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Comment Re:There are three kinds of lies. (Score 2) 274

My company just underwent some major changes. We had open positions before, but we recently had a number of people hit their 1-year cliffs and leave, so we now have a lot of open positions and I'm one of the people that's been designated as a hiring manager. I can tell you that we have zero intention of hiring H1-Bs. If someone already has the paperwork from a previous job, we'll consider them, but we need people now and aren't willing to sponsor.

And yet HR still insists on writing the overly-narrow job descriptions that everyone I know loves to hate. I've tried, on multiple occasions now, to get the descriptions changed to more of a "We use x, y and z and are looking for someone smart that either knows them or can learn them fairly quickly," but every time we test it out, they find ways to sabotage it (I was told, verbatim, "Github is too expensive for an experimental job posting, so we only posted it to Dice").

People on /. bitch all the time about how few jobs there are and how large companies are using H1-Bs to drive down wages. But I also get upwards of ~10 touches from recruiters (the few that mention salary usually say around $200k) on LinkedIn and we've had multiple openings go unfilled for the past 4-6 months because we simply can't find qualified candidates.

This exposure to the HR recruiting process has left me convinced that the majority of the problem isn't H1-Bs or disingenuous companies but, instead, HR that's out of touch with the way that talent looks for jobs these days. Because it's clear that there are people who want jobs and don't have them and jobs that want talent and can't find it.

Shameless plug: If you're in San Francisco and looking for a job, see here: (and don't worry if you don't meet the exact skill set requested)
UI Engineer
Java Engineer

Comment Re: Citation Needed (Score 3, Interesting) 354

There are a couple of advantages.

For one, the ability to run the same code on the server and client can be very useful. A number of years ago, I remember a presentation on GWT (framework for writing client-side code in Java) where the presenters mentioned that their app would benchmark the client and, when the client's DOM manipulation wasn't fast enough, would use an AJAX request to do the manipulation on the server and pass it back as HTML which was put into the document using innerHTML. In both cases, the exact same source code was executed, but they had the flexibility to run it in both contexts.

Also, using the same languages allows you to minimize the frameworks and technologies you use, making it easier for developers to know them in depth and making it easier, in general, to find developers. You also get a lot more organizational flexibility when developers can be assigned to either front-end or back-end tasks or even hybrid tasks that would otherwise require two different developers with separate skill sets to complete.

Node has been very successful thus far by making use of one important observation...the majority of applications spend most of their time waiting for things (mostly IO) to complete rather than actually doing something. This allows it to use a language that is still, by comparison, dog slow and still be faster than implementations in other languages when implementing most problems. The thing about functional languages like JavaScript is that they're ideally suited to the asynchronous style of programming where every call takes a callback and completes immediately. But functional languages don't seem to get used server-side. There is some Erlang (WebMachine and Riak are awesome at what they do), but most server-side languages are OO and make it very difficult to do this sort of asynchronous programming in a way that feels natural to the developer.

The problem with Node taking over the server side is, as mentioned, JavaScript is still dog slow. There will be times when your bottlenecks are computational and not IO. The Node answer to this is to drop to C/C++, but how many JavaScript developers can do this? Still, no matter what you think of JavaScript as a language, Node.JS is asking some very interesting questions about the nature of server-side programming and which optimizations are most important. Dismissing it because of the toy language it uses is a mistake.

Comment Re:In conclusion (Score 1) 305

Most of hiring is PR. The best candidates aren't the ones who respond to job postings or who's résumés you find during searches. Finding the best talent requires tapping professional networks and creating the impression, both internally and externally, that the company is a great place to work. For tech jobs, that includes demonstrating that the company is committed to tackling interesting problems and that employees have the chance to be creative and take risks. Google, more than anyone else in the market, has been able to build this perception. And announcements like this only perpetuate this...this is less about them changing their approach to hiring and more about them treating hiring as a big data problem with an interesting answer.

Google's hiring process has, for a long time now, not been about finding the best candidates to work at Google. It's primary value has been the impression that it leaves on candidates that they don't hire. A Google interview is an experience unto itself and helps perpetuate Google's reputation in the industry. This, combined with their army of recruiters, leads to a very high quality of candidate applying with Google and means that their interview process can have a lot of false negatives and still be ridiculously effective.

My company is currently trying to hire a ton of people and I've been trying to impress upon our recruiters how wrong-headed their approach as been thus far (they only post ads and search for résumés). Hiring the best today requires a holistic approach that draws quality people to your company instead of requiring individual touches to bring them in.

Shameless plug: If you're in San Francisco, know either Java or JavaScript and are even thinking of looking for a job, please submit your résumé here or here. We work with a lot of cutting edge technologies, have a small company feel with large parent company that gives great benefits while staying very hands off and our customers love our product (all we have to do is execute technically and we'll grow from $100m/yr run rate to over $1b).

Comment Re:If the policy makers astually traded (Score 1) 476

If the government had rules relating to how people's retirements could be invested in hard drives, then I think such rules would be warranted. Among other things, it's the rules for 401(k)s, IRAs and other such accounts that create a need for regulation in the financial markets.

Also, hard drive manufacturers didn't come crying to the government for hundreds of billions of dollars claiming that their mistakes would otherwise crater the economy. When hard drive companies manage to cause an event with a title (and consequences) as compelling as "The Great Depression", it will also be time to regulate the hell out of them.

Comment Re:Theft of Service! (Score 2) 221

I would have a lot more sympathy for companies like HBO if they made these services available to everyone. But, instead, you need to spend hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars per year on separate TV service from one of a few blessed providers. If HBO had a ~$10/mo plan that gave access to HBO:Go only, I'd be right there with you condemning people for sharing accounts. But as long as they're using the new online services to prop up the entrenched satellite/cable services and make the service unavailable to many people at any price, they deserve all the abuse they get.

Comment It's started... (Score 5, Insightful) 302

The government finally decided to care and used the one achilles heel of BitCoin...conversion to and from dollars. If BitCoin had some innate value, it wouldn't be a problem, but since it's primary use is as an exchange currency for dodging taxes and selling goods on the black market, this change is going to seriously impact the value of the currency.The government can't control BitCoin, but it can control US financial institutions and other companies that need to interact with those financial institutions.

We'll now see how well the BitCoin market can operate as a completely stand-alone entity.

Comment Re:to much time in class that is what is bad about (Score 2) 141

As poorly written as GP's post was, it zeroed in on the most interesting thing that, at least for me, was said in the interview. When someone is as accomplished in so many areas as Mr Dyson is, it stands to reason that he'd have at least some insight into the educational process. And in both his response on his own education and in the one where he talked about his daughter's education, he indicated that he thought the success of both educational processes was due to a "benign neglect" which allowed the child to actively pursue education rather than having it imposed upon them.

I'm betting that this is true for a certain type of child...one who is curious and driven to learn and that many students don't fit into that category. But thinking back on my own education, I wonder how much more successful I would have been if I'd played a bigger role in shaping my curriculum rather than having it dictated by the schools I attended.

I'm only starting to let the idea marinate a bit, but I feel like there's got to be some way to incorporate this cooperative learning phenomenon where teachers get out of the way of students and simply make themselves available as resources rather than lecturing, dictating and otherwise trying to push information into the heads of students. If feels like a pull methodology would allow students to better learn at their own pace.

Comment Re:Answer (Score 3, Interesting) 123

HBO is the wrong place to start. All the comics there have some reputation from the clubs before they get on HBO. If he wants to move beyond RenFair performer, he should be trying to get his DVD in the hands of anyone who headlines their own comedy club shows. If one of them finds him funny, he might get a gig opening for someone with a bit more name recognition. The pay will be almost nil, but that's how people build their reputation to the point where HBO will pay any attention. Even then it's a bit of a long shot...the opening act from the show I saw this past Friday had already been on HBO.

Another option to explore...contact Netflix and offer the DVD royalty free for a year or so. If they accept it, urge anyone and everyone you meet to 5-star it in the hopes that it starts showing up as a suggestion to a wider audience.

But I wonder if his stuff isn't really that funny outside of the RenFair setting. In the context of a RenFair, that would be pretty funny because he's injecting humor into the scene that everyone is participating in. But outside of a RenFair setting, where people wear normal clothes and speak in their normal way, the humor won't play as well.

Comment Why, Why Why???? (Score 2) 135

Why is Java still persisting with this notion that it should be a browser plugin? No one wants Java as a browser plugin and that's where the security vulnerabilities have been found. Meanwhile, in the area where Java is popular (the server and, to a lesser extent, desktop applications) and in need of the features that Java 8 was supposed to bring, these security problems are a secondary concern--there's very little need to worry about malicious code when you're not downloading it from an untrusted source.

It's time to retire Applets and Web Start entirely and leave Java to the things it's good at.

Comment Re:Ignorance (Score 1) 461

I don't give a rats ass about whether they're harmful or not...I'll cede the health argument entirely.

What I care about is that Monsanto is a despicable company that's attempting to fuck with our food supply for profit. The list of underhanded and downright unconscionable things that company has done is a mile long. I want labels on GMO products because I want to ensure that not one red cent I spend on food ends up supporting them. I want their leadership strung up by their entrails but, failing that, I want to do my part to limit their profits and, if enough people join me, put them out of business.

Once labels are mandatory, we can start campaigns to highlight their misdeeds and convince people to boycott their products. Currently, absent labels, such a boycott is impossible.

Comment Re:What the hell (Score 2) 759

Like everything, it all depends on context. Bitch isn't universally sexist, but if it's said in reaction a reasonable action where a woman is asserting herself, it can be sexist. And it's almost universally sexist to refer negatively to a male as a bitch as it implies a lowering of stature through femininity.

For what it's worth, I don't believe that's the case here and I'm fine with people calling her a bitch, though I wouldn't do so myself and can see how others would find it inappropriate. She comes off as someone with a huge axe to grind and looking for even the slightest of provocations to push her agenda. She overreacted and deserves most of the blowback she's getting. Of all the behavior of everyone involved, hers is the only one I find malicious and reprehensible. The rest just showed bad judgment and/or were put in a no-win situation (read: the employers.)

The saddest part about this whole incident, to me, is how everyone is conflating 'sexual' with 'sexist'. From everything I've seen on the comments they were sexual, probably not safe for a work environment, but I don't see them as being sexist unless you buy into the puritanical, anti-sex agenda that tries to convince women that they can't enjoy sex as much as men. The undercurrent of this whole brouhaha is the culture that seeks to repress women and make them believe that they'll be branded 'sluts' or some other derogatory term if they actively pursue their sexual desires. Otherwise, why would they need to be protected from dirty-but-non-malicious jokes like the one in question? If the result of this incident is that women are over-protected, coddled or treated with "kid gloves" in the tech work environment, then we've all--women most of all--lost as a result.

Comment What has worked for me (Score 1) 635

There's been two things that have helped me immensely:

  • 1. Replace your chair with an exercise ball. It will take a while before your abs/back can go the whole day, so you'll need to keep your chair until then.
  • 2. Find an exercise that works your mind as well as your body. For me, it's rock climbing--specifically bouldering. Climbing involves a lot of problem solving. As you progress, you learn tools that help you solve the increasingly difficult problems. There's a lot of physics involved in bending your body and positioning it to maximize friction between hands/feet and the wall/holds. Regardless, the fact that the exercise keeps my mind active is what keeps me coming back in a way that exercises that turn my mind off never did.

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