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Comment Re:That's the stupidest thing I've ever heard. (Score 1) 728

It may not be laziness, but it's foolishness. You can save yourself a ton of time by pushing a lot of the selection criteria onto the applicant. Simply asking a couple of questions that require some thought or asking for a cover letter that meets certain criteria will allow you to immediately direct 700 of those 800 résumés to the circular file with a much higher degree of accuracy than a degree filter will have.

Comment Re:Do You Still Identify Yourself as Republican? (Score 1) 72

Given that the only candidate who would have addressed it in any capacity (Ron Paul) ran for his party's nomination, it's hard to argue with that. Also, before it was co-opted, the tea party identified as Republican while espousing Libertarian beliefs, so there's a reasonably large portion of the base that might also be amenable to addressing the issue.

Democrats like to think of themselves as more progressive, and, for the most part, I think they're correct, but on copyright issues, the Democrats have always been Hollywood's lackeys. Speaking as someone who votes Democrat most of the time, I'd have more hope of Republicans coming around on this issue than Democrats, if for no other reason than the last election proved that they were significantly out-of-touch with voters and it's pretty clear that copyright law is out-of-touch with reality given how many people download/share illegally (when millions of people break the law, it's usually the law that's broken, not the behavior.)

Comment Re:Hah (Score 1) 173

Not only do they have those employees but they also need to make a profit on them. So it will not be cheaper either.

Believe it or not, when you get to the scale of, say, Google, you can make money off the employees and still offer service more cheaply than an in-house team. There are privacy issues to consider, but the economies of scale are definitely there that it can be cheaper.

And those service providers also don't hold the passwords for all the routers and servers hostage because of a dispute with their superiors and agree to give the passwords directly to the mayor only after being arrested. Isolated incident? Perhaps. But the author of the book was the mayor in that fiasco, so it makes sense that he'd feel the way he does about in-house IT.

Comment Re:Good (Score 1) 203

I don't see why this is the case.

My ISP is small and can't afford to sell service at a loss. They serve only a limited area, but one where Comcast's service is no different than anywhere else. And yet this small company without large pockets can offer 200mbps symmetric service, though (*sob*) my building only has 100mbps installed (speed test result), for under $40/mo with no caps and no contracts. The only reason Comcast cannot offer similar service at a similar price is because they choose not to.

In rural areas, the situation might be different, but there's no excuse for gouging in areas where it is cheaper to serve just to keep things equal.

Comment Re:+1 (Score 1) 536

It's usually an indication of that, but not always. Experienced programmers can realize when they're actually dealing with a distinct usage scenario that just happens to be, at the moment, solved with the same block of code. Recognizing those situations and explicitly choosing not to reuse code will make your refactoring job considerably easier in the future and is most certainly an indication of a non-amateur.

Comment Re:Shrug (Score 5, Insightful) 424

The important part is that the reviewer is being sued. This is the way this stuff is supposed to work. Too often we see stories here on /. where the online service provider is being sued.

Kudos to the plaintiff in this case for not suing Yelp and Angie's List...regardless of who's in the right, the right two parties are in court.

Comment Re:Sounds like Netflix is a mess (Score 4, Insightful) 75

Your critique seems overly simplistic. An HTTP load balancer is great for HTTP calls, but not everything in a complex infrastructure is HTTP. There's queues, data stores, caches, RPC, FileSystem access (SAN, NAS or local) and more that shouldn't run behind an HTTP interface. This tool helps solve the problem and gives you health check monitoring and metrics in the process. On initial inspection, my only complaint is that it requires too much modification of application code, however it seems like it should be pretty simple to integrate with the various IoC frameworks to use AOP proxies to apply the tool declaratively based on annotations.

And you do realize that you followed up a weak critique of a backend scalability tool with a critique about a failing of their front-end application, right? What relevance does that have?

Comment Re:Okay. (Score 1) 338

...each install is unique enough that the effort needed to set up an install script...

The fact that you're still thinking of it as an install script is indicative that you might not have explored solving the problem with some of the more modern tools. You should really take a look at Chef...when you automate with Chef, you're not building an install script but a set of re-usable and configurable installation components that the engine intelligently applies based on the profile for the target machine. Those XML files that you're editing can become Ruby ERBs with logic to build the XML based on per-profile data, reference data and data obtained through searches of the network topology. For instance, let's say your XML file needs a comma separated list of ip/port combinations for all servers of a certain type in the deployment. Something like this would be very difficult to put into a deployment script, but is almost trivial to do in Chef (search based on role with a little ruby code to join the results together.) And as the deployment changes and new machines are added/removed, the tool handles re-generating those configuration files based on the updated deployment topology.

I work in enterprise software too (albeit SaaS) and we have everything automated with Chef. Our application has many different components (dbs, queues, schedulers, caches, REST services, etc) and Chef is able to coordinate everything fairly easily. The fact that we can use the same Chef recipes to deploy to production, QA and developer environments (through vagrant-managed VMs on developer machines) attests to how flexible the tool is.

Comment Re:Okay. (Score 1) 338

Other than proprietary software which you might not have the right to distribute and might, itself, not have an automatable install process, I don't see anything on your list that cannot be automated with Chef. Each service can be mapped to a chef role and individual machines easily provisioned with knife.

But then you'd lose the perception of complexity that you get from having a complex install process. A simple install process would give customers the illusion that the product itself is not complex and then they might balk at the 100K up-front costs you're charging and even, possibly, the 1000's per month.

Comment Re:seriously? not this again (Score 2) 233

My department has been hiring for months with very little success. There really are a shortage of qualified candidates right now.

But here's the thing...we're in San Francisco where there's a lot of competition. In other parts of the country, there really is a shortage of jobs. Tech work clusters in certain areas. This allows what you're saying to be completely true *and* what is being said in the article to be completely true. You'll noticed that limits itself to SF, LA, NY and Boston...that's where the desperate employers are.

I do sympathize about the formalized HR process...I've been in a constant fight with our HR department over the job descriptions that are posted. They claim that it's worthless to post an ad without a job description. They want things along the lines of, "You'll work closely with Product Management to develop features for our flagship product." My contention is that this is basically implied...every corporate development job can be described that way. I prefer to have the post talk about what we do, what kind of developer we're looking for and our development philosophy. It's an ad that I think would work well if it was posted to the more specialized job boards (Github, Craigslist, etc) but then they post it to Dice and Monster and blame me when it gets almost no response.

I've responded like this in the past when someone claims that employers are being disingenuous, but I'll do it again...if there are any good Java or front-end JavaScript developers in the SF bay area, respond and I'll tell you how to apply...these are $150k+ jobs, so we're not low-balling candidates.

Comment Re:Home run counts misleading (Score 2) 50

While TFA is a good argument, it has the feel of religion, where he keeps digging until he finds the "his" guy ahead, then stops analyzing.

I didn't get that feel at all. I saw it as a good explanation of the divide between traditional baseball statistics and the more modern sabermetric statistics. Based on the traditional statistics, Cabrera is the clear-cut MVP...he did something that hadn't been done in 45 years. Based on the more modern statistics, Trout is the clear winner.

The vote will really be a referendum on these new statistics and how well baseball writers feel they quantify a player's contribution. As a statistician, Silver has a clear bias, but it's not towards a player, it's towards the measurements that evaluate all players. Baseball's general managers have already accepted these new measurements (as covered in Moneyball), but now writers are being forced to confront the same issue. And, for them, it's a more complicated issue. Whereas GMs can rely on the on-the-field results speaking for themselves, writers have the task of making the game accessible to fans. RBIs, HRs and AVG are very easy to explain to viewers/readers. WAR and the newer statistics require what is often college-level math to grok.

This article does a good job of describing the context of this interesting vote for people that aren't already aware.

Comment A lot more able developers (Score 3, Insightful) 761

Unions exist in situations where management is negotiating from a place of power and replacement workers are easy to find. They allow the collective workforce to get a better deal than they would individually.

Meanwhile, there is a shortage of capable developers and we have the power in most negotiations. Why do we need a union if we can just demand what we want and get it? In our industry, companies have even been caught uniting against workers.

Unions are a tool and developers are taught to us the right tool for the job. When the situation demands a union, we'll unionize, but there's no point in doing that until there are a ton more capable developers to compete with for jobs.

Comment Re:Silence, heretics! (Score 1) 398

Both sides are quibbling about the voting machines. For instance, there's this article that provides evidence that electronic voting machines have been specifically tampered with to give an advantage to some Republicans (often at the expense of other Republicans.)

I'm not on the left or right, but I don't want anyone to shut up about the problems with these voting machines. Regardless of how similar Republicrats are, non-rigged elections are still extremely important and the current generation of electronic voting machines are far too secretive to be reliable. I'm for anyone speaking up about their problems, though I'd prefer that it not accuse any one party so as to not incite readers to either dismiss it (if they're for that party) or blindly accept it without caring (if they're for another party.)

The reality is that the current state of affairs is ridiculous. We've had cryptography experts present multiple approaches that are both anonymous and yet verifiable by voters in the booth and by election observers. And yet their advice has been ignored and replaced with naively simple systems that are so vulnerable and kept so secret that we have no choice but to assume that it's being done on purpose to rig elections. This is ridiculous and needs to stop. It's not a partisan issue and shouldn't be treated as one.

Comment Re:Is this different from sport? (Score 1) 487

The main difference between steroids and other PEDs would be the side-effects. PEDs typically improve physical performance at the cost of health later in life. If they were magic bullets that weren't harmful, we could all take them and be better off for it. For sheer entertainment value, juiced-up athletes are probably more entertaining to watch, but we ban PEDs because we don't want to force athletes to choose between an immediate performance (and salary) boost and their post-career health.

The same dilemma could present itself in this arena too. Imagine if they found a drug that massively increased intelligence and problem solving enabling users to discover and produce advancements well beyond what our minds are capable of. That sounds great and many of us would love to try something like that, but imagine if it also was found to be linked to severe depression and a drastically-increased suicide rate after ~5-10 years of use. you take it and have a brief, spectacular and achievement-filled decade?

That's the dilemma facing athletes when it comes to PEDs. While the goal from the article was to develop drugs free from side-effects, there's no guarantee that that a drug developed would meet that criteria.

Comment Re:WTF, submitter and green-lighter?! (Score 5, Informative) 230

Where's the scandal?!

$100B divided by 2 million employees equals $50,000 per employee -- high for China, maybe, but matches the MEDIAN male income in the U.S.

You should read the linked article (not the link from the story, but one linked from it.) The scale of the corruption seems to be reaching epidemic proportions. The story lists the yearly salary of the #2 official in the railway ministry as being $19k/yr and yet had a fortune over $100m. Another associate of the head of the railway ministry built a ~$700m business through bribes and kickbacks. The workers are, no doubt, being paid less than $1k/yr. Redo your calculations based on that and you'll find just how much money has gone missing. It's very common for officials that have been caught to have been found with tens of millions of dollars worth of bribes. One of the biggest impediments for these officials isn't actually accepting the bribes but, instead, finding a place to store all the cash since the largest bill in circulation is a 100 yuan note worth ~$16. It's gotten so bad that bribes are now commonly made in gift cards since they're able to store value more densely.

Read the's really shocking.

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