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Comment: R - Consider Which R (Score 1) 143

I would recommend R. It's the language college grads are getting trained in. The reason for that is simple. There's no licensing costs for a simple R dev environment. However, I wouldn't use the free stuff for anything that ad hoc. If you have a production big data job I would look at something like Vertica (purchases by HP a couple years ago.) Extremely fast big data DB engine. Not only will it run R, but it has the ability to break the R up into smaller chunks at execution time and distribute the execution across the DB cluster.

Stuff like that just isn't possible in SAS yet. SAS is built upon some very old skool constructs that make it very brittle and very difficult to meet the performance expectations of todays big data world. SAS may end up there, they are privately held and have a very large R&D budget, but I think they would have to do a total rewrite for it to compete. Not that SAS is going away, there's just so much of it in the business world. Be that as it may, in 15-20 years SAS could be a Foxpro of it's age.

Comment: Re:Grails (Score 2) 534

I'm going to second Groovy on Rails. AKA Grails. It's very mature and is one of the languages that compiles down to Java Opt code. You have a large eco-system of production apps that run in the container. The language is fairly approachable (saying this as someone who came originally from a Perl Web App background in the late 90s). You can also use Java Libraries if there's something you want to get out of box such as one of the many Open Source Apache Libraries or Google Guava Libraries.

Comment: Re:The death of College Hiring (Score 2) 341

by Kagato (#47340193) Attached to: If Immigration Reform Is Dead, So Is Raising the H-1B Cap

I have a different tact. I typically am brought in with a Coterie of other senior developers at mid-cap companies. Ten of us will usually replace a mix of 30+ onshore H1-B and offshore developers. Basically on-shoring work for companies that have gotten sick of sub-par code that can't perform under load. At my current contract 18 months ago their problem was a back log of issues and enhancements with a 2 year wait time and a web site that crashed under peek loads. Performance is radically better, bugs and defects are a fraction of what they were and the back log is empty.

We work with the customer on better development processes as well as the importance of having a hiring pipeline.

This became possible because most of the H1-Bs are contractors and their corporate sponsors have steadily increased rates. Basic supply and demand. With those kinds of rates there's no reason to put up with sub-par deliverables.

Comment: The death of College Hiring (Score 5, Insightful) 341

by Kagato (#47337001) Attached to: If Immigration Reform Is Dead, So Is Raising the H-1B Cap

What it's done is placed a carrot out there to bring on H1-B programmers instead of college hires.

With an H1-B the employer has a lot of power over the employee. They can't move jobs with out sponsorship. It's very easy to knock them out of the country. You can easily classify them in a lower pay band because they have very little recourse. These employees usually get little to know employee development (i.e. money).

With a college hire the employee can change jobs at will. You as the employer are expected to put money into employee development. And in the end they are likely to leave after a couple years to seek greener pastures.

So yes, the H1-B program has done tremendous harm to our country. I consult with many large companies and I haven't seen a intern in a programming department in half a decade. College hires are few and far between. It's a radical change from how things were when I started in the 90s. Simply put business have put their money into short term H1-B and Offshore workers. They stopped putting money into college hires. Now they whine they can't find qualifies workers because they stopped investing in Junior programmers a decade ago.

Comment: Re:The cloud (Score 4, Informative) 387

by Kagato (#47263595) Attached to: Code Spaces Hosting Shutting Down After Attacker Deletes All Data

AWS has one of the best security systems out there. IF you decide to enable the features. The production AWS configs I've used have mandated multi factor auth (using the number generator on the phone) as well as network source network restrictions. You can also setup a large number of ACLs to restrict things like the ability to create additional accounts.

It's hard for me to feel bad for these guys.

Comment: Re:Government shakedown (Score 1) 153

by Kagato (#47248859) Attached to: Google Fiber Is Officially Making Its Way To Portland

Local governments rarely own many utilities poles. They are usually owned by the incumbent telco and the electrical providers. Cable companies pay a good chunk of change to the telcos and power companies, though who knows if that's included in the basic rate or the franchise fee.

Cities often own right of ways for main boulevards and a good chunk of the so-called franchise fee is comprised of those right of way fees. Though a good chunk of fee really just offsets the ongoing maintenance the city is on the hook for as the cable co is ripping of the roads and sidewalks. Also buried in the franchise fees are public access costs. In a handful of very large markets the franchise fee works out well for the city, but for the vast majority of the US it just offsets some expenses.

Comment: Re:Government shakedown (Score 4, Informative) 153

by Kagato (#47245313) Attached to: Google Fiber Is Officially Making Its Way To Portland

Outside of Airline Tickets we have no laws requiring prices for goods and services to includes taxes and fees. Comcast's prices are always exclusive of taxes and fees. They simply tack on franchise fees to the bill as a pass through to the consumer.

What does cost real money is right of way leases. In most places the vast majority of utility poles are owned by the local power and phone providers. They demand a price per month per pole. That ads up when it's thousands or tens of thousands of utility poles. Going below ground is no cheaper. That involves right of way easements for both public and private property, in addition to repair of roads and sod. Assuming that the land holder even wants to deal with you.

Comment: Re:California is dead, TEXAS is where it's at... (Score 1) 190

by Kagato (#47012313) Attached to: Could High Bay-Area Prices Make Sacramento the Next Big Startup Hub?

Education is abysmal. Some of the highest drop out rates in the nation, some of the lowest graduation and SAT rates in the country. Contrary to popular belief the blue states don't just throw money away. They spend it on education, worker training and things that increase the living conditions. What does that mean? Where I live unemployement is a full two points lower than TX.

Comment: There's a Bell Curve to ROI (Score 1) 409

by Kagato (#47012207) Attached to: Don't Be a Server Hugger! (Video)

Using cloud deployment tech is good. Even if you intend to keep your servers in-house. But moving everything to cloud isn't always the most cost effective. Large game companies find that cloud bell curve. Some game companies use a bit of a bell curve for gaming back-ends. They start out on the cloud. However, they have enough infrastructure in place already that it makes sense to host the games in-house when they are at the peek. Post peek it becomes much cheaper to put them in an on-demand cloud host.

Other things that effect ROI are HIPPA and PCI. You may still be on the cloud, but you may have to go through a third party that is willing to bond and insurance the security of the setup, even if the end servers are still AWS, Rackspace, etc. That costs some serious money.

Comment: Re:Why learn CS only to train your H1B replacement (Score 1) 306

H1B consultants are now reaching the $100+/hr rate for developers. Supply and demand at work as the result of companies not investing in college hires. The pendulum is shifting that hiring from college is actually economical again.

I make a crap ton of money off shops that got burned with H1B and offshore and need experts to fix the systems.

Comment: Re:Where do you live? (Score 2) 306

If you have the programming chops you won't have a problem getting a job. Most of us are making enough money to put ourselves in the top 3% in terms of wages and benefits. The dumbest thing so-called globalization experts did was convince students that going into programming was worth while. Fact is we have such a deficit in programming that the H1-B shops now charge $100/hr for a developer (don't worry, the Indian guy working the gig only gets a pittance) because that's what supply and demand warrants. That's a high enough rate that a college graduate is fairly compelling.

The problem is large companies have largely abandoned their college recruiting programs in the 2000s. I haven't worked in a shop that has had a programming intern in at least 8 years. The pipeline for programming talent has shifted to small and mid sized companies. The biggest issue is they lack the resources and will to invest in college hires.

So to answer the question, getting into computer programming, dev ops, database administration are skills that pay very very well. I actually make most of my money off shops that got burned with offshore and H1B and want experienced developers. When they complain about cost I tell them to start up a college recruiting program.

Them as has, gets.

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