Catch up on stories from the past week (and beyond) at the Slashdot story archive


Forgot your password?

Slashdot videos: Now with more Slashdot!

  • View

  • Discuss

  • Share

We've improved Slashdot's video section; now you can view our video interviews, product close-ups and site visits with all the usual Slashdot options to comment, share, etc. No more walled garden! It's a work in progress -- we hope you'll check it out (Learn more about the recent updates).


Comment: Re:Why should we let you in? (Score 1) 720

by salesgeek (#48546495) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Can a Felon Work In IT?

Every situation, and every person is different. Being so binary with people rarely works as an HR strategy. All you do is throw out the best talent for people that are good at not getting in trouble. Being good at not getting in trouble does not make you a good developer, a good salesperson, a good marketer, a good accountant... it just ensures that the person is good at not getting caught and getting out of it when caught. Useful skills, but usually NOT what you are hiring for.

Every time I have been cheated, swindled or defrauded it was by someone who had no prior criminal history whatsoever. I've seen church lady bookkeepers embezzle. I've seen top workers steal inventory. I've had 10%er developers fake time records so they could go to the bar. I've had people turn in tens of thousands in fake expenses. I've had incredibly good customers for five years straight try to get fraudulent refunds.

The common thread was that every one of these persons had a major change in their personal life. Divorces. Tax problems. Spouse got fired. Kids got really ill. Every time there was a major change. So I've started paying close attention to the personal lives of people who work with and for me. When things get tough for them, I try to be engaged and communicate a lot more with them. Sometimes I can directly help (for instance pay off a killer deductible to get the bill collectors to stop). Other times I can't... but by being engaged and interested, the employee knows at some level I'm paying attention. Since I started paying attention, I've had a lot less shenanigans. I'm also a lot less afraid to hire people who are facing challenges... and I've made some amazing hires over the years as a result.

Comment: Re:These people just didn't know (Score 1) 114

by salesgeek (#48374083) Attached to: Groupon Backs Down On Gnome

There's a lot of clueless in marketing... and there's also an equal number of creative geniuses. In a lot of cases, marketers make mistakes for the same reasons developers do: underestimating how long work will take, assuming something works without testing it and not talking to users. There's also a strong not invented here bias, people taking way to much personal ownership of their work, HIPPOs (HIghest Paid Person's Opinion) and irrational mandates (i.e.THIS WORD MUST BE IN THE COPY).

Comment: Re:These people just didn't know (Score 1) 114

by salesgeek (#48374043) Attached to: Groupon Backs Down On Gnome

Do you think that giving the POS terminal the GNOME name was just a piece of viral marketing tactic to begin with?

I think that in marketing it is better to be lucky than good. If they are smart they will call it Groupon POS because any other name will squander the brand identity that this little kerfuffle has caused.

Comment: These people just didn't know (Score 3, Insightful) 114

by salesgeek (#48367173) Attached to: Groupon Backs Down On Gnome

Hate to say, but marketers can be the most oblivious people in the wold. They also create things and have the same feelings of ownership that many of us do when we cook up a heaping helping of awesome code. So, I'm not surprised by Groupon taking a minute to figure out where they stood.

Last year, the people at my company's marketing department emerged from their cave with a Hire Veterans campaign. Awesome. Except for the fact that the helmet they choose to cap the M-16 with was a Nazi Stahlhelm. When I pointed it out I got the "what do you, developer, know about marketing" response. I answered, "Three of our board of directors are Jewish."

Comment: Go to Big Data Meetup in your area (Score 1) 147

by salesgeek (#48340053) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Choosing a Data Warehouse Server System?

You can find out a lot in a few hours just by going to a Big Data meetup. Traditional database vendors are trying to hijack big data and make it their buzzword. Real big data players are using tools like Hadoop, Spark, Solr, Elastic Search and other tools that allow you to use commodity hardware to get a much more performant platform for big data. The appliance vendors have some interesting off the shelf stuff... you should really take some time to see what is going on... it's wild west time.

Comment: Re:Perspective from the other side - Liars & F (Score 1) 574

by salesgeek (#48308531) Attached to: The Great IT Hiring He-Said / She-Said

It's the same thing as JQuery(). It searches through the DOM for any elements that match the provided selector and creates a new jQuery object that references these elements. Here's a very simple example:

$("div > p").css( "border", "1px solid gray" );

finds any div wrapped paragraphs and puts a solid gray line around them. Docs here:

Comment: Re:I have experienced this first hand (Score 1) 574

by salesgeek (#48308491) Attached to: The Great IT Hiring He-Said / She-Said

Go to meetups (i.e. javascript, python, ruby, .NET, whatever). There are hiring managers there. Just talk to everyone. Learn what everyone is into, and you'll find out who's hiring and the hiring manager types will probably ask you for your contact info. Give it to them, and ask them for theirs. When it's time to go around the room, just say you are a recent graduate and looking for work where you can hack on whatever you love to hack on. Make sure you call the hiring manger types within 48 hours of your meeting. You'll bypass the HR department and bypass the applicant tracking system.

Suggestion: if you get an interview, bring code to the inerview. Show people what you have done. If the person is non technical then just demo an app you've written. If the interviewer is technical then show the code. If your code is criticized, be positive about it and even discuss how to make it better with the interviewer. The interviewer is trying to see what it will be like working with you in the future, not trip you up.

Finally, if you are offered a lower position than you expect, it's pretty normal for companies to hire junior developers as interns, part time or on a trial basis at lower wages. If you are a good fit, you will be promoted within 90 days. For senior people, you often have to take a haircut on salary to get in the door, but if you are good, you'll be quickly promoted. The reason it is this way is that most companies just don't know what they are hiring until they've been working for a few weeks.

A language that doesn't affect the way you think about programming is not worth knowing.