. A. R. Hoarehttp://www.usingcsp.com/cspbook.pdf
megamindbrian 1 day ago 0 replies      
My favorite topic was from an advanced user interfaces class. Describe 3 example of a bad user experience where the input in to the system does not give you the expected output. My poor example was a Kleenex box, I try to pull on one Kleenex and it tears or two come out at a time.
probinso 1 day ago 0 replies      
Relevance Vector Machines by Tipping


Homomorphic Encryption over the Integers

kruhft 1 day ago 0 replies      
On Formally Undecidable Propositions... by Kurt Godel.

One might argue this is not CS, but it's something everyone should read and understand.

kendallpark 1 day ago 0 replies      
I'm surprised no one has mentioned "The Cathedral and the Bazaar" yet. Admittedly is more essay, less paper.


70MilionJobs Seeks CTO/Co-Founder
35 points by RBBronson123  16 hours ago   12 comments top 5
arikr 12 hours ago 1 reply      
Best of luck. This is something that will make people's lives better.

Unsolicited advice, but I highly suggest following Elad Gil's posts both on what kind of CTO would be good (http://blog.eladgil.com/2010/02/hiring-first-5-engineers-wha...) and also doing extremely intense reference checks (if it doesn't feel too thorough, you've not reference checked enough) - Elad has a good guide on that too. http://blog.eladgil.com/2013/03/reference-check-candidates.h...

claudiulodro 12 hours ago 1 reply      
That's a shame. This seems like a great service that could help a lot of people. I wish you the best of luck!
pryelluw 12 hours ago 1 reply      
Shared thus post to my network. Wish you best of luck.
hyuuu 11 hours ago 1 reply      
good luck on your search and my condolences to your co founder.
RandyRanderson 14 hours ago 1 reply      
Richard, I can help you with your spelling...
Ask HN: What configuration management tool would you choose in 2017?
17 points by deeevops  18 hours ago   11 comments top 5
stuffaandthings 17 hours ago 3 replies      
Ansible, because I like having an agentless configuration management tool. In my experience, Ansible also seems the most readable (obviously subjective). I've used Puppet, and Chef but only through AWS OpsWorks.

That said, I've been playing around with Kubernetes lately and trying to move a lot of our infrastructure onto Kubernetes. The use of Dockerfiles kind of nullifies the need for a full fledged configuration management tool for me and I've been relying on bash scripts and distributed kv stores to manage state and environment variables (using 12 factor approach and managing environment variables with consul and secrets with vault)

richardknop 15 hours ago 1 reply      
I'd pick none of them. I'd create a coreos cluster and configure it based on cloudinit files. For more complex projects I'd choose kubernetes or something similar as cloudfoundry.

The point being I'd try to get as far as possible from any server configuration. Just limit it to setting up the platform as a service. So engineers can just push containers to that platform.

I'd also consider serverless architecture.

Long story short, limit server configuration to bare minimum. And for that minimum I'd use terraform and ansible if needed (but kubernetes can be deployed just with terraform and cloudinit files imho).

citruspi 13 hours ago 0 replies      
Chef. I've previously used Ansible and Saltstack. I haven't tried any others.

When I first started using Chef, it was for work and I wasn't a fan at all. But, it's grown on me to the extent that I replaced all my Ansible-maintained infrastructure with Chef and I now maintain my own personal Chef server.

It can definitely be overcomplicated in some scenarios, but I'm comfortable using it and and I feel of the tools I've tried, it allows me to be the most expressive. I'd much rather write a Ruby Chef recipe than a YAML Ansible playbook.

The fact that Chef's Management Console UI[0] is available for free (for small deployments) while Ansible Tower[1]'s pricing starts at $5000/yr also factors into my choice. It appears that Red Hat has plans to make a free, open source version of Tower[2] but there's nothing there yet. Looking online, it looks like Saltstack maintains a GUI management console of some sorts, but it's only available for Saltstack Enterprise.

[0]: https://docs.chef.io/manage.html

[1]: https://www.ansible.com/tower

[2]: https://www.ansible.com/open-tower

milesvp 14 hours ago 1 reply      
Be weary of Chef if you plan on any kind of autoscaling. We had to deploy some pretty big hacks to get around some core assumptions in chef in order to use AWS autoscaling.

On the other had we did make autoscaling work with chef. Not sure how any of the others would fare since a relatively static server list was a pretty safe assumption until about 6 years ago.

tristram_shandy 15 hours ago 0 replies      
SaltStack for configuration management, absolutely. We use it to manage our Linux servers, Macs, and the few Windows desktops that linger around the office. We also use it to bootstrap Kubernetes, audit configuration of some clusters, and provision dev machines.

Salt can also run agentless, and is much, much faster than Ansible, and has excellent support for both Docker and Kubernetes, which is a huge plus for us. Everything that can't be put in a Dockerfile gets run through Salt

Ask HN: How do you start looking for a new job?
21 points by palerdot  1 day ago   22 comments top 14
dayve 8 hours ago 0 replies      
While looking for a job, don't forget to perform due diligence on the company's culture. I once accepted a job offer hastily, just to get into the company and discover the culture was 'filthy' (poor working conditions, sexual harassment, e.t.c). Glassdoor[0] does a good job at providing reviews, though I haven't seen a tool that helps you 'vet' a company's culture specifically. I think it's important to factor in company culture as you look for a team to join. Good luck with the job search!


mooreds 20 hours ago 0 replies      
I won't reach out to my contacts for references when I am thinking about a job change, but I will reach out to them for the proverbial coffee/catch up. At the end of the coffee, after I've spent a lot of time catching up and asking them about how they are doing, I'll mention that I'm looking for a new opportunity and ask if they know anyone that is looking for my skillset. You can't do this unless you are serious.

If you are less serious, then scouring the job boards can be a great way to learn about what skills are in demand, what companies are hiring, and, possibly salaries. (You should do this if you are seriously looking too.) This helps you build context. Also, if you see a great company or an interesting position, this can give you some focus. You can research on linked in, or install an applicable open source project, or write a blog post about tech the company uses or the business they are in.

But I think that @eadz's comment about knowing what you are looking for is spot on. That is the first step to prepare for finding a new job. Don't just say 'I want a tech job', as that won't differentiate you or guide you at all. Instead, say 'I want to be working on a small, local team doing ecommerce websites, preferably on .NET' or 'I want to work on big data processing at scale, in a large company, and am willing to relocate'. That "mission statement" will help you shape your resume, your networking, and your after work job hunting pursuits.

blablabla123 18 hours ago 0 replies      
For my last job change I didn't reach out for references. (The job before I got because I was collaborating with the people on an informal base and they wanted to hire me - they never saw my CV!) Thus my CV include none and I got invited to much better job interviews than on my previous job hunt. At least in Germany for most interesting IT jobs references/certificates don't seem to be so important. No idea why to be honest.

So as I already arrived at my 5th full-time job, I have all the nice keywords on LinkedIn and headhunters contact me on a regular base. When I look for a job, I basically start answering them again. Also I'm looking on typical job websites, so for me that would be right now indeed.com and possibly berlinstartupjobs.com. I must admit I don't have the tightest network of other developers in the region, so I don't communicate much on LinkedIn besides to headhunters ("job consultants").

Actually im not always on lookout for a new job because I find communication with recruiters too stressful and time consuming. I try to keep every full-time thingy for 2 years, so I don't look like a job hopper. :)

nunez 15 hours ago 0 replies      
Fastest way to do it is to reach out to recruiters on LinkedIn with a resume in hand. It helps to have a fully fleshed-out LinkedIn profile for them to reference back to. If you've worked with recruiters in the past, tell them that you're looking again. Good recruiters with a lot of clients can get you into something within a week or two if you're good at interviewing and the client's hiring process is fast (generally, the bigger the client, the slower their hiring process is).

Another way I've done it is by finding jobs on job boards, searching for one of (or the) manager of a team that you're interested in working for and sending them a (short!) message on LinkedIn or email expressing your interest in a job. By short, I mean:

- Hi, I'm <name>

- Your group's responsibilities seem interesting and I'd like to join.

- I'm good at and can help you with <x, y, z>

- I've done projects like <x, y>

- Do you have time for a phone call next week to learn more about me?

They will either not respond (most likely), forward you to a recruiter or talk to you directly. I've gotten better responses from LinkedIn than via email, since some managers have admin assistants who read their email and are good at ensuring this spam doesn't get back to them.

This can sometimes even work if you message a member of that team instead of the manager directly, especially if their one of the top contributors on that team. That can even work better since they'll be more likely to talk to you and can help short-circuit your resume to the right people/their manager. It's a little trickier, though.

Another good way of finding jobs if you're in a big enough city is by checking out local tech Meetups and meeting people. This is a slow way of doing it since you don't want to be "that person" that's fishing for a job at an event that "clearly isn't for that" (most of them are), but it's a good way of expanding your network and finding opportunities that you definitely won't get with recruiters (startups, by and large, don't use recruiters; too expensive).

Good luck!

tixocloud 21 hours ago 0 replies      
For most opportunities, it's about when right skillset meet with right timing. I always keep an eye peeled out for what's available out there but there's really no golden way of getting a job. I've tried many different methods and they all work.

What's most important is to be clear about yourself, what your skillsets are and what you can offer to the company. You should also have a good sense of what you're remotely interested in or looking for even if you're not 100% clear yet. Also, think about what skillsets you would like to grow and whether you want to deepen your skills or broaden your skills - You are the master of your growth/development.

eadz 23 hours ago 2 replies      
1. Be clear about exactly what you want to do in your next role

2. Put your self in the shoes of a hiring manager for that role

3. Edit your CV to emphasise the skills and experience that makes you a good match.

For tech roles, recruiters are everywhere, and uploading your CV to job sites will get your phone buzzing if you have the right keywords.

For professional roles a vast majority of recruiters use LinkedIn, and the site has a setting for "looking for work" which will boost your profile to hiring managers and recruiters.

I'm currently in the process of moving cities* so going through this process myself, and this approach has worked for me.

*Melbourne here I come!

probinso 11 hours ago 0 replies      
It all depends how different you want your experience to be. If you're interested in a diversity of job environments, then mining your current pool may not be the best route. My favorite way to identify interesting companies is to watch presentations from conferences over topics I enjoy. Any company that sends a employee to give a talk usually is intending to also hire. This gives you a very diverse portfolio of companies to apply to, as there are many different companies represented
JSeymourATL 21 hours ago 1 reply      
> will you be always on a lookout for a potential job?

Look instead for people (founders/senior executives) you can help.

You can find them at meetups and conferences. Relevant to your search - how to find hidden jobs > http://www.pbs.org/newshour/making-sense/ask-headhunter-can-...

geezerjay 1 day ago 3 replies      
Forgive my piggybacking, but I would also like to ask how anyone approaches the problem of working on their CV. I believe professional experience is the most important factor, but it also depends on what job you are hired to do, which depends on your resume. Therefore, it's a bit of a gordian knot.

So, how does anyone work on their CV?

JoeC3 15 hours ago 0 replies      
I think it's really a good idea to start looking for a job before you need to.

I've actually never looked for a job per-se, instead I've looked for companies that I've found interesting and then figured out how to get a job at those companies. This usually involves networking.

I would start by creating a list of companies that you think wow that would be a cool place to work. Then start figuring out if a job opened up who you need to speak with.

I've never landed a job by submitting a resume to a job board or to the HR department of the hiring company.

In fact, I already had an offer from my last job before HR even saw my resume.

JakeWesorick 22 hours ago 0 replies      
I recently changed jobs and the biggest thing for me was actually connecting with a legit recruiter (Not the people spamming you on LinkedIn). They lined up interview after interview for me before I even had time to check out a job board. I used re:purpose but they are pretty local to my area. Maybe look into recruiters in your area?
skeet 20 hours ago 0 replies      
I moved from perm to contracting in London by hitting up recruiters on LinkedIn and uploading my CV to JobServe.

Phone didn't stop ringing after uploading my CV.

Jeremy1026 16 hours ago 0 replies      
I just start to respond to the recruiters that ping me weekly.
SirLJ 14 hours ago 0 replies      
Personally I was never actively looking, other companies came and recruited me instead and I find this to be much better position to negotiate...
Ask HN: How to move past 150k/200k in compensation?
85 points by yerunfa  1 day ago   54 comments top 20
whack 1 day ago 1 reply      
I know many people personally who make 200k+, with less than 10 years experience. Many of them are also immigrants. Some of the ways they got there:

- live in a tech hub with high demand for programmers. The best places are NYC/SF and probably Seattle

- switch companies every ~2 years, and negotiate for ~25% comp increases when you do. There are some tips that can help you achieve this, but it's a blog post in itself

- work for a lucrative brand-name employer like Google/FB. First, you'll make a ton of money there. Second, having them on your resume will boost your future prospects and compensation offers

- in order to accomplish the above, get really good at interviewing skills. Practice topcoder, cracking the coding interview, fundamental algorithms and data structures, communication and presentation skills, etc etc. Whatever it takes to ace the interviews, no matter how dumb you may think it is

- be good at your craft. Read expert books, work on your own small side projects, push yourself to build high quality code, and not just barely functional junk. Do everything you can to become an expert in your area

- be a great coworker. Leave a positive impression with your manager and colleagues. You don't have to be their friend, but you want to be someone they respect and would recommend to their friends

nostrademons 1 day ago 1 reply      
Most people who make > $200K in total comp receives the excess in either stock, bonuses, or percentages of a firm's profit. (There are some outliers, but even many C-level executives have salaries in that range and then millions in stock compensation.) Keep that in mind when you compare salaries with others - those Google engineers making $400K/year are usually making about $150-170K base, $50K bonus, and $200K+ in RSUs.

That also implies the way to break $200K: join a company whose stock is rising, perform well for them, and negotiate a generous equity grant.

richardknop 1 day ago 1 reply      
Go from employee to being a consultant. You can probably double that if you are good (possible to make 400-500k in a good year when you get a few good deals in a row). But there are limits to a one man company obviously so going beyond that is probably only possible by becoming a C level manager at a big company or CEO (so start your own company?) where millions in bonuses and stock compensations are normally part of compensation.
clean_send 1 day ago 1 reply      
Two things.

1. Learn soft skills. If we look at the modern business exec they do a few things very well. They can speak to large groups of people with conviction. They can make tough decisions. They can articulate their thoughts through a variety of mediums. These skills are learned. They come from practice and experience. One of the first things I would recommend you do is join an organization like toastmasters and learn the basics of public speaking.

2. Depending on your situation in life, take risk. Risk is what allows people to propel themselves into those 400k+ annual comp. A lot of these suggestions cite going into consulting, which is high billable if you're good. What they lack though is the necessity to win clients, build good relationships and grow your business. This is mitigation of risk + soft skills.

Relevant reading. https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2014/11/crackin...

fundabulousrIII 18 hours ago 0 replies      
Be a guy who can do within 2 hours of a request in a way that leaves everyone satisfied. That is hard: you have to be very good.To be very good you spend 4-10 years of your life doing nothing but writing code, administering systems and understanding what makes things work. You learn to love it and live it.

But 'the system' is set against > 200K in compensation. You get taxed to the point of regret and even in the zone of 'getting better' you eventually realize you can't keep it up.If you are a social butterfly and watch for opportunities maybe you can make it to 500K by killing your friends, but that is what it takes.

jwilliams 1 day ago 2 replies      
It's possible, but unusual, to earn over 200k as a base salary. Although it is more common at certain organizations (e.g. Google, Apple) and in roles like sales. As others have mentioned, often beyond that point you're in stock, bonuses and other incentives.

One reason is tax. After 200k almost half of what you earn is going in tax (Assuming US/California here). So going to 250k seems like a jump, but it's going to have a much less increment on your lifestyle.

So you may be better moving laterally/zig-zagging than continuing to optimize on the path you're on. Perhaps a smaller org that can still pay well, but gives you equity or leadership opportunities.

31reasons 1 day ago 1 reply      
- Quickest way to make more money is to reduce your expenses. See where you are wasting money and optimize for that. Work remotely for the same amount of compensation and move to a place that has very low cost of living/rent etc (even within US).

- Decide how much more you want to make? Is it purely a greed or do you really need that much money. You alway have to pay some cost to increase your income beyond certain point, it could be your time, safety, health. Calculate those factors in. Earning $50k more then if you end up spending that much on health would not be a good idea.

cm2012 1 day ago 2 replies      
Switching from salary to consulting pretty much tripled my income to past that range.
Aron 1 day ago 1 reply      
You don't need to be a more productive widget, you need to own the share of output of an increasing number of productive widgets.
crmd 1 day ago 0 replies      
solution architect: an iteration of your current job, except in the front office (working with customers), and paying 1.5-3x your current salary.
akavi 1 day ago 1 reply      
Work for Google and be promoted once.

SDE III (a promotion up from new grad) has typical total comp in the 210 - 240 k$/yr range.

trelliscoded 1 day ago 0 replies      
Get an MBA and find a niche. Sometimes that means moving to a different company where supply and demand of a particular skill works in your favor, sometimes it means starting your own company.
cdiamand 1 day ago 0 replies      
There are industries (finance?) that provide bonuses to employees based on certain performance goals. Perhaps a situation like that could help you break through?
manbearpigg 21 hours ago 1 reply      
In what roles at which businesses are new grads earning 120k-130k?
35bge57dtjku 1 day ago 0 replies      
You're seriously saying you really can't find any companies that need lead devs or managers?
SirLJ 1 day ago 0 replies      
Start your own thing, first as a side business and grow it from there... the sky is the limit aftear...
gigatexal 1 day ago 1 reply      
Find some solid and trustworthy people you can work with and start a company and then pay yourself
corporateslave2 1 day ago 0 replies      
Any big tech company
j45 1 day ago 0 replies      
Assuming you have 150k in compensation, your loaded value (the employer side contributions, benefits and taxes) may be another 20-25% bringing you closer to that number.

Consulting can bring you closer but you have to move up the food chain in the type of strategic consulting you do.

companyhen 1 day ago 1 reply      
Find some passive income like investing in CryptoCurrency.
Ask HN: Modernize the posting and viewing experience of HN?
3 points by bfung  13 hours ago   2 comments top 2
shervinafshar 10 hours ago 0 replies      
I don't think that there is anything non-modern about posting and viewing experience on HN. My personal opinion is that the UX doesn't have all the bells and whistles that you might see on other websites and that is a good thing which invites people to focus on few important things.

But your comment doesn't substantiate what isn't modern about HN UX; anything other than lack of an advanced editor with live preview?

warrenm 12 hours ago 0 replies      
HN is intentionally devoid of most formatting

Which has its pros and cons

Ask HN: How can you trust non open source, third party email clients?
15 points by xeo84  1 day ago   15 comments top 4
nvr219 1 day ago 1 reply      
I don't use non-open-source, third party email clients.

For G Suite (personal) - I use gmail web client.

For Office 365 (work) - I use Outlook.

For my own mail server - I use Thunderbird or forward to gmail.

gumby 1 day ago 1 reply      
How do you trust someone else to manage your mail service?

How do you trust every line of an open source package without auditing it yourself?

In your hierarchy of risk/trust, this one is pretty small.

davelnewton 1 day ago 0 replies      
Is this rhetorical?

How can you trust any app that has access to your data?

GoToRO 1 day ago 0 replies      
The same way you trust your surgeon. How do you know he will make you better and not kill you in an elaborate way?
Ask HN: What tech stack to choose in my first stint as a freelance developer?
22 points by romanovtexas  1 day ago   17 comments top 12
hakanderyal 3 hours ago 0 replies      
When I'm looking for a new project, I analyse these 3 aspects: Client, Domain, Tech Stack. My experience taught me that, I can only handle one unknown aspect among these in a project, more becomes a problem sooner or later.

- If the project is for a new client that I have no connection beforehand, I only work on a problem domain that I'm familiar with, and I use a stack that I'm confident in.

- If the project is in a domain that I've no experience, but I know the client, I go with the tech stack than I know I can get the job done.

- If the project is for a client I know, and I have experience with the problem domain, I let myself to choose a new stack to learn if there is one that's suitable for the project.

I'm having great success with this strategy. Obviously these are just general guidelines, and the specifics of the projects can affect my decision, and common sense always applies.

jmcgough 1 day ago 1 reply      
Go with what you know can get the job done. It's fun to use new tech, but Java isn't going anywhere and it's very stable and performant at this point.

Your concerns should be the following:

1 - will this stack get the job done, and at a reasonable velocity

2 - will you lose time because you need to ramp up on a technology you're not familiar with

3 - how maintainable will this be for developers who come after you?

Spend time figuring out what you'll need to accomplish for this project, and then decide which framework will work best for it.

If you're still not sure what to go with, it can be really worthwhile to do a quick proof of concept that covers the areas you feel most uncertain about. I did this before choosing Elixir for a recent project, and it helped me feel a lot more confident in that choice.

Outside of your freelancing, I'd encourage you to spend time using new tools are frameworks. That way, you'll know the strengths and weaknesses of each before you need to pick one for a project.

Nysa 1 day ago 0 replies      
I'am assuming you are 'just' developing solutions.Your customers are only interested in a product - not tech side.

So, your goal should be: "How I can develop (and maintain) this product in the most efficient way?".

Step 1 : Get stable grounds

Pick a language that can solve most of common challenges that you will tackle.Make yourself proficient in it.You need to minimize time spent on thinking "how I can do it in X language?".(You've got Java/C# skillset so most of your web skills should be around here).

Step 2 : Optimize

You've got another web project? That's great!You just need to pick up template with all boilerplate (like: logging, monitoring, deployment, auth etc.) from last project and fill missing features.

Step 3: Extend

Now, you can finish most of your projects in seconds.It's time to find new clients. Search for new domain - like: mobile, embedded or machine learning.This time you can decide if your existing toolset is enough for new problems or rather, adding new one will be more beneficial to you. Like: You can do a lot of ML stuff in C# but Python is the place where all important stuff happens.


IaaS vs PaaS

Here is question for you:

Do you like to do more admin stuff for low cost hosting?

Or do you like to focus on coding and spent a bit more money and let cloud do most of admin work for you?

It's a your time vs money optimization.

Personally, for small (scale) project I'am running with IaaS - but I already have knowledge how to do it.For big ones - it's better to stick with PaaS - even very skilled DevOps can't single-handedly deal with big scale.

For you I would advise using PaaS since you don't have experience with neither PaaS nor IaaS.PaaS is a lot easier to learn and you can always migrate your code to IaaS as a Step 2 :)

Good luck and have fun.

aregsarkissian 21 hours ago 2 replies      
As a longtime and current asp.net developer I use the Laravel php framework for client work and side projects. Modern php is very easy for a java or c# dev to pick up. Development speed and ease of deployment is what matters and Laravel is a mature batteries included rapid application development framework with a large community and ecosystem and even it's own hosting platform Laravel forge.
dabockster 18 hours ago 0 replies      
Depends. If it's a new project, choose the oldest thing that's still widely supported. Often times, this will be something like straight Java or PHP. It's not trendy at all, but it will run under 99% of system configs out there. Also, be sure to document your work as much as possible and give that documentation to whomever you're turning your work over to.

If you're taking over another project, make sure the client has docs before you take it on. Otherwise, there's a good chance that you won't be able to deliver what they want. Best to avoid those customers initially (if you can).

rl3 1 day ago 0 replies      
Most of this depends on your project's requirements.

PaaS is much simpler for you as a developer, assuming your desired stack is supported. Caveat is it will likely cost your client more. Although, it may not if you account for billable hours saved by not having to deal with IaaS. Depends on the project's scale and resource usage. With a small scale project, PaaS may be a wash or even cost less.

Obviously it's good to expand your horizons learning new technologies. Doing so while under deadlines on someone else's dime, perhaps not as much. It's at least something to consider if there's very lax deadlines. How to bill it ethically is up to you and likely depends on a ton of factors.

Using modern frameworks in languages you already know does seem to be a good compromise. Your learning curve there should be drastically lower than learning an entirely new stack from scratch. This is probably the safest route, and if you choose it I'd suggest learning new stacks on your own time regardless.

richardknop 1 day ago 0 replies      
Learning new tech is good of course but I wouldn't overdo it. It is also important to have some specialization and skills that you focus on.

It also depends on your clients, they will most likely be making the call based on the tech they already are using in their current stack and their tech employees. So when they bring in a consultant they will want to keep in line with their in-house tech stack not to complicate future maintenance and hiring.

zengid 1 day ago 0 replies      
If this is your first stint, you've got a lot riding on this reputation-wise. You need to hit every deadline you set, and it needs to work the first time. It would be best to use the most familiar (and yes, boring) stack you can possibly use [1]. The client does not care at all what is under the hood: they care about whether the product does what they want it to do.

[1] https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=12788804

AlexAMEEE 1 day ago 0 replies      
In my opinion you should know Spring MVC ( or boot ) as a Java freelancer.

I'd also go with Spring because they have a huge market share and many projects require Spring knowledge.

By knowing Spring you are expanding the circle for possible clients.

Play/Dropwizard are nice frameworks but they don't bring you any value as a freelancer because nobody will require knowledge/experience in those frameworks.

ganeshkrishnan 1 day ago 1 reply      
I would highly recommend jhipster. We used that build our highly scalable website aihello.com

It builds the core of project using spring boot and also generates docker and kubernetes files.Entities are easy to create and the 'business glue' is auto generated.

It even integrates Kafka which allows us to plug-in machine learning framework via Apache spark

Overall very happy with the framework

probinso 11 hours ago 0 replies      
Happiness on F sharp
fiftyacorn 1 day ago 0 replies      
Id check the rates offered and choose the one that pays the most
Ask HN: Any good resources for creating a blockchain?
3 points by jklein11  15 hours ago   7 comments top 4
neboysa 12 hours ago 0 replies      
Check out hyperledger.org - Fabric (a blockchain implementation) and Composer (tool to build apps/network on top of Fabric). Docs are pretty good, and there are no built-in currencies, coins, tradings and similar crap. And it is relatively easy to have it up and running locally and to deploy custom code on it (it is Go)
PaulHoule 15 hours ago 1 reply      
One option would be to work with Ethereum. You can boot up your own instance of it and write your own applications that run in it.
dozzie 14 hours ago 1 reply      
Start with a tutorial for cryptography. If you are dilettante in cryptographyin general, whatever you do with blockchain will be broken by design.
Ask HN: Is removing as many LOC as possible really that big of a priority?
3 points by ng-user  22 hours ago   8 comments top 8
psyc 18 hours ago 0 replies      
Removing LOC as a result of better conceptualization/design and better factoring is completely different than reducing legibility by, say, mashing lines together. In general, other things being equal, my late drafts are usually less verbose than early drafts, and also reflect a deeper understanding of the problem.

So, I think better design is the goal, and fewer LOC is a natural side effect. I personally find that essential for evolving a large project. Some managers are ok with ever-increasing tech debt, which I associate with increasing job dissatisfaction.

bjourne 56 minutes ago 0 replies      
Yes. Simplifying complicated code is THAT BIG of a priority.
hluska 9 hours ago 0 replies      
I always tell developers I work with to primarily optimize for readability. Assume that someone less intelligent and skilled than you will have to maintain the code five years after you have left.

Sometimes, the most readable solution is quite long. Other times, it's short and compact. But, if it's always readable, chances are high that it is not only well designed, but it will be easy to maintain.

akulbe 20 hours ago 0 replies      
Here's what I've always heard:

make it work

make it right

make it fast

Getting to the point where you can remove LOC takes mastery.

twobyfour 16 hours ago 0 replies      
Most of the comments so far are on point. I just want to add that the reasoning behind preferring less code over more is that every line of code you don't have is a line of code you don't have to maintain. It's a heuristic you can use to remind yourself to ask whether you really need that extra feature or to handle every one of that set of corner cases individually. It's also a reminder to yourself that retiring and stripping out older seldom-used features is usually a good thing.
smt88 21 hours ago 0 replies      
> usually (unless it's terribly written) removing lines by condensing things down only leads to harder legibility

You're right, but that's not always true. In any sufficiently large project, there are thousands of LoC that can be removed by changing libraries, writing DRYer code, etc.

However, turning it into a competition probably isn't going to stay within the lines of "good" lowering of LoC.

And, in some cases, increasing LoC can make the code better. For example, breaking up a huge method into several, well-named methods will slightly increase LoC, but also increase readability.

eberkund 21 hours ago 0 replies      
Well one instance I can think of is removing functionality in favor of libraries or higher level languages. That can usually cut down on complexity in the codebase significantly.
AnimalMuppet 19 hours ago 0 replies      
As many as you can? No.

LZW compression tries to remove as many bytes as possible from text, but it does not help readability. I know, you wouldn't LZW compress the source and then try to compile it. You can move in that direction, though, if you try to shorten the source too much.

Remove needless duplication. Remove lines where it improves clarity or structure. Absolute shortest source code is not a worthwhile goal.

Process for a Person on H1B to Startup
2 points by user-on1  16 hours ago   5 comments top 3
subrat_rout 6 hours ago 0 replies      
You forgot the biggest point to factor in. That is "time". Assuming you are lucky in every steps from 1 through 11 and each steps take few months that is few years. And for a product to be successful add few more. Not sure what is timeline for startup visa but if you are applying for green card based on H1b and you are from country such as India or China then add +5 or +8-10 years to your timeline. On becoming permanent resident you have to wait for another 5 years to apply for US citizenship. However you do not need to be US citizen to start a company. You can do that when you are a permanent resident.
bsvalley 6 hours ago 0 replies      
Step 7 will be the toughest. If you appear on the list of founders with %49 ownership (= biggest shareholder without being involved in the company), then it'll be a No-Go for most of the VC's out there. The team is the main factor when investing in a startup. You should aim for %0 at first. Then when the company hires you, you'll get some shares back. They could even hire you as the CEO on H1B if the investors are OK with that.
throwawayeb2 16 hours ago 2 replies      
How does 13. lead to 14.? What is the birth country of the person? Remember there is 10-15 year wait for people born in India ( few years shorter if you are born in china) to obtain a Green Card in EB2 and EB3 category.

Depending on various factors the time between 13. and 14. could very well be between 3 to 20 years (15 years to obtain GC and 5 years after that to obtain citizenship).

Ask HN: Why are compensation tiers secret?
42 points by gigatexal  2 days ago   31 comments top 9
arjunvpaul 2 days ago 2 replies      
Why does it annoy you? Are you concerned that you may not get a fair deal? Less happy that colleagues at the same job level may be getting paid more or less?

To get a balanced perspective it would useful to read up on both sides of the approach. For example, on one end you have Google's Laszlo Bock arguing in his book Work Rules, that its good that Google "pays unfairly" (https://goo.gl/3hWbQw). On the other end, are the Scandinavian countries like Norway where you can walk into a tax office and see anyone's tax return (https://goo.gl/P5WqW1)

Ricardo Perez-Truglia (https://goo.gl/4DemkS) is someone whose research touches this topic. His findings are briefly mentioned in this video (https://goo.gl/m7ECXM)

brad0 2 days ago 3 replies      
This kind of attitude frustrates me. It takes the stance that the world should change to make it best for your own personal situation.

Take charge of your own decisions and work out what actions you can do to make your situation better.


Bucephalus355 2 days ago 2 replies      
Most jobs, at least at big employers, are split up into 4 quartile ranges. So bottom 25, lower middle 25, upper middle 25, and upper 25. Obviously super simple, but it helps to realize this framework going in.

You can actually buy textbooks on how to construct payroll guidelines...do this and you can backwards engineer what you should be getting.

MiddleEndian 2 days ago 0 replies      
>Having them so gives the employer all the power

That's why they are secret; nothing more to it.

PhilWright 2 days ago 3 replies      
Making all salaries public will almost certainly mean your wage costs go up. There are bound to be a range of different salaries given to people doing the same job. So all the ones at the bottom end will be turning up to the annual review demanding to be uplifted to match their peers. If they are turned down then they are likely to leave or just be less productive because they are not happy. Any need people recruited can see the public salaries and therefore negotiate a better pay deal than they might have otherwise.

It is hard to find a case where making the salaries public does not lead to higher wage costs.

bsvalley 2 days ago 0 replies      
I think it's just common sense. Employers leave it up to you to share your income or not. Feel free to share your numbers with your colleagues... you'll quickly realize that nobody wants to share this kind of information. Which is the real answer to your question ;)
ingmarheinrich 2 days ago 0 replies      
In Germany, it's impossible for employers to tell their employees not to talk about their salaries. It collides with 2 of the German constitution.
alain94040 1 day ago 0 replies      
Not completely secret. You can find recent data with very specific salary ranges: http://thestartupconference.com/2017/03/25/the-350k-google-s...
gigatexal 2 days ago 2 replies      
Well then lets fix this. Post below with your title, years of exp, and salary in USD (sans bonuses or stock etc.).

SW Dev Lvl 1 : 0 years : 76k

Ask HN: What could grassroots politics learn from startups?
5 points by kuro-kuris  1 day ago   5 comments top 5
tixocloud 21 hours ago 0 replies      
While I have little political experience, I do have experience developing grassroots volunteer organizations and I can say that it's all about people and communication. Technology is more of a means to an end but what's helped is dialogue with people to share our vision. We've tried introducing new technology before but people just hated it. Why? Because it becomes impersonal and the message gets lost. After all, the medium is the message as Marshall McLuhan would say.

I'd be happy to learn more about what you're working on and see if there's more specific advice I can give.

veddox 14 hours ago 0 replies      
This is not explicitly tech-oriented, but I am reading a very interesting book at the moment that seems highly relevant to what you describe:

"How Organizations Develop Activists: Civic Associations and Leadership in the 21st Century", Hahrie Han

The book is a write-up of a sociological study in which the author accompanied various local groups of two large activist organizations in the USA. Her aim was to find out what differentiated high-achieving groups from low achievers, measured by the number of people they were able to mobilize and keep engaged.

Though she is not concerned with technology per se, she does talk quite a bit about its potential in activism, as well as the pitfalls of an overreliance on it.

I haven't finished reading the whole book yet, but it is certainly thought-provoking and if you are trying to get people involved in a civic group of any kind, I strongly recommend it.

auganov 15 hours ago 0 replies      
Worse is better - too much nuisance and nobody's gonna care.

Rapid iteration - throw ideas out there, see what sticks. Also, you can perpetually broadcast different, even slightly conflicting takes on the same general idea. Very powerful when combined with targeted advertising.

tmaly 21 hours ago 0 replies      
On the campaign side, I think people running should have primed the SEO pipeline with a blog well before deciding to run. Get their ideas out there, maybe even do a podcast.
AnkleInsurance 21 hours ago 0 replies      
I think discovery is a big problem with small Parties but I'm not an expert.

For example, I only learned there was such a thing as the pirate party last year! I wish I had known so much sooner.

On the other hand, I lack the personal insecurity to just browse around looking for ways to label myself, I'd rather find groups by causes.

"party for people who pirate music" would suit me just fine.

"party for people who start indices at 1 where they belong"

"party for people who think significant white space is gross"

"party for people against semicolons"

"party for people who actually use their turn signal"

Maybe a service that psychoanalyzes you and shows you which groups' members are most similar to you?

Ask HN: What knowledge do I need to get real time system/low latency related job?
7 points by aksaquest  19 hours ago   3 comments top 3
jwilliams 15 minutes ago 0 replies      
When I think real-time I think embedded programming. In particular, formal methods and scheduling. This is an understood canon of work, so there are lots of good textbooks, courses, etc in the area.

When I think latency I think really fast. The nice thing about that domain is that each piece is quite important. Even just getting the data from Reddit in a timely/efficient/optimized manner is an interesting puzzle in its own right. Personally, I'd focus on those components, work out what makes them really fly, write some interesting stuff.

ddorian43 12 hours ago 0 replies      
Rts is different (airplanes,missiles etc). How about finding jobs in stackoverflow, see their requirements and do them ? Example: http://www.scylladb.com/career-post/software-developer/
jacquesm 12 hours ago 0 replies      
Erlang, QnX, RTOS would be good starting points.

Note the differences between 'soft real time' and 'hard real time'.

Embedded controllers are another fruitful avenue of research, as are systems that are hybrids, for instance very tight control loops in FPGA driven by conventional processors.

Ask HN: Hard copy books to keep for the apocalypse
28 points by tonteldoos  2 days ago   11 comments top 9
tbihl 1 day ago 0 replies      
It doesn't exactly fit the question, but you should check out survivor library. It's definitely run by people who take this apocalypse idea pretty seriously. Most of the things I've seen are old books describing pre-industrial techniques.


One time I found a book about bread baking from the 1840s. There was a multiple page rant about how you could discern good Christian character in a housewife by the bread she made, among other hilarious things.

DanBC 1 hour ago 0 replies      
OedipusRex 1 day ago 0 replies      
* Bushcraft 101 [1]

* Be Expert With Map and Compass [2]

* Lots of notebooks with pens

* An Almanac

[1] https://www.amazon.com/Bushcraft-101-Field-Wilderness-Surviv...

[2] https://www.amazon.com/Expert-Map-Compass-Bjorn-Kjellstrom/d...

dasmoth 2 days ago 1 reply      
The Long Now foundation did something along these lines a few years back[1].

I'd probably go for a bit of 60s SF for my "inspirational" choices.

Have a soft spot for John Seymour's "Practical Self Sufficiency" too.

[1] http://blog.longnow.org/02014/02/06/manual-for-civilization-...

cdiamand 1 day ago 0 replies      
I think Machiavelli's writings might prove useful. Particularly if you feel ambitions to lead or rebuild after something like that happened.
jpindar 1 day ago 0 replies      
Maps. I like the kind with ring bindings that open flat.

Shop manual for any vehicles or other equipment you're likely to be working on.

ultrablue 1 day ago 1 reply      
I would certainly grab as many versions of spiritual books as I could. For example, the Bible, Koran, Vedas, Pali Canon, etc.
JoeC3 15 hours ago 0 replies      
Oooh. Great question.

I'd vote for Meditations by Marcus Aurelius

fiftyacorn 1 day ago 0 replies      
In the UK - plenty Ray Mears books. In Aus Id get Les Hiddins books
Ask HN: Does this exist?
3 points by nkkollaw  22 hours ago   6 comments top 4
johntdaly 22 hours ago 1 reply      
The biggest problem I see is language recognition. Dialects where once a major problem and I can imagine having a heavy accent will be a problem here too. Another problem would be grammar. You are not just learning vocabulary you are also learning a new grammar and will make mistakes. Maybe this can be corrected by knowing what the original language of the learner is.

I like the idea. But this is a hard problem and I doubt there exists a functioning version of this.

applecrazy 10 hours ago 0 replies      
This might be the closest thing:


If they had an API (which, they do not), somebody could build a TTS + voice recognition wrapper for this functionality, creating the experience you mentioned.

skdjksjdksjdk 11 hours ago 0 replies      
Even if it exists, since you don't know a dominant brand in this space, effectively, the market is wide open for you, if you come with a superior technology
observation 21 hours ago 1 reply      
I like your idea. Like John I doubt such a thing exists.
Ask HN: Best marketplace for passive income businesses?
83 points by sharemywin  1 day ago   46 comments top 15
ThomasSmale 1 day ago 2 replies      
I'm founder of FE International (mentioned quite a few times in this thread already). We've done over $100m deals in the online space and have won various awards (e.g. for my business partner, Ismael: https://www.ibba.org/press-releases/2016-ibba-member-excelle...)

When searching for a business to buy, make sure you do your due diligence. There's a lot of junk out there and many "brokers" just make up their numbers/claimed legitimacy to win business. Once you've got past that, you then need to do due diligence on the business itself.

Passive businesses are not impossible to find, but it does depend on your definition. You can't buy any business and do absolutely nothing (truly "passive"). Even something low maintenance will require 1 hour a week, especially if you want it to last for years. Expect to pay a premium for businesses like this but be very cautious around claims from a seller. Number of hours worked is the easiest to misrepresent (and the hardest to prove). Almost every seller claims to work "2 hours a day" but IRL I've never met a business owner who works less than 10 a day :)

To answer your question directly, don't just look at marketplaces, check out brokers and advisors too. If you're upfront with what you're looking for and budget, most will send you options that are a good fit.

Good luck with your search!

tbrooks 1 day ago 1 reply      
FE International is known to broker a lot of SaaS company sales. I haven't sold/bought a business with them, but I have friends that have.

It's not a marketplace per se, but it might be what you're looking for.

[1] https://feinternational.com

itnAAnti 1 day ago 2 replies      
Flippa is decent, but there is a lot of garbage to wade through to find anything real. Empire Flippers is a little better, they vet the sites some before posting them. Bizbuysell.com is mainly focused on brick and mortar businesses, but there are some online businesses for sale there as well.

Having said that, finding a true "passive income" business that is profitable and someone wants to sell is challenging. Most of them (that I have found) end up being scams. Do your due diligence and scrutinize their income and expense reports, traffic figures, etc. I can usually "smell" when something isn't right.

pw 1 day ago 1 reply      
I've heard really good things about FE International, and, since they're a true broker, everything they sell seems to be super legit. I've also had some contact with them when I was thinking about selling some of my sites, and I was impressed.

The fact that they're a true broker, though, means it's not worth their time to sell sites with lower earnings, so I haven't seen anything much below $2k/month in revenue.

Also, from talking to them, it sounds like they have a network of buyers that they can privately pitch your site to if you're looking to sell quickly and are willing to take a slightly lower multiple of earnings (in exchange for a quicker, easier selling process, it seems).

brandfountain 1 day ago 1 reply      
Careful what you wish for, 'passive income' can take on a life of its own.

I jumped into the branded domain aftermarket thinking it is the perfect passive income business to support my primary project. After a building a retail site and acquiring a bunch of quality domains the sales trickled in. So did the inquiries and customer support tickets. As sales increased so did the demand on my time. Now I have to choose between a fledgling/growing passive side business or (more likely) flip it and focus on my main biz.

The lesson is its hard to serve two masters, no matter how easy the math looks. Unless your Elon Musk.

jefflombardjr 1 day ago 0 replies      
NYSE. Seriously. If you want to buy and be a completely passive owner, buy stocks. You'll at least be able to minimize risk.

Buying and growing a business can be just as hard as starting one. If you want to own a business, you have to be able to sell/market their product. If you can't sell to one or two people to start a business, what makes you think selling to 100s in an established business is a good idea?

If you already have a stock portfolio and need to diversify. Look to real estate. Even then it's not completely passive, but hey you can at least hire a management company.

If you still want to passively own a business, specifically a web business. Take the $3,000 or whatever you want to use to buy a site and instead launch your own site. Spend the money on ads to drive traffic to your site and learn the valuable lesson that you can't just buy your way to success...

freshfey 1 day ago 1 reply      
Not sure if you're looking for a marketplace to buy or launch a business, but I'd say the Atlassian store might be an interesting one.

A lot of (business) users who are willing to spend money. A lot of ratings/reviews you can improve on to make a better product and a big ecosystem.

probinso 11 hours ago 0 replies      
I think that if you were to lease out teleportation devices you would be pretty well-off
CryoLogic 1 day ago 1 reply      
I sold passive income sites in the $300-$600/mo range on both Flippa and BuySellWebsites (not sure if it's still around).

I would not suggest either due to the # of scams.

Really it doesn't take more than a year to make a website profitable. 2-3 to get it into hundreds or thousands. Do your keyword research with adwords to determine avg. cpm, or if you are selling products build out a social media following.

throwaway2016a 1 day ago 1 reply      
This question is a bit too vague. I'm not sure how it got 17 up votes. I would only up vote it if it was more clear.

We need to know the motivations in order to be able to answer.

Are you looking to buy a turn key passive income business?

Are you looking to sell?

If you are looking to sell what are your skills?

Can you, for example, write a Wordpress theme or would you do you want to sell physical goods using a drop shipper?

If you update the questions I'm sure some people will be able to help.

FatAmericanDev 1 day ago 0 replies      
Not sure about the best but one is Flippa.
leandot 1 day ago 1 reply      
Places like IndieHackers and forums. I guess HN is also not a bad place to ask.

E.g. I have a passive income business that I could sell given an interesting offer.

moflome 1 day ago 1 reply      
Wanna buy one of mine? Thinking of positioning for sale a Business SaaS app, a Sales/Marketing Automation app and a transportation related app. Keeping the one that's earning the most... sorry.
decentralised 1 day ago 2 replies      
Invest in tokens and ETH, BTC, BCC etc.
nickthemagicman 1 day ago 6 replies      
Why would someone sell a passive income business? By definition it's basically free money.
Ask HN: Feedback on free payment gateway using a Chrome extension
2 points by l5870uoo9y  1 day ago   11 comments top 5
tixocloud 21 hours ago 1 reply      
While the idea of a free payment gateway might be enticing for businesses, you or the businesses you serve need to provide something equally enticing for the users to go through the hoops of installing a Chrome extension. You'll need to figure out what the value is for the users - could it be lower prices? And if so, will the price be low enough for them to use this new method of payment? There are also other psychologies at play such as trust of the system, gaming the system, etc. that you will need to think it through.

Not saying it's not a good idea but there's a lot more to think about when it comes to payments.

auganov 1 day ago 1 reply      
Problems off the top of my head:1) standard bank transfers often aren't instantaneous (idk about Germany)2) no support for handling disputes etc.3) banks can simply try to block you if it ever gets traction4) a lot of friction, no mobile support5) it's hardly that much better than just having people do the transfer manually6) you'll have to integrate across many banks UIs

Can you even verify if the transfer really happened based on this csv info?

afarrell 1 day ago 1 reply      
My intuition would be that the cost of lost customers who aren't willing to

1) Install a new Chrome extension they've never heard of

2) navigate through their bank's website

Will be the much higher than payment processing fees.

Also, it sounds like you are storing bank account numbers on your machine.

nautical 1 day ago 1 reply      
I would really love to know what others think on this ..

Can work if buyers are incentivized in some way to do this (too much friction).

"Free payment gateway" is enough for a lot of businesses to get started.

stephenr 23 hours ago 1 reply      
Intercepting data from a banking site? Sure that doesn't sound fucking dodgy at all.
Ask HN: What's your daily-driver headphone model?
23 points by methochris  2 days ago   35 comments top 26
randcraw 2 days ago 0 replies      
Denon AH-D2000 for privacy/workplace, Sennheiser HD580 (upgraded to HD600 spec) for home use, NAD VISO HP50 for serious mobile use, and Westone W30 in-ear with triple flange for max portability.

At work, I amp using a Dragonfly Red outboard DAC, which frankly, I like less than my old NuForce Icon2. (I would've happily stayed with the Nuforce, but Apple cluelessly bricked older "dumb amps" like the Icon2 when they "upgraded" their audio code in MacOS Sierra. Morons.) The Dragonfly just doesn't seem to add anything beyond the system amp.

On my Mac, I drive the external DAC using the Vox app because it has a parametric equalizer. On my i[Phone|Pad], I playback using the Equ app, which also offers para EQ.

I love the Denons. They enhance bass a bit and don't export my music enough to annoy coworkers. The Senn HD-580s are great, but feel a bit "cool" compared to the warmer Denons (due to the open cushions). But their smoothness is effortless; I can listen to them all day long. The NADs cut out surrounding noise really well and offer surprisingly good fidelity for such lightweight cans. I like the Westones mostly for their portability; their sound quality just can't match any of my full-sized cans and IMHO depend too much on a good seal from the triple flanges.

I also own Grado SR325Es, but could never warm to them. Their bass is substantially weaker than my other phones, though mid-to-upper reproduction is exemplary.

l33tbro 1 day ago 0 replies      
I've been through many listed here. Audio Technica ATX-M50, Sony MDR 7506, Sennheiser HD598, etc - all really great cans with their own strengths, but ultimately lacking in build quality and EQ curves that are too bumpy.

Over time, I came to prefer my audio to sound less fun and more "as is". Ie, without any spikes in the bass, mids, or trebles, from the manufacturer to colour the audio with some kind of wow factor.

Eventually, after a bunch of research and a $150-ish budget, I landed at the Beyer Dynamic DT250. They have the flattest EQ curve I know of, are super comfortable, and build quality is sturdy (Germans tend not to fuck around with the quality of the products products).

There's no excess wires that will get snagged around the can, and Beyer have their own unique cabling and connectors which are super-tough and chunky. Noise cancelling is average, but that's not an overly important feature for me.

If you want a bit more of a fun set with some more sub bass , check out the DT770. Supremely comfortable headphones and sound amazing.

Andrenid 2 days ago 0 replies      
Bose QC35s. Day and night. Pretty much always wearing them. Active noise cancelling changed my life and is up there with the smart phone and Kindle as far as technology that most made my life better.
itnAAnti 2 days ago 0 replies      
I use Oppo PM-3's for just about everything right now; listening to music while working, gaming, travel, etc.

I got them because I wanted something that blocked external noise (I don't like the "pressure" feeling of active noise cancellation) and they came highly recommended from The Wire Cutter.

I consider them 'fine'. They're relatively comfortable for 2-3 hour stretches (after that, the lack of ventilation makes them start to get sweaty, even in cool rooms), they sound decent, and the build quality and carry-case are great.

On the minuses side, the clarity doesn't match my old Grado SR-80's, the noise blocking isn't as good as my Shure in-ear monitors, and the in-line mic is worse than what's on Apple's standard earbuds.

Bottom line, they're not worth the $400 price tag, but now that I have them, they're good enough that I'm not out looking for another pair.

I have to say, I'm not as impressed with them as The Wire Cutter review led me to believe I would be... and that has affected my opinion of The Wire Cutter. I probably could have bought a generic pair of closed-back headphones for $60 and been just as happy.

jotjotzzz 1 day ago 0 replies      
I own the ATH-M50X and also the Bose QC25, however -- I stick to the Audio Technica ATH-ANC23 or the TaoTronics TTEP01 (both noise cancelling earphones) for my daily driver for commute.

I think the biggest question for choosing a daily driver headphone is whether you want to use a headphone vs. in-ear earphone. For my daily commute, I prefer earphones because they are less bulky, they don't warm-up my ear during the summer time, and I can easily take it off and put it in my pocket. For headphones, taking them off and storing them in my bag is so bulky that it is so damn annoying.

For long trips like air plane rides or bus rides or for in the office usage, I prefer headphones.

For at-home only listening, I use Grade SR80e, this is an open headphone and it is not great for commuting but awesome for listening at home.

quantummkv 2 days ago 1 reply      
Audio-Technica ATH-M50x. Nothing beats the sheer value they give for that amount of money. Definitely the beat pair of cans i have ever owned.
arca_vorago 2 days ago 1 reply      
I have been quite rough with my headphones/earbuds over the years, so I've used and broken quite a few, and have a little insight. I'll split between desktop and on-the-go.


Favorite - Razer Barracuda (with matching soundcard), great sound, super comfortable. (wish they hadn't broken)

Runner up - Turtle Beach Ear Force PX21 (just cause it says ps3 don't mean you cant use it on PC!)

Current - Razer Kraken 7.1 Chroma (1st gen, 2nd gen is more sturdy metal) (windows software sucks, but I use GNU+Linux)

Others I've used - Logitech G35(wired and wireless versions), Creative Sound Blaster WoW Wireless, Seihnheiser.


Favorite - Yurbuds Ironman Focus Behind the ear (lost them recently, so sad)

Current - Klipsch R6i

Others - Multiple cheap skullcandy, new model Apple.

All that said, on-the-go I don't trust bluetooth so I don't do wireless, but if you do your options expand quite a bit.

One more thing to keep in mind, if you really want the best, go to a hearing aid place and get your earmold taken so you can get the perfect fit rubber exterior for whatever model you choose. Personally, I really loved my Yurbuds Ironman Behind the ears because they stayed on the best while lifting/running/yardwork etc. Most of the time when I select, besides form factor, I mostly base selection on frequency range. Which is how I ended up with the Razer Kraken 7.1 Chroma's despite how disapointed I have been with Razor the last few years.

When I was in the military the best pair I ever had was the Bose sound reduction headphones.

DonutDeflector 2 days ago 0 replies      
Daily Driver - Sennheiser HD518 / This open-backed pair is warm with some emphasis on the low end. The pads on the HD518 are very comfortable. I can use the headphones the whole day without fatigue.

Music Production - Audio Technica Ath-M35 / This closed-back pair is relatively flat. The pair puts more pressure on my ears so their not very comfortable for more than an hour or two.

On-the-Go - Panasonic Ergofit RP-HJE120 / This is an inexpensive V-shaped pair of IEMs that I typically throw in my pocket. Not the greatest when it comes to audio quality, but it does the job.

hood_syntax 2 days ago 0 replies      
Sennheiser HD 650s at home, with an Asus Xonar Essence STX for the amp. I love them, pretty much exactly what I wanted since I can't imagine myself going more expensive than that unless I had far more expendable income.
rl3 1 day ago 0 replies      
HD598, no amp. Just recently upgraded from my decade old pair of 595s, and the additional bass in the 598s is remarkable. Totally changes the sound stage, and not necessarily for better or worse.

Both models have a special place in my heart now.

Also, bravo on the "daily-driver" pun.

Yaa101 1 day ago 0 replies      
I use the Beyerdynamic DT 770 PRO for heavy duty stuff like my Bach or other music with a large dynamic range.For my other music and mobile sessions I use Beyerdynamic DT 231 PRO.
relearn 1 day ago 0 replies      
Sennheiser HD598 without an amp for around the house. They are hands down worth every dollar.
ccdev 1 day ago 0 replies      
Technics RP-DJ 1200. It's hooked up to an Asus U3 sound card, which is more basic as far as sound cards go but better than using the built-in Realtek chipset found in my motherboard.
michalpt 1 day ago 0 replies      
Bose QC35. Best money I have spent on any audio equipment so far as it always puts me into that "hyperfocus" silent mode.
jetti 1 day ago 0 replies      
Sennheiser 280PRO. I had a pair that I accidentally destroyed by slamming the car door on the cord but love 'em so much had to get a new pair.
wingerlang 2 days ago 0 replies      
I had to google and scan images to find the pair, but I use Panasonic RP-HJE355 (in-ear). I bought a random pair in an airport but I still use them 2 years later every day.
fairbraxton 2 days ago 0 replies      
Usually I use JBL J88's for mostly everything, they are very comfortable and sound great. Personally I'd like a little more base to them but would recommend them for someone who isn't looking for much.
herbst 2 days ago 0 replies      
Sennheiser 25-II. I love the clear and real sound these beasts have. Plus they are durable enough so I can just throw them in my backpack
8draco8 1 day ago 0 replies      
Audio Technica ATH-M40x at home and AKG K92 with upgraded ear pads. For 95% of the time I am using K92, they are light, comfortable (with new earpads) and have surprisingly good sound quality. I've moved to them from full time ATH-M40x as they broke twice in 2 years on my head (cracks) and are in general to tight. The sound it self is great on AT but it's not worth lack of comfort that they offer.
smittysahn 1 day ago 1 reply      
I thought wearing headphones while driving a vehicle was illegal, but I see it all the time now. What gives?
blcArmadillo 2 days ago 1 reply      
Sony MDR-7506
beaker52 2 days ago 0 replies      
AKG K712 at home for gaming and general computer audio. Great headphones for an flat, yet appealing sound. An audio engineer friend of mine bought the same set after sampling mine. I have a Native Instruments Komplete Audio 6 driving those.

At work and on the go I'm using Shure SE215. Great isolation, clear sound and some of the best bass I've sampled from earphones.

I'd recommend both in a heartbeat and I think both of these represent good bang for their buck. Since I like my music (it's a hobby of mine) I wouldn't tolerate anything that I didn't think fell into the category of high quality.

iDemonix 2 days ago 0 replies      
Sennheiser Momentum over-ears for the office (closed back)

Sennheiser HD600 + Marantz PM65005 amp for home (open back)

m-p-3 2 days ago 0 replies      
At work, some cheap Koss headphone supplied by the office.

At home, a Logitech G430 headset.

On the go, some in-ear bluetooth earphones from Aukey.

geoelectric 2 days ago 1 reply      
I've switched across the board to wireless for the most part. I use a number of different headsets based on location, so here are my choices for various settings.


Bose QC35 -- sound quality is somewhat compromised but the NC and comfort levels are second to none. Bose customer service is also excellent, particularly if you buy (and therefore can return/exchange) through a branded store.

Out and about:

Airpods, with foam covers. Without the covers, these were very convenient headphones that wouldn't stay in my ears for the life of me and so sounded thin and leaked noise. Then I added old-school thin foam earbud covers; Amazon sells some that are donut-style with a hole that exposes the light sensors, and they still fit in the charger. They don't compare to my audiophile headphones, but they sound "pretty good"--about on the same level as my SoundMagic E10s, maybe a little better. More importantly, now I actually will use headphones for 20-30 minutes at a time on walks, whereas before it was too much of a hassle to carry a fat case around, wedge them in my ears, etc.

Home, in living room:

MDR-1ABTs. I don't actually like these as much as I should for what I paid for them. The pads are thin and hurt my ears. But they do connect to my Sony sound bar using their LDAC low-latency/high-def protocol, so I use them for late night viewing.


Playstation Gold or Platinums. I have both. The Golds are more reliable about connecting to the dongle. The Platinums fit over my PSVR headset. Neither sounds great for anything but games, but they integrate tightly into the OS.


SteelSeries Arctis 7. No blinkenlights, and they sound very good for pretty much everything. They're comparable to my wired Sennheiser PC360s (basically a 55x/59x with a mic) but even cheaper. That said, buy the add-on leatherette pads from Steelseries--they make a world of difference for isolation and sound quality. They shouldn't sell these without those pads TBH.


Keeping in mind I like "fun" headphones and not monitors, I oscillate between Plantronics Backbeat Pro (one of the best sounding BT headphones I've heard with a phenomenal range and hellaciously cheap, but fugly and with round pads that don't really fit anyone), V-Moda M100s (add the fat pads to these too for comfort and sound; they'll last forever--built like a tank), and Master and Dynamic MH40s. (by far the nicest pair aesthetically with real leather pads, and they sound great if you can get a good seal, but I'm not a huge fan of cables anymore).


I do have a JDS labs O2 amp+DAC setup. I use it with the M&Ds and the M100s sometimes since those are the two cabled headphones still in rotation. However, Apple headphone outputs have historically been good enough to not really benefit that much since all my headphones have lowish power requirements. Planars or some other "need a bunch of juice" headphones would be different.

nip 2 days ago 0 replies      
Audio Technica ATH-A900
Ask HN: How do I know if I'm joining a good team?
6 points by throwaway17824  1 day ago   2 comments top 2
probinso 11 hours ago 0 replies      
Understand the business model, understand the release cycle, understand the review process
AbenezerMamo 1 day ago 0 replies      
Consider the environment & culture for the company
Ask HN: Is there a service that consolidates various SaaS bills/invoicing?
9 points by sailavu  2 days ago   7 comments top 7
SOLAR_FIELDS 2 days ago 0 replies      
We use Softchoice (https://www.softchoice.com/?). I work at a Fortune 100 company. I don't have much to say besides that I haven't had many complaints, and I only use them because they were an approved vendor before I started, but I've had no issues with them. I mainly use them for mainstream products such as Jetbrains so I cannot speak to their availability when it comes to more esoteric licenses.
PatrickLowndes 1 day ago 0 replies      
I'm admittedly biased, but https://www.vendorhawk.io/ is a good way to manage SaaS vendors. Not many services offer consolidated billing. You'd have to buy all your products through a portal in a reseller like CDW or Insight to have that view.
ig1 2 days ago 0 replies      
It sounds like you need better accounting software, it should be trivial to use your accounting software to keep track of this information.

Presumably whoever does your financial projections has this info in a spreadsheet as well ? (e.g so they can project new employee cost for software that's sold per seat)

nodesocket 2 days ago 0 replies      
Besides updating credit card information when cards are lost/stolen, what would the benefits of consolidated billing be?
hemantv 2 days ago 0 replies      
sebg 2 days ago 0 replies      
What's your contact info?
quickthrower2 2 days ago 0 replies      
Startup idea!!!
Torrench Cross-platform Command line Torrent search program
6 points by kryptxy  1 day ago   3 comments top 2
assafmo 17 hours ago 1 reply      
Cool, I'm going to try this next week and then I'll give feedback.

Right now I have a script to searche eztv for tv shows but it is very limited (assafmo/DownloadMyEpisodes)

kryptxy 1 day ago 0 replies      
Ask HN: Anyone Interested in Authoring/Collaborating on a Software Product?
19 points by zschuessler  2 days ago   17 comments top 9
mattmanser 2 days ago 1 reply      
Show HN is what you'd normally use. https://news.ycombinator.com/showhn.html

Your homepage doesn't really tell me what this is, apart from it uses Git somehow. You told us ^^there, but not on the homepage.

Is it a RAD tool? A new alternative to something like meteor? What's it got to do with Sketch plugins?

waterside81 2 days ago 0 replies      
I'm not sure who your target end-user is, but I think the focus on "git" both in your branding and explanation leads people to focus on that aspect rather than the (great) idea of having easy-to-use revision management for digital assets. How that's implemented (in this case, git) is irrelevant to a marketing manager or a creative who is supplying the content.

If developers are a large part of who you see as your end user, then sure, keep as is. But if they're not, I'd consider re-evaluating the use of git as your main selling point and highlight the "history tracking" aspect of the product.

sharemywin 2 days ago 0 replies      
Have you thought about cutting your fee to 7% plus 3% to paypal or stripe and letting the author set a commission for affiliates. So if I offer 25% an affiliate would get 15%.
siddharthdeswal 2 days ago 0 replies      
I'm a "product marketer", and this was difficult for me to understand. I don't know what this is for (after reading your opening comment), and I can't figure out what should I be doing. If you receive similar feedback from other marketers, maybe consider making it easier to understand?
brett40324 2 days ago 0 replies      
Please just let me scroll down to some content first without choosing one of the 'im a' s.

Edit: To ask,

What prevents me from distributing products by allowing others to use my paid copy's machine as a remote? Am i missing something?

sharemywin 2 days ago 0 replies      
And what would be really cool is to allow people to sell the resale rights. So, if I buy the rights I could make all future profits of the eBook, template, photo etc.
carussell 2 days ago 1 reply      
This violates the Git trademark, which the team announced they would begin enforcing this year due to a proliferation of products and services naming themselves after Git. If you're going to move forward with this, you need to apply for permission to use the Git mark.
sharemywin 2 days ago 1 reply      
so can I fork your product and sell it and split the fees?

or if I check in a rewrite of a paragraph and you approve the check in do I get a cut your future sales?

kumaranvpl 2 days ago 0 replies      
Hi @zschuessler,

I am interested to collaborate. Please ping me at kumaranvpl@gmail.com

Ask HN: What is the biggest pain point of finding and applying for a job?
6 points by airesume  1 day ago   8 comments top 6
probinso 11 hours ago 0 replies      
Filling out forms is a waste of time. I have spent time laying out my resume and cover letters, if you cannot read them or take the time to sift through, then it's probably not worth my time

One unpopular belief I hold though, is the technical tests are actually valuable. I usually use this as an opportunity to try out a programming style or language I've never used before

heldrida 1 day ago 0 replies      
Technical tests that take a lot of your personal time, face to face technical test with a group of people looking at you while you're trying to focus.
gamechangr 1 day ago 1 reply      
Knowing enough people.

Hiring off of resumes is dead. Companies don't even advertise jobs unless they are high turnover and/or lower paid.

Something1234 1 day ago 0 replies      
Corrupt job sites that lie or link to garbage sites that require another login.
shortoncash 20 hours ago 1 reply      
Deciding to find and apply for a job.
nicholas73 18 hours ago 0 replies      
Too many forms to fill.
Ask HN: How long did it take you to go from side project idea to launch?
92 points by igammarays  2 days ago   89 comments top 38
thinbeige 2 days ago 2 replies      
The problem is not the actual dev time of a serious side project like a SaaS. Even if it just takes you three months to get to some sellable product with payment integration, etc.--the much bigger problem is that you need multiple shots to get it right (find the right market niche, the right product, the right angle, the right Marketing, the right growth channels, etc.). Then, after more than just three months and many attempts + pivots you just don't have the energy/time/money to keep up. Of course you can clone some proven model but then you face lots of competition which doesn't make success more probable.

People who are succesful did 99 mediocre side projects before they hit the jackpot. But it still took them tons of time and energy. Very often a overlooked by-product which was developed over night and benefitted from all prior experiences will be the cash cow while the main project which took 12 months still hasn't won any users.

Most stop at some point because it's just tough, especially the mental part.

hugs 2 days ago 1 reply      
For me, there's about 4 months between idea and first public launch. But another4 years between that first launch to deciding to build a company around it. The time between 4 months and 4 years involves building a community, helping users, and improving the core product...

My personal examples:

Launched Selenium as an open source project in 2004.Founded Sauce Labs Inc ("Selenium in the cloud") in 2008. (Sauce makes roughly ~$25MM a year now. https://www.inc.com/profile/sauce-labs)

Launched Tapster (then called "Bitbeambot") as an open source project in 2011.Founded Tapster Robotics, Inc. in 2015. (Not disclosing revenue at the moment, but still going strong!)

To echo some other comments, I also have many other side-projects (some posted to GitHub, but even more unpublished) that never went anywhere. Success is a combination of luck, timing, ABC (Always Be Creating), stubbornness/persistence, and getting feedback from as many people as possible.

coderholic 2 days ago 2 replies      
I launched the first version of https://ipinfo.io a few hours after having the idea - but it was just a super simple webpage at the time. I added the API within a few weeks I think, and that's when it started to take off. It was probably around a year before I added paid plans though, and another year before it started bringing in decent revenue, and then another year before I started working full time on it. See https://getputpost.co/from-side-project-to-250-million-daily... for some of the story.

I've worked on tons of side projects before this (most unsuccessful, some with some success - busmapper.co.uk, donothingfor2minutes.com). My advice would definitely be to launch early and improve things over time.

HugoDaniel 2 days ago 2 replies      
I quit my job in May 2016 (15 months ago) to work on an idea (a painting web app). Unfortunately I was also trying to earn money with any sort of side-kick jobs (teaching) and the idea never got the attention it deserved. It got a few turns and twists after an initial demo to some designer friends in December 2016.

I have since then managed to get some funding and have been working on it more seriously for the past 4 months (since may 2017). In two weeks I will have another closed alpha-demo that is then going to be used to produce a video for the landing page, and opened to the public if there is no big bashing from my zen target audience friends.

It does seem like a huge desert to cross. Motivation comes and goes. In the meantime I managed to kill my desire to feature creep it to death and learned a lot about the fine art of listening/ignoring the target audience requests. I know for sure that my approach for my next project is going to be completely different than my current one. But in the meantime the rent is due :)

The landing page:https://www.pixnit.com

My blog with some thoughts on the bootstrapping experience: http://www.hugodaniel.pt

ploggingdev 2 days ago 0 replies      
Not a SaaS, but I'm working on a blogging platform for developers : https://www.ploghub.com/ . To use an analogy : Medium for developers without the dickbar. It took me around one month to build the initial version. The front page uses a dumbed down version of the HN algorithm. Code here (need to add test cases) : https://github.com/ploggingdev/ploghub

For my next project, I plan to build an alternative to Disqus which respects users' privacy. I removed Disqus from my blog a while due to the 2 MB junk it loads and sends tracking data to 10+ sites. I used to receive a few comments, so I thought I would build myself an alternative to Disqus and maybe turn it into a SaaS if there's demand for such a product. Any interest for a $10/month privacy respecting Disqus alternative + an open source code base?

I expect it to take me 2 to 3 weeks to build it. As you build more projects, you end up with a lot of reusable components, so it gets easier to build out the MVP. The real challenge for developers is to get users. This is something I don't have much experience with, so let's see how it goes.

mattbeckman 2 days ago 1 reply      
Depends on what you're building, of course, but seriously consider if what you're building is an MVP or not.

My most successful side-project has been the one where I didn't start out by using design patterns or TDD or fancy fun new languages as we do at my full-time job.

Instead, I spewed code vomit on the virtual floor of a tiny VPS, wrote most of it via SSH, and felt shame when users started using it because holy hell if they only knew what was underneath all that.

But ... that MVP generates income. Not quit-my-job income. But it's steady, and doesn't require a lot of changes. I plan on rebuilding it soon, as I need a better code base to handle upcoming plans. However, that embarrassingly messy hodgepodge has been running for a year, making money.

Good luck!

danthelion 2 days ago 1 reply      
Around 1 month total time since the idea, 2-3 days net dev time.


I wanted to learn Django and wanted to start with something fairly easy. I don't really have any idea how and where to promote it, didn't get much attention in my `Show HN` thread and most subreddits remove it because of the affiliate links to amazon.

Other than that it was a fun experience and at least I can say that Django is a great framework to work with!

nikivi 2 days ago 2 replies      
It took about a month to built the initial prototype for the Search Engine we are building.


We had the interactive mind maps as JSON already however we needed to display them on the web in a nice interface so we made a react component to render the JSON to the screen.


Overall it took about a month to do the whole thing and get a working prototype, the search engine improved a lot since then though.

wainstead 2 days ago 1 reply      
I recommend "Start Small, Stay Small: A Developer's Guide to Launching a Startup," if you have not heard of it. He has some simple formulas for measuring how much you're trying to do and how long it will take, given that you have a full time job.
goodnews3879 2 days ago 0 replies      
There seems to be a prevailing idea among startup people that if you can't get an MVP up and running in ~3 months or less, it isn't worth doing. I have heard this exact statement made on a few of the well known podcasts.

The reality is that not every concept is going to get the low hanging fruit, and for many people real life gets in the way. Plus, for some people the journey of learning is just as important as launching the product.

It might be worth considering that you shouldn't stress out if it takes longer than the conventional advice might dictate.

guohuang 2 days ago 1 reply      
1 week (mostly nights and weekend) - http://toptalkedbooks.com

Building a website is not the most painful part, promotion and getting traffic are the hardest, you have to be very determined. keep up the good work, don't give up.

anyone has any good advice on marketing?

highace 2 days ago 2 replies      
Two weekends for the MVP of https://newsapi.org. About 3 months so far for v2 - I'm building it out into a more featureful service that I'm hoping I can build a business around.
rwieruch 2 days ago 1 reply      
3 Months. It highly depends on the project though.

For me, it was an e-book [0] that I wanted to write to teach others about React. The idea was to learn React while building an application that is more complex than a Todo Application.

So I took the first 3 months to write the initial draft - only 90 pages. I released it on Leanpub as an unfinished book, because it was painfully hard to keep going. Yet the community seemed to like it. It confirmed me being on the right track and my motivation went up again.

Since then I iterated 4 times to improve and enrich the learning experience and "released" it multiple times. I keep it updated to the recent library versions, best practices and new techniques with the help of the open source community. Now it has over 170 pages and over 11.000 downloads.

What helped in my case: Release early and improve/iterate based on the feedback.

- [0] https://www.robinwieruch.de/the-road-to-learn-react/

Zaheer 2 days ago 0 replies      
6 months. I sat on the domain and an index.html file for months even though the idea was super simple. Partnering with a friend and holding each other accountable was the best thing to launch.

Compare career levels across companies - http://www.levels.fyi

herbst 1 day ago 1 reply      
I launched 2 SaaS. one that failed to sell took me only a long weekend. One that does well currently (https://forwardmx.io) took about 1 month of work scattered over 4 months. Plus at least a few weeks I invested in updates so far.

As one man show I try to scope small and grow slow within my capacity.

Also i have tons of prior experience in software development. Not want to make it sound like I just did that and whoosh

AndrewKemendo 2 days ago 1 reply      
Concept was May 2011, I wrote up the spec in Aug 2011 and we launched in May 2015. So about 4 years.
cityzen 2 days ago 0 replies      
Biggest lesson I learned from building a SaaS side project that actually had revenue is this...

You cannot develop your way out of a marketing problem.

There will ALWAYS be technical problems to solve but it's all irrelevant if no one is using your product. Long development time also tends to create a familiarity with your product that users likely will not have, possibly ever.

I am a huge fan of Steve Blank's How to build a startup (which is free on udacity)https://www.udacity.com/course/how-to-build-a-startup--ep245

20years 2 days ago 1 reply      
I have built multiple SaaS products. I spend about a month building the first version. I get that out in front of users and continue to build upon it if I see traction and based on feedback. If traction isn't there or it becomes obvious user won't pay, I generally move onto something else.

After the initial prototype, it generally takes another 3 to 4 months to build out a full fledged app that I can offer to the masses. It doesn't stop after that though. There is always more to develop and improve including a lot of re-factoring.

I currently have 4 SaaS products on the market and another one in the works.

tmaly 2 days ago 0 replies      
I spent around 6 months for version 1 of my food project https://bestfoodnearme.com and another 3 months for an entire re-write of version 2. It is still a work in progress with small iterations. I would say launch with the bare features, not even password reset. Get feedback and keep iterating.

Make sure you have some form of analytics from the start so you can see what pages people are going to

ifend 2 days ago 1 reply      
2 weeks -- http://www.backereta.com

Nobody uses it but it was a good learning experience.

pan69 2 days ago 1 reply      
I spend a good 3 months on getting an initial version out of my latest side project called Postways [1] and launched it just before xmas last year. Since then I have been focusing on on-boarding users and just improving the service overall. Marketing it and connecting with an audience and potential customers is the real challenge.

I did everything myself. I have a number of great features in the works but for now I purposely want to keep the scope very focused around a core set of functionality so I don't mentally overload myself.

At some point I hope to afford to engage with a visual designer because I really think that having a great visual brand can make a real difference in whether or not potential customers landing on your home decide the signup or not.

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

lpa22 2 days ago 1 reply      
6 weeks of after work/weekends for the first iteration in website form, and another 6 weeks for iOS App second iterationhttps://www.theroseleague.com

Shameless plug, if you or anyone you know enjoys The Bachelor series then this product is for them.

ezekg 2 days ago 0 replies      
I spent ~6 months building the initial version, then ran a 3 month beta (should have just launched here as beta didn't have a lot of usage), and finally launched about 3 months ago. All in all, I've been working on it for over a year. GitHub says first commit was May 22, 2016.
cdibona 2 days ago 0 replies      
So the game that my friend and I are funding and working on the side on (dunno if this fits your definition of side project, but a proper saas app is as complex) is entering it's third year and is about to hit mvp.

It is (unsurprising if you know us) a unreal front end with the back end hosting on Google cloud, we're using gke, datastore and cloudsql , with gae web front ends. We're coding in js, c++, Python and Java.

plug: http://fracturedveil.com/?m=hn

And yes, sometimes it feels glacial and I wish I could clone myself and move things forward much faster. But I actually like my day job, so...yeah.

Huhty 2 days ago 0 replies      
Over 15 months, and we didn't get our blogging and social media going until approx 3-4 months left until launch. And I regret not starting it sooner.

Start your blogging and social media ASAP, because it takes some time for SEO to kick in. Get collecting emails so you can launch to an audience. Don't leave it until after launch, you will regret it.

Our SaaS is at http://blogenhancement.com and the blog is at http://blogenhancement.com/blog/ if you want to take a look at what we've been up to.

Cheers, and good luck in your journey!

seekbeak 2 days ago 0 replies      
I made the initial version of https://seekbeak.com after about 3 or 4 months. It's been updates and additions for the past year now.

I'll echo the rest of the folks in here: Launch early, and add features as you go. I'd rather launch at 85% than never launch at 100%

Also, there is a fine line between an initial launch which is missing a few fancy features, and an embarrassing clusterfuck. So make sure that the site/app is totally functional, and as bug free as you can be. Then you can get to work on adding all the bells and whistles which are buzzing around your head!

graystevens 2 days ago 0 replies      
Looking at my domain whois... 6 months. As others have said, at this point it probably isn't an MVP any more (bad creator!), but it is very close to a release in the next few weeks. Honestly looking forward to getting it out there and seeing what people think.


I'd argue it wouldn't have taken the full 6 months if this had been my sole effort, but with a full-time job, a young family to support, and finishing another site-project for a friend, I think 6 months isn't bad.

golson 2 days ago 1 reply      
My first major project, https://www.kindmind.com: about 6 months of nights-and-weekends work before public launch. It's a private online therapy journal for getting things off your chest.

Now going on two years of development (just me) and loving every minute of it. Yes, it's painfully slow at times. Finding users is really freakin' hard. But the satisfaction of people using something I made makes it all worth it.

SirLJ 2 days ago 2 replies      
took me approx 2.5 years from the idea (of beating the stock market, trough losing money left and right, stopping and developing an edge) to building the system to algo trade constantly...
discordianfish 2 days ago 1 reply      
I've just launched latency.at and I've started working on it about a year ago but in the beginning worked only a few hours per week in my spare time on it. In the past months I put more time in it while freelancing the other days.And yes, I felt exactly the same. The core piece was literally done in a day, but everything around it took forever. Happy it's "done enough" to finally launch it. But now the next hard part: Find (paying) users.
dabockster 2 days ago 1 reply      
Hey HN,

As someone who is thinking about attempting to monetize some side projects, should I incorporate a company before I begin? Or is it ok to just publish things on my own?

cdiamand 1 day ago 1 reply      
About 4 months to realize I should build https://oppslist.com/subscribe

Maybe about 1-2 weeks actual development time.

TheFullStack 2 days ago 0 replies      
This took about 4 months from idea to first real user registrations: https://www.turbo360.co

That was back in June or so. Since then, have made many many changes based on user feedback so the current iteration is more like the cumulative work of 6 months.

samayshamdasani 2 days ago 1 reply      
It originally took me a weekend to get the basic site done. Then, after I saw it's potential, I've been working on it more extensively.

I built a site to teach people to code by building projects: https://enlight.ml

ratsimihah 2 days ago 0 replies      
About 5 months because I spent a lot of time playing around.I'm doing everything myself: dev, UI/UX, marketing, paperwork.


RikNieu 2 days ago 0 replies      
My last one's not a saas, it's a simple job board, but it took me 3 weeks working some evenings and weekends.


sjs382 2 days ago 0 replies      
Not from idea to launch as I spend a lot of time daydreaming about projects before I begin work, but SendToMyCloud.com and PrivateForms.com both took less than a month to build, part-time.
reiichiroh 2 days ago 0 replies      
"ideation" is a real word?
Ask HN: Sugesst me some pet projects
4 points by aryamaan  1 day ago   3 comments top 2
sova 1 day ago 0 replies      
So you've made a chat server, that's great. I think you could take it farther and still have it be functional for you for casual use. Make a small bookmarking site or a site for tagging elements. What are some things you want to keep track of in your life? Dreams? My friend made his own dream journaling software, that's an idea.

In general, since you've made something 'realtime' and 'bidirectional' (like chat) then you may want to branch into making annotations (like tagging and tag suggestions) for elements {links, notes, sound files, photos you took, whatever}

Mull it over some :)

patrics123 1 day ago 1 reply      
What about a simple game clone, add multiplayer for added complexity. Forget about Performance at first ;)
Ask HN: What online communities offer a high level of discussion?
59 points by yaseer  23 hours ago   66 comments top 27
damnfine 21 hours ago 1 reply      
Honestly, almost any hobby with depth has one, but I know of no good generalist sites.

Here is a good example;

Bobtheoilguy - Forum dedicated to automotive lubricants. Some very in depth analysis and company insiders on occasion. Many users regularly send in oil for testing and post results. Great for info on the changing formulations of oil standards, and common additive packages. Very useful for me, owning old and new cars and bikes.

imartin2k 20 hours ago 1 reply      
A few days ago I saw a link to https://stackexchange.com/ on the HN frontpage. Didn't know this site before (although it in fact seems to be the parent of stackoverflow or at least somehow related) but it looked as if it might fit your description.
flashdance 22 hours ago 1 reply      
http://reddit.com/r/askhistorians is a favourite of mine!
to_bpr 22 hours ago 3 replies      
I'd be wary about recommending Reddit communities in any form given how utterly compromised the site is in terms of corporate and political interests groups + financing.
Mz 17 hours ago 0 replies      
Contrary to what some folks are saying here, I am having a surprisingly positive experience on Reddit. My initial experience was negative. I left for three or four years and went back a few months ago.

So, I think, to some extent you need to find subreddits that interest you and figure out how to effectively interact with them. Reddit is really a conglomeration of subforums, each owned and run by different people. It isn't the monolith some people paint it as. If you try to interact with like it is a monolith, that probably won't work well.

You can also brew your own on Reddit. If you want high level discussion on certain topics and can't find it, you can create your own subreddit as you see fit. Unlike starting a separate forum, the fact that it is on Reddit will allow you to attract some traffic organically. There are already members there who can post, comment and vote.

neutered_knot 22 hours ago 3 replies      
Metafilter.com is a hidden internet gem.
jcrabtr 22 hours ago 1 reply      
For personal finance and investing, the Bogleheads forum (https://www.bogleheads.org) ticks all the boxes. It definitely has many helpful, knowledgeable participants. Since it's a traditional forum, they maintain civility through moderation, but it isn't needed often.
gtaylor 22 hours ago 2 replies      
/r/changemyview is well moderated and has interesting topics from time to time
mcgrath_sh 19 hours ago 0 replies      
This may not be exactly what you are looking for, but one thing that increased my enjoyment of reddit and twitter was making heavy use of lists and multireddits and unsubscribing from things I didn't want to see without looking for.

For example, I was subbed to a half-dozen Diablo related subreddits that were more popular than some of the smaller subreddits I was interested in. This meant that my homepage was cluttered with posts from those subreddits. Therefore, I made a Diablo multireddit and ubsubbed from the Diablo related subreddits making my homeoage a bit cleaner and it has the added benefit of concentrating the Diablo information when I am looking for it.

I also do this in an inverse manner. For example, I'm still subscribed to the team subreddits of sports teams I follow, but since they tend to be small, I have them lumped into a "My Teams" multireddit where I can easily check what is going on for the half-dozen teams I really care about.

The use of multireddits has greatly improved my reddit experience.

devilcius 21 hours ago 1 reply      
I still find interesting discussions in https://slashdot.org/
SolaceQuantum 21 hours ago 1 reply      
Depending on your interests any decent hobby/professional forum should have a high level of discussion similar to how HN is mostly oriented towards tech. Do you have non-tech interests and if so, what are they?
nvr219 22 hours ago 0 replies      
Specific somethingawful forums are still pretty good surprisingly
adwn 22 hours ago 2 replies      
I can recommend Slate Star Codex [1]. There is no voting system, but the level of discussion is above 99% of what you find on the Internet, plus the commenters come from a very wide range of the political spectrum.

Discussions are mostly about the articles that Scott Alexander posts, but there are open threads twice a week (just click on "OPEN THREAD" in the top menu bar to go to the most recent one).

[1] slatestarcodex.com

bpierre 21 hours ago 0 replies      
If you like video games, https://reddit.com/r/truegaming is a good one.

From the sidebar description: /r/truegaming is a subreddit dedicated to meaningful, insightful, and high-quality discussion on all topics gaming.

0x4f3759df 21 hours ago 2 replies      
Well curated twitter (believe it or not). I follow Bitcoin experts on twitter and find it intellectually stimulating.
snikeris 22 hours ago 0 replies      
I also frequent:


It's a forum mostly about Harry Browne's Permanent Portfolio concept, but there is also good discourse on current events in the "Other Discussions" forum.

secfirstmd 21 hours ago 0 replies      
For digital security stuff I like


relyio 21 hours ago 0 replies      
I'm looking for high-quality message boards on libertarianism and political science in general. I know some in my mother tongue (french) but haven't had much luck on the english-speaking web.
observation 22 hours ago 0 replies      
Other civil/intellectual communities I've found interesting or useful include:




It seems easier to find good narrowly defined communities than ones with broad reach. This is probably because of politics - it acts as a synaptic damper no matter how high your IQ is.

mcgregorin2 22 hours ago 0 replies      
https://www.jqbx.fm if you want to talk & learn about music.
PeterisP 22 hours ago 0 replies      
The slatestarcodex.com community might be interesting for you.
DanBC 19 hours ago 1 reply      
Kialo looks really interesting.


blisterpeanuts 21 hours ago 0 replies      
Motley Fool (http://boards.fool.com/) used to have fairly intelligent forums. I haven't really hung out there since the Dot Com days; just checked and there are some interesting postings.

I fear that the big socials like FB have crowded out the traditional forums. People just don't have the time for all of this, so they default to the low hanging fruit.

There are a few interesting suggestions in this HN topic; will check them out as time allows.

pyroinferno 22 hours ago 2 replies      
I got this one:


aerovistae 22 hours ago 0 replies      

Haha sorry just kidding, I'll leave.

bmcusick 22 hours ago 2 replies      
I have one site that checks all these boxes and I love it.

And I'd never post the link to a HN thread. A good culture and community is a fragile thing.

Docker container to tweet at your ISP when your speed drops below threshold
8 points by monoxane  2 days ago   30 comments top 7
jklein11 1 day ago 0 replies      
This is a pretty cool hack!

Next time, when you you are showing off a project you may want to consider doing a Show HN[1]


grizzles 2 days ago 0 replies      
This is cool. I periodically have a related idea that coincides with my isp downtime. I once had 3 straight weeks of downtime.

It's an app to monitor a connection for downtime and give exact reports for when the connection is down. Then treat the data collection server as a quasi political group and use the data to push the FTC, ACCC, etc to force ISPs to give pro-rata refunds for these downtime and or substandard speed periods. Nothing would speed up a fix like lost $$.

goralph 2 days ago 1 reply      
Since you're using docker for educational purposes, just a tip. You have multiple `RUN` commands. Each command will create an individual docker layer, causing your image to take up unnecessary amounts of space.

Instead you should run all of the bootstrap (apt-get, etc) under a single run, using `&&` to chain commands.

sigjuice 2 days ago 3 replies      
Docker is a bit of an overkill for such a tiny app IMHO
msh 2 days ago 0 replies      
How does it know you are not filling up the pipe yourself?
mistat 2 days ago 1 reply      
I can only imagine the posts if people with NBN use this
stephenr 2 days ago 1 reply      
Using fucking docker to run a python script that tweets about poor network performance is the epitome of technical irony.

Although, on the upside we've finally found something that can be referenced for X in the statement "well at least Electron apps aren't as bad as $X"

       cached 26 August 2017 12:05:02 GMT