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Submission + - Socialism apparently doesn't pay off with employee salaries

jmcbain writes: In April 2015, Dan Price, the CEO of online payments company Gravity Payments based in Seattle, announced that all employees would have their salary bumped up to a minimum $70,000. Slashdot covered this news. Since that time, however, things have not gone well. Some employees quit because they felt it was unfair to double the pay of some new hires while the longest-serving staff members got small or no raises. Furthermore, after reducing his own salary from $1M to $70K, Mr. Price is now renting a house ‘to make ends meet’. On an unrelated note, Mr. Price's brother, who is a co-founder of the company, is suing him.

Comment Re:I hope they realize... (Score 1) 264

Since this report is about US students, then these students already have far more opportunity than those in foreign countries. In practical terms, here are the "opportunities" and decisions that US students have:

1. Do I spend another hour watching TV after school, or do I study?
2. Do I go out on Friday to party, or do I work on my homework?
3. Do I choose to focus on getting into college, or not?
4. Do I choose to major in a STEM field, or do I major in a humanities field?

Those are the opportunities and the decisions. Those who can obtain a high-paying software job apparently made the most with what opportunities they had and made the right choices.

Comment Re:I hope they realize... (Score 1) 264

I kinda hate the way "privilege" gets thrown around a lot of the time, but this is pretty much the clearest sense of privilege here.

This is not an intelligent comment. The folks who succeed in getting high-paying software jobs are not privileged. They are the ones who are (1) able to identify where the good jobs are, and (2) take the steps needed to obtain that goal. I don't consider taking the time to learn software skills as some sort of "privilege". If you get a 100K job, it means you are good at it, not because someone handed you that job on a silver platter.

Comment Re:Well sort of accurate (Score 1) 264

The average starting salary is $66K. Being average, it means that half the graduates are paid far less than that amount.

The fact that you don't understand the difference between "average" and "median" closely correlates with your other statement:

I'm paid well under that average

Comment Re:Advert for Razer? (Score 1) 199

I bought a wireless Mamba a few years ago. I had an extraordinarily hard time getting it out of the box. It comes mounted on some plastic pedestal, and I was trying for 15 minutes to remove it for fear of breaking off some piece of the plastic mouse. Maybe you guys should try to make the unboxing experience better.

Submission + - Apple posts $18B quarterly profit, highest ever by any company

jmcbain writes: Today, Apple reported its financial results for the quarter ending December 31, 2014. It posted $18 billion in profit (on $74 billion in revenue), the largest quarterly profit by any company ever. The previous record was $16 billion by Russia’s Gazprom (the largest natural gas extractor in the world) in 2011. Imagine how much better Apple could be if they open-sourced their software.

Submission + - LinkedIn releases top-25 skills for getting hired in 2014

jmcbain writes: In very apropos news for nerds, LinkedIn released a list of the top-25 skills that it found got people new jobs in 2014. Not surprisingly, many of the skills are technology-related. According to a LinkedIn blog, "we analyzed the skills and experience data in over 330 million LinkedIn member profiles. If your skills fit one of the categories below, there’s a good chance you either started a new job or garnered the interest of a recruiter in the past year." The skills were also broken down by country. Overall, the top-10 skills were:
  1. Statistical analysis and data mining
  2. Middleware and integration software
  3. Storage systems and management
  4. Network and information security
  5. SEO/SEM Marketing
  6. Business intelligence
  7. Mobile development
  8. Web architecture and development framework
  9. Algorithm design
  10. Perl/Python/Ruby

LinkedIn also noted rising skills trends in STEM, data, having a second language, and technical marketing.

Comment Celebrities importing water into Los Angeles (Score 1) 330

Get with the news. Celebrities have been importing water this year. In this report dated August 26, 2014:

But the most famous Montecito resident of all is Oprah. Ms. Winfrey owns at least two homes here, and last year her water bill almost topped $125,000. This year, it's about half of that, thanks to the dramatic measures she's taken to curb her use of the city water supply. But that doesn't means she's cutting back on water consumption. Noooo. She and many other celebs are now having their water imported.

It doesn't say where the water is coming from, though.

Comment ARM for desktop/laptop (Score 1) 114

That's probably not what he means. It's been hypothesized and rumored that Apple will eventually move all their laptops and desktops away from Intel and use ARM as the CPU. Intel has been behind schedule delivering next-generation chips, which leads to the conclusion that Apple would want to control its own destiny with its own CPUs.

Comment I'm never leaving AT&T's grandfathered unlimit (Score 1) 209

I bought an iPhone 3G back in 2008 with the AT&T unlimited data plan along and a dirt cheap voice plan. I don't have to worry about going over my data limit, and voice calling time is a non-issue. I am NEVER going to give up this combination. With a corporate discount, I pay $65 with tax each month.

I don't know about Verizon, but AT&T takes care of its long-term customers. There has not been any indication that they will end the grandfathered plans.

Comment I have a CS PhD and can suggest the following (Score 2) 479

I graduated with a CS PhD degree about 10 years ago and also had a hard time finding a first job. After several months I had to take an industry postdoc position for only $95K. The climate is totally different now in 2014, but here are some thoughts.

If you have a PhD, you can play that off in one of two ways: (1) either you are generally very smart, or (2) you have expertise in a specific and valuable field.

For (2), if your field is in high demand, e.g. machine learning, computer vision, numerical optimization, etc., then just look for a job for this specific area. Big or small companies will want your talent if their business revolves around that field. Interviewers will drill you on that topic.

For (1), this is more difficult particularly if your PhD topic is general, e.g. programming language semantics or operating systems. Interviewers will drill you on hardcore programming questions because they think the number of years doing your PhD equates to professional software programming experience. I fell into this category and was drilled mercilessly by Google, Microsoft, and the like when I graduated. I also got the feeling that the interviewers were especially hard because they wanted to prove they were smarter than a PhD. Don't let that get you down, though. You worked hard for your PhD, and there is no reason you can't work as hard preparing for software engineering positions. Later in my career I landed such a job, and I owe it to focused preparation. Study the algorithms books (e.g. Cormen, et al.), master at least one programming language inside out (C++ or Java), read interview programming books (I recommend the one by Mongan, et al. as a starter), and know how to think on your feet at a whiteboard.

If I have not seen so far it is because I stood in giant's footsteps.

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