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Comment: Generally? You don't. (Score 5, Insightful) 281 281

Generally? You don't.

The trend is away from this for software developer positions, unless you are willing to do contract work. There are several major things driving this right now:

(1) The employer doesn't have to allow it in order to be able to recruit talent, so they don't. A lot of managers engage in "management by walking around", and you are unlikely to get one of these types to sign off.

(2) Stacked ranking. If you're not in the office, and not "seen as being a strong contributor by your nominal coworkers, you'll get ranked poorly, and you will be the first person "PIP'ed" (Performance Improvement Program), and, if there are layoffs, you get to be near the top of the list.

(3) If they don't care where you are working from, be pretty sure that the job isn't going to be landing in a country with expensive labor, like the U.K., the U.S., and so on; if they are going to take on a remote worker, it's not going to be from your neck of the woods.

(4) Employer culture is considered important; if you want to have an employer, expect to come into the office so that they can culturally indoctrinate you. Yahoo laid off all their remote employees over this, and it's been the trend at Google, Apple, Facebook, Twitter, and so on. This is somewhat part and parcel with the stacked ranking, but it's the other side of the coin.

Comment: (Score 4, Interesting) 65 65 did a similar thing on iPhones: patched the tiff library exploit that it used to get on the phones in the first place, making it impossible to re-exploit.

I did the same thing with the Commodore Amiga in 1985, modifying a boot virus to include a payload that would patch the MOVE from processor SR. This let me install a 68010, which let me run SVR3 on the thing, without breaking a lot of popular software like Magic Sack and Transformer, both of which used the privileged version of the instruction for no good reason.

Comment: I've been writing code like this since 1985. (Score 1) 65 65

In all seriousness though, have you ever tried to analyse unstructured text? It's hard. How would you realistically improve it? Do you start with a preconceived list of technology key words and count them in the resumes? People misspell words. Words have multiple meanings depending on context.

I've been writing code like this since 1985. Then, it was in LISP.

It's actually trivial to me at this point. You end up with a meaning trie with differential probability vectors, and some of the roots wither away as you go down. Making a machine decision is harder, but not entirely impossible.

I get incredibly annoyed at people like Lazlo Bock who want to put everyone's resumes into a form that basically allows Google (Lazlo Bock works for Google) or other companies to magically allow you to come into a new job under the horse collar of a performance review of your previous job which they were in no way involved with.

The whole "HR metrics" industry... uh... kinda pisses me off? I pick companies based on criterion other than standard metrics. If they pick me that way... they do not deserve me. Mostly they stumble into me, I fix them, and then I exit.

I understand the "OMG we need people who know what they are doing and not recent graduates!" panic. Does not mean I sympathize.

Comment: Re:Who watches this crap? (Score 1) 135 135

the really valuable work is done while I'm in the shower or in bed

This together with the question "Why would anyone want to watch someone code?" makes me think in the lines of pornstars pretending to be programmers in the shower.

And then he opened the SPARCStation pizza box to reveal... a Zilog UART!

Comment: Read the blog post again. (Score 1) 65 65

Read the blog post again.

"I think that’s pretty cool, given we’re generating that automatically from job descriptions posted on our site. We also tried using the resume dataset, but the results were of a lower quality, as the skills extracted from resumes can be from different jobs."

It was extracted from job-postings, which would only identify Schelling points in the hiring industry, not skill clusters common to people with certain desirable skill sets; in other words, it "how to fudge your resume", rather than "how to find employees like the ones I have which I like".

Comment: It's not very reliable data. (Score 3, Insightful) 65 65

It's not very reliable data.

They took the similarity vectors from the job postings, not from resumes, so rather than "what you're likely to know", they computed "what an employer is likely to want at the same time as wanting something else", and then declared that a similarity due to an already skewed cosine similarity metric. This happens because employers are more likely to copy other, similar job postings, or other job postings for companies in a similar business as them, or those of a company whose employees they wish to hire away.

They claimed that they tried using resumes, but that the resulting data was not as "clean"; uh... duh?

This visualization was not actually very useful, unless you are trying to design a resume to get yourself hired, regardless of your actual current capabilities.

Comment: Re:Goodbye free speech (Score 1) 210 210

How can you tell? Just because the plaintiff says so? Some of those reviews look legit and yes a few look fake. I notice he doesn't complain about the obviously fake good reviews (how does a company in Cali get a positive review from a teen in New Jersey.)

If the images are anything to go by, then one of them is a Hasidic Jew from Israel, another is an actress in Chicago, and another is some guy in New York.

Unless they aren't, in which case their picture icons are being used in violation of Copyright, unless they have written permission from the image owners...

Comment: It's the non-engineers. (Score 5, Insightful) 125 125

The stories about jobs and careers are getting so tiresome. I realize Dice bought Slashdot to datamine the comments (free focus group!), but it seems like half the stories are a variation on the same these days.

It's the non-engineers.

They have this misconception that people used to dealing with the intricate semantics of programming languages are going to be unaware of the intricate semantics of English. Therefore, if they ask a question once, and do not get an answer they like, they will repeatedly ask the same question in different guises, hoping to obtain the answer they wanted to hear.

This really comes down to who is more patient than whom.

I usually attempt to buffer my answers in order to soften the blow, but you can ask the same question as many ways as you want, and the answer will likely not change, so long as it is fundamentally the same question. And I usually have the patience of Job. However, there was one incident where I was up against a deadline, and was being asked to "just cobble together something that works, and we'll (read: you'll) fix it (read: in a binary compatible way) later. Which was an impossibility (I was working on some very complex database code written in C++ which did subschema definitional enforcement on an upper level database schema, and the semantics had to be correct for the data stored in the binary backing store to be usable going forward, when we did the next update). The code had to be *right*, as opposed to *right now*, and the time difference was important.

We had a UI person who was in a management position, and they brought her over to argue their case that immediate was better than correct (correct would fit under the deadline, but only if everyone left me alone to finish the code). The UI person was constantly revising the UI in each release, and each release was practically a full rewrite. And she did not understand why I could not write my code the same way she wrote hers. Finally having had enough, I explained "It's OK if your code is crap; you are going to rewrite it in the next release anyway. My code has to work now, and it has to continue to work going forward, and therefore it needs to be correct. I understand that you are feeling the approaching deadline. So am I. However, while your code can be crap, mine can't be because I have to maintain it going forward. Now if you will get the hell out of my office, I will be able to finish the code by the deadline."

Needless to say, there were some ruffled feathers. The director of engineering sided with me. I completed the (correct, rather than expedient) code by the deadline, and the product didn't turn into unmaintainable crap vis-a-vis the update process going forward.

What's the moral to this story?

Well, with specific regard to DICE:

(1) Repeatedly asking the same question in different ways is not going to get them a different answer, if the first answer was correct. Any other answer than that answer would be incorrect, for the question asked.

With specific regard to the current topic:

(2) Engineers who actually reliably, repeatedly, and consistently deliver what they are asked to deliver, within the timeframe that was agreed upon, can, and often do, wield more authority than the managers nominally set above them in the food chain, so it's not like going into management is going to give you any more real authority than you already have by way of your relationship with the team, and their trust of your judgement.

A management path can be a good idea if:

(A) You want more perks (stock options, etc.), although in a good company, if you are a great engineer, you will get those anyway

(B) You are tired of doing engineering for a living (which probably means you didn't qualify as "great engineer" under option 'A' anyway)

(C) You feel you would be more useful and/or happier in such a position (but if your happiness is based on power, don't expect it will necessarily follow)

(D) You are an OK (but not great) engineer at a company which engages in age discrimination, and you are happy to continue working for such a company going forward, and it's your only way to do so (at which point, I pretty much need to question your personal ethics)

Other than that... DICE: Asked and Answered. Please go on to the next survey question.

The generation of random numbers is too important to be left to chance.