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Comment: Re:Google: Select jurors who understand stats. (Score 1) 333

by IamTheRealMike (#49544707) Attached to: Median Age At Google Is 29, Says Age Discrimination Lawsuit

The context is US employees. The majority of employees are in the US

No it's not and no they aren't. Most Google employees and most Google revenues are outside the USA.

Name your country with a significant number of Google employees in which Google routinely hires people who do not speak an official language of that country, please.

Switzerland, as just one example.

Young people are working long hours, as you said yourself. Those young people are not staying, as the data confirms

Jesus christ, you're bad at this. The data doesn't say that. Google has very low attrition rates and always has. If all the young people were burning out and leaving the average age would be higher than it is, wouldn't it?

Google are low on gender, age, and race diversity compared to nearly every other tech company

You haven't shown that, or even begun to lay the groundwork for that. The demographics of Google engineering are pretty similar to the demographics of people taking CS courses at universities, which should not be surprising to anyone.

Like a few of my friends who walked away from the Google interview process, the moment I started hearing discussions of fitting into the "culture", I saw that it was a business comprised of smart but narrowminded techs who did not really know any better

All organisations have cultures, it's inherent to any group of people that's allowed to be selective. If you don't believe this then all that suggests to me is you work at a place where you fit in well enough that you don't recognise that there is a culture at all.

Comment: Re:Google: Select jurors who understand stats. (Score 1) 333

by IamTheRealMike (#49544163) Attached to: Median Age At Google Is 29, Says Age Discrimination Lawsuit

Who said anything about the USA? You realise Google has offices all over the world, right?

And who said anything about burning out? You're the one who decided that must happen. I've not seen any burned out young people at Google. The only burnout I knew there was a guy in his 50s.

And the only "evidence" of discrimination in hiring comes from this article, which is deeply questionable. Amongst other things it assumes every employee at Google does software development, which is very far from true (there is a massive sales division that skews young for the same reason bar staff do - it's not a very appealing long term job).

Comment: Re:Personally, I don't think he was talking to Goo (Score 1) 333

by IamTheRealMike (#49543943) Attached to: Median Age At Google Is 29, Says Age Discrimination Lawsuit

It's sounds bizarre but could have happened. Some people do crazy stuff to get a job there. When I was an interviewer there, part of interview training was learning tricks to detect candidates who were looking up answers on the internet. Sometimes you could ask a question and hear them typing in the background.

The article says the interviewer requested him to read the code out over the phone and that the interviewer was barely fluent in English. Those are two massive red flags that something odd was happening.

Google has a large pool of interviewers and some of them are better than others. There's no doubt about that. But in many years of working there I never encountered anyone with less than excellent English skills, and I cannot imagine anyone asking a candidate to read code out over the phone. That's just an obviously stupid thing to try and do, especially when the candidate offered to share it via Google Docs. SOP there is to send the candidate a Docs link for shared coding together, but even if something went wrong with that process, when the candidate offers to fix it that sounds and the interviewer refuses that sounds very much like he wasn't really talking to a Google employee. Think about it - if the person on the other end of the phone was a MITM then he'd need to have given his own very obviously non @google.com email address to receive the document. Busted.

Comment: Re:That shouldn't surprise anyone (Score 1) 333

by IamTheRealMike (#49543921) Attached to: Median Age At Google Is 29, Says Age Discrimination Lawsuit

I always joked that if you ask me to write a sort routine in the interview, I'm going to lecture you about why you need to go off the shelf, and doesn't Google have anyone who can make a shareable library? Do we really need to know how to code a lightning sort ad hoc? To sell more ads? heh

Then you wouldn't get hired. Former Google interviewer, 220+ interviews. I used to pretty frequently ask candidates to solve the following problem: write a program that loads lines of text from a file, shuffles them, and writes them back out again.

The reason companies like Google ask ridiculously academic questions in interviews (and that question is academic) is not because they're all ignoramuses who can't imagine anything outside their PhD box. It's because judging someone's technical and programming ability in under an hour any other way is really freaking hard. If you haven't done a lot of interviewing then it's easy to imagine, "If I were hiring, I'd only ask questions that REAL programmers would solve". But then you try lots of different kinds of questions and discover that for most of them, by the end of the interview you often have no real clue about whether the candidate can actually write a functioning program. CVs and qualifications are no help - they routinely seem to have no correlation with actual demonstrated skill.

Speed-coding whilst someone is watching you in a high pressure environment is difficult at the best of times. Doing it from scratch for any kind program of you're likely to actually write in the real job is impossible - nobody codes up a fully blown web app with the latest stack de jure (which Google doesn't use anyway) in 45 minutes. You don't even know what languages the candidate knows, in some cases, as not everyone thinks to put them on the CV. So you end up asking for a small, simple program that shows basic knowledge of basic language constructs like looping and different kinds of lists. Then there's time to write some code and ask questions about it. Additionally, there are multiple "off ramps" so even slow candidates don't feel like they are running out of time and panic, but faster candidates can keep being challenged with minor modifications to the task.

For what it's worth, if someone answered this question by writing a program that ran Collections.shuffle() or their chosen languages equivalent, that resulted in them being marked up not down, because you're right - knowledge of standard libraries is important and a good sign of experience. Then I'd ask them to do it again without using the standard library because I also want to see if they can write the code themselves. Using the most correct or optimal algorithm is not the goal, even if the question sounds algorithmic. It's just a scenario to get them doing things with data structures and basic control logic.

For what it's worth I am skeptical about the ages in the summary. If the average age at Google is 29 then that pretty much matches the average age across 25,000 developers on StackOverflow, which gave an answer of 30. However I suspect that the median age in engineering is higher if you take into account tech leads and technical management, and the age for the entire company is biased lower by the enormous ad sales organisation. That always seemed to me to be populated entirely by recent university grads. Selling ads is hardly exciting work with great potential for career advancement and doesn't require any specialist skills, so the people who do that tend to be young, and there have historically been massive numbers of them (like half the company).

Comment: Re:Google: Select jurors who understand stats. (Score 4, Insightful) 333

by IamTheRealMike (#49543885) Attached to: Median Age At Google Is 29, Says Age Discrimination Lawsuit

So, you're confirming that young employees are overworking, which is the first part of the hypothesis, although then you go into a marketing style tangent with, "It's just that they are so excited that they don't want to go home!!!" That sounds pretty unhealthy to me, especially given the present evidence of attrition suggesting that it is not a sustainable way of working.

It's not marketing, it's the truth. I worked there for nearly 8 years. By the way, I'm 31.

Google is (a) a very desirable employer and (b) hires people from all over the world. The combination of these things mean that many, many developers, especially younger ones that move from poorer countries, get relocated across borders. They arrive in a new country where they don't speak the language, quite often with a girlfriend or wife in tow, and frankly many of them don't quite dive into making friends and socialising as much as perhaps would be a good idea. Combination of new city, no social life + interesting work == lots of people working odd hours. Eventually they do settle down and the hours get more normal.

But programming has always been this way, hasn't it? I never heard a lawyer say, "I've been doing lawyering since I was 8 years old" but it happens in software all the time. It's a sort of work that many people just enjoy doing, and do it as a hobby as well as a job.

Comment: Dual Homing Failover and IPv6 address aggregation (Score 1) 382

by billstewart (#49543191) Attached to: Why the Journey To IPv6 Is Still the Road Less Traveled

Yeah, that turned out to be one of the big problems with IPv6 address aggregation - sounds great in the ivory tower, doesn't meet the needs of real customers, which is too bad, because every company that wants their own AS and routable address block is demanding a resource from every backbone router in the world.

IPv6's solution to the problem was to allow interfaces to have multiple IPv6 addresses, so you'd have advertise address 2001:AAAA:xyzw:: on Carrier A and 2001:BBBB:abcd:: on Carrier B, both of which can reach your premises routers and firewalls, and if a backhoe or router failure takes out your access to Carrier A, people can still reach your Carrier B address. Except, well, your DNS server needs to update pretty much instantly, and browsers often cache DNS results for a day or more, so half your users won't be able to reach your website, and address aggregation means that you didn't get your own BGP AS to announce route changes with, but hey, your outgoing traffic will still be fine.

My back-of-a-napkin solution to this a few years ago was that there's an obvious business model for a few ISP to conspire to jointly provide dual-homing. For instance, if you've got up to 256 carriers, 00 through FF, each pair aa and bb can use BGP to advertise a block 2222:aabb:/32 to the world, and have customer 2222:aabb:xyzw::/48, so the global BGP tables get 32K routes for the pairs of ISPs, and each pair of ISPs shares another up-to-64K routes with each other using either iBGP or other local routing protocols to deal with their customers actual dual homing. (Obviously you can vary the number of ISPs, size of the dual-homed blocks, amount of prefix for this application (since :2222: may be too long, etc.)

Comment: IPv6: Longer addresses + magic vaporware (Score 1) 382

by billstewart (#49543107) Attached to: Why the Journey To IPv6 Is Still the Road Less Traveled

IPv6 was originally supposed to solve a whole lot of problems - not only did it have longer addresses (which ISPs need to avoid having to deploy customers on NAT, and in general to avoid running out of address spaces and crashing into the "Here Be Dragons" sign at the edge), but it was also supposed to solve a whole lot of other problems, like route aggregation, security, multihoming, automatic addressing, etc.

A lot of that turned out to be wishful thinking, e.g. the hard part about IPSEC tunnels is the key exchange and authentication, not building the tunnels, route aggregation didn't really work out because enterprises weren't willing to use carrier addresses instead of their own, and small carriers also wanted their own addresses instead of sharing their upstream's address space, or if it wasn't wishful thinking, it was addressing problems that IPv4 found other solutions for, like DHCP for automatic addressing.

And while NAT is a hopeless botch, it does provide a simple-minded stateful firewall as default behaviour, while IPv6 users need explicit firewalling to get the same security with real addresses (which they needed to do anyway, but especially if you're using tunnels, you have to be sure to put it in all the right places.

Comment: Future: IPv4 via NAT, IPv6 Native (Score 1) 382

by billstewart (#49543037) Attached to: Why the Journey To IPv6 Is Still the Road Less Traveled

Back when I was closer to the ISP business, the general plan of most consumer ISPs was to start supporting IPv6 (once they had all their hardware and operations support systems able to manage it - it's amazing how many moving parts there are), and migrate most users to dual-stack, with NAT for IPv4 plus native IPv6, or else to use NAT IPv4 with tunneled IPv6.

Comment: Comcast was ahead of many US ISPs on IPv6 (Score 1) 382

by billstewart (#49542999) Attached to: Why the Journey To IPv6 Is Still the Road Less Traveled

Comcast may have lots of other issues as an ISP, such as banning customers from running server at home, and monthly usage caps (if they still do that), but they were ahead of most other US consumer ISPs on taking IPv6 seriously.

(My ISP supports IPv6 over tunnels, but doesn't run native dual-stack, at least on telco DSL. And I really should get around to actually trying it out, but I haven't...)

Comment: Re:Yes, Old SATA SSD, not Rotating Disk (Score 1) 159

by billstewart (#49542969) Attached to: New PCIe SSDs Load Games, Apps As Fast As Old SATA Drives

Anonymous Coward was asking if the "old SATA drives" referred to old SSD drives that use SATA (which wouldn't be too surprising if it were almost as fast), or old rotating hard disks that use SATA (which would be really surprising to find it faster than SSD.) Google results for the X25-m say yes, it's an SSD, just a bit older one that uses SATA instead of PCIe.

Comment: Re:Doublethink (Score 3, Insightful) 676

by IamTheRealMike (#49537875) Attached to: Except For Millennials, Most Americans Dislike Snowden

It's always been this way - younger people tend to care less about voting

I could equally say it's always been this way because politicians and The Establishment have always been old.

My theory is at that age you're still so engrossed with exploring your environment, that you put little thought into shaping your environment.

My theory is that political parties run by older people tend to focus on the wishes of people just like them i.e. older people. Due to the party political whipping system, young people who investigate politics quickly realise they will be forced to vote in support of social policies they disagree with, making the career unattractive. This results in a downward spiral in which politicians ignore people unlike them, those people get turned off from politics, and thus the demographic makeup of the political elite can never self correct.

Anyone can hold the helm when the sea is calm. -- Publius Syrus

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