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Comment: Re:still too expensive (Score 5, Insightful) 93

by shayne321 (#30779470) Attached to: Amazon EC2 May Be Experiencing Growing Pains

Apples and tomatoes.. Unless your company already owns a fully equipped data center with excess capacity you have to factor in colocation space, power, cooling, backups, network infrastructure, and security. And if you're not colocating in a space where you can purchase bandwidth you have to factor in the cost of the physical circuit(s) (T1/T3/Metro-E, whatever).

We haven't even begun to consider availability. What if your app can't tolerate 4 hours of downtime (for the HP monkey to come swap out your motherboard)? Now we need redundant servers, redundant connectivity, generator and ups capacity, highly-available network infrastructure, load balancers, etc. Let's not forget the highly paid staff/consultants to implement and maintain all of this.

What happens when your app takes off and you need to scale rapidly? Now you have to procure and install servers, keeping up with the infrastructure required every step of the way.

Also, don't forget in 5 years that $13,000 server you just bought will be a boat anchor. Time to purchase a whole new round of hardware.

I'm not claiming cloud computing is the end all solution for everything, there are certainly drawbacks.. But you cannot compare the cost of a $13,000 server to a $6,000/year instance lease as apples to apples.

Comment: Re:Ask one difficult question (Score 1) 569

by shayne321 (#29013101) Attached to: What Questions Should a Prospective Employee Ask?

While I agree with most of your comment I don't understand why do you think that a worker can't take this property after being laid off:

I actually posted that response from experience. I was laid off from a large financial services company in April. While no one physically prevented me from leaving with my belongings, I left in a highly pissed-off state and left behind my personal keyboard, trackball, and other miscellaneous property. Totally my fault, but I was just pointing out that you may not always leave a position by your own choice, and the circumstances of your departure might not always be amicable. And if the situation is REALLY bad, you might show up to work one day to find the door padlocked, and all of your personal effects inside.

Comment: Re:Ask one difficult question (Score 1) 569

by shayne321 (#29003283) Attached to: What Questions Should a Prospective Employee Ask?

After listening carefully to their presentation during the interview, ask one but no more than one "difficult" question, something where they'll have a hard time accommodating you if they're not set up that way. Some questions include:

I'm sorry, but I have to strongly disagree with a couple of these...

 

1. Will you put me in an office instead of a cube?

For most jobs and companies this question will only signal that you're pompus, pretentious, and demanding. Smaller companies are going to have extremely limited office space, and will have their own criteria for how it is allocated. Larger companies will generally have plenty of office space, but will have draconian policies on how it is allocated. If you're being interviewed as a junior developer and your team's senior developers are in cubes, you WILL be put in a cube. Even *if* you find a company that's willing to be accommodating, how it is going to look to your peers (even superiors) who are in cubes that you demand and receive an office?

 

2. I have my own [chair/computer keyboard/mini fridge]. Is it alright if I bring it in and use it?

Again, I think this is pretty demanding for an interview question.. Save it for after you've completed 30 days on the job and find you simply cannot tolerate the company provided chair/keyboard/fridge. In many offices which have generator/UPS power those utilities must be sized based on the predicted load of the building, so personal fridges, fans, heaters, etc will be banned for this purpose, or by fire/safety regulations. Lastly, even if they do let you bring in your $1000 aeron keep in mind that if you are asked to leave unexpectedly (laid off or fired) you may not be allowed to collect your chair/keyboard/etc and take it with you.

 

3. I have particular brands pens and pencils I use as a matter of personal preference. Will you reimburse me if I buy them from Office Depot or am I expected to use only the office supplies the company provides?

Ok, this is asinine. How much is a box of good pens? $10? You're going to quibble in an interview for a position that pays $75k - $100k a year over a $10 box of pens?!?! I would tell the interviewee to promptly get stuffed.

 

4. After I've been here a few months and fully integrated with the rest of the team, are you willing to consider having me telecommute for part of the week?

5. How flexible are your work hours? Can I come in at 10:30/leave at 3:30 in order to avoid rush hour traffic?

Valid questions, but again, save them until you have completed your first 30 days. Work the schedule your manager dictates for the first 30 days then ask for accommodations.. This gives you time to prove yourself as a team player, and gets you a lot of face time with your peers while you're new and people are forming their first impressions about you. Being the guy who comes in at noon, leaves at 8pm, and telecommutes 3 days a week generally isn't going to win you many friends, unless that's a common scenario for the company, in which case you would have been informed that anyway.

Comment: Re:Easy solution (Score 0) 393

by shayne321 (#27922509) Attached to: How To Store Internal Hard Drives?

Just so it's pointed out: RAID != Backup

RAID allows you to get your data back online quickly after a drive failure, and/or allows you to present multiple drives as one storage container. That is ALL. RAID does NOT protect you from:

* Viruses running wild on the network deleting data
* Executing "rm -rf *" in the wrong directory (and other sysadmin mistakes, like getting the arguments mixed up in a cp or mv command)
* Your house/office from burning down and taking your data with it (maybe not a big deal for movies, but definitely a big deal for digital photos)
* Losing all of your data when a pipe bursts in the ceiling above the server
* Losing all of your data when the power supply shorts and sends 110v to all your drives (this actually happened to a friend of mine)
* Losing some or all data due to a bug in the RAID controller firmware or a bug in the software implementation of RAID

Etc, etc. I could think of 1000 examples, but those are a few. I don't have the right answer for the original question, but RAID is never an appropriate answer to backup (unless you're talking about replicating from an onsite RAID array to an offsite RAID array, but that's a whole other discussion).

Each honest calling, each walk of life, has its own elite, its own aristocracy based on excellence of performance. -- James Bryant Conant

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