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Comment: Re:Quite so! (Score 1) 401

by Guillaume le Btard (#44262027) Attached to: Electrical Engineering Labor Pool Shrinking
After graduating my bachelors of EE it took me no effort at all to find a job in what is defined here (the Netherlands) as a 'shrinking regio'. I deal with ethernet communication for telephony and industrial systems, which suits me quite well and is surely a relevant job with my education. The trick is to make yourself stand out from the other candidates by doing lots of extra-curricular activities (may or may not be related to your degree), for instance I took part in an engineering challenge and helped as a teaching assitant at universities abroad. It also helps that the polytechnic universities here require students to do one or two internships since that will give you some starting credit. And I was lucky enough to get a part time job at the company of my first internship which allowed me to add 2 years of experience before even graduating.

Comment: As a hosted VoIP engineer (Score 1) 347

I am happy to have the copper that I can connect my DSL lines to for my VoIP customers. It's not going anywhere for the forseable future for the smaller customers. And that is not even considering the BRI and PRI lines for the small medium sized customers with their dedicated PBXs.

Comment: Re:I think you said it (Score 1) 117

by Guillaume le Btard (#43095503) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: On the Job Certification Training?
My employer handles a similar strategy: - Small (cheaper) trainings will be reimbursed without any condition. - Biggest trainings will require to sign a contract, so leaving the employer earlier will mean paying some of the costs. This works out really great, in the last 6 months my employer has allowed me to take a lot of interesting (and useful!) trainings without any costs for me (and that is including hotels, food and travel). Because of this we can offer our customers better service so it should really be a no brainer to do this. Obviously the above applies to subjects that are relevant for my job, but it can be quite flexible.

Comment: Finish college, and have some fun (Score 1) 347

Always makes sure you get a degree so you'll have a more easy starting position. Whilst in college try to get a job that is to do with the field in which you are interested, 2 years experience doing that will give you an edge when the employers are flooded with applications from graduates. Another important tip is to get involved with some extra curricular activities you might come across related to your field, e.g. contests, it can show you have motivation to go that extra mile. And if you are lucky you'll have a great time doing that. For example during my college years I have worked as an embedded Linux programmer, been a teaching assistant on the other side of the world and participated in an engineering challenge. Then in the end your employer will be more interested to hear about your projects beside your studies than anything else. And maybe you'll even find some interesting work that has very little to do with your education or previous interests. For instance I had only 1 small course on tele- and data communications during my study as an electrical engineer, but right now I am working as a telecom engineer and enjoying every day!

Comment: Key based SSH (Score 1) 218

by Guillaume le Btard (#41460321) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Ideas and Tools To Get Around the Great Firewall?
I have lived in China for some time, and I have found using a ssh tunnel as a socks proxy works wonders. Don't expect it to be fast but that is a problem when connecting to any hosts outside China. You will risk them throttling your speed if you use it all the time with excessive amounts of traffic. Remember some website are blocked through dns so that means you need to configure your browser to resolve this via proxy as well

Comment: In my professional opinion (Score 1) 684

by Guillaume le Btard (#40537097) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Are Smart Meters Safe?
At my previous employer I have been involved in developing a system to measure the usage of utilities, our goal was to give the consumers a good insight into their power usage and using the data to give advise on how to lower their bills (and save the earth of course). We need to get smarter to reduce the waste of resources! And because people are apparently too stupid to think about this kind of stuff themselves (use the washing machine in the low rate hours or something similar can be a big save) we have to develop technology to aid them in this process. Another important point is, that in order to allow a safe power network with decentralised power generation (pv panels, wind turbines on consumer homes etc) we need to have a smart network down to the lowest level. Don't forget that this is also an important reason for smart meters apart from the remote measurements! Any complaints about 'bad RF' are bollocks and I feel surprised that can even be taken seriously on /. I can imagine that the tinfoil hat crowd wants to make a big issue about privacy, and they do have a small point (yet there are so many other privacy holes in our lives leaking information). But in my professional opinion the benefits in this case outweigh the drawbacks. We need smart meters to get our grids into the 21st century. (I am an electrical engineer with experience in measurement systems and EMC, at the moment I am working on wireless sensor networks.)

Comment: Soil? (Score 4, Informative) 389

I live in Shanghai and on the other side of the river in Pudong we have quite a lot of tall buildings (Jin Mao tower 420m, Oriental Perl Tower 468m, Shanghai World Financial Center 492m) so I have no doubt that the Chinese have had some 'inspiration' from western builders on how to construct a tower. But I am wondering how the soil can deal with such a rapid construction of such a tall, thus heavy, building. Where I come from, the Netherlands, we have to put in a pretty good foundation for our buildings or they will sink into the soil. I can imagine that if you want to build such a tall building you would need some more time to allow the soil to solidify more or you'll risk the building sinking...

Comment: Well, congratulations (Score 2) 130

by Guillaume le Btard (#40358003) Attached to: China Completes Its First Manned Space Docking
It is interesting the Chinese have managed this, though I am not sure how useful this will be. It might have been better to work together with the other parties on the international space station. I was actually suprised that it has taken so long to get the first female into space as China has a rather 50/50 division of the sexes in the engineering field. As a matter of fact, I work in a institute that is part of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and I think that in my office there are more women than men as far as engineers are concerned.

Comment: In my experience: Just don't do it! (Score 1) 402

As I have some personal experience in this kind of problem I would recommend you don't waste your time and resources to do this. At the moment I am in Shanghai doing an internship to complete my degree in EE. As I will be finished quite soon I have been looking around for jobs, the problem is they pay just so damned little (seriously, only 10000 rmb/month to be an engineer at a leading western company in the networking business). Accepting to work here would just give me a financial stagnation compared to working in my native country, the Netherlands. The only reason to advise you to go ahead would be if you plan to live in China the rest of your lives, but I doubt that would be a good idea due to anti foreigner sentiment growing here as well as substandard healthcare and other things which will become more important as you get older. Supposing you want to have to kids then you need to send them to an international school or they will be just as retarded as the average Chinese person. Which means you need to have a good financial situation going which will be difficult unless you speak the language. The best way to get a comfortable life here would be to be sent here from your current employer to work as a manager in their Chinese branch. Besides, a Chinese PhD has no value in the western world. It would be way better to let your fiancee come to stay in Canada to get a PhD there.

Whatever is not nailed down is mine. Whatever I can pry up is not nailed down. -- Collis P. Huntingdon, railroad tycoon

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