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Comment Re: This always worked for me... (Score 1) 181

My company does something similar.

Basically just triple whatever estimate we come up with.

This is basically what we do too. The problem I see with this approach is it prevents you from getting better
at estimating. If you as a developer triple your estimate to compensate and the manager then triples that
number, the number is artificially tripled twice. I've tried slowly increasing my estimates so that they are more
accurate but then people balk because when they take my more realistic number and triple it, it looks to be
too much compared to previous projects even though everyone knows the previous project estimates were
wrong.

Comment Re: I Have No Trouble Making Accurate and Precise. (Score 1) 181

I run into the same problem. The funny thing is my manager knows my estimates are off. My manager told me once that when I give him an estimate, he takes it and multiplies it by 2.5 so a 2 day projects becomes one week and a one week project becomes one month. The problem with this is if I give him a realistic estimate, he multiplies it by 2.5 and balks so I'm stuck basically giving him low ball estimates with us both knowing it will really take 2.5 times longer. So in a weird way, My estimate is actually pretty accurate.

Comment Re: This always worked for me... (Score 2) 181

That's pretty close to what I've found too.
Something that will take 2 days really takes a week. (2.5)
Something that will take 2 weeks really takes a month. (Also 2.5)
Even short projects seem to fit this 2.5 number where something that is suppose to take 2 hours generally takes half a day.
The job itself actually only takes 2 hours but the debugging, testing, feature creep, and making it live always seems to more than double the time.

Comment Re:did you forget about scrubbers? (Score 1) 411

It is true that they have invented scrubbers that solve most of these problems. But said scrubbers are incredibly expensive to run, making coal the single most expensive form of energy around.

There is not a single 'clean coal' plant that is currently making money. They are all run as loss leaders to 'prove' coal be be clean.

Comment Re:The view fails to account getting &*#@ed (Score 4, Insightful) 452

And the lack of bankruptcy means the banks would loan unreasonable amounts of money to 18 year olds who had no clue how much pain they were signing up for.

If the bankruptcy was removed, loans would drop, and so would tuition.

Grants are a factor but they were tiny amounts of money compared to student loans.

Comment Re:The view fails to account getting &*#@ed (Score 1) 452

That's supposed to say "millennial are running about a decade behind".

I was a late boomer- almost genx. I was similarly behind leading edge boomers. They were always in the job I wanted to be promoted too and they were going to be there until i was in my mid to late 50's.

Comment Re:Leftists are learning about pushing people too (Score 1) 253

One prominent example is minimum wage regulations. While the intent behind these may have been good, what they've ended up becoming are huge burdens to businesses that are already on the brink. It's not economically viable for a business to pay somebody far more than the value they're providing. What is the end result? Fewer jobs, and a lot more focus on automating away low-end jobs. This actually leaves people worse off than they were before the minimum wage regulations were put into place!

That's a very naïve view of reality. For every business that's on the brink, there are hundreds that are doing well, and many that are turning record profits. A business that cannot afford to pay its employees a living wage is almost certainly doomed anyway, so allowing it to pay a less than a living wage is just delaying the inevitable slightly. The business will fail. Let it fail.

Keeping a business on life support by letting it pay a subminimum wage doesn't help anyone in the long term, and doesn't help very many people even in the short term. But allowing businesses to pay a subminimum wage does hurt people who work for all those other companies that actually are profitable, because given the opportunity to pay their employees less, they will do so.

More to the point, if that is the only business providing jobs in a particular community, then that community is doomed. Keeping the business alive a little longer by depressing wages just encourages people to stay in the doomed community and make less and less money, thus making them less and less able to afford to move to a community that isn't doomed. So continuing to pay those employees a wage actually ends up hurting those employees more than it helps, at least in the aggregate, though the individual employees might not believe it at the time.

Comment Re:Save 30%, retire early (Score 2) 452

Granted those happen- but buying too much house, eating out too much, buying too much car, traveling too much, buying clothing that's too nice, drinking after work, starbucks, and many other activities enjoyed by the young do not help.

I lived on half I made and saved the rest from 1987 onwards. I retired 16 years early.

Comment Re:The view fails to account getting &*#@ed (Score 5, Insightful) 452

As a boomer, when i went to college, it was $180 a semester. Even adjusted for inflation that's a fraction of the cost today.

Tuitions went up enormously when the law was changed to allow loans not forgiven by bankruptcy.

Boomers are running about 10 years behind my age for every major landmark.

That being said- save hard, don't pamper yourself with eating out and starbucks and you can still retire years earlier.

Comment Re:slashdotters are happy (Score 1) 180

I don't think that's true at all. Most of the pro-life voters I've known are people who genuinely care about protecting the unborn. Most of the pro-life politicians at least appear to be using the abortion issue as a means to get elected (though I suppose it is also possible that they're genuine but clueless). The number of pro-life folks who are actually misogynists is probably fairly small, though I'm sure that they do exist.

Comment Re:It's true (Score 1) 258

When the chip returns, we have to test it and make sure it is correct before we make any last minute changes. So there is a 72 hour bring-up period, most of us work 18 hour shifts and the campus is open around the clock with three meals served a day.

When you're talking about a short-term crunch period, sometimes those really are unavoidable, because of events that could not have been predicted ahead of time. When that happens, what matters is that the period be A. short, B. bounded, and C. rewarded with extra vacation to balance out the crunch. If an employer does that, it isn't a big deal. When an employer drives people to work 18 hours a day all year around, though, that's a much bigger deal.

That said, to some degree, what you're describing is still a failure of management. The final deadline might not be movable, but the milestones on the way to that deadline are movable, and the number of employees you throw at the problem is also adjustable. There are two ways to trivially fix the problem in your case:

  • Move the deadline for the design earlier. This approach will initially mean slightly longer hours during the entire project, but over the long term, will make it worth hiring one or two extra employees to reduce the workload. By doing that, you'll have an entire week or even two weeks at the end of the process for the bring-up period instead of 72 hours.
  • Hire contractors to offload most of the testing during surge periods. I guarantee you can find people who will do short-term contracts for a week if you throw the right amount of money in their direction, and I guarantee there are plenty of other companies that need testers only part-time. Work with those other companies and build up a contractor talent pool. Spend two days preparing for the tests, then three days doing the tests. Make a larger quantity of engineering test samples so that you can parallelize the tests better, and use three times as many people during that week so that everybody works sane hours.

This isn't rocket science. Either approach above would make those crunches completely unnecessary, and the combination would do so in a way that isn't even particularly painful for the company or the employees. However, both approaches require management to A. acknowledge that there's a problem, and B. care enough to fix it.

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