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Comment Nexus (Score 1) 484

My Android (Nexus 5) is a tank; I regularly go a few weeks before bothering to reboot, and the reboot is because I let the battery die. (Battery life is 18-24 hours.) My wife's MotoX (the original one) is just about the same, except the battery life is better (presumably because it's a smaller screen?) 24+ hours.

Comment Safety Deposit Box (Score 1) 446

Unless you have the world's most amazing fire safe or root cellar, you have three options that I see. First, easy: pick a drive that survives to zero degrees fahrenheit, and when you're not using it, put it in the freezer in your kitchen or garage. Most fires will kill it, but you'll get a bit more protection. Second, harder: pick a small drive, like a USB Key. Write it once a month or so. Store it in a safety deposit box at the bank, where only you have access. Storing something *in* your house that needs to be fireproof is nigh impossible. Storing it somewhere externally that's easily accessed and still secure is a problem you can solve with cash. Third, actually pretty trivial. Store it to *two* cloud providers, so if one goes out of business, you still have your data. Google Drive and Dropbox, for example. One trick; encrypt it locally before ever uploading it. Winzip (or Linux's zip) should both be able to produce and use strong AES-256 keys. Currently, the expected amount of time to get 50% odds of breaking AES-256 is exponentially more computers than currently exist running for the entire life of the universe, using suns as fuel. (With brute force, no one can do it, ever.) So the "someone will hack me" is up to you. The "two cloud providers" is probably what you want.

Comment Re:That's not how the world works, thankfully. (Score 1) 466

If you're looking to get a software job, but can't get the interview, one thing that enormously helps is writing code for open source projects, or having sufficiently complex project work that you built yourself available to see online. If someone can read a short link on your resume, and then go see your actual code, you become *much* less of a wildcard and much more of a known quality; they then know you can do the job, if the code matches up well enough.

Alternatively, if you've done automated test scripts, look for QA Analyst positions as a bridge into most tech organizations.

What's your academic background? And are you located near a large city, and/or a tech hub?

Comment That's not how the world works, thankfully. (Score 1) 466

Your scale implies one set of skills, and there's certainly more than that! As two important ones; the ability and desire to learn, and the tools you already know. I've worked with a lot of junior engineers who didn't know much, but were good at picking things up and moving with them. I've worked with a lot of senior engineers who knew lots of tools and theory, but weren't very good at picking up new things. (I've also worked with junior engineers who were terrible, and senior engineers who could pick up new things faster than me; it's a mix.) To get hired, you need to convince the hiring manager you can do the job, can do it better than the next guy, and can do it at a price they're willing to pay. Right now, there's simply not enough developers who can do the job, so even if you're not great but still get the job done and don't seem awful to work with, the determining factor is "did someone else better apply?"

Comment Lunch. (Score 1) 361

Always go to lunch with coworkers, and chat with them about... anything, or just hang out while they chat if you can join a group doing so. If they want to talk work, ask them what they're working on; if something in what they say is actually interesting to you, ask 'em about it. If they don't want to talk work, where do they live? Where did they go to school? What do they think of both? What did they do this week? Ideally, they want to talk work at least part of the time, as that's likely more useful. :-) At lunch, if you find yourself talking more than a fair share, work on talking less. If you find yourself talking not at all, work on talking slightly more.

Comment Show that it's your code, and get the new job. (Score 4, Insightful) 480

Much more useful than seeing code with someone's name on it is hearing that person describe the code. If someone calls you on it, offer to explain the design of the code, the decisions and tradeoffs made along the way, and what you'd improve next, or how you left the code in a state to be more easily maintained (by you or others) in the future. That would feel *much* more useful than seeing your name on it, and would take you a fraction of the time invested to get it done.

Comment Get the hell away from VB (Score 1) 418

Avoid technologies that don't easily transfer to other technologies; VB is hellishly rough for being a bit of a dead end, albeit terrifically useful at what it does. Leverage the .NET part of your resume, and spend a few months learning C#. It's not terrible, and will make you a better VB developer at the very least. At the most, you can pivot out, and do a wider variety of tasks - for better pay - in C# than in VB.

Comment Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (Score 1) 999

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. I moved here three years ago looking at staying 10-20 years. So far, so good. We have a thriving tech community, a low cost of living, and low crime. Due to this being the steel making capital of the world 100 years ago, we have a lot of old and awesome cultural institutions much larger than would be expected of a city of this size, but houses cost next to nothing compared to larger cities. We're in the middle of a natural resources boom; we export quite a bit of energy. We sit at the junction of three rivers, and west of a mountain range; we rarely have droughts. Winters are reasonably mild. Summers are reasonably mild. There's an enormous education center here. Healthcare is great. And we certainly have jobs, as well. Take a look at Carnegie Mellon University, the University of Pittsburgh, the Software Engineering Institute, and the National Robotics Engineering Consortium; pghtech.org lists quite a bit more. Education, medicine, finance and software tend to be the dominant industries here, which are (not coincidentally) more recession-proof than most. Best small city I know.

Comment This has come up before. (Score 1) 1165

The technology doesn't work. Five seconds win a nail file rendered it useless. 100 rounds at a practice range *also* render it useless. It simply does not work; it was proposed as a roundabout way of banning guns entirely. From the side, revolvers also don't leave casings at a crime scene. At best, it's going to alter gun sales, but not slow them.

Comment Re:Green Card (Score 1) 357

Keeping up with your profession and keeping your skills recent doesn't take a whole lotta time; call it a five hour a week investment that's the difference between "having trouble finding work" and "can quickly find work in any major city in the world". If that's an hour a day after work, it's arguably a pretty good spend of an hour of time. On the managerial front, I've met very, very few managers who worked a 40-hour workweek; they're not doing managing outside the office, but they're certainly stuck *in* the office more than most. Or, for white collar jobs, the 40-hour workweek is often a myth; 45-50 seems the absolute norm in America.

Comment Re:Green Card (Score 1) 357

I assumed you were talking about "glut of unemployed factory workers". My bad. Where is there a glut of unemployed software engineers? To be fair, "years of language X" isn't a great sign; "years of languages X, Y, and Z, with nonprofessional experience in A, B and C" is *much* more likely to find work.

Comment Re:With unemployment where it is at, send them hom (Score 1) 357

Junk degrees in college are an issue here, and they aren't helping much of anyone. College loans are available to all, but they're not quite enough to pay for a top-tier engineering school. College loans are available to all, but they subsidize comparative medieval literature majors just the same as electrical engineers. We need more of certain professions, but we aren't actively helping people go into those professions any more than a random pick on a dartboard. We also explain to high school students "you can do anything!", when in the real world, some careers are *enormously* harder to pursue than others.

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